A trip to Spurs, a bumper quiz supper, planting an apple tree and commemorations of Yom HaShoah: this week’s community news round-up.
Resource raised more than £7,000 when it held a quiz supper at Finchley Reform Synagogue. Since its inception 23 years ago, the charity has helped more than 10,000 unemployed members of the Jewish community to get back into the workplace, providing one-to-one guidance from experienced professionals, seminars and workshops and interview training – all at zero cost to clients.
Seven football fans taking part in Norwood’s Life Skills and Learning programme went behind the scenes at White Hart Lane – home of Tottenham Hotspur. The programme gives adults with learning disabilities the chance to learn throughout life as well as gain practical skills with the ‘Football Crazy’ course, teaching people about the game, as well as helping to improve their computer and communication skills. Participant Ian Goldberg said: “The tour was very good – the ground is very impressive! I’ve been a Spurs fan all my life and I’ve been coming to White Hart Lane since the 70s.” Dan Slaughter, inclusion development officer for the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “We’re proud of the work we do with Norwood, so it was great to be able to bring the people we support to White Hart Lane to see how it works behind the scenes”.
Children at Little Heath School, a special needs secondary school in Redbridge, held an apple tree planting ceremony with local religious visitors. Head of religious education, Anne Krisman (pictured far right), a member of South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue, received the tree from Rabbi Natan Levy of the Board of Deputies. Pictured (top) from left are: Fawzia Govender, deputy headteacher, Darpna Tank, a Krishna devotee, Rabbi David Hulbert from Bet Tikvah Synagogue in Ilford, James Brownlie, headteacher, Rev. Kate Lovesey from St Peter’s church, Mohamed Omer from Gardens of Peace Muslim cemetery, and Poonet Raval, a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba and former pupil.
Alyth Synagogue commemorated Yom HaShoah with a Ma’ariv evening service. Attendees listened to moving testimony from members of the synagogue who are survivors of the Shoah. Rabbi Josh Levy, whose grandfather, Rev Dr Isaac Levy was Senior Jewish Chaplain to the British Liberation Army, which entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on 15 April 1945, said: “Remembering the Shoah as a synagogue community has a special power as you realise that the people among whom you pray, learn and socialise, have the pain of the Nazi era deep within them”.
Nineteen members of Stanmore Synagogue visited Warsaw and Treblinka to commemorate Yom HaShoah. Led by Rabbi Andrew Shaw – their community rabbi and director of United Synagogue’s living and learning department, the trip was part of the communal conclusion of 70 days for 70 years. The tour began at the Umschlagplatz, the holding area for Jews before they were taken to Treblinka death camp, and included visits to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Nozyk Synagogue, before they lit Yahrzeit candles, recited Kaddish and sung the Hatikvah at the memorial grounds.
JCoSS marked Yom HaShaoah with an extended project and a student-created exhibition on ‘Righteous among the Nations’. Students researched and created an exhibition based on stories about non-Jews who had saved Jews during the war, with a school ceremony focused on the stories of teachers who had saved colleagues and students during the Shoah. Sara Levan, who is in charge of informal Jewish education in the school, said: “We felt so inspired by the amazing stories the students researched that we decided to build a ceremony which reflected our school community and focused on the experiences of teachers and students during the Shoah”.
Pinner Synagogue held its annual Yom HaShaoh remembrance evening in front of a packed hall of nearly 400 people. The customary lighting of six candles was carried out by survivors of Bergen-Belsen and one of the liberators, each candle lighter accompanied by a youth member of the synagogue (‘The Third Generation’) who then read a poignant piece relating to the evening’s remembrance programme. Gaby Glassman, chairman of the Yom HaShoah committee, gave an introduction to the evening, before Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, the Chargé d’Affairs of the German Embassy (acting Ambassador), gave a short address. Bergen-Belsen survivor, Freddie Knoller, 94, was the guest speaker for the evening, which ended with the playing of the BBC recording of the singing of the Hatikvah, which was led by army chaplain Rev. Leslie Hardman.