UK news

Shoah leaflet refers to gays but not Jews

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has launched a campaign that condemns the Holocaust's slaughter of gays and lesbians, disabled people and trades unionists - but fails to mention the fact that there were Jewish victims.

The party circulated a petition in a "Stop the Nazi BNP" leaflet at the British National Party's annual festival last weekend and encouraged signatories to join the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) campaign.


Orthodox cemetery bans Reform rabbis

By Simon Rocker, August 22, 2008

Glasgow's Orthodox-run burial society has ended a long-standing arrangement which permitted local Reform rabbis to conduct funerals at its cemetery for members of their synagogue.

Barry Cooper, chair of the Hebrew Burial Society, remained tight-lipped over the reason for the change of

He would say only: "We are an Orthodox burial society which is bound by the halachic regulations as relating to all aspects of Jewish burial and Jewish services.


British split over push for greater democracy at Claims Conference

By Simon Rocker, August 22, 2008

British representatives to the Claims Conference, the international Holocaust restitution body, are split over whether it should introduce greater democracy.

Paul Edlin, a vice-president of the Board of Deputies and one of its two delegates on the conference board, is among those pressing for change at the New York-based organisation, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Holocaust survivors.


Knife raiders rob boutique in 7 seconds

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

Staff at an exclusive boutique were threatened with a knife during the latest raid on stores at the heart of a Jewish community.

A balaclava-clad gang stole a dozen handbags worth a total of around £10,000 during Monday's lightning robbery at Larizia in Temple Fortune, North-West London.

An attempted break-in also took place 100 yards away at another Jewish business, Genevieve, days earlier.


Armed men threaten staff in crowded deli

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 15, 2008

Armed robbers threatened staff at a Manchester kosher deli before escaping with a till last Thursday evening.

Three men, carrying a knife and a hammer, entered Shefa Mehadrin deli in Prestwich at around 8pm.

A 23-year-old employee, who had been behind the stolen till, said: "I was worried I would get stabbed. One of them tried to open the till with his knife."


Orthodox community steps up its anti-drugs campaign

By Simon Rocker, August 15, 2008

A strictly Orthodox charity is planning to step up its campaign over the next few weeks to educate its constituency about the risk of drugs.

Talking Matters, a Stamford Hill-based welfare agency specialising in mental-health issues, last autumn published a ground-breaking 128-page guide in Yiddish, Hebrew and English on understanding addictions, ranging from gambling, sugar and "shopaholism" to alcohol and drugs.


Wrapit: no refunds

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

Newlywed couples and their wedding guests are unlikely to receive money or undelivered presents from collapsed online gift company Wrapit, administrators confirmed this week.

KPMG said it "did not consider funds would be available" for unsecured creditors, including gift-less couples, staff and suppliers.

A full report into the company's failure would be published within the next eight weeks, said the administrator.


United Synagogue removes gag on relatives speaking at funerals

By Simon Rocker, August 15, 2008

The United Synagogue has relaxed one of its most controversial rules that restricted the delivery of funeral eulogies to rabbis or ministers.

A letter has gone out to rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogues recommending that lay people should be allowed to give a hesped (eulogy) on certain occasions at the discretion of the local rabbi.


Coren launches his own assault on Poland

By Candice Krieger, August 15, 2008

The Federation of Poles in Great Britain has lodged a complaint against columnist Giles Coren, over what it calls an "insulting" and "ignorant" article he wrote about Polish immigrants.

Mr Coren wrote a story headlined Two waves of immigration, Poles apart, in The Times on July 26. He discussed two kinds of migration: economic and humanitarian.


Mural pays tribute to stage heroes

August 15, 2008

A mural was unveiled this week to mark the 80th anniversary of a North London theatre with strong links to Jewish writers and performers.

The Embassy Theatre, the home of the Central School of Speech and Drama since 1956, was a centre for new writing about contemporary issues in the 1920s and 1930s. It specialised in plays about the Jewish community, notably The King of the Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill and A Gambler in Brides, performed in 1929, for which the audience were provided with a glossary of Yiddish terms.