Central London

London and New York: a tale of two marches

By Simon Rocker, June 5, 2008

As organisers of a pro-Israel street rally finalised plans for their event later this month, a similar march in New York last weekend set them an impressive target to beat — with a claimed 100,000 participants.

Even allowing for the difference in Jewish populations (London: estimated 250,000; New York: just under one million), New York City’s Salute to Israel Parade last Sunday dwarfs London’s ambitions.


Beach-themed party for Young Magen David Adom

May 29, 2008

Young Magen David Adom celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary “on the beach”— or at least at West End nightspot Graphic, which was decked out with surfboards, beach balls, buckets and spades. Waitresses in straw skirts weaved around palm trees to serve cocktails from coconuts. The party raised £6,000.


Jewish Museum director talks of redevelopment

May 29, 2008

The Jewish Historical Society hosted Rickie Burman, director of the Jewish Museum, who spoke about the redevelopment programme of the Camden Town site. Ms Burman’s presentation included a DVD that highlighted the role played by the museum across the Jewish and wider community. The event, held at the Old Post Office in Moseley, was attended by around 20 people. The expanded museum is due to reopen in June 2009.


Shul is slashing wedding costs

By Jay Grenby, May 22, 2008

The Western Marble Arch Synagogue has followed reductions in membership fees by slashing its charges for wedding ceremonies.

A new “highly competitive” basic rate for forthcoming weddings is around £1,000, down from £1,850, and includes security, the services of the registrar and a free year’s membership for the newlyweds. The rate also applies to weddings previously booked but yet to take place.


Angry Charedim hold a tow truck hostage

By Leon Symons, May 16, 2008

Two tiny parking bays have sparked a major row between the Charedi community and Transport for London. The row threatened to boil over last week when dozens of angry motorists surrounded a tow-truck that was about to remove a car — and held it for two hours before allowing it to go. The parking bays are at the junction of Stamford Hill and Clapton Common, in North East London, outside a row of shops.


Teaching Judaism

May 8, 2008

A major educational resource on Judaism in Britain and beyond will be launched at a Westminster reception next week.

Over two years in the making, the interactive Jewish Way of Life CD-ROM was developed by the Board of Deputies in partnership with the Pears Foundation and World Ort. Copies will be distributed to schools throughout the country.

It features material on Jewish history, the festivals, food and prayer. It is supported by a website guide for teachers.


Young Business Group discuss climate change

May 8, 2008

The battle against climate change and its effect on the global economy was the topic of discussion at a Jewish Care Young Business Group reception, at the city offices of event sponsors Denton Wilde Sapte. The evening was attended by 80 people and raised £2,000 for the charity. Times columnist Camilla Cavendish chaired a panel discussion.



South London rabbi's staying power

By Jay Grenby, May 1, 2008

The acting minister of Streatham-based South London Synagogue has agreed to stay on as a “permanent temporary”.

Rabbi Menahem Lester was recruited 12 months ago after the retirement of Rabbi Philip Ginsbury, who served South London congregations for 47 years — first at Streatham, then at Brixton, and after the two communities amalgamated in 1985. Rabbi Lester spent nine years with Chingford and Highams Park Synagogue before going on aliyah with his wife in 2004.


Girl celebrates her barmitzvah with charity swim

May 1, 2008

Immanuel College pupil Chana Bernstein marked her batmitzvah by completing a one kilometre charity swim, raising more than £1,100 for Emunah and Keren Or to benefit disadvantaged children. Chana said: “It was really hard work, as I have never swum so far before, but my friends were really supportive. I feel proud to have helped others while I celebrated my batmitzvah.”


Helping police

April 24, 2008

Metropolitan Police inspector Mat Shaer is the new chair of the Jewish Police Association.

Inspector Shaer wants to raise the profile of the association within the force and the wider community and make potential members feel “they have something to gain from belonging, whether from support, networking or socialising”. He is particularly keen to attract officers and civilian staff from other forces.

He transferred to the Met in 2003 after 10 years in Thames Valley force.