UK news

A slice of Britain in Israel lures ambassador

By Jessica Elgot, December 1, 2011

The small Israeli city of Beit Shemesh, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, boasts about its English tea and homemade scones.

Beit Shemesh is the Israeli city with a British accent.


Judges asked to rule on Beth Din's £1m arbitration

By Sarah Limbrick, December 1, 2011

The High Court in London has been asked to enforce a decision of a Beth Din.

In December 2009, the north west branch of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations Beth Din awarded Gateshead businessman Jerry Fried more than £1 million, when it ordered company director David Zadok Baumgarten to pay Mr Fried £920,550.43.


JNF UK won't back Yachad

By Simon Rocker, December 1, 2011

JNF UK has refused to back a campaign to halt the eviction of a Palestinian family from a house in East Jerusalem, saying the protests aid the demonisation of Israel.

Yachad, the alternative Israel advocacy group, appealed to JNF to intervene to prevent the removal of the Sumarin family in Silwan.

The Israeli courts have ruled that the property belongs to Himnuta, a subsidiary of Keren Kayem


Board urges FCO to police Palestinian site

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

The Board of Deputies has clashed with the Foreign Office over the content of articles on the website of the Palestinian Mission in Britain.

President Vivian Wineman said the Board was "pretty angry" that the Foreign Office had refused to take action over the mission's promotion of work by Israeli-born antisemite Gilad Atzmon.

The website publishes news and information about the Palestinian


Israel's Irish envoy proclaims triumph

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

Anti-Israel protesters repeatedly disrupted Ireland's biggest ever showcase of Israeli films during a major four-day festival last weekend to promote cultural links.

The Israeli Film Days festival was beset by protests inside and outside the hosting venue in Dublin. The cultural event included Israeli films, Holocaust documentaries, Israeli rock-music, and photo and culinary exhibitions.


Boris Johnson's bid to keep Charedim fitter

December 1, 2011

Strictly Orthodox Jews are being encouraged to take up kayaking, football and a range of fitness activities as part of a new scheme aimed at making the community healthier.

Charedi communities have set up sports groups and exercise sessions through the Maccabi GB Enable Project, which uses funding from Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Around £12,000 has been awarded so far, with 500 people do


Sephardis in row over new spiritual chief

By Simon Rocker, December 1, 2011

Sephardi leaders this week rejected a request to postpone an election due to have taken place yesterday for their new rabbinic leader.

Members of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation were due to cast their votes last night [Thursday] on whether to accept London-born Rabbi David Bassous, the candidate recommended by their executive and board of elders, as the new spiritual head to succe


TV film didn't get picture

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2011

A TV production company has apologised "unequivocally" to the Jewish Museum and television viewers over footage used in last Friday's Heir Hunters programme on BBC1.

Researchers for the programme, trying to track down the relatives of a man called David Bernstein, interviewed the director of the Jewish Museum, Rickie Burman, in September this year.


Euston student centre to close

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

The country's leading Jewish student centre is to close just three years after it opened with the promise it would "transform Jewish student life in the capital".

The Union of Jewish Students and Hillel said the Euston centre would shut on December 16 because students wanted new, "flexible" services that the central base could not provide.

The 4,000 sq ft centre opened in 2008 at a cost of a


Kristallnacht diary comes home - 70 years late

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 1, 2011

A diary of a German Jewish refugee girl, lost for 70 years and bought in England for a few pounds by an amateur Jewish book collector, has been returned to its original owner.

In 1942, Eva Wurm lost a personal treasure after escaping Nazi Germany. It was a small notebook known as a Poesiealbum, a fashion for German girls whose friends and confidantes filled the books with poems and messages.