Jewish scholar's library under threat

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

The Jewish-founded research library, the Warburg Institute, says it is under threat from the University of London - which signed a trust deed in 1944 agreeing to protect the institute.

The Warburg contains more than 350,000 books, including extremely rare volumes and a photography collection.

It now fears it may lose its independence after the university raised its rent by £500,000 - more than quadruple the fee in 2007. Staff believe that the university wishes to absorb the collection into its own main library.


Jewish charities warn of cuts as donations fall

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

Jewish charities have been hit by a huge drop in donations this year and may have to make further cuts as local authorities, which use their services, tighten their belts.

Norwood, whose services for children and families in need are mostly purchased by local authorities, has been warned by councils that it must significantly reduce its fees or the councils will not continue to buy its services.


Where the Big Society happens

By Stephen Pollard, July 22, 2010

One of the many pleasures of being editor of the JC is the opportunity to meet all sorts of people and visit all sorts of places one would never normally encounter.

I'll be honest with you. Important and often inspiring as it is to schlep up and down the country to do that, I'm not always full of beans when the day comes.


Leeds gets it man for youth work

July 15, 2010

VSagi Yechezkel is the new Leeds youth director and will co-ordinate activities at the three Orthodox synagogues.

The 19-year-old, who is taking childhood studies at Leeds University, is the first local-raised person to hold the post - and the first to be appointed by a combined committee representing the United Hebrew, Beth Hamidrash Hagadol and Etz Chaim congregations.

He believes his local knowledge will help him tap into what youngsters want.

"I had a meeting with 15 kids. They want more informal education, more things during the week, more outings and sport activities.


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.


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.


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.


£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".


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".


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.