Jewish life

US settles beard case

By Simon Rocker, May 26, 2011

The United Synagogue has reached a settlement with a kosher supervisor who sued it for allegedly objecting to the state of his beard.

Jonathan Abrahams, 58, a Lubavitch Chasid from Stamford Hill, North London, was made redundant by the US more than a year ago.

But after applying unsuccessfully for other jobs in the organisation, he filed claims of religious and age discrimination.

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London Citizens stand by Islamist hardliner

By Martin Bright, May 26, 2011

A community organising group, feted by politicians across the political spectrum for its grassroots activism, has defended its links to an Islamist hardliner who expressed his support for Hamas terrorist leaders.

London Citizens, currently on a recruitment drive in the Jewish community, models itself on the kind of "community organising" with which Barack Obama made his name in
Chicago.

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Marking the ups and downs

By Eylon Aslan-Levy, May 19, 2011

As a Jewish student living away from home, it is during festivals that I miss home the most. But as an Israeli too, Yom Hazikaron is an especially disorientating experience.

Thankfully I didn't feel homesick while organising Oxford JSoc's Yom Hazikaron service, because I have a good Jewish mother and father who schlepped from London to Oxford.

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Israelis shocked at life in Britain

By Marcus Dysch, May 19, 2011

A group of Israeli parliamentary advisers say a visit to Britain to learn about pluralism in the Jewish community has revealed a stark contrast to their lives at home.

The fourteen, among them political advisers, Knesset spokespeople and parliamentary journalists, met representatives from all sections of British Jewry during the five-day trip.

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San Francisco to vote on circumcision ban

By Jennifer Lipman, May 19, 2011

A San Francisco-wide ban on the circumcision of males under the age of 18 has moved a step closer to reality after sufficient residents signed a petition to get the issue on the agenda for a vote in November.

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San Francisco could vote on circumcision ban

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

An American activist has launched a bid to ban the circumcision of baby boys in San Francisco.

Lloyd Schofield said that the practice was “genital mutilation”. He is hoping to gain the 7,100 signatures needed for the proposal to go on a San Francisco ballot.

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Winds of communal change

By Jenni Frazer, October 29, 2010

If a conference that took place in Berlin last weekend is anything to go by, Jewish leaders in the West need a rapid Russian language induction course — and an equally rapid re-think of how things get done.

Jonathan Joseph, the South African-born, British-based president of the European Council of Jewish Communities, may not have done the Russian Berlitz course yet but he has certainly got to grips with how things get done.

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Nachman's followers find utopia - in Ukraine

By Pini Dunner, September 16, 2010

This month sees the 200th anniversary of his death, but Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav's popularity continues to grow.

Over the past 20 years in particular, this growth has been exponential. Reviled in his lifetime, even by his own family - one contemporary Chasidic leader is said to have guaranteed paradise for any antagonist of Rabbi Nachman - his teachings and message are embraced across the spectrum of Jewish life, and he is revered by Jews of every level of observance.

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Shtetl show for Leeds children

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

Leeds is opening a Jewish educational centre where children can take a walk through time into a 19th century eastern European shtetl.

The Jewish Heritage Centre for Children, due to open in October, is the brainchild of Leeds Lubavitch education director Shoshana Angyalfi and her project co-ordinator Ruth Bell, who gave the JC a sneak preview of the museum.

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UK Jews more tied to Israel than American Jews

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Jews in the UK feel more attached to Israel than those in the United States, according to one of the leading academic experts on diaspora Jewry.

"UK Jewry is far more connected to Israel than American Jewry," said Professor Steven Cohen, research professor of Jewish social policy at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

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