Community life

Year-old butter sold for Pesach

By Leon Symons, March 25, 2010

Environmental health officers in Barnet have launched an investigation into the sale of Pesach butter almost a year beyond its "best before" date in a number of north-west London shops.

The Lurpak brand butter carries a white sticker with the date "20-05-10" next to the London Beth Din imprint. However, if the label is peeled back, it reveals a "best before" date of May 27, 2009. Lurpak has not produced any butter for Pesach this year.

A printed label on the side of the pack describes the sole agency for the UK as a Wembley company, S Schwartz Ltd.


Hertsmere's new headteacher Steven Isaacs

March 18, 2010

Steven Isaacs has been appointed as the new head of Hertsmere Jewish Primary School and will take up the post in September.

Mr Isaacs, currently deputy head of the Menorah Foundation School in north London, replaces Michele Bazak, who is retiring.

HJPS governors' chair Maralyn Zucker said he had impressed the selection panel with his "enthusiasm for education, ideas and vision, coupled with his engaging personality".


More sign up for Israel Experience

March 18, 2010

A record 1,300 young people have already signed up to an Israel tour this year. The previous best for the UJIA Israel Experience programme was 1,272 participants in 2008 and last year's total was 1,213.

Israel Experience director Richard Goldstein attributed the upsurge to increased marketing - including through networks such as Facebook - greater participation from schools and product recognition. "The Israel tour has become an essential element of a Jewish child's identity."


Bushey Synagogue's £1.2m facelift

By Jay Grenby, March 18, 2010

Bushey Synagogue will relocate to nearby Immanuel College for services over the summer months to facilitate a £1.2 million refurbishment of the shul.

A total revamp of the main building is due to start in May and finish in November. To minimise disruption to synagogue events, the building will not close until the majority of activities have ceased for the summer.

On completion, the congregation will gain new toilets, cloakrooms, offices, carpets, flooring and lighting.


Meir Lev to take up Sutton synagogue post

March 18, 2010

Reverend Meir Lev has filled the vacancy in the Sutton Synagogue pulpit caused by the departure of Rabbi Avremi Groner.

Until 2008, Rev Lev was the chazan/acting minister for Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and previously served as a cantor in Leeds and Birmingham.

"Sutton is a very warm and friendly community with a beautiful shul," he said.

"I am delighted to be taking up my new appointment and will endeavour to inspire the congregation through prayer, song and words of Torah."


Pupil fall leads to staff cuts at King Solomon

By Robyn Rosen, March 18, 2010

King Solomon High School in Redbridge is planning staffing cuts in response to falling admissions. And the redundancy procedure has been criticised by trade unions, who claim they were not formally consulted.

In recent years, year seven enrolment figures have dropped by more than 20 per cent - from 157 in 2005 to 122 in 2009, which included seven non-Jewish pupils.


United Synagogue: no progress on women leaders

By Simon Rocker, March 18, 2010

United Synagogue leaders have admitted making no progress on a key part of their manifesto - allowing women to assume leadership roles in the country's biggest synagogue body.

Women cannot serve as any of the seven officers of the US. They can serve as shul vice-chairs, but not as chairmen.


United Synagogue unveils practical learning scheme

By Simon Rocker, March 18, 2010

The United Synagogue his unveiled a £200,000-a-year educational enterprise designed to encourage practical experience as well as study.

US Living and Learning will deliver programmes for all ages ranging from Israel trips for parents to training leaders of children's services in shuls.

Rabbi Andrew Shaw, executive directive of Tribe - the young people's division which will oversee education - said something had "gone wrong educationally many years ago.


Consultant rabbi for Hampstead Garden Suburb

By James Martin, March 18, 2010

Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue has appointed Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Cohen as consultant minister while the shul's selection committee searches for a permanent replacement for Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, who left at the end of February. Rabbi Cohen, formerly of Stanmore Synagogue and an ex-assistant rabbi at HGS, will deal with halachic issues alongside community director Rabbi Anthony Knopf.

Chazan Avromi Freilich will continue to assist on pastoral visits.