Community life

Camp Simcha's Manchester fundraiser

May 27, 2010

Camp Simcha held an evening at the Manchester home of Andrea and Jeff Samuels to raise awareness of its work with children with life-threatening illnesses.

Michali Azar explained how the charity had enabled the family to cope with a daughter suffering from leukaemia. Camp Simcha executive director Neville Goldschneider outlined its activities.

"Several people expressed an interest in holding similar evenings," he said. "Awareness is crucial for us."


Leeds rabbi: let's merge three synagogues

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

A radical plan to merge the three Leeds Orthodox synagogues into a super-community has received a mixed response.

The idea to consolidate the congregations on a large single campus was floated in a guest Shabbat sermon by Rabbi Jason Kleiman at the United Hebrew Congregation.

Rabbi Kleiman, minister of the nearby Beth Hamidrash Hagadol community, was participating in a pulpit swap. He said afterwards that a passionate response to a controversial sentiment was hardly surprising. But communal assets could be used more effectively.


Parents support for Mill Hill Jewish school

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2010

More than 200 parents packed a meeting at Mill Hill Synagogue on Monday to support plans for new Jewish school in the area.

Planning group chair Adam Dawson outlined hopes of opening a new school with entry at nursery and reception in September 2011. "The case for a new Jewish primary school in Mill Hill can be proved beyond any doubt."


Leeds pupils' organic egg farm

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

Pupils at the Brodetsky Primary in Leeds will be entering the organic egg market thanks to a £10,000 outdoor classroom project.

Hens, a large pond and a computerised weather station are features of the facility, constructed by specialist contractors who build sets for TV soap Emmerdale.

Funded by a donation from a local community member, the project will encourage pupils to learn about nature, the weather and become involved in rearing the 18 hens. Eggs produced will be available for purchase from the school.


Newcastle synagogue numbers drop

By Robyn Rosen, May 27, 2010

Synagogue membership in Newcastle has almost halved in the last 10 years. And the forecast is that the downward trend will continue.

The sixth census of Newcastle Jewry, compiled by the Representative Council of North East Jewry, shows membership of the United Hebrew Congregation (UHC) and Newcastle Reform Synagogue (NRS), including children, has dropped from 956 in 1998 to 541 in 2009. UHC has 341, the Reform shul 200. The prediction is that by 2014, total membership will be down to 400.


Pinner rabbi to retire

May 21, 2010

Pinner Synagogue's Rabbi Yaakov Grunewald - the United Synagogue's longest-serving rabbi - is to retire in October after 35 years' service.

Addressing the shul's AGM, Pinner chairman Howard Lewis said: "For the vast majority of members, he is the only rabbi they have known. The Pinner community is indebted to the rabbi for his communal input, his humility and his efforts over the years to ensure the community has remained vibrant and unified."


Magen David Adom's new bloodmobile

May 21, 2010

London-based philanthropist Irving Carter and his family have donated a £200,000 four-bed bloodmobile to Magen David Adom. The vehicle is the first of its kind in Israel.

Professor Eilat Shinar, head of the MDA blood centre, said that vehicles previously donated by the family had enabled collection of 68,000 blood units.


New headteacher for Kerem school

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

Richard Felsenstein, deputy headteacher at Immanuel College, has been appointed the new headteacher of Kerem school.

Mr Felsenstein, a father of three from Borehamwood, will replace Rosalind Goulden who will retire in December from her role at the Hampstead Garden Suburb schools.

Mr Felsenstein joined Immanuel as head of history when it opened in 1990 and said he was "privileged and delighted" by his new appointment.

"I've always been interested in primary schools and this will mean I will now have worked in all three education sectors, from primary to further education," he said.


Blue kisses raise money for sisters' charity

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2010

Two sisters have launched a world record charity attempt to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension, an incurable lung condition which claimed the life of their sister.


Building work planned for Ealing synagogue

May 21, 2010

Ealing Synagogue congregants have overwhelmingly endorsed plans for a six-figure redevelopment of its premises.

Plans include a new shul, kitchen, toilets, rabbi's and administrative offices and a multi-purpose function hall.

Work is set to begin after the High Holy-Days with completion by the summer of 2011.

"We are delighted the US trustees have agreed to assist the Ealing community to ensure we have facilities fit for the future," said Robin Preston, chair of the 180-member congregation.