Glee for Jewish Don't Stop Believing finalists

By Robyn Rosen, July 29, 2010

A north London family have formed a band and beaten 8,000 competitors to reach the final stages of a new television talent show.

Parents Laurence, 57, and Bebe Jacobs, 55, and their three children Alex, 27, Avi, 24, and Shira, 21, will perform in front of a live audience on Channel 5's Don't Stop Believing on Sunday (August 1).

Presented by former Spice Girl Emma Bunton and judged by singers Anastacia and Duncan James from Blue, former EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite, and High School Musical choreographer Charles "Chucky" Klapow, the show is based on the popular US series Glee.


Anger over Cameron Gaza comments

By Rob Lyons, July 29, 2010

Prime Minister David Cameron's description of Gaza as a "prison camp" prompted anger this week from all quarters.

Mr Cameron, addressing Turkish businessmen in Ankara on Tuesday, declared: "The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable." And in reference to the Israeli blockade, he added: "Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

The remarks led to consternation that the PM should apparently use criticism of Israel as a vehicle by which to promote closer relations with Turkey.


Finchley school fire investigated

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

Police are investigating the cause of a fire at Pardes House Grammar School in Finchley on Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the Hendon Lane premises after staff smelled smoke.

The blaze caused around £1,000 worth of damage in a store room, setting alight old desks and chairs.

Some boys were seen running away from the school. It is not known whether they were Pardes House pupils. CCTV footage is being studied in an attempt to identify the group. Barnet Police say there is nothing to suggest the fire was motivated by antisemitism.


Tributes to 7/7 bomb victims

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Relatives of the July 7 London bombing victims are marking the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks.

John Falding, whose Israeli partner Anat Rosenberg was killed on the Number 30 bus, plans to make a now-annual strip to Tavistock Square with a dozen white lilies to pay tribute to her.

Mr Falding said that his life has been on hold since the former charity worker’s death at 39.

He said: “This is my job now, to look after Anat’s memory.”

Ms Rosenberg, who is buried in Jerusalem, was one of a number of Jewish people injured or killed in the bombings.


The Fonz visits Akiva school

By Jessica Elgot, June 24, 2010

A visit by Henry "The Fonz" Winkler made for happy days for pupils at Akiva School in Finchley.

The actor and writer popped in on Tuesday to speak to children about his story books. But Mr Winkler left his trademark leathers and motorcycle from the 1970s TV show Happy Days at home, and came dressed in a purple shirt and driving a BMW. In fact, he told the pupils he was unable to ride a motorcycle when playing Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, and his bike had been pulled along on a trolley.


Finchley synagogue seeks first chief executive

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

Finchley Synagogue is to appoint a chief executive, believed to be the first in the United Synagogue, in a move described as "unique".

The 2,500-member synagogue, also known as Kinloss, has appointed head hunters to find the right candidate for the community.

Jon Mendelsohn, chairman, said: "It will differ from similar job titles in other shuls as they are traditionally more administrative.


Akiva asks for expansion aid

By Robyn Rosen, June 17, 2010

Akiva School in Finchley is hoping to purchase and refurbish the adjacent building to make space for third-form entry.

Philip Simmons, chairman of the school's foundation, said that high demand had persuaded governors to attempt to buy the next-door beit midrash from the Movement for Reform Judaism.

"We have always had considerable demand and we have to disappoint large numbers of parents and children each year.


Finchley synagogue support for Belarus community

June 10, 2010

A collaboration between Finchley Reform Synagogue and Jewish Child's Day has given a new lease of life to a Jewish community in a small Belarus village.

The 2,200-strong Polotsk community has been presented with a minibus which will be used to ferry members to activities and to collect humanitarian aid.

It will also aid a Jewish heritage project in which teenagers from the village will research life in a Jewish area of Belarus or Lithuania before acting as tour guides for their peers.


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