Community life

MDA benefits from a little outside help in Bolton

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 6, 2009

A market stall in Bolton’s city centre run by Christian Friends of Magen David Adom has helped towards the £150,000 funding of two new Israeli ambulances.

Retired coal miner Barrie Robinson and his team have raised £5,000 selling donated bric-a-brac. They also distribute leaflets explaining why they “stand with Israel”.

Manning the stall on Tuesday, Mr Robinson said: “People tell us, ‘you know what the Jews are doing in Israel —why do you support them?’ We tell them from a Christian perspective why we’ve got to stand by the Jewish people.”


Darley enjoys a mandate from Liberals

August 6, 2009

Rabbi Janet Darley is the new minister of Streatham-based South London Synagogue and its second woman rabbi after Baroness Julia Neuberger.

Born in Utah, Rabbi Darley moved to England in 1989. She took an active role in the Kingston Liberal congregation and was a senior economics lecturer at Kingston University before deciding to pursue her rabbinic dream.

She served South London as student rabbi in the final year of her studies at Leo Baeck College and believes Leo Baeck gave her “a solid foundation in both traditional Jewish texts and modern Progressive Jewish learning.”


The Project loses out on lottery

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 6, 2009

Manchester’s Jewish Youth Project is to shut down with redundancies for its director and administrator after a £415,000 lottery funding bid was unsuccessful.

Known as The Project, it has, since 1994, provided support for youth groups, leadership training and counselling on issues such as bullying and drugs. Funded mainly via grants, it lost its then lottery backing two years ago. A local Jewish trust fund stepped in with support.


Rader’s Brighton job

By Cecily Woolf, August 6, 2009

Lubavitch rabbi Herschel Rader this week formally took up his duties as Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation’s full-time minister.

Rabbi Rader’s departure from Woodside Park Synagogue in 2007 split his former community. He has been officiating at BHHC’s West Hove synagogue on temporary contracts for the past 15 months. BHHC has been without a permanent minister since Rabbi Pesach Efune resigned in May 2007 for personal reasons.


Redbridge extends its communal campus

By Jessica Elgot, August 6, 2009

Plans for an extended Redbridge Jewish campus incorporating schools, a community centre and, potentially, a synagogue in a multi-million pound project are under serious discussion.

As previously reported, Ilford Jewish Primary School is planning to move to the site of King Solomon High in Barkingside.

The wider scheme will see the Sinclair House community centre transfer there and the vision of Sinclair House chairman Philip Leigh is to add a merged Ilford United/Ilford Federation shul. Subject to funding, he believes Sinclair House will have transferred by 2013.


Star charity

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 30, 2009

The northern branch of Charedi welfare charity Interlink has received recognition for its advice and adult learning services. The Matrix Standard — a nationally accepted mark of good practice commonly awarded to employment agencies and higher education institutions — puts Interlink in a stronger position to apply for government funding.

Director Nava Kestenbaum hopes the formal acknowledgement of “Interlink’s high standards” will increase opportunities to assist the community.


Shul cash is stolen

July 30, 2009

Burglars who broke into the Edgware premises of the small Netzach Yisroel congregation on Tuesday night stole the contents of a charity box.

Rabbi Dovid Roberts believed the robbery was “opportunistic” rather than racially motivated.

“The Ark was opened but nothing was taken. There was no vandalism.” The crime was reported to Barnet Police, who visited the synagogue to take fingerprints.

The 100-family community has used the premises in The Drive, Edgware, for its weekday services for the past three years. The shul is above a Tesco store which was also broken into.


Secret £1.2m donor saves four schools

By Cathy Forman, July 30, 2009

An anonymous £1.2 million donation from a London trust will save four Israeli schools from closure.
The money has been given to the British Friends of Shuvu, supporting a religious schools network.

Falling donations from the UK and America had put the future of six schools in jeopardy. The pledge from the London trust will preserve the places of over 1,000 students but Shuvu schools in Nahariya and Ashkelon still face closure.


Farewell to Israel group

By Fay Stang, July 30, 2009

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor hosted a London farewell reception for 90 Britons making aliyah.
The guests are among an estimated 800 olim from Britain this year, the highest figure for a quarter-of-a-century. More than 100 will be on a flight to Israel on August 11.

Those at the reception included Daniel Goldstone, 23, from Leeds, who “found it interesting meeting other people doing the same thing as me.”

He was “enthusiastic and anxious, like I would be with any new experience, but I am excited about the independence it will give me.”


Janner gets top Ajex job

July 30, 2009

Lord Janner is the new president of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, replacing the late Edmund de Rothschild.

A long-time Ajex member and a vice-president of the association since the 1980s, the Labour peer pointed out that it also built relationships with other ex-service organisations “which grow in importance as close inter-communal relations become increasingly vital”.