UK news

Humanists probe Charedi education

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2014

A former Charedi school pupil has told a group of MPs and peers investigating fundamentalism that he received just half an hour of secular tuition a day.

The ex-student, who went to an independent strictly Orthodox school in Stamford Hill, London, briefed a closed session of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) last week.

He spoke of "the difficulty in leaving the community, as


Classes for the family

October 30, 2014

The UK's largest Jewish state-aided primary school has appointed a family educator.

Rabbi Daniel Sturgess, from adult education organisation Project Seed, will hope to attract parents to courses at the Michael Sobell Sinai, in Kingsbury, London.

Seed's associate national director Rabbi Malcolm Herman described the new post as a "pioneering moment in community education".

Parents will be o


Cash boost for trainee Jewish studies teachers

October 30, 2014

Trainee Jewish studies teachers for secondary schools will be able to get bursaries next year after the government agreed to provide funding for religious education.

No money was available from the Department for Education for secondary RE training this year.

But now the department has decided to fund 40 places nationally next year - including a quarter reserved for Jewish studies training a


Chief Rabbi Mirvis: Shabbat UK has made history

By Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, October 29, 2014

We set our expectations high — and British Jewry exceeded them.

We are still under the spell of a mesmerising and historic weekend.


Jews for Jesus relocates to heart of London Jewish community

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2014

The missionary group Jews for Jesus is moving its London office to Hendon, into the heart of one of the most populated Jewish areas.

It has taken a shop opposite the tube station, which lies close to the local branch of Aish, the Jewish young adults’ organisation.

Jews for Jesus UK director Julia Pascoe said that while an opening date had not yet been set, it would be “by Chanucah”.


Lib Dems will not take action over David Ward's 'Israel control' tweet

By Marcus Dysch, October 28, 2014

Controversial Liberal Democrat MP David Ward will not face disciplinary action after using Twitter to post an Israel-related message which included an antisemitic trope.

Mr Ward took to Twitter on Saturday night, telling followers: “After Commons Palestine vote what next? Need to expose Pro-Israel control of MPs against recognition.”


Writer of Dreyfus novel wins thriller prize

By Naomi Firsht, October 27, 2014

Robert Harris won the prize for best thriller of the year with his novel An Officer and a Spy depicting the Dreyfus Affair.

Mr Harris was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller last weekend at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.


Pioneering gay rabbi dies

By Rosa Doherty, October 27, 2014

Rabbi Sheila Shulman of London's gay and lesbian synagogue, Beit Klal, has died.

Rabbi Shulman was one of the first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in the UK.

She applied to Leo Baeck College as a lesbian feminist in 1984 and in 1989 she was ordained.

Rabbi Shulman died on Saturday October 25 aged 77.


Charity in appeal for blood donors

By Naomi Firsht, October 24, 2014

The Joely Bear Appeal will hold its 60th blood donor sesssion at Borehamwood & Elstree Synagogue this weekend.

The appeal was launched in January 1995 in memory of Joel Renak, a Jewish child who died aged four from a rare form of liver cancer.

His family have been campaigning ever since for more blood and stem cell donors.


Student politics isn’t working

By Maggie Suissa, October 24, 2014

Last week, while we were sitting in our succahs, student politics took a worrying turn.

Goldsmiths students union rejected a motion which called to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as other days marking genocides in Europe.