Jonathan Kalmus

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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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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