Jewish law

Terminally ill Jewish woman ends life at Dignitas

By Sandy Rashty, October 19, 2015

A Jewish mother from Manchester ended her life at a Dignitas clinic in Switzerland after battling a debilitating illness for almost 20 years.

Rachelle Linz, 50, took a fatal dose of drugs at the assisted suicide clinic in Zurich after saying that the neurological condition had “destroyed everything I loved so much about my life”.


Exclusive: Reform rabbis approve streamlined conversion process

By Sandy Rashty, July 14, 2015

People with a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother will no longer have to undergo a full conversion process, the UK Assembly of Reform Rabbis has decided today.


Jonathan Romain made head of Reform Beit Din

By Josh Jackman, January 23, 2015

Rabbi Jonathan Romain has been appointed chairperson of the Movement for Reform Judaism’s Beit Din.

The organisation’s religious court has chosen the Maidenhead minister to head its rotating team of seven judges and make the final decision on issues from conversions to divorces.


Rabbi attacks Orthodox over disconnect from IDF

By Daniel Easterman, April 11, 2014

A prominent Israeli rabbi has described the lack of respect shown by Charedim towards the IDF as a “huge blemish”, arguing that the “obligation to serve in the army is greater than the obligation to learn Torah”.

Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth is the head of Beit Hillel, an organisation that promotes moderate approaches to Judaism. He presides over an alliance of 200 modern Orthodox rabbis.


Denmark bans shechita to 'put animal rights before religion'

By Daniel Easterman, February 13, 2014

The Danish government has banned shechita, saying "animal rights come before religion".

Denmark's Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jørgensen yesterday signed a regulation preventing Danish slaughterhouses from applying for an exemption to pre-stunning, which effectively bans any religious slaughter in the country.


Quebec legal kosher threat

By David Lazarus , January 23, 2014

Quebec’s Jewish General Hospital (JGH) has pledged to launch a court challenge against a proposed secular values law, if it is passed.

The secessionist Parti-Québécois government legislation, Bill 60, bans public employees from wearing kippot, turbans and hijabs at work. JGH director Lawrence Rosenberg wears a kippah.


Rabbi sued for ‘chopping off penis’

By Rosa Doherty, December 30, 2013

A rabbi from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is accused of chopping off a newborn baby’s penis during a routine circumcision in April 2013.

A civil lawsuit brought by the parents of the baby, who are only identified by their initials, alleges the rabbi acted “with a total disregard” for the child.


How can alleged ‘sex abuser’ have Right of Return?

By Nathan Jeffay, October 4, 2013

He fled England where he is due to be tried for child sex offences. He entered Israel on a fake passport. Now, Todros Grynhaus is appealing to the Israeli courts to claim that he has been unfairly treated.

Grynhaus is claiming that the State of Israel was wrong to refuse him citizenship under the Law of Return, which gives automatic citizenship to Jews and people of Jewish descent.


Welcome for new national autopsy code

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 12, 2013

Bereaved Jewish families have welcomed new coroners rules that will prevent forced invasive autopsies being performed in contravention of Jewish law and against family wishes.


Leonard Cohen fans upset over Yom Kippur O2 gig

By Jennifer Lipman, June 28, 2013

Hallelujah may be Leonard Cohen’s most famous song but it hardly describes the current mood of the legendary Canadian singer’s Jewish fans.

They are down in the dumps over news that the Jewish-born star’s concert in London has been scheduled for September 14 — the day of Yom Kippur.