UK news

Jews lose as Israel tourism targets Christians

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

The managing director of one of the UK's major Israel travel agents has hit out at the country's tourist industry for high prices and "neglecting Jewish tourists".

Simon Israel, of Expert Travel in Golders Green, said Israel was becoming a "once-in-a-lifetime destination, like Australia or China".

He said: "Much of the blame lies with El Al and the hotels in Israel for the decline of Jewish tourism. Passengers booking within six weeks of travel, who wanted to visit Israel in July or August, were often faced with fares of between £600 and £700.

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Why this Jewish dancer turned down Billy Elliott

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

For a young ballet dancer, the part of Billy Elliott might seem like a dream role. But for 16-year-old Mexican dancer Esteban Hernandez, Broadway fame came second to serious training with the Royal Ballet.

"When I got the role on Broadway, I was still very young, I was 14," he said. "Those years are the formative ones for a ballet dancer. It's so important to have good training.

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The English Defence League and the surfing rabbi

By Marcus Dysch, October 14, 2010

An American rabbi will join an extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalist group in a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in London next week.

Rabbi Nachum Shifren, from California, said he was supporting the English Defence League because he opposed multiculturalism, and promised to act with "full force" against shariah law.

But his plans have been roundly criticised by Jewish community organisations. The Community Security Trust said that Jews who believed they could shape the EDL, or find shelter in the group, were "utterly deluded".

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Natasha Kaplinsky to leave Channel 5

By Jennifer Lipman, October 14, 2010

Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky is to leave her job at Channel 5 at the end of the year.

The presenter, reportedly one of the highest paid in Britain, has been part of the channel’s news team since February 2008.

Prior to that she worked at the BBC, where she was the third woman to present the flagship Ten o’Clock News programme.

Her departure is one of a number of changes being made by Jewish media mogul Richard Desmond, who bought Channel 5 in July.

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Jewish free schools are on schedule

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

Both new Jewish free schools are on target to open in September 2011, despite fears that up to half of the 16 new free schools will not meet deadlines to open in September.

Peter Kessler, leader of the group of parents who are planning to set up Haringey Jewish Primary School, said the school was making faster progress than nearly all of the other approved schools and pupils would be able to start in September.

The school is preparing a business plan and a public consultation in time for the government’s deadline at the beginning of December.

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The Apprentice interview: Joy Stefanicki

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

She was thrown out of The Apprentice for “sitting on the fence”. But Jewish candidate Joy Stefanicki, 31, a former marketing director from Birmingham, says that Lord Sugar never got to see her potential, because it was overshadowed by the behaviour of other contestants.

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The Apprentice week two: no Joy for Jewish hopeful

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

Apprentice hopeful Joy Stefanicki has been fired by Lord Sugar after her team managed to set a new record for failure on the show.

The Jewish candidate, who is from Portsmouth but now lives in Birmingham, was called into the boardroom after a disastrous effort by the girls’ team.

For the second task of the series, the teams were sent to Heathrow Airport and told to devise and market a new beach accessory.

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Ahava: a clarification

October 13, 2010

On August 19, 2010 we reported on the collapse of the trial against four protesters who chained themselves inside the London branch of Israeli cosmetic store Ahava.

We are happy to clarify and we accept that the four protesters did not take any steps to intimidate the key prosecution witness into not attending their trial.

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Howard Jacobson wins Man Booker prize for 'The Finkler Question'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

Howard Jacobson has won the Man Booker prize for the first time.

His novel The Finkler Question was chosen by judges above the five other books nominated, including the favourite, C by Tom McCarthy.

Mr Jacobson has been nominated twice before for the prestigious literary award, which comes with a £50,000 prize as well as the likelihood of increased book sales. This year was the first he made the shortlist.

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Claire Rayner: Nursing for Jewish girls

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

When I tell people that I am a nurse the usual response I get is: “How come a nice Yiddisher girl should be a nurse?” When I reply that I am a nurse because I enjoy nursing, they might say: “But it’s such hard work! And anyway, you don’t meet nice Jewish boys…”

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