UK news

Channel 4 attacked over 'biased' Mid-East film

By Robyn Rosen, January 6, 2011

Channel 4 has been criticised for featuring a series of "one-sided" and "distorted" television programmes about Jewish and Muslim relations.

Last week, seven 90-second films entitled Can Jews and Muslims ever find peace? aired as part of the 4Thought series. It is broadcast every day on Channel 4 in the evening and is also covered on the Channel 4's website.

The episodes included clips from Christian student and "friend of Israel" Sam Hailes, Muslim musician Kareem Dennis, and Roberta Moore, head of the English Defence League's Jewish division.

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Beth Din will carry on despite debt

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 6, 2011

Manchester Beth Din has set up new limited companies to continue its communal services after financial problems forced its charity into liquidation.

Last week creditors received letters from accountants on behalf of the Beth Din's charitable organisation, Manchester Kashrut, announcing its president had put it into voluntary liquidation. The 118-year-old charity is responsible for supervising several key kosher meat and other major companies in the North West, as well as Jewish marriages, divorces and conversions.

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Ozzy Osbourne's father-in-law added to Dictionary of National Biography

By Jennifer Lipman, January 6, 2011

Humorist Alan Coren and the music impresario father of Sharon Osbourne are among the Jewish names who have been added to Britain’s most prestigious biographical collection.

A total of 216 famous faces who died in 2007 have been added to the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB).

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War on Want pushes for more sanctions

By Jessica Elgot, December 31, 2010

War On Want's newest paper on boycotts and sanctions against Israel has been described as reaching "rock bottom" by community leaders.

The report, "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" from the anti-poverty charity calls for the Palestinian right of return to Israel. This was called "antisemitic" by the chairman of Zionist Federation Harvey Rose who said it would mean the end of a Jewish homeland.

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Police crack down on lead theft

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The unsolved theft of thousands of pounds worth of roofing from a Liverpool synagogue has prompted a police crackdown. Large amounts of lead were ripped from the Grade-I listed Princes Road Synagogue in August. The theft was just months after extensive repairs to the synagogue roof following a £71,000 English Heritage grant.

Police Inspector Deborah Mackay said investigations were continuing after failing to charge a 39-year-old man arrested last month for the theft.

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EDL-speech rabbi calls for Chief TV debate

By Jessica Elgot, December 31, 2010

The rabbi who spoke at an English Defence League rally two months ago has apparently challenged Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to a televised BBC debate on "Is Islam a religion of peace?"

Californian Nachum Shifren was the speaker at the far-right group's October rally outside the Israeli Embassy.

He called Muslims "dogs" and criticised British community leaders and rabbis for speaking out against him, saying: "To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi… I say to them they don't have the guts to stand up here and take care of business."

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Thieves, leftists, and ramblers in study

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

Oddball Jews from Manchester are to be part of a £50,000 history study designed to shed light on the way the Jewish community defines itself.

The three-year project, conducted jointly with Manchester University's Centre for Jewish Studies and the Manchester Jewish Museum, has begun investigating Jewish criminals and political dissidents among mainstream historic figures.

The project won a funding grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is designed to discover how mainstream Jewish society defined itself by rejecting non-conformists.

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Golfers to get their fair share

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 31, 2010

The UK's oldest Jewish golf club is pulling back shares from members in order to protect Jewish membership.

Last week Moor Allerton Golf Club in Leeds, a private club opened in 1923, announced in an advertisement that shares from 420 shareholders would be transferred to a special trust, because they were unable to contact them.

But among the shareholders named were a number of prominent Jewish figures, some of whom were widely known to have died.

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Community celebrates Honours

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, December 31, 2010

Volunteers and philanthropists from the Jewish community have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

With the emphasis shifting from showbiz and sporting stars to those contributing to the Big Society and working in their communities, the list presents a chance for less well-known names to receive the recognition they deserve.

Marjorie Ziff is made MBE for services to the community in Leeds.

The 81-year-old has served the city’s Jewish community for nearly 60 years alongside her husband, Arnold, who died in 2004.

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Man jailed for Auschwitz sign theft

By Marcus Dysch, December 30, 2010

A Swedish man has been jailed for more than two years for plotting the theft of the "Arbeit macht frei" sign at Auschwitz.

Former neo-Nazi leader Anders Hoegstroem, 34, admitted his role in the theft and agreed a plea bargain with the Krakow court last month.

He will be moved to Sweden to serve his sentence of two years and eight months.

The infamous sign was recovered last December, three days after it was stolen. It had been broken into three separate pieces.

The judge also jailed two Polish men, each for up to two-and-a-half years, for their roles in the crime.

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