UK news

Metal thieves hit cemetery in Blackpool

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 1, 2011

Metal thieves caused thousands of pounds' worth of damage to a Jewish cemetery after breaking in last Wednesday night.

Intruders stole two copper taps, seven copper standpipes and copper piping from the ohel at the Carleton Cemetery in north Blackpool.

Water was left flowing from burst plumbing below an outdoor basin used for handwashing after funerals and consecrations.


Holocaust Claims head meets British critics

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The executive head of the leading Holocaust restitution organisation, the Claims Conference, defended its record when he faced some of its critics in London on Monday.

Greg Schneider, executive vice-president of the New York-based body, addressed an audience of 150, including many survivors, at the invitation of the Anglo-Jewish Association, one of four British groups on its board.


Cuts leave Charedi children in poverty

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The strictly Orthodox community is facing a rise in child poverty as a result of benefit cuts and lack of secular education for boys in its schools, according to a new report.

With the economic downturn and government spending cuts, it says: "The alarm bells should be ringing loudly".


'Too unkempt': Shomer battles US beard police

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The United Synagogue is being sued for religious discrimination by a former kosher supervisor who, apparently, is claiming there were objections to his beard.

Jonathan Abrahams, 58, who lives in Stamford Hill, north London, was made redundant as a full-time shomer with the organisation's kashrut division over a year ago.


Minister asks Belfast Festival for balance

March 31, 2011

Northern Ireland's Culture Minister Nelson McCausland asked for a "pro-Israel" speaker at this year's Belfast Festival, to compensate for the withdrawal of an invitation to Professor Geoffrey Alderman last year.


BBC backs down on its Fogel coverage

By Jennifer Lipman, March 31, 2011

The BBC has admitted that the horrific murders of the Fogel family last month should have been covered on their 24 hour news channel.

The massacre, in which a three-month-old baby was decapitated and her siblings' throats were slashed, did not appear anywhere across the BBC's television channels, and was mentioned only briefly on the broadcaster's news website.


New street tailor-made for Gerald Cross

By Jessica Elgot, March 31, 2011

A tailor who lived in the East End for more than 40 years is to have a street named after him - in Gloucestershire.

Gerald Cross died in 2008, aged 80, having moved his tailoring business from Stepney to Cirencester in the Cotswolds. Hearing that a new housing development in the town was to have streets named after local businessmen, his son Joel, 39, nominated him.


Trustee fury over Jewish Music Institute boycott

By Jessica Elgot, March 31, 2011

A trustee of the Jewish Music Institute has expressed his anger and frustration that the organisation turned down Israeli funding for a conference under pressure from boycotters.

David Mencer, a former director of the Labour Friends of Israel, attacked JMI's "appalling lack of judgment and moral character in distancing itself from Israel."


Voice of hope in UK Muslims for Israel

By Marcus Dysch, March 31, 2011

The latest pro-Israel advocacy group emanates from an unlikely source, but is dedicated to turning the tables on the delegitimisation campaign.

British Muslims for Israel aims to challenge perceptions within the Muslim community about life in the country, according to one of its founders, Hasan Afzal.


Airline strike 'like Kristallnacht' claim

By Robyn Rosen, March 31, 2011

A British Airways steward has compared a dispute with the airline with Kristallnacht.

The comments were made on Victoria Derbyshire's programme on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday when guests discussed new strike action by British Airways staff.