Community life

Leo Baeck welcomes new rabbis

July 11, 2008

There was an international flavour to the ordination ceremony for six Progressive rabbis held by Leo Baeck College at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood.

Hetty Groeneveld will be the Reform movement’s first female rabbi in Holland. Larry Becker taught at an inner city school and juvenile detention centre in his native Cleveland, Ohio, before moving to Israel. Rabbi Becker will serve the Sukkat Shalom congregation in Essex.

More..

£2.5m chair

July 11, 2008

The potential for future relations between Judaism, Christianity and Islam will be explored at Oxford University through a new chair in the study of Abrahamic religions.

An anonymous £2.5 million donation will, from the 2009 academic year, fund the study of the founding texts of each religion via a range of philosophical, historical, artistic and political topics.

More..

A special Camp Simcha break

July 11, 2008

Children with life-threatening illnesses were joined by parents and siblings at a weekend retreat organised by Camp Simcha at Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hertfordshire.

Thirty families from across the Jewish religious spectrum brought 100 youngsters to the party. An on-site zoo included a tarantula, snakes, turtles and donkey rides. For the adults there were stress-relief programmes and a candlelit dinner for two while their offspring enjoyed a murder mystery and other entertainment.

More..

Plea to let refugees remain

July 11, 2008

A coalition of Jewish groups has lobbied the Home Office over the deportation of Darfuri refugees to Khartoum, despite evidence that increasing numbers are being arrested and tortured.

More..

Liverpool shul plaque

July 11, 2008
Community leaders joined Liverpool’s lord mayor and senior councillors on Monday for the unveiling of a plaque close to the site of Merseyside’s first synagogue. The shul was founded in 1752 in a modest one-storey brick building near what is now the city’s Metquarter Shopping Centre. It soon became known as Synagogue Court. By 1775, the congregation had moved on to Turton Court and Frederick Court, before the establishment of Seel Street in 1807, probably the city’s first purpose-built synagogue.

More..

Lessons of Shalit’s story

July 11, 2008

Activities about captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit have been a feature of a visit this week by teachers from the Kerner Primary in Meona, Northern Israel, to the Clore Tikva Primary in Redbridge under the aegis of the UJIA Schools to Schools project.

During his time as a Kerner pupil, Gilad Shalit wrote a story about the morality of friendship and peace which was discovered at the school after his capture.

The story has since been published in Israel with illustrations by Israeli artists.

More..

Strong legal argument

July 11, 2008

Delivering the annual Isaiah Berlin Lecture at Hampstead Synagogue, Baroness Kennedy argued that while law and democracy are the pillars of British society, it is the law which is paramount.

The human-rights and civil-liberties specialist pointed out that there are currently 80 cases of alleged Islamic terrorism awaiting trial.

Trying to take short-cuts would only lead to unsafe convictions and thus should be avoided.

Although one impulse to the threat of terrorism was to withdraw the rights of some, judges should fight to maintain the human rights of everyone.

More..

Preston Bennett lunch

July 11, 2008

A celebratory lunch was held in the Jewish Chronicle boardroom last Thursday to mark 50 years of continuous advertising in the JC by estate agents Preston Bennett.

At the lunch — attended by Ronald Preston and Peter Bennett, their wives and senior executives — Mr Preston recalled that the first house he sold had been advertised in the JC.

Moreover, he had recently discovered that it was still occupied by the original purchaser.

More..

Jewish Care raises record £3.5m

July 4, 2008

Jewish Care fundraisers are celebrating a record £3.57 million pledged at the charity’s campaign dinner at  Grosvenor House on Tuesday.

The generosity of the 900 guests delighted campaign chairman Steven Lewis, who said that “in such financially challenging times, the community’s ability to understand the importance of what we do and offer their overwhelming support is truly outstanding”. The previous record was last year’s £2.9 million.

More..

Irish Chief Rabbi goes

By Alex Barnes, July 4, 2008
Dublin Hebrew Congregation held a farewell kiddush to Irish Chief Rabbi Yaakov Pearlman, who is returning to America with his wife Sheila after seven years in the post. Rabbi Pearlman thanked those in and beyond the community who had assisted him during his time in office.Tributes were paid to him by Howard Gross, a former president of the congregation, and Jewish Representative Council of Ireland chairman Leonard Abrahamson.

More..