Community life

King David criticised by Ombudsman

By Cathy Forman, March 19, 2009

Liverpool’s King David Primary has been criticised by a Local Government Ombudsman for inadequately responding to a critical report on an admissions appeal complaint.

The Ombudsman, Anne Seex, reported in January 2008 that one of the school’s admission criteria was not “objective and clear”. It could not fully explain how it selected the 21 applicants from the 54 who applied under the same category as the complainant. The non-Jewish parent had not been given the reasons for his daughter being refused a King David place in 2006, so was unable to prepare for a second appeal.

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Perl: leaders are failing pupils

March 19, 2009

Educational philanthropist Benjamin Perl has accused the communal leadership of failing the needs of thousands of Jewish children.

Addressing a fundraiser for the Morasha Primary School in Finchley on Wednesday, Mr Perl urged anyone doubting the demand for more Jewish schools to consider the situation in Hertfordshire.

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US cuts back on education

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2009

Jewish schools should take over teacher training and curriculum development from the United Synagogue, the US believes.

The US wants to “shift responsibi-lity to where it belongs”, its president, Simon Hochhauser, told a meeting of its council in Hendon on Monday.

Until now, the US’s Agency for Jewish Education has overseen teacher training and the production of Jewish studies material.

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Aiding Africa

March 12, 2009

Thirty Reform movement members will be volunteering in a Kenyan orphanage in July through its Jour-neys4Justice scheme.

“It’s wonderful to be part of a group of Jewish volunteers going out to Africa,” said Dr Dan Marcus, 29, a founder of the Kenyan Orphans Project.

“The project was started in 2001 by two friends and I while we were medical students in an effort to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children.”

Trip organiser Julian Resnick said: “We are embracing the Jewish values of tzedakah [charity] and tikkun olam [repairing the world].

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ERC on move

March 12, 2009

Significantly increased demand for the services of the Employment Resource Centre have resulted in a move to larger premises.

The ERC — which has been helping Jews back into the job market for 16 years — will from next week operate from more spacious offices in Finchley Central.

This relocation will enable the centre to cut its waiting lists and offer improved facilities to clients. Seminars will still be held at the ERC’s current home in East Finchley.

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South Bank harmony

By Simon Rocker, March 12, 2009

The Spiro Ark joined forces with the Muslim-owned Vigo Group to host a sell-out concert of interfaith music on London’s South Bank on Saturday night.

Vigo co-sponsored an appearance at the Purcell Room of Berakah, featuring musicians from Muslim, Christian and Jewish backgrounds.

Berakah (“blessing” in Arabic) was founded by Muslim guitarist Mo Nazam and its repertoire runs from the mystical Hebrew hymn, Yedid Nefesh, to fusions of klezmer violin and Middle Eastern rhythms inspired by Sufi folklore.

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Shul is a first for Feds

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 12, 2009

The first Federation synagogue outside the capital is to be built in Manchester.

Planning permission has been granted for a 200-seat venue for the Ohr Yerushalayim community in Salford, which has been meeting in a rented hall.

Having attracted 18 people to its inaugural service in 2000, the community has grown to a membership of 100 young Orthodox families.

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Kennedy defends Mid-East record

By Stephanie Brickman, March 12, 2009

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy defended his record on Israel when he addressed 120 members of the Glasgow Jewish community at Calderwood Lodge School on Sunday.

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP kept his lecture on world affairs and human rights issues brief to devote a large part of the meeting to audience questions.

Asked why he was not more pro-Israel, Mr Kennedy replied: “I would rather be known as a candid friend of Israel than tell people what they want to hear. My record speaks for itself.

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Hard men up to Israel challenge

By James Martin, March 12, 2009

Twelve action men have returned to Britain after a gruelling physical ordeal in the Judean desert to raise over £50,000 for a children’s care village and a phone counselling service for families in Sderot.

Emunah’s Triple-E Challenge involved participants in five days of intense activity and teamwork in un-usually bad weather. They were galvanised by a visit to one of the beneficiaries — the Neve Landy Children’s Village in the rural district of Even Shmuel — reported Hendon fitness trainer Neil Isaacson.

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Radio star aged nine

By John Fisher, March 12, 2009

Nine-year-old Sam Berson has become the youngest presenter at Leeds Jewish community station Radio Jcom.

After just five weeks’ training, Sam is fronting the Sam Berson’s Children’s Show, a mix of interviews and music.

“Lots of my friends from the 22nd North Leeds cubs and scouts have been invited on to my programme and I want to include excerpts from all my favourite musicals,” he said.

He has recorded his own version of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now to use as his theme music.

Radio Jcom is broadcast daily on the internet and is hoping to get an AM slot in the summer.

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