Community life

‘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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US looking to the regions

By Simon Rocker, July 18, 2008

The United Synagogue has revealed that it is looking to recruit communities from outside London.

Its 62 congregations have until now been based in the capital and the Home Counties.

But in a statement this week, its president Simon Hochhauser said the US would extend a “warm invitation to other Orthodox communities in London and beyond”.

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Jacobs returns for top job

July 18, 2008

Chartered accountant Jeremy Jacobs is the new United Synagogue chief executive. He will start work in November.

The Belmont Synagogue member was US treasurer for six years before becoming chairman of its youth arm, Tribe, in 2003. “It’s a pleasure to be back,” he told the US council on Monday.

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Boris praises Jewish Londoners

By Leon Symons, July 18, 2008

Boris Johnson helped the Board of Deputies to attract a big turnout for its president’s dinner at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel last week.

The London Mayor entertained the 400 guests at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in stitches with a string of amusing anecdotes and asides.

He later paid tribute to the audience for helping him through his speech. “I had a very busy day and I was shattered when I arrived in the room. I had nothing to say but they made it so easy for me to talk about what I want to do.

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A rocket from Sderot

By Alexandra Abrams, July 18, 2008

A group of 19- to 24-year-olds from Sderot brought an unusual gift to their South Hampstead Synagogue hosts — the shell of a Kassam rocket fired at their town in 2003.

The rocket shell, taken to London with Israeli government permission, was placed on the synagogue entrance table on Shabbat. “It stunned congregants to silence,” reported Alexandra Maurice, chair of the Hineni committee, under whose auspices the young Israelis visited. It was a “stark and real” reminder of the daily threat to Sderot residents.

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School in a spot over parking plans

By Jessica Elgot, July 18, 2008

Staff and parents at Edgware’s Menorah Foundation Primary are upset over Barnet Council’s revised controlled-parking-zone proposals for Burnt Oak.

Initial plans included Abbots Road, where the school is located, prompting complaints that it would be impossible for parents of the 230 pupils to drop and collect them safely.

Although the amended proposals leave Abbots Road just outside the zone, Menorah bursar Hilary Krotosky fears that commuter parking will “clutter up the road from beginning to end of the school day”, creating further problems.

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KD girls’ change of top

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 18, 2008

Manchester’s King David High is to change its girls’ summer uniform because pupils say the blouse can be see-though. A navy-striped shirt will replace the current white summer top next year.

Girls have been wearing the school jumper over the KD blouse.

Fifteen-year-old Sigalle Khan was impressed by the intended replacement. “It means you can take your jumper off in the summer when it gets too hot. I think everyone will get used to it.”

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Edgware seeks assistant

By Jay Grenby, July 18, 2008

The 1,500-member Edgware United Synagogue is looking for a full-time assistant minister to provide support for Rabbi David Lister, who joined at the beginning of the year.

As well as helping Rabbi Lister in his day-to-day pastoral work, the new recruit would be expected to develop student and adult-education programmes and, in conjunction with Tribe, take responsibility for the synagogue’s various youth programmes.

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Leaders to make aliyah

July 18, 2008

Four leaders of Zionist youth movement Habonim Dror are setting an example to the rank-and-file by making aliyah.

Dan Filson, Dan Conn, Tash Abramson and Deborah Brown plan to start an “urban kibbutz” in Tel Aviv. Mancunian Mr Filson, a 23-year-old Leeds University graduate, said he was motivated “to help Israel become the best country it can be”.

Mr Conn, 23, also from Manchester, is planning a more ambitious journey — a sponsored cycle to raise money for Darfur refugees in Israel.

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Shul and golf clubs get listed status

By Jay Grenby, July 18, 2008

Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue has been listed in Hertsmere Borough Council’s new register of locally important properties which contribute “significantly to the quality of the built environment”.

The synagogue building is a former church standing on an elevated and prominent position in Radlett’s main street. It was nominated for its architectural significance, contribution to the streetscape and local historic interest as a place of worship since its construction in 1930.   

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