UK news

Eastenders go west for a shul wedding

October 10, 2008

A North-West London synagogue became a temporary EastEnders set this week, as film crews arrived to shoot a scene there for the BBC drama.

Cast, crew and a host of extras from the show were based at Hendon United Synagogue on Monday to shoot scenes under the chuppah.

But a spokeswoman for the BBC was tight-lipped when asked which of Albert Square's residents would be getting hitched.

She would only reveal that the marriage involves a non-Jewish character returning to the show.


Nazi map sale enrages dealer

By Marcus Dysch, October 10, 2008

An auctioneer has defended the sale of a map drawn by Hitler's personal physician and signed by four other Nazi concentration camp officers.

The map, showing the 340-mile route from Dachau to Paderborn, in north Germany, fetched £190 at Wallis & Wallis auction house in Lewes, Sussex, on Tuesday.

It was described by the company as "fascinating", and formed part of a collection of "Imperial German and Third Reich items".


Beth Din set to hear mikveh pleas

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2008

The London Beth Din has agreed to hear a dispute into the building of a mikveh in Cambridge which has split the trustees of the charity set up to support it.

David Gilinsky, of the Cambridge Community Mikvah Charitable Trust, has filed a complaint against his fellow trustees over alleged delays in plans to build the city's first ritual bath.


MP backs denier’s ‘right to free speech’

By Candice Krieger, October 10, 2008

Liberal Democratic home-affairs spokesman Chris Huhne has defended the right of convicted Holocaust-denier Frederick Toben to make antisemitic comments and deny the Holocaust.

German-born Toben, 64, faces extradition from the UK to Germany under an EU arrest warrant for allegedly publishing material online "of an antisemitic and/or revisionist nature".

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London last Friday, where he was remanded in custody ahead of a bail hearing today.


Masorti gets £79k boost from European Union

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2008

The Masorti movement has received a grant of €100,000 (£79,000) from the European Union to develop its work in Europe.

The money, from the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, will be used for projects involving 10 Masorti groups in eight countries: the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Holland and Portugal.

Gill Caplin, the London-based incoming chairman of Masorti Europe, said: "Our communities are all growing and our role is to help them develop in size and knowledge.


Teenagers to face trial

October 10, 2008

Three teenagers are due to go on trial next month in connection with an attack on a Jewish man in a park in Prestwich, Manchester.

The boys, who are all aged 15 and cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear before Bury Youth Court on November 20, facing assault charges.


‘Fraud’ case man’s £2.6m barmitzvah

By Leon Symons, October 10, 2008

A businessman wanted on fraud charges in America has been allowed to attend his son's barmitzvah in Israel after rabbis pledged £2m in sureties.

Zev Saltsman, who lives in Hendon, North-West London, was arrested in London a year ago after he was named as one of six men accused by US federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

He was alleged to have made $55m (£31.5m) in fraudulent profits through private share sales. He has not admitted the allegations in the USA.


New team starts work on schools

October 10, 2008

A new team has been selected to put into action the recommendations of the Jewish Leadership Council's Commission on Jewish Schools.

Leading communal figures and experts in a variety of areas have been assembled by Leo Noé, the JLC member in charge.

The first tasks are the Redbridge Community Change project, a full investigation into the provision for special-educational-needs children, and the implications of strictly Orthodox community schools becoming voluntary-aided.


Museums block change in law on looted art

By Patrick Steel, October 10, 2008

The co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe has condemned a decision by the UK's national museum directors to oppose legislation allowing the return of objects stolen from Jews in the Nazi-era.
Art-restitution expert Anne Webber said: "This represents a complete volte-face by the National Museum Directors Conference (NMDC), whose leading members only a year ago publicly affirmed the need for this legislation. They must not be allowed to prevail."


Council’s YouTube blunder

By Marcus Dysch, October 10, 2008

A council which serves more Jews than any other in the country posted a YouTube video in which a resident compared Jews with "normal British people".

Barnet Council, in North London, filmed residents saying what it was like to live in the borough. Officials then posted the resulting video on YouTube.

One unidentified woman questioned in Edgware, Middlesex, was heard to say: "I know it's mainly a Jewish area so a lot of the Jewish people have got things, but for the normal British people... there is nothing really for them."