Community life

Why Elvis went back on the road

By Jay Grenby, August 21, 2009

Elvis impersonator Martyn Dias starred this week in probably the first-ever Elvis tribute concert given on a British motorway.

Mr Dias, who performs as Elvis Schmelvis, hit traffic problems returning to St Albans from a commemorative street party outside Elvisly Yours, the memorabilia shop in Baker Street owned by Radlett Jewish community member Sid Shaw.

Stuck in a massive tailback with fellow tribute artist Elvince after an accident had closed both carriageways of the M1, the duo decided to brighten the day for fellow motorists.

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Interest rockets in Jewish Care vacancies

By Robyn Rosen, August 21, 2009

Jewish Care is experiencing a massive upsurge in job applications as the recession forces more people back on to the employment market.

The health and social care charity claims a 1,600 per cent increase in responses from job seekers.
Recruitment drives normally attract 100 to 200 applications. This year, there have been 2,000 inquiries for 43 positions in the care sector.

Jewish Care director of human resources Diane Blausten has been overwhelmed by the interest. “We have been inundated with inquiries and have received some very high calibre applications,” she reported.

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Borehamwood nursery gets good marks from Ofsted

August 20, 2009

Borehamwood’s only all-day Jewish nursery school has followed its first academic year with an encouraging Ofsted report.

Ofsted rated Little Bicks highly in most areas and head Rivka Bick was pleased that the nursery was praised for offering “a high level of care and education”.

The report singled out the committed and well-qualified staff, who “responded promptly and appropriately to the children’s individual needs, providing a range of stimulating activities backed up through real life experiences such as day trips to areas of interest in the community”.

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Ethopian children twinned at Jerusalem shul

August 20, 2009

Forty Ethiopian immigrant children from a Jewish Agency absorption centre celebrated their bar- and batmitzvahs in the company of eight UK “twins” at Jerusalem’s Yeshurun Synagogue.

The Ethiopian bar- and batmitzvah programme is among those supported by UJIA to assist the immigrants’ integration into Israeli society and to link British Jewry with communities in Israel. Both sets of youngsters learned about each other’s culture and heritage and were encouraged to correspond through emails and, in some cases, personal visits.

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Family of cancer man raise £2m for centre

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

A multi-million pound cancer diagnosis centre has been opened at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea in memory of music industry executive and cancer victim Raz Gold.

Mr Gold, who held senior posts at EMI and Warner, died in 2005 at the age of 39. Since then relatives including former Spurs vice-chairman Paul Kemsley have raised £3 million for the Raz Gold Foundation, of which £2 million has been put towards a rapid diagnostic and assessment centre at the Royal Marsden.

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Yiddish speaks to a wide audience

By Katharine Hamer, August 20, 2009

There are said to be fewer than a million Yiddish speakers in the world today. But judging by the response to an intensive course at the University of London, there is no lack of interest in keeping the language alive.

Forty-three participants from across Britain and Europe took part in this year’s Ot Azoy programme, run by the Jewish Music Institute. For six days, students at all levels took classes in Yiddish language, song, drama, history and film. By the end, even the absolute beginners had acquired a decent grounding.

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The A-Level figures for the UK's top Jewish schools

August 20, 2009

The A-Level results for the UK's major Jewish schools

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Edgware scout group relaunched

August 20, 2009

To meet local demand, the 11th Edgware Scout Group is to be relaunched next month at Edgware Synagogue after a 20-year gap.

With the nearest Jewish scout group at Stanmore Synagogue consistently over-subscribed, the 11th Edgware will offer an alternative for both boys and girls. The group will be steered by a leadership team of seven adults, headed by Andrew Donn. Together, they boast over 100 years’ experience in running scout groups.

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Legal challenge to Stamford Hill homes quashed

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

The Agudas Israel Housing Association is celebrating the defeat of a legal challenge to a building project for Orthodox families in Stamford Hill.

In the High Court last Friday, Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected an application from local residents for a judicial review of Hackney Council’s approval of plans to redevelop the former Avigdor School site in Lordship Road into a special needs school and 29 residential units.

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Wiping the slate clean on Mersey

By Cathy Forman, August 20, 2009

A fundraising drive to repair the roof at Liverpool’s Old Hebrew Congregation has got off to a flying start.
As a condition of a £160,000 English Heritage grant in the spring, members of the Grade I listed Victorian synagogue had to raise a further £20,000.
Synagogue project director Alaster Burman then came up with the idea of bringing in the money by the sale of 2,000 slates at £10 apiece.

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