Community life

New girls' primary planned for north London

By Robyn Rosen, October 22, 2009

Strictly Orthodox parents who have been unable to find acceptable school places for their children have joined forces to create a new religious primary school for girls in north London.

Over 40 people attended a meeting last week to discuss plans for the Bnos Beis Yaakov School. Educational phil-anthropist Benjamin Perl will be the patron and honorary president and St John’s Wood Synagogue leader Richard Harounoff will chair the project.

The committee is searching for premises, preferably in Golders Green, Hendon or Finchley, and hope to open next September.

More..

Michael Howard praises Nightingale

October 22, 2009

Michael Howard spoke movingly about the care given by Nightingale to his late mother Hilda in an address to its biennial dinner, which raised over £1 million.

Before over 500 Nightingale supporters at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday, the former Tory leader praised the south London home as “a shining beacon in the area of care for the elderly”.

More..

Welsh display gets £19k

October 15, 2009

A forthcoming exhibition on Jewish life in north Wales has received a £19,000 grant from Beacon for Wales.

Dr Nathan Abrams and Dr Sally Baker from Bangor University are planning a touring exhibition of university and other venues during the spring and summer of 2010.

It will incorporate screenings of the 1998 film Solomon and Gaenor, which explores the relationship between a Jewish/Welsh couple in the south Wales coalfields in the pre-First World War period.

More..

Reform 'deeply worried' on funds

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Reform leaders have warned supporters about the impact of the recession on activities.

Addressing over 200 guests at the Movement for Reform Judaism’s annual dinner in central London, movement head Rabbi Tony Bayfield said he was “deeply worried about the remainder of this year and next year. We get no government grants, no public funding. We are entirely dependent upon private individuals.

“Never more than now do we need you to commit wholeheartedly to the future that you see.”

More..

Austrian youth meets Shoah survivors

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

An Austrian student who has spent a year working with Holocaust survivors in Britain says the experience has made “a huge impact” on him.

Philipp Engel, 19, has finished his stint with the London Jewish Cultural Centre's Holocaust and anti-racism education department as part of the Gedenkdienst (servants to memory) scheme.

Run in conjunction with the Austrian Commemorative Service, the scheme sends 20 young Austrians to work for a year at sites related to Holocaust education, as an alternative to compulsory national service.

More..

Sem graduate is first for cantor role at Reform

October 15, 2009

New Finchley Reform appointment Zöe Jacobs is the first graduate of a seminary programme to work as a cantor in a UK Reform congregation.

Cantor Jacobs graduated recently from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, in New York. She led High Holy-Day services at Finchley and will also be co-ordinating Jewish music projects for the Reform movement.

More..

Jews schmooze in city festival

By Joseph Cohen, October 15, 2009

The community in Northern Ireland is to make its mark on the cultural calendar with a series of events to raise awareness of Judaism.

Belfast’s Lord Mayor Councillor Naomi Long and the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Nelson McCausland were among 70 guests who attended Belfast Hebrew Congregation for Tuesday’s launch of “Jews Schmooze”.

Mr McCausland said: “I am delighted to show my support for Jews Schmooze and the invaluable work that the Belfast Jewish community and others undertake to build awareness and understanding of Jewish culture in the wider community.”

More..

Minister praises Jewish schools' high standards

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Schools secretary Ed Balls has praised the work of faith schools and emphasised the “high standards” he has seen at Jewish schools.

Mr Balls addressed more than 150 faith school teachers during the Keeping Faith in the System conference this week in central London. Representatives from Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Beis Yaakov High School, Salford and Clore Tikva School in Ilford were among those who attended.

More..

Racist attack on Manchester teen

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 15, 2009

North Manchester police are investigating an antisemitic assault on a 16-year-old boy as he walked home with his family from synagogue on Shabbat.

Witnesses saw one white and one Asian man shouting racist abuse at passers-by from a black car parked on Kings Road in Prestwich.

“They then got out of the car,” said one witness. “I saw one of them smack the boy in front of his mother and two sisters.

“The attacker fell as he punched and, rather embarrassingly, his trousers fell down.”

The car was later seen following two other young Jewish boys.

More..

Sent packing for survival plan

October 15, 2009

Schools, shuls and individuals have responded positively to World Jewish Relief’s Operation Winter Survival to provide essential items for impoverished Jewish families in Eastern Europe.

Many organisations have planned group “packathons” to fill survival bags with donated warm clothes and toiletries. Members of United, Reform, Liberal and Masorti communities have joined forces for a Herts collection. In Kenton, Sobell Sinai primary pupils have adopted the project as part of a programme about the importance of helping deprived and vulnerable communities worldwide.

More..