Community life

Maccabi GB reaching record numbers

August 1, 2008

Maccabi GB is reaching a record number of people, according to newly released figures.

Chairman Stuart Greenberg reports that 12,795 people were involved in Maccabi activities during the first half of the year. That is almost 50 per cent up on the 8,575 total for the equivalent period in 2007.

There was a 20 per cent rise in involvement in Streetwise, the personal safety and development scheme. Participation in its school sports programmes was up by over 40 per cent.

More..

Schools’ positive lesson for interfaith relations

By Jessica Ware, August 1, 2008

A Wimbledon Jewish kindergarten staged a parenting workshop with a Brixton Muslim school as part of a pilot school-linking scheme.

Over 50 parents, children and teachers from the Apples and Honey Nursery and the Iqra School took part in activities such as counting up to 10 in Arabic and Hebrew and a treasure hunt on Wimbledon common.

More..

Row over South Manchester Synagogue opening hours

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 1, 2008

Neighbours of South Manchester Synagogue in The Firs, Bowdon, are upset at the granting of an extension in opening hours for the shul's functions hall.

Residents of the quiet suburb tried to block the extension application at a council planning meeting, citing parking and noise issues. The functions suite can accommodate 300 people but there is limited parking space. However, the council granted a licence for opening until midnight for a 12-month trial period.

More..

Manchester Rabbi quits

August 1, 2008

Rabbi Yehoshua Landes will leave Manchester's Prestwich Hebrew Congregation shortly after Pesach 2009, by which time he will have completed 10 years of service to the community.

A brief statement this week gave no indication of the minister's future plans and neither the shul nor Rabbi Landes were prepared to go beyond it.

More..

Peace talks defuse Brighton nursery dispute

By Cecily Woolf, August 1, 2008

A contentious plan by Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation to relocate the local Jewish nursery may be shelved after last-minute negotiations.

Accepting children from across the Jewish spectrum, the nursery has operated rent-free from a New Church Road, Hove, building for 30 years. However, the Hebrew congregation says it urgently needs income from the site "to fund a full-time rabbi".

More..

Berger relishes role in Finchley

July 25, 2008
Miriam Berger (née Bayfield) has been appointed principal rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue. This follows the departure of Rabbi Roderick Young, with whom she had been sharing ministerial duties. Rabbi Berger will be working with the synagogue council on long-term planning. She is thrilled to lead a "warm, inclusive and dynamic community. This is a critical time for FRS, with many new families joining and taking on active roles."

More..

Rethink is the only sane solution, says Duffield

July 25, 2008

Dame Vivien Duffield, whose idea it was to build a JCC in London, was inspired by her visit to the Manhattan JCC in New York’s Upper West Side. She launched the idea at a power breakfast in October 2003, bringing on board some surprising people — such as Lord Brittan — who had not previously shown much interest in Jewish communal affairs, but were attracted by the idea of a JCC whose doors were open to all kinds of Jews, secular as well as religious.

More..

‘It was not ever viable’

July 25, 2008

The decision to shelve plans for the full redevelopment of the JCC’s site has led to fresh questions as to whether a new building is necessary at all.

Walter Goldsmith, vice-president of the Jewish Music Institute and chair of the Simcha on the Square festival, is among those who believe that the JCC should remain a “virtual” centre, organising events in different venues.

He said: “Their programming seems to be very good and well-supported. I don’t see why they need a building.”

More..

£40m Leeds plan is hit by credit crunch

July 25, 2008
The credit crunch has forced Leeds Jewish Housing Association to rethink the £40 million redevelopment of its Queenshill estate in Moortown.

Association chairman Arnold Zermansky told its annual meeting that uncertainty in the housing market had prompted some revision of the plans.

Chief executive Sheila Saunders pointed out that "in the current financial climate, no scheme would go ahead without government subsidy".

More..

Prize for helping mum’s fight against alcoholism

By Craig Silver, July 25, 2008
A Hertfordshire 25-year-old's efforts to help her mother and others to combat alcoholism - and to support the children of addicts - has been recognised with an Anne Frank Award.

Emma Spiegler from Kings Langley set up an online support group for Children of Addicted Parents (coap.co.uk) two years ago. The aim, she said, was to provide a forum for those in a similar situation.

More..