Rabbi trying to heal Ukraine

By Daniel Easterman, December 19, 2013

How did an American-born Chasidic rabbi end up on the team seeking to solve the political crisis in the Ukraine?

Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, who was asked to join a committee that is engaged in talks with anti-government protesters, explained that people have far more trust in their religious leaders than politicians.


‘Limmud has opened the door to cults’ say rabbis

By Simon Rocker, December 12, 2013

Leading rabbis have expressed astonishment that the leader of the London branch of the controversial Kabbalah Centre has been invited to speak at Limmud.


Revealed: the Chief Rabbi’s Limmud plan

By Simon Rocker, December 5, 2013

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will make more than a token visit to the Limmud education conference, according to a draft schedule seen by the JC.

He will present two sessions on successive days at the cross-communal event, which starts in a fortnight at Warwick University.


‘Zumba makes you a whore’ says US rabbi

By Charlotte Oliver, December 5, 2013

It is a dance fitness programme that has taken the world by storm — and Jews are no exception.

Zumba’s combination of samba, salsa and mambo is so popular among Jewish women that ‘Jumba’ — and even, for Charedim, ‘Frumba’ — classes have sprung up from London to New York.


Southport rabbi dies

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 2, 2013

The Movement for Reform Judaism has paid tribute to the emeritus rabbi of Southport Reform Synagogue, Sidney Kay, who died on Sunday, aged 93.

After becoming a rabbi in 1976, he served Southport New Synagogue, as it then was, for eight years. In his emeritus role, he supported ministers who succeeded him and stepped into the breach when there was a pulpit vacancy.


Fine end to innings at Southgate shul

By Jay Grenby, November 18, 2013

Cricket-loving Cockfosters and North Southgate minister Rabbi Yisroel Fine was bowled over by one of the gifts he received at reception marking his imminent retirement — a bat signed by this summer’s Australian touring team.


Alan Dershowitz decries ‘tyranny’ of Israeli rabbis

By Simon Rocker, November 14, 2013

One of America’s most prominent pro-Israel advocates, Professor Alan Dershowitz, has written to President Shimon Peres to protest at the “religious tyranny” of Israel’s chief rabbinate.

He has intervened in a “who is a Jew” row that has flared up between the state’s rabbinical authorities and a leading American modern Orthodox rabbi, Avraham Weiss.


Limmud row deepens after ‘aberration’ slur

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2013

An outspoken attack on Limmud by one of the candidates for chief rabbi this week reignited the furore over Orthodox participation in next month’s cross-communal conference.

Rabbi Alan Kimche, in an article sent to congregants at his Ner Israel Synagogue, claimed that Limmud “celebrates a rejection of all that is precious to Orthodox Judaism”.


Rabbi Neuberger plea on immigrants

By Sandy Rashty, November 13, 2013

Baroness Julia Neuberger says the Jewish community must speak out more on behalf of immigrants, and should welcome the Romanians and Bulgarians expected to arrive in the UK next year.


Rabbis’ plea over divided family

By Sandy Rashty, November 7, 2013

British rabbis have spoken out in support of a Jewish mother fighting for the return of her two sons from her ex-husband.

Rachael Neustadt, from Hendon, won a landmark victory at Moscow City Court to bring back Daniel and Jonathan who are aged seven and five. The boys had been taken to Russia by their father, Ilya Neustadt, last December.