UK news

Landmark school gets the go-ahead

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

Plans for the country’s first non-denominational Jewish school got the go-ahead from a London council this week.

At a Barnet council planning meeting on Wednesday evening, councillors gave the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS) permission to be built on the site where the sixth-form section of East Barnet secondary school currently stands. The £50 million project will be the only Jewish school not under the auspices of the Chief Rabbi.

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Charedim among poorest, yet have less social housing

By Simon Rocker, June 13, 2008

Strictly Orthodox Jews in Hackney, North-East London, are more likely to be receiving state benefits than the general population of the borough — but much less likely to be living in social housing.

According to a council study, 58.7 per cent of Charedi households received means-tested benefits compared with 38.6 per cent on average for Hackney as a whole.

But only 8.5 per cent of strictly Orthodox households lived in affordable social housing compared with 44.1 per cent for Hackney as a whole.

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Fears that BNP will run Stoke

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

Anti-fascists are concerned that the British National Party (BNP) could control Stoke-on-Trent City Council within the next three years, following its gains in last month’s elections.

The party’s most notorious success in May’s local and London elections was Richard Barnbrook’s seat on the London Assembly, but it also made substantial gains elsewhere.

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BT shows it’s good to talk as it hosts 19 Israeli high-tech firms

By Shelly Paz, June 13, 2008

British Telecom’s warm hospitality towards 19 Israeli startup companies, on show this week at the BT Tower in Central London, may not signal a sudden end to the anti-Israel sentiment that the ambassador this week bemoaned in Britain.

But it does suggest that the UK telecoms giant has discovered the goldmine of Israeli high-tech.

Six months ago, the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour invited BT to launch a direct business channel between the two communities.

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Far-right’s first lady goes public on Shoah-denial

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

An attempt by a woman described as “one of the leaders of the extreme right” to justify her support for Holocaust deniers and Iran has been condemned by anti-fascist commentators.

Lady Renouf, a close friend of David Irving, has written to the JC in response to an article by columnist David Toube two weeks ago. Mr Toube criticised Lady Renouf’s support for disgraced academic Nicholas Kollerstrom, dismissed in April as an honorary fellow of University College London for publishing a paper claiming the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed.

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Demolishing with Care

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

This is the moment excavators began — delicately — tearing down Jewish Care’s North-West London headquarters.

The site, which includes Stuart Young House and the Michael Sobell Community Centre, is being demolished to make way for a £40 million redevelopment.

The work began with excavating machines pulling down the existing buildings this week.

The project will take around two years, longer than similar redevelopments because of the unusual nature of the demolition work.

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BBC caught in row over payment to academic who denies gas chambers

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

A disgraced academic sacked as an honorary fellow by a London university for claiming that the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed is to have his views questioned in a BBC television programme.


Disgraced academic Nicholas Kollerstrom

Nicholas Kollerstrom was this week helping to make an edition of the BBC2 programme The Conspiracy Files when he became embroiled in a row over whether or not he was being paid for his participation.

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MSPs clash over Auschwitz trips

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

Members of the Scottish Parliament have clashed for the second time in a month over funding for school trips to Auschwitz. 

In May, Labour MSPs attacked the ruling Scottish National Party and the Tories for forcing through a decision that individual institutions should decide for themselves how to spend £150,000 given to Scottish schools by Westminster.

The decision meant the money was not ring-fenced for sending pupils on visits to Auschwitz concentration camp, as it has been in England.

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FCO to host antisemitism conference

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

The first conference bringing together parliamentarians from all over the world who lead the fight against antisemitism will be held in London next February, co-hosted by the Foreign Office.

The other co-host will be the newly formed Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA). Sessions of the conference will be held at the Houses of Parliament and the Foreign Office.

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Parents ‘in limbo’ over school squeeze

By Dana Gloger, June 13, 2008

At least 30 children in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, have failed to obtain a place at a Jewish primary school for September, despite their parents’ wishes.

Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, in Radlett, is the closest Jewish school, but chair of governors Rebecca Hilsenrath said that this year around 80 children failed to get a place at its nursery.Around half of these would probably  have been from Borehamwood.

Some managed to find places in other nearby Jewish schools including the Michael Sobell Sinai School, in Kenton, and Rosh Pinah, Edgware.

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