UK news

Father at centre of JFS row expresses 'relief'

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2009

The father of the child at the centre of the JFS Supreme Court ruling has spoken of his “relief” at today’s decision.

The father, known as E for legal reasons, appealed to the High Court after his 12-year-old son (Child M) was refused a place at JFS because his mother was a non-Orthodox convert.

Today, JFS lost its appeal over its admissions procedure on the grounds of direct discrimination by a majority of five to four at the Supreme Court.

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JFS: Jewish practice test 'lesser of two evils'

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2009

Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of the movement for Reform Judaism, has hailed today’s Supreme Court decision which ruled that JFS had directly discriminated by refusing a place to a boy whose mother was a non-Orthodox convert.

He said: “We are delighted that the admissions policy of JFS - which actively de-legitimises our converts and our rabbis - has been confirmed as unlawful and unacceptable by the highest court in the land.

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JFS: Lords say discrimination law is flawed

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2009

A majority of the lords who ruled against JFS suggested that the law on direct discrimination may be flawed.

JFS lost its appeal over its admissions procedure today on the grounds of direct discrimination by a majority of five to four. The appeal follows an earlier judgement by the Court of Appeal which found that JFS had directly discriminated by refusing a place to a boy (Child M) whose mother had converted under a non-Orthodox synagogue and was therefore not recognised by the United Synagogue.

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JFS: we must find a workable solution

December 16, 2009

JFS governors said they were “disappointed” and must work towards finding a workable solution for a Jewish practice test to be used for admissions in 2011.

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Britain 'must change the law' over Livni arrest

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2009

Embarrassed ministers are looking "urgently" at ways of changing the law in the wake of the failed attempt to arrest Israeli Opposition leader Tsipi Livni in Britain last weekend.

Ms Livni cancelled a trip to London shortly before a court in Westminster granted a warrant for her arrest.

But Ms Livni, who had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, said she had cancelled the trip a fortnight ago for scheduling reasons.

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JFS loses Supreme Court appeal

By Jessica Elgot, December 16, 2009

JFS has lost its Supreme Court Appeal over its admissions procedure.

The Supreme Court judges were split 5-4 in the court’s most high-profile case since it opened.

The judges' ruling means that no faith school can have an admissions policy based on halachic status.

JFS were contesting a Court of Appeal decision made on behalf of a boy who had originally been rejected because the Chief Rabbi does not recognise his mother’s non-Orthodox conversion.

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Jerusalem summons British envoy over Livni

By Jessica Elgot, December 15, 2009

Israel has expressed fury at the attempt to arrest opposition leader Tzipi Livni who was due in London on Sunday as the guest speaker for the JNF annual conference.

In a day of intense diplomatic activity, British ambassador to Israel Tom Phillips was summoned to the Israeli foreign ministry in Jerusalem while in London, the Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor went to see Foreign Secretary David Miliband in Whitehall.

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Leeds United ex-director in court

By Jessica Elgot, December 15, 2009

Former property magnate and director of Leeds United Simon Morris has appeared at Leeds magistrates court charged with conspiracy to blackmail a man over a £100,000 debt.

Mr Morris, 32, who is jointly accused with Jonathan Ashworth, 49, from Hyde, Cheshire, was charged after a long investigation by West Yorkshire police into the demise of Mr Morris’ business.

He was declared bankrupt a year after his business empire, SRM Holdings Group, collapsed with debts of around £50 million.

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Arrest warrant issued for Tzipi Livni

By Marcus Dysch, December 15, 2009

An arrest warrant was issued for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni by a London court, but was later annulled after Ms Livni cancelled her scheduled visit and did not enter Britain.

Ms Livni had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, north-west London, but cancelled over fears she would be arrested for alleged war crimes.

It is believed Westminster Magistrates’ Court issued the warrant at the request of pro-Palestinian lawyers acting on behalf of those affected by Israel’s action in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

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Rabbi's finger bitten off at Chanucah celebration

By Beth Alexander in Vienna, December 15, 2009

A man is alleged to have bitten off a rabbi’s finger at a public Chanucah celebration in Vienna.

Rabbi Dov Grussman was responding to apparent antisemitic jibes from the Muslim man, who is said to have hurled himself at the Chabad Rabbi and punched him.

During the struggle, the man is alleged to have bitten the rabbi, severing part of his finger. He was later arrested by Austrian police.

Rabbi Grussman was taken to hospital where doctors attempted to reattach the severed finger. He is currently being monitored for infection from the injury.

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