Community life

Care story launches appeal

March 26, 2009

Jewish Care has set a £250,000-plus target for its Pesach appeal, highlighting the challenges in caring for the elderly population.

The appeal features the story of Jack and Joan, who struggled to cope when Joan was diagnosed with dementia. It explains how the staff at the charity’s Kay Court, where Joan went to live, noticed how calming it was for her to have Jack around and encouraged him to spend as much time at the home as possible. This way, his needs could also be addressed.

More..

Levy to pay key staff

By John Fisher, March 26, 2009

A communal levy to maintain the posts of two key Leeds professionals is to be discussed by local synagogues.

Addressing Sunday’s meeting of Leeds Jewish Representative Council, Robert Bartfield said the jobs of community development worker Neil Clarke and Leeds Jewish Initiative co-ordinator Natalie Jackson had been preserved through a mixture of private and organisational funding. Some of this comes to an end in September.

More..

Aliyah interest rises as British recession bites

By Ben Jaglom, March 26, 2009

A combination of the credit crunch and rising antisemitism is encouraging more British Jews to consider buying homes in Israel, according to exhibitors and visitors at an Israel property fair in London.

Among the 200 browsers at the Marriott Hotel Swiss Cottage was retired engineer David Marks, 65, who observed: “This country has declined significantly over the last few years. Though I own my own house, I will be unable to afford to pay the council tax on my property once my wife stops working.

More..

Helping children in need

March 26, 2009

Jewish Child’s Day has defied the economic downturn by allocating 15 per cent more to supported causes.

Executive director Daniel Burger reported that the latest JCD distribution to children’s agencies in the UK, Israel and Eastern Europe totalled £115,000. “I think donors realise that if they are feeling the effects of the credit crunch, then how much more must those children in this country and Israel that rely on our support be suffering?”

UK disbursements included £3,500 to Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue towards bringing over 19 children from Belarus.

More..

Wizo’s £3.7m fundraising year

March 26, 2009

Wizo met its increased financial target for its 90th anniversary year, raising a total £3.7 million.

As a result, the UK organisation has been able to expand support for its 100 projects in Israel. These include the renovation of a Jerusalem day care facility and an extension to a Beersheba community centre

UK chair Loraine Warren said: “There can be no greater satisfaction than to see how the quality of life of so many disadvantaged and vulnerable Israelis is being improved through the continuing efforts of Wizo supporters”.

More..

Manchester museum tackles intolerance

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 26, 2009

Manchester Jewish Museum received an award for promoting community relations at a civic ceremony marking its 25th anniversary this week.

The vast majority of the museum’s 14,000 annual visitors are non-Jewish schoolchildren, who attend as part of their religious studies syllabus. Many have left their mark by scratching their names on the back benches of the renovated Spanish-Portuguese synagogue. However, the recent etching of “Hamas” on a bench illustrates the need for the museum’s interfaith work.

More..

Mersey bleats over collapse of building plan

By Cathy Forman, March 26, 2009

Members of Liverpool’s Childwall Synagogue have voiced dismay at the shelving of plans for a new complex.

Reporting to its annual meeting on Monday, chairman Norman Goldstone said the collapse of plans to relocate the Stapely care home to the rear of the shul would put plans for the complex “on hold for a few years”.

Childwall would have received £2 million from the £3.5 million sale of the Stapely site, which was scuppered by the economic downturn. The money would have funded a building incorporating offices, kitchens and a mikveh.

More..

Brum deal pleases youth worker

March 26, 2009

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue has appointed Hannah Minsky to develop its new youth club venture.

The youth worker, originally from Southgate, is studying maths and philosophy at Birmingham University.

Her background is in the Netzer youth movement and she has done youth work in the Jewish and wider community.

Movement chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said the appointment reflected “the huge demand for Liberal Judaism in the Midlands, which has only grown since the opening of the Midlands Centre for Liberal Judaism last year”.

More..

Hundreds mourn wife of top rabbi

March 26, 2009

Seven-hundred people attended tributes to Blumer Schneebalg, wife of leading Manchester rabbi Menachem-Mendel Schneebalg, who died at the weekend, aged 83.

The eulogies were at the premises of the strictly Orthodox Machzikei Hadass organisation, which Rabbi Schneebalg heads.

A Holocaust survivor who saved her sister in Auschwitz, Mrs Schneebalg lived in Israel after the war and was a household help to rabbinic sage Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, also known as the Chazon Ish. After marrying in 1953, she dedicated her life to Manchester communal welfare work.

More..

Leeds Hillel gets a major facelift

March 26, 2009

A state-of-the-art Jewish student house will open in Leeds in time for the next academic year.

The redevelopment of the existing Leeds Hillel in Springfield Mount will offer expanded facilities. As well as an enlarged dining and lounge area, there will be meeting rooms, study spaces, high speed internet connections and wi-fi zones. Another feature will be a chaplain’s office where students can go for confidential discussions.

Students have been consulted on facilities and the layout of the building.

More..