Community life

Royal guest at refugees’ reunion

By Ruth Rothenberg, November 27, 2008

The Prince of Wales joined former child refugees on Sunday at what will probably be their last major get-together.

Before addressing the 500 Kindertransport reunion guests who filled the JFS school hall in North London, the prince went on a teatime walkabout , asking individuals how they had coped with such a dramatic change in their lives. Among those he chatted to was physicist Frank Beck, who worked at the CERN nuclear research establishment in Geneva for 30 years.

More..

Ghostbusters plan fundraising sequel

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 27, 2008

Manchester's JNF Butterfly committee resorted to scare tactics to swell the charity's coffers.

An all-night ghost watch was held in 14th century Salford manor house Ordsall Hall.

With only torches for light, participants toured the premises with two mediums, who attempted to rouse the spirits of the venue's former residents. The night's events were relayed on infrared webcams.

Whitefield beauty therapist Sharon Myerson said she was suitably petrified. "The medium said I had a spirit linking to my arm and we heard knocking at a window."

More..

‘Dire’ plight of Manchester unemployed

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 27, 2008

Increasing unemployment among the Manchester community is leaving families in financial turmoil, the city's Jewish job-finding agency has warned.

"We have seen a rise in dire cases," reported JCom co-founder Norman Younger. "We know a dozen people with families who have been made redundant and can't pay their monthly bills. The employment gap has been steadily widening."

Mr Younger - who started the agency as a spin-off to his company formation business - said 100 job-seekers had registered in the last six months.

More..

Harrow shul enjoys an energy boost

By Jay Grenby, November 27, 2008

A phone call from Middlesex New Synagogue to its energy supplier has brought light relief to the Harrow shul and its elderly members.

Mindful of soaring costs, the MNS executive had been considering replacing the bulbs in the prayer-hall chandeliers with low-energy lamps. Working on the theory that "if you don't ask, you don't get", a call was made to E-on to ask whether the company would consider donating 120 lamps to help the shul reduce its fuel bill.

More..

Radlett beats traffic problem

By Jay Grenby, November 27, 2008

Radlett Synagogue is hoping to get the go-ahead for a major redevelopment of its Watling Street site, provided "councillors and planning officials do what they say they are going to do", shul vice-chair David Kohler has revealed.

Hertsmere Council granted conditional planning permission in January for the demolition of the former village hall in which the shul is located for replacement with a two-storey state-of-the-art synagogue, subject to agreement on parking.

More..

McGowan impresses residents

November 27, 2008

Alistair McGowan made a big impression on Nightingale House residents when he visited the South London home.

Interviewed by writer Barry Fantoni, the impressionist, comedian and actor talked about his career from his time at drama school.

He also explained how he develops his impersonations and treated his audience to some of his most popular impressions.

These ranged from John Major and David Beckham to Dot Cotton of EastEnders.

More..

MP opens Shoah exhibit

By Marcus Dysch, November 27, 2008

A travelling exhibition from the world's oldest Holocaust research centre has been launched at the Houses of Parliament.

"Never Again? Thinking about the Holocaust" was created with items from the Wiener Library.

Monday's event was hosted by Justice Minister Shahid Malik, who said he had been moved by a visit to the Wiener's West End premises.

More..

Boris meets forum chiefs

November 20, 2008

Senior representatives of the London Jewish Forum discussed a range of issues with London Mayor Boris Johnson and his deputy Richard Barnes at City Hall on Tuesday night.

Housing provision in Stamford Hill and developing Jewish cultural events were among topics covered during the hour-long meeting.

Also on the agenda was establishing a common contract across London's boroughs for welfare services, which would help charities like Jewish Care.

More..

MDA hero worship

November 20, 2008

Magen David Adom's UK supporters paid tribute to the heroes of the medical emergency charity at last Wednesday's annual dinner, which raised over £1.5 million.

The heroes were all 16,000 medics and volunteers from across Israel who regularly respond to emergency situations. Three spoke about their experiences to the 340 guests at the Millennium Mayfair - Tel Aviv paramedic Udi Gelbstein, Sderot medic Yossi Cohen and Ashkelon volunteer Sarah Cascella.

More..

Manchester plans a mikvah with music

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 20, 2008

A state-of-the-art mikvah is to be built at the Yeshurun Synagogue in South Manchester.

The plans extend to an integral music system designed to enhance the spiritual experience.

The modern-Orthodox community in Gatley agreed to the project when the Manchester Mikvah Fund offered to fund the development. The fund will co-ordinate planning and construction, supported by donors who want to encourage mikvah observance.

Manchester's existing mikvah is in Hale, a 30-minute round trip.

More..