Sandy Rashty

Board of Deputies to launch its election manifesto in Manchester

By Sandy Rashty, September 17, 2014

Senior MPs will attend a communal event in Manchester this weekend in a bid to highlight key areas of the Board of Deputies’ manifesto ahead of the 2015 general election.

Tory MP Graham Brady and Labour MP Ian Lucas will speak at the event of Sunday, alongside Gillian Merron, Board chief executive. This will be Ms Merron’s first official engagement in Manchester.

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Students scrap motion claiming campus antisemitism is exaggerated

By Sandy Rashty, September 17, 2014

The National Union of Students (NUS) has scrapped a motion that claimed reports of rising antisemitism on campus had been exaggerated in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.

In a meeting on Wednesday, the NUS national executive committee agreed to withdraw the controversial proposal after lobbying from the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

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Student leader attacks NUS for failing to respect Jews

By Sandy Rashty, September 16, 2014

The National Union of Students (NUS) has been condemned by a communal leader for its “failure to afford Jewish students the respect any other minority would receive”.

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Israel counter-terror experts warn of potential High Holy-Days attacks

By Sandy Rashty, September 15, 2014

Islamic State terrorists may target Israelis and European Jews ahead of the High Holy Days, according to a memo released today by Israel’s National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau.

The memo cited the rise in anti-Israel activism in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.

In a statement, a bureau spokesman said: "During this period, the potential threat has grown.

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Security guard bars Jewish schoolboys from entering sports shop

By Sandy Rashty, September 15, 2014

Leading retailer Sports Direct has apologised to customers after a security guard allegedly barred “Jews” from entering its store.

The security guard was removed from the store after he told Jewish students - Nathan Rosen and Daniel Levitan - they could not enter the branch in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, on Friday afternoon.

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A woman's charitable drive to bank time

By Sandy Rashty, August 29, 2014

Pass a Morrisons or Sainsbury’s supermarket in Harrow and you might spot Leonie Lewis shaking a donation tin outside.

For years, she has braved British weather collecting for a charity which supports people with learning disabilities.

Lewis, the director of the Jewish Volunteering Network, and a senior collector for Mencap, has always led by example.

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Film festival seeks cash to cover cost of boycott

By Sandy Rashty, August 28, 2014

The UK Jewish Film Festival is trying to raise money to cover the extra costs caused by the Tricycle Theatre's boycott.

Director Judy Ironside said that arranging new venues had inflicted an unexpected financial burden on the festival.

The theatre did a U-turn last week and told the UKJFF it would screen their films but this will not happen immediately.

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Fashion faux-pas over yellow star

By Sandy Rashty, August 28, 2014

High-street fashion chain Zara has apologised for selling a T-shirt which resembled uniforms worn by concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust.

The retailer removed the T-shirt - which featured a large yellow star adorned with the word "sheriff"- from its website on Wednesday, just hours after it went on sale online.

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New venues for UK Jewish Film Festival

By Sandy Rashty, August 27, 2014

Organisers of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) have released a list of new venues that will host the event this November.

Films for the 18th festival will now be screened at more than 15 venues, after the Tricycle Theatre’s boycott forced organisers to make alternative arrangements.

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Zara says sorry over ‘yellow star’ T-shirt

By Sandy Rashty, August 27, 2014

Leading high-street retailer Zara has apologised after it sold a striped T-shirt with a yellow star which bore a striking resemblance to the uniforms worn by concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust.

Zara has removed the T-shirt – which had a six-point star on the left breast - from its website on Wednesday.

The garment had been available in the UK.

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Huge rocket attack from Hamas as truce talks continue

By Sandy Rashty, August 26, 2014

Israelis rushed into bomb shelters this morning as dozens of rockets were fired into Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Ashkelon.

More than 25 rockets were fired into Moatza Ezorit Eshkol, in the south.

The wave of attacks came as Israeli forces bombed two evacuated building in Gaza City today.

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Raising the voice of Reform Judaism

By Sandy Rashty, August 22, 2014

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner is one of the most media-savvy rabbis in the UK.

A radio panellist and self-described “broadcaster”, she regularly tweets on issues of public interest and is rarely without her iPad and mobile phone.

As the senior rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism, which is made up of 40 communities and two affiliate synagogues, she sees it as her job.

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Shimon Cohen, the Sultan of Spin

By Sandy Rashty, August 15, 2014

Shimon Cohen describes himself as a “spin-consultant”.

Along with his 18-strong team, Cohen is trusted to manage the scandals and promote the work of 70 groups — including communal organisations from the United Synagogue to the Holocaust Educational Trust and Aish UK.

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Tricycle Theatre 'on thin ice' over Jewish film festival boycott

By Sandy Rashty, August 14, 2014

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said in a letter to UK Jewish Film Festival chair Stephen Margolis that the Tricycle Theatre's boycott is "misguided".

Mr Javid, a long-time supporter of Conservative Friends of Israel, also told the JC: "I am concerned about the impact of its decision."

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Truce reported - but rockets from Gaza still flying

By Sandy Rashty, August 13, 2014

Rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza this evening, despite unconfirmed reports that a five-day truce had been agreed with Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister reportedly ordered the IDF to retaliate.

The rockets, believed to have been be fired by Hamas operatives in Gaza, landed in southern Israel before a previous three-day ceasefire ended.

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Culture Secretary Sajid Javid says Tricycle Theatre “misguided” over UK Jewish Film Festival boycott

By Sandy Rashty, August 12, 2014

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has criticised the Tricycle Theatre’s decision to boycott the UK Jewish Film Festival.

In a letter to UKJFF chair Stephen Margolis, he said the theatre had been “misguided” in demanding the festival drop its sponsorship by the Israeli embassy.

Mr Javid, the Tory MP for Bromsgrove, told the JC: “I am concerned about the impact of its decision.

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Demonstrators at Tricycle protest against UK Jewish Film Festival boycott

By Sandy Rashty, August 7, 2014

Around 250 people gathered outside the Tricycle Theatre on Thursday evening to protest against the venue's decision to boycott the UK Jewish Film Festival over its ties with Israel.

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IDF support served up with extra cheese

By Sandy Rashty, August 7, 2014

Diaspora Jews have been quick to support Israel at a time of conflict, but as well as the traditional appeals, some more unusual relief projects have emerged.

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UK Jewish Film Festival banned from the Tricycle Theatre: But some won’t attack boycott

By Sandy Rashty, August 7, 2014

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council have condemned the Tricycle Theatre’s decision to ban the UK Jewish Film Festival as “shameful”.

But despite the communal outrage, a number of Jewish figures involved with the north-west London theatre have refused to criticise the boycott.

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Tricycle Theatre refuses to host UK Jewish Film Festival over Israeli sponsorship

By Sandy Rashty, August 5, 2014

A major London theatre has refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival because it is sponsored by the Israeli embassy.

The Tricycle Theatre was scheduled to be the main venue for the UKJFF in November, with 26 films due to be screened there as well as six gala events.

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