Community life

The day Maxim Vengerov played at our synagogue

December 26, 2014

World renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov played a supporting role when he performed at Belsize Square Synagogue in north London last week.


United Synagogue rabbi ‘failed to show at funeral’

By Sandy Rashty, December 25, 2014

The United Synagogue has apologised to a grieving family after one of its shuls failed to provide a rabbi to oversee both the funeral and stone-setting of a member at Bushey cemetery.

It is investigating why a Pinner Synagogue minister did not officiate at the ceremonies for Samuel Sandler, who had been an active Pinner congregant for 40 years.


Charitable toy story impresses David Cameron

By Josh Jackman, December 23, 2014

A north London lawyer who founded a charity to distribute toys and books to impoverished children across the world has been honoured by David Cameron.

Shelley Schachter-Cahm, 47, received a Point of Light award — recognising “outstanding volunteers” — for the work of Toy Drop. She established the charity 12 years ago after a “life-changing” visit to the Philippines.


Volunteer army fills the festive staffing gap

By Naomi Firsht and Rosa Doherty, December 18, 2014

Hundreds of community members are demonstrating the true festive spirit by volunteering over the holiday period.

Jewish Volunteering Network director Leonie Lewis said JVN usually experienced a surge of inquiries in December and this year had been no exception.


Cardiff launches its 'last opportunity' promotion

By Naomi Firsht, December 18, 2014

Leaders of Cardiff synagogues, youth and welfare bodies have united in an attempt to arrest the community's decline.

Total membership of the city's synagogues has fallen from a peak of 4,000 in the 1960s and 70s to around 500, fairly evenly split between Orthodox and Reform.


Hasmo head moving on

December 18, 2014

Hasmonean High executive head Rabbi David Meyer is leaving the school to become executive director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools next month.


UJIA supporters make their true identity clear

December 18, 2014

Some £83,000 was raised by the 130 volunteers who manned phones in London and Glasgow for UJIA's Super Sunday.

The theme of the event was the charity's promotion of Jewish identity in difficult times.


Camp Simcha's toy story

December 18, 2014

Camp Simcha volunteers packed up over 5,000 toys and gifts to be delivered to children in hospital during the holiday period.

The toy drive is an annual event organised by the charity, supporting Jewish children with serious illness and their families.

Presents were collected by Jewish schools and community groups around London for distribution in 104 children's wards, hospices and community


Maccabi taking charge of Kenton youth centre

December 18, 2014

The management of Kenton youth and community centre Kulanu will be taken over by Maccabi GB from January 1.

Home to Kenton Maccabi and a number of other youth groups for over 30 years, the 9,000 sq ft building incorporates a sports hall, large meeting spaces and conference facilities.


Essex unites

December 18, 2014

Two mergers involving Essex and east London congregations were this week ratified by the United Synagogue council.

Members of the Clayhall and Newbury Park shuls voted overwhelmingly for merger last month and their combined community will be known as Redbridge United Synagogue.