UK news

Londoner triumphs in international yacht event

By Robyn Rosen, August 18, 2011

A London Jewish businessman is celebrating after his yachting team won a trophy at the prestigious Fastnet offshore sailing race.

Richard Loftus, 68, who is a member of South Hampstead Synagogue and director of the Accurist Watch Company, captained a three-yacht team representing the Herzliya Yacht Club, led by his own boat, Desperado of Cowes.


Squatters charged after Judaica found in Golders Green house

By Jennifer Lipman, August 18, 2011

Eight men have been charged with four counts of burglary in connection with the thefts of Judaica items and other valuables from properties in Golders Green.

Barnet police discovered the men squatting in a house on the Ridgeway in Golders Green last week and arrested them.

The stash police found at the house included a grandfather clock, jewellery, cameras and laptop computers.


Now 'minyan factory' could close down

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 18, 2011

One of the busiest synagogues in the country has been threatened with closure and needs £200,000 of essential work to its ageing building.


Sixth Gaza land aid is planned

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

Pro-Palestinian activists Viva Palestina are to attempt to send a sixth land convoy to Gaza.

The UK-based group, whose founders include former Respect MP George Galloway, said it hoped to persuade the transitional authorities in Egypt to allow free movement of people and goods through the Rafah crossing.

In March, Viva Palestina announced it would no longer take part in flotillas to Gaza, be


Arsenal forum's 'Jewish star' for those who donate least

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

Anti-racism campaigners have condemned an Arsenal fansite which uses stars of David to denote which members have donated the least to the site.

Members of the Arsenal fan forum We Are The Herd, which has more than 1,000 members, must donate in order to access certain areas of the site. Members who have not donated have Magen Davids placed next to their names whenever they post.


Love on the Central line

August 18, 2011

When tax adviser Will Gull, 30, spotted pretty teacher Katie Crammer, 27, getting on the tube at Bank station in December 2006, he couldn't resist.

"I think you are beautiful, from Will," he wrote, scribbling his phone number on a note he passed to Katie, who is Jewish.

The pair got off the train at South Woodford station and three years later Will proposed on the station platform, in front


You're banned, May tells Israeli rabbi

By Jennifer Lipman, August 18, 2011

An Israeli rabbi has been denied entry to Britain because of a book in which he allegedly justifies terrorist violence.

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur has been told he cannot enter the UK for three years because of his controversial 2009 book Law of the King.


Get a chief rabbi, but not with a roadshow

By Marcus Dysch, August 18, 2011

The United Synagogue has not ruled out offering members the chance to vote on the next chief rabbi.

The JC launched a campaign last week for the next chief rabbi - to succeed Lord Sacks when he retires in September 2013 - to be democratically elected, with synagogue members and a wider section of the community having a say in the process.

The US said it was too early to decide what the proce


Sugar's widow fights on with BBC bias case

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

The widow of solicitor Steven Sugar, who spent six years in the courts to try to force the BBC to publish its report about anti-Israel bias, will represent him when the case is heard at the Supreme Court on November 23.

A full court hearing was set for February 2011 to decide whether the BBC should release the Balen Report, an internal assessment of its coverage of the Middle East.


A snip at £35,000: the Aaron Biber campaign

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

Last week, all 89-year-old Aaron Biber had in his barber's shop were some treasured 40-year-old razors and combs, piles of newspapers, two vintage barber's chairs and cassette tapes of his favourite wartime songs.

His quiet routine was shattered, first by the violent riots on Tottenham High Street, then by a media frenzy surrounding his battered shop, and then by a barrage of well-wishers, send