Jewish life

Being the last Jew of Kabul? It pays the rent

By Lalage Snow , November 21, 2013

Zablon Simintov is infamous. A bitter feud with Ishaq Levin, with whom he shared the only synagogue in Kabul, was widely publicised.

Their mutual hatred was so fierce that they frequently denounced each other to the authorities for espionage: being the Last Jew of Kabul was a title worth fighting for.


It’s Thanksgivukkah, so have some menurkey

By Charlotte Oliver, November 21, 2013

It last occurred 125 years ago, and it will not happen again for 70,000 years, so it is no wonder that American Jews are making a big deal of “Thanksgivukkah”.

That is what they are calling the coinciding next Thursday of the first day of Chanucah and the festival of Thanksgiving — when Americans remember how the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated their first harvest with a three-day feast.


Glasgow gets historical

By Adam Henderson, November 18, 2013

An illustrated book about the history of Glasgow Jewry was launched on Sunday by the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre.


‘Rabbi’ who believes in Jesus is teaching Jewish studies

By Rosa Doherty, November 15, 2013

Community leaders in Norwich have expressed concern over a messianic “rabbi” who is teaching Jewish studies in local schools.

Binyamin Sheldrake, a member of the Adat Yeshua group, has been teaching the subject to children in primary and secondary schools across the city, after being approved for the role by the national Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (Sacre).


US leaders talk Jewish identity politics

By Shira Rubin, November 14, 2013

Thousands of North American community leaders met Israeli politicians, entrepreneurs and social activists to debate contemporary Jewish identity at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly conference in Jerusalem this week.

Assimilation, women’s rights at the Western Wall and the surprising amount of poverty in Israel were among the topics discussed.


Beth Alexander will fight on for custody of twins

By Charlotte Oliver, November 14, 2013

A British mother who lost her appeal last week to win custody of her children from her ex-husband in Vienna has pledged she will take the case to the Austrian Supreme Court and, if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.

In the meantime, she has launched an online campaign encouraging members of the UK Jewish community to write to the Austrian ambassador in support of her case.


Progressives pledge to pay staff the living wage

By Simon Rocker, November 7, 2013

Liberal Judaism plans to be the first synagogue movement to adopt the living wage across all its congregations.

The wage — a voluntary initiative launched 12 years ago by the grass-roots activist movement Citizens UK — this week rose to £7.65 an hour nationally and to £8.80 an hour in London.


How the dating guru found love of her own

By Rosa Doherty, November 7, 2013

The queen of Jewish online dating has found love at last — thanks to a rival website.

And ironically, JDate vice president Daniella Perlstein was not even looking for a date. Her new man spotted her by chance in a picture on her friend’s profile.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur spoke of her own match made in heaven when she arrived in London to launch a new dating web tool.


New emissary pledges to shine a light within Leeds community

By John Fisher, October 28, 2013

Or Nehushtan — his first name means “light” in Hebrew — promises to bring luminosity to his role as Leeds’s new emissary.

The 29-year-old twin — he has a sister, Zohar — who arrived from Hod Hasharon, near Ra’anana, described his Leeds welcome as “more than I could ever have wished for” as he settled in at the Makor office where he is based


Historic lives on display in Oxford

By Alison Ryde , October 28, 2013

A permanent exhibition illustrating the history of the Jews of Medieval Oxford has opened in the city’s museum.

The project is the culmination of several years’ work between the Oxford Jewish Congregation, which established the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee in 2006, and the Museum of Oxford — housed in the Oxford Town Hall.