JNF pulls out of Midlands as it closes another base

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2010

JNF is to shut its office in Birmingham, following the closure of its Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester offices in August.

The charity will now operate from its central London office and a new regional office is planned for Manchester.

Birmingham's office will close on December 1. A date has not been fixed for the opening of the new Manchester office.

Ruth Jacobs, regional co-ordinator for JNF Midlands for 20 years, said the community had donated "hundreds of thousands of pounds" to the charity over 65 years in the city.


Walking tubes and rugelach on the go

By Jennifer Lipman, November 5, 2010

London is either a student's dream or nightmare. On the one hand, there are world-class academic institutions and bars and clubs for every taste. On the other, you have to get the tube to class and rents can be astronomical.

As second-year Queen Mary University student Danni Godsi puts it, "it really depends on the type of person".

The city's Jewish student body is thought to number around 2,000, but the true figure is probably higher, as not everyone signs up for JSoc. Around 30 universities are covered by UJS, with at least 20 JSocs in the capital.


Even with shrapnel, Israeli kids are freer

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Israeli schoolchildren, even those on the war-blighted Lebanese border, have greater freedom to learn through exploration and play than their "over risk-assessed" British counterparts, according to a Jewish primary school headteacher.

Leeds Brodetsky Primary School head Jeremy Dunford, returning from his first visit to Israel, said he had found that Israeli pupils were able to use school equipment with far less adult supervision, and greater success, while British children were less likely to learn how to cope with risk as a result of strict UK health and safety laws.


A bite at interfaith follows kosher food

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A kiddush for 100 Christians at a Leeds synagogue has spawned a new interfaith initiative to create a Jewish heritage day out for schoolchildren and faith groups.

Three weeks ago Alwoodley's Etz Chaim Synagogue hosted 100 members of the neighbouring St John the Evangelist Church which was looking for a large reception venue after a major ceremony. The food had to be kosher so the synagogue laid on a kosher Christian kiddush.


Lord Sacks: 'Take note London'

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

The Chief Rabbi has said an ambitious project to celebrate 150 years of Leeds Jewry should be replicated in other UK communities.

Lord Sacks was guest speaker at a dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue for 200 people to launch LJ150, which will see public exhibitions of the city's Jewish heritage over the next two years.

Commenting afterwards, he praised "the way that generations are in dialogue through this project and the way community elders keep the needs of the young at the forefront of their minds".


Mature students find new flavour for Jewish life

By Katie Taylor, November 4, 2010

A new society for Jewish postgraduates and mature students has been set up in Yorkshire.

Leeds students Michael Kay and Kate Sutton, along with Julia Doff from Manchester University, set up the Jewish Postgraduate society (JPG) last month.

"We want to provide a different flavour from the usual JSoc events," said Michael, 23, who is studying for a PhD in the history of science.

"We aren't the first to try this. UJS did something similar years ago, but there wasn't much interest – possibly because there weren't so many students.


Plans underway for Leeds Booze for Jews

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2010

Leeds Jewish society has set the date for this year’s “Booze for Jews” event.

The annual celebration, which last year attracted more than 1,000 students, will take place on December 5.

The location is still to be revealed, but last year’s was held at Leeds’s Mission night club and included the distribution of hundreds of free hotdogs.

Natalie Bracey, publicity officer for Leeds JSoc, said: “Save the date - every student is welcome.”

She added: “This is known to be the biggest and best Booze for Jews.”


Harrogate councillor who dressed as Hitler suspended

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2010

A council leader has been suspended from the Conservative party after a photograph of him dressed as Adolf Hitler emerged on Facebook.

Dr Mike Gardner, who was first elected in 1999 and is the leader of Harrogate Borough Council, was pictured giving a Nazi salute at a party in May.

The Harrogate and Knaresborough Conservative Association has de-selected him and will investigate his conduct.

Dr Gardner said the party had been themed around dressing as a figure from the year you were born. He said: "I was born in the war. Hitler was an iconic figure."


Leeds fears welfare funding cuts

October 21, 2010

The Leeds Jewish Welfare Board president says the charity's staff have "hearts in their mouths" as they wait to discover the fallout from the government spending cuts.

Edward Ziff believes it will be a month before the ramifications of the spending review will translate into funding cutbacks by Leeds and Harrogate local authorities, which partly fund the welfare board. "We are having a number of reviews on various projects they finance."


How hospital's kosher diet saved 'starving' Catholic

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2010

A catholic patient at a Leeds hospital who lost weight eating the "cold and unappetising" food they gave her, found a cure she didn't expect - when she went kosher.

Glynis Hallas, of Whitkirk in West Leeds, complained about the food and was advised by a dietician at St James's University Hospital to try something new after convincing her it was of a better standard.

Mrs Hallas, who has just completed a long-term stay in the hospital's Lincoln Wing, was one of a number of patients who complained that they were unable to subsist on standard hospital fare.