Cathy Forman

'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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Glasgow shuls talk merger

By Cathy Forman, January 12, 2012

The merger between Glasgow's two largest Orthodox congregations - Newton Mearns and Giffnock and Newlands - has moved a step closer after a well-attended meeting of the shuls' members on Sunday.

More than 350 people were at the open meeting at Giffnock shul to discuss the proposed amalgamation.

Newton Mearns chair Brian Fox said Sunday's forum - which followed a meeting at the end of last ye


Party leaders lend a hand

By Cathy Forman, November 17, 2011

The party political leaders are the latest public figures to throw their weight behind this year's Mitzvah Day, the community's national day of volunteering.

David Cameron said: "National Mitzvah Day is a great example of how faith communities across the country are contributing to furthering social responsibility."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "Mitzvah Day volunteers will show that the a


Shul joins the Tribe as it picks youth leaders

By Cathy Forman, November 17, 2011

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has appointed three youth leaders in the region's first association with Tribe, the youth arm of the United Synagogue.

Aliza Schogger, 18, will lead the eight to 11 year olds, and Shauli Gordon, 21, and Yoni Harris, 22, will lead the Shrubberies' 12-plus age group.

Synagogue president Clive Sayers said the community "is delighted to welcome the Tribe presence to


Chigwell scores well with Ofsted

By Cathy Forman, November 10, 2011

Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue's holiday club has received a good report from Ofsted.

An unannounced inspection during the half-term holiday programme found that participants "thoroughly enjoy being in this setting.


Leicester starts the sales to secure a viable future

By Cathy Forman and Sue Jacobs, October 11, 2011

Leicester Hebrew Congregation's city centre synagogue and communal hall are up for sale.


Wolfson head leaving for executive LSJS role

By Cathy Forman, October 11, 2011

Wolfson Hillel Primary head Jason Marantz is to become chief executive of the London School of Jewish Studies next year, following the promotion of Raphael Zarum to dean.

Canadian-born Mr Marantz, 36, said that "after three-and-a-half extremely rewarding and happy years at Wolfson Hillel, I am very excited about taking on this key position in the Anglo-Jewish community.

"I am looking forward


Rabbi is off for New Year

By Cathy Forman, October 10, 2011

The recently married Glasgow Reform Synagogue minister was absent at Rosh Hashanah due to ill health.

Rabbi Nancy Morris, who went on sick leave in early August, married congregant Jim Jarvie in the Newton Mearns-based synagogue at the end of that month.

"We need to get her back in healthy mode as soon as possible and back on the bimah," Mr Jarvie said.


£25m education site nets Liverpool goals

By Cathy Forman, September 27, 2011

Pupils and staff are enjoying life at the new £25 million King David campus in Liverpool, which has brought together the high school, primary school, kindergarten and community facilities.

"It is a once in a lifetime chance to strengthen the community," said Lauren Lesin-Davis, governors' chair of the primary.


Building bridges in Brum

By Cathy Forman, August 25, 2011

Birmingham Jewish community representative Alan Blumenthal was among the mourners at a public memorial ceremony for the three young Muslim men killed during the recent riots.

The Birmingham Jewish Representative Council vice-chair had previously addressed a peace rally in the city at which he was asked by Tariq Jahan - father of Haroon Jahan, one of the hit-and-run victims - to attend last Thur


Capital gain is Birmingham's ministerial loss

By Cathy Forman, June 23, 2011

Birmingham Central Synagogue will be without a permanent minister for the High Holy-Days following the departure in August of Rabbi Shlomo Odze.

He is joining South Hampstead Synagogue as associate rabbi after serving the Pershore Road community for six years.

"He will be greatly missed and a very hard act to follow," said Central president Geoffrey Clements.

Rabbi Odze has agreed to help


Hate attacks on home of rabbi

By Cathy Forman, May 26, 2011

The Leicester Hebrew Congregation rabbi's house and car have been targeted by antisemitic vandals in three nocturnal attacks over the past three weeks.

Bricks twice shattered windows of Rabbi Shmuli Pink's shul-owned property, half-a-mile from the city centre synagogue. On another occasion, a brick was thrown through his car window.


Leeds head takes a fall

By Cathy Forman, May 19, 2011

The height-fearing head of Leeds' Brodetsky Jewish primary has taken a 300ft bungee jump to raise £1,200 for the school's library.

Jeremy Dunford, 44, took the jump in Tatton Park, Knutsford, at the suggestion of the school's site manager and fellow participant Nigel Barton, 52, an ex-member of the Parachute Regiment.


Jocko's Scrum Down

By Cathy Forman, February 3, 2011
Sunday 1 May
3:00pm - 5:00pm