Community life

More lessons from Shoah

January 8, 2009

Almost 3,000 sixth-formers and teachers will participate in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s 2009 Lessons from Auschwitz programme.

Through funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the HET is offering places on the scheme to two pupils from every secondary school and college. In November, the Scottish Government announced funding for its own schools.

As well as visiting the death camp site, participants attend orientation and follow-up seminars. They will then be expected to share their experiences with fellow pupils and the wider


Bus route plea to Boris

By Craig Silver, January 8, 2009

London Assembly member Brian Coleman is urging Boris Johnson to extend the 210 bus route from Brent Cross to serve Stamford Hill Jewry.

Speaking before next week’s plenary session, the Barnet and Camden representative said: “By running through Golders Green and all the way to Stamford Hill, it will connect families and friends and enable them to get to community events in those areas.” The 210 currently runs to Finsbury Park.


Hardship fund started with rabbis’ donations

January 8, 2009

Liberal Judaism rabbis are donating one per cent of their salary to a hardship fund to help congregants affected by the credit crunch.

Boosted by contributions from others within the movement, the fund has raised £8,000 in little over a month.

The idea is to assist those who cannot be helped through other means. A movement spokeswoman suggested that as well as helping those who had lost jobs, the Pe’ah Fund could benefit elderly people whose relatives could no longer support them financially.


A hit with Ali, and with the league

January 8, 2009

Punching Muhammad Ali, being cared for by Indira Gandhi and avoiding sniper fire in Bosnia were among tales from a journalistic career recounted by Dame Ann Leslie to League of Jewish Women members.

Questioned by league president Ella Marks, the Daily Mail journalist said she had struck the legendary boxer to attract his attention. The late Indian prime minister had come to her aid when she was sick during an interview and a loud outburst of foul language had stopped the Bosnian sniper in his tracks.


Fresh interest in Anne Frank story

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, January 8, 2009

The executive director of the Anne Frank Trust UK believes that the prime-time BBC One dramatisation of The Diary of Anne Frank will “bring a new wave of interest in the Holocaust and Anne Frank’s story”.


US moves to cut burial transfer costs

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 8, 2009

People moving from city to city will face a lesser financial burden to change their burial arrangements if the United Synagogue’s national burial fee transfer scheme is implemented.

The US is asking Orthodox synagogues to guarantee to forward a fixed element of a congregant’s past fees to another Orthodox burial organisation. At present, accumulated fees are lost when a person moves to another burial society.


£4m shul project

By Jay Grenby, December 30, 2008

Several hundred New North London Synagogue members attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the shul’s £4 million building project at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley.

Minister Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg told them that, as well as being home to the growing Masorti congregation — 1,600 adults and 900 children — the new building would “allow the synagogue to serve the wider community”. He illustrated New North London’s commitment to others by making a donation to an Israeli soup kitchen.


Holiday helpers give a charitable present

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 30, 2008

Supporters of the Tikun charity have been helping in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and care homes during the holiday period through its Light up a Life programme.

Operating from December 24, the programme has attracted more than 200 volunteers and assisted charities and projects including Crisis, North London soup kitchens, Jewish Care and Gift.


Norwood’s big spend

December 30, 2008

How Norwood spent £35 million in the financial year to March 2008 is detailed in the welfare charity’s newly released annual review.

The vast majority — £31.68 million — went on running its services. The remainder was used for raising funds (£2.58 million) and management (£742,000).

Over £15 million was spent on providing adult services at the Ravenswood Village in Berkshire, close on £8 million on learning disability support in London, £6 million on special education services, £2.28 million on children and family provision and £470,000 on fostering and adoption.


School gets better Ofsted marks

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 30, 2008

An Orthodox boys’ school placed on special measures by Ofsted in 2006 as “inadequate” is celebrating an improved inspection report.

Pardes House Primary in Finchley, North-West London is now rated as “satisfactory” by Ofsted, which noted: “The headteacher, the menahel [religious principal] and the governors have a shared will and determination to bring continuing and sustained improvement.”