UK news

I lost 14 stone: here are my trousers

By Simon Rocker, June 16, 2011

A Jewish studies teacher who has shed nearly 14 stone in under two years has been named as one of Slimming World's slimmers of the year.

Michael Drucker of Edgware, who got a kosher bakery to introduce low calorie challah rolls, won the award in the consultant category – for those who run local Slimming World groups.

Once 28 stone with a 60-inch waist, Mr Drucker is close to reaching his h

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Oy Vey, it's the kosher version of Taboo

By Jessica Elgot, June 16, 2011

A "kosher" version of word game Taboo – with clues such as "Oy Vey" and "Latke" – will soon be sold in UK toy shops.

Taboo involves teams guessing words from printed clues, described by a teammate who is banned from saying five "taboo" words associated with the clue word.

Boston-based Seth Burstein, 29, who co-created the Jewish version of the game, explained: "You might have to guess th

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'Gay' Damascus blogger used site to attack Israel

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

Community leaders have condemned the "devious and Machiavellian" 40-year-old married man from Edinburgh who used a blog, with the fake identity of a young Syrian lesbian, to attack Israel.

Tom MacMaster, a master's student at Edinburgh University and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, admitted this week he was the man behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, which followed the alleged li

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Speaker row cancels Catholic conference

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2011

A conference featuring two controversial Catholic speakers, including one who publicly questioned the facts of the Holocaust, has been cancelled at the last minute.

Up to 300 people were expected to attend Saturday's semi-regular Faith of our Fathers event, organised by the orthodox Catholic group Pro Ecclesia at Westminster Central Hall.

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Law reprieve for kosher meat labels

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

An amendment which could lead to controversial plans to label kosher meat has been removed from a proposed new European law.

The European Council and Parliament agreed this week that the new food information regulation will not include a requirement that all
kosher and halal meat would be labelled "meat from slaughter without
stunning".

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The union, the names and the care homes...

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2011

The GMB union has highlighted a number of Israeli and Jewish landlords who own Southern Cross care homes around the UK as part of its campaign in support of the employees of the failing company.

In the past fortnight, the GMB has sent press releases highlighting five of the 80 Southern Cross landlords.

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William Hague still vague on 'Palestine'

By Simon Rocker, June 16, 2011

Britain is still holding fire over whether it would recognise a Palestinian declaration of independence at the United Nations in September.

Jewish leaders warned Foreign Secretary William Hague in a meeting on Wednesday that a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence would have a negative impact on peace prospects, making negotiations less likely.

The meeting, described as "warm a

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Circumcision critic has Board links

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

An Oxford student who launched an attack on male circumcision and called for it to be banned, is an associate of the Board of Deputies, it has been revealed.

Rebecca Steinfeld, the under-35 observer for New West End Synagogue, referred to circumcision as "male genital mutilation" in an article she co-authored in the Guardian.

Time to ban male circumcision?

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UK pledges Arab-Israeli cash boost

By Martin Bright, June 16, 2011

The government has announced its determination to spend more on projects to encourage co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The commitment follows questions from shadow defence spokesman Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, highlighting the small proportion of the aid budget spent on boosting co-operation between Israeli and Palestinian civil society.

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Algerian Liberal convert now faces deportation

By Simon Rocker, June 16, 2011

An asylum-seeker from Algeria who converted to Judaism in the UK is facing deportation after being detained by immigration officials this week.

Jews from Birmingham and Leicester are concerned for Krim Aitziane, who was removed from the Midlands to a detention centre near Gatwick on Monday.

Mr Aitziane, thought to be 49, received a Liberal conversion in the UK, but dresses strictly Orthodox

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