Community life

Liberal party gains strength in Bournemouth

September 2, 2010

The Wessex Liberal Group in the Bournemouth area has held its first services, led by Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich.

"They were a huge success with about 40 people of all ages at each service," reported group member Melanie Smith. And because of the Bournemouth Air Show weekend, "several members couldn't attend as they were hosting family". Rabbi Alan Mann will lead its High Holy Day services.


Finchley's virtual audience

September 2, 2010

Finchley Reform Synagogue's Community Without Boundaries project is launching with the streaming of Shabbat and festival services online.

The enterprise - funded by a Joint Jewish Burial Society grant and a member's donation - is aimed at both FRS congregants unable to get to synagogue and Jews without easy access to a community.

But initially, the highest concentration of users will be in Polotsk, a small northern Belarus town. FRS is twinned with the community, whose members will use the stream to learn the service and eventually to lead minyanim.


Survivor's moving Zaka gift

September 2, 2010

Golders Green resident Joseph Kiersz donated four rapid response motorbikes to Israeli rescue and recovery service Zaka at a Tel Aviv ceremony.

Mr Kiersz said that "as a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, I have seen Jews led to their death like sheep to the slaughter. I am proud of the Israelis who are doing the work that we could not do then to take care of ourselves."

Among the Zaka leaders at the presentation was Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau, another survivor, who spoke to Mr Kiersz in Yiddish about their Holocaust experiences.


Teens get a taste of the Big Apple

By Jay Grenby, September 2, 2010

Twenty-one post-bar- and batmitzvah youngsters from Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue have returned from a week in New York - "the largest and most exciting educational undertaking this synagogue has ever participated in".

Accompanied by Rabbi David Mitchell, two youth workers and four young adult madrichim, the 14- and 15-year-olds visited major synagogues and other sites of Jewish interest, including Ellis Island. They also took a tour of old New York with a local rabbi.


Redbridge centre's fire damage

September 2, 2010

A faulty external light fitting is thought to have been the cause of a fire at Jewish Care's Redbridge Jewish Community Centre last week which damaged the main dining hall and large kitchen.

The fire started in the early hours of the morning and was quickly brought under control.

Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris said alternative catering arrangements had been put in place and "we are able to continue running the centre's services as usual".


Bus stop adverts are the route to security

By Leon Symons, September 2, 2010

Bus stop Community Security Trust advertisements giving guidance on reporting antisemitic incidents will be a feature of the CST's High Holy Days campaign in the major London centres.

Following a successful trial in Golders Green and Temple Fortune last year, the framed adverts will additionally appear in Hendon, Edgware, Barkingside, plus a Yiddish and English version in Stamford Hill. The project will again receive Home Office funding.


Pupil travel plan is abandoned

By Jay Grenby, September 2, 2010

Plans by Borehamwood parents to send their children on a cross-London journey to Ilford Jewish Primary School have been abandoned after a number secured late places at Jewish schools closer to home.

Frustrated at their failure to obtain offers from local Jewish schools, two dozen parents attended a meeting at Borehamwood Synagogue in May. They heard IJPS head Roz Levin and governor Howard Kemp extol the virtues of the Ilford school, which had a number of vacancies for the new academic year.


Success for Muslim-Jewish twins

By Rebecca Burns, August 27, 2010

North London twins from a Muslim and Jewish background are pursuing Jewish-themed career paths after their A-levels.

Yasemin Narcin hopes to go into primary school teaching via a course at Leo Baeck College. Her brother Yusuf has a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study classical based trombone performance. He is trombonist in a klezmer influenced band, Gabby Young and Other Animals, which has played at Glastonbury.

The twins, whose mother is Jewish, attended Finchley Progressive Synagogue and a Turkish mosque but it was the Jewish community which left its mark.


Students reach new level with top A Level results

August 26, 2010

A-level results this year have attracted particular interest because of the introduction of the new A* grade. And many Jewish pupils were star-struck.

At JFS, 48 per cent of grades were As or A*s and more than three-quarters of the 489 results were grade B or above.

Eighty per cent of Immanuel exams were passed at grades of B or better. And King Solomon High School pupils recorded a 99 per cent pass rate overall, with nearly three-quarters gaining a C grade or above.


JFS pupil smiling after star-studded results

By Jennifer Lipman, August 26, 2010

Reuven Shirazi was up at 6am to check his A-level results online and his early start was rewarded. The JFS pupil recorded one of the best exam performances in the country with six A*s and an A.

His results were easily enough to guarantee him a place at Cambridge, where he will read natural sciences at Gonville and Caius College.

The 17-year-old from Edgware was taken aback on discovering his top marks in maths, further maths and advanced further maths. He also excelled in three sciences and music.

"I'm so happy," he said. "I was smiling all day and my mum was ecstatic."