Community life

Irish Chief Rabbi goes

By Alex Barnes, July 4, 2008
Dublin Hebrew Congregation held a farewell kiddush to Irish Chief Rabbi Yaakov Pearlman, who is returning to America with his wife Sheila after seven years in the post. Rabbi Pearlman thanked those in and beyond the community who had assisted him during his time in office.Tributes were paid to him by Howard Gross, a former president of the congregation, and Jewish Representative Council of Ireland chairman Leonard Abrahamson.


Lessons in co-existence

By Alex Barnes, July 4, 2008

An organisation promoting Muslim-Jewish relations celebrated the success of a scheme bringing together pupils from Muslim and Jewish schools at a House of Lords reception last week.

Over 100 students aged from 11-15 have participated in Alif-Aleph’s linking programme. Jewish schools involved include Simon Marks Primary, Immanuel College and King Solomon High.


Barmitzvah boy defies illness

By Jay Grenby, July 4, 2008

Bushey Synagogue was packed to capacity on Shabbat for the barmitzvah of Marc Lebe, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable muscle-wasting genetic condition which leads to disability and premature death.

An integral part of the community since his birth, Marc has been unable to walk since he was 10, is losing movement in his upper limbs and has moderate learning difficulties.


Oxford mikvah opens

July 4, 2008

Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger formally opened a £250,000 mikvah on the Oxford Chabad site before an audience of religious and civic personalities, students and local community members.


Medal for Sternberg

By Craig Silver, June 20, 2008

Sir Sigmund Sternberg has become the first Jew to receive the St Mellitus Medal which is awarded to those who have made a substantial contribution to London.

The Reform movement president and philanthropist told the JC: “It is a great pleasure to receive this award and to be the first Jew to be given it.”

Sir Sigmund received the medal from the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, at the St Ethelburga’s Centre in the City of London for his work in promoting interfaith relations in the capital.


Top Met officer attends CST northern dinner

June 20, 2008

Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, addressed a capacity crowd at the annual Community Security Trust’s northern region dinner.

In his address to the 350 guests at the city centre Hilton Hotel he highlighted the country’s fight against terrorism and the significance of the controversial new Terror Bill which includes the extension to 42 days in which a suspect can be held before being charged.


Nursery gets a revamp

June 20, 2008

The Cockfosters Synagogue nursery school — which counts Amy Winehouse and S-Club 7’s Rachel Stevens among its former pupils — is about to complete a successful first year following a revamp and name-change.

Previously known as Yavneh, the nursery located at Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue, has been re-named Keshet, the Hebrew word for rainbow. It has new staff, new equipment and a pupil count of just eight to 12 children who are supervised by two dedicated teachers. Principal Gracie Obadiah said the nursery “provides a fun and varied curriculum”.


Cancer Research thanks ‘Mothers and Daughters’

June 20, 2008

A North-West London Jewish fundraising committee has received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the cause.

The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards recognises remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering.

The Mothers and Daughters Committee won in the Outstanding Achievement category, beating off stiff competition from across the UK.


Wembley care home wins praise

By Alex Barnes, June 20, 2008

Edinburgh House, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews Home for the Aged, has received a three-star award for excellence after a government inspection.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) made an unannounced inspection, which took place over three days. The inspectors concluded that the 51 residents were given an excellent quality of service.


Triplets’ joy as music comes to aid of barmitzvah boy

By Alex Kasriel, June 20, 2008

Being severely disabled would rule out many people from having a bar- or batmitzvah, but it didn’t stop 13-year-old Ben Dawson from celebrating his coming-of-age ceremony with his sisters at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, North-West London.

Ben, who has quadriplegia, cortical visual impairment, epilepsy and global development delay, joined his triplet sisters Josie and Rachel on the bimah last month.