UK news

Shul rebels fail to sack rabbi

By Candice Krieger, September 4, 2008

Members of Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation have failed in an attempt to dismiss their rabbi.

Rabbi David Katanka's job was under threat after more than 30 members signed a resolution calling for his departure. But at last Sunday's 60-member-strong extraordinary general meeting - called to discuss Rabbi Katanka's position and the financial future of the synagogue - the motion failed by five votes.

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Baby-death inquest date

September 4, 2008

A DATE has finally been set for the inquest into the death of a baby who stopped breathing after being circumcised last year.

Amitai Moshe died shortly after the brit milah at Golders Green Synagogue on February 1, 2007. On Tuesday, Hornsey Coroners' Court fixed the inquest into his death for April 20 next year. A hearing in November will decide if it will be heard in front of a jury.

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Aaronovitch proves he’s no Weak Link

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

Two JC columnists came face-to-face with Anne Robinson this week on special celebrity editions of BBC1's The Weakest Link.

On Sunday, David Aaronovitch avoided the frosty host's "You are the weakest link, goodbye" jibe by winning a journalists-only episode.

Recalling his experience in front of the fearsome quizmistress, he said: "She was rude about the things you expected least. She kept talking again and again about me being fat."

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How safe is it in your area?

By Dana Gloger, September 4, 2008

the area around Hendon Synagogue in North-West London has been classified by the Metropolitan police as having a high crime rate after a spate of 11 recorded property crimes in July.

In Stamford Hill, home to Europe's largest Charedi community, there were seven crimes around the Satmar Beth Hamedrash Yetev Lev synagogue in Cazenove Road - above the average crime rate for the capital.

The information emerged as the Metropolitan Police made available crime maps showing the number of burglaries, robberies and vehicle crimes in London neighbourhoods.

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Pensioner battered at home by burglars

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 4, 2008

An elderly couple were left shocked and battered after two men burst into their Manchester home, kicking the 76-year-old wife before making off with cash.

The attack happened last Friday at the home of Evelyn and Harold Davidson in Prestwich. Mrs Davidson answered the door to a man posing as a window-cleaner. He kicked her repeatedly before a second man entered, ransacking the house. Her 89-year-old husband fought back with his two walking-sticks and was unharmed.

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‘Nazi-joke’ officer suspended

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

A community policeman has been suspended after allegedly impersonating Hitler and goose-stepping around a police station.

Police Community Support Officer Paul Ryan is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police after colleagues claimed they saw him making Nazi salutes at his team's base in Swiss Cottage, North-West London.

The incident took place on July 24 and Ryan was suspended on August 5 after being reported to senior officers.

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Holocaust education ‘may affect boys less than girls’

By Dana Gloger, September 4, 2008

Boys and girls appear to respond very differently to Holocaust education, according to academics who monitored children's attitudes to racism over a four-year period.

Lecturers from Strathclyde University and the University of the West of Scotland spoke to 155 secondary-school pupils in Scotland, comprising one group which had been taught about the Holocaust at primary school and another which had not previously learnt about it.

All had studied it in their Year Nine history lessons at secondary school.

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Accord: we want to broaden education

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

Rabbi Jonathan Romain was this week at pains to point out that the new Accord campaign, which he chairs, is not against the existence of faith schools.
Its aim was to bring religious schools under greater state control, he explained at the new group's London launch on Monday.

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Reform blasts own rabbi on faith schools

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

The chairman of Britain's Reform movement has distanced it from the involvement of the head of its rabbinic assembly, Rabbi Jonathan Romain, in a new campaign to curb faith schools.

The Chief Rabbi, meanwhile, offered the JC a comment article extolling the "essential" role of Jewish faith schools.

Last week, the JC reported that Rabbi Romain, the Reform rabbi of Maidenhead synagogue, was among religious leaders planning to lobby the government to prevent state-funded faith schools using a child's or parent's religion in determining admission.

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Graff Diamonds being sued by its broker firm

By Candice Krieger, September 4, 2008

International diamond broker Willie Nagel is suing jeweller Laurence Graff and his company Graff Diamonds for more than £15,000 over an alleged breach of contract.

Mr Nagel, chairman of W Nagel Limited, had been broker to Mr Graff, 69, for 30 years. In 1998, as part of his services, he secured coveted "sightholder" status for Mr Graff. Sightholders are privileged traders, granted access to viewings of diamonds for inspection.

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