UK news

I still can’t walk, says bomb-blast victim

By Candice Krieger, December 11, 2008

An Israeli paralysed by a suicide bomb has returned to the UK after his attempts to follow a treatment plan designed to make him walk again failed.

Zion Shitrit, 24, suffered severe spinal damage after the bombing in Hadera in 2005. Doctors said the nerves in his legs were destroyed and he would never walk again.

In April, he came to the Mind Clinic in London which works with people suffering from spinal injuries. He regained feeling in his toes, stood for the first time since the injury and was told he should be walking within two years.


Champion of ‘just and open Judaism’ dies

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Rabbi Dr Michael Rosen, founder of Yakar, the alternative Jewish community centre, died this week.

He was in his late 50s and had suffered from a degenerative neurological disorder for some time. He was injured in a fall last month and died on Sunday night in Israel, where he had lived since 1993 with his wife, Gila, and their six children.

More than 1,000 people attended his funeral, which was held in Jerusalem on Monday.


Prostitution charges

December 11, 2008

A man has appeared at Newcastle magistrates’ court alongside a police officer who allegedly advertised herself on an escort website.

Osher Marks, 56, of Ravenscourt Place, Gateshead, faced charges of conspiracy to manage brothels for prostitution and conspiracy to control prostitutes for gain. Alongside him was Victoria Thorne, 28, of Washing, Tyne and Wear, who was charged with misconduct in a public office.


Divine aid

December 11, 2008

A special day of prayer was observed last week among strictly Orthodox congregations in response to the growing economic crisis.

Notices were posted in synagogues by the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Rabbi Avraham Pinter, principal of Yesodey Hatorah said that the crisis “is affecting everybody” and donors had been hit.

“A lot of food products are imported so weakness of the pound is having an additional adverse effect,” he said.


Online gene pool to help unlock the past

By Leon Symons, December 11, 2008

Millions of records from 14 countries were placed online this week as a result of a major link-up between two genealogical websites.

The new records potentially contain information about a host of British personalities who are either Jewish or have Jewish ancestry. They include David Beckham, Rachel Stevens, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Esther Rantzen, Matt Lucas and many others.


Peter Levy stands down as JC Chairman

December 9, 2008

Peter Levy, who has been chairman of the Jewish Chronicle for five years, is retiring from the role, the JC announced this week. He will also be stepping down from the board of directors.

Mr Levy said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to chair the JC, but this is an appropriate time for me to step down, with a new editor and hopefully a new era of continued success for the Jewish Chronicle."


Yakar-founder rabbi dies in Israel

December 8, 2008

Rabbi Mickey Rosen, founder of Yakar, the alternative Jewish community centre, has died.

He passed away suddenly on Monday morning in Israel, where he had lived with his wife, Gila, since 1993.

In 1977, Rabbi Rosen founded Yakar, an independent Orthodox congregation, in Hendon, North West London. It was named after his late father, Rabbi Kopul Rosen, the founder of Carmel College.

Mickey was one of three brothers. The eldest of the trio, Jeremy, is a former headmaster of Carmel, and the youngest, David, a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland.


Scientists the toast of Society

By Marcus Dysch, December 4, 2008

Two world-renowned scientists have received prestigious awards from the Royal Society.

Sir Alan Fersht and Sir Philip Cohen were presented with the Royal Medals at a ceremony on Monday which marked the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society.

Only three of the silver gilt medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded each year to those working within the Commonwealth.

Sir Alan, a Cambridge University professor, was given the accolade for his work in protein engineering.


Divisive Lerman leaves JPR

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2008

Antony Lerman, the controversial executive director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), is to leave at the end of the year to concentrate on writing and other personal projects.

Mr Lerman’s views on Israel — he was recently a signatory to an Independent Jewish Voices’ advert opposing Israeli occupation of the West Bank — and his willingness to challenge bodies such as the Community Security Trust over the extent of antisemitism, incensed critics. His return to JPR prompted the resignation of several board members.


Table tennis star faces sex-case retrial

December 4, 2008

A top Jewish table tennis player has been found guilty of asking a teenage protegee to email him pictures of her naked, and faces a possible re-trial over sex abuse allegations.

Gary Tendler, 35, a former champion player for Maccabi GB, was released on bail after jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court failed to reach a verdict over six charges that he engaged in sex acts with the girl, who was 15 at the time.