Community life

Sephardi beth Din ban female candidate

By Simon Rocker, March 11, 2010

A woman has been told by the Sephardi Beth Din that Jewish law prevents her standing for election to the mahamad (executive) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation later this month.

Doris Osen is "frustrated and furious" at being denied the chance to become the first woman to serve on the executive of Britain's oldest synagogue body.


Radlett shul members climb Kilimanjaro

By Jay Grenby, March 11, 2010

Three Radlett United Synagogue members have climbed Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest mountain at 5,895 metres - to raise funds for their shul's new extension.

Leader David Brooks and fellow Radlett members and fortysomethings Tony Moss and Perry Sugarman were accompanied by Mr Brooks' brother Paul and his friend Nik Harta.

A highlight of their 10-day challenge was a Friday night kiddush which, said David Brooks, "gave us a real sense of unity and focused our thoughts".


Rabbi cancels engagements because of illness

By Leon Symons, March 11, 2010

Bushey Synagogue's Rabbi Meir Salasnik has cancelled all engagements for the next few months because of ill health.

Congregants have been informed of the news by letter. The shul gave no indication of his illness but said "the early prognosis is positive". Alternative arrangements will be made through the synagogue office for congregants who had booked the rabbi to officiate at a function.

Rabbi Salasnik, 58, has been minister at Bushey since 1979. He is secretary of the Chief Rabbi's cabinet and is responsible for hospital visitation.


Edgeware school granted planning reprieve

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2010

An Edgware primary school has been granted retrospective planning permission despite complaints about noise levels.

Barnet Council approved the application for the Tashbar school to remain in its premises in the Kol Yaacov Synagogue in Mowbray Road, where it has operated since 2006.

Council officials had recommended that the committee reject the application, claiming it would result in increased activity, noise and disturbance.


Jewish nurseries are hugely oversubscribed

By Leon Symons, March 11, 2010

Nurseries at voluntary-aided schools are facing almost unprecedented demand for places in September, with some receiving five applications per place.

Although it is recognised that parents will make applications to a number of schools, head teachers have expressed concern about the small number of places remaining after siblings have been accommodated.

Simon Goulden, education consultant at the United Synagogue, said a number of issues had impacted on the situation this year.


New Immanuel College governors' chair

March 4, 2010

New Immanuel College governors' chair Dr Sara Levene is well aware of what the Bushey school has to offer. Her daughter Dodie, a medical student at Imperial College, was Immanuel's head girl in 2007/08. Her son Harry sits his GCSEs at Immanuel this year.

A medical and special needs recruitment adviser for the Metropolitan Police, Dr Levene has also served the Child Accident Prevention Trust and the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

Previously a Hasmonean Primary governor, she sees Immanuel as a school "able to support academic high achievers".


Western Marble Arch treasurer quits

By Jay Grenby, March 4, 2010

Western Marble Arch Synagogue's "best ever" treasurer has quit in despair over the continuing friction between the shul and the Western Charitable Foundation, which is responsible for maintaining the synagogue premises.

Henry Ejdelbaum - whose prudent housekeeping over the past three years has slashed membership fees by up to 40 per cent - has explained his "personal and principled decision" to resign in a letter to the board and shul members.

"I thought I was going to be able to introduce positive changes but it became clear that this was an impossible task," he wrote.


Tube bosses promise to help Jewish community

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

Public buses for Jewish schools and better job possibilities for the Orthodox on the capital's transport system are to be considered by Transport for London after a meeting with rabbonim and other leading figures.

TfL organised the Hendon meeting to improve communication with the Jewish community and discuss commuting concerns, also including antisemitism on buses and calls for improved services between major Jewish areas.

A direct bus link between Stamford Hill and Golders Green was all but ruled out after TfL commissioner Peter Hendy said there were too many complications.


Hasmonean pupils 'Pay it Forward'

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

A Hasmonean pupil from Stanmore has introduced a programme to increase mitzvot in honour of his mother, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Pay it Forward was launched at the Hasmonean boys' and girls' schools last week, encouraging pupils to take on good deeds such as free babysitting and checking that mezuzot are kosher.

Josh Reindorp, 15, and his friend Refoel Sandler set up the scheme in honour of Josh's mother Shoshana, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer.


Special Report: Elderly care in Nightingale

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

Big is beautiful at Nightingale House, Britain's largest residential home, where the 200 residents are served by over 500 staff and volunteers and have access to a GP surgery, pharmacy, dentist, hairdressers and shul.

Nightingale has been offering residential and nursing care to elderly Jews in its Clapham premises for over 100 years. It opened in 1908 after banker and philanthropist Lord Wandsworth, the Viscount de Stern, purchased the Nightingale Lane building for £5,200. The first residents moved from the Home for Aged Jews in Hackney, created by the merger of three charities in 1894.