Community life

Four new charities to help teens and families

By Leon Symons, March 4, 2010

Four new charities to help teenagers and families have risen from the ashes of a recession-hit one.

A year ago, the Northwest Clubhouse in Hendon was on the verge of closure after one of its main funders suffered heavy losses in the credit crunch.

"We had to see if there was some way of restructuring so that we could ensure somehow that the services we provided would continue," said one of its leaders, Harris Rosenberg. "We achieved that - and in fact the constituent parts have not only continued but have thrived in the ensuing year."


United Synagogue affiliates elect chair

By Simon Rocker, March 4, 2010

The United Synagogue's affiliated congregations have elected their own chairman to fight their corner against attempts by the US to remove theirspecial status.

Reynold Rosenberg, chairman of Welwyn Garden City, one of 16 affiliated US synagogues, will spearhead efforts to resolve the dispute with US leaders.

Affiliated congregations have greater independence and pay less towards US central services than constituent shuls.


Rapper Eprhyme performs at Sandy’s Row shul

By Jessica Elgot, March 4, 2010

Music of a less traditional kind filled a historic East End synagogue on Monday night as a performance by New York rapper Eprhyme launched the Open Jewish Culture festival.


Step by Step expands

March 4, 2010

A Stamford Hill charity providing outings for Charedi children with disabilities has expanded its services to teenagers.

Step by Step organised a weekend at Skeet Hill House in Kent for 15 boys aged between 13 and 18, who enjoyed a programme including a trip to a wildlife park. It was arranged in conjunction with special needs charity Kisharon. Plans are afoot to offer further activities such as after-school sports.


Charedi anger at homes to be built on school site

By Leon Symons, March 4, 2010

Hackney Council has denied claims by local Charedi leaders that it reneged on an agreement to keep the site of a former school reserved for educational use.

The Lubavitch, Belz and Satmar groups have launched a campaign to oppose a plan to build luxury homes on the site of the former Skinners' School on Stamford Hill .

They intend to demonstrate at a planning committee meeting next week that will consider the application from Berkeley Homes. Letters of support have been sent by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Board of Deputies' president Vivian Wineman.


Rabbi Livingstone's leaves Hampstead Garden Suburb

March 4, 2010

In his valedictory sermon as Hampstead Garden Suburb minister, Rabbi Reuven Livingstone said he was "proud to have been the rabbi of a community that is now more diverse, friendlier and younger in its make-up".

However, he urged the Norrice Lea congregation to show "more empathy" for its next rabbi, observing: "This is a community where it's almost impossible to satisfy everyone."

Rabbi Livingstone will continue his interfaith work, which includes meetings with imams to discuss co-operation, as well as becoming a Forces chaplain.


Strong demand for Jewish Haringey primary

By Simon Rocker, March 4, 2010

Plans are under way to open a Jewish primary school in Haringey which could have the support of synagogue bodies across the board.

Its promoters believe that the responses to a survey of Jewish families in the catchment area indicate demand for a new one-form entry, state-aided primary.

"Haringey does not have any state-aided Jewish school," said joint project leader Peter Kessler. "What it does have is a large and growing number of Jewish families. It also has an under-supply of primary school places and that under-supply is forecast to get worse and worse in coming years.


Virus outbreak at Jewish Care home

March 4, 2010

A virus outbreak at Jewish Care's Lady Sarah Cohen House left the 120-bed Friern Barnet residential home closed to visitors last week.

Jewish Care director of care and community services Neil Taylor said the virus was "similar to that being experienced in other health care facilities across the UK at this time of year.

"Jewish Care works closely with the Health Protection Agency and uses a variety of policies and procedures to limit the further spread of such viruses. The decision to close the home to visitors is one of the procedures they recommend."


Blackpool synagogue merger talks fail

By Cathy Forman, March 4, 2010

Talks to bring Blackpool's two dwindling congregations under one roof have broken down.

Meetings were held over a 12 month period between the town's Orthodox and Reform synagogues with a view to both operating from the Reform shul's building in Raikes Parade. The United Hebrew Congregation's Grade II listed building is 100 yards away in Leamington Road.

"We would like it to happen if it can come about," said Reform president Leon Tax.

"We want to find some way of bringing the two communities together." The Reform shul "is larger than we need and maintenance is an issue".


Masorti man sacked by burial society

By Stephanie Brickman, March 4, 2010

A leading figure in Glasgow's new Masorti congregation has been relieved of his role as burial officer by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society (GHBS).

Warren Bader was informed by letter that his services were no longer required because of a "change of circumstance".

Mr Bader, who did not have a contract, had worked for the society for almost two years. He said it had been "a great privilege to serve the community in this way - it was just so fulfilling." He would not comment further on legal grounds.