Community life

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.


Barnet mayor names Camp Simcha

May 21, 2010

New Barnet mayor Anthony Finn has named Camp Simcha as one of the charities he will support during his year in office.

Councillor Finn has chosen to support the Hendon-based charity which aims at improving the quality of life for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Noah's Ark Children's Hospice, a local charity providing practical support to life-limited children and their families, is to be the other mayoral charity.

The new mayor said: "I hope to serve the borough well, while raising important funds for two very worthy local charities."


WJR drive 2,000km to give aid to communities

May 21, 2010

World Jewish Relief volunteers have driven 2,000 kilometres across Europe to deliver two nine-seater vans to deprived Jewish communities.

Leaving from London, the volunteers travelled to Lithuania and Latvia as part of WJR's Mission Impossible, having raised the money for the vans, which were handed over in Vilnius and Riga.

On her fourth Mission Impossible, Hampstead housewife Siobhan Ezra was the group's sole female volunteer.