Community life

JLGB changes on YouTube

May 21, 2009

British Jewry’s oldest youth group, the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade, has used a YouTube video to inform members of changes afoot.

From August, the London and provincial regiments will be disbanded in favour of eight new regional battalions from south London to Scotland.


Battle to revive Manchester advice service

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

Salford’s Citizens Advice Bureau has suspended a service providing “sensitive and informed” guidance to Jews after losing lottery funding.

The head of the bureau is in discussions with Salford City Council in an effort to revive the Jewish Outreach Project, which offered advice surgeries at Jewish venues, such as The Fed and Agudah Community Services.

Advisers were recruited from the Orthodox community to raise awareness of social services among Charedim who were not accessing their benefit entitlements.


Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer delivers 1000th speech

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer reached an educational landmark on Monday when he delivered his 1,000th account of his life.

Addressing pupils at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey, the 77-year-old recounted that his middle-class Berlin family had fled to Holland in 1936 as the Nazis stepped up their antisemitic policies.

“We lived by the sea in Heemstede and lived a happy life as secular Jews. That changed when the Germans occupied Holland and Jews were persecuted, including being banned from public schools and not being allowed into public places.”


World Jewish Relief brings hope to Ukrainian community

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

At first glance, Krivoy Rog is a grim, soulless city.

Mile after mile of empty fields are interspersed with drab tower blocks. The wide, potholed streets are largely devoid of traffic. Only occasionally does a pedestrian wander by.

This sprawling former steel mining city in south Ukraine, 200 miles from the capital Kiev, is home to 12,000 Jews, most of whom are, like the other 700,000 residents, in dire need of medical and financial assistance.


Struggling Bradford Reform set to sell listed synagogue

May 21, 2009

The 35-member Bradford Reform congregation is poised to sell its Victorian synagogue, which was recently upgraded to Grade ll* listed status.

According to joint chairman Rudi Leavor, “the future of the synagogue is in jeopardy” and will be decided at an EGM on June 22.
“We have very few members now and the expenses are just the same. There are not enough people to maintain the synagogue as a going concern.”
The shul’s council backed the sale at a meeting this week on the grounds of a declining community and lack of funds.


Kisharon blaze guts building

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Fire destroyed the gym and two outer buildings at Kisharon’s Adult Day Centre in Hendon in the early hours of last Thursday.

Four fire engines and 20 firefighters took almost two hours to get the blaze under control at the rear of the special needs charity’s Parson Street premises.

According to a London Fire Brigade spokesman, an emergency call was answered at 2am and the blaze was under control just before four. “Firefighters worked extremely hard and managed to stop the fire spreading to the main care centre building. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”


Tributes for exiting Board of Deputies leader Henry Grunwald

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears led tributes to the retiring leader of the Board of Deputies, Henry Grunwald, at its annual president’s dinner in London last week.

Mrs Blears said that whatever Mr Grunwald’s professional accomplishments at the bar, “I believe your achievements as president exceed all of them.

“Over the past six years we have come to know and respect your tireless advocacy, your courageous work to build stronger ties with other faiths and your unequivocal championing of tolerance, respect and decency.”


NHS urged to fund all Tay Sachs tests

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

In the week screening for the fatal genetic disorder, Tay Sachs, ended in the regions, a report by Jewish medical practitioners urges the NHS to fund all Tay Sachs testing within the Jewish community.


Sandys Row Synagogue wins lottery

May 14, 2009

The survival of one of Britain’s oldest synagogue buildings has been assured with an award of over £250,000 from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sandys Row Synagogue in London’s East End will use the money for essential repairs to its Grade II listed building — “a little known architectural gem in the heart of Spitalfields,” according to conservation architect Anthony Walker, who led the shul’s advisory team.


Lord Strathclyde subs for Michael Gove at Kisharon

By Ben Jaglom, May 14, 2009

The frenzy over MPs’ expenses forced special needs charity Kisharon into a last-minute change of speaker for its dinner at the Hilton Park Lane on Sunday evening.

Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove had been due to address the 700 guests but was summoned to a meeting with David Cameron, which Kisharon trustee Leo Noe said related to “an emergency that has been discussed extensively in the news recently”. Mr Gove has been accused of “flipping” homes to maximise allowances, a charge he denies.