Jonathan Kalmus

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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'In the Red' stays open

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Record visitors to an exhibition into the lives of Manchester's early Jewish refugees has forced the Manchester Jewish Museum to keep the exhibition open.

The "In The Red" exhibition has been retained until 28 November after nearly 6,000 visitors have flocked to the museum since the display opened in May. It peers into the struggles of Jewish asylum seekers and economic migrants who made their homes in the slum area known as Red Bank and was partnered with an exhibition at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

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BNP's Euro-funds closely scrutinised

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

Concern has been expressed that the BNP could syphon off thousands of pounds of European Union money to pay off its reported mounting debts.

Party leader Nick Griffin and his colleague Andrew Brons are entitled to a combined financial package worth around £600,000 a year because they are MEPs. It includes their annual MEP salaries and a general expenditure allowance to cover office costs, worth £86,000 for both MEPs.

But concern has been raised over the use of an allowance for an MEP's support staff being used to pay for BNP activities in the UK.

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Brothel keeper may have to return £6m

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2010

A man who was jailed for running a Manchester brothel chain is to re-appear in court to discover whether he has to pay back assets made from the £6m business.

Ian Barnett, now living in St Annes Road, Prestwich, after serving half his three-year sentence, repeatedly claimed at his trial in 2008 that the police had given him permission to run prostitution in Manchester.

But he was convicted of a series of offences relating to brothel-keeping and prostitution.

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Christian Zionists expelled for Israel support

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A Zionist Christian group says it will take legal action to fight eviction from its premises because it supports Israel.

Father's House, a small church group of 40 people based in the Welsh village of Gwernymynydd, near Mold, says this is the first case of a Christian church being evicted from a public village building because of its beliefs.

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Even with shrapnel, Israeli kids are freer

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Israeli schoolchildren, even those on the war-blighted Lebanese border, have greater freedom to learn through exploration and play than their "over risk-assessed" British counterparts, according to a Jewish primary school headteacher.

Leeds Brodetsky Primary School head Jeremy Dunford, returning from his first visit to Israel, said he had found that Israeli pupils were able to use school equipment with far less adult supervision, and greater success, while British children were less likely to learn how to cope with risk as a result of strict UK health and safety laws.

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A bite at interfaith follows kosher food

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

A kiddush for 100 Christians at a Leeds synagogue has spawned a new interfaith initiative to create a Jewish heritage day out for schoolchildren and faith groups.

Three weeks ago Alwoodley's Etz Chaim Synagogue hosted 100 members of the neighbouring St John the Evangelist Church which was looking for a large reception venue after a major ceremony. The food had to be kosher so the synagogue laid on a kosher Christian kiddush.

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Lord Sacks: 'Take note London'

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

The Chief Rabbi has said an ambitious project to celebrate 150 years of Leeds Jewry should be replicated in other UK communities.

Lord Sacks was guest speaker at a dinner at Etz Chaim Synagogue for 200 people to launch LJ150, which will see public exhibitions of the city's Jewish heritage over the next two years.

Commenting afterwards, he praised "the way that generations are in dialogue through this project and the way community elders keep the needs of the young at the forefront of their minds".

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