Community life

Wizo presidential visit

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 24, 2008

World Wizo president Helena Glaser gave the keynote address to Wizo UK's 90th anniversary Rebecca Sieff awards lunch at South Manchester Synagogue.

Three-hundred members from throughout the country heard Mrs Glaser explain how ongoing welfare issues, such as helping Sderot residents, highlighted the continuing need for Wizo's work.

She told the JC afterwards that "90 years of an organisation is not something light. It's ladies doing amazing things in a commitment to the ladies of Israel, whilst changing with the times."


New rabbi for Kingston

By Jay Grenby, July 24, 2008

Kingston Synagogue members have ratified the appointment of American-born Michael Rosenfeld as their new rabbi at an EGM. The 30-year-old, who impressed during a trial weekend with the community last month, is expected to start in October.

The vacancy was created by the imminent departure of Rabbi David Mason for Muswell Hill Synagogue.
Like his predecessor at Kingston, Rabbi Rosenfeld trained at Yeshivat Ha-mivtar in Efrat.


MDA donate ambulance to Sderot

July 24, 2008

Young Magen David Adom representatives presented an ambulance to Sderot during a mission to Israel in which they visited six MDA stations in six days. The keys were handed over to an Israeli-Arab medic, Said Al-Finish.

Other stations visited included the one in Sakhnin, MDA's first in an Arab town, and the visitors also participated in an emergency resuscitation course in Ramat Gan. Young MDA chairman Daniel Geey said: "We felt the trip gave the committee a real hands-on feel for Magen David Adom activities."


Chai Cancer Care now in Clapham

July 24, 2008

The services of Chai Cancer Care are now available to South London Jewry through a link-up with the Nightingale home in Clapham.

Two rooms at Nightingale have been made available for the provision of Chai's complementary therapies and counselling.

Speaking at the launch last week, Chai chief executive Elaine Kerr said: "We know that Chai's clients will receive the same warm welcome at Nightingale as they do at our centre in Hendon."


Leaders to make aliyah

July 17, 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.


Shul and golf clubs get listed status

By Jay Grenby, July 17, 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.   


US looking to the regions

By Simon Rocker, July 17, 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”.


Jacobs returns for top job

July 17, 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.


Boris praises Jewish Londoners

By Leon Symons, July 17, 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.


A rocket from Sderot

By Alexandra Abrams, July 17, 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.