Community life

New president of League of Jewish Women

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

The new president of the League of Jewish Women lists her top priority as the organisation's survival over the next 10 years.

Marilyn Brummer, 68, identifies a need for a re-energised membership, but acknowledges that changing women's priorities are making recruitment difficult for a voluntary work organisation.


Wizo: close bonds pay

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

One of Manchester's most successful Israel support groups has said close bonds between members is the key behind its strength.

North Cheshire Wizo has raised an estimated £300,000 in its 50-year history, despite beginning as a crowd of young mothers in 1960 in the home of the current co-chairman, Ruth Fink who shares the role with Rae Ingelby.

"We were all pregnant at the time, there were a lot of young children while we made coffee mornings to raise money," said Mrs Fink.


Whitefield's discovery lessons are on course

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

Nineteen young women have graduated from the Batmitzvah Discovery course run by Chabad of Whitefield.
The students began the course, organised by Sora Jaffe and Bassie Niasoff, in October and have been learning about what it means to become a Jewish woman and about famous Jewish women throughout history.


Stronger beat for Mersey youth

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

An "ask the rabbi" event has been held in Liverpool as part of a multi-venue programme organised by Adam Cailler in his new role as community activities co-ordinator.

The former assistant manager of Harold House is working under the auspices of UJIA, the King David Foundation and Merseyside Jewish Representative Council.

"Previously, all events, dinners, and speakers took place in Harold House," the 20-year-old explained.

"When Harold House closed down, it was an opportunity to use all the other facilities and communal buildings that were not being used."


Transplant patient urges screen tests

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

A bone marrow screening session has been arranged at Gatley's Yeshurun Synagogue on Sunday in response to an appeal from an academic with leukaemia.

Professor Steve Rothberg, a 44-year-old father of two from Loughborough, was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2009. After four failed courses of chemotherapy and four donor drives, a donor has been found for him in Germany and he will undergo a bone marrow transplant in August.


Cofnas is to quit Childwall

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

Childwall Synagogue rabbi Lionel Cofnas has announced his retirement after 30 years in the Merseyside pulpit.

He plans to move to Manchester next summer after standing down and eventually to make aliyah.

"We have had a good relationship together even though it may have changed over the years," he said this week.


Keeping simchahs kosher

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Efforts to stem the trend of non-kosher barmitzvah celebrations in Manchester have been urged by delegates to the city's Council of Synagogues.

Monday's AGM of the Orthodox representative body agreed to investigate whether families could be asked to sign an agreement committing to serve supervised food.

Council life vice-president Shalom Goldblatt said that "a barmitzvah is the beginning of adult Jewish life, so it's not appropriate to celebrate it with a treife do".


Leeds gets it man for youth work

July 15, 2010

VSagi Yechezkel is the new Leeds youth director and will co-ordinate activities at the three Orthodox synagogues.

The 19-year-old, who is taking childhood studies at Leeds University, is the first local-raised person to hold the post - and the first to be appointed by a combined committee representing the United Hebrew, Beth Hamidrash Hagadol and Etz Chaim congregations.

He believes his local knowledge will help him tap into what youngsters want.

"I had a meeting with 15 kids. They want more informal education, more things during the week, more outings and sport activities.


More opt for schools

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Northern Jewish schools are anticipating a bumper pupil crop in September with the best admissions numbers in years.

Manchester's Kind David Primary and High schools and Leeds' Brodetsky Primary report full intakes for the new academic year.

North Cheshire Jewish Primary says it is oversubscribed and has had to consider appeal cases.

North Cheshire head Jackie Savage says the school received 48 applications for 45 places.


Kosher addition

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

South Manchester Jews will have an eat-out option from Sunday when a new coffee shop begins offering kosher sandwiches and hot beverages.

Serious Coffee, in Hale Barns, has gained such a strong Jewish following in its first month of trading that its owner has responded to requests for kosher items.

A range of sealed sandwiches and wrapped cakes will be available alongside its non-kosher foods. Owner Peter Bardsley has gone as far as offering kosher milk for cappuccinos and hot chocolate.