Manchester

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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Deli owner raided twice in a week

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

A Manchester kosher shop was targeted by thieves, only days after his home was broken into.

Early last Tuesday evening, Motti Gershon’s Shefa Mehadrin kosher deli was targeted by armed robbers who threatened a till assistant with a hammer and robbed two cash registers.

Only days before, thieves ransacked Mr Gershon’s house in the Sedgley Park area while he and his wife were at friends for Friday night dinner. Jewellery, a car and phones were taken.

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Victims shocked by Manchester burglaries

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

Prestwich and Broughton Park residents have been shaken by a spate of audacious robberies.

Up to a dozen Jewish households and businesses have been burgled in the past fortnight and police are urging community members to step-up security measures in their homes.

Most of the robberies have been in the early hours of the morning. In four cases thieves entered the victims’ bedrooms.

A Prestwich mother recounted her fright at waking at 4am to see a man rummaging through her possessions. Her husband was away and she was at home with her two children.

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Ghostbusters plan fundraising sequel

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 27, 2008

Manchester's JNF Butterfly committee resorted to scare tactics to swell the charity's coffers.

An all-night ghost watch was held in 14th century Salford manor house Ordsall Hall.

With only torches for light, participants toured the premises with two mediums, who attempted to rouse the spirits of the venue's former residents. The night's events were relayed on infrared webcams.

Whitefield beauty therapist Sharon Myerson said she was suitably petrified. "The medium said I had a spirit linking to my arm and we heard knocking at a window."

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