Community life

Bournemouth breakaway group change name

By Cathy Forman, February 11, 2010

The breakaway group from Bournemouth Reform Synagogue has changed its name.

Originally known as the Southern Reform Community, it is now called the Southern Jewish Community.

“Our name has had to be changed to comply with a request from the Movement for Reform Judaism,” explained group member David Sheaf. “They felt that having ‘Reform’ in our name might lead people to think we are already affiliated. This we considered a reasonable request.” However, the group still hoped to affiliate to Reform.


Kisharon is 'satisfactory' says Ofsted

February 11, 2010

The Kisharon special needs school in Golders Green has been graded educationally “satisfactory” by Ofsted.

It was rated as “good” for both spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and welfare, health and safety.

Ofsted reported “a positive start with the new Early Years Foundation stage framework” and that overall, “the school has made satisfactory progress since the previous inspection and now meets all the regulations for independent schools”.


Synagogue hosts Bafta party

By Jay Grenby, February 11, 2010

New North London Synagogue held its own Bafta party to raise funds towards its £4 million shul building.

Nearly 200 members and friends of the Masorti congregation enjoyed a conversation between writer, director and producer Sir Alan Parker and veteran film critic Barry Norman at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Piccadilly.

With credits as diverse as Midnight Express and Bugsy Malone, Sir Alan had a store of anecdotes to draw upon.


Three guilty of race abuse in Manchester

February 11, 2010

A mother and son who squirted water at and verbally abused religious Jews in Salford have pleaded guilty to racially motivated attacks.


Stamford Hill pub becomes yeshivah

By Marcus Dysch, February 11, 2010

A former Stamford Hill pub is reopening as a yeshivah after a lengthy rebuilding project.

The British Oak was bought by the Belz community in 2002 and has been transformed at a cost of around £1 million. Supporters took part in a range of celebratory and fundraising events to mark the centre’s opening ceremony.

Rabbi Aaron Rokeach travelled from Israel to represent his father, Belz Rebbe Rabbi Issachar Dov Rokeach.

He spent Shabbat at the Holiday Inn at Luton Airport, where he was joined by over 140 community members who had each donated £3,600 to the project.


Tzedek raises £5,000 by firewalking

By Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

The heat was on 25 supporters of world aid charity Tzedek as they raised over £5,000 by firewalking on Sunday.

After receiving professional tuition at Kulanu Community Centre in Kenton, participants removed shoes and socks to walk 20 feet over blazing wooden planks.

Among the firewalkers was Russell Benson, 28, from Hendon. “I thought it sounded fun,” he said. “It was for a good cause and an impressive thing to talk about to friends and family.”


United Synagogue helping JCoSS on kashrut issues

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

The United Synagogue is advising on kashrut arrangements at the cross-communal Jewish Community Secondary School, which will open in Barnet in September.


Boris backs special needs provision for Stamford Hill

February 11, 2010

Boris Johnson backed Stamford Hill special needs school Side by Side’s campaign for state aid when addressing 750 guests at a fundraising dinner at London’s Park Lane Hilton on Tuesday.

The London Mayor praised school founder Rebecca Rumpler, “whose vision and determination has seen Side by Side play such a vital role in the community”. Then, to Side by Side chairman Yossel Margulies, he went on: “I fully support your efforts in applying for partial state aid which will greatly benefit the children and their families who rely on your services so greatly.”


Mill Hill 'Mensch' reaches out to secular Jews

February 11, 2010

A Mill Hill-based charity is setting out to help those with “little or no Jewish connection” observe key events in a religious way.

Co-ordinator Steven Giffin said Mensch aimed to find solutions clients could feel comfortable with.

Aston Harvey, 39, from Harrow Weald, was helped by Mensch after his mother died. “We are not a religious family but I wanted something traditional. Mensch organised everything for me — arranging the burial and sending a rabbi to take the service.”


Liberal Judaism to sponsor Book Festival

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

Liberal Judaism has joined the sponsors of one of the country’s top book events, next month’s Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.

“The Oxford Literary Festival is growing in importance and scope and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Liberal Judaism chairman Lucian Hudson. “Liberal Judaism loves to challenge and be challenged where ideas are being discussed.

“What could be more fitting for the People of the Book than a literary festival? ”