Jonathan Kalmus

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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BNP faces backlash over Oldham threat

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 9, 2010

Jewish and Muslim communities in the north-west are readying themselves for a new campaign against the BNP if its leader Nick Griffin stands in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election.

The BNP leader hinted last Friday through the Twitter website that he might contest the seat. This came in the wake of the High Court upholding the decision to strip former Immigration Minister Phil Woolas of his seat, for lying about a rival in last May's general election campaign.

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Museum stalls Quaker history

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

A man whose family was saved from the Holocaust by the Quaker movement has accused Yad Vashem of failing to record the historical rescue.

Peter Kurer, 79, from Manchester, was brought to England in 1938 from Vienna by Quakers in a mass rescue operation of Jews from Germany and Austria. Their father, Jacob, a dentist, came to Britain in 1936 seeking contacts to help his family and met Horatio and Mary Goodwin, a Quaker couple in Whalley Range, south Manchester.

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Leeds puts its history on show

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

An exhibition celebrating the history of Leeds Jewry is being heralded as a major success after attracting well over 1,000 extra visitors to the Leeds City Museum on Sunday.

Around 1,800 people, including 300 children, attended the Jewish Heritage Day display. It was arranged as part of a two-year community project to document the Jewish contribution to the city since the founding of its first purpose-built synagogue 150 years ago.

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Pupils give top marks to King David campus

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

Pupils at Manchester King David Schools switched to their new £22 million state-of-the-art building this week - and liked what they saw.

As the three-storey campus opened its automatic doors on Tuesday, 650 students - just over half the schools' total - got their first glimpse of the 100,000 square foot property as part of a staged transfer from KD's dated former buildings. High school pupils were given a guided tour with accompanying maps to help navigate the maze of 70 rooms.

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Manchester fears volunteer crisis

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

Manchester's Federation of Jewish Services is facing a volunteer shortage as local authority budget cuts begin to bite.

The welfare charity operates a network of 250 volunteers in North Manchester, providing extra support for mainly elderly Jews in 200 households every week. But demand is increasing with more people living longer at home and local authorities rolling out tougher criteria on elegibility for residential care funding.

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Leeds school plan advanced

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2010

Plans for the first Jewish secondary school in Leeds are to be submitted to the Department for Education within weeks after sufficient demand was established at two parent meetings.

Planners hope to take advantage of the government's free schools initiative, allowing for state-funded schools to be set up in response to parental demand. The intention is to open in 2012 on the existing Brodetsky Jewish Primary site in Alwoodley.

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Northern participants rely on animal instincts

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 25, 2010

The gardening skills of Manchester Habonim Dror members helped preserve allotments that needy residents rely upon for fresh produce.

As their Mitzvah Day contribution, the 16-to-19-year-olds tended to plots belonging to the husband of a terminally ill cancer patient and a woman who had suffered a heart attack.

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Football stars kick-start Maccabi fundraiser

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 25, 2010

Manchester football legends helped Maccabi raise more than £5,000 from a dinner.

England and United defender turned football pundit Gary Pallister was joined by ex-City player Tommy Booth at the dinner at Prestwich's Hilton Suite, attended by 120 guests.They were interviewed on stage by Manchester broadcaster James H Reeve.

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Terror as Israel jet blown off course

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Airline passengers flying from Israel to Britain fainted when the pilot twice failed to land in gale-force winds.

The pilot of the Jet2 flight to Manchester struggled against winds of up to 80mph to wrestle the plane to within seconds of landing.

But he was forced to divert to East Midlands Airport, near Leicester, 80 miles away.

Many shaken and nauseous passengers chose to take taxis, costing up to £200, rather than the coaches provided by the airline to get home.

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Fury over Palestinian activists Israel Nazi jibe

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Two Jews who are senior members of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in Manchester have been criticised for making "monstrous" parallels between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazi atrocities.

Last week, Manchester PSC chair Linda Clair, who is Jewish, wrote to the left-leaning Morning Star newspaper claiming Israel would eventually conduct a holocaust. She wrote: "The Israelis have massacred many thousands of Palestinians since 1947 and continue to do so.

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Now Blackpool koshers its rock

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

The world's first fully kosher Blackpool Rock factory has begun runs of confectionery and is to supply supermarkets within a week.

Coronation Rock, one of the oldest rock producers, which supplies confectionery to Harrods, the London Eye and Alton Towers, was granted a full factory kashrut licence by the Manchester Beth Din two weeks ago. The company can make up to 20,000 sticks of rock a day in over 2,000 flavours and has already begun supplying Jewish novelty lollies to kosher shops.

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Charedim report antisemitic abuse

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Anti-social behaviour targeted against Manchester's strictly Orthodox community is to be investigated by local councillors and police.

Prestwich councillor Vic D'Albert told a local area partnership meeting that town planners had been "taken aback" by the large number of Charedim who reported anti-social behaviour at a consultation event designed to gauge public feeling about a proposed sports pitch. A key concern was instances of antisemitic abuse from drunken youths.

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King David says goodbye to building

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

A nostalgic farewell to Manchester Kind David's decommissioned building was held on Sunday.

The building is to be demolished after King David students and staff move next week to the school's £25 million campus, built as part of the government's Schools for the Future fund.

Almost 200 former pupils and past and current staff enjoyed a traditional school dinner of fish and chips with mushy peas and gravy. The fundraising event also included an eBay-style auction of old school furniture.

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Brodetsky school closes again

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

The Brodetsky Jewish Primary in Leeds was closed on Wednesday after a ruptured pipe shut down its heating system.

Last week the school was closed for two days when heavy rain flooded the electrical room.

The school said engineers were working to get the heating up and running.

Its separate state-funded and private nurseries were unaffected.

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Desmond's claims criticised

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

The Manchester Representative Council's president Lucille Cohen has criticised claims made by media mogul Richard Desmond that antisemitism was the result of ostentatious simchah celebrations.

Mr Desmond made the comments last week at the Manchester CST dinner. Mrs Cohen said she disagreed with him, saying "antisemitism is a phenomenon that has existed from time immemorial and raises its head in each and every generation, often exhibiting a changed complexion. It does not need catalysts, just pretexts."

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A guiding light

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Leeds' Etz Chaim Synagogue has developed a new downloadable guide to help non-Jews who attend services as guests to understand its rituals and customs.

The Etz Chaim Guide for Visitors, a downloadable 11-page synopsis, includes the do's and don'ts about what to wear, the best time to arrive and how to muddle your way through a siddur and chumash.

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Liberal rabbi extends northern role

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Manchester's first Liberal rabbi has officially begun ministering to the only Liberal synagogue in the north of England.

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