UK news

£11.4m bequest

August 8, 2008

A Jewish woman's remarkable legacy to Cromer Hospital is to be used to rebuild it. Sagle Bernstein, who died, aged 82, in May 2000, left £11.4 million in recognition of the hospital treatment of her late sister, Muriel.


Memo to town hall: yes, we do find a swastika offensive

By Marcus Dysch, August 8, 2008

A swastika carved into wet cement has been swiftly removed by a council after a Jewish passer-by reported it.

But the man was shocked to be asked by a call centre operator: "What is a swastika?" and "is it offensive?"
The motif had been carved into cement sealing a drain cover outside a newly-renovated house in Frognal, Hampstead, and close to several Jewish homes.

The man, who was not prepared to be identified, rang Camden Council and says he was first asked to explain what a swastika was before being asked how he felt about it.


Cocaine blamed for rabbi's crash death

August 5, 2008

A wealthy philanthropist dubbed "God's postman" was killed when he crashed his Bentley after taking cocaine, an inquest heard.

Rabbi Benzion Dunner, who gave millions to charity, may have been under the influence of the class A drug as he drove his two sons in his £175,000 car.

The 45-year-old lost control of the Bentley Arnage as he overtook another vehicle at 80mph, careered off the road and ploughed into a tree.


Facebook fraudster ordered to pay his victim £22,000

By James Brewster, August 1, 2008

A businessman whose personal details were "laid bare" in fake entries on the Facebook social networking website has been awarded £22,000 in damages against the former friend who created the profile.

Mathew Firsht, managing director of Applause Store Productions, sued his old schoolfriend, freelance cameraman Grant Raphael, for libel and misuse of private information.

A judge at the High Court in London ruled that Mr Raphael's defence - that the entry was created on his computer by party gate-crashers at his flat - was "built on lies".


Welcome to Chief Constable

August 1, 2008
The appointment of the new Manchester Chief Constable, Peter Fahy, has been welcomed by the Jewish community. He has regularly condemned antisemitism, has visited Auschwitz and attends Holocaust Memorial Days. He succeeds the late Michael Todd.


Viewers enraged by comic’s Shoah sketch

By Dana Gloger, August 1, 2008

Media watchdog Ofcom is investigating Channel 4's The Kevin Bishop Show after receiving dozens of complaints about a Holocaust-themed sketch.

The two-minute skit, aired last Friday evening, was a spoof musical version of the scene in the film Sophie's Choice in which the heroine is forced to choose which of her two children to keep with her at Auschwitz.


MPs fly to Poland to learn legacy of hate

By Marcus Dysch, August 1, 2008

A group of nine MPs visited Poland last week to discuss combating antisemitism in the country.

The three-day trip was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism (PCAA).

It included a visit to the former Nazi death camp at Majdanek and meetings with government officials and Jewish residents.


Attempt to expel Israeli architects fails

By Marcus Dysch, August 1, 2008

A long-running dispute sparked by calls for a boycott of Israel has resurfaced following attempts to expel Israelis from the International Union of Architects (UIA).

A motion likening Israeli actions to those of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe collapsed due to a lack of support at a major conference in Turin last month.

London-based Abe Hayeem, chair of the Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) lobby group, proposed the motion.


Charedi web centre goes online

By Craig Silver, August 1, 2008

A new strictly Orthodox internet business centre has been opened in Stamford Hill, thought to be the first of its kind.

The new establishment, the Heimishe Business Centre is located on the Triangle Estate, Stamford Hill, and only allows people who are married to attend. It houses nine computers in separate sections for men and women, and costs £1.20 an hour.


Teens: let us smoke on tour

By Dana Gloger, August 1, 2008

The hot topic among Jewish youth movements this summer has been whether or not to allow participants to smoke on "tour" - the Israel summer schemes for post-GCSE 16-year-olds.

The dilemma arises over a change in UK law which has raised the age at which cigarettes can be bought to 18, the same as in Israel. But legally, 16-year-olds in Britain can smoke.