Community life

University plants Senitt tribute

By Jay Grenby, June 4, 2009

Lord Janner and Reform movement head Rabbi Tony Bayfield were among those at a tree-planting ceremony at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies in memory of Alan Senitt, the young Jewish activist and interfaith worker murdered in Washington in 2006.

Over 40 family, friends and colleagues heard tributes from Lord Janner, a patron of the Alan Senitt Memorial Trust, Wes Streeting from the National Union of Students and Lee Petar, a long-time friend and former Bicom colleague.


MP hails Glasgow’s profitable branches

By Stephanie Brickman, June 4, 2009

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy unveiled a Tree of Life artwork at Jewish Care Scotland’s day centre in Giffnock, Glasgow, on Sunday which has already raised over £12,000 for the charity.

Designed by Lynn Wolfson, the six-foot high installation is in the centre’s reception area. Community members can add leaves to celebrate simchahs or to remember loved ones by making a £250 donation. One-third of the 150 leaves have already been sold. There is also a book of dedications.


Servicemen lacking our backing

June 4, 2009

The new chairman of the Jewish Committee for HM Forces has urged the community to be more supportive of its servicemen.

Mancunian Martin Newman is saddened that “our Jewish personnel don’t enjoy the same moral and financial support from the community as our American colleagues. We want British Jewry to show the same pride in our troops, brave young men and women who are putting their lives on the line for our freedom.”


Transfer bonus delights charity

June 4, 2009

The premises of the former Westmount care home in West Hampstead have been donated to Jewish Care, which intends to transfer residents from its Mapesbury Road home in Willesden.

Established in 1976 by Sidney and Elizabeth Corob, Westmount was a kosher facility offering beds on the basis of need, rather than ability to pay. It closed in April 2008 as a result of declining numbers.

Explaining the donation, Mrs Corob said that she and her late husband “wanted to make sure the home could continue to care for members of the Jewish community with the same ethos and quality as before.”


Bone marrow group wants more screen tests

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A year-long global fundraising campaign supporting Jews needing bone marrow matches has reached London.

Volunteers from the British Friends of Ezer Mizion, which organises bone marrow testing in Israel, were outside north-west London synagogues and shops seeking donations towards a £2.5 million UK target.

Simon Maurer of the British Friends says the campaign will enable “many more Israelis to go for a bone marrow test, which will improve the chances of Jews worldwide finding a match”.


Tweet smell of success

June 4, 2009

As part of its outreach efforts, Reform Judaism now has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter.

The movement’s Martin Dix says the idea is to “engage with Jews across the country who may otherwise have no contact with the Jewish community, live at a distance from Jewish centres, or who do not want to join a synagogue but are looking for new ways to connect with Jewish life.”

Traditional forms of communication were no longer sufficient. “Twitter and Facebook are hubs of social networking, bringing together millions of people.


Come to Chabad — near the pub

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 4, 2009

A £250,000 Chabad centre has opened in Manchester’s Whitefield area. A one-year refurbishment has transformed the former off-licence into a facility housing a Jewish resource library, Judaica store, lounge and a multimedia lecture hall.

However, director Rabbi Shmuli Jaffe says the centre’s greatest asset is its location. “It is opposite the Parkfield Inn pub, which is full of Jews on Thursday evenings, and its street corner is where the kids are on motzei Shabbos, being the only stretch of Jewish shops in the neighbourhood.”


Fifteen-year-old mourned

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

Over 1,000 people attended the funeral of a 15-year-old boy from Stamford Hill who died after being in a coma for four days.

Chaim Roth was one of 10 children from a Satmar family in Stamford Hill living in assisted housing provided by Agudas Israel.

According to Yesodey Hatorah School principal Rabbi Avraham Pinter, he had got up after taking a nap in his room but then “collapsed into a coma on the floor”. He died in Homerton Hospital.


New memorial to Shoah hero

By Ben Jaglom, June 4, 2009

A garden honouring the late MI6 agent who helped thousands of Jews to flee Nazi Germany was opened at Finchley’s Sternberg Centre on Sunday in the presence of Cherie Blair.

Frank Foley worked as a passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin as a cover for his spying activities. As well as favourably interpreting the rules on visas, he helped to forge passports and even sheltered Jews in his own home.


Charity climber is off to a sticky start

June 4, 2009

Paul Albert chose some sticky conditions in Romford Market to prepare for his fundraising climb of Mount Kilimanjaro next week.

He sat in a bath of rice pudding from 10.30am-3pm to raise almost £600 for the local St Francis Hospice, which cared for his grandfather Harry Cohen in the final weeks of his life.