Holocaust survivor to accompany five day youth trip to Poland next February

October 30, 2008

Holocaust survivor Arek Hersh will accompany a five day youth trip to Poland next February. The trip, organised by Leeds emissary Asaf Segev will visit Auschwitz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Schindler's Factory, synagogues and museums. Born in Sieradz, Poland, Mr Hersh was taken to Auschwitz, and eventually liberated at Terezin, Czechoslovakia in 1945. Mr Segev said: "This trip is a unique opportunity especially as we have Mr Hersh accompanying us." For further details contact Asaf Segev on 0113 268 0899.


Donisthorpe Hall's men's discussion group grows in numbers

October 24, 2008

A men's discussion group at Donisthorpe Hall, launched four years ago with just three members, has grown to 40 strong.

The group attracts 20 residents from the care home and numbers are swelled by visiting debaters. The men donate £1 each week which has gone towards purchasing items such as a wheelchair. Joe Wane, 92, the oldest member of the group, said that the initiative had helped him enormously. "Debate oils the wheels of intellect."


A Leeds synagogue founded in 1874 launches website

October 24, 2008

A Leeds synagogue that was founded in 1874 has entered the 21st century with the launch of a website.

The Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue website, designed and constructed by vice-president Geoff Eastman, contains information on the weekly Torah portion, service times, simchas and leisure club programme.

Mr Eastman said: "This is a good way of providing an immediate service to our members."


New lunch and learn programme to be held in Brooke North offices

October 24, 2008

A new lunch and learn programme is to be held in the city-centre offices of Brooke North.

Organiser Rabbi Eli Pink, the director of education for Leeds Lubavitch, explained: "Study opportunities for people who work in the city are limited. I am excited to be able to offer people a chance to relax during their working day and learn at the same time."

For more details, contact Rabbi Eli Pink at education@judaismlive.com or Harold Rose on 07813 330 970.


Thirty one bar- and batmitzvah aged kids attend a "Goin' Back to Your Roots"

October 24, 2008

Thirty one children of bar- and batmitzvah age attended a "Goin' Back to Your Roots" event.

This was the first of three sessions being run by Leeds Jewish Representative Council as part of its "Welcome to the Community" project.

The youngsters, from across the community, heard Robert Bartfield explain how Jews escaping Czarist Russia ended up in Leeds and Michael Lee described what it was like to grow up in Chapeltown.

The event, held at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff centre, was organised by community development worker Neil Clarke.


Fundraiser praised for raising money in the present financial crisis

October 24, 2008

Fundraiser Regina Waldman was praised for raising money in the present financial crisis by speakers at a gala dinner. The event, in aid of the Kadima School for Children with Special Needs in Netanya, yielded £15,000.

The 120 guests at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Community Centre heard Leslie Silver, a past chairman of Leeds United, congratulated Mrs Waldman. Yomi Jacobs of British Friends of Kadima also praised Mrs Waldman.

"To raise such a sum during the present climate was phenomenal," he said.


Young Welfare Board raises over £1,000 at its first event

October 24, 2008

A new fundraising group, formed to raise money for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, made in excess of £1,000 at its first event, writes John Fisher.

The group, calling itself Young Welfare Board, attracted 50 children and their parents to its sponsored "one mile toddle".

LJWB fundraising manager Meirav Sasson said: "I hope it will encourage other families, who often find it difficult to find time to volunteer, to become involved in fundraising." For more details contact Victoria Sandler on 0113 218 5893.


United Hebrew Congregation acquires a new succah

October 17, 2008

The United Hebrew Congregation has acquired a new succah, writes John Fisher.

The construction, managed by life-president Malcolm Berwin, has been financed by UHC members Marilyn and Grahame Stowe who have dedicated the succah in celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary as well as captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The construction has space for 150 people and has disabled access.

Mr Stowe said that the succah would be ideal for future youth activities.


Cemetery is closed again

By John Fisher, October 10, 2008

Hilltop cemetery in Leeds has been closed to the public for a second time after Leeds City Council civil engineers classified the Gelderd Road site as dangerous.

Two years ago, the collapse of a grave and gravestone forced Leeds Jewish Orthodox Cemeteries to close the cemetery for repairs. Hilltop reopened in June 2007 with assurances about its safety. But further subsidence has created more dangerous conditions.


Leeds B'nai B'rith Hillel committee ends 40-year run on high note

October 3, 2008

Leeds B'nai B'rith Hillel committee, which has folded due to its ageing membership, ended its 40-year run of fundraising on a high note when 110 people attended an afternoon tea at Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue raising more than £800 towards facilities for the city's Jewish students.

Special presentations were made to Gersh Escovitz, chairman for the past 16 years, and to Ray Goodwin, who was treasurer for 36 years.