Community life

JNF appoints new chief executive

By Leon Symons, December 17, 2009

JNF, Anglo-Jewry’s leading charity for Israel, has appointed a new chief executive. Elliot Conway, currently director of the Interparliamentary Council on Antisemitism, will take up his post in the New Year.

His appointment will draw a line after a turbulent period in the charity’s history which saw the departure of the previous chief executive Simon Winters and chair Gail Seal and a lengthy and costly court action involving Keren Kayemet L’Israel.


Leeds speed dating to find young leaders

By Hayden Cohen, December 17, 2009

Sixteen Leeds teenagers have been speed dating: not to find romance, but to find out how to run the community.

The Leeds Leaders Group met representatives from 21 local organisations. And to make it engaging each teenager spoke to a community leader for 2.5 minutes. The event was held at the MAZZ Centre and organised by Zone chief executive Raina Sheaf. ‘’The evening gave future leaders much to think about,” she said.

Participant Joe Sheaf, 16, said: “I now know a lot more about how the community works.”
Leeds Leaders is funded by the Sparks Clore Development Fund.


Plugging a dental gap

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

A new NHS dental service in Salford aimed at providing better care for the community is to open next year.

Funding has been set aside by the local primary care trust for the project, which is looking to plug a hole in dental services for the area which has a dense Jewish population. Currently, many people from the community travel around five miles to Swinton for NHS dental treatment.


Blue Peter meets Alyth crew

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

Blue Peter has filmed a special episode about Chanucah and focused on the life of Francesca Weiner, the eight-year-old granddaughter of Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism.

On Tuesday, the BBC children’s programme concentrated on the traditions of Chanucah and Jewish presenter Joel Defries made latkas and explained the festival’s meaning for him. The programme followed Francesca and her family during their preparations for Chanucah and Shabbat at home in Hampstead Garden Suburb.


Anger over a delay to Borehamwood eruv

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

Borehamwood residents have accused the eruv committee of “dragging its feet” after no poles have been erected, six weeks after planning permission was granted.

Last month, Hertsmere council approved plans to build an eruv covering the local United and Federation synagogues, and allowing observant Jews to carry or push things on Shabbat.

Abraham Wahnon, eruv consultant, said: “All permission has been received, the money is in place and everything is ready to go but it’s not moving on.


Board of Deputies row over radio comments

By Simon Rocker, December 10, 2009

The Board of Deputies has issued a statement to make clear that comments on radio by its treasurer supporting a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem were made in a personal capacity.

Laurence Brass told BBC Radio Manchester’s Jewish programme last week that while he welcomed Israel’s 10-month freeze on building in settlements, he would have liked it to have been extended to East Jerusalem.


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.


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.


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.


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.