Community life

Elstree to add a rabbi

January 21, 2010

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue is to appoint an associate rabbi to extend religious, educational and pastoral services to the growing community of 1,300 families.

Shul chair Anthony Arnold said the appointment was “something that has long been needed and is essential to the continued growth, support and development of our members”. It was “an opportunity to build a rabbinic team of diverse personalities and talents that in combination will be twice as effective”.

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King Solomon satisfied with its Ofsted ruling

January 21, 2010

The King Solomon High School in Redbridge has received a positive report from Ofsted inspectors, whose main concern was that more able pupils were not making the progress they were capable of.

Ofsted rated the school as good in most categories and outstanding in a few. It noted that headteacher Spencer Lewis had “worked tirelessly since his appointment two years ago to improve the standard of education students receive and his work has been successful.

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Growing offshoot of Tribe

January 21, 2010

Almost 1,000 twentysomething singles have signed up to the community membership programme administered by Tribe, the United Synagogue youth arm.

For a £5 monthly fee, the programme offers full synagogue membership, including burial rights, plus event discounts and special activities.

“It is a myth that the United Synagogue is an old fashioned organisation with nothing to appeal to young adults,” said Tribe executive director Rabbi Andrew Shaw. “We have worked hard to engage with young people.”

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Forum helps mixed couples

By Robyn Rosen, January 21, 2010

When the mother of Christian journalist Simon Thompson found out he was marrying a Jew, it “sent alarm bells ringing.

“It was more through misunderstanding — the fear of not knowing what it meant,” he explained on Sunday. “She had a fixed view of what a Jew was.”

Mr Thompson, 36, will wed his long-term girlfriend, project manager Rebecca Shurz, 32, in a civil ceremony in two months. They were among over 40 couples at the “I’m Jewish, My Partner Isn’t” seminar at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley.

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Hindus launching their own Mitzvah Day

January 21, 2010

Inspired by British Jewry’s Mitzvah Day, the Hindu community has established its own day of good deeds.

Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks and Board of Deputies vice-president Jonathan Arkush were among over 300 guests at a Stanmore temple for the launch of National Sewa Day, which will coincide with Mitzvah Day on November 21.

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Olympic goals of community

By Robyn Rosen, January 21, 2010

The Jewish Committee for the London Games wants to be the first recipient of an Inspire mark, making it an official London 2012 brand.

Guests at the committee’s first seminar on Tuesday were told that it had applied to the programme as a project inspired by the Games.

The committee was founded by the London Jewish Forum, Maccabi GB, UJIA and Lord Janner to promote communal involvement in London 2012 activities.

Among the 50-plus people at the seminar were Ephraim Zinger, director of the Israeli Olympic Committee, and representatives of volunteering charities.

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Disciplined response to misbehaving pupils

By Robyn Rosen, January 21, 2010

Instances of exclusions at King Solomon High School in Redbridge have dropped by almost 80 per cent in two years — and risen by over 50 per cent at JFS.

Figures obtained by the JC show a massive drop in fixed-term suspensions at King Solomon from 177 in the 2006/7 academic year to 38 in 2008/9. At JFS, the 80 “instances” in the last academic year contrast with 52 in 2006/7.

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Scot and bothered over future

By Stephanie Brickman, January 21, 2010

A row has erupted in Glasgow over plans by the local representative council to hold a meeting on the community’s future.

News of the meeting was leaked by a blogger identified only as “One of the privileged few” on the website of the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum (GJEF).

The news prompted a flurry of critical posts, with the original blogger writing: “I think it is not acceptable that the future of our community is discussed and decided upon by a secret cabal.”

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New primary school planned in Herts

By Jay Grenby, January 21, 2010

Exploratory talks are being held towards the establishment of a second state-aided Orthodox Jewish primary school in Hertfordshire.

The discussions involve community leaders, the United Synagogue and the local education authority and a disused school in Potters Bar is among early sites under consideration.

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Paralympic athlete at Kenton school

By Jay Grenby, January 14, 2010

Star British paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson gave a motivational address to Jewish primary school staff members at a teacher training day at the Sobell Sinai in Kenton.

Those present included the heads of the United Synagogue’s five primaries — Hertsmere, Ilford, Moriah, Wolfson-Hillel and the host school — along with 150 teachers.
Hertsmere JPS head Michele Bazak said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for the staff to engage in an educational dialogue. They exchanged ideas without the restraints they encounter in other settings.”

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