UK news

Historians back BBC over Jewish massacre claim

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

Israeli historians have backed the BBC after the corporation stood by comments made in a TV documentary claiming that an ancient Jewish tribe massacred Christians who refused to convert.

The Board of Deputies complained to the BBC over perceived inaccuracies and lack of context in The Frankincense Trail, in which presenter Kate Humble followed the trade route which first connected the Arab world with the West.

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Scottish messianic community hit by flood of abuse

By Robyn Rosen, September 18, 2009

A Messianic community in East Kilbride, near Glasgow, has reported an “alarming” rise in antisemitism.

The Beit Rehovot Messianic Jewish Congregation meet weekly at a community hall and has experienced a flood of verbal abuse and threatening behaviour from youths.

The group formerly met at the Mossneuk Community Hall, which last weekend was daubed in graffiti, including the words “Jews’ night tonight lads, get your Jew cap on.”

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Police swoop on Shabbat beach dinner

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

A bottle of kiddush wine was confiscated and poured away by police who pounced on a group of messianic Jews enjoying Shabbat dinner on a beach.

Five members of the Messiach Ben Yisrael community had been using the Palwin No 4 to make kiddush on Bournemouth beach.

The Basingstoke-based group had begun a post-kiddush discussion about the hymn Adon Olam when two police officers approached them for breaking “no alcohol” regulations.

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Deputies call on UK shuls to go green

By Robyn Rosen, September 18, 2009

The Board of Deputies has backed a resolution to urge all UK synagogues and Jewish community organisations to take practical steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

At its plenary meeting last week, deputies voted for the resolution, which called on members to recognise the responsibility of the Jewish community to play its part in tackling global climate concerns. The policy, devised by the Board’s Community Issues Division, advised all UK synagogues and Jewish organisations to take action as soon as possible to make their premises environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

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'Secret sect giving PSC mask of respectability'

By Martin Bright, Political Editor, September 18, 2009

One of Britain’s most longstanding Jewish anti-Zionists has accused an ultra-left political faction, with links to Ken Livingstone, of infiltrating the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Tony Greenstein, a pro-Palestinian activist, says Socialist Action is acting like “political freemasons” in their takeover of the PSC and suggested that the organisation’s leadership has allowed itself to be treated as “useful idiots”.

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Ben Uri move fails

By Leon Symons, September 18, 2009

The Ben Uri, Anglo-Jewry’s leading gallery and art museum, has lost out in a bid to move to a new home in London’s theatreland.

Chairman David Glasser said that while there was “enormous disappointment” that its bid to move to the former premises of the Theatre Museum in Russell Street, Covent Garden had failed, an alternative plan would be put into action straight away that would achieve the same aim.

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Police keep far right away from Muslim marchers

By Leon Symons, September 18, 2009

Fears of violent clashes between far-right demonstrators and Muslims on a march in central London proved unfounded after a massive police operation kept them apart.

About 1,000 people took part in the annual Iranian-backed Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day march on Sunday.

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School entry rules 'fiasco'

By Simon Rocker, September 18, 2009

New school entry rules based on religious practice were slammed as a “fiasco” this week by the chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, Rabbi Yitzchak Shochet.

He hit out as synagogues struggled with floods of inquiries from parents trying to ensure their children complied with the new admissions system.

Most Jewish schools have been forced to rewrite their rules after the Appeal Court ruled in June that they could no longer take children simply on the basis of whether their parents were Jewish.

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Orthodox rabbi calls for easier conversion

By Simon Rocker, September 18, 2009

One of the most senior figures of British Orthodoxy has called on Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks to make conversion to Judaism easier.

Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, emeritus rabbi of Stanmore Synagogue and author of numerous books on Judaism, appealed for action following the court case over admission to Jewish schools.

Speaking at a JC-hosted discussion published in today’s New Year supplement, Dr Cohen said: “I think the Chief Rabbi, who has spoken about us having to be more inclusive, needs to do a lot of hard talking to his Beth Din, if that is what he really means.”

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Nick Clegg: I won't silence Jenny Tonge

By Martin Bright, September 18, 2009

Nick Clegg is angry. No, it’s beyond angry. Incandescent almost gets it, but that still doesn’t capture the full fury of the man as he leans forward from his chair in the Liberal Democrat leader’s office in the House of Commons.

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