Birmingham's friendly gesture
West Midlands Friends of Israel has been set up in Birmingham to fill the void left by last year’s closure of the city’s Israel Information Centre.
It will be funded by subscriptions and donations and has signed up 30 supporters — Jews and non-Jews — in its first week.
After Israeli embassy funding for the centre was withdrawn at the end of 2012, its director, Ruth Jacobs, kept it going on a voluntary basis until last June.
Mrs Jacobs said the friends group would “respond to and be proactive about anything that goes on here. It’s important to be doing something for Israel.” She will run it from her Edgbaston home. A website and Facebook page are planned. The first event will be on January 21 with Coventry-based Israeli management consultant Noru Tsalic as the speaker.