UK news

New Shoah archive opens

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2009

The testimonies of 150 Holocaust survivors and refugees who fled to Britain from Nazi Europe have been brought together in a groundbreaking audio-visual archive.

“Refugee Voices” has been organised and produced by the Association of Jewish Refugees, which provides social and welfare services to Holocaust victims living in Britain.


Four-year-old is abused by school racists

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2009

A four-year-old girl has been withdrawn from a West London infants’ school after being subjected to repeated antisemitic remarks by other pupils.

Her father, journalist Nick Johnstone, has accused the head teacher, Philip Eaton, of failing to deal with his complaints. He has since complained to the local education authority about Mr Eaton and has also reported the matter to police and his MP, Mark Field.

In an email to Mr Johnstone, the head admitted that both he and the school “have let your family down”.


'Kidney donation law must change'

By Keren David, July 2, 2009

An American Jewish campaigner who recruits volunteers to donate their kidneys has called for the rules governing transplants in the UK to be relaxed, to encourage more British Jews to perform “the ultimate mitzvah”.

Chaya Lipschutz, who runs the website, believes more Jewish people would come forward as altruistic donors, giving their kidney to a stranger, if they could ensure the recipient was from within the community.


JFS: How it happened

July 2, 2009

The parent who sparked the case speaks out for the first time

We are delighted and relieved that this most unpleasant wrong has been corrected by the three Appeal Court judges, and that justice is starting to be done.

It is a great shame that my son and I had to pursue this case through the courts. We would have much preferred to reach a fair settlement with the school to revise its policy for the benefit of the whole Jewish community. Unfortunately, that has not been possible.


JFS: What happened?

By Simon Rocker, July 2, 2009

In 2007, an 11-year-old boy was refused a place at JFS because his mother was a non-Orthodox convert and, therefore, not Jewish according to the Chief Rabbi’s Office.

Schools are permitted to give preference to children on the basis of religion, but not of ethnic origin.

When the boy’s father went to the High Court last year, the judge said that JFS had made its decision on religious grounds.

But the Court of Appeal ruled that deciding entry on the basis of a parent’s Jewish status involved ethnicity and so was unlawful.


JFS: What's next?

By Simon Rocker, July 2, 2009


The Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks this week called for community-wide support to challenge a court judgment which he said has effectively branded Judaism as “racist”.

Writing in today’s JC, he said: “We must join together” to contest last week’s Court of Appeal ruling that, under race relations law, Jewish schools cannot award places on the basis of whether the child’s mother is Jewish.


Brown: We'll match £4m donation to students

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2009

Britain is to match a £4 million donation to UK universities made by the Iraqi-born Jewish philanthropist, Naim Dangoor.

Dr Dangoor, 94, who has previously funded a thousand £1,000 scholarships at UK universities, wrote to Prime Minister Gordon Brown with his offer of a £4 million donation in April.

He explained that he had heard on radio and television that young people were being told that “because of the credit crunch, they can’t obtain new jobs and they can’t go to university.”

He said: “I want to make life easier for them”.


Hendon explosion is 'suspicious'

By Marcus Dysch, July 1, 2009

An explosion which demolished a flat above a shop owned by property tycoon Leo Noé is being treated as suspicious.

Police said the cause of the blast, in Bell Lane, Hendon, was unknown and an investigation has begun.

A 39-year-old man, thought to live in the flat, suffered serious burns and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

An elderly woman, whose house backs onto the premises, suffered shock when her windows were blown out, and was treated at the scene.

A woman, aged 26, and a man, aged 31, also received treatment for minor injuries.


Centre Court jew: my day in the spotlight

By Jessica Elgot and Marcus Dysch, June 30, 2009

Andy Murray wasn’t the only star of the Centre Court on Monday night. It was the chap in the black hat, tzitzit and fake peyot that bemused many in the Jewish community.

Millions saw him celebrating Murray's epic battle against Stanislas Wawrinka and Twitter was awash with speculation as to who he was.

But a few hours ago, the man himself, JJ Kimche, 16, Hasmonean High School pupil spoke to us from his home in Golders Green to reveal he and his pals (also pictured) were the lucky ones to have got Centre Court tickets at all.


JFS: The debate heats up

By Jessica Elgot, June 30, 2009

The Court of Appeal ruling that JFS was in breach of the Race Relations Act for its admission code has stirred deep feeling.

It was a landmark decision which could change the course of Jewish education in Britain.

And when our Judaism editor, Simon Rocker wrote a blog on the subject, your comments came thick and fast.

Here’s a sample:

It's breathtaking. Cannot a religious institution decide for itself who qualifies as a member of that religion?