Former members of the Bosnian Jewish community brought to Britain from the war-ravaged country 20 years ago marked the anniversary with an emotional reunion at Jewish Care’s Wohl campus in Golders Green.
Along with World Jewish Relief and the American Joint Distribution Committee, Jewish Care was instrumental in assisting the Bosnians to escape and helped them adjust to life in the UK.
The pupils and staff of JFS have found themselves in the spotlight this year. After the Supreme Court ruled the school must not enquire about the halachic status of pupils, the face of Jewish education was changed forever – sparking endless debate in the community.
JFS pupils discussed the court's decision too, says head Jonathan Miller, because they discuss everything.
Ask any Scot to complete the sentence “I belong…” and the immediate answer will be: “I belong to Glasgow, and Glasgow belongs to me”. What is true of the general population equally applies to Scottish Jewry. There is pride and passion about being a Jew and a Glaswegian.
However, two-thirds of what was once a 15,000 population now reminisce from a distance — usually London, Manchester or Tel Aviv.
Many people in Leeds tell the story of their forebears’ supposed exodus from eastern Europe to Yorkshire.
Fleeing Russian persecution, they boarded boats in the belief that they were bound for New York. But rather than seeing the Statue of Liberty, they alighted to the very different skyline of Hull, going on to Leeds to work in the clothing mills.
Whatever the veracity of the tale, Leeds became home to Britain’s third largest Jewish community, flourishing first in Chapeltown and latterly in the more affluent suburbs of Moortown and Alwoodley.
Plans for a Jewish school could be the salvation of south London Jewry, where congregations are struggling to combat dwindling memberships and an exodus of the young.
Around 13,000 Jews live in the area, making up eight per cent of the capital’s population. With no Jewish schools, kosher shops and few other services available to the community, many young couples move to north London once they have children.
A Jewish primary is seen as a means of stemming the tide, along with a recruitment drive for younger families and students.