Community life

Ex-recruit warns: ‘beware missionaries’

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A former member of Jews for Jesus has warned that missionary Christians are creating a “spiritual holocaust in our communities” by converting Jews.

Julian Ciss told an audience at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue how he had been recruited and later converted by the organisation.

He explained how he was approached by an evangelical Christian at a college art fair in his native Canada, and after beginning a relationship with the woman started attending her church.


Leeds bids for leaders

September 24, 2009

Four Leeds organisations have joined forces to roll out an initiative to invest in future leaders and volunteers for the community.

The Zone youth club, Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, Donisthorpe Hall care home and Brodetsky Primary School have produced the Leeds Leaders project. The programme will provide participants with work experience within each organisation and will host workshops to discuss challenges faced by the community, including special educational needs, social care and the pressure on resources.


Welfare link-up

September 24, 2009

Leeds welfare bodies believe that a joint initiative has helped them to have a clearer idea of how to plan for the future needs of elderly people.

Research funded through the first joint venture between Leeds Jewish Housing Association, Jewish Welfare Board and Donisthorpe Hall is being used to plan for the provision of services.

Nearly 400 survey respondents answered questions relating to their age, gender and living patterns. Over 65 per cent of replies came from people over 70 who expressed concerns about health, finance and loneliness.


Jewish primary school's headteacher returns from retirement

By Judith Hayman, September 24, 2009

Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary’s new head teacher has taken up the post for the second time in her career.

Norma Massel became the school’s head in 1990, and after nine years at the helm moved on to become head at North Cheshire Jewish Primary.

Mrs Massel retired from North Cheshire in January, aged 60. She explained: “It had been a very difficult year for me. My husband had died and I was looking after my 97-year-old mother, who died in February.” The retired head worked as a support teacher at Delamere Forest and as a Jewish studies teacher at North Cheshire.


Volunteers help cancer sufferers put fashion first

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 24, 2009

Looking in a mirror, Sue Woodcock said: “Now I look like a person with cancer.” The 53-year-old is sporting a scarf on hair which will inevitably fall out during cancer treatments at Manchester’s Christie hospital.

“OK,” said her Headstart attendant sensitively. “How about this?”


Turn on and tune into a Yomtov service

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Reform synagogues have reported an encouraging response to moves to put High Holy-Day services online.

The web initiative was meant to be in preparation for a swine flu epidemic.

However, Finchley Reform Synagogue and Glasgow New Synagogue were among shuls that went ahead and streamed their Rosh Hashanah services over the web, linking to viewers across the world, including patients at the Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem.


Bournemouth breakway group attracts growing numbers

By Corinne Rein, September 24, 2009

The breakaway movement from Bournemouth Reform Synagogue attracted more than 80 people to a Rosh Hashanah service at the Carrington House Hotel.

The service was led by former BRS council member Michael Zeffertt. “The spirit of those attending was first class,” he said.

Former BRS treasurer David Dewell said he was “very sad that there was a breakaway service taking place. But the service greatly exceeded our expectations.”


Cheadle synagogue celebrates more female inclusion

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 24, 2009

Greater inclusion of women in Orthodox synagogue life is being celebrated at Cheadle’s Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation.

Over the past 20 years a special committee has campaigned for women to occupy positions on the synagogue’s executive, introduced women’s prayer services and last year began the first female honour of eshet chayil (woman of valour) to sit beside the traditional men’s Simchat Torah first and last Torah reading honours. These and other achievements will form the basis of an exhibition at the shul.


£10m windfall boosts welfare campus fund

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

A £10 million donation from the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation has brought Jewish Care close to its £44 million target for its new Golders Green campus.

The campus, with facilities including a care home, day centre, living apartments and offices, will be dedicated to the late philanthropists.


Postal strikes hit New Year charity appeals

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Communal charities have blamed postal strikes in the capital for reduced donations to their Rosh Hashanah appeals.

Organisations large and small report that appeal letters have not reached their destinations. Supporters are worried that donations have got lost in the post.

Wizo executive director Alison Rosen said that its appeal for children at risk had been badly affected by the strike action.

“We’re very concerned our appeal has not reached everybody it was meant to. We haven’t had the volume of post back that we expected.