Community life

'I was banished for attending Israeli college'

By Sandy Rashty, March 12, 2015

Guests at UJIA's women's lunch on Monday were moved by the story of a Druze woman who was excluded from her community for pursuing an academic career in Israel.

Dr Randa Abbas told the 220 guests that she had been placed under a "religious ban" for attending the UJIA-backed Western Galilee College in northern Israel.


Mum's the word for £1m drive

By Rosa Doherty, March 12, 2015

A group of north-west London mums and daughters hope to make it a special Mother's Day for Cancer Research UK by raising £1 million through a social media campaign inspired by the #nomakeupselfie.

The Mothers and Daughters committee has come up with the #MyMumandMe hashtag, in partnership with the charity, and is asking people to share a photo of themselves and their mum on Sunday.

"We're a


Sent packing for children

March 12, 2015

A charity set up in memory of a Tzedek volunteer which provides arrival packs to vulnerable children who come to the UK has reached a milestone.

Tory MP Mike Freer joined groups from around London for the Separated Child Foundation's "purple packathon", at which its 5,000th arrival pack was handed out.

The charity's inspiration was Londoner Ester Gluck, who died in 2006, aged 24.

She had


Mirvis brings in cash for 'excellence'

By Simon Rocker, March 9, 2015

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis remembers the episode well. Some 15 years ago, as a United Synagogue minister, he was mentoring a younger colleague in an outlying community who had come up with a “fantastic idea” — a Friday night dinner for the under-40s.


Sadness as shul holds final service

By Josh Jackman, March 5, 2015

Emotions ran high at the valedictory service of Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation on Sunday as 200 congregants said goodbye to the 95-year-old east London shul.

Since February, members of the formerly independent community have been worshipping at the Churchfields premises of Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue, following Waltham Forest's merger with the United shul to form Woodford Forest.


Notts still keen to join US despite rabbi's opposition

By Simon Rocker, March 5, 2015

Lay leaders of Nottingham Hebrew Congregation are pressing ahead with plans to join the London-based United Synagogue despite the steadfast opposition of the community's rabbi.

In a letter to members, Nottingham's acting president Stuart Joseph wrote that a "large majority" of the executive had last week approved a deal with the US.

However, he apologised for postponing a ballot of Nottingha


Maude hails Camp Simcha

March 5, 2015

Cabinet Office Minister and Paymaster General Francis Maude visited the north-west London offices of Camp Simcha on Monday to learn more about its support for families with seriously ill children.

He met Camp Simcha co-founder Rachely Plancey, chairman Julian Taylor and chief executive Neville Goldschneider.


Mehadrin meat move

By Simon Rocker, March 5, 2015

Speculation was growing this week that the Federation of Synagogues could be on the verge of launching a new kosher meat range.

For many years, the Federation has co-operated over the supervision of kosher meat with the United Synagogue and Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation as a partner in the London Board for Shechita.

A few weeks ago, the London Board rejected a proposal from the F


Child's Day enjoys a big night out with donors

March 5, 2015

Businesswoman and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley shared her life story with the 200-plus guests at the Jewish Child's Day dinner, held on Tuesday at the Avenue ballroom in north London. She recalled arriving on the Kindertransport in 1939 as a five-year-old who could not speak a word of English.


Charities wait to count cost of cuts

By Josh Jackman, March 5, 2015

Manchester charities face a nervous few weeks as they wait to see how swingeing council cuts impact on their services.

Salford City Council last week approved a cost-slashing budget, having already cut £118 million since 2010.