UK news

Beth Din safe with us, says government

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2015

Government plans to investigate Muslim sharia courts will not include a review of the Jewish religious court system, the Board of Deputies has said.

Outlining Conservative Party plans to tackle extremism this week, Home Secretary Theresa May said there was a "problem" with the application of sharia law in some parts of Britain.


Pro-Israel regional groups lead boycott battle

By Sandy Rashty, March 26, 2015

Communal organisations and grassroots groups must work together to tackle the threat posed by the boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement, delegates were told at the We Believe in Israel conference.


Return of a gentleman

By Charlotte Oliver, March 26, 2015

An El Greco painting looted by the Nazis has been returned to its original owner's family after more than 70 years.

Portrait of a Gentleman belonged to Julius Priester, a Jewish-Austrian industrialist who escaped from Vienna to Mexico in 1938 after his extensive art collection was seized by the Gestapo.


Volunteers who are the heart of Anglo-Jewry

March 26, 2015

Sam Baumal
Hebrew teacher

Eighteen-year-old Sam Baumal works as a teaching assistant every Sunday at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue's Hebrew school where, friends say, his kindness and patience endears him to his students and other staff members. He also gives up a considerable amount of his free time during the year to train to look after a severely disabled young adult.


Outsider emerges in race to be Board boss

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

A dark horse has emerged in the race to be the next president of the Board of Deputies after Essex solicitor Richard Cohen announced his bid for the top post.

Mr Cohen, 59, who has represented Loughton, Chigwell and District Federation Synagogue on the Board for nine years, is the third candidate to step forward after Board vice-presidents Jonathan Arkush and Alex Brummer.

Describing himself


Thousands sign up to oppose anti-Israel event

By Naomi Firsht, March 26, 2015

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition protesting against the University of Southampton for planning to host a conference questioning Israel's legitimacy.

Advocacy group Academic Friends of Israel launched a petition this week urging the university to move the three-day event, due to take place next month, away from the campus.

The group also said it was backing plans by Sussex Friend


Coming up with the right recipe

By Rosa Doherty, March 26, 2015

Loneliness may be one of the biggest issues facing members of the community, but organisations and individuals are fighting back with a series of innovative initiatives.

According to Jewish Care, there are twice the number of Jewish people aged 60 or over compared to the general population, and one in three adults lives alone.


Hunt for grave finally ends after 20 years

By Josh Jackman, March 26, 2015

A Jewish Care volunteer has found the unmarked grave of her aunt, killed in a First World War Zeppelin attack, after a 20-year-long search.

Janet Foster, a retired civil servant, plans to place a plaque at the burial site on June 3, the 100th anniversary of Leah Lehrman's death.

Ms Lehrman was 16 when she died in June 1915, on her way to work as a tailor in central London.


Tory ready to bring No 10 experience to the green belt

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2015

Oliver Dowden is in a rare position for an election candidate - standing on the verge of entering Parliament, yet preparing to see his political influence decrease at the same time.

In his former role as deputy chief of staff for the prime minister, he was one of David Cameron's leading advisers, helping to develop policy, organising briefings and monitoring domestic issues.


Electrician hopes to spark Labour upset

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2015

Electrician Richard Butler has probably never been compared to Sisyphus, but Labour's candidate in Hertsmere could be forgiven for feeling that he has been handed an impossible task.

Like the ancient Greek king who repeatedly pushed a boulder up a hill only to see it roll back again, Mr Butler faces what looks like inevitable failure.