Community life

Leeds youth club leader honoured by Gordon Brown

By Cathy Forman, February 4, 2010

Youth club leader Raina Sheaf was among community heroes hosted by Gordon Brown at a 10 Downing Street reception.

Leeds North-East MP Fabian Hamilton nominated Mrs Sheaf, chief executive of local club the Zone, as someone “widely respected in the Jewish community”.

She was “thrilled to be invited. It was good to realise that Mr Hamilton values what I do at the Zone.”

Mrs Sheaf, 43, travelled to London with Mr Hamilton’s other nomination, Abid Hussain, owner of a local chain of stores and an active supporter of the Leeds Islamic Centre.


Reform school slammed by Orthodox parents

By Jay Grenby, February 4, 2010

The Hertfordshire Jewish primary school supported by the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements has been accused of hypocrisy by Orthodox parents.

Clore Shalom in Shenley has traditionally given preference to children whose families are affiliated to the three movements. But members of the nearby United synagogue — the only shul in the immediate area — claim their children are being unfairly denied places.

The Shenley families are backed by their rabbi, Natan Levy, who wants Clore Shalom to become a community school servicing all within the growing local Jewish population.


Deaf group wins lottery

February 4, 2010

An award of £170,000-plus from the Big Lottery Fund will guarantee the immediate future of the Jewish Deaf Association’s programme for its older members.

The Barnet-based charity offers a weekly day centre, computer lessons, social activities and personalised support for the 70s-90s. The money will help fund the salary of three key staff members over the next three years.


Strictly Orthodox Interlink Foundation expands

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2010

The future looks “positive” for the Interlink Foundation, the umbrella organisation for strictly Orthodox charities, after two years of deficit.

Addressing Interlink’s annual meeting, held in Stamford Hill and attended by over 100 charity representatives, trustee Rabbi Aba Dunner said a lot of hard work had been done to generate fresh income.


Belarus rabbi joins Nottingham synagogue

February 4, 2010

The twinning relationship between Nottingham and Minsk was strengthened on Sunday when Belarus native Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich was inducted as minister of the Nottingham Progressive congregation.

Rabbi Sakhnovich is no stranger to Nottingham Progressive, having served there for the final year placement of her Leo Baeck College studies. She said she brought “energy and enthusiasm” to the role and felt proud to lead “an open minded and welcoming community”.


New rabbi for Luton airport prayer room

February 4, 2010

Rabbi Alan Plancey is an associate chaplain at the new multi-faith prayer room at Luton Airport — the second in the UK after Heathrow to offer the facility beyond the security search area.The Elstree Synagogue emeritus minister will focus on staff and passengers on Tel Aviv flights.

Located on the upper level of the departure lounge, it is open around the clock. The chaplaincy team, led by the Reverend Michael Banfield, worked with the airport on the design and equipping of the room.


Rabbi Pinter: I blocked City Hall kaddish by woman rabbi

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2010

Leading Charedi personality Rabbi Avraham Pinter has been revealed as the complainant to Boris Johnson’s office who prevented a woman Reform rabbi from saying kaddish at the Holocaust Memorial Day event at City Hall last week.


Ireland’s President visits Belfast synagogue

By Joe Cohen, February 4, 2010

Mary McAleese praised the achievements of Belfast Jewry when making the first visit by an Irish President to the community’s synagogue.

Addressing 40 members, President McAleese recalled growing up in Belfast and her many Jewish friends at Belfast University. She told her audience to “never ever underestimate your influence and power. Belfast would not be what it is without the commitment of this small community, who have made a contribution to every level in the world of politics, business, arts and education.”


George Osborne backs Israel

February 4, 2010

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has assured a high-powered audience of Jewish businessmen and women of his strong support for Israel.

He told 300 guests at the Jewish Care breakfast at London’s Mansion House on Monday: “Over the next couple of years, the state of Israel is going to face all sorts of challenges and I want you to know I am a good friend of Israel.”

On a visit to the country with Conservative Friends of Israel, he had seen “the miracle created in the desert there”.


Jewish charities struggle on funds

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2010

Communal welfare organisations are facing a further squeeze on their funding from local authorities, increasing the pressure to raise more from donors to maintain services.

Jewish Care chairman Stephen Zimmerman told a breakfast meeting of its business group this week that the charity was still battling with Barnet Council over funding.

“This year Jewish Care is currently not going to receive any increase in the amount given by our largest local authority and we are even fighting to achieve the status quo.”