Community life

Critics speak out over St John's Wood eruv

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

St John's Wood residents have voiced opposition to a planned eruv and its potential consequences for local diversity at a church meeting organised by a religious leaders' group.

The North Westminster Eruv committee plans to submit an application to Westminster Council at the end of the summer for the erection of 38 poles extending to Boundary Road in the north, Avenue Road in the east, Regent's Canal in the south and Shirland Road in the west.


Orthodox women prayer group celebrate 20 years

By John Jeffay, June 24, 2010

A Pioneering project to enhance the role of Orthodox women in synagogue life is celebrating its 20th anniversary at the Yeshurun shul in south Manchester.

With its regular Torah readings, the all-female tefillah (prayer) group has been the focus of much interest and some controversy.

But organisers of the Women in Judaism group are keen that this does not overshadow their educational and cultural programme, or their role in shul management.


Jewish museum man mourned

June 24, 2010

The director of the Jewish Museum in Manchester died this week, two months after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Stuart Hilton, 64, led the museum to tourist awards in his five years as director and was credited with keeping it operational amid financial difficulties. He took long-term leave some weeks ago and died on Monday evening at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, near to his home in west Yorkshire.


Prestwich appoints new rabbi

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has selected a new rabbi after a year without a minister.

Dovid Eisenberg, the New York-born son of Austria's Chief Rabbi, was selected following pulpit auditions for the four candidates.

It will be the first ministerial position for the 29-year-old, who studied in yeshivot in America and Israel before coming to Whitefield kollel in Manchester three years ago.

Rabbi Eisenberg holds a degree in Talmudic law as well as a masters in business from Bar-Ilan University.

He will work as a team with his wife Miriam, who is from a Manchester family.


'Time running out' for Liverpool care home

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Officers of Liverpool's Stapely Jewish home are to investigate closure and taking space in a non-Jewish care facility.

A review into the home's future is being undertaken following the collapse of a plan to relocate to the Childwall Synagogue site.

Liverpool Jewish Housing Association chairman Alan Tinger pledged: "We will definitely have a Jewish care home in Liverpool." Yet "time is running out" for Stapely to relocate before its Victorian premises in Sefton Park fall below regulatory standards.


Chrysler named Young Cantor of the Year

June 24, 2010

Twenty-year-old Didi Chrysler prevailed in a northern battle to be crowned Young Cantor of the Year at St John's Wood Synagogue on Monday night.

The Jerusalem-based Mancunian saw off the challenge of Southport Hebrew Congregation's Yossi Saunders, 21, and Charles Chait, 21, from Liverpool's Childwall Synagogue. A fourth finalist, Levi Coleman from Stamford Hill, was unable to compete because of work commitments at a Beverly Hills hotel.

Mr Chrysler's prize is a scholarship to the prestigious Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute, under the leadership of Cantor Naftali Herstik.


Stanmore minyan for Sephardi

By Jay Grenby, June 24, 2010

An experimental Sephardi minyan at Stanmore United Synagogue attracted 30 people to its first service.

Conducted on Shabbat morning by some of the shul's regular lay service leaders, it was aimed at what minister Rabbi Mendel Lew termed "the substantial number of Sephardim among Stanmore's members".


Edgware Mikveh project approved

By Jay Grenby, June 24, 2010

Edgware Lubavitch has received planning permission from Barnet Council for the construction of a permanent brick building to house the mikveh at the rear of its Hale Lane premises.

It replaces a wooden cabin which was destroyed by fire last year, al-though the ritual bath itself escaped damage and has continued in use inside a temporary structure.

The new building will be twice the size of its predecessor and, for the first time, will allow the mikveh to be used by women as well as men, although only on Friday nights.


Board celebrates 250th anniversary

By Marcus Dysch, June 24, 2010

Past and present members of the Board of Deputies were a hat-maker's dream as they arrived at the organisation's 250th anniversary celebration on Sunday in fedoras, panamas, bowlers, an Ajex beret and even a top hat adorned with peacock feathers.

The 200-plus guests were honouring the request of the late Gertrude Shilling, a deputy known for the extravagant millinery creations she wore annually to the Royal Ascot race meeting.


The Fonz visits Akiva school

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

A visit by Henry "The Fonz" Winkler made for happy days for pupils at Akiva School in Finchley.

The actor and writer popped in on Tuesday to speak to children about his story books. But Mr Winkler left his trademark leathers and motorcycle from the 1970s TV show Happy Days at home, and came dressed in a purple shirt and driving a BMW. In fact, he told the pupils he was unable to ride a motorcycle when playing Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, and his bike had been pulled along on a trolley.