Manchester

Jacobson's filthy time

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 19, 2009

Howard Jacobson has told a Manchester audience how he felt “cleansed” to be the target of “antisemitic filth”.

Debating “Britishness and Literature” with fellow novelist Martin Amis at Manchester University, Mr Jacobson said: “One good sign we have in our society is that we have comedians. I don’t think you can live a decent life unless somewhere the whole idea of decency is being trashed.

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Manchester minister dies in Jerusalem

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 19, 2009

A well-known Manchester personality has died in Jerusalem from a brain tumour. Rabbi Ephraim Groundland, 76, was the minister of Higher Prestwich Synagogue for 17 years from 1959 and was the major fundraiser for its first building.

He also served as the rabbi of Stockport and Southport congregations, and after moving to Israel, travelled the globe raising money for the Israeli anti-missionary organisation, Pe’ilim. Rabbi Groundland has additionally officiated at festival services in Marbella.

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Friday night project in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2009

Seven-hundred supporters of Manchester welfare charity The Fed took part in Fed Friday, for which people were asked to host a Friday night dinner and solicit donations from guests. With donations from half the participants received, the fundraising total stands at £4,000. Profits from sales of specially-produced promotional red challot have swelled the proceeds.

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Chief is bullish on Manchester’s future

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 12, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has predicted a rosy future for Manchester Jewry despite the large-scale migration of younger community members.

Interviewed on Saturday evening before participating in a question-and-answer session in support of South Manchester Synagogue’s youth projects, Sir Jonathan argued that in some respects Manchester Jewry was stronger than the capital’s community.

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Artist remembered in his home city

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2009

More than 100 people attended the launch of a tribute exhibition at Manchester Jewish Museum for artist Simon Black, who died, aged 49, last year after a battle against cancer.

The Reflections exhibition has given his family the opportunity to display his work in his home city after a similar event in London. Sunday’s opening was addressed by the artist’s widow Raina, eldest daughter Bobbi and his sister Jane.

Speaking afterwards, Jane Black said Mancunians would recognise much of the personal and local imagery in his paintings.

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‘Support our heritage sites’

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2008

As Culture Secretary Andy Burnham launched a £1.5 million scheme to part-fund heritage officers for historic places of worship, a warning was sounded over the Jewish community’s failure to support its many heritage sites.

Dr Sharman Kadish, director of Jewish Heritage — working to preserve more than 40 protected Jewish sites across the UK — was among guests at the English Heritage event in Manchester at which Mr Burnham announced the initiative.

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Anger over missionary leaflet drive

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Evangelical Christian missionaries have been targeting Manchester’s Jewish community with leaflets using religious terminology and Ashkenazi spellings to entice people to read them. Residents in Broughton Park, who have received the leaflets through their doors, are concerned about what they call the “deceptive material”.

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Congestion charge ‘no’ brings relief

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Manchester communal groups have expressed relief at the overwhelming no vote against a proposed local congestion charge.

If the plan had been supported, drivers would have been charged for travel between the major Jewish areas of Whitefield and Prestwich.
Welfare charity The Fed said its operations would have been severely affected. Head of services Mark Cunningham had feared a big increase in running costs.

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Fireman saves scrolls in Manchester shul blaze

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 11, 2008

A fire crew commander has been praised for rescuing three Sifrei Torah from a blaze at a small Charedi shul in North Manchester on Sunday night.

It was around midnight when emergency services were alerted by a neighbour to a blaze at the Apta building, a converted terraced house on Welbeck Grove in Salford. Shul members who gathered outside explained to fire-fighters that important religious articles were inside. Fireman Patrick Walsh re-entered the building to retrieve the scrolls.

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Manchester’s tribute to Mumbai victims

December 8, 2008

The Stenecourt (Manchester Great New) synagogue was filled to capacity on Sunday as nearly 1,000 people from across the Manchester community attended a memorial service for the victims of the Mumbai attacks. The audience, which overflowed into the shul hall, was addressed by leading rabbis from the city including Dayan Menachem-Mendel Schneebalg from the Chasidic community and the Manchester Beth Din’s Yehuda Steiner.

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