Community life

Co-existence fund’s lesson from Ireland

June 6, 2008

Eighteen Israeli police commanders have been in Belfast this week observing how the Royal Ulster Constabulary keeps the peace and the lessons it holds for policing in Israel.

The officers were visiting under the aegis of the Abraham Fund, advancing co-existence and equality among Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens, which launched a UK Friends group at a reception at London’s Reform Club on Monday.


Deli shuts in Ilford

By Lee Lixenberg, June 6, 2008

Redbridge community leaders are bemoaning the closure of Brownstein’s kosher deli, a fixture of local Jewish life for almost 60 years.

The Gants Hill deli shut without warning last week, only a few weeks after the closure of nearby butcher Ilford Kosher Meats.


Yavneh 'outstanding', says Ofsted

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

Anglo-Jewry’s newest secondary school has received the highest marks possible ratings in its first Ofsted inspection.

Yavneh College in Borehamwood was awarded an outstanding grade in almost every area. The inspection team observed that what had been achieved in five terms was “remarkable”.

Overall, they found Yavneh’s “leadership and management outstanding” and “standards of work exceptionally high”. The curriculum and spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of the school were also ranked as outstanding.


Bushey backs £6m revamp

By Jay Grenby, June 6, 2008

Bushey Synagogue members have voted overwhelmingly for a £6.7 million redevelopment of the shul site, just over a year after rejecting the original proposals by a slim majority.

The support of around 85 per cent of those at last Wednesday’s extraordinary meeting means the board will seek planning permission from Hertsmere Borough Council for the three-phase programme. This involves a major reconstruction of the synagogue premises and the demolition and replacement of inadequate out-buildings which house a wide range of youth and communal activities.


Big-screen debut for Nightingale residents

June 6, 2008

Nightingale residents have made their big screen debuts in a new film starring Anne-Marie Duff, Ralf Little, Rupert Graves, Frank Finlay, Phyllida Law and Daisy Donovan.

The Waiting Room, released today, tells the story of two strangers who are brought together by an elderly man waiting for his wife on a station platform. A significant part of the movie was filmed at the Clapham care home and a number of residents appear as extras. They also had the opportunity to meet the stars.

Volunteers get a big thank-you

By Craig Silver, June 6, 2008

As communal charities staged “thank-you” events for their armies of unpaid helpers to mark National Volunteers’ Week, Gordon Brown’s independent champion of volunteers, Baroness Neuberger, observed that Jewish charities “could not survive” without them.

“We see some superb practice in supporting, training, thanking and celebrating volunteers in the Jewish world,” she told the JC.


Kingston rabbi's new arrivals

By Jay Grenby, June 6, 2008

Kingston Synagogue minister Rabbi David Mason celebrated two arrivals at the weekend. Late on Shabbat, his wife Elisheva gave birth to their third child, a son. And Sunday saw the advent of another of his “babies” — the consecration of the community’s first new Sefer Torah.


Choir delving deep into musical past

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

Ten centuries of Jewish music were in play as the second year of the Zemel Choir’s “Celebrate With Song” got under way in Central London on Sunday.

Participants grappled with scores from early Hebrew plainsong to baroque cantatas in intermediate and advanced workshop groups. Each is learning several pieces that will be performed in a concert also featuring the JFS and Pandemonium choirs at St John’s, in Smith Square, Westminster, on June 15.


Manchester shuls to merge to stem 'decline'

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 6, 2008

Faced with an ageing and declining congregation, the Central and North Manchester Synagogue is to close its building and merge with the nearby Stenecourt community.

Central members voted to vacate their premises, a converted church in Salford, because of dwindling numbers. Minister Rabbi Jacob Rubinstein will also make the move to Stenecourt, where the long-serving Rev Gabriel Brodie, 83, joined in 1944.

Discussions will be held between the two communities over the coming weeks to agree the timescale.


The mayor says Chai

May 30, 2008

New Barnet mayor Councillor John Marshall has chosen Chai Cancer Care as one of his mayoral charities.

Councillor Marshall said he had long been impressed by its work. “I remember the comments of a friend whose wife was dying, who said he wished they had discovered Chai earlier.”

Hoping that the recognition would enhance Chai’s profile, the mayor added that there was no financial target “as you can never raise enough for such a good cause”.