UK news

Protesters disrupt Jerusalem Quartet broadcast

By Jenni Frazer, March 29, 2010

A lunchtime performance by the Jerusalem Quartet at London’s Wigmore Hall, being broadcast live on BBC Radio Three, was taken off air partway through the concert on Monday afternoon after protesters disrupted the event. But the musicians played on and completed the Mozart and Ravel concert programme.


MP: Israel's tentacles will steal the election

By Martin Bright and Robyn Rosen, March 29, 2010

The election campaign took a distinctly unpleasant turn last week as pro-Palestinian MPs suggested the “Israel lobby” would play a behind-the-scenes role in key constituencies.

Martin Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, told a meeting at the House of Commons held by the Palestine Solidarity

Campaign and Friends of al-Aqsa: “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.


Jeremiah Duggan's mother praises documentary

By Robyn Rosen, March 29, 2010

The mother of Jewish student, Jeremiah Duggan, who died under suspicious circumstances seven years ago, has praised a Channel 4 documentary about his death but added it could have been “braver”.

Mr Duggan was found dead aged 22 on a highway near Wiesbaden, Germany in March 2003 while attending a youth event organised by the far-right LaRouche group.

A Cutting Edge documentary on Thursday, called Lost Abroad: The Parents’ story , follows Mrs Duggan through Germany and France as she retraces her son’s final steps.


New Supreme Court Justice Lord Dyson

By Jessica Elgot and Simon Rocker, March 26, 2010

The new Supreme Court now has its full complement of 12 justices with the appointment of Lord Justice John Dyson.

An Appeal Court judge since 2001, Lord Justice Dyson, 66, steps into the vacancy left when Lord Neuberger became Master of the Rolls.

Originally from Leeds, the former Sir John Dyson, a popular judge, was a chairman of the British Friends of the Hebrew University's legal group.

Lord Justice Dyson is the fourth Jewish justice, joining Lord Brown, Lord Collins and Lord Phillips


MP's son sells deadly 'legal high'

By Jessica Elgot and Leon Symons, March 26, 2010

Jewish MP Louise Ellman’s son Sean sold the controversial “legal high” mephedrone – known as “meow meow” – in his chain of drug accessory stores.

Sean Ellman, 37, is the son of Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.

Speaking from Liverpool, Mrs Ellman told the JC: "I am aware of the story. This is my son’s business and he is 37 years old. I have no connection with it. I disapprove of the activities reported in The Sun."


UJS: Most dedicated student awards

By Marcus Dysch, March 25, 2010

The UK's most dedicated students have been recognised at the annual Union of Jewish Students awards.

Prizes included a trip to an international conference in Washington DC, a place on a UJIA project in northern Israel and a visit to the former Soviet Union with World Jewish Relief.

Durham University's students won the Developing JSoc of the Year title. Co-presidents Emily Black and Susie Sandle said Durham's new kosher kitchen had boosted membership by 300 per cent in the past 12 months.


Chazan: do not fear dementia

March 25, 2010

The chazan of New North London Synagogue has spoken of his determination to live a normal life after he was diagnosed with dementia.

Leslie Lyndon, 65, a retired accountant, was diagnosed with the progressive brain disorder three years ago.

He spoke after a new awareness campaign was launched by the Department of Health following a survey which found that 32 per cent of people are uncomfortable around people with the condition.

The poll also found that 53 per cent said they did not know enough about dementia to help someone who has it.


Shadow Minister: Attacked for Israel trip after BBC criticism

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

David Burrowes, the Shadow Minister for Justice, has questioned the BBC's motives after it implicated him in its foreign trips investigation for his visit to Israel - a move made after he criticised the corporation.

Mr Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, is among more than 20 MPs found to have broken rules on declaring hospitality in questions or debates after foreign trips.

In January 2006 he visited Israel on a trip paid for by the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Israeli MFA.


Union urges papers to ban BNP adverts

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

Editors of local newspapers in London boroughs targeted by the BNP have been called on to reject political advertising by the far-right party.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bectu, the media and entertainment union, and the campaign group, Expose the BNP, have written to local newspapers in Barking and Dagenham, Romford and Havering urging them to resist pressure from the BNP.

The party is fielding 154 candidates at the general election.


First woman chief executive for Reform Jews

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

The Movement for Reform Judaism will become the first British synagogue body to be professionally led by a female rabbi after Rabbi Tony Bayfield announced plans to retire as head in 15 months.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd-Gelfand, 42, who joined as executive director in 2007, will move to the post of chief executive in June 2011, according to proposals presented to the Reform Council on Sunday.

Rabbi Bayfield, who retires a month before his 65th birthday after 37 years' service to the movement, will become Reform's honorary president.