Religious schism in Israel grows as independent rabbis perform marriages

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 20, 2015

The split between Israel's Chief Rabbinate and the rebel rabbis who last week announced they had performed six independent conversions of minors is widening.

This week it emerged that the rebel rabbinical courts had carried out around 50 conversions in recent months - including those of grown-ups - and that some of the rabbis involved had also performed marriages for the converts.


The £130-a-minute simchah: Are we wedded to excess?

By Sandy Rashty and Josh Jackman, April 16, 2015

It should be the happiest day of your life - and will likely be the most expensive. Wedding planners say that the cost of a kosher celebration can comfortably exceed £50,000. Our £55,000 wedding quote works out at an eye-popping £130-a-minute for a seven hour event.


Married and renting - report reveals the state of Jewish households

By Simon Rocker, March 19, 2015

British Jewry may be growing poorer with a decline in home ownership and a rise in people renting accommodation, according to a report published this week.

Home ownership among Jews in England and Wales fell from 77 per cent of households to 73 per cent over the past decade. Jews are still more likely to own their homes than the general population, where the figure is 64 per cent.


Trial told that get-gang rabbi 'discussed using cattle prod on male genitalia'

By Dan Friedman, March 5, 2015

It does not look promising when one lawyer's main line of defence includes the claim that razor blades at the scene of a crime were there to sharpen the quills to sign a ceremonial document.

But little runs straight in the sometimes brutal, sometimes surreal trial of Rabbi Mendel Epstein and the alleged gang of rabbinical "tough guys" he is accused of recruiting to force recalcitrant husbands t


Couple given green light to challenge civil partnership rule

By Rosa Doherty, February 24, 2015

A Jewish couple who launched a legal challenge against the ban on heterosexual civil partnerships has been granted permission to continue with their claim by a High Court judge.

Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing has said Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan can now proceed with their case against the government’s continued barring of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples.


Stephen Fry to marry partner

By Anna Behrmann, January 7, 2015

Stephen Fry has said that he is “very very happy” about his upcoming nuptials to his partner, the stand-up comedian, Elliott Spencer.

The 57-year-old actor and presenter has given formal notice to his 27-year-old partner, Spencer, at a register office in Norfolk, near where he grew up.


Masorti makes history as rabbis approve same-sex marriage

By Simon Rocker, October 22, 2014

The British Masorti movement has followed the Liberals and Reform by taking a historic decision to allow its rabbis to conduct same-sex marriages.

Gay and lesbian couples will now be able to marry in Masorti synagogues in a move approved without opposition by the movement’s trustees last night.


Man refused wife a get but stalked her

By Simon Rocker, August 7, 2014

A property developer from Golders Green who has refused his estranged wife a get has been found guilty of stalking her.

Yossi Elkoubi was convicted at Willesden Magistrates Court last Friday of behaviour amounting to harassment of Rifka Meyer, to whom he was married in a religious but not a civil ceremony in 2009. They have been separated for two years.


Mum's divorce campaign goes viral

By Rosa Doherty, June 26, 2014

An Orthodox Jewish woman in New York has launched a social media campaign calling for her husband to grant her a religious divorce.

Rivky Stein, 24, has been fighting for two years to secure a get from Yoel Weiss, 31.


Charities will listen to estranged grandparents but they ‘cannot intervene’

By Charlotte Oliver, June 3, 2014

Charities have urged grandparents estranged from their families to come to them for help.

According to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), the Census in 2011 revealed there are 55,000 Jewish people aged 65 and over in the UK, 87 per cent of whom have children. So there are potentially 48,000 Jewish grandparents living in the UK.