Happy Birthday to Us!

By December 1, 2016Features-Leeds

JLife is a decade old and to celebrate readers, contributors, advertisers and current team members share their thoughts on your local lifestyle magazine.


The current JLife team reflects on their experiences at the magazine.

I’ve worked for JLife for nearly eight years and I have seen the magazine go from strength to strength. Most people I speak to enjoy looking at all the pictures of people they know and reading the magazine, including myself. We are only a small team but work well together and are the best of friends (most of the time!).
Lynne Cohen, administration and finance


For the past seven years I have worked on JLife selling the advertising space. If I said I’d enjoyed every day, I’d be lying, however this really is the best job, overall. It’s not easy but we are a great team who support and respect each other. My clients are very important to me and I have built great working relationships – customer service is our main priority and this has been a major player in the success to JLife. We are a unique publication and the fact the magazine is getting bigger and better each year is testimony of this. 
Jane Thompson, senior account manager


I came here from a company that felt very isolated and was about to close, so it was lovely to be welcomed by such an established, close-knit team and I instantly made some wonderful friends. Another great thing about my role here as a designer is how diverse the role can be and how satisfying the challenges are, and not being Jewish myself, I find it incredibly interesting and educational to work for a community publication.
Stacey Hanson, lead graphic designer


When this goes to print, I’ll have been at JLife for just under a year. And what an almost year it’s been: busy, stressful, rewarding and fun. I am so grateful for the opportunities that JLife has given me so far. I have worked on six editions of JLife Leeds since joining the team, and I honestly believe that every issue has been better than the last. I’d like to say thank you to all those in the community who have kindly collaborated with me over the last few months. I look forward to getting to know the rest of you as JLife continues to grow. 

And finally to the JLife team. Thank you for welcoming me in the clan, supporting me when deadlines were looming and when I teared up because David Bowie died. You’re a lovely bunch.
Evangeline Spachis, editorial assistant


I originally joined the JLife team back in 2009 and, after three years of covering events in LS17, departed for university to gain a post graduate degree. Returning in early 2016, I have spent the last year really enjoying working with both new and established readers, contributors and advertisers, as well as seeing how the Leeds community has grown while I’ve been away. I’m very lucky to be able to work with a brilliant team on this fantastic magazine and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for the next 10 years. Happy birthday, JLife Leeds!
Laura Sefton, community and features editor

From 32 pages first edition to around 120 for the anniversary edition – four times the entertainment!

Such a pleasure to work with a talented, committed and friendly team, some adapting already well-developed administrative, design, sales or writing talents and others, earlier in their careers, improving their own. Not forgetting the interns or school and other placements, who benefit(ted) from working with and observing staff at the top of their form.

The challenge of planning an IT provision to provide fast and reliable design computers, office workhorses and remote capability plus overcoming issues to keep it running is a godsend to someone who thrives on problem solving!
Robert Harrington, IT manager


JLife could not exist without its amazing readers and advertisers.


What a great community magazine. Well done and happy 10th birthday.
Diane and Graham Linton


We have been advertising with JLife from the very beginning and have enjoyed writing columns and getting the response we have had from your readers. I personally enjoy reading all of your articles, and found them entertaining, informative and useful.

JLife is a wonderful magazine representing our community and how marvellous it is to see the many young people celebrating special occasions and how exciting for them to see themselves in its pages. As far as the community is concerned, it keeps me up to date with events and news and is the heartbeat of our area.

Your staff does a fantastic job and have been great to work with over the last 10 years. We wish you many more years of success with this fine publication.
Gary Don, auctioneer and valuer


Leeds Glass has worked with JLife for several years and we’ve always been impressed with how professional and efficient Elliot and the rest of the team are. We have always been happy to be associated with the magazine and delighted with how our business is reflected in its pages. Congratulations on reaching this amazing milestone and here’s to the next 10 years!
The Leeds Glass team


Happy 10th birthday, JLife! After working with JLife for many years we are so pleased to see you reach such a milestone. Your dedication and passion for what you do sets you apart and is obviously the recipe for your success. Keep up the hard work!
From all at Motor Marque


Happy 10th birthday, JLife! It’s been fantastic working with you over the last few years, and I hope you continue to support the community and local businesses so successfully for another 10 years!
Thomas Chapman-Andrews, store director, Raft Furniture – Harrogate Branch


JLife has become a staple publication at the heart of our community and it has been a pleasure to have been allowed to write one of its features for so many years. Mazal tov on this great achievement and here is to the next 10 years!
Mark Manning, sales director, Manning Stainton


JLife looked very different in 2006. Here are the thoughts of those who helped put that very first issue together…



I joined JLife at a very exciting time. The first issue was in the planning stages and there was a real buzz among the LS17 community for its arrival. I supported the team with the editorial pages by writing up features, interviews and news pieces.

The launch of the magazine went brilliantly and was the talk of the town – everyone wanted to know when issue two was out. We couldn’t get the issues out of the door quickly enough! I stayed on the JLife team for five issues and then was accepted last minute on to a business course where I learned about blogging, which was non-existent 10 years ago. After that I made a move into PR and still cross paths with many people (and former interviewees) from JLife.

Congratulations to Elliot and the team on a 10th successful year!
Verity Clarke nee Hudson, JLife’s first writer




JLife was my first experience of putting a publication together, which was a great learning curve for me. All the best with the next 10 years.
Matt Plummer, designer of our first ever edition who is now an art director in Australia.


Wow, where have 10 years gone! How unbelievable that Jane Clynes Events appeared in the first edition and we are still working closely together.

The Leeds Jewish Pride Awards was launched through JLife and has now become a permanent feature in the community calendar. Elliot and his team have encompassed and involved the whole community in JLife and that’s why everyone looks forward to receiving their copy to know what’s happening in the vibrant North Leeds area.

I work with all the team in various different guises, whether its artwork, editorial or sales, both in Leeds and Manchester, and everyone is on hand to ensure the standard of work is to a fantastic level with the glossy end product. JLife not only embraces everything that is taking place in the community but also includes activities in the wider community.

It is to Elliot’s credit and personality that 10 years on JLife is stronger and more successful – really, Elliot and the JLife team should be receiving a Pride Award! You’d get my vote! Wishing you continued success and looking forward to working with you for another 10 years.
Jane Clynes of Jane Clynes Events, who was our first interviewee


Congratulations to JLife on your 10th anniversary.  You have done a terrific job in serving the North Leeds community with interesting and informative articles and news over the years and I personally have been delighted and privileged to be invited to contribute since the first edition. My article this month was my first contribution 10 years ago and is as relevant now as it was then.
Stephen Mitchell, who was the first to offer advice to readers



Photo by Steve Bootle

The year 2006 was an eventful year for me. My life as a community reporter was in full swing (with a weekly column in the YEP and the Jewish press) and I’d returned to my love of acting at Leeds Carriageworks Theatre and the Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, performing in musicals.

And then at the end of October, Elliot Landy phoned. Could he come round to chat about a glossy lifestyle magazine he had in mind to produce for the Leeds community, he wondered. Over coffee and smoked salmon, we discussed the format of the magazine, to be called JLife Leeds, and he asked if I would cover the community angle.

The first edition came out in December and I had already interviewed Rob and Andrea McQue who had taken over the catering services at the MAZCC, discovering that ‘Kosher was Key’ at The Vine. I also wrote a piece on the panto season (oh! Yes, I did), looking at the best shows in town.

Throughout the years I gladly contributed monthly articles and photos, and this continued when the publication went bi-monthly. As the magazine expanded so did my input.

I have been genuinely thrilled to see how Elliot’s vision has developed. The magazine has grown from 32 to over 100 pages, with a fascinating mix of editorial and just the right balance of commercial advertising.

Elliot first said that his publication would offer a platform for his own community and enhance many positive things that are happening in Leeds and the surrounding areas. He has not let us down. Community matters to him and I hope he and his much-admired publication goes from strength to strength. From little acorns…
John Fisher, who has been covering the community for JLife since the start


I am delighted to see that JLife has evolved so well and it certainly always get very well read in our household. The content is excellent and I hope that it continues to flourish with the support of its regular advertisers.
Richard Share, director of Share Jewellers, which was the first business to run a competition in JLife


Over the years, JLife has been created by some of the most exciting, informed contributors from across LS17 and beyond.


JLife is an integral part of Jewish Leeds and Elliot and the team have created something that the Jewish community should be proud of. What I love is that they have the heart of the community in all the work they do, and they genuinely try to help and support all initiatives. Here is to another 10 years – keep up the amazing work and congratulations to you!
Jonny Ross, Jonny Ross Consultancy


I still get that same sense of excitement I felt the very first time I saw JLife. That’s testament to Elliot’s vision and his great team.
Jonathan Winston, managing partner, Winston Solicitors


Congratulations to everyone who helps create JLife magazine and thank you! It’s such a credit to all of you that the JLife is successful. You have all been so supportive in helping to promote everything that goes on in the community and getting the message out there that Leeds has so much to offer and has a really exciting future. Other great features include helping get small businesses off the ground. It’s a great community asset – a must-have in Leeds. Your hard work and professionalism is greatly appreciated. Thank you again and mazal tov from us all at LJRC.
Susie Gordon, executive director Leeds Jewish community, and the Leeds Jewish Representative Council


Daniel Gray, right of JLife publisher, Elliot Landy

Daniel Gray, right of JLife publisher, Elliot Landy

I would like to dedicate 10 years of hard work to Elliot Landy (and of course his team). The JLife magazine is a fabulous read and is always well received. PhysCap has been able to play their part in discussing key events with the Leeds community through the magazine and has featured on many occasions.

Having worked alongside Elliot over the years on the PhysCap committee, I owe a huge thanks to him for his dedication and commitment to raising funds to help support children with physical and mental disabilities across the Yorkshire region.

Wishing you all the best for another successful decade to come.
Daniel Gray, PhysCap chairman


steve-bootle-photographyBeing a photographer in the Leeds Jewish community, I’m very lucky to be involved in some wonderful simchas. JLife is part of that community and seeing my pictures in every issue brings it all together. There are too many editions to mention really but my favourites are the wedding and Bar/ Bat Mitzvah ones. They’re wonderfully put together and having had pictures on several cover editions, they really stand out in the memory.

JLife offers a great way of letting the community know what’s going on in a bright and modern way.
Steve Bootle, photographer 



vic110 years of JLife! What did we read before? This is a fantastic, bright magazine bursting with features, stories, pictures and more. At LJWB we particularly like the community-based stories and photos from recent events and celebrations. We also take a keen interest in the recipes!

Good luck for the next 10 years and more.
Victoria Sandler, PR and marketing co-ordinator, LJWB




I would like to congratulate Elliot and the team for reaching such a milestone. JLife has become a welcome addition to the cultural life of both Leeds and Manchester communities. As well as being a great source of local information it provides a forum for community life. Since I have become a contributor I am aware of how much people enjoy reading JLife and look forward to the regular features. The design team does a brilliant job, creating eye catching themes and JLife has grown into a quality lifestyle magazine. I hope it continues to flourish and provide the community with its very own media hub.
Lynne Coates, travel editor