UK news

The New Year's Honours - what they say

By Robyn Rosen, December 31, 2009

A theatre director, mental health campaigner and strictly-Orthodox headteacher are among those to receive honours in the New Years Honours List.

National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, 53, has received a knighthood for services to drama.

Sir Nicholas was a Manchester Reform congregant in his youth and went on to direct Miss Saigon, His Dark Materials and both the film and theatre version of The History Boys.

He said: “I’m delighted and flattered.”

Sir Ralph Kohn received a knighthood for his services to science, music and charity.


Jews on the New Years Honours List

December 31, 2009

The current roll call of New Year's Honours List from the Jewish community.


Nicholas Hytner
Director of the National Theatre

Erich Reich
Fundraiser, chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees' Kindertransport Committee and the Kindertransport Group

Dr Ralph Kohn
Retired pharmacologist, musician, and head of the Ralph Kohn Foundation

Jonathan Cunliffe
Second Permanent Secretary and Head of International Economic Affairs, Europe and G8 Sherpa, Prime Minister's Office


David Goldstone


Four knights top Honours List

By Robyn Rosen and Dina Rickman, December 31, 2009

Community leaders have dominated the New Year Honours List with four knighthoods and almost 20 CBEs, OBEs and MBEs.

National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner and pharmacologist and philanthropist Dr Ralph Kohn have been awarded knighthoods in this year’s honours.

The honour also went to Erich Reich, chairman of the Kindertransport Group and Association of Jewish Refugees' Kindertransport Committee and to Second Permanent Secretary and the head of International Economic Affairs for the Prime Minister's Office, Jonathan Cunliffe.


Former Lord Mayor's knighthood 'dropped'

By Robyn Rosen, December 30, 2009

Ian Luder, the former Lord Mayor, has reportedly had his impending knighthood dropped after defending bankers’ bonuses.

Mr Luder, the 681st Lord Mayor was allegedly due to receive a knighthood in tomorrow’s New Year Honours List but will be the first Alderman to be denied it in more than 50 years.

In June Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, head of the Home Civil Service and chairman of the main Honours Committee said that Lord Mayors could no longer expect to automatically receive a knighthood.


Limmud: The JFS debate

By Leon Symons, December 30, 2009

The first public debate on the Supreme Court ruling that JFS broke the Race Relations Act has been held at the Limmud Conference and showed that the gulf dividing Anglo-Jewry over the issue might have closed a fraction.

Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, declared that his organisation would be implacably opposed to any attempt by the Board of Deputies to try to engineer changes to the governments proposed Equality Bill that would return JFSs admissions policy to what it was before the court saga.


Things are better, but not by much

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2009

When the Institute for Jewish Policy Research appointed a commission to investigate who speaks for British Jews, “the nervousness in some establishment bodies was palpable”, recalled JPR’s then director Antony Lerman.

The very commission was seen as a challenge to venerable institutions such as the Board of Deputies and the Chief Rabbinate. The report it issued in 2000, A Community of Communities, duly reflected discontent.


So is your voice being heard yet?

By Winston Pickett, December 30, 2009

A decade is a big distance from which to judge the impact of a report — especially when the circumstances that prompted it seem to have taken place in a different era altogether.

More than anything else, the Commission on Representation of the Interests of British Jews — formed by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (IJPR) — and its Communities of Communities report were born out of a frustration and dissatisfaction with the status quo.


Muslim anger over war-crime law pledge

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain has protested to Foreign Secretary David Miliband over plans to change the law to prevent the arrest of Israeli politicians visiting Britain.

MCB general secretary Muhammad Abdul Bari wrote of the council’s “deep disappointment” and “grave concern” at the government’s position following former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s cancellation of a visit to Britain last month.


Thalidomide campaigners win payout

By Marcus Dysch, December 30, 2009

Two Jewish thalidomide victims have welcomed the success of their long-running campaign which will see the government pay sufferers £20 million in compensation.

Guy Tweedy and Nick Dobrick, who were both born with shortened upper limbs as a result of being given the drug, had called for greater recognition for sufferers for the past seven years.

The Department of Health has now agreed to spread payment to the Thalidomide Trust over three years. The charity will share the money among Britain’s 463 surviving thalidomide victims.


Hundreds rally to attack Israel over Gaza operation

By Robyn Rosen, December 30, 2009

More than 600 protesters demonstrated outside the Israeli Embassy on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of Israel’s operation in Gaza.

Representatives from 25 organisations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the Green Party and Neturei Karta gathered in Kensington High Street. Organisers had planned for only 150 protesters and police had to call for backup after demonstrators pushed into the road towards the embassy.

MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Martin Linton and Baroness Jenny Tonge were joined by Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Territories’ ambassador to the UK.