UK news

Orthodox rabbi calls for easier conversion

By Simon Rocker, September 18, 2009

One of the most senior figures of British Orthodoxy has called on Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks to make conversion to Judaism easier.

Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, emeritus rabbi of Stanmore Synagogue and author of numerous books on Judaism, appealed for action following the court case over admission to Jewish schools.

Speaking at a JC-hosted discussion published in today’s New Year supplement, Dr Cohen said: “I think the Chief Rabbi, who has spoken about us having to be more inclusive, needs to do a lot of hard talking to his Beth Din, if that is what he really means.”

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Nick Clegg: I won't silence Jenny Tonge

By Martin Bright, September 18, 2009

Nick Clegg is angry. No, it’s beyond angry. Incandescent almost gets it, but that still doesn’t capture the full fury of the man as he leans forward from his chair in the Liberal Democrat leader’s office in the House of Commons.

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JCC's Dame Vivien Duffield: I'm the maniac who signs the cheques

By Jenni Frazer, September 17, 2009

She is, she says with a guffaw, “the maniac who signs the big cheques”. That, Dame Vivien Duffield says cheerfully, is how the rest of the board of the Jewish Community Centre for London regard her.

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Muslim group publish Jewish organ-traffiking 'blood libel'

By Leon Symons, September 17, 2009

The Muslim Association of Britain has said it will remove from its website a story claiming “Jewish rings” kidnapped children from Algeria to harvest their organs for sale in Israel and America.

Its story linked the child abduction allegation to the arrest in July of a Brooklyn man, Levy-Itzhak Rosenbaum, who was accused of trying to buy kidneys for £6,000 and reselling them for almost £100,000.

It was claimed that the children were taken to Morocco, where the organs were removed and then taken to Israel and America.

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London JCC gets go-ahead for £50m centre

By Jenni Frazer, September 17, 2009

The Jewish Community Centre for London (JCC) has received unanimous planning permission from Camden Council to build its long-awaited new home in Swiss Cottage, north west London.

A former car showroom will be razed and rebuilt as a multi-purpose cultural building, expected to open in 2013.

The project was the initiative of Dame Vivien Duffield, whose Clore Duffield Foundation has committed £25 million to the scheme, the biggest ever single gift to a Jewish communal body — and also the biggest donation she has ever made to any project.

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Israeli hairdresser convicted of sexual assault

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2009

An Israeli hairdresser faces jail after being convicted of kissing and stroking a 13-year-old girl while chatting about how to give her a new look.

Shay Kaldron, 33, told the girl she was beautiful after slipping his hand under her top and caressing her stomach.

He had gone to her home in Finchley, north London, to cut the teenager’s and her mother’s hair.

But when the mother left briefly to pick up her son, Kaldron took his chance to make a move on the girl.

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TUC: The Israel statement in full

September 17, 2009

The TUC reiterates its belief that only when a sovereign, independent, democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian state is created, living side by side with a secure Israel will there be a chance for peace and stability in the Middle East.

We remain committed to a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East and support for the Road Map.

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TUC backs Israel boycott call

By Jenni Frazer, September 17, 2009

READ THE TUC STATEMENT IN FULL

After hours of wrangling and the possibility of suspension of its Middle East debate, the TUC General Council hammered out a new policy which has been greeted with euphoria by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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Man charged over racist attacks in Salford

By Jessica Elgot, September 17, 2009

A man has been charged with 14 racially aggravated offences after a number of Jewish people were targeted in Salford.

Dean Parker, 22, of Merrick Avenue, Wythenshawe, has been charged with 14 counts of racially aggravated common assault.

Between 8 June and 10 June 2009 14 people from the Broughton Park Jewish community were sprayed with water as a Fiat Doblo drove past them in the Broughton Park area.

He will appear at Salford Magistrates' Court on Monday 28 September 2009

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Foreign Office man's 'racist' rant

By Jessica Elgot, September 17, 2009

A senior Foreign Office civil servant claimed that Israel should be “blown off the face of the earth” while watching a TV report on the Gaza conflict, a court has heard.

A man claimed he heard Rowan Laxton, 48, the head of the Foreign Office’s South Asia desk, shouting at a TV report while he was working out on an exercise bike in the London Business School gym.

Gideon Falter, who is Jewish, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court he heard Mr Laxton shouting: “f****** Israelis, f****** Jews” at the television screen which was showing a report about a dead Palestinian farmer.

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