Community life

Big week for small scientists

June 11, 2009

Lord Winston lent expert support to a science week at North West London Jewish Day School in Brent.

The peer observed pupils’ mini-experiments, answered scientific questions and gave an illuminating presentation on the human brain using eggs and a pot of water.

Other activities included a show from the Science Museum outreach team and an interactive electricity exhibition.

Brent Council provided hands-on recycling workshops and the nursery children monitored the development of chicks in an incubator. Parental participation in the week was encouraged.


Best hummus is Iraqi-inspired

By James Martin, June 11, 2009

A 26-year-old trainee chef tasted victory in the second annual HummusFest staged by the Jewish Community Centre at Hampstead Town Hall on Sunday.

Tal Kedmy was one of 20 individuals and teams given 45 minutes to showcase their hummus-making skills using identical ingredients including chickpeas, tahina, parsley and olive oil.


In a league of their own

June 11, 2009

Two League of Jewish Women groups have been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, an accolade equivalent in status to an MBE.

The league’s North-West Region, covering Greater Manchester and the Fylde coast, has been recognised for its work with the Jewish and wider community, such as helping at hospitals, schools and care facilities. Headstart, a sub-group based at Manchester’s Christie Hospital, works to boost the morale of chemotherapy patients.

Regional vice-president Averill Moore said the 550-member organisation was “overwhelmed, thrilled and excited”.


Riding a rickshaw into record books

June 11, 2009

Two young fundraisers are planning a world record pedal-rickshaw ride in aid of grassroots development in India.

Simon Etkind and Lianna Hulbert, both 24, will be taking a circuitous 932-mile route from Lands End to Lowestoft to meet the Guinness Book of Records’ requirement of a minimum 1,500 kilometres distance. They aim to complete their summer adventure in 24 days, using Shabbat for recuperation.


Call to join care collaboration

By Jonathan Kalmus, Manchester, June 11, 2009

The impending merger of Manchester Jewry’s largest welfare organisations, The Fed and Heathlands Care Village, could pave the way for a one-stop Jewish welfare body in the city.

Addressing a Manchester Jewish Representative Council meeting on Sunday, Fed chairman Marc Adlestone said other local care organisations would have to decide whether to join forces with the merged organisation. But there would be significant practical benefits, he argued.

“There is huge overlap. Communal assets are not being properly used and funding grants are not being accessed.”


PM thanks Brummer

By Candice Krieger, June 4, 2009

Our columnist Alex Brummer celebrated a “significant” birthday last week with letters from Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, praising his reporting of the financial crisis. Twenty-one again, Alex?


Bus stop dismays Charedim

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A move to establish a direct bus link between Golders Green and Stamford Hill has stalled on cost grounds, to the disappointment of the Charedi community.

Response to a four-month study conducted by Transport for London watchdog London TravelWatch demonstrated “a very clear requirement for a bus service between the two places”.


Brighton Reform is split on Siddur

By Yael Breuer, June 4, 2009

The editor of the new Reform Siddur has defended the prayer book against accusations of political correctness in the wake of criticism by the movement’s Brighton congregation.

An EGM at Brighton and Hove Reform voted to adopt the Siddur by a 36-14 majority with one abstention. Dissenters included vice-chair Debra Goodman, who claimed that many members were unhappy about the translation from Hebrew into English.


Responsible role for JCoSS

June 4, 2009

UJIA head of Jewish social responsibility Elaine Robinson will be the first Jewish education director at the cross-communal JCoSS secondary school opening in Barnet next year.

Raised in Liverpool, Ms Robinson, 37, attended the Orthodox Childwall congregation and was an active Bnei Akiva member. She previously taught at Immanuel College and still lectures at the London School of Jewish Studies, Limmud and the New North London Synagogue. The governors believe she will be “a bridge to every part of the community”.


Shabbat room at Royal Free

June 4, 2009

Jews visiting loved ones at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead on religious days can take advantage of its new Shabbat room.

Families can use the room as a place to relax — and be provided with a simple kosher meal.

It is the result of a donation from the family of Betty Gedalla, a Royal Free volunteer for 32 years, who died in December. Her sons Lawrence and Brian were at the opening ceremony, along with Lady Jakobovits and senior Jewish hospital chaplain Rabbi Meir Salasnik.