UK news

Charities join up to fight crunch

By Dana Gloger, August 8, 2008

Charities are being forced to share their resources to save money as the credit crunch bites at the heart of their services - at a time when more people are in need of their help.

More than 70 organisations in London and Manchester have managed to find an extra £500,000 as a result of working together as donations tumble

They are sharing everything from office equipment to IT services. One managed to save £135,000 on mobile phone contracts and a youth organisation cut its spending by 61 per cent.


Peace debate in London

August 8, 2008

The prospect of a lasting peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be debated in London this September before an audience of 2,000 people, the day before Israel chooses a successor to Ehud Olmert as Prime Minister.

Speakers include Palestinian negotiator and legislator Dr Hanan Ashwari, Dr Mustafa Barghouti of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Yael Dayan, daughter of Moshe Dayan and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv.


As Wrapit folds, newlyweds tie their hopes to the bank

By Leon Symons, August 8, 2008

The fears of many newlywed couples hardened into reality this week when online wedding gift company Wrapit went into administration and closed on Monday.

Many of its 2,000 clients were Jewish, some of whom were highlighted in last week's JC.

One, Manchester solicitor Marc Yaffe, has been one of the worst affected. He and his wife Natalie were married on June 29 and have not received any presents.


Armed robbery at kosher deli

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 8, 2008

Three masked robbers armed with knives and a hammer threatened staff at Shefa Mehadrin Kosher Deli in Manchester, before ripping out its till.

The robbery, which lasted just two minutes, began when the three men entered the shop at 8pm last Thursday shouting.

“One held a hammer high in the air and shouted, ‘open up the tills’, said Gavriel Jacobson, who was shopping inside at the time. “Everyone froze, then they pulled out the whole till and ran away.”

Around 20 people were inside the shop at the time.


Galloway spoof that closed down a radio station

By Marcus Dysch, August 8, 2008

A Jewish community radio station has closed down after it lost a libel case brought by the controversial MP George Galloway.

During a Jcom broadcast last November, a presenter made remarks construing Mr Galloway as antisemitic, while pretending to be the Respect MP and referring to him as the station's "Middle East correspondent".

The spoof character, "Georgie" Galloway, used the catchphrase "kill the Jews, kill the Jews".


Make mine a service — pub to become shul

By Marcus Dysch, August 8, 2008

There will soon be a new synagogue for Stamford Hill's Bobov community - The Swan pub in Clapton Common.

The building has been bought for around £1 million and will be turned into a synagogue and meeting rooms.

It is thought to be the first time a British pub has been used in this way.

Once the refurbishment is completed, it is estimated that 150 people will be able to use the complex at any one time for services or other activities.


Crunch time for charities

By Leon Symons, August 8, 2008

Jewish charities are suffering grave financial effects from the credit crunch sweeping the UK.

Charities in all areas - from single-issue organisations to those with larger remits - have seen donations fall as people find themselves with less disposable income while spending more on utility bills.

The cost of kosher food has also risen dramatically this year, meaning charities are having to spend far more on running costs.


Agunah solution?

By Candice Krieger, August 8, 2008

Secret discussions to help women who are refused a get (a religious divorce) by their husband have reportedly been taking place at Manchester University.

According to Ha'aretz, a group of top rabbis and scholars gathered at the University Centre for Jewish Studies last month. In secret proceedings, it was suggested that a clause should be added to the ketubah - the marriage contract - which would make it possible to annul the marriage if a spouse is not granted a get.


Outrage at market stall’s Nazi sale

By Candice Krieger, August 8, 2008

An Irish MP has called for an investigation into the selling of Nazi memorabilia at an Irish market.

A stall at Balbriggan Market, in North Co. Dublin, is openly selling a selection of antisemitic DVDs in addition to Nazi uniforms, swastikas and ashtrays. Ruairi Quinn, the Labour TD (MP) for Dublin South East, said the material on sale may be in breach of Irish law.


Academics dismiss view that Irish peace process is model for Mid-East

By Leon Symons, August 8, 2008

Two British academics have dismissed a growing political view that the settlement of Britain's conflict with the IRA could be a model for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Dr John Bew and Dr Martyn Frampton, historians from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, said that "the notion of talking to one's enemies - no matter how intransigent or unreasonable they may seem - has been fetishised by many from across the political spectrum".