Community life

New religious director for Manchester care village

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Reverend Keith Rosen is the new religious director of Heathlands Care Village in Manchester and will focus on training staff in Jewish religious practices.

Succeeding Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Mr Rosen arrives in the wake of the local welfare merger which has seen Heathlands became part of the Federation of Jewish Services.


Brodetsky snow closure on new head's second day

January 7, 2010

Jeremy Dunford faced his first major decision as head of Leeds’ Brodetsky Jewish Primary just two days into the job when heavy snow forced the school’s closure on Tuesday.

“It was a difficult decision and an interesting way to start my time at Brodetsky,” said Mr Dunford, 42. “We attempted to stay open but very few pupils came in and all but one of the senior members of staff were unable to get in.

“Plans have been adjusted now to allow for easier management of the site and routes into school which should allow it to stay open in future when there is snowfall.”


US funds MRI as autopsy alternative

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

The United Synagogue is offering to pay up to £1,700 for non-invasive MRI scans as an alternative to a surgical autopsy for members.

It has taken the decision in the light of concern over the increasing number of surgical post-mortems carried out on Jews against their families’ wishes and halachah.

Last year, 80 autopsies were conducted on deceased congregants, almost double the total for 2008.


Financial scare for Manchester museum

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Manchester Jewish Museum remains in financial turmoil despite government support and a strong communal response to its survival appeal.

Director Stuart Hilton revealed that a contribution had been promised by the Department of Communities in recognition of the museum’s cross-communal educational work. It hosts up to 500 school groups each year from across the north of England, but numbers have fallen during the recession.


Snow shuts schools and welfare services

By Jonathan Kalmus and Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

Heavy snow in the north on Tuesday threw Jewish school and welfare services into chaos. And there were problems for London communal organisations as the snow reached the capital on Wednesday.

In Manchester, there was no school for the Manchester King David’s 1,400 infant, junior and high school pupils. Snow was 12 inches deep in the playgrounds on Tuesday morning and infant school governors’ chair Simon Rosenthal said some staff had walked four miles to the Crumpsall premises, having been unable to travel by car or tram. “It’s just impossible,” he said.


Emergency snow line for pensioners in Maidenhead

By Robyn Rosen in Maidenhead, December 29, 2009

Maidenhead Synagogue volunteers organised an emergency welfare check on elderly community members after heavy snow fell in the Thames Valley area.

The shul’s minister, Rabbi Jonathan Romain, was among those who phoned senior congregants living alone, checking on their well-being and, where necessary, delivering essential supplies.

“Synagogues are not just for Shabbat, but to be there to assist members in all sorts of circumstances, especially times when those alone are cut off and feel helpless,” Rabbi Romain said. “That is what community is all about.”


Masorti rabbis "virtual chaplaincy"

By Robyn Rosen, December 29, 2009

A “virtual chaplaincy” of Masorti rabbis has been launched to encourage young adults to engage in Jewish life without the need to join a shul.

The strategy is part of the relaunch of Marom, Masorti’s young adults and student division.

Movement director Matt Plen said the wider community was struggling to keep young adults involved in Judaism. “The community here is very good at working with youth, but that breaks down when people turn 18 and go to university. People of that age are very resistant to a framework of commitment.


CST welcomes extra police patrols

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 29, 2009

The Community Security Trust has welcomed the launch of a police campaign against antisocial behaviour in Prestwich after a rise in incidents of intimidation by groups of youths. Notices have been posted in local synagogues urging people to inform police about the offenders, who are thought to come from outside the main Jewish areas.

Funding has been sought from Bury Council to facilitate larger numbers of foot patrols by police officers across Prestwich. PC Andy Ferguson says the aim is to reassure residents.


Police: £20k for Jewish pensioner murder leads

By Robyn Rosen, December 29, 2009

A £20,000 reward is being offered for information on the murder of a Jewish pensioner in Stamford Hill a year ago.

Eveline “Lina” Kelmenson, 83, was discovered by police with her legs bound by duct tape in the top-floor bedroom of her three-storey house in Leweston Place on January 1, 2009, after her niece raised the alarm.

Police have reissued an appeal for information and have released further details about items stolen from the house. These include a gold chain that Miss Kelmenson wore around her neck and a Russian gold wedding band which belonged to her grandmother.


King David schools to rely on Orthodox shul membership

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2009

Manchester’s King David schools will rely on membership to synagogues rather than Jewish practice as the test for its admissions policy following last week’s Supreme Court ruling on JFS.

King David chair of governors Joshua Rowe said as a school with an Orthodox ethos, it will give priority to children whose parents are members of an Orthodox synagogue, but parents will not have to prove they attend it.

“The mission is to keep it simple for parents and for the school. We want as many children to join the school in the situation we’re in after the ruling.”