United Synagogue

Cut duplication — and chase bills, says US head

By Bernard Josephs, December 18, 2008

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser called this week for the community to streamline its education, welfare and outreach bodies.

Speaking at a sombre US Council meeting, overshadowed by calls for spending cuts in both the US and the community at large, he said that tough times necessitated ditching some of its most prized organisations, whose functions overlapped.

Duplication, he said, was “simply no longer affordable.” The US “no longer has the luxury of funding so many organisations”.

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Closing time at Hounslow synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Sixty years of West London history were recalled on Sunday as 150 past and current members attended a valedictory service at Hounslow, Heathrow and District Synagogue. The service was led by Reverend Alan Greenbat, who had served the congregation as visiting minister.

At one time, the shul ran a cheder, youth club and study group. But membership numbers dwindled, making it difficult to attract regular minyanim. Yomtov services have not been held at the shul in Staines Road, Hounslow, for the past two years.

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Speak at the grave: with reservations

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2008

The United Synagogue this week finally cleared the way for lay people to give eulogies at funerals.

The organisation had come under increasing pressure to change a long-standing policy whereby only members of the clergy could address mourners at the cemetery.

From now on, a member of the deceased’s family will be able to give the hesped (eulogy) at the discretion of the officiating rabbi.

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US departure

December 4, 2008

United Synagogue head of central services David Braes is leaving the US after 11 years following a reorganisation. Chief executive Jeremy Jacobs thanked him for his contribution and wished him well for the future.

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Funerals under way for Mumbai victims

By Leon Symons, December 1, 2008

Funerals for some of the six Jewish victims of last week's terror attack on Mumbai's Chabad House are taking place in Israel. Mourners followed a procession for Aryeh Teitelbaum, 37, from Mea She'arim, in Jerusalem, to the Mount of Olives, where he will be buried.

The family of Mr Teitelbaum, a Chassidic jew, had rejected Israel's offer to include him in the official memorial ceremony when the bodies arrivedat Ben-Gurion Airport last night. They also stressed that they did they did want his coffin wrapped in an Israeli flag as those of the other victims would be.

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United Synagogue launches after-school club at Muswell Hill Synagogue

November 13, 2008

An after-school club has been launched at Muswell Hill Synagogue by the United Synagogue youth arm, Tribe. Arts and crafts and karate were among the initial activities. The youngsters were joined for supper and a magic show by Muswell Hill Synagogue's Rabbi David Mason, who said: "It was great to see our children having such a good time. This is a really positive step towards deepening our community's connection with Tribe."

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Bushey US: 2009 charity will be Watford Women's Refuge

October 30, 2008

Bushey United Synagogue has announced that its charity for 2009 will be the Watford Women's Refuge. The refuge offers temporary accommodation to women and children threatened with domestic violence. Each year, the congregation selects a non-Jewish charity to support, with the intention of benefiting the wider community. The 2008 charity is the British Heart Foundation. Congregants are hoping to raise £2,500 to buy a defibrillator from the BHF, for use in shul, should anyone be unfortunate enough to suffer a cardiac arrest while on-site.

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Kingston United Synagogue members joine former congregants for celebratory lunch

October 23, 2008

Kingston United Synagogue members joined former congregants who are now Nightingale House residents for a celebratory lunch organised as part of an "Israel at 60" programme at the South London home. Among the lunch guests was centenarian Flora Moss, who is life president of the Kingston ladies' guild. Guest speaker was Kingston board member Colin Green, who highlighted Israel's achievements in world-transforming technologies.

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Suprise lunch to honour Mary Chambers

October 3, 2008

The United Synagogue administrators' group organised a surprise lunch at their quarterly meeting at Stanmore Synagogue to honour Mary Chambers, who is celebrating 30 years in the post at Bushey.

She was presented with a bouquet on behalf of her fellow administrators by Clayhall Synagogue's Michelle Mervish before the arrival of a Bushey delegation, including minister Rabbi Meir Salasnik, for the lunch.

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£2m plan for cemeteries

By Leon Symons, September 26, 2008

The United Synagogue is to spend almost £2 million to ensure that its two main cemeteries maintain operations well into the second half of this century.

But US head of burials Melvyn Hartog is confident that the commitment will not herald an increase in burial fees.

"We run a very tight ship," he told the JC this week. "Nothing is wasted and every penny we spend is accounted for. I believe we will be able to absorb these costs without putting up the fees."

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