Community life

End of Plancey’s acting role at Northwood

By Jay Grenby, March 19, 2009

Northwood Synagogue held a special kiddush on Shabbat to bid farewell to Rabbi Alan Plancey after 20 months as acting minister.

The shul was packed for the service, after which chairman Alan Taylor paid tribute to the rabbi and his wife Miriam for outstanding leadership, friendship and hospitality.

In appreciation of their efforts, he presented them with an inscribed silver tray.

More..

Cancer columnist fronts Chai appeal

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

A 27-year-old who chronicled his successful fight against Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a JC column is to be the face of Chai Cancer Care’s Pesach appeal.

Gideon Schneider (right) has signed a letter being sent to 10,000 donors highlighting the support he received from Chai.

Now in remission, Mr Schneider raised £12,000 for the charity while undergoing treatment. “The work Chai does both in terms of counselling services and in organising activities is crucial in helping cancer patients regain morale,” he pointed out.

More..

BBC star gets top marks from school

By Jay Grenby, March 19, 2009

Today and Dragons’ Den presenter Evan Davis was the first of a number of big names to feature in the 10th anniversary celebrations of Pinner’s Moriah Jewish Day School.

Davis was interviewed by journalist and Moriah parent Daniel Finkelstein before an audience of 200, revealing that his day started at three in the morning. He also gave an insight into how Dragons’ Den is put together — and a hint on which Dragon he would choose to invest with. He then answered audience questions, which were predominantly about the economy.

More..

Pesach kashrut course for Tesco bosses

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

Tesco prepared branch managers for the Pesach rush when it launched its largest-ever festival range at its Borehamwood supermarket last Thursday.

Thirty store bosses were on hand to hear senior buyer Steve Ewels and Florette Hyman from the London Beth Din’s kashrut division give explanations of the festival days and the requirements of observant Jewish shoppers.

Borehamwood has been selected as the flagship store for the festival, stocking over 300 Pesach products, from matzot and wines to cold meats and chickens.

More..

Targeting Tube hate

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

Antisemitic incidents on the Northern Line have been a focus of a co-ordinated campaign against criminal behaviour involving Barnet and British Transport Police and Transport for London.

Sergeant Phil Briggs of the British Transport Police explained that the latest Operation Clean Sweep exercise covered stations between Golders Green and Edgware.

“The Transport Police has dealt with four [antisemitic] incidents in Barnet over the last few months including graffiti attacks and threatening behaviour,” he reported.

More..

Radlett shul plan approved

March 19, 2009

Radlett Synagogue has finally got the go-ahead to proceed with a major redevelopment of its site.

Hertsmere Council granted planning permission at a specially convened meeting on Monday, ending over two years of uncertainty for shul officers.

The latest proposals were passed by a seven-to-one majority after the committee chairman declared his vote in favour at the beginning of the ballot. The scheme involves the demolition of the former village hall used by the shul and its replacement with a two-storey state-of-the-art synagogue.

More..

Khalili hails Chief with £80,000 gift

By Jay Grenby, March 19, 2009

Billionaire property developer, philanthropist and Islamic art collector Professor David Khalili has funded an £80,000-plus refurbishment of the Bloomstein Hall at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue. The hall was dedicated on Sunday in honour of Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and the walls have been inscribed with a dozen quotes from Sir Jonathan’s recent writings.

More..

Israel discovers many friends in Ireland

By Joe Cohen, March 19, 2009

Former Northern Irish First Minister Rev Ian Paisley was among the speakers at the inaugural meeting of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel last Thursday at the Stormont parliament building.

Mr Paisley spoke of his ties to Israel and, on the domestic front, expressed revulsion at the killings of two soldiers and a policeman by Republican extremists. A minute’s silence was observed for the victims.

More..

Jacobson enjoys novel approach of Limmud

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

Howard Jacobson was the star attraction at Sunday’s second Cambridge Limmud, which drew a crowd of close-on 400.

Event chair Tim Goldrein said the aim had been “to capitalise on our location by delivering the best high-brow speakers”. To this end there were 34 talks, as well as a special programme for children. “I think the work of our 100 volunteers paid off,” he reflected.

More..

Family celebrates triple simchah

By James Martin, March 19, 2009

The Baker family from Elstree will have a triple celebration on Shabbat when their daughter and twin sons will be bat- and barmitzvah at the New North London Synagogue in Finchley.

Philip Baker said boys Alexander and Oliver had delayed their big day so as to share it with sister Yolande.

“We wanted them to mark the occasion together,” Mr Baker explained. “We’re part of the Hakol Olin service which is egalitarian and allows both men and women to read from the Torah. As such, all five members of our family will be sharing the reading.”

More..