Community life

Kelly gives school high marks

November 12, 2009

Former Education Secretary Ruth Kelly stressed the value of faith schools when addressing a dinner in aid of Edgware Jewish Primary at the Marriott Swiss Cottage on Monday.

Before an audience of 250, Mrs Kelly expressed fond recollections of a visit to the school, which she said was led by an exceptional team. Pupils were imbued with a love of Judaism and of secular studies.

“Many people are quick to write off faith schools, yet the Judeo-Christian values taught in faith schools are precisely what underpins all of Western society,” she added.


Glasgow Jewish cemetery is restored

By Stephanie Brickman, November 12, 2009

Glasgow City Council has contributed £20,000 towards the restoration of the Jewish section of Sandymount cemetery, which is entering its next phase.

The project, costing a total £210,000, began in 2004 in the wake of considerable damage through repeated vandalism. Since then, 20 out of 35 rows of headstones have been restored and laid flat to make upkeep easier.

Donations have been received from all over the world, a number prompted by JC coverage of the project, which is led by London-based Glaswegian Stanley Coorsh, who has many family members buried at Sandymount.


Tony Blair backs inclusive Mitzvah Day projects

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Tony Blair has singled out Mitzvah Day as an example of “what faith is about: meaningful, tangible collective action”.

Mr Blair also applauds the efforts of Mitzvah Day organisers to “engage with those of other faiths”.

The day of good deeds on Sunday will see 15,000 people from across the community involved in 250 projects.


Screening programme enlightens WJR diners

November 12, 2009

World Jewish Relief chief executive Paul Anticoni had good reason to be absent from its dinner at London’s Guildhall on Monday which raised £1.5 million.

To give the 550 supporters a first-hand glimpse of the charity’s work, Mr Anticoni was in Ukraine for a video link-up to a key WJR project — a new community centre providing a lifeline for the 12,000 Jews in Krivoy Rog, a ravaged mining town 200 miles from the capital Kiev.


Council approves Borehamwood eruv

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

An eruv will be built in Borehamwood in a “matter of weeks” after Hertsmere’s planning committee unanimously backed an amended application.

Although the original application was approved in 2007, changes have been made to 21 of the 34 pole locations and one new pole site has been added.

“This has been needed in the community for a long time,” said Ebor Eruv Campaign trustee David Freedman. “I’m very pleased we’ve managed to secure what we wanted.”


Crouch End chavurah celebrates birthday

November 5, 2009

A non-Orthodox chavurah in Crouch End, north London, is celebrating its first birthday.

The group holds services and dinners and attracted over 50 people to a Seder. More than 30 families and a number of individuals are now involved and other activities include Hebrew classes for children. “It is amazing how many Jews there are in Crouch End who seem excited by our presence,” said founder member Karen Goldstone.


Yavneh deputy head leaves

By Leon Symons, November 5, 2009

The deputy head of Yavneh College in Borehamwood is leaving to head a new academy school in Essex.

Matthew Slater joined Yavneh in 2005, a year before it opened, and has been instrumental in overseeing most of the building work that has transformed it into a state-of-the-art school.

He is leaving at the end of this term to become principal of Drapers’ Academy in Harold Hill, a project similar to Yavneh in that the new school will be developed from existing buildings.


Israeli emissary to Leeds will encourge 'stronger links'

By Hayden Cohen, November 5, 2009

Jerusalem teacher Gilad Amit is Leeds’ new community emissary.

Mr Amit, 33, aims to encourage “a stronger bond to Israel, Zionism and Jewish identity through charity work, teaching Hebrew and Israeli-themed events.”

Leeds Jewish Cultural and Resource Centre project manager Helen Frais said he had made an immediate impression. “Gilad has already met lots of people from the community. He’s here to help people find out more about Israel and opportunities to get there, including aliyah and ulpan. He is a very open and friendly guy.”


Norwood easy riders

November 5, 2009

Over two dozen saddle-sore cyclists have raised over £60,000 for Norwood from a 400km bike ride in Israel starting and finishing in Jerusalem and taking in the Judean hills, the Negev highlands and the Dead Sea.

Participants included John Naar, 64, an electrical engineer from Coombe Hill, who continues to go on Norwood rides despite triple bypass surgery 11 years ago.

He said this year’s cycle had been special as he had been joined by his 17-year-old son Max, “who was only eight months old when I completed the very first Norwood challenge”.


Motor man driving Bournemouth shul

By Corinne Rein, November 5, 2009

A rabbi who originally worked in the family car dealership in Glasgow is the man to drive Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation forward, Lord Sacks said on Sunday.

Addressing around 400 members and guests at the induction of Rabbi Adrian Jesner, he observed that Rabbi Jesner had passed his road test with flying colours and would lead the community on an enriching journey.

Rabbi Jesner served Glasgow synagogues and Reading Hebrew Congregation before joining the Bournemouth shul in February 2008. He said he and his wife Pamela had been warmly welcomed.