Community life

Virtual reality for Sussex

By Cecily Woolf, December 22, 2009

A virtual Jewish community centre linking the scattered communities throughout Sussex has become a global hit.

Graphic designer Gary Weston and charities consultant Andrew Devon designed SJO as a service to the community with the blessing of the local Representative Council, whose chairman Beryl Sharpe said: “Gary and Andy have done a great job.”


Teenager snaps up photo prize

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2009

A severely disabled teenager has won an award for a self-portrait photograph taken after hours of practice with a sensitive remote switch linked to a digital camera.

Max Goulde, 18, has been awarded the east Midlands runner-up prize in the national I-Click Photographic Competition and will have his work displayed at the Oxo Gallery in the South Bank.

As a result of a serious illness at 18 months old, Max has cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, epilepsy and is blind. He is in a wheelchair and requires around the clock care.


Woodside Park Synagogue double joy

December 17, 2009

Woodside Park Synagogue has welcomed home emeritus chazan, Rev Michael Plaskow and his wife Phyllis, for the rededication of the refurbished Wiseman Linden hall.


Potters Bar synagogue relocates to town centre

December 17, 2009

Potters Bar and Brookmans Park synagogue, long-established at Bell Bar, is moving to the centre of the town.

The last Shabbat service took place at the current Meadowcroft premises last Shabbat with the inaugural morning service planned for this Shabbat.

President Howard Lanning said that the congregation “sees the move as a major stepping-stone in the growth of the community. Meadowcroft is behind us now and I must thank the team at the United Synagogue for being with us every step of the way.


Toy stories for children in need

December 17, 2009

The Camp Simcha Chanucah Toy Drive attracted thousands of children from over 40 Jewish day schools and chederim who brought in a toy for children in hospital.

Over 35 volunteers spent a day sorting and packing a mountain of toys at the Camp Simcha centre in Hendon. Dozens of volunteers then delivered sack loads of toys to over 100 hospital wards and children’s hospices around the South East.


The Jewish Children of the Year awards ceremony

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

A 13-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome who attends a mainstream school, a big sister who helps her leukaemia-stricken brother and a teenager with quadriplegic cerebral palsy who is studying the International Baccalaureate, were among those who were honoured at this year’s Jewish Children of the Year awards.


JNF appoints new chief executive

By Leon Symons, December 17, 2009

JNF, Anglo-Jewry’s leading charity for Israel, has appointed a new chief executive. Elliot Conway, currently director of the Interparliamentary Council on Antisemitism, will take up his post in the New Year.

His appointment will draw a line after a turbulent period in the charity’s history which saw the departure of the previous chief executive Simon Winters and chair Gail Seal and a lengthy and costly court action involving Keren Kayemet L’Israel.


Leeds speed dating to find young leaders

By Hayden Cohen, December 17, 2009

Sixteen Leeds teenagers have been speed dating: not to find romance, but to find out how to run the community.

The Leeds Leaders Group met representatives from 21 local organisations. And to make it engaging each teenager spoke to a community leader for 2.5 minutes. The event was held at the MAZZ Centre and organised by Zone chief executive Raina Sheaf. ‘’The evening gave future leaders much to think about,” she said.

Participant Joe Sheaf, 16, said: “I now know a lot more about how the community works.”
Leeds Leaders is funded by the Sparks Clore Development Fund.


Plugging a dental gap

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

A new NHS dental service in Salford aimed at providing better care for the community is to open next year.

Funding has been set aside by the local primary care trust for the project, which is looking to plug a hole in dental services for the area which has a dense Jewish population. Currently, many people from the community travel around five miles to Swinton for NHS dental treatment.


Blue Peter meets Alyth crew

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

Blue Peter has filmed a special episode about Chanucah and focused on the life of Francesca Weiner, the eight-year-old granddaughter of Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism.

On Tuesday, the BBC children’s programme concentrated on the traditions of Chanucah and Jewish presenter Joel Defries made latkas and explained the festival’s meaning for him. The programme followed Francesca and her family during their preparations for Chanucah and Shabbat at home in Hampstead Garden Suburb.