Community life

A friend in Wittenberg

May 7, 2009

Masorti’s senior rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg addressed a Trafalgar Square rally on Monday urging the government to grant citizenship to 450,000 long-term migrants.

“The story of the stranger is our story also,” Rabbi Wittenberg told an audience of 25,000 people including trade union members, MPs and faith leaders at the Strangers into Citizens event. “All too often we have been exiles, refugees, seeking a safe haven to become good citizens.” Rabbi Wittenberg’s mother fled to the UK from Nazi Germany.

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Peace duo on visit

By James Martin, May 7, 2009

Two prominent speakers in the campaign to bring peaceful dialogue to the Middle East have been touring the country this week.

Former Palestinian resistance fighter Ali Abu Awwad and Israeli Robi Damelin have been speaking on behalf of the UK Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum, a group that supports the work of the Israel-based BFF which campaigns for peaceful dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

The pair spoke to around 200 people at a fundraising dinner in the West End about the efforts of the forum in promoting greater understanding about the conflict to both sides.

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Call for eruv in Muswell Hill

By Leon Symons, May 7, 2009

Muswell Hill Rabbi David Mason chose his induction speech at the synagogue on Sunday to reveal that he wanted to start work on an eruv for the north London community.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Rosh (head) Beth Din Dayan Menachem Gelley looked on as Rabbi Mason told the congregation that the synagogue would continue to be “an attractive and inspiring option for young families who live in the area and who may be unaffiliated or considering joining synagogues of other bodies.

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I had to tweet on my feet

By Isabel Janner, April 30, 2009

Self-proclaimed techno geek Greg Allon “tweeted” his way though the marathon on his wife’s iPhone as he ran in aid of Myeloma UK. “Twitter was a brilliant way of keeping people involved and raising publicity,” he reported. “I even got sponsorship from people I’ve never met.”

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Improving with age

April 30, 2009

What are the racing secrets of the oldest London Marathon entrant?

According to 84-year-old Paul Freedman, they are “to keep active, do as much charity work as possible and have a sense of humour”.

Mr Freedman has taken part in all but one of the last 19 London events — the sole exception was because of a heart attack. A lifelong commitment to fundraising was recognised in 2008 with the award of an MBE.

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Head is a class act

April 30, 2009

Pupils from Southgate’s Wolfson Hillel Primary joined the marathon crowds to watch headteacher Jason Marantz run in aid of Camp Simcha, assisting children with life-threatening illnesses.

His weekly training regime gave a new slant to the school run as he often jogged the seven miles home from work: “It was fun for the children to see, and provided a bit of a talking point with the parents.” But his preparation paid off with a finishing time of 4 hours 38 minutes.

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Sister’s tribute challenge

April 30, 2009

Laura Roth ran for Children in Crisis in honour of her brother Nicholas, who died in a climbing accident in Nicaragua in November 2004.

“As a lawyer, my brother did lots of pro bono work to help underprivileged children around the world, so running for Children in Crisis was the obvious choice,” the Finchley resident explained.

“Already being a bit of a gym-goer, it’s the fundraising rather than the exercise that amazed me. To raise so much money for such a worthwhile cause is one of the most humbling experiences of my life.”

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Running in the family

By Isabel Janner, April 30, 2009

Herts father-and-daughter Max Furman and Laura Margolis ran to raise over £7,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre.

Laura’s husband Adam was diagnosed with MS 2 years ago and Mr Furman said it had been hard for the couple, “especially as they have two small children. There’s nothing I can really do for Adam, but I thought if I ran for an MS charity, it would be helping him in some small way.”

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Step towards school move

By Cathy Forman, April 30, 2009

Plans to move Ilford Jewish Primary School to a new building next to King Solomon High in Barkingside advanced this week.

A Redbridge Council cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday recommended that council officers be given permission to negotiate with the primary school owners, a United Synagogue trust, to buy the IJPS site.

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Big turnout at screen tests

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 30, 2009

Over 600 Manchester Jews responded to an appeal to attend a bone marrow screening drive on Sunday in support of local leukaemia suffer Leora Kuhillow, whose story was reported in Community last week.

Such was the level of interest that organisers had to turn people away from the Hilton Suite venue in Prestwich. Separate men’s and women’s testing areas were provided in deference to religious sensibilities.

Organiser Lisa Cohen-Binder says that those who could not be screened could be tested at their GP or at a follow-up drive in south Manchester next month.

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