UK news

Fears over closure of Bevis Marks

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

Members of Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks in East London, have protested over plans which they fear could be a prelude to its closure as an active place of worship.

Around 70 congregants and supporters attended a meeting on Tuesday to voice concern over Sephardi leaders’ reported plan to remove its rabbi.

A letter from the Mahamad (executive) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, denying any move to close the 300-year old synagogue, failed to reassure them.


Who is a Jew? The debate rages

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

Angry parents whose children are ineligible for Orthodox schools have spoken out, reigniting the debate over who is a Jew.

David Gryn, son of the late Reform leader, Rabbi Hugo Gryn, described the exclusion of children of Progressive converts from schools as an “evil”.

Another parent, who wished to be known as Karen, said that she was the daughter of a Reform convert and had attended JFS herself, but her son has been denied the chance. She said that such children were being treated “like someone with an infectious disease that no-one wants to go near”.


JFS ruling leaves schools in 'chaos'

By Simon Rocker, July 9, 2009

The Court of Appeal’s ruling that it is unlawful to admit children on the basis of a parent’s Jewish status “has thrown our admissions policy into chaos”, according to Jonathan Arkush, senior Vice-President of the Board of Deputies.

He told a meeting for Jewish schools on Wednesday night that there will be a “flood of admissions appeals”.

With the court order on how the judgment will apply not due out until today, schools have been left in the dark over when they will have to introduce new rules and how those places already allocated for this September will be affected.


Jewish MP claimed £13,000 for 'nanny'

By Jessica Elgot, July 9, 2009

The Shadow Solicitor General, MP Jonathan Djanogly has allegedly claimed more than £13,000 to pay a Polish au pair to look after his children.

Mr Djanogly, the Tory MP for Huntingdon, who is a member of New London Synagogue, claimed the £640 a month to pay the woman, identified only as Miss G, to clean his second home, but later admitted it had been her only source of income and that she did sometimes look after his children, the Daily Telegraph said today.


Soccer boss wins in ‘shyster’ libel

By James Brewster, July 9, 2009

Former Leeds UNITED FC director Mevyn Levi has been awarded £50,000 in libel damages against Ken Bates at London’s High Court. Mr Bates, who has been refused leave to appeal, was also ordered to pay the costs of the nine-day libel case, estimated to be just over £1 million.

Mr Levi, 65, sued Mr Bates, 77, over three articles written by the Leeds United chairman in the club’s match-day programme in 2006 and 2007, and a letter sent to fans in 2007.


Ecclestone cancels Germany trip

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2009

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has called off a visit to Germany this week, after a ‘conversation’ with event organisers, just weeks before the German Grand Prix.

Mr Ecclestone, 78, caused widespread outrage when he praised Hitler’s ability to “get things done” in a weekend interview with The Times, and was forced to apologise publicly.


Easyjet launches Tel Aviv flights

By Jan Shure, July 8, 2009

EasyJet, the budget airline, has announced plans to fly to Israel with six flights a week between Luton and Tel Aviv, launching on November 2.

The Luton-based airline is offering single fares from £71.98 and return fares from £102.98, including all taxes. It will also cost £8 each way to check in a bag. Flights will depart daily, except Friday and have now been launched on the firm's website, where hotels are also on offer from £80 per night.

Andy Harrison, easyJet’s chief executive, described the launch as “a major breakthrough”.


Men against boys as Vale romp home

By Danny Caro, July 7, 2009

London Maccabi Vale 2nd cruised to a 10-wicket victory as they demolished London Marshes Select at Chaseville CC.

After moving the stumps to and fro between two very unkempt wickets, the LMS captain decided on using the least dusty of the pitches. With LMV bowling first,it was obvious from the first ball that a) the wicket was poor and b) the opposition were even poorer.


Anger at Ecclestone's Mandelson link

By Jessica Elgot, July 7, 2009

F1 BOSS Bernie Ecclestone has faced a barrage of criticism over his comments in which he appeared to praise Hitler’s leadership.

And our revelation that he used former Labour spin doctor Peter Mandelson to help him with his ‘crisis management’ did not go down well with many in the community.


Barak in detailed talks with Americans in London

July 7, 2009

Israel discussed new measures on access and movement in the West Bank with the US administration this week.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak flew to London yesterday for talks with President Obama's special envoy for Middle East peace, George Mitchell. It was the second leg of detailed discussions which began in New York on June 30.

The talks covered all aspects of Middle East peace and security.