Community life

Reform forced to shut Northern office

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2008

The Reform Movement is to close its Northern office in Manchester as part of a package of cuts caused by the general financial crisis.

Three staff are to be laid off in the synagogue services department, admin and IT, members of the movement's council were told at a quarterly meeting in London on Sunday.

Despite an increased yield from its annual dinner earlier this month, the Reform's fundraising target of £980,000 is likely to fall short by £21,000 this year: and it is planning to cut is spending by around £270,000 to just over £3 million next year.


"Virtual" tour of 2010 school

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2008

Parents who are thinking of sending their children to the Jewish Community Secondary School in East Barnet can visit the school on Sunday - even though it has not been built yet.

A public exhibition to be held on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening at East Barnet Upper School in Westbrook Crescent will offer visitors a "virtual" tour of what the school will look like when it opens in September, 2010.

The school's governors and trustees will be on hand to answer questions and talk to prospective parents.


Merseyside Ajex members nvited to a WW1 unveiling ceremony

October 24, 2008

Members of Merseyside Ajex were invited to an unveiling ceremony to honour Captain Noel Chavasse who died in battle in the First World War.

A memorial statue was unveiled in Abercromby Square in memory of Captain Chavasse who had been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Liverpool Ajex members at the ceremony included chairman Mervin Kingston and standard bearer Gerald Lipson, and from London, Walter Hart who placed a Magen David by the statue in memory of local Jewish members of the armed forces who died in the war.


A Leeds synagogue founded in 1874 launches website

October 24, 2008

A Leeds synagogue that was founded in 1874 has entered the 21st century with the launch of a website.

The Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue website, designed and constructed by vice-president Geoff Eastman, contains information on the weekly Torah portion, service times, simchas and leisure club programme.

Mr Eastman said: "This is a good way of providing an immediate service to our members."


Artist draws on her peaceful vision

By Jay Grenby, October 24, 2008

A Kenton textile artist is donating 25 per cent of the sales from her solo exhibition at a synagogue art gallery to the Neve Shalom - Wahat-al Salaam village, jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel to promote peace.

Gilda Baron is displaying her latest work at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue's Etz Chayim Gallery until November 23. The artist - whose work has been displayed at the Barbican Library and Foyles Art Gallery - is a member of the Middlesex New Synagogue in Harrow.


Drugs campaign visit

October 24, 2008

A drugs and alcohol awareness training session in Manchester was conducted by Drugsline founder Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin and its schools team leader - recovering addict Darren Gold - for representatives of the Our Kids mentoring scheme.

Our Kids works primarily with young people from the Orthodox Manchester community who are struggling academically or socially. Rabbi Sufrin spoke about the charity's work with Jewish communities in London; breaking down the taboos surrounding addiction and ensuring that those who need support can access it without shame or embarrassment.


First sight of JCoSS

October 24, 2008

JCOSS - The £50 million inclusive Jewish secondary school set to open in Barnet in September 2010 - is holding its first public exhibition on November 2 in the adjacent East Barnet Upper School building in Westbrook Crescent.

Aimed at prospective pupils and their parents, the display will incorporate detailed plans of the school's layout and facilities and information on its ethos and admissions policy.

There will also be the opportunity to meet the school governors and to view the site on which building work will begin early next year.


Norwood road crew

October 24, 2008

A 400-kilometre Israel Bike Ride raised £30,000 for Norwood's services for children, families and adults with learning disabilities.

The week-long route took the 12 cyclists through Nahariya, the Golan and Galil to a finish in Haifa.
As with all of Norwood's international bike rides, adults with learning disabilities who are supported by the charity took part, riding on the back of tandem bikes.


More help for financially troubled

By Simon Rocker, October 24, 2008

A new charity is in the pipeline to aid those in financial straits.

The venture is an offshoot of The Clubhouse, the Golders Green-based organisation set up to help troubled young people from the strictly Orthodox community.

For some time, The Clubhouse has operated a money advisory service offering debt counselling beyond its immediate clientele.

Now Mark Fabian, who runs the service, says plans are under way to establish a stand-alone charity which can meet the increasing demand for help.


Mariner’s next post

October 24, 2008

Belsize Square Synagogue's Rabbi Rodney Mariner used a Yomtov sermon to put an end to speculation about his future by announcing that he will become emeritus rabbi on his retirement in three years' time.

"The board have offered me this and I have accepted it - though I am not sure what it means," he told congregants.