Community life

Liverpool's Harold House shutdown

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 13, 2010

A Liverpool community meeting on Sunday will hear the background to the closure of Harold House.

The decision to close the centre, the heart of communal activities since 1951, was made in the light of rocketing running costs of £100,000.

Sam Beilin, chairman of the charity which owns Harold House, says it was a drain on communal funds.

"There will be excellent facilities on the new King David campus with effect from next year. We hope the groups that are leaving Harold House will make use of that campus in the future"


Heathlands boss to quit

May 13, 2010

The chief executive of Manchester care home Heathlands is to stand down.

Janet Lewis had become the deputy chief executive of the Federation of Jewish Services, formed by the merger of Heathlands with welfare charity, The Fed. She will be moving to Cornwall, where her husband is taking up a university placement.

She said Heathlands had "developed massively" in her five years at its helm. "It feels strange to have brought Heathlands to the point of merger and yet not be here to witness the changes ahead."


Boris Johnson at sell-out Wizo event

By Robyn Rosen, May 13, 2010

London mayor Boris Johnson expressed his admiration of Israel to a sell-out audience of 350 Wizo supporters in central London on Tuesday night.

At a dinner raising more than £300,000 to refurbish the Pheobe Welcome Leon Day Care Centre for vulnerable families in Jerusalem, Mr Johnson said: "There are many things I admire profoundly about Israel. Its amazing 'can do' spirit, its high tech industry, its incredible entrepreneurial flair, its avocados and its talented entrants to the Eurovision Song Contest.


Rosh Pinah under fire over admissions

By Simon Rocker, May 13, 2010

Barnet Council has received complaints over admissions to the nursery of Rosh Pinah School in Edgware for September.

The JC has been unable to confirm the reasons for the objections although one local parent claimed that the two-form entry school had failed to abide by its admissions rules. Governors' chair Barbara Hotz was unavailable for comment despite repeated requests.

A council spokesman said: "We have received a few complaints from parents applying for places at Rosh Pinah Nursery School. We are working closely with the school to support them with their admission arrangements."


Hackney council winner celebrates

By Cathy Forman, May 13, 2010

With a closely contested general election boosting turnout in the council polls, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Hackney Council, Ian Sharer, was enjoying the spotlight.

"It was incredible," he said after his re-election in Cazenove ward, "a tsunami of voters and no one knew who they were. We hadn't canvassed them. We were saying 'who are they coming for?'"


Labour takes control of Enfield council

May 13, 2010

Bucking the national trend, Labour took control of Enfield Council from the Conservatives.

And among the Labour victors was new councillor Derek Levy in Southbury, whose tally of 2,446 saw off the closest Tory candidate by 80 votes.

For Tory councillor and Jewish Care worker Jon Kaye, the Enfield result was not the only unwelcome election surprise. Posting a leaflet through a letterbox, his finger was bitten by a dog. "A Labour supporting dog," he reflected, "but it was a shock".


New president for Manchester Rep Council

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 13, 2010

Lucille Cohen has taken over the presidency of Manchester Jewish Representative Council. The former Zionist Central Council president from Altrincham wants to introduce a "new interactive spirit" so the community can better understood its work.

In her inaugural speech to Sunday's council meeting, Mrs Cohen, 54, said Manchester Jewry was facing "increasingly challenging times. The security of the community, our children and students on campus is paramount," she said, referring to violent protests against deputy Israeli envoy Talya Lador-Fresher at Manchester University.


Jewish grandmother is mayor of Hertsmere

May 13, 2010

Grandmother Linda Silver, who has been involved in local politics for 36 years, will next week take office as the Mayor of Hertsmere.

The Bushey and District Synagogue member was elected as a Hertsmere councillor in 1974 and has been a Tory whip in Hertsmere and an adviser to the Conservative group on Brent Council.

Her mayoral charities will be Jewish mental health support organisation Jami and Help for Heroes, in memory of her father, who served as a colonel in the Royal Engineers.


Women to get vote in Federation elections

By Simon Rocker, May 13, 2010

After more than a century, women in the Federation of Synagogues are set to get the vote in synagogue elections.

Leaders of the Orthodox organisation, founded in 1887, are planning to change its constitution to enable the move later this year.

It was over 30 years ago when the Federation's then rabbinic leader, Dayan Michael Fisher, reaffirmed the bar on women's participation in elections. But now the head of the Federation Beth Din, Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, has given his approval for change.


UJIA hosts conference on education

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

UJIA's first conference on research in Jewish education proved so popular that organisers had to find an alternative venue.

"I thought it would be a small seminar for 20 people," said UJIA research and evaluation director Helena Miller. "In the end, we had 100." The event was due to be held at UJIA's Kentish Town headquarters but had to be moved to Avenue House in East Finchley.

Believed to be the first conference devoted to the subject in the community, it drew educators from secular to strictly Orthodox.