Sandy Rashty

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.


Police investigate after pensioner’s newspaper is smeared with faeces

By Sandy Rashty, December 24, 2015

Police are investigating what is believed to be an antisemitic incident, after an elderly man received his copy of the JC covered in faeces.

The 91-year-old’s newspaper was delivered to his home in Chigwell, Essex, at around 11pm last night.

He called the police after discovering that it had been defaced.


Growing shul is full of Eastern promise

By Sandy Rashty, December 23, 2015

It's a midweek morning and Ghassan Cohen has a business meeting to attend. But first, he has to supervise some home improvements at the Ohel David Eastern Synagogue in Golders Green.


Charity Commission will look into case of Jewish businessman who owed millions

By Sandy Rashty, December 22, 2015

The Charity Commission has announced that it will look into the case of a Jewish businessman who is to pay back just £500,000 on a £600 million debt owed to more than 30 creditors – including Jewish charities.


Muslim, Jewish, Christian power players talk Syria over smoked salmon

By Sandy Rashty, December 21, 2015

It was an unlikely meeting of minds.

There, in the back of a kosher restaurant in the heart of the Syrian Jewish area of Brooklyn, New York, sat four very different men – all set on discussing the conflict in Syria.


Charities lose millions after businessman agrees debt deal

By Sandy Rashty, December 18, 2015

Jewish charities and individuals have lost millions of pounds as a result of a settlement on a debt owed by London Jewish businessman Moises Gertner.

The JC can reveal that Mr Gertner will settle a £600m debt owed to 31 creditors – by paying a £500,000 sum to be shared between them.