Community life

Winehouse leads JLGB karaoke

July 29, 2010

The Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade welcomed back two celebrity former members to its senior summer camp in Colchester.

Sophie Abelson - star of BBC soap Doctors and a graduate of the brigade's Southport group - was the subject of a rescue mission in a Torchwood drama activity. Mitch Winehouse - father of Amy and now forging his own musical career - led a karaoke session. Both Mitch and Amy were Southgate brigade members and Mitch has kept in contact through the old comrades' association.

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Jewish teens praise mentoring programme

July 29, 2010

British Ort is to expand its Jump mentoring programme for senior students at Jewish high schools following a successful inaugural year.

Fifty teenagers were assigned mentors with expertise in professions as wide-ranging as policing and law, midwifery and music production.

JFS pupil Julia Sidon, 16, received a £150 shopping voucher for the best diary of a mentoring experience - she was helped by dentist Suzanne Barnett.

Julia praised her "amazing" mentor. "Whenever I had questions she was there for me. She found work experience for me with a periodontist."

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Young leaders work on interfaith project

By Jay Grenby, July 29, 2010

Pupils from Immanuel College in Bushey are among the latest graduates of the Alan Senitt community leadership programme, linking year 10 pupils in mainstream and faith schools and promoting inter-community activity.

At the ceremony, guests were given an insight into the projects undertaken by the graduates, including an educational workshop on different religions organised by Immanuel pupils for a local middle school. Guest speaker was Mike Perham, who at the age of 17 last year became the youngest person to sail single-handed round the world.

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Tribe rabbi to run Belmont services

July 29, 2010

Jerusalem-based Rabbi Gideon Sylvester has come to the aid of Belmont Synagogue, which is without a spiritual leader after the move of Rabbi Daniel Roselaar to Hendon's Alei Tzion congregation.

The former Radlett Synagogue minister, currently rabbi of Tribe Israel, will lead the Belmont congregation's High Holy-Day services as part of a United Synagogue programme providing Israeli assistance for UK communities over the festival period.

"We are very excited about this and look forward to welcoming Rabbi Sylvester," said Belmont chair Anthony Broza.

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Youth award for Liberal Jewish youth

July 29, 2010

Liberal Judaism's LJY-Netzer has been awarded silver status by Youth Mark, an assessment scheme for youth services.

The assessment team included teenagers from across the ethnic and religious spectrum.

LJY-Netzer received the highest ever score in the "youth participation" category in recognition of its democratic decision-making process.

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Czech Jewish heritage visit

By Jay Grenby, July 29, 2010

A mayoral reception, concert and an art exhibition were features of the programme organised by the Ostrava municipality for an international party of descendants of the Czech city's pre-war 30,000 Jewish community. The visit was arranged through Kingston Synagogue's Ostrava group.

Tour leader David Lawson was astonished by the huge media interest in the trip - it was reported on Czech TV and radio and in the country's leading daily newspaper.

"It was very emotional for the visitors to discover their roots in Ostrava," he said.

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BBC Any Questions at Wimbledon

July 29, 2010

Wimbledon Reform is the first synagogue to host a live edition of Radio 4's Any Questions.

A full house of 350 turned up for the programme, featuring human rights lawyer Dame Helena Kennedy, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, union boss Derek Simpson and writer AA Gill.

Questioners ranged from a 14-year-old boy on the Facebook tributes to Raoul Moat to 85-year-old actress Thelma Ruby, who was concerned about rising age limits for a free bus pass.

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Jewish girl's Haiti charity project

July 29, 2010

Borehamwood batmitzvah girl Sadie-Mae Arellano has raised nearly £300 for World Jewish Relief's Haiti emergency appeal by making and selling 100 tie dye T-shirts.

The Yavneh College pupil wanted to mark her batmitzvah by adopting a charity. "I thought it would be an important step in becoming a Jewish adult and taking responsibility to help others." She had been moved by "the shocking pictures of how the people of Haiti were suffering. I wanted to help and chose WJR's appeal."

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Hindus volunteer for Mitzvah Day

July 29, 2010

Mitzvah Day has joined forces with the Hindu community to promote the UK's biggest day of volunteering.

Around 20,000 volunteers are expected to support over 250 projects across the country on Mitzvah Day and the first Sewa Day on November 21.

Lynne Featherstone, Mike Freer and Matthew Offord are among MPs who have pledged their volunteering services.

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Tributes to Radlett rabbi

By Jay Grenby, July 29, 2010

The rift in the Radlett Synagogue leadership was put aside as members attended a farewell dinner and kiddush for Rabbi Ariel Abel, who resigned after five years as minister.

More than 120 guests heard tributes to the rabbi from United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs and Joel Sager, warden at neighbouring Borehamwood and occasional minister at Radlett.

There was also a contribution from former warden David Glover, one of the Radlett leaders who resigned saying they could no longer work with chairman Andy Katz.

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