UK news

Should they refrain? The stars who turned to verse

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

A number of Jewish celebrities have revealed their literary skills by writing poems for a charity campaign.

Sir Alan Sugar, Esther Rantzen and Maureen Lipman are among those to have written verses based on the imaginary lives of fruit, vegetables, and in one case bacon, with varying degrees of success.

The creations are part of a campaign due to be launched next month by Rays of Sunshine, an organisation that grants the wishes of children living with serious illnesses.

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Rabbi faces the axe in costs row

By Candice Krieger, August 28, 2008

A rabbi's future is under threat after members of his congregation asked for a special general meeting to discuss his position.

More than 30 members of the Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation are due to meet on Sunday after signing a resolution calling for Rabbi David Katanka to leave.

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UK hosts Israeli mental-health workers

By Candice Krieger, August 28, 2008

Representatives from the Israeli mental-health organisation Enosh were in London this week to announce plans for a joint Israeli and Palestinian centre to help build psychological resilience during on-going trauma within conflict zones.

One of the Israeli delegates was from the southern town of Sderot, whose own home was destroyed by rocket fire.

Hilla Hadas, executive director of Enosh, presented the project at the International Mental Health conference, held at King's College, London.

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Anti-Zionist lecturer posts KKK link

By Simon Rocker, August 28, 2008

The popular political blog Harry's Place was removed from the internet this week after a controversy involving an anti-Zionist lecturer.

Jenna Delich, a business-studies tutor at The Sheffield College, was this week suspended by the University and College Union from participating in an email forum for union members after posting a link to an anti-Israel article on the website of David Duke, the American white supremacist.

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Academic says leaders must confront hatred

By Bernard Josephs, August 28, 2008

A leading Jewish academic has attacked the community's "anaemic" strategy in the battle against antisemitism and warned there are grounds to doubt that Britain provides a tolerant environment for Jews.

Philosophy professor Shalom Lappin, of King's College, London, calls for a more aggressive reaction to antisemitism in a paper written for the Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism at Yale University.

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Race-hate comments ‘normalised by web’

By Simon Rocker, August 28, 2008

The Community Security Trust has for the first time produced a report into antisemitic rhetoric in political speech, public discussion and the media in the UK.

Although explicit antisemitism "is extremely rare" and "taboo" in public life, the report says that extremists are expressing antisemitic themes through "a demonising language that depicts Zionism as a great hidden conspiracy, centred in Israel and the USA against the rest of the humanity".

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New law ‘won’t stop hire of foreign rabbis’

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Legislation requiring foreign religious leaders to have a government-approved sponsor in order to work in Britain should not seriously affect the Jewish community, rabbis have said.

The new laws, expected to come into force in November, will require the sponsor to pay for a licence before a rabbi arrives to work in the country.

The Home Office said the new legislation would formalise current arrangements.

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The 720-year-old London shofar found to be only 200

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Two shofarot thought to pre-date the expulsion of Jews from Britain are in fact much more recent, radiocarbon dating tests have revealed.

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Orthodox paying students to learn

By Simon Rocker, August 28, 2008

Orthodox outreach organisations in the UK are offering financial incentives to attract students.

The Jewish Learning Exchange has plans to expand a leadership-training programme for students which has previously offered £300 for attendance.

Another educational organisation, Seed, is running courses for parents of Jewish day-school pupils with apparent offers to pay £250 towards the cost of their children's Jewish studies.

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Bride recovers from horrific fire accident to walk under chupah

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

When Sharon Karia suffered 21 per cent burns in a fire at her home, doctors believed she would die as a result of her injuries.

But last week she completed a remarkable recovery by walking down the aisle to realise her dream of marrying fiancé Alan Blumenthal.

To add to the celebration, her new husband is president of Birmingham's Singers Hill Synagogue, and the wedding is believed to be the city's first marriage of a sitting shul president for around 300 years.

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