Community life

Play area tribute to Leeds cancer victim

September 28, 2010

A new play area at Leeds' Deborah Taylor Nursery has been named in honour of its late head teacher Denise Marks, who died of cancer in May, aged 55.

The 150 people who attended Sunday's ceremony heard former Brodetsky Primary head Simon Camby speak of the huge difference Mrs Marks had made to the children.

"Her legacy lives on here at the school she loved so much. I know I am a much richer person for having worked with her," he said. "We have a lot to remember and a lot to celebrate about a life that was well lived."


Legacy of cancer death women

By Leon Symons, September 28, 2010

A north London mother-of-two who raised more than £800,000 for cancer research has lost her own battle against breast cancer.

Danielle Leslie, 40, died at her Mill Hill home, having spent her last days with her family. Her funeral was at Edgwarebury Lane cemetery.

Her mother Sylvie Henry also had breast cancer, although her death last year was from lung cancer.

They were both dance teachers and ran The Arts Factory, a summer scheme for schoolchildren. Their Future Dreams charity raised the money for cancer research from two West End shows featuring stage and screen stars.


Holocaust survivor tells of debt to British PoWs

By Jessica Elgot, September 28, 2010

A survivor who owes her life to 10 British prisoners of war has told her story to a British audience for the first time.

Hannah Sara Rigler, 82, travelled from America to address more than 300 guests at the Holocaust Educational Trust appeal dinner in central London, among them Cabinet members Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith.

Ms Rigler recalled the death march from Stutthof concentration camp in 1945, during which 700 women died, including her mother and sister.


Crouch End is welcomed into the Liberal party

September 28, 2010

Crouch End Liberal Jewish Chavurah has formally affiliated to Liberal Judaism.

The move was approved unanimously at a meeting at the Liberal Judaism headquarters in London's West End.

Started two years by a group of like-minded friends meeting for Shabbat services and educational events, the chavurah has been assisted by Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, who lives in the area.

Having gathered momentum and scale - with 120 members and a busy cheder - congregants felt they would benefit from the services and support provided by Liberal Judaism.


South London works towards first Jewish primary school

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Motivated by a desire to "save the community in south London", a lawyer from New Malden is fronting a committee working towards the first Jewish primary school in the area.

Lawrence Kingsley last week presided over the inaugural meeting of the South West London Jewish Primary School Project, attended by professionals from across the Jewish spectrum. The aim is for a cross-communal school for children from south London and Surrey.


Flagship synagogue's 'financial irregularities'

By Simon Rocker, September 28, 2010

Leaders of the UK's flagship Reform congregation, the West London Synagogue, are investigating possible financial irregularities in excess of £100,000.

Losses of £144,000 have already been identified for last year, according to the newly available accounts. But the final total could be higher.

The accounts describe the amount involved as "significant" but the exact figure will not be known "until the investigation work is completed".

West London's trustees intend to "pursue vigorously for full recovery of any losses that have been incurred".


WJR launch winter welfare appeal

September 28, 2010

To raise awareness of World Jewish Relief's Operation Winter Survival campaign for Jews in Eastern Europe, community members will experience a warm feeling over the coming weeks.

For the charity is sending a scarf nicknamed Woolly around the country with recipients asked to pass it on to family and friends.


Record-breaking service for Grimsby

September 21, 2010

Grimsby Hebrew Congregation believes it may have set a personal record this Yom Kippur in having four times more non-Grimbarians than Grimsby inhabitants.

A motorcade brought three families from Leeds and and three from London. The services were led by Board of Deputies vice-president Jonathan Arkush who has been taking High Holy Day services in Grimsby for the past 35 years.

Shul president Leo Solomon summed up the day as the "best Yom Kippur service" he could remember.


Dual role for Hampstead minister

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

Rabbi Michael Laitner, the assistant rabbi at South Hampstead synagogue, has been appointed education co-ordinator for the United Synagogue's Living and Learning department.

David Kaplan, community services director at the US, said: "We are delighted that Rabbi Laitner will be playing a crucial role as the education co-ordinator of the new US department under the direction of Rabbi Andrew Shaw." Rabbi Laitner, a graduate of Leeds University and a former education director of the Union of Jewish Students, will also continue his work at South Hampstead.


Succot circus comes to town

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

There are more Succot activities in Manchester than ever before as a kosher circus adds to events staged exclusively for the Jewish community.