UK news

Light relief in fight on Shabbat sensors

By Simon Rocker, June 18, 2009

An Orthodox couple have made a claim for religious discrimination over sensor-operated lights outside their flat which they say stops them leaving it on Shabbat.

Gordon Coleman, the former chief executive of the Federation of Synagogues, and his wife Dena, the headteacher of Yavneh College in Hertfordshire, are suing the Embassy Court Residential Management Company in Bournemouth County Court.

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Chef is All Write

June 18, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks described his new book, Future Tense, as “the most important I have written” at a reception in London on Tuesday to mark its publication. Based on a lecture series given last year which was extracted in the JC, the book outlines his vision for Jews, Judaism and Israel.

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Divided on simcha

June 18, 2009

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has slated his successor Boris Johnson over the cancellation of the Jewish culture celebration Simcha on the Square because of insufficient funding from the Greater London Authority. Mr Livingstone accused the Tory administration of “a narrow-minded approach”.

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Beating boycott

June 18, 2009

National Theatre chief Nicholas Hytner is among top arts figures who have welcomed the participation of Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer in the Edinburgh Film Festival in the wake of opposition instigated by Ken Loach. In a letter to The Times, they wrote: “Cultural boycotts make loud statements but help no one.”

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Vivian Wineman will head the JLC

By Simon Rocker, June 18, 2009

The Jewish Leadership Council has ended speculation over its top job by confirming that new Board of Deputies’ president Vivian Wineman has taken over as its chair.

Since its inception six years ago, the council has been led by its founding chairman Henry Grunwald, who retired from the presidency of the Board last month after a maximum six consecutive years in office.

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ITV defends anti-Jewish comment

By James Martin, June 18, 2009

ITV has defended the broadcasting of an anti-Jewish remark on a reality show, claiming it was “justified by the context of the programme”.

On ITV1’s Dating The Enemy on Monday night, the female contestant, Bella, was talking with her mother about the male participant, Alan.
When her mother asked Bella about Alan’s religion, she replied that he was an atheist, adding: “At least he’s not Jewish.”

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Muslims snub drive against BNP

By James Martin, June 18, 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain has been criticised for not supporting a multi-faith initiative designed to formulate a co-ordinated response to the BNP.

Muslim interfaith activist Fiyaz Mughal is upset at the non-attendance of MCB representatives at a meeting held under the aegis of Faith Matters at Westminster last Friday.

Mr Mughal — the Faith Matters director who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours — had invited 25 “key figures” from ethnic and religious groups to discuss the way forward after the BNP had taken two seats in the European elections.

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Salmon prices rise as stocks diminish

By Leon Symons, June 18, 2009

Salmon could be priced off the kosher dinner table as global demand outstrips supply.

A disease known as infectious salmon anaemia has decimated the salmon industry in Chile, which largely supplies the American salmon market. As a result, American salmon buyers have turned their attention to Scottish and Norwegian salmon.

Salmon production has grown by eight to 10 per cent annually for the past 15 years but analysts have predicted that this will be the first year of falling production.

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Julie Burchill joins Brighton shul

By Cecily Woolf, June 18, 2009

Outspoken writer and columnist Julie Burchill is taking her support for Israel and Jewish causes to a new level by becoming a Friend of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue — and considering converting to Judaism.

Ms Burchill has been attending Shabbat services for a month and has begun studying Hebrew. “I first thought about converting when I was 25,” she said. “I will be 50 next month so it’s hardly a flash in the pan. At a time of rising and increasingly vicious antisemitism from both left and right, becoming Jewish especially appeals to me.

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Couple sue neighbours over Shabbat lights

June 16, 2009

A couple are suing their neighbours because an automatic security light is stopping them leaving their flat without breaking Shabbat..

Dr Dena Coleman, 56, and husband Gordon claim that every time they try to leave, they automatically trigger the light in the communal hallway.

They are suing the flats' management company for failing to accommodate their religion and breaching their human rights. This would mean the other 35 owners of the seaside flats are liable for court costs if the claim is successful.

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