Community life

Vandals steal welfare wall

September 7, 2010

Transport issues are blighting an otherwise successful conversion of Manchester's Heathlands Care Village into the new Federation of Jewish Services' headquarters.

Vandals have stolen part of a concrete-block wall erected two weeks ago, a feature of a £17,000 car park built to cope with the 40 extra staff working from the Prestwich site.

In addition, an ongoing dispute with Bury Council is blocking repairs to the road leading to the welfare facility.

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American selichot star

September 7, 2010

Kingston Synagogue brought in a star attraction for its first midnight selichot service on Saturday.

Chazan Moshe Schulhof flew over from Miami to take the lead role. He was accompanied by the 25-strong London Cantorial Singers under the direction of David Druce and with boy soloist Amitai Kerbel.

An audience of 300 included guests from other south London communities.

Also present was United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs, who was among the speakers.

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Help for New Year services

By Jay Grenby, September 7, 2010

United Synagogue chiefs have recruited some experienced festival stand-ins for congregations with pulpit vacancies.

Following the departure of Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, Hampstead Garden Suburb services will be led by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, formerly at Stanmore and one-time HGS assistant minister.

Rabbi Cohen has been serving as consultant minister while the community searches for Rabbi Livingstone's replacement. He will be assisted by the congregation's community director, Rabbi Anthony Knop, and Aish's Rabbi Daniel Rowe.

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Donor to match mikveh money

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

An anonymous donor is speeding the fundraising for a major refurbishment of Manchester's communal mikveh.

The benefactor has offered to match contributions from community members for the £75,000 still required.

Around £250,000 has already been raised towards work on bathrooms, rewiring, roof repairs and updating fire safety equipment at the mikveh in Tetlow Lane, Salford. The seven pool, 12 bathroom complex dates back to the 1950s.

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Dementia charity appeal

September 7, 2010

The Rosh Hashanah appeal of Nightingale, the UK's largest care home, focuses on the needs of the growing number of residents with dementia.

Two-thirds of residents at the south London establishment are dementia sufferers, a figure in line with the national trend. Nightingale provides training for dementia nurses and specialist equipment residents can use on a daily basis.

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Government cash for Newcastle Jews

By Simon Rocker, September 7, 2010

Newcastle's United Hebrew Congregation has been rewarded for its education work with visiting schools with a £6,000 Faith in Action grant from the government.

It is one of more than 100 projects promoting interfaith understanding - including several run by Jewish groups - that are the beneficiaries of £2 million in grants from the Communities Development Foundation.

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Volunteer ‘Oscar’ for bereavement group

September 7, 2010

A Queen's Award for Voluntary Service recognises the contribution of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue's Bereavement Support Group over a 17-year period.

The group has provided comfort and support to those within and outside the Jewish community who have suffered a bereavement.

At Sunday's ceremony, local MP Nick Hurd - also Minister for Civil Society, whose department administers the Queen's Award - said it was the volunteers' Oscar.

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Elstree eruv one step closer

By Jay Grenby, September 7, 2010

The end looks finally in sight for the long-awaited Elstree eruv following the unanimous approval by Hertsmere Borough Council planners of a revised application.

An eruv trust representative said the decision would "bring closure to all planning related matters within 30 days".

The hope is that the religious boundary, covering most of the Elstree and Borehamwood residential areas, could be operational by the end of autumn. Only a small number of the eruv poles require modification or re-siting.

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Chief Rabbi's office director quits

By Simon Rocker, September 7, 2010

David Goodman, the executive director of the Office of the Chief Rabbi, is to leave after a year-and-a-half.

Chief Rabbinate Trust chairman Peter Sheldon said Mr Goodman "has decided to move on to other things and we reluctantly agreed he can leave. He will be leaving before the end of the year."

There will be no replacement for the former Kisharon Day School executive director, who succeeded Syma Weinberg in the OCR post.

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UK's first cross-communal secondary school opens

September 7, 2010

JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner was moved to tears on Monday as the UK's first cross-communal Jewish secondary school welcomed its initial 148 pupils in Barnet.

"I have to admit that a small tear welled up in my eye when the first students walked in," Mr Stowe-Lindner said. "I am so proud of what we have achieved here already, completing the building in just 18 months so that we can offer some of the very best facilities in the country.

"We have assembled an incredible team, a fantastic building and, from what I have seen, an energetic and enthusiastic group of students."

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