Barmitzvah boy defies illness

By Jay Grenby, July 4, 2008

Bushey Synagogue was packed to capacity on Shabbat for the barmitzvah of Marc Lebe, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable muscle-wasting genetic condition which leads to disability and premature death.

An integral part of the community since his birth, Marc has been unable to walk since he was 10, is losing movement in his upper limbs and has moderate learning difficulties.


Mark Silverman lobbies the government to help find a cure for his son’s illness

By Candice Krieger, June 27, 2008

North London father Mark Silverman is lobbying the government to fund more research into a life-limiting disease suffered by his son. Thomas, aged three, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a severe muscle-wasting condition that primarily affects boys and young men. It is currently incurable.


Cambridge first for former anorexic

By Candice Krieger, June 27, 2008

Recovering anorexic Mandy Kaye made history this week as she graduated from Cambridge with starred first-class honours and a distinction — the only student in her geography faculty to do so.

But it could have all been so different for the 25-year-old, who, five years ago, was given just days to live.

Ms Kaye, from Southgate, North London, has been battling anorexia for nine years. At her lowest, she weighed just under five stone.

Now, hopeful of a making full recovery, she is determined to inspire others to do the same.


Cancer Research thanks ‘Mothers and Daughters’

June 20, 2008

A North-West London Jewish fundraising committee has received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the cause.

The charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards recognises remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering.

The Mothers and Daughters Committee won in the Outstanding Achievement category, beating off stiff competition from across the UK.


Triplets’ joy as music comes to aid of barmitzvah boy

By Alex Kasriel, June 20, 2008

Being severely disabled would rule out many people from having a bar- or batmitzvah, but it didn’t stop 13-year-old Ben Dawson from celebrating his coming-of-age ceremony with his sisters at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, North-West London.

Ben, who has quadriplegia, cortical visual impairment, epilepsy and global development delay, joined his triplet sisters Josie and Rachel on the bimah last month.


Plight of cancer-gene sisters

By Candice Krieger, June 20, 2008

Three sisters whose lives have been affected by breast cancer as a result of a genetic mutation common in Ashkenazi women are campaigning to raise awareness of the gene.

Glasgow-based Sue Faber, 44, and her sisters Elaine Mishkin, 43, and Karen Rosen, 37 — whose mother Lorna Klineberg died from breast cancer aged just 47 in 1986 — all chose to undergo mastectomies and reconstructive surgery in 2006. 


Save money on hay-fever tablets

By Martin Lewis, June 20, 2008

It’s hay-fever time. This means that people across the country will be forking out money on hay-fever remedies. What you need to remember is that the four main brand names — Zirtek, Claritin, Benadryl and Piriton — each has its own active ingredient. Once you have discovered what the active ingredient of your usual remedy is, by looking at the packaging, you can save cash simply by buying the generic (shop’s own brand) version of it for a fraction of the cost. This excludes Benadryl, as there are no generic versions available.


And now for the good news: Jews do live longer

By Alex Kasriel, June 13, 2008

It is something we have suspected for years. But now the JC can reveal: Jewish people do live longer than their non-Jewish counterparts.

Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics suggest that there are nearly three times as many Jewish people who are 100 or older than there are in the general population. In the 2001 Census, twice the number of those in the Jewish community were 90 or more, compared to the rest of England and Wales.


David Sye believes that yoga can lift the Middle East out of conflict

By Candice Krieger, June 13, 2008

Yoga instructor David Sye is hoping that its power can bring peace to the Middle East. Mr Sye, the founder of Yogabeats — his own brand of yoga, driven by music and rhythms — has recently launched a Yogabeats conflict project (


Avril Mills grants terminally ill children some magical wishes

By Candice Krieger, June 13, 2008

Former actress Avril Mills has launched a charity to grant wishes for terminally ill children. The Dream Factory was set up by Miss Mills in memory of her son Oliver, who died from leukaemia in 1999, aged nine.

Founded earlier this year, the charity also grants wishes for young adults and people with severe disabilities.  This week, it launched its website:, to coincide with what would have been Oliver’s birthday. He would have turned 18 today.