Community life

Widdecombe at home

April 2, 2009

Tory MP, author and broadcaster Ann Widdecombe shared her trenchant views on British life with residents of Clapham care home Nightingale.

Ms Widdecombe dealt with issues including Holocaust denial, knife crime, introducing a zero tolerance policy within policing and the government’s handling of the recession. She also took questions on matters such as care for the elderly and family responsibilities to the care needs of relatives.

Asked what would be her priority if made Prime Minister for the day, she responded that she would strive to loosen the grip of the nanny state.

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Historic Haggadah is on display

By Ben Jaglom, April 2, 2009

A Pesach tradition is on display at Leo Baeck College, Finchley, following the acquisition of an original edition of the Children’s Haggadah, published in Germany in 1933.

College librarian Annette Boeckler explained that the Haggadah had been shown in a Marburg museum of childhood, “where it was part of a collection of books and learning resources for Jewish children that was started by Barry Hyams and his wife Professor Helga Hyams in 1976”.

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Big night for Motor Neurone’s sufferer

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

A mother-of-two who has lived with Motor Neurone Disease for eight years has praised Jewish supporters for their “kindness and generosity” in raising £10,000 predominantly for the MND Association.

Sarah Ezekiel, 43, from Hendon — who was diagnosed when pregnant with her second child — spoke to the 200 guests at the Finchley fundraiser through a special computer. “MND is a devastating disease without a cure,” she said. “We need more awareness.”

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Students told: Lead Now and reap rewards

By Ben Jaglom, April 2, 2009

A UJIA programme offering graduates the opportunity to combine a year of leadership work with classes in topics such as networking and conflict resolution was launched before an audience of communal and corporate representatives at BDO Stoy Hayward’s West End offices. The Lead Now scheme will also give participants the prospect of an internship in a major firm at the end of their year.

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Manchester schools star in league tables

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 2, 2009

Manchester’s three largest Jewish primaries are among the country’s top performing schools, according to the latest league tables based largely on year-six SATs exams.

At North Cheshire Jewish Primary, ranked 14th out of 14,000 schools, headteacher Jackie Savage said the close-knit Manchester community was key to local schools’ achievements as it brought a high level of educational co-operation.

There has been enormous improvement in the performance of junior pupils at Manchester King David Junior pupils, ranked 34th.

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Recession splits the Clubhouse

By Simon Rocker, April 2, 2009

A pioneering Orthodox organisation that helps young people and families in trouble is to be broken up into separate charities as a consequence of the economic climate.

Harris Rosenberg, until recently head of grants and commissioning at the Northwest Clubhouse in London, said that rather continuing as an umbrella body, “a better way to protect our services to those in need of support in our community was to split it”.

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Chief's advice for students

April 2, 2009

The importance of student activism was stressed by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks when he addressed a Friday night dinner at Finchley Synagogue organised by Tribe Campus and University Jewish Chaplaincy, with Union of Jewish Students’ input.

He told over 250 students that they should also offer support to those beyond the campus world.

Among Jewish societies represented were Birmingham, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, University College London, Leeds, LSE, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford.

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Nursery is blossoming

April 2, 2009

A new Borehamwood Jewish nursery is proving so popular that it is already over-subscribed for the September term.

Run by mother-of-two Rivka Bicks and her sister-in-law Louise Bicks, Little Bicks is based at Federation synagogue Ohr Yisrael. It is about to offer full day care during term time and the Bicks are looking to run a summer scheme, in response to parental demand.

“We have only been open for two months, but the response has been phenomenal,” Rivka Bicks said. “We are just delighted to be able to help ease parents’ worries about their childcare.”

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Norwood at most appealing as it highlights family help

April 2, 2009

How Norwood has helped boys with severe autism and learning disabilities and their families is showcased in the charity’s direct mail Pesach appeal, which has a £90,000 target.

Daniel, Mark and Paul are eight-year-old triplets. Mark and Paul were diagnosed four years ago. Their parents now rely on the one weekend a month the boys stay at Norwood respite care home Buckets & Spades Lodge for a break and the chance to spend time with their other children.

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Swim pair are a civic splash hit

April 2, 2009

Sisters who raised over £23,000 for charities by swimming the equivalent of the English Channel at a Borehamwood pool were among those honoured for their contributions to the community at Hertsmere Council’s civic dinner on Saturday.

Dani Jacobson arranged the swim to mark her batmitzvah — and to thank organisations which had supported her elder sister Talya, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Dani was subsequently invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden party to mark Blue Peter’s 50th birthday where she met the Queen and received a jubilee edition of the famous Blue Peter badge.

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