Israel at 60

Thousands raised with quiz

May 23, 2008

Hendon Reform Synagogue’s Oasis committee raised £2,300 from a supper quiz attended by over 140 people. In celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday, the shul hall was decked out in blue-and-white bunting with Israeli flags and posters decorating the walls. The committee wanted some money from the evening to go to an Israeli charity and so handed over £175 to Laurence Stein of British Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem. He is a member of the shul.

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How Fleet Street saw the 60th

May 23, 2008

A new survey of newspaper and radio coverage of Israel’s 60th anniversary of independence has found that The Guardian and The Independent ran the highest number of stories with “negative” comment, while the Daily Telegraph’s comment stories were “half positive and half neutral” towards Israel.

Media-monitoring body Just Journalism analysed 874 editions of 20 publications from January to March this year. It also examined 284 BBC radio broadcasts from the same period.

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South Africans slam 60th

May 23, 2008

More than 10 South African government ministers were among the signatories of a statement criticising “apartheid” Israel’s 60th anniversary. Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence and Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture joined in insisting: “Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians!”

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Barnet's members vote for full US status

By Jay Grenby, May 23, 2008

Barnet Synagogue members voted overwhelmingly on Monday to upgrade from affiliated status to full constituent membership of the United Synagogue. Shul chairman Paul Kleinman said the change was “at the right time” and “on the right terms” for the congregation.

At an extraordinary general meeting, over 100 members heard Mr Kleinman outline the benefits to the congregation, and US vice-president Geoff Hartnell explain the US’s responsibilities. Following a lively debate,  around 90 per cent backed the board’s recommendation to upgrade.

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200+ attend Israel 60 bash

May 23, 2008

More than 200 people attended a celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary in Cambridge. Activities included choral and musical events. The climax of the party was the lighting of six candles — one for each decade — on Jonathan Allin’s 3D menorah. The event, held at Mayfield School, was organised by Shoshana Squires and Jenny Culank, with the help of a support committee. Sponsors included the university’s Jewish and Israeli societies.

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JFS celebrate Israel's 60th with music and dance

May 23, 2008

JFS pupils celebrated Israel’s 60th birthday with a special morning service and breakfast, stalls selling Israeli produce, and music and dancing. A highlight was a giant “art attack” on the school football pitch as over 900 students stood side-by-side to create a giant Israeli flag. School decorations included a time tunnel, detailing Israel’s history, and Israeli soldiers were among the day’s guest speakers.

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Birthday parties draw the crowds

By Jay Grenby, May 16, 2008

American rock band Blue Fringe hit the right note for 250 revellers at Stanmore Synagogue’s Israel 60th birthday bash, The group of four twentysomethings, who met at Yeshiva University in 2001, played a Jewish-themed set of pop, rock, funk and R&B to a predominantly youthful audience.

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Party plans on ice as youngsters are the focus in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 16, 2008

Children and Jewish unity were at the heart of Manchester’s Israel at 60 celebrations, which saw a 1,200-strong crowd fill the Sheridan Suite in the north-west of the city last Thursday.

For the kids, there was indoor ice skating, giant inflatable assault courses and interactive stalls, with around 150 volunteers from community organisations and youth movements helping them to get the most from their day. For the rest, Israeli band Kol Chai and singer Danny Bergson played Israeli and Jewish music throughout the evening and there were separate dancing areas for men and women.

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Movements are united in thanksgiving

By Simon Rocker, May 16, 2008

British Jewry’s celebrations of Israel’s 60th anniversary entered a second week with a service of thanksgiving in London on Sunday hosted by five Reform, Liberal and Masorti congregations.

The venue was the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood, whose walls of Jerusalem stone were a concrete sign of the links that have grown between the once anti-Zionist Liberals and the Jewish state.

LJS came together with the West London, Belsize Square, Westminster and New London synagogues to sponsor the event, along with the Reform and Liberal movements.

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She forgave a terrorist

By Simon Round, May 16, 2008

Storyville: My Israel
BBC4, Wednesday, May 14

Storyville: Flipping Out — Israel’s Drug Generation

BBC4, Thursday, May 15

BBC4’s Storyville strand celebrated Israel’ s 60th birthday with a season of films analysing different aspects of Israeli life.

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