Community life

Kidney donor gives daughter new lease of life

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

A Chasidic mother-of-five has her mother to thank for a kidney transplant which has transformed her life.

Yehudis Baron, 42, from Broughton Park suffers from autoimmune condition Lupus. She spent much of her teenage life in hospital and her first kidney transplant was in 1993, when she was 25. But a year ago, the new kidney began to fail and the search began for another matching donor.

Mrs Baron's American-born mother, Henye Meyer, 66, offered to donate her kidney after discovering she was the perfect match - and also to prevent any of her other eight children from having to volunteer.


Roots of a problem

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The lack of an internet database of Manchester Jewish burial records is hampering the research of "lost Jews" wishing to discover their roots.

Manchester's Council of Synagogues has been working for five years to produce an electronic database with 30,000 burial records. The city's Jewish Genealogy Society chairman, Lorna Kay, has been urging the council to make the information public, believing it would enable hundreds of people to reconnect with the community.


Liverpool actress plans all-female Joseph

By Jonathan Foreman, December 31, 2010

A young actress who appears in the latest Harry Potter movie is fronting a Liverpool Jewish theatre project.

Gemma Kayla, who plays a senior Hogwarts student in the film, wants to create a community production of the musical Joseph with a difference - the cast will be all-female. Liverpool Jews are now being asked to audition for parts in the modified version, which will have the internet and Israeli politics as themes.

It is being organised in conjunction with Allerton Hebrew Congregation and Liverpool's Jewish activities co-ordinator.


Sainsbury's checks out Cosgrove

By Stephanie Brickman, December 29, 2010

Volunteers and local shoppers showed their support for Cosgrove Care by packing bags at Sainsbury's in Darnley, Glasgow. The supermarket has chosen Cosgrove Care to be its charity of the year and, thanks to 53 volunteers turning out in dreadful weather, £1,225 was raised.

According to Theresa McDaid, a volunteer bag packer and mother of a service-user, a good time was had by all.


Teams go head to head as they find it's good to talk in shul

December 29, 2010

There was more debating than usual at Mill Hill and Golders Green United synagogues, but it was school children who debated issues of concern.

Hosted by Tribe, the inter-school debating competition allowed pupils of Hasmonean, Moriah, Sinai, Simon Marks and Wolfson Hillel to voice their opinions. The format posed the teams against each other in 15-minute parliamentary style debates. Teams were ranked according to criteria such as content, vocal presentation and response.


Edgware Sephardi minyan closes

By Jay Grenby, December 29, 2010

A Sephardi minyan which opened its doors with high hopes in January 2008, has announced that it has closed, due to insufficient support.


Woodside Park is looking to join the eruv club

By Jay Grenby, December 29, 2010

Woodside Park Synagogue is putting the finishing touches to its plans for an eruv, which it intends to submit to Barnet Council in early spring.

The move follows community and general public consultation meetings. If approved, the eruv will cover four square miles, taking in Whetstone, Oakleigh Park and Totteridge, as well parts of Finchley.

It will abut the existing North-West London eruv, as well as the eruvim planned by the Barnet and Mill Hill communities, creating a large area enabling the Shabbat-observant to push prams or wheelchairs and carry certain items.


Big job on 'small' project

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2010

Teenage applicants are being sought for a six-month leadership programme geared at galvanising small communities which are struggling to survive.

The World Ort scheme - open to Jewish 15- and 16-year-olds from European countries - is supported by the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and the European Jewish Fund.

World Ort's head of Jewish education, Judah Harstein, said: "An injection of new blood is essential to ensure that communities achieve a dynamism that will enable them to move forward and face the many challenges for survival."


'Vote seeking' claim over MSP's security question

By Stephanie Brickman, December 29, 2010

A Labour MSP in Glasgow has denied suggestions that he has exaggerated the threat of antisemitism in order to win Jewish votes.

Local leaders are furious over the action of Ken Macintosh - whose Eastwood constituency is six per cent Jewish - in submitting a question to the Scottish Parliament asking whether Scotland would follow the lead of the British government, which has pledged £2 million to improve security at Jewish schools. There is only one Jewish school in Scotland, Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Primary.


Primary schools get top marks in Sats tests

By Jessica Elgot, December 23, 2010

Jewish primary schools emerged as some of the country's highest performers when the Sats league tables were released last week.

Faith schools did disproportionately better in the Year 6 exams. Almost two-thirds of the 329 primaries with "perfect" results were Jewish, Anglican or Roman Catholic schools. But only a third of primaries nationally are faith schools.