UK news

Suicide suspected in death of Israel tourism office worker

By Jennifer Lipman, December 30, 2011

A staff member of the Israel Government Tourist Office has been found dead at her home in Maida Vale.

Melissa Ramsden is believed to have committed suicide and police said they were not treating her death as suspicious.

The 37-year-old, who was not Jewish, had worked as the IGTO public relations manager for four years.

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Police probe Essex Holocaust memorial metal theft

By Jennifer Lipman, December 29, 2011

Metal thieves in Harlow have stolen a plaque commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

Police are investigating who was behind the theft of the 18 inch square bronze memorial plaque honouring those who were killed by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

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Ofcom rejects Islam TV appeal over bias ruling

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2011

Ofcom, the broadcasting standards watchdog, has rejected an appeal by the Islam Channel over its coverage of Israel.

The English-language satellite station had challenged a ruling last year that it breached Ofcom's broadcasting code in two programmes which discussed Israel's conduct in Gaza.

But Ofcom's broadcasting review committee, in a decision published this month, stated that the London

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London Olympics put the spotlight on local rabbis

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

Local rabbis will feature prominently within the contingent of 2012 Olympic Jewish chaplains with four rabbis from Redbridge working with Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The quartet from Redbridge and Essex include official Olympic chaplains, Reverend Gary Newman, from Newbury Park United Synagogue; Rabbi Richard Jacobi, from Woodford Liberal Synagogue; and Rabbi Moshe Muller from Chabad.

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Doctor seeks home for memorial

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

A London doctor is hoping to save a memorial to a Jewish philanthropist, who donated more than half-a-million pounds to the Royal London Hospital in 1899.

Dr David Gordon, an orthopaedic surgeon who practises at the hospital in Whitechapel, is keen to find a new home for an ornate plaque, currently outside the hospital's operating theatres - dedicated to B W Levy.

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Brothel owner's £4.2m appeal win

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 29, 2011

A Jewish man convicted of making millions running a string of brothels in Manchester has had his proceeds-of-crime court confiscation order reduced by £4.2 million after winning an appeal that could affect future prosecutions of people operating in the sex industry.

Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London upheld a claim that a Manchester judge had wrongly ordered the confiscation of £4.

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Professors duel over 'colonialist' line on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, December 29, 2011

A London-born academic at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has refuted allegations that he compared Israel to the Nazi regime after he cited a well-known poem condemning bystanders during the Holocaust in a piece that was heavily critical of Israel.

Professor David Newman was accused by King's College London Professor Efraim Karsh of being anti-Israel and a "pseudo-academic" following an arti

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King's College opens faiths programme

December 29, 2011

One of Britain's largest university theology departments is to launch a new programme on the three Abrahamic faiths with a Jewish scholar of Islam at its head.

Adam Silverstein, who lectured for six years in Muslim-Jewish relations at Oxford University, has joined King's College, London, as its first director of Abrahamic religions to promote the joint study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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Faulty towers and building bridges: the year in politics

By Martin Bright, December 29, 2011

The political year ended with the miserable spectacle of two members of Parliament being forced to apologise to the Jewish community for their actions: one for peddling the ancient antisemitic libel of the "dual loyalty" of Jews; the other for attending a Nazi-themed stag party.

There was much discussion in Westminster circles about who was worse: Labour's Paul Flynn for accusing the UK's first

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Boom-time Limmud beats the gloom

December 29, 2011

The grim economic conditions failed to dent the numbers at this year's Limmud conference, with an attendance of 2,300-plus making it one of the largest ever.

Organisers of British Jewry's annual five-day festival of Jewish culture and learning at Warwick University doubled the bursary pot for hard-pressed families as well as having to cope with a massive cut in funding from a major donor - the

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