UK news

Board urges FCO to police Palestinian site

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

The Board of Deputies has clashed with the Foreign Office over the content of articles on the website of the Palestinian Mission in Britain.

President Vivian Wineman said the Board was "pretty angry" that the Foreign Office had refused to take action over the mission's promotion of work by Israeli-born antisemite Gilad Atzmon.

The website publishes news and information about the Palestinian

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Israel's Irish envoy proclaims triumph

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

Anti-Israel protesters repeatedly disrupted Ireland's biggest ever showcase of Israeli films during a major four-day festival last weekend to promote cultural links.

The Israeli Film Days festival was beset by protests inside and outside the hosting venue in Dublin. The cultural event included Israeli films, Holocaust documentaries, Israeli rock-music, and photo and culinary exhibitions.

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Boris Johnson's bid to keep Charedim fitter

December 1, 2011

Strictly Orthodox Jews are being encouraged to take up kayaking, football and a range of fitness activities as part of a new scheme aimed at making the community healthier.

Charedi communities have set up sports groups and exercise sessions through the Maccabi GB Enable Project, which uses funding from Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Around £12,000 has been awarded so far, with 500 people do

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Sephardis in row over new spiritual chief

By Simon Rocker, December 1, 2011

Sephardi leaders this week rejected a request to postpone an election due to have taken place yesterday for their new rabbinic leader.

Members of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation were due to cast their votes last night [Thursday] on whether to accept London-born Rabbi David Bassous, the candidate recommended by their executive and board of elders, as the new spiritual head to succe

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TV film didn't get picture

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2011

A TV production company has apologised "unequivocally" to the Jewish Museum and television viewers over footage used in last Friday's Heir Hunters programme on BBC1.

Researchers for the programme, trying to track down the relatives of a man called David Bernstein, interviewed the director of the Jewish Museum, Rickie Burman, in September this year.

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Euston student centre to close

By Marcus Dysch, December 1, 2011

The country's leading Jewish student centre is to close just three years after it opened with the promise it would "transform Jewish student life in the capital".

The Union of Jewish Students and Hillel said the Euston centre would shut on December 16 because students wanted new, "flexible" services that the central base could not provide.

The 4,000 sq ft centre opened in 2008 at a cost of a

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Big Tent's pitch brings on applause

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 1, 2011

The controversies over Manchester's Big Tent Israel advocacy conference, starting with the deadlock between organisers and Bicom over the political make-up of speakers, were sidelined on Sunday as Bicom chief Lorna Fitzsimons stole the show.

The 700-strong attendance, just under half the size of London's We Believe event last May, was drawn mostly from a community that represents around 10 per

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Charity suspends soup kitchen funds

By Simon Rocker, December 1, 2011

Hazon Yeshaya UK, which supports soup kitchens for Israel's poor, has suspended fund-raising pending an investigation into the use of its donations.

Supporters were told at the end of last week that the charity had commissioned financial services firm Deloitte to check that its funds were being "properly applied" in Israel.

In a statement, the charity's trustees said: "Until we are all reass

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Lauren Booth's attack points up new split in PSC

By Jessica Elgot, December 1, 2011

Pro-Palestinian activist Lauren Booth has launched a vitriolic attack on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for dissociating itself from antisemitic musician Gilad Atzmon, saying the central office should be working "to end Zionism".

Her comments highlight the internal divisions in the PSC, between the national body and its more radical branches.

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Kristallnacht diary comes home - 70 years late

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 1, 2011

A diary of a German Jewish refugee girl, lost for 70 years and bought in England for a few pounds by an amateur Jewish book collector, has been returned to its original owner.

In 1942, Eva Wurm lost a personal treasure after escaping Nazi Germany. It was a small notebook known as a Poesiealbum, a fashion for German girls whose friends and confidantes filled the books with poems and messages.

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