Jonathan Kalmus

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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Northern charities strive to maintain services

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 4, 2010

Welfare charities in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow are making contingency plans to cope with public funding cuts due to be announced by local authorities within weeks.

Manchester's largest welfare charity, the Federation of Jewish Services, said around 20 per cent of its annual budget is at risk of cuts by four Greater Manchester councils. But the fallout could range from just £20,000 to £100,000 a year with the final figure only becoming clear in December, when many of its care contracts are to be reviewed by local authorities.

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World Cup success could bring windfall to Maccabi

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

The chief operating officer for England's 2018 World Cup bid believes Maccabi UK would be a likely beneficiary of the resulting £750 million funding pot for local football facilities.

Former FA corporate affairs director Simon Johnson made the comment on returning to his native north Manchester Jewish community to address a Maccabi business breakfast.

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Maccabi gets green light for expansion

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

Manchester Maccabi is poised to become North Manchester's Jewish community centre after receiving planning permission to add a youth facility.

An £80,000 extension to the club's terrace will provide a large open-plan indoor space which will be a dedicated youth zone. A £30,000-a-year youth worker position will be created as part of the initiative.

Club chairman Bradley Feld said that with the closure of Mamlock House, which had hosted local Jewish charities and events, the opportunity existed "to move ourselves over the next four years towards turning into a true community centre".

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Manchester school 'loses out on premium'

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

Manchester King David chiefs fear the schools will lose out because of the government's much-trumpeted pupil premium commitment.

The scheme will target extra funding to schools based on the number of pupils eligible for free meals - a measure of poverty. The anticipated consequence is that schools with few pupils from poor families will receive less money.

King David High governors' chair Joshua Rowe says that as KD parents tend to be more affluent, the schools could be £1.8 million a year worse off in comparison to other Manchester schools.

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Shechita UK meat labelling 'breakthrough'

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 28, 2010

Shechita UK has welcomed a major breakthrough in its campaign to fight European food labelling proposals which it says could stop kosher meat production in the UK through discriminatory laws.

During a lobbying effort in Brussels this week, the group received assurances that the European Commission intends to reject amendment 205 to proposed food legislation as "unacceptable".

The amendment would force food companies which use kosher meat by-products to be singled out for special labels which imply their products are less kind to animals.

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Whitefield eruv gets go-ahead

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2010

Bury Council has approved an application for an eruv in Whitefield, north Manchester.

The plans for the eruv - a religious boundary allowing Jews to carry or push certain items on Shabbat - cover 700 families over a five-mile area.

Garden fences, rows of houses and the perimeters of the M60 motorway make up most of the boundary. However, Whitefield Hebrew Congregation required planning permission for three one-metre high posts to narrow gaps between some fences to meet Jewish law requirements.

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How hospital's kosher diet saved 'starving' Catholic

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2010

A catholic patient at a Leeds hospital who lost weight eating the "cold and unappetising" food they gave her, found a cure she didn't expect - when she went kosher.

Glynis Hallas, of Whitkirk in West Leeds, complained about the food and was advised by a dietician at St James's University Hospital to try something new after convincing her it was of a better standard.

Mrs Hallas, who has just completed a long-term stay in the hospital's Lincoln Wing, was one of a number of patients who complained that they were unable to subsist on standard hospital fare.

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North urged to push on shechitah

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

Northern Jewish communities have criticised Shechita UK for disorganisation and failure in its public campaign to lobby MEPs over the threat to kosher meat posed by proposed European legislation.

Members of the community across the UK have been asked to write to their MEPs, using resources on Shechita UK's website. The lobby group says a discriminatory food labelling legal amendment, due to be voted on by the Council of the European Union on December 7, proposes that all meat from animals slaughtered via shechita should be labelled as coming from animals which have not been pre-stunned.

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Social networkers work the room

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

A new business networking initiative launched on Tuesday by Manchester's Jewish Representative Council saw 70 businessmen and Jewish entrepreneurs gather.

The network offers monthly meetings, a business angel consultancy service and Dragon's Den-style pitch opportunities for start-ups.

Tuesday's meeting at Manchester Maccabi saw networking expert Will Kintish advise on using the latest techniques to bolster business contacts. It was also attended by the mayors of Bury and Salford.

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Shrubberies appoints

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has appointed Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg as its new minister following ratification at an EGM on Tuesday.

The position was offered to the American-born rabbi in June after a novel pulpit audition selection process saw four candidates compete for the post. But the congregation were still required to agree to the appointment according to the shul's constitution.

It will be the first ministerial position for the 29-year-old son of Austria's chief rabbi who studied in yeshivot in America and Israel before coming to Whitefield kollel in Manchester three years ago.

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Manchester University 'good for students'

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

Manchester University is still a good place for Jewish students was the message echoed by members of a panel at a Manchester Jewish Representative Council Meeting on Sunday.

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Social networkers work the room

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

A new business networking initiative launched on Tuesday by Manchester's Jewish Representative Council saw 70 businessmen and Jewish entrepreneurs gather.

The network offers monthly meetings, a business angel consultancy service and Dragon's Den-style pitch opportunities for start-ups.

Tuesday's meeting at Manchester Maccabi saw networking expert Will Kintish advise on using the latest techniques to bolster business contacts. It was also attended by the mayors of Bury and Salford.

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Crimefighter whose only weapon is a keyboard

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

In the scorching Jerusalem summer heat, armed Israeli police raid an apartment searching for a child missing since 2008. Ten-year-old Michael Bitton is thought to have been abducted in one of Israel's highest-profile international custody battles. Among those helping the police in their hunt is former joint-head of the Manchester Community Security Trust, Joel Tobias.

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Police raid drug dens next to school

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

The largest co-ordinated drug raids ever conducted by Greater Manchester Police have targeted dealers across the Jewish neighbourhoods of Crumpsall, Prestwich, Whitefield and Broughton Park.

The operation, carried out last Tuesday and involving nearly 500 officers in 29 synchronised dawn raids, was designed to crush street dealing in the Cheetham Hill area.

No Jewish people are known to be among the 25 arrested, although part of the operation was designed to protect Manchester King David pupils - among other schoolchildren - from a drug market run a short distance from the school.

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Food poisoning wedding probe leads to... sprouts

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

A freak nationwide outbreak of salmonella in bean sprouts is being investigated as the possible cause of the death of an 82-year-old Jewish woman who died after a wedding in Manchester.

Rene Kwartz, from Crumpsall, was one of 10 guests at the wedding, held in Prestwich in August, who contracted a rare form of salmonella called S Bareilly. She was the bride's great-aunt and, according to the coroner, died from pneumonia, contributed to by salmonella enteritis.

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Raincoats make a splash

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

A new exhibition about historic Jewish contributions to Manchester's raincoat and waterproofs industry has opened at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

The "Waterproof People" exhibition is being run in conjunction with Manchester's Jewish Museum which provided rare artefacts from Jewish-run waterproofing businesses. Many Jewish entrepreneurs became involved in the waterproofing industry and by 1903 there were at least 100 waterproof workshops around the Jewish immigrant districts of Cheetham Hill and Strangeways.

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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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