UK news

Stanmore banker turned poker player wins big

By Jennifer Lipman, September 29, 2010

A Jewish poker player has won almost £1 million at a world tournament in London.

James Bord, from Stanmore, north-west London, picked up £836,000 at the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe championship to become the first British Main Event champion.

He won first prize, beating a player from Monte Carlo in a closely fought game, and was awarded a gold bracelet to mark his success.

Mr Bord, 29, who entered the contest for the second time, is a regular on the WSOP circuit and finished in sixth place at a competition in Las Vegas earlier in 2010.

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Jail for pensioner who battered biker with walking stick

By Jessica Elgot, September 29, 2010

A pensioner who was called a "f---ing Jew" by a 6ft 3in biker has been jailed for 18 months after he retaliated by smashing him in the face with a walking stick.

Keith Degroot, 66, who lived in sheltered housing in Leeds, was drinking in the Duck and Drake pub in the city centre with another regular, Stephen Hall - a member of the Blue Angel chapter of the Hells Angels.

During a row, Mr Hall knocked off Mr Degroot's glasses.

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MP Kaufman 'abused in synagogue'

September 29, 2010

Sir Gerald Kaufman has claimed he was verbally attacked at St John's Wood Synagogue on Yom Kippur over his political views.

He made the allegations at a Middle East Monitor and Labour Friends of Palestine fringe meeting at the Labour Conference in Manchester on Sunday.

The Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, who regularly criticises Israel, described himself as a "Zionist" and "bad Orthodox Jew" and said he had been a member of the shul for 49 years.

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Round-the-world tripper dies just before return

By Robyn Rosen, September 29, 2010

A hospital manager has died in a crash in India while "living his dream" of making a round-the-world trip.

Jeremy Paul, 30, was at the end of his six-month sabbatical from Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, when he was killed in a collision in Rajasthan last week.

Cousin Robert Morris said: "Jeremy was a genuinely nice person who never got into trouble. He was liked by everyone who ever met him and the world will be a poorer place without him.

"He was living his dream on a trip travelling around South America, Thailand and India, and was just at the end when the accident happened."

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Director's Holocaust revenge film celebrated

September 29, 2010

A British Jewish film director has been honoured at the Boston Film Festival with its Visionary Filmmaker Award, presented last weekend.

Joshua Newton's film, Iron Cross, was the last film made by Jaws actor Roy Scheider - he died towards the end of filming.

Mr Newton, whose first full-length feature this is, directed, wrote and produced the thriller, in which Scheider stars as Joseph, a retired New York police officer and Holocaust survivor, who travels to Nuremberg following the death of his wife to reconcile with his son Ronnie (Scott Cohen).

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Aronofsky, Leigh shortlisted for BFI film award

By Jennifer Lipman, September 29, 2010

Two Jewish directors have been nominated for the Best Film award at this year’s London Film Festival.

Darren Aronofsky has made the shortlist for the thriller Black Swan, which stars the Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman as a ballerina consumed by jealousy of her co-star.

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Ed Miliband addresses Labour party conference

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

Ed Miliband has told the Labour party conference that Israel should lift the naval blockade of Gaza.

In his debut speech as Labour leader, Mr Miliband said: “We must strain every sinew to work to make that happen” and called on the government to step up and help bring “a just and lasting peace to the Middle East.”

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Ed Miliband's mum Marion Kozak on Israel

By Marcus Dysch, September 28, 2010

The mother of new Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is a long-standing supporter of left-wing pro-Palestinian organisations.

Marion Kozak, 75, who maintained a low profile as Ed defeated his brother David to become leader of the Opposition, is a signatory of the founding statements of both Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV).

Her sons both described themselves as "critical friends" of Israel during a leadership hustings in June. Ms Kozak is a long-standing human rights campaigner and was an early CND activist.

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Respect expels 'antisemitic' Tower Hamlets candidate

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

George Galloway’s Respect party apologised after it emerged that one of its national council members had posted “antisemitic” comments about Jews on Facebook – despite campaigning against racism against Muslims.

Abul “Abz” Hussain, who stood unsuccessfully in May to become a Tower Hamlets councillor suggested in one post that a “Jew” should be swapped for aid to Gaza. He has now been expelled from the party.

The former law student at the London School of Economics also joked about chopping off a Jewish person’s peyot (sideburns) and confiscating their kippah.

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Ben Uri appeals for missing paintings

By Leon Symons, September 28, 2010

Anglo-Jewry's leading art gallery has launched an appeal to find dozens of paintings by the distinguished Czech-born artist Ludwig Blum.

Next January the Ben Uri Gallery in St John's Wood is presenting the first British retrospective of Blum's work in more than 70 years, curated by Israeli scholar and historian Dalia Manor.

But many of the paintings shown at four exhibitions in London in the 1930s - including the Ben Uri - have not been seen since.

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