Fraud-charge Chasid faces extradition

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2009

A court has recommended the extradition of a member of the US-based strictly Orthodox Skverer community who fled to Britain to avoid multi-million dollar fraud charges.

On Tuesday, City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court cleared the way for Avrum David Friesel, 56, to stand trial in the US.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith (who is due to be guest speaker at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner in March) must now decide whether to rubber-stamp his extradition.

But Mr Friesel’s barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, said it could take up to a year to arrive at a final decision.


'Smuggler' not guilty

By Jonny Paul, January 22, 2009

A Charedi man was found not guilty of cocaine smuggling by a jury at Wood Green Crown Court last week.

Nachum Twersky had pleaded not guilty after two packages containing almost 2kg of cocaine, with a street value of £60,000, were tracked by police to his home in March last year.


Coffin opened as graveyard plot thickens

By Leon Symons, January 22, 2009

It could have been a plot from Father Ted. The peace, quiet and sobriety of Dublin’s only Orthodox cemetery rang to the scrunch of large boots and the clank of steel shovels as men set to work.

For once, instead of a body being interred, Dublin Orthodox Cemetery was the scene of one apparently being taken away by the garda — the Dublin police. But they would not say why.

The garda descended, on Wednesday of last week, on the cemetery in Aughavannagh Road in the Dolphin’s Barn area, erected screens around a grave and proceeded to remove the coffin that had been buried there.


Web racists convicted in historic trial

By Leon Symons, January 15, 2009

Two racists have been convicted of publishing racially inflammatory material in the first case brought by the Crown Prosecution Service involving the diffusion of race hate via the internet.

Stephen Whittle, 41, from Preston, Lancashire, wrote five offensive articles under the pen-name Luke O’Farrell, published on the internet by his co-defendant, 51-year-old Simon Sheppard from Hull.


Bid to firebomb synagogue as protests grow

By Craig Silver, January 8, 2009

An attempt was made to firebomb a London synagogue at the weekend in a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The attack, just before midnight on Sunday, at Brondesbury Synagogue in Willesden, North-West London, was the most serious of 25 antisemitic incidents that have occurred since Israel launched its operation on December 27.


Hostility on the rise in Yemen after murder

December 18, 2008

Islamist extremists in Yemen are continuing to intimidate a small Jewish community following the murder of a Jewish teacher, according to a local rabbi. Moshe Yaish Nahari, who taught at the yeshivah in the village of Raydah, was shot dead last Thursday by a suspected extremist.
Rabbi Yahia Yaish bin Yahia told reporters: “Raydah is no longer like the old days. Raydah today is full of monsters.”

Although a man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder, Rabbi bin Yahia said that the authorities had long ignored complaints from the community about rising hostility.


Sex abuser is to be sentenced

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

A 32-year-old man may face jail next week after admitting that he had encouraged underage girls to perform sex acts, and that he had made indecent images of a child.

Philip Knorpel, of Woking, will be sentenced at South West Surrey Magistrates’ Court in Guildford on Tuesday.

At a court hearing a fortnight ago, the IT project manager admitted two charges of making indecent photos of a child, and four of inciting a girl to sexual activity.


Deli owner raided twice in a week

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

A Manchester kosher shop was targeted by thieves, only days after his home was broken into.

Early last Tuesday evening, Motti Gershon’s Shefa Mehadrin kosher deli was targeted by armed robbers who threatened a till assistant with a hammer and robbed two cash registers.

Only days before, thieves ransacked Mr Gershon’s house in the Sedgley Park area while he and his wife were at friends for Friday night dinner. Jewellery, a car and phones were taken.


Youths taunt pub staff in sale row

By Marcus Dysch, December 4, 2008

Staff at a pub which is due to be turned into a synagogue say they have been harassed by Jewish youths shouting “burn in hell” and “it’s our pub now”.

The Swan, in the heart of London’s strictly Orthodox community in Stamford Hill, was bought by members of the Bobov community in September for around £1 million.

But their plan to turn it into a community centre and shul has been met with opposition from regulars.

Since the sale, staff say they have been intimidated by young members of the Charedi community banging on windows, making obscene gestures and goading regulars.


New probe into death of bagel-stab violinist

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

A new inquest is to be held into the death of a musician stabbed on his way to buy bagels after his killer was given an indefinite jail sentence.

Klezmer violinist Michael Kahan was attacked by paranoid schizophrenic Jonathan Mills in June this year outside a shop in Crumpsall, north

Mills, 31, was ordered to be detained in a high security psychiatric hospital after Manchester Crown Court heard that he stabbed Mr Kahan because he was suffering delusions that Jewish people were preventing him from getting his medication changed.