UK news

Abrahams in bid to broker peace deal

By Martin Bright, January 14, 2011

The international defence and security thinktank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), has confirmed the appointment of the first Jewish vice-president in its 180-year history.

North East property tycoon David Abrahams has been given the post in an attempt to boost the institute's work in Israel and Palestine. His fellow vice-presidents include Sir Paul Lever, former UK ambassador to Germany, Sir David Omand, former Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office, and the Duke of Westminster.


Jewish schools struggle to attract full intake

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 14, 2011

Manchester's Jewish primary schools are under-subscribed, with only one out of five state-aided schools able to fill its intake.


Sad farewell to Limmud singer Debbie Friedman

By Simon Rocker, January 13, 2011

Tributes have been paid to Debbie Friedman, the influential American Jewish songwriter who died suddenly on Sunday.

Aged 59, she had been admitted to hospital in California just a few days after returning from her last appearances at the Limmud conference in Coventry.

Her melodies, setting traditional Jewish liturgy to folk tunes, left their mark on synagogue music, particulary among Progressive communities, in the course of a career covering 35 years and more than 20 albums.


JC writer wins Indie contest

January 13, 2011

JC reporter Jessica Elgot has been awarded the third Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists for an article on mental health issues in the strictly Orthodox community.

Candidates had to write an original article on a section of society which rarely makes the headlines.


Will the real Ted Baker step forward

By Marcus Dysch, January 13, 2011

For more than 20 years he has been the fashion company founder who avoided the limelight. But the man who created the iconic Ted Baker label has now been recognised for his services to the industry.

Ray Kelvin, who opened his first men's shirt shop in Glasgow in 1988, shuns publicity, refusing to have his photograph taken and maintaining the pretence that "Ted" is a real person.

But Mr Kelvin, a former JFS pupil, was made CBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to fashion, rewarding his more than 30 years of service.


No royal wedding holiday for King David pupils

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 13, 2011

Pupils at Manchester King David High School will have to attend classes on the royal wedding bank holiday.

Instead of having the day off, pupils will be celebrating April 29 in school uniform behind their desks while most other schoolchildren in the country are enjoying an extra day off.


EDL woos Canada's Jewish far right

January 13, 2011

The leader of the extreme right-wing English Defence League has urged members of a militant Jewish group in Canada to fight against Islam "for freedom".

Tommy Robinson appeared by video link at a Jewish Defence League Canada rally in Toronto on Tuesday night.

He told the audience of around 50 JDL supporters that Canadians must "wake up" to the "Islamisation" of their country.

Mr Robinson said: "We're fighting for our children, we're fighting for our freedom. Islam stands fundamentally against everything we stand for."


Man bailed after Stamford Hill attack

January 13, 2011

A 24-year-old man has been released on bail after he was arrested for allegedly punching a strictly Orthodox man in the head.

Officers were called to Stamford Hill in north London shortly before 11pm on Saturday following reports of an attack.

It is alleged that the attacker punched the back of the victim's head, knocking his hat and kippah off before shouting racist abuse.

Police said the abuse made reference to Israel.


Israel friends change tack and relaunch

By Martin Bright, January 13, 2011

Labour Friends of Israel is to re-invent itself as a membership organisation to argue actively for the two-state solution and develop the "progressive case" for Israel.

The new direction will be outlined at a seminar in March held jointly in Westminster with the New Labour magazine Progress to promote a fresh strategy for Israel's friends within the Labour Party and the trade union movement.

In recent years LFI has found itself increasingly forced into a fire-fighting role against a growing anti-Zionist sentiment in the Labour movement and the wider British left.


Islamists cite Holocaust on genocide day

January 13, 2011

A leading Holocaust memorial group has criticised an event run by an Islamic organisation which compares the Shoah to Palestinian suffering.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission's Genocide Memorial Day is also due to hear from Ahron Cohen, leader of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, who has previously questioned the number of deaths in the Holocaust.

IHRC said the event would coincide with the second anniversary of the "genocidal acts in Gaza" during Israel's Operation Cast Lead.