Ethopian children twinned at Jerusalem shul

August 20, 2009

Forty Ethiopian immigrant children from a Jewish Agency absorption centre celebrated their bar- and batmitzvahs in the company of eight UK “twins” at Jerusalem’s Yeshurun Synagogue.

The Ethiopian bar- and batmitzvah programme is among those supported by UJIA to assist the immigrants’ integration into Israeli society and to link British Jewry with communities in Israel. Both sets of youngsters learned about each other’s culture and heritage and were encouraged to correspond through emails and, in some cases, personal visits.


Israeli man in Heathrow cocaine arrest

August 5, 2009

An Israeli man has appeared in court on suspicion of smuggling cocaine after being arrested at Heathrow Airport.

Arie Zilberman, 27, appeared at Uxbridge magistrates’ court in west London last week charged with suspicion of smuggling six kilos of cocaine, with a street value of £240,000, into Britain.

He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until September 1.


Harrow shul enjoys an energy boost

By Jay Grenby, November 27, 2008

A phone call from Middlesex New Synagogue to its energy supplier has brought light relief to the Harrow shul and its elderly members.

Mindful of soaring costs, the MNS executive had been considering replacing the bulbs in the prayer-hall chandeliers with low-energy lamps. Working on the theory that "if you don't ask, you don't get", a call was made to E-on to ask whether the company would consider donating 120 lamps to help the shul reduce its fuel bill.


French choir the Polyphonies Hebraiques de Strasbourg make British debut at Belsize Square Synagogue

November 13, 2008

French Jewish choir the Polyphonies Hebraiques de Strasbourg made its British debut at Belsize Square Synagogue on Sunday. The 40-strong French choir is based at the University of Strasbourg, which contains departments of Hebrew and musicology. According to its founder and conductor, Argentinian-born musicologist Hector Sabo: "We sing Ladino songs, Yiddish, Italian and modern Israeli." The concert, marking Remembrance Sunday and Kristallnacht, also featured soloist Eliot Alderman - son of JC columnist Geoffrey Alderman - with the Zemel Choir under its director Ben Wolf.


Bromley Reform Synagogue celebrates the success of its 11 GCSE Jewish studies students

November 6, 2008

Bromley Reform Synagogue is celebrating the success of its 11 GCSE Jewish studies students, ranging in age from 15 to their seventies. Taught by fellow members Linda and Matthew de Lange and John Posner, they achieved three A* grades, six As and two Bs. The shul ran the course over 18 months in three classes.


Zemel remembers Kristallnacht in song

By Leon Symons, November 6, 2008

The Zemel Choir will be taking part in a special concert to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht at Belsize Square synagogue in north west London on Sunday evening.

The Zemel will be joined by the Polyphonies Hébraïques de Strasbourg, a 40-strong mixed choir that is based in the Jewish studies and Hebrew department of the Marc Bloch University of Strasbourg.


New minister for Sukkat Shalom Reform synagogue

September 19, 2008
Rabbi Larry Becker is the new minister at Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue. The father-of-three hails from Ohio, has spent time on kibbutz and had a business career before coming to the UK. Rabbi Becker, 57, is already well known to the Redbridge Reform and Progressive communities, having been involved in other local congregations. His induction is in November.


National President is guest at League of Jewish Women's annual tea party

September 12, 2008
National President Ella Marks was among the 100 guests at Oakwood and Winchmore Hill League of Jewish Women's annual tea. Past presidents Penny Conway, Gillian Gold, Sandra Harris and Judy Lever were also at the tea, where guest speaker John Barnett discussed the world of auctioneering and its ethics.


Batmitzvah girl twins her celebration with Eastern European World Jewish Jewish Relief client

August 7, 2008

Batmitzvah girl Eli Samuels followed in a family tradition by twinning her celebration at St Albans Masorti with a World Jewish Relief client in Eastern Europe. Eli raised £1,000 for WJR through a sponsored biscuit bake, which will support her "twin". The biscuits also went to a good cause - a homeless shelter in Watford. Last year, Eli's sister Abi also marked her batmitzvah by raising £700 from a sponsored fairy cake bake. The twinning scheme has raised over £100,000 in four years.


US burial society chief executive addresses Ealing Synagogue

August 1, 2008

US burial society chief executive Melvyn Hartog addressed 30 members of Ealing Synagogue on the scope of his work. Explaining that the job also had its lighter moments, he recounted comments made to him, such as: "Please can you make sure the spade handles are clean". The evening raised £60 for synagogue funds.