Advocacy expert puts Israel's case to students

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 11, 2011

Israeli advocacy expert David Orlesker was on a whistle-stop speaking tour in the north of England.

Originally from Leeds, Mr Orlesker runs the Jerusalem Centre for Communication and Advocacy Training and is recognised as one of the foremost experts in educating students to tackle anti-Israel campaigns.


Leeds teens are mugged at knifepoint

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 4, 2011

Nine Jewish teenage boys were robbed at knifepoint close to The Zone youth club in Leeds on Saturday night.

Two men, described as white and aged between 15 and 18, threatened the boys and made off with money and mobile phones.

Four of the victims suffered facial injuries, one receiving hospital treatment for a laceration. They had been walking to the club to attend a music event.


Leeds is a model of artistry

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 4, 2011

Leeds Jewry celebrated its culture and heritage in truly hands-on style on Sunday with a sculpture and crafts fair at the MAZ community centre, attended by 400 people.

Sculptor of celebrities Frances Segelman took centre stage at the event, organised Jewish education charity Makor as part of the local community's 150th anniversary celebrations.


Sue Harris centre set for Royal Free

By Jessica Elgot, March 3, 2011

A woman whose battle against leukaemia touched the Jewish community in the 1990s is to be remembered with a £600,000 centre opening this year at Hampstead's Royal Free Hospital.

Law student Sue Harris died in 1997, aged 34, despite a campaign in which thousands were screened in the hope of finding a bone marrow match to her rare tissue type.


Lawyer's court date over fund theft

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2011

A top lawyer is to face two charges of theft totalling £95,000.

David Friesner, one of Manchester's most highly regarded barristers, will appear before Leeds Magistrates' Court over £81,500 of missing funds at his former St John Street Chambers in Manchester.

He also faces a separate charge of stealing £13,500 which was paid to him by the Crown Prosecution Service.


History in your attic

February 11, 2011

Budding artists and long-forgotten ones will be the subjects of an exhibition of Jewish art and crafts being staged as part of Leeds' celebration of 150 years of Jewish history.

Helen Frais from educational charity Makor, which is co-ordinating the project, is looking for artists to work on the day and pieces made by older generations.

"In the days before iPods, people actually made things - they did embroidery, made Judaica and pottery. We want people to dig around in the attic. They might find something to exhibit. We also want Leeds artists to show their skills."


Century maker who is staying on the move

February 4, 2011

About to turn 100, Jack Vardy still looks after his own Leeds home in Alwoodley, does the gardening and takes regular trips to London.

Mr Vardy, who has lived in Leeds since 1970, attributes his longevity to healthy ancestry and the care of his late wife.

"The reason I've lived so long are the genes I inherited and the Jean I married."

Other than being slightly shaky on his feet, he says he is in rude health.

"The only problem with getting older is I can't remember people's names." He is grateful for the support of his devoted daughter Elaine, who cooks for him on most evenings.


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Huddersfield hosts Holocaust buttons

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2011

Kirklees is planning a Holocaust artwork of six million buttons as a permanent outdoor memorial in the West Yorkshire borough.

Entitled "6 Million+" and created by Leeds Jewish artist Antonia Stowe, it was first commissioned in 2006 as a temporary artwork by Kirklees Council. It began as an educational project when school and college students were asked to collect the buttons. After a JC report, more than six million buttons came in from all parts of the UK.


Making the case for Leeds' staying power

By Jessica Elgot, January 20, 2011

Leeds Jewry's new development executive Susie Gordon is adamant that young people can be persuaded to ditch the bright lights of London in favour of life in the north. They just need some encouragement to tempt them up the M1, she feels.

"Once they are here, they have every reason to stay. This is a really successful community and I think you can have a better quality of life."

Mrs Gordon is developing a three-year strategic plan to both reverse the trend of young people leaving the community and strengthen its demographic base.