Sacks to address Anglican bishops

By Simon Rocker, June 20, 2008

The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, is to address next month’s Lambeth Conference, the international convention of Anglican bishops convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury every 10 years.

“It is certain that this is the first time a Jewish leader has addressed a Lambeth gathering at the personal invitation of the archbishop,” said Canon James Rosenthal, spokesman for the Anglican Communion. 


Only one in a hundred wants to be one of us

By Simon Rocker, June 20, 2008

Most people think that religions such as Judaism and Christianity will die out in Britain within a century, according to a new online poll.

And when asked which religion they would prefer to belong to, only one per cent of respondents chose Judaism.

The survey of religious attitudes was carried out among 2,000 adults this month by YouGov for Aish, the Orthodox outreach organisation.


US church text full of ‘bias’

June 20, 2008

More than a dozen US Jewish bodies have complained about a Presbyterian church statement on anti-Jewish bias and the Middle East conflict. The groups, including the American Jewish Committee, complained that the church statement was “infused” with prejudice.


Author claims ‘weak’ wartime Pope tried to exorcise Hitler

By Jan Shure, June 13, 2008

Far from being pro-Hitler, the wartime pope Pius XII used to get up in the middle of the night and perform exorcisms on the German dictator, believing him to be possessed by the devil.


You think I’m wild? You should see my mother

By Stephen Applebaum, June 6, 2008

In the swinging ’60s, Marianne Faithfull lived a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and almost ended up paying the ultimate price. But, as she reveals, she wasn’t the first wild child in her extraordinary Jewish family

Marianne Faithfull was raised as a Catholic, but the husky-voiced singer says she has her Jewish roots to thank for her acclaimed renditions of the songs of Bertholt Brecht and Kurt Weill. People were astounded when they first heard her perform their work, she recalls — which started her wondering why she had such an innate flair for their music.


Low turnout for Judeo-Christian lecture

May 30, 2008

Some 25 people attended a talk organised by the Jewish Historical Society. The talk, entitled “The parting of the ways”, of Judaism and Christianity, was given by the minister of Hove Hebrew Congregation, Rabbi Vivian Silverman, at Ralli Hall.


Christian Friends of Israel celebrate 60th

May 30, 2008

The local branch of Christian Friends of Israel attracted 60 people from the wider community to celebrate Israel’s 60th. The event, “Am Israel Hai!” was held at Emmanuel Christian Centre, Llandudno, and was arranged by Roy Thurley, the organisation’s local representative. The main speaker, Bernard Blank, recalled his experiences of travelling to Palestine from Manchester after the Second World War to fight in the War of Independence.


Pope's representative addresses Shabbat service

April 18, 2008

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, the Pope’s representative in the UK, addressed a Shabbat service at the West London Synagogue. Archbishop Munoz and West London minister Rabbi Mark Winer reflected on the evolving dialogue between the two religions and agreed that more needed to be done to achieve similar partnership with the Muslim community. The archbishop said he felt at home in West London and remarked on similarities in style with the Catholic service.


Pope’s man to face fury over 'convert' text

By Simon Rocker, April 4, 2008

The Pope’s British envoy is to visit West London Reform Synagogue on Shabbat amid what its rabbi calls the “most acute crisis” in Jewish-Catholic relations in the past 20 years.

Rabbi Mark Winer will publicly bring up the controversy sparked by the Pope’s endorsement of a Good Friday prayer which openly calls for the conversion of the Jews.

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the Apostolic Nuncio, is due to preach at the synagogue’s Shabbat morning service and to take part in a post-kiddush discussion with Rabbi Winer.


Pontiff takes the biscuit

By Simon Round, April 4, 2008

He may be the head of the Catholic Church, but Pope Benedict XVI has a haimishe taste in confectionery. The Pontiff developed a liking for kosher cakes when his doctors stopped at the Boccione bakery in Rome for a pastry, and introduced His Holiness to their products. Says the bakery’s owner, Wilma Limenati, who received a thank-you letter from the Vatican: “I guess he enjoyed the biscotti and ‘Jewish pizza’ [an almond and raisin confection].”

She added: “I think the Pope has looked forward to the doctor’s visits ever since.”