Community life

Golders Green school faces closure threat

By James Martin, March 12, 2009

A strictly Orthodox school which has operated from a house in Golders Green Road for five years without planning permission is under threat of closure.

Beis Medrash Elyon has had a retrospective planning application deferred until April by Barnet Council to allow more time for consideration of its claim of special grounds for being granted school status.

Speaking after last week’s planning sub-committee meeting, a council spokesman explained that should consent be refused, the school could appeal to the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

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Swim tragedy of fundraiser

By Leon Symons, March 12, 2009

An Edgware woman has died while training for a cancer charity swimming fundraiser.

Rozelle Dashwood, 56, had been swimming at Bushey Grove Leisure Centre at the weekend. Two people saw her face-down in the water and called the lifeguard, who pulled her out. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they discovered a faint heartbeat but could not revive her.

Her husband Michael, 58, said: “This was her third Swimathon and she was raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. This was a big hobby of hers and she was a regular swimmer.”

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Eco friends

March 12, 2009

Liberal Judaism has joined forces with Christian Aid to campaign on climate change.

Co-branded campaign materials were distributed at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue on Wednesday.

“Climate change affects everyone, irrespective of religion, but the poor suffer disproportionately,” said Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich.

“The threat to our world is so great that it is vital that Liberal Jews join people of other faiths to lobby for laws that cut carbon emissions.”

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Jewish Care job cuts

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Thirteen Jewish Care employees are being made redundant following a six-week consultation process.

The charity announced in January that up to 22 jobs could go at its Merit House, Colindale, headquarters as part of a bid to slash £2.5 million off its budget.

Redundancies have been made across the administrative spectrum in departments such as human resources, marketing and fundraising.

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Climate gets the first response

March 12, 2009

A conference on the Jewish response to climate change is planned as the first event of new cross-communal ethics organisation called Responsibility.

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£4m Liverpool home is shelved

By Cathy Forman, March 12, 2009

Efforts to relocate Liverpool’s Stapely care home to the Childwall Synagogue site have fallen victim to the credit crunch.

A £3.5 million sale had been agreed for the 66-bed residential home in Sefton Park and planning permission granted for its redevelopment into flats. But with the completion date looming, the purchaser could not come up with the money.

The intention had been to put the proceeds towards the building of a £4 million three-storey care home in the car park at the rear of the shul.

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Welfare centre will take crime reports

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 5, 2009

Bury Police have launched a hate crime reporting centre for Manchester Jewry.

The offices of Crumpsall-based welfare charity The Fed will be open to local Jews as a drop-in reporting point. Staff will be trained to log reported incidents on to a dedicated police database. It follows the establishment of a similar third-party reporting point at Brackman’s kosher bakery in Salford last month.

Police liaison officer for the Jewish community in Prestwich, PC Chris Grayshon, hopes the centres will reduce the number of unreported antisemitic incidents.

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Hendon hails Ginsbury

By Jay Grenby, March 5, 2009

Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury celebrated his 10th anniversary at Hendon Synagogue among friends — 250 of them who packed the Raleigh Close community centre for a Shabbat lunch.

Opening proceedings, synagogue vice-chair Naomi Landy said the congregation was “fantastically lucky” to be served by Rabbi Ginsbury and his wife Judy.

Praising the minister for his hard work, approachability, sense of humour and commitment to the community, she read out tributes from Lady Jakobovits and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks.

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Cockfosters’ family planning

March 5, 2009

Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue hopes the appointment of its first community directors will encourage more young families in its catchment area to become involved.

The husband-and-wife team of Simon and Joanna Hamilton recently moved to Cockfosters with their two young children. Mrs Hamilton is a qualified nurse who has volunteered with a number of Jewish organisations. Her property developer husband is familiar with the Cockfosters set-up, having grown up in the shul’s satellite community of Hadley Wood.

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Birthday concerto

By Ruth Rothenberg, March 5, 2009

Belsize Square Synagogue celebrated its 70th anniversary on Sunday with the premiere of a specially commissioned cello concerto echoing the experience of its founding members, refugees from Nazi Germany.

Written by the shul’s choirmaster Benjamin Wolf, Etz Chayim, Tree of Life reflects a community reclaiming its traditions — and above all, its musical heritage.

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