Community life

Housing deal will secure the future of Ravenswood

By Barry Toberman, March 19, 2015

Norwood has revealed plans to ensure the long-term future of its Ravenswood village for the learning disabled through both a sale of land on the site for housing and the rebuilding of residents' properties.

Ten companies have entered bids for a housing development - including an element of social housing - on around 10 acres of the site in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

More..

Limmud fans beat the jams

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2015

Harrow Limmud's ambition in moving to a larger venue paid off as it attracted double the number who came to its last staging two years ago.

A sell-out attendance of 1,000 enjoyed a choice of 134 sessions covering food, film, football and much more at JFS's Kenton premises on Sunday.

"We were thrilled at how the event went," said organising team co-ordinator Helen Levy.

Participants were u

More..

Rabbi says shoppers are being exploited

By Naomi Firsht, March 19, 2015

The principal rabbi of a major north-London Reform community attributes the high cost of Pesach items to Jews exploiting their brethren, arguing that the message of the festival is being lost amid the retail frenzy.

"I think a lot of people get lost in the consumerism of Pesach and forget the essence of it," says Finchley Reform's Rabbi Miriam Berger.

"If we're meant to be remembering the bi

More..

Charities meet the calls for cash and emotional support

By Naomi Firsht, March 19, 2015

Welfare charities are experiencing an upsurge in demand before Pesach as observant clients seek help with meeting the high cost of festival food and drink. But charity chiefs are also reporting increasing calls for emotional support.

Mark Cunningham, chief operating officer of Manchester's main welfare charity, The Fed, describes the festival as "a bit of an emotional watershed.

More..

Rabbi rejects contract

By Josh Jackman, March 19, 2015

The Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation minister who was sacked for alleged "gross misconduct" but retains the support of members has refused an offer of "new employment" with the synagogue.

Since Rabbi Binyamin Bar's dismissal in January, he has continued to conduct services at the behest of congregants, who overwhelmingly backed his reinstatement at an EGM.

He has also now resumed o

More..

Words on the street

March 19, 2015

Anxiety, responsibility and power were the words used by journalist Jonathan Freedland to summarise the current state of British Jewry, when he addressed more than 100 guests at the Jewish Council for Racial Equality dinner.

The anxiety related to security following the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.

More..

Survivors brushing up

March 19, 2015

The art of Holocaust Survivors Centre members has found a wider audience with the opening of an exhibition of their drawings and landscapes at the Wiener Library in central London.

Among the featured artists is Renie Inow, who came to England from Germany on the Kindertransport just before the start of the war.

More..

Chief's tour

March 19, 2015

During a busy regional weekend, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was at Birmingham's historic Singers Hill Synagogue on Friday evening, where he unveiled a plaque commemorating the restoration of the shul's interior and addressed 175 people at a celebratory dinner.

More..

Minister waits anxiously to learn if his job is saved

By Josh Jackman, March 19, 2015

The Merseyside rabbi whose job has been under threat because of his Childwall congregation's financial problems has spoken about the stress the uncertainty has caused him and his family.

Childwall members rallied around Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg after the shul announced that it would have to let him go or face exhausting its financial reserves.

Although the groundswell of support persuaded

More..

Our next game? We're away to Manchester City

March 19, 2015

Langdon footballers will soon be taking on the likes of Manchester City - or at least the Premier League champions' learning disability team.

The charity, helping young adults with learning difficulties to live independently, has set up a seven-a-side team with the support of Maccabi GB.

More..