Community life

Watford members visit Auschwitz

By Jay Grenby, April 22, 2010

Twenty-one Watford Synagogue members have returned from a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau determined to raise awareness of the Holocaust.

Led by Rabbi Barry Marcus of the Central Synagogue, the group toured the death camp site before reciting kaddish and lighting memorial candles. There was just time for a brief tour of Krakow and a minchah service in the sole remaining operational synagogue in the once-thriving Jewish quarter.


Firm sued dead woman daughter's rent

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

A property firm that sued a dead Jewish woman over rent for her daughter's student accommodation has apologised and withdrawn its legal action.

The Manchester family of Susan Ellis, who died of leukaemia in January, were outraged when Leeds property firm Parklane pursued a rent claim for a flat Victoria Ellis never occupied. Ms Ellis had dropped out of university to nurse her dying mother. But after last week's JC report and other media coverage, Parklane agreed to drop the claim for £2,200 and donate the same amount to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.


The Who's Roger Daltrey tours Norwood

By Robyn Rosen, April 22, 2010

Norwood was number one for rock legend Roger Daltrey when he toured a Stanmore-based service offering employment training and opportunities for adults with learningdifficulties.

The Who singer was joined by fellow musicians Russ Ballard, Nick Newall, Jackie Rawe and Steve Smith and Norwood president Richard Desmond for the formal launch of the RD Crusaders WorkHub.

All are members of Mr Desmond's "supergroup" the RD Crusaders, for which he is the drummer, and the centre was funded by a £1 million donation from concert proceeds.


Mental Health centre attemps to change attitudes

April 22, 2010

Six members of the Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill's Golders Green day centre have given Jami supporters an insight into their conditions.

In an interlude during a concert by classical pianist David Silkoff at Burgh House in Hampstead, the six recited poems they had written about themselves.

Jami's Einat Gilad-Kingsley said the aim had been "to change the way the Jewish community views people with mental health difficulties, so we can hopefully promote the idea that there is a person behind the label.


Matt Lucas hosts quiz to help Alan Senitt Trust

By Jay Grenby, April 22, 2010

Matt Lucas took on the role of genial quizmaster at a fundraiser in Elstree on Sunday in aid of the Alan Senitt Trust and Northwick Park hospital radio station.

The Little Britain star's appearance helped to attract a 300 capacity crowd. He is a patron of the trust, set up by the Senitt family in memory of the young Jewish activist and interfaith worker who was murdered in America four years ago. Mr Lucas also knows the Senitts well from his younger days at Edgware Reform Synagogue.

He spoke of the loss felt by the community at Mr Senitt's passing.


Antisemitic crime drops in Barnet

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

Barnet, home to Britain's biggest Jewish population, has reported a significant drop in racist and religious hate crime and an increase in catching the perpetrators.

There were 284 racist offences during the 2009/10 year, which ended in March, compared to 428 in the previous 12 months.

Up from 35 per cent to 50 per cent was the rate of clear-up - where police identify the culprits and a punishment is applied ranging from a caution to a prison sentence.


Kosher restaurant wanted for stately home

By Robyn Rosen, April 15, 2010

Kosher facilities are among a list of requests from Finchley residents campaigning for a stately home and park to become more accessible to the community.

Avenue House currently provides facilities for weddings and conferences but residents are writing to its trust to ask for a new kitchen to be set up for kosher catering.

More than 50 families are involved in the campaign and organisers hope another 300 people will sign up.

"The demographic of the area is primarily Jewish," said Jason Lurie, one of the campaign leaders.


More than 1000 attend Chief Rabbi's Yom HaShoah

By Jay Grenby, April 15, 2010

Close on 1,000 people took up the Chief Rabbi's open invitation to attend a Yom Hashoah ceremony at Edgware Synagogue, hailed as "a prototype of a Holocaust service for a new generation".

Lord Sacks was among the speakers and the event also incorporated readings, choral and instrumental music and audio-visual material displayed on giant screens.

Another contributor was 18-year-old Hayley Marks from Stanmore, a participant in a trip to Poland last year organised by the United Synagogue youth arm, Tribe.


Interfaith cricket scheme praised in Leeds

By Simon Rocker, April 15, 2010

An interfaith cricket scheme launched by Leeds Jewish Representative Council has been showcased nationally as a model of bridge-building between communities.

It is the recipient of a £12,000 "Faith in Action" grant from the government-sponsored Community Development Foundation. The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester has received a similar sum for a variety of interfaith ventures.

The Leeds scheme is one of 19 featured in Faith Matters, a new booklet from the CDF highlighting local success stories.


Survivor leads March of the Living in Poland

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller led a British delegation at the annual March of the Living in Poland this week.

Vienna-born Mr Knoller joined other survivors and thousands of students from around the world on the three-kilometre route from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Monday.

He was invited by the Austrian government to participate in the march, coinciding with Yom Hashoah, the remembrance day for Holocaust victims.