Community life

Glasgow challenge for 'devoted' rabbi

By Stephanie Brickman, September 21, 2010

Support is gathering for Aharon Soudry, minister of Garnethill Congregation in Glasgow, who is currently serving three months' notice after 20 years in the congregation.

Sylvia Fisher, who has been a member of the Hill Street congregation since childhood, told the JC: "Morale in the congregation is very low, I would say more than 90 per cent of the congregation would like Aharon Soudry to stay. We were not consulted before the decision was taken."


New Hackney girls school planned

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

The Satmar community has purchased the former Skinners site in Stamford Hill and will turn it into a girls' school.

Developers Berkeley Homes, who purchased the site three years ago, planned to knock down the school and build luxury homes but in March Hackney's planning sub-committee voted against the proposals.

Members of the Belz, Satmar and Lubavitch communities launched
a campaign, supported by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Board of Deputies' president Vivian Wineman, against the housing proposal. They wanted the site to be reserved for educational use.


Faith helps for 2012 London Olympics

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

The capital's rabbis have been called up to volunteer as Jewish chaplains for Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Games.

Jewish chaplains will be recruited for the Games to support the religious needs of athletes and visitors to the Olympic site. Many rabbis in the Redbridge community, close to the Stratford site, have already expressed interest in the positions.

Rabbi Richard Jacobi of Woodford Liberal synagogue said: "I'm certainly discussing doing it. It's important
to show our hospitality to everyone who visits for the Olympics and Paralympics.


Orthodox propose cut-price wedding plan

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

The strictly Orthodox community has been advised to "reduce expenses" on simchahs to help families in financial hardship.

A letter from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations suggests "no more than drinks and pastries" and limiting guests to family, close friends and immediate neighbours.

By doing so, "the burden of expenses will surely be eased. The rabbinate considers it their most particular duty to care for the well-being of the kehilla."

The union offers a "low-budget" wedding scheme where members can invite 150 couples for around £7,000.


Salford candidate seeks hospital benefits

September 17, 2010

A member of Manchester's strictly Orthodox community is standing for election as a governor of Salford Royal NHS Trust to help with Jewish patient issues.

Michael Bamberger, owner of Barons kosher bakery in Salford, says elderly Jewish patients often find it difficult to communicate with the hospital and there are awareness issues over religious observance.


Glasgow school's flagship IT

By Stephanie Brickman, September 17, 2010

Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Primary has unveiled an innovative computing project geared to making it a flagship IT school in Scotland.

"There's technology that allows you to have a shared classroom experience," explained parent council chair Tony Tankel. "If there is a superb Jewish history teacher somewhere in the world, he could teach children at Calderwood. This could be done using Skype or some more advanced technology.


Hospital provision

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

Manchester's four city centre hospitals once again have a Shabbat facility for Jewish patients and families.

A Shabbat room in the Manchester Royal Infirmary was closed during a £500 million redevelopment of the hospitals which was completed in 2009. It has been replaced by a multi-faith centre located on the ground floor of the Royal Infirmary site.

But it has taken over a year to arrange a separate kosher kitchen, accessible via a key-coded gate within the multi-faith room. In the intervening period, a padlocked box housed Jewish prayer books and cold kosher drinks.


Delamere moves to new home

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

The Delamere Forest special needs school opened its new north Manchester operation this week.

On Sunday, 11 Delamere pupils from London moved into refurbished Crumpsall residential facilities. The following day, its 17 pupils began lessons at the newly built premises in Salford.

The project involved vacating Delamere's premises in Cheshire and creating three new classrooms and kosher catering facilities on the campus of Inscape House School in Walkden.


Nephew's illness inspires fundraiser

By Jessica Elgot, September 17, 2010

Motivated by a five-year-old nephew with a terminal muscle-wasting disease, a Manchester Habonim Dror member is raising money through the movement for research into a potential cure.

Darren Cohen, 20, from Whitefield championed the cause of Action Duchenne, researching a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, at Habonim's annual meeting.

Joey Levene from Prestwich - the son of Mr Cohen's sister Tracy and her husband Tony - was born with the disorder, which affects only boys. Sufferers may not live beyond their late teens.


Rabbi quits for school

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

In a surprise move, rabbi and author Yitzchok Rubin is to leave South Manchester Synagogue a year early to head a local educational venture.

Brooklyn-born Rabbi Rubin, 65, will vacate the pulpit in the affluent Bowdon community to focus on launching a specialist strictly Orthodox private high school in north Manchester. He will then become its head.

Having served the shul for 25 years, Rabbi Rubin will now depart by November, instead of in October 2011, as originally planned. He announced the move during a Rosh Hashanah sermon.