Community life

New rabbi for Kingston

By Jay Grenby, July 24, 2008

Kingston Synagogue members have ratified the appointment of American-born Michael Rosenfeld as their new rabbi at an EGM. The 30-year-old, who impressed during a trial weekend with the community last month, is expected to start in October.

The vacancy was created by the imminent departure of Rabbi David Mason for Muswell Hill Synagogue.
Like his predecessor at Kingston, Rabbi Rosenfeld trained at Yeshivat Ha-mivtar in Efrat.


MDA donate ambulance to Sderot

July 24, 2008

Young Magen David Adom representatives presented an ambulance to Sderot during a mission to Israel in which they visited six MDA stations in six days. The keys were handed over to an Israeli-Arab medic, Said Al-Finish.

Other stations visited included the one in Sakhnin, MDA's first in an Arab town, and the visitors also participated in an emergency resuscitation course in Ramat Gan. Young MDA chairman Daniel Geey said: "We felt the trip gave the committee a real hands-on feel for Magen David Adom activities."


Chai Cancer Care now in Clapham

July 24, 2008

The services of Chai Cancer Care are now available to South London Jewry through a link-up with the Nightingale home in Clapham.

Two rooms at Nightingale have been made available for the provision of Chai's complementary therapies and counselling.

Speaking at the launch last week, Chai chief executive Elaine Kerr said: "We know that Chai's clients will receive the same warm welcome at Nightingale as they do at our centre in Hendon."


Berger relishes role in Finchley

July 24, 2008
Miriam Berger (née Bayfield) has been appointed principal rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue. This follows the departure of Rabbi Roderick Young, with whom she had been sharing ministerial duties. Rabbi Berger will be working with the synagogue council on long-term planning. She is thrilled to lead a "warm, inclusive and dynamic community. This is a critical time for FRS, with many new families joining and taking on active roles."


Rethink is the only sane solution, says Duffield

July 24, 2008

Dame Vivien Duffield, whose idea it was to build a JCC in London, was inspired by her visit to the Manhattan JCC in New York’s Upper West Side. She launched the idea at a power breakfast in October 2003, bringing on board some surprising people — such as Lord Brittan — who had not previously shown much interest in Jewish communal affairs, but were attracted by the idea of a JCC whose doors were open to all kinds of Jews, secular as well as religious.


‘It was not ever viable’

July 24, 2008

The decision to shelve plans for the full redevelopment of the JCC’s site has led to fresh questions as to whether a new building is necessary at all.

Walter Goldsmith, vice-president of the Jewish Music Institute and chair of the Simcha on the Square festival, is among those who believe that the JCC should remain a “virtual” centre, organising events in different venues.

He said: “Their programming seems to be very good and well-supported. I don’t see why they need a building.”


£40m Leeds plan is hit by credit crunch

July 24, 2008
The credit crunch has forced Leeds Jewish Housing Association to rethink the £40 million redevelopment of its Queenshill estate in Moortown.

Association chairman Arnold Zermansky told its annual meeting that uncertainty in the housing market had prompted some revision of the plans.

Chief executive Sheila Saunders pointed out that "in the current financial climate, no scheme would go ahead without government subsidy".


Prize for helping mum’s fight against alcoholism

By Craig Silver, July 24, 2008
A Hertfordshire 25-year-old's efforts to help her mother and others to combat alcoholism - and to support the children of addicts - has been recognised with an Anne Frank Award.

Emma Spiegler from Kings Langley set up an online support group for Children of Addicted Parents ( two years ago. The aim, she said, was to provide a forum for those in a similar situation.


US looking to the regions

By Simon Rocker, July 17, 2008

The United Synagogue has revealed that it is looking to recruit communities from outside London.

Its 62 congregations have until now been based in the capital and the Home Counties.

But in a statement this week, its president Simon Hochhauser said the US would extend a “warm invitation to other Orthodox communities in London and beyond”.


Jacobs returns for top job

July 17, 2008

Chartered accountant Jeremy Jacobs is the new United Synagogue chief executive. He will start work in November.

The Belmont Synagogue member was US treasurer for six years before becoming chairman of its youth arm, Tribe, in 2003. “It’s a pleasure to be back,” he told the US council on Monday.