Community life

Chief Rabbi to give lecture on conversion

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Dayan Menachem Gelley, senior dayan of the London Beth Din, are to take part in a lecture series next month on one of the controversial contemporary topics - conversion.

They are among speakers who feature in a seven-part course on "understanding conversion" beginning next Wednesday night at the London School of Jewish Studies in Hendon.


Minister denounces Masorti presence

By Stephanie Brickman, April 29, 2010

Another row is flaring over the establishment of a Masorti community in Glasgow with Garnethill minister Aharon Soudry criticising his synagogue council's decision to let out a room to Masorti Scotland.

Denouncing the move, Mr Soudry has urged Garnethill members to have nothing to do with the Masorti congregation. Masorti held its first Shabbat services at Garnethill at the weekend, followed by a joint kiddush between the two congregations, another move Mr Soudry opposes.


Tracey Emin at British Friends of Art Museums of Israel

April 29, 2010

Tracey Emin was the star attraction as the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Women in the Arts lunches on Monday.

Some 180 women (and two men) visited Emin's exhibition at the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury before being taken by coach to Shoreditch House, a private members' club in east London, where lunch was served in the rooftop restaurant. There, Emin discussed her life and career with her friend, broadcaster Tim Marlow.


Hertfordshire communites celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut

By Jay Grenby, April 22, 2010

Many Hertfordshire communities organised joint festivities, with 230 members of the Radlett and Shenley United congregations getting together at Shenley's base on Monday, where the Yom Hazikaron ceremony was led by children from both communities.


Glasgow rabbi steps up to perform at Independence Day

By Stephanie Brickman, April 22, 2010

Glasgow's very own guitar man stepped into the breach on Independence Day when the scheduled Israeli entertainers were stranded by the flight chaos.

Newton Mearns minister Rabbi Danny Bergson entertained the 300 guests at a party in Giffnock, with the musical assistance of Josh Cowan.

Face painting and cupcake decoration were among a variety of activities for children and families.


More than 800 celebrate Israeli in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

Eight hundred people turned out for the Manchester community's Yom Ha'atzmaut party at the Sheridan Suite in the north of the city on Tuesday.

In the absence of Israeli entertainers because of the air travel disruption, guitarist and Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute student Sruli Portnoy, 19, son of the Hale community's Rabbi Joel Portnoy, was the musical headliner.

"They pulled me in about three hours before the event," he said. Ironically, Mr Portnoy was available as he had been unable to get a flight out of England.


TV star Joel Weiner joins big Bnei Akiva event

April 22, 2010

Schoolboy Joel Weiner, who found fame this week as one of the questioners of Brown, Cameron and Clegg in the first party leaders' TV debate, was back on more familiar territory on Monday.

The Bnei Akiva member was one of over 1,000 people at the BA celebration at Finchley Synagogue, the country's biggest Independence Day event.

Joel said: "There was the most fantastic atmosphere and everyone felt the great vibe, celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut with Bnei Akiva and such a big crowd."


Redbridge puts its talent on show for Israel

By Andrew Pentol, April 22, 2010

There was a carnival atmosphere at Jewish Care's Redbridge Community Centre on Monday night as the Yom Ha'atzmaut festivities served as a showcase for youthful talent.

Over 250 people enjoyed the party, many dressed in blue and white, waving Israeli flags and sporting flashing badges. It was one of a series of local events including celebrations at Jewish schools and a gala dinner.


Harold House celebrates Independence Day

April 22, 2010

A chocolate fountain was a sweet incentive to the 200 guests at Merseyside's Independence Day party at Harold House.

Assistant centre manager and event compere Adam Cailler said the response from locals justified the three months of planning. "Tonight's turnout goes to show that not only is Liverpool's Jewish community very much alive - it's thriving."

At the Southend and Westcliff event, £1,000 was raised for Israeli war disabled, including the proceeds from a raffle. Guests enjoyed falafel and a concert by Jewish community members.


ZF celebrates Yom Ha'atzmaut despite travel chaos

By Leon Symons, April 22, 2010

The Zionist Federation claimed a triumph out of disaster after its London concert to celebrate Israel's 62nd birthday fell victim to the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

With the Israeli stars of the show unable to travel, the ZF had 24 hours to put together a replacement Israeli-style informal party for 400 people at Logan Hall in Bloomsbury, featuring a London-based Israeli band, a singer and a comedian.