Community life

Strong legal argument

July 11, 2008

Delivering the annual Isaiah Berlin Lecture at Hampstead Synagogue, Baroness Kennedy argued that while law and democracy are the pillars of British society, it is the law which is paramount.

The human-rights and civil-liberties specialist pointed out that there are currently 80 cases of alleged Islamic terrorism awaiting trial.

Trying to take short-cuts would only lead to unsafe convictions and thus should be avoided.

Although one impulse to the threat of terrorism was to withdraw the rights of some, judges should fight to maintain the human rights of everyone.

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Jewish Care raises record £3.5m

July 4, 2008

Jewish Care fundraisers are celebrating a record £3.57 million pledged at the charity’s campaign dinner at  Grosvenor House on Tuesday.

The generosity of the 900 guests delighted campaign chairman Steven Lewis, who said that “in such financially challenging times, the community’s ability to understand the importance of what we do and offer their overwhelming support is truly outstanding”. The previous record was last year’s £2.9 million.

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Sarah Brown lauds leaders

By Jay Grenby, July 4, 2008

The Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, was at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue to present certificates to the 23 young graduates of its leadership programme.

“This is a shining example of a truly thriving community,” Mrs Brown told them. “You have worked so hard these past two years, and I am sure you understand the great responsibility and opportunity you now have to lead the way. You have the qualities to help nurture and inspire those around you.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mersey joy

July 4, 2008

A seven-year appeal to secure the future of one of Liverpool Jewry’s oldest institutions has reached its £300,000 pledge target in just a year.

“We are now able to provide more services to more people in our community,” Merseyside Jewish Community Care chief executive Lisa Dolan said. “We will be starting a new group for senior citizens at Allerton Hebrew Congregation and plan to develop a supported living scheme for young adults.”

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Corrie star helps Rags to riches

July 4, 2008

Former Coronation Street star Bradley Walsh was among the 130 players in the 38th annual golf tournament staged by Rags, the Redbridge Aid Golf Society, which raised £185,000.

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US head sets out three-year vision

By Simon Rocker, July 4, 2008

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser has laid out his plans for the next three years in advance of his formal re-election for a second term on Monday week.

In a manifesto published this week, Dr Hochhauser and his new team promise to consult congregations with a view to “increased autonomy and responsibility” in running their affairs. They want to dispense with the two-tier constituent and affiliated status of member synagogues.

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