Community life

Festival service in jail

February 12, 2009

Tu Bishvat was marked in Colding-ley prison, Surrey, on Monday by the planting of a cherry tree and a service for the four Jewish inmates.

The ceremony was conducted by Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and student rabbi Elana Sondel.

Rabbi Rich had “noted with sadness that the expansion of the prison had necessitated the loss of a number of trees. I offered to celebrate Tu Bishvat by donating a tree and the governor readily agreed. The prison workshop will make a plaque acknowledging the donation.

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Meat goes off the menu at day centres

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

New and cheaper charges for services are to be introduced by Jewish Care as part of its recession-beating strategy.

From late April, a flexible pricing structure for activities, food and transport will be implemented at its day centres. Last month, chief executive Simon Morris announced that up to 22 jobs would be cut at head office as part of attempts to save £2.5 million.

After Pesach, service users will be asked to pay £1 for transport to centres and £3.50 per day for activities, rather than the current all-inclusive charges of between £10 and £12.

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JNF weekend earns over £50k for Sderot

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 12, 2009

Responding to a plea from Sderot for funding for a secure park for children, JNF Manchester raised over £50,000 at the weekend.

Almost £5,000 was brought in from a party at the Bijou bar in the city centre on Saturday evening. Close on 400 people attended the event, staged by JNF’s new Unite group, catering for 21-to-40-year-olds.

The bulk of the money was brought in from JNF’s annual Green Sunday telephone appeal. Thirty volunteers manned phones at the charity’s Manchester offices in Mamlock House.

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Recession brings rise in calls to shul helpline

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

When Rebecca Brummer took on the role of Borehamwood Synagogue’s community care co-ordinator eight months ago, her workload mostly concerned the welfare of sick or elderly members of the community. Now the majority of callers to the congregation’s Careline are seeking advice on coping with redundancy and unemployment and debt and home repossession.

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Casino pays out

February 12, 2009

Around £80,000 for projects benefitting some of Israel’s most vulnerable children and families was raised by Wizo’s casino night on Saturday at the Bloomsbury Ballroom.

American Wizo supporters were among the 150 players on games such as roulette and blackjack.

The evening also featured a dinner and auction for prizes including a VIP box at a Chelsea football match, first night tickets at the Old Vic and a sitting with paparazzo Richard Young, plus a tour of his photographic studio.

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New Ort team aims to increase income

By Ben Jaglom, February 12, 2009

British Ort’s new leadership team is confident that it can conquer the credit crunch.

Having joined the educational charity as fundraising director, Noga Zivan is “optimistic that despite the current economic difficulties, we can increase our income this year. We will continue to hold our events as normal.”

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Presidency in Bristol

By Hannah Leader, February 12, 2009

Nick Tarsh is the new president of the governing body of Clifton College independent school in Bristol.

Mr Tarsh was at Polack’s — the only Jewish boarding house in an English public school until its closure in 2005 — and was the first Polackian to be Clifton head boy.

He attends Wimbledon Reform Synagogue and the New London in St John’s Wood, of which he is a founding member.

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Grandmother extends her marathon effort

By Craig Silver, February 12, 2009

A 61-year-old Stamford Hill woman with three children who suffer from autism and Aspergers is preparing to run her eighth London Marathon this year in support of a charity helping Jews with special needs.

Glenda Aussenberg — who has nine children aged between 25 and 35 — originally ran on behalf of Chai Cancer Care raising over £25,000.

She feels a particular affinity with In Touch, explaining: “They are a wonderful charity and have helped my daughter who has a child with Down’s syndrome.”

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Elstree Liberal shul goes back in time

February 12, 2009

An evening of reminiscence launched the 40th anniversary celebrations of The Liberal Synagogue Elstree.

More than 100 members and friends, including Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich, packed the Hertfordshire shul to hear past and present leaders recall its history.

TLSE started life as the “wandering community” of Stanmore Liberal Jewish Congregation, with services held in a variety of private homes and halls. It moved to permanent premises in a former Elstree school in 1977 and changed its name to Hertsmere Progressive Synagogue.

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Snow stops dinner

By Ben Jaglom, February 5, 2009

A major charity dinner was among the casualties of Monday’s heavy snow in London.

Camp Simcha, supporting children with life-threatening illnesses, had to alert the 650 guests expected at the Wembley Stadium event when it became apparent that many could not travel because of road conditions.

The good news was that Camp Simcha managed to reschedule the dinner for next week and that caterer James Zimmer agreed to donate the food for Monday to Gift, assisting vulnerable members of the community.

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