Community life

Belsize Square picks American rabbi as leader

October 14, 2010

The independent Belsize Square Synagogue has chosen a Conservative rabbi from the United States to be its next spiritual leader.

Rabbi Stuart Altshuler, 57, will take up his post in January as successor to Rabbi Rodney Mariner who will retire on his 70th birthday in May.

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Leeds mitzvah chain adds link

October 14, 2010

The Leeds Mitzvah Chain completed another leg of its journey across the community.

Geoff Caplan, chairman of Donisthorpe Hall, handed over the mitzvah menorah baton on behalf of the care home to Rabbi Jason Kleiman of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue.

The mitzvah project, organised by Leeds emissary Gilad Amit, aims at motivating communal organisations to perform good deeds for each other.

Donisthorpe received the baton last month from Sinai Synagogue's Roger Lawford at a musical entertainment given at the home by Sinai members.

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Blind historian guest at new dinner venue

October 14, 2010

Liverpool's Jewish forum dinners have been revived by a move to King David High School.

The first dinner at the new venue saw 60 people enwrapped by guest speaker Liverpool historian Steve Binns. The community historian, who has been blind from birth but received an MBE for contributions to Liverpool's heritage, spoke about the city's historic Jewish characters such as Zionist Bertram B Benas, while also speaking about his hero, former prime minister and Liverpool-born William Ewart Gladstone.

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Interfaith relations strengthened in Scotland

October 14, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities joined forces with the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II declaration, which opened the way for dialogue between Christians and Jews.

The anniversary was marked by a series of events featuring Rabbi David Rosen and Father John Pawlikowski, both former presidents of the International Council of Christians and Jews. Rabbi Rosen is also a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and Israel.

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Social networkers work the room

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

A new business networking initiative launched on Tuesday by Manchester's Jewish Representative Council saw 70 businessmen and Jewish entrepreneurs gather.

The network offers monthly meetings, a business angel consultancy service and Dragon's Den-style pitch opportunities for start-ups.

Tuesday's meeting at Manchester Maccabi saw networking expert Will Kintish advise on using the latest techniques to bolster business contacts. It was also attended by the mayors of Bury and Salford.

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Maccabi Scotland celebrates its 40th

By Stephanie Brickman, October 14, 2010

More than 250 people attended a reunion on Saturday night to celebrate Maccabi Scotland's 40th birthday.

The grand reunion attracted visitors from as far afield as Israel and France as well as from throughout the UK. The event was held in Maccabi Scotland's May Terrace premises and there were displays of archive materials. The first performance of the Maccabi School of Rock also took place at the event.

David Shenken, chair of the board, said: "The party was a success with all ages enjoying what we had on offer."

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Barmitzvahs still on at school

By Simon Rocker, October 14, 2010

King Solomon High School in Redbridge says it will continue to let pupils celebrate their bar and batmitzvahs in school.

Last week JFS in north London announced it was ending bnei mitzvah ceremonies at the request of local congregations which felt that they might discourage youngsters from having them in synagogue.

But King Solomon head Spencer Lewis said this week: "We have always offered our students the opportunity to celebrate their barmitzvah at the school. We believe it is important that we do this and almost all the families who take this up are not members of

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Soup walk raises £10k for Holocaust survivors

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

More than 60 urban hikers took a late night tour of the Jewish East End as part of a "Soup Walk" to raise money for Israeli Holocaust survivors living in poverty.

Meir Panim UK organised the 10km sponsored walk, which set off from Liverpool Street station at 10pm. Walkers raised £10,000 for those in need in Israel.

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Praise for man who put Eilat on map

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

Much of the Jewish business world turned out to celebrate the achievements of Isrotel and River Island co-founder David Lewis CBE – who has been diagnosed with a malignant form of cancer.

Friends of the businessman, who is credited with first transforming the Israeli seaside resort of Eilat, paid tribute to his career and his contribution to the community.

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Shrubberies appoints

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has appointed Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg as its new minister following ratification at an EGM on Tuesday.

The position was offered to the American-born rabbi in June after a novel pulpit audition selection process saw four candidates compete for the post. But the congregation were still required to agree to the appointment according to the shul's constitution.

It will be the first ministerial position for the 29-year-old son of Austria's chief rabbi who studied in yeshivot in America and Israel before coming to Whitefield kollel in Manchester three years ago.

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