Community life

Protesters left to watch the birdies

By Stephanie Brickman, June 25, 2009

A Glasgow charity golf day for Israel passed off without major incident on Tuesday as a call for disruption by the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign attracted minimal support.

Officials at Bonnyton Golf Club, which hosted the annual JNF/KKL Scotland Professionals Pro-Am tournament, reported that the eight people who turned up to demonstrate were outnumbered by police. The Community Security Trust had also sent representatives from Manchester.

More..

Elstree eruv gets pole gains

By Jay Grenby, June 25, 2009

An eruv covering much of Borehamwood and Elstree is almost ready to go, members of the area’s two Orthodox communities have been told.

The final requirement before work can begin is the formal rubber-stamping of marginally revised plans by Hertsmere Council and Hertfordshire County Council’s highways department.

More..

Hackney mumps outbreak

By James Martin, June 25, 2009

A mumps outbreak within Stamford Hill’s Orthodox community has prompted the local health authority to urge parents to ensure their children have received the MMR vaccine.

The City and Hackney Primary Care Trust has offered to send immunisation teams to five Orthodox Jewish schools in north Hackney following outbreaks in two Orthodox boys’ primary schools in the area over the past few weeks. One of the schools is said to be the Machzikei Hadath in Clapton, but the care trust could not confirm this.

More..

School chairman denies crisis claim

By Simon Rocker, June 25, 2009

The chairman of the governors of Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Stoke Newington, north London, has denied claims of a crisis and of the impending dismissal of three staff. These allegations were made in an anonymous letter purportedly from a parent which was sent to the JC and others this week.

But Simon Marks chairman Peter Kessler insisted: “The school is not in crisis. It is undergoing a process of gradual change for the better.

More..

Young ParliaMentors make interfaith gains

By Simon Rocker, June 25, 2009

The Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, has saluted a “tremendously innovative” scheme to promote contacts between young Jews, Muslims and Christians.

She hosted a House of Lords reception for the second group of graduates of the Three Faiths Forum’s “ParliaMentors” programme, in which teams of students from the three religions undertake projects under the tutelage of an MP.

“The worse the global situation, the more important it is that individuals don’t retreat into nihilism and believe they can’t do anything,” Baroness Hayman said.

More..

Bradford is forced to sell

June 25, 2009

Bradford’s Reform congregation has reluctantly agreed to the sale of its Grade II listed building as “a very last resort”.

The proposal was supported at an EGM on Monday, despite opposition from within the 35-member shul.

Those against the sale include Rachel Yosef, who feels it would be the “death blow” for Bradford Reform. “We need to seize on the last fragment of hope and raise enough money to ensure that this sale does not happen.”

More..

Festival crowds flock to Leeds for arts showcase

June 25, 2009

Over 2,500 advance tickets were snapped up for the ninth Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival, which was opened on Sunday at the Carriageworks Theatre by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Judith Elliott.

First night performances included Steven Brinberg’s tribute to Barbra Streisand, Simply Barbra and Josh Epstein’s speed-dating comedy 7 Girls 7 Guys 7 Minutes. Israeli singer-songwriter Ronit Shahar, London cantor Steven Leas and comedian Mark Maier were among other stars of the five-day event.

More..

High property values

June 25, 2009

Norwood’s 10th annual property lunch was a big seller, raising £355,000 from the 500 guests to help people with learning and social difficulties.

Held at the Intercontinental Hyde Park, the lunch attracted leading players such as Gerald Ronson, who presented a lifetime achievement award to Sir Stuart Lipton, whose knighthood recognised contributions to London’s landscape.

Reflecting on the current economic climate, Sir Stuart was grateful to “planners who delayed consent. I’m lucky not to be building anything this year, though I do miss it.”

More..

Recession-hit UK families plead for Israel tour grants

By James Martin, June 25, 2009

One-in-five families planning to send their children on Reform Judaism Israel tours and UK summer camps are applying for bursaries as the credit crunch bites.

Such is the demand for financial assistance that the Movement for Reform Judaism has launched an appeal to raise £10,000 for additional financial assistance.

More..

Text ended: synagogue bans mobile phones

By Jay Grenby, June 25, 2009

Shabbat morning worshippers at Borehamwood Synagogue are having their mobile phones confiscated by security staff at the shul gates.

Borehamwood chair Anthony Arnold said the action had been taken in response to a noticeable increase in texting and photograph-taking during services by youngsters and adults alike. “It has now become an embarrassment.”

More..