Community life

Glasgow rabbi steps up to perform at Independence Day

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

Glasgow's very own guitar man stepped into the breach on Independence Day when the scheduled Israeli entertainers were stranded by the flight chaos.

Newton Mearns minister Rabbi Danny Bergson entertained the 300 guests at a party in Giffnock, with the musical assistance of Josh Cowan.

Face painting and cupcake decoration were among a variety of activities for children and families.


More than 800 celebrate Israeli in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

Eight hundred people turned out for the Manchester community's Yom Ha'atzmaut party at the Sheridan Suite in the north of the city on Tuesday.

In the absence of Israeli entertainers because of the air travel disruption, guitarist and Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute student Sruli Portnoy, 19, son of the Hale community's Rabbi Joel Portnoy, was the musical headliner.

"They pulled me in about three hours before the event," he said. Ironically, Mr Portnoy was available as he had been unable to get a flight out of England.


TV star Joel Weiner joins big Bnei Akiva event

April 22, 2010

Schoolboy Joel Weiner, who found fame this week as one of the questioners of Brown, Cameron and Clegg in the first party leaders' TV debate, was back on more familiar territory on Monday.

The Bnei Akiva member was one of over 1,000 people at the BA celebration at Finchley Synagogue, the country's biggest Independence Day event.

Joel said: "There was the most fantastic atmosphere and everyone felt the great vibe, celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut with Bnei Akiva and such a big crowd."


Redbridge puts its talent on show for Israel

By Andrew Pentol, April 22, 2010

There was a carnival atmosphere at Jewish Care's Redbridge Community Centre on Monday night as the Yom Ha'atzmaut festivities served as a showcase for youthful talent.

Over 250 people enjoyed the party, many dressed in blue and white, waving Israeli flags and sporting flashing badges. It was one of a series of local events including celebrations at Jewish schools and a gala dinner.


Harold House celebrates Independence Day

April 22, 2010

A chocolate fountain was a sweet incentive to the 200 guests at Merseyside's Independence Day party at Harold House.

Assistant centre manager and event compere Adam Cailler said the response from locals justified the three months of planning. "Tonight's turnout goes to show that not only is Liverpool's Jewish community very much alive - it's thriving."

At the Southend and Westcliff event, £1,000 was raised for Israeli war disabled, including the proceeds from a raffle. Guests enjoyed falafel and a concert by Jewish community members.


ZF celebrates Yom Ha'atzmaut despite travel chaos

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

The Zionist Federation claimed a triumph out of disaster after its London concert to celebrate Israel's 62nd birthday fell victim to the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

With the Israeli stars of the show unable to travel, the ZF had 24 hours to put together a replacement Israeli-style informal party for 400 people at Logan Hall in Bloomsbury, featuring a London-based Israeli band, a singer and a comedian.


US chief's March of the Living

April 22, 2010

United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs says his participation in the March of the Living in Poland has strengthened his commitment to Holocaust education.

Mr Jacobs, who was accompanied by five US youth directors, witnessed the impact the march had on the young. "As the years go by, it becomes ever more urgent for people to hear testimony directly from survivors."

Mr Jacobs has committed £30,000 to Polish trips over the coming year.


Mill Hill's synagogue's £3.6m development plan

By Jay Grenby, April 22, 2010

The 200 Mill Hill Synagogue members who attended a Friday night dinner with the Chief Rabbi and Lady Sacks to mark the shul's 60th anniversary were given additional cause for celebration.
Shul chair Jerome Reback used the occasion to announce that a long-planned redevelopment had finally been given the green light.


Israelis teens share Yom Ha'atzmaut in the UK

By Robyn Rosen, April 22, 2010

Sixty Israeli teenagers from the Galil celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut with families in communities across England on a friendship building UJIA scheme.

Arriving on the last flight to Luton last Thursday before its closure because of the volcanic ash scare, the teens were here through the annual Magic Moments Living Bridge programme.


Shenley rabbi agrees to delay his departure

April 22, 2010

The Shenley Synagogue minister who announced his departure in March, saying that he and the community "were not a good fit" has now agreed to stay on for a further year.

Rather than leave Shenley with his family at the end of June, Rabbi Natan Levy will remain until June 2011, when he plans to make aliyah.