Community life

Charity shops are feeling the pinch

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Educational charity Ort has closed its only fundraising store as reduced donations, high rents and cash-strapped customers have taken their toll on Jewish charity shops.

Ort’s Finchley shop was shut down because of rising rent. “It was never really making that much money,” explained British Ort chairman Simon Alberga.

“We had a disagreement with the landlord over what the rent should be and have been planning the closure since then. In the current environment, it’s not the best time to relocate.”

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Solomon gets Scots and interfaith roles

By Simon Rocker, September 17, 2009

Rabbi Mark Solomon has left the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood, after nine years to take up a new role as interfaith consultant for Liberal Judaism.

He has also become part-time rabbi of Sukkat Shalom, Edinburgh’s Liberal community, and will take services over the High Holy-Days.

Rabbi Solomon, a trustee of the Interfaith Alliance UK, said that “Jewish-Muslim links are very important these days, but I hope to build links more widely as well”.

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Salford school seeing double with £3m plan

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2009

A £3.5 million rebuilding project will enable the Salford Chasidic community’s oldest school to double its capacity.

The private Chinuch Norim Primary is to construct a four-storey complex on the site of its 50-year-old building.

Two-hundred parents and community members gathered on Sunday for the laying of the cornerstone

ceremony.

Planning permission was granted three years ago to replace the current premises, which accommodate 250 pupils.

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Booming heritage market

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

More than 15,000 Jews and non-Jews have visited historic UK synagogues and Jewish heritage sites over recent weekends as part of the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage programme.

Heritage trails, concerts, exhibitions and talks were among over 90 events in the 10-day calendar, organised in partnership between B’nai B’rith Europe and the European Council of Jewish Communities.

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A volley good show from Ross

By Ben Jaglom, September 17, 2009

Jonathan Ross and Jimmy Carr brought star quality to a tennis tournament at the Chandos club in Golders Green on Tuesday which raised £3,500 for a charity founded by a young pancreatic cancer victim.

Jason Boas, who died last November, aged 34, had set up No Surrender to support young people with cancer and the charity is now overseen by his father Barry.

Ross, a Chandos member, said the event had been “a great opportunity not only to contribute towards a great cause but to meet up with people I don’t get to see as much as I would like to”.

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Synagogue attendance is not essential for JCoSS admission

September 17, 2009

The revised admissions policy for the Jewish Community Secondary School launching in Barnet next September was explained to 1,100 parents and prospective pupils at an open day on Sunday.

As with other Jewish schools, JCoSS has been reviewing its admissions criteria following a Court of Appeal judgment in June. In line with its commitment to be open to all Jews, synagogue attendance does not necessarily have to be a condition of entry. However, JCoSS will require evidence of shul membership or proof of two of three other conditions.

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Takeover move at Bloom's

September 17, 2009

The defunct Bloom’s restaurant in Edgware has been taken over by the owner of Anglo-Jewry’s biggest poultry abattoir.

Stephen Grossman, who runs the LewcoPak operation in Bedfordshire, plans to reopen the restaurant after Succot. But it is uncertain whether it will operate under the Bloom’s banner.

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Manchester plots modern youth club

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2009

A meeting space for south Manchester teenagers is being created in an attempt to reinvent the Jewish youth club for the current generation.

The intention is to launch The Hub in large open-plan premises in Hale Barns by November and organisers will leave it up to members to decide how to fill the space. Young company directors and professionals are behind the project and are in final negotiations to lease an 8,000 square foot building. Half the £120,000 needed for the project has been raised.

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Young fundraisers answer call to No.10

September 17, 2009

Sarah Brown welcomed four bar- and batmitzvah celebrants to 10 Downing Street to mark the formal launch of a UJIA scheme to encourage teenage philanthropy.

Gabi Mendelsohn, Ella Krikler, Jake Libson and Sally Patterson are among the first participants in myfund, promoting charitable giving within the Jewish or wider community. Also present was Jacob Harris, who will be signing up next year.

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MP admires Charedi housing

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Political praise for the Agudas Israel Housing Association’s recession-busting work for the Charedi community in Stamford Hill and beyond was expressed at its AGM.

Hackney North Labour MP Diane Abbott wished “all the social housing in Hackney was kept as nicely as Agudas [sites]. If you have Agudas as a neighbour, you will have beautiful properties, beautifully designed and beautifully maintained.”

London’s Deputy Mayor Sir Simon Milton hailed the association as “a credit to the Jewish community, to Hackney and to London”.

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