Community life

JBD gives its clients 'a life of dignity'

October 15, 2009

Chancellor’s wife Maggie Darling gave a glowing account of Jewish Blind and Disabled as she hosted a reception for over 100 JBD supporters at 11 Downing Street on Tuesday to celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary.

In her welcoming remarks, Mrs Darling voiced her admiration for the work JBD does to give clients “a life of dignity”. Speaking afterwards, she pledged to visit a JBD property and hailed the organisation as a model for other small charities. Its values chimed with those of her and her husband.


Cemetery proposals rejected

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Plans to expand Edgwarebury cemetery have been rejected after environmentalists said that it infringed on the green belt.

Belsize Square Synagogue, one of the four Jewish communities that use the site, have said they have less than a year’s worth of space left at the cemetery in Edgware and are deeply concerned about the decision.


Radio slot for rabbi

October 15, 2009

Reform rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has joined the Jewish regulars on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day slot.

Her next broadcast will be on October 22. Rabbi Janner-Klausner, of North Western Reform Synagogue in Golders Green, also appeared on BBC1’s Big Questions programme earlier this month.

“It is an honour to add a progressive Jewish voice to the public sphere and I realise how precious an opportunity this is,” Rabbi Janner-Klausner said.

Other Thought for the Day contributors include Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Rabbi Lionel Blue.


Sephardi head hosts Spanish envoy

By Simon Rocker, October 8, 2009

A reception in honour of Spanish Ambassador Carles Casajuana was hosted by the spiritual head of London’s Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, Rabbi Abraham Levy.

Envoys from Spain are traditionally invited to visit the community in recognition of its historic links with the country, Rabbi Levy explained.

Mr Casajuana said that Jewish culture formed “a very important component” of Spanish heritage and culture.

Guests included Dame Gail and Gerald Ronson — or “Don Geraldo” as Rabbi Levy dubbed him.


Supporting bereaved parents

By Keren David, October 8, 2009

A website has been launched to help Jewish families trying to come to terms with the death of a baby in the first days of life, a stillbirth or miscarriage.

Amanda Bradley, 30, from Edgware hopes the new site — — will allow families to share experiences and get support and practical help.

“It has just evolved to fill a gap,” she said. “I hope it will help with the sense of isolation that families often feel in these circumstances.”

Mrs Bradley runs a Rosh Chodesh group in Borehamwood.


Comedy stars coming out for Mitzvah Day

October 8, 2009

David Mitchell and Angus Deayton are bringing comic relief to Mitzvah Day, the nationwide good deed programme on November 15. Mitchell and Deayton will be judging competitions for the best projects on the day, which is expected to attract 15,000 volunteers.

Mitchell said that “time can be a much more generous gift than money. Just ask someone rich, busy and old which they value most.”


Light show for Radlett

October 8, 2009

Aldenham parish councillors have voted unanimously to support an application for the erection of a giant menorah in the centre of Radlett during Chanucah. The councillors commended the joint initiative between the Hertfordshire village’s three congregations — Radlett United, Radlett and Bushey Reform and Lubavitch.


US women get shorter

By Jay Grenby, October 8, 2009

Brevity now rules for the former Association of United Synagogue Women, which has changed its name to US Women.

“It’s easier to say and it’s what we are,” declared Kenton Synagogue’s Irene Leeman after an EGM at which she and Dalia Cramer of Finchley Synagogue were elected the organisation’s first co-chairs.

This joint post was permitted by a revised constitution approved at the meeting.


Givers happily take the bait

By Alex Kasriel, October 8, 2009

Although Jews are supposed to give at least one-tenth of their income to charity, Institute of Jewish Policy Research figures suggest that 20-to-30-somethings are less likely to do so than their parents.

To counteract this, the Charities Advisory Trust, headed by Dame Hilary Blume, ran an event in Mayfair to inspire young professionals to become philanthropists.

Called Happy Givers — because giving promotes a sense of well-being — it featured representatives of four charities who tried to persuade the 40-strong crowd to part with their cash.


BA chief's sky-high praise

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

The work of Jewish Care has been praised as a “shining example of community responsibility” by a high-flying source — British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh.

Addressing over 200 businessmen and women at a sell-out breakfast at Claridges, Mr Walsh said: “I am astounded about the work the charity does.

“It’s really impressive and I want to pay tribute. It is a truly wonderful service.”

Charity was never more important than when the economy was in trouble, he added.