UK news

Teachers fight for right to Holy Day leave

By Dana Gloger, October 24, 2008

Teachers have faced particular problems taking time off for the High Holy Days this year, according to their representative body.

Daniel Needlestone, chair of the Jewish Teachers Association, said the problems have been particularly bad because all the Jewish festivals fell on weekdays.

"Some people have faced major problems. It's very hard for teachers to take time off during term time and some schools say teachers are being unreasonable in asking," he said.


Apology to George Galloway

October 24, 2008

Readers of an article published in the August 7 issue may have mistakenly thought that George Galloway, when speaking at an anti-war rally about his support for Hizbollah and its leader, had pointed to Hassan Nasrallah's statement that "the Jews invented the legend of the Nazi atrocities".

In fact, it was the National Union of Students which had pointed to these comments by Hassan Nasrallah when condemning Mr Galloway for this support of the Hizbollah leader.


Union faces legal threat over boycott

By Leon Symons, October 24, 2008

Academics have come out in support of a new move to take the University and College Union to court unless it retracts a national conference resolution that has threatened a "back-door" boycott of Israel.

The anonymous litigants have called on the union, via solicitors Mishcon de Reya, to repay any union funds it may have spent on enacting the motion.

In May the UCU conference passed a resolution asking academics to consider the moral and political  implications of any links with Israeli institutions.


Revealed: the secret JNF cash transfers

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 24, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were transferred from JNF UK to an Israeli organisation set up by its former leaders without being stated in the JNF accounts, it has emerged.

The activities of Nes Eretz Israel came to a light during an unsuccessful High Court action recently brought by the JNF's ex-chief executive, Simon Winters.


German maker of Zyklon B to fund UK Shoah seminar

By Marcus Dysch, October 20, 2008

The Imperial War Museum has been criticised for allowing a German company connected to the Nazi death camps to fund a major international conference.

The three-day "Beyond Camps and Forced Labour" seminar, due to be held in London in January, will bring together academics studying the effects of Nazi atrocities on survivors.


Golden boy backs charity event

October 17, 2008

Britain's Olympic kayaking gold medallist Tim Brabants put himself up for hire at a Tri-for-Life combined charities' challenge, for which World Jewish Relief was a key beneficiary.

The mini-triathlon attracted 300 participants and 600 spectators to Dorney Lake, near Eton - a 2012 Olympic venue - for a test of swimming, cycling and running endurance.

Brabants also presented the winners with their medals, commenting: "It was refreshing to see so many charities working closely together for a common cause. I look forward to next year."


Admissions-policy report to exonerate schools

By Leon Symons, October 17, 2008

Jewish schools are expected to be given a clean bill of health over admissions policies when a new national report is published next month.

The report, by Sir Philip Hunter, chief schools adjudicator, was compiled after a controversy over admissions to faith schools was sparked in April by schools secretary Ed Balls. Mr Balls claimed that Jewish state-maintained schools in Barnet and Greater Manchester were wrongly seeking contributions from prospective parents and asking questions about marital status that broke admissions codes.


Reform launches outreach arm as alternative to Aish

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

The Reform movement is about to take the first step to launch an alternative to Aish, the Orthodox outreach organisation for young adults.

A residential weekend next month will be the inaugural event by the Assembly of Reform Rabbis to offer a "non-fundamentalist" alternative.


Campaign leader dies

By Marcus Dysch, October 17, 2008

Irene Bruegel, founder and long-time secretary of the Jews for Justice for Palestinians group, died last Monday.

She had also served as chair of the British Shalom Salaam Trust.

JfJfP's executive committee said Ms Bruegel's "commitment and creativity" were central to the group's establishment and that a charitable fund would be set up in her memory.

Ms Bruegel had been diagnosed with a degenerative auto-immune liver disease for which the only treatment was a transplant, but she died after a preliminary operation.


Safety-box pair bailed

By Dana Gloger, October 17, 2008

Two well-known members of the Jewish community who were arrested in June in connection with the Metropolitan Police's first large-scale investigation into the use of safety-deposit boxes have been remanded on bail until January of next year.

Leslie Sieff, 60, and Milton Woolf, 52, both directors at Safe Deposit Centres Ltd, were arrested on suspicion of money-laundering after 300 officers conducted simultaneous raids on the company's three depots in Hampstead, Edgware and Mayfair in June.