Jonathan Kalmus

'Time running out' for Liverpool care home

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Officers of Liverpool's Stapely Jewish home are to investigate closure and taking space in a non-Jewish care facility.

A review into the home's future is being undertaken following the collapse of a plan to relocate to the Childwall Synagogue site.

Liverpool Jewish Housing Association chairman Alan Tinger pledged: "We will definitely have a Jewish care home in Liverpool." Yet "time is running out" for Stapely to relocate before its Victorian premises in Sefton Park fall below regulatory standards.

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Prestwich appoints new rabbi

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has selected a new rabbi after a year without a minister.

Dovid Eisenberg, the New York-born son of Austria's Chief Rabbi, was selected following pulpit auditions for the four candidates.

It will be the first ministerial position for the 29-year-old, who studied in yeshivot in America and Israel before coming to Whitefield kollel in Manchester three years ago.

Rabbi Eisenberg holds a degree in Talmudic law as well as a masters in business from Bar-Ilan University.

He will work as a team with his wife Miriam, who is from a Manchester family.

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BNP man jailed for anti-fascist demo attack

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

A BNP party member has been convicted of attacking an anti-fascist demonstrator, in a protracted court saga.

Peter Tierney, 53, from Liverpool, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict at Liverpool Crown Court last Thursday for smashing Nicholas Barnett over the head with a camera tripod.

The incident, which took place on St George’s Day last year, saw BNP supporters and members of Merseyside Coalition against Racism and Fascism clash in Liverpool’s city centre.

Mr Barnett required hospital treatment after the incident.

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Stolen jewellery recovered

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 22, 2010

A synagogue is to display a hoard of jewellery suspected of being stolen from Jewish people in Manchester and Liverpool so owners can claim back their property.

Greater Manchester Police are to run an open day at Liverpool's Allerton Synagogue on July 7 after they recovered a large amount of suspected stolen jewellery and silverware during an ongoing investigation by the Force's money laundering unit.

Photographs of the stolen articles will be on display from 3pm as part of a number of open days to glean information to assist the investigation.

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Boy cautioned for attack on Israeli dep ambassador

By Marcus Dysch and Jonathan Kalmus, June 18, 2010

The Israeli Embassy has criticised the decision to caution a 16-year-old boy who attempted to attack its deputy ambassador at a university campus.

The embassy called for a stricter punishment, saying the teenager had "crossed a line" when he climbed on the bonnet of Talya Lador-Fresher's car and attempted to smash the windscreen. The deputy ambassador said she had feared she would be physically assaulted.

Ms Lador-Fresher had been speaking to members of Manchester University's Politics Society in April. Around 40 demonstrators had gathered at the venue.

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Rap star Chimpmunk performs at barmitzvah

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

British rap star Chipmunk attended his first barmitzvah last week, performing by special request at celebrations for 13-year-old Joseph Port from Leeds.

X-Factor's Lloyd Daniels also made up the hour-long music set with each artist performing six songs for 200 guests at the barmitzvah celebrations at Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley on Sunday.

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No Jews at Manchester Parade

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

Tens of thousands of people will be making their way to Manchester Day on Sunday to see one of the largest parades in the city's history - but there will be no formal Jewish presence.

The 1700-participant parade will travel through Deansgate, crossing Albert Square and Peter Street in the city centre. But the role of Manchester Jewry in the city will be forgotten.

Manchester City Council, which organised the event, say all faith groups were welcome to take part but that no Jewish groups had shown an interest.

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Council study to assess needs of Charedim

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

In its first major recognition of north Manchester's Charedi population, Bury Council has appointed an officer to compile a study of the expanding community.

Notices put up in Prestwich synagogues this week urge Charedi families to participate in the study. The initiative results from a meeting a fortnight ago between the council's chief executive office and representatives from the Charedi Interlink charity and a strictly Orthodox community group.

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Jewish girl's King David place goes to non-Jew

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 11, 2010

A Jewish girl has been denied a place at King David High School in Liverpool because her family could not meet the new admissions criteria to prove her level of religious practice. The place went to a non-Jewish girl.

The Orthodox school was forced to reject a place for Kayleigh Chapple this September, even though her mother, uncle and aunt were former pupils.

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Bernstein to decline payout after voters shut out of polling station

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 10, 2010

Sir Howard Bernstein, the chief executive of Manchester City Council, is to refuse a £19,000 payout if a report shows significant failures over his running of voting in Manchester during the May elections.

An internal investigation has been launched by the council following anger from 300 voters who were locked out of polling stations in Withington, south Manchester, after 10pm on May 6.

It has emerged that Sir Howard is to receive a combined payment for acting as the returning officer who oversaw voting in that constituency
and four others.

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The Leeds kids who go to King David, Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 10, 2010

To appreciate the importance Leeds parents attach to Jewish education, you need to take the bus - to Manchester.

With no Jewish high school in Leeds, secondary age pupils have traditionally gone to the fee-paying Leeds Grammar or local state schools. However, an increasing number of families are now opting to send their children to the King David High after attending Leeds' Brodetsky Jewish Primary. As well as the attraction of keeping their children within a Jewish environment, there is the appeal of King David's consistently high academic results.

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Residents protest Jewish school move

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 10, 2010

Angry residents made plain their opposition to Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School's relocation plans at an acrimonious public meeting on Monday.

Bury and Whitefield called the meeting in partnership with a local rugby club to discuss the proposal to develop nine acres of green belt land owned by Whitefield Golf Club, which is in financial difficulty because of falling membership. The plans incorporate a new school and an all-weather rugby pitch.

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Unite votes to boycott Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 4, 2010

Britain's largest union, Unite, has unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies at its first policy conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

The motion, which passed unanimously, called the union "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies", while a boycott of Israeli goods and services will be "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid".

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'Banned Nazis' spotted at WW2 rally

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

Angry complaints have been made about men in Nazi uniforms with swastikas seen drinking at bars in Bury.

People taking part in East Lancashire Railway's re-enactment of wartime scenes on Sunday were photographed with Nazi insignia, despite the event's organisers banning the practice.

Whitefield Councillor Michelle Wiseman complained to fellow Bury councillors after receiving a text message from an angry man, who wrote: "At East Lancs Railway in Bury. Full of men dressed as Nazis, disgraceful."

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Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

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Ajex fears for parade

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The chair of Manchester Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women has warned that this year's local Ajex parade could be the last.

Malcolm Solomons fears that the heroism of Jews in the wartime forces may not be relayed to the young generation as veterans die or become too frail to participate in marches or educational activities.

He wants community members to wear the medals of their parents and grandparents at the commemoration at north Manchester's Heathlands Care Village on Sunday week.

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American-style kosher bakery for Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

This month's opening of an American-style kosher bakery in Prestwich will increase competition in a crowded market in north Manchester.

The Royal Bake is the third kosher bakery to launch in 18 months, making it nine in the area.

"It's gone bakery mad," observed Dovid Kaufman, manager of Haber's in Prestwich, a kosher shop stocking products from 18 bakeries from London to Gateshead.

"A lot of customers have noticed a sudden massive variety." But there was also evidence of increased home baking - "our yeast sales have doubled".

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Birmingham rabbi dies

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

Rabbi Jerachmiel Cofnas, who served the Birmingham community for 50 years, has died aged 98.

More than 600 people attended his funeral at Philips Park Cemetery in Manchester on Friday.

He died at the Beenstock Home in Salford last Wednesday, the first day of Shavuot.

Rabbi Cofnas was minister for Birmingham's former New Synagogue, but was also a shochet and respected as an expert mohel.

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Manchester Police Chief: We'll fight hate

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

The Manchester community must do more to meet the threat of antisemitism in a city where they are more likely to face abuse than anywhere else in the country, according to its police chief.

In an exclusive interview, Chief Constable Peter Fahy said individuals must be more proactive in reporting incidents, and pledged to increase police numbers on campus significantly to thwart attacks such as the one suffered by Israel's deputy ambassador at Manchester University last month.

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Leeds' glittering young Jewish social scene

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 27, 2010

A buzzing Leeds Jewish singles and young families scene is gathering momentum and could help secure the future of the community.

A few weeks ago, a glitzy charity boxing night arranged by a committee of young professionals pulled in 600 people, a significant proportion of the city's Jewish population. Such demand shows that the community can still pack a punch on a social level. And most of the £44,000 raised will be invested in the local youth centre, The Zone.

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