Community life

Raising the stakes at Youth Aliyah

January 8, 2009

New Youth Aliyah Child Rescue executive director Martin Mason intends to raise the profile of the 75-year-old charity, which supports five villages in Israel.

Mr Mason, 54, took up the role this week, having assisted Youth Aliyah on a voluntary basis after closing his trade catalogues’ publishing company.

He produced the brochure for the charity’s anniversary dinner at St James’s Palace in November, held in conjunction with the International Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and hosted by Prince Edward.

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Home improvements

January 8, 2009

Work has started on a £1.5 million redevelopment programme at Edinburgh House, Wembley, the Sephardi Home for the Aged.

The scheme will allow residents of the second-floor high dependency unit to move downstairs, where they will have a new lounge and dining area. The current high dependency unit will be replaced with four new bedrooms.

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Immanuel pupils’ Polish project

January 8, 2009

A group of pupils from Bushey’s Immanuel College have visited Poland as part of the school’s charitable project to improve the lives of Polish Jewry.

Prior to the trip, sixth-formers had raised money for a display fridge for the kosher shop in Cracow and items for the Jewish school in Warsaw.
A poignant part of the itinerary was the unveiling of a new plaque at the Jewish cemetery in Lublin commemorating the 100-plus local orphans and many elderly residents of the Lublin Jewish Shelter murdered by the Nazis.

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More lessons from Shoah

January 8, 2009

Almost 3,000 sixth-formers and teachers will participate in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s 2009 Lessons from Auschwitz programme.

Through funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the HET is offering places on the scheme to two pupils from every secondary school and college. In November, the Scottish Government announced funding for its own schools.

As well as visiting the death camp site, participants attend orientation and follow-up seminars. They will then be expected to share their experiences with fellow pupils and the wider
community.

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Bus route plea to Boris

By Craig Silver, January 8, 2009

London Assembly member Brian Coleman is urging Boris Johnson to extend the 210 bus route from Brent Cross to serve Stamford Hill Jewry.

Speaking before next week’s plenary session, the Barnet and Camden representative said: “By running through Golders Green and all the way to Stamford Hill, it will connect families and friends and enable them to get to community events in those areas.” The 210 currently runs to Finsbury Park.

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Hardship fund started with rabbis’ donations

January 8, 2009

Liberal Judaism rabbis are donating one per cent of their salary to a hardship fund to help congregants affected by the credit crunch.

Boosted by contributions from others within the movement, the fund has raised £8,000 in little over a month.

The idea is to assist those who cannot be helped through other means. A movement spokeswoman suggested that as well as helping those who had lost jobs, the Pe’ah Fund could benefit elderly people whose relatives could no longer support them financially.

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A hit with Ali, and with the league

January 8, 2009

Punching Muhammad Ali, being cared for by Indira Gandhi and avoiding sniper fire in Bosnia were among tales from a journalistic career recounted by Dame Ann Leslie to League of Jewish Women members.

Questioned by league president Ella Marks, the Daily Mail journalist said she had struck the legendary boxer to attract his attention. The late Indian prime minister had come to her aid when she was sick during an interview and a loud outburst of foul language had stopped the Bosnian sniper in his tracks.

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Fresh interest in Anne Frank story

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, January 8, 2009

The executive director of the Anne Frank Trust UK believes that the prime-time BBC One dramatisation of The Diary of Anne Frank will “bring a new wave of interest in the Holocaust and Anne Frank’s story”.

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US moves to cut burial transfer costs

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 8, 2009

People moving from city to city will face a lesser financial burden to change their burial arrangements if the United Synagogue’s national burial fee transfer scheme is implemented.

The US is asking Orthodox synagogues to guarantee to forward a fixed element of a congregant’s past fees to another Orthodox burial organisation. At present, accumulated fees are lost when a person moves to another burial society.

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£4m shul project

By Jay Grenby, December 30, 2008

Several hundred New North London Synagogue members attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the shul’s £4 million building project at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley.

Minister Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg told them that, as well as being home to the growing Masorti congregation — 1,600 adults and 900 children — the new building would “allow the synagogue to serve the wider community”. He illustrated New North London’s commitment to others by making a donation to an Israeli soup kitchen.

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