UK news

Reform chief to leave for social action job

By Simon Rocker, December 2, 2010

The Reform movement’s leadership succession plans have been derailed by the decision of Rabbi Shoshaha Boyd Gelfand, the designated chief executive, to leave for a new job outside the organisation.

Rabbi Boyd Gelfand, the current executive director, was due to take over the professional reins of the organisation from Rabbi Tony Bayfield, who retires as head of movement at the end of the year.

But she has instead chosen to become the new director of JHub, the centre for Jewish social action enterprise and innovation.

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London's hub of Israel hate

By Martin Bright, December 2, 2010

The UK has become the centre of a systematic assault on Israel’s right to exist that unites Middle East resistance networks with allies on the liberal-left in Europe, according to a new report by an influential Israeli think tank.

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UJS vote Daniel Grabiner as new president

By Jennifer Lipman, December 2, 2010

Daniel Grabiner has been elected as the new president of the Union of Jewish Students.

The 21-year-old, who ran on the slogan “Grabiner - Making UJS current”, won by 258 votes to 90. Students from more than 30 campuses took part in a nationwide election roadshow.

The Leeds University Economics and Politics student will take over from current president Alex Dwek in July.

Mr Grabiner said he was “elated and still in shock” at his win.

“I’ve been thinking about this for so long – I can’t believe it’s actually happening.”

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Ed Miliband: Happy Chanucah from one Jew to another

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The first Jewish leader of the Labour party has wished British Jewry a Happy Chanucah “from my family to yours”.

Ed Miliband said that Chanucah was a special time and an opportunity to celebrate the values of Judaism “dedication, justice, compassion and humility”.

He added: “The festival of lights is a chance to gather with friends and family, in homes and in synagogues, around the candles of the menorah.

“It is a time to reflect on the potential for hope and resilience to triumph over fear.”

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Government announce universal jurisdiction law change

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The government has at long last announced a change to Britain’s universal jurisdiction legislation.

A year after Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a London speech for fear of arrest the Home Office published details of alterations to the law on magistrates issuing arrest warrants for foreign politicians.

The new Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill includes “a requirement for the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to be given before an arrest warrant can be issued in a private prosecution for offences of universal jurisdiction.”

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David Cameron sends his Chanucah greetings

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

David Cameron has wished the Jewish community “a happy and peaceful Chanucah.”

The Prime Minister said: "I want to pass on my very best wishes to the Jewish community here and around the world.

"I wish you and your families a Chanucah sameach.”

He called the story of Chanucah “an inspiring message of the power of hope to sustain people through the toughest of times” and said it was a reminder of “the strength that we can find when we come together and focus on building a brighter future.”

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Katie Waissel voted off X Factor

By Jessica Elgot, November 28, 2010

After spending four weeks in the bottom two of X Factor, Katie Waissel was sent home this week, receiving the least number of public votes.

Ms Waissel, from Pinner, sang the Kings of Leon song ‘Sex on Fire’ and REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ for the ‘Rock Week’ theme on Saturday night.

But it wasn’t enough to save her from the double eviction which also saw Brazilian singer Wagner sent home by the judges over Mary Byrne.

Ms Waissel told host Dermot O’Leary: “I am just grateful to have gotten this far.

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Hague: Our Israel policy will not change

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has denied claims that British foreign policy will change to reflect Arab concerns over the Middle East.

The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Whitehall officials had said that Mr Hague decided to “take on board” Arab foreign policy goals in an effort to secure better diplomatic and trade ties.

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Martin Amis: 'UK is a little antisemitic'

By Jessica Elgot, November 26, 2010

Novelist Martin Amis has called the UK and the West “a little antisemitic” which expects “higher moral standards from Israel than its neighbours.”

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the London Fields author said: “If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack.

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UK to try Israeli technology for Alzheimer's

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

A computer program developed by Israeli therapists to "stabilise and slow down" Alzheimer's has been introduced to UK Jewish charities.

The program, called Savion, was designed by occupational therapists at Melabev, a day-care facility for Alzheimer's patients in Israel.

Motti Zelikovitch, director general of Melabev, met UK care providers, including Jewish Care and Nightingale, in south London last week.

Mr Zelikovitch said: "Savion came from 10 years of working with patients. It was born out of therapies, not from academic research."

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