Freewheeling at Shabbat

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 10, 2014

At 11 o'clock on Shabbat morning, eyes in Leeds were on the Tour de France rather than the Torah.

The race's Grand Depart was taking place in the city, and synagogues held services early to allow congregants to daven and then watch Chris Froome and co ride by.


Wax works for Neshama

By John Fisher, July 3, 2014

With the experience of years spent battling depression, Ruby Wax told Leeds Jewish Welfare Board supporters that society needed to end the stigma of mental health.

Ms Wax - whose Sane New World show is based on her book about neuroscience - addressed LJWB's gala appeal dinner, which raised £100,000 for its Neshama mental health project.


The show must go on for Leeds variety fans

By John Fisher, July 3, 2014

Variety was the spice of life at the Leeds community's 14th annual theatre festival, which drew 2,000 people to the city's Carriageworks venue for a four-day programme.

There was a London show about Broadway's Jewish musical theatre legacy, a double dose of jazz and a a musical history lesson on ancestral fleeing from Eastern European persecution.


Unique Tour for Leeds Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

What do you do when one of the world's most-watched sporting events takes place outside your synagogue on Shabbat? Start services early and serve a French cycling-themed kiddush, of course.

Leeds' Jewish community is preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of co-ordinating Shabbat around the visit of the Tour de France.


School leader confident despite low enrolment

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

The founder of Leeds' first Jewish secondary school is confident about its future, despite anticipating another small intake for its second academic year.

Dan Cohen expects another 10 pupils to join the £3.5 million Leeds Jewish Free School in September after the inaugural intake of nine students, two of them non-Jews.

Although the numbers enrolling are only two-thirds of the school's targe


Yorkshire renewal gives Mirvis hope for future

By John Fisher and Marcus Dysch, May 19, 2014

On a three-day Yorkshire visit, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis conveyed a message of connection, commitment and unity, encouraging diminishing regional communities to fulfil their potential.

"Even when numbers are declining, we still need to be empowering ourselves to deliver greater success so that we can climb higher and higher," he said.


Donisthorpe chief starts work

April 11, 2014

Andrew Thornton started work on Monday as chief executive of Leeds residential home Donisthorpe Hall.

Mr Thornton, 50 - who has previously served private and public healthcare organisations - looked forward "to working for an organisation with such a high reputation.


Leeds impresses JLC chief

By John Fisher, April 11, 2014

Jewish leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson has praised the standard of communal leadership in Leeds during a two-day visit to the city.

Mr Johnson said he had encountered "a group of dedicated leaders and professionals who are not prepared to accept demographic decline.


School makes it official

By John Fisher, March 31, 2014

The official opening of Leeds Jewish Free School gave community members the opportunity to view its state-of-the art facilities and learn about the educational resources on offer.

LJFS head Jeremy Dunford said its facilities were "comparable to the best available in the country".

In September, the school took in its initial cohort of eight pupils and teaching partners from the Rodillian Acad


Leeds lobbying in growing numbers

By Marcus Dysch, March 4, 2014

One of the Leeds community's fastest-growing organisations is a grass-roots group of volunteers working to defend Israel in public and against negative media coverage.

Under the stewardship of retired teacher Mike Fligg, the Leeds Lobby Network has recruited 200 supporters since forming three years ago.

The network has taken on two dozen projects, ranging from issues raised in West Yorkshire