Community life

Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer delivers 1000th speech

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer reached an educational landmark on Monday when he delivered his 1,000th account of his life.

Addressing pupils at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey, the 77-year-old recounted that his middle-class Berlin family had fled to Holland in 1936 as the Nazis stepped up their antisemitic policies.

“We lived by the sea in Heemstede and lived a happy life as secular Jews. That changed when the Germans occupied Holland and Jews were persecuted, including being banned from public schools and not being allowed into public places.”


World Jewish Relief brings hope to Ukrainian community

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

At first glance, Krivoy Rog is a grim, soulless city.

Mile after mile of empty fields are interspersed with drab tower blocks. The wide, potholed streets are largely devoid of traffic. Only occasionally does a pedestrian wander by.

This sprawling former steel mining city in south Ukraine, 200 miles from the capital Kiev, is home to 12,000 Jews, most of whom are, like the other 700,000 residents, in dire need of medical and financial assistance.


Struggling Bradford Reform set to sell listed synagogue

May 21, 2009

The 35-member Bradford Reform congregation is poised to sell its Victorian synagogue, which was recently upgraded to Grade ll* listed status.

According to joint chairman Rudi Leavor, “the future of the synagogue is in jeopardy” and will be decided at an EGM on June 22.
“We have very few members now and the expenses are just the same. There are not enough people to maintain the synagogue as a going concern.”
The shul’s council backed the sale at a meeting this week on the grounds of a declining community and lack of funds.


Kisharon blaze guts building

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Fire destroyed the gym and two outer buildings at Kisharon’s Adult Day Centre in Hendon in the early hours of last Thursday.

Four fire engines and 20 firefighters took almost two hours to get the blaze under control at the rear of the special needs charity’s Parson Street premises.

According to a London Fire Brigade spokesman, an emergency call was answered at 2am and the blaze was under control just before four. “Firefighters worked extremely hard and managed to stop the fire spreading to the main care centre building. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”


Tributes for exiting Board of Deputies leader Henry Grunwald

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears led tributes to the retiring leader of the Board of Deputies, Henry Grunwald, at its annual president’s dinner in London last week.

Mrs Blears said that whatever Mr Grunwald’s professional accomplishments at the bar, “I believe your achievements as president exceed all of them.

“Over the past six years we have come to know and respect your tireless advocacy, your courageous work to build stronger ties with other faiths and your unequivocal championing of tolerance, respect and decency.”


NHS urged to fund all Tay Sachs tests

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

In the week screening for the fatal genetic disorder, Tay Sachs, ended in the regions, a report by Jewish medical practitioners urges the NHS to fund all Tay Sachs testing within the Jewish community.


Sandys Row Synagogue wins lottery

May 14, 2009

The survival of one of Britain’s oldest synagogue buildings has been assured with an award of over £250,000 from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sandys Row Synagogue in London’s East End will use the money for essential repairs to its Grade II listed building — “a little known architectural gem in the heart of Spitalfields,” according to conservation architect Anthony Walker, who led the shul’s advisory team.


Lord Strathclyde subs for Michael Gove at Kisharon

By Ben Jaglom, May 14, 2009

The frenzy over MPs’ expenses forced special needs charity Kisharon into a last-minute change of speaker for its dinner at the Hilton Park Lane on Sunday evening.

Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove had been due to address the 700 guests but was summoned to a meeting with David Cameron, which Kisharon trustee Leo Noe said related to “an emergency that has been discussed extensively in the news recently”. Mr Gove has been accused of “flipping” homes to maximise allowances, a charge he denies.


Assaf Admoni: Norwood’s commercial services director

May 14, 2009

Assaf Admoni brings a wealth of experience to his new role as Norwood’s commercial services director.

Mr Admoni was previously with Leonard Cheshire, the UK’s largest disability charity, serving as a board member with responsibility for fund-raising.

He has also worked for the National Autistic Society and ChildLine, having started his charitable career at JNF.


Carers take UK break thanks to Zichron Menachem

May 14, 2009

Parents of Israeli children with cancer have enjoyed a British break courtesy of Zichron Menachem UK.

Hosted by backers of the charity, they were taken to London tourist attractions, a performance of the musical, Stomp, and on shopping expeditions. They also enjoyed limousine travel and a barbecue in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The parents attend support groups at Zichron Menachem’s Jerusalem day centre and are from all shades of religious observance.
Zichron Menachem’s UK chairman Eli Seliger said it had been wonderful to see the strain lift from the faces of participants.