UK news

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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Balls pledges fresh look at school safety

By Simon Rocker, July 4, 2008

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has promised to revisit the question of how to help Jewish schools meet security costs amid frustration at the lack of tangible support.

Last autumn, the government announced that local councils would be allowed to help with capital expenditure on security, but some councils have said there is no money available.

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Stores attacked for West Bank imports

By Dana Gloger, July 4, 2008

The Palestinian General Delegate to the UK has launched an attack on some of the largest British supermarket chains for stocking food produced in the occupied West Bank.

Ambassador Manuel Hassassian wrote to Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose in December last year. This week he said he had received no reply, and so urged members of the public to write to the stores to ensure that “Israel does not profit from its illegal occupation of Palestinian land”.

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Help us to find peace, says Sacks

By Simon Rocker, July 4, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks appealed in Trafalgar Square for Palestinians to live side by side in peace with Israel.

“Today, because of Israel, there is at least a chance of peace,” he said. “Yet every time Israel proposes peace, it is greeted with terror and suicide bombings, Katyushas and Kassams. Israel will continue to seek peace — we will continue to support it doing so. We pay tribute to the UK government for its support for Israel and for peace.

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Rabbi offers ‘second chance’ ceremonies

By Simon Rocker, July 4, 2008

A Liberal rabbi has sparked controversy within his own movement by suggesting that it should perform chupah ceremonies for couples who do not wish to get formally married for financial reasons.

Rabbi Ron Berry, of Bristol and West Progressive Congregation, writing in the last edition of Liberal Judaism Today, said he wanted to help Jewish couples who were “finding happiness in later life”.

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Convicted Israeli baker loses appeal

By Dana Gloger, July 4, 2008

THE jailed Israeli owner of two London kosher bakeries and a kosher restaurant who secretly gave his pregnant wife abortion pills, lost his appeal against his sentence  this week.

Gil Magira, 36, from Hendon, north west London was sentenced to three years and nine months in March this year after pleading guilty to administering a noxious substance with intent to procure a miscarriage.

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Last orders for Chinese

July 4, 2008

The owner of Britain’s first kosher Chinese restaurant will hang up his wok for the last time next week.

Marcus Witztum has sold his Marcus’s restaurant and takeaway in Temple Fortune in North-West London to LewcoPak, the Bedfordshire-based kosher poultry abattoir.

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Friends fall out over ‘fake’ Facebook entry

By James Brewster, July 3, 2008

A man whose personal details were “laid bare” for all to see in fake entries on the Facebook social-networking website has launched an unprecedented High Court damages action.

Mathew Firsht, managing director of Applause Store Productions Ltd, is suing an old schoolfriend for libel and misuse of private information.

He claims that freelance cameraman Grant Raphael created false personal and group profiles, called “Has Mathew Firsht lied to you?”.

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JFS admissions policy backed by judge

July 3, 2008

A challenge to the admissions policy of the JFS Comprehensive School in Kenton, North West London, appears to have ended today after Mr Justice Munby ruled the policy to be "entirely lawful and proportionate to the aims and objectives of the school." Sitting in Cardiff, the judge said that Jewish status could only be defined by Jewish law, and was not something to be determined by the secular courts.

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