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UK News

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

Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Inaugurates Oxford Study Hall

meir.jpgFormer Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and local dignitaries were on hand Monday for the dedication of the Tajtelbaum Study Hall at the David Slager Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Center serving Oxford University.

More than 100 students joined faculty and community members at the dedication inside the wood-trimmed hall featuring a hand-carved ark for a Torah scroll, oak study tables and an expansive Judaica library.

In his address, Lau spoke identified assimilation in the United Kingdom and United States as the greatest threat facing the Jewish people. Study halls such as that at the Oxford Chabad House, he said, helped to mitigate that threat by strengthening Jewish education.

Oxford Chabad Society director Rabbi Eli Brackman pointed out… Read More »

Jewish Life Expands in Quaint English Countryside

kendal.jpgWith a population of less than 30,000 people and a prime location in the heart of South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England, the market town of Kendal has a quaint charm buoyed by its distance from the United Kingdom’s large cities.

Were it not for the work of Jewish organizations 80 miles to the south in Manchester, the few Jewish residents who call Kendal home would likely find their peaceful paradise devoid of such seemingly ubiquitous items as Passover matzah and Chanukah menorahs. Rabbi Yisrael Cohen, director of L’Chaim Outreach, a program of the Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva in Manchester, remembers one Passover when he visited a Jewish couple living in a farm house in a remote part of the countryside around Kendal....

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British Ambassador to Israel Hosts Mass Bar Mitzvah

n3.jpgBritish Ambassador Tom Phillips welcomed 13 boys from Ohr Simcha, a Chabad-Lubavitch run orphanage and boarding school in central Israel, to his official residence last week for a mass Bar Mitzvah celebration with Minister of Welfare and Social Services Yitzhak Herzog in attendance.

Phillips first visited the Kfar Chabad school in 2006, meeting two brothers there who had arrived from the United Kingdom. Touched by the visit, he hosted the older brother’s Bar Mitzvah, and resolved to host the younger brother’s as well, this time with all of his classmates.

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Scientist Lord Robert Winston Speaks to Students at London's Imperial College

n2.jpgSome 80 students and staff gathered at Imperial College, London, this week to hear Professor Lord Robert Winston speak about the ideas behind his latest book, Bad Ideas, which traces the fascinating history of our attempts at self-improvement while also questioning their value.

Through regular TV appearances and now as politician in the House of Lords, Lord Winston has become a household name in the Britain as one of country’s best-known scientists.

“Every human achievement has a downside that we don’t expect to see,” he told the audience. With all new technologies and scientific developments, “real advances which will change our lives are probably not fully understood, and perhaps could not be… Read More »

Black Belt Bar Mitzvah

DSC01399.JPGObserving the powerfully built man wearing the starched white Gi he dons when fighting, one gains an immediate respect and understanding why Ronnie Colwell is an internationally renowned martial arts expert. But behind the brawn one sees a gentle giant with placid eyes and a smile that professes a child-like innocence.

Learning martial arts on Liverpool’s rough streets in the 1940s, Colwell, in a career spanning seven decades, has served his country in the armed forces, has worked as a professional bodyguard, martial arts instructor to royalty and as a Special Forces instructor.

But last Thursday afternoon at Liverpool’s Chabad House, the 9th Dan in the arts of Karate-do and Jujutsu laid tefillin and was called up to the… Read More »

British Rabbi Brings Fresh Kosher Milk to China

milk.jpgFor the first time in recent memory, a Beijing dairy is distributing strictly kosher, or chalav yisrael, cow’s milk throughout China.

The first ton of milk – produced under the supervision of British-born Rabbi Shimon Freundlich, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Beijing – hit the market last week. Completely organic, the milk meets European and American health standards in addition to satisfying the strictures of Jewish dietary laws.

Rabbi Akiva Osher Padwa from the London rabbinical court assisted in the supervision. Future production will take place on a monthly basis, said Freundlich, and the milk will be available in Guangzhou, Pudong, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Kowloon and Yi Wu in addition to Beijing. He… Read More »

Scottish Jews Celebrate Variety of Country’s Kosher Food

n2.jpgHundreds of Scotland’s Jews filled a hall in the Glasgow suburb of Giffnock for an exhibition extolling the variety of kosher foodstuffs in today’s marketplace.

The Lubavitch Kosher Food and Wine Expo, the fifth of its kind in the country, included demonstrations from local kosher chefs, children’s activities, and a class on baking the traditional Shabbat bread known as challah. Rabbi Chaim and Sora Jacobs, who opened the first Chabad-Lubavitch center in Scotland some 40 years ago, presided over the event.

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British P.O.W. Tells Oxford Students of Auschwitz Horrors

n1.jpgDenis Avey, the 91-year-old British prisoner of war who smuggled himself into Auschwitz and managed to save two Jewish prisoners from death at the hands of the Nazis, riveted a crowd of more than 150 Oxford University students with a personal tale that only last year became public.

Speaking at the Chabad-Lubavitch Society’s David Slager Jewish Student Centre to mark 65 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, Avey described the location’s complex of concentration and extermination camps where more than 1 million people, most of them Jewish, lost their lives during the Holocaust. While he was there – originally at a camp for foreign P.O.W.s – some 200,000 people were worked to death, he said.

Read… Read More »

Investors in People Commends Chabad's Vocational Training Arm

Computer.jpgChabad's Vista Training, a provider of vocational training for adults and older adolescents in North London, has attained the prestigious Investors in People award.

The organisation, run by Mrs Hindy Lew and housed in the brand new Lubavitch Children's Centre building, was established in 1993 to provide residents of Hackney and Haringey with vocational qualifications, preparing students to adapt to their workplace with ease.

Vista Training enables hard-to-reach people in North London to achieve qualifications and acquire skills in a culturally sensitive environment with classes tailored to the many different types of students in the Borough, including school leavers, mothers returning to work, and even 'young'… Read More »

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