Blackpool synagogue merger talks fail

By Cathy Forman, March 4, 2010

Talks to bring Blackpool's two dwindling congregations under one roof have broken down.

Meetings were held over a 12 month period between the town's Orthodox and Reform synagogues with a view to both operating from the Reform shul's building in Raikes Parade. The United Hebrew Congregation's Grade II listed building is 100 yards away in Leamington Road.

"We would like it to happen if it can come about," said Reform president Leon Tax.

"We want to find some way of bringing the two communities together." The Reform shul "is larger than we need and maintenance is an issue".


Elstree nursery fails the Ofsted security test

By Jay Grenby, February 25, 2010

A shul-based independent nursery has been criticised by Ofsted following an unannounced visit prompted by concerns raised by a parent.
Ofsted found that the Little Bicks premises at Ohr Yisroel (Federation) Synagogue in Elstree "were not secure and an intruder could enter". It further could not "evidence that there was always a suitable manager working on a day-to-day basis".


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Borehamwood eruv 'imminent'

By Jay Grenby, February 18, 2010

There was mixed news this week for the Orthodox community in Borehamwood over the establishment of a local eruv, enabling observant Jews to carry or push items on Shabbat.

Although the eruv poles have now been ordered, local campaign leaders warned that "a few hurdles" had still to be overcome, three months after the project was given the green light by Hertsmere Council.

"It is imminent," promised a spokesman for the eruv trustees this week, albeit without giving even an approximate date for the eruv becoming operational.


Hertsmere head is standing down

By Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Hertsmere Jewish Primary’s first headteacher is retiring after 11 years in the post.

Michele Bazak took charge at the Radlett school when it opened in 1999 with 80 pupils. It now has 480 pupils and 75 staff.

“It has been a real privilege to be the first headteacher,” Mrs Bazak said. “It gave me the opportunity to build a school with my own vision and to build a team of educators who could provide a wonderful education.


Elstree to add a rabbi

January 21, 2010

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue is to appoint an associate rabbi to extend religious, educational and pastoral services to the growing community of 1,300 families.

Shul chair Anthony Arnold said the appointment was “something that has long been needed and is essential to the continued growth, support and development of our members”. It was “an opportunity to build a rabbinic team of diverse personalities and talents that in combination will be twice as effective”.


Guardian's capital offence

By Simon Rocker, January 21, 2010

The Elstree-based Happy Puzzle Company was bemused after the Guardian took a crack at one of its board games, called Thought Exchange, for giving Israel’s capital as Jerusalem. That’s a matter of diplomatic dispute, the paper carped.

A Happy Puzzle spokesman said that “thousands and thousands” of the game had been sold but just one caller had raised the issue. As for Jerusalem’s capital status, he explained: “We went by the Times Atlas. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.”


Rambam Sephardi Synagogue Shabbat Minyan

By Rambam, January 20, 2010
Saturday 30 January
9:00am - 12:30pm


Schools are back in business after parents join snow-clearing teams

By Robyn Rosen and Stephanie Brickman, January 14, 2010

Parents took on snow clearing duties to get Jewish schools in the London area reopened on Monday.

Over 90 people responded to a plea for help at the Hertsmere Jewish Primary premises and parents also engaged in snow shovelling at Rosh Pinah’s early learning site.

Among the Hertsmere volunteers was Daren Nathan, father of a nine-year-old pupil. “The school had been closed since Wednesday and being in such a rural location, the impact of the snow was horrendous,” he said. “It wasn’t clearing at all.


Stillbirth family sets up helpline

By Jay Grenby, January 7, 2010

An Elstree couple who have experienced the practical, emotional and social consequences of a stillbirth have launched a helpline offering support for others in the same situation.

Appalled at the lack of readily available guidance in the aftermath of their stillborn daughter Lenni Veronica 18 months ago, Dan and Lisa Shaffer have founded the Jewish Stillbirth Trust, with a website.