Community life

Masorti shul increases its egalitarian services

By Josh Jackman, July 9, 2015

A major Masorti synagogue has voted to phase in regular egalitarian services in response to falling attendances at the traditional minyan.

The New London Synagogue in St John's Wood has held a Minyan Chadash service - for which men and women are counted in the minyan - every month for around 12 years.

More..

Nightingale long-server leaves

July 9, 2015

Former Nightingale chief executive Leon Smith will leave the organisation next week after 42 years' service.

He joined the Clapham home in an administrative role after a year on kibbutz, serving as CEO from 1998 to 2013.

More..

'Spectacular' Sandys Row reviving at 160

By Josh Jackman, July 9, 2015

London's oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue, Sandys Row, was hailed as "spectacular" by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as it celebrated its 160th anniversary in style on Tuesday night.

Addressing an audience of 150 at the East End shul, Rabbi Mirvis said: "The mark of Sandys Row has been love. For 16 glorious decades, people have been welcomed into this synagogue with consideration and generosity.

More..

Camp Simcha retreat brings laughter to brain-surgery girl

July 9, 2015

A week after undergoing brain surgery, seven-year-old Isabella Scarry was happily running around the Camp Simcha family retreat, the scarf bought to cover the scar on her head forgotten in the excitement.

Isabella, from Ilford, suffers from severe epilepsy.

More..

Thousands turn out for a caring piece of cake

July 9, 2015

Jewish Care's biggest grassroots event of the year saw a record 4,500 people from London and the surrounding areas take part in its annual Great Jewish Bake Day, designed to raise awareness, involvement and, on a small scale, funds.

Cake was the unifying factor as pupils, staff, supporters, volunteers and clients - plus a dozen shops and kosher bakeries - engaged in a variety of activities link

More..

May gives pledge on fighting extremism

By Josh Jackman, July 2, 2015

Home Secretary Theresa May has called on the Jewish community to help combat the "perverted and twisted ideology" which led to 38 deaths in Tunisia this week.

Addressing the Hasmonean High School's dinner at the Millennium Mayfair on Wednesday, she also vowed that the government would do more to protect Jews from the threat of extremism.

More..

'Inadequate' Birmingham care home is upgraded

By Josh Jackman, July 2, 2015

The Quality Care Commission has this week reported an improvement in standards at Birmingham home Andrew Cohen House, which received the lowest QCC ranking, "inadequate", after a February inspection.

But although the QCC accepted that the home had "taken appropriate actions to meet the legal requirements we looked at," it still "requires improvement".

The commission first raised concern over

More..

Muslim speaks from bimah at interfaith Iftar celebration

By Josh Jackman, July 2, 2015

Two London Reform synagogues have held interfaith events to celebrate Iftar, the meal marking the end of daily fasting during Ramadan.

At Alyth in Golders Green, Muslims outnumbered Jews with 60 of the 110 in attendance. Labour MP Sadiq Khan was among the guests and the call to prayer was made from the bimah by Sultan Ahmed, a fundraising manager for Islamic Relief.

More..

Hackney 'stalwart' Joe Lobenstein is mourned

By Josh Jackman, July 2, 2015

Hackney leaders have paid tribute to the contribution of religious and political figurehead Joe Lobenstein, who died on Sunday, aged 88.

Having arrived in London as a refugee from Nazism, Mr Lobenstein served for 36 years as a councillor - first as a Liberal, then as a Tory - and was elected Hackney Mayor four times in a row.

More..

Going on tour - with some financial help

July 2, 2015

The Israel tour programme begins on Sunday with the first two groups of 16-year-olds leaving the UK for their month-long trip, organised by the Jewish Agency and supported by UJIA.

FZY members will be the first of 1,145 participants to touch down at Ben Gurion Airport.

More..