Community life

Transplant patient urges screen tests

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

A bone marrow screening session has been arranged at Gatley's Yeshurun Synagogue on Sunday in response to an appeal from an academic with leukaemia.

Professor Steve Rothberg, a 44-year-old father of two from Loughborough, was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2009. After four failed courses of chemotherapy and four donor drives, a donor has been found for him in Germany and he will undergo a bone marrow transplant in August.


Cofnas is to quit Childwall

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

Childwall Synagogue rabbi Lionel Cofnas has announced his retirement after 30 years in the Merseyside pulpit.

He plans to move to Manchester next summer after standing down and eventually to make aliyah.

"We have had a good relationship together even though it may have changed over the years," he said this week.


Keeping simchahs kosher

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Efforts to stem the trend of non-kosher barmitzvah celebrations in Manchester have been urged by delegates to the city's Council of Synagogues.

Monday's AGM of the Orthodox representative body agreed to investigate whether families could be asked to sign an agreement committing to serve supervised food.

Council life vice-president Shalom Goldblatt said that "a barmitzvah is the beginning of adult Jewish life, so it's not appropriate to celebrate it with a treife do".


Leeds gets it man for youth work

July 15, 2010

VSagi Yechezkel is the new Leeds youth director and will co-ordinate activities at the three Orthodox synagogues.

The 19-year-old, who is taking childhood studies at Leeds University, is the first local-raised person to hold the post - and the first to be appointed by a combined committee representing the United Hebrew, Beth Hamidrash Hagadol and Etz Chaim congregations.

He believes his local knowledge will help him tap into what youngsters want.

"I had a meeting with 15 kids. They want more informal education, more things during the week, more outings and sport activities.


More opt for schools

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Northern Jewish schools are anticipating a bumper pupil crop in September with the best admissions numbers in years.

Manchester's Kind David Primary and High schools and Leeds' Brodetsky Primary report full intakes for the new academic year.

North Cheshire Jewish Primary says it is oversubscribed and has had to consider appeal cases.

North Cheshire head Jackie Savage says the school received 48 applications for 45 places.


Kosher addition

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

South Manchester Jews will have an eat-out option from Sunday when a new coffee shop begins offering kosher sandwiches and hot beverages.

Serious Coffee, in Hale Barns, has gained such a strong Jewish following in its first month of trading that its owner has responded to requests for kosher items.

A range of sealed sandwiches and wrapped cakes will be available alongside its non-kosher foods. Owner Peter Bardsley has gone as far as offering kosher milk for cappuccinos and hot chocolate.


Rosh Pinah expansion

July 15, 2010

Rosh Pinah Primary School will accept an extra 30 children for a third reception class in September 2011.

"The decision is because of the sheer numbers of children due to start school that year, and also the lack of places in Jewish primary schools," said Rosh Pinah head Judy Greenberg.

However, the three-form entry would be "a temporary measure".


Chai ambition brings £100k promise

July 15, 2010

VThree Chai Cancer Care supporters have committed to raise £100,000 by getting their friends to host money-making events.

Natalie Chester, Emma Myers and Laura Avigdori launched Chai Promise at a reception in the new Wohl wing of the charity's Hendon premises.

The idea is that as well as making a donation to attend a Chai Promise function, guests will pledge to host their own event. Twenty people have already committed to holding a fundraiser. The money will go to Chai's children and family support service.


Small talk makes sense in Birmingham

By Jessica Elgot, July 15, 2010

Birmingham Central Synagogue is set to sell its synagogue building to a care home developer and transform its community centre into a smaller shul.

The 200-member Edgbaston congregation has been investigating selling the 700-seat synagogue for two years. Housing Association Optima was in negotiations to buy the premises last summer but pulled out after losing some government funding.


Brighton's cover story

By Cecily Woolf, July 15, 2010

Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation members have been given an update on building work at the congregation's historic Middle Street synagogue.

Chairman Martyn Cooperman told the shul's annual meeting that essential repairs to the roof costing £460,000 had been completed.

English Heritage gave a £319,000 grant and a further £100,000 was taken from the proceeds from the sale of the cottage at the back of the synagogue. The remainder was met from shul funds.