Community life

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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Barnet rabbis get ‘free’ parking offer

By Jessica Elgot, July 4, 2008

A “pray and display” scheme to give religious leaders free parking when carrying out religious duties has been launched by Barnet Council.

Rabbis, along with other religious leaders, can apply for permits allowing them to park in a residents’ bay when on official business. However, the scheme is not entirely free as there is a £40 administration charge.

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Thieves targeting Charedim

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 4, 2008

A mobile police station is operating once again in the heart of Manchester’s Charedi community following a spate of violent attacks and muggings on religious Jews in Broughton Park. The station was open in Northumberland Street at the weekend and the intention is for it to be manned continuously over Shabbat.

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Legacy of 7/7 victim

By Candice Krieger, July 4, 2008

An eye-care centre in India was opened this week in memory of 7/7 bombings victim Miriam Hyman.

Based at the L V Prasad Eye Institute in Bhubaneswar, the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre will serve underprivileged youngsters. The £100,000-plus facility has been funded by the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust, set up by the family of the North Londoner, who died in the 2005 blast at Tavistock Square, aged 32.

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Medal for Sternberg

By Craig Silver, June 20, 2008

Sir Sigmund Sternberg has become the first Jew to receive the St Mellitus Medal which is awarded to those who have made a substantial contribution to London.

The Reform movement president and philanthropist told the JC: “It is a great pleasure to receive this award and to be the first Jew to be given it.”

Sir Sigmund received the medal from the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, at the St Ethelburga’s Centre in the City of London for his work in promoting interfaith relations in the capital.

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Top Met officer attends CST northern dinner

June 20, 2008

Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, addressed a capacity crowd at the annual Community Security Trust’s northern region dinner.

In his address to the 350 guests at the city centre Hilton Hotel he highlighted the country’s fight against terrorism and the significance of the controversial new Terror Bill which includes the extension to 42 days in which a suspect can be held before being charged.

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Nursery gets a revamp

June 20, 2008

The Cockfosters Synagogue nursery school — which counts Amy Winehouse and S-Club 7’s Rachel Stevens among its former pupils — is about to complete a successful first year following a revamp and name-change.

Previously known as Yavneh, the nursery located at Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue, has been re-named Keshet, the Hebrew word for rainbow. It has new staff, new equipment and a pupil count of just eight to 12 children who are supervised by two dedicated teachers. Principal Gracie Obadiah said the nursery “provides a fun and varied curriculum”.

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Cancer Research thanks ‘Mothers and Daughters’

June 20, 2008

A North-West London Jewish fundraising committee has received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the cause.

The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards recognises remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering.

The Mothers and Daughters Committee won in the Outstanding Achievement category, beating off stiff competition from across the UK.

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Wembley care home wins praise

By Alex Barnes, June 20, 2008

Edinburgh House, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews Home for the Aged, has received a three-star award for excellence after a government inspection.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) made an unannounced inspection, which took place over three days. The inspectors concluded that the 51 residents were given an excellent quality of service.

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Triplets’ joy as music comes to aid of barmitzvah boy

By Alex Kasriel, June 20, 2008

Being severely disabled would rule out many people from having a bar- or batmitzvah, but it didn’t stop 13-year-old Ben Dawson from celebrating his coming-of-age ceremony with his sisters at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, North-West London.

Ben, who has quadriplegia, cortical visual impairment, epilepsy and global development delay, joined his triplet sisters Josie and Rachel on the bimah last month.

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