Jonathan Kalmus

More than 800 celebrate Israeli in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

Eight hundred people turned out for the Manchester community's Yom Ha'atzmaut party at the Sheridan Suite in the north of the city on Tuesday.

In the absence of Israeli entertainers because of the air travel disruption, guitarist and Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute student Sruli Portnoy, 19, son of the Hale community's Rabbi Joel Portnoy, was the musical headliner.

"They pulled me in about three hours before the event," he said. Ironically, Mr Portnoy was available as he had been unable to get a flight out of England.

More..

Firm sued dead woman daughter's rent

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010

A property firm that sued a dead Jewish woman over rent for her daughter's student accommodation has apologised and withdrawn its legal action.

The Manchester family of Susan Ellis, who died of leukaemia in January, were outraged when Leeds property firm Parklane pursued a rent claim for a flat Victoria Ellis never occupied. Ms Ellis had dropped out of university to nurse her dying mother. But after last week's JC report and other media coverage, Parklane agreed to drop the claim for £2,200 and donate the same amount to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

More..

Bury: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 15, 2010

At least one of Bury South's three main Israel-friendly candidates may have been thought of as a "tentacle" in recent weeks.

But the more critical voting factor for its historically Jewish MPs in a general election is the trend to swing the pendulum of power towards whoever stands for the nationally winning party.

Labour MP Ivan Lewis has held the seat since 1997. His most recent Middle East responsibilities for the Foreign Office and public support of Israel have cemented his reputation with Jewish voters.

More..

Health scare shuts Manchester care home

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 15, 2010

Heathlands Village care home in north Manchester was closed to visitors this week after a stomach bug outbreak among residents.

The home shut its doors from Monday as part of a medical protocol to prevent the illness spreading. Karen Phillips, chief executive of the Federation of Jewish Services, which administers Heathlands, said only a small number of residents had been infected.

"We've always had policy in place for dealing with any infection. With 230 residents and a maximum of 500 people on site altogether, it's far better to act with caution."

More..

Property firm sues dead woman over student flat

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 15, 2010

A student property company has outraged the family of a woman who died of leukaemia by pursuing a rent claim over a flat her daughter never occupied.

"Susan Ellis (deceased)" was the name on a writ for over £2,000 from Leeds firm Parklane. Mrs Ellis, from Whitefield in Manchester, died in January.

She was the guarantor on the flat for her daughter Victoria, who never moved in, having dropped out before her final year at Leeds Metropolitan University to become her mother's carer.

More..

Manchester Mamlock House to close

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 15, 2010

Mamlock House is to close in December after almost 50 years as a base for Zionist organisations in Manchester.

UJIA is the landlord of the property, which also houses offices of JNF, the Zionist Central Council, Wizo, Magen David Adom, the Israel Information Centre and the Jewish Agency.

The news was broken to users on Wednesday by UJIA chairman Keith Black, who said the outdated building had become too expensive to maintain or refurbish.

Named after the Zionist family who donated it, Mamlock House has been a focal point of Jewish life since 1962.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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".

More..

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.

More..

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

More..

Children taught 'Kill the Jews'

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 4, 2010
See Video

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..