Jonathan Kalmus

Leeds takes pride in sheltered scheme

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2011

Remote controlled front doors, an £8,000 hydrotherapy spa and a planned "playground" for the over-60s are among features to excite the first occupants of a £6.6 million Jewish sheltered housing project in Leeds.

This week, residents began moving into the ambitious redevelopment of Leeds Jewish Housing Association's Queenshill Estate in Moortown.

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Housing association rethinks provision

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2011

Manchester Jewish Housing Association has commissioned strategic studies ahead of a sea change in sheltered housing amid swingeing cuts in capital funding and an accommodation shortage.

MJHA provides 144 self-contained flats across four sheltered schemes in north Manchester and St Anne's near Blackpool.

Chief executive John Gryckiewicz has requested a survey by Salford University, part-funded by Manchester City Council, to assess the growing needs of the Jewish community.

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Playing safe at new centre

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2011

Vulnerable children and those with special needs now have a safe play haven at a new Manchester Jewish children's centre.

The Federation of Jewish Services has converted an old storeroom at its new Heathlands base into a large open-plan play centre with landscaped gardens, assisted by a £70,000 Jewish Child's Day grant. The funding will help keep the facility running for three years and it is expected to cater for 100 children a week. And part of the £10,000 capital costs were covered by a bequest by London couple Betty and Daniel Allen, who did not have children together.

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Lawyer's court date over fund theft

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2011

A top lawyer is to face two charges of theft totalling £95,000.

David Friesner, one of Manchester's most highly regarded barristers, will appear before Leeds Magistrates' Court over £81,500 of missing funds at his former St John Street Chambers in Manchester.

He also faces a separate charge of stealing £13,500 which was paid to him by the Crown Prosecution Service.

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The day of the wunderrebbe

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 17, 2011

At a private house in Whitefield, north Manchester, on Sunday, people were spilling out of the front door, crowding onto the path, and queuing, in their hundreds, for more than four hours.

The attraction? A sweet-faced, bearded rabbi, Moshe Taub, who has electrified communities up and down the country.

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Prestwich sports pitch opposed

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 11, 2011

Bury Council is pressing ahead with plans for a controversial sports pitch in Prestwich which Jewish residents claim will increase antisocial behaviour.

The council will decide on Tuesday on its own application for a multi-sports pitch on King's Road, opposite Jewish homes and synagogues. The application was submitted despite an earlier public consultation in which councillors expressed shock at the level of Jewish concern.

One-hundred Jewish residents have signed petitions and there have been 25 individual objections.

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Police tackle hate crime reporting

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 11, 2011

Greater Manchester Police are launching two initiatives to tackle under-reporting of antisemitic incidents.

In the next few weeks, the force will pilot a hate crime victim support system in Prestwich and Whitefield in partnership with the Community Security Trust. Prestwich's strictly Orthodox community will also have a forum at public meetings in a separate move to engender more engagement with police.

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Residents rubbish Bury refuse plan

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 11, 2011

Plans to reduce refuse collections in Bury have upset Orthodox community members from large families.

The proposal - being put to the vote on February 23 - would see general waste collections cut from weekly to fortnightly. For cardboard, the service would go from fortnightly to monthly. But residents would get a green bin, rather than a bag, for paper and families with six or more children would receive a second general waste bin.

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Manchester families cook up funds for the Fed

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 11, 2011

Eighty-five Manchester families have cooked up a tidy sum for Federation of Jewish Services' welfare projects from the charity's third annual Fed Friday appeal.

The idea is that families raise money by hosting a Friday night dinner and asking guests to make a donation to the Fed rather than buying the hosts a gift. Hosts also had the chance of winning a four-course catered Friday night dinner for 12 in a raffle.

Federation of Jewish Services marketing officer Joyce Khan said £5,000 had been raised with the prospect of more to come.

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New chapter for up and coming leaders

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 11, 2011

Ten up and coming Manchester Jewish community leaders were given a reading list by the Chief Rabbi during a weekend in London when they met top communal personalities.

Manchester UJIA United Jewish Leadership Group members spent Shabbat with Rafi Zarum, head of the London School of Jewish Studies, hearing how he had helped to turn around the former Jews' College.

The group then split between Masorti's New North London Synagogue, Finchley Synagogue and the North Western Reform Synagogue in Golders Green.

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Leaders on same page as Chief Rabbi

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 10, 2011

Ten up and coming Manchester Jewish community leaders were given a reading list by the Chief Rabbi during a weekend in London when they met top communal personalities.

Manchester UJIA United Jewish Leadership Group members spent Shabbat with Rafi Zarum, head of the London School of Jewish Studies, hearing how he had helped to turn around the former Jews' College.

The group then split between Masorti's New North London Synagogue, Finchley Synagogue and the North Western Reform Synagogue in Golders Green.

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Liberals take stand

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

A group of women from the Liberal Jewish Community in Manchester are fighting for Jerusalem's Women of the Wall and are taking a stand for their own community's right to exist.

Manchester's newly inaugurated Liberal Jewish Community, the first such in the North West, is holding a Friday night service tonight which will protest against an Israeli ban on women being able to sing and read the Torah at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

The service will take place at Cross Street Chapel in central Manchester.

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Guttentag and Wolfe will galvanise the grassroots

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

A major conference to galvanise Jewish activists to fight public demonisation of Israel is being planned for Manchester, probably in May.

Joint president of the Zionist Federation, Joy Wolfe, said there was "a growing awareness" across the UK's Jewish leadership of an urgent need for a major tactic change to match the web of far-left activists and groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

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Positive show for Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

Israel's humanitarian achievements will go on display in Manchester's city centre to highlight the positive role it plays in the world.

Opening at Manchester Town Hall on March 14, the 40-panel exhibition will showcase Israel's emergency aid work - for example, after last year's Haiti earthquake and the Asian tsunami in 2004.

The display of Israeli contributions has been developed by its foreign ministry in a bid to combat anti-Israel activists who attack its humanitarian record.

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City stars find home in north

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

South Manchester Jewish football teams could rub shoulders with Manchester City stars of the future in a £1.5 million sports venue which opened in Cheadle this week.

The Henry Guterman Community Sports Centre provides a first central location for sports training and events for Jews in the area. It features five all-weather floodlit football pitches, two grass pitches and a netball and tennis court. A pavilion incorporates four changing rooms, a lounge area and a physiotherapy room.

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Sports centre attracts City interest

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

South Manchester Jewish football teams could rub shoulders with Manchester City stars of the future at a £1.5 million sports venue which opened in Cheadle this week.

The Henry Guterman Community Sports Centre provides a first central location for sports training and events for Jews in the area. It features five all-weather floodlit football pitches, two grass pitches and a netball and tennis court. A pavilion incorporates four changing rooms, a lounge area and a physiotherapy room.

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Volunteers answer the call from UJIA

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2011

Volunteers from across the Manchester community helped UJIA raise £64,000 for young people in the UK and northern Israel.

More than 60 volunteers donated their time for the charity's Super Sunday telethon, with UJIA staff joined by families, Habonim, FZY and Bnei Akiva members and Yavneh Girls' School pupils.

Calls were made from offices in north and south Manchester, whose use was donated by community members.

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Brothel millionaire has to repay £4,000

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 3, 2011

A Jewish man who lived a luxury lifestyle by earning £5 million through a chain of brothels has been ordered to pay back just £4,000, while police will return guns and a ninja knife to him. But his wife must return £250,000, a Manchester court has heard.

Ian Barnett and his wife Michelle, from Prestwich, appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday. The couple were involved in a prostitution enterprise comprising four brothels across Greater Manchester.

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School earns ministerial seal

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

The headteacher of the high achieving North Cheshire Jewish Primary has said that its multi-faith projects demolish the argument that faith schools provide only a narrow grounding and lead to societal division.

North Cheshire normally attracts attention for academic excellence. In league tables published last month, it was the best Greater Manchester school and rated tenth best in England. In SATs, pupils scored an average of 32 out of a possible 33 points in English and maths, results normally associated with children three years older.

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Coming home to Bowdon

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

Rabbi Dovid Lewis will be returning home to fill South Manchester Synagogue's ministerial vacancy.

Manchester-born Rabbi Lewis, 32, currently at Newcastle's United Hebrew Congregation, is expected to transfer to the Bowdon community in June. He succeeds Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin, who vacated the post after 25 years to launch a strictly Orthodox private high school in north Manchester.

Rabbi Lewis holds a BA in Jewish studies from SOAS and an MA in theological research from Durham University. He obtained semichah in Israel in 1999.

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