Community life

JCoSS open days attract big crowd

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

New Jewish cross-communal secondary school JCoSS has hosted two open days for September 2011, with 2,600 parents and students attending.

The voluntary-aided, co-education school in Barnet opened last month to 148 Year seven pupils. It has 180 places for 11-year-olds next year. Two-thirds of the intake are believed to have come from non-Jewish primary schools.

The school has specialist status in science and special provision in a unit for autistic children.

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Human rights award for Israeli duo

By Simon Rocker, October 14, 2010

You do not often see guests dancing at an Anglo-Jewish charity dinner.

But many were on their feet at the New Israel Fund's annual Human Rights awards on Sunday to celebrate this year's winners: Israeli singers Noa and Mira.

The duo, Achinoam Nini who is Jewish and Mira Awad who is Arab, represented Israel in the 2009 Eurovision song contest. They had been due to perform in London earlier this year at the Zionist Federation's Israel Independence concert but Ms Arad withdrew amid political controversy.

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Camp Simcha's big top hit

October 8, 2010

A charity circus in aid of Camp Simcha attracted around 900 people and raised £10,000 for the charity which supports children with life threatening diseases.

The circus show, exclusively for the Jewish community, was run in conjunction with Zippos circus, which toured Manchester. It saw an all-male cast perform trapeze, juggling and other traditional acts, while kosher popcorn, candy floss and a Camp Simcha warm-up show was organised by 25 locally recruited volunteers.

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Tasty time at food festival

October 7, 2010

More than 30 Jewish food writers and chefs were on hand at a food festival to cook up some £3,000 for Leket, the Israeli charity that distributes surplus food to the needy, and for myisrael's Bet Shean Food Bank. Two barrels of food were also collected for the UK charity Gift.

Gefiltefest, a Jewish food festival, organised by Michael Leventhal, featured cookery demonstrations by Denise Phillips, Silvia Nacamulli, Dina Brawer and Lisa Roukin, as well as a talk by Judy Jackson on "Why children should play with their food".

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BBC's Tim Franks at Reform dinner

October 7, 2010

The Reform Movement's annual dinner bucked the economic downturn twice over by attracting a record number of guests who raised a high of £270,000.

The 255 guests at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London were treated to a dialogue between the newly-appointed British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, and the BBC's Tim Franks.

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Lake District recalls child Holocaust survivors

October 7, 2010

An exhibition in Windermere about child survivors of the Holocaust, due to close at the end of the month, is, by popular demand, to continue.

The exhibition, "From Auschwitz to Ambleside", housed in Windermere Library, is attracting so much interest from visitors that it is proving to be an important local, national and international event. It will now continue indefinitely.

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Kingston professionals hit right note

October 7, 2010

Kingston Synagogue's decision to bring in professional chazanim over the High Holy Days has been rewarded with significantly increased attendances.

Three hundred people were at a midnight selichot service with renowned American cantor Moshe Schulhof. To avoid impacting on shul funds, the event was sponsored by anonymous donors.

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Hendon shul's new building project

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Hendon Synagogue has begun its new building project with an official ground breaking ceremony.

More than 200 people, including the mayor of Barnet, Dayan Gelly, Dayan Abraham and Stephen Pack, vice-president of the United Synagogue, attended the event at the Raleigh Close synagogue on Sunday.

The £600,000 project includes a new bet midrash, administrative and washroom facilities and extended and updated function hall.

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£70K in humanitarian aid

October 7, 2010

More than £70,000 was raised for Israel's needy by 40 supporters of Eshel Colel Chabad, the Israel-based humanitarian aid agency.

Rabbi Sholom Duchman, chief executive of Eshel, updated the guests on the charity's activities. These include: the Blavatnik food bank, a new 25,000 sq ft warehouse in Kiryat Malachi, which packed food for over 27,000 families at Rosh Hashanah; the 19 Eshel food halls which served one million meals last year; and 3,000 meals on wheels which are delivered each day.

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Marriage guidance team faces new issues

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2010

Career women trying to juggle family and work and men with traditional views who stifle their wives' ambition are major issues for the Jewish Marriage Council.

Yet despite dealing with an increasing raft of relationship problems linked to the pressures of modern living, the JMC reports difficulty in attracting support.

Counselling co-ordinator Tova Hersh attributes this to the low key nature of its work, plus unwillingness within the community to accept that counselling might be necessary for a Jewish couple.

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