UK news

London Olympics to mark Munich killings

By Leon Symons, September 12, 2008

A special event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes is to be held during the 2012 Olympics in London.

A new body called the London Olympic Jewish Organising Committee, set up to link the capital's Jewish community with the Games, has held preliminary discussions with the London Organising Committee, the Israeli Olympic Association, and has had an initial meeting with the Mayor of London's office.


Archbishop to go to Auschwitz

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will visit Auschwitz in November. The Archbishop divulged his plans in a meeting this week with the two chief rabbis of Israel.


Relief as Simcha on the Square festival is approved

By Leon Symons, September 12, 2008

Fears that a change of mayor could affect the third Simcha On The Square event dissipated quickly in May when the event was agreed with Boris Johnson's office.

Now the celebration of Jewish life, music and culture on Sunday, September 14, looks set to be the biggest yet, with more of everything - food stalls, crafts, books and artists providing live music in London's Trafalgar Square.

Last year, the event attracted 25,000 people, making it the biggest one-day festival of Jewish culture in the UK.


Outrage over Yomtov date for election

By Marcus Dysch, September 12, 2008

A council has disenfranchised hundreds of Jewish voters - by scheduling a by-election on Yom Kippur.
Haringey Council picked the holiest day of the year after being told by an adviser that the previous Thursday, October 2, would prove an even less popular choice because it would be the "third day of Rosh Hashanah". (For the avoidance of doubt, Rosh Hashanah is a two-day festival).


JNF was scene of endless rows, says lawyer Julius

By Leon Symons, September 12, 2008

The former chief executive of JNF UK must wait until October to find out whether or not his court action against one of the country's top law firms has been successful.

Mr Justice Henderson told both parties at the end of a three-day hearing last week that he reserved his judgment and, because of his own commitments and administrative difficulties, would not able to deliver his decision until early next month.


Dentist sorts out a 28-stone gorilla with tooth trouble

By Candice Krieger, September 12, 2008

What do you give a 28-stone silverback gorilla with toothache? A wide berth - unless, that is, you are London dentist Peter Kertesz.

Dr Kertesz, 64, who specialises in wildlife dentistry, spent 45 minutes operating on the animal, called Pertinax, to successfully remove a three-inch tooth.

Officials at the Paignton Zoo in Devon, where surgery took place, say Pertinax was "understandably groggy" following the operation, for which he was anaesthetised for two and a half hours.


Charedi community fight over Stamford Hill pub turning into a synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, September 12, 2008

A long-standing feud within the strictly Orthodox community has resurfaced for the most unlikely of reasons - a plan to turn a North London pub into a synagogue.

Last month the JC reported that The Swan in Stamford Hill had been sold to members of the Charedi Bobov community for £1 million.


Non-Orthodox launch new platform for unity

By Simon Rocker, September 12, 2008

A decade of frustration over lack of pluralism sparks call for action


Leaders of the UK's three non-Orthodox religious movements this week challenged the Chief Rabbi to recognise growing religious diversity, amid frustration over the failure of previous attempts at co-operation.

The Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements - which collectively represent around a third of Britain's synagogue members - are calling for a new model of religious leadership which is committed to pluralism.


Sir Paul’s concert row rocks Liverpool

By Dana Gloger, September 11, 2008

Sir Paul McCartney's decision to perform at a concert in Tel Aviv later this month as part of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, has provoked a furious row in his home town.

Readers of the Liverpool Daily Post have berated the former Beatle for agreeing to give the concert. One letter-writer Anne Candlin said Sir Paul's decision to play in Israel "not only brings shame to himself but to his city" due to Israel's "open and extensive abuse of human rights".


Palestinians say no to Israel boycott

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 10, 2008

The Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) does not support a general boycott on trade and investment with Israel.

This position emerged at the annual TUC Congress in Brighton this week, where a heated debate took place over the question of whether Palestinian workers are in favour of the boycott.