UK news

Campaign for ethical meat label

By Jessica Elgot, June 23, 2011

A new campaign has been launched to introduce ethical certification for kosher meat.

The Chief Rabbi's environmental adviser, Rabbi Natan Levy, and Spencer Shaw, manager of events website Jewpro, have started a petition in order to mobilise wider communal support for the idea.

Rabbi Levy said: "Time and again, I have received an email or phone call from a frustrated Jewish consumer who is se

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Now you can be buried in the woods

By Simon Rocker, June 23, 2011

The first Jewish woodland cemetery in the UK is set to open later this year, providing a greener resting place for environmentally conscious Jews.

The Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), which serves 35 Reform, Liberal and Masorti congregations, has bought a field next to the existing Cheshunt cemetery in Hertfordshire to create the new facility.

JJBS chairman Mike Frankl said that members c

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'Confession made up' in Stamford Hill pensioner murder case

By Robyn Rosen, June 23, 2011

Police "fabricated" evidence in a desperate attempt to seal a conviction for the unsolved manslaughter of a Stamford Hill pensioner, a court has heard.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, died alone after burglars raided her home and left her bound and gagged.

She lay undiscovered for five weeks before she was found by relatives on New Year's Day 2009.

Her home had been "ransacked" after two burglars

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Green MP Caroline Lucas challenges PSC on pre-Israel map

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

The leader of the Green Party has written to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign questioning why the organisation uses as its logo a provocative map of Palestine prior to the creation of Israel.

Caroline Lucas, Parliament's first Green MP, is a prominent supporter of the Palestinian cause and has visited the Palestinian territories on several occasions.

The Green Party has close links with the

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Saudi ambassador defends SOAS funds

By Martin Bright, June 23, 2011

The Saudi ambassador to Britain has written an open letter to MPs defending donations to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

The JC revealed last week that SOAS had received donations of £755,000 from the Saudi royal family over the past four years. This was used to fund the college's Islamic Studies Centre and a Journal of Islamic Studies.

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Professor quits UCU in hate row

By Robyn Rosen, June 23, 2011

A professor has resigned from the University and College Union after more than 40 years following its rejection of the widely-accepted definition of antisemitism.

David-Hillel Ruben, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College and the former director of the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), accused the UCU of being "institutionally racist" after it voted to distance itself from the defini

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Brit critic is ejected from Board position

By Robyn Rosen, June 23, 2011

An Oxford student has been removed from her position on the Board of Deputies after she wrote an article calling for a ban on circumcision.

New West End Synagogue, a United Synagogue congregation, revoked Rebecca Steinfeld's seat at the Board as an under-35s observer after she referred to circumcision as "male genital mutilation" in an article she co-authored in the Guardian last week.

Ms S

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Birthday honour for donor

June 23, 2011

Philanthropist Edward Atkin and law professor and barrister Jeffery Jowell QC were both recipients of Queen's Birthday honours last week.

Mr Atkin, 66, received a CBE for services to industry and to charity through the Atkin Foundation.

After selling his baby-feeding business, Avent, for £300m in 2005, he has dedicated his time to his foundation, which is one of the main supporters of the

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Why 'hook-nosed' Begin was denied entry to UK

By Marcus Dysch, June 23, 2011

Menachem Begin was refused a visa to enter Britain in 1955 after the Foreign Office warned that his admission could damage relations with the Israeli government.

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How Israel dog-stoning story went astray

By Robyn Rosen, June 23, 2011

It was the ultimate shaggy dog story - but one with a nasty bite.

According to the BBC and other websites over the weekend, a Jerusalem Beth Din condemned a stray dog to be stoned after it was suspected of being the reincarnation of a secular lawyer cursed by the court 20 years ago.

Yahoo's news report, headlined "Jewish court sentences dog to death by stoning", drew more than 1,900 comments

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