Birth­day par­ties draw the crowds

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY JAY GRENBY

AMER­I­CAN ROCK BAND Blue Fringe hit the right note for 250 rev­ellers at Stan­more Syn­a­gogue’s Is­rael 60th birth­day bash, The group of four twen­tysome­things, who met at Yeshiva Univer­sity in 2001, played a Jewish-themed set of pop, rock, funk and R&B to a pre­dom­i­nantly youth­ful au­di­ence.

An Is­rael at 60 con­cert at Edg­ware and Dis­trict Re­form Syn­a­gogue took the 250 guests on a mu­si­cal tour of Is­rael’s his­tory and ge­og­ra­phy, with nar­ra­tion by EDRS Pres­i­dent Mitch Wax and songs from the Zemel Choir. Dur­ing the evening, trib­ute was paid to EDRS vol­un­teers who had fought for Is­rael dur­ing the War of In­de­pen­dence.

There was Life — Love Is­rael From Edg­ware — in the cel­e­bra­tions at Edg­ware Syn­a­gogue where the sup­port group or­gan­ised a din­ner for 170 in con­junc­tion with UJIA. JC colum­nist Me­lanie Phillips ad­dressed the event and for­mer UK Is­raeli Am­bas­sador Ye­huda Avner spoke at the pre­ced­ing Yom Hazikaron ser­vice. Pro­ceeds from the evening ben­e­fited Ma­gen David Adom.

Co­me­dian Yis­rael Camp­bell was brought over from Is­rael for the Edg­ware Yeshu­run party, re­gal­ing well over 100 guests with jokes and anec­dotes about his life as a Philadel­phian con­vert from Catholi­cism who be­came a de­vout Jew in Jerusalem. Be­fore the con­cert, or­gan­ised by David Son, there was a pre­sen­ta­tion on Yeshu­run’s Is­rael mis­sion at Chanu­cah, where par­tic­i­pants will join forces with Emu­nah to work on two so­cial wel­fare projects.

For the fifth suc­ces­sive year, North- wood Syn­a­gogue hosted a Magic Mo­ments del­e­ga­tion of Is­raeli teenagers who staged a Yom Hazikaron re­mem­brance ser­vice be­fore the Yom Atz­maut party for 200, fea­tur­ing Is­raeli food, mu­sic and danc­ing. Magic Mo­ments guests were also in­volved in the Bushey Syn­a­gogue pro­gramme, which at­tracted an au­di­ence of 200.

Yavneh Col­lege was the only lo­cal venue large enough to ac­com­mo­date the 300-strong crowd at Bore­ham­wood’s Yom Hazikaron/Yom Atz­maut pro­gramme. It was an­other to fea­ture Magic Mo­ments par­tic­i­pants, as did the Kingston Syn­a­gogue event, which drew over 130 peo­ple from Kingston, Wim­ble­don, Rich­mond and Sut­ton.

In the small Wel­wyn Gar­den City com­mu­nity, or­gan­is­ers of the Yom Atz­maut party achieved their tar­get of sell­ing a ticket for each year of Is­rael’s ex­is­tence. The cel­e­bra­tion — open to mem­bers of the neigh­bour­ing Pot­ters Bar and St Al­bans com­mu­ni­ties — fea­tured a buf­fet, films, a quiz and ac­counts by three Wel­wyn mem­bers plus min­is­ter Rabbi Hil­lel Gruber of the years they had lived in Is­rael. More than £500 was raised for Wel­wyn Wizo’s Sderot ap­peal.

A comic touch was brought to the West Lon­don Syn­a­gogue din­ner and party by the ap­pear­ance of Golda Over­all­sky, a heimishe ver­sion of the Mrs Over­all char­ac­ter from the Acorn An­tiques TV spoof.

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