Cathy Forman

Step towards school move

By Cathy Forman, April 30, 2009

Plans to move Ilford Jewish Primary School to a new building next to King Solomon High in Barkingside advanced this week.

A Redbridge Council cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday recommended that council officers be given permission to negotiate with the primary school owners, a United Synagogue trust, to buy the IJPS site.

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Reaching out to Redbridge

By Cathy Forman, March 27, 2009

Should the Redbridge community be flattered or embarressed by Chabad’s decisiion to open a kosher grocery shop in Gants Hill in the run-up to Pesach?
On the one hand, it’s great that the organisation has noticed that a community of some 20,000 souls is having to rely on a handful of kosher butchers and bakers and local mainstream supermarkets for its kosher grocery needs.

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Mersey bleats over collapse of building plan

By Cathy Forman, March 26, 2009

Members of Liverpool’s Childwall Synagogue have voiced dismay at the shelving of plans for a new complex.

Reporting to its annual meeting on Monday, chairman Norman Goldstone said the collapse of plans to relocate the Stapely care home to the rear of the shul would put plans for the complex “on hold for a few years”.

Childwall would have received £2 million from the £3.5 million sale of the Stapely site, which was scuppered by the economic downturn. The money would have funded a building incorporating offices, kitchens and a mikveh.

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King David criticised by Ombudsman

By Cathy Forman, March 19, 2009

Liverpool’s King David Primary has been criticised by a Local Government Ombudsman for inadequately responding to a critical report on an admissions appeal complaint.

The Ombudsman, Anne Seex, reported in January 2008 that one of the school’s admission criteria was not “objective and clear”. It could not fully explain how it selected the 21 applicants from the 54 who applied under the same category as the complainant. The non-Jewish parent had not been given the reasons for his daughter being refused a King David place in 2006, so was unable to prepare for a second appeal.

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£4m Liverpool home is shelved

By Cathy Forman, March 12, 2009

Efforts to relocate Liverpool’s Stapely care home to the Childwall Synagogue site have fallen victim to the credit crunch.

A £3.5 million sale had been agreed for the 66-bed residential home in Sefton Park and planning permission granted for its redevelopment into flats. But with the completion date looming, the purchaser could not come up with the money.

The intention had been to put the proceeds towards the building of a £4 million three-storey care home in the car park at the rear of the shul.

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Rare showing on museum 25th

By Cathy Forman, March 5, 2009

Manchester Jewish Museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary by staging an exhibition of artefacts not generally shown to visitors.

Explained Alexandra Grime, curator of the Cheetham Hill museum: “We have asked previous curators, volunteers and local historians to choose their favourite item from the extensive collection of objects that we hold. This gives visitors the opportunity to see items that are usually in storage.”

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Windfall for listed building

By Cathy Forman, March 5, 2009

London’s New West End Synagogue is to receive £108,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for urgent repairs to a leaking roof in its Grade I listed property.

“It is a special synagogue,” said Cindy Molenaar, business manager at the London region of English Heritage. “The interior is stunning and it is important to avoid any damage to it.”

Gutters and downpipes also need replacing at the Bayswater shul, which was built in 1879 and was accorded Grade 1 listed status in 2007. The cost of the repair work will be £250,000 and the balance will come from synagogue funds.

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Birmingham school funding assured

By Cathy Forman, February 12, 2009

Birmingham Hebrew Congregation has refuted a claim that it will be withdrawing funding from the Jewish studies department of the city’s King David Primary.

The claim was made in a letter to the Birmingham Jewish Recorder by King David governors’ chair Dr Michael Wolffe, who warned that such a move would leave insufficient funds to meet the salaries of the two Jewish studies teachers.

An editorial about the issue in the Recorder had caused further disquiet.

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Shoah story reaches 90,000

By Cathy Forman, January 29, 2009

Belsen survivor Rudi Oppenheimer told London Mayor Boris Johnson and other civic leaders at the HMD ceremony at City Hall: “Soon there will be no one left to tell the story.”

Mr Oppenheimer estimated that he had related his experiences to 90,000 young people in 950 sessions at schools. “I am the witness,” he said.

The mayor declared that as no words of his could be as powerful as those of a survior, he had chosen to read If, a “shocking and frightening poem” by playwright Edward Bond which pondered the outcome “if Auschwitz had been in Hampshire”.

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Swastika sickens kosher cafe boss

By Cathy Forman, November 20, 2008

A swastika and antisemitic slogans were scratched on the wall of a kosher cafe in Hendon Park on Monday night.

Hendon Park Cafe owner Jason Ezekiel was informed of the graffiti by a park keeper. "He had already painted over some of it as he didn't want to upset Jewish people. I am very distraught by the whole thing."

Mr Ezekiel believed the perpetrator used a key. "It must have taken at least 20 minutes to do."

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Boris visit to rabbis

By Cathy Forman, March 21, 2008

As the official race for the office of London Mayor was launched this week, the Conservative candidate, Boris Johnson, courted the Jewish vote by launching his campaign in Golders Green.

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