Community life

Shenley rabbi quits: 'We were not a good fit'

By Jay Grenby, March 18, 2010

Yet another United Synagogue pulpit has fallen vacant with this week's announcement that Rabbi Natan Levy is to leave Shenley shul.

Rabbi Levy, who was appointed as the growing community's part-time minister only 18 months ago, said his departure was by mutual consent. "The Shenley community and I had reached a point where we agreed that a parting of the ways would be to the benefit of both of us," he said.

"It was no one's fault. It is a great community which I love dearly but we were not a good fit. They were looking for a certain kind of rabbi and I was not that rabbi."


Charedi plan to buy Skinners' School

By Leon Symons, March 18, 2010

Hackney's Charedi community is to renew its efforts to buy the old Skinners' School after councillors rejected a home-building plan for the site.

The planning sub-committee voted 5-4 against Berkeley Homes' proposal to knock down the school and build luxury homes. The decision was greeted with delight by local Charedim who packed the public gallery.

Members of the Belz, Satmar and Lubavitch communities maintain that the site should remain in educational use.


Smart shoppers win Pesach price war

By Robyn Rosen and Cathy Forman, March 18, 2010

Shoppers are the winners in a price war on Pesach essentials as kosher stores are meeting the competition from the major supermarket chains.

A JC investigation reveals that many stores have kept prices at last year's levels and used deals on matzah to lure customers through their doors. But independent retailers complain that they cannot compete with some supermarket specials.


New chief executive for Langdon Foundation

March 11, 2010

To oversee its expanding services for young Jewish adults with learning disabilities, the Langdon Foundation has appointed Alison Rosen as chief executive.

Previously Wizo's executive director, Ms Rosen is "extremely enthusiastic about joining the Langdon family. This really is such an extraordinary and aspirational organisation in its approach to facilitating independent living to those with learning difficulties."


Wizo raises over £2m

March 11, 2010

Wizo's UK groups have raised £2.2 million for 100 welfare projects in Israel over a 12-month period, exceeding the annual commitment by £600,000.

UK chair Loraine Warren said: "There can be no greater satisfaction than to see how the quality of life of so many disadvantaged and vulnerable Israelis is being improved through the continuing efforts of our loyal and generous supporters."


Obama envoy praises the CST

By Leon Symons, March 11, 2010

Barack Obama's special envoy against antisemitism lavished praise on the Community Security Trust when addressing its annual dinner in London.

Hannah Rosenthal said the CST's work in recording and analysing antisemitic incidents was invaluable to American agencies dealing with hate crime.


FZY celebrates centenary

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2010

The Federation of Zionist Youth celebrated its centenary with a reunion for over 350 alumni at the JFS premises in north London on Sunday.

A programme of reminiscence included archive photos, memory boards and quizzes and there were speeches looking back and forward.

Among the guests were Whetstone couple Betty and Bunny Marks, who met through the movement in 1951. "I have great memories of FZY," Mrs Marks said. "The thing about FZY is it embraces all aspects of Judaism and is a lovely way of mixing with people from all over the country. It influenced my life."


Orthodox girls' school is ordered to close

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2010

Hackney Council has ordered the closure of a 260-pupil strictly Orthodox girls' school in Stamford Hill.

The council has issued an enforcement notice against Beis Trana School in Upper Clapton Road, giving it until August to stop using the school and play area and to remove play equipment and portacabins.


Simon Marks Primary School searches for fourth head

By Robyn Rosen, March 11, 2010

Simon Marks Primary School in Hackney is searching for a "charismatic" head, who will be its fourth in a short timespan.

Norma Blair-Clayden took over as acting head in November after Nicole Delamere resigned after only a year in charge.

Chair of governors Howard Pallis declined to comment on the job search, Mrs Blair-Clayden's position, or the factors behind the high turnover of head teachers.


WJR sends water tanks to Haiti

March 11, 2010

Water tanks for displaced persons camps in Port-au-Prince have been provided by World Jewish Relief with the £500,000 raised to date by its Haiti emergency appeal.

The earthquake had a seriously damaging effect on water and sanitation arrangements and the charity says
the tanks will benefit hundreds of families.

WJR last month announced a partnership with Merlin, a UK-based international aid agency, to help establish health clinics in the devastated areas and is looking to recruit UK Jews to assist the medical and other projects on six-month placements.