Community life

Gove to Board: How can we fix JFS case?

By Leon Symons, February 25, 2010

Shadow education spokesman Michael Gove has thrown down the gauntlet to the Jewish community over the Supreme Court ruling on JFS admissions.

Guest speaker at Sunday's Board of Deputies meeting in central London, he posed a question to delegates in the event of a Tory administration.

"Tell me what you think we as a government should do to remove the allegation of prejudice against a school that has done such a wonderful job and what we can do to ensure faith schools can carry on doing the fantastic job they do?"


Rabbi regrets praise for child abuser

By Simon Rocker, February 25, 2010

A senior member of London's strictly Orthodox rabbinate says he was unaware that an American rabbi he publicly praised was a convicted child abuser.

Rabbi Ze'ev Feldman, of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, wrote a letter endorsing a fundraising event in Stamford Hill this week to help pay for the weddings of four children of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Weingarten.

Rabbi Weingarten, a member of the Satmar sect, was last year jailed for 30 years by a New York court for abusing one of his daughters.


Woman rabbi for Masorti?

By Robyn Rosen, February 18, 2010

New North London Synagogue could appoint Masorti's first woman rabbi as it is inviting applications from both sexes for the post of assistant minister.

The Finchley shul aims to have the new recruit in place before the High Holy-Days. He or she will work with teens and young adults - who make up 30 per cent of the 2,750 members - and will share pastoral duties with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg.


WJR knitting group goes global

February 18, 2010

A knitting aid venture launched by a group of women supporting World Jewish Relief has gone global.

Over 2,400 squares have been stitched for 60 blankets to help WJR clients keep warm in Eastern Europe during the freezing winter months. And a voluntary workforce of close on 1,000 recruited by the Pomegranate committee includes women from France, Israel and America.

Through WJR's Gifts in Kind programme, the large colourful blankets are being dispatched to Jewish communities in Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Belarus.


Chief Rabbi hails B'nai B'rith on 100th birthday

February 18, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recalled the "great personal debt" he owed B'nai B'rith when he addressed the centenary dinner of B'nai B'rith First Lodge.

He told the 320 guests at the Great Hall in Lincoln's Inn, central London, that his decision to become a rabbi had been influenced by a travel bursary awarded by the First Lodge in 1968.


Special Olympics selection

February 18, 2010

Ravenswood resident Lawrence Black has been selected for the British team for the Special Olympics European Games in Poland in September.

The 56-year-old will compete in the shot put, 50 metres sprint and 400 metres walk and will be hoping to add to the two silvers and a bronze won at the national Special Olympics last year.


Ilford synagogues discuss site-sharing option

February 18, 2010

Co-location is the new buzzword in the talks aimed at bringing together Ilford's United and Federation synagogues.

Leon Newmark, chair of the Federation in Coventry Road, explained that co-location would mean the congregations sharing a site - United's Beehive Lane premises. But they would remain with their respective synagogal bodies.

"This would work only if we were on the same site," Mr Newmark said. "It would strengthen considerably the opportunities to do more in the community. We're talking about 3,000 people."


Borehamwood eruv 'imminent'

By Jay Grenby, February 18, 2010

There was mixed news this week for the Orthodox community in Borehamwood over the establishment of a local eruv, enabling observant Jews to carry or push items on Shabbat.

Although the eruv poles have now been ordered, local campaign leaders warned that "a few hurdles" had still to be overcome, three months after the project was given the green light by Hertsmere Council.

"It is imminent," promised a spokesman for the eruv trustees this week, albeit without giving even an approximate date for the eruv becoming operational.


Glasgow leaders to survey Jewish community

February 18, 2010

Glasgow leaders are to commission a demographic study and financial survey as part of future planning for the city's dwindling Jewish community.

Eighteen people attended a meeting hosted by the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council on Monday at which there was also agreement on undertaking a fact-finding mission to see how other communities had responded to changing needs. In addition, community members would be canvassed on "facilities they wish to see and how they would like them to be provided".


Scotland's Limmud weekend

By Stephanie Brickman, February 18, 2010

Scotland was gripped by Limmud fever at the weekend with a range of educational and cultural events culminating in the main Scottish Limmud programme in Glasgow on Sunday.

Some 350 people had the choice of an increased number of sessions - up to 61 from 50 last year and made possible by skipping the lunch break.

One of the most popular presenters was culinary journalist and Israeli TV personality Gil Hovav, who rustled up an appetising tabouleh and a spicy pumkin paste.