Cathy Forman

Giving Glasgow a voice on its future

By Cathy Forman, December 27, 2012

The Glasgow Jewish Representative Council is seeking the views of community members to try to plan the local Jewish community’s future.

A community futures consultation document, based on the findings of three working groups in the city and on meetings with the Leeds and Liverpool Jewish representative councils, has now been published and community members’ views are sought on its ideas.


Brum shul is set for sale and rebuilding

By Cathy Forman, November 29, 2012

Birmingham Central Synagogue has received city council consent for the sale of the synagogue building to a care home developer — and for the conversion of its Malcolm Locker Hall into a modern shul for the 200 members.

The proceeds from the sale of half the Pershore Road site to Gracewell Properties will fund the £500,000 redevelopment project.


Concentration camp trees given new life

By Cathy Forman, November 29, 2012

Edgwarebury cemetery has held a dedication ceremony for a horse-chestnut tree grown from a conker a Merseyside couple brought back from Theresienstadt concentration camp.

The tree was one of three cultivated by William and Anne Moss from Theresienstadt conkers. Over a 10-year period, they blossomed to 10 feet, outgrowing their pots and the couple needed to find them new homes.


Complaining neighbours delay £2m Finchley Reform expansion

By Cathy Forman, November 26, 2012

A late deluge of neighbours’ objections is delaying Finchley Reform Synagogue’s plans for a £2 million expansion to its Fallow Court Avenue site.

FRS applied to Barnet Council for consent to update and extend its facilities. The application was deferred by a planning committee last week after more than 100 objections were lodged.


Essex Masorti warden dies, aged 46

By Cathy Forman, November 16, 2012

Buckhurst Hill Masorti leaders have paid tribute to senior warden Darren Silverne who died on Monday, aged 46, after a short illness.


Historic Scottish shul acts in self-preservation

By Cathy Forman, November 16, 2012

Garnethill Hebrew Congregation has “gifted” ownership of its historic Glasgow city centre building to the Garnethill Synagogue Preservation Trust to save members from having to foot a £50,000 repair bill.

Built in 1879, the Scottish Grade A-listed “cathedral” synagogue was damaged by storms in January.


Glasgow deli owner relents on kashrut supervision

By Cathy Forman, November 15, 2012

The Lubavitch owner of a Glasgow kosher deli has had a change of heart over accepting local kashrut authority supervision.

When Rabbi Mendel Jacobs took over the Hello Deli in August, he said it would be under the “strict” supervision of himself and his wife Tzirl and that he would not be affiliating to the West of Scotland Kashrus Commission.


Waltham Abbey mourners criticise Burial Society

By Cathy Forman, October 25, 2012

A bereaved family has criticised the United Synagogue Burial Society over the absence of buggies to ferry elderly mourners to gravesides at Waltham Abbey cemetery on Sunday.


Class act at King David Birmingham

By Cathy Forman, August 9, 2012

Ofsted and Pikuach inspectors have described KIng David Primary as a good school.

The Ofsted inspectors found that the school, which serves a culturally diverse community, is under a leadership and management that is “firmly focused on improving teaching to make this an outstanding school”.


Heather Cottage, Yorkshire Dales

By Cathy Forman, August 3, 2012

Homemade carrot cake and a welcome cuppa by the Aga went a long way to reviving our flagging spirits after a drive up the A1 from London to the Yorkshire Dales through torrential rain to the two-bedroomed Heather Cottage guest house in Aysgarth Village.


Final service at Netherlee and Clarkston

By Cathy Forman, July 19, 2012

A deconsecration service on Wednesday marked the end of a 70-year era for Glasgow’s Netherlee, Clarkston and Queens Park Synagogue.

After the closure decision was taken two years ago, a small group of former members formed a kehillah for Shabbat services — the last was held at the weekend. Its 30 supporters are dispersing to other synagogues in the city.


Comic Schneider gets serious in South London

By Cathy Forman, July 5, 2012

Comedian David Schneider tackled a serious subject at Sunday’s South London Limmud — comedy and the Holocaust.

Mr Schneider discussed reactions to jokes about the Shoah with 100 of the 500 turnout at the event’s new Pimlico Academy venue.


Cedric Rigal is new mayor of Conwy

By Cathy Forman, May 24, 2012

Cedric Rigal is the new mayor of the medieval walled town of Conwy and the Constable of Conwy Castle, the first Jew to hold the dual title.

The Golders Green-born councillor has represented the Tories for five years, having become involved in civic life in the Welsh town after moving from Hemel Hempstead to be near his Bangor-based daughter.


Woolf Institute raises close to £1m for new site in Cambridge

By Cathy Forman, May 24, 2012

The Woolf Institute has announced that it has raised three-quarters of the £1 million required to move to a new purpose-built home in Cambridge.

This was reported at a London dinner this week to honour Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and his contribution to interfaith relations.


Ilford Jewish Primary shares site with Hindus

By Cathy Forman, May 24, 2012

Ilford Jewish Primary staff and pupils will be sharing their Barkingside site with a school for Hindu children.

The Avanti Court Primary is set to open in September. As construction work on the new IJPS building at the nearby King Solomon campus will take at least a year, the primaries will share some facilities.


Rain causes synagogue ceiling collapse

By Cathy Forman, May 10, 2012

A large part of the ceiling at South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue has collapsed, leaving rainwater to pour through a gaping hole in the 20-year-old prayer hall, flooding the floor and drenching seats. Scrolls, prayer books and other portable items were removed undamaged.

"The shul, sadly, is unusable," said congregation chair Jan Mortlock.


Shining a light on legacy

By Cathy Forman, April 27, 2012

Sir Andrew Burns, the Government's first envoy for post-Holocaust issues, addressed the 600-strong gathering at the Yom Hashoah commemoration at the national memorial to the Holocaust at The Dell in Hyde Park.

The former UK ambassador to Israel spoke about the Government's commitment to continue its work in Shoah education across government departments.

Neil Martin, chairman of The Forum for


Boris Johnson scatters reds in Redbridge

By Cathy Forman, April 11, 2012

Boris Johnson travelled by bus - Jewish Care-style - to a mayoral election campaign stop at Redbridge Jewish Community Centre last Thursday morning.

Having taken the Central Line to Redbridge station, Mr Johnson was met by centre manager Richard Shone and local Tory MP Lee Scott, who offered him a ride in the centre's new care bus - the first of a fleet of 20 which will benefit Jewish Care clie


Borts quits Newcastle Reform

By Cathy Forman, March 29, 2012

Newcastle Reform's Rabbi Barbara Borts has resigned because she "wants to move on".

Rabbi Borts has given six months' notice to the 150-member congregation she has served on a part-time basis since 2008.

"I have had a good time here," she said. "They are a great bunch of people. If they need help I will continue to help them. I am not leaving them in the lurch."