UK news

Riba says Israel boycott issue is now closed

By Marcus Dysch, June 20, 2014

The president of the Royal Institute of British Architects has said the organisation will not discuss its controversial stance on Israel any further.

Riba's council had been expected to debate an anti-Israel motion at a meeting in London on Thursday.

In March the institute's members voted for a motion calling on the International Union of Architects (UIA) to suspend Israeli members.

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Tory MP Michael Fabricant apologises over 'punch a journalist' jibe

By Marcus Dysch, June 20, 2014

A Conservative MP has apologised after posting a tweet saying he would like to punch a female journalist in the throat.

Michael Fabricant, whose late father Isaac was the rabbi of Brighton and Hove Synagogue, targeted Yasmin Alibhai-Brown after she appeared on a television debate.

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Is the bell tolling for faith schools?

June 19, 2014

YES says Jonathan Romain

The Birmingham schools so severely criticised by Ofsted were not faith schools, but the exposure of their failings has caused major questions marks to be raised about how faith schools operate.

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Unique Tour for Leeds Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

What do you do when one of the world's most-watched sporting events takes place outside your synagogue on Shabbat? Start services early and serve a French cycling-themed kiddush, of course.

Leeds' Jewish community is preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of co-ordinating Shabbat around the visit of the Tour de France.

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Rare art 'must be returned'

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 19, 2014

The British Library has been told to return an estimated £200,000 worth of Nazi-stolen art after fresh claims by Jewish heirs.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has upheld the recommendation of the government's Spoliation Advisory Panel, which, in newly published reports, calls for returning of rare works as the "fair and just resolution".

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'Give Liz Taylor a blue plaque'

By Rosa Doherty, June 19, 2014

Television presenter Matthew Wright has launched a campaign urging English Heritage to erect a blue plaque outside the original home of actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Mr Wright said he hoped to convince the organisation to grant the Hollywood actress the memorial at the house in Hampstead Garden Suburb, north London, and fulfil her dying wish.

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Generations tied together by eventful 120-year history of family Torah scroll

By Charlotte Oliver, June 19, 2014

When Sam Vecht reads his barmitzvah portion next Shabbat, he will use a very special Sefer Torah scroll - one that has passed down five generations of his family, and in the process has been hidden from the Nazis, been shot at and even had its own seat on an El Al flight.

The scroll was commissioned by Sam's great-great-grandfather, Aaron Vecht, when he moved his family to Australia in 1890.

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Rabbis attack poverty

By Charlotte Oliver, June 19, 2014

More than 40 rabbis across four different denominations have said they are "deeply disturbed" by the country's failure to tackle child poverty.

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Couple battle council a second time over disabled daughter

By Rosa Doherty, June 19, 2014

A Family who fought a year-long battle to get their disabled daughter into a special Jewish school are facing a similar challenge eight years on.

Sabrina Leigh, who suffers from a type of cerebral palsy called Worster-Drought Syndrome, was initially denied the funding she needed for place at Kisharon as a 10-year-old, until Barnet Council were persuaded to reconsider.

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Royal recognition for community heroes

June 19, 2014

Community workers and philanthropists got their share of royal recognition in the birthday honours.

Businessman Maurice Ostro was appointed an OBE for services to business, charity and interfaith relations."To be recognised for what I love doing is truly humbling," he said.

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