UK news

Ancestry group backs lecture by Mormon baptism-row leader

By Leon Symons and Anshel Pfeffer, October 30, 2008

Britain's leading Jewish genealogical group has defended its decision to invite a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - the Mormons - to speak at its annual one-day conference last week.

On Sunday at West London Synagogue, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) gave a generous round of applause to Sharon Hintze, director of the London Family History Centre, who spoke about Jewish family-history resources.

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Music couple face theft charge

October 30, 2008

The former managers of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen's Music, have been charged with the theft of £447,000 from the composer.

Michael Arnold, 75, and his wife Judith, 73, of Golders Green, North-West London, have been bailed to appear before West London magistrates' court on November 3 charged with the theft of £447,049.

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JNF man ‘pays court £100,000’

October 30, 2008

Informed sources have told the JC that Simon Winters, the former chief executive of JNF UK, has paid an estimated £100,000 to the High Court in respect of his lost action against leading law firm Mishcon de Reya.

Mr Winters, who left the charity this summer, had sought an injunction to prevent Mishcon acting for JNF UK in a dispute over the termination of his employment, claiming there was a conflict of interest.

Mr Winters was ordered to pay £100,000, representing 70 percent of Mishcon's costs.

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Holocaust-denier avoids extradition

By Leon Symons, October 30, 2008

A convicted Holocaust denier has won a fight to avoid extradition to Germany where he would have faced more allegations of denial.

German-born Frederick Toben, 64, was arrested at Heathrow airport at the beginning of October after arriving from America en route to Dubai. He was held under a European Union warrant issued by German authorities.

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Charity watchdog to probe KKL wills advice

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2008

The Charity Commission is looking into a complaint against the JNF over the offer of free advice on wills in return for a bequest to the charity.

The complaint arose out of a dispute over a will which left money to a number of charities, including JNF, after the donor had consulted the KKL will service, which is run by a subsidiary of JNF UK.

But a spokesman for KKL said that the commission three years ago had expressed "satisfaction with our practices and procedures" and that it would gladly answer any queries.

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Kristallnacht remembered

By Candice Krieger, October 30, 2008

A concert to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938 German pogrom, was held in London on Tuesday.

Endorsed by the leaders of all three main political parties, the event was organised by the Holocaust Centre, home to the Aegis Trust for genocide prevention, in memory of Kristallnacht, "the night of broken glass".

On November 9, 1938, more than 90 Jews were murdered and 25,000-30,000 were deported to labour camps. Kristallnacht is now recognised as the precursor to the destruction of the Jews of Europe.

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Reform deny ‘making war’ on Orthodoxy

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2008

Rabbi Tony Bayfield, the head of the Reform movement, this week stressed that the recent statement on pluralism signed with the Liberals and Masorti was not a declaration of war on Orthodoxy.

"We don't want to go to war with anybody," he told a quarterly meeting of the Reform's lay council in London on Sunday.

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Shul leader crushed by wife in car

By Marcus Dysch and Faga Speker, October 30, 2008

A former synagogue president was seriously injured when his wife accidentally reversed her car into him, crushing him against a wall.

Retired dentist David Franks, 71, suffered head injuries when he became trapped as his wife, Elizabeth, attempted to back her Honda out of a garage at their home in Gosforth, Newcastle on Saturday.

He is a former president of Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation and is a director of North East Jewish Community Services.

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'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012

By Leon Symons, October 30, 2008

Allegations that a police trainer has labelled a proposed commemoration of the Munich Olympics massacre at the 2012 London Olympics "a security threat" have been vehemently denied.

An Islamic scholar, hired by Scotland Yard to train police on interfaith issues, had warned that a commemoration ceremony "could become a national security threat if it was not managed properly and was perceived by Muslims to be ‘hijacking' the Games", The Times reported this week.

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David Irving invited on Celebrity Big Brother

October 30, 2008

TV production company Endemol, which makes the reality show Celebrity Big Brother, was condemned this week for inviting Holocaust-denier David Irving to take part in the next series.

Mr Irving states on his website that he received a "top secret provisional invitation" in September asking him to take part in series planned to start on January 2. He was told last Friday that he had not made the final selection.

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