Community life

Memorial to dedicated doctor

By James Martin, April 23, 2009

A north London mental health centre has been renamed in memory of a psychiatrist who gave 30 years of dedicated service to patients.

From this week, the Fore Street Mental Health Centre in Enfield will be known as The Lucas Building, reflecting the contribution of Richard Lucas, who died last summer, aged 65.

The renaming was the idea of staff and patients of the Muswell Hill Synagogue member, who was awarded an OBE in 2003 for medical services. His widow Lynne was among the 100 people at a ceremony on Monday afternoon.

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Tenants keep out construction vehicles

By John Fisher, April 23, 2009

Leeds Jewish Housing Association residents have won a battle to keep cranes and diggers away from their street during the £4 million expansion of an LJHA sheltered housing complex.

The association had earmarked Queenshill View, where they live, as a site entrance for the development, which is directly linked to the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Community Centre.

Residents voiced concern at the prospect of pollution, noise and parking problems in the narrow street where the 10 properties are home to families with a total of 17 children.

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Circle is unbroken at Highgate School

By Jay Grenby, April 23, 2009

Highgate School Jewish Circle, one of the oldest Jewish societies at a UK public school, staged a 70th anniversary party for 200 past and present members.

Guests included John Davis, who founded the circle when the school relocated to a small town in Devon during the Second World War.

The group initially assembled for Shabbat prayer, but later expanded its programme to organise discussions on topical Jewish issues. Back in the capital, it grew to become the largest Jewish society in north London and has a current membership of 163.

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'Speed dialogue' reaches Downing Street

April 23, 2009

Jewish and Muslim students spearheaded a peace initiative around Downing Street on Sunday.

Eliana Zur Szpiro and Sabrina Mohammad led 40 Jews, Christians and Muslims aged between 18 and 25 who took to the Westminster streets to promote peaceful discussions on key religious and political issues.

The “speed dialogue” session, organised under the auspices of the Three Faiths Forum, covered topics such as identity, belief and citizenship. Hopes for peace penned by pupils visited by the forum’s educational wing were distributed to passers-by.

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Museum piece from 10cc

April 23, 2009

Legendary seventies pop group 10cc have added an extra date to their 2009 tour to support the Manchester Jewish Museum’s 25th anniversary.

Original 10cc member Graham Gouldman has a special affinity with the museum, which his father Hymie helped to set up. On learning of the landmark birthday, he committed the band to a fundraising concert in June at the Prestwich Hebrew Congregation premises. Museum director Stuart Hilton reports that over half the 400 tickets have already been snapped up.

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Miracle mum needs life-saver

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 23, 2009

Hundreds of Manchester Jews will take part in a bone marrow screening drive on Sunday in an effort to save the life of a young Manchester mother-of-three with leukaemia.

Shortly after being diagnosed nine weeks ago, 32-year-old Leora Kuhillow from Whitefield fell unconscious and was placed on life support. On three occasions doctors told her husband Mark that she would not survive.

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Little love for Darling on Budget

April 23, 2009

Alistair Darling’s Budget has largely disappointed communal welfare charities.

Jewish Care finance director Helen Verney said the hope had been for supportive initiatives, “including the simplification of the Gift Aid scheme and a reprieve on the abolition of the concession on VAT on temporary staff. This does not seem the case and puts further pressure on us at a very difficult time.”

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Michael Howard recalls family Shoah victim

By James Martin, April 23, 2009

Former Tory Party leader Michael Howard spoke movingly about his family connection to the Holocaust before an audience of 500 at a Yom Hashoah event in central London on Sunday.

Mr Howard’s grandmother died in Auschwitz after she and his aunt “had been taken from Romania in a stinking cattle truck”. His aunt had survived — on one occasion “because they ran out of gas” — and came to live with his family in Wales after the war. The MP has visited the death camp site on three occasions and paid tribute to the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

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Balls praises JCoSS ethos

By Marcus Dysch, April 23, 2009

Schools Secretary Ed Balls said this week that the cross-communal JCoSS secondary school in Barnet will be a beacon for tackling discrimination and prejudice.

“This is a very important and significant day,” Mr Balls told the 200 guests at Monday’s ground-breaking ceremony for the £50 million project.

“This is a time when we have to redouble our efforts, say discrimination is wrong and stand together, community by community, to root out intolerance and prejudice. That is what this school is about.

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Reel stars

By James Martin, April 16, 2009

United Synagogue burial head Melvyn Hartog and 15 Ilford Synagogue members will make their big screen debuts in a film by Gurinder Chada, whose hits include Bend It Like Beckham and Bride And Prejudice.

They featured in a scene shot at Willesden cemetery for It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, which is described as a mixture of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Shaun Of The Dead. The scene is about a Jewish grandmother, played by Zoe Wanamaker, envisioning her own funeral. Mr Hartog portrays the rabbi who comforts the mourners — the Ilford shul members — and wishes them long life.

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