UK news

Politicians urge new Pope schedule for Yom Kippur

By Robyn Rosen, July 8, 2010

The Jewish speakers of the House of Lords and Commons are trying to bring forward the time of a scheduled address by the Pope to Parliament in order to avoid a clash with the start of Yom Kippur.

Organisers of Benedict XVI's four-day state visit to Britain from September 16 to 19 have already rearranged the time of the meeting once after concerns that Jewish parliamentarians would be unable attend.

They have scheduled it to end at 6 pm – 56 minutes before the onset of the fast and the start of the Kol Nidre service.

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Police won't take action against Tesco boycotters

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Merseyside police said this week that no action would be taken against Israel boycott protesters who marched into a Tesco store to hand out leaflets asking shoppers not to buy goods from West Bank settlements.

Police answered a call from the Aigburth Tesco Metro in south Liverpool just after 11am on the Saturday before last after the store's manager complained that protesters were disturbing customers.

But by the time officers arrived, the 10 pro-Palestinian activists were conducting a "peaceful demonstration" outside the store according to officers.

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Graduate wins social justice fellowship

By Candice Krieger, July 8, 2010

Oxford university graduate Keren Simons has won the inaugural New Israel Fund UK William Frankel Social Justice Fellowship.

The accolade, in memory of the late JC editor, seeks to nurture future leaders for social change from outside Israel.

Miss Simons, 25, from north London, will spend 10 months in Israel working in a social justice NGO. She has a masters from Oxford in gender studies, where she looked at Israeli women and political power and has written biographies of Muslim women's rights activists. She also headed the Jewish Society at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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Girl makes history at batmitzvah

By Jane Liddell-King, July 8, 2010

Beth Djanogly, 12, broke new ground when she chanted the haftarah for her batmitzvah in Cambridge last Shabbat - she is believed to be the first to have done so in an Orthodox synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

While her father chanted the portion from the prophets in the main prayer-hall of the Cambridge Traditional Synagogue, Beth did the same to a women-only audience in another room.

As she completed the blessings to murmurs of appreciation, one woman was heard to whisper: "That was so amazing, it just shows what can be done."

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Analysis: No end in sight for IDF Gaza probes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

Eighteen months after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and there still is no end in sight to the investigations and court proceedings.

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Schools on alert as child snatchers stalk streets

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Police have appealed for calm after reports of four attempts to snatch school children in south Manchester.

North Cheshire Jewish Primary school, in Cheadle, received a warning along with other Stockport schools after four attempted abductions were reported to police in two weeks.

Three children had to break free after being grabbed by a lone man in several locations across the borough. Two of the incidents occurred last week as they went home from primary schools in Hazel Grove and Brinnington Park, a few miles from the Cheadle Jewish school.

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Manchester University agrees to boost security

By Marcus Dysch, July 8, 2010

The new vice-chancellor of Manchester University has met representatives of the Jewish community to discuss security concerns on campus.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, who took up her role at the university only last week, held a meeting with representatives from the Board of Deputies, Manchester Jewish Representative Council and the Community Security Trust on Monday.

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Jewish schools will be undersubscribed

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2010

Jewish education has undergone a dramatic shift in London, with a surplus rather than a shortage of places for Jewish pupils at secondary level this year.

Both Yavneh College in Hertfordshire and JFS in north London were still making offers for a handful of remaining places this month, whereas at the same time last year they remained oversubscribed and facing a large number of appeals from disappointed parents.

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Judge: Brighton anti-Israel raider should get medal

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

The judge in the trial of seven activists acquitted of damaging an arms factory suggested that their leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

The seven were cleared after they successfully claimed they had acted to prevent Israeli "war crimes" when the broke into the Brighton factory on January 17, 2009.

Hailed a great victory by pro-Palestinian activists, the seven from "Smash EDO" were acquitted of causing £180,000 worth of damage to the EDO MBM factory in Brighton - which denied ever having supplied Israel with arms equipment.

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Ministers "will change" war crimes arrest law

July 8, 2010

Senior ministers and government officials are moving towards changing the law to prevent the arrest of visiting Israelis.

Jeremy Newmark, Jewish Leadership Council chief executive said: "We understand that cross-departmental meetings have recently taken place at ministerial and official level to discuss the best way of delivering a solution."

The issue resurfaced this week after a senior Israeli army commander, Colonel Udi Ben-Moha, pulled out of a move to study in Britain over fears he could be arrested for war crimes.

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