Community life

Funding initiative to secure jobs in Leeds

By Ruth Leslie, December 9, 2009

A funding initiative has been launched in Leeds to restore two community services.

A voluntary levy of £3 per month is to be added to each householders’ synagogue fees to fund a post at Leeds Jewish Initiative, which provided social and educational activities for the 18-to-35s, until its closure last month. The extra funding will also pay for a community development officer, left vacant when Neil Clarke left in September.

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WJR collects supplies for Winter Survival

December 9, 2009

Over 4,000 bags of essential supplies for impoverished Jews in Eastern Europe have been collected through World Jewish Relief’s Operation Winter Survival campaign.

Donations of warm clothes, toiletries and nappies have come from families, shuls, schools and cheders.

Finchley Reform congregant Debra Brunner recently went to Belarus to help distribute WJR bags to clients such as Marina, a 43-year-old woman living with her husband and two children in a cramped two-bedroom flat.

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Bournemouth Masorti's first Shabbaton

By Corinne Rein, December 9, 2009

The fledgling Bournemouth Masorti attracted 80 people to its first Shabbaton.

Organiser Adrian Yonace said that the event’s services “were held in a spirit of warmth and sincerity. This was an ideal way to round off our first quarter as Masorti enthusiasts.”

Services at the Carrington House Hotel event were led by Masorti’s Rabbi Chaim Weiner and Michael Gluckman and Ben Russell, national director of Noam, the Masorti youth movement.

Set up three months ago, the group has held weekly services in members’ houses.

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Harry Potter star leads Mersey farewells

By Cathy Forman, December 9, 2009

Actor Jason Isaacs has led the tributes to his uncle Lennie Isaacs, the JC’s Liverpool correspondent for 15 years, who died last week aged 70.

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Local heroes take centre stage in Leeds

By Hayden Cohen, December 9, 2009

A Holocaust survivor who has addressed schools across the country about his experiences was among the winners of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board’s annual pride awards, which attracted over 4,000 votes from the local community.

Arek Hersh, an MBE for his services to Holocaust education, said he could barely find words to express his feelings on receiving a special achievement award. “I travel to Poland, taking groups to Auschwitz every year, sometimes twice a year. I go round to schools, universities and various other organisations giving talks.”

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Overseas aid charity sets out its green manifesto

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2009

In the week of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, international aid charity Tzedek has announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent.

Tzedek also intends to become a "zero waste" organisation, maintaining a sustainable procurement policy favouring local suppliers and further promoting vegetarian food at its events.

"Implementing these policies will not be easy, but this is an issue that is central to achieving our mission statement," said Tzedek executive director Dan Berelowitz.

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St John's Wood panel improves environment

December 9, 2009

Three “green gurus” featured in a book on environmental movers and shakers co-edited by Liberal Jewish Synagogue member Louella Miles addressed a meeting at her shul in St John’s Wood.

The speakers were Paul Dickinson, chief executive of Carbon Disclosure; John Elkington, an international expert on sustainable development and John Grant, author of the Green Marketing Manifesto. BBC presenter Edward Stourton chaired their discussion, which attracted an audience of 150.

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Bus link is backed by Boris

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2009

An intervention by Boris Johnson has prompted a potential U-turn by Transport for London over a direct bus link between Golders Green and Stamford Hill.

In June, TfL announced that it “could not justify the cost of introducing a direct service”. However, it has now agreed to a request from the mayor to reconsider extending the 210 bus route.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “He has listened to voices advocating such a link and, although no commitment has been made, he is keen for TfL to explore all options.”

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Schools unite in interfaith celebration

December 9, 2009

Pupils at the Akiva Primary in Finchley were joined by their Catholic counterparts from the neighbouring St Theresa’s School to celebrate the presentation of an award to interfaith relations pioneer Sir Sigmund Sternberg by the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

The pupils gave performances about Chanucah and Christmas before Sir Sigmund received a star to add to his papal knighthood, awarded in 1985 in recognition of efforts to promote relations between Jews and Catholics.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also addressed the gathering.

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Chief praises leading couple

By Jay Grenby, December 9, 2009

Lord Sacks told Northwood Synagogue congregants on Sunday that Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman and his wife Ilana made an “outstanding” team.

Conducting the induction of Rabbi Freedman, the Chief Rabbi reminded guests that with the couple respectively holding a Ph.D in medical physics and a degree in pharmacology, they could offer both spiritual and physical support.

“If one doesn’t work, they can try the other,” he suggested. “And as your new rabbi is a specialist in non-invasive surgery, either way, it won’t hurt!”

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