Sandy Rashty

Iranian minister's visit to London is 'an insult to British values'

By Sandy Rashty, February 3, 2016

The president of the Board of Deputies has criticised Chatham House's decision to invite the Iranian foreign minister to a London event tomorrow evening.

Jonathan Arkush said the decision to invite Mohammad Javad Zarif – who has publicly supported Hizbollah - to speak at the event was “nothing less than an insult to British values”.


JNF telethon doubles money raised last year

By Sandy Rashty, February 2, 2016

More than 100 volunteers contacted 4,000 donors during the JNF’s 30th anniversary Green Sunday telethon which took place at the weekend.

The charity said the appeal, which helps fund school, colleges and youth programmes in the south of Israel, was the most successful in its history.


Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan both back Tel Aviv festival in London

By Sandy Rashty, February 1, 2016

Tory and Labour London mayor candidates Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan have both backed a festival promoting Tel Aviv which is set to take place in the UK capital for the first time next year.

Mr Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, said: “This event is fantastic news for both great cities and reemphasises our very close social and economic links.


Government adviser praises Israeli scientists as important partners for the UK

By Sandy Rashty, February 1, 2016

A senior government adviser has welcomed the contribution Israeli scientists can make to major British institutions.

Speaking ahead of the arrival on Wednesday of a delegation of Israeli scientists in London, Emma Hennessey, the Foreign Office’s deputy chief scientific adviser, said Israel was “an important science partner for the UK”.


Campaign launched to honour Channel Islands woman who saved Jewish friend from the Nazi

By Sandy Rashty, February 1, 2016

A campaign has been launched to recognise a British woman who risked her life to save her Jewish friend from the Nazis during the Second World War.

Cambridge University academic Gilly Carr has called on Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based Holocaust memorial group, to recognise the actions of Dorothea Weber and name her a Righteous Among the Nations.


Peers Finkelstein, Kestenbaum, Neuberger and Palmer appointed JLC vice-presidents

By Sandy Rashty, January 29, 2016

Lord Finkelstein has been announced as one of the four newly appointed vice-presidents of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Lord Kestenbaum, Baroness Neuberger and Lord Palmer will also join the communal body for an initial three year term.

They will join seven other high-profile JLC vice-presidents, who were reappointed at a council meeting in central London on Thursday evening.


H&M apologises for 'upset' over scarf

By Sandy Rashty, January 8, 2016

Leading retailer H&M has apologised for any offence caused after it released a line of men’s scarves that closely resembled a Jewish prayer shawl.

Images of the men’s scarf – priced at £12.99 – were widely circulated on social media.


Limmud has something for everyone (but me)

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

When the assignment was first handed over, I kicked my desk and unleashed a torrent of expletives. It was my turn to cover the annual Limmud conference - and no tantrum would get me out of it.

Nor would a family wedding in Tel Aviv or an offer to holiday at a penthouse in New York over the New Year.


Barred speaker says he won't be coming back

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

A Limmud organiser has stood by the decision to prevent right-wing journalist Tuvia Tenenbom from taking his place on a panel with less than 24 hours' notice.

Israel-born Mr Tenenbom was booked to take part in seven sessions at the conference in Birmingham last week.


Sephardi rabbi offers quick take on key topics

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

Traditional methods of Jewish learning are not as popular nowadays. People lead hectic lives and lack the time, or perhaps the inclination, to spend their free hours at shiurim or seminars.

That's why Joseph Dweck, senior rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community in the UK, is placing his faith in a series of online videos offering quickfire explanations of key concepts in Judaism.


The new winter scarf that has H&M praying for success at the tills

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

Fashionistas have long been inspired by religious garments; from the bold crucifix necklaces to the Middle Eastern keffiyeh scarf.

Now, retailer H&M has released a new men’s accessory that has got the Jewish community talking.


Police investigate ‘Heil Hitler’ gas canister attack on strictly Orthodox Jewish shoppers

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

A group of strictly Orthodox Jews was reportedly attacked on Wednesday night, in what is believed to be an antisemitic incident.

Reports suggested two men and a woman in the Tottenham area of north London were pelted with gas canisters by a gang of three men who shouted: “Hitler is on the way to you. Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler.”


Former JFS student killed in car accident

By Sandy Rashty, January 5, 2016

A former JFS student was killed in a car accident in Israel yesterday.

Nadav Ezra, who served as a sergeant in the Israel Defence Forces after making aliyah with his family, was reportedly hit by a vehicle at a busy junction in Modi'in.

According to Israeli news sources, Sergeant Ezra, 21, was treated by Magen David Adom and Hatzalah medics. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


Welfare bodies fear Tory cuts will hit services hard

By Sandy Rashty, January 4, 2016

Communal leaders have expressed concern over government cuts this new year.

Figureheads from welfare organisations have said that the latest round of public spending cuts and the introduction of the National Living Wage will significantly affect Jewish charities and their service users in 2016.


Tourette's is no joke but comedian uses humour to cope

By Sandy Rashty, December 31, 2015

Pamela Schuller once had the worst case of Tourette's syndrome in the United States.

As a teenager, she suffered from involuntary movements so severe that she once broke her neck.

She would make animal noises and swear uncontrollably.


Speaker angry over being 'disinvited' from Limmud panel

By Sandy Rashty, December 30, 2015

A writer says he has been prevented from taking his place on a panel at a Limmud session.

Tuvia Tenenbom was due to appear with other speakers at a discussion on "Jewish nightmares, exasperations and broiguses" on Wednesday afternoon.

But he was told the day before by fellow panel member Keith Kahn-Harris that he would not be required.


The name's Bond - Shlomo Bond

By Sandy Rashty, December 28, 2015

The secret's out.

James Bond is a Jew.

That's right. Her Majesty's most loyal secret servant, 007, the apple of every woman's eye - is a nice yiddishe boy.

At least, that's what more than 300 people were told at a Limmud session with Rabbi Raphael Zarum, of the London School of Jewish Studies, on Monday afternoon.


Even Limmudniks need to eat

By Sandy Rashty, December 28, 2015

It's day two, and Limmudniks are loving life.

They're meeting and greeting new people from across the globe.

They're learning new things and laughing along to midrashic jokes.

They're making their way from session to session accompanied by the conference's colour-coded Limmud Guidebook; which is especially useful when downloaded on the app.


Sorry Santa, there's no room for you here

By Sandy Rashty, December 27, 2015

Here I am, writing to you from Limmud's annual conference in Birmingham.

I have been sent to cover the conference for the JC - and it's my first visit to the event set to attract a record 2,700 participants this year.

First impressions?

This is the place where Christmas has come to die a sudden death.


Survey reveals Jewish women's attitudes to covering their hair

By Sandy Rashty, December 27, 2015

Women across the religious spectrum are now more likely to question their decision to cover their hair, according to an expert.

Cambridge-born researcher Tikva Blaukopf said that women had never really asked themselves before why such an act was necessary.

Ms Blaukopf, who now lives in Jerusalem, asked 200 Jewish women from the Reform to Charedi movements, aged 19-65, about the issue.