Jonathan Kalmus

School reprieved over drug clinic

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 25, 2008

Manchester City Council looks set to reject a controversial proposal for a drug abuse and alcoholic clinic next to the King David School campus.

The council says it is duty-bound to consider preliminary plans from the Westwood Nursing Home, in Crumpsall, for a rehab clinic, but has indicated that a full planning application will almost certainly fail. The care home had its council accreditation suspended after asking its elderly residents to leave to make way for the proposed clinic.


Help for appeal family

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 19, 2008

Offers of help are pouring in to Manchester welfare charity The Fed for the family highlighted in its Rosh Hashanah appeal.

The appeal letter illustrated health and financial problems of the family, whose names were changed to protect their identity.

In addition to appeal donations, supporters of The Fed have responded with offers of employment and even free photographic and video services for a family celebration.

"It's touched people's hearts and we've seen a very sympathetic response," reported The Fed's Joyce Khan.


School gets £250k facelift

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 12, 2008

A £250,000 refurbishment programme is under way at Manchester's Broughton Jewish Primary.
Funded by a local authority grant, the project will provide tutor rooms and a remodelled reception area and administrative offices.

The building work - due to be completed in January - reflects a growing pupil population. "The number of students increases every year," governor Leonard Seitler said.


Manchester shul’s last service before merger

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 4, 2008

The Central and North Synagogue in Manchester will close after the Shabbat service.

Membership has dwindled to little more than 100, making the upkeep of its imposing Leicester Road premises uneconomic. The shul will merge with Stenecourt Synagogue.


Pensioner battered at home by burglars

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 4, 2008

An elderly couple were left shocked and battered after two men burst into their Manchester home, kicking the 76-year-old wife before making off with cash.

The attack happened last Friday at the home of Evelyn and Harold Davidson in Prestwich. Mrs Davidson answered the door to a man posing as a window-cleaner. He kicked her repeatedly before a second man entered, ransacking the house. Her 89-year-old husband fought back with his two walking-sticks and was unharmed.


Prestwich shul expands

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 15, 2008

Construction has begun on a synagogue building in Prestwich for the Shaarei Tefilla strictly Orthodox congregation.

The two-storey synagogue is a £675,000 redevelopment of a disused Methodist church, whose hall has housed the community since 1994.

Nine people attended its first service in 1992, held in the living room of founder Rabbi Moshe Segal. There are now 115 predominantly young member families, who are meeting the building costs. A further influx of members is expected with the opening of the synagogue.


Lib-Dem defends ‘Nazi’ traffic charge remark

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 15, 2008

A Stockport Lib-Dem councillor is standing by his comparison of the proposed Manchester congestion charge with Nazi propaganda.

Manchester Jewish leaders were outraged by the comment by Councillor Kevin Hogg, made in the context of his claim that the city's transport authority was misinforming the public to win support for the plans. "As propaganda, it is nearly as bad as the Nazis in the Second World War," he said.


Armed men threaten staff in crowded deli

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 15, 2008

Armed robbers threatened staff at a Manchester kosher deli before escaping with a till last Thursday evening.

Three men, carrying a knife and a hammer, entered Shefa Mehadrin deli in Prestwich at around 8pm.

A 23-year-old employee, who had been behind the stolen till, said: "I was worried I would get stabbed. One of them tried to open the till with his knife."


Armed robbery at kosher deli

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 8, 2008

Three masked robbers armed with knives and a hammer threatened staff at Shefa Mehadrin Kosher Deli in Manchester, before ripping out its till.

The robbery, which lasted just two minutes, began when the three men entered the shop at 8pm last Thursday shouting.

“One held a hammer high in the air and shouted, ‘open up the tills’, said Gavriel Jacobson, who was shopping inside at the time. “Everyone froze, then they pulled out the whole till and ran away.”

Around 20 people were inside the shop at the time.


Kosher restaurant back in business after building collapse

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 8, 2008

The owner of Manchester's Milky Dream kosher restaurant is pleased to be trading again almost a year after part of the shop-front collapsed.

On September 11, Yoel Wreschner, 24, arrived at work to find that a wall had become detached from the rest of the building.

He attributed the collapse to construction work on a large new apartment block nearby.


Row over South Manchester Synagogue opening hours

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 1, 2008

Neighbours of South Manchester Synagogue in The Firs, Bowdon, are upset at the granting of an extension in opening hours for the shul's functions hall.

Residents of the quiet suburb tried to block the extension application at a council planning meeting, citing parking and noise issues. The functions suite can accommodate 300 people but there is limited parking space. However, the council granted a licence for opening until midnight for a 12-month trial period.


Wizo presidential visit

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 25, 2008

World Wizo president Helena Glaser gave the keynote address to Wizo UK's 90th anniversary Rebecca Sieff awards lunch at South Manchester Synagogue.

Three-hundred members from throughout the country heard Mrs Glaser explain how ongoing welfare issues, such as helping Sderot residents, highlighted the continuing need for Wizo's work.

She told the JC afterwards that "90 years of an organisation is not something light. It's ladies doing amazing things in a commitment to the ladies of Israel, whilst changing with the times."


Cancer aid races past £250,000

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 25, 2008

Proceeds from a family fun run and walk in Manchester on Sunday lifted the funds raised in memory of a young local cancer victim beyond £250,000.

Robert Broude died, aged 19, in 2004 from a rare form of pelvic cancer. He had discussed with staff at Manchester's Christie Hospital how best to help other young cancer sufferers and money is being raised for a young-oncology unit in his name.

Over 400 people took part in Sunday's event in Heaton Park, Prestwich, held under the aegis of the Children's Aid charity and raising £10,000.


KD girls’ change of top

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 18, 2008

Manchester’s King David High is to change its girls’ summer uniform because pupils say the blouse can be see-though. A navy-striped shirt will replace the current white summer top next year.

Girls have been wearing the school jumper over the KD blouse.

Fifteen-year-old Sigalle Khan was impressed by the intended replacement. “It means you can take your jumper off in the summer when it gets too hot. I think everyone will get used to it.”


Walker steps in at Heaton

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 11, 2008

Stepping into large shoes, Rabbi Daniel Walker has officially taken over at Heaton Park Hebrew Congregation from the Rev Leslie Olsberg, who has served the community for 36 years.

The 31-year-old Lubavitch rabbi, who has a particular interest in Jewish history, hopes to build on the spirit he has found in the 900-strong North Manchester congregation.


Council pledge on CCTV

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 11, 2008

CCTV cameras are finally being earmarked for Manchester’s Charedi Broughton Park neighbourhood after a 10-year campaign by the Jewish community.

In the wake of a spate of recent incidents, local councillors this week agreed to find funding for CCTV following meetings with Salford’s Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan.


Thieves targeting Charedim

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 4, 2008

A mobile police station is operating once again in the heart of Manchester’s Charedi community following a spate of violent attacks and muggings on religious Jews in Broughton Park. The station was open in Northumberland Street at the weekend and the intention is for it to be manned continuously over Shabbat.


Student leaders pledge to fight campus racism

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 27, 2008

Manchester University’s growing reputation for harbouring antisemitism is facing a new challenge after Jewish candidates gained a third of the places on the student-union council.

The new team will have four Jewish representatives on the executive and another 14 on the student council. One of them — Rob Pinfold — is the new general secretary.


Charedi degrees plan

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 13, 2008
A BA in business and Judaic studies for Charedi and other religious students is to be piloted in Manchester. The Maalot (degrees) project involves separate off-campus teaching facilities for men and women, which will be accredited by Bolton University. If the scheme proves successful, it is likely that other qualifications will be offered. Driving the initiative is Whitefield Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, who is keen to provide higher-education and employment opportunities for the strictly Orthodox.


Father killed on way to buy bagels

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 6, 2008

Klezmer violinist and father-of-three Michael Kahan was stabbed to death on his way to buy bagels in Crumpsall, Manchester, on Sunday morning.

The stabbing took place close to the State Fayre kosher bakery and was captured on the CCTV cameras of Heaton Park synagogue, which overlooks the murder scene.