Community life

Kisharon blaze guts building

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Fire destroyed the gym and two outer buildings at Kisharon’s Adult Day Centre in Hendon in the early hours of last Thursday.

Four fire engines and 20 firefighters took almost two hours to get the blaze under control at the rear of the special needs charity’s Parson Street premises.

According to a London Fire Brigade spokesman, an emergency call was answered at 2am and the blaze was under control just before four. “Firefighters worked extremely hard and managed to stop the fire spreading to the main care centre building. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”


Tributes for exiting Board of Deputies leader Henry Grunwald

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears led tributes to the retiring leader of the Board of Deputies, Henry Grunwald, at its annual president’s dinner in London last week.

Mrs Blears said that whatever Mr Grunwald’s professional accomplishments at the bar, “I believe your achievements as president exceed all of them.

“Over the past six years we have come to know and respect your tireless advocacy, your courageous work to build stronger ties with other faiths and your unequivocal championing of tolerance, respect and decency.”


NHS urged to fund all Tay Sachs tests

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

In the week screening for the fatal genetic disorder, Tay Sachs, ended in the regions, a report by Jewish medical practitioners urges the NHS to fund all Tay Sachs testing within the Jewish community.


Sandys Row Synagogue wins lottery

May 14, 2009

The survival of one of Britain’s oldest synagogue buildings has been assured with an award of over £250,000 from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sandys Row Synagogue in London’s East End will use the money for essential repairs to its Grade II listed building — “a little known architectural gem in the heart of Spitalfields,” according to conservation architect Anthony Walker, who led the shul’s advisory team.


Lord Strathclyde subs for Michael Gove at Kisharon

By Ben Jaglom, May 14, 2009

The frenzy over MPs’ expenses forced special needs charity Kisharon into a last-minute change of speaker for its dinner at the Hilton Park Lane on Sunday evening.

Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove had been due to address the 700 guests but was summoned to a meeting with David Cameron, which Kisharon trustee Leo Noe said related to “an emergency that has been discussed extensively in the news recently”. Mr Gove has been accused of “flipping” homes to maximise allowances, a charge he denies.


Assaf Admoni: Norwood’s commercial services director

May 14, 2009

Assaf Admoni brings a wealth of experience to his new role as Norwood’s commercial services director.

Mr Admoni was previously with Leonard Cheshire, the UK’s largest disability charity, serving as a board member with responsibility for fund-raising.

He has also worked for the National Autistic Society and ChildLine, having started his charitable career at JNF.


Carers take UK break thanks to Zichron Menachem

May 14, 2009

Parents of Israeli children with cancer have enjoyed a British break courtesy of Zichron Menachem UK.

Hosted by backers of the charity, they were taken to London tourist attractions, a performance of the musical, Stomp, and on shopping expeditions. They also enjoyed limousine travel and a barbecue in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The parents attend support groups at Zichron Menachem’s Jerusalem day centre and are from all shades of religious observance.
Zichron Menachem’s UK chairman Eli Seliger said it had been wonderful to see the strain lift from the faces of participants.


Council of Christians and Jews launches forum

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

The Council of Christians and Jews has launched a forum for supporters to underwrite programmes to counter antisemitism among youth.

It is chaired by Bishop of Manchester the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, who welcomed guests to the first “Chairman’s Circle” at Lambeth Palace.

“If there is to be a real and successful attempt to turn back the tide of antisemitism in this country,” he said, “it will only happen if we engage those young people who are in such danger of forgetting past history.”


Rabbi Reuven Livingstone takes pay cut

May 14, 2009

Hampstead Garden Suburb honorary officers have refused to take questions on a cut in salary and expenses for minister Rabbi Reuven Livingstone.

There were heated exchanges between the shul’s lay leadership and some of the 200 members at Monday’s annual meeting, following the revelation in the 2009 budget of a halving of expenses to be paid to the rabbi — from £12,660 to £6,000. Combined with a lesser salary, the rabbi’s income will fall by 15 per cent, from an £87,000 package to around £75,000.


Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School’s new plans

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 14, 2009

Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School has resubmitted a controversial planning application to relocate, having sparked a protest campaign by local residents last year.

The new application argues that the school’s 44-year-old premises are in need of a major overhaul, but the site is unsuitable for development under government building recommendations.

Instead, a £3.6 million state-of-the-art school is proposed on green belt land close to Whitefield’s Jewish community.

Based on a council consultation, over 130 residents oppose the new plans with just six in favour.