UK news

Manchester's biggest social-welfare organisations to merge

By Leon Symons, September 26, 2008

The two biggest social-welfare organisations in Manchester are to merge to create a new multi-million-pound body.

As exclusively reported at on Tuesday, Manchester Jewish Federation ("the Fed") and Heathlands Village have decided to combine their resources and facilities. Employees of both organisations have been informed of the merger.


Three London volunteers honoured as chiefs and queens in Ghana

By Dana Gloger, September 26, 2008

Three Anglo-Jewish volunteers got more than they bargained for on a trip to Ghana last month, when they were each made a chief or queen of different Muslim villages.

As a result, the three Londoners - Aron Lewis from Hampstead Garden Suburb, Samuel Borin from Clapham and Sasha Maisel from Totteridge - now have responsibility for key issues pertaining to their villages.


The great pew survey: how comfy is your seat for the High Holy Days?

By Marcus Dysch, September 26, 2008

Recognising the potential toches-strain of spending hours sitting davening, the JC this week launches a quest to find Britain's most comfortable synagogue seats.

Backing the project is ergonomist Beatrice Fraenkel, who warns that excessive periods in an uncomfortable seat can risk causing deep-vein thrombosis and sciatica.


Leicester’s antisemite should stay, says MP

By Dana Gloger, September 26, 2008

One of the country's longest-serving Jewish parliamentarians and a leading academic have dismissed criticism of a council for displaying a statue of a 13th-century earl considered an antisemite.

The issue was reignited this week after a member of staff at Leicestershire County Council wrote to councillors asking them to justify the statue of Simon de Montfort in its foyer. The employee, who did not wish to be named, said a more appropriate figure could be found, and suggested the statue may make Jewish visitors and staff feel unwelcome.


Duke is asked to save a piece of Jerusalem

By Leon Symons, September 26, 2008

The Duke of Edinburgh has been unwittingly drawn into a row over a piece of prime Jerusalem real estate by Zalmi Unsdorfer, the chairman of Israel's Likud-Herut party in Britain.

The row centres on the famous Russian Compound in the heart of Jerusalem. One part of it is called Sergei's Courtyard. Built in 1890 for the benefit of pilgrims visiting Palestine, it was named after Tsar Alexander II's son Sergei Alexandrovich, head of the Imperial Society of Russian Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land.


Clore Duffield Foundation announces £93,000 grants for regional schemes

September 24, 2008

The Clore Duffield Foundation today announced awards totalling £93,490 to support 12 regional Jewish projects.

The foundation established its "Sparks" programmes to stimulate Jewish life outside London.
This year's winners are:

Arthur and Martha for "Kindness" arts programme in Manchester, £11,980

Board of Deputies' Southern Region training programme, £15,000

CCJO Rene Cassin for human rights Shabbat in 10 communities, £6,500


News in brief

September 24, 2008

 Prince Charles has agreed to become patron of the Jewish Museum, his first patronage of a Jewish organisation in Britain. He took a similar role for the museum's 75th anniversary last year. The Museum is in the middle of a £4.2 million expansion that will triple the space at its Camden Town premises and integrate the collections, displays and activities of its two former sites under one roof. The state-of-the-art museum is scheduled to reopen in Autumn 2009.


Exclusive: Manchester welfare charities to merge

September 23, 2008

The two largest welfare charities in the Manchester area, the Fed and Heathlands Village, are in the process of merging, the JC.Com can exclusively reveal.

The Fed, formerly the Manchester Jewish Federation, offers support services and financial assistance to Jewish people in need throughout Greater Manchester. Heathlands, the long-established Manchester Jewish Homes for the Aged, provides residential care for elderly people in supervised flats and wards under full nursing care.


Youths in court for Manchester Jewish attack

By Marcus Dysch, September 23, 2008

Three teenagers are due to appear in court this week in connection with an attack on a Jewish man in a park.

The 22-year-old was attacked as he walked through St Mary's Park in Prestwich, Manchester, at around 8.30pm on June 25.

He suffered head injuries and required stitches to treat a 9cm cut.

The boys, who are all 15 and cannot be named because of their age, were due to appear at Bury Youth Court on Thursday.

Two of the youths face charges of racially motivated common assault, affray and common assault.


United Synagogue welcomes Non-Orthodox unity plan

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

The United Synagogue has welcomed last week's call by non-Orthodox leaders for greater partnership as "good news for the community".

In an article in today's JC, Simon Hochhauser, the president of the US, applauded the Statement on Communal Collaboration issued by the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements - but without revealing whether Britain's largest Orthodox body would also be signing it.