Community life

Israeli ambassador praises Jewish university students

March 25, 2010

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor has praised Jewish students for their support in the face of anti-Israel campaigns on campus.

The envoy addressed 200 students from across the UK at a Friday night dinner at Finchley Synagogue hosted by Tribe, University Jewish Chaplaincy and UJS.

Mr Prosor said they were "on the front-line" and acknowledged their commitment to Israel at a difficult time.

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Reform rabbis enter £100k salary bracket

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

The top recommended salary for Reform rabbis has risen above £100,000 a year for the first time.

Guidelines published by the Reform movement this week propose an increase to £100,548 from £96,960 in 2008. A pay freeze was recommended last year because of the economic climate.

Full-time rabbis on the lowest point of the scale should see a rise from £36,023 to £37,356.

The movement divides rabbis into six groups depending on factors such as size of congregation and uses a 51-point scale system taking into account responsibilities and length of service.

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Borehamwood girl, 5, dies

By Cathy Forman, March 25, 2010

The funeral of a five-year-old Borehamwood girl who died suddenly last week was held at Bushey cemetery on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Hertfordshire Coroners office opened and adjourned an inquest into the death of Hanna Collins.

Former Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue minister Rabbi Alan Plancey, who officiated at the funeral, said Hanna's parents, Claudia and Andrew, were "devastated. They are a loving and caring couple. We have to give them every support we can."

Hanna also had a twin and an elder sister.

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Year-old butter sold for Pesach

By Leon Symons, March 25, 2010

Environmental health officers in Barnet have launched an investigation into the sale of Pesach butter almost a year beyond its "best before" date in a number of north-west London shops.

The Lurpak brand butter carries a white sticker with the date "20-05-10" next to the London Beth Din imprint. However, if the label is peeled back, it reveals a "best before" date of May 27, 2009. Lurpak has not produced any butter for Pesach this year.

A printed label on the side of the pack describes the sole agency for the UK as a Wembley company, S Schwartz Ltd.

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Hertsmere's new headteacher Steven Isaacs

March 18, 2010

Steven Isaacs has been appointed as the new head of Hertsmere Jewish Primary School and will take up the post in September.

Mr Isaacs, currently deputy head of the Menorah Foundation School in north London, replaces Michele Bazak, who is retiring.

HJPS governors' chair Maralyn Zucker said he had impressed the selection panel with his "enthusiasm for education, ideas and vision, coupled with his engaging personality".

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More sign up for Israel Experience

March 18, 2010

A record 1,300 young people have already signed up to an Israel tour this year. The previous best for the UJIA Israel Experience programme was 1,272 participants in 2008 and last year's total was 1,213.

Israel Experience director Richard Goldstein attributed the upsurge to increased marketing - including through networks such as Facebook - greater participation from schools and product recognition. "The Israel tour has become an essential element of a Jewish child's identity."

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Bushey Synagogue's £1.2m facelift

By Jay Grenby, March 18, 2010

Bushey Synagogue will relocate to nearby Immanuel College for services over the summer months to facilitate a £1.2 million refurbishment of the shul.

A total revamp of the main building is due to start in May and finish in November. To minimise disruption to synagogue events, the building will not close until the majority of activities have ceased for the summer.

On completion, the congregation will gain new toilets, cloakrooms, offices, carpets, flooring and lighting.

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Meir Lev to take up Sutton synagogue post

March 18, 2010

Reverend Meir Lev has filled the vacancy in the Sutton Synagogue pulpit caused by the departure of Rabbi Avremi Groner.

Until 2008, Rev Lev was the chazan/acting minister for Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and previously served as a cantor in Leeds and Birmingham.

"Sutton is a very warm and friendly community with a beautiful shul," he said.

"I am delighted to be taking up my new appointment and will endeavour to inspire the congregation through prayer, song and words of Torah."

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Pupil fall leads to staff cuts at King Solomon

By Robyn Rosen, March 18, 2010

King Solomon High School in Redbridge is planning staffing cuts in response to falling admissions. And the redundancy procedure has been criticised by trade unions, who claim they were not formally consulted.

In recent years, year seven enrolment figures have dropped by more than 20 per cent - from 157 in 2005 to 122 in 2009, which included seven non-Jewish pupils.

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