Community life

Elstree looking south to boost membership

By Jay Grenby, February 26, 2009

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue is endeavouring to increase its 1,270-family membership through a recruitment drive.

Outlining the strategy in his Shabbat sermon, Rabbi Naftali Brawer said the focus would be on the south side of its catchment area, a favoured spot for young families.

A major selling point of the south-side efforts is Yavneh College, where Borehamwood has agreed use of the school’s synagogue for additional Shabbat and festival services.

“It’s the most beautiful little shul,” Rabbi Brawer said. “I regularly take services myself there.”

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Jacobson's filthy time

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 19, 2009

Howard Jacobson has told a Manchester audience how he felt “cleansed” to be the target of “antisemitic filth”.

Debating “Britishness and Literature” with fellow novelist Martin Amis at Manchester University, Mr Jacobson said: “One good sign we have in our society is that we have comedians. I don’t think you can live a decent life unless somewhere the whole idea of decency is being trashed.

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Changes at Limmud

By Ben Jaglom, February 19, 2009

A reshuffled Limmud Scotland leadership is working on a major event for early in 2010.

The new chair is Fiona Brodie, whose community involvements have included the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, the Scottish Jewish Archives and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

She replaces Evelyn Tiefenbrun, who has taken up the post of regional Limmud co-ordinator.

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Manchester minister dies in Jerusalem

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 19, 2009

A well-known Manchester personality has died in Jerusalem from a brain tumour. Rabbi Ephraim Groundland, 76, was the minister of Higher Prestwich Synagogue for 17 years from 1959 and was the major fundraiser for its first building.

He also served as the rabbi of Stockport and Southport congregations, and after moving to Israel, travelled the globe raising money for the Israeli anti-missionary organisation, Pe’ilim. Rabbi Groundland has additionally officiated at festival services in Marbella.

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Housing association fears cut in Barnet funding

By James Martin, February 19, 2009

The Barnet-based Jewish Community Housing Association fears the loss of essential services through local authority funding cutbacks.

JCHA currently receives £71,752 from Barnet Council’s Supporting People programme to pay for wardens and an emergency calls system for seven schemes and over 200 tenants, among them people with learning or physical disabilities.

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Board outraged at Vatican

By Bernard Josephs, February 19, 2009

The reinstatement by the Pope of a Holocaust-denying bishop has been condemned as an “outrage” by the Board of Deputies.

A resolution passed at Sunday’s meeting reflected communal anger at the lifting of the excommunication of the British-born ultra-traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson. The clergyman contends that the Holocaust was a Jewish invention and that “only” up to 300,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

The motion was proposed by former board president Lionel Kopelowitz, who said that a text of the resolution would be sent to the Vatican.

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Leukaemia boy thanks Camp Simcha

By Marcus Dysch, February 19, 2009

A teenage leukaemia survivor has described his involvement with a charity helping Jewish children with serious illness as the highlight of his life.

Sam Ryan told the 580 guests at Camp Simcha’s biennial gala dinner at Wembley Stadium how its volunteers had given him the confidence to make the most of each day.

Seventeen-year-old Sam was presented with a special recognition award by LBC radio presenter Nick Ferrari, who had conducted a mock phone-in with Camp Simcha clients and their parents.

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Cross-communal school appoints first head

February 19, 2009

A global search for the inaugur-al head of the Jewish Community Secondary School has ended with an appointment close to home.

Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, 35, has been chosen by the JCoSS governors to preside over the cross-communal school which opens in Barnet in September 2010. He is deputy head at Swakeleys Secondary School in Hillingdon but previously served two Barnet schools with a significant Jewish intake — Copthall and Mill Hill County. He has also worked with autistic children at a special school.

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800 at club reunion

By John Fisher, February 19, 2009

Sunday’s 80th anniversary celebrations of the Judean Club in Leeds attracted international interest with the 800 turnout including former members now living in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Israel.

The club was the dream of young Zionists who organised local lectures and social events in the 1920s. Launched by the late Louis Wigoder, it met in disused army barracks.

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Dragon soothed by his Jewish wife

By Ben Jaglom, February 19, 2009

Dragons’ Den panel member Theo Paphitis felt at home when addressing a sell-out audience of 240 at a Young Norwood fundraiser in Central London last week.

Interviewed before a question and answer session, the entrepreneur revealed: “My wife is a nice Jewish girl and I have always found Jewish and Greek cultures to be very similar. You have to remember that Cyprus is literally a stone’s throw from Israel. We eat similar foods, look similiar and have a Mediterranean culture.”

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