UK news

MP's son sells deadly 'legal high'

By Jessica Elgot and Leon Symons, March 26, 2010

Jewish MP Louise Ellman’s son Sean sold the controversial “legal high” mephedrone – known as “meow meow” – in his chain of drug accessory stores.

Sean Ellman, 37, is the son of Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.

Speaking from Liverpool, Mrs Ellman told the JC: "I am aware of the story. This is my son’s business and he is 37 years old. I have no connection with it. I disapprove of the activities reported in The Sun."

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Shadow Minister: Attacked for Israel trip after BBC criticism

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

David Burrowes, the Shadow Minister for Justice, has questioned the BBC's motives after it implicated him in its foreign trips investigation for his visit to Israel - a move made after he criticised the corporation.

Mr Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, is among more than 20 MPs found to have broken rules on declaring hospitality in questions or debates after foreign trips.

In January 2006 he visited Israel on a trip paid for by the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Israeli MFA.

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Union urges papers to ban BNP adverts

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

Editors of local newspapers in London boroughs targeted by the BNP have been called on to reject political advertising by the far-right party.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bectu, the media and entertainment union, and the campaign group, Expose the BNP, have written to local newspapers in Barking and Dagenham, Romford and Havering urging them to resist pressure from the BNP.

The party is fielding 154 candidates at the general election.

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UJS: Most dedicated student awards

By Marcus Dysch, March 25, 2010

The UK's most dedicated students have been recognised at the annual Union of Jewish Students awards.

Prizes included a trip to an international conference in Washington DC, a place on a UJIA project in northern Israel and a visit to the former Soviet Union with World Jewish Relief.

Durham University's students won the Developing JSoc of the Year title. Co-presidents Emily Black and Susie Sandle said Durham's new kosher kitchen had boosted membership by 300 per cent in the past 12 months.

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Chazan: do not fear dementia

March 25, 2010

The chazan of New North London Synagogue has spoken of his determination to live a normal life after he was diagnosed with dementia.

Leslie Lyndon, 65, a retired accountant, was diagnosed with the progressive brain disorder three years ago.

He spoke after a new awareness campaign was launched by the Department of Health following a survey which found that 32 per cent of people are uncomfortable around people with the condition.

The poll also found that 53 per cent said they did not know enough about dementia to help someone who has it.

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First woman chief executive for Reform Jews

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

The Movement for Reform Judaism will become the first British synagogue body to be professionally led by a female rabbi after Rabbi Tony Bayfield announced plans to retire as head in 15 months.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd-Gelfand, 42, who joined as executive director in 2007, will move to the post of chief executive in June 2011, according to proposals presented to the Reform Council on Sunday.

Rabbi Bayfield, who retires a month before his 65th birthday after 37 years' service to the movement, will become Reform's honorary president.

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Tel Aviv research slams fornightly bin collection plan

March 25, 2010

A UK inventor has commissioned new research from Tel Aviv University which shows that fortnightly collections of rubbish, rather than weekly, will dramatically increase dangerous levels of potentially lethal bacteria.

Daniel Woolman is the inventor of Binifresh, an automatic hygiene and odour control device which fits into bins. He decided to act after the Audit Commission gave councils the go-ahead to introduce fortnightly bin collections as a way of saving money.

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Anne Frank exhibition 'too expensive' says council

By Marcus Dysch, March 25, 2010

The proposed hosting of an Anne Frank exhibition has sparked a war of words between relatives of Holocaust survivors and anti-Israel campaigners.

Councillors in Aberystwyth rejected the possibility of accommodating a month-long exhibition, following a request from the Anne Frank Trust.

One council member questioned the "pertinence" of hosting the project which he felt was "not appropriate".

But the council confirmed this week that it had turned down the request for cost alone. The Trust charges at least £16,000 to cover transport, setting up and insurance of the exhibits.

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Reform rabbi: Jews should think of Palestine during Seder

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

The head of BBC's religion and ethics asked whether Jews think of Palestinian suffering at Pesach during a demonstration Seder last week.

Aaqil Ahmed was among a select group of journalists who attended the event organised by the Reform movement.

According to The Tablet, the Catholic magazine, guests were discussing "plagues of the modern world" when Mr Ahmed asked: "Not speaking personally, but journalistically, I would ask, do people remember the plight of those people today who suffer oppression at the hands of the Israelis?"

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Ken Livingstone: Board of Deputies lost me election

By Marcus Dysch, March 25, 2010

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone claims the Board of Deputies carried out "a hatchet job" to force him from power.

He believes the organisation collaborated with the Evening Standard newspaper ahead of the 2008 election campaign in order to "get rid" of him.

Mr Livingstone made the comments during an interview on JNET Radio on Sunday.

When asked what he believes the Jewish community's perception of him is, Mr Livingstone immediately replied: "It was a real hatchet job by the Board of Deputies and the Evening Standard who had a common interest in getting rid of me.

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