UK news

Dragons' Den judges choose a winner

By Candice Krieger, June 30, 2009

A grandfather from Middlesex has won the Dragons’ Den-style competition run by the JC and London Jewish Cultural Centre, with his clothes alterations and repairs business.

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Rachel Stevens in restaurant shooting terror

June 27, 2009

Rachel Stevens was forced to dive for cover when a gunman opened fire in a north London restaurant.

The singer, who a few weeks ago was robbed at her home, was in Harry Morgan in St John's Wood with her fiancé Alex Bourne and members of her family when a man came in wearing a crash helmet.

Five shots were fired and a 31-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy who were buying takeaway food were wounded. No other diners, including Stevens and the BBC journalist Hugh Pym, were hurt in the incident at around 9pm on Friday.

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Lord Janner: My friend Michael Jackson

June 26, 2009

Leading Jewish peer Lord Janner spoke today about his sorrow at the death of Michael Jackson, whom he regarded as "delightful company" and a good friend.

Lord Janner was introduced to the singer by psychic Uri Geller.

"He came to Parliament in 2002 and I showed him round," Lord Janner recalled. "He had come to the UK to help fund-raise for Exeter Football Club, which Uri chaired.

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Kaufman: Israel’s Gaza ‘oppression’ is like Iran

June 26, 2009

Sir Gerald Kaufman gave a scathing description of the actions of the State of Israel, comparing its “oppression” of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank with apartheid South Africa and the current Iranian regime.

Speaking at a Watford Friends of Salfeet meeting last night, the MP for Manchester Gorton described Iran as a “loathsome regime” but unlike Israel “at least it keeps its totalitarian theocracy to within its own borders”.

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What the judges said about JFS

By Simon Rocker, June 26, 2009

Here are extracts from the Court of Appeal decision in which Lord Justice Sedley, Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Rimer set out the reasons for finding JFS’s admissions policy unlawful.

“M is the child of a father, E, who is Jewish by birth and of a mother who is Jewish by conversion. He would like to be admitted as a pupil to JFS (formerly the Jews' Free School) in the London Borough of Brent. The school is oversubscribed and is therefore entitled to select pupils according to its admissions policy, provided the policy is lawful.

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Israel’s intelligence chiefs divided over Iranian bomb

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 25, 2009

Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has recently given up smoking his beloved pipe in staff meetings. Instead he plays with a large hunting knife.

But some are beginning to wonder whether the old hunter is losing his aim.

The cabinet voted unanimously on Sunday to extend Mr Dagan’s term as head of Mossad until the end of 2010, by when he will have been chief for eight years. That doesn’t mean that ministers were overjoyed at the prospect.

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Rapist to be extradited

By James Brewster, June 25, 2009

A convicted sex offender who fled Israel before he could be jailed told judges this week that he didn’t want to be sent home — because he feared a nuclear attack by Iran.

Strictly Orthodox Nachman Stal, 39, left Israel in May 2006 after he was found guilty at a Tel Aviv court of sodomy and indecent assault of a minor.

The married father-of-nine, who prayed in the High Court last Friday as he challenged his extradition, had been accused of assaulting the youth in his car in Tel Aviv in 1998.

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Shul door is draped with bacon

By Marcus Dysch, June 25, 2009

Bacon rashers were found wrapped round the door handles of a synagogue as congregants arrived for a Shabbat service last weekend.

Police were called to Sinai Synagogue in Leeds on Saturday morning. They also found meat stuffed through the key hole.

Sinai is the main Reform synagogue in Leeds and has around 800 members.

Rabbi Ian Morris said: “In the scheme of things it’s almost verging on the humorous. When people are setting out to target the Jewish community it’s a shame, but on the scale of things people do these days it really does not rate terribly highly.

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Radical brain surgery cures epileptic

By Marcus Dysch, June 25, 2009

A Jewish charity worker has had sections of her brain removed during a 12-hour operation to cure her of severe epilepsy.

Emma Kon, a member of Finchley Reform Synagogue, suffered from daily seizures that left her unable to work.

But since undergoing the radical surgery last year, she has gone months without a fit, allowing her to volunteer with Jewish Care and help Alzheimer’s and MS sufferers.

The 25-year-old, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, contracted viral encephalitis at the age of 17 and was left in a coma for three weeks.

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Women hit out at shul inequality

By Simon Rocker, June 25, 2009

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Jewish women in Britain are frustrated at being denied equality in running Orthodox synagogues and concerned that community institutions are failing to keep pace with changes in family make-up, according to a new report.

It highlights a “reality gap” between Jewish leaders’ assumptions and modern Jewish living as well as “inconsistent and anachronistic” attitudes over women’s participation in synagogues.

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