RepPresents Rosh Hashanah 2014 p6-8

Michelle the Mayor
Shortly after she took up the role of Bury Mayor, Cllr
Michelle Wiseman spoke with David Lewis about her
role, the Representative Council and the future.
'It's harder to hold back than
speak out' says Cllr Michelle
Wiseman, who since May 2014
has had the honour of being
appointed the Mayor of Bury. 'In
my role as Mayor I have to
maintain a position of neutrality
and stepping back from a
controversial issue can often
create difficulties for me'.
But Michelle is an
experienced politician who has
served on Bury Council for
thirteen years, for the most part
representing the Conservative
Party and latterly as an
Independent. She knows full
well the obligations, as well as
the privileges, that come with
her role. It is with enormous
pride that she wears her robes
and chains of office and takes
great pleasure in showing
visitors the well-appointed
Mayor's Parlour with its
magnificent collection of
paintings and ceremonial
objects d'art.
Her connection with the
Representative Council has
been a long one. Previously,
she served as an Executive
Member and looks forward to
the opportunity of strengthening
the relationship between the
Representative Council and the
Borough throughout her
mayoral year. She has already
been present at several Jewish
functions and hopes to attend
many more over the coming
Following this she will serve
as Deputy Mayor for a year but
has made the decision not to
stand for re-election when her
term as a Councillor comes to
an end in 2016. 'After all those
years', she says 'I will be looking
for new challenges' and adds
that she may look for a greater
involvement within the
Representative Council itself.
Although as Mayor, Michelle
does not of course, represent
the Jewish Community in an
official capacity, she does carry
her Jewish identity with her into
the position.
The religious
service to mark her installation
was carried out at the Whitefield
Synagogue and her chaplain is
Rabbi Guttentag. She does not
undertake duties on Friday
nights though may attend some
functions on a Saturday
provided it does not
compromise her religious
practice. Michelle will attend
Church services when required,
though she has declined to
participate when asked to give
readings, “On such occasions,”
she says, “having a Deputy
Mayor to rely upon is
Michelle is ably assisted as
Mayoress by Danielle, her 22
year-old daughter. On the brink
of what will clearly be a
s u c c e s s f u l l e g a l c a r e e r,
Danielle gained a degree in law
from Birmingham University
and passed with distinction her
Law Practice Certificate. While
her primary role as Mayoress is
to act as escort to the Mayor,
Danielle has already performed
some solo duties such as
officially receiving the proceeds
from the recent Prestwich
Michelle is very grateful to
Manchester Jewish Community
Care, where she is Director, for
giving her the flexibility in her
professional role to perform her
civic duties. Notwithstanding
the huge commitment of time
and effort required, she looks
forward enthusiastically to the
months ahead.
Cllr Michelle Wiseman, Mayor of Bury, with her Mayoress, and Daughter, Danielle
A League Apart
Sheila Johnson, President of The League of Jewish Women gives us an insight into
the League, its history and its continuing work.
The League of Jewish
Women began in London in
1943, started by several
distinguished Jewish ladies. In
1944, a group of local ladies
formed a group which they
called Didsbury group and
which had a small membership.
Towards the end of that year
it was decided to form a proper
North West Region of the
League of Jewish Women, and
the chairman at that time was a
Mrs. C Hassan, who
represented the Didsbury group
and whose term of office was
from 1945-49. By this time there
was another group, Broughton,
and so the League was
beginning to form. London area
had their 70 Anniversary last
year, and North West Region
has theirs this year.
We now have nine groups
Bury & Whitefield, Brantwood,
Bowdon & Hale, Cheadle &
Gatley, Fylde, Kingsway, Park
Windsor, Prestwich, and Sale &
Altrincham. Also under the
league umbrella are Care
Concern and the Talking
Over the years some of the
groups have ceased to operate
but many have amalgamated
and continued their work. We
volunteer in the general
community for many
organisations that RepPresents
readers may be interested in:
Charity Shops, Carers
Centre, Bury Hospice, Bury
Blind Society, Childline, Jewish
Museum, Allingham House,
Talking about Judaism, Schools
helping with reading, Hazel
Grove Stroke Club, Stockport
Talking Newspaper, Bury Metro
Pipeline, Northern Jewish
Talking Newspaper, St. Anne's
Hospice, South Manchester,
Wilbraham Road Luncheon
Club at Sale Synagogue,
Stockport Magistrates, Bury
Magistrates and Manchester
Crown Courts, Friendship
Clubs, Nicky Alliance Day
Centre, Langdon College,
Reminiscence Sessions,
Maccabi, Salford Family
Contact Centre, Disabled
Living, Strangeways Prison,
SSFA (Soldiers, Sailors and
Families Association),
Heathlands Village/Eventhall
House, Wythenshawe Hospital,
The Christie, Genesis Centre,
Leaflet editing, Victoria Hospital
Blackpool, Crumpsall and
Fairfield Hospitals, Woodend
Residential Home, CAB
Blackpool, Blackpool Hospice,
AJR, Oldham General.
In all these places the work
we do can include transport,
serving meals or tea in a tea bar,
hand massage or handcare,
Headstart (for patients who may
lose their hair during
chemotherapy), running
friendship clubs and many
different tasks happily carried
out by our caring volunteers.
A full list of all these rotas is
given out at our AGM and a copy
can be given to anybody who
would like to see the full list.
Above: l-r Hon Sec. Rabbi Arnold Saunders, President Sharon Bannister, Mayor
of Bury Cllr Michelle Wiseman, Yaakov Wise, Vice President Jacky Buchsbaum.
Below: l-r Rabbi Arnold Saunders, Rabbi Amir Ellituv, Mayor of Trafford Cllr Ejaz
Malik, Sharon Bannister, Past President Louis Rapaport during courtesy visit.
Ladies in Blue from Park Windsor Group serving lunches at the Nicky l to r: Anne Morris, Arlene Levy, Sharon Freeman,
Helen Lustman
A Grave Undertaking
The North Manchester Jewish Cemeteries Trust
(NMJCT) was formed some two years ago in
September 2012 to address the increasing problems in
just maintaining our cemeteries on a day today basis.
It had become obvious that
the operation and maintenance of
our cemeteries was disparate,
having grown out of necessity as
individual synagogues, had over
the years, set up their own
communal amenities to service
their own needs. It was clear that
the system for maintaining our
cemeteries was no longer fit for
purpose and that there was a
pressing need to establish
regular, long term and adequate
income to ensure ongoing future
day to day maintenance and
servicing of our cemeteries.
The Trust was also acutely
aware of the impending shortage
of existing burial spaces and the
need to procure new burial
grounds. Some 20 to 30 acres of
farmland will need to be sourced
and its purchase and redevelopment as a cemetery
funded. This will then need to be
managed and maintained on a
permanent basis.
A major objective which The
Trust set for itself was to bring
about a single organisation which
would operate and coordinate the
maintenance and servicing of all
our cemeteries. To this end
individual burial boards have
come together and are working as
the North Manchester Joint Burial
Board to achieve this goal.
We have come a long way in
two years and the community is
now viewing The Trust as the
pivotal organisation to solve the
cemetery problems.
At the end of June 2014
another landmark decision was
reached when the Joint Burial
Board agreed unanimously that
NMJCT would take over the
responsibility for the operation
and maintenance of our
cemeteries on behalf of the Joint
Burial Board. This means that
NMJCT will become a direct
employment organisation in
contrast to the current system of
employing companies and
individuals on a sub-contract
basis. This change will take place
progressively over the coming
months with full regard for the
position and obligations of all
existing sub contractors and
NMJCT staff and equipment
will be based in new
accommodation and offices at
Rainsough Cemetery. The
rationale and impetus for this
change is;
· To enable overall control of
the operation and
maintenance of our
· Streamline management and
· Streamline working practices
· Ensure that all work carried
out is to agreed specified
· Ensure compliance with all
Health & Safety Regulations.
· Maintain ongoing renovation
work and cemetery
In doing so NMJCT will be looking
in the coming months to offer a full
range of services including;
· A 'Care Programme' to enable
families to purchase
contracts for the cleaning,
repair and maintenance of
tombstones. (All routine
maintenance and cleaning
will be undertaken by the
Trust's trained ground staff.
Any major repairs will be
undertaken only by the Trust's
licensed stonemasons and in
consultation with the family)
· Tombstone Insurance.
· A 'Commemorative
Programme' where families
will be able to dedicate Rose
trees, benches or a plaque on
the cemetery memorial wall in
memory of their loved ones.
Some of the key benefits will be;
· One point of contact for all
· Financing and funding
administered by one new
centralised organisation.
· Enhanced ability to rectify
decades of communal
neglect and underfunding.
· Economies of scale.
· Forward planning of future
communal burial space
· Budgetary control and
forecasting, including
programs for remedial and
ongoing works.
There is increasing
recognition and acceptance that
the financial and practical
responsibility for establishing a
robust system falls jointly on the
cemetery owners, the community
and the families of the loved ones
buried in the cemeteries.
This is a massive change in
the way that Manchester has
operated its cemeteries and the
The Challenge of Change
The Fed are undertaking major developments to the Heathlands site and have kept
the Representative Council informed of their progress through various meetings.
Here, Karen Phillips, Chief Executive of The Fed, comments on the way she sees
living through change.
dust, noise and
debris here we are in the middle
of building works that will
transform Heathlands Village;
home to communal services and
to over 170 older people who
live in our care village. They
are proving themselves to be
a very resilient bunch,
demanding for sure, yet full of
fun and positivity amidst the
But why wouldn't they be
positive? Many have been
through the blitz; through the
concentration camps; through
poverty and displacement. This
then is small fry.
Change our residents have
influenced it; they criticise it;
some days, some of them hate it;
yet most view it with patience and
humour a transitory phase that
brings the promise of better things
to come.
Our residents live here
because they cannot manage any
longer in their own homes. Some
are physically unwell and most
live with varying and challenging
forms of dementia
the very
reason we must make the
changes to their new home here
with us.
We have employed extra staff
to help residents through this
period, navigating them away
from newly emerged walls and
along re-routed thoroughfares,
discouraging them from twiddling
with the builders' ear plug
dispenser (which looks so much
like a bubble-gum machine, I
can't resist a twiddle myself) generally ensuring that life is
disrupted as little as possible.
Yes, at times residents get
fraught. We all do. It would be
impossible to remain unaffected
by the noise of drilling and powerhammers, of power-cuts and the
water going off but there are many
people I have to thank for making
all this bearable:
· the 102 year old lady resident
who, when asked by a visiting
Director of Social Services the
secret of her longevity,
mysteriously replied, “Never
show your belly button to
Karen Philips, The Fed’s CEO
· the builder who told me “I love
working here”, in spite of
criticism from a resident that
“My son could have done this
the staff,
volunteers and relatives
who cheerfully vibrate
around the place in rhythm
with our own brand of
fracking and Jurassic Park
· a lady resident who told me that
she might not live to see the
changes completed but loved it
here anyway.
Change: it's a slow process
but we are almost there.
I love my job.
Steven Niman of the NMJCT addresses June’s meeting of the
Representative Council, flanked by President, Sharon Bannister and Past
President, Frank Baigel
NMJCT urges the whole
community to help fund this major
shift and help implement these
important innovations and
improvements now.
Contact Details:
Email: [email protected]
It Pays to Talk
Past President, Frank Baigel, describes the success
of the Representative Councl in challenging the
wearing of Nazi uniforms in Bury.
Many of you will have heard of
the East Lancashire Railway,
otherwise known as the ELR, but
will have had little idea as to 'what
it's all about'.
I had only heard of the ELR for
a number of years in connection
with the wearing of Nazi uniforms
at 1940s themed re enactments
but was otherwise ignorant of its
The day after I became
President (at 8.55 am Mon 12
May 2012 to be precise), I
received a phone call from a
journalist asking for a statement
about the previous day's activities
of a number of people who had
paraded in an ostentatious
manner in full SS and Nazi
On a quick learning curve, I
found out that the ELR ran varied
special themed events
throughout the Summer season
and that the last May Bank
Holiday weekend always featured
a 1940s event with music and
fashions from that era. The
Representative Council Vice-President, Jonny Wineberg, and new
Executive member, Steve Weller, met with the UJIA Leadership Group in
July along with Richard Verber of the ‘Change the Board’ campaign
railway runs from Bury to
Ramsbottom on the privately
restored line and it even has a
Thomas the Tank weekend too!
We initiated a meeting with
representatives of the ELR two
years ago and met them with local
Bury Police representatives. We
explained the disquiet which
members of our Community felt
about the display of Nazi uniforms
and paraphernalia. They assured
us at our first meeting that all
participants would be written to in
future, in advance, and warned
not to wear such material. This
was very effective in 2013 in
minimising problems.
Early in 2014 the manager of
the ELR Mr Andy Morris
contacted me again and asked if it
would be possible to introduce
some Jewish content as they had
come to some understanding of
our concerns. A small group of us
from the Representative Council
met with ELR representatives.
After examining various
options and parts of their
extensive premises, it was
suggested by Mr Joe Flacks, the
incoming Chairman of AJEX, that
a display from the Jewish Military
Museum, which is run by AJEX in
London, should be shown. The
display highlighted the Jewish
contribution to the British Armed
Forces over 250 years and
especially in the two World Wars.
This year, on Sunday 25th and
Monday 26th May at the Bury ELR
station, the display was present.
No one appeared in Nazi uniform
but many looked at the Jewish
Military Exhibition, staffed all day
by Mr Flacks and some AJEX
This display and input of AJEX
was deemed to have been a great
It pays to talk; a job well done.
Meeting the Mosque
The International Weekend of Twinning encourages
Synagogues and Mosques to visit each other over one
weekend in November. Here, Charles Bloom QC
describes his experience of forging Links with
Cheadle Mosque.
On 16 November 2013, as
part of an international initiative,
members of Cheadle Mosque,
including Dr Usman Choudry,
chairman of the board of the
Mosque, Afzal Choudhri and
Shahid Saleem paid a visit to
Yeshurun synagogue. They were
well received and participated in
the Kiddush after the service,
where they mingled in lively
conversation with members of the
Yeshurun congregation.
Two days later members of
Yeshurun paid a reciprocal visit to
the Mosque. Those attending
were myself, my wife Janice
Bloom, Tony Kaye, chairman of
t h e Ye s h u r u n B o a r d o f
management, his wife Lesley
Kaye, and Amanda Kremnitzer,
who is also a Yeshurun board
member. We were present
throughout the evening prayers,
attended by about eighty Mosque
members and then we met with
about twelve members of the
Mosque, including Dr. Usman.
There followed a very positive
dialogue, which lasted for more
than two hours, in which we
discussed various aspects of our
respective faiths and their
religious and cultural customs,
laws and traditions. It was
astonishing and heart-warming to
discover just how much the two
faiths have in common in all
The atmosphere was warm,
convivial and very positive. We
were thoughtfully provided with
kosher food and drink and even
kosher grape juice, on which I
was proud to make a beracha for
all. I believe that we have forged
lasting links between the two local
communities. Dialogue and a
further successful meeting took
place at the Mosque in June 2014
at which Tony Kaye and I
attended, and the two
communities aim to have further
meetings and open discussions in
the near future.
There is still the opportunity
for Synagogues to link with local
Mosques for the 2014 Weekend
of Twinning in November. For
more information and support,
contact the Muslim Jewish Forum
b y
e m a i l
a t
[email protected]
Last year’s visit by Yeshurun members to the Cheadle Mosque, which they
intend to repeat this November
From the President
The Board of Deputies, together with the Jewish Representative Council,
invite you to a meeting to discuss the 2015 General Election.
The Board has produced a Jewish Manifesto to advise policy makers and
candidates in of the community's key aspirations and concerns.
We hope you will join us to discuss and explore key issues with the panel:
Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham & Sale West
Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Wavertree (invited)
John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington (invited)
and Gillian Merron, Chief Executive, the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Sunday 21 September 2014
Reception 7.00pm
Panel 7.45pm
North Manchester Location (address advised shortly before event)
RSVP: [email protected]
During these last few
weeks of heightened
tensions and conflict,
I have been intensely
proud and heartened
by the way our
M a n c h e s t e r
Community has
performed. The
response to hate
campaigns on both
mainstream and
social media as well
as a physical presence in
Manchester City Centre has
shown us and our detractors that
we will be neither intimidated nor
quietened and that we will stand
up to oppression in all forms.
The response has been from
many sections of our community:
young and older, frum and
s e c u l a r, f r o m e x i s t i n g
organisations, from those who
have always been committed and
encouragingly by many
individuals who have never
before been active in this way.
The Manchester Jewish
Representative Council has been
extremely busy co-ordinating and
supporting some of
these activities,
publicising others
and its Honorary
Officers, Executive
and Past Presidents
have never been
busier in recent
It is essential that all
this excellent work
continues because
those who seek to
harm us will be unlikely to lessen
their efforts.
As individuals we can each use
whatever means is at our disposal
to challenge and correct lies,
untruths and distortions, in
person, at our workplaces, across
the dinner table, at social events,
on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin,
on websites open for comments
and by letters to the media,
councillors, MPs and MEPs.
Please continue to respond,
engage in dialogue, be seen, be
heard. For more information,
please email us at:
[email protected] or
telephone 0161 720 8721.
! Sunday September 1 1.00pm to 3.30pm- FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT: HAPPY JEWISH NEW YEAR. Manchester Jewish Museum. Admission Free
! Sunday, September 21 6.30pm to 7.30pm - NHS Bury & Salford CCG Consultation at Nicky Alliance Centre
! Sunday, September 21 7.00pm - General Election 2015 Kick-Off RSVP: [email protected]
! Monday, September 22 7.30pm - Hamburger Lecture, Guest Speaker Jonathan Sacerdoti. Details of venue contact 740 8835 or [email protected]
! Monday, October 20 9.30am to 4.00pm - One-day Holocaust conference sponsored by Centre for Jewish Studies and Imperial War Museum North at IWM
North. Free, but booking necessary. Further information:
! Thursday, October 23 4pm - Centre for Jewish Studies research seminar: Sarah Hirschhorn, ‘The Origins of the Redemption in Occupied Suburbia? Rabbi
Shlomo Riskin and the Jewish-American Makings of the West Bank Settlement of Efrat, 1973-2014’. Further information:
! 24 Oct - 29 May 2015 - Made In Manchester: The Art Of Emmanuel Levy (1900-1986). First retrospective of Levy’s work for over 30 years. FREE with museum
admission. or contact Andrea Donner 0161 830 1433 [email protected]
! Shabbat, October 24 & 25 - Communal Shabbat Project. See Page 3 for details
! Tuesday, October 28 - Council of Christians & Jews, Maurice Brunner Lecture, Reverend David Walker, Bishop of Manchester. Manchester Jewish Museum
Sunday, November 2 10.30am - JEWISH REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL Monthly Meeting at Wilbraham Road Jewish Students Centre
! Thursday, November 6 - CCJ Holocaust Study Day at Menorah Synagogue, Guest Speaker Dr James Smith, co-founder of the UK Holocaust Centre (Beth
Shalom) and the Aegis Trust. Contact [email protected]
! Thursday, November 6 until November 23 - UK Jewish Film Festival. Opening screening and reception. Contact [email protected]
! Saturday, December 6 7.00pm - Faith Network 4 Manchester AGM, Dialogue: ‘Faith Responding to Adversity’ and Festive Meal. Manchester Multifaith Centre
! Sunday, December 7 10.30am - JEWISH REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL Monthly Meeting at Nicky Alliance Centre
! Sunday, January 11 - ZCC/Zionist Federation Israel Advocacy Workshop. All day event. Contact 740 8835
! Sunday, February 1 - MANCHESTER DAY LIMMUD. William Hulme’s Grammar School. On-line registration open October @
! Thursday, April 23 - Yom Ha’atzmaut – further details to follow
! Sunday, April 26 - Community Sherman Lecture followed by lectures at Manchester University from Monday, April 27th to Thursday, April 30th. The Sherman
Lectures in Jewish Studies 2015 will be given by Amy-Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University