UK news

Mural pays tribute to stage heroes

August 14, 2008

A mural was unveiled this week to mark the 80th anniversary of a North London theatre with strong links to Jewish writers and performers.

The Embassy Theatre, the home of the Central School of Speech and Drama since 1956, was a centre for new writing about contemporary issues in the 1920s and 1930s. It specialised in plays about the Jewish community, notably The King of the Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill and A Gambler in Brides, performed in 1929, for which the audience were provided with a glossary of Yiddish terms.


Jewish schools celebrate excellent A-level results

By Leon Symons, August 14, 2008

Jewish secondary schools and students were yesterday celebrating another outstanding set of A-level results.

The private Immanuel College achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for the third year running, with 50 per cent at A grade and 82 per cent at grades A and B.

The proportion of A-level examinations passed at the grades required to gain admission to sought-after courses at the best universities has risen to 82 per cent, the highest score in Immanuel's history.


Communal leaders slam anti-Israel comments

By Leon Symons, August 14, 2008

Two Jewish community leaders have hit back at the head of a charity over anti-Israeli remarks he made in a charity magazine interview.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, and Jeremy Newmark, head of the Jewish Leadership Council, wrote to Third Sector warning that "the demonisation of Zionists, Zionism and Israel that is increasingly prevalent in parts of the third-sector/non-governmental organisation community can slip very easily into demonisation of Jews".


Sufi Muslim urges ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir

By Dana Gloger, August 14, 2008

An expert on violent extremism has urged the government to ban Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Haras Rafiq, co-founder and executive director of the Sufi Muslim Council, said the radical group was increasingly targeting younger people and was becoming stronger.

"When Tony Blair was Prime Minister, he said he was going to proscribe them, so they undertook a huge campaign to repackage themselves. But it was all spin," claimed Mr Rafiq.


Brothel siblings sent to jail

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2008

A brother and sister have been jailed for their role in running a chain of brothels.

Spencer Rolfe and Adele Lubin were each sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment for operating the £1 million vice ring across North-West London.

They were arrested in April last year following an undercover investigation during which detectives were offered sex and a female policewoman was asked to work as a prostitute. The Metropolitan Police's vice unit began investigating the family after information was passed to them from local officers.


Ban Kabbalah access to schools, Balls told

By Leon Symons, August 14, 2008

An Orthodox rabbi who has campaigned against a children's organisation run by the Kabbalah Centre has called on the government department responsible for education to "pull the plug" on its access to schools.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, minister of Mill Hill United Synagogue, wrote privately to Children, Schools and Families secretary Ed Balls after it was revealed in June that Spirituality For Kids (SFK) - an offshoot of the Kabbalah Centre - had been holding lessons in six schools in the London boroughs of Westminster and Tower Hamlets.


Knife raiders rob boutique in 7 seconds

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2008

Staff at an exclusive boutique were threatened with a knife during the latest raid on stores at the heart of a Jewish community.

A balaclava-clad gang stole a dozen handbags worth a total of around £10,000 during Monday's lightning robbery at Larizia in Temple Fortune, North-West London.

An attempted break-in also took place 100 yards away at another Jewish business, Genevieve, days earlier.


Armed men threaten staff in crowded deli

By Jonathan Kalmus, August 14, 2008

Armed robbers threatened staff at a Manchester kosher deli before escaping with a till last Thursday evening.

Three men, carrying a knife and a hammer, entered Shefa Mehadrin deli in Prestwich at around 8pm.

A 23-year-old employee, who had been behind the stolen till, said: "I was worried I would get stabbed. One of them tried to open the till with his knife."


Orthodox community steps up its anti-drugs campaign

By Simon Rocker, August 14, 2008

A strictly Orthodox charity is planning to step up its campaign over the next few weeks to educate its constituency about the risk of drugs.

Talking Matters, a Stamford Hill-based welfare agency specialising in mental-health issues, last autumn published a ground-breaking 128-page guide in Yiddish, Hebrew and English on understanding addictions, ranging from gambling, sugar and "shopaholism" to alcohol and drugs.


Wrapit: no refunds

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2008

Newlywed couples and their wedding guests are unlikely to receive money or undelivered presents from collapsed online gift company Wrapit, administrators confirmed this week.

KPMG said it "did not consider funds would be available" for unsecured creditors, including gift-less couples, staff and suppliers.

A full report into the company's failure would be published within the next eight weeks, said the administrator.