Jonathan Kalmus

Ziff seeks more good sports for Maccabi GB

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2011

About to step down as chairman of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Leeds businessman Michael Ziff is turning his attention to encouraging more Jewish youngsters into sporting activity.

Mr Ziff, 57 - who heads high street shoe chains Barratts and Priceless - has been elected as Maccabi GB's new chairman and will take office in June.

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Special needs school fights for council funds

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2011

In its new more central northern location, Britain's only Jewish residential special needs school is attracting increased interest from parents. But they face a struggle obtaining local council funding for residential places.

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Jewish schools struggle to attract full intake

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2011

Manchester's Jewish primary schools are under-subscribed, with only one out of five state-aided schools able to fill its intake.

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No royal wedding holiday for King David pupils

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 13, 2011

Pupils at Manchester King David High School will have to attend classes on the royal wedding bank holiday.

Instead of having the day off, pupils will be celebrating April 29 in school uniform behind their desks while most other schoolchildren in the country are enjoying an extra day off.

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Quaker rescues recorded

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem and a British university are to give the first recognition to British Quakers who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. The initative comes after an eight-year campaign by a 79-year-old Jewish refugee.

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Beth Din will carry on despite debt

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

Manchester Beth Din has set up new limited companies to continue its communal services after financial problems forced its charity into liquidation.

Last week creditors received letters from accountants on behalf of the Beth Din's charitable organisation, Manchester Kashrut, announcing its president had put it into voluntary liquidation. The 118-year-old charity is responsible for supervising several key kosher meat and other major companies in the North West, as well as Jewish marriages, divorces and conversions.

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Kidney donor gives daughter new lease of life

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

A Chasidic mother-of-five has her mother to thank for a kidney transplant which has transformed her life.

Yehudis Baron, 42, from Broughton Park suffers from autoimmune condition Lupus. She spent much of her teenage life in hospital and her first kidney transplant was in 1993, when she was 25. But a year ago, the new kidney began to fail and the search began for another matching donor.

Mrs Baron's American-born mother, Henye Meyer, 66, offered to donate her kidney after discovering she was the perfect match - and also to prevent any of her other eight children from having to volunteer.

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Police crack down on lead theft

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The unsolved theft of thousands of pounds worth of roofing from a Liverpool synagogue has prompted a police crackdown. Large amounts of lead were ripped from the Grade-I listed Princes Road Synagogue in August. The theft was just months after extensive repairs to the synagogue roof following a £71,000 English Heritage grant.

Police Inspector Deborah Mackay said investigations were continuing after failing to charge a 39-year-old man arrested last month for the theft.

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Roots of a problem

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The lack of an internet database of Manchester Jewish burial records is hampering the research of "lost Jews" wishing to discover their roots.

Manchester's Council of Synagogues has been working for five years to produce an electronic database with 30,000 burial records. The city's Jewish Genealogy Society chairman, Lorna Kay, has been urging the council to make the information public, believing it would enable hundreds of people to reconnect with the community.

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Thieves, leftists, and ramblers in study

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

Oddball Jews from Manchester are to be part of a £50,000 history study designed to shed light on the way the Jewish community defines itself.

The three-year project, conducted jointly with Manchester University's Centre for Jewish Studies and the Manchester Jewish Museum, has begun investigating Jewish criminals and political dissidents among mainstream historic figures.

The project won a funding grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is designed to discover how mainstream Jewish society defined itself by rejecting non-conformists.

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Golfers to get their fair share

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The UK's oldest Jewish golf club is pulling back shares from members in order to protect Jewish membership.

Last week Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds, a private club opened in 1923, announced in an advertisement that shares from 420 shareholders would be transferred to a special trust, because they were unable to contact them.

But among the shareholders named were a number of prominent Jewish figures, some of whom were widely known to have died.

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Hospital looks at complaints

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2010

North Manchester General Hospital is investigating complaints about how it treats Jewish patients.

A report next week by the Crumpsall hospital, which serves the largest Jewish community outside London, is to outline strategies to tackle a host of issues. They include kosher meals given cold or partly frozen to patients, staff failing to offer Jewish chaplain and visitor services and delays in transporting patients who had died.

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Chaplain flies in

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2010

Manchester Airport has introduced its first Jewish chaplain. In a statement the airport said the move comes following the death of an 85-year-old man from Crumpsall on a flight from Tel Aviv in June. Rabbi Jonathan Roitenbarg, 33, from Prestwich, will now offer on-call assistance to Jewish passengers and will visit twice a week to coincide with two Tel Aviv flights.

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Manchester shul seeks home for historic items

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2010

South Manchester's sephardi community is giving away the antique contents of a synagogue which is to be demolished.

Didsbury's Shaare Zedek Synagogue, which was sold to pay for a newly built synagogue closer to congregants who now live in Hale, is to be demolished in January. Antique furnishing from the 1920s building are being offered, including a large aron kodesh (ark), period light fittings and oak furniture. Wooden pews to seat 200 people have already been donated to Hillock Hebrew Congregation in Bury, whose own pews were in urgent need of replacement.

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You Can Do It kosher

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2010

DIY giant B&Q has opened its first kosher kitchen showroom in a bid to entice Jewish customers.

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It's snow joke – road grit needed

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2010

An appeal for 20 tonnes of road grit for the Jewish community has been launched by a Manchester volunteer group.

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FOI papers 'lost', say

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2010

Civil servants lost a Freedom of Information appeal which could shed light on a missing Israeli soldier.

The Foreign Office said it did not know what had happened to papers requesting a 1982 ambassador's report, which may have contained references to Zachary Baumel. It only said they had been passed to the Information Commissioner's Office. But an official there said: "The FO are dealing with it. It's not an ongoing case with us."

Now lawyers acting for the soldier's family have been asked by the FO to make a fresh appeal. But they fear the mix-up could be a delaying tactic.

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Foreign Office says no to MIA report

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

The British government is refusing to release documents which could shed light on the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982 because it says sensitive information could harm diplomatic relations with Syria.

On June 11 1982, three Israeli soldiers went missing after a battle with Syrian and Palestinian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub in the last moments of the Lebanon war. Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, all in their 20s at the time, are still officially MIA - missing in action.

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Hip flats to woo youth

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

A novel plan to offer fashionable and affordable housing targeted at young professionals in Leeds is to be launched in a bid to attract young people to the community.

The idea has come from Leeds' newly hired Jewish community development executive, Susie Gordon, who is developing a three-year strategic plan to reverse the numbers of young people leaving the community and strengthen its demographic base. She believes traditional community plans which rely on running events for young people is not enough.

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Fears over losing a local public voice

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

North Manchester's Jewish community could lose its only public forum for voicing concern over local issues after Bury council is looking to scrap local meetings to save money.

Local Area Partnership (Lap) meetings cost the council an estimated £200,000 to arrange a forum where police commanders, all local councillors and other authority representatives hold open meetings for local people to attend six times a year. They have also issued over £1 million in local grants including money to repair the Jewish Rainsough Cemetery.

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