Community life

Cash crisis threatens chaplaincy provision

By Stephanie Brickman, February 5, 2009

Student chaplaincy around the country is under threat because of the economic downturn, the annual meeting of Northern Region Chaplaincy was told at Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation on Sunday.

Meeting chair Nicola Livingston stressed the importance of stepping up efforts to find funding for a new regional chaplaincy couple following the departure of Rabbi Dovid and Sora Cohen in July after 14 years of service.

Without the £25,000 that is to be sought in Scotland, recruitment would be problematic, she said. The region also incorporates North-East England.

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My Fair Sadie proves to be a box-office sensation

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 5, 2009

A “women’s only” religious musical comedy has been the hottest ticket for Manchester Jewry.

Over 800 women enjoyed sell-out performances of My Fair Sadie at the Radcliffe Civic Suite at the weekend. So great was the interest that the final dress rehearsal was opened to the public.

The musical was staged by Pace — a performing arts group producing comedy for religious audiences — to raise funds for and awareness of Manchester welfare charity, The Fed.

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LJCC planning £750,000 youth centre

By Ben Jaglom, February 5, 2009

The London Jewish Cultural Centre has unveiled detailed plans for a £750,000 youth centre on its Ivy House, Golders Green, site which the LJCC believes will attract teenagers from across the capital.

LJCC general manager Alan Fell said this week: “We are suffering from a shortage of facilities for young Jewish people and there has been no new Jewish youth facility in the borough for a very long time.”

Following a successful planning appeal, building work will start in the autumn and should be completed early in 2010.

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Shrubs is set to grow through diversifying

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 5, 2009

North Manchester’s Prestwich Hebrew Congregation is attempting to reverse a membership decline by using its 1.5 acre site as a community centre offering mother and baby groups, soft-play activities, adult education and cafe and banqueting facilities.

The shul’s executive has joined forces with outreach organisation Seed and local kosher food supplier Shefa Mehadrin to transform provision in the buildings adjoining the 650-seat synagogue.

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Herts gym fixes it for Norwood

February 5, 2009

Participants in Norwood’s international challenges this year are being helped in their preparation by the promise of free gym membership.

The offer has been made by the Village Health Club in Elstree and will run until the start of the individual’s challenge.

“These events raise money for a marvellous cause and we are delighted to add our support,” said Village Hotels and Leisure director Michael Bibring.

“You will be fit for the challenge and will save plenty of money on the way that you can always use to top up your sponsorship.”

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Servicemen call on army of helpers

February 5, 2009

The charitable arm of the Jewish Committee for HM Forces is relaunching on the back of a continuing increase in the number of Jews in the services.

Now known as the Friends of Jewish Servicemen and Women, the charity has raised funds to support chaplaincy services and a magazine to keep personnel abreast of wider community and faith issues.

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Key Charedi charity introduces charges

By Leon Symons, February 5, 2009

The umbrella organisation for the Charedi voluntary sector has introduced charges for its services.

Previously, organisations using the Interlink Foundation have paid an annual membership fee, depending on their income, ranging from £25 to £95. All Interlink services were then free.

Now the foundation, with offices in Stamford Hill and Manchester, has introduced charges of between £40 and £60 an hour in a move intended to secure its future.

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Survivor’s harrowing memories

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

For survivor Joseph Kiersz, Coventry’s HMD service brought back memories of the horrific scenes he witnessed as a boy.

The Nazis captured his family, who lived near Lodz, in Poland, and he was interned first at Belsen and later at Auschwitz. His mother, brother and sisters died in the gas chambers.

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Public rejects Israel boycott

By Barry Toberman and Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

The british are against a boycott of Israeli goods, according to a survey conducted for the JC by YouGov this week.

By a significant majority, they also feel that the imposition of sanctions would make no difference to Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Although almost half the 1,859 adults surveyed believe that Israel is acting too harshly towards Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza, the large percentage of “don’t knows” to the three questions indicates that many do not feel strongly about the issues.

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Edgware Orthodox school stays open despite financial crisis

By Leon Symons, January 29, 2009

A North London Orthodox boys’ grammar school is staying open despite the company that runs it having gone into voluntary liquidation.

Menorah Grammar School Limited has debts of £322,000 and only £1,200 in the bank, according to a report of a creditors’ meeting on January 16. A new set of governors has to be appointed and their first job will be to raise finance to pay staff salaries and reduce the debt, according to a former senior figure at the school.

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