Leeds rabbi's sudden departure

By John Fisher, August 28, 2014

The United Hebrew Congregation in Leeds has announced the sudden departure of its minister of almost 15 years, Rabbi Daniel Levy. He will leave after tomorrow's Shabbat service.


'Obnoxious' rant charge unlikely

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 14, 2014

George Galloway is unlikely to face prosecution under racism laws after he told a Leeds audience to ban visits by Israelis and mimic Bradford as an "Israel-free zone".

The Respect MP, speaking at a party meeting in Leeds last week, said: "We don't even want Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.


Housing chief builds for future

By John Fisher, August 14, 2014

Although Leeds Jewish Housing Association has responsibility for 483 properties, it's a "much more intimate" organisation than new chief executive Lee Bloomfield is accustomed to.


Highest levels of hate for five years

By Marcus Dysch, July 31, 2014

Antisemitic incidents in Britain rose by a third in the first six months of this year, and have rapidly increased further in the past four weeks as Israel's military operation in Gaza continues.

Figures published this week by the Community Security Trust showed more than 300 recorded cases between January and June, up 36 per cent on the same period last year.


Freewheeling at Shabbat

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 10, 2014

At 11 o'clock on Shabbat morning, eyes in Leeds were on the Tour de France rather than the Torah.

The race's Grand Depart was taking place in the city, and synagogues held services early to allow congregants to daven and then watch Chris Froome and co ride by.


Wax works for Neshama

By John Fisher, July 3, 2014

With the experience of years spent battling depression, Ruby Wax told Leeds Jewish Welfare Board supporters that society needed to end the stigma of mental health.

Ms Wax - whose Sane New World show is based on her book about neuroscience - addressed LJWB's gala appeal dinner, which raised £100,000 for its Neshama mental health project.


The show must go on for Leeds variety fans

By John Fisher, July 3, 2014

Variety was the spice of life at the Leeds community's 14th annual theatre festival, which drew 2,000 people to the city's Carriageworks venue for a four-day programme.

There was a London show about Broadway's Jewish musical theatre legacy, a double dose of jazz and a a musical history lesson on ancestral fleeing from Eastern European persecution.


Unique Tour for Leeds Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

What do you do when one of the world's most-watched sporting events takes place outside your synagogue on Shabbat? Start services early and serve a French cycling-themed kiddush, of course.

Leeds' Jewish community is preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of co-ordinating Shabbat around the visit of the Tour de France.


School leader confident despite low enrolment

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

The founder of Leeds' first Jewish secondary school is confident about its future, despite anticipating another small intake for its second academic year.

Dan Cohen expects another 10 pupils to join the £3.5 million Leeds Jewish Free School in September after the inaugural intake of nine students, two of them non-Jews.

Although the numbers enrolling are only two-thirds of the school's targe


Yorkshire renewal gives Mirvis hope for future

By John Fisher and Marcus Dysch, May 19, 2014

On a three-day Yorkshire visit, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis conveyed a message of connection, commitment and unity, encouraging diminishing regional communities to fulfil their potential.

"Even when numbers are declining, we still need to be empowering ourselves to deliver greater success so that we can climb higher and higher," he said.