Me­dia win­ners make their mark in print

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE -

THE MANCH­ESTER com­mu­nity has had an ex­cit­ing week, with Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks in their city for a se­ries of meet­ings, events and pre­sen­ta­tions, no­tably a trib­ute to the vol­un­teers who are the main­stay of the Manch­ester Jewish Fed­er­a­tion.

While there, he at­tended an Any Ques­tions event at the Great and New Syn­a­gogue, where he was joined by a brace of other chief rab­bis, Rabbi Yaakov Dov Ble­ich of Kiev and Rabbi Dr Ric­cardo Shmuel de Segni of Rome.

There may be some corks pop­ping in North-West Lon­don this week, where those founders of the 35s Women’s Cam­paign for Soviet Jewry who re­main Lon­don-based (and now run the Finch­ley-based spin-off char­ity One to One, help­ing the un­der­priv­i­leged — Rus­sian and oth­er­wise — in Is­rael), will be cel­e­brat­ing the 35th an­niver­sary of the protest group.

Founded in Lon­don by a group of 35-year-old women protest­ing at the treat­ment of Rus­sia’s re­fuseniks — ini­tially Sylva Zal­man­son and Raisa Palat­nik — they cre­ated a blue­print for ef­fec­tive protest.

They proved that march­ing, vig­ils and ban­ner-wav­ing could be more ef­fec­tive than quiet diplo­macy. Com­mu­nity Life raises a glass to Rita Eker and Mar­garet Ri­gal of One to One and the Is­rael-based duo of Doreen Gains­ford and Bar­bara Ober­man — no longer 35, but still for­mi­da­ble.

And talk­ing of for­mi­da­ble women, for­mer Home Of­fice min­is­ter-turned­nov­el­ist, Anne Wid­de­combe was due to be the guest speaker at last night’s an­nual din­ner for the Jewish As­so­ci­a­tion for the Men­tally Ill at the Berke­ley Ho­tel.

One can only hope she elab­o­rated to the JAMI au­di­ence on her re­mark about the then Home Sec­re­tary, Michael Howard hav­ing “some­thing of the night” about him.

Plau­dits this week to the William Pears Group which is do­nat­ing a whole floor of its new North-West Lon­don of­fice de­vel­op­ment to the Pears Foun­da­tion to be used by the Jewish So­cial Ac­tion Hub, which has been launched by the foun­da­tion to op­er­ate as an in­cu­ba­tor for Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The hub will give ac­com­mo­da­tion and sup­port to in­no­va­tive or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als who have “ideas, in­spi­ra­tion and vi­sion” de­clares a spokesper­son for the se­ri­ously righton foun­da­tion.

And con­grat­u­la­tions to the win­ners and run­ners-up in the Board of Deputies an­nual com­mu­nity me­dia awards for syn­a­gogues and com­mu­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions, which were handed out on Sun­day.

The pub­li­ca­tion win­ners were Radlett Syn­a­gogue’s Ra­dius, the Leeds- based Etz Chaim Syn­a­gogue’s Shab­bat Shalom, Lu­ton Syn­a­gogue’s Gesher, the Lin­colnshire Com­mu­nity’s news­let­ter, the Span­ish and Por­tuguese Syn­a­gogues’ Sameah (by far the most trans­formed pub­li­ca­tion) and UJIA’s Jewish Life. Jewish Care did well, scoop­ing a win for its Vol­un­teer News and an award for its web­site.

FZY and South Manch­ester Syn­a­gogue were the other win­ners in the in­ter­net cat­e­gory, while Bel­mont’s Stu­art Burns won the best ar­ti­cle tro­phy for the sec­ond time, though he was un­able to col­lect it as he was at his daugh­ter’s wed­ding.

As well as bask­ing in Mr Burns’s glory, Bel­mont Syn­a­gogue was also the base for FZY’s Aim Higher event, where Lord Levy led the roll-call of speak­ers. In ad­di­tion to hear­ing from the peer and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of World Jewish Re­lief and the Aegis Trust, guests saw a demon­stra­tion of In­dian cook­ery and Is­raeli danc­ing and were able to take part in one-to-one text based learn­ing.

And con­grat­u­la­tions to pupils of Manch­ester Gram­mar School, who were in Is­rael last week for the ded­i­ca­tion of a Mo­bile In­ten­sive Care Unit for the Ma­gen David Adom am­bu­lance sta­tion in Jerusalem, for which MGS sixth-for­m­ers raised £56,000 through do­na­tions and a se­ries of fundrais­ers.

Among those present at the ded­i­ca­tion were Dr Christo­pher Ray, High Mas­ter of MGS and around 30 MGS Old Boys now liv­ing in Is­rael.

A demon­stra­tion of par­ent power in Brighton, where a group of Sus­sex Jewish par­ents are to re­launch the Ortho­dox Cheder, which serves the area’s two Ortho­dox syn­a­gogues, and the East­bourne com­mu­nity. When the cheder’s for­mer head, Rabbi Zal­man Lewis, an­nounced in July that he could no longer run the classes, a group of par­ents led by Lucinda Lewis (no re­la­tion) de­cided to step in. As well as man­ag­ing the cheder for which they prom­ise a di­verse cur­ricu- lum, they plan so­cial events. En­cour­ag­ing sup­port in Lon­don this week for Neve Shalom-Wa­hat-al-Salam, Is­rael’s Arab-Jewish peace vil­lage. On Sun­day, there was a World Congress of Faiths in­ter­faith peace ser­vice at the Gold­ers Green Uni­tar­ian Church, which fea­tured Benita Hide, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Bri­tish Friends of the vil­lage.

Mean­while, Carlo Rizzi, mu­sic di­rec­tor of Welsh Na­tional Opera, gave an opera mas­ter­class for stu­dents of the Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama in aid of the peace vil­lage.

PHOTO: JOHN RIFKIN

Me­dia award win­ners, front row: Ro­main Pod­gor­ney and Karen Rap­stone (Lu­ton) mid­dle row: Wing Com­man­der Steve Grif­fiths (Lin­colnshire); Bar­bara Ma­zliah (Mo­riah School); Elkan Levy (Of­fice for Small Com­mu­ni­ties); Deb­bie Joseph (UJIA); Jen­nifer Lip­man (FZY); An­thony Green (Etz Chaim), John and Si­mone Sless (Manch­ester Syn­a­gogue) . Back row: Vic Aboudara (Jewish Care)

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