Community life

Twiggy: My Jewish family connections

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Twiggy has spoken about her Jewish family — and her desire to visit Israel.

Before addressing a packed World Jewish Relief women’s lunch in Watford on Tuesday, the fashion icon and actress revealed that her maternal grandfather, who died when she was three, was Jewish. Her actor husband Leigh Lawson — who accompanied her to the lunch — is also halachically Jewish and they had hired a genealogist to discover more about their families.


Bournemouth Reform split deepens

September 17, 2009

A special meeting of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue has failed to avert a breakaway by members dissatisfied with the shul’s direction.


Luton's home win draws an encouraging crowd

By Jay Grenby, September 10, 2009

Fifty people attended the first Shabbat service at Luton Hebrew Congregation’s new synagogue, over double the normal turnout.

“We wanted to move in before the High Holy-Days to iron out any difficulties that might arise before we welcome a full house,” explained treasurer Jeff Solomons.

“But although the first service was meant to be relatively low key, we did organise a special kiddush which coincided with the 40th wedding anniversaries of two of our members.”


Dream team are taking on Jordan

By Chloe Markowicz, September 10, 2009

Three Essex women are among a group of five trekking through the Jordanian desert to raise funds for a charity working to grant the wishes of children with serious illness or disabilities.

The women include Avril Mills, who founded The Dream Factory after her nine-year-old son Oliver died from leukaemia 10 years ago. The others are Hayley Bloom and Melanie Brown.

Ms Mills had been inspired by Oliver’s delight when she helped him realise his dream of meeting EastEnders stars Ross Kemp, Martine McCutcheon and Sid Owen.


Sephardi minyan launches in Elstree

By Jay Grenby, September 10, 2009

A Morning service in Allum Hall, Borehamwood, tomorrow is the latest step towards a Sephardi minyan for the Borehamwood and Elstree area.

Among the minyan founders is banker Daniel Cuceiro, originally from Spain, who joined the local Federation shul when his family moved to Borehamwood four years ago. He came to realise that there were many other Sephardim in the area who attended Orthodox synagogues and shared his desire to worship according to their own traditions.


Orthodox get a tonic from NHS

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 10, 2009

A £100,000 NHS pilot scheme to offer culturally sensitive healthcare to strictly Orthodox Salford families was rolled out to local health professionals on Tuesday at the Hershel Weiss Surestart family centre.

They were told that imminent trial services would include a post-natal counsellor and a male health worker recruited from the local community.


Dementia cash plea

September 10, 2009

South London residential home Nightingale is using its Rosh Hashanah appeal to support its dementia-related services, including the creation of a purpose-built dementia unit.

Specialist activities are co-ordinated across the home, ranging from music, drama and art therapy to reminiscence programmes.

A dedicated reminiscence room houses memorabilia from the 1940s and 50s and the new unit will incorporate reminiscence kitchens, offering the familiarity of traditional recipes, flavours and smells.


Tallit survives major fire

By Stephanie Brickman, September 10, 2009

When a fire caused extensive damage to David Neville’s family home in Edinburgh last week, his initial reaction was relief that no one had been injured.

But as the extent of the lost possessions became apparent, Mr Neville began to think about items which had been in the master bedroom — the seat of the blaze.

And he remembered that the tallit and tefillin given to him on his barmitzvah had been in the drawer of a desk which had been almost completely destroyed.


Hampstead's £2m restoration

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

A lengthy £2.3 million restoration project has been completed at the Grade II-star listed Hampstead Synagogue.

Work on the Dennington Park Road building has included new roofing, heating and ventilation, electricals and disabled access. The kitchen has been refurbished and brick and stonework repaired. The money was raised from donations and the sale of adjoining premises.

“It looks absolutely stunning,” said heritage architect Stephen Levrant. “Instead of being dreary and oppressive, it’s light and wonderful.


Arsenal sets yomtov goal for absent supporters

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

Arsenal is asking its Jewish season ticket-holders to make a Rosh Hashanah gift to the less fortunate.

The club wants fans who will not be taking up their seats on festival days to give them up to Arsenal’s community programme. They will then be distributed to supporters such as children in care, the homeless, or the disabled.