Community life

Boris meets forum chiefs

November 20, 2008

Senior representatives of the London Jewish Forum discussed a range of issues with London Mayor Boris Johnson and his deputy Richard Barnes at City Hall on Tuesday night.

Housing provision in Stamford Hill and developing Jewish cultural events were among topics covered during the hour-long meeting.

Also on the agenda was establishing a common contract across London's boroughs for welfare services, which would help charities like Jewish Care.


MDA hero worship

November 20, 2008

Magen David Adom's UK supporters paid tribute to the heroes of the medical emergency charity at last Wednesday's annual dinner, which raised over £1.5 million.

The heroes were all 16,000 medics and volunteers from across Israel who regularly respond to emergency situations. Three spoke about their experiences to the 340 guests at the Millennium Mayfair - Tel Aviv paramedic Udi Gelbstein, Sderot medic Yossi Cohen and Ashkelon volunteer Sarah Cascella.


Manchester plans a mikvah with music

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 20, 2008

A state-of-the-art mikvah is to be built at the Yeshurun Synagogue in South Manchester.

The plans extend to an integral music system designed to enhance the spiritual experience.

The modern-Orthodox community in Gatley agreed to the project when the Manchester Mikvah Fund offered to fund the development. The fund will co-ordinate planning and construction, supported by donors who want to encourage mikvah observance.

Manchester's existing mikvah is in Hale, a 30-minute round trip.


Swastika sickens kosher cafe boss

By Cathy Forman, November 20, 2008

A swastika and antisemitic slogans were scratched on the wall of a kosher cafe in Hendon Park on Monday night.

Hendon Park Cafe owner Jason Ezekiel was informed of the graffiti by a park keeper. "He had already painted over some of it as he didn't want to upset Jewish people. I am very distraught by the whole thing."

Mr Ezekiel believed the perpetrator used a key. "It must have taken at least 20 minutes to do."


Queen to open new Ravenswood facility

By Candice Krieger, November 20, 2008

The Queen is to visit Norwood's Ravenswood village for people with learning disabilities next month.

Norwood president Richard Desmond told the charity's annual dinner at Grosvenor House on Monday that The Queen would tour the Berkshire facility on December 11.


It’s a different world down on the farm

By Simon Friend, November 20, 2008

Kentish Town City Farm might not seem the most obvious venue for Jewish workers. But that was not the case on Mitzvah Day as many joined an ethnically diverse group of volunteers who came to clean and refurbish the educational facility, visited by children with special needs, or from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.


Everyone’s a cup holder as Liverpool loan their precious trophy

November 20, 2008

Liverpool Football Club gave the Merseyside Mitzvah Day programme an added kick by loaning the European Cup it permanently holds - recognising the club having won the trophy five times -as well as making a financial contribution.

Some of the 250-plus local participants took the opportunity to have their picture taken with the trophy, among them organiser Jessica Bernstein, who put the programme together in six days.


Volunteers out to help the less fortunate

November 20, 2008

Shadow Charities Minister Nick Hurd visited Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue to support the 200 people giving blood in a joint initiative with Northwood United shul.

In total, 450 Northwood Liberal members were involved in the day, prompting Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles to declare that "in these credit crunch times, it's good to know we can all still do our bit for charity by giving not cash but a little time".


Brighton Rader bid

By Cecily Woolf, November 13, 2008

Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation wants to appoint temporary minister Rabbi Herschel Rader on a permanent basis.

A letter signed by chairman Martyn Cooperman informs members that the board has accepted the recommendation of the congregation's selection committee to appoint the Lubavitch rabbi, "subject to reaching agreement on the terms and conditions of the contract of employment" In that event, an EGM would be called to approve the appointment.


Men of letters finish Khalili gift

By Jay Grenby, November 13, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks was one of 40 Western Marble Arch Synagogue members who wrote the final words of the community's newest Sefer Torah, which was presented to the congregation on Shabbat.

The scroll was commissioned by the family of scholar, collector and philanthropist Professor David Khalili and his wife Marion to mark their 30th wedding anniversary, and is the first Sephardi Sefer Torah to be donated to the shul.

In accordance with Sephardi custom, it is housed not in a mantle but in a magnificent and ornate silver case.