Community life

Bus stop dismays Charedim

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A move to establish a direct bus link between Golders Green and Stamford Hill has stalled on cost grounds, to the disappointment of the Charedi community.

Response to a four-month study conducted by Transport for London watchdog London TravelWatch demonstrated “a very clear requirement for a bus service between the two places”.

More..

Brighton Reform is split on Siddur

By Yael Breuer, June 4, 2009

The editor of the new Reform Siddur has defended the prayer book against accusations of political correctness in the wake of criticism by the movement’s Brighton congregation.

An EGM at Brighton and Hove Reform voted to adopt the Siddur by a 36-14 majority with one abstention. Dissenters included vice-chair Debra Goodman, who claimed that many members were unhappy about the translation from Hebrew into English.

More..

Responsible role for JCoSS

June 4, 2009

UJIA head of Jewish social responsibility Elaine Robinson will be the first Jewish education director at the cross-communal JCoSS secondary school opening in Barnet next year.

Raised in Liverpool, Ms Robinson, 37, attended the Orthodox Childwall congregation and was an active Bnei Akiva member. She previously taught at Immanuel College and still lectures at the London School of Jewish Studies, Limmud and the New North London Synagogue. The governors believe she will be “a bridge to every part of the community”.

More..

Shabbat room at Royal Free

June 4, 2009

Jews visiting loved ones at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead on religious days can take advantage of its new Shabbat room.

Families can use the room as a place to relax — and be provided with a simple kosher meal.

It is the result of a donation from the family of Betty Gedalla, a Royal Free volunteer for 32 years, who died in December. Her sons Lawrence and Brian were at the opening ceremony, along with Lady Jakobovits and senior Jewish hospital chaplain Rabbi Meir Salasnik.

More..

University plants Senitt tribute

By Jay Grenby, June 4, 2009

Lord Janner and Reform movement head Rabbi Tony Bayfield were among those at a tree-planting ceremony at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies in memory of Alan Senitt, the young Jewish activist and interfaith worker murdered in Washington in 2006.

Over 40 family, friends and colleagues heard tributes from Lord Janner, a patron of the Alan Senitt Memorial Trust, Wes Streeting from the National Union of Students and Lee Petar, a long-time friend and former Bicom colleague.

More..

MP hails Glasgow’s profitable branches

By Stephanie Brickman, June 4, 2009

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy unveiled a Tree of Life artwork at Jewish Care Scotland’s day centre in Giffnock, Glasgow, on Sunday which has already raised over £12,000 for the charity.

Designed by Lynn Wolfson, the six-foot high installation is in the centre’s reception area. Community members can add leaves to celebrate simchahs or to remember loved ones by making a £250 donation. One-third of the 150 leaves have already been sold. There is also a book of dedications.

More..

Servicemen lacking our backing

June 4, 2009

The new chairman of the Jewish Committee for HM Forces has urged the community to be more supportive of its servicemen.

Mancunian Martin Newman is saddened that “our Jewish personnel don’t enjoy the same moral and financial support from the community as our American colleagues. We want British Jewry to show the same pride in our troops, brave young men and women who are putting their lives on the line for our freedom.”

More..

Transfer bonus delights charity

June 4, 2009

The premises of the former Westmount care home in West Hampstead have been donated to Jewish Care, which intends to transfer residents from its Mapesbury Road home in Willesden.

Established in 1976 by Sidney and Elizabeth Corob, Westmount was a kosher facility offering beds on the basis of need, rather than ability to pay. It closed in April 2008 as a result of declining numbers.

Explaining the donation, Mrs Corob said that she and her late husband “wanted to make sure the home could continue to care for members of the Jewish community with the same ethos and quality as before.”

More..

Bone marrow group wants more screen tests

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A year-long global fundraising campaign supporting Jews needing bone marrow matches has reached London.

Volunteers from the British Friends of Ezer Mizion, which organises bone marrow testing in Israel, were outside north-west London synagogues and shops seeking donations towards a £2.5 million UK target.

Simon Maurer of the British Friends says the campaign will enable “many more Israelis to go for a bone marrow test, which will improve the chances of Jews worldwide finding a match”.

More..

Tweet smell of success

June 4, 2009

As part of its outreach efforts, Reform Judaism now has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter.

The movement’s Martin Dix says the idea is to “engage with Jews across the country who may otherwise have no contact with the Jewish community, live at a distance from Jewish centres, or who do not want to join a synagogue but are looking for new ways to connect with Jewish life.”

Traditional forms of communication were no longer sufficient. “Twitter and Facebook are hubs of social networking, bringing together millions of people.

More..