Community life

Secret £1.2m donor saves four schools

By Cathy Forman, July 30, 2009

An anonymous £1.2 million donation from a London trust will save four Israeli schools from closure.
The money has been given to the British Friends of Shuvu, supporting a religious schools network.

Falling donations from the UK and America had put the future of six schools in jeopardy. The pledge from the London trust will preserve the places of over 1,000 students but Shuvu schools in Nahariya and Ashkelon still face closure.

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Farewell to Israel group

By Fay Stang, July 30, 2009

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor hosted a London farewell reception for 90 Britons making aliyah.
The guests are among an estimated 800 olim from Britain this year, the highest figure for a quarter-of-a-century. More than 100 will be on a flight to Israel on August 11.

Those at the reception included Daniel Goldstone, 23, from Leeds, who “found it interesting meeting other people doing the same thing as me.”

He was “enthusiastic and anxious, like I would be with any new experience, but I am excited about the independence it will give me.”

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Janner gets top Ajex job

July 30, 2009

Lord Janner is the new president of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, replacing the late Edmund de Rothschild.

A long-time Ajex member and a vice-president of the association since the 1980s, the Labour peer pointed out that it also built relationships with other ex-service organisations “which grow in importance as close inter-communal relations become increasingly vital”.

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New convert will turn hotel into synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

A hotel is to be turned into a synagogue to house a Golders Green Jewish community.

Plans approved by Barnet councillors will see the Central Hotel in Hoop Lane converted into a shul with two flats by members of the Sassov Synagogue, currently based in nearby Helenslea Road.

A Sassov spokesman explained: “We already own the hotel building but we don’t have a timeframe for the work to be done. Our community is growing and we need the extra space.” The purpose-built shul would replace the smaller building currently used for services.

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Israeli dancer’s ambitious step

By sharronlivingston, July 30, 2009

Dance teacher Yuval Tabashi believes he can most practically demonstrate his love of Israel by “bringing Israeli dance to as many people as possible”.

It is an ambition he hopes to fulfil in his new role as project development manager at the Israeli Dance Institute in London.

The 23-year-old wants to get young people involved, explaining that dance is an ideal medium to educate about Israel.

He uses Israeli music old and new to explore aspects of history, nature and Judaism.

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Heritage shul gets votes of MPs

By Fay Strang, July 30, 2009

The chairman of a Parliamentary arts and heritage group has praised the beauty and upkeep of the Grade I-listed New West End Synagogue following a visit by MPs and peers.

Sir Patrick Cormack was speaking after members of the Parliamentary groups on arts and heritage and historic churches had viewed the Bayswater shul — the first synagogue chosen for their annual trip, organised by English Heritage.

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Love aids the ‘lost children’

July 30, 2009

A survivor who helped reunite “lost children” of the Holocaust with their families has received an honorary doctorate from Essex University in Colchester.

Lithuanian-born Dora Love was 16 when SS troops invaded the country. Her family were imprisoned in Stutthof concentration camp in Poland where her mother, sister and one of her brothers died.

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Survivors want their stories told

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

British Jews are asked to take a greater role in documenting the testimony of those who escaped the Shoah.

The appeal has come from Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon, which wants the wider community to help record the experiences of its 550 members, passing on the baton of remembrance for future generations.

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£1m plan is not Brum and dusted

By Cathy Forman, July 30, 2009

A proposed £1 million-plus deal with a local housing association to redevelop Birmingham Central Synagogue’s Edgbaston premises has fallen through.

The shul’s 200 members had been due to be asked at the AGM to approve plans to sell two-thirds of the site to Birmingham-based housing association Optima. However, synagogue president Geoffrey Clements wrote to them explaining that Optima had been unable to secure government funding for the project.

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Leeds packs proving a welcome development

By Hayden Cohen, July 30, 2009

A “Welcome to Leeds” information pack for Jews new to the city has been launched by the local representative council.

The pack was created by community development worker Neil Clarke, who said the aim was “to allow newcomers to feel at home in Leeds as soon as they arrive”.

It will include a 10 per cent discount card which can be used in the city’s kosher establishments, synagogue bookshops and at the Zone Youth Club.

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