Community life

Children love ‘Toys R rush’

December 18, 2008

Forty youngsters fulfilled a dream project on Sunday — spending an hour in Toys R Us in Brent Cross with a £4,000 budget.

They were helping to spend the proceeds of the Norwood Toy Sweep committee’s fundraising events on Chanucah presents for the charity’s young clients. They were also each given a £12 voucher to buy a Chanucah gift of their choice. Parent Yael Blatter said: “It’s been amazing to have Toys R Us to ourselves. My daughter has enjoyed every minute of the toy sweep.”


Euro stars at 50

December 18, 2008

A book has been published to commemorate 50 years of the Conference of European Rabbis. The Conference of European Rabbis 1957-2007 has been written by a former conference director, Rabbi Moshe Rose, who now lives in Israel. It includes profiles of prominent rabbis involved and reprints of their statements on significant issues.


Be proud of your roots, says Lord Levy

By Craig Silver, December 18, 2008

Lord Levy urged King Solomon High pupils to be proud of their roots and to “never hide the fact you are Jewish” when he addressed the Redbridge school’s prize day last Thursday.

The Jewish Care president and former Labour Party chief fundraiser told his audience: “I am very proud to be at the House of Lords but I am even prouder to go to synagogue and be around my own people.”

He added: “We have some fantastic schools in Anglo-Jewry and one I am very proud of is King Solomon. I think students are very lucky to have a good secular education combined with Jewish education.”


Golders Green gets Israeli market

December 16, 2008

North-West London shoppers have been flocking to an Israeli street market in Golders Green which opened on Sunday.

Organised by the Zionist Federation, A Taste of Israel in Finchley Road, Temple Fortune, has offered a variety of Israeli food, arts and crafts and jewellery. Among the 34 stalls is one from the JC.

The aim has been partly to promote Israel among the wider community and as well as those browsing for Chanucah presents, the market has attracted many Christmas gift-buyers.


Olympic hopefuls

December 11, 2008

A Jewish support group has been invited on to the London 2012 Forum for the Olympics, which met for the first time this week at the Olympic headquarters in Canary Wharf.

The Jewish Committee for the London Games includes representation from Maccabi, UJIA and the London Jewish Forum.

Committee chair Adrian Cohen said: “This is a real opportunity for all communities in London to join in with one of the greatest events on earth. This growing coalition will help to create sporting, cultural and education programmes.”


Fireman saves scrolls in Manchester shul blaze

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 11, 2008

A fire crew commander has been praised for rescuing three Sifrei Torah from a blaze at a small Charedi shul in North Manchester on Sunday night.

It was around midnight when emergency services were alerted by a neighbour to a blaze at the Apta building, a converted terraced house on Welbeck Grove in Salford. Shul members who gathered outside explained to fire-fighters that important religious articles were inside. Fireman Patrick Walsh re-entered the building to retrieve the scrolls.


Salary freeze at Reform

December 11, 2008

The Reform movement has deferred pay increases for staff for six months because of the economic situation. Salary rises have been postponed from the beginning of January until July.

Movement head Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield told its quarterly council meeting on Monday that although some donors had been badly affected by the financial crisis, others had offered additional support


Helping refugees

December 11, 2008

Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald was part of a Jewish Council for Racial Equality delegation which discussed the plight of destitute asylum seekers with London Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes at City Hall on Tuesday.

The meeting focused on the role of Jewish communities in supporting those refused asylum, who are being assisted at centres such as the New London Synagogue drop-in facility. New London’s Rabbi Jeremy Gordon was also part of the delegation, along with Jcore’s Dr Edie Friedman.


London lovebirds get engaged at 88 and 92

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 11, 2008

Two Jewish Blind and Disabled tenants have got engaged at the ages of 88 and 92.

Rose Massil and Laurie Lawrence celebrated with a party for over 80 friends and volunteers. “It’s been spoken about as the party of the year,” the bride-to-be said.

Both widowed, they live in the charity’s North London flats and first met five years ago when Mrs Massil’s son Philip invited Mr Lawrence to a Rosh Hashanah celebration.

“We chatted and about a fortnight later he phoned me and asked for a date,” Mrs Massil said. “I found it dead funny that someone my age gets a date.”


Liverpool launches special needs centre

By Lennie Isaacs, December 11, 2008

Merseyside Jewish Community Care is to open a £350,000 centre for people with learning difficulties.

MJCC delegates were informed on Tuesday that the charity is to work in partnership with the Manchester-based Langdon community to offer a support service for young Jewish adults with learning disabilities.