Community life

UJIA beat record on profits raised

December 10, 2009

More than £800,000 has been raised at Manchester UJIA’s northern region annual dinner, 10 per cent more than the previous year.

Manchester UJIA welcomed 350 guests to Monday’s dinner at the Hilton Hotel, where guests heard from ambassador Dan Gillerman, Israel’s former representative to the UN.

UJIA chairman Mick Davis presented the inaugural Lord Steinberg award for services to Israel and the Jewish people to Colonel Richard Kemp who has publicly spoken out against allegations that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

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Manchester's The Fed to sell Crumpsall offices

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 10, 2009

Manchester welfare provider The Fed will sell its offices as part of a raft of changes as it merges with the Heathlands Care Village to create a local super charity.

The Crumpsall site, the base for 90 staff, could go on the market early in 2010. The Fed is expected to move to refurbished offices on the third floor of Heathlands’ main building. Additions for the merged charity include a respite facility for children with special needs, planned for the second half of 2010.

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Hackney synagogue forced to demolish site

By Marcus Dysch, December 10, 2009

Part of a Stoke Newington synagogue has been demolished by bulldozers after community leaders conceded defeat in a nine-year planning row with council chiefs.

The Portakabin annexe at the Torah Etz Chaim shul in Lordship Road was demolished after a court ordered trustees to remove the temporary structure. The building had been used as an overflow for services for the 320-member Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation and for children’s activities since 1997.

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Funding initiative to secure jobs in Leeds

By Ruth Leslie, December 9, 2009

A funding initiative has been launched in Leeds to restore two community services.

A voluntary levy of £3 per month is to be added to each householders’ synagogue fees to fund a post at Leeds Jewish Initiative, which provided social and educational activities for the 18-to-35s, until its closure last month. The extra funding will also pay for a community development officer, left vacant when Neil Clarke left in September.

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WJR collects supplies for Winter Survival

December 9, 2009

Over 4,000 bags of essential supplies for impoverished Jews in Eastern Europe have been collected through World Jewish Relief’s Operation Winter Survival campaign.

Donations of warm clothes, toiletries and nappies have come from families, shuls, schools and cheders.

Finchley Reform congregant Debra Brunner recently went to Belarus to help distribute WJR bags to clients such as Marina, a 43-year-old woman living with her husband and two children in a cramped two-bedroom flat.

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Bournemouth Masorti's first Shabbaton

By Corinne Rein, December 9, 2009

The fledgling Bournemouth Masorti attracted 80 people to its first Shabbaton.

Organiser Adrian Yonace said that the event’s services “were held in a spirit of warmth and sincerity. This was an ideal way to round off our first quarter as Masorti enthusiasts.”

Services at the Carrington House Hotel event were led by Masorti’s Rabbi Chaim Weiner and Michael Gluckman and Ben Russell, national director of Noam, the Masorti youth movement.

Set up three months ago, the group has held weekly services in members’ houses.

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Harry Potter star leads Mersey farewells

By Cathy Forman, December 9, 2009

Actor Jason Isaacs has led the tributes to his uncle Lennie Isaacs, the JC’s Liverpool correspondent for 15 years, who died last week aged 70.

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Local heroes take centre stage in Leeds

By Hayden Cohen, December 9, 2009

A Holocaust survivor who has addressed schools across the country about his experiences was among the winners of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board’s annual pride awards, which attracted over 4,000 votes from the local community.

Arek Hersh, an MBE for his services to Holocaust education, said he could barely find words to express his feelings on receiving a special achievement award. “I travel to Poland, taking groups to Auschwitz every year, sometimes twice a year. I go round to schools, universities and various other organisations giving talks.”

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Overseas aid charity sets out its green manifesto

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2009

In the week of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, international aid charity Tzedek has announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent.

Tzedek also intends to become a "zero waste" organisation, maintaining a sustainable procurement policy favouring local suppliers and further promoting vegetarian food at its events.

"Implementing these policies will not be easy, but this is an issue that is central to achieving our mission statement," said Tzedek executive director Dan Berelowitz.

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St John's Wood panel improves environment

December 9, 2009

Three “green gurus” featured in a book on environmental movers and shakers co-edited by Liberal Jewish Synagogue member Louella Miles addressed a meeting at her shul in St John’s Wood.

The speakers were Paul Dickinson, chief executive of Carbon Disclosure; John Elkington, an international expert on sustainable development and John Grant, author of the Green Marketing Manifesto. BBC presenter Edward Stourton chaired their discussion, which attracted an audience of 150.

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