Leeds

Leeds IDF festival experiment

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 16, 2010

An Israeli Defence Forces chaplain has brought overseas aid to the experimental Rosh Hashanah programme run by Leeds' Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue.

The shul's Rabbi Jason Kleiman said American-born Rabbi Shalom Hammer "gave a very powerful presentation about role of observant soldier in the IDF. It was the first time shiurim ran alongside services. The feedback has been very positive." The experimental programme had found favour with many who would not otherwise engage in services.

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Ray Rivlin is inspired by her disabled son to come up with a more inclusive Haggadah

By Candice Krieger, September 16, 2010

Dublin's Ray Rivlin has created her own simplified version of the Haggadah.

Inspired by her son Alan, who is a resident of the Leeds Rainbow Project, Mrs Rivlin decided to modify the Haggadah to make it more accessible to people with learning difficulties.

She tells People: "During Pesach last year I took the second Seder for the residents and simplified it for them. They seemed to like it and it struck me that it would be a good idea to write it down."

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Pimm's and more for Leeds JSoc freshers

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2010

Leeds Jewish Society has organised a series of events to welcome new students during freshers week.

JSoc committee members will be handing out welcome packs and answering questions at stalls at the Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University freshers fairs.

They have arranged a “Beer, Pimm's and Narg” launch party at the JSoc house on Tuesday September 21, followed by a barbecue lunch the next day.

To mark the first Shabbat of the new term, the JSoc has also planned a free “Freshers Friday Night Dinner”.

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MP attacks judge on Gaza claim

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

The MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, has called for action against the judge who suggested that one of the anti-Israel activists who was acquitted of damaging an arms factory should be awarded the George Cross.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman made the comments in his summing up of a trial last month.

Mr Hamilton, who said it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend Israel in parliament, wrote to the Attorney-General last week.

He said: "What makes this trial most disturbing is the way in which the judge used his summary to promote his own political views about Israel.

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Welfare board faces up to cuts

By Jessica Elgot, August 20, 2010

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board is urging the community to "dig deep" for its Rosh Hashanah appeal, fearing that budgets could be slashed by Leeds City Council.

LJWB chief executive Rebecca Weinberg is concerned about meeting an increasing caseload in the wake of recession-related job losses, debts and family breakdowns.

"We are looking at a much greater demand for some of our services, particularly mental health and family services," she said. "We see a lot of people driven into deep depression by debt and we are somewhat limited because we are not debt counsellors."

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Leeds ready to party for 150th

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

Leeds Jewry is launching a £50,000 project to celebrate 150 years of Jewish heritage and contributions to the city.

To mark LJ150, high profile exhibitions are planned over the next two years to showcase works by home-grown artists. Vintage wedding dresses and past fashions from retail giants Marks & Spencer and Burton, both started by Jews in Leeds, will also be on display.

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The 'Harvey Nicks' of charity retail

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010

The Leeds Jewish charity shop known as the "Harvey Nicks of Moortown" marked its third anniversary this week with cupcakes and "birthday bags". More than 100 people flocked to the Wellfair shop, donating 67 bags of goods.

Wellfair sells clothes, shoes, toys and bric-a-brac in aid of Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.

LJWB chief executive Rebecca Weinberg said the "Harvey Nicks" tag was because of "our reputation for designer labels.

"In these uncertain times, the ability to generate earned income in addition to our usual fundraising activities is critical.

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Lightning triumph at Manchester tournament

August 5, 2010

South Lightning beat a Barbarians side by 33 wickets to win the NJCL Super Sixes tournament in Manchester on Sunday.

The sides met in the final after finishing in the top two places of a league also featuring teams from Bury and Leeds.

The Barbarians, comprising players from several clubs, had no answer to the superb batting prowess of South's Jonny Lieberman, who was undefeated on 27, and captain Steve Glicher, who retired on 31 off just 12 balls.

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MP Fabian Hamilton: hard to defend Israel

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

The Labour MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, says it is becoming more and more difficult to defend Israel in the House of Commons.

The long-serving Jewish MP represents Alwoodley, Moortown and Roundhay, home to the majority of Leeds' 8,000 Jews.

He said: "Labour Friends of Israel is still quite strong, as are the Conservatives. But there is a stronger pro-Palestinian lobby too. Some of Israel's mistakes have really strengthened them.

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Shtetl show for Leeds children

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

Leeds is opening a Jewish educational centre where children can take a walk through time into a 19th century eastern European shtetl.

The Jewish Heritage Centre for Children, due to open in October, is the brainchild of Leeds Lubavitch education director Shoshana Angyalfi and her project co-ordinator Ruth Bell, who gave the JC a sneak preview of the museum.

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