Community life

Reform revises cash plan

By Simon Rocker, November 4, 2010

The Reform movement has had to revise hopes of recording a small surplus this year - and is instead forecasting a deficit of £32,600.

Reform spends around £3,150,000 and had budgeted at the year's start for a profit of £28,600. Treasurer Hugh Lask told Reform council members at Sunday's quarterly meeting in London: "The forecast reflects the tough conditions in which we find ourselves."


How Norwood deal with £4m shortfall

November 4, 2010

Norwood is one of the charities hardest hit by local authority cuts. It formerly received almost £20 million a year from more than 60 councils and chief executive Norma Brier says the loss of £4 million from that budget has required "very significant decisions.

"We are 215-years-old, we've always served the community's most vulnerable children and adults. But with such a dramatic realisation of the economic downturn, we really need the community at this time."


Northern charities strive to maintain services

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Welfare charities in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow are making contingency plans to cope with public funding cuts due to be announced by local authorities within weeks.

Manchester's largest welfare charity, the Federation of Jewish Services, said around 20 per cent of its annual budget is at risk of cuts by four Greater Manchester councils. But the fallout could range from just £20,000 to £100,000 a year with the final figure only becoming clear in December, when many of its care contracts are to be reviewed by local authorities.


Teenager scares off burglars

November 4, 2010

Police have praised the actions of a quick-thinking teenage girl who scared off three would-be burglars as they tried to break into her home in north west London.

The girl, who is in her early teens, heard the men in the garden of her Hendon home. She called Barnet police to raise the alarm and then called her father to alert him to the situation.

Within minutes, officers raced to the girl's aid. The men fled the scene. Police said later that two men had been arrested and they were still seeking the third.


Plea from welfare bosses facing funding cuts

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2010

Jewish charities will be seeking millions of pounds in extra donations from the community to combat budget cuts from local authorities and a rise in demand for services from recession victims.


More than a million raised for MDA

By Leon Symons, November 4, 2010

Magen David Adom raised more than £1.1 million at its annual fundraising dinner at the Millenium Hotel in London's Mayfair on Tuesday.

An MDA spokesman said: "It was a record on the night but the dinner campaign goes on for longer than that."

The charity that raises money for Israel's ambulance service, and which also takes charge of its blood donation service, changed the usual dinner agenda of a serious speaker by bringing in impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner, who brought howls of laughter from the 340 guests with a stream of gags.


Hackney councillors to support local Limmud

By Simon Rocker, November 4, 2010

Two strictly Orthodox Hackney councillors are due to speak at the mini-Limmud in the borough on Sunday.

Liberal Democrat Ian Sharer and Conservative Simche Steinberger will be part of a panel discussion on how their Jewish values led them into politics.

Also joining them are two other local Jewish councillors, Linda Kelly and Barry Buitekant of Labour.

Mr Sharer said: "I have never done this before. But I am pleased to be invited and happy to go along to speak about my role as a councillor.


Mental health chair to retire

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2010

The chair of a Jewish mental health charity, 87-year-old Irene Wilder, is to step down after 15 years with the organisation.

Mrs Wilder made the emotional announcement on Tuesday night at the gala dinner of the Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill.

She said: "It is time to pass the work on to someone younger. I am not leaving Jami, I will always support the organisation."

The charity helps more than 250 people at any one time to recover from mental health problems including anorexia and schizophrenia.


Garnethill backs down over minister's sacking

October 28, 2010

The council of Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow decided at a meeting on Wednesday night to withdraw the notice of termination issued to their minister, Aharon Soudry.

Support had been gathering for Mr Soudry, who was told in August that Garnethill would no longer be using his services due to "unacceptable behaviour".

Treasurer Bernard Goodman said: "He was given three months notice and that has allowed for a cooling off and reconsideration. We took into account the fact that the gentleman has been with us for 20 years and there's considerable support for him within the congregation."


'The best day of my life' at 107

By Katie Taylor, October 28, 2010

Frances Woolf has laid claim to being Britain's oldest Jew after celebrating her 107th birthday with a party at Wembley Sephardi home Edinburgh House.

Among the greetings were messages from the Queen and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. The birthday girl said the party had been "the best day of my life".

Asked for the secret of her longevity, Ms Woolf replied: "I wish I knew."