Jonathan Kalmus

Parents call for end to King David school phones ban

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 15, 2010

A ban on mobile phone use by Manchester King David High pupils has brought a backlash from parents whose children's phones were confiscated for six weeks.

Parents were sent a letter warning of the consequences if pupils were seen with a phone outside of lunch break, even if they were not using it.

Eight handsets were confiscated on the first two days of enforcement.

One mother said pupils' safety could be jeopardised if parents could not contact them after school. Her 15-year-old son had fallen foul of the rules by receiving a text message.

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United Synagogue keen for law change over JFS

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 25, 2010

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser this week stressed the need to push for legislative change following the Supreme Court ruling on Jewish school admissions.

During a lively debate with Manchester leaders, educationists and Orthodox and Reform shul members at Whitefield Hebrew Congregation, Mr Hochhauser outlined his concerns over the ruling, which prohibits schools from choosing pupils according to their parents' Jewish status.

He suggested that it could also have implications for synagogues and communal charities.

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William Hague tackles Israel issues

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 25, 2010

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the government acted correctly in inviting, rather than summoning, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor to the Foreign Office to discuss the use of forged British passports by those involved in the killing of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

On the day Mr Prosor met Permament Under Secretary Sir Peter Ricketts, Mr Hague told the 170 guests at a British-Israel Chamber of Commerce dinner in Manchester that there was "no need to humiliate him [Mr Prosor] in order to have a discussion".

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Deputy Israeli ambassador cancels uni talk

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2010

Deputy Israeli ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher has cancelled a talk at Manchester University within the last hour amid rising security “threats” from protesters.

Ms Lador-Fresher was due to speak at 3pm to the politics society of Manchester University Students Union. But after 300 protesters were expected to turn out, organised by another student society Action Palestine, the embassy cancelled her visit.

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Kalashnikov children groom young killers

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2010

Children are being encouraged by Jihadi terror supporters to say that they will kill Jews, while handling guns, according to Greater Manchester Police.

The revelation came this week as the North West’s Counter Terrorism Unit released a video of children playing with a Kalashnikov. The video was seized from an undisclosed address in Manchester during a raid on terror suspects. Police say the footage and other downloaded material are being used to “groom” children in the North West with terrorist propaganda from an early age

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Children taught 'Kill the Jews'

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2010
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Children are being encouraged by Jihadi terror supporters to say that they will kill Jews, while handling guns, according to Greater Manchester Police.

The revelation came this week as the North West’s Counter Terrorism Unit released a video of children playing with a Kalashnikov. The video was seized from an undisclosed address in Manchester during a raid on terror suspects.

Police say the footage and other downloaded material are being used to “groom” children in the North West with terrorist propaganda from an early age.

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Gay groups join Holocaust Memorial in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 28, 2010

Involvement in the Manchester HMD commemorations helped the city’s gay and lesbian Jews bridge the “chasm” with the rest of the Jewish community.

They marked HMD with a film event under the banner of Keshet, a local Jewish support organisation.

“It is a really important day in both the gay and Jewish calendars as it is the day where we remember atrocities done to both groups from the same source,” organiser Suzy Schneider pointed out.

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Sephardi closure

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

The end of an 85-year era for one of south Manchester’s two Sephardi shuls was marked on Sunday with a deconsecration service at the Shaare Sedek Synagogue.

A closure decision was taken last year to enable the construction of a 200-seat satellite synagogue complex in Hale for some of the 600 members, which will carry the Shaare Sedek name. Building work on the £1 million-plus project is likely to start in late spring.

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Tories courting the Manchester vote

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague became the most senior Tory figure to back Michelle Wiseman’s campaign to unseat Labour minister Ivan Lewis in Bury South when he addressed 70 Manchester Jewish community members at Whitefield Golf Club.

Mr Hague took questions on Conservative policy and his own political career. Martin Gilbert, who asked about simplifying benefits, was impressed by his competence.

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Orthodox confront Neturei Karta sect

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010

Police were called to a two-hour stand-off between Neturei Karta followers and a counter-demonstration of Orthodox Jews outside a Manchester hotel on Tuesday night.

Around 30 men from the anti-Zionist fringe Chasidic sect held placards decrying Israel and aliyah outside the Fairways Lodge hotel in Prestwich.

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Royal Free pays compensation over wrong MRI

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2010

Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital has paid £1,000 to the son of a woman who died a year ago after wrongly advising that a surgical post-mortem was the only available option — rather than an non-invasive MRI scan which does not breach halachah.

Brian Gedalla says he felt let down by the Royal Free — for which his mother Betty was a volunteer for 32 years — in the aftermath of her unexpected death in December 2008.

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New religious director for Manchester care village

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Reverend Keith Rosen is the new religious director of Heathlands Care Village in Manchester and will focus on training staff in Jewish religious practices.

Succeeding Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Mr Rosen arrives in the wake of the local welfare merger which has seen Heathlands became part of the Federation of Jewish Services.

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Financial scare for Manchester museum

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 7, 2010

Manchester Jewish Museum remains in financial turmoil despite government support and a strong communal response to its survival appeal.

Director Stuart Hilton revealed that a contribution had been promised by the Department of Communities in recognition of the museum’s cross-communal educational work. It hosts up to 500 school groups each year from across the north of England, but numbers have fallen during the recession.

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CST welcomes extra police patrols

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 29, 2009

The Community Security Trust has welcomed the launch of a police campaign against antisocial behaviour in Prestwich after a rise in incidents of intimidation by groups of youths. Notices have been posted in local synagogues urging people to inform police about the offenders, who are thought to come from outside the main Jewish areas.

Funding has been sought from Bury Council to facilitate larger numbers of foot patrols by police officers across Prestwich. PC Andy Ferguson says the aim is to reassure residents.

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Cocaine rabbi avoids prison term

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 23, 2009

A rabbi convicted of cocaine possession has been ordered to attend narcotics rehabilitation within the Jewish community, avoiding a jail term.

At his trial in November, Rabbi Baruch Chalomish pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of high-quality cocaine after falling into heavy addiction. Last January police raided a city centre apartment in which Rabbi Chalomish was found after what was said to be a five-day long drug binge.

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King David schools to rely on Orthodox shul membership

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 22, 2009

Manchester’s King David schools will rely on membership to synagogues rather than Jewish practice as the test for its admissions policy following last week’s Supreme Court ruling on JFS.

King David chair of governors Joshua Rowe said as a school with an Orthodox ethos, it will give priority to children whose parents are members of an Orthodox synagogue, but parents will not have to prove they attend it.

“The mission is to keep it simple for parents and for the school. We want as many children to join the school in the situation we’re in after the ruling.”

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Cocaine rabbi escapes jail sentence

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

The rabbi convicted of cocaine possession has received an order to attend narcotics rehabilitation within the Jewish community, escaping a jail term.

At his trial in November, Rabbi Chalomish had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of high-quality cocaine after falling into heavy addiction. The jury found him guilty of possessing 100g of cocaine, but unanimously cleared him on two counts of the more severe charge of intent to supply the drug.

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Man jailed for belt bomb plot against Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

A 30-year-old Albanian Muslim who wanted to see Jews killed has been convicted of terror offences after Hizbollah instruction manuals on making missiles and suicide bomb belts were found in his home.

Krena Lusha, from Derby, was jailed for seven years on Tuesday at Preston Crown Court for five counts of possessing items connected with terrorism. These included petrol, Hizbollah military instruction manuals on how to make detonators, explosives, a missile and a suicide bomber belt, and a video entitled Mobile Detonators.

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Plugging a dental gap

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 17, 2009

A new NHS dental service in Salford aimed at providing better care for the community is to open next year.

Funding has been set aside by the local primary care trust for the project, which is looking to plug a hole in dental services for the area which has a dense Jewish population. Currently, many people from the community travel around five miles to Swinton for NHS dental treatment.

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Manchester's The Fed to sell Crumpsall offices

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 10, 2009

Manchester welfare provider The Fed will sell its offices as part of a raft of changes as it merges with the Heathlands Care Village to create a local super charity.

The Crumpsall site, the base for 90 staff, could go on the market early in 2010. The Fed is expected to move to refurbished offices on the third floor of Heathlands’ main building. Additions for the merged charity include a respite facility for children with special needs, planned for the second half of 2010.

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