Community life

Lord Sacks tackles tax dodgers

By Simon Rocker, October 28, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has criticised people who try to avoid paying tax in the current economic climate.

Addressing the annual dinner of the Jewish Assocation of Business Ethics in London on Tuesday night, he said: "I think individuals have to say 'if I belong in this society, I have to share in the fate of this society'.

"Where everyone else is suffering, it is morally wrong to say 'I am going to take myself out of it'. Even if you can justify it, the fact is we're all in this together."


WJR backers launch warm campaign

October 21, 2010

World Jewish Relief's "Where's Woolly?" scarf has been getting around.

Promoting the charity's Operation Winter Survival campaign for needy Jews in Eastern Europe, the scarf has been in London, Leeds and Manchester, spreading the word to schools, youth movements and even Jewish football teams.

The aim is to get supporters to donate 10,000 essential winter items such as hats, scarves and gloves over the next month or so.

Pupils from Manchester's King David High and Leeds' Brodetsky Primary have been among the recipients of the scarf.


Bridge building on a strong foundation

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

Work has begun on a £500,000 extension to the Bridge Lane Beth Hamedrash in Golders Green.

Congregant and philanthropist Leo Noe laid the first stone at a ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday.

The new building has been 10 years in inception, due to planning issues and redesigns. As "green and ergonomic as possible", it will incorporate a day centre for the elderly.

Beth Hamedrash trustee Jonathan Wachsman said: "The new synagogue will make an enormous difference. There will be more space and functions can run side by side."


Double barmitzvah for survivors

By Jessica Elgot, October 21, 2010

Woodford Liberal Synagogue hosted a double barmitzvah on Shabbat for two 83-year-olds who missed out as teenagers.

In the case of David Peterson, it was because of the Nazi occupation of his native Poland. For Peter Benscher, it was a result of ill health.

Mr Peterson, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, was raised in Ozorków, where "the Nazis had burnt down all the synagogues. I always wanted to have a barmitzvah.


More kosher bread

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

Challah and sliced rye bread from Buckingham Boulangerie which is sold in Waitrose stores have been certified as kosher by the London Beth Din Kashrut Division.

"This is great news for kosher consumers," said kashrut director Rabbi Jeremy Conway.

Buckingham Boulangerie owner Robert Simon claimed: "We now have the largest distribution of kosher bread in the country with it being stocked in 200 stores. The quality is very high, with no additives or colours."

A Waitrose representative said its kosher provision was "an important section", responding to customer demand.


Care duo win major industry awards

October 21, 2010

Two Jewish Care staff have been honoured in the inaugural Great British Care Awards for London, supported by the Department of Health.

The care trainer prize went to Gill Yentis, the charity's practice development worker for disability and dementia services. Christina Brago-Nimako, social care co-ordinator at Rubens House in Finchley, took the care home activity organiser award.


Turkey trip for fast-track young leaders

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

Jewish Child's Day has joined forces with UJIA and youth movement Hanoar Hatzioni to launch a fast-track leadership programme for teenagers featuring a generous measure of Turkish delight.

Aimed at 16- and 17-year-olds, the nationwide programme will include monthly seminars and cover financial planning, budgeting, PR and management skills.

"These are important skills which can help teenagers not only in their future careers, but at A-level and university level as well," said JCD executive director Daniel Burger.


Anne Frank learning library opens

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

The Anne Frank Trust has opened a specialist library at its north London offices to help students and teachers research the Holocaust, other genocides, prejudice and racism.

At Monday's launch, trust director Gillian Walnes said: "We have a unique tool in Anne Frank, the voice of a child, to teach our own youngsters about social responsibility, preventing discrimination.

"We can learn from the positives in Anne's story to inspire us to do good, and also the negatives of the story, to prevent history repeating itself."


Virtual lessons for Jewish students

October 21, 2010

Pupils at Immanuel College in Bushey will no longer have an excuse for delayed homework following the launch of its virtual learning classroom, Prism.

Prism allows teachers to post class notes, homework and specimen exam papers on a secure website, which students can access.

If, for example, the school was closed because of bad weather, "remote teaching" would fill the void.

"We are very excited about the scope of Prism," said marketing director Naomi Cowan.

"Teachers are energised by its capabilities and the opportunities it opens up."


Singing star goes back home to Stanmore

By Jay Grenby, October 21, 2010

Young chazan Jonny Turgel is leaving Edgware Synagogue after four years to join the Stanmore United congregation.

Although only in his mid-20s, Mr Turgel has acquired an international reputation as a chazan. Stanmore chair Philip Hertz reported that when he announced the appointment at the end of the Shabbat morning service, "there was a collective gasp, followed by a burst of rapturous applause. I've never experienced anything like it.