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UK News

The latest news stories about Chabad Lubavitch from around the UK.

Electrical Fire Severely Damages Edgware Mikveh

fire.jpgTens of thousands of pounds of damage was caused by an electrical fire in a shed housing Edgware Lubavitch’s Mikveh last week.

"I looked out the window and spotted a whisper of smoke then called 999," recounts Rabbi Zalman Sudak, associate director of Lubavitch of Edgware. "When the firemen arrived less than ten minutes later, I could already see flames."

As well as damage to the walls and ceiling of the room containing the ritual bath, prayer books, synagogue chairs and children’s play equipment stored in another room of the shed were also ruined in the blaze last Thursday afternoon.

"On one of the pictures from the CCTV you can see a fireball coming out of the shed as the… Read More »

Buckhurst Hill Enjoys 'Café Chabad'

For smaller communities outside the major hubs of Jewish life, the lack of good quality kosher food and restaurants is a perennial problem. However, when Rabbi Odom and Henny Brandman moved to Buckhurst Hill, Essex, over three years ago, they were determined to find a solution.

"One of the problems for the local Jewish community when we came here," explains Rabbi Brandman, "was that there was nowhere kosher to eat out locally without driving almost an hour or more to North West London."

Responding to the needs of the community, the Brandmans worked in conjunction with the local residents to establish Café Chabad.

"We had the idea to quite literally turn the Chabad House into a kosher restaurant for the night," says Rabbi Brandman.

The… Read More »

Oxford Jewish Library to Add Rare Medieval Works to Collection

IXlX2828527.jpgStudents and community members in Oxford are anticipating the expansion of a local Chabad-Lubavitch run library following a scheduled infusion of funds.

The next installment of a five-figure annual grant from Toronto’s Samson Family, whose daughter studied at Oxford University, will allow the Oxford Chabad Society’s current collection of more than 3,000 volumes to expand into the realm of medieval rabbinic literature.  Continue...

International Unity Lecture with Chief Rabbi

Hundreds of Jewish communities around the world will gather on Sunday, March 29th, to hear a live broadcast of an address by Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth.

Rabbi Sacks is the second of four speakers to address worldwide Jewry as part of the Unity Lectures - a series of webcast lectures being held to mark the year of Hakhel (year of gathering).

In the UK, twelve institutions, including Chabad Houses, student centres and synagogues, will bring together Jews from all backgrounds to participate in the Unity Lectures.

“These lectures are a fantastic idea and my congregants are really excited to hear the Chief Rabbi just before Pesach,” says Rabbi Mordchai Wollenberg, rabbi of Cardiff… Read More »

Preparations Underway for Once-in-28-Years Mitzvah

As Jews the world over busy themselves with preparations for Passover, Chabad centres are organising events to mark Birkat Hachamah (the sun blessing).

The once-in-28-years mitzvah will see Jews from all backgrounds taking to the streets in the early morning on Wednesday April 8th to participate in a rare prayer service which marks the point in time when the sun returns to the same point in the sky as it was on the fourth day of Creation.

Birkat Hachamah last took place in 1981. So, for many, this will be the first opportunity to witness and undertake this novel mitzvah.

Although the service is relatively short in its liturgy, the rarity and novelty of the event is expected to draw crowds of worshippers… Read More »

Hendon Celebrates New Torah Scroll

Some 250 people filled the streets of Hendon with music and dancing to celebrate the completion and consecration of a new Torah scroll donated to Chabad of Hendon on Sunday, March 15th.

“There was an electric atmosphere as the Torah scroll was completed and everyone spontaneously burst into song,” says Rabbi Gershon Overlander who runs Chabad of Hendon with his wife, Sara Leah.

Guests were invited to sponsor and write a letter in the Torah scroll. The final letter was written by Mr Yisroel Margulies who commissioned the new scroll in honour of his father, Zvi Margulies.

With live music and dancing, the new sefer Torah was carried under a traditional chupah (canopy) through the usually quiet streets of Hendon. Some 250 people… Read More »

First Passover Shop in Essex

A Passover shop has opened in Essex which is the first of its kind in the area.

The volunteer-run Passover Shop, sponsored by the Chabad centre in Ilford, is the first to cater for the East London and Essex communities. Some 15,000 Jews in the Ilford and Essex area will have the opportunity to benefit from a conveniently located shop from which to purchase a full range of reasonably priced kosher for Passover products.

"There are no other kosher shops in the area and people usually have to spend time travelling across London to Golders Green, Hendon or Edgware to do their Pesach shopping," says Rabbi Odom Brandman, director of Chabad of Buckhurst Hill.

With a full range of kosher for Passover products at competitive… Read More »

Purim Events Draw Large Crowds

Chabad centres across the UK brought the joy of Purim to Jews from all walks of life and religious backgrounds this week.

Hundreds of events provided a diverse spectrum of people with modern and refreshing ways to celebrate the ancient festival of Purim which marks the survival of the Jewish people and the renewal of Jewish identity in the face of annihilation.

Chabad centres hosted an array of colourful parties with novel and innovative themes in cities throughout the UK with all ages and tastes catered for.

Children and parents dressed up as cowboys and Indians in Hampstead Town Hall where Rabbi Yisroel and Devora Weisz hosted Chabad of Hampstead’s Wild West Purim party. The event, which attracted over 110 people, included megillah… Read More »

Chabad Prepares for 100s of Purim Events Across UK

Chabad centres across the UK are busy putting the finishing touches to preparations for a lively and exciting array of events to celebrate Purim this coming week.

Thousands of Jews from all walks of life and religious affiliations are expected to celebrate Purim with Chabad by attending hundreds of Megillah readings, parties, farbrengens, family events and festive meals up and down the country.

This year sees a wide variety of colourful and exotic themes. In Cambridge, the Chabad House will be transformed into a Persian Café serving Persian delicacies. Whisky will be flowing (metaphorically speaking) at Oxford Chabad where students will be celebrating an Irish-themed Purim replete with live Irish music, fancy dress and entertainment… Read More »

Diplomat Addresses Oxford Gathering

International relations came to the front door of Oxford University’s Chabad Society as several pro-Palestinian demonstrators launched a loud protest on the busy thoroughfare of George Street Friday night.

Waving flags, handing out leaflets and raising their voices at passersby, the group objected to the appearance of veteran Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner at the inaugural Shabbaton of campus-based Chabad-Lubavitch centers in the United Kingdom.  Continue...

New, Expanded Premises for Chabad at Leeds University

Leeds Student Chabad House is to move to new larger premises in April, it was announced this week.

The new building, which measures 400 sq metres (4300 sq foot), is described as one of nicest buildings in the area and is located on one of the main streets of university campus. It will house the expanding activities of the Leeds Student Chabad House directed by Rabbi Michoel and Chana Sara Danow.

The purchase of the new building has been made possible with the help of a generous supporter who has donated the start up funds for the project.

The Danows moved to Leeds from Sweden where they ran a Chabad House for 12 years serving the Jewish community in Gottenberg.

In July 2007, upon their arrival in Leeds, they established the… Read More »

Birmingham Nominates Rabbi

Over 500 people attended the induction of Chabad Rabbi Yossi Jacobs from across the United Kingdom, United States of America and Israel. Jacobs becomes the youngest Chief Minister in Birmingham's Singers Hill history.

Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks led the induction of The Chief Minister of Birmingham Hebrew Congregation on Sunday 1st March 2009, at city centre based synagogue, Singers Hill.

Rabbi Jacobs's first official position was at the age of 22 ministering to the Netherlee and Clarkston Hebrew congregation in Scotland. This made him one of the youngest serving Rabbis in the country.

Upon receiving the call from Singers Hill synagogue in Birmingham, Rabbi Jacobs arrived in 2005 and has been responsible, for the revival of regular… Read More »

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