Community life

Board outraged at Vatican

By Bernard Josephs, February 19, 2009

The reinstatement by the Pope of a Holocaust-denying bishop has been condemned as an “outrage” by the Board of Deputies.

A resolution passed at Sunday’s meeting reflected communal anger at the lifting of the excommunication of the British-born ultra-traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson. The clergyman contends that the Holocaust was a Jewish invention and that “only” up to 300,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

The motion was proposed by former board president Lionel Kopelowitz, who said that a text of the resolution would be sent to the Vatican.

More..

Leukaemia boy thanks Camp Simcha

By Marcus Dysch, February 19, 2009

A teenage leukaemia survivor has described his involvement with a charity helping Jewish children with serious illness as the highlight of his life.

Sam Ryan told the 580 guests at Camp Simcha’s biennial gala dinner at Wembley Stadium how its volunteers had given him the confidence to make the most of each day.

Seventeen-year-old Sam was presented with a special recognition award by LBC radio presenter Nick Ferrari, who had conducted a mock phone-in with Camp Simcha clients and their parents.

More..

Cross-communal school appoints first head

February 19, 2009

A global search for the inaugur-al head of the Jewish Community Secondary School has ended with an appointment close to home.

Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, 35, has been chosen by the JCoSS governors to preside over the cross-communal school which opens in Barnet in September 2010. He is deputy head at Swakeleys Secondary School in Hillingdon but previously served two Barnet schools with a significant Jewish intake — Copthall and Mill Hill County. He has also worked with autistic children at a special school.

More..

800 at club reunion

By John Fisher, February 19, 2009

Sunday’s 80th anniversary celebrations of the Judean Club in Leeds attracted international interest with the 800 turnout including former members now living in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Israel.

The club was the dream of young Zionists who organised local lectures and social events in the 1920s. Launched by the late Louis Wigoder, it met in disused army barracks.

More..

Dragon soothed by his Jewish wife

By Ben Jaglom, February 19, 2009

Dragons’ Den panel member Theo Paphitis felt at home when addressing a sell-out audience of 240 at a Young Norwood fundraiser in Central London last week.

Interviewed before a question and answer session, the entrepreneur revealed: “My wife is a nice Jewish girl and I have always found Jewish and Greek cultures to be very similar. You have to remember that Cyprus is literally a stone’s throw from Israel. We eat similar foods, look similiar and have a Mediterranean culture.”

More..

Leaders' fresh pledge on harmony

By Simon Rocker, February 19, 2009

Leaders of the United Synagogue, Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements have made a fresh pledge of commitment to the Stanmore Accords, the 1998 agreement to avoid infighting and promote co-operation.

The Stanmore Accords recognised that British Jewry was “damaged by infighting and mutual recrimination”.

Yet the future of the agreement had been in doubt amid growing dissatisfaction among the non-Orthodox bodies with the progress achieved.

More..

Hackney listing threatens sale

By Jay Grenby, February 18, 2009

English Heritage’s award of Grade II listed status to the historic Hackney Synagogue building has jeopardised the United Synagogue’s plan to sell the site.

The US — which opposed the listing — had put the 112-year-old Brenthouse Road property on the market, highlighting the redevelopment potential. The hope was that a sale would fund the congregation’s relocation.

It is understood that a potential buyer has asked for time to reconsider, given that the listing, recognising architectural and historic interest, could scupper any plans for demolition.

More..

Mosque guests on Shabbat

February 18, 2009

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue welcomed 20 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to its Shabbat morning service.

The visitors, ranging in age from eight to 98, also joined congregants for lunch, where a talk by Waqar Ahmedi on the Ahmadiyya community was followed by a question and answer session led by Rabbi Margaret Jacobi and Imam Maulana Tahir Selby.

Rabbi Jacobi said that “in these difficult times, it is heartening to feel that we can form friendships with people of a different faith and discover how much we have in common”.

More..

Wartime care

February 18, 2009

A beersheba doctor has told a London audience how his hospital coped during the Gaza conflict.

“We functioned effectively under missile fire,” said Professor Mark Clarfield, head of geriatrics at Soroka Hospital, in a speech to the Jewish Medical Association UK.

He reported the preparations for treating casualties of the conflict and protecting staff and patients from missile bombardment.

Senior members of the medical professional were among the audience at University College London.

More..

Teenager has Paris Metro covered

By Ben Jaglom, February 18, 2009

University College School pupil Charlie Gould has helped to raise over £2,000 for charity by spending almost 16 hours passing through every stop on the Paris Metro.

The 15-year-old South Hampstead Synagogue member was joined by a fellow pupil, Fred Isaac, and teacher Andrew Wilkes on the French expedition. Charlie and Fred had been unsuccessful in an attempt last year to cover every stop on the London Underground.

More..