Community life

£2m plan for cemeteries

By Leon Symons, September 26, 2008

The United Synagogue is to spend almost £2 million to ensure that its two main cemeteries maintain operations well into the second half of this century.

But US head of burials Melvyn Hartog is confident that the commitment will not herald an increase in burial fees.

"We run a very tight ship," he told the JC this week. "Nothing is wasted and every penny we spend is accounted for. I believe we will be able to absorb these costs without putting up the fees."


Student chaplain fills Shenley’s vacancy

By Jay Grenby, September 26, 2008

Rabbi Natan Levy is the Shenley United community's new part-time minister and will lead the Hertfordshire congregation's festival services. Shenley's previous rabbi, Shmuli Kass, died of cancer, aged 30, a year ago.

American-born Rabbi Levy has for the past three years has been the Bristol-based Jewish university chaplain for the West of England and Wales. He and his wife Ariella have two young daughters.


Potters Bar synagogue is up for sale

By Jay Grenby, September 26, 2008

Potters Bar and Brookmans Park Synagogue has put its premises up for sale for £850,000.

The site includes a small one-storey building on the Great North Road at Bell Bar and an adjoining four-bedroomed bungalow, home to part-time rabbi Adam Hill and his family.

In its place, the 85-member family congregation is seeking a home in a more central location, preferably in Potters Bar itself, some three miles down the road. A committee led by board member Malcolm Ginsberg believes that a better positioned shul will attract new members.


Mikveh to reopen after repairs programme

By Cecily Woolf, September 26, 2008

The mikveh in Brighton's Prince Regent Swimming Pool complex is to reopen after a five-year hiatus. Sussex Jewish Representative Council delegates were told that funding was in place to carry out repairs.

Originally opened in 1935, the mikveh is the responsibility of Brighton and Hove Kashrus Committee, whose eight members are from the city's two Orthodox congregations.

According to the kashrus committee, it should be ready for use in three months. Local Reform and Progressive rabbis have welcomed the mikveh's availability to the entire community.


Adults' initiative Jeneration building presence on campus

September 26, 2008

Reform-backed young adults' initiative Jeneration is building a presence on campus.

It has produced a 60-page freshers' pamphlet, The Ultimate Guide to Student Survival, listing contacts for student activity as well as for local Reform, Liberal and Masorti communities.

Launched last year by the Reform movement to promote informal networks among young people, Jeneration has a student fieldworker and eight regional representatives.


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.