Fine tuning at Belsize Square shul

March 11, 2013

Paul Heller will be a well travelled addition to Belsize Square Synagogue when he joins as cantor in June.

The Bogota-born chazan has led the Jewish community in Quito, Ecuador, and Medellin, Colombia, also serving Stockholm’s Great Synagogue for 11 years. Belsize Square’s Rabbi Stuart Altshuler officiated with him at the


'Coffin tax' hits Southport shul

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 11, 2013

Merseyside’s Sefton Council is introducing a “coffin tax” which threatens the future of the small Southport Hebrew Congregation.

On Thursday of last week, the council’s cabinet passed budgetary measures which will see an increase in burial costs at the local authority’s Duke Street cemetery from £750 to £900.


Shared experience is the key

By Naftali Brawer, March 10, 2013

I recently attended a Shabbat service at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. For some reason, I laboured under the impression that this beautiful synagogue was always sparsely attended and that those who did attend were primarily gentile tourists attracted by the reputation of the chazan and choir.


Elstree bids farewell to administrator

By Jay Grenby, February 25, 2013

The man known as “the ultimate encyclopaedia” of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue has retired after 22 years as administrator.


No love for Board's marriage secretary fee

By Jay Grenby, February 25, 2013

Small synagogues have condemned an “unfair” and “disproportionate” charge imposed by the Board of Deputies for a simple administrative procedure towards the validation of new shul marriage secretaries.


Exeter shul in £120k fundraising drive

By Anna Sheinman, February 21, 2013

Exeter Synagogue, the third oldest synagogue in the UK, has launched a £125,000 fundraising drive to restore its crumbling building ahead of its 250th anniversary celebrations this summer.


Meteorite damages Siberia shul

By Ray Filar, February 21, 2013

The meteorite that sent rock fragments raining down over Russia last Friday, injuring more than 500 people, damaged a Siberian shul during morning prayers.

Congregants were hurt and windows smashed at the Federation shul in the city of Chelyabinsk, 950 miles east of Moscow.


Blackpool shul is back on sale

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2013

Blackpool Synagogue is back on sale for £130,000 after the developer who purchased it last year decided to use only land at the back of the building for a luxury apartment project.

Thomson Property Investments bought the 1916 Grade II-listed building, overlooked by Blackpool Tower, after members of the dwindling community decided to call it a day.


Shuls at war over Torah bells

By Sebastien Malo, February 14, 2013

The sale of a pair of antique Torah bells, valued at several million pounds, has sparked a legal battle between two longstanding East Coast congregations that could lead to the expulsion of one of them from its synagogue.

The Shearith Israel and Jeshuat Israel congregations both claim that they own the bells, along with the historic synagogue that houses them.


Northampton shul's Lottery win

February 11, 2013

Northampton Hebrew Congregation has received an £8,000-plus All Our Stories grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to further education about the town’s Jewish heritage, which dates back to the 12th century.