UK news

Richard Desmond to step down as Norwood president

By Barry Toberman, February 24, 2015

Richard Desmond is to stand down as president of Norwood at the end of March after more than eight years in the role.

The children and families charity has grown significantly during Mr Desmond’s tenure and now supports 7,000 people.

He has also been instrumental in Norwood fundraising and engaging celebrities and politicians in its work.

More..

Couple given green light to challenge civil partnership rule

By Rosa Doherty, February 24, 2015

A Jewish couple who launched a legal challenge against the ban on heterosexual civil partnerships has been granted permission to continue with their claim by a High Court judge.

Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing has said Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan can now proceed with their case against the government’s continued barring of civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples.

More..

Scottish political leaders join together in condemning antisemitism

By Sandy Rashty, February 24, 2015

Scottish political leaders have rallied together to support the Jewish community after the rise in UK antisemitism and attacks against Jews in Europe.

More..

Foreign Office announces David Quarrey will be next ambassador to Israel

By Marcus Dysch, February 24, 2015

The Foreign Office has revealed that the next British ambassador to Israel will be David Quarrey.

Currently director of the department’s Near East and North Africa desk, he will replace Matthew Gould in July.

Mr Gould has been in Tel Aviv since 2010 and was the first British Jewish diplomat to be appointed to the role.

More..

Malcolm Rifkind charged Jewish charity £5,000 for one-hour speech

By Marcus Dysch, February 24, 2015

Sir Malcolm Rifkind charged a Jewish charity £5,000 for a one-hour speech.

The veteran Conservative MP, who has been implicated in a “cash-for-access” row, spoke at a UJIA business breakfast to mark Yom Ha’atzmaut in May last year.

The House of Commons’ register of members’ financial interests show that Sir Malcolm recorded the fee one month later.

More..

Public overwhelmingly want end to religious slaughter, MP tells shechita debate

By Marcus Dysch, February 23, 2015

The latest parliamentary debate on the future of shechita has seen MPs put forward robust defences of kosher and halal religious slaughtering practises.

A three-hour session in Westminster Hall heard from more than a dozen speakers from across the political spectrum.

More..

Bad Jews set for West End run

By Sandy Rashty, February 23, 2015

Award-winning play ‘Bad Jews’ is set to make its West End debut, it was announced today.

The play, which centres on an American Jewish family fighting over an heirloom left by their late grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, will transfer after sell-out runs at the St James Theatre in London and Ustinov Studio in Bath.

More..

Journalist wins prestigious Chaim Bermant prize for articles on French antisemitism

By Sandy Rashty, February 23, 2015

A journalist who wrote a five-part series on the rise of antisemitism in France has won the prestigious Chaim Bermant Prize for journalism at a Jewish Book Week session.

Marc Weitzmann, the former editor-in-chief of French cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles, received the prize on Sunday for his work, ‘France’s Toxic Hate’.

More..

Police probe antisemitic chants before West Ham’s game against Spurs

By JC Reporter, February 23, 2015

Antisemitic chanting by a group of men thought to be supporters of West Ham United football club is being investigated by British Transport Police.

Video footage on social media appeared to show the men chanting abuse on a Tube train on the way to the club’s game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out contacted police.

More..

Council backs down over Hitlers Walk sign

By Josh Jackman, February 23, 2015

A proposed boycott by Cornish Jews has led a village to defer indefinitely its plan to erect a sign naming a local park “Hitlers Walk”.

The title was originally created by Mevagissey residents in the 1930s in reference to despotic local councillor Wright Harris, but the park sign was removed in 2005 following objections.

More..