Community life

Lucas wants to produce a British-Jewish sitcom

By Ben Jaglom, March 5, 2009

Little Britain star Matt Lucas has told a West London Synagogue audience of his dream of creating a Jewish sitcom.

Addressing the 300 people at the charity event on Sunday, Lucas said: “I want to produce a sitcom that will address many of the contemporary issues that affect British Jews such as intermarriage and a decline in observance. I have the provisional title of Four Generations.”


MP's fears over rising antisemitism

March 5, 2009

Antisemitism has taken "a turn for the worst", an MP declared at a Wizo panel debate in London's West End.

John Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, said that "significant antisemitism is coming from the mosques and Muslim community in this country", as well as from the far-right.

"Politicians must take responsibility beyond their own boundaries to influence issues," he said.


Windfall for listed building

By Cathy Forman, March 5, 2009

London’s New West End Synagogue is to receive £108,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for urgent repairs to a leaking roof in its Grade I listed property.

“It is a special synagogue,” said Cindy Molenaar, business manager at the London region of English Heritage. “The interior is stunning and it is important to avoid any damage to it.”

Gutters and downpipes also need replacing at the Bayswater shul, which was built in 1879 and was accorded Grade 1 listed status in 2007. The cost of the repair work will be £250,000 and the balance will come from synagogue funds.


Walking into festival

By James Martin, March 5, 2009

Boris Johnson has welcomed the Jewish involvement in The Story of London, a major cultural festival taking place in June.

Launching the project this week, the London Mayor said: "The Story of London is about a city of 300 languages and many faiths and is aimed at all communities.

"There will be a superb opportunity to explore some of the sites that have been at the heart of the Jewish community's important place in the city's development."

As part of the project, walking tours of the East End and Hampstead will be organised by the Jewish Museum.

"We're delighted to b


Faith in a recession

By James Martin, March 5, 2009

Businessman and philanthropist Jonathan Faith was among those advising on how to survive the credit crunch at an open meeting organised by North Hendon Adath Yisroel Synagogue on Sunday.

Mr Faith suggested that employees did all in their power to make themselves indispensable to their bosses.


Minyan men are sought for funerals of care home residents

February 26, 2009

Volunteers are being sought to make up a minyan at short notice for the funerals of care home residents.

Jewish Care this week announced plans to create a team of volunteers drawn from synagogues across the religious spectrum. The scheme is being supported by all major synagogal organisations and the aim is to create a pool of volunteers to cover both Orthodox and non-Orthodox burials.

It is a response to feedback from residents, families, staff and volunteers that, sometimes, only a handful of people were at residents’ funerals.


Israel lesson at KD prize day

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 26, 2009

Manchester King David governors’ chair Joshua Rowe changed the programme for the high school’s prize day on Tuesday to show the 1,500 audience a high-tech presentation on the history of Israel’s conflicts.

Mr Rowe took the decision to counter the increasing number of pupils and parents questioning the morality of Israel’s Gaza campaign.

“There are certainly students asking questions,” he explained. “People are influenced by the media and parents can be somewhat apathetic. The battlefront is everywhere.


JCC's plans for £10m centre

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Downsized plans for a £10 million cross-communal centre in West Hampstead were unveiled this week.

The Jewish Community Centre’s proposed redevelopment of a site at the junction of Finchley Road and Lymington Road will focus on “meeting the cultural and social needs of London’s 200,000 Jews”, according to JCC executive director Nick Viner.

Ambitious previous £50 million plans for the development, incorporating a swimming pool and gym, were abandoned last year in light of the financial climate.


'The Man U of cholent'

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Kosher Deli has been hailed as “the Manchester United of the cholent world” after a third successive victory in the Saatchi shul’s Cholent of the Year contest.

The company’s cholent saw off the challenge from Menachem’s in Golders Green and Adafina of St John’s Wood at a tasting by the 100 people at last Friday’s Saatchi service. The trophy was presented to the victors on Sunday morning.

A “very happy” Albert Bendahan from Kosher Deli gave a clue to his recipe for success.

“Remember cholent comes from the French chaud lent [slow hot]. That’s the secret.”


Approved by Ofsted

By John Fisher, February 26, 2009

Ofsted inspectors have upgraded the Brodetsky Primary School in Leeds from satisfactory to “good with outstanding features”. The Alwoodley primary also received a top score from Pikuach Jewish studies assessors.

Head Simon Camby was praised by the Ofsted team for “the inspiration from which all staff gain strength”.

There was “outstanding” provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the 250 pupils and the children displayed good knowledge of healthy eating and keeping fit.