Miliband has a date with WIZO women
THE WOMEN of WIZO.uk are having a good week: they have landed Foreign Secretary David Miliband as the guest speaker at their 90thanniversary dinner next February.
Mr Miliband, whose decision to prioritise meeting his newly adopted baby son over meeting Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah earned him criticism in some sections of the press, has previously declined speaking engagements with Jewish organisations.
Community Life wonders if Mrs Miliband senior might be a closet member of WIZO and exerted some influence. Funds raised at the dinner will go to three projects in Jerusalem, including a transit home for children at high risk of abuse.
And while congratulating UK organisations on securing top speakers, plaudits to the Kinloss Learning Centre at North-West London’s thriving Finchley Synagogue, for getting Holocaust historian Dr Deborah Lipstadt to deliver the Lord Jakobovits Memorial Lecture as the culmination of the centre’s autumn programme.
And congratulations to the organisers of Kisharon’s art auction held last Thursday night at the MacDougalls auction house, which raised more than £70,000, including £18,000 for a single piece by artist Mary Fedden. Some 150 guests entered the bidding for the 48 lots, which included rare Judaica, a signed David Rubinger image of paratroopers at the Western Wall in 1967 and a work specially commissioned by Kisharon from David Breuer-Weil.
A good week, too, for the Zionist Federation, which commemorated the 90th anniversary of one of the most significant events in Zionist history — the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government “viewed with favour” the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Some 300 guests attended the event, held at the Foreign Office, at which ZF chairman Andrew Balcombe welcomed Lord Jacob Rothschild, great-nephew of Lord Walter Rothschild who received the declaration from then Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour. Historian Sir Martin Gilbert was the main speaker.
Another historic moment will be marked tomorrow night when members of AJEX attend a brief service at Platform 8 at Victoria Station, London, to mark the anniversary of the arrival of the body of the Unknown Warrior on November 10, 1920.
Congratulations this week, too, to One to One, the Finchley-based charity, which has 50 trekkers raising sponsorship cash for disadvantaged young people in Israel, and also to the younger but equally charitably minded quartet who were the winners of the JC and JCD Chanucah card competition. The four, selected from a huge number of entries from pupils at Jewish schools and via the JC, are Elisha Mann-Wineberg, six, from Salford who is a pupil at King David School, Manchester; Michal Cohen, 12, from Golders Green, who attends Menorah High School; Julius Kochan, 10, from Crouch End; and Danielle Stanley, 11, from Bushey. The cards are available in packs of 8 at £5 per pack (020 8446 8804; firstname.lastname@example.org).
And a notional bottle of (kosher) Champagne to FZY’s charity committee which ran its X Factor-style Starsearch on Sunday at London’s Shaw Theatre where some 230 people saw Hannah-Beth Leslie sweep top prize. The event raised £2,500 for FZY’s Ethiopian Barmitzvah Fund and Grief Encounter, which helps bereaved children. Coincidentally, Shelley Gilbert, founder of Grief Encounter, was this week presented with Jewish Care’s Minerva Business Award, presented at the annual fundraising luncheon. More than 800 people attended, raising a record £421,000 for Jewish Care. Poignantly, Ms Gilbert’s award was presented by Grief Encounter patron Kevin Wells, father of murdered Soham schoolgirl Holly Wells.
And on the subject of awards, con- gratulations to Vivienne Bellos, leader of North-West London Reform Synagogue’s Alyth Choral Society, who has been awarded the 2007 Making Music/Lady Hilary Groves Prize for her contribution to music. The award will be presented on December 9, at a concert to mark ACS’s jubilee year.
Milestone anniversary years are being celebrated at a trio of London’s United Synagogue congregations this week. At Highams Park and Chingford Synagogue, which is 70 years old, the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks attended a service and afternoon tea at the East London shul on Sunday. Meanwhile Ruislip Synagogue concluded its 60th-anniversary celebrations with an evening of entertainment and Wembley Synagogue closes its 80th anniversary celebrations with guest Liverpool MP Louise Ellman later this month.
A rewarding week for JNF UK which saw the presentation of the latest round of scholarships that allow Israeli soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend university. JNF UK chief executive Simon Winters joined top military brass at the presentation of seven scholarships bringing to 50 the number of soldiers able to continue their education since the scheme’s inception in 2002.
And plaudits to UJIA for arranging Yeshivah and Sem fairs in London and Manchester, designed to help young UK Jews choose gap-year educational programmes in Israel. Some 200 students attended the fairs, at Hendon’s Hasmonean High and Manchester’s King David High.
Elisha Mann-Wineberg’s Chanucah card is one of four winning designs in the JC and JCD competition. Elisha, six, is from Salford, Manchester