UK news

Students to sing live on Glee talent show

By Jennifer Lipman, August 6, 2010

Two Jewish singers from a Nottingham University musical society are to compete for a place in the final of Channel 5 talent show “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Along with 16 others from the campus-formed group “Musicality”, Max Grant, 21, a medical student from Finchley, and James Lewis, 22, an English graduate from Watford, will face the public vote after a live performance this Sunday.

Both are used to the limelight, having starred in a number of Musicality concerts and musical theatre productions.


Brits invited to Yale antisemitism conference

By Jennifer Lipman, August 5, 2010

A conference bringing together nearly 100 internationally renowned academics to discuss antisemitism will be held in the US this month.

Several British speakers, including the CST’s Mike Whine and Trinity College sociologist Barry Kosmin, have been invited to attend.

The three day event, titled "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity," has been arranged in association with the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck College in London.

It will take place at Yale University in the United States from August 23.


Jewish group sending aid to Pakistan flood area

By Jennifer Lipman, August 5, 2010

A British Jewish charity has set up a fundraising drive to help the victims of devastating flooding in Pakistan.

Humanitarian organisation World Jewish Relief (WJR) has launched an emergency appeal to raise money to provide shelter, health care and other forms of aid.

Pakistan’s government announced a state of emergency after more than 300mm of rain was recorded in 36 hours.

The catastrophic weather, the worst monsoon rain experienced by Pakistan since the 1920s, has damaged roads, buildings and agricultural land.


How Mrs Cohen is fixing BP’s oil spill

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

The 20 million gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico constitute one of the world’s worst environmental disasters. For Jessica Cohen, however, it might prove to be the high point of her career so far.

Cohen, who is from Stanmore, has been working as a contractor for BP on pipeline projects in the Gulf since May. Her job started just a fortnight after the oil started to leak from BP’s underwater well, costing the company an estimated £21 billion and chief executive Tony Hayward his job.


Del Monte divorce leads to law change

By Leon Symons, August 5, 2010

The ongoing divorce of one of Anglo-Jewry's most high-profile couples has led to a significant change in divorce law.

Lisa Tchenguiz, sister of property developers Vincent and Robert, has been involved in lengthy proceedings to separate from her husband Vivian Imerman, former owner of Del Monte Foods and the Whyte & Mackay whisky group. Mr Imerman was formerly in business with the Tchenguiz brothers.

When Ms Tchenguiz filed for divorce, Mr Imerman was locked out of the office he shared with the brothers and thousands of documents were removed and given to his wife's lawyers.


Tony Blair praises faith filmmaker

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2010

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has praised a young Jewish filmmaker who took part in his Faith Shorts film competition, and said his Faith Foundation was working to make sure more Jews participated at the next competition.

Mr Blair praised the work of ex-JFS pupil Lara Smallman and her colleagues for the four-minute film The Laugh Judgment. She was the only Jewish filmmaker shortlisted. Judges for the inaugural competition included Natalie Portman, Rabbi David Rosen, June Sarpong, and Hugh Jackman.


Poor show for Palestine exhibition protest

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 5, 2010

Two people have made a solitary stand against the controversial Loss of Innocence Palestinian exhibition at Manchester Cathedral as it continued into its final week.

Last week the cathedral removed anti-Israel literature handed out by the exhibition's organisers after leading Manchester Jewish figures criticised the cathedral for participating in
a political campaign.

On Tuesday, Stand With Us campaigner Joy Wolfe (above) marked the birthday of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by offering passers-by cake outside the iconic cathedral to raise awareness of his plight.


Peer bids to block Israelis from EU

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Crossbench peer Lord Hylton has called on the European Union to bar Israelis from entering Europe without a visa.

He tabled a motion asking for a House of Lords debate shortly before the summer recess, advocating a ban on Israeli goods being sold duty-free.

The motion calls for the Lords "to resolve that the EU should use its powers to prevent access to the EU without a visa by Israeli citizens and to remove duty-free access for Israeli goods if Israeli breaches of international law continue".


Kidnappers ‘forced man to issue a get’

By Leon Symons, August 5, 2010

Strictly orthodox rabbis are fighting claims that a woman's marriage is invalid because her husband was forced to issue a get under duress.

Friends of her ex-husband have started a campaign claiming he gave it after he had been kidnapped.

But the Union of Hebrew Congregations dismissed the claims and insisted he had been paid nearly £16,000 to give it.

"This man abandoned his family and now wants to get revenge and stir up trouble," said a UOHC source.

Neither the man or the woman can be identified but he is an American living in New York and she lives in London.


Israeli lawyer loses bid to block SOCA probe

August 5, 2010

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has received a major boost after a disgraced Israeli lawyer failed in a unique legal bid to block investigation of his multi-million pound assets in the UK.

Judges granted Soca power last week to ask Israel Igo Perry about £14m in two London bank accounts.

In October 2007, after a marathon six-year trial in Israel, Perry was given a 12-year jail term for aggravated fraud, embezzlement, obstruction of justice and violation of insurance laws. He was also fined £2.6m, although his jail sentence was later reduced to 10 years.