Community life

Rex appeal helps Norwood

October 10, 2008

Opinionated Big Brother contestant Rex Newmark relayed some positive views on Norwood when he was one of 420 guests at a "Cocktails in the City" fundraiser at the Barbican Rooftop Conservatory.

"This is the first thing I've done since leaving the Big Brother House," the 24-year-old confided. "Tonight is the only time I've said, ‘I want to be doing this', and it makes me very proud to be supporting a Jewish charity."

The event was staged by Young Norwood and raised £14,000 for the charity's welfare activities.

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Ministers get to grips with credit crunch

By Jay Grenby and Jonathan Kalmus, October 10, 2008

Rabbis have used their Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur sermons to urge congregants to draw on the long Jewish history of overcoming adversity to meet the challenges of the credit crunch. But at the same time, synagogue-goers were reminded of the need to maintain support for charities in a difficult financial climate.

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Everything in the garden is lovely on award of 100th Israeli scholarship

By Jay Grenby, October 8, 2008

The JNF-backed Friends of Jerusalem Botanical Gardens have awarded their 99th and 100th gardening scholarships to young Americans James McGrath and Mark Mosinski.

Worth nearly £8,000 apiece, the grants enable recipients to live and work for a minimum six months at the Botanical Gardens, described as Jerusalem's "hidden oasis".

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Congregants support shul move proposal

By Mandy Glazer, October 8, 2008

Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation members have voted overwhelmingly to support a move from premises in Wootton Gardens which have been home to the synagogue for 97 years.

Over 200 congregants attended an EGM on the eve of Rosh Hashanah at which synagogue leaders spoke of the desirability of finding a new building. They highlighted the expense involved in maintaining the current premises and the problems caused by the synagogue's location at the heart of the town's nightlife.

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Artists top GCSE rankings

October 8, 2008

Immanuel College students Shoshana Layman, Shani Joel, David Gee, Gabriel Loftus, Emily Ross, Joanna Tamman, Zoe Budwig, Nicole Dousie and Natalie Basrawy were among the top-performing GCSE art and design candidates, according to examiners Edexcel.

The nine - who sat their GCSEs at the Bushey school - were complimented by Edexcel managing director Jerry Jarvis, who said: "This is a tremendous achievement and testament to the hard work students put into preparing for their exams."

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Geordie welcome for Borts

October 3, 2008

Barbara Borts has started work as Newcastle Reform Synagogue's rabbi.

The native Californian was ordained in 1981 at Leo Baeck College and previously served Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue, worked for Community Service Volunteers and went back to the States as an adult Jewish studies educator. She said: "I have received such a warm Geordie welcome and I am already enjoying my work with the Newcastle community."

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A bittersweet golf day

By Sheli Levenson, October 3, 2008

The Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill's annual golf day at Potters Bar was a bittersweet occasion because of the absence of a key figure - a young cancer sufferer who set up the event's partner charity.

This year's golf day was held in conjunction with the Royal Marsden Hospital cancer research programme and No Surrender, supporting young adults with cancer. No Surrender was founded by 34-year-old accountant Jason Boas, who was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer last year.

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Edgware setback on rabbi search

By Jay Grenby, October 3, 2008

Edgware Synagogue's search for a full-time assistant minister is back to square one after the executive felt unable to recommend any of the candidates interviewed.

Synagogue chair Stephen Jacobson said it was imperative to find the right man rather than rush into an appointment which might prove flawed.

"However, there are a number of options open to us now and we hope to identify suitable candidates with the help of the United Synagogue."

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Miliband to speak in Glasgow

October 3, 2008

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has agreed to address the Glasgow Jewish community early in 2009.

The meeting will be held under the auspices of the Glasgow Jewish Education Forum, which says that Mr Miliband was always its first choice among the government's heavy-hitters.

Local and MP and Minister for Europe Jim Murphy was pivotal in arranging the speaker and will chair the meeting, for which a date has not yet been set.

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Charities warned on ethics

By Sheli Levenson, October 3, 2008

Communal and Israeli charity representatives have been warned of their responsibility to look into the sources of their funding.

Addressing a seminar on ethical challenges held by the Jewish Association for Business Ethics last Wednesday, Jabe consultant Dayan Isaac Berger cautioned: "Don't bring the institution of charity into disrepute by associating with tainted money or people.

"Ethics and pragmatics go hand in hand. This doesn't mean pragmatism drives ethics - it's the other way around."

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