Community life

Farewell to Chief's aide

By Simon Rocker, September 24, 2009

A large crowd gathered at St John’s Wood Synagogue for a farewell reception for Syma Weinberg, who retired this summer as executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s office after nearly 13 years.

The former Hasmonean Preparatory School deputy head and education consultant to Jewish Continuity is making aliyah with her husband Henry in December.

“It’s been a privilege to have been working in the community for 40 years,” Mrs Weinberg said.


Bombing victim boy becomes face of Yomtov appeal

September 24, 2009

A four-year-old victim of a suicide bombing in Beersheva is the subject of the Yomtov appeal of One Family UK, which has a £100,000 target.

One Family in Israel provides support for bereaved parents such as Rachel and Yisrael Atash, whose son Aviel died in a bus bombing in 2004. He had been shopping with his mother, who was injured in the blast. While she lay in intensive care, Mr Atash identified their child’s dead body.


Finchley gains time

September 24, 2009

Finchley Synagogue dropped its usual Rosh Hashanah appeal in favour of a volunteering commitment.

At the urging of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, congregants were invited to pledge to any one from 10 volunteering options. Rabbi Mirvis said. “There was an incredible sense of the community coming together to find time to help those who need it most.”


Ofcom grants licence to Leeds Jewish radio

September 24, 2009

Ofcom has granted a Leeds-based Jewish radio station a five-year licence for medium wave programming.

Broadcasting on 1386AM, Radio Jcom was only previously available through the internet.

Station manager David Harris was “very excited about the station going on air. We already have a range of programmes covering all areas of interest and will be enlarging on these.”


Ilford pays tribute to a Shoah educator

September 24, 2009

A memorial to Auschwitz survivor and Shoah educator Leon Greenman has been unveiled in Valentines Park, Ilford.

Local MPs Mike Gapes and Lee Scott were among the guests at the ceremony at the park’s Holocaust Memorial Garden. It was addressed by another survivor, Issy Hahn, who produced a motif for the memorial.

“This was not easy,” he said. “I put a lot of work in from my heart because I knew what happened in Auschwitz. Hopefully schools and colleges will visit the park and see the memorial, read the text explaining the design, and understand what happened.”


Ex-recruit warns: ‘beware missionaries’

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A former member of Jews for Jesus has warned that missionary Christians are creating a “spiritual holocaust in our communities” by converting Jews.

Julian Ciss told an audience at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue how he had been recruited and later converted by the organisation.

He explained how he was approached by an evangelical Christian at a college art fair in his native Canada, and after beginning a relationship with the woman started attending her church.


Leeds bids for leaders

September 24, 2009

Four Leeds organisations have joined forces to roll out an initiative to invest in future leaders and volunteers for the community.

The Zone youth club, Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, Donisthorpe Hall care home and Brodetsky Primary School have produced the Leeds Leaders project. The programme will provide participants with work experience within each organisation and will host workshops to discuss challenges faced by the community, including special educational needs, social care and the pressure on resources.


Welfare link-up

September 24, 2009

Leeds welfare bodies believe that a joint initiative has helped them to have a clearer idea of how to plan for the future needs of elderly people.

Research funded through the first joint venture between Leeds Jewish Housing Association, Jewish Welfare Board and Donisthorpe Hall is being used to plan for the provision of services.

Nearly 400 survey respondents answered questions relating to their age, gender and living patterns. Over 65 per cent of replies came from people over 70 who expressed concerns about health, finance and loneliness.


Jewish primary school's headteacher returns from retirement

By Judith Hayman, September 24, 2009

Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary’s new head teacher has taken up the post for the second time in her career.

Norma Massel became the school’s head in 1990, and after nine years at the helm moved on to become head at North Cheshire Jewish Primary.

Mrs Massel retired from North Cheshire in January, aged 60. She explained: “It had been a very difficult year for me. My husband had died and I was looking after my 97-year-old mother, who died in February.” The retired head worked as a support teacher at Delamere Forest and as a Jewish studies teacher at North Cheshire.


Volunteers help cancer sufferers put fashion first

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 24, 2009

Looking in a mirror, Sue Woodcock said: “Now I look like a person with cancer.” The 53-year-old is sporting a scarf on hair which will inevitably fall out during cancer treatments at Manchester’s Christie hospital.

“OK,” said her Headstart attendant sensitively. “How about this?”