Community life

Cemetery plan battle is won

By Robyn Rosen, August 19, 2010

Four synagogue groups have won an eight-year battle to extend a Jewish cemetery in Barnet.

An independent inspector has supported an appeal against Barnet Council's rejection of expansion plans for Edgwarebury Lane cemetery last October - a decision taken against the recommendation of its officer. Barnet will also have to meet the costs of the appeal.


Bradford makes most of Yorkshire's oldest shul

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010

Bradford Reform can boast an architecturally extravagant synagogue, but there is nothing outlandish about its expenditure.

Saved from closure by a £5,000 heritage grant last year, the small community leads a hand-to-mouth existence, reliant on the support of outside donors.

"Every day there are tiny little miracles," says fundraising manager Rachel Yosef. "We have people who come to us out of the blue with donations. But it's never easy. This place has been on the point of shutting down since it was built."


Widow 'held to ransom' in burial fees row

By Cathy Forman, August 13, 2010

A 79-year-old widow claims she is not being allowed to erect a headstone for her husband for refusing to pay an additional burial fee which is at the heart of a long-running dispute between Birmingham's two Orthodox synagogues.


'Glee' chazan to launch new Glasgow service

By Stephanie Brickman, August 13, 2010

Masorti Scotland is transferring its operations from the historic Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow's West End to a scout hut in Newton Mearns.

But Masorti Scotland chair Warren Bader insists the move has nothing to do with initial difficulties at Garnethill, when some community members voiced concern that a Masorti presence might give the impression that Garnethill was no longer Orthodox.


Chabad aims for Fringe benefits at Edinburgh Festival

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010

Among the street performers and acrobats on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the local Chabad group has been handing out kosher snacks and encouraging Jewish visitors to this month's Fringe Festival to lay tefillin.

Rabbi Pinny Weinman and two New York yeshivah students, Yaakov Hecht, 19, and Herschy Hecht, 17, have set up a stall close to Edinburgh Castle, where performers gather to hand out flyers for the 2,000-plus shows.

Rabbi Weinman said that proximity to the castle was like "being a part of history, like being near the Western Wall.


Shul agrees fast Yom Kippur finish

By Stephanie Brickman, August 13, 2010

Yom Kippur services will be the swansong for Glasgow's Netherlee, Clarkston and Queens Park Congregation, which is closing after 70 years.

Around 150 members at an EGM also discussed plans to sell the building, but this will not be formally approved until more details are known.

Assets such as stained glass windows and scrolls will be found new homes.


The 'Harvey Nicks' of charity retail

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010

The Leeds Jewish charity shop known as the "Harvey Nicks of Moortown" marked its third anniversary this week with cupcakes and "birthday bags". More than 100 people flocked to the Wellfair shop, donating 67 bags of goods.

Wellfair sells clothes, shoes, toys and bric-a-brac in aid of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.

LJWB chief executive Rebecca Weinberg said the "Harvey Nicks" tag was because of "our reputation for designer labels.

"In these uncertain times, the ability to generate earned income in addition to our usual fundraising activities is critical.


Fight against EU kosher meat plan

By Leon Symons, August 13, 2010

Manchester Beth Din and Kashrus Authority is joining Shechitah UK to fight a European Union proposal that shechitah items be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".

The authority - which will formally announce its support at a public meeting in October - sees the EU plan as a serious threat to shechitah in Britain.


Caring for Herts

August 12, 2010

To meet the needs of the growing Hertfordshire Jewish community, Norwood's family support service is branching out into Elstree.

Although social workers and other staff at the charity's Kennedy Leigh Family Centre in Hendon already assist many Herts families, a Wednesday morning service will be available at Allum Lane Community Centre from October.

Family support service manager Eileen Martell said Norwood was "committed to providing a safety net to the children and families in the community who need it most.


Political business

By Jay Grenby, August 12, 2010

A talk by Watford's new Tory MP Richard Harrington attracted almost four dozen people to a Watford Jewish Business Club meeting.

After an introduction by Rabbi Ephraim Levine of Watford Synagogue, where Mr Harrington is a member, the MP spoke on how being Jewish had impacted on his business and political life.

The meeting was organised by Shimon Shaw, one of a number of Jewish personnel at the Watford branch of the leading law firm that hosts the club's get-togethers every other month.

He said the the formula of business networking and prominent speakers had proven popular.