Community life

Consultant rabbi for Hampstead Garden Suburb

By James Martin, March 18, 2010

Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue has appointed Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Cohen as consultant minister while the shul's selection committee searches for a permanent replacement for Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, who left at the end of February. Rabbi Cohen, formerly of Stanmore Synagogue and an ex-assistant rabbi at HGS, will deal with halachic issues alongside community director Rabbi Anthony Knopf.

Chazan Avromi Freilich will continue to assist on pastoral visits.

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Jewish Care's longest married couple celebrate 70 years

March 18, 2010

Jewish Care's longest married residents celebrated their 70th anniversary at Rubens House in Finchley.

Jack and Hilda Pressman have been at Rubens House for seven years, having previously lived in Winchmore Hill. Mr Pressman, 93, was a high school teacher, his 90-year-old wife was a dressmaker.

Their union was foreseen by Hilda's grandmother, who took her as a baby to Jack's house, sat her on his grandmother's lap and declared: "Here is your granddaughter in law." He was serving in the army when the couple married in March 1940 at the Cannon Street Road Synagogue in London's East End.

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Ofsted: Lubavitch Girls' School 'good'

March 18, 2010

The Lubavitch House Senior Girls' School in Stamford Hill has been rated as educationally good by Ofsted - and outstanding in terms of pupil behaviour and spiritual, moral and cultural development.

Over 100 girls attend the independent school, some from as far afield as Brighton, Bournemouth, Luton and Wimbledon. Ofsted reported "a good quality of education", helped by small class sizes and students' positive attitudes. "The school now meets all the required regulations and has made steady improvement."

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Kisharon boy's benefit from Pesach appeal

By James Martin, March 18, 2010

A 10-year-old boy who has benefited from the services of special needs charity Kisharon is the focus of its Pesach appeal.

Eden is said to have "grown in both confidence and independence" since becoming a pupil at the Kisharon Day School in Golders Green. "Eden loves joining in the varied lessons and special events and we enjoy helping him to develop," said deputy head Sora Kopfstein.

Kisharon is hoping to raise £30,000 for its work for Jewish children and adults with learning difficulties.

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Jewish Council compiles new Four Questions for Seder

March 18, 2010

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality has compiled its own Seder questions and answers which it hopes families will incorporate into the service.

It asks why there is "so much prejudice" against asylum seekers and refugees and why Jews have a special responsibility towards those seeking refuge in Britain. The issues of why our forebears came to Britain and why do people seek sanctuary in the UK complete the four questions.

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Musical memorial to Shlomo Argov

By Leon Symons, March 18, 2010

The son of the late Israeli ambassador, Shlomo Argov, dedicated a music room in his memory at the refurbished Israeli Embassy on Monday.

Mr Argov was shot in the head at point-blank range as he left a dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London's Mayfair in June, 1982, leaving him paralysed except for some movement in his head.

After emergency brain surgery, he spent three months in hospital in Britain before being transferred to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, where he remained until his death in 2003.

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Business lunch in support of Yavneh College

March 18, 2010

BT chief executive Ian Livingston and his Next counterpart Simon Wolfson hosted a lunch for 45 business leaders at the BT Tower in support of Herts Jewish secondary school Yavneh College.

Introduced by educational philanthropist Benjamin Perl, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks spoke glowingly about Yavneh's achievements.

Mr Livingston also addressed diners, as did headteacher Dr Dena Coleman and pupils Talia Jay, Richard Reback and Liz Drey on different aspects of school life.

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Grandmother is oldest UK immigrant to Israel

By Robyn Rosen, March 18, 2010

A 90-year-old great-grandmother has become the oldest person to make aliyah from the UK, more than 30 years after completing her original application form.

Phyllis Lader will leave Finchley on Sunday for a new life in an English-speaking retirement village located between Netanya and Ra'anana.

Mrs Lader, who has more than 60 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, still has the application form from three decades ago. Her then change of heart was prompted by a desire to stay close to family.

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Sephardi leaders search for spiritual head

By Simon Rocker, March 18, 2010

Sephardi leaders have started the search for a new spiritual head to succeed Rabbi Abraham Levy, who has led the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation for 30 years.

Gibraltar-born Rabbi Levy is 71 and has served the congregation for more than 50 years in total.

"I am very ready to retire and to help find a successor," he said. "We need to find someone we can train to succeed me. Our traditions and liturgy are unique in the world."

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Kingston synagogue helps Czech Jewish archive

By Jay Grenby, March 18, 2010

America's Holocaust Memorial Museum is to fund the digitisation of a Czech archive assembled by Kingston Synagogue's Ostrava group.The support was announced on Sunday at the group's annual reception for survivors and descendants of Ostrava Jewry.

The group was set up five years ago to find out more about the history of Ostrava and its Jewish community after a Sefer Torah once used there was offered to the Kingston shul on permanent loan by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust.

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