A week of help­ing and re­mem­ber­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS TO the Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre which at­tracted 2,000 vol­un­teers to its Mitz­vah Day. The an­nual event, which be­gan in 2005, had vol­un­teers in­volved in a huge range of projects in Lon­don and the re­gions, from en­vi­ron­men­tal ven­tures to the paint­ing of a chil­dren’s room at the Royal Free Hospi­tal, plus nu­mer­ous tasks for dozens of char­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions across the UK.

Well done too to One Fam­ily UK, which brought 22 sur­vivors of ter­ror to Lon­don via Is­rael’s One Fam­ily, which sup­ports vic­tims of ter­ror and their fam­i­lies. The group was hosted by the Bron­des­bury Park com­mu­nity.

It was a time for re­mem­ber­ing at the week­end, when 750 mem­bers of Ajex took part in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual march through White­hall. The pa­rade, tra­di­tion­ally held a week af­ter the na­tional Re­mem­brance, brought Ajex mem­bers from across the UK as well as the USA, Gi­bral­tar, Is­rael and France, to the Ceno­taph, where Air Mar­shall Ian Macfadyen took the salute. En­cour­ag­ingly, the marchers, mainly in their 80s and 90s, were sup­ple­mented by a large youth con­tin­gent from Bnei Akiva, JLGB, RSYNet­zer and Jewish Scouts.

Kingston Syn­a­gogue wel­comed more than 40 spe­cial guests to a Re­mem­brance Shab­bat ser­vice, in­clud­ing mayor Coun­cil­lor Shi­raz Mirza, two lo­cal MPs, Ed­ward Davey and Bar­bara Kramer, lo­cal MEP Jean Lam­bert, Greater Lon­don As­sem­bly chair Baroness Hamwee and the chair­man of Kingston Mosque, Rashid La­her. A spe­cial ser­vice of Re­mem- brance was or­gan­ised at St John’s Wood Syn­a­gogue by Mark Kosky, chair­man of the City of West­min­ster Branch of Ajex. Among guests were the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and the Lord Mayor of West­min­ster, Coun­cil­lor Carolyn Keen.

A dif­fer­ent as­pect of World War Two was re­mem­bered last week when 250 peo­ple — in­clud­ing 60 non-Jewish school­child­ren and 30 mem­bers of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity — took part in a visit to Auschwitz-Birke­nau and Krakow in Poland. The tour party, led by Cen­tral Syn­a­gogue’s Rabbi Barry Mar­cus, also in­cluded chazan Rabbi Lionel Rosen­feld and the Shab­ba­ton Choir.

The Holo­caust will be re­mem­bered this week in Barnet, where Barnet mayor Coun­cil­lor Mau­reen Braun will take part in the plant­ing of snow­drops, as part of the coun­cil’s Holo­caust Me­mo­rial project.

Hun­dreds of mem­bers of the Gold­ers Green Chabad com­mu­nity vis­ited the Poale Aguda Is­rael HQ on Sun­day and Mon­day, to see the pro­pos­als for a new Lubav­itch yeshivah and com­mu­nity cen­tre planned for Brent­mead Place. Or­gan­is­ers and ar­chi­tect Ke­van Fehler of lo­cal ar­chi­tects Stern Thom Fehler hope that feed­back from lo­cal res­i­dents will help them re­fine their plans be­fore plan­ning per­mis­sion is sought from Barnet Coun­cil.

And in Hert­ford­shire, 600 peo­ple at­tended Bore­ham­wood and El­stree Syn­a­gogue’s for­mal farewell to their min­is­ter of 31 years, Rabbi Alan Plancey, and his wife, Miriam.

Guests — who in­cluded lo­cal MPs, coun­cil­lors and two may­ors — were wel­comed by Rabbi Plancey’s suc­ces­sor, Rabbi Naf­tali Brawer. United Syn­a­gogue pres­i­dent Dr Si­mon Hochhauser praised Rabbi Plancey’s in­ter­faith, youth and char­i­ta­ble work, while Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks paid trib­ute to the enor­mous ef­fort that the Scot­tish-born rabbi and his wife had in­vested in de­vel­op­ing the Bore­ham­wood com­mu­nity. A teatime re­cep­tion ear­lier the same day saw an­other 250 mem­bers bid farewell to the Planceys.

Five-hun­dred peo­ple braved Sun­day night’s bit­ter weather to at­tend for­mer US Defence De­part­ment of­fi­cial Richard Perle’s talk on the Mid­dle East, or­gan­ised by the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion, Henry Jack­son So­ci­ety and Kin­loss Learn­ing Cen­tre.

And plau­dits for the 50 semi-fi­nal­ists of the 2007 Am­bas­sador com­pe­ti­tion, whit­tled down from a field of 100 en­trants from in Ken­ton and King Solomon High, Bark­ing­side. The an­nual com­pe­ti­tion, run by US youth arm Tribe with Bicom and JNF UK, was cre­ated as a re­sponse to grow­ing an­tisemitism and anti-Is­rael sen­ti­ment on UK cam­puses. Con­tes­tants have been re­ceiv­ing ad­vice from lead­ing pun­dits, in­clud­ing As­so­ci­ated Press lawyer Adam Can­non and pub­lic-speak­ing ex­pert Lord Janner.

And a round of ap­plause for Clore Tik­vah School in Bark­ing­side, Es­sex, which is fast turn­ing into a miniFame Academy. Molly Good­man and Katie-Louise Shalka-Fisher are the latest of its pupils to be ap­pear­ing in Joseph at the Adel­phi Theatre. Pupils Lauren Mead, Naomi Penn and sis­ters Lolita and Delilah Gendler pre­vi­ously per­formed in the mu­si­cal.

The JC is de­lighted to add its con­grat­u­la­tions to Leeds cou­ple Michael Woolf and Bar­bara Spavin, who met through our per­sonal col­umns and are to marry in Jan­uary.

Lim­mud or­gan­is­ers have been re­mind­ing those who have not yet re­served for this year’s ed­u­ca­tion and cul­ture-fest that, with fewer than five weeks to go, they need to book fast. To be held for the first time at War­wick Univer­sity af­ter al­most a decade in Not­ting­ham, the con­fer­ence will in­clude a typ­i­cally eclec­tic clutch of speak­ers, in­clud­ing Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Mus­lims Against An­tiSemitism; Ox­ford Dic­tionary of Na­tional Bi­og­ra­phy ed­i­tor Lawrence Gold­man; and the JC’s Ital­ian-Jewish cook Silvia Nacamulli; plus Finch­ley Catholic Boys High School stu­dents per­form­ing their Holo­caust play Re­mem­ber.

PHOTO: VICKY AL­HAD­EFF

Dame Ju­lia Neu­berger ( cen­tre) with ( from left) Rachel In­gram, Gaby Ju­dah, Andrew Mar­shall and Rachel Mar­cus, paint a chil­dren’s room at Lon­don’s Royal Free Hospi­tal as part of the JCC’s an­nual Mitz­vah Day

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