Community life

Friends honoured

By James Martin, May 7, 2009

A new gymnasium —named in honour of two former active youth members in Kenton — is the centrepiece of a £70,000 refurbishment programme which will act as “a community hub” for north-west London Jews.

Kulanu, formerly the Kenton Youth Centre, celebrated the completion of six months of refurbishments on Tuesday with a reception which was attended by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, and over 100 others, and included the unveiling of a state-of-the art gymnasium, and sports facilities including a full-size snooker table and table tennis tables.

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Tributes to leaders

By Isabel Janner, May 7, 2009

Two Israeli emissaries were honoured for “truly remarkable work” by Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor at a ceremony at the London embassy.

Asaf Segev was recognised for his contribution to the Leeds community, particularly his work with students. Noa Jellinek’s accolade was for her teaching at the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon, where her innovative Hebrew learning methods have inspired other Jewish educators.

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Miracle teenager says thanks to supporters

By Jay Grenby, May 7, 2009

A 13-year-old Radlett girl who recently left hospital after lengthy treatment for a rare form of cancer has thrown a thank-you party for those who have helped her.

Just over a year ago, Immanuel College pupil Alana Jacobs was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer which mainly affects young people.

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Crohn’s challenger

May 7, 2009

A 40-year-old Crohn’s disease sufferer from Radlett is getting on his bike in America to raise money for and awareness of Crohn’s.

Frustrated by the lack of knowledge about the inflammatory bowel disease, Michael Seres will take part in a 210-mile cycle around the Hudson River in New York.

Mr Seres was disgnosed early in life and has undergone 21 operations in 30 years, including the removal of a large part of his intestine. But he has been given the green light by doctors for the 70-mile-day challenge next month.

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Manchester Tay Sachs screening set to close

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 7, 2009

The last screening for Tay Sachs outside of London is due to take place in Manchester next week.

Screening drives for the fatal genetic disorder have traditionally been run inside Jewish schools, paid for by the Tay Sachs Screening Programme. However, the charity, run by north Manchester-based doctor of genetics Sybil Simon, is due to close when she retires.

“For the past 20 years I have run it and fundraised for it. There is no one to take this over. No one wants to do voluntary work anymore.”

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A friend in Wittenberg

May 7, 2009

Masorti’s senior rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg addressed a Trafalgar Square rally on Monday urging the government to grant citizenship to 450,000 long-term migrants.

“The story of the stranger is our story also,” Rabbi Wittenberg told an audience of 25,000 people including trade union members, MPs and faith leaders at the Strangers into Citizens event. “All too often we have been exiles, refugees, seeking a safe haven to become good citizens.” Rabbi Wittenberg’s mother fled to the UK from Nazi Germany.

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Peace duo on visit

By James Martin, May 7, 2009

Two prominent speakers in the campaign to bring peaceful dialogue to the Middle East have been touring the country this week.

Former Palestinian resistance fighter Ali Abu Awwad and Israeli Robi Damelin have been speaking on behalf of the UK Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum, a group that supports the work of the Israel-based BFF which campaigns for peaceful dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

The pair spoke to around 200 people at a fundraising dinner in the West End about the efforts of the forum in promoting greater understanding about the conflict to both sides.

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Call for eruv in Muswell Hill

By Leon Symons, May 7, 2009

Muswell Hill Rabbi David Mason chose his induction speech at the synagogue on Sunday to reveal that he wanted to start work on an eruv for the north London community.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Rosh (head) Beth Din Dayan Menachem Gelley looked on as Rabbi Mason told the congregation that the synagogue would continue to be “an attractive and inspiring option for young families who live in the area and who may be unaffiliated or considering joining synagogues of other bodies.

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I had to tweet on my feet

By Isabel Janner, April 30, 2009

Self-proclaimed techno geek Greg Allon “tweeted” his way though the marathon on his wife’s iPhone as he ran in aid of Myeloma UK. “Twitter was a brilliant way of keeping people involved and raising publicity,” he reported. “I even got sponsorship from people I’ve never met.”

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Improving with age

April 30, 2009

What are the racing secrets of the oldest London Marathon entrant?

According to 84-year-old Paul Freedman, they are “to keep active, do as much charity work as possible and have a sense of humour”.

Mr Freedman has taken part in all but one of the last 19 London events — the sole exception was because of a heart attack. A lifelong commitment to fundraising was recognised in 2008 with the award of an MBE.

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