Community life

Recognition for top volunteers

June 17, 2010

Unsung heroes of the community were honoured at the inaugural Jewish Volunteering Network awards.

Candidates were nominated by 62 organisations and the winners received their prizes at a ceremony at the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

Drugsline's Crisis Line support group took the team of the year accolade. The international prize went to Rene Cassin's Sarah Oliver and young volunteer awards were won by Camp Simcha's Zalmi Finn and JLGB's Sarah Lasher.

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Nottingham Rabbi: Community has a future

June 17, 2010

The minister of Nottingham's Orthodox synagogue insists that the community's future is bright despite a dramatic fall in the number of young people.

Although the Nottingham Hebrew Congregation membership has held up reasonably well during Rabbi Moshe Perez's 20 years at the helm, numbers at the cheder have slumped from 65 to 18.

Rabbi Perez's wife and four children are based in Manchester and Jonathan and Lydia Engler are about to move there after 20 years in Nottingham, saying: "It's not fair to our children to stay."

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Scotland's only Jewish school

By Stephanie Brickman, June 17, 2010

In close on 50 years, Scotland's sole Jewish primary school, Calderwood Lodge, has been at heart of Glasgow Jewry, educating most of its children.

Now, with new head Vanessa Thomson at the helm, the state-aided school is searching for fresh ways of promoting itself to both Jewish and non-Jewish parents. And like Jewish schools in other declining communities, it faces the dilemma of how best to preserve a Jewish ethos when numbers fall.

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Colchester cemetery deal welcomed

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

Colchester's Jewish community has won its battle for a dedicated Jewish section in the local municipal cemetery.

Welcoming the decision, community chair Jennifer Levy Halford said: "We wanted to have a Jewish cemetery here so that when our time comes, we can be surrounded by close friends from shul.

"It is the most beautiful cemetery with a calming atmosphere. There is a Muslim, Catholic and Anglican area already there."

Members of the 100-strong community are currently buried in the Waltham Abbey or Bushey cemeteries, more than 70 miles away.

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Bus safety initiative

June 17, 2010

The Jewish Police Association (JPA) has organised training sessions with safer transport teams to tackle safety concerns of Jews travelling through Finsbury Park by bus.

JPA chairman Mat Shaer said the sessions had been organised in the light of fears about antisemitic attacks.

"There have been some issues in Finsbury Park because there is no direct link between Golders Green and Stamford Hill and people have to get off at Finsbury Park and walk between bus stops.

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Refugee doctors celebrated

June 17, 2010

Leading figures from the medical world attended a lunch to mark the fifth edition of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality's guide for refugee doctors - and to celebrate the doctors' achievements.

First published in 1998, the guide offers "all you need to know about requalifying to work in the UK," explained Jcore executive director Dr Edie Friedman. "Refugees have had a difficult time. You want to smooth the path for them as much as possible."

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Piers Morgan: I feel at home at Jewish events

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Piers Morgan is beginning to feel very much at home at Jewish community events.

The Britain's Got Talent judge and former Mirror editor was the star attraction at the Norwood property lunch in central London which raised £500,000.

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Sephardic community for St John's Wood

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

A Sephardi community has moved into St John's Wood Synagogue.

Anshei Shalom was set up seven years ago with eight families in temporary accommodation.

It has now grown to over 130 members.

Chair Robert Hayam said: "We started off in people's homes and then moved to a room in a hotel. We decided we needed a more permanent base, somewhere which gives us an infrastructure.

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Dragon's Den for Langdon entrepreneurs

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

It was Dragons' Den with a difference in Edgware, the difference being that all seven budding entrepreneurs received financial and practical backing from the panel.

The ideas were sold to five "business angels" by London and Manchester-based young people with mild to moderate learning difficulties supported by the Langdon Foundation.

Over 50 people watched the candidates being quizzed by the angels, who included accountant Adam Cohen, internet specialist Dan Crown and construction boss Nigel Henry.

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Batmitzvah in Catholic school

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Woodside Park batmitzvah girl Sasha Miller completed her dvar Torah at a local Catholic school after the synagogue was evacuated in a security scare on Shabbat.

More than 300 congregants were forced to vacate the shul in the middle of the service after concern was raised about a badly parked van with a foreign number plate outside the shul.

Police and the CST were summoned but the vehicle was found to be a bakery van.

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