Community life

Manchester synagogue looks for new members

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

The Nicky Alliance Day Centre in Manchester is on a recruitment drive for members.

The Crumpsall centre, which provides social and care activities for 200 older people, is holding three Succot open days for non-members to sample activities including Tai Chi, computer classes, art , keep fit and live entertainment.

Chief executive Michelle Wiseman is looking to increase membership by 10 per cent to keep the centre financially strong.

"Like any organisation, it is important that we attract new members," she said. "We have so much to offer we just want everyone to know about it.


Attempt to boost young community in Leeds

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

The Leeds Jewish community has appointed a development executive as part of a strategic plan to boost community life and positively market the advantages of living there.


Party on at the Hub

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

South Manchester youth club The Hub hosted its inaugural post-fast party on Saturday night, one of the first to be offered to Manchester youth for some years. The club says it was a chance for the 50 youngsters, aged between 13 and 15, to use the newly created club to bolster a social scene for the age group.

Hub youth worker Marc Fink said: "This was a great start for the new year for the Hub We saw a gap in the market to revitalise this key date in the Jewish youth calendar and we hope that even more people will attend next year."


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.