Community life

Blackpool synagogue merger talks fail

By Cathy Forman, March 4, 2010

Talks to bring Blackpool's two dwindling congregations under one roof have broken down.

Meetings were held over a 12 month period between the town's Orthodox and Reform synagogues with a view to both operating from the Reform shul's building in Raikes Parade. The United Hebrew Congregation's Grade II listed building is 100 yards away in Leamington Road.

"We would like it to happen if it can come about," said Reform president Leon Tax.

"We want to find some way of bringing the two communities together." The Reform shul "is larger than we need and maintenance is an issue".


Masorti man sacked by burial society

By Stephanie Brickman, March 4, 2010

A leading figure in Glasgow's new Masorti congregation has been relieved of his role as burial officer by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society (GHBS).

Warren Bader was informed by letter that his services were no longer required because of a "change of circumstance".

Mr Bader, who did not have a contract, had worked for the society for almost two years. He said it had been "a great privilege to serve the community in this way - it was just so fulfilling." He would not comment further on legal grounds.


Demand for JCoSS 'exceeds expectations'

By Simon Rocker, March 4, 2010

The new Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS) is on course for a full first-year intake when it opens in East Barnet in September after receiving well over two applications for every place.

Mike Grabiner, chairman of the cross-communal school, said the number "exceeded all our expectations" and showed "a very significant demand… which can only grow as we establish ourselves".

JCoSS had 453 applicants for 180 places but like other Jewish schools, it will have to wait many weeks before knowing how many pupils are likely to start in autumn.


Opening time nears for £40m care campus

February 25, 2010

An update on the progress towards the £40 million Jewish Care campus in Golders Green was given by the charity's chief executive, Simon Morris, at an event promoting legacies.

The campus - offering its first services from mid-July - will incorporate a 54-bed care home, 45 independent living apartments and a community centre, as well as a base for social work and administrative staff. The care home and apartments will give priority to Holocaust survivors and refugees from Nazi persecution.


Hapoalim shuts up shop in Manchester

By Leon Symons, February 25, 2010

Bank Hapoalim is to close its Manchester office with the loss of its three jobs. It will continue to look after its northern clientele from the UK arm's London premises.

Head of business development Saul Zneimer said that although the measure was cost-cutting, the bank was keen to increase its Manchester business.

"We decided it was far more efficient to work out of the London office. Hopefully we will be able to grow and develop our business there."


New head for Scotland's only Jewish school

By Stephanie Brickman, February 25, 2010

Scotland's only Jewish school has appointed a new head. Vanessa Thomson will take charge at Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Primary in April, replacing Christine Haughney, who is moving to the highly regarded Hutchesons' School as head of primary.

Ms Thomson, 43, is currently acting head at another Glasgow primary. She looked forward to experiencing the school's "unique Jewish ethos" and building on its success "by developing learning and teaching with the needs of each pupil at the heart of all we do".


South Bucks launches web quiz

February 25, 2010

South Bucks Jewish Community went cyber for its first quiz supper, also involving entrants from Birmingham, Brighton and Gloucester, who competed by internet. A team from the host congregation prevailed after a sudden death tie-break with a group from Brighton.

The hope is to repeat the exercise next year with participation from additional communities. Affiliated to Liberal Judaism, South Bucks draws members from areas including Amersham, Chesham, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Tring and Berkhamsted.


Golders Green Jewish sites on walking routes

February 25, 2010

Golders Green sites of Jewish interest are on the routes of three community walks designed by a group of north Londoners.

The walks have been created as part of Suburbia, the London Transport Museum exhibition. The walks, lasting between 45 and 90 minutes, are free and take in the London Jewish Cultural Centre premises, Golders Green Synagogue in Dunstan Road and Hoop Lane cemetery.


Princes' Road synagogue receives Heritage funding

By Robyn Rosen, February 25, 2010

The historic Princes Road Synagogue in Liverpool has received £71,000 from English Heritage towards the restoration of its roof and the surrounding stairwell area.

Princes Road, the only Grade I listed synagogue outside of London, received the money as part of a £15.7 million distribution to places of worship through English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Moshe Ya'alon's video message to World Ort

By Marcus Dysch, February 25, 2010

Israeli vice-premier Moshe Ya'alon took part in a video conference with London activists to discuss the challenges his country faces.

The exchange was hosted by World Ort at its Camden offices, allowing 30 community members to quiz Mr Ya'alon on issues such as Islamist extremism and Iran's nuclear threat.

Speaking from his Jerusalem office, Mr Ya'alon said: "You are the people who can best confront the biggest strategic threat, which is the attempt to delegitimise and dehumanise the state of Israel."