Community life

Israel lesson at KD prize day

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 26, 2009

Manchester King David governors’ chair Joshua Rowe changed the programme for the high school’s prize day on Tuesday to show the 1,500 audience a high-tech presentation on the history of Israel’s conflicts.

Mr Rowe took the decision to counter the increasing number of pupils and parents questioning the morality of Israel’s Gaza campaign.

“There are certainly students asking questions,” he explained. “People are influenced by the media and parents can be somewhat apathetic. The battlefront is everywhere.


JCC's plans for £10m centre

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Downsized plans for a £10 million cross-communal centre in West Hampstead were unveiled this week.

The Jewish Community Centre’s proposed redevelopment of a site at the junction of Finchley Road and Lymington Road will focus on “meeting the cultural and social needs of London’s 200,000 Jews”, according to JCC executive director Nick Viner.

Ambitious previous £50 million plans for the development, incorporating a swimming pool and gym, were abandoned last year in light of the financial climate.


'The Man U of cholent'

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Kosher Deli has been hailed as “the Manchester United of the cholent world” after a third successive victory in the Saatchi shul’s Cholent of the Year contest.

The company’s cholent saw off the challenge from Menachem’s in Golders Green and Adafina of St John’s Wood at a tasting by the 100 people at last Friday’s Saatchi service. The trophy was presented to the victors on Sunday morning.

A “very happy” Albert Bendahan from Kosher Deli gave a clue to his recipe for success.

“Remember cholent comes from the French chaud lent [slow hot]. That’s the secret.”


Approved by Ofsted

By John Fisher, February 26, 2009

Ofsted inspectors have upgraded the Brodetsky Primary School in Leeds from satisfactory to “good with outstanding features”. The Alwoodley primary also received a top score from Pikuach Jewish studies assessors.

Head Simon Camby was praised by the Ofsted team for “the inspiration from which all staff gain strength”.

There was “outstanding” provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the 250 pupils and the children displayed good knowledge of healthy eating and keeping fit.


Hale shul building

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 26, 2009

As South Manchester’s community continues on its suburban sprawl, Sephardi congregation Shaare Hayim is having a 200-seat satellite synagogue complex constructed in Hale.

The facility will cater for the many among the synagogue’s 589 members who have moved away from its Didsbury base. It will incorporate a hall, minister’s accommodation and classrooms.

Planning permission was received a few weeks ago after a five-year preparatory process during which two adjacent plots of land were purchased.


Marble Arch fee reductions help those caught in credit crunch

By Jay Grenby, February 26, 2009

Further cuts in membership fees are being implemented at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue to help congregants in financial difficulty.

The latest reductions of an average eight per cent mean that a member in his early 30s could pay under £150 a year.


Bernstein’s vision for Manchester future

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 26, 2009

Manchester Jewry could benefit from the recession as better job prospects and higher living standards stem the tide of younger community members migrating to London. That’s the view of Manchester City Council chief executive and Manchester Jewish Community Project (MJCP) chair Sir Howard Bernstein.


Education for all from Masorti

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Subjects ranging from the Bible and Talmud to an introduction to Islam are among the 50 classes available from Masorti’s new adult education programme, Lishma.

Launching in March, it will be held in venues in North-West London and Hertfordshire and will be open to non-Masorti members.

Lishma founder Matt Plen believes that “Masorti’s blend of traditional, tolerant, open-minded Judaism is relevant to people across the community.


Liberals get textbook tips

February 26, 2009

Never Mind The Bullocks is the latest advice to bar and batmitzvah students from Liberal Judaism. For the phrase — a reference to a verse in Isaiah — is the title of a textbook written by the chairman of its rabbinic conference, Rabbi Pete Tobias.

It takes the form of a conversation between a rabbi and the prophet as preparation for a bar/batmitzvah course.

The author sees it as “more than just a bnei mitzvah textbook. It is also meant as a presentation of a Liberal Jewish attitude to the Torah.”


Wine store opening

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

The owner of a new kosher wine store in Hendon believes his market will be unaffected by the credit crunch.

Speaking after the opening of The Grapevine, David Margulies said: “A lot of premium wines have come down in wholesale price and we have been able to pass on that discount to our customers.”

Located in Bell Lane, The Grapevine fills a gap in the market created by the closure of Amazing Grapes.

“About five months ago the opportunity came to take over the store and it held an appeal as we were looking to expand our operation,” Mr Margulies explained.