Community life

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."


Northerner leads top unionists on Israel trip

October 28, 2010

Manchester Israel Information Centre director Doreen Gerson has returned from co-fronting an international delegation of senior trade unionists to Israel in her capacity as Trade Union Friends of Israel vice-chair.

TUC president Doug Rooney was among the participants, who met politicians and Israeli and Palestinian trade union representatives. Most of the delegates had not previously been to Israel and they were visibly moved by a visit to Yad Vashem.

British ambassador Matthew Gould hosted a dinner in their honour.


World Cup success could bring windfall to Maccabi

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

The chief operating officer for England's 2018 World Cup bid believes Maccabi UK would be a likely beneficiary of the resulting £750 million funding pot for local football facilities.

Former FA corporate affairs director Simon Johnson made the comment on returning to his native north Manchester Jewish community to address a Maccabi business breakfast.


5,000 join Manchester street party

October 28, 2010

Five thousand people joined a procession to dedicate a new sefer Torah for north Manchester's Machzikei Hadas community on Sunday.

The scroll, written in Israel, was commissioned by the Charedi community's Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneebalg in memory of his wife, who died last year. Visitors travelled from London, Israel and America for the event, during which more than 2,000 gifts were distributed to children. A dinner for 500 people was held in the shul hall.


Liverpool donors double their money

October 28, 2010

Merseyside Jewish Community Care has bucked the financial trend, reporting doubled donations from the local community.

The charity's AGM on Tuesday night was told that donations for 2010 were £104,000, up from £52,000 the previous year. The money was generated mainly from the Pesach and Rosh Hashanah appeals.

It has also escaped public spending cuts, with Liverpool City Council continuing to provide £30,000 for kosher meals and carer services.