Community life

Chai in demand

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 29, 2009

Chai Cancer Care’s satellite service in Manchester is reporting an overwhelming uptake of its therapy and counselling services. The facility in Heathlands Village has seen client numbers swell in just six months to match demand for the charity’s Redbridge satellite, which opened over two years ago.

Visiting the Manchester service this week, Chai chief executive Elaine Kerr said calls were being received from Liverpool and Leeds.

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Joining the Belarus party

By Jay Grenby, October 29, 2009

A nine-strong Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue group visited Belarus to attend the bar- and batmitzvahs of youngsters from the shul’s twin community of Grodno and the neighbouring town of Lida. The celebrants had been hosted in Radlett in the summer for activities including a religious studies programme.

Headed by Rabbi David Mitchell and Belarus committee chair Paul Janes, the Radlett group started in Grodno, where bowler-hatted progressive rabbi Grisha Abramovich presided over Friday night and Shabbat morning services in which the teenagers had leading roles.

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MDA cooks up a £1.4m menu

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

On the day he became Baron Sacks of Aldgate, the Chief Rabbi helped Magen David Adom UK with its own celebration — a 60th anniversary dinner which raised £1.4 million for the medical emergency charity.

Addressing over 300 guests at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, the Chief Rabbi said: “For 60 years, during war and peace, the Anglo-Jewish community has supported MDA and it is magnificent. When we’re in Israel and we see an ambulance and look at the British names along it, it makes us feel so proud.

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Yavneh pupils to make their mark at Eton

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

A group of pupils from Yavneh College in Borehamwood will be visiting Eton College next week for the first of what the school hopes will be regular exchanges.

The group, mainly from year-10 because the youngest Eton pupils are 13, will be taking part in a faith forum at the famous public school. They will be telling pupils from other faith schools about Judaism, what it means to be Jewish and what life is like in a Jewish school.

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Building starts on Masorti's £4m shul

By Jay Grenby, October 29, 2009

Work began this week on a £4 million building for the New North London Masorti Synagogue — almost a year after the ground-breaking ceremony at the community’s base at the Sternberg Centre site in Finchley.

Congregants will still be able to attend services and other activities in the shul’s existing premises during the works. However, they are being warned to watch out for extra-deep bore holes, drilled to accommodate a ground-source heat pump, which will help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent.

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Shoah survivors watch given to HET

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

The poignant history of a watch hidden by Holocaust survivors at Bergen Belsen and later given to a liberating soldier has been revealed during a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock received the watch (pictured) in the presence of Commons Speaker John Bercow and Tory MP Dr Julian Lewis. It had been donated by Elizabeth Barnes, 79, of Hythe, Hampshire, whose late father Ronald Cowles had bought it from the soldier over 60 years ago.

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Legacy of bomb victim

October 22, 2009

The brother of Yoni Jesner, the British student killed in a suicide bombing in Israel seven years ago, was among the speakers at an educational evening in Yoni’s memory at the BA headquarters in Temple Fortune.

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Euro star aids Israel

October 22, 2009

Northern Irish MEP Diane Dodds has pledged to do all in her power “to protect Israel and her people” having been appointed to the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Israel.

“Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East,” said the Democratic Unionist. “The European Union has a moral, as well as political duty, to support her.”

Mrs Dodds will work closely with pro-Israel groups in Europe including Northern Ireland Friends of Israel.

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Child's Day cashing in on unrestricted gains

October 22, 2009

Jewish Child’s Day has bucked a recessionary trend by reporting a 20 per cent rise in unrestricted income for its latest financial year.

The £775,000 in this category can be put by the charity to towards children’s agencies which meet its applications criteria. Restricted income is from trusts which specify the agencies which can benefit.

Treasurer Stephen Moss reported on a challenging year for JCD. “But despite the financial turmoil, our overall appeal income [£968,000] came to within six per cent of the previous year, which was a major achievement.”

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Snake charmer from Technion

October 22, 2009

Israeli robotics expert Dr Alon Wolf captivated student audiences in London with explanations of pioneering futuristic systems developed at the Technion in Haifa, where he is director of the biorobotics and biomechanics lab.

As well as addressing JFS and King’s College London groups, Dr Wolf — who visited under the aegis of the British Technion Society — gave a lecture at the Royal Institution on robots deployed on search and rescue missions. These include snake-like mechanisms which imitate real-life snake locomotion.

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