UK news

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.


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.


Linking-up and clicking at the bloggers' ball

By Michal Levertov, August 28, 2008

The first international Jewish bloggers convention in Jerusalem last week brought together more than 200 participants from Israel and abroad.

The event, organised by aliyah organisation Nefesh B'Nefesh, was intended to give Jewish bloggers - writers of online diaries - a platform for networking, sharing ideas, experience and tips, as well as getting acquainted with the people behind online destinations such as Oleh Girl or My Right Word.


Father dies moments after seeing his daughter marry

By Candice Krieger, August 28, 2008

A leading communal figure died suddenly at his daughter's wedding on Monday evening.

Michael Rosen, 65, from Pinner, Middlesex, was celebrating the marriage of his daughter Lynne to Robert Dyan at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, when he collapsed from a suspected heart attack.
One guest said: "He seemed 100 per cent fine. Everything was normal and we were returning to our tables after the Israeli dancing when he collapsed. You could see it was serious because the rabbis started praying."


Students across the country achieve record-breaking GCSE results

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2008
Students at Jewish schools across the country have again achieved record-breaking GCSE results.

The majority achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, bettering the national average of 98 per cent.

Pupils at Hasmonean High School in North West London achieved the school's best ever results, with 94 per cent gaining five or more A* to C-grades.

Among the most outstanding achievements was Rebecca Sassoon's 13 A* grades. She was one of 39 students who each received at least 10 A* and A-grades.


This caps it all: free dry-cleaning for your Yomtov kippah

By Candice Krieger, August 22, 2008

Here is a new Yomtov anxiety, to add to cleaning the house for your relatives' approval, and agonising over just the right shul outfit. Is your kippah as clean as it should be?

Now the largest chain of independent dry-cleaners in London is offering a solution to the stress of grubby kippahs. It is offering to dry-clean them for free.

Julian Stone, founder of the American Dry Cleaning Company, says he expects a round 30,000 people to take up his offer on September 1.


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.


Former MP dies at 91

August 22, 2008

Former MP and gay-rights champion Leo Abse has died at the age of 91.

The former Labour MP for Pontypool, and later Torfaen, died at Charing Cross Hospital in West London on Tuesday night after a short illness.

In 1967, Mr Abse guided a Private Member's Bill through Parliament making sex between men legal.

Cardiff-born Mr Abse, elder brother of writer Dannie Abse, was also credited with helping liberalise divorce laws with the 1969 Divorce Reform Act.