Community life

BBC Any Questions at Wimbledon

July 29, 2010

Wimbledon Reform is the first synagogue to host a live edition of Radio 4's Any Questions.

A full house of 350 turned up for the programme, featuring human rights lawyer Dame Helena Kennedy, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, union boss Derek Simpson and writer AA Gill.

Questioners ranged from a 14-year-old boy on the Facebook tributes to Raoul Moat to 85-year-old actress Thelma Ruby, who was concerned about rising age limits for a free bus pass.

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Jewish girl's Haiti charity project

July 29, 2010

Borehamwood batmitzvah girl Sadie-Mae Arellano has raised nearly £300 for World Jewish Relief's Haiti emergency appeal by making and selling 100 tie dye T-shirts.

The Yavneh College pupil wanted to mark her batmitzvah by adopting a charity. "I thought it would be an important step in becoming a Jewish adult and taking responsibility to help others." She had been moved by "the shocking pictures of how the people of Haiti were suffering. I wanted to help and chose WJR's appeal."

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Hindus volunteer for Mitzvah Day

July 29, 2010

Mitzvah Day has joined forces with the Hindu community to promote the UK's biggest day of volunteering.

Around 20,000 volunteers are expected to support over 250 projects across the country on Mitzvah Day and the first Sewa Day on November 21.

Lynne Featherstone, Mike Freer and Matthew Offord are among MPs who have pledged their volunteering services.

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Tributes to Radlett rabbi

By Jay Grenby, July 29, 2010

The rift in the Radlett Synagogue leadership was put aside as members attended a farewell dinner and kiddush for Rabbi Ariel Abel, who resigned after five years as minister.

More than 120 guests heard tributes to the rabbi from United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs and Joel Sager, warden at neighbouring Borehamwood and occasional minister at Radlett.

There was also a contribution from former warden David Glover, one of the Radlett leaders who resigned saying they could no longer work with chairman Andy Katz.

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Asda store no longer kosher

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

Asda has stopped retailing kosher food at its Milton Keynes store but says the range may be restored if the demand if demonstrated.

Asda spokeswoman Daniela Hardy said: "We have taken out the kosher range but we value the opinions of our customers, so would consider making it available again if there was a groundswell of support for it in the local area.

"Our full kosher range is still available online and is constantly reviewed."

Earlier this month, we reported that Asda had removed kosher items from its store in Liverpool's Sefton Park, again citing poor sales.

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Brodetsky gives its pupils a taste of the great outdoors

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Local councillors and residents visited Leeds' Brodetsky Jewish Primary to officially open three new building projects.

Over recent months the school has added a nursery play area and a multi-use sports pitch. A specially constructed nature teaching area known as the Outdoor School was dedicated to Sam Gitlic by his family, who had funded the £10,000 facility in his memory.

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School's out for Ilford teacher after 40 years

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

An Ilford assistant head retired this week after 40 years at the same school.

Ray Elias, 61, has taught at Caterham High in Redbridge since qualifying in 1970.

He first taught metal work, but now takes product design, having dabbled in business studies and food technology. He has been assistant headmaster for 20 years. "Whenever I thought about moving on, I got promoted," he explained.

The South West Essex Reform Synagogue member said he had always wanted to teach.

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Newlyweds-to-be, aged 87 and 97

July 22, 2010

Proving that you are never too old to find love, Henry Kerr, 97, and Valerie Berkowitz, 87, are marrying at Sunridge Court residential home in Golders Green on Sunday.

The couple became friendly at the home through Mr Kerr's poetry reading circle. They soon realised that they shared many friends from their days in South Africa. Mrs Berkowitz had been a teacher at King David School in Johannesburg and Mr Kerr managed 200 cinemas across South Africa for the Rank Organisation.

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£130k grant from Jewish Child's Day

July 22, 2010

More than 600 children in Manchester and Leeds will benefit from £130,000 in Jewish Child's Day grants.

Manchester's Federation of Jewish Services will use the £60,000 awarded over three years towards the creation of a short break resource centre for children with disabilities and their siblings. An additional £10,000 will go towards equipment.

JCD is also giving £60,000 over three years to the Manny Cussins Family Project, a branch of Leeds Jewish Care Services, to help secure the future of a range of services for the 200 children it works with.

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Refugees' regional day

July 22, 2010

The annual regional get-together of the Association of Jewish Refugees attracted members from throughout Scotland, as well as Newcastle.

The day's activities at Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation included guest speaker Paula Cowan of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, who gave a presentation on "The Changing Face of Holocaust Education".

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