Jonathan Kalmus

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.

More..

Evil Eye? I'll get rid of it for 50 quid

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2011

Manchester rabbis have backed two services that claim to offer Jewish spiritual healing.

In recent weeks two Jewish papers have carried an advert by Israeli Rabbi Avraham Lebel in which he says he can remove the ayin hara (evil eye). He charges £50 for the service.

In another, the Chabad House in Whitefield advertises free "spiritual healing" by two men, Eric Sayers and Carl Montlake, described as "Jewish healers for the Jewish community".

More..

JLC lobbies on the Big Society

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 27, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has continued lobbying government ministers over concerns that the Big Society will put financial and bureaucratic pressures on Jewish charities and communal organisations.

JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark and 10 Manchester Jewish leaders met Communities Minister Andrew Stunell on Monday while he visited North Cheshire Jewish Primary School.

More..

Police not ready for Mumbai-type terror

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 27, 2011

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police told Jewish lawyers on Wednesday that British police were not prepared to deal with a Mumbai-style attack in the UK.

In the attack in 2008, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were murdered with four other hostages and a total of 164 people when terrorists attacked three targets in India’s largest city.

But Peter Fahy told 35 legal professionals at an event held by Manchester’s Organisation of Jewish Lawyers that in the past few months there was “a heightened threat level of this type of attack in the UK”.

More..

Huddersfield hosts Holocaust buttons

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2011

Kirklees is planning a Holocaust artwork of six million buttons as a permanent outdoor memorial in the West Yorkshire borough.

Entitled "6 Million+" and created by Leeds Jewish artist Antonia Stowe, it was first commissioned in 2006 as a temporary artwork by Kirklees Council. It began as an educational project when school and college students were asked to collect the buttons. After a JC report, more than six million buttons came in from all parts of the UK.

More..

Home helps those denied funding

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 20, 2011

South Manchester's Morris Feinmann home is weathering a tough financial climate by using its financial stability to accommodate increasing numbers of Jews unable to attract local authority care funding.

More..

Schools spend Michael Gove's security cash

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 20, 2011

A number of Manchester Jewish schools are bolstering their security arrangements ahead of receiving their share of a £2 million government allocation.

Broughton Jewish Primary in Salford has hired new security staff and an existing guard has completed advanced training. Improvements to its CCTV will also be made.

Daniel Warwick, who runs DW-OZ - one of two companies contracted to provide security to Manchester schools under the new funding - said others were already making enhancements.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..