Rabbis

Rabbis outraged by 'inappropriate' Glenn Beck Holocaust slurs

By Jennifer Lipman, January 27, 2011

A cross-communal group of rabbis have joined the voices calling for media mogul Rupert Murdoch to remove the controversial right wing pundit Glenn Beck from Fox News.

The rabbis have taken out a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal newspaper condemning Mr Beck’s repeated attacks on Holocaust survivor and financier George Soros.

In the advert the group criticised as “inappropriate” a programme broadcast on the channel last year called “Puppet Master”, in which Mr Beck accused Mr Soros of helping “to send the Jews to the death camps”.

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Lord Sugar, Borat or David Miliband for next chief rabbi?

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Lord Sugar has more chance of being chosen as the next chief rabbi than Borat, according to Paddy Power.

The news that Lord Sacks is to step down in 2013 has prompted the UK bookmaker to suggest some potential replacements.

Rabbi Harvey Belovski of Golders Green Synagogue has been given the best odds, with 6 to 4 that he will be picked.

But other high-profile Jewish leaders, including Mill Hill rabbi Yitzchak Schochet and six others — tipped as candidates by the JC — have also received favourable odds.

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African rabbi in bid to become first Ugandan Jewish MP

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010

A Ugandan Jew who grew up under the Idi Amin regime is hoping to become the first rabbi serving in a national parliament outside of Israel or Europe.

If Gershom Sizomu is elected he will also be the first Ugandan Jew elected to national office.

The African country goes to the polls in February 2011 and this week Rabbi Sizomu will find out if his application to stand for the parliamentary seat of Bungonkho North, in the city of Mbale, has been accepted by the electoral commission.

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First German female rabbi after 75 years

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A female rabbi has been ordained in Germany for the second time in the country’s history – and the first time since the Holocaust.

Alina Treiger, 31, officially became a rabbi at a ceremony in Berlin today, in the presence of Germany's president, Christian Wulff.

The Ukrainian born former music student will look after a liberal Jewish community in Oldenburg, in western Germany. She follows in the footsteps of Regina Jonas, who became a rabbi in 1935 at the age of 33.

Ms Jonas was ordained, amidst some controversy, as Adolf Hitler consolidated power over Nazi Germany.

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Faith helps for 2012 London Olympics

By Jessica Elgot, September 21, 2010

The capital's rabbis have been called up to volunteer as Jewish chaplains for Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Games.

Jewish chaplains will be recruited for the Games to support the religious needs of athletes and visitors to the Olympic site. Many rabbis in the Redbridge community, close to the Stratford site, have already expressed interest in the positions.

Rabbi Richard Jacobi of Woodford Liberal synagogue said: "I'm certainly discussing doing it. It's important
to show our hospitality to everyone who visits for the Olympics and Paralympics.

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Grainy day rabbis

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Come September and naturally the learned men of the London Beth Din are thinking about Jewish festivals: Pesach. Top dayan Menachem Gelley was out the other week behind the wheel of a combine harvester, gathering wheat for next spring's shemurah matzah.

The LBD certainly gets out and about in the cause of kashrut, from inspecting guar gum in Pakistan to keeping the kitchens safe from treif on Yeshiva University's annual Mediterranean cruise. The name of the boat was Costa Fortuna - no reflection, I'm told, on the supervision fees.

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Spielberg's rabbi in adultery storm

By Paul Berger, September 16, 2010

Last year, Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier bought her husband Rabbi Marc Schneier an endangered Asian lion as a 50th birthday present.

This year, it is the high-flying, 51-year-old rabbi's career that is endangered as his wife files for divorce in a bitter lawsuit.

Rabbi Schneier is being accused of an affair with a woman in her thirties, which resulted in her pregnancy. As a result of the allegations, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group, is now considering expelling him from their organisation.

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Orthodox Jews spotlight sex abuse

By Paul Berger, September 7, 2010

Two of America's leading Orthodox organisations will co-sponsor an event to highlight child sexual abuse in the US Jewish community.

National Jewish Child Abuse Prevention Week, which launches in Chicago on October 17, is backed by the highly influential Orthodox Union and by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group.

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Help for New Year services

By Jay Grenby, September 7, 2010

United Synagogue chiefs have recruited some experienced festival stand-ins for congregations with pulpit vacancies.

Following the departure of Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, Hampstead Garden Suburb services will be led by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, formerly at Stanmore and one-time HGS assistant minister.

Rabbi Cohen has been serving as consultant minister while the community searches for Rabbi Livingstone's replacement. He will be assisted by the congregation's community director, Rabbi Anthony Knop, and Aish's Rabbi Daniel Rowe.

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Airline stop rabbi for 'suspicious' shofar

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 2, 2010

An Israeli rabbi narrowly escaped arrest after being stopped by security officers at Munich airport for carrying a shofar.

Airport officials pulled aside Rabbi Mordechai Halperin, who is in his late 50s, and asked him to explain the religious article while arriving on a flight from Tel-Aviv on Monday night. Rabbi Halperin was visiting his daughter Esther Chitrik who lives in Nuremberg and works as an Chabad emissary in the city.

"He was in a bit of a panic," said Gigi Mechlowitz, a fellow Jewish passenger from Manchester, who stopped to help.

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