UK news

JNF praised for openness

December 4, 2008

JNF UK has made “a vast improvement” in providing information about its spending, according to Intelligent Giving, an independent organisation which monitors charities.

British Jewry’s third largest fundraising organisation received a 60 per cent rating from IG for openness and transparency .

That compares favourably with JNF’s previous scores of 32 per cent and 25 per cent, which had placed it close to the bottom of the list of Jewish charities evaluated.


Speak at the grave: with reservations

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2008

The United Synagogue this week finally cleared the way for lay people to give eulogies at funerals.

The organisation had come under increasing pressure to change a long-standing policy whereby only members of the clergy could address mourners at the cemetery.

From now on, a member of the deceased’s family will be able to give the hesped (eulogy) at the discretion of the officiating rabbi.


Youths taunt pub staff in sale row

By Marcus Dysch, December 4, 2008

Staff at a pub which is due to be turned into a synagogue say they have been harassed by Jewish youths shouting “burn in hell” and “it’s our pub now”.

The Swan, in the heart of London’s strictly Orthodox community in Stamford Hill, was bought by members of the Bobov community in September for around £1 million.

But their plan to turn it into a community centre and shul has been met with opposition from regulars.

Since the sale, staff say they have been intimidated by young members of the Charedi community banging on windows, making obscene gestures and goading regulars.


Aid group for schools

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2008

A new group has been set up to represent the interests of state-aided strictly Orthodox schools.

Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag of Manchester, who has helped set up the National Association of Orthodox Schools, a coalition of a dozen schools in London and Manchester, said: “We want to ensure the position of strictly Orthodox schools is coherently put, rather than left to chance.”


New probe into death of bagel-stab violinist

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

A new inquest is to be held into the death of a musician stabbed on his way to buy bagels after his killer was given an indefinite jail sentence.

Klezmer violinist Michael Kahan was attacked by paranoid schizophrenic Jonathan Mills in June this year outside a shop in Crumpsall, north

Mills, 31, was ordered to be detained in a high security psychiatric hospital after Manchester Crown Court heard that he stabbed Mr Kahan because he was suffering delusions that Jewish people were preventing him from getting his medication changed.


Rabbi Rackman buried in Jerusalem

December 3, 2008

One of modern Orthodoxy’s leading figures, Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, has been buried in Jerusalem. The former president of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, who was an expert in Jewish law, died in New York at the age of 98.

Ordained at Yeshiva University in New York and later a chaplain to the US armed forces, Rabbi Rackman advocated the more creative application of Jewish law Jewish law in books such as Modern Halacha for Our Time.


Diary of Anne Frank to be dramatised on BBC

December 3, 2008

BBC One will be showing a brand new adaptation of The Diary Of Anne Frank in the first week of January starring Tamsin Greig, Lesley Sharp, Ian Glen and Ellie Kendrick.

The drama will be in five parts stripped across a week at 7pm starting on January 5.

It has been adapted by Deborah Moggach and has been made by Darlow Smithson. The BBC has liaised directlly with the Anne Frank Trust, the Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank Museum to ensure absolute authenticity. All have highly praised the adaptation.


Downing Street to host Mid East talks

December 3, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has invited the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to talks at 10 Downing Street on December 15.

He has also invited the Israeli premier, Ehud Olmert, for separate discussions on the same day.

On the agenda for both the Mid East prime ministers will be economic regeneration for the Palestinian region and long- and short-term prospects for peace in the area.


Holzbergs were beautiful couple, says Sacks

December 3, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks told an emotional memorial service for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks that the Jewish community would "rekindle the lights to banish terror and darkness from the world."


Re-trial for sex-case table tennis star

December 2, 2008

A top Jewish table tennis player has been found guilty of asking a teenage protege to email him pictures of her naked but faces a possible re-trial over sex abuse allegations.

Gary Tendler, 35, of Brentwood, Essex, was released on bail after jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court failed to reach a verdict over six charges that he engaged in sex acts with a girl who was 15 at the time.