Smaller communities need more help
Once again, questions are being asked of the organisations that are supposed to be “looking out” for smaller and increasingly vulnerable communities such as ours in Staines.
As outlined in previous correspondence with yourselves and the United Synagogue, we are fighting hard and passionately for our very future but are getting no assistance from the CST when it comes to security cover payments — they have supported us in the past with grants but we have so far been denied one for 2017/18.
We are simply not in a financial position at present to pay for cover ourselves so a largely ageing congregation is having to patrol the area around the building themselves.
(Out of interest, the CST recently sent us four stab-proof waistcoats that must have cost a lot of money but they are virtually un-wearable as they are so heavy and cumbersome, leaving everybody feeling that the money could have been better spent).
These grants do not come from CST funds but from the Government and are merely distributed by the CST, yet despite repeated assurances from them that they will review it, we have heard nothing, leaving us in a very difficult position.
If an incident occurs here that could otherwise have been avoided, had we had visible security cover, we will know where the responsibility lies.
The Staines community will of course carry on looking after itself as it always has done but I cannot help feeling that this is another classic case of a smaller congregation being ignored in the hope it will go away!
I am writing in response to James Espir’s letter “ Going Backwards” in last week’s paper. How dare he insult the many Maccabiah competitors by calling them “slower , lower, weaker”?
A quick recap on recent competitors that spring to mind:
1. 2009: Richard Goodman — double gold medallist GB at 1500m/3000m (as a junior in a very competitive field, unlike Mr Espir who I see did not medal/compete as a junior).
Richard has gone on to be European cross country champion. Hardly low calibre.
2. 2013: Steve Solomon— five time Australia 400m Champion plus 2012 Olympic 400m finalist, but lost to an Israeli in the 400m final, such was the standard. So the guy reaches an Olympic Final but doesn’t have a Maccabiah Gold!
3. 2017: Eden Davis — double individual sprint gold plus relay silver. Went straight from Maccabiah to compete for GB in under 20 European Champs.
4. 2017: David Stone —only 15 but won 3k by 50m. Nationally ranked and will win many more golds .
5. 2013/17: Ellie Edwards — double gold medalist junior 200m gold who retained 200m gold in open age group and has six medals across two Games. Been county champ numerous times as well as in individual national finals.
In fact, Team GB Track and Field was a major success story of these Games. And competition in the Maccabiah has got much tougher.
There was a record number of participants this year and top Jewish sports stars from around the globe turned up across all sports. The USA 4 x 100m swimming medley relay team included three Olympic gold medallists, Anthony Ervin, Lenny Krayzelburg, Jason Lezak. Are they not “ true international sportsmen”?
Prestwich , Manchester
I attended the Maccabiah Games in 2009 as a cricket umpire and was impressed by the organisation, together with sporting achievements of the competitors.
The motto is the same as the Olympic Games. It is not always the winning but the taking part and these games bring Jewish people from round the world on the supporting stage.
Basil H Mann,
Isleworth , Middx
When our cat Angel died we had a levoyah in the garden and said Kattish for him.
The two canine correspondents in last week’s edition, Max and Milo, seemed to have more common sense and wit than many of your human correspondents.
We need more of your animal readers to express their views in your pages (except perhaps the porcine ones on kashrut, as they know a good thing when they see it.) I am very keen to hear what your bovine correspondents think of shechita for example.
Of one thing I am certain. Your zoological correspondents will have more to say in the public pages of your newspaper on homosexuality and on the ‘Rabbi Dweck issue’ than any of your rabbinic correspondents.
Radlett, Herts WD7
Barry Toberman’s excellent article on Leeds provides an insight into a community that has refused to dwindle into oblivion.
By appointing a development executive and promoting local visionaries, it has become more strategically driven to guarantee a future assured. And, more importantly, Leeds has worked across the community, combining resources, creating synergies and ensuring that there is a collective endeavour driving it forward.
Redbridge could have also demonstrated this synergy, but turned its back on creating a community campus, and instead continues to struggle along with little evidence of joined-up thinking.
Hopefully, the recently formed Essex Jewish Community Council will begin to create a strategic pathway that will be encouraged by the Leeds example.
Woodford Green, IG8
We are writing concerning your article Fears for MPs as hard-left take over (JC July 14). We are disappointed you published this story without contacting the Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party officers for comment. It contains much that is misleading to your readers.
The newly elected executive of Hackney South Labour did not “seize control”. We were democratically elected at a very well-attended meeting of around 230 members. We take a range of political positions, are from diverse backgrounds and seek to be inclusive and representative of the variety of beliefs and communities that make up the Labour Party in Hackney.
We represent the mainstream of Labour. The only evidence presented in the article that we are “hard left” is that we “vocally support Jeremy Corbyn” which is hardly surprising given he’s twice been elected as leader with a huge mandate. Labour’s results at the recent General Election demonstrate widespread support for our manifesto, which aims to address inequality in society through reforms such as a £10 minimum wage and support for our NHS.
The Executive Committee, Hackney South and Shoreditch Constituency Labour Party,