Community life

Volunteers out for the holidays

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Three hundred Jewish volunteers are expected to help out at care facilities and deliver food parcels over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Light up a Life scheme will be the second run by the Tikun charity, which reports that the response is double that of the inaugural year.
Volunteers will serve in soup kitchens and staff homeless centres. They will also visit residents at Jewish Care homes whose relatives may find it difficult to get to see them over the holiday period.

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Congestion charge ‘no’ brings relief

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Manchester communal groups have expressed relief at the overwhelming no vote against a proposed local congestion charge.

If the plan had been supported, drivers would have been charged for travel between the major Jewish areas of Whitefield and Prestwich.
Welfare charity The Fed said its operations would have been severely affected. Head of services Mark Cunningham had feared a big increase in running costs.

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Light show with Boris

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 18, 2008

More than 3,000 people are expected in Trafalgar Square on Monday afternoon to see London Mayor Boris Johnson light a giant menorah.

To shed greater light on the proceedings, more than 1,000 torches will be distributed among the crowd and there will be jugglers, clowns, magicians and live music. The party starts at 4.30pm.

The 30-foot menorah will be lit on every night of the festival in a collaboration between the mayor’s office, the London Jewish Forum and Chabad.

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Men at work? No, it’s a Redbridge calendar

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 18, 2008

Although not quite The Full Monty, a calendar of 12 revealing portraits of Essex men is proving big box office for Redbridge Jewish Community Centre.

The 2009 Jewish Men At Work calendar was launched at the centre last Thursday, where the male models performed the Hot Stuff dance routine from the movie. The strip was stopped at a respectable point by event organiser Duggi Zarum-Glick, who announced that the 200-strong audience had experienced “enough excitement for one evening. If you want to see more, go and buy the calendar.”

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Rabbi rocks for Scots

December 18, 2008

Danny Bergson is the new rabbi of Glasgow’s Newton Mearns Hebrew Congregation, filling the vacancy created by the move of Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch to the Woodside Park community in North London.

It is the first ministerial appointment for Rabbi Bergson, who has been director of Ignite the Soul, providing events for young adults across Manchester. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and plays guitar in a rock band.

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Tales from Lipman’s life

December 18, 2008

Maureen Lipman proved a star attraction for the New North London Synagogue as an evening of anecdotes at the Inner Temple raised over £18,000 for shul funds and other charities.

Before an audience of 240, Ms Lipman spoke without notes for almost 90 minutes, covering her upbringing, Judaism, acting career and marriage to the late playwright, Jack Rosenthal.

Her appearance fulfilled a pledge to close friend and NNLS member Elaine Paradise, with whom she went to school in Hull.

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Signing on at Edgware Adath building site

By Jay Grenby, December 18, 2008

Gathering in the echoing vault of the gutted former church that is to be Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation’s new home, 200 adults and children saw minister Rabbi Zvi Lieberman lay the foundation stone for the shul’s Ark. They also signed their names on bricks which will be incorporated into the Ark’s structure.

The congregation hopes to move into the £1.1 million synagogue in June. The site is opposite the shul’s former Hale Lane premises, where work is soon to commence on a new Edgware Jewish Primary school and nursery.

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Children love ‘Toys R rush’

December 18, 2008

Forty youngsters fulfilled a dream project on Sunday — spending an hour in Toys R Us in Brent Cross with a £4,000 budget.

They were helping to spend the proceeds of the Norwood Toy Sweep committee’s fundraising events on Chanucah presents for the charity’s young clients. They were also each given a £12 voucher to buy a Chanucah gift of their choice. Parent Yael Blatter said: “It’s been amazing to have Toys R Us to ourselves. My daughter has enjoyed every minute of the toy sweep.”

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Euro stars at 50

December 18, 2008

A book has been published to commemorate 50 years of the Conference of European Rabbis. The Conference of European Rabbis 1957-2007 has been written by a former conference director, Rabbi Moshe Rose, who now lives in Israel. It includes profiles of prominent rabbis involved and reprints of their statements on significant issues.

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Be proud of your roots, says Lord Levy

By Craig Silver, December 18, 2008

Lord Levy urged King Solomon High pupils to be proud of their roots and to “never hide the fact you are Jewish” when he addressed the Redbridge school’s prize day last Thursday.

The Jewish Care president and former Labour Party chief fundraiser told his audience: “I am very proud to be at the House of Lords but I am even prouder to go to synagogue and be around my own people.”

He added: “We have some fantastic schools in Anglo-Jewry and one I am very proud of is King Solomon. I think students are very lucky to have a good secular education combined with Jewish education.”

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