Community life

Anger over Cathedral art

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

An Israel support group in Liverpool is outraged at a cathedral which, they claim, is displaying a “one-sided” exhibition of children in Gaza.

Last week, the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool city centre unveiled the exhibition, entitled Loss of Innocence, featuring pieces of art by Gaza children.

But Sue Hadden, chairwoman of the Liverpool Israel Support Group, was angered by its content and contacted the cathedral.

She said: “There needs to be more balance. If they are showing pictures of Gaza children suffering, it should show Sderot children who have suffered terribly.”

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Plea to save Charedi sites

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Charedi community leaders have warned that some longstanding institutions, including mikvehs, charities and schools are “suffering dire financial deficits” as the recession takes its toll.

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has sent out an urgent appeal to the strictly Orthodox community as a “wake-up call” to help organisations “on the verge of bankruptcy”.

Chanoch Kesselman, executive co-ordinator at the union, said: “Most of the hardship experienced by these institutions is because of the recession, coupled with the increase in expenses.”

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John Hurt: Lessons not learnt from Holocaust

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Actor John Hurt fears the world has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.

Mr Hurt was one of the speakers at a Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London, making a link between events leading up to the Shoah and current economic problems.

“We’re in a situation now which is dangerous and parallels can be made to the time before the war, with the banking crises and loss of faith in the government. We love to put blame on the Hitlers and the Stalins but we need to look at ourselves and see that we are all at fault.”

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Coe opens centre named after young cancer victim

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

A multi-million pound laboratory researching groundbreaking cancer treatments has been named after the late wife of leading football agent, Jon Smith.

Lord Coe officially opened the Lee Smith Foundation Molecular Biology Laboratory in Hendon last week. The foundation was set up in memory of Lee Smith who died from leukaemia 28 years ago at the age of 29 and has raised money for research scientists, treatment and medical equipment throughout the world. The new laboratory will research vaccines for breast and prostate cancer.

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Family friendly Bayswater

September 24, 2009

A mother and toddlers group has been launched at the New West End Synagogue in Bayswater in a bid to integrate more young central London families into the community.

The group is the idea of Toni Nagel, who runs the congregation’s children’s services, and two New West End mums, Keren Levy and Charlotte Poltny. It has the active support of the minister’s wife, Anne Shisler, and the congregation’s acting chair, Gaby Morris.

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Farewell to Chief's aide

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

A large crowd gathered at St John’s Wood Synagogue for a farewell reception for Syma Weinberg, who retired this summer as executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s office after nearly 13 years.

The former Hasmonean Preparatory School deputy head and education consultant to Jewish Continuity is making aliyah with her husband Henry in December.

“It’s been a privilege to have been working in the community for 40 years,” Mrs Weinberg said.

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Bombing victim boy becomes face of Yomtov appeal

September 24, 2009

A four-year-old victim of a suicide bombing in Beersheva is the subject of the Yomtov appeal of One Family UK, which has a £100,000 target.

One Family in Israel provides support for bereaved parents such as Rachel and Yisrael Atash, whose son Aviel died in a bus bombing in 2004. He had been shopping with his mother, who was injured in the blast. While she lay in intensive care, Mr Atash identified their child’s dead body.

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Finchley gains time

September 24, 2009

Finchley Synagogue dropped its usual Rosh Hashanah appeal in favour of a volunteering commitment.

At the urging of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, congregants were invited to pledge to any one from 10 volunteering options. Rabbi Mirvis said. “There was an incredible sense of the community coming together to find time to help those who need it most.”

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Ofcom grants licence to Leeds Jewish radio

September 24, 2009

Ofcom has granted a Leeds-based Jewish radio station a five-year licence for medium wave programming.

Broadcasting on 1386AM, Radio Jcom was only previously available through the internet.

Station manager David Harris was “very excited about the station going on air. We already have a range of programmes covering all areas of interest and will be enlarging on these.”

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Ilford pays tribute to a Shoah educator

September 24, 2009

A memorial to Auschwitz survivor and Shoah educator Leon Greenman has been unveiled in Valentines Park, Ilford.

Local MPs Mike Gapes and Lee Scott were among the guests at the ceremony at the park’s Holocaust Memorial Garden. It was addressed by another survivor, Issy Hahn, who produced a motif for the memorial.

“This was not easy,” he said. “I put a lot of work in from my heart because I knew what happened in Auschwitz. Hopefully schools and colleges will visit the park and see the memorial, read the text explaining the design, and understand what happened.”

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