Jonathan Kalmus

Leeds ready to party for 150th

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 20, 2010

Leeds Jewry is launching a £50,000 project to celebrate 150 years of Jewish heritage and contributions to the city.

To mark LJ150, high profile exhibitions are planned over the next two years to showcase works by home-grown artists. Vintage wedding dresses and past fashions from retail giants Marks & Spencer and Burton, both started by Jews in Leeds, will also be on display.

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Oldham police take on Nazi impersonators

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 19, 2010

Police in Oldham asked swastika-wearing Nazi impersonators at a village pub to remove the symbols for fear they would spark disorder at an event attended by 10,000 people.

Officers attended the Granby Arms pub in Saddleworth on Saturday, and found a number of men dressed as Nazis.

They were participating in "Yanks Are Back", an American-themed wartime heritage event for military vehicle enthusiasts, being run in the area last weekend. No arrests were made and the event passed off without incident.

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Thieves hit Liverpool synaogue roof

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 19, 2010

Merseyside police are investigating repeated thefts of large amounts of lead from the roof of Liverpool's Princes Road Synagogue.

Thousands of pounds' worth of damage is thought to have been caused to the Grade I-listed building.

The latest theft comes after £170,000 worth of repairs to Princes Road, funded by English Heritage and communal donations. The robbery has also caused rainwater to leak into the shul's annexe, causing further damage.

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Temporary home for key Jewish archive

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 19, 2010

Manchester City Council has solved a potentially serious problem for scores of Jewish studies students and researchers faced with the closure of Manchester's Central Library for three years of refurbishment.

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Poor show for Palestine exhibition protest

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

Two people have made a solitary stand against the controversial Loss of Innocence Palestinian exhibition at Manchester Cathedral as it continued into its final week.

Last week the cathedral removed anti-Israel literature handed out by the exhibition's organisers after leading Manchester Jewish figures criticised the cathedral for participating in
a political campaign.

On Tuesday, Stand With Us campaigner Joy Wolfe (above) marked the birthday of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by offering passers-by cake outside the iconic cathedral to raise awareness of his plight.

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Luxury car crashes into pub

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

A Jewish woman who lost control of her car and smashed into pub is recovering at home after escaping with minor injuries.

The 69-year-old, who lives in Salford and wishes to remain anonymous, veered off a busy dual carriageway at speed after colliding with a Smart car on Bury New Road in Whitefield last Friday morning.

The bonnet of the luxury SUV slammed through a brick wall and the window of the Beehive Inn pub, causing fears that part of the building would collapse.

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Hair apparent - not for long

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

VA senior leader at Whitefield Jewish Youth Centre is to lop off the shoulder-length hair he has long been cultivating to raise money for cancer victims.

Eighteen-year-old Dan Kay - who was suspended three times during his Manchester King David High days over the length of his hair - says his parents finally convinced him to have it cut.

"Everyone hates my hair," he said. "My parents asked: If we can raise £1,000 and donate it to charity, would I cut it off?"

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Manchester united on Rosh Hashanah appeal

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

Manchester's Jewish Federation and Heathlands Care Village have launched their first combined Rosh Hashanah appeal as a merged charity.

Appeal literature for the Federation of Jewish Services will focus on a grandfather and grandson who receive care at the Heathlands premises as a reflection of the combined welfare services being offered at the north Manchester site.

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Council sorry for offending caring couple

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

Bury Council has apologised to a strictly Orthodox couple told by a social worker to lessen their religious commitment in order to care for a son with cerebral palsy.

Eve Field from Prestwich complained to Bury Children's Disability Team after the social worker referred to her husband's religious activities, such as praying and studying, as "his choice".

"She wrote in her report that we should put our religion on the back burner until our children are old enough to need less physical care. It was unbelievable," Mrs Field said.

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Trampoline saves teens trapped by fire

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 30, 2010

Three teenagers who leapt from a third-floor window to escape a house fire suffered only minor injuries after breaking their 7m fall with a trampoline.

Fifteen firemen raced to a house in Broughton Park, Salford, in the early hours of last Friday morning, after a neighbour reported that three people were trapped inside. A fire was thought to be raging on the ground level of a terraced town house on the Broughton Green development on Northumberland Street.

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Outrage over church Israeli 'war crimes' show

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 30, 2010

Manchester's Jewish communal leaders have raised serious concerns with the Church of England's senior churchman in the city this week after its principal cathedral hosted an exhibition which its organisers claim is evidence of Israeli war crimes.

Manchester Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Manchester, is hosting the Loss of Innocence exhibition, 50 drawings by Palestinian children which include gruesome depictions of Israel's 2009 Gaza operation.

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Brodetsky gives its pupils a taste of the great outdoors

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Local councillors and residents visited Leeds' Brodetsky Jewish Primary to officially open three new building projects.

Over recent months the school has added a nursery play area and a multi-use sports pitch. A specially constructed nature teaching area known as the Outdoor School was dedicated to Sam Gitlic by his family, who had funded the £10,000 facility in his memory.

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Manchester Fed completes Heathlands move

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The considerable logistical task of moving the Federation of Jewish Services, Manchester's largest charity, to its new premises in the Heathlands Care Village will be completed by Monday.

FJS adult, children and families, social work and referrals teams will move to the ground floor of the Heathlands main building. This completes the process, after the finance, HR and IT departments moved to join Chai Cancer Care on the first floor.

Chief executive Karen Phillips says the move heralds the beginning of a flagship Jewish care organisation for Manchester.

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King David prepares to move into new building

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

It was the end of an era at Manchester's King David campus as the KD wound up its final academic year before moving into its newly built school.

On Wednesday, the junior school held its last speech day prior to merging with the infant section to create a two-form entry primary school.

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Free Charedi swim sessions are axed

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Free swimming sessions for Salford's Charedi community are set to be scrapped as a result of government spending cuts.

Just a month ago, Charedi groups were celebrating a successful campaign for same sex sessions through Broughton's council-run Fit City centre. It was part of a nationally funded scheme offering free swimming for under-17s and over-60s.

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New British envoy to Israel challenged

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The man soon to be Britain's first Jewish ambassador to Israel was given a warm reception on Wednesday when he met the Manchester community.

Matthew Gould spoke at King David High School as part of a UK tour before leaving for Tel Aviv in eight weeks' time.

But it was not an easy ride for the Foreign Office high-flyer.

Almost as soon as he finished his hour-long address, he was challenged for not having spoken about the EU's attitude to Israel.

Another member of the audience questioned the viability of a two-state solution for Israel, a firm British government position.

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Liverpool mum joins shul for school place

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The mother whose daughter was refused a place at the city's King David High School is to join an Orthodox synagogue so that the girl, Kayleigh Chapple, can attend King David High School in Manchester.

Dawn Chapple, whose husband Neil is not Jewish, said it was "a weight off my shoulders" after not having a school place for her daughter just weeks before term was due to start.

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Jews in fight against weekend Nazis

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The Jewish community has been encouraged to come up with solutions to stop Nazi impersonators from infiltrating Second World War re-enactment events across the UK.

The general manager of the East Lancashire Railway, Andy Coward, said this week that he welcomed ideas on how to stop the imitators.

The heritage railway came under pressure from Manchester's Jewish community to ban dozens of actors who were spotted wearing Nazi insignia at its May event. It sparked angry complaints from local Jewish politicians.

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Liverpool synagogue hit by floods

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

Flood waters seriously damaged parts of Liverpool's Childwall Synagogue this week after torrential downpours left large parts of the city under water and many main roads closed.

The shul's Harris Polak and Aida Shifrin halls were filled with two inches of water as Tuesday's rains led to the collapse of a ceiling over one of the rooms.

Overflow from drains, which struggled to cope, brought more water into the Childwall building, which sits 20ft below street level.

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Have a cheeseburger (thanks, Heather)

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 15, 2010

Heather Mills, ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, has secured kashrut certification from the Manchester Beth Din for her vegan food brand - although the products in her range that simulate pork and seafood will not get the rabbinic stamp on its packaging.

The Redwood Wholefood Company produces plant-based alternatives to chicken, beef and pork, as well as and dairy-free cheeses. All of its 61 products are kosher, but the Beth Din's MK kosher stamp will not appear on Cheatin' ham slices, vegetarian bacon rashers and scampi-style pieces.

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