Community life

Western Marble Arch treasurer quits

By Jay Grenby, March 4, 2010

Western Marble Arch Synagogue's "best ever" treasurer has quit in despair over the continuing friction between the shul and the Western Charitable Foundation, which is responsible for maintaining the synagogue premises.

Henry Ejdelbaum - whose prudent housekeeping over the past three years has slashed membership fees by up to 40 per cent - has explained his "personal and principled decision" to resign in a letter to the board and shul members.

"I thought I was going to be able to introduce positive changes but it became clear that this was an impossible task," he wrote.


Tube bosses promise to help Jewish community

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

Public buses for Jewish schools and better job possibilities for the Orthodox on the capital's transport system are to be considered by Transport for London after a meeting with rabbonim and other leading figures.

TfL organised the Hendon meeting to improve communication with the Jewish community and discuss commuting concerns, also including antisemitism on buses and calls for improved services between major Jewish areas.

A direct bus link between Stamford Hill and Golders Green was all but ruled out after TfL commissioner Peter Hendy said there were too many complications.


Hasmonean pupils 'Pay it Forward'

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

A Hasmonean pupil from Stanmore has introduced a programme to increase mitzvot in honour of his mother, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Pay it Forward was launched at the Hasmonean boys' and girls' schools last week, encouraging pupils to take on good deeds such as free babysitting and checking that mezuzot are kosher.

Josh Reindorp, 15, and his friend Refoel Sandler set up the scheme in honour of Josh's mother Shoshana, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer.


Special Report: Elderly care in Nightingale

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

Big is beautiful at Nightingale House, Britain's largest residential home, where the 200 residents are served by over 500 staff and volunteers and have access to a GP surgery, pharmacy, dentist, hairdressers and shul.

Nightingale has been offering residential and nursing care to elderly Jews in its Clapham premises for over 100 years. It opened in 1908 after banker and philanthropist Lord Wandsworth, the Viscount de Stern, purchased the Nightingale Lane building for £5,200. The first residents moved from the Home for Aged Jews in Hackney, created by the merger of three charities in 1894.


United Synagogue affiliates elect chair

By Simon Rocker, March 4, 2010

The United Synagogue's affiliated congregations have elected their own chairman to fight their corner against attempts by the US to remove theirspecial status.

Reynold Rosenberg, chairman of Welwyn Garden City, one of 16 affiliated US synagogues, will spearhead efforts to resolve the dispute with US leaders.

Affiliated congregations have greater independence and pay less towards US central services than constituent shuls.


Four new charities to help teens and families

By Leon Symons, March 4, 2010

Four new charities to help teenagers and families have risen from the ashes of a recession-hit one.

A year ago, the Northwest Clubhouse in Hendon was on the verge of closure after one of its main funders suffered heavy losses in the credit crunch.

"We had to see if there was some way of restructuring so that we could ensure somehow that the services we provided would continue," said one of its leaders, Harris Rosenberg. "We achieved that - and in fact the constituent parts have not only continued but have thrived in the ensuing year."


Rapper Eprhyme performs at Sandy’s Row shul

By Jessica Elgot, March 4, 2010

Music of a less traditional kind filled a historic East End synagogue on Monday night as a performance by New York rapper Eprhyme launched the Open Jewish Culture festival.


Step by Step expands

March 4, 2010

A Stamford Hill charity providing outings for Charedi children with disabilities has expanded its services to teenagers.

Step by Step organised a weekend at Skeet Hill House in Kent for 15 boys aged between 13 and 18, who enjoyed a programme including a trip to a wildlife park. It was arranged in conjunction with special needs charity Kisharon. Plans are afoot to offer further activities such as after-school sports.


Charedi anger at homes to be built on school site

By Leon Symons, March 4, 2010

Hackney Council has denied claims by local Charedi leaders that it reneged on an agreement to keep the site of a former school reserved for educational use.

The Lubavitch, Belz and Satmar groups have launched a campaign to oppose a plan to build luxury homes on the site of the former Skinners' School on Stamford Hill .

They intend to demonstrate at a planning committee meeting next week that will consider the application from Berkeley Homes. Letters of support have been sent by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Board of Deputies' president Vivian Wineman.


Rabbi Livingstone's leaves Hampstead Garden Suburb

March 4, 2010

In his valedictory sermon as Hampstead Garden Suburb minister, Rabbi Reuven Livingstone said he was "proud to have been the rabbi of a community that is now more diverse, friendlier and younger in its make-up".

However, he urged the Norrice Lea congregation to show "more empathy" for its next rabbi, observing: "This is a community where it's almost impossible to satisfy everyone."

Rabbi Livingstone will continue his interfaith work, which includes meetings with imams to discuss co-operation, as well as becoming a Forces chaplain.