UK news

Pensioners clash over 'banter' at voice forum

By Rosa Doherty, October 31, 2014

A man thrown out of a pensioners meeting for claiming a comment was antisemitic insists he is still awaiting an apology.

Harry Spillman, 67, who is Jewish, was taking part in the Blackpool Senior Voice Forum, when he claims the chairman, Geoff Newman, made a comments he found offensive at their July meeting.


Lord Mitchell attacks ‘hypocrisy’ of anti-Israel campaigners

By Marcus Dysch, October 31, 2014

Jewish peers have highlighted what they said was the hypocrisy of singling out Israel for blame in the ongoing troubles of the Middle East.

They voiced concerns over the focus on Israel’s actions in Gaza despite the growth of Islamic State, the continuing civil war in Syria, and Russian belligerence in Eastern Europe.


The American rapper who converted to Judaism: God is my only drug now

By Sandy Rashty, October 31, 2014

Damian Black grew up in a gangster's paradise.

Living in Seattle, where his family ran a drugs den, was rough. His cupboard was used to grow marijuana and he started smoking it aged 10. Two years later, he was dealing and owned his first gun.

At 13, he started rapping about his life using the name D.Black, releasing records such as You Need a Thug.


Breaking glass and breaking new ground

By Simon Rocker, October 31, 2014

For 15 years Natalie Grazin and Samantha Cohen have been stalwarts of the New North London Synagogue, the country's largest Masorti congregation.

They helped to found the egalitarian minyan Assif. They have a boy and a girl who attend Jewish primary school.

The couple, who met at Limmud in 1997, formally pledged their commitment to each other in 2005 in a brit ahavah, a covenant of love.


Shabbat UK has made history

By Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, October 30, 2014

We set our expectations high - and British Jewry exceeded them.

We are still under the spell of a mesmerising and historic weekend.


Alfie Solomons, a gangster who reached his peak

By Simon Round, October 30, 2014

Jews were not always as middle-class and law-abiding as they are today.

A notorious group called the Bessarabian Tigers controlled the Whitechapel area of London's East End just before the First World War.


How MI5 used the JC to spy on a fledgling state

By Josh Jackman, October 30, 2014

MI5 intercepted a letter from The Jewish Chronicle while spying on an Israeli politician, newly released files have shown.

JC chairman David Kessler wrote to Abba Eban, one of the state's founding fathers, on June 9, 1948, less than a month after Israel was created.


Neo-Nazi gave out internet abuse tips in campaign against Luciana Berger

By Marcus Dysch, October 30, 2014

A neo-Nazi website based in the US is behind a co-ordinated campaign of antisemitic abuse targeting Britain's youngest Jewish MP, the JC can reveal.

The site provides a user guide to harassing Luciana Berger and has created offensive images to be shared by internet trolls and sent to her via social media sites.


Lib Dems won't act over 'Israel control' tweet

By Marcus Dysch, October 30, 2014

Controversial Liberal Democrat MP David Ward will not face disciplinary action after using Twitter to post an Israel-related message which included an antisemitic trope.

Mr Ward took to Twitter on Saturday night, telling followers: "After Commons Palestine vote what next? Need to expose Pro-Israel control of MPs against recognition."


Yachad backed in Board bid

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2014

More than 70 former leaders of Jewish youth groups, students and Limmud have signed a letter backing Yachad's application to join the Board of Deputies.

The Board has twice postponed a decision on the bid from the liberal Zionist organisation which campaigns for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but is expected to vote on it next month.