Community life

Walker steps in at Heaton

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 11, 2008

Stepping into large shoes, Rabbi Daniel Walker has officially taken over at Heaton Park Hebrew Congregation from the Rev Leslie Olsberg, who has served the community for 36 years.

The 31-year-old Lubavitch rabbi, who has a particular interest in Jewish history, hopes to build on the spirit he has found in the 900-strong North Manchester congregation.

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Council pledge on CCTV

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 11, 2008

CCTV cameras are finally being earmarked for Manchester’s Charedi Broughton Park neighbourhood after a 10-year campaign by the Jewish community.

In the wake of a spate of recent incidents, local councillors this week agreed to find funding for CCTV following meetings with Salford’s Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan.

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Reform’s Israel stance pleases ambassador

July 11, 2008

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor has praised the Movement for Reform Judaism for increasing the breadth of support for Israel among British Jewry.

Mr Prosor addressed the 260 delegates at the movement’s biennial conference in Leicester at the weekend, where newly elected Reform chair Stephen Moss reaffirmed its non-negotiable commitment to Israel — and to democracy, justice and human rights for all people of the Middle East.

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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.

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£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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Israelis enjoy a break from terror

By Jay Grenby, July 4, 2008

Young Israelis whose lives have been shattered as a result of terror attacks have been on a recuperative break in London.

The visitors, aged between 19 and 30, were brought to Britain under the auspices of One Family, whose UK executive director Andrew Alexander explained that such trips removed them from an environment of grief.

One of the youngest in the group is Hila Leibovitch, 21, whose seven-year-old sister Noam was killed in a highway ambush in 2003. Another sister, Neria, was seriously injured in the same attack.

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