EVENTS OF THE WEEK Freddie and Chai have recipes for success
SUPPORTERS OF Nightingale, the South-West London residential home, should be in good spirits following the huge success of the annual fundraising dinner. It not only raised more than £1m, but had TV historian Simon Schama as guest speaker. The event, at the City’s Guildhall, also bade farewell as president to the inimitable Ros Preston; the new chairman, Harvey Rosenblatt, was able to tell guests about his ambitions for the Wandsworth care home.
On the subject of successful fundraising, lavish praise for Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller, 86, who has once again persuaded a worldfamous musician (this time violinist Itzhak Perlman) to be guest of honour at a reception in aid of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre this week.
Mr Knoller, founder and chairman of the HSC Friends’ Committee, was expecting 180 guests at the reception on Tuesday night following Mr Perlman’s concert at London’s Barbican Hall. Last year, the feisty fundraiser arranged an exclusive performance in aid of the HSC by violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov at which HRH Princess Alexandra was present.
And a gratifying week for Chai Cancer Care, which, on Sunday, launched its first-ever cook book. Together We Can Cook, written by and for children, was conceived as a way of raising funds for the Hendon centre’s children- and family-support services.
More than 130 children, aged three to 14, from 35 schools contributed their favourite recipes for main courses, starters and desserts. TV presenter Claudia Winkleman, accompanied by her son Jake, four, were at the centre on Sunday to throw a metaphorical bottle of champagne over the bows of this beautifully illustrated little tome. We hear that it is already selling well on Amazon. Just think of all those proud parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles.
A good week in Brighton, where the Jewish community — under the auspices of the Sussex Jewish Representative Council and JNF UK — has launched a nationwide competition to find a song to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday next May.
Finalists in the song-writing competition designed for amateur composers will perform for a panel of celebrity judges at a grand final in Brighton on May 7. Aspiring Amy Winehouses and Billy Joels can pocket £1,000 for first place, or £500 and £250 for second and third places.
Meanwhile, JNF UK is £300,000 better off this week, thanks to its Israeli Forum committee event at Gilgamesh in Camden, North London, last week. The glittering event, sponsored by Israeli entrepreneur Arnon Katz, raised the cash for a new school for disadvantaged children at Givat Olga on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Among the 300 London-based Israelis who packed the hypercool restaurant (it has the longest bar in Europe, Community Life has been informed) was about-to-depart Israeli Ambassador Zvi Heifetz and JNF UK Israeli Forum chairman Leora TornHibler.
Some half-dozen senior Barnet councillors, including Cllr Lynne Hil- lan, Cabinet Member for Community Services, and Cllr John Marshall, Cabinet Member for Investment in Learning, will be joining more than 1,000 other mainly Jewish volunteers this Sunday to take part in the Jewish Community Centre’s annual Mitzvah Day, which is supporting 35 local, national and international projects. Perhaps with green concerns in mind, the councillors will be helping out on an environmental project organised by Finchley Reform Synagogue to clean Dollis Brook, which runs across the borough.
Wolfson-Hillel Primary School in Southgate, North London, gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “red letter day” last week when all 470 pupils, plus staff and parents, dressed in scarlet for the launch of a playground appeal.
Called the Red-Hot Appeal, it aims to raise £50,000 for the complete refurbishment of the existing playground, as well as improving other sports and play facilities. A year of fund-raising began with the release of 50 red balloons by the local MP David Burrowes, who, despite being a Tory, donned a red tie and scarf. Enfield mayor Cllr Dogan Delman, wearing his red mayoral robes, unveiled a fund-raising thermometer, which has already registered £2,000.
And news reaches us of a new activity on offer at the Sunrise residential care homes in Elstree and Chorleywood. Residents are being offered Nintendo Wii (pronounced, for the benefit of readers aged over-25, “wee”). Community Life refrains from any cruel jokes…
Claudia Winkleman at the launch of Chai Cancer Care’s children’s cookbook Together We Can Cook in Hendon on Sunday