Community life

Closing time at Hounslow synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Sixty years of West London history were recalled on Sunday as 150 past and current members attended a valedictory service at Hounslow, Heathrow and District Synagogue. The service was led by Reverend Alan Greenbat, who had served the congregation as visiting minister.

At one time, the shul ran a cheder, youth club and study group. But membership numbers dwindled, making it difficult to attract regular minyanim. Yomtov services have not been held at the shul in Staines Road, Hounslow, for the past two years.


Stirring recognition

By Simon Rocker, December 11, 2008

An unusual presentation was made to Pro-Zion, the Progressive Zionist movement, in recognition of its work — a mounted soup ladle.

The utensil had been used in soup kitchens supported by the Israel Religious Action Centre. During a UK visit, IRAC executive director Anat Hoffman presented the ladle to Charlie Gluckman, co-chair of Pro Zion, which has raised money for the centre.

“I promised to raise a further $10,000 for the project,” Mr Gluckman said. “I couldn’t say no.”


Hundreds enjoy JC Fun Day

December 9, 2008

Around 700 people braved the cold weather on Sunday to take part in the JC family fun day at Yavneh College in Borehamwood, Herts.

Visitors were greeted by the sight of hundreds of helium balloons that flooded the sports hall. There was bouncy castle, donut decorating, face painting, arts and crafts, hair and nails decorating, candy floss and popcorn.

Maccabi footballers coached some of the boys and the Jewish Princesses were on hands to sign books.


Manchester’s tribute to Mumbai victims

December 8, 2008

The Stenecourt (Manchester Great New) synagogue was filled to capacity on Sunday as nearly 1,000 people from across the Manchester community attended a memorial service for the victims of the Mumbai attacks. The audience, which overflowed into the shul hall, was addressed by leading rabbis from the city including Dayan Menachem-Mendel Schneebalg from the Chasidic community and the Manchester Beth Din’s Yehuda Steiner.


Kindness of murdered Chabad couple ‘knew no bounds’

December 5, 2008

The 250 people at a Leeds Lubavitch Centre memorial service for those killed in the terror attack on Mumbai’s Chabad House included three community members who had received hospitality from Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka.

Angela Frieze, who had dined at Mumbai Chabad earlier this year, recalled the Holtzbergs as “a caring couple. The work they did will be sadly missed by those of us who were honoured enough to meet them.”


Support for the abused

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

Talks have started over the establishment of a Manchester support service for Jewish women who have suffered domestic violence.

The initiative stems from a panel discussion held by London-based Jewish Women’s Aid in Manchester last Thursday. As well as JWA vice-chair Elaine Grazin and campaigns manager Gay Waldman, the discussion featured Dawn Redshaw from Salford Women’s Aid, Judge Lindsey Kushner and Prestwich rabbi Yehoshua Landes.


JCoSS unveils pioneering special needs project

By Leon Symons, December 4, 2008

Plans have been unveiled for the first centre within a mainstream British school dedicated to educating children on the autistic spectrum.
The state-of-the-art facility will be an integral part of the £50-million Jewish Community Secondary School, due to be opened in East Barnet in 2010. The special centre accounts for £11 million of the budget of JCoSS, the most expensive state school ever built.


Victims shocked by Manchester burglaries

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

Prestwich and Broughton Park residents have been shaken by a spate of audacious robberies.

Up to a dozen Jewish households and businesses have been burgled in the past fortnight and police are urging community members to step-up security measures in their homes.

Most of the robberies have been in the early hours of the morning. In four cases thieves entered the victims’ bedrooms.

A Prestwich mother recounted her fright at waking at 4am to see a man rummaging through her possessions. Her husband was away and she was at home with her two children.


Wanstead induction

December 4, 2008

Rabbi Larry Becker was inducted as minister of Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue before a congregation of 120 at the Wanstead, East London, shul. The induction was performed by another local rabbi, David Hulbert of Barkingside’s Bet Tikvah community, who had mentored the American-born minister. Ilford North MP Lee Scott was among the guests.


US departure

December 4, 2008

United Synagogue head of central services David Braes is leaving the US after 11 years following a reorganisation. Chief executive Jeremy Jacobs thanked him for his contribution and wished him well for the future.