Community life

Yiddish speaks to a wide audience

By Katharine Hamer, August 20, 2009

There are said to be fewer than a million Yiddish speakers in the world today. But judging by the response to an intensive course at the University of London, there is no lack of interest in keeping the language alive.

Forty-three participants from across Britain and Europe took part in this year’s Ot Azoy programme, run by the Jewish Music Institute. For six days, students at all levels took classes in Yiddish language, song, drama, history and film. By the end, even the absolute beginners had acquired a decent grounding.


The A-Level figures for the UK's top Jewish schools

August 20, 2009

The A-Level results for the UK's major Jewish schools


Edgware scout group relaunched

August 20, 2009

To meet local demand, the 11th Edgware Scout Group is to be relaunched next month at Edgware Synagogue after a 20-year gap.

With the nearest Jewish scout group at Stanmore Synagogue consistently over-subscribed, the 11th Edgware will offer an alternative for both boys and girls. The group will be steered by a leadership team of seven adults, headed by Andrew Donn. Together, they boast over 100 years’ experience in running scout groups.


Legal challenge to Stamford Hill homes quashed

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

The Agudas Israel Housing Association is celebrating the defeat of a legal challenge to a building project for Orthodox families in Stamford Hill.

In the High Court last Friday, Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected an application from local residents for a judicial review of Hackney Council’s approval of plans to redevelop the former Avigdor School site in Lordship Road into a special needs school and 29 residential units.


Wiping the slate clean on Mersey

By Cathy Forman, August 20, 2009

A fundraising drive to repair the roof at Liverpool’s Old Hebrew Congregation has got off to a flying start.
As a condition of a £160,000 English Heritage grant in the spring, members of the Grade I listed Victorian synagogue had to raise a further £20,000.
Synagogue project director Alaster Burman then came up with the idea of bringing in the money by the sale of 2,000 slates at £10 apiece.


Charity relief for the Jews of Moldova

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

A British charity worker has just returned from setting up a scheme to help unemployed Jews in poverty-torn Moldova.

World Jewish Relief programmes manager Cassie Williams said the Golders Green-based charity has pledged £50,000 over the next year to help single Jewish women improve both their job prospects and confidence.


Doctor’s site is a tonic for shul

By Jay Grenby, August 13, 2009

The independent Edgware Sephardi Congregation has approved a proposal to convert a former doctor’s surgery in Edgwarebury Lane into a synagogue — its first permanent home in its 15-year existence.

Members’ backing of the plan at an EGM was the final stage of a process which began 18 months ago when the 50-family congregation decided that their rented Hale Lane meeting place was unsuitable on grounds of space and access.

A generous private loan enabled the community to purchase the vacant surgery in the face of stiff competition.


Vote winner

August 13, 2009

Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge has praised the standards at Jewish Care’s Raymond House home and Southend and Westcliff Jewish Community Centre.

Mr Duddridge toured both premises and was complimentary about “the high level of support. I was very impressed by the high standards at Raymond House, not only for care but also for the commitment to uphold the Jewish heritage of residents.”


School expansion cash

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 13, 2009

A £500,000 grant will facilitate the completion of a major building project at Broughton Jewish Primary to add a new floor and hall to the premises.

The Salford school, which has a growing pupil population, received another local authority grant last September to begin a two-phase expansion with ground floor classrooms and a refurbished entrance area. Now a second floor of classrooms will be added over its single-storey entrance building. A small hall will also be a much needed addition, according to governor Leonard Seitler.


Taking the plinth for charity

By Robyn Rosen, August 13, 2009

A London teacher is using her hour on Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to raise money for a charity launched in memory of a young Jewish leukaemia sufferer.

During her time on the plinth next Wednesday, Liz Mendes will release balloons sponsored by viewers of her donation website.