Community life

ZF guest Halevy hails Gaza action

February 12, 2009

Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy hailed the impact of Operation Cast Lead in a speech to 500 Zionist Federation supporters in Central London on Sunday.

Addressing the ZF’s annual dinner, which raised over £100,000, Mr Halevy maintained that from a military standpoint, the operation had been an “all-out success”, inflicting a humiliating defeat on Hamas.

“This was also evident with the total isolation of Hamas in the Arab world. Egypt and Saudi Arabia turned their back, as did Iran and Syria. And where was [Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah?”

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Finchley gets more spiritual

February 12, 2009

Finchley Reform Synagogue has appointed a director of spiritual development to find “alternative means for people to grapple with their spiritual journeys”.

In the new role, Rabbi Howard Cooper will conduct a Shabbat morning service once a month, play a part in festival services and contribute to the shul’s adult education activities.

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Visionary project

February 12, 2009

An organisation promoting Jewish responsibility has set its sights on improving vision in Africa.

Project Chesed, a joint initiative of the United Synagogue and the London School of Jewish Studies, has joined forces with the Eye Warehouse to collect thousands of pairs of spectacles which will be sent by Vision Aid Overseas to optical clinics in countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia. The Project Chesed collection is dedicated to the memory of Giles Van Colle, an optician and US member, who was murdered in 2000.

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Festival service in jail

February 12, 2009

Tu Bishvat was marked in Colding-ley prison, Surrey, on Monday by the planting of a cherry tree and a service for the four Jewish inmates.

The ceremony was conducted by Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and student rabbi Elana Sondel.

Rabbi Rich had “noted with sadness that the expansion of the prison had necessitated the loss of a number of trees. I offered to celebrate Tu Bishvat by donating a tree and the governor readily agreed. The prison workshop will make a plaque acknowledging the donation.

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Meat goes off the menu at day centres

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

New and cheaper charges for services are to be introduced by Jewish Care as part of its recession-beating strategy.

From late April, a flexible pricing structure for activities, food and transport will be implemented at its day centres. Last month, chief executive Simon Morris announced that up to 22 jobs would be cut at head office as part of attempts to save £2.5 million.

After Pesach, service users will be asked to pay £1 for transport to centres and £3.50 per day for activities, rather than the current all-inclusive charges of between £10 and £12.

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JNF weekend earns over £50k for Sderot

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 12, 2009

Responding to a plea from Sderot for funding for a secure park for children, JNF Manchester raised over £50,000 at the weekend.

Almost £5,000 was brought in from a party at the Bijou bar in the city centre on Saturday evening. Close on 400 people attended the event, staged by JNF’s new Unite group, catering for 21-to-40-year-olds.

The bulk of the money was brought in from JNF’s annual Green Sunday telephone appeal. Thirty volunteers manned phones at the charity’s Manchester offices in Mamlock House.

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Recession brings rise in calls to shul helpline

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

When Rebecca Brummer took on the role of Borehamwood Synagogue’s community care co-ordinator eight months ago, her workload mostly concerned the welfare of sick or elderly members of the community. Now the majority of callers to the congregation’s Careline are seeking advice on coping with redundancy and unemployment and debt and home repossession.

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Casino pays out

February 12, 2009

Around £80,000 for projects benefitting some of Israel’s most vulnerable children and families was raised by Wizo’s casino night on Saturday at the Bloomsbury Ballroom.

American Wizo supporters were among the 150 players on games such as roulette and blackjack.

The evening also featured a dinner and auction for prizes including a VIP box at a Chelsea football match, first night tickets at the Old Vic and a sitting with paparazzo Richard Young, plus a tour of his photographic studio.

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New Ort team aims to increase income

By Ben Jaglom, February 12, 2009

British Ort’s new leadership team is confident that it can conquer the credit crunch.

Having joined the educational charity as fundraising director, Noga Zivan is “optimistic that despite the current economic difficulties, we can increase our income this year. We will continue to hold our events as normal.”

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Presidency in Bristol

By Hannah Leader, February 12, 2009

Nick Tarsh is the new president of the governing body of Clifton College independent school in Bristol.

Mr Tarsh was at Polack’s — the only Jewish boarding house in an English public school until its closure in 2005 — and was the first Polackian to be Clifton head boy.

He attends Wimbledon Reform Synagogue and the New London in St John’s Wood, of which he is a founding member.

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