UK news

Orthodox oppose education training courses

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2010

Training courses for strictly Orthodox nursery school teachers have come under renewed attack because of material relating to child abuse.

Opponents have circulated a letter from the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations warning of the danger of NVQ courses.

But Hindy Lew, manager of Vista Education and Training, one of the institutions which runs NVQ courses for the Charedi community, said: "The way we teach it, there is no reason for people to be agitating against it."


MP attacks judge on Gaza claim

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

The MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, has called for action against the judge who suggested that one of the anti-Israel activists who was acquitted of damaging an arms factory should be awarded the George Cross.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman made the comments in his summing up of a trial last month.

Mr Hamilton, who said it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend Israel in parliament, wrote to the Attorney-General last week.

He said: "What makes this trial most disturbing is the way in which the judge used his summary to promote his own political views about Israel.


Botch-op surgeon suspended

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2010

A surgeon has been suspended for six months after the General Medical Council found he was guilty of misconduct.

Gideon Lauffer, of Hendon, was sanctioned after a series of botched operations.

The GMC heard that two patients had died and a third lost a testicle after Mr Lauffer "acted outside his area of competency".

Concerns were first raised about his performance in 2004, but the GMC then decided he should be allowed to continue working while improving his abilities.


Christian festival styles itself as the Gaza Strip

August 26, 2010

Thousands of music fans are expected to attend a four-day festival organised by Christian groups promoting Palestinian causes.

Greenbelt, held at Cheltenham Racecourse from today, will feature performances by Shed Seven and Beverley Knight and a promotional campaign entitled "If Greenbelt was Gaza." The campaign asks fans to "confront the stark contrast" between the event and the "day-to-day life experienced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip" by asking them to consider how they would manage with only one tap on the site or how 12,800 festival-goers would survive without food.


Tribune in danger of closing

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2010

Efforts are being made to save the Jewish Tribune after rumours that the Orthodox weekly would be closing after Rosh Hashanah.

This week's issue appeals for help to secure the future of the newspaper, which is published by the UK branch of the Agudas Israel movement.

Alex Strom, a member of the editorial board and a Tribune columnist, said: "It is being published for the time being and I am hopeful it will carry on."


Scrabble, Monopoly and more at shul games fest

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

Hundreds of board game enthusiasts have competed in a 10-day festival, organised by a Jewish chess champion, in a former London synagogue.

Players including the Turkmenistan junior chess team travelled across the world to take part in the 14th Mind Sports Olympiad, which began last weekend at the Soho Theatre, once the West End Synagogue.

The event, which was founded by Jewish chess player, David Levy, features 45 different competitions, ranging from classics like Scrabble and Monopoly to more unusual games, including Settlers of Catan and Entropy.


Direct Eilat flights in the pipeline

By Jan Shure, August 26, 2010

The world's largest travel group, TUI, will launch direct flights and tourism packages to Eilat, from both London and Manchester, for the 2011 winter season.

The move was announced this week by senior TUI managers following meetings in Israel with Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnkov.


Zionists ordered out of pro-Palestinian event

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

Senior Jewish figures were told to leave a pro-Palestinian event where controversial Israeli journalist Gideon Levy was speaking.

Manchester Jewish Representative Council vice-president Michael Samuels and ZCC director Karen Solomon were told to "get out" because they were Zionists, by the chair of a public meeting at the Quaker Friends Meeting House in the city on Thursday.


Jewish genes may hold breast cancer secrets

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 26, 2010

One thousand Jewish women are being sought for a major cancer study after researchers conducting a £1.5 million project say Jews hold the genetic key to preventing breast cancer.

Researchers at Manchester charity the Genesis Appeal, which runs Europe's first purpose-built breast cancer prevention centre, say only 16 Jewish women have so far agreed to take part in the study.

They fear a poor turnout could jeopardise critical medical data which could be unearthed by PROCAS, the largest attempted research into the risk of breast cancer for ethnic groups, involving 60,000 people.


MI5 looked into Bond writer Wolf Mankowitz

August 26, 2010

Wolf Mankowitz, the celebrated writer and playwright who wrote screenplays lauding James Bond, was under lengthy investigation for his Communist sympathies.

In reports that would make Bond's boss "M" blanch, the documents show that Mankowitz, a Jewish Eastender, was under surveillance, had his mail intercepted and was the target of wiretapping by the intelligence services as hysteria about Communist infiltration gripped Britain.

Even the BBC was put under pressure not to use him on Radio Three and on a television film.