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.


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".


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.


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.


Leeds' glittering young Jewish social scene

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

A buzzing Leeds Jewish singles and young families scene is gathering momentum and could help secure the future of the community.

A few weeks ago, a glitzy charity boxing night arranged by a committee of young professionals pulled in 600 people, a significant proportion of the city's Jewish population. Such demand shows that the community can still pack a punch on a social level. And most of the £44,000 raised will be invested in the local youth centre, The Zone.


Leeds rabbi: let's merge three synagogues

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

A radical plan to merge the three Leeds Orthodox synagogues into a super-community has received a mixed response.

The idea to consolidate the congregations on a large single campus was floated in a guest Shabbat sermon by Rabbi Jason Kleiman at the United Hebrew Congregation.

Rabbi Kleiman, minister of the nearby Beth Hamidrash Hagadol community, was participating in a pulpit swap. He said afterwards that a passionate response to a controversial sentiment was hardly surprising. But communal assets could be used more effectively.


Leeds pupils' organic egg farm

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

Pupils at the Brodetsky Primary in Leeds will be entering the organic egg market thanks to a £10,000 outdoor classroom project.

Hens, a large pond and a computerised weather station are features of the facility, constructed by specialist contractors who build sets for TV soap Emmerdale.

Funded by a donation from a local community member, the project will encourage pupils to learn about nature, the weather and become involved in rearing the 18 hens. Eggs produced will be available for purchase from the school.


Rainbow home for Leeds learning disabled

By John Fisher, May 21, 2010

Leeds Rainbow Project's home for the learning disabled was officially opened by Jeremy Burton, grandson of the late clothing magnate, Sir Montague Burton.

Local Jewish Welfare Board president Edward Ziff said the fit-out of Montague House had been made possible by a generous donation from the Burton Trust.

"We see yet again the wonderful generosity of the Burton family, who have a long association with the welfare board."


Student 'considered quitting' over Leeds story

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

A university student union officer has admitted he considered resigning after being criticised for censoring a student paper.

The paper had published an interview interpreted as suggesting Jews control the media.

Jak Codd, Leeds University Union communications and internal affairs officer, helped take the decision to remove, temporarily, copies of Leeds Student from the Union building a fortnight ago.

The paper's Laura Mackenzie had interviewed Sameh Habeeb, the founder and editor of the online Palestine Telegraph, about his experiences during last year's Gaza conflict.


Election result: Leeds North East

By Jessica Elgot, May 7, 2010

Labour’s Fabian Hamilton has kept his seat in Leeds North East, fighting off Conservative challenger Matthew Lobley by 4,545 votes.

Mr Hamilton, who is Jewish and has represented the constituency since 1997, took the seat with 20,287 votes, despite being caught up in the MPs’ expenses scandal.

Mr Hamilton said: “I would like to thank, most sincerely, everyone who has supported my campaign by helping and above all by voting for me. I pledge myself to serve all the constituents of Leeds North East unstintingly and to the best of my ability.