Community life

Northern pupils' GCSE successes

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

Northern GCSE stars were headed by Manchester Mesivta's Simcha Brownson, 15, who gained 10 A*s and three As. Another Mesivta high achiever was Saul Yardley, who passed 12 subjects at A* and A grade.

Mesivta said it was a "bumper year" for pupils with 98 per cent scoring all their subjects at A*-C in the strictly Orthodox school's express stream, in which many students sit GCSEs at 15 so as to start yeshivah studies at 16.

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Frank poetry prize awarded

By Stephanie Brickman, August 26, 2010

The inaugural poetry prize in memory of Glasgow Jewish artist and sculptor Hannah Frank has been won by a Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue member.

Freelance writer Vanessa Austin Locke received her prize in the adult category at a ceremony at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday. It would have been the 102nd birthday of the artist, who died, aged 100, in 2008. The competition, also reflecting Hannah Frank's interest in poetry, required entries inspired by one of her black-and-white drawings.

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Festival stars' shul show

By Stephanie Brickman, August 26, 2010

Singer songwriter Dean Friedman and award winning actor Jack Klaff were among the star attractions as Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation threw open its doors to Fringe Festival performers and visitors on Sunday.

Klaff performed a scene from his hit show Jack the Knife. Friedman played three numbers, including his worldwide smash Lydia and the lesser known A Million Matzah Balls. It had been "a pleasure to play for an audience that felt instantly familiar", he said.

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Liverpool shul cleans up

August 26, 2010

Flood damage to Liverpool's Childwall Synagogue last month will cost over £10,000 to repair.

Insurance assessors are still trying to gauge the exact cost of making good the partly collapsed roof over the Ada Shifrin Hall. Water damage to its parquet flooring is estimated at £2,000.

Childwall chairman Norman Goldstone says makeshift arrangements will allow the hall to be used for the large kiddush gatherings at Yomtov.

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Hate slogan daubed in Broughton

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

The spray-painting of a three-foot high "F--- Israel" slogan in one of Manchester's busiest areas is being treated by police as a hate crime.

It was daubed in Bury New Road in the densely Jewish populated area of Broughton Park between Sunday night and the early hours of Monday.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said a member of the public was seen trying to clean the graffiti off the wall. The matter "was then passed to neighbourhood policing and environment services were requested to attend. It's being treated as a hate incident because of where it was and what was written".

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Policing the festivals

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

High visibility patrols near synagogues, mobile police stations and extra hate crime reporting centres will be features of Greater Manchester Police's High Holy Days security operation.

"The efforts we have made over the years means we have more community confidence than ever before," said Sergeant Ian Campbell of Prestwich Neighbourhood Policing.

Chief Superintendent Jon Rush said the continuance of operations at last year's level was based on "positive feedback" from community members.

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Charity fears over special needs resources

By Jessica Elgot, August 26, 2010

The chief executive of special needs charity Kisharon has voiced concern that many of the growing number of severely disabled children in the Jewish community are not receiving specialised help early enough.

Beverly Jacobson said that with advances in modern medicine, "a premature baby or a child with a complex brain injury has a much higher chance of surviving, which is brilliant. But we need more resources for children with special needs."

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Masorti shul seeks music director

August 26, 2010

New North London Synagogue in Finchley is advertising for a youth and music director, despite having a preferred American-based candidate.

In a letter to members of the Masorti congregation, joint chairs Basil Shall and Sarah Manson reported a positive feedback to a visit from chazan Jeremy Burko, who is originally from Canada.

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Manchester plans eruv

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

Whitefield Hebrew Congregation has submitted a planning application to Bury Council for the first Manchester eruv.

The proposed eruv - a religious boundary permitting, for example, the pushing of prams or wheelchairs on Shabbat - would cover under a square mile north of the city where several thousand Jews live. It would require the construction of just three eruv poles.

Whitefield Synagogue's Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag says the "ingenious" design by an eruv expert in Antwerp means it could be up and running within nine months at a lower cost than those in the London area.

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A match made by the Jewish Chronicle

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

A London synagogue officer has found true love with an Italian nanny, thanks to the JC.

Michael Israel - senior warden at West London Synagogue and brand manager of Carmel and Palwin wine - met Clarissa De Santis at a Highgate newsagent in February. Miss De Santis, a 37-year-old from the small village of San Severino Marche, was there with her two young charges on an errand to top up a mobile phone for a friend.

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