Community life

Guildhall celebration for Holocaust Memorial Day

January 7, 2010

A ceremony in the Great Hall of London’s Guildhall will be the centrepiece of Britain’s 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations at the end of the month.

Holocaust and other genocide survivors will join politicians and religious leaders to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Its main motif will be the archive of testimonies found in the Warsaw Ghetto and the programme will feature musical contributions, spoken recollections and video statements.


Three hurt in gas blast

By Leon Symons, January 7, 2010

Two men and an 11-year-old boy were taken to hospital after a suspected gas explosion in a house in Stamford Hill on Tuesday morning.

The 11-year-old was released while the two men were detained for treatment to burns to their faces and hands. Police, fire and ambulance staff, as well as members of the Hatzola strictly Orthodox emergency service, converged on the scene. The names of the injured have not been released. It is believed the men were working on flooring in the house in Craven Park Road.


Volunteers Gift of food to the Needy

January 7, 2010

Over 200 people helped to get food to the needy over the holiday period through the Gift charity, which promotes a culture of giving and volunteering among the younger community.

The volunteers sorted, packed and distributed the food to more than 1,000 recipients, mainly Jewish families in north-west London.

Gift director Michelle Barnett said that many referrals came through Norwood.

Deliveries are made to a range of Jewish and non-Jewish charities on a regular basis.


Scottish man celebrates 106 birthday - with one regret

By Stephanie Brickman, January 7, 2010

Celebrating his 106th birthday in Edinburgh on Monday, Samuel Latter voiced just one regret.

When running a car tyre and battery firm, “I could have bought into a new business with one of my customers — wee Tommy Farmer — but I wanted to stay on my own”.

Wee Tommy Farmer is now better known as Sir Tom Farmer, head of the Kwik-Fit empire.


New religious director for Manchester care village

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Reverend Keith Rosen is the new religious director of Heathlands Care Village in Manchester and will focus on training staff in Jewish religious practices.

Succeeding Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Mr Rosen arrives in the wake of the local welfare merger which has seen Heathlands became part of the Federation of Jewish Services.


Brodetsky snow closure on new head's second day

January 7, 2010

Jeremy Dunford faced his first major decision as head of Leeds’ Brodetsky Jewish Primary just two days into the job when heavy snow forced the school’s closure on Tuesday.

“It was a difficult decision and an interesting way to start my time at Brodetsky,” said Mr Dunford, 42. “We attempted to stay open but very few pupils came in and all but one of the senior members of staff were unable to get in.

“Plans have been adjusted now to allow for easier management of the site and routes into school which should allow it to stay open in future when there is snowfall.”


US funds MRI as autopsy alternative

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

The United Synagogue is offering to pay up to £1,700 for non-invasive MRI scans as an alternative to a surgical autopsy for members.

It has taken the decision in the light of concern over the increasing number of surgical post-mortems carried out on Jews against their families’ wishes and halachah.

Last year, 80 autopsies were conducted on deceased congregants, almost double the total for 2008.


Financial scare for Manchester museum

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Manchester Jewish Museum remains in financial turmoil despite government support and a strong communal response to its survival appeal.

Director Stuart Hilton revealed that a contribution had been promised by the Department of Communities in recognition of the museum’s cross-communal educational work. It hosts up to 500 school groups each year from across the north of England, but numbers have fallen during the recession.


Snow shuts schools and welfare services

By Jonathan Kalmus and Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

Heavy snow in the north on Tuesday threw Jewish school and welfare services into chaos. And there were problems for London communal organisations as the snow reached the capital on Wednesday.

In Manchester, there was no school for the Manchester King David’s 1,400 infant, junior and high school pupils. Snow was 12 inches deep in the playgrounds on Tuesday morning and infant school governors’ chair Simon Rosenthal said some staff had walked four miles to the Crumpsall premises, having been unable to travel by car or tram. “It’s just impossible,” he said.


Emergency snow line for pensioners in Maidenhead

By Robyn Rosen in Maidenhead, December 29, 2009

Maidenhead Synagogue volunteers organised an emergency welfare check on elderly community members after heavy snow fell in the Thames Valley area.

The shul’s minister, Rabbi Jonathan Romain, was among those who phoned senior congregants living alone, checking on their well-being and, where necessary, delivering essential supplies.

“Synagogues are not just for Shabbat, but to be there to assist members in all sorts of circumstances, especially times when those alone are cut off and feel helpless,” Rabbi Romain said. “That is what community is all about.”