UK news

A new chapter in interfaith?

By Ed Kessler, September 21, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, proclaimed a "friendship across faiths" as he introduced Pope Benedict XVI to a select group of 100 representatives of Britain's religious communities in London.

It was the Vatican's Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965 that "brought about the single greatest transformation in interfaith relations in recent history," the Chief Rabbi said, "and we recognise your visit today as a new chapter in that story and a vital one".


British left plans own Israel lobby

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

The face of Israel advocacy in the UK could be changed by a group of young activists who plan to start a new campaign organisation inspired by the liberal American lobby group, J Street.

The key figure in the initiative is Hannah Weisfeld (right), who recently left her job as social action co-ordinator of the Jewish Community Centre for London in order to pursue it.

Others involved include Guardian and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland.


TUC votes to keep up West Bank boycott

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

The Trades Union Congress has voted to continue its boycott of Israeli goods from West Bank settlements and strengthen its links with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

A motion passed at the TUC congress in Manchester on Tuesday stopped short of agreeing to a full boycott of Israel.

The TUC had been expected to extend its boycotts policy and encourage further disinvestment.

The Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies said the rejection of a boycott of all Israeli goods represented a "serious setback for the pro-boycott movement".


Jonathan Djanogly apologises for spying

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

A Conservative Justice Minister has apologised and admitted he "over-reacted" by hiring a firm of private investigators to spy on local party members who, he believed, were conspiring against him.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, a member of New London Synagogue, paid detectives more than £5,000 for a covert operation after he was caught up in last year's expenses scandal.

Mr Djanogly, son of businessman and philanthropist Sir Harry Djanogly, a member of Nottingham Hebrew Congregation, denied any wrongdoing.


JNF names acting chief executive

By Simon Rocker, September 17, 2010

David Goodman, outgoing executive director of the Chief Rabbi's office, has been appointed acting chief executive of JNF UK.

The charity has also recruited Dan Sacker, once chairman of the Union of Jewish Students, from top PR firm Weber Shandwick, as director of communications.

The hiring of Mr Goodman, a former executive director of Kisharon Day School, follows last month's departure of Elliot Conway, who served as chief executive for six months.


Ex-Islamist Ed Husain attacks hate speaker

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

University vice-chancellors must do more to protect Jewish students from hatred on campuses, according to the director of a counter-extremism think tank.

Ed Husain, co-founder of the Quilliam organisation, was speaking at the Union of Jewish Students' annual campaigns summit.

He attacked appearances on campuses of speakers such as Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi.

Dr Tamimi is a regular speaker at universities and has told students that he "longs to be a martyr" and believes Israel "must come to an end".


Channel 4 to broadcast series of films about Jewish mothers

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2010

Comedian David Schneider and harpist Lucinda Belle are among those featuring in a Channel 4 strand of films about Jewish mothers.

Starting on Monday, September 27, seven different Jews will be in seven 90-second films, as part of the 4thought series, broadcast 365 days a year on Channel 4 in the evening and online.


George Soros: £65m for human rights group

By Jessica Elgot, September 17, 2010

The billionaire Jewish financier George Soros is to give £65 million of his personal fortune to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and another $1 million to World ORT.

The HRW donation from Hungarian-born Mr Soros, 80, said to be worth more than $14 billion, is his largest ever donation to a single organisation. HRW will not receive the money in one lump sum but over 10 years. Mr Soros, who is giving the money through his Open Society Foundations, has challenged the organisation to match the same amount in that time.


Trinny and Susannah tell Israel what not to wear

By Jessica Elgot, September 17, 2010

For fashionable Brits, Gok Wan may be the flavour of the month. But in Israel, a new show from Trinny and Susannah means they are still the Middle East's fashion queens.

Style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, who had success with BBC TV programmes, fashion advice books and an underwear range, will tour Israel dispensing fashion advice to the country's worst dressed, for a new TV show.


Analysis: The price one pays for seeking justice

By Efraim Zuroff, September 17, 2010

As someone accustomed to hate mail, death threats, and assorted negative responses to my efforts to help facilitate the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, perhaps I should not have been surprised by what happened to me recently, but I have to say that the immediacy of the attack in question, and its abhorrent content, gave me pause for reflection about my chosen mission in life and the person who inspired me to undertake it.