Community life

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.

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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.

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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".

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Archbishop tackles Big Society at shul

By Simon Rocker, December 2, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams proved a top draw when delivering his first address at a synagogue since taking office.

Hampstead Synagogue's hall was packed to hear the Archbishop deliver the annual Sir Isaiah Berlin lecture, inaugurated in memory of the Oxford philosopher who died in 1997.

Guests at the lecture - "Faith and Enlightment; Friend or Foe?" - included former Conservative leader Michael Howard, who asked Dr Williams for his view of the Tories' Big Society idea.

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Wheely good Norwood idea

December 2, 2010

Participants in Norwood's Israel bike ride included a resident from Ravenswood, the charity's Berkshire community for adults with learning disabilities.

Martin Weiss, 45, cycled in tandem with Joel Mishcon, 33, director of a television production company. Mr Weiss, who has Down's syndrome, said: "I got to visit lots of different countries and meet lots of new people. I love cycling, it is good fun."

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Charedim in large properties fear benefit cap

By Leon Symons, December 2, 2010

Charedi leaders are fearful of the impact of the government's proposal for a £400 a week cap on housing benefit for rented homes with four bedrooms or more.

A Hackney Council report on the proposal concludes: "Ethnicity analysis of local housing allowance [LHA] claimants who will be adversely affected by the cap proposal clearly shows that the Charedi community will be the most severely affected."

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Haringey recruits head

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

A Londoner who has been teaching in New York will be the first head of the cross-communal Haringey Jewish Primary, one of the new government-funded free schools, which is set to open next September.

Joint project leader Peter Kessler says Jo Sassienie was chosen for her "innovative attitude, her deep commitment to cross-communal Jewish education and her outstanding track record".

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Edgware school gets funded

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

Edgware Jewish Primary School has won its battle to become state-funded.

Barnet Council approved the school's application on Monday and it will take effect from January 3.

Expressing gratitude to the council, governors' chair Eddy Breuer-Weil added: "EJPS is the first Orthodox Jewish primary school to achieve voluntary aided status this century. This is the culmination of two years of working in partnership with Barnet Council. We look forward to realising the benefits for the children of EJPS."

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Bercow is put on the spot at JFS

December 2, 2010

It was question time for Commons Speaker John Bercow after he addressed more than 400 JFS sixth-formers at the Kenton school.

Pupils quizzed him on topics including the challenges facing the coalition government, tuition fees and his desire to engage younger people in political activism.

Discussing his role as Speaker, Mr Bercow expressed satisfaction at being part of the process to reform expenses arrangements for MPs. He also told students of the high regard in which JFS is held and highlighted the extra-curricular opportunities as particularly impressive.

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Pupils give top marks to King David campus

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

Pupils at Manchester King David Schools switched to their new £22 million state-of-the-art building this week - and liked what they saw.

As the three-storey campus opened its automatic doors on Tuesday, 650 students - just over half the schools' total - got their first glimpse of the 100,000 square foot property as part of a staged transfer from KD's dated former buildings. High school pupils were given a guided tour with accompanying maps to help navigate the maze of 70 rooms.

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