Magician Mandy Davis promoted to highest level of the Magic Circle

October 23, 2008

Magician Mandy Davis has been promoted to the highest level of the Magic Circle, the Inner Magic Circle (with gold star for performance). Ms Davis is one of only 10 women among the Inner Magic Circle's 300 members worldwide and her speciality is close-up magic. She also chairs the Young Magicians' Club, part of the organisation's Youth Initiative, and was married at the Magic Circle's headquarters earlier this year.


100 members of Elstree US visit rabbi's home for Yom Kippur

October 17, 2008

For the second year running, around 100 members of the local United Synagogue visited the home of minister Rabbi Naftali Brawer and his wife Dina on the morning before Yom Kippur. They were there not just to sample the rebbetzen's renowned honey cake but also to receive the traditional rabbinical blessing. "We love to do this," said Rabbi Brawer, "because it gives us a chance to meet so many of our congregants and wish them a sweet new year."


Elstree Federation Synagogue visit Poland with their minister

October 16, 2008

Thirty members of Elstree's Federation Synagogue, Ohr Yisroel, went on a two-day visit to Poland led by their minister, Rabbi Raphy Garson and his wife Deborah. The tour was hosted by J-Roots, a division of Aish UK specialising in trips to Eastern Europe for young Jews, and accompanied by Auschwitz survivor Eva Neuman. In addition to visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Elstree group toured the Jewish quarter of Krakow, as well as Kielce and Krasnik. Lightning visits were also paid to the Lublin yeshivah, the site of Maidenek concentration camp and the Warsaw Ghetto.


JLGB and Yavneh college hold volunteer fair for Year-12

September 19, 2008
JLGB and Yavneh College held a volunteer fair for the school's year-12 pupils on the theme of "the world is built through acts of loving kindness". The students will be involved with charities including Norwood, Jewish Care and World Jewish Relief.


Former rabbi Plancey made emeritus minister

By Jay Grenby, August 8, 2008

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue has this week made its long-serving former rabbi, Alan Plancey, emeritus minister. The move comes on the first anniversary of his retirement from the Borehamwood pulpit after serving the community for more than 30 years. He and his wife Miriam were instrumental in building up the congregation to its current size and prominence.


Herts Ladies enjoy "alfresco flavours"

July 25, 2008

One-hundred members of Herts Ladies, drawing from Hertfordshire's nine United Synagogue communities, enjoyed an "alfresco flavours" cookery demonstration by Denise Phillips. Borehamwood ladies' guild hosted the event, whose £700 proceeds will benefit Israeli charities.


Local Masorti community enjoy first barmitzvah

July 25, 2008

The new Masorti community in Elstree and Borehamwood has celebrated its first barmitzvah - that of Yavneh pupil Helena Raymond-Hayling - and is soon to have its first barmitzvah boy, Matthew Gelber. Founded last November, the community has grown to a membership of 80.


Kaddish explored on BBC World Service

July 4, 2008
An exploration of the history and significance of the Kaddish as the mourner’s prayer was conducted by Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue’s Rabbi Naftali Brawer for the weekly BBC World Service Heart and Soul programme.  Among his interviewees were Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and two members of his own congregation, Aryeh Myers and Michael Davis. The latter has regularly recited the prayer on behalf of those without family members to do so.


Tough? We’ll swim 22 miles

By Jay Grenby, June 20, 2008

Two remarkable sisters are about to complete the equivalent of a cross-Channel marathon swim, raising more than £23,000 for Jewish and non-Jewish charities in the process.

Talya and Dani Jacobson have been taking to the water at their local baths most days over the past few months to swim 1,408 lengths of the 25m indoor pool, the equivalent of the 22-mile width of the English Channel.


Two women mayors start work in Herts

By Jay Grenby, June 13, 2008

Councillor Sandra Parnell (Hertsmere) and Councillor Farida Turner (Elstree and Borehamwood) have respectively been installed as borough and town council mayors.

As Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Parnell, 70, represents the major Jewish centres of Borehamwood, Elstree, Bushey and Radlett. Having served as deputy mayor, her plans to make aliyah were scuppered by the death of her husband, Leslie, earlier this year.