Manchester legend dies at 106

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 11, 2009

The Manchester woman believed to be Britain’s oldest Jew has died three weeks after her 106th birthday.

Dolly Phillips devoted most of her life to helping others, running the Manchester Jewish Soup Kitchen and introducing a kosher meals-on-wheels service. She was awarded a British Empire Medal for her welfare efforts.


Call to join care collaboration

By Jonathan Kalmus, Manchester, June 11, 2009

The impending merger of Manchester Jewry’s largest welfare organisations, The Fed and Heathlands Care Village, could pave the way for a one-stop Jewish welfare body in the city.

Addressing a Manchester Jewish Representative Council meeting on Sunday, Fed chairman Marc Adlestone said other local care organisations would have to decide whether to join forces with the merged organisation. But there would be significant practical benefits, he argued.

“There is huge overlap. Communal assets are not being properly used and funding grants are not being accessed.”


Bone marrow group wants more screen tests

By James Martin, June 4, 2009

A year-long global fundraising campaign supporting Jews needing bone marrow matches has reached London.

Volunteers from the British Friends of Ezer Mizion, which organises bone marrow testing in Israel, were outside north-west London synagogues and shops seeking donations towards a £2.5 million UK target.

Simon Maurer of the British Friends says the campaign will enable “many more Israelis to go for a bone marrow test, which will improve the chances of Jews worldwide finding a match”.


Come to Chabad — near the pub

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 4, 2009

A £250,000 Chabad centre has opened in Manchester’s Whitefield area. A one-year refurbishment has transformed the former off-licence into a facility housing a Jewish resource library, Judaica store, lounge and a multimedia lecture hall.

However, director Rabbi Shmuli Jaffe says the centre’s greatest asset is its location. “It is opposite the Parkfield Inn pub, which is full of Jews on Thursday evenings, and its street corner is where the kids are on motzei Shabbos, being the only stretch of Jewish shops in the neighbourhood.”


First lottery-funded theatre workshop in Manchester

May 21, 2009

The first lottery-funded theatre skills workshops by Manchester’s Jewish Theatre Company took place at Bury Hebrew Congregation. Run by TV actresses Marilyn Bar-Ilan and Amanda Fairclough, around 30 children and adults took part. Some 17 weekly workshops were planned after the group received a £10,000 Lottery grant. Chairman Shelley Blackston said: “The Lottery money came because we were creating community based projects.”


Michael Portillo speaks at Manchester fundraiser

May 21, 2009

Michael Portillo attracted 150 business men and women to a fundraising breakfast in aid of Manchester Jewish Community Care.

Held in the city centre Freemasons Hall, the former Tory minister spoke about the state of British politics in the current economic conditions and some of the challenges facing Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. TV presenter Rob McLoughlin chaired the event which raised around £7,000 for the Nicky Alliance Day Centre.


Battle to revive Manchester advice service

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

Salford’s Citizens Advice Bureau has suspended a service providing “sensitive and informed” guidance to Jews after losing lottery funding.

The head of the bureau is in discussions with Salford City Council in an effort to revive the Jewish Outreach Project, which offered advice surgeries at Jewish venues, such as The Fed and Agudah Community Services.

Advisers were recruited from the Orthodox community to raise awareness of social services among Charedim who were not accessing their benefit entitlements.


Peter Fahy: observant Jews can have a police career

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 14, 2009

Continuing his campaign to get more Jewish bobbies on the beat in Manchester, Greater Manchester Chief Constable Peter Fahy has declared that observant Jews could fulfil a police career.

After addressing Sunday’s Manchester Jewish Representative Council AGM, the chief constable said religious observance was no more an operational constraint than childcare.

Although conceding that “Sabbath observance could be more difficult”, he added: “We are able to be flexible and it is something we can work around with individual negotiation.”


Counter-terror plans under way

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 11, 2009

A counter-terrorism strategy aimed at encouraging Manchester’s Jewish community to report suspected terror activity is being developed. It may include opening terrorism reporting facilities locally in Jewish offices and a kosher bakery.

More than 30 people, including counter-terrorism police officers and community members, met at a closed meeting hosted by the Community Security Trust. It was organised by the Greater Manchester Police Authority, the watchdog which oversees policing in the region, as part of an ongoing consultation project to engage the public’s help.


Manchester rabbi departs

May 7, 2009

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation members have said goodbye to Rabbi Yehoshua Landes after 10 years of service. His departure was agreed last summer and he has begun teaching at the King David High School.