UK news

United Synagogue row over 'live near shul' rule

By Simon Rocker, January 28, 2010

The United Synagogue has been warned that it could be left without a congregation in some parts of London because of a rule banning some shuls accepting members who live more than one and a quarter miles away.

Rabbi Stanley Coten, of Ruislip and District Affiliated Synagogue, has intervened in a row between the US and its 14 affiliated synagogues over the rule.

In a letter to the Chief Rabbi, the London Beth Din and leaders of the US rabbinical council, he said it was putting off potential members.

More..

Terrorism level is up, but Jews are not targets

By Martin Bright, January 28, 2010

Jews are not considered a specific target following the recent assessment that there is an increased chance of a terrorist attack in the UK.

Intelligence sources say the threat level has been elevated from substantial to severe — but a Whitehall official said: “We haven’t seen anything to suggest an imminent threat to the Jewish community.”

Around three-quarters of all investigations into terrorism have links to Pakistan, which is seen as far more significant than links to the conflict in the Middle East.

More..

Tefillin terror on US flight

By Andrew Silow-Carroll, January 28, 2010

The New York Daily News likes to think of itself as the plain-speaking voice of the city.

So when a US Airways jet made an unscheduled stop in Philadelphia after a flight attendant had grown suspicious of a teenage passenger wrapping himself in what turned out to be tefillin, the News led its report with a blunt assessment: “What schmucks.”

More..

War crimes: Will the government ever act?

By Martin Bright and Stephen Pollard, January 28, 2010

Legislation to prevent magistrates issuing arrest warrants for high-profile foreign visitors accused of war crimes has been delayed because it is still awaiting a decision from Gordon Brown.

One senior government source close to the process told the JC this week: “There is no evidence that the Prime Minister is having second thoughts, but he needs to press the button.”

At the same time, Downing Street sources said that Number 10 was furious that the Justice Secretary Jack Straw is still dragging his feet over the issue.

More..

Blogger questioned on anti-Zionist 'harassment'

By Marcus Dysch, January 28, 2010

A university student who wrote blogs attacking anti-Zionists has accused police of acting on behalf of the Church after he was questioned in connection with a harassment complaint.

Joseph Weissman, 23, author of the Seismic Shock blog, revealed that two officers had visited him asking for comments he had made about Church of England pastor Stephen Sizer to be removed from the site.

More..

Chief Rabbi's speech on Holocaust Memorial Day

January 27, 2010

Much of what we’ve seen and heard today was inspired by an extraordinary act of defiance and hope, by a small group of people in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Picture them in your mind. They have been herded together in an enclosed space as if they were cattle, not human beings. They have seen 100,000 of their number die of starvation and disease, 270,000 taken in cattle trucks to Treblinka and other camps to be gassed, burned and turned to ash.

More..

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorated

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2010
Ceremonies have taken place across the world to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

A memorial is being held in London's Guildhall including written testimony from three Holocaust survivors, the late Reform leader Rabbi Hugo Gryn, historian Emanuel Ringelblum and writer Elie Wiesel.

Their stories will be read by Rabbi Gryn’s son David, historian Simon Schama and journalist Jonathan Freedland.

Liliane Umubyeyi, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, will also speak.

More..

Betar wins Toto Cup

By Simon Griver, January 27, 2010

Betar Jerusalem pushed aside poor league form and financial problems to win the Toto Cup.

The favourites beat Raanana 1-0.

Raanana had the better of an uneventful first half but Betar improved in the second half with Ilan Vered volleying the winner after 56 minutes.

Betar’s players dedicated the cup to the club's sponsor, Guma Aguiar. The Brazilian billionaire is being treated in a psychiatric unit after he told journalists that he visited Gilad Shalit in Gaza.

More..

Muslim Council rep will attend Holocaust Memorial

By Martin Bright, January 26, 2010

The Muslim Council of Britain has voted to send a junior representative to the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration on Wednesday.

After attending for the first time in 2008, the MCB resumed its boycott of the event last year.

The Secretary General of the MCB, Dr Mohamed Abdul Bari will not be attending due, according to the organization, to a diary clash. He is at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Nor will his controversial deputy Duad Abdullah or any of the organisation's Assistant Secretary Generals.

More..

David Abraham is new Chief Executive of Channel 4

By Robyn Rosen, January 22, 2010

David Abraham, the chief executive of UKTV, has been appointed as chief executive of Channel 4.

Mr Abraham, 46, replaces Andy Duncan who stepped down in November.

He was a co-founder of ad agency, St Luke’s and previously worked at Discovery Networks USA and UK.

Mr Abraham said: “This is an extremely exciting, if challenging, time to be working in the media. Innovation has been part of Channel 4’s history and it will be at the heart of its future.

More..