Community life

South Bank harmony

By Simon Rocker, March 12, 2009

The Spiro Ark joined forces with the Muslim-owned Vigo Group to host a sell-out concert of interfaith music on London’s South Bank on Saturday night.

Vigo co-sponsored an appearance at the Purcell Room of Berakah, featuring musicians from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds.

Berakah (“blessing” in Arabic) was founded by Muslim guitarist Mo Nazam and its repertoire runs from the mystical Hebrew hymn, Yedid Nefesh, to fusions of klezmer violin and Middle Eastern rhythms inspired by Sufi folklore.

More..

Shul is a first for Feds

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 12, 2009

The first Federation synagogue outside the capital is to be built in Manchester.

Planning permission has been granted for a 200-seat venue for the Ohr Yerushalayim community in Salford, which has been meeting in a rented hall.

Having attracted 18 people to its inaugural service in 2000, the community has grown to a membership of 100 young Orthodox families.

More..

Kennedy defends Mid-East record

By Stephanie Brickman, March 12, 2009

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy defended his record on Israel when he addressed 120 members of the Glasgow Jewish community at Calderwood Lodge School on Sunday.

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP kept his lecture on world affairs and human rights issues brief to devote a large part of the meeting to audience questions.

Asked why he was not more pro-Israel, Mr Kennedy replied: “I would rather be known as a candid friend of Israel than tell people what they want to hear. My record speaks for itself.

More..

Hard men up to Israel challenge

By James Martin, March 12, 2009

Twelve action men have returned to Britain after a gruelling physical ordeal in the Judean desert to raise over £50,000 for a children’s care village and a phone counselling service for families in Sderot.

Emunah’s Triple-E Challenge involved participants in five days of intense activity and teamwork in un-usually bad weather. They were galvanised by a visit to one of the beneficiaries — the Neve Landy Children’s Village in the rural district of Even Shmuel — reported Hendon fitness trainer Neil Isaacson.

More..

Radio star aged nine

By John Fisher, March 12, 2009

Nine-year-old Sam Berson has become the youngest presenter at Leeds Jewish community station Radio Jcom.

After just five weeks’ training, Sam is fronting the Sam Berson’s Children’s Show, a mix of interviews and music.

“Lots of my friends from the 22nd North Leeds cubs and scouts have been invited on to my programme and I want to include excerpts from all my favourite musicals,” he said.

He has recorded his own version of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now to use as his theme music.

Radio Jcom is broadcast daily on the internet and is hoping to get an AM slot in the summer.

More..

Barnet skips its Pesach tradition

By James Martin, March 12, 2009

Barnet Council is scrapping its Pesach skips for Jewish residents and will instead provide special refuse collection services.

The special collections will be in designated streets in Golders Green, Hendon and Edgware over the period of April 6-8.

Residents in other streets can arrange for additional collections between March 30 and April 7. The service is free.

More..

Golders Green school faces closure threat

By James Martin, March 12, 2009

A strictly Orthodox school which has operated from a house in Golders Green Road for five years without planning permission is under threat of closure.

Beis Medrash Elyon has had a retrospective planning application deferred until April by Barnet Council to allow more time for consideration of its claim of special grounds for being granted school status.

Speaking after last week’s planning sub-committee meeting, a council spokesman explained that should consent be refused, the school could appeal to the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

More..

Swim tragedy of fundraiser

By Leon Symons, March 12, 2009

An Edgware woman has died while training for a cancer charity swimming fundraiser.

Rozelle Dashwood, 56, had been swimming at Bushey Grove Leisure Centre at the weekend. Two people saw her face-down in the water and called the lifeguard, who pulled her out. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they discovered a faint heartbeat but could not revive her.

Her husband Michael, 58, said: “This was her third Swimathon and she was raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. This was a big hobby of hers and she was a regular swimmer.”

More..

Eco friends

March 12, 2009

Liberal Judaism has joined forces with Christian Aid to campaign on climate change.

Co-branded campaign materials were distributed at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue on Wednesday.

“Climate change affects everyone, irrespective of religion, but the poor suffer disproportionately,” said Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich.

“The threat to our world is so great that it is vital that Liberal Jews join people of other faiths to lobby for laws that cut carbon emissions.”

More..

Jewish Care job cuts

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Thirteen Jewish Care employees are being made redundant following a six-week consultation process.

The charity announced in January that up to 22 jobs could go at its Merit House, Colindale, headquarters as part of a bid to slash £2.5 million off its budget.

Redundancies have been made across the administrative spectrum in departments such as human resources, marketing and fundraising.

More..