UK news

Reluctant mohels skew birth figures

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

The Board of Deputies says it is being hampered in the collection of Jewish birth statistics because not all mohelim (circumcisers) are providing figures for brits performed each year.

The number of births is based on the annual circumcisions performed by mohelim registered with the respective Orthodox and Progressive societies.

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Judge: I found Winters’ evidence sometimes demonstrably false

October 17, 2008

"In 1996 the claimant, Simon Winters, became the chief executive of the UK branch of the JNF. He continued to hold that post until at least June of this year, when his present solicitors, George Davies LLP, wrote to the then President of the JNF, Gail Seal, on June 25 claiming that his position as chief executive had been undermined by changes being made to the management structure of the JNF, and that the JNF had fundamentally breached his contract of employment.

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Church leader may sue over City ‘slur’

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

A senior Church of England figure is taking legal advice after the Israeli anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon claimed that he was suggesting the financial world should be "de-Judified".

John Reynolds, chair of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group, which advises the Church on its assets, argued in The Observer last month that more Christians should work in the City.

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Police attack ‘vigilante’ security plan

By Leon Symons, October 17, 2008

Police have condemned a move to set up a New York-style private security force in the borough that hosts Britain's biggest Orthodox community.

The force, based on the Shomrim (guards) in New York, has already been given credit on a number of strictly Orthodox websites for having taken part last month in the successful search in Stamford Hill for two missing boys aged six and nine.

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Tony Blair reaches out to ‘Jewish values’ at Succot

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, today lauds the work done by Jewish organisations to alleviate poverty around the world, and calls upon the community to join other faith groups in fighting hunger and deprivation.

Writing in this week's Jewish Chronicle, Mr Blair says that the current festival of Succot "gives rise to the virtues of charity and solidarity, core covenantal values expressed in the work of the community's NGOs - World Jewish Relief and Tzedek, among others".

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Winters failed to tell truth in court

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

Simon Winters, the former chief executive of JNF UK, was this week castigated by a High Court judge for failing to tell the truth in a failed legal action he brought against leading lawyers Mishcon de Reya.

Mr Winters, who left the charity he had headed since 1996 this summer, had sought an injunction to stop Mishcon acting for JNF in a dispute over the termination of his employment, claiming that there was a conflict of interest because the lawyers had previously acted personally for him.

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Two deny drugs claims

October 16, 2008

Two Israelis, one in his 80s, have pleaded not guilty to importing cannabis into Britain, while a third has pleaded guilty.

Moshe Kedar, 81, and Mordechai Hersh, 66, will face trial at Winchester Crown Court in February next year.

Yehezkel Srebro, 56, pleaded guilty but will not be sentenced until later. Another six people are charged with the same offences.

All nine were charged following arrests in Southampton in April, in connection with alleged drug-trafficking.

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New Editor for the JC

October 16, 2008

The author and journalist Stephen Pollard has been appointed as the new editor of the Jewish Chronicle.

He will take up his position in mid-November.

Mr Pollard, 43, a frequent contributor to the Times and the Daily Mail, has a regular blog on the political magazine, The Spectator, and is the chair of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism.

He is also the biographer of the former Home Secretary, David Blunkett.

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Financial crisis? That will be the Jews’ fault

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

A new anti-Jewish conspiracy theory was spawned on the internet this week, latching on to a wave of antisemitic online comments blaming Jewish financiers for the global credit crunch and then exploiting it.

According to the latest false theory, Jewish executives at Lehman Brothers sent $400 billion (£230bn) to Israel before the bank collapsed last month.

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Sketch: The PM as ‘mensch’

By Jenni Frazer, October 10, 2008

Gordon Brown's long-dormant oratory skills certainly galvanised his UJIA audience at London's Hilton Hotel on Monday night.

He made them laugh: "I'm the man who had to tell Nelson Mandela who Amy Winehouse was," capping this with the possibly apocryphal story that Ms Winehouse sang "Free Blakey, he's my fella" to the tune of "Free Nelson Mandela" at the great man's 90th birthday concert this summer.

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