UK news

JFS school bus abuser in court

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

A teenager has admitted threatening to stab a group of Jewish schoolchildren whom he verbally abused as they travelled home from school.

The 16-year-old, unnamed for legal reasons, shouted “Jewish scum” at the JFS pupils during the incident on November 10 last year.

He admitted charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Magistrates heard how the unemployed youngster, who was around 6ft 6in tall, boarded a 183 bus in West Hendon with a gang of friends.

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Lavatory assault case is thrown out

By Bernard Josephs, January 29, 2009

A Charedi Torah scribe and trainee rabbi accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in a synagogue lavatory was acquitted on Monday when the prosecution at Snaresbrook Crown Court said that they had no evidence against him.

The charges against Moshe Reichman, 24, from Golders Green, who pleaded not guilty, were dismissed by the judge Mr Justice Birts.

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Newmark to oversee UK olim

January 29, 2009

Dov Newmark, formerly of Hendon and now living in Modi’in, has been appointed the British project manager for the aliyah organisation Nefesh b’Nefesh, through which he emigrated to Israel last year. Mr Newmark was previously campaigns director of Kisharon in London.

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JLC adds two to its council

January 29, 2009

Two new younger members of the Jewish Leadership Council were announced this week. Lawyer James Libson, head of litigation at Mishcon de Reya, and a trustee of the UJIA, and surveyor Steven Lewis, deputy chairman of Jewish Care, will join the JLC next month.

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Coroners Bill favours scan over the knife

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 29, 2009

A dramatic fall in the number of invasive post-mortems carried out on Jewish people against their families’ wishes could be on the horizon, according to new legislation proposed in parliament this week.

In London, 80 per cent of around 150 post-mortems carried out annually on Jews still use invasive surgical procedures and remove body parts, in contravention of halachah (Jewish law). Currently, if the coroner orders a post-mortem, civil law will override religious law.

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Sounds of survivors go online

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

The British Library has put its complete collection of oral testimonies of Shoah survivors online.

Over 440 hours of interviews with 66 people recorded by the library’s sound archive can now be publicly accessed.

Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust covers refugees who escaped Nazi Germany pre-war, and those who survived in hiding or endured the camps.

Rob Perks, curator of oral history at the archive, said: “These oral testimonies personalise the enormity of the Holocaust in a very direct and human way, emphasising the variety and complexity of individual experience.

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Aid minister reveals UK’s Gaza aid package

By Leon Symons, January 23, 2009

Britain has given the first tranche of around £27 million in humanitarian aid to United Nations agencies working to bring relief to the inhabitants of Gaza.

Department for International Aid Minister Mike Foster went to Israel hours after it declared a ceasefire and talked to Israeli ministers, the Palestinian Authority and UN and international aid officials about how to get aid into Gaza as quickly as possible.

Mr Foster told Israeli officials that there needed to be as many as 500 trucks of aid going into the area every day to meet the needs of the Palestinians.

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UK asylum guide attracts legal aid

January 22, 2009

Leading human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy has praised a new publication about asylum in Britain, co-authored by the director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, Dr Edie Friedman.

Addressing the launch of Reluctant Refuge: The Story of Asylum in Britain, Baroness Kennedy declared: “This book is an incredible resource for anybody who wants to campaign on this issue and I want to see it in the hands of every MP.” It was vital to preserve the stories of past generations who had sought asylum in Britain.

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Substitute stars in peace talks

By Jay Grenby, January 22, 2009

A representative of grassroots peace organisation One Voice had to pull out of an adult education event at Woodside Park Synagogue to fly back to the Middle East to comfort a colleague after the death of several family members in Gaza.

The breach was filled at short notice by One Voice partnerships director Jake Hayman, who explained the aims of the organisation to a 50-strong audience, including many members of the shul’s youth group.

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MPs urge hate-attack clampdown

By Bernard Josephs, January 22, 2009

A parliamentary motion condemning attacks on the Jewish community as a result of the war in Gaza has been signed by more than 40 MPs - including critics of Israel. The MPs called on the government to stamp down on a wave of antisemitic incidents.

The motion, sponsored by Labour MP John Mann, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Antisemitism, also attacked the growing number of extremist websites, one of which calls for attacks against Jews around the world.

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