Community life

Kingston synagogue explores Czech links

By Jay Grenby, January 7, 2010

Kingston Liberal Synagogue is giving members the opportunity to explore its links with the Czech communities of Tabor, Blatna and Rychnov through an exhibition based on the Czech scrolls which the shul has on permanent loan.

The display tells the story of individuals, families and communities in the Nazi era and beyond. Inspired by a visit from the research director of the Czech Scroll Memorial Trust, Michael Heppner, a team led by KLS members Naomi Cream and John Gould has built on previous research to assemble the material.


Stillbirth family sets up helpline

By Jay Grenby, January 7, 2010

An Elstree couple who have experienced the practical, emotional and social consequences of a stillbirth have launched a helpline offering support for others in the same situation.

Appalled at the lack of readily available guidance in the aftermath of their stillborn daughter Lenni Veronica 18 months ago, Dan and Lisa Shaffer have founded the Jewish Stillbirth Trust, with a website.


Shul regulars enjoy a comfort break

By Jay Grenby, January 7, 2010

St Albans Synagogue members have bid a far from reluctant farewell to the 1950s’ metal seating installed when the shul was built. Although the chairs could now be deemed almost fashionable as retro items, most congregants found them cold and uncomfortable, particularly during the long High Holy-Day services.

The replacement seating features gold frames and more user friendly red padded seats, matching other shul furnishings. They are part of a £35,000 makeover, also including new blinds, ceiling tiles and a complete reconstruction of the building’s flat roof.


Guildhall celebration for Holocaust Memorial Day

January 7, 2010

A ceremony in the Great Hall of London’s Guildhall will be the centrepiece of Britain’s 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations at the end of the month.

Holocaust and other genocide survivors will join politicians and religious leaders to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Its main motif will be the archive of testimonies found in the Warsaw Ghetto and the programme will feature musical contributions, spoken recollections and video statements.


Three hurt in gas blast

By Leon Symons, January 7, 2010

Two men and an 11-year-old boy were taken to hospital after a suspected gas explosion in a house in Stamford Hill on Tuesday morning.

The 11-year-old was released while the two men were detained for treatment to burns to their faces and hands. Police, fire and ambulance staff, as well as members of the Hatzola strictly Orthodox emergency service, converged on the scene. The names of the injured have not been released. It is believed the men were working on flooring in the house in Craven Park Road.


Volunteers Gift of food to the Needy

January 7, 2010

Over 200 people helped to get food to the needy over the holiday period through the Gift charity, which promotes a culture of giving and volunteering among the younger community.

The volunteers sorted, packed and distributed the food to more than 1,000 recipients, mainly Jewish families in north-west London.

Gift director Michelle Barnett said that many referrals came through Norwood.

Deliveries are made to a range of Jewish and non-Jewish charities on a regular basis.


Scottish man celebrates 106 birthday - with one regret

By Stephanie Brickman, January 7, 2010

Celebrating his 106th birthday in Edinburgh on Monday, Samuel Latter voiced just one regret.

When running a car tyre and battery firm, “I could have bought into a new business with one of my customers — wee Tommy Farmer — but I wanted to stay on my own”.

Wee Tommy Farmer is now better known as Sir Tom Farmer, head of the Kwik-Fit empire.


New religious director for Manchester care village

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Reverend Keith Rosen is the new religious director of Heathlands Care Village in Manchester and will focus on training staff in Jewish religious practices.

Succeeding Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Mr Rosen arrives in the wake of the local welfare merger which has seen Heathlands became part of the Federation of Jewish Services.


Brodetsky snow closure on new head's second day

January 7, 2010

Jeremy Dunford faced his first major decision as head of Leeds’ Brodetsky Jewish Primary just two days into the job when heavy snow forced the school’s closure on Tuesday.

“It was a difficult decision and an interesting way to start my time at Brodetsky,” said Mr Dunford, 42. “We attempted to stay open but very few pupils came in and all but one of the senior members of staff were unable to get in.

“Plans have been adjusted now to allow for easier management of the site and routes into school which should allow it to stay open in future when there is snowfall.”


US funds MRI as autopsy alternative

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

The United Synagogue is offering to pay up to £1,700 for non-invasive MRI scans as an alternative to a surgical autopsy for members.

It has taken the decision in the light of concern over the increasing number of surgical post-mortems carried out on Jews against their families’ wishes and halachah.

Last year, 80 autopsies were conducted on deceased congregants, almost double the total for 2008.