UK news

After five years, one call frees an agunah

By Candice Krieger, July 11, 2008

A woman who has been trying to obtain a get — a religious divorce — from her estranged British-born husband was finally granted one this week after a five-year battle.

Orly Zigdon, 36, from Netanya, was declared an agunah (a chained wife) by the Israeli rabbinate. She had been seeking a get since 2003, after she separated from British-born Anthony Kurrant.

But for the past two years, his whereabouts have been unknown.

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JC kept to the PCC code

July 11, 2008
The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has rejected a complaint against the JC by a Jewish internet activist. David Appletree was interviewed in a People page item in May celebrating his work “battl[ing] Nazis and Shoah-deniers on Facebook”. Mr Appletree later took offence to the article describing him as “Texas-based” and in his 30s. He said that this information in itself put him at risk. The PCC said there was no breach of its code.

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Rabbi buys back shul

July 11, 2008
A Stamford Hill synagogue due to be auctioned next week will now not be sold, the JC has learned. The building, in Upper Clapton Road, Hackney, had been listed with auctioneers Barnett Ross at a reserve price of £825,000, and was due to be sold next Tuesday, July 15. The JC understands that receivers had been called in to sell the property, but the synagogue’s original owner, Rabbi Moshe Meisels, bought it back.

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Oxford ‘did not flout race laws’ for Irving

By Leon Symons, July 11, 2008

Oxford University has denied accusations by Baroness Deech that it ignored laws on race hate and freedom of speech in allowing the Oxford Union to host Holocaust-denier David Irving and BNP leader Nick Griffin last November.

Lady Deech, a former Oxford chair of admissions, told the Lords that she had complained to the university authorities that they had not acted to stop the debating society inviting Griffin and Irving to take part in the event, which was severely disrupted by demonstrators.

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Kosher baker who tried to give wife abortion loses his appeal

By Dana Gloger, July 11, 2008

A kosher-bakery owner who secretly gave his pregnant wife abortion pills lost his appeal against a jail sentence this week.

Gil Magira, 36, from Hendon, North-West London, was jailed for three years and nine months for secretly poisoning his wife’s breakfast after she refused to terminate her pregnancy.

The owner of the Bonjour bakeries in Hendon and Stanmore and the Lemonade restaurant in Hendon pleaded  guilty in March to administering a noxious substance with intent to procure a miscarriage.

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Union blocks boycott move

By Leon Symons, July 4, 2008

The “Boycott Israel” campaign has been dealt a significant blow after the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ (RMT) annual meeting overturned its pro-boycott policy.

More than two-thirds of the delegates voted in favour of a tough-talking but balanced resolution that not only condemned violence and racism on both sides, but also insisted that: “The Hamas Charter is a virulently antisemitic document that exhorts the killing of Jews and subordinates all social and human rights to Islam.”

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Mystery as butcher withdraws cooked meats

By Leon Symons, July 4, 2008

A leading North-West London butcher has been forced to withdraw cooked meats from its shelves for several weeks, but the reason remains unclear.

The Meat Hygiene Service, part of the government’s Food Standards Agency, issued a remedial-action notice to the Kosher Delicatessen chain, which has shops in Temple Fortune, Golders Green and Edgware and a production factory in Cricklewood. As a result, thousands of pounds worth of cooked meats were cleared from its shelves.

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JC editor for Condé Nast magazine

July 4, 2008

JC editor David Rowan has been appointed editor of Wired, a national newsstand magazine to be launched by Condé Nast in 2009. He will leave the Jewish Chronicle towards the end of this year.

“I had one of those once-in-a-lifetime unsolicited approaches to create a UK version of America’s most exciting and innovative magazine, and it was too fantastic an opportunity to refuse,” Mr Rowan said.

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Woman’s Aid chief to head new ethics body

By Candice Krieger, July 4, 2008

Abigail Morris, chief executive of Jewish Women’s Aid, is leaving to become director of the new Jewish ethics body, ResponsAbility.

The planned cross-communal agency will focus on business and medical ethics, in addition to human rights and the environment.

Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie Booth, is on the advisory council, together with former interfaith adviser to the government, John Battle MP, and Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking.

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Motorist outraged over £100 fine for ‘for sale’ sign on his car

By Candice Krieger, July 4, 2008

A retired property manager is fighting Barnet Council, in North London, over a parking ticket he was given for putting a for-sale note on his car.

Victor Abrahams, 67, was shocked when he returned to his parked Ford Escort Cabriolet on Bibsworth Road, Finchley, North London, to find a penalty notice. “There was a £100 fine on the window screen. When I called the council, they said I was ‘offering goods for sale in a parking place’, which is illegal. I had no idea that I couldn’t advertise my own car for sale. Loads of people do it.

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