Community life

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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Lord Levy praise for Liverpool school

March 25, 2010

Lord Levy said this week that Liverpool's King David High, with its mix of Jewish and non-Jewish pupils, was an example to wider society.

Addressing the King David speech day on Tuesday, Lord Levy told over 1,000 students, parents, staff and special guests: "We live in a society where our differences often divide us. But you, students of this fine school, not only understand those differences, you blur the differences that exist in our society."

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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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JFS row teacher is key JCoSS appointment

By Leon Symons, March 25, 2010

JFS head of English Kate Lightman, whose daughter was refused entry to the school in a row over conversion, has been appointed to a senior post at the new Jewish Community Secondary School, JCoSS.

Mrs Lightman will be assistant head with responsibility for English at JCoSS, which opens in Barnet in September. She has taught at JFS for more than 20 years.

In 2005, she and her husband David applied for a place for their daughter Maya but were turned down because the London Beth Din rejected Mrs Lightman's conversion in Israel.

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Norwood's Pesach appeal

March 25, 2010

Norwood is putting a price on its work as it attempts to generate £100,000 from its Pesach appeal.

In a financial breakdown to supporters, the charity points out that £18 will buy a specialist toy for children with learning disabilities, £75 will fund a day at Unity, Norwood's recreational service for young people with disabilities and £500 will enable a child with learning difficulties to enjoy a residential holiday.

Chief executive Norma Brier said Pesach was a time when Jews were encouraged to "welcome the stranger into their lives.

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Jewish Care appeal for mezuzot for new campus

March 25, 2010

Jewish Care is using its Pesach appeal to make a dent in the £4 million shortfall for its £44 million care campus in Golders Green, due to open in the summer.

The charity is looking to raise £250,000, covering items such as 1,000 mezuzot, costing £50,000, for the 160,000 sq ft site.

"The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus is part of our vision for the future," said Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris. "It will offer the community a network of care and support services fit for the 21st century."

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