Robyn Rosen

Turn on and tune into a Yomtov service

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Reform synagogues have reported an encouraging response to moves to put High Holy-Day services online.

The web initiative was meant to be in preparation for a swine flu epidemic.

However, Finchley Reform Synagogue and Glasgow New Synagogue were among shuls that went ahead and streamed their Rosh Hashanah services over the web, linking to viewers across the world, including patients at the Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem.

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£10m windfall boosts welfare campus fund

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

A £10 million donation from the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation has brought Jewish Care close to its £44 million target for its new Golders Green campus.

The campus, with facilities including a care home, day centre, living apartments and offices, will be dedicated to the late philanthropists.

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Postal strikes hit New Year charity appeals

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Communal charities have blamed postal strikes in the capital for reduced donations to their Rosh Hashanah appeals.

Organisations large and small report that appeal letters have not reached their destinations. Supporters are worried that donations have got lost in the post.

Wizo executive director Alison Rosen said that its appeal for children at risk had been badly affected by the strike action.

“We’re very concerned our appeal has not reached everybody it was meant to. We haven’t had the volume of post back that we expected.

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Scottish messianic community hit by flood of abuse

By Robyn Rosen, September 18, 2009

A Messianic community in East Kilbride, near Glasgow, has reported an “alarming” rise in antisemitism.

The Beit Rehovot Messianic Jewish Congregation meet weekly at a community hall and has experienced a flood of verbal abuse and threatening behaviour from youths.

The group formerly met at the Mossneuk Community Hall, which last weekend was daubed in graffiti, including the words “Jews’ night tonight lads, get your Jew cap on.”

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Deputies call on UK shuls to go green

By Robyn Rosen, September 18, 2009

The Board of Deputies has backed a resolution to urge all UK synagogues and Jewish community organisations to take practical steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

At its plenary meeting last week, deputies voted for the resolution, which called on members to recognise the responsibility of the Jewish community to play its part in tackling global climate concerns. The policy, devised by the Board’s Community Issues Division, advised all UK synagogues and Jewish organisations to take action as soon as possible to make their premises environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

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Charity shops are feeling the pinch

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Educational charity Ort has closed its only fundraising store as reduced donations, high rents and cash-strapped customers have taken their toll on Jewish charity shops.

Ort’s Finchley shop was shut down because of rising rent. “It was never really making that much money,” explained British Ort chairman Simon Alberga.

“We had a disagreement with the landlord over what the rent should be and have been planning the closure since then. In the current environment, it’s not the best time to relocate.”

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Booming heritage market

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

More than 15,000 Jews and non-Jews have visited historic UK synagogues and Jewish heritage sites over recent weekends as part of the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage programme.

Heritage trails, concerts, exhibitions and talks were among over 90 events in the 10-day calendar, organised in partnership between B’nai B’rith Europe and the European Council of Jewish Communities.

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MP admires Charedi housing

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Political praise for the Agudas Israel Housing Association’s recession-busting work for the Charedi community in Stamford Hill and beyond was expressed at its AGM.

Hackney North Labour MP Diane Abbott wished “all the social housing in Hackney was kept as nicely as Agudas [sites]. If you have Agudas as a neighbour, you will have beautiful properties, beautifully designed and beautifully maintained.”

London’s Deputy Mayor Sir Simon Milton hailed the association as “a credit to the Jewish community, to Hackney and to London”.

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Cash boost for hate crime fight

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

The Community Security Trust has been awarded more than £50,000 by the Home Office to back the fight against antisemitism.

CST is one of 10 organisations working on behalf of hate crime victims to receive government support.

It will spend the £54,354 on specialist training for staff and volunteers who deal directly with hate crime victims — and to increase awareness of the importance of reporting hate crimes to the police and the CST.

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Twiggy: My Jewish family connections

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Twiggy has spoken about her Jewish family — and her desire to visit Israel.

Before addressing a packed World Jewish Relief women’s lunch in Watford on Tuesday, the fashion icon and actress revealed that her maternal grandfather, who died when she was three, was Jewish. Her actor husband Leigh Lawson — who accompanied her to the lunch — is also halachically Jewish and they had hired a genealogist to discover more about their families.

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Hampstead's £2m restoration

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

A lengthy £2.3 million restoration project has been completed at the Grade II-star listed Hampstead Synagogue.

Work on the Dennington Park Road building has included new roofing, heating and ventilation, electricals and disabled access. The kitchen has been refurbished and brick and stonework repaired. The money was raised from donations and the sale of adjoining premises.

“It looks absolutely stunning,” said heritage architect Stephen Levrant. “Instead of being dreary and oppressive, it’s light and wonderful.

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Arsenal sets yomtov goal for absent supporters

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

Arsenal is asking its Jewish season ticket-holders to make a Rosh Hashanah gift to the less fortunate.

The club wants fans who will not be taking up their seats on festival days to give them up to Arsenal’s community programme. They will then be distributed to supporters such as children in care, the homeless, or the disabled.

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Bus stop requests for hate crime details

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

Posters are going up at Golders Green bus stops encouraging locals to report antisemitic incidents during the High Holy-Days.

An initiative of the Community Security Trust, in conjunction with the police, the posters provide emergency contact details for reporting by witnesses to, or indeed victims of, racist activity.

A CST spokesman said: “We are starting this initiative because

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JCoSS: 'It will do exactly what it says on the tin'

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

True to his key promotional role for the Jewish Community Secondary School, JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner happily adopts a famous advertising phrase to encapsulate his hopes for the £50 million project.

Speaking one year ahead of the opening of the cross-communal school in Westbrook Crescent, Barnet, Mr Stowe-Lindner, 35, opines that JCoSS will “do exactly what it says on the tin.

“What we’re trying to do is create an inclusive, outstanding school in a nurturing environment and we can build that from nothing.”

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Hulks make an incredible splash

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

An investment banker made a splash at the weekend by going out in green body paint and ripped clothes to row 22 miles for charity dressed as the Incredible Hulk.

Dan Shooter, 30, steered his team to a respectable showing in the Great River Race from London Docklands to Ham in Richmond, finishing in two hours 42 minutes.

Mr Shooter, who had rowed only once before, was joined by former Watford Grammar School pals Anthony Flaum and Alec Parkinson and eight friends from his Nottingham University days.

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Inquest: brit not to blame in baby death

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

The baby who died shortly after his brit, died of natural causes totally unrelated to his circumcision, a coroner has ruled.

Amitai Moshe was circumcised by Rabbi Moshe Perry on February 1 2007 in Golders Green Synagogue, north-west London, but about 35 minutes after the ceremony, while his mother was breastfeeding him, he began to turn blue and blood was seen around his mouth and nose. Two medically trained guests and the mohel attempted to resuscitate him.

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Circumcision baby died of natural causes

By Robyn Rosen, September 9, 2009

Amitai Moshe, the baby who died shortly after his brit, died of natural causes totally unrelated to his circumcision, a coroner has ruled today.

Amitai was circumcised on February 1 2007 in Golders Green Synagogue but about 35 minutes after the ceremony, whilst his mother was breastfeeding him, he began to turn blue and blood was seen around his mouth.

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Baby death 'not caused by circumcision"

By Robyn Rosen, September 9, 2009

Britain's leading expert on cot death, Professor Peter Fleming, has declared that Amitai Moshe did not die as a result of having had a circumcision.

Giving evidence today, at Hornsey Coroners Court Professor Fleming was question by Jonathan Goldberg QC. Mr Goldberg said: "We can rule out the fact that the circumcision caused the death?"

Professor Fleming replied: "Yes, that is my view."

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Hatzola 'not to blame' for Brit baby’s death

By Robyn Rosen, September 8, 2009

The coroner at the inquest of a baby who died after his brit has praised the strictly Orthodox ambulance service that took him to hospital, after the baby’s father questioned the first aiders’ techniques.

Amitai Moshe was circumcised on February 1 2007 in Golders Green Synagogue but shortly after the ceremony he began to turn blue and blood was seen around his mouth.

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Circumcision baby may have died in shul

By Robyn Rosen, September 7, 2009

Amitai Moshe, the baby who died eight days after his brit in Golders Green Synagogue, may have clinically died at the shul itself, a London inquest heard.

Amitai was circumcised on February 1 2007 but shortly after the ceremony he began to turn blue and blood was seen around his mouth and nose.

Two medically trained guests and the mohel attempted to resuscitate him.

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