UK news

Southbank Israel debate turns into ‘hate-fest’

By Marcus Dysch, July 21, 2011

The Southbank Centre has defended its planning of a debate on cultural boycotts, which one Jewish panellist said had turned into a "hate-fest".

Palestinian boycott activist Omar Barghouti, Guardian and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland, American writer Carol Gould and British-Sri Lankan poet Seni Seneviratne spoke at the London Literary Festival session on July 10.

Throughout the event, Ms Gou


Meet the media-savvy voice of Reform Judaism

By Simon Rocker, July 21, 2011

The Reform movement has appointed its first full-time rabbinic spokesman to act as its voice on religious issues.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, 47, who has served with one of the biggest Reform communities, the North-Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Gardens) in London for eight years, will move to the new role of movement rabbi in January.


Giles Coren v Steven Berkoff in epic stage battle

By Jennifer Lipman, July 21, 2011

Stage and film actor Steven Berkoff had responded to a claim by writer Giles Coren that theatre is "boring", a nightmare and attracts "dreary friends".

In a list of complaints Mr Coren – the son of Jewish humo u rist Alan Coren – referred to plays starting too late, audiences thinking of pizza and the "full tediousness of these old hams trying to inject life" into classic works.


Polish man jailed for seven years for Stamford Hill pensioner death

By Robyn Rosen, July 21, 2011

A Polish decorator has been jailed for seven years for manslaughter after he left an elderly Stamford Hill woman gagged and bound to a chair while he raided her home.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, died a "slow death" of hypothermia and lay undiscovered for five weeks before she was found by relatives on New Year's Day 2009, her decomposed body still bound to a chair in her bedroom.


Cabbie who called Jews 'animals' outside Manchester school sentenced

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2011

A taxi driver has been given a community order and could lose his work licence after being found guilty of racially abusing children in front of Manchester's King David School.

Taha Osman said Jews were animals who should be banned from Britain and also shouted "all Jewish children must die" after he was stuck in after-school traffic at the Crumpsall Jewish school.


Jewish student in nailbiting University Challenge contest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2011

A Jewish student is hoping that his knowledge of Agamemnon and Lucy the skeleton, in a nailbiting first - round University Challenge match, will be enough to secure his team a place in the next stage of the contest.


MPs vote to drop iEngage from Islamophobia group

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2011

MPs on the all-party group on Islamophobia have voted against using iEngage, the controversial Islamist group, as its secretariat.

The vote on Monday evening, by 60 to 2, followed the resignation in February of its Conservative chair Kris Hopkins and Labour vice-chair Lord Janner over an earlier decision to use iEngage.


MPs block iEngage

July 18, 2011

MPs on the all-party group on Islamophobia voted this evening not to use iEngage, the controversial Islamist group, as its secretariat.

The vote, by 60 to 2, follows the resignation in February of its Conservative chair and Labour vice-chair over an earlier decision to use iEngage.

CST has described iEngage as having "a troubling attitude to antisemitism".

More to follow...


Wolff offers boost for new writing at Hampstead Theatre

By Jennifer Lipman, July 18, 2011

A one-time box office ticket-checker has donated £300,000 to secure the future of new writing at the Hampstead Theatre.

Businessman and passionate theatre-lover Peter Wolff has offered five years of crucial financial support for the Hampstead Downstairs programme, a scheme dedicated to exposing the work of emerging playwrights. The money will support six plays every year.


Lord Grabiner to chair News International standards committee

By Jennifer Lipman, July 18, 2011

Lord Grabiner has been appointed to chair News International's Management and Standards Committee.

The Jewish QC, 66, will oversee the investigations into behaviour at News International companies. The creation of the committee follows the scandal over alleged phone hacking at UK newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch.