UK news

Barmitzvah soured as minister hit by flying sweet

By Candice Krieger, September 19, 2008

A barmitzvah celebration caused an unexpected casualty last weekend when sweets thrown by the congregation in honour of the barmitzvah boy hit the rabbi in the face and caused a nosebleed.

Wembley Synagogue's Rabbi Simon Harris got caught in the cross-fire when, at the end of the service, the congregation aimed their sweets towards the bimah. That is when blood was spilled.


Rabbi offers help to ‘three-day Rosh Hashanah’ council

By Leon Symons, September 19, 2008

A rabbi has offered his services as a religious adviser to a council which invented a High Holy-day and scheduled a by-election on Yom Kippur.

Last week, the JC revealed how Haringey Council had chosen October 9 for the poll, believing it to be a less religious day than the previous Thursday, which it decided was the "third day of Rosh Hashanah".
Rabbi David Mason has now contacted the North London authority in an attempt to avoid further inconvenience for Jewish residents.


Cheap Charedi store helps stretched families

By Charlotte Fisher and Sheli Levenson, September 19, 2008

More than 200 families in Stamford Hill have benefited from a new money-saving venture perfectly timed for the economic downturn: a mini-market providing basic amenities at wholesale prices.

The store, Low Cost Living, is directed only at customers in kollel (full-time Torah study) and those with large families. In order to keep overheads low, it has no phone, does not deliver and is run entirely by volunteers. And as they are from the kollel, opening hours are restricted to evenings and Sundays.


McCartney: why I will play in Israel

By Dana Gloger, September 19, 2008

Sir Paul McCartney this week strongly defended his decision to perform a concert in Tel Aviv as part of Israel's 60th-anniversary celebrations later this month.

The ex-Beatle's comments came after he allegedly received death threats from hard-line Muslims as well as a furious row over the issue in his home city of Liverpool.


Wiesel: Yes, we really did put God on trial

By Jenni Frazer, September 19, 2008

The story that rabbis in Auschwitz once decided to put God on trial - and found him guilty - has frequently been assumed to be apocryphal.

But on Monday night, the Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel startled his audience at a Holocaust Educational Trust appeal dinner in London when he declared: "I was there when God was put on trial."

This week rabbis and academics raised questions over whether such an event ever actually happened - although many agreed that it had a high degree of plausibility.


Prince Philip asked to save part of Jerusalem

By Leon Symons, September 18, 2008

The Duke of Edinburgh has been unwittingly drawn into a row by the chairman of Israel's Likud-Herut party in Britain, property businessman Zalmi Unsdorfer, over a piece of prime real estate - the famous Russian Compound in the heart of Jerusalem.

One part of the area is known as Sergei's Courtyard, built in 1890 for the benefit of pilgrims visiting Palestine and named after Tsar Alexander II's son Sergei Alexandrovich, head of the Imperial Society of Russian Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land.


Barnet council will not prosecute London kosher butcher over sulphur dioxide discovery

September 18, 2008
Leading North West London butcher Kosher Delicatessen will not be prosecuted after an investigation by Barnet Council into the misuse of additives following the discovery of sulphur dioxide in minced steak. Owner Albert Bendahan said: "The public's health is our prime concern and we maintain the highest possible standards in all our premises."


Levy: ‘Miliband has no chance’

By Leon Symons and Candice Krieger, September 17, 2008

Former Labour fundraiser and Middle East envoy Lord Levy this week dismissed Foreign Secretary David Miliband as a possible Labour leader.

Lord Levy told an audience on Sunday that Mr Miliband "doesn't have the gravitas or the stature to be a great leader of the Labour Party. But talk to me in five or 10 years' time and it might be different."

Lord Levy was in conversation with journalist, author and JC columnist Jonathan Freedland at the first Hackney Limmud event.


Baroness Neville-Jones: Israel has lessons for UK on security

By Dana Gloger, September 16, 2008

Shadow security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones has said that Israel "had shown the world" how to deal with terrorism while maintaining democracy.

The former head of the UK's joint intelligence committee, who is now the national security adviser to Conservative leader David Cameron, said Britain could learn from Israel on how to handle terrorist threats and said she believed co-operation between the two countries to be close.


Israeli jets fly back XL passengers

By Jan Shure, September 15, 2008

More than 200 British passengers stranded in Taba by the collapse of tour company XL, have been flown back to the UK from the Israeli airport of Ovda.

The 210 passengers had booked their Egyptian Sinai resort holidays through Longwood Holidays and Peltours, which also run holiday programmes to Eilat.