Community life

More Butterflies are taking wing

By Jay Grenby, April 8, 2010

When the mother of north Londoner Sarah Rosen died of lung cancer, the loss felt particularly acute as it was five weeks before the birth of Mrs Rosen's first child. The experience prompted Mrs Rosen to set up Butterflies as a support group for women in a similar plight.

In the three years since, demand for the Hendon-based service convinced her of the need for more of the same, but the birth of a second child limited the time at her disposal to organise another group.

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Phones recycled in aid of Pesach food parcels

April 1, 2010

The United Synagogue has been helping to turn mobile phones into matzah over Pesach.

Supplementing the US's postal appeal in support of food parcels, the organisation's social arm, Project Chesed, asked people to donate unwanted mobiles to be recycled for cash.

To date, 80 have been handed in, ranging from BlackBerry phones to some chunky relics from the past.

Proceeds contributed towards the distribution of nearly 500 festival parcels to US members struggling to meet the extra cost of Pesach observance.

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New CEO for Jewish Care Scotland

By Stephanie Brickman, April 1, 2010

The new CEO of Jewish Care Scotland can vouch for the work of the charity, the largest communal organisation north of the border.

Suzanne Neville says that "in my family, I've had personal experience of the extent to which Jewish Care is a lifeline, when my late mother was ill. I feel I can contribute something to Jewish Care to help the team make a difference in people's lives."

The Glaswegian, who succeeds Ethne Woldman this month, is currently a director of People Matters, a development and communications company.

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Glasgow leader hits back at bloggers

By Stephanie Brickman, April 1, 2010

The chairman of Glasgow's Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue has launched a contemptuous attack on bloggers who have accused shul leaders of complicity in the sacking of Masorti man Warren Bader by Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society.

Giffnock and Newlands minister Rabbi Moshe Rubin and the shul management have come under intense and anonymous criticism over the departure of Mr Bader, a key personality in the newly launched Masorti Scotland. Those posting on a blog run by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum have also ridiculed Giffnock and Newlands leaders for their appearance and clothes.

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Council to help 'overcrowded' Orthodox families

By Robyn Rosen, April 1, 2010

Haringey Council has approved guidelines for home extensions in an effort to address the problem of overcrowding in strictly Orthodox households in south Tottenham.

On average, there are six children per household in south Tottenham and many families live in cramped conditions. Last year, a businessman was ordered to pay £2,500 costs and given an 18-month conditional discharge after a six-year battle with the council over alterations to his home.

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Tony Blair praises Tzedek in Passover message

April 1, 2010

Tony Blair has paid tribute to international development charity Tzedek in a Pesach message.

"The need to repair a broken world, tikkun olam, is deeply embedded in Jewish community values," Mr Blair wrote. Tzedek was "making a real and sustainable difference to the lives of those living on the poverty line".

He took encouragement from the trend of "people of faith, and the Jewish community in particular, donating more and more to those outside their own faith and locality and giving to global causes".

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Minister David Lammy guest at Golders Green club

By Robyn Rosen, April 1, 2010

Higher Education Minister David Lammy was among the special guests as a Golders Green club for Orthodox boys celebrated its move to new premises.

Chaverim has taken over a former Kwik Fit outlet with plans to turn the site into a community centre.

The club incorporates a computer centre, library, lounge and pool, snooker and table tennis tables.

It runs activities for all ages between seven and 25 and has 1,800 members. Over 200 people attended the official opening.

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Sephardi survives 'no confidence' motion

By Leon Symons, April 1, 2010

The ruling body of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation has survived a motion of no confidence but has failed to heal the divisions within the community.

Efforts were made at the annual meeting to draw a line over the resignation last year of Rabbi Natan Asmoucha at Bevis Marks Synagogue, after tensions with the mahamad (executive) over his participation in an interfaith demonstration against high bank interest charges.

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Mill Hill plan to submit eruv to Barnet Council

By Robyn Rosen, April 1, 2010

The Mill Hill Eruv Committee is finalising plans to submit an application to Barnet Council within the month. It hopes the application for the eruv - due to connect with existing Edgware and Golders Green eruvs - will be heard in June.

Eruv committee chair Gill Gallick said: "The community are very positive about having an eruv and we hope they will write in support for the application so that it goes through without delay. We have had a few queries from the non-Jewish community and have tried to take their concerns into consideration."

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Jewish leaders tour site for Olympics 2012

March 25, 2010

Community leaders from 15 organisations toured the Olympic Park site in a visit organised by the Jewish Committee for the London Games.

UJIA, Maccabi, Mitzvah Day, United Synagogue, Movement for Reform Judaism, Board of Deputies and Community Security Trust representatives were among those shown the new stadium, the aquatic centre and Olympic village.

Guests were also shown the relocated premises of the H Forman, the renowned smoked salmon firm which had to move off the site. Its new complex is just outside the park area.

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