UK news

Youth groups call for gap year clause in tuition fees bill

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Members of Britain’s Jewish youth movements have launched a campaign to challenge the government’s position on the tuition fees rise and gap years.

Bnei Akiva (BA) and the Federation of Zionist Youth (FZY) started the “Mind the Gap” petition out of concern that the prospect of paying fees of up to £9,000 would discourage students from taking a year out before university.

Both movements, along with several other Anglo-Jewish organisations, run popular schemes taking British school-leavers to volunteer and study in Israel.

More..

Corbyn, Kaufman, Tonge, Loach and others blast universal jurisdiction change

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

A group of politicians, writers and activists including Baroness Jenny Tonge, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman and playwright Caryl Churchill have sent a letter calling for the government to drop its planned change to the law on universal jurisdiction.

The letter, published in the Guardian newspaper today, was signed by more than 50 people including 21 MPs.

The group opposes legislation contained within the Police Reform and Social Responsibility bill which would require the Director of Public Prosecutions to sign off any arrest warrants for visiting foreign dignitaries.

More..

Bankrupt psychologist suffered from 'persecution mania'

December 13, 2010

A respected Jewish psychologist fighting his two-and-a-half year sentence for serious financial crimes suffers from a "persecution mania", the Court of Appeal heard on Friday.

Yehuda Crammer, 65, who was made bankrupt several years ago, is serving his jail sentence after admitting two counts of concealing property, imposed at Manchester Crown Court in June.

Crammer, of Danesway, Prestwich, Manchester, has already failed in one attempt to win a reduction in the sentence, but his lawyers were at the Court of Appeal in London on Friday to begin a second attempt.

More..

Dutch Holocaust hero's curious collection up for auction

By Jennifer Lipman, December 10, 2010

The unusual possessions of a Dutch Resistance fighter who saved the lives of dozens of Jews during the Holocaust are to be auctioned in Britain next week.

Henk Huffener, whose wartime heroism was honoured by Yad Vashem in 1998 when the Holocaust museum made him a Righteous Among the Nations, died in 2006 at the age of 83.

During his life Mr Huffener gathered a vast collection of artwork and antiques ranging from Roman jewellery to Chinese pottery and from prehistoric tools to African tribal art.

More..

Davis row 'sideshow' says Sacks

By Simon Rocker, December 10, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has said that controversy over UJIA leader Mick Davis's criticisms of Israel is "the wrong debate" which distracts from the real issue.

Lord Sacks had previously made only a brief statement, saying there was "much to be gained" from honest debate over Israel as long as it came with unshakeable commitment.

But he has now changed tack in an essay on last week's Torah portion, published on the United Synagogue website.

More..

British Ort solves refugee mystery

By Robyn Rosen, December 10, 2010

British Ort, the Jewish education charity, has helped puzzled police uncover the history of a German refugee who died alone in his London flat.

The charity was contacted last week by the missing persons' department at Marylebone police station, which was searching for the next-of-kin of Franz Joseph Nebel. Mr Nebel's body was found by police in his home in October.

When searching his Maida Vale flat, police came across an article from Germany about a group visit to Berlin in 1989.

More..

Mayor's £50,000 to aid Jewish sports

December 10, 2010

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a £50,000 grant to the London Jewish Forum to be spent on promoting mainstream integrated sports in the Jewish community.

The grant is part of £2.4 million funding from his Olympic Sports Legacy programme, for 18 projects across the capital to help increase participation in sports.

The London Jewish Forum, on behalf of the Jewish Committee for the London Games (JCLG), will now raise another £50,000 to match the grant for its Enable programme, which aims to promote disabled and non-disabled integrated sports.

More..

Tax threat to family's Shoah cash

By Jessica Elgot, December 10, 2010

A granddaughter of Shoah survivors may be forced to repay compensation because Germany believes she owes tax on her family's pre-war property.

Judy Sherwood's family owned an East Berlin apartment which was confiscated by the Nazis. Her grandparents died in the Holocaust, but their six children escaped, fleeing to North and South America, Israel and the UK.

More..

£2m on Jewish schools' security

By Marcus Dysch, December 9, 2010

Education Secretary Michael Gove has pledged £2 million to fund tighter security measures to protect Jewish schools.

Payments will be made to 39 voluntary-aided Jewish schools in England, via the Community Security Trust.

The money will cover the amount previously paid by parents and the CST to provide extra fencing, guards and CCTV.

In previous years the Labour government had encouraged councils to allocate funding and cover the shortfall.

More..

Stacey Solomon's dad: My girl's a star

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2010

"Jungle Queen" Stacey Solomon's father has said her refusal to attack any of her camp mates is one of the reasons she won I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here.

David Solomon, a wedding photographer, said he was "ecstatic" that Stacey, a former X Factor finalist, had won the ITV show.

More..