Community life

Election day for ZF

September 19, 2008

In the Zionist Federation's first contested elections for eight years, management consultant Jonathan Smilansky and City economist Jonathan Hoffman were elected ZF vice-chairs at its biennial conference in London on Sunday.

The defeated candidate was former Board of Deputies vice-president Jerry Lewis.

In addition, one-time Labour MP Eric Moonman and Manchester activist Joy Wolfe were elected to the two presidential positions.


Arsenal star moved by Holocaust tale

By Andrew Pentol, September 19, 2008

Arsenal's Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia played to another capacity crowd on Sunday when he introduced a screening of Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas at the Phoenix cinema in Finchley.

Almunia is a keen student of World War II history and the John Boyne novel on which the film is based is one of his favourites.


Help for appeal family

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 19, 2008

Offers of help are pouring in to Manchester welfare charity The Fed for the family highlighted in its Rosh Hashanah appeal.

The appeal letter illustrated health and financial problems of the family, whose names were changed to protect their identity.

In addition to appeal donations, supporters of The Fed have responded with offers of employment and even free photographic and video services for a family celebration.

"It's touched people's hearts and we've seen a very sympathetic response," reported The Fed's Joyce Khan.


US wants blood from congregants

September 19, 2008

In a fresh approach to its Rosh Hashanah appeal, the United Synagogue is this year promoting a blood donor campaign in partnership with the National Blood Service.

At the US's Project Chesed, promoting responsibility towards others, director Candice Woolfson said: "We are asking people to make a different kind of pledge this year. Giving blood is a life-saving act. Every Rosh Hashanah we greet each other with the words: ‘Shanah Tovah - may you have a healthy and happy New Year.' This year our community can turn those words into actions."


Masorti’s new group

By Sheli Levenson, September 19, 2008

In a first for Masorti, the movement is holding Yom Kippur services in the Stoke Newington and Haringey area to meet the needs of over 20 families. The services will bring together a fledgling Islington group which has previously organised informal activities.

Masorti chief executive Michael Gluckman pointed out: "The Islington area has become more liberal and there are a lot of Jewish people living there who felt there wasn't something for them. They wanted something traditional but modern."


Rabbi Wallach enjoys happy return to Hove

By Cecily Woolf, September 19, 2008

Charles Wallach was inducted as minister of Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue on Shabbat before a congregation of 300 including local Labour MP Celia Barlow and Brighton Mayor Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn.

It is a second spell in Brighton for Rabbi Wallach, 58, who served the local Progressive community for over a decade from 1977. He has also worked for congregations in Australia, Israel and his native Johannesburg.


‘Kinder’ who fled the Nazis plan big reunion

By Marcus Dysch, September 19, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and historian Sir Martin Gilbert will address what could be the last major gathering of Kindertransport refugees to Britain.

November's event at JFS's Kenton premises marks the 70th anniversary of the Kindertransport and the Association of Jewish Refugees is hoping for a large turnout of former Kinder and their families.

In November 1938, the British government altered its refugee policy to allow entry to unaccompanied youngsters under the age of 17 fleeing the Nazis.


Bournemouth shul considers relocating

By Corinne Rein, September 19, 2008

Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation may be on the move from its Wootton Garden premises, members have been informed in a letter from the synagogue executive.

Shul president Harvey Lipsith stressed that the search for a new site is in its infancy.

"A planning committee has been meeting for several months to review the feasibility for relocating," he explained.

"Although a move is not imminent, it was felt necessary to advise the congregation, and to seek their approval.


Ramadan fast ends in shul

By Charlotte Fisher, September 19, 2008

Muslims were invited to the New London Synagogue in St John's Wood on Tuesday for an Iftar meal to break the daily fast during Ramadan.

Alif-Aleph, promoting interfaith dialogue, has organised an annual Iftar event since 2003, celebrating similarities in the religions, traditions and food of Jews and Muslims.

"It's a great opportunity to meet and talk to Muslims," said New London member Vera Morris as guests tucked into a buffet of salmon bagels, cakes and dates.


A dog’s life is profitable for Maccabi

September 12, 2008

"Fifty dogs and not a single fight" was the proud boast of Valerie Herman, organiser of Maccabi GB's first Community Dog Walk fundraiser on Sunday.