Jonathan Kalmus

Police won't take action against Tesco boycotters

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Merseyside police said this week that no action would be taken against Israel boycott protesters who marched into a Tesco store to hand out leaflets asking shoppers not to buy goods from West Bank settlements.

Police answered a call from the Aigburth Tesco Metro in south Liverpool just after 11am on the Saturday before last after the store's manager complained that protesters were disturbing customers.

But by the time officers arrived, the 10 pro-Palestinian activists were conducting a "peaceful demonstration" outside the store according to officers.

More..

Schools on alert as child snatchers stalk streets

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Police have appealed for calm after reports of four attempts to snatch school children in south Manchester.

North Cheshire Jewish Primary school, in Cheadle, received a warning along with other Stockport schools after four attempted abductions were reported to police in two weeks.

Three children had to break free after being grabbed by a lone man in several locations across the borough. Two of the incidents occurred last week as they went home from primary schools in Hazel Grove and Brinnington Park, a few miles from the Cheadle Jewish school.

More..

No kosher food at Asda in Liverpool

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Asda has defended the removal of kosher items from its store in Liverpool's Sefton Park, citing poor sales.

Israeli-born Rafi Sharabi, who lives nearby in Wavertree, said a number of angry Jewish customers had rung to complain.

He was eventually told by the store management that following a directive from head office, staff had removed kosher lines from the world section, which carries Indian, Chinese and halal ranges.

An Asda spokesman said: "Obviously we care about what our customers think. If there is a swell of complaints, there is a possibility of putting the products back in."

More..

Wizo celebrates North Cheshire's 50th

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

North Cheshire Wizo's 50th anniversary celebration reunited 14 of the group's 17 chairwomen. Among them was Sally Weinstein, now living in America, who came over from New York.

In her legal work, she represents American women who have been victims of domestic violence and she spoke about Israeli charities supporting abused women.

More..

Leeds parents upset by school's yo-yo promotion

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2010

Parents at Leeds' Brodetsky Primary have got into a twist over yo-yos after the school allowed an outside company to promote them to pupils.

Brodetsky has received complaints over a motivational assembly programme, "The NED Show", run by American-based company All for Kidz and featuring yo-yo tricks.

There is no charge for the show but participating schools are asked to sell its stunt yo-yos, costing £5-£10, for five days afterwards.

Headmaster Jeremy Dunford said the assembly last Friday had been successful in promoting self-esteem and new learning skills.

More..

GP pronounces man dead on Israel flight

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

Passengers and cabin crew were left stunned as a man died on board a Jet2 plane from Israel to Manchester on Tuesday.

Stewardesses ran with oxygen masks to try to revive 85-year-old Philip Cohen, from Crumpsall, whose health had declined rapidly an hour into the flight. But he was pronounced dead immediately by Prestwich GP Dr Jonathan Liebermanwho was also on board.

The doctor helped to cover the deceased and laid him across three seats for the remainder of the flight.

More..

Liverpool chair denies his troubles led to centre closure

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

The ex-chair of Liverpool's Harold House community centre, Sam Beilin, has denied that his personal finance issues contributed to its closure.

Mr Beilin, one of the city's best-known property developers, was declared bankrupt in April, with reported debts of £1m. Mr Beilin resigned as chairman of the charity which runs Harold House shortly afterwards.

Mr Beilin reaffirmed that the decision to close Harold House in May was due to "massive, massive losses" and high running costs, while fewer young people had meant a drop in income.

More..

King David Liverpool faces legal battle on admission

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

An explosive legal battle is looming over Liverpool's King David High School after the mother of a Jewish girl denied a place saod she is in a position to fight for all children in her position.

Dawn Chapple, an accountant who left a high-paying job two years ago to focus on her daughter's dyslexia, confirmed this week that legal action would "definitely go ahead".

She said: "I've had a number of meetings with my solicitor and a barrister. It's all been very positive and in my favour.

More..

Limmud provides a World Cup alternative

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

Organisers of Sunday's Limmud in Manchester organised an accomplished team of speakers as a counter-attraction to England's World Cup travails.

A decent proportion of the 250 people who attended heard bill-topping writer Howard Jacobson discuss passages from his forthcoming novel, which humorously focuses on anti-Zionism as the new antisemitism.

"Central to the book is how uncomfortable it is to be a Jew in England at the moment."

More..

Delamere Forest school celebrate relocation

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 1, 2010

It will be the end of an era on Sunday when current and former pupils of Delamere Forest attend a day of celebration at the Cheshire special needs school before its relocation to north Manchester.

One thousand British Jews have been educated at Delamere, which opened in 1920 as the Jewish Fresh Air Home and School for poor inner-city children suffering from malnutrition or asthma caused by smog. But lessening demand for residential schooling and changes in local authority funding had jeopardised Delamere's future.

More..

Councillors urged to act over Bury Nazis

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Jewish leaders have called on Bury councillors to "stop sitting on the fence" after a muted response to communal outrage over men dressed in Nazi regalia at a public event three weeks ago.

Since the event, it has emerged that 20 men wore swastikas and SS insignia at the East Lancashire Railway wartime re-enactment. One man posed as Nazi war-criminal Hermann Goering, while photographs have confirmed some men wearing up to five pieces of Nazi insignia and a jeep draped in a large Nazi flag, which flout rules set by the organisers banning such displays.

More..

Jewish schools 'will face many legal challenges'

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Lawyers say Jewish schools may face a barrage of battles from parents contesting practice-based admissions decisions.

This follows the case of Kayleigh Chapple, the non-observant Jewish girl denied a place in Liverpool's King David High School.

Solicitor Jack Rabinowicz, an expert in education law, says the move from descent-based criteria is going to lead to "a lot of disagreement and dispute.

More..

Israel deports anti-Zionist activist to UK

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

A woman from Bolton who claims she was "brutally" locked up by Israeli immigration staff at Ben Gurion Airport for no reason other than wanting a holiday in Israel has been unmasked as a high-profile anti-Israel political campaigner.

She is also behind a website which peddles the claim that Israel harvests human organs and that "the Jews are eating villages".

Komal Adris (below) told the Bolton News and Asian Image, which runs the UK's leading Asian news website, she was strip-searched and locked up for 15 hours without access to lawyers, on Tuesday.

More..

'Time running out' for Liverpool care home

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Officers of Liverpool's Stapely Jewish home are to investigate closure and taking space in a non-Jewish care facility.

A review into the home's future is being undertaken following the collapse of a plan to relocate to the Childwall Synagogue site.

Liverpool Jewish Housing Association chairman Alan Tinger pledged: "We will definitely have a Jewish care home in Liverpool." Yet "time is running out" for Stapely to relocate before its Victorian premises in Sefton Park fall below regulatory standards.

More..

Prestwich appoints new rabbi

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

Prestwich Hebrew Congregation has selected a new rabbi after a year without a minister.

Dovid Eisenberg, the New York-born son of Austria's Chief Rabbi, was selected following pulpit auditions for the four candidates.

It will be the first ministerial position for the 29-year-old, who studied in yeshivot in America and Israel before coming to Whitefield kollel in Manchester three years ago.

Rabbi Eisenberg holds a degree in Talmudic law as well as a masters in business from Bar-Ilan University.

He will work as a team with his wife Miriam, who is from a Manchester family.

More..

BNP man jailed for anti-fascist demo attack

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 24, 2010

A BNP party member has been convicted of attacking an anti-fascist demonstrator, in a protracted court saga.

Peter Tierney, 53, from Liverpool, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict at Liverpool Crown Court last Thursday for smashing Nicholas Barnett over the head with a camera tripod.

The incident, which took place on St George’s Day last year, saw BNP supporters and members of Merseyside Coalition against Racism and Fascism clash in Liverpool’s city centre.

Mr Barnett required hospital treatment after the incident.

More..

Stolen jewellery recovered

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 22, 2010

A synagogue is to display a hoard of jewellery suspected of being stolen from Jewish people in Manchester and Liverpool so owners can claim back their property.

Greater Manchester Police are to run an open day at Liverpool's Allerton Synagogue on July 7 after they recovered a large amount of suspected stolen jewellery and silverware during an ongoing investigation by the Force's money laundering unit.

Photographs of the stolen articles will be on display from 3pm as part of a number of open days to glean information to assist the investigation.

More..

Boy cautioned for attack on Israeli dep ambassador

By Marcus Dysch and Jonathan Kalmus, June 18, 2010

The Israeli Embassy has criticised the decision to caution a 16-year-old boy who attempted to attack its deputy ambassador at a university campus.

The embassy called for a stricter punishment, saying the teenager had "crossed a line" when he climbed on the bonnet of Talya Lador-Fresher's car and attempted to smash the windscreen. The deputy ambassador said she had feared she would be physically assaulted.

Ms Lador-Fresher had been speaking to members of Manchester University's Politics Society in April. Around 40 demonstrators had gathered at the venue.

More..

Rap star Chimpmunk performs at barmitzvah

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

British rap star Chipmunk attended his first barmitzvah last week, performing by special request at celebrations for 13-year-old Joseph Port from Leeds.

X-Factor's Lloyd Daniels also made up the hour-long music set with each artist performing six songs for 200 guests at the barmitzvah celebrations at Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley on Sunday.

More..

No Jews at Manchester Parade

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2010

Tens of thousands of people will be making their way to Manchester Day on Sunday to see one of the largest parades in the city's history - but there will be no formal Jewish presence.

The 1700-participant parade will travel through Deansgate, crossing Albert Square and Peter Street in the city centre. But the role of Manchester Jewry in the city will be forgotten.

Manchester City Council, which organised the event, say all faith groups were welcome to take part but that no Jewish groups had shown an interest.

More..