UK news

Gongs of praise for those who made a difference

By Marcus Dysch, January 8, 2009

Charity volunteers, entrepreneurs and Holocaust survivors are among the Jewish recipients recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.
Jenny Abramsky, former director of BBC audio and music, is made a dame for services to broadcasting.

Currently chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund, she said: “My father [Chimen Abramsky, a former professor of Jewish studies] was thrilled.

“For someone who came here as a refugee in 1932 and is now 92, to see his daughter getting an honour like this is great.

More..

New JPR research fellow

January 8, 2009

A new research fellow is joining the Institute for Jewish Policy Research to head its investigation into Jewish child poverty in the UK.

Jonathan Boyd, a former director of research and development at the UJIA and for the past two years director of operations for the Joint’s International Centre for Community Development, will take up his position this month.

Harold Paisner, JPR’s new chairman, said: “I don’t think the community appreciates that we know of 3,500 Jewish children living in poverty in the UK. Given the current climate, it will probably increase.”

More..

Maccabiah defends funding stance

January 8, 2009

The mother of a teenager who was abruptly told that she had been thrown off the Maccabiah GB basketball squad said this week that she has still not heard from the organisation, despite promises of a meeting. Ofra Azar-Freedman, a solicitor and divorcée from Hendon, said her 15-year-old daughter Deni had been bitterly disappointed to receive a letter from David Pinnick, the head of the Maccabiah organising committee, to tell her that she had been withdrawn from the girls’ basketball team for the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

More..

UK teens volunteer for the IDF

January 8, 2009

British teenagers are working on army bases across Israel after being asked to help by the IDF.

The army approached the FZY youth movement, along with its American sister group Young Judea, to ask if participants on its year programme could volunteer. Teens from the religious Zionist movement, B’nei Akiva, also volunteered. Some IDF bases had been understaffed as soldiers were deployed to Gaza. The teenagers began working on eight bases across Israel on Sunday, packing kits for soldiers in Gaza, checking equipment for faults and monitoring stocks.

More..

Death of tape-tied woman a mystery

January 8, 2009

A post-mortem examination has failed to determine the cause of death of a Jewish pensioner found dead in Stamford Hill, north London, on New Year’s Day.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, known to family as Lina, Linda or Chava, was found by police with her legs bound by duct tape in the bedroom of her house on Leweston Place on January 1, after her niece had raised the alarm.

More..

Cannabis farms thriving in the heart of the community

January 8, 2009

An alarming rise in the number of so-called cannabis farms appearing in the heart of the North Manchester community has led to an unprecedented wave of drug use among young Jews.

Police have discovered hundreds of cannabis plants growing inside a semi-detached house in Prestwich, the latest of dozens in the area and nearby Whitefield.

More..

Honour for hero who saved 52,000

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

A Suffolk boarding school held a special service on Tuesday to commemorate an outstanding former pupil who saved the lives of nearly 52,000 Jews during the Second World War.

Prince Constantin Karadja of Romania, who attended Framlingham College from 1906-1908, was a consul-general for his country in Berlin in the early years of the war and an official in the Romanian Foreign Ministry from 1941-44.

Despite opposition from within his own government, he issued papers to protect Jews of Romanian nationality abroad who would have otherwise fallen into the hands of the Nazis.

More..

Youth call to be given seat on JLC

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

The leader of one of the largest Zionist youth movements is calling for a youth representative to be given a seat at the Jewish Leadership Council.

Jack Prevezer, 22, mazkir of the Federation of Zionist Youth, made the call during a recent panel discussion by youth leaders at the Limmud conference.

More..

Kosher meat prices rise by 10 per cent

By Leon Symons, January 8, 2009

The cost of kosher beef and lamb rose this week as a direct result of the strength of the euro against the pound — and a second rise is threatened for next week.

Kosher butchers have been forced to increase their prices by 20p-25p a kilo on the shelf as wholesale prices have risen by 40p-50p a kilo, a rise of around 10 per cent, according to Kosher Licensed Meat Traders’ Association chairman Jacky Lipowicz.

More..

Charity settles its trustee dispute

By Simon Rocker, January 8, 2009

The British Friends of the Hebrew University has reached an agreement with a former trustee who protested over the deduction of management charges from donor funds.

Geoffrey Simmonds argued that it had been unreasonable for the charity to take money from bequests to use for administration costs if the donor had been unaware of it at the time.

But this month he and BFHU chairman Brent Isaacs announced that they had resolved the dispute.

“It avoids legal action and the Charity Commission,” Mr Simmonds said. “It’s the right result.”

More..