The Israel tour of a lifetime

By Jennifer Lipman, March 22, 2012

We are arranged in a circle, surrounded by pots of coloured paint and plastic stencils, ready to create designs for Purim T-shirts. The place is northern Israel, minutes from the Mediterranean. Ages range from 18 to 25. In the past few days we have been donkey riding in biblical costumes, taken part in adventure activities in the Carmel forest and toured the Mini Israel theme park.


'Stingy Jew' game taken off TV site

By Benjamin Weinthal, March 22, 2012

The Dutch public broadcasting network VPRO removed an antisemitic computer game from its website last week after coming under strong criticism.

The game, "The Settlers of the West Bank", based on the multi-player hit "The Settlers of Catan", was offered as a download on the VPRO site.

Players of the Dutch game can use a "Jewish stinginess" card or "the Anne Frank card" to colonise the West B


Israel targets tax rises at low-use second homes

By Nathan Jeffay, March 22, 2012

Owning a second home in Israel looks set to become more expensive, after the government approved a plan to charge higher council tax on homes that are not in constant use.

On Sunday, the cabinet gave municipalities the green light to impose the increase, though it is not yet clear what the criteria for liability will be, or how much the extra tax will be.


A thousand boys are 'missing' from Orthodox schools

By Simon Rocker, March 22, 2012

Education authorities are negotiating with London's strictly Orthodox community to resolve the situation of hundreds of "missing" boys - who are being taught in unlicensed yeshivot where they receive little or no secular education, rather than at school.

The Department of Education has opted for a diplomatic approach rather than legal action to crack down on unauthorised religious institutions


Oxford's new Boat Race cox, Zoe

By Marcus Dysch, March 22, 2012

She may be small in stature, but Zoe de Toledo is about to record a giant achievement.


Scottish Jewry: Hiding our identity 'to avoid abuse'

By Marcus Dysch, March 22, 2012

Scottish Jews hide their religious identity to avoid abuse and attack, a wide-ranging survey has found.

Israelis living in the country reported that they often pretended to be French or Turkish to "avoid uncomfortable situations".

Being Jewish in Scotland was compiled by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.


Signing up for Yavneh

By Jay Grenby, March 15, 2012

Yavneh College has urged local synagogue members and parents of pupils to sign an online petition calling on Hertfordshire County Council to fund the proposed expansion of the Borehamwood school to include a primary section.


Info centre loses embassy funds

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 8, 2012

Israel's embassy is withdrawing funding from the UK's longest running Israel information centre.

The Birmingham centre, which works to counteract anti-Israel activity and offers education on Israel at Midlands schools and campuses, will have its funding stopped on March 27.

The centre opened 30 years ago and was the first regional arm of the London embassy.


Boris savours school dinner

March 8, 2012

To help meet the shortfall on its £5 million rebuilding project, Edgware's Beit Shvidler Primary School attracted 435 supporters to a fundraising dinner in London's West End on Monday night. They heard London mayor Boris Johnson thank the school's leadership for improving education in the capital and cite the recent protest in the grounds of St Paul's cathedral:


Marked high by Pikuach

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Hackney has made "remarkable progress" in its Jewish education, the Jewish inspection service Pikuach has reported.

Whereas the school received a "satisfactory" rating for Jewish studies and Hebrew three years ago, it is now classed as "good" with "some outstanding features".

The inspectors said: "Attention has been given to each of the weaknesses previou