UK news

TV role gives Joshua a topsy turvy feeling

By Rosa Doherty, December 11, 2014

He is only nine years old but Joshua Lester is getting used to being recognised by adoring fans.

Joshua plays Tim in the hugely popular television show Topsy and Tim, about the lives of five-year-old twins.

The series, broadcast on the BBC children's channel CBeebies, is watched by over 40 per cent of viewers aged under six, so attracting the attention of other children has become a regular


Speaking with conviction

By Rosa Doherty, December 11, 2014

Inside a 19th-century chapel, flanked by high-security walls, sat row upon row of hardened criminals.

Ninety of them, clad in regulation grey track-suits, waited for the most unlikely of guests to a high-security prison - an 85-year-old, 5ft 2in woman dressed daintily in cardigan, trouser-suit and shoulder-bag.

For the next two hours, the Wormwood Scrubs inmates sat tall, hands clasped often


Boy afraid of school has year off and writes book

By Rosa Doherty, December 11, 2014

A 12-year-old boy who suddenly became so afraid of school that he could not attend for a year has written a book about his experience in the hope it will help others facing the same ordeal.

Joseph Franklin said he loved going to The Academy School, in Hampstead, north London but one day, two years ago, he found he could not face going.

He said: "There was no reason why I didn't want to go.


Downton comes to Limmud

By Simon Rocker, December 11, 2014

There will be a little piece of Downton Abbey at Limmud.

The producer of the ITV period drama, David Evans, who was nominated for an Emmy this year, will be giving a talk on his life at the educational conference later this month.

Mr Evans's attendance was revealed this week as details of the conference programme were released.

Former Labour Culture Minister and Mayor of London hopeful Da


Mersey beats brightly despite small numbers

By Barry Toberman, December 11, 2014

It is common for the talk within small regional communities to be primarily about survival. Yet in Liverpool, a Jewish population of little more than 2,000 is not just sustaining two schools, four shuls, kosher provision and a cradle-to-grave welfare network.


Riba admits it got it wrong on Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2014

Financial loss and the threat of rebuke from the Charity Commission were partly behind the decision of British architects to drop a proposed boycott of their Israeli counterparts.


All change at the Guardian?

By Josh Jackman, December 11, 2014

Alan Rusbridger has stepped down from his role as editor-in-chief at the Guardian after more than 20 years at the helm.

He will remain in the position until summer next year before taking up his new job as chair of the newspaper's owners, the Scott Trust in 2016.


Shul bans fail to derail Israeli academic's tour

By Simon Rocker, December 11, 2014

The Zionist Federation claims a tour by Israeli academic Mordechai Kedar was a success, despite a further cancellation by one synagogue this week.

Dr Kedar was due to speak at three schools but they were pulled by the ZF after the Board of Deputies voiced concerns over his links to Pamela Geller, the anti-Islamist American activist banned from the UK last year.


Praise for Chasidic school

December 11, 2014

An independent Chasidic boys' school in Stamford Hill, north London has passed its inspection with flying colours, showing it is possible to combine an intensive diet of Torah studies while meeting national standards.

Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass, which is run by Belz Chasidim and teaches 533 boys from three to 16, has been rated good by Ofsted.

Its early years section was ranked outstandin


A free Jewish library to give to your children

By Simon Rocker, December 11, 2014

It is a few days before Chanucah but the children are already devouring latkes, The Golem's Latkes. The illustrated tale of pancake mayhem in old Prague is going down a treat with a class of five and six-year-olds at Michael Sobell Sinai Primary School in Kenton, north-west London.