Community life

Fergie and Simon Cowell relish their starring roles

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

The stars came out for Norwood with Simon Cowell, the Duchess of York, Sir Philip Green, Theo Paphitis and Vanessa Feltz among the dinner guests.Simon Cowell - a close friend of Norwood president Richard Desmond - good naturedly responded to the many requests for photos. And he left fans in no doubt of his pride in his Jewish heritage.

"I've been coming to the Norwood dinners for many years now," he told the JC. "I can never say no when Richard asks me.

"This night is something very special. In times like these, charities do need our help more than before. Everyone's asking for more."

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Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway help raise £3.3m for Norwood

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

Norwood supporters responded to the charity's financial crisis by turning out in numbers for Monday's annual dinner, raising £3.3 million.

The proceeds were £600,000 up on last year, leaving the welfare charity £400,000 short of the additional
£1 million needed from the community. This is part of a £4 million cost-cutting package to cover slashed statutory services income. The remainder is being achieved by pay cuts for front-line care staff and head office redundancies. Savings were also made on the dinner itself.

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We need more cash, says chief

By John Fisher, November 11, 2010

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board president Edward Ziff has accused the community of not doing enough to support the charity.

Addressing some 80 people at the LJWB's 132nd annual meeting at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Community Centre on Monday evening, Mr Ziff said that fundraising is always a crucial issue.

"It is politically correct to say that the community is 'doing well' but the reality is that while this community is as affluent as it has ever been that does not show itself in the form of an outward support of this organisation."

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Desmond's claims criticised

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

The Manchester Representative Council's president Lucille Cohen has criticised claims made by media mogul Richard Desmond that antisemitism was the result of ostentatious simchah celebrations.

Mr Desmond made the comments last week at the Manchester CST dinner. Mrs Cohen said she disagreed with him, saying "antisemitism is a phenomenon that has existed from time immemorial and raises its head in each and every generation, often exhibiting a changed complexion. It does not need catalysts, just pretexts."

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A guiding light

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Leeds' Etz Chaim Synagogue has developed a new downloadable guide to help non-Jews who attend services as guests to understand its rituals and customs.

The Etz Chaim Guide for Visitors, a downloadable 11-page synopsis, includes the do's and don'ts about what to wear, the best time to arrive and how to muddle your way through a siddur and chumash.

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Liberal rabbi extends northern role

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Manchester's first Liberal rabbi has officially begun ministering to the only Liberal synagogue in the north of England.

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'In the Red' stays open

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Record visitors to an exhibition into the lives of Manchester's early Jewish refugees has forced the Manchester Jewish Museum to keep the exhibition open.

The "In The Red" exhibition has been retained until 28 November after nearly 6,000 visitors have flocked to the museum since the display opened in May. It peers into the struggles of Jewish asylum seekers and economic migrants who made their homes in the slum area known as Red Bank and was partnered with an exhibition at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

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JNF pulls out of Midlands as it closes another base

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2010

JNF is to shut its office in Birmingham, following the closure of its Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester offices in August.

The charity will now operate from its central London office and a new regional office is planned for Manchester.

Birmingham's office will close on December 1. A date has not been fixed for the opening of the new Manchester office.

Ruth Jacobs, regional co-ordinator for JNF Midlands for 20 years, said the community had donated "hundreds of thousands of pounds" to the charity over 65 years in the city.

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Labouring for £241,000

By Leon Symons, November 11, 2010

The man who helped engineer the New Labour project told more than 600 business leaders and opinion formers what Labour needed to do to be re-elected.

Lord Mandelson, who was business secretary in the last Labour administration, said there were certain things that had to be aligned and perfect for the project to succeed.

"Any successful brand, whether in business or politics, needs the product, the service and the offer," he said at the Jewish Care Topland Group business lunch at Grosvenor House in Central London last week.

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Big Society? We invented it

By Robyn Rosen, November 11, 2010

The Government minister in charge of the Big Society initiative has praised the effect Mitzvah Day has on society.

Nick Hurd, the minister for civil society and MP for Northwood, Ruislip and Pinner, will join Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles and other representatives from Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, as well as from the local Hindu community, on November 21 to deliver toys and books to Jake's Place, the Children's Ward at nearby Northwick Park hospital. The project is among thousands to take place on the fifth annual day of social action.

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