Community life

Fieldgate Street synagogue's plea for new roof

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

One of the last remaining synagogues in London's East End has launched a £23,000 fundraising appeal after being granted charitable status.

Surrounded on three sides by the East London Mosque, the 111-year-old Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue needs the money for a new roof and additional funds for other repairs.

Rothschild Bank has started the ball rolling with a £1,000 donation, but if significant funds are not forthcoming, the shul could face closure.


Baroness Hayman's link to Board

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

Lords Speaker Baroness Hayman revealed a family link to the Board of Deputies at the launch of a book marking the Board's 250th anniversary.

She said her late father "at some point represented Wolverhampton" as a deputy. Her hosting the reception would have given him "great nachas".

The Board had always interested her "in terms of an institution and a way of dealing with those issues which are so to the fore and relevant today - like how one deals with loyalty to a country, faith and ethnic origin".


Esther Rantzen to judge Norwood award

July 8, 2010

Esther Rantzen and GMTV presenter Kate Garraway are among the judges for Norwood's Helping Hands awards, recognising unsung community heroes.

Ms Rantzen said it was important to acknowledge "those selfless individuals whose devotion and commitment to their community is an inspiration". Ms Garraway said it had been "truly humbling to meet past winners and hear their stories.

"We are especially keen to receive nominations for younger members of the community whose care and compassion has meant so much to others."


Mill Hill eruv to be constructed 'within six months'

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

Construction of a Mill Hill eruv will begin "within six months" after the project was given the green light by Barnet Council.

On Tuesday, Barnet's planning committee voted in favour of the application for 24 poles which would link up with the existing Edgware and Golders Green eruvs. Councillors requested a wildlife survey at Sheepwash Pond, part of the eruv area, and that the colour of the poles be green, rather than black.

The council has received 400 letters in support of the project and 24 objections.


Immanuel College to open junior school

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

Immanuel College is to open a junior school at its Bushey campus in September 2011, in response to the growing demand for Jewish primary places in Hertfordshire.

The independent school will start with classes for reception and year one, with 20 places available in each. Initially at least, the junior section will be contained in existing premises.


Leeds parents upset by school's yo-yo promotion

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Parents at Leeds' Brodetsky Primary have got into a twist over yo-yos after the school allowed an outside company to promote them to pupils.

Brodetsky has received complaints over a motivational assembly programme, "The NED Show", run by American-based company All for Kidz and featuring yo-yo tricks.

There is no charge for the show but participating schools are asked to sell its stunt yo-yos, costing £5-£10, for five days afterwards.

Headmaster Jeremy Dunford said the assembly last Friday had been successful in promoting self-esteem and new learning skills.


Hull celebrates first Pidyon HaBen in 23 years

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2010

Hull Hebrew Congregation has celebrated a rare simchah - the city's first Pidyon HaBen for 23 years.

Kimberley and Avi Schwartz from Jerusalem decided to hold the biblical redemption ceremony in east Yorkshire after bringing their one-month-old son Akiva Menachem to visit family in Mrs Schwartz's home community.


Limmud provides a World Cup alternative

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

Organisers of Sunday's Limmud in Manchester organised an accomplished team of speakers as a counter-attraction to England's World Cup travails.

A decent proportion of the 250 people who attended heard bill-topping writer Howard Jacobson discuss passages from his forthcoming novel, which humorously focuses on anti-Zionism as the new antisemitism.

"Central to the book is how uncomfortable it is to be a Jew in England at the moment."


Embassy send off for aliyah group

July 1, 2010

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor hosted a reception at the embassy for 120 British Jews about to make aliyah.

"Tonight we celebrate the greatest journey a Jew can undertake," he told the group. "Not the North Circular during rush hour, but aliyah - your journey home."

The reception was organised by the Jewish Agency.


Luton synagogue consecrated by Chief Rabbi

By Jay Grenby, July 1, 2010

Consecrating Luton Hebrew Congregation's new synagogue on Sunday was a nostalgic experience for Lord Sacks, who began his rabbinic career in the town 35 years ago.

"I was head of your cheder and I also helped to take some of the services, since when I have moved on to lower things," the Chief Rabbi joked. He was pleased to see several familiar faces from that time, particularly honorary life vice-president Wally Bard.