UK news

Teen raises £30k and attracts Olympic medallist

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

14-year-old who swam to raise £30,000 for charity has attracted the attention of an Olympic swimmer.

Arron Gould, from Prestwich, was trained by British Olympic silver medallist Kerri-Anne Payne before his 15K marathon swim on Sunday. Arron, a pupil at Manchester Grammar School, raised the money for the Christie Cancer Hospital after his grandmother, Marlene Gould, died of cancer.

His school donated the use of its pool to Arron, who was on its winning team at the national under-14s water polo championships this year.


Interview: Matthew Gould, ambassador to Israel

By Jenni Frazer, September 7, 2010

Tucked away in an achingly fashionable area of east London, overlooking the river, there is a boldly painted front door. Though neighbours include TV presenter Graham Norton and actress Helen Mirren, this front door sports a discreet mezuzah, and behind it there is a great deal of packing going on.

Matthew Gould, Britain's new ambassador to Israel, is off to Tel Aviv with his wife Celia just after Rosh Hashanah. And he is the first Jewish diplomat to take up such a post.


Two 'free' primary schools in the pipeline

By Simon Rocker, September 7, 2010

Two new Jewish primaries are hoping to be among the first wave of "free schools" introduced by the coalition as part of its key electoral commitment to extend parental choice.

Both schools, a modern Orthodox primary in Mill Hill, north west London, and an "inclusive" primary in the north London borough of Haringey, plan to open as early as September 2011, alleviating the acute pressure on Jewish primary places in parts of the capital.


Antisemitic hate attacks on rise

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 7, 2010

For the first time, the Community Security Trust has acknowledged that there has been a real increase in antisemitic incidents in Prestwich, as opposed to a rise simply caused by more effective crime reporting.

According to the CST, there were 89 hate incidents in the first six months of 2010 in the King's Road area .

Addressing the Manchester Jewish Representative Council on Sunday, a CST spokesman said that the community was failing to report verbal abuse. He told delegates: "If we don't make an issue of it, it can turn into a far more violent attack in the future."


EU labels threat to kosher prices

By Robyn Rosen, September 7, 2010

New European regulations on labelling kosher meat will either lead to the end of shechitah or prices soaring, according to kosher butchers.

Jacky Lipowicz, chairman of the Licensed Kosher Meat Association, said the community could "lose everything" and urged shoppers to support a campaign launched this week by Shechita UK.

Promotional carrier bags, posters and stickers have been placed in kosher shops across the country urging people to press MEPs to vote against a change in consumer food information law.


Faith school considers academy status

By Leon Symons, September 7, 2010

JFS has started a public debate about whether or not it should apply for academy status.

Chair of governors Michael Glass called for anyone who wanted to give their views on the subject to contact him via the school in Kenton, north west London.

Mr Glass said after a governors’ meeting on Monday evening: “JFS has an obligation to consider whether such a change of status would help it to serve better our students and the community.”


David Miliband: time to focus on peace talks

By Jennifer Lipman, September 7, 2010

The Jewish politician hoping to be the next leader of the Labour party has wished Britain’s Jewish community “a happy, healthy and sweet new year of peace and prosperity.”

David Miliband said Rosh Hashanah was “an opportunity to look forward to the coming year, and also a period of reflection and soul searching.”

The MP and shadow foreign secretary added: "The New Year is a good time for us all to focus on the peace talks in the Middle East.

"There are those who want to knock the talks off course, often violently.


Happy new year from David Cameron

By Jennifer Lipman, September 7, 2010

The prime minister has wished British Jewry a Shana Tova and expressed his gratitude for the community’s role in making Britain “a healthy society”.

David Cameron said: “At the heart of the Jewish way of life is an approach to building community and a moral compulsion to play your part in changing the world for the better, from which we can all learn.”


Howard Jacobson on Man Booker shortlist

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

Howard Jacobson has made the shortlist for Man Booker Prize for Fiction for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was announced as one of six from the original longlist of 13 vying for the 2010 prize.

The book, Mr Jacobson’s 15th, follows three friends as they reminisce about their life experiences.

It has received rave reviews, with The Independent praising it for balancing "bleak moralising with life-affirming humour".


Mayoral candidate's 'extremist' links

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

A man who allegedly has connections with an Islamic fundamentalist group is in the running to become the first directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Councillor Lutfur Rahman, who represents the borough’s Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, has been nominated as Labour’s candidate for the executive mayor position.

Mr Rahman has faced scrutiny in the past following claims that he is linked with the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), which operates from the East London mosque.