Community life

Educator takes senior Masorti role

September 26, 2008

Matt Plen is the new director of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues with a brief to develop educational provision and Masorti's young-adult division, Marom.

He will also work with executive director Michael Gluckman on new communities and fundraising.

An ex-secretary of Masorti's youth movement, Noam, Mr Plen moved to Israel in 1998. A BA in Jewish history and an MA in Jewish studies, he has lectured and trained educators in a number of major institutions.


Rabbi’s wife in car crash

September 26, 2008
  • The wife of Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation minister Rabbi Dovid Lewis was injured in a car accident last week. Nachi Lewis was travelling back from Gateshead with her two young daughters when her car was hit by a driver who failed to stop at a red traffic light. She suffered severe whiplash and is recovering at home. Her children escaped injury.


Child’s Day backers take Commons places

By Sheli Levenson, September 26, 2008

Huntingdon Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly hosted a Jewish Child's Day fundraiser at the Houses of Parliament last week.

After the 50 guests had enjoyed a tour of the Commons and the Lords, Mr Djanogly told them of the poignancy of the recent 150th anniversary of the first Jewish MP, Lionel de Rothschild. "It was very moving for me, thinking about the person who paved the way for me to do what I do," he said. "Many rights we take for granted were fought for very hard."


Nesbitt’s WJR star role

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 26, 2008

"You might wonder what a Northern Irish Presbyterian is doing at a World Jewish Relief dinner, as indeed am I," joked actor James Nesbitt, as he helped Manchester WJR to raise over £100,000 from last Wednesday's event at the Radisson at Manchester Airport.


UJIA encourages Barmitzvah presents for charity

By Charlotte Fisher, September 26, 2008

UJIA is hoping to encourage young philanthropists through its new My Fund scheme, allowing bar- and batmitzvah celebrants to create a fund to distribute money to a chosen charity.

The plan is for participants to be educated on the practicalities through workshops and advice from a panel of communal philanthropists.


Diane Abbott celebrates Charedi housing association

September 26, 2008
A Charedi housing association has been hailed as "a model for all housing organisations" by Hackney North MP Diane Abbott. Addressing the Agudas Israel Housing Association's annual meeting, Ms Abbott said the AIHA was "an example to us all. I have been in this borough for over 21 years and throughout that time AIHA has excelled on a number of fronts."


Museum celebrates rescue of Czech scrolls

By Simon Rocker, September 26, 2008

A new museum at the Westminster Synagogue tells the story of its famous collection of Czech scrolls rescued from the Holocaust. A state-of-the-art display with audio-visual and computer facilities was unveiled last week on the third floor of the synagogue's premises in Kent House, Knightsbridge.

The exhibition, "The Silent Messengers", is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 4pm but can be viewed at other times by arrangement.


School reprieved over drug clinic

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 25, 2008

Manchester City Council looks set to reject a controversial proposal for a drug abuse and alcoholic clinic next to the King David School campus.

The council says it is duty-bound to consider preliminary plans from the Westwood Nursing Home, in Crumpsall, for a rehab clinic, but has indicated that a full planning application will almost certainly fail. The care home had its council accreditation suspended after asking its elderly residents to leave to make way for the proposed clinic.


Leeds upbeat on its future

By Marcus Dysch, September 19, 2008

Efforts to promote Jewish life in Leeds are "moving forward positively", almost two years after the publication of a report into the future of the city's community.


A novel approach to a Wizo lunch

By Sheli Levenson, September 19, 2008

Joanna Trollope, Giles Brandreth and Simon Sebag-Montefiore were the speakers at a literary lunch held by Wizo as part of its 90th anniversary celebrations at St John's Wood Synagogue on Tuesday.