Community life

Progressive college welcomes global intake

July 8, 2010

There is an international flavour to the new rabbinical studies intake at north London Progressive Jewish learning college, Leo Baeck.

Among those starting their studies in Israel will be Canadian Emily Jurman, a recent religious studies BA graduate from York University, who has undertaken various leadership roles with her home congregation in Greater Toronto.

Frenchman Jonas Jacquelin studied history and Jewish literature at the Sorbonne and has taught Judaism to young members of his Paris community.


$1m gift to Israel 'Oxbridge'

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

A $1 million British donation is helping Jersusalem's Shalem Centre to establish Israel's first US-style liberal arts college.
In London to promote the project, managing director of academic programmes Dr Amichai Magen said the aim was to create "the Oxbridge of Israel for lsraeli and Jewish leaders, politicians, diplomats and journalists of the future".

Due to open in 2012, it will offer a broad programme of arts, history, religion and philosophy.

The Chicago-based Conduit Foundation has donated $5 million and has agreed to match the $1 million from the anonymous British donor.


Hillel benefactor hailed for 50-year support

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Supporters of Hillel turned out in force to mark the retirement of one of its best-known benefactors, Fred Worms, after 50 years' service to the student organisation and to B'nai B'rith.

At a supper - fittingly held at the London Jewish Student Centre, opened in 2008 - Lord Sacks praised "one of the outstanding characters of Anglo-Jewry".

The occasion marked the first visit back to London by Mr Worms, who turns 90 this year, and his wife Della since they made aliyah in 2009.


Stevenage to get Liberal synagogue

By Jay Grenby, July 8, 2010

Liberal Judaism will have a permanent presence in the Stevenage and surrounding area with the formal affiliation of the North Herts Liberal Jewish Community, which held its first Shabbat service less than a year ago.

At a meeting to decide the group's future, members were assured of Liberal Judaism's continuing support by chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich before resolving unanimously to become its newest addition.


Wizo celebrates North Cheshire's 50th

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

North Cheshire Wizo's 50th anniversary celebration reunited 14 of the group's 17 chairwomen. Among them was Sally Weinstein, now living in America, who came over from New York.

In her legal work, she represents American women who have been victims of domestic violence and she spoke about Israeli charities supporting abused women.


Liverpool Jews get new services

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

Merseyside Jewish Community Care is putting £13,500 in grants towards new educational services and outings.

The 125-year-old organisation has received £12,500 for well-being activities from Liverpool Primary Care Trust and £1,000 for training from Vola, the Voluntary Organisation Learning Association.

Last year, MJCC helped 273 people and was contacted by a further 154 among the 3,000-strong community. It has over 250 volunteers.


Glasgow Jewish leaders' space for discussion

By Stephanie Brickman, July 8, 2010

In Glasgow it's just known as "The Blog" and is the scourge of the Jewish establishment because of anonymous contributors' frank and sometimes sarcastic criticism of community leaders.

But now the blog's hosts, the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum, have extended an olive branch to representative council president Eddie Isaacs - an offer of 500 unedited words and a discussion space on the council's Community Futures project.


Sheila Saunders steps down from Leeds Housing

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

It may not be the most popular analogy in Yorkshire but Sheila Saunders stepping down as Leeds Jewish Housing Association chief executive has been likened to Sir Alex Ferguson vacating the manager's chair at Manchester United.

Ms Saunders, 64, is retiring after 23 years with the LJHA, having also served as chief executive of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board until 2005. Executive director Darren Cooper will succeed her in the post.


Jami's modern approach to mental health

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

Laurie Rackind's caseload as chief executive of the Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill would decrease dramatically "if the community treated everyone with a mental health issue like anyone else.

"Part of why we exist is because that ain't happening," he said, reporting a client list exceeding 250 with problems including, anorexia, OCD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

And although Jami's work eases the burden on an overstretched NHS, only £45,000 of its £600,000 budget comes from statutory sources. It relies on almost 100 volunteers to support the professional team.


Volunteering 'helps you live longer'

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

They say giving is better than receiving - and it may help you towards a longer life.

Professor Felicia Huppert, the founder of Cambridge University's Well-being Institute, told a London audience that volunteering can bring benefits.

Research showed that older couples who had received support were 20 per cent more likely to be alive five years later than couples who had received no support, once other factors had been taken into account. But couples who had given support were 30 per cent more likely to be alive.