Jonathan Kalmus

Charities fearful over funding cuts

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

Two of Manchester's Jewish welfare charities are bracing themselves for large losses in local authority funding running up to the Government's comprehensive spending review later this month.

The Federation of Jewish Services, Manchester's largest welfare charity, says possible cuts from four Greater Manchester councils will hit its support networks which do not directly care for the frail, ill or needy.

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Griffin sparks angry demo in Liverpool

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

A surprise appearance by British National Party leader Nick Griffin in Liverpool city centre only served to highlight the message of a meeting against antisemitism at the Liberal Democrat conference on Monday.

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How clucky: chicken shortage is averted

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

A shortage of kosher chickens in Manchester has worried consumers in the run up to Succot after a leg disease was found among poultry last week.

Around 30 per cent of birds had to be rejected after the disease, which is not harmful to humans, spread through chicken stocks in abattoirs in Manchester and Southport, which serve the Greater Manchester community.

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Succot circus comes to town

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

There are more Succot activities in Manchester than ever before as a kosher circus adds to events staged exclusively for the Jewish community.

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Manchester synagogue looks for new members

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

The Nicky Alliance Day Centre in Manchester is on a recruitment drive for members.

The Crumpsall centre, which provides social and care activities for 200 older people, is holding three Succot open days for non-members to sample activities including Tai Chi, computer classes, art , keep fit and live entertainment.

Chief executive Michelle Wiseman is looking to increase membership by 10 per cent to keep the centre financially strong.

"Like any organisation, it is important that we attract new members," she said. "We have so much to offer we just want everyone to know about it.

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Attempt to boost young community in Leeds

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

The Leeds Jewish community has appointed a development executive as part of a strategic plan to boost community life and positively market the advantages of living there.

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Party on at the Hub

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

South Manchester youth club The Hub hosted its inaugural post-fast party on Saturday night, one of the first to be offered to Manchester youth for some years. The club says it was a chance for the 50 youngsters, aged between 13 and 15, to use the newly created club to bolster a social scene for the age group.

Hub youth worker Marc Fink said: "This was a great start for the new year for the Hub We saw a gap in the market to revitalise this key date in the Jewish youth calendar and we hope that even more people will attend next year."

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Hospital provision

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

Manchester's four city centre hospitals once again have a Shabbat facility for Jewish patients and families.

A Shabbat room in the Manchester Royal Infirmary was closed during a £500 million redevelopment of the hospitals which was completed in 2009. It has been replaced by a multi-faith centre located on the ground floor of the Royal Infirmary site.

But it has taken over a year to arrange a separate kosher kitchen, accessible via a key-coded gate within the multi-faith room. In the intervening period, a padlocked box housed Jewish prayer books and cold kosher drinks.

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Delamere moves to new home

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

The Delamere Forest special needs school opened its new north Manchester operation this week.

On Sunday, 11 Delamere pupils from London moved into refurbished Crumpsall residential facilities. The following day, its 17 pupils began lessons at the newly built premises in Salford.

The project involved vacating Delamere's premises in Cheshire and creating three new classrooms and kosher catering facilities on the campus of Inscape House School in Walkden.

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Rabbi quits for school

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

In a surprise move, rabbi and author Yitzchok Rubin is to leave South Manchester Synagogue a year early to head a local educational venture.

Brooklyn-born Rabbi Rubin, 65, will vacate the pulpit in the affluent Bowdon community to focus on launching a specialist strictly Orthodox private high school in north Manchester. He will then become its head.

Having served the shul for 25 years, Rabbi Rubin will now depart by November, instead of in October 2011, as originally planned. He announced the move during a Rosh Hashanah sermon.

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Faith trip banned from religious visit

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

An interfaith tour group of 60 people, including a vicar and two uniformed policemen ,were barred from a Manchester synagogue over security concerns.

Members of the group were hoping to get a rare glimpse of Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogue's listed building during a heritage open day on Sunday. The annual multifaith Cheetham Festival saw the synagogue open its doors on Sunday morning together with local churches, mosques and the Manchester Jewish Museum.

But the synagogue said security could not be arranged at short notice for the group's afternoon visit.

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Crumpsall in deal to stave off closure

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

A north Manchester synagogue says it will fight financial turmoil and possible shut-down.

Higher Crumpsall Hebrew Congregation has struck a new deal for special needs school Langdon College to hire its hall for drama classes. The warden, Tony Glyn, hopes further arrangements of this sort will generate enough revenue to save it from thousands of pounds of debt. Talks are also underway to house a new minyan for strictly Orthodox young families, to halt declining membership.

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North needed for shechitah fight

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 17, 2010

Shechita UK has said it cannot succeed without northern Jewish communities joining the fight against proposed EU labelling regulations which could spell the end to kosher meat in Britain.

Launching its northern public campaign in Manchester on Monday night, Shechita UK's campaign director, Shimon Cohen, urged the entire community to "be on the ball" in lobbying MEPs. Earlier, a meeting of 25 Orthodox Manchester rabbis agreed to mobilise their communities to the cause. Special information packs have also been sent to kosher butchers and synagogues in Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.

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Leeds IDF festival experiment

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 16, 2010

An Israeli Defence Forces chaplain has brought overseas aid to the experimental Rosh Hashanah programme run by Leeds' Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue.

The shul's Rabbi Jason Kleiman said American-born Rabbi Shalom Hammer "gave a very powerful presentation about role of observant soldier in the IDF. It was the first time shiurim ran alongside services. The feedback has been very positive." The experimental programme had found favour with many who would not otherwise engage in services.

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Girl denied faith school place treks 60 miles

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

The family of Kayleigh Chapple, the Liverpool girl who was denied a place at a Jewish school under the new admissions rules, has decided not to apply for a judicial review. But legal action may still be taken against King David High School Liverpool, which denied her a place.

Eleven-year-old Kayleigh, from Liverpool, began her year at King David in Manchester last week after the school accepted her under its admissions policy. She was the first known halachically Jewish child to fall victim to the JFS Supreme Court ruling and be denied a place in a Jewish school.

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Teen raises £30k and attracts Olympic medallist

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

14-year-old who swam to raise £30,000 for charity has attracted the attention of an Olympic swimmer.

Arron Gould, from Prestwich, was trained by British Olympic silver medallist Kerri-Anne Payne before his 15K marathon swim on Sunday. Arron, a pupil at Manchester Grammar School, raised the money for the Christie Cancer Hospital after his grandmother, Marlene Gould, died of cancer.

His school donated the use of its pool to Arron, who was on its winning team at the national under-14s water polo championships this year.

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Antisemitic hate attacks on rise

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

For the first time, the Community Security Trust has acknowledged that there has been a real increase in antisemitic incidents in Prestwich, as opposed to a rise simply caused by more effective crime reporting.

According to the CST, there were 89 hate incidents in the first six months of 2010 in the King's Road area .

Addressing the Manchester Jewish Representative Council on Sunday, a CST spokesman said that the community was failing to report verbal abuse. He told delegates: "If we don't make an issue of it, it can turn into a far more violent attack in the future."

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Shofars and power tools

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

Over 180 people got ready for Rosh Hashanah by making their own shofar through a Whitefield Chabad workshop on Sunday.

Parents were encouraged to bring their own power tools but children also got the chance to construct a shofar from a raw horn.

They were told why it is sounded and about Rosh Hashanah and its customs.

Whitefield Chabad director Rabbi Shmuli Jaffe said the idea was to have "adults working alongside their kids and helping each other. It was very interactive."

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Manchester Zionists on the move

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

Salford's Bnei Akiva bayit will be the last remaining Zionist building in Greater Manchester after the closure of Mamlock House, the former home to Manchester's Israel charities.

Manchester's Zionist Central Council is due to open its new offices at the bayit on October 4 as a temporary measure.

An extension to the bayit will be funded from the Mamlock House sale proceeds.

"It's a bit of a disaster," bayit director Shimon Gillis admitted. "We've got one large building, but loads of organisations are approaching us to use the bayit. It's going to be impossible to juggle."

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Customer care boost in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

The Federation of Jewish Services in Manchester is mirroring an NHS strategy with a new post to boost customer service.

Shira Baram has started work as customer care co-ordinator, a role based on the Patient Advice Liaison Service offered in hospitals, which is designed to improve the NHS by better recording feedback and complaints.

She will be the person to turn to for Heathlands residents, care clients and their families when they feel services do not meet expectations, or could be improved.

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