Community life

Sparking regional innovation

January 14, 2009

Communities outside the capital can apply for a share of a £100,000 fund to support innovative Jewish projects.

Sparks — the Clore Jewish Development Fund — will be making its third year of disbursements with a maximum individual award of £20,000.

Applicants are encouraged “to approach this funding opportunity in creative and imaginative ways”.

The fund was launched in 2007 and beneficiaries have included the regional Limmud programme and Mitzvah Day volunteering projects.

More..

Music to the ears of pre-schoolers

By Jay Grenby, January 14, 2009

Barnet mums who once ran a toddler group at the local United Synagogue have come up with a new concept for pre-schoolers and their parents.

Serena Kurash and Susan Sacks have launched Jam — Jewish Arts and Music — meeting weekly at the shul, for sessions themed around an aspect of Jewish life.

The women bring a wealth of experience to the venture. Mrs Kurash has worked with children as a piano teacher for over 20 years; Mrs Sacks ran her own nursery. They developed the idea for Jam from their time with the toddler group.

More..

Race to thank cancer victim’s care charity

January 14, 2009

The step-brother of 24-year-old Maccabi cricketer Richard Ableson, who died in New York from a leukaemia-related illness in December, is running next month’s Watford Half-Marathon as a thank-you to a supportive charity.

Daniel Austin, 29, will be raising money for Camp Simcha, working to improve the lives of Jewish children with serious illnesses.

Its American sister organisation Chai Lifeline had been hugely helpful to Mr Ableson after he was diagnosed with leukaemia last summer and his mother Oriol wanted to express the family’s gratitude.

More..

High value appointment

January 8, 2009

Professor Graham Zellick has been appointed chairman of the Valuation Tribunal for England.

Although the post is effective from this month, the tribunal will not come into being until the autumn, when it will replace the existing 56 local valuation tribunals dealing with appeals on council tax and business rates.

The 60-year-old barrister recently completed his term of office as chairman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and was previously vice-chancellor of the University of London, principal of Queen Mary and Westfield College and an Electoral Commissioner.

More..

Cemetery gets a facelift

January 8, 2009

A Jewish cemetery may soon be added to the Liverpool Heritage Trail following a successful restoration project.

Addressing the Leeds branch of the Jewish Genealogical Society at the Sinai Synagogue, project manager Saul Marks outlined the efforts made to restore the derelict Deane Road cemetery site to its former glory.
The Merseyside cemetery had been a target for vandals and fly-tippers before the project was launched in 2003 with support from environmental regeneration charity the Groundwork Trust.

More..

Chai high on clarity

January 8, 2009

A “vast improvement” in the clarity of Chai Cancer Care’s annual report has been reported by Intelligent Giving, the online advisory service assessing charities’ transparency.

Intelligent Giving noted that Chai — one of the three beneficiaries of this year’s JC Charity Appeal — now offered “a clear explanation of its achievements and plans”.

Awarding it 66 per cent for the quality of its reporting — up from 36 per cent — Intelligent Giving suggested that “more information about how it is governed and greater financial detail would push the score even higher”.

More..

Raising the stakes at Youth Aliyah

January 8, 2009

New Youth Aliyah Child Rescue executive director Martin Mason intends to raise the profile of the 75-year-old charity, which supports five villages in Israel.

Mr Mason, 54, took up the role this week, having assisted Youth Aliyah on a voluntary basis after closing his trade catalogues’ publishing company.

He produced the brochure for the charity’s anniversary dinner at St James’s Palace in November, held in conjunction with the International Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and hosted by Prince Edward.

More..

Home improvements

January 8, 2009

Work has started on a £1.5 million redevelopment programme at Edinburgh House, Wembley, the Sephardi Home for the Aged.

The scheme will allow residents of the second-floor high dependency unit to move downstairs, where they will have a new lounge and dining area. The current high dependency unit will be replaced with four new bedrooms.

More..

Immanuel pupils’ Polish project

January 8, 2009

A group of pupils from Bushey’s Immanuel College have visited Poland as part of the school’s charitable project to improve the lives of Polish Jewry.

Prior to the trip, sixth-formers had raised money for a display fridge for the kosher shop in Cracow and items for the Jewish school in Warsaw.
A poignant part of the itinerary was the unveiling of a new plaque at the Jewish cemetery in Lublin commemorating the 100-plus local orphans and many elderly residents of the Lublin Jewish Shelter murdered by the Nazis.

More..

More lessons from Shoah

January 8, 2009

Almost 3,000 sixth-formers and teachers will participate in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s 2009 Lessons from Auschwitz programme.

Through funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the HET is offering places on the scheme to two pupils from every secondary school and college. In November, the Scottish Government announced funding for its own schools.

As well as visiting the death camp site, participants attend orientation and follow-up seminars. They will then be expected to share their experiences with fellow pupils and the wider
community.

More..