Diplomat who faced down the Gestapo

By Simon Rocker, October 24, 2013

Were it not for him, Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger might not have been born, nor Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, nor thousands of other British Jews.

The name of Robert Smallbones will be unfamiliar to many. For only now has the British diplomat finally begun to receive recognition for his efforts to pluck Jews out of Nazi Germany.


Chief Rabbi praises Board but laments disunity

By Charlotte Oliver, October 24, 2013

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis marked his first official appearance at a Board of Deputies plenary meeting on Sunday by stressing the need for “unity” among British Jews.


Rampant Rabbi refuses to take a cold shower

By Rosa Doherty, October 24, 2013

A Jewish comedian is marketing a sex toy he has called the Rampant Rabbi, despite an attempts by high street retail chain Ann Summers to stop him.

Shed Simove designed the silicone toy in the figure of a rabbi and sells it on his website. It is, he says aimed at “the modern Jewish woman”.


Gatley Yeshurun job in demand

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2013

The pulpit vacancy at Manchester’s Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation in Gatley has attracted great interest with the number of applicants in “double digits”.


Arizona acquisition for Bromley Reform

By Cathy Forman, October 21, 2013

Rabbi Jason Holtz has swapped the deserts of Arizona for Kent suburbia as Bromley Reform’s new minister.

In Tuscon, Rabbi Holtz was assistant minister at Temple Emanu-El, directing its religion school. In Bromley, he replaces Rabbi Tony Hammond who retired in August after 10 years with the congregation.


Rabbis split over survey revealing loss of faith

By Charlotte Oliver, October 18, 2013

A survey suggesting that British Jews are becoming increasingly secular is deeply disturbing, say rabbis.

Three hundred Jews were among the respondents to two national YouGov polls conducted earlier this year.

The results, reported in last week’s JC, revealed that one third of British Jews said they had no religion.


Communal letter to JC supporting Chief Rabbi's attendance to Limmud, edited version

October 17, 2013

We warmly welcome the Chief Rabbi’s decision to attend Limmud. It is a decision that is consistent with the best traditions of Anglo-Jewish orthodox rabbinic leadership – promoting an open, approachable and inclusive Judaism whilst adhering to a firm halachic framework.


Limmud backlash over visit by Chief

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2013

The first major conflict of the new Chief Rabbi’s tenure erupted this week over his decision to attend the Limmud education conference in December.

More than 20 communal leaders have written to the JC attacking last week’s public condemnation of Chief Rabbi Mirvis by strictly Orthodox rabbis.


On his way to Sante Fe

October 14, 2013

Rabbi Neil Amswych is to leave Bournemouth Reform Synagogue next spring to become minister of Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


British rabbis react to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's death

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2013

Rabbi Abraham Levy, emeritus spiritual head of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation in London, said that Rav Ovadia Yosef’s “halachic authority and knowledge was unequalled and undisputed – he was admired throughout world Jewry, Sephardi and Ashkenazi alike.” He was “at ease with the poor and the great of the state of Israel and did so much to ‘restore the crown’ of the Se