UK news

Youths in court for Manchester Jewish attack

By Marcus Dysch, September 23, 2008

Three teenagers are due to appear in court this week in connection with an attack on a Jewish man in a park.

The 22-year-old was attacked as he walked through St Mary's Park in Prestwich, Manchester, at around 8.30pm on June 25.

He suffered head injuries and required stitches to treat a 9cm cut.

The boys, who are all 15 and cannot be named because of their age, were due to appear at Bury Youth Court on Thursday.

Two of the youths face charges of racially motivated common assault, affray and common assault.


United Synagogue welcomes Non-Orthodox unity plan

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

The United Synagogue has welcomed last week's call by non-Orthodox leaders for greater partnership as "good news for the community".

In an article in today's JC, Simon Hochhauser, the president of the US, applauded the Statement on Communal Collaboration issued by the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements - but without revealing whether Britain's largest Orthodox body would also be signing it.


Anger over Simcha date clash with Hackney Limmud

By Leon Symons, September 19, 2008

A clash over dates led to a behind-the-scenes row between Simcha on the Square organisers and Hackney Limmud, an event held for the first time this year.

Both events were held on Sunday. But the Hackney group said they had selected the date first about 18 months ago and put it on the communal calendar run by the Board of Deputies. Simcha on the Square, meanwhile, initially chose the same day, moved to a date in October and then changed back again to September 14.


Zionist Federation: Simcha event had ‘double political standards’

By Bernard Josephs, September 19, 2008

An investigation into political leafleting at Sunday's Simcha on the Square is underway following complaints that radical and left-wing groups were allowed to advertise their work at the event.

Geraldine Auerbach, director of the event organisers, said material handed out by the British Shalom-Salaam Trust would be examined, and if it were found to be political in nature the organisation would not be invited in future.

"Our criterion is that no political organisation should be given a stand at the event, " she said.


Orthodox delight as government relaxes planning law on house extensions

By Leon Symons, September 19, 2008

The Charedi community has welcomed a government move to relax rules on loft conversions and the construction of rear extensions to houses.

From October 1, many householders will be able to build an extension or a loft conversion without having to seek planning permission. The £1,000 fee to be granted specific planning permission will also be dropped.


Legal red tape keeps missing children in UK

By Michal Levertov and Marcus Dysch, September 19, 2008

Two Israeli children sent unaccompanied to live in Britain by their mother may not return home before the end of the year due to legal red tape.

In July, the JC reported that a 12-year-old girl was sent to the UK alone by her Russian-born Israeli mother. The girl's nine-year-old brother arrived a year earlier, accompanied by the mother, who returned to Tel Aviv, leaving him to live with a family friend in Leeds. The girl has now claimed asylum here.


Ofcom set to rule on ‘Weekend Nazis’ doc

By Marcus Dysch, September 19, 2008

Media watchdog Ofcom is expected to rule within the next two months on a complaint about a documentary which uncovered Nazi-uniform-wearing war-games enthusiasts.

Weekend Nazis was broadcast on BBC1 in August 2007 and focused on the War and Peace Show in Kent.

It showed presenter John Sweeney meeting participants from the Second Battle Group (SBG) re-enactment organisation, many of whom were dressed in Nazi uniforms.


Cambridge falls out over mikveh plans

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

Plans to build the first mikveh (ritual bath) in Cambridge have led to a rift among the trustees of the charity set up to support it.

One trustee, David Gilinsky, is trying to take his fellow trustees from the Cambridge Community Mikvah Charitable Trust to the London Beth Din, claiming that they are obstructing the project. Three years ago, Mr Gilinsky and his wife, Ofra, obtained planning permission to convert an outhouse into a mikveh at a Cambridge property which they have set up as Hama'ayan, "the Cambridge and Suffolk Jewish Community".


High votes against Israeli-Palestinian peace possibility

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 19, 2008

An audience this week voted overwhelmingly against the possibility of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the next five years.

The debate in Westminster on "Paths to Peace: Proposals to Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" was sponsored by the Weidenfeld Institute for Strategic Dialogue and The Spectator magazine.


Rabbinical council gives green light to lay eulogies

By Simon Rocker, September 19, 2008

New guidelines allowing lay people to speak at funerals are to be introduced by the United Synagogue "in the next few weeks", its president Simon Hochhauser said on Monday.

The relaxation of previous rules restricting eulogies to ministers was announced last month by the leaders of the US's Rabbinical Council (RCUS). But the rabbis were subsequently told by US head office to hold fire on the new policy, pending further consultations.