Community life

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.


Vintage wedding bells in Leeds

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

An elaborate re-enactment of a traditional Jewish Victorian wedding ceremony is planned to celebrate 150 years of the Leeds Jewish community.

Now organisers are seeking volunteers to play the bride, groom and guests at the mock ceremony on November 28 in the public atrium of Leeds museum.

Organised by Makor, the "wedding" will be officiated by Rabbi Jason Kleiman of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol synagogue and the chazan will be Albert Chait from Leeds United Hebrew Congregation. Couples, married or not, and friends are sought to volunteer to play the part of bride and groom.


Dementia expert to advise care home staff

September 21, 2010

An expert in age related diseases is to advise south London care home Nightingale on its dementia strategy.

Professor Clive Ballard directs the Dementia Research Centre at King's College London, leading clinical trials and study programmes. He will work closely with Nightingale chief executive Leon Smith on incorporating the latest developments in dementia care into programming for residents with dementia.


Fernandez 'kosher' pub plans criticised

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Hendon residents are campaigning against plans to demolish a kosher pub and turn it into a block of flats.

Developer Platinum Riverside has applied to Barnet Council to demolish Fernandez in The Boroughs and erect a five-storey building, with two basement levels, comprising 14 apartments, parking and a retail unit.

They have separately applied for conservation area consent.

The pub and restaurant, previously called Don Fernandez, took over the former White Bear pub site about five years ago.


Orthodox Hackney volunteers honoured

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

Three strictly Orthodox Hackney charities have received awards from Hackney Council for Voluntary Service.

Children's disability charity Step-by-Step won a Adiaha Antigha Community Achievement Award for contributions to well-being. Step-by-Step runs activities for more than 100 disabled youngsters with problems ranging from cerebral palsy to Down's syndrome in Hackney, Barnet and Haringey. Its programme includes swimming, ice-skating, horse riding and Sunday clubs and summer play schemes.


Writer pens Etrog mystery for Succot

By Jay Grenby, September 21, 2010

Prolific author and broadcaster Rabbi Pete Tobias has made a first foray into the realm of children's books with the publication of The Secret of the £5 Etrog, in time for Succot.