Community life

Brum deal pleases youth worker

March 26, 2009

Birmingham Progressive Synagogue has appointed Hannah Minsky to develop its new youth club venture.

The youth worker, originally from Southgate, is studying maths and philosophy at Birmingham University.

Her background is in the Netzer youth movement and she has done youth work in the Jewish and wider community.

Movement chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said the appointment reflected “the huge demand for Liberal Judaism in the Midlands, which has only grown since the opening of the Midlands Centre for Liberal Judaism last year”.


Hundreds mourn wife of top rabbi

March 26, 2009

Seven-hundred people attended tributes to Blumer Schneebalg, wife of leading Manchester rabbi Menachem-Mendel Schneebalg, who died at the weekend, aged 83.

The eulogies were at the premises of the strictly Orthodox Machzikei Hadass organisation, which Rabbi Schneebalg heads.

A Holocaust survivor who saved her sister in Auschwitz, Mrs Schneebalg lived in Israel after the war and was a household help to rabbinic sage Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, also known as the Chazon Ish. After marrying in 1953, she dedicated her life to Manchester communal welfare work.


Leeds Hillel gets a major facelift

March 26, 2009

A state-of-the-art Jewish student house will open in Leeds in time for the next academic year.

The redevelopment of the existing Leeds Hillel in Springfield Mount will offer expanded facilities. As well as an enlarged dining and lounge area, there will be meeting rooms, study spaces, high speed internet connections and wi-fi zones. Another feature will be a chaplain’s office where students can go for confidential discussions.

Students have been consulted on facilities and the layout of the building.


Greater appetite for simchah leftovers

By James Martin, March 26, 2009

A charity which distributes left-overs from simchahs to needy families in the Stamford Hill Charedi community is reporting unprecedented demand because of the credit crunch.

Hamasbia founder Hindy Biberfeld explained that while hosts remained happy to donate unused food, the charity was receiving many more requests as a result of increased unemployment. Many parents were struggling to feed their families.


Row over stone setting charge

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

The United Synagogue burial chief has denied claims that it is asking mourners to pay £150 for the use of a prayer hall for Sunday stone settings.

Borehamwood Synagogue member Jeffrey Permutt alleges that the charge was specified when he requested information about arranging a family stone setting.

But head of burial Melvyn Hartog maintains: “The charge is not for the hire of the hall. It goes towards the costs we incur bringing in staff on Sundays, which is when everyone wants a stone setting.”


Sussex home joining Norwood

March 26, 2009

Brighton care organisation Sussex Tikvah is to come under Norwood’s aegis following approval of the move at an EGM on Sunday.

Sussex Tikvah operates Rachel Mazzier House, which is home to six adults with moderate learning disabilities.


Tribute to archbishop

March 26, 2009

A Board of Deputies reception this week honoured the outgoing Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

Board president Henry Grunwald, the Chief Rabbi and Lord Janner were joined by representatives of other faiths to acknowledge the cardinal’s contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations.

Dr David Ryall, assistant general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said the cardinal had been “very touched by the sentiments expressed”.


King Solomon faces shortfall in pupils

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

King Solomon High School in Redbridge has not filled its 150 places after the first round of admissions.

But chair of governors Diana Lazarus remains confident that all places will be taken by the time the school year starts in September.

“We are suffering but we are bearing the repercussions of the opening of Yavneh [in Borehamwood] because pupils who would have come to us from north-west London are now going to their local school.”


Governors resign in school dispute

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2009

The chairman and four other governors of Rosh Pinah Jewish Primary in Edgware have resigned in a dispute with the school’s foundation body.

Roy Freedman, chairman of the 420-pupil school for the past three years, quit after a governors’ meeting on Tuesday, along with joint vice-chairman Melanie Laban and Howard Berg, Philip Ellis and Adrian Dayne.


End of Plancey’s acting role at Northwood

By Jay Grenby, March 19, 2009

Northwood Synagogue held a special kiddush on Shabbat to bid farewell to Rabbi Alan Plancey after 20 months as acting minister.

The shul was packed for the service, after which chairman Alan Taylor paid tribute to the rabbi and his wife Miriam for outstanding leadership, friendship and hospitality.

In appreciation of their efforts, he presented them with an inscribed silver tray.