UK news

Limmud is back with a bang for 2012

By Anna Sheinman, December 21, 2012

Four hundred and thirty-three presenters, 1,035 sessions, 42 kilograms of hummus — Limmud is back.

This weekend 2,500 people will descend on Warwick University for seven days of sessions ranging from a debate on Israel’s African asylum problem, to a late night game of Pirates v Ninjas.

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How Jewish astrologers used astrolabes to predict the future

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2012

If you are reading this over Shabbat, then it is safe to assume that the world did not come to an end on December 21, despite the predictions of the Mayan calendar.

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University bosses rebuke anti-Israel lecturer

By Sandy Rashty, December 20, 2012

A lecturer has been chastised by Brighton University officials for using university equipment to promote anti-Israel discourse.

Tom Hickey used the university’s communication system to distribute a student and staff email entitled: “Palestine: the dispossession of a people.”

A university administrator called him in to discuss the email.

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Board of Deputies treasurer Brass tweets and deletes

By Marcus Dysch, December 20, 2012

The treasurer of the Board of Deputies has been rebuked for publishing two messages on Twitter which may have been in contempt of court.

Asylum judge Laurence Brass, a former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, made the remarks about a trial which is due to start in January next year.

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Two UK teens arrested in Kotel protest

By Sandy Rashty, December 20, 2012

Two young British women were detained in a Jerusalem police station after taking part in a Women of the Wall religious rights protest last Friday.

The 18-year-olds, currently on RSY-Netzer’s Israel gap-year programme, were detained for four-and-a-half hours after morning prayers at the Western Wall.

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Kinloss shul is proud but sad to see its rabbi leave

By Jenni Frazer, December 20, 2012

He is known throughout his congregation as “Super Rabbi” and the gentle joke is that, under the dynamic Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s pristine white shirt, there is a large letter R for rabbi, or S for super, or even Spurs, his favourite team.

But, this week, members of Finchley Synagogue — or Kinloss, as it is widely known —were in a bitter-sweet mood.

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Journey to becoming Britain’s chief rabbi

December 20, 2012

This is South African-born Rabbi Mirvis’s second chief rabbinate. He was Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1985 to 1992 and, for three years before that, was minister of Dublin’s Adelaide Road Synagogue.

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Rabbi Mirvis, the family man

December 20, 2012

Rabbi and Mrs Mirvis’s eldest child, Liora Graham, passed away in 2011, following a long battle with cancer. They have four sons, Hillel, Daniel, Noam and Eitan, a son-in-law, Jonathan, two daughters-in-law, Melanie and Althea, and five grandchildren, Kinneret, Elitzur, Naama, Refael and Tamara.

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Twitter first to strike up welcoming Mirvis fanfare

December 20, 2012

This has certainly not happened to any other chief rabbi, Rabbi Mirvis grinned.

“Steve Pack, the US president, addressed the consultative group in my absence. I was brought in to address them, and then I took my leave and sat in a room down the corridor for about half-an-hour while the group was deliberating.

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Background: Valerie Mirvis

December 20, 2012

Rabbi Mirvis’s wife, Valerie, is a senior social worker who carried out front-line child protection for many years. She has lectured on healthcare communications skills since 1997. She is also the author of Please Don’t Break My Other Leg! A Guide to Empathising with Patients, which was published in English in 2001 and in Chinese in 2004.

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