Leeds

Sheila Saunders steps down from Leeds Housing

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

It may not be the most popular analogy in Yorkshire but Sheila Saunders stepping down as Leeds Jewish Housing Association chief executive has been likened to Sir Alex Ferguson vacating the manager's chair at Manchester United.

Ms Saunders, 64, is retiring after 23 years with the LJHA, having also served as chief executive of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board until 2005. Executive director Darren Cooper will succeed her in the post.

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Leeds parents upset by school's yo-yo promotion

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Parents at Leeds' Brodetsky Primary have got into a twist over yo-yos after the school allowed an outside company to promote them to pupils.

Brodetsky has received complaints over a motivational assembly programme, "The NED Show", run by American-based company All for Kidz and featuring yo-yo tricks.

There is no charge for the show but participating schools are asked to sell its stunt yo-yos, costing £5-£10, for five days afterwards.

Headmaster Jeremy Dunford said the assembly last Friday had been successful in promoting self-esteem and new learning skills.

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Survivor praises Holocaust play

July 1, 2010

A play sympathetic to Nazi guards has been lauded by an Auschwitz survivor.

Arek Hersh, 82, was among the audience when The Interview,by Jayson Bartlett, was performed in Leeds. He said he had found it both realistic and engrossing.

The play is about the interviewer of a survivor who discovers that his father was a death camp guard.

Mr Bartlett spent five years researching the work and feels it unfair to think of the guards solely as "inhumane". He is taking the play to York in August and hopes to bring it to London.

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£50K aid for bone marrow registry

By John Fisher, June 24, 2010

The Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry is to receive a £50,000 boost from a Leeds United Hebrew Congregation fundraiser.

Two Ezer Mizion donor pools were established in the names of two Leeds women, Audrey Manning and Susan Black, whose lives were devoted to helping others

Rabbi Daniel Levy, senior minister at UHC and chairman of the Ezer Mizion dinner committee, said that the women were "outstanding workers who had a great sense of community".

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Grandmother, 63, put on eBay

By Robyn Rosen, June 18, 2010

When 63-year-old grandmother Sandi Firth asked her son to put her dining room table on eBay for her, she had no idea it was not the only thing he was planning to sell.

The next day he called to tell her that he had placed another item in the Collectibles category on the auction website - his very own "Yiddishe Momma".

James Doyan, a 38-year-old management consultant, said he decided to auction his mother, who lives in Leeds, after "having enough of her exploits in trying to find love".

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New play to probe Nazi 'humanity'

By James Lewis and John Fisher, June 17, 2010

A controversial play about the Holocaust is set to open next week at Leeds Town Hall.

Playwright Jayson Bartlett, 49, who is not Jewish, spent five years researching and interviewing survivors in Eastern Europe for his play, The Interview, which has already been staged in Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

But he has taken an unusual approach. His heroine is an 85-year-old survivor whose life story is revealed in an interview with a reporter whose grandfather was a camp guard.

Mr Bartlett said he felt it was "unfair" only to think of the guards as inhumane.

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Rap star Chimpmunk performs at barmitzvah

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

British rap star Chipmunk attended his first barmitzvah last week, performing by special request at celebrations for 13-year-old Joseph Port from Leeds.

X-Factor's Lloyd Daniels also made up the hour-long music set with each artist performing six songs for 200 guests at the barmitzvah celebrations at Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley on Sunday.

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Leeds woman to be Lady Mayoress of Manchester

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010

The role of Manchester's new Lady Mayoress may seem an unlikely one for the Leeds Jewish Housing Association chief executive.

But it will be a case of coming home for Sheila Saunders, who although having lived in Leeds for nearly 30 years, was born on the other side of the Pennines.

Ms Saunders took up the invitation from Lord Mayor and long-time friend Councillor Mark Hackett and will accompany him to events including a royal garden party and be involved in charity work.

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New kosher bakery for Leeds

June 10, 2010

Kosher bread will be baked once again in Leeds from July.

Operating under Leeds Beth Din supervision, Gelman's will supply kosher outlets.

Co-owner Moira Gelman believes "a Jewish community isn't a community without a bakery. We aim to provide fresh bread and cakes on a daily basis." She plans to add cheesecakes and other dairy items later in the year.

Leeds Jewish Representative Council president Hilton Lorie hoped the community would support the venture. The Chalutz bakery and shop closed two months ago, with the owners citing "an irreversible downturn in trade".

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The Leeds kids who go to King David, Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 10, 2010

To appreciate the importance Leeds parents attach to Jewish education, you need to take the bus - to Manchester.

With no Jewish high school in Leeds, secondary age pupils have traditionally gone to the fee-paying Leeds Grammar or local state schools. However, an increasing number of families are now opting to send their children to the King David High after attending Leeds' Brodetsky Jewish Primary. As well as the attraction of keeping their children within a Jewish environment, there is the appeal of King David's consistently high academic results.

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