Community life

Nick Clegg puts recovery on menu

By Jessica Elgot, February 3, 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg outlined the problems the coalition government must tackle when he addressed a Jewish Care business breakfast on Tuesday.

Mr Clegg gave an off-the-cuff talk and took questions from some of the 270 guests in the Egyptian Hall of London's Mansion House.

Although focusing largely on economic issues, he also spoke about a range of key issues facing the coalition, such as the lack of mobility in British society and the need to restore trust in politicians after the expenses scandal.


School earns ministerial seal

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

The headteacher of the high achieving North Cheshire Jewish Primary has said that its multi-faith projects demolish the argument that faith schools provide only a narrow grounding and lead to societal division.

North Cheshire normally attracts attention for academic excellence. In league tables published last month, it was the best Greater Manchester school and rated tenth best in England. In SATs, pupils scored an average of 32 out of a possible 33 points in English and maths, results normally associated with children three years older.


Coming home to Bowdon

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

Rabbi Dovid Lewis will be returning home to fill South Manchester Synagogue's ministerial vacancy.

Manchester-born Rabbi Lewis, 32, currently at Newcastle's United Hebrew Congregation, is expected to transfer to the Bowdon community in June. He succeeds Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin, who vacated the post after 25 years to launch a strictly Orthodox private high school in north Manchester.

Rabbi Lewis holds a BA in Jewish studies from SOAS and an MA in theological research from Durham University. He obtained semichah in Israel in 1999.


BBC's Martha Kearney remembers Holocaust survivor relative

January 27, 2011

Radio 4 news presenter Martha Kearney spoke movingly about her personal connections to the Shoah at the Holocaust Educational Trust's annual Lord Merlyn-Rees lecture, held on Monday at the Houses of Parliament.

Ms Kearney, the event chair, said her late mother-in-law Isabel Shaw "was a survivor of the camps. It was only in her later years that she began to talk to me about life during the war. That is why I think the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust is so important, by keeping those experiences alive and making sure that other generations learn from them."


David Cameron moved by Auschwitz survivor story

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

David Cameron has told a Holocaust survivor how moved he was to read her book about her experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Trude Levi, 85, was with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street this week when he signed the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment, pledging to fight prejudice and hatred. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are among other signatories.

Ms Levi said the Prime Minister had been genuinely interested in hearing more about her story.


Israeli terror victims cheer for Arsenal

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

Israeli victims of terror watched Arsenal earn a Carling Cup final place during a three-day London visit organised by One Family UK.

Waving team scarves and cheering loudly when Arsenal scored their three goals, the group managed to make it on camera when the BBC broadcast crowd scenes. Their itinerary also took in Buckingham Palace and a performance of The Lion King.

One of the group had been involved in the controversial clash between the Israeli navy and pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza-bound flotilla last May.


Mill Hill enjoys a head start

By Robyn Rosen, January 27, 2011

Etz Chaim, the Jewish primary in Mill Hill opening in September under the government's free schools initiative, has announced its first headteachers.

The appointments are Yvonne Baron, deputy head of Hertsmere Jewish Primary, and Sharon Mullish, assistant head at the same school. They will start in May.

Governors' chair Adam Dawson said: "They are exceptional school leaders who will provide innovative, inspiring and an entrepreneurial educational approach."


Ed Balls talks Glee and Shadow Cabinet

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

New Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls spent Wednesday morning debating issues including recycling, school lunches and whether football is a man's game with a more youthful governing body - the student parliament at cross-communal secondary JCoSS.

Mr Balls was at the Barnet school to meet pupils from its first intake who have been elected by their peers to serve in the JCoSS cabinet.

Along with JCoSS chair Gerald Ronson, he talked to the representatives for education, health, sport and the environment.


Slovaks hail an old soldier

January 27, 2011

The son of a late Woodside Park Synagogue member who served in the Czech Army during the war addressed an HMD ceremony at the Slovak Embassy in London.

Otto Wasserberg escaped from Slovakia with his mother and two brothers in July 1939. Many of his relatives died in Auschwitz.

He was called up by the Czech Army in 1944 and crossed to France after D-Day. He took part in the siege of Dunkirk from September 1944 to May 1945 and witnessed the surrender of the German garrison. After demob in 1946 he established the Mount Fur company in the City of London.


Thanking Muslims for Holocaust heroism

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

Stories of Albanian Muslims who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust are the focus of a campaign for better interfaith relations.

Run by the Exploring Islam Foundation, Missing Pages was launched at the House of Lords in the week of Holocaust Memorial Day. The campaign features an exhibition of photography by Norman Gershman featuring Muslims who protected Jews.