Community life

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.


Chief Rabbi praises young volunteers

June 17, 2010

The Chief Rabbi lauded the achievements of young volunteers at the annual Yoni Jesner Awards, named in memory of a Bnei Akiva leader killed in a terrorist attack in Israel in 2002.

Lord Sacks and Marsha Gladstone, Yoni Jesner's mother, presented awards at St John's Wood Synagogue to year-eight pupils involved in the scheme, which promotes volunteering within the community and in wider society.

Recipients have assisted causes ranging from residential homes for the elderly to environmental projects.


Chai's £1 million extension

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

Chai Cancer Care has marked its 20th anniversary by opening a £1 million extension to its Hendon headquarters.

The new facility incorporates four counselling rooms, a large gym area, a waiting room with a separate entrance to protect privacy and garden areas.

It will allow the charity to provide services for an extra 200 people every week.

Actress Maureen Lipman and Conservative peer Lord Young were among more than 100 guests at a launch reception on Monday.


Israeli war veterans get London trip

June 17, 2010

A two-week UK visit for 17 Israeli war veterans organised by the Manchester branch of British Friends of Israel War Disabled went ahead despite a significant financial shortfall.

The annual trip, featuring activities around the north-west and two days' sightseeing in London, costs £20,000.

Manchester-based organiser Elaine Hamburger said the economic downturn had made fundraising difficult and half the money had yet to be raised. Cash was still coming in but any shortfall would be met by the national BFIWD organisation.


Ministers to audition for Prestwich synagogue

June 17, 2010

Candidates for the ministerial vacancy at Prestwich Hebrew Congregation have taken part in a series of auditions.

Four rabbinic hopefuls were each given a night to present a sermon and take questions from an audience of up to 100 members.

Clive Moss-Barclay, chair of the selection committee, was impressed by the calibre of the candidates. "We wanted to engage members of the shul within the process and for the rabbis to see what we are like.

"We had feedback forms from members and that will be followed up with a selection a panel."


UK's oldest Jewish man, 106, dies

By Stephanie Brickman, June 17, 2010

The man thought to be the UK's oldest Jew and the oldest man in Scotland died this week, aged 106.

Glasgow-born Samuel Latter passed away in Strachan House in Edinburgh, the residential home where he had lived for 10 years.

He was buried at Piershill cemetery on Tuesday next to his wife Flora.

Mr Latter was a member of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation for 79 years.

His nephew Edward Green recalled him as "a bright and lively person. He will be remembered for his great sense of humour and his interest in all around him."


Lawyer makes his case for Glasgow Jewish leadership

By Stephanie Brickman, June 17, 2010

Lawyer Eddie Isaacs is making a strong case for the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council under his presidency. "Without meaning to sound arrogant, I've got a lot to bring to the table."

Mr Isaacs, who took charge this week, is Glasgow born and bred. He has filled a variety of communal roles, which he says has prepared him for the challenges ahead, the biggest being the rep council's Community Futures Project.

This got off to a rocky start in January with a row over invitations to the preliminary meeting, an unwelcome distraction Mr Isaacs shrugs off as a misunderstanding.


Council study to assess needs of Charedim

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

In its first major recognition of north Manchester's Charedi population, Bury Council has appointed an officer to compile a study of the expanding community.

Notices put up in Prestwich synagogues this week urge Charedi families to participate in the study. The initiative results from a meeting a fortnight ago between the council's chief executive office and representatives from the Charedi Interlink charity and a strictly Orthodox community group.


Kosher Wimbledon

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Strawberries and parev cream will be among the more traditional offerings from a kosher café for Jewish tennis fans during Wimbledon.

It will be the second year for the Chabad of South London Campuses' venture, offering barbecue items, takeaway sandwiches, baked potatoes and homemade brownies from the Wimbledon Golf Club car park.

The location is a familiar one to those who queue for tickets and the café will operate from midday until the end of play.


Akiva asks for expansion aid

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

Akiva School in Finchley is hoping to purchase and refurbish the adjacent building to make space for third-form entry.

Philip Simmons, chairman of the school's foundation, said that high demand had persuaded governors to attempt to buy the next-door beit midrash from the Movement for Reform Judaism.

"We have always had considerable demand and we have to disappoint large numbers of parents and children each year.