Community life

Rabbi Pinter: I blocked City Hall kaddish by woman rabbi

By Robyn Rosen, February 4, 2010

Leading Charedi personality Rabbi Avraham Pinter has been revealed as the complainant to Boris Johnson’s office who prevented a woman Reform rabbi from saying kaddish at the Holocaust Memorial Day event at City Hall last week.


Ireland’s President visits Belfast synagogue

By Joe Cohen, February 4, 2010

Mary McAleese praised the achievements of Belfast Jewry when making the first visit by an Irish President to the community’s synagogue.

Addressing 40 members, President McAleese recalled growing up in Belfast and her many Jewish friends at Belfast University. She told her audience to “never ever underestimate your influence and power. Belfast would not be what it is without the commitment of this small community, who have made a contribution to every level in the world of politics, business, arts and education.”


George Osborne backs Israel

February 4, 2010

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has assured a high-powered audience of Jewish businessmen and women of his strong support for Israel.

He told 300 guests at the Jewish Care breakfast at London’s Mansion House on Monday: “Over the next couple of years, the state of Israel is going to face all sorts of challenges and I want you to know I am a good friend of Israel.”

On a visit to the country with Conservative Friends of Israel, he had seen “the miracle created in the desert there”.


Jewish charities struggle on funds

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2010

Communal welfare organisations are facing a further squeeze on their funding from local authorities, increasing the pressure to raise more from donors to maintain services.

Jewish Care chairman Stephen Zimmerman told a breakfast meeting of its business group this week that the charity was still battling with Barnet Council over funding.

“This year Jewish Care is currently not going to receive any increase in the amount given by our largest local authority and we are even fighting to achieve the status quo.”


Belfast remember the Holocaust

By Joe Cohen, January 28, 2010

Ulster Television presenter Paul Clark was master of ceremonies for the Northern Ireland HMD event which was at Belfast City Hall.

More than 400 people attended the event in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Belfast Naomi Long and the Junior Minister Robin Newton.


North Tyneside: 100 candles for Holocaust Memorial

By Cathy Forman, January 28, 2010

A ceremony in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides took place at North Tyneside's Council Chamber. The event, hosted by the chairman of North Tyneside Council, Councillor Michael Huscroft, Mayor Councillor Linda Arkley and the borough's Holocaust Memorial Committee, culminated in the lighting of 100 candles.


Police vow to tackle hate crime

January 28, 2010

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson used an HMD meeting to reiterate the Met’s commitment to tackling hate crime.

Addressing a commemoration organised by the Jewish Police Association in Hendon, Sir Paul said: “It is important to recognise that many different groups suffered during the Holocaust. New police recruits here today have learnt as part of their training about prejudice, discrimination, and hate crime.”

The Association of Muslim Police was represented at the event and pupils from the Hasmonean Primary and Independent Jewish schools also attended.


£100k for Jewish Museum to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

January 28, 2010

Culture Minister Margaret Hodge marked Holocaust Memorial Day by awarding £100,000 grants to London’s Jewish Museum and the Wiener Library.

The museum is set to reopen in March after a major redevelopment project. The library, a key Holocaust resource, is planning a 2011 relocation.

Ms Hodge noted that the recipients “play a vital part in ensuring that people are aware of what the Jewish community have given to this country and the world — and that we never forget the terrible wrongs suffered during the Nazi era”.


Survivors’ children keep memories alive

By Robyn Rosen, January 28, 2010

Stuart Ferster did not consider his upbringing out of the ordinary. But with hindsight, there was “a lot missing” — and this was down to the 54-year-old’s father, Chaim, having survived concentration camps including Buchenwald and Auschwitz.


Survivor's Story: Martin Bennett

By Robyn Rosen, January 28, 2010

Martin Bennett, 84, attributes his survival in Auschwitz to his older brother who told him to lie about his age and skills.

Born in 1925 in Izbica Kujawska in Poland, Mr Bennett left his parents and eight siblings when the Nazis invaded in 1939, being sent to the Posnan forced labour camp. He was told that he would be able to work and earn money to send back to his family, so he was happy to go. It was only on arrival that the grim reality dawned.