UK news

Ben Uri buys Holocaust horror art

August 26, 2010

A jubilant Ben Uri Gallery was celebrating its latest acquisition this week: an important work by the distinguished German artist George Grosz, which in brutal clarity shows the horrors of the Second World War.

Grosz, who was not Jewish, and died in 1959, painted Interrogation - a man being tortured by Nazi soldiers - between 1936 and 1939, following his emigration to the USA in 1933.

There are only 15 examples of Grosz's work on public view in the UK, just six of which are in London.

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Kindertransport refugees hit out at Israeli plan to deport kids

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2010

A number of former refugees who came to Britain as children on the Kindertransport have spoken out against Israel's plan to deport the children of illegal foreign workers.

Sir Erich Reich, who arrived in the UK from Nazi-occupied Austria at the age of four, said: "I don't know the ins and outs but psychologically, the idea of deporting children is contrary to our past and what we believe in."

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New bid to improve life for Salford poor

August 26, 2010

Efforts to alleviate poverty, particularly among children, in Manchester's Charedi community have been stepped up with the launch of a new organisation and the extension of an apprenticeship scheme.

The Israel-based welfare body Mesila has started work in the north-west with the aim of getting families to understand how they can deal with their debts and come off benefits, rather than simply receiving charity.

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Orthodox oppose education training courses

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2010

Training courses for strictly Orthodox nursery school teachers have come under renewed attack because of material relating to child abuse.

Opponents have circulated a letter from the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations warning of the danger of NVQ courses.

But Hindy Lew, manager of Vista Education and Training, one of the institutions which runs NVQ courses for the Charedi community, said: "The way we teach it, there is no reason for people to be agitating against it."

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MP attacks judge on Gaza claim

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

The MP for Leeds North East, Fabian Hamilton, has called for action against the judge who suggested that one of the anti-Israel activists who was acquitted of damaging an arms factory should be awarded the George Cross.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman made the comments in his summing up of a trial last month.

Mr Hamilton, who said it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend Israel in parliament, wrote to the Attorney-General last week.

He said: "What makes this trial most disturbing is the way in which the judge used his summary to promote his own political views about Israel.

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Botch-op surgeon suspended

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2010

A surgeon has been suspended for six months after the General Medical Council found he was guilty of misconduct.

Gideon Lauffer, of Hendon, was sanctioned after a series of botched operations.

The GMC heard that two patients had died and a third lost a testicle after Mr Lauffer "acted outside his area of competency".

Concerns were first raised about his performance in 2004, but the GMC then decided he should be allowed to continue working while improving his abilities.

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Christian festival styles itself as the Gaza Strip

August 26, 2010

Thousands of music fans are expected to attend a four-day festival organised by Christian groups promoting Palestinian causes.

Greenbelt, held at Cheltenham Racecourse from today, will feature performances by Shed Seven and Beverley Knight and a promotional campaign entitled "If Greenbelt was Gaza." The campaign asks fans to "confront the stark contrast" between the event and the "day-to-day life experienced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip" by asking them to consider how they would manage with only one tap on the site or how 12,800 festival-goers would survive without food.

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Tribune in danger of closing

By Simon Rocker, August 26, 2010

Efforts are being made to save the Jewish Tribune after rumours that the Orthodox weekly would be closing after Rosh Hashanah.

This week's issue appeals for help to secure the future of the newspaper, which is published by the UK branch of the Agudas Israel movement.

Alex Strom, a member of the editorial board and a Tribune columnist, said: "It is being published for the time being and I am hopeful it will carry on."

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Scrabble, Monopoly and more at shul games fest

By Robyn Rosen, August 26, 2010

Hundreds of board game enthusiasts have competed in a 10-day festival, organised by a Jewish chess champion, in a former London synagogue.

Players including the Turkmenistan junior chess team travelled across the world to take part in the 14th Mind Sports Olympiad, which began last weekend at the Soho Theatre, once the West End Synagogue.

The event, which was founded by Jewish chess player, David Levy, features 45 different competitions, ranging from classics like Scrabble and Monopoly to more unusual games, including Settlers of Catan and Entropy.

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Direct Eilat flights in the pipeline

By Jan Shure, August 26, 2010

The world's largest travel group, TUI, will launch direct flights and tourism packages to Eilat, from both London and Manchester, for the 2011 winter season.

The move was announced this week by senior TUI managers following meetings in Israel with Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnkov.

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