UK news

Divine aid

December 11, 2008

A special day of prayer was observed last week among strictly Orthodox congregations in response to the growing economic crisis.

Notices were posted in synagogues by the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Rabbi Avraham Pinter, principal of Yesodey Hatorah said that the crisis “is affecting everybody” and donors had been hit.

“A lot of food products are imported so weakness of the pound is having an additional adverse effect,” he said.

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Online gene pool to help unlock the past

By Leon Symons, December 11, 2008

Millions of records from 14 countries were placed online this week as a result of a major link-up between two genealogical websites.

The new records potentially contain information about a host of British personalities who are either Jewish or have Jewish ancestry. They include David Beckham, Rachel Stevens, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Esther Rantzen, Matt Lucas and many others.

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Peter Levy stands down as JC Chairman

December 9, 2008

Peter Levy, who has been chairman of the Jewish Chronicle for five years, is retiring from the role, the JC announced this week. He will also be stepping down from the board of directors.

Mr Levy said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to chair the JC, but this is an appropriate time for me to step down, with a new editor and hopefully a new era of continued success for the Jewish Chronicle."

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Yakar-founder rabbi dies in Israel

December 8, 2008

Rabbi Mickey Rosen, founder of Yakar, the alternative Jewish community centre, has died.

He passed away suddenly on Monday morning in Israel, where he had lived with his wife, Gila, since 1993.

In 1977, Rabbi Rosen founded Yakar, an independent Orthodox congregation, in Hendon, North West London. It was named after his late father, Rabbi Kopul Rosen, the founder of Carmel College.

Mickey was one of three brothers. The eldest of the trio, Jeremy, is a former headmaster of Carmel, and the youngest, David, a former Chief Rabbi of Ireland.

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Scientists the toast of Society

By Marcus Dysch, December 4, 2008

Two world-renowned scientists have received prestigious awards from the Royal Society.

Sir Alan Fersht and Sir Philip Cohen were presented with the Royal Medals at a ceremony on Monday which marked the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society.

Only three of the silver gilt medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded each year to those working within the Commonwealth.

Sir Alan, a Cambridge University professor, was given the accolade for his work in protein engineering.

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Divisive Lerman leaves JPR

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2008

Antony Lerman, the controversial executive director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), is to leave at the end of the year to concentrate on writing and other personal projects.

Mr Lerman’s views on Israel — he was recently a signatory to an Independent Jewish Voices’ advert opposing Israeli occupation of the West Bank — and his willingness to challenge bodies such as the Community Security Trust over the extent of antisemitism, incensed critics. His return to JPR prompted the resignation of several board members.

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Table tennis star faces sex-case retrial

December 4, 2008

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

Gary Tendler, 35, a former champion player for Maccabi GB, 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 the girl, who was 15 at the time.

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Brown: ‘I will act on Muslim hate’

December 4, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed this week to ensure that the views of the Jewish community will be taken into account in the current review of UK entry and exclusion arrangements, in the light of renewed concern about visiting extremist Islamists preaching hatred.

He made the pledge on Monday at the first formal working meeting with communal leaders since he took office.

In what the executive director of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jeremy Newmark, called a “warm and productive meeting”, the 14-strong delegation from the JLC raised a wide range of concerns.

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Fayyad talks

December 4, 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.

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Deli owner raided twice in a week

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 4, 2008

A Manchester kosher shop was targeted by thieves, only days after his home was broken into.

Early last Tuesday evening, Motti Gershon’s Shefa Mehadrin kosher deli was targeted by armed robbers who threatened a till assistant with a hammer and robbed two cash registers.

Only days before, thieves ransacked Mr Gershon’s house in the Sedgley Park area while he and his wife were at friends for Friday night dinner. Jewellery, a car and phones were taken.

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