UK news

The English Defence League and the surfing rabbi

By Marcus Dysch, October 14, 2010

An American rabbi will join an extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalist group in a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in London next week.

Rabbi Nachum Shifren, from California, said he was supporting the English Defence League because he opposed multiculturalism, and promised to act with "full force" against shariah law.

But his plans have been roundly criticised by Jewish community organisations. The Community Security Trust said that Jews who believed they could shape the EDL, or find shelter in the group, were "utterly deluded".

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Natasha Kaplinsky to leave Channel 5

By Jennifer Lipman, October 14, 2010

Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky is to leave her job at Channel 5 at the end of the year.

The presenter, reportedly one of the highest paid in Britain, has been part of the channel’s news team since February 2008.

Prior to that she worked at the BBC, where she was the third woman to present the flagship Ten o’Clock News programme.

Her departure is one of a number of changes being made by Jewish media mogul Richard Desmond, who bought Channel 5 in July.

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Jewish free schools are on schedule

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

Both new Jewish free schools are on target to open in September 2011, despite fears that up to half of the 16 new free schools will not meet deadlines to open in September.

Peter Kessler, leader of the group of parents who are planning to set up Haringey Jewish Primary School, said the school was making faster progress than nearly all of the other approved schools and pupils would be able to start in September.

The school is preparing a business plan and a public consultation in time for the government’s deadline at the beginning of December.

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The Apprentice interview: Joy Stefanicki

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

She was thrown out of The Apprentice for “sitting on the fence”. But Jewish candidate Joy Stefanicki, 31, a former marketing director from Birmingham, says that Lord Sugar never got to see her potential, because it was overshadowed by the behaviour of other contestants.

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The Apprentice week two: no Joy for Jewish hopeful

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

Apprentice hopeful Joy Stefanicki has been fired by Lord Sugar after her team managed to set a new record for failure on the show.

The Jewish candidate, who is from Portsmouth but now lives in Birmingham, was called into the boardroom after a disastrous effort by the girls’ team.

For the second task of the series, the teams were sent to Heathrow Airport and told to devise and market a new beach accessory.

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Ahava: a clarification

October 13, 2010

On August 19, 2010 we reported on the collapse of the trial against four protesters who chained themselves inside the London branch of Israeli cosmetic store Ahava.

We are happy to clarify and we accept that the four protesters did not take any steps to intimidate the key prosecution witness into not attending their trial.

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Howard Jacobson wins Man Booker prize for 'The Finkler Question'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

Howard Jacobson has won the Man Booker prize for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was chosen by judges above the five other books nominated, including the favourite, C by Tom McCarthy.

Mr Jacobson has been nominated twice before for the prestigious literary award, which comes with a £50,000 prize as well as the likelihood of increased book sales. This year was the first he made the shortlist.

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Claire Rayner: Nursing for Jewish girls

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

When I tell people that I am a nurse the usual response I get is: “How come a nice Yiddisher girl should be a nurse?” When I reply that I am a nurse because I enjoy nursing, they might say: “But it’s such hard work! And anyway, you don’t meet nice Jewish boys…”

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Agony aunt Claire Rayner dies at age 79

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

The agony aunt, broadcaster and medical campaigner Claire Rayner has died at the age of 79.

Mrs Rayner, who died in hospital near her home in Harrow, north London, had been suffering from cancer and underwent surgery earlier this year.

A pioneering voice in discussions about safe sex, she spent years as a journalist and wrote several novels. In 1996 she was given an OBE for services to women's and health issues.

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X Factor judges save Katie Waissel

By Katie Taylor, October 11, 2010

Jewish X Factor hopeful Katie Waissel has survived another week of the competition.

It was a near miss for the 24-year-old from Pinner, after she was placed in the bottom three during the first live show of the series. The singer failed to attract voters with her version of Queen’s We are the Champions.

The theme of this week’s competition was number one chart hits.

Dressed in a Lady Gaga style outfit, with a colourful warrior helmet X Factor judge Louis Walsh told her: “You are all style and no substance.”

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