Community life

Text ended: synagogue bans mobile phones

By Jay Grenby, June 25, 2009

Shabbat morning worshippers at Borehamwood Synagogue are having their mobile phones confiscated by security staff at the shul gates.

Borehamwood chair Anthony Arnold said the action had been taken in response to a noticeable increase in texting and photograph-taking during services by youngsters and adults alike. “It has now become an embarrassment.”


Major Nightingale redevelopment designed to help a frail clientele

By Keren David, June 25, 2009

Work is starting on a £6 million redevelopment scheme at the Nightingale home in south London designed to meet the changing needs of increasingly frail residents.

Specialist architects have planned a unit for dementia sufferers based on the latest research about how they are affected by their surroundings. The new accommodation will include soothing colour schemes and “wander routes”, allowing residents to walk safely through the building.


Dads can’t watch girls

By Keren David, June 25, 2009

Fathers have been banned from watching their daughters compete at a Jewish secondary school’s sports day.

Yavneh College in Borehamwood has written to parents informing them that “male spectators” are not allowed at the girls’ section of sports day, which is taking place on Monday.

“I disagree with this strongly,” said one mother, who asked not to be named. “It’s done for religious reasons but it’s completely over the top. My daughter is very disappointed that her dad won’t be able to watch her compete.”


Jewish Care’s £3.6m dinner

By Leon Symons, June 25, 2009

A star attraction in Conservative leader David Cameron helped Jewish Care to raise a record £3.6 million from its annual dinner at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair on Monday night.

The total raised by the 1,150 guests outstripped last year’s proceeds by £100,000, to the delight of campaign chairman Steven Lewis. “The ability of our supporters to be so generous in recognising how vital our work is, in what is clearly a very tough year, was truly outstanding,” he said.


Mayor’s windfall

June 18, 2009

Outgoing Hertsmere Mayor Councillor Sandra Parnell has raised almost £13,500 for her chosen charities, the British Heart Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society. At her final council meeting, she thanked her chaplain, Borehamwood Synagogue emeritus minister Rabbi Alan Plancey, for helping her through a difficult year — she took on the role a few months after the death of her husband.

Councillor Parnell, 71, added: “I would like to thank those who donated to my charities — I know that the money will be appreciated.”


Tributes to Sir Isaiah

By Alison Ryde, Oxford, June 18, 2009

Oxford’s Jewish Heritage Committee was instrumental in securing blue plaque status for Headington House, Sir Isaiah Berlin’s home for many years, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.


Belarus ‘twins’ arrive

By Jay Grenby, June 18, 2009

Seventeen youngsters from two Belarus communities are receiving extra bar and batmitzvah tuition at Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue as part of the shul’s twinning arrangement with Grodno and the nearby city of Lida.


Camp Simcha relocates

By James Martin, June 18, 2009

Children suffering from life-threatening illnesses will have a place to relax as a charity moved into its new offices.

Camp Simcha, whose volunteers provide support for children with cancer and other serious conditions and their families, has been given use of a four-bedroom house in Hendon which will act as a base for the charity and will offer facilities for around 300 youngsters.

“The House”, unveiled on Sunday after a year of renovations, will include a lounge and an internet café.


Votes were not used

By Ruth Leslie, June 18, 2009

Concern over the Yorkshire and Humberside BNP candidate’s campaign victory in the European Parliament elections was expressed at Sunday’s Leeds Jewish Representative Council meeting.

Addressing the delegates, president Sue Dorsey spoke of her disappointment at MEP Andrew Brons’ victory. “We canvassed the community and stressed the importance of people voting, but only 60 per cent did so.”


Shenley welcomes ‘green’ rabbi

By James Martin, June 18, 2009

Levy as minister of Shenley United Jewish Community saw members looking back with sadness, as they recalled the tragic and premature death two years ago of their previous minister, Rabbi Shmuli Kass, and forwards with hope to the 135-family strong community gaining a permanent home of its own.