The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

Al­most 300 peo­ple vol­un­teer. “With­out them we would not be able to do what we do.” Some 650 home vis­its were or­gan­ised over the year, more than 200 hos­pi­tal vis­its made and In ex­cess of 5,000 kosher meals pro­vided.

A re­fur­bish­ment of MJCC’s Shifrin House HQ has fa­cil­i­tated an ex­pan­sion of well-be­ing and sup­port ser­vices, although the char­ity also uses other com­mu­nal venues. Ms Dolan flour­ishes a copy of the lat­est monthly pro­gramme, where events run the gamut from “se­quence dance” to “mem­ory fit­ness”.

The cen­tre is also home to Cit­i­zens’ Ad­vice Bureau surg­eries, deal­ing with is­sues such as low in­come, re­dun­dancy and debt. The MJCC will of­fer small grants for “cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. But if some­one has run up a credit card debt of

£20,000, we can’t solve that.”

Hav­ing “not re­ceived a penny from the city coun­cil since

2011”, MJCC needs

Lisa Dolan at Mersey­side Jewish Com­mu­nity Care to run a tight ship. It has a bud­get of £350,000 and an op­er­at­ing deficit of £50,000.

“We have our var­i­ous ap­peals to keep things tick­ing over,” Ms Dolan re­ports. “Our com­mu­nity is very sup­port­ive.”

At Stapely, trustee Philip Et­tinger is re­al­is­tic about the prospect of gen­er­at­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port “from such a di­min­ished com­mu­nity”. Mr Et­tinger, whose fam­ily are in the film busi­ness, has had to deal with the fall-out from Stapely’s own dis­as­ter movie. Speak­ing in the Stapely syn­a­gogue — where Bea­tles’ man­ager Brian Ep­stein is among the names on memo­rial plaques — he re­calls the si­mul­ta­ne­ous dou­ble whammy of a scathing Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion re­port and a crit­i­cal in­spec­tion from Mersey­side Fire Bri­gade.

The CQC rated the home in­ad­e­quate over­all, find­ing “no ef­fec­tive man­age­ment and over­sight of the ser­vice”, and placed it in spe­cial mea­sures. The fire bri­gade re­quire­ments meant an ex­pen­di­ture of £250,000 and were it not for a ma­jor le­gacy, the con­se­quences could have been dire. “Ev­ery­thing you planned goes out of the win­dow,” Mr Et­tinger re­flects. “It ef­fec­tively closes your busi­ness down.”

The fire chiefs are now sat­is­fied and Mr Et­tinger in­sists the is­sues with the CQC were “vir­tu­ally 100 per cent cler­i­cal” and have been speed­ily rec­ti­fied, although proof of the pud­ding will be the next in­spec­tion find­ings.

The “100 per cent kosher home” re­lies on non-Jewish clients for around half its oc­cu­pancy and Mr Et­tinger says that ev­ery penny be­yond the break even point is ploughed back into the build­ing.

De­spite the re­cent dif­fi­cul­ties, Stapely is press­ing ahead with a project for a res­i­den­tial vil­lage for cou­ples with med­i­cal sup­port on site, which he feels will ap­peal to the Jewish com­mu­nity. “It’s now a place to come to. In the past it was a place to avoid.”

So what of the com­mu­nity’s fu­ture? Ed­die Clein, a for­mer Liver­pool Lord Mayor, cites the ex­am­ple of the suc­cess­ful Harold­eans Jewish foot­ball team as a pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tor: “Twen­ty­five Jewish foot­ballers who went to uni­ver­si­ties out­side the city and have come back.”

He adds that in gen­eral terms, things have been on the up since the city was Europe’s cul­ture cap­i­tal in 2008. “It changed the whole scene.”

Ma­sorti’s Paul Schwartz ven­tures that “we might be on the cusp of get­ting peo­ple here. Big busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions that might have in the past gone to Manch­ester are now com­ing to Liver­pool.”

But prob­a­bly best for now not to ex­pect the open­ing of a clutch of kosher butch­ers.

An all-day Jewish her­itage sym­po­sium linked to the Galkoff ex­hi­bi­tion will be held at the Mu­seum of Liver­pool on Sun­day

FOR years, Matthew Shaw passed Child­wall Syn­a­gogue un­aware that it was a Jewish re­li­gious build­ing. He knows now.

The new head of King David Pri­mary, who de­scribes him­self as “prac­tis­ing C of E”, has been en­joy­ing a crash course in Jewish life.

“I’ve lived in this area for so long and had no idea there was such a strong Jewish com­mu­nity,” he ad­mits. “All I knew was that Jews don’t eat pork and Satur­day is the Sab­bath.

“When I got ap­pointed, I rang Princes Road [syn­a­gogue] and did a tour. It was amaz­ing. I put down

Matthew Shaw has his dream job at the King David Pri­mary ed­u­ca­tional books and picked up Jewish books like Yid­dish for Dum­mies.”

A kosher cook­book has pride of place in his of­fice and he ex­tols the virtues of chopped liver.

Mr Shaw even ad­mits to look­ing for mezu­zot on house doors and is “re­ally hop­ing” to visit Is­rael in the near fu­ture. “I’ve been to peo­ple’s houses to ‘talk sid­dur’ or for Fri­day night din­ner,” the head adds. “I went to shul over the fes­ti­val sea­son and the ser­vices were so calm­ing and in­spir­ing. You could feel the spir­i­tual na­ture.”

Mr Shaw took charge at KD after five years at an­other lo­cal school and says it is a dream ap­point­ment.

“You couldn’t ask for a bet­ter school for a first head­ship. The [aca­demic] ex­pec­ta­tions and stan­dards of be­hav­iour are fan­tas­tic.”

Jewish chil­dren ac­count for 20 per cent of the stu­dent roll of 430, all of whom study Ivrit.

Mr Shaw would be happy to see the Jewish pupil pop­u­la­tion grow but adds: “The mes­sage is that we are a Jewish school but we don’t want any­one to be ex­cluded. I want any fam­ily to have the same wel­come I have re­ceived.”

We might be on the cusp of get­ting peo­ple here’ Shul ser­vices are so calm­ing and in­spir­ing’

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