Community life

Manchester plans eruv

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

Whitefield Hebrew Congregation has submitted a planning application to Bury Council for the first Manchester eruv.

The proposed eruv - a religious boundary permitting, for example, the pushing of prams or wheelchairs on Shabbat - would cover under a square mile north of the city where several thousand Jews live. It would require the construction of just three eruv poles.

Whitefield Synagogue's Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag says the "ingenious" design by an eruv expert in Antwerp means it could be up and running within nine months at a lower cost than those in the London area.


A match made by the Jewish Chronicle

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

A London synagogue officer has found true love with an Italian nanny, thanks to the JC.

Michael Israel - senior warden at West London Synagogue and brand manager of Carmel and Palwin wine - met Clarissa De Santis at a Highgate newsagent in February. Miss De Santis, a 37-year-old from the small village of San Severino Marche, was there with her two young charges on an errand to top up a mobile phone for a friend.


Charity continues after founder dies

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

A strictly Orthodox charity that donates £1.3 million annually to Jewish education and low income families is to continue despite the death of its founder.

Philanthropist Shloime Leitner, 61, who died from leukaemia two weeks ago, started the Broom Foundation in 1986 from a small office in his Salford home.

It was among the first to introduce charity vouchers to the religious community and the Broom Foundation voucher books have been a major means of charitable donations for thousands of people.


Welfare board faces up to cuts

By Jessica Elgot, August 20, 2010

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board is urging the community to "dig deep" for its Rosh Hashanah appeal, fearing that budgets could be slashed by Leeds City Council.

LJWB chief executive Rebecca Weinberg is concerned about meeting an increasing caseload in the wake of recession-related job losses, debts and family breakdowns.

"We are looking at a much greater demand for some of our services, particularly mental health and family services," she said. "We see a lot of people driven into deep depression by debt and we are somewhat limited because we are not debt counsellors."


King David hails A-listers

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

Manchester A-level students are celebrating some top results.

King David High School reported that 80 per cent of pupils achieved A*, A and B grade passes.

Governors' chair Joshua Rowe said the results were testimony to the dedication of pupils and staff, who regularly stayed on after school to assist students.


Leeds ready to party for 150th

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

Leeds Jewry is launching a £50,000 project to celebrate 150 years of Jewish heritage and contributions to the city.

To mark LJ150, high profile exhibitions are planned over the next two years to showcase works by home-grown artists. Vintage wedding dresses and past fashions from retail giants Marks & Spencer and Burton, both started by Jews in Leeds, will also be on display.


Glasgow fears over Israel vote

By Stephanie Brickman, August 20, 2010

Glasgow Jewry representatives used talks with city council leaders to voice disquiet about a motion passed by the council condemning the Israeli action against the flotilla to Gaza, in which nine Turkish activists died.

The Glasgow Jewish Representative Council president, Edward Isaacs, led a four person delegation at a meeting with city council leader Gordon Matheson and Bailie Liz Cameron, executive member for development.


Boot camp aids Yomtov preparation

By Simon Rocker, August 19, 2010

A group of young Jews who ran alternative Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in 2009 have gone one better this year by launching a pre-festival programme.

Grassroots Jews are staging a series of events under the title Ellul Boot Camp, a reference to the traditional month of preparation before the Ten Days of Repentance.

It kicks off on Sunday with Warrior Art Play Day - a creative exploration of the High Holy Day themes - at the London Moishe House in Willesden.


Floods appeal tops £40k

August 19, 2010

World Jewish Relief's emergency appeal for victims of the devastating floods in Pakistan has passed £40,000.

The money has been used to purchase family kits helping almost 6,400 people and will assist in the reconstruction of homes destroyed.

Other organisations are rallying around the WJR appeal. "As a community that has a humanitarian aspect supporting causes outside of our own interests, it's a no-brainer that we will be supporting the WJR's appeal," said Board of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin.


Brighton builders discover mikveh

By Cecily Woolf, August 19, 2010

Builders working on Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation's Middle Street site have found a white-tiled mikveh in a cottage sold to the local Hillel committee last year for use as a student drop-in centre. The mikveh was discovered beneath a trapdoor under the cottage floorboards.

"The founders and builders of our community in Middle Street knew at its inception that a mikveh is at the centre of Jewish life," observed BHHC's Rabbi Herschel Rader.

But local historian and Middle Street Synagogue guide Gordon Franks was mystified by the discovery.