Community life

Mitzvah Day thanks

By Katie Taylor, December 9, 2010

Pupils from Jewish schools went to Lambeth Palace to receive awards for their Mitzvah Day efforts in partnership with non-Jewish schools.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield made the presentations to the four schools.

North West London Jewish Day School had partnered with Christ Church School and Ilford Jewish Primary with St Augustine's Catholic Primary to perform a range of good deeds.

Council of Christians and Jews' chief executive David Gifford described them as "young interfaith dialoguers".


Student shortage threatens deaf classes

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

A lip-reading class for the deaf and hard of hearing is on the brink of closure because of a shortage of students.

The Wednesday class at the Jewish Deaf Association in North Finchley launched two years ago after Barnet College ended its longstanding courses following funding cutbacks. JDA chiefs believe the issue is not a lack of need, but that "not enough people know about our classes".

Executive director Sue Cipin said lip-reading was vital to people with hearing impairment.


Chief praises Brighton's rock

By Cecily Woolf, December 9, 2010

The Chief Rabbi opened "a new chapter in the distinguished history of the Brighton Jewish community" when he inducted Rabbi Hershel Rader as minister of Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation.

Civic leaders and representatives of other Brighton synagogues were among the 350 people who packed the West Hove Synagogue, where the service was conducted by Adrian Alexander and Eliot Alderman, son of JC columnist Geoffrey Alderman.


Polishing up their act for the festival

December 9, 2010

The silver cleaning programme started by the United Synagogue's Project Chesed and learning disability charity Kisharon has brought a shine to the menorot of many US shuls.

Kisharon adults with special needs have been busily engaged in the enterprise. It is part of the training and support geared towards developing members' skills and independence.


Burial row shul tries to go it alone

By Cathy Forman, December 9, 2010

Frustrated by its long-running dispute over burial fees with Birmingham Hebrew Congregation, the city's Central Synagogue is to undertake a feasibility study into establishing its own cemetery.

The Hebrew Congregation (Singers Hill) administers the Witton and Brandwood End cemeteries and Central leaders have been infuriated by steep rises in burial fees and maintenance charges for its members.


JNF forced to make more staff redundant

By Simon Rocker, December 9, 2010

JNF UK expects to have to make further staff cuts as a result of the economic climate.

The charity, which recently closed a number of regional offices, said that further streamlining may lead to "a number of redundancies". The future of JNF's education department is under review. The charity's Edgware headquarters has been put up for sale, although a new location has yet to be found.


JLC advises on Big Society

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

The Jewish community has been assured that the Government's Big Society plans will not infringe on Jewish charities' faith-based work, following concerns flagged up in a new report.

The report, The Big Society and the UK Jewish Community, published by the Jewish Leadership Council this week, claims that the Government should "promote" Jewish communal organisations.

On Tuesday, representatives from the JLC, Jewish charities and schools met communities secretary, Eric Pickles, to discuss the report.


Leeds puts its history on show

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

An exhibition celebrating the history of Leeds Jewry is being heralded as a major success after attracting well over 1,000 extra visitors to the Leeds City Museum on Sunday.

Around 1,800 people, including 300 children, attended the Jewish Heritage Day display. It was arranged as part of a two-year community project to document the Jewish contribution to the city since the founding of its first purpose-built synagogue 150 years ago.


Knockout response to boxing dinner

December 2, 2010

The Habad Children Aid Society put some punch into the finances of four Israeli charities with a boxing dinner at the Bloomsbury Big Top on Monday.

Around 350 supporters including LBC broadcaster Nick Ferrari watched a post-prandial four-bout programme headlined by Israeli light-welterweight Oz Goldenberg, who lost on points to Nigerian Ideh Ockuko.


Art with a heart for Israel

By Julia Weiner, December 2, 2010

Tracey Emin, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota and Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones were among a record 500-plus guests at the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel gala dinner, which raised £900,000.

Held at the Royal Horticultural Hall, its guest of honour was controversial American contemporary artist George Condo, who will be the subject of a major exhibition at the Hayward Gallery next autumn. He said he supported Israeli museums because "it is so important there is culture all over the world".