UK news

Swan pub in limbo as doors close

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

A pub which is due to be converted into a synagogue by a strictly Orthodox community will close next month, although its long-term future remains uncertain.

Representatives of Stamford Hill’s Bobov community have been in discussions to buy The Swan for around £1 million since the summer.

But they have faced obstacles from pub regulars who set up a Save the Swan campaign and arguments with a rival Bobov faction.

The discovery of a restrictive covenant, which prohibits the future use of the building as a pub, has also threatened the deal.

More..

Race-hate comes alive for computer game

By Leon Symons, December 18, 2008

Four incidents of racial hatred have been recreated for the internet to illustrate the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2009.

The four incidents — including the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence — have been divided into two-minute films to form a simulated computer game called The Hate Game.

They are preceded by two scenes of Nazi persecution during the Holocaust. The theme of HMD is “Stand Up To Hatred”.

Each film takes the viewer through the incident, then shows the choices those involved could have made — ending with what happened in real life

More..

Minister’s marriage visa pledge

By Leon Symons, December 18, 2008

A potential solution has emerged to the marriage visa crisis which has caused widespread consternation among Charedis.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas told a delegation from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations that he would explore the possibility of pre-certification.

This would mean that under-21s from outside the European Union who wish to marry in the UK would be examined by an embassy or consulate in their country of origin in order to certify that there was no suggestion of coercion.

More..

Cut duplication — and chase bills, says US head

By Bernard Josephs, December 18, 2008

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser called this week for the community to streamline its education, welfare and outreach bodies.

Speaking at a sombre US Council meeting, overshadowed by calls for spending cuts in both the US and the community at large, he said that tough times necessitated ditching some of its most prized organisations, whose functions overlapped.

Duplication, he said, was “simply no longer affordable.” The US “no longer has the luxury of funding so many organisations”.

More..

Arrest in JFS bus assault

December 18, 2008

A teenager has been arrested in connection with an antisemitic attack on Jewish pupils travelling on a popular London bus route, the 183.
The 16-year-old, unnamed for legal reasons, was detained by officers last week and appeared at Hendon Magistrates’ Court last Friday.

He denied charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault, but admitted one charge of malicious communication with police officers. He was released on bail and will face trial on January 28.
The youth was arrested by officers from Barnet’s Safer Neighbourhoods and Safer Transport teams.

More..

JLC needs young voices, says Levy

By Leon Symons, December 17, 2008

Lord Levy has called for new young community leaders to be brought on to the Jewish Leadership Council.

Lord Levy, who is president of Jewish Care and JFS School, made his plea as he stepped down after three years on the JLC’s executive. He is a founder of the organisation and remains a member of the main board.
Property company owner Leo Noé, at the heart of the property world’s biggest takeover this year, has been voted on to the executive.

More..

Four to fight ‘Yom Kippur’ council seat

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2008

Four Jewish candidates are standing for election to a council which held a poll on Yom Kippur.

The four, together with a fifth candidate who is not Jewish, will compete for a seat on London's Haringey Council, following the death of Seven Sisters ward incumbent Fred Knight in November.

The ward is to the north of Stamford Hill and is home to a large number of strictly Orthodox residents.

In October the authority caused outrage among Jewish voters after scheduling a by-election in Alexandra ward on the holiest day of the year.

More..

Arrest in JFS bus route row

December 11, 2008

A teenager has been arrested in connection with an antisemitic attack on Jewish pupils travelling on a popular bus route.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was detained by officers on Wednesday and appeared at Hendon Magistrates’ Court, North-West London, on Friday.

He denied charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault, and admitted one charge of malicious communication with police officers. He was released on bail and will face trial on January 28.

More..

Bagel boss caught on camera chewing over price-fixing deal

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Britain’s two biggest bagel companies are at war after the boss of one was secretly filmed at a kosher restaurant allegedly suggesting a price-fixing arrangement.

Peter Maycock, of New York Bagel Company, was clandestinely filmed by Paul Kahalani at Met Su Yan in Golders Green as they discussed a possible buyout of Mr Kahalani’s firm, The Bagel Group. The companies supply almost all of the 200 million bagels sold in UK supermarkets annually, with New York Bagel accounting for 90 per cent of the market.

More..

Row over ‘pointless’ Olmert UK visit

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s one-day visit to the UK next week has been dismissed by officials in his own government as “pointless” and an “embarrassing waste of national resources”.

Despite the Israeli PM being officially invited to London by Gordon Brown, Israeli officials have told the JC that Mr Olmert was “angling” for an invitation and that there was no urgent matter that warranted a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.

More..