UK news

Michael Howard’s mother dies

May 20, 2009

Hilda Howard, mother of the former Tory leader Michael Howard, has died at the age of 97.

Mr Howard paid tribute to his mother this week, describing her as “a very remarkable lady.”

She ran a ladies fashion shop in Llanelli, South Wales for many years before moving to Stanmore in Middlesex where she became a pillar of the local community attending synagogue every week and working tirelessly for Wizo.


JC announces new chairman

May 19, 2009

Businessman Robin Klein is the new chairman of the Jewish Chronicle, taking over this week after the retirement of Peter Levy, OBE.

South African-born Mr Klein, who is chairman of the Accelerator Group, an investment company focusing on digital media, is a member of South Hampstead Synagogue.


Sir Gerald Kaufman joins expenses row

By Leon Symons, May 18, 2009

Sir Gerald Kaufman’s expenses were scrutinised by the Telegraph at the weekend.

The paper revealed that the former environment minister and MP for Manchester Gorton had charged £1,851 for a rug imported from New York.

But he had a claim for a 40-inch Bang & Olufson television costing £8,865 turned down. The maximum MPs were allowed to claim for television sets was £750.


Wineman is new Deputies' president

By Simon Rocker, May 18, 2009

Vivian Wineman, a commercial lawyer, was elected president of the Board of Deputies on Sunday. He will hold the position for the next three years.

In the most hotly-contested election since the Board’s creation in 1760, with a record four candidates, he succeeds barrister Henry Grunwald, who steps down at the end of the month.

Mr Wineman, 59. a member of Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue and the Board’s current senior vice-president, beat the former president of the United Synagogue, Peter Sheldon , by 131 votes to 64 in the third round of the ballot.


Sir Victor Blank to quit as Lloyds boss

By Candice Krieger, May 18, 2009

Sir Victor Blank will retire as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group before the firm's annual meeting next year.

Sir Victor said it was "the right time for the group to appoint a new chairman". He has faced criticism over Lloyds' takeover of ailing HBOS last autumn.

Lloyds was a conservatively-run bank known for its strong dividend payouts and risk controls before its decision to rescue HBOS. Lloyds will be loss-making this year as a result of soaring bad debts at HBOS


Shock at gay film shown to teenagers

By Marcus Dysch, May 14, 2009

A feature film about gay IDF soldiers has been screened to a group of teenagers preparing for a Liberal Judaism-organised tour of Israel.

Parents said the children were shocked when Yossi and Jagger, described as an “Israeli Brokeback Mountain”, was broadcast at a sleep-over event last week.

The youngsters had been meeting at the organisation’s headquarters in central London for the first time ahead of their LJY Netzer trip in July and August, for a pre-tour orientation session.


Toy gun pest handed 12-month curfew order

By Marcus Dysch, May 14, 2009

A man who shot an Orthodox Jew with a pellet gun has been sentenced to a curfew order.

Kris Cherry, 20, must not leave his home in Gateshead between 8pm and 7am for the next three months after admitting he carried out the attack because he “didn’t like Jews”.

His victim, who has not been named, was not injured in the March 14 shooting despite being hit on the arm.

Unemployed Cherry fired the gun from a car “for a laugh” while travelling through Bensham, home to the North East’s largest Jewish community.


Blears praises shuls for interfaith work

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

More than three-quarters of mainstream synagogues do some kind of interfaith work, according to a survey to be published next week by the Board of Deputies.

The results “show what some may think of as a surprising degree of engagement in interfaith activity by the broad swathe of our community,” said Board chief executive Jon Benjamin. “But this confirms what many of us already know — that the Jewish community is keen to play its part in wider society and to share its experience of successfully integrating into British society.”


Pro-Palestine threat to picket film festival

By Keren David, May 14, 2009

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have threatened to picket the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June unless it hands back sponsorship money from Israeli sources.

A letter from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign accuses the festival directors of accepting money from the Israeli Embassy “while people in Gaza are still living in the rubble of their homes, and Gaza victims of Israel’s white phosphorous attacks are still in critical care.”

It calls on supporters to lobby the festival directors to refuse “Israel’s tainted money”.


Minister warns of Euro-poll hate

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

A government minister has warned that a lasting legacy of racial hatred could result from campaigning by far-right candidates in next month’s European elections.

Communities Minister Sadiq Khan said that the effect of literature produced by far-right parties, including the British National Party, could continue after the elections on June 4.

“The Jewish community will need to keep a very close eye on literature that could be antisemitic because it will be written in a very clever and cunning way,” said Mr Khan.