Community life

Kingdom to remain shut at Passover

By James Martin, February 18, 2009

Golders Green supermarket Kosher Kingdom has advised customers that it will not reopen in time for Passover.

The store has been closed since a fire last summer and bosses tried unavailingly to find temporary premises for the lucrative Pesach market.

“Despite our best attempts, we have had to face the inevitable,” Kosher Kingdom’s David Rokach said. “It’s obviously a missed commercial opportunity but it actually hurts us that we can’t service our customers this year as they’ve become so reliant on us.”

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Rosh Pinah backtracks on changes

By Jay Grenby, February 18, 2009

Parents of pupils at Edgware’s Rosh Pinah Primary have cautiously welcomed a “climb-down” by the school over changes to its Jewish studies curriculum.

Last Friday, the JC reported parental anger at the removal of chumash and Rashi from the syllabus. On the same day parents were sent a letter from school leaders claiming “it was always intended that chumash would be incorporated and take its rightful place as an integral part of the Jewish studies curriculum”.

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A final reunion for men who fought the Fascists

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2009

Jewish street-fighters reminisced about their East End battles with Oswald Mosley’s blackshirted supporters at an emotional gathering in Hampstead Garden Suburb on Sunday.

They were among 200 people, Including family members, at the final reunion of 43 Group, founded by ex-servicemen to fight the rising tide of British Fascism. Now mostly in their 80s, they were glad of the opportunity of a last meeting with former comrades.

John Wimbourne joined the 43s after returning to Britain from service in the Merchant Navy. He recalled feeling compelled to combat Mosley’s organisation.

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Talent contest finalists chosen

By Ben Jaglom, February 18, 2009

Actor and comedian Paul Kaye will be judging the comedians, musicians, singers and a magician who have made the final of a Wizo-organised talent competition. Showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit will also be on the panel for the “Who’s Got Talent?” showpiece in North-West London on March 8.

The competition is a follow-up to last year’s “Comedy Factor” event and is being run by Wizo’s younger division, Aviv.

“Jews have always been big in showbusiness so it was no surprise seeing so many turning up wanting to audition,” reported Wizo executive director Alison Rosen.

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Fruitful aid at Tu Bishvat

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

Around 1,500 children from London Jewish primary and secondary schools, nurseries and chedarim joined Gift’s Tu Bishvat initiative to help families in need.

The Hendon-based social action charity asked each pupil to bring fruit to school to be put into baskets by their class.

Volunteers delivered over 100 baskets to clients in time for the festival. Beis Yaakov, Hasmonean, Hertsmere and Yavneh College were among the schools involved.

“This initiative is exactly what Gift is all about,” said the charity’s director Michelle Barnett.

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Care home for disabled children

By Leon Symons, February 12, 2009

A 12-bedroom home primarily for children with severe disabilities is to be built in Stamford Hill following the purchase of a £2 million property.

New charity Bayis Sheli is taking charge of the project, which is backed by the Interlink Foundation, the umbrella organisation for the Charedi voluntary sector.

Interlink helped to secure more than £3 million in funding from Futurebuilders England, a government investment programme. The Charedi community will have to raise at least another £1 million towards furnishing and running costs and a fundraising drive is under way.

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School’s out

By Ben Jaglom, February 12, 2009

After three days of weather and power-related closures last week, Moriah Jewish Day School pupils have again been at home after the heating system broke down.

A message posted by headteacher Alan Shaw on the Harrow school’s website on Monday explained that a specialist part had to be brought over from Germany and could take up to four days to arrive. Apologising to parents for the incovenience and disruption, he explained that “we are bound by legal requirements for a minimum temperature of 18 degrees centigrade in classrooms”.

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Chief is bullish on Manchester’s future

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 12, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has predicted a rosy future for Manchester Jewry despite the large-scale migration of younger community members.

Interviewed on Saturday evening before participating in a question-and-answer session in support of South Manchester Synagogue’s youth projects, Sir Jonathan argued that in some respects Manchester Jewry was stronger than the capital’s community.

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Religious studies row at Edgware primary

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

Parents of pupils at Edgware’s Rosh Pinah Primary have been angered by the removal of chumash and Rashi learning from the school’s curriculum following a review of Jewish studies provision.

At least 40 families — representing around 10 per cent of the school’s roll — are said to be deeply concerned at the move. Some are considering withdrawing their children or withholding payment of the voluntary contribution towards Jewish studies.

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ZF guest Halevy hails Gaza action

February 12, 2009

Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy hailed the impact of Operation Cast Lead in a speech to 500 Zionist Federation supporters in Central London on Sunday.

Addressing the ZF’s annual dinner, which raised over £100,000, Mr Halevy maintained that from a military standpoint, the operation had been an “all-out success”, inflicting a humiliating defeat on Hamas.

“This was also evident with the total isolation of Hamas in the Arab world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia turned their back, as did Iran and Syria. And where was [Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah?”

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