Community life

Having such a jolly Wood time

September 3, 2015

Limmud in the Woods brought 250 people of all ages and backgrounds to the Oxfordshire countryside for a Bank Holiday weekend programme including yoga, dance sessions, children's activities, silent discos, comedy performances and discussions on subjects from the Labour leadership to organic kosher farming. Presenters came from as far afield as America and Israel.


Harrogate gets a pre-festival makeover

By John Fisher, September 3, 2015

The Harrogate Hebrew Congregation synagogue has undergone a major refit in time for the High Holy-Days.


Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I stand with you against antisemitism’

By Barry Toberman, September 3, 2015

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recognised the fears of the Jewish community over rising antisemitism, telling a meeting at Glasgow's Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue complex that one instance of antisemitism was one too many.

Hearing anyone say they did not feel loved in Scotland "breaks my heart", she told a capacity audience of 300 during a lengthy Q&A session on Monday night.


Shul achieves its rebuilding goal with help from Neville and Giggs

By Josh Jackman, September 3, 2015

A multi-million pound redevelopment of a Manchester city shul - backed by football personalities Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs - has been green-lighted by the city council.

Manchester Reform Synagogue, also known as Jackson's Row, will be transformed into a community centre with state of the art facilities as part of a wider £240 million project overseen by the former players and Burnley Footbal


Dweck embraces the changing times

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2015

Change can be difficult for any organisation with a long history and a deep sense of tradition.

But Rabbi Joseph Dweck, who arrived from the United States a year ago to be the senior rabbi of the 350-year-old Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, is gratified that it has agreed to henceforth be known as the S and P Sephardi Community.

He had floated the idea of a name change in a strate


Leo Baeck College praises Liberal attitudes to rabbinical life

By Josh Jackman, August 27, 2015

A career in the Progressive rabbinate is increasingly appealing, with "a real increase" in both the number and quality of applicants for the Leo Baeck College training scheme, says its principal, Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris.


Young Liberals fill the gap in Israel

August 27, 2015

Members of Liberal Judaism youth movement LJY-Netzer have returned from Shnat Netzer, its gap-year programme in Israel for 18-year-olds. Participants spent eight months exploring the country, learning Hebrew and about Zionism, living as part of an ideological community and training to become leaders.


Spanish and Portuguese? Just call us S&P Sephardi

By Simon Rocker, August 27, 2015

Britain's oldest Jewish community, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, is to change its name to reflect a broader constituency.

It will henceforth be known as the S and P Sephardi Community - "the first major change in image in 350 years", said its executive director Alison Rosen.

The new name, she explained, "reflects the entirety of the S and P community which includes not onl


They're going back to their roots in Dublin

By Rosa Doherty, August 27, 2015

A genealogist who has compiled an archive of Irish Jewry spanning four centuries has presented copies of it to the Mayor of Dublin.

Retired businessman Stuart Rosenblatt collated the comprehensive 16-volume record dating back to 1664 and featuring births, marriages, burials, school records and census information.

Mr Rosenblatt handed over a set of 12 volumes to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Crí


Evolving into Ukraine aid

By Naomi Firsht, August 27, 2015

A north London couple have organised a summer camp in Ukraine after being inspired by their teenage daughter to set up a charity for former Soviet Union Jewish communities.

Around 30 children aged from four-to-13 attended the week-long day camp in Mukacheve, in the west of the country, joining in festival-themed programmes, sports and games.

Accountant Jason Bennett set up the charity, Evolv