UK news

Teachers to be questioned on Shoah lessons

By Leon Symons, November 13, 2008

The launch of the first national survey into how the Holocaust is taught in English secondary schools will help to stop internet stories that Britain has stopped teaching the subject, according to a leading official in the field.

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock, who helped set up the research project, said: "Specialists in the field of Holocaust education all want to understand better how training programmes and resources are used in the classroom and impact on both teachers and young people.

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LibDem president backs new anti-Zionist group

By Leon Symons, November 13, 2008

Liberal Democrat president Simon Hughes has been strongly criticised by the party's Friends of Israel group for signing a virulently anti-Israeli early day motion.

LDFI secretary Matthew Harris also castigated the anti-Zionist group that the EDM welcomed.

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Charedi youth suffer ‘learning delay’

By Candice Krieger, November 13, 2008

A leading consultant speech and language therapist has expressed concern that Charedi children are at risk of developing delayed language skills.

Salford-based Michelle Morris, a professional adviser to the Department of Health, said that due to the large numbers of children in Charedi families, they might not be getting the attention needed for adequate language development.

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Commons queries over Hebrew A-level

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2008

An MP has raised questions in parliament after an Israeli-born pupil from a Jewish school was denied a university place this year because the university would not recognise her modern Hebrew A-level.

Westminster University said it could not accept her A-level A-grade in Ivrit. The unidentified student was told: "Even if you have lived in the UK since the age of three, Hebrew is the language you will have used most of or a lot of the time at home, as it is your mother's first language."

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Peltours sells its Israel arm

By Jan Shure, November 13, 2008

Peltours, the oldest established Israel travel firm in the UK, is to sell its Israel operation to West End Travel.
West End Travel, established by David Segel in 1972, will take over the Edgware operation of Peltours, which incorporates AMG, and Mozes Travel, which specialises in Israel travel for the Orthodox market.

WET, based in Oxford Street, will move its Israel and Jewish-interest operations to Edgware, creating a merged operation which Mr Segel expects to generate annual sales of around £15 million.

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JNF seeks cash from donor who ‘underwrote its legal fees’

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2008

The JNF is trying to recover money from a donor who it says agreed to meet the legal costs of its past dispute with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael.

Newly-published accounts reveal that the charity spent £886,000 on legal expenses in 2007 plus £289,000  in the year before - while receiving donations worth £344,000 towards the lawyers' bill.

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Siren call to Shabbat is silenced

By Leon Symons, November 13, 2008

While Shabbat itself is a haven of peace and quiet, the few minutes leading up to it on a Friday afternoon have caused quite a bit of noise in one Jewish area.

A Shabbat siren has been announcing the imminent arrival of the Sabbath in Stamford Hill in North East London. In fact, it is not a siren, but rather, a selection of music and songs being played over a number of loudspeakers.

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Shipping tycoon honoured

November 13, 2008

Israeli shipping tycoon Samuel Ofer has been awarded an honorary KBE in recognition of his services to UK maritime heritage.

Mr Ofer served in the Navy during World War II. He and his brother, Yuli, went on to create one of the largest private shipping companies in the world, operating a significant part of its fleet from London.

In 2008 he contributed towards projects connected with the UK's maritime heritage in Greenwich, where a major new area at the National Maritime Museum will be named the Sammy Ofer Wing.

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Mixed choir hits sour note with rabbis

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2008

The days of the last mixed choir at an Orthodox synagogue in Britain look to be numbered.

Leaders of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation (Princes Road) believe that their historic choir is impeding the search to find a new rabbi.

Laurence Goldman, the congregation's senior warden, said: "We're in a situation where a mixed choir is not really acceptable to Orthodox rabbis looking for a job. One rabbi said he wouldn't be prepared to come for an interview unless we agreed not to have a mixed choir.

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Race abuser fined £730

November 13, 2008

A 19-year-old man who threatened three strictly Orthodox men in a racially motivated incident has been fined £730.

Liam Curtis Smith pleaded guilty to "racially or religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence" at Blaydon Magistrates' Court in Gateshead last Friday. He was originally charged with the lesser offence of "racially aggravated harassment", but the court convicted him of the more serious charge upon hearing the case.

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