Cathy Forman

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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."

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Keeping check of the ups and downs in promotions

By Cathy Forman, March 22, 2012

Although Pesach is still a fortnight away, some of the best supermarket offers have ended. But other reductions are being introduced.

At Tesco, for example, Kedem kiddush wine is now being retailed for £4.50 - in line with specialist outlets - having been on offer for £3.

However, its Kedem grape juice, priced at £2 until around a week ago, has now been reduced to £1.34.

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Keeping check of the ups and downs in promotions

By Cathy Forman, March 22, 2012

Although Pesach is still a fortnight away, some of the best supermarket offers have ended. But other reductions are being introduced.

At Tesco, for example, Kedem kiddush wine is now being retailed for £4.50 - in line with specialist outlets - having been on offer for £3.

However, its Kedem grape juice, priced at £2 until around a week ago, has now been reduced to £1.34.

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Ofsted praise

By Cathy Forman, March 9, 2012

Ofsted has rated Liverpool's King David Kindergarten as "good" in all aspects.

An inspector found that the 74-pupil unit - which moved in the autumn from Harold House community centre to the £25 million King David campus - provided a "vibrant and challenging environment, giving children easy access to a rich and varied range of resources both indoors and outdoors".

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Soup's off over shortage

By Cathy Forman, March 1, 2012

Chicken soup may be off tonight's menu because of a temporary shortage of hens in kosher butchers.

London Board for Shechita executive director David Rose attributed the shortage partly to a change in EU regulations concerning the care of egg-laying birds.

"Jewish suppliers are suffering more than others as it is difficult to get the hens.

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'Vivacious and popular' Frances dies, aged 108

By Cathy Forman, February 23, 2012

Religious leaders have led the tributes to Britain's oldest Jew, Frances Woolf, who has died at the age of 108.

"She knew me from the day I was born," said Rev Alan Greenbat, 82, a family friend of Ms Woolf, who spent her final years in Edinburgh House, the Sephardi home in Wembley. "She knew my grandparents and my mother was her music teacher.

"She was a vivacious and very popular person.

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Fowl play

By Cathy Forman, February 16, 2012

Kedassia, the kashrut arm of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, is to cut the cost of poultry by 50p a kilo in the four weeks before Pesach.

"We want to relieve the heavy financial burden on families," said UOHC executive co-ordinator Chanoch Kesselman. "The bills run up as families buy in more.

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Rabbi Atlas thinks the world of Birmingham

By Cathy Forman, February 9, 2012

Birmingham Central Synagogue has appointed Rabbi Chanan Atlas as minister, filling the vacancy left by the departure of Shlomo Odze to become associate rabbi at South Hampstead Synagogue.

Central president Geoffrey Clements said the search for a spiritual leader was always challenging, "especially when trying to take into consideration the needs of a provincial community.

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Stolen plaque replaced

By Cathy Forman, February 2, 2012

A Holocaust memorial was unveiled in Harlow to replace a bronze plaque stolen in December.

The dedication ceremony was led by Harlow Reform's Rabbi Irit Shillor, who said: "It is terrible that people were prepared to destroy this memorial for the few pounds they could get.

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Caretaker dies in fire

By Cathy Forman, February 2, 2012

Former Cardiff United Synagogue rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg has led the tributes to the shul caretaker, whose death in a blaze last Friday is the subject of a murder charge.

David Evans, 64, died in his bungalow in the village of Pentyrch, on the outskirts of the city. Bleddyn King, 18, from Abercynon, has been charged with the murder of Mr Evans.

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Reform bars widow, 89, over £133 arrears

By Cathy Forman, January 26, 2012

The family of an 89-year-old widow has condemned Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue for cancelling her membership over unpaid fees of £133.

Helen Morris, a member of the shul for more than 22 years, received a letter in early January informing her that because of the outstanding balance, her membership "has now ceased, including loss of all burial funds".

She moved into sheltered accommodat

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Southern comfort from spirited congregation

By Cathy Forman, January 12, 2012

The fighting spirit of South London Synagogue - given a life expectancy of five years at its inception - was celebrated by more than 100 people at its silver jubilee celebrations.

Formed by the amalgamation of the Brixton and Streatham United synagogues, the 180-member congregation provides a daily minyan south of the Thames.

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