Community life

New convert will turn hotel into synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

A hotel is to be turned into a synagogue to house a Golders Green Jewish community.

Plans approved by Barnet councillors will see the Central Hotel in Hoop Lane converted into a shul with two flats by members of the Sassov Synagogue, currently based in nearby Helenslea Road.

A Sassov spokesman explained: “We already own the hotel building but we don’t have a timeframe for the work to be done. Our community is growing and we need the extra space.” The purpose-built shul would replace the smaller building currently used for services.


Israeli dancer’s ambitious step

By sharronlivingston, July 30, 2009

Dance teacher Yuval Tabashi believes he can most practically demonstrate his love of Israel by “bringing Israeli dance to as many people as possible”.

It is an ambition he hopes to fulfil in his new role as project development manager at the Israeli Dance Institute in London.

The 23-year-old wants to get young people involved, explaining that dance is an ideal medium to educate about Israel.

He uses Israeli music old and new to explore aspects of history, nature and Judaism.


Heritage shul gets votes of MPs

By Fay Strang, July 30, 2009

The chairman of a Parliamentary arts and heritage group has praised the beauty and upkeep of the Grade I-listed New West End Synagogue following a visit by MPs and peers.

Sir Patrick Cormack was speaking after members of the Parliamentary groups on arts and heritage and historic churches had viewed the Bayswater shul — the first synagogue chosen for their annual trip, organised by English Heritage.


Love aids the ‘lost children’

July 30, 2009

A survivor who helped reunite “lost children” of the Holocaust with their families has received an honorary doctorate from Essex University in Colchester.

Lithuanian-born Dora Love was 16 when SS troops invaded the country. Her family were imprisoned in Stutthof concentration camp in Poland where her mother, sister and one of her brothers died.


Survivors want their stories told

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

British Jews are asked to take a greater role in documenting the testimony of those who escaped the Shoah.

The appeal has come from Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon, which wants the wider community to help record the experiences of its 550 members, passing on the baton of remembrance for future generations.


£1m plan is not Brum and dusted

By Cathy Forman, July 30, 2009

A proposed £1 million-plus deal with a local housing association to redevelop Birmingham Central Synagogue’s Edgbaston premises has fallen through.

The shul’s 200 members had been due to be asked at the AGM to approve plans to sell two-thirds of the site to Birmingham-based housing association Optima. However, synagogue president Geoffrey Clements wrote to them explaining that Optima had been unable to secure government funding for the project.


Leeds packs proving a welcome development

By Hayden Cohen, July 30, 2009

A “Welcome to Leeds” information pack for Jews new to the city has been launched by the local representative council.

The pack was created by community development worker Neil Clarke, who said the aim was “to allow newcomers to feel at home in Leeds as soon as they arrive”.

It will include a 10 per cent discount card which can be used in the city’s kosher establishments, synagogue bookshops and at the Zone Youth Club.


Israel awash with activities for school parties

July 30, 2009

Pupils from four Jewish secondary schools have returned home enthused by their participation in the UJIA summer trip.

Over 300 13- and 14-year-olds from JFS, King Solomon and Yavneh in London and King David in Manchester trekked across the Judean desert, climbed hills in the Galil and kayaked down the Jordan River.
But there was also a practical element to the programme, with volunteering projects in different areas. For example, Yavneh pupils cleared rubbish and created visitor-friendly zones around the northern tributaries of the Jordan.


Archbishop amplified by Speakers

By Simon Rocker, July 30, 2009

A tour of the Sternberg Centre in Finchley was the first visit to a Jewish institution by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of England and Wales’s Catholics, since his appointment in May.
The Archbishop of Westminster, who has become a joint president of the Council of Christians and Jews through his new office, visited at the invitation of Reform president Sir Sigmund Sternberg.

While there, he recalled one of his “most important” interfaith experiences, which occurred a few years ago during his time as Archbishop of Birmingham.


Golfers chip in for aid transport

July 23, 2009

Two 40ft trailers will deliver urgent supplies to needy Jews in Belarus and Moldova as a result of the £28,500 raised from World Jewish Relief’s golf day at Hartsbourne Country Club, Bushey.

The 96 competitors were supporting WJR’s Gifts in Kind programme, which has sent over £17 million of humanitarian aid abroad in the last five years. Goods such as clothes, shoes, bedding, toys and essential toiletries are donated by individuals and communities across the UK. Contributions include new stock from manufacturers and distributors.