Community life

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.

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‘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.”

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£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".

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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.

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London memorial for IDF soldiers

By Jay Grenby, July 25, 2008

A Bnei Akiva-organised service in memory of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser at Hampstead Garden Synagogue on Sunday was attended by over 500 people.

Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald was among communal leaders and Israeli representatives at the service, arranged at short notice by BA's Eli Bauernfreund and Joshua Pomerance following the return of the soldiers' bodies to Israel from Lebanon as part of a prisoner-exchange deal.

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Blears launches £7.5m interfaith partnership

By Leon Symons, July 25, 2008

A three-year £7.5 million interfaith project that will put Jewish communities throughout England into closer contact with other faith groups has been launched by Communities and Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears.

Framework for Partnership will bring faiths together at regional and local level to enhance services to their communities.

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Blooms wins bills dispute

By Leon Symons, July 25, 2008

Blooms kosher restaurant has been exonerated in a dispute over bills with Kelmans, the North London kosher butcher.

The case was heard by the London Beth Din in May. Now LBD registrar David Frei has written to Blooms that “allegations made against you... were proven to be unfounded”.

Blooms managing director Kitty Rudolf said: “I am very pleased this has been settled.”

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Liverpool schools scheme backed

By Craig Silver, July 25, 2008

A £26 million scheme to rehouse the Liverpool King David schools has been accepted by the city’s planning committee after councillors visited the site.

The “super school” will be built on King David’s playing fields. A kindergarten and the Harold House Jewish community centre will also move into the Childwall Road premises. Up to 25 homes will be erected on the site of the current school buildings.

King David High governors’ chair Max Steinberg welcomed the outline planning approval.

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Chief’s projects head is to lead volunteers

By Simon Rocker, July 25, 2008
Leonie Lewis, the Chief Rabbi's projects director, is leaving his office after a year-and-a-half to become the first chief executive of the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN).

The former head of the United Synagogue's Community Development Group - who was number 69 in this year's JC Power 100 - will also be undertaking consultancy work for the US and the London School of Jewish Studies.

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Friends offer a share dividend to Radlett youth

By Jay Grenby, July 25, 2008

Radlett Synagogue's first full-time youth director's post will be a job-share between long-time friends who will combine the appointment with their university studies.

Twenty-year-olds Ronen Gordon and Daniel Finn have both just completed gap years studying at yeshivah in Israel. Before that, they were leading lights in Bnei Akiva. Ronen will be taking medical studies at Barts, Daniel will study international politics at City University.

They start the Radlett post in September and will live in the shul-owned house next to the synagogue.

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