James Martin

Bayern Munich chase Haifa's Golasa

By James Martin, December 23, 2009

Maccabi Haifa’s teenage sensation Eyal Golasa has reportedly attracted the interest of German giants Bayern Munich.

German newspaper Bild claim that Munich are facing competition from fellow Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen for his signature.

The 18-year-old midfielder impressed scouts of the Bavarian giants with a number of outstanding performances during Haifa's Champions League campaign and Munich are reportedly keen to add Golasa to their squad in the summer of 2010.

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Haifa half-way to championship

By James Martin, December 22, 2009

Maccabi Haifa have consolidated their position as runaway leaders of the Israeli Premier Division with a 2-0 victory over Bnei Yehuda.

Goals by Shlomi Arbeitman and Yaniv Katan placed Haifa on 39 points from 14 games, nine clear of nearest challengers Hapoel Tel Aviv, as the regular season nears the half-way mark.

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Health insurance firm owes families hundreds

By James Martin, December 17, 2009

Policy-holders owed hundreds of pounds in claims have not received payouts on their medical cash plans since January.

Simplyhealth, which has taken over the HSA medical insurance group, promised “to settle on valid claims as quickly as possible” in August after admitting that customers had been given “limited information” about the status of their claims since the HSA began its claims investigations in January.

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Israel looks to diaspora to boost Olympic bid

By James Martin, December 10, 2009

Israel will select a maximum of five athletes for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, although the secretary-general of the Olympic Committee of Israel admits that there is “no hope” of the country gaining a medal.

The squad, which flies out to Canada in preparation for the games in early February, will include two figure skaters in the singles competition and a skier, whilst there could also be a involvement in the figure skating pairs if they make the qualification standard.

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Woodford Wanderers ease past ZigZag

By James Martin, November 26, 2009

Zig Zag 0-3 Woodford Wanderers

A virtuoso performance from Maccabiah starlet Mitch Hahn helped JC MSFL Division Three title hopefuls Woodford Wanderers past Zig Zag.

Played in terrible conditions, which included a second half hailstorm that forced referee Nigel Burns to half proceedings temporarily, the match featured some moments of real class from Hahn who rarely gave the ball away and capped off a memorable display with a thunderous goal.

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North London Raiders go top of League 2

By James Martin, November 19, 2009

Elliot Espinoza proved the matchwinner as North London Raiders B went top of Division Two following a see-saw encounter against London Maccabi Lions C at Rowley Lane.

With his side trailing to an early volley from Sam Rosenthal, Espinoza delivered the first of three moments of magic, levelling on 17 minutes with a stunning 25-yard volley after Lions had failed to clear their lines.

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Gilady: Israel sport is corruption-free

By James Martin, November 19, 2009

In a few weeks that has seen questions raised about the administration of some Israeli sports clubs, the country’s IOC representative insisted that Israeli sports is “corruption free”.

Speaking about the suicide of Moni Fanan, a former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball manager, Alex Gilady, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a member of the IOC’s London 2012 Co-ordination Commission said: “All we know is that a gentleman who held a voluntary position as manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball has committed suicide for reasons that are not clear.

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Legal battle over convert's Jewish status

By James Martin, November 19, 2009

The head of a legal team fighting to restore a convert’s status as a halachically recognised Jew has warned Jerusalem’s High Rabbinical Court that there would be a “war of the titans” if it did not revoke a judgment that he had never been Jewish.

Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Centre, spoke after the court postponed an appeal hearing against a decision by the Jerusalem Beth Din to rescind Yossi Fackenheim’s Orthodox conversion.

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Review: City of Borders

By James Martin, November 13, 2009

The New Israel Fund screening of City of Borders at the UK Jewish Film Festival covers just about every inch of Israeli society, as it hones in on the lives of Jerusalem’s gay, lesbian and transgender community, through the vista of Israel’s political landscape.

Sa’ar Nathaniel, present at the screening, is also one of its main protagonists- Jerusalem Municipality Councillor during the day, he runs the city’s only full-time gay bar, Shushan, at night.

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Israeli tennis on the up

By James Martin, November 6, 2009

Dr Ian Froman, the chairman of Israeli tennis, described 2009 as being a “brilliant year” for his country on the court, despite a tumultuous nine months off it.

Dr Froman said the country’s success in reaching the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time, as well as the emergence of Dudi Sela as a top-tier player and Andy Ram and Shahar Peer’s continued progress, means Israeli tennis can “more than hold its own”.

He said: “We don’t have the numbers of a France or Spain population wise, but for a country of our size, we competed well.”

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Lions held by their killer Bs

By James Martin, November 5, 2009

London Maccabi Lions A 2-2 London Maccabi Lions B

Eilon Kennet, the manager of London Maccabi Lions A, was left to rue missed chances and the brilliance of young B team keeper Ben Adaki as his team’s title hopes suffered a blow in the inter-club derby in the JC MSFL Premier Division.

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Peer granted Bali visa

By James Martin, November 2, 2009

Dr Ian Froman, the chairman of the Israel Tennis Association, said he was relieved to see an aversion "of a clash between sport and politics" after Shahar Peer was granted a visa into the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, held in Bali, Indonesia.

Dr Froman said that the Indonesian government, which does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, decided to grant Peer a visa despite “some of its politicians saying she shouldn't be accepted”.

He said: “Despite strong opposition to the decision, the government didn't want to go head-to-head with the sport's governing bodies."

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Redbridge fail to seize hand of Gid

By James Martin, October 29, 2009

Temple Fortune 4-1 Redbridge Jewish Care C

Michael Winehouse watched in horror as his Redbridge Jewish Care C side missed a vital penalty-kick and lost their chance of getting back into the game.

With 30 minutes left and 3-1 down in this Cyril Anekstein Cup match, RJC were given a lifeline when Temple Fortune’s Gideon Wetrin was sent-off for deliberate handball on the line.

But Michael Konzon blasted the penalty against the post and with it went his side’s chance of forcing extra-time against a team two divisions higher.

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FC Team draw with FC Baresi

By James Martin, October 29, 2009

FC Team gained a hard-earned draw in their Middlesex County League Division One match against FC Baresi.

Richard Sternberg, playing right back, played a ball down the line to striker Irvine Howson, who skipped past two defenders, ran down the line and crossed to the on-rushing Adam Rone, who slid home his first of the season.

Richard Salmon had a seemingly good goal ruled offside. That proved crucial as an FC Baresi equaliser shortly before half-time brought them level.

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Harmen re-Bourne

By James Martin, October 22, 2009

Southgate Harmen A 3-3 Redbridge Jewish Care B

Southgate Harmen manager Dan Uzan believes his team showed championship quality after they twice came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw against Division One promotion rivals Redbridge Jewish Care B.

Having seen his newly-promoted team shoot to the top of the table just months after winning the Division Two title, Uzan was delighted with his team’s spirit and quality in a match they recovered a 0-2 and 1-3 deficit.

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Frum fitness

By James Martin, October 15, 2009

A “frum gym” opened this week in Hendon to cater for the Orthodox women’s market.

Bournemouth-born Ami Winbourne solicited the opinions of 100 local Orthodox women before launching Contours Express. “The concept of women-only gyms has worked well with religious women from all faiths, who are understandably concerned about modesty. There will be no men on site.” The concept is supported by Ita Symons, chief executive of the Agudas Israel Housing Association, who said it was difficult for Orthodox women to find a suitable excercise venue.

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Riding the wave

By James Martin, October 1, 2009

JC MSFL Premier Division:
North West Neasden B 3
Brady Maccabi 0

Brady manager Simon Hakim was left bemoaning a controversial offside decision which effectively cost his side any hope of getting a result against a strong looking NWN B.

With just five minutes of the first-half remaining, and with his side already trailing 1-0, Neasden’s Bruno Frankel was played into the penalty area and slotted underneath Oliver Colmans. Despite taking a minute to confer with his assistant, referee Nigel Burns awarded the goal, sparking heavy protests from the Brady team.

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We can't hit a barn door: Hendon thrash Faithfold

By James Martin, September 10, 2009

JC MSFL Premier Division
Hendon United A 3-0 Faithfold A

Faithfold’s Zuriel Solomon tore into his troops after a disastrous start to the season against a rampant Hendon team.

The player-manager blasted his wasteful strikers, as they were swept aside by last season’s League Cup winners.

Bemoaning his side’s lack of cutting edge, Solomon said: “It was disappointing up front. We couldn’t hit a barn door with the way we finished out there.”

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More home comforts

By James Martin in Redbridge, July 23, 2009

State-of-the-art facilities worth £150,000 have been added to a Jewish Blind & Disabled home in Redbridge.

Four mobility flats and a computer room have been installed at Aztec House in Ilford, one of six Jewish Blind & Disabled buildings in the capital.

A charity spokesperson explained that “the apartments will be filled by people from our long waiting list.”

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Police chief’s pledge to combat hate crime

By James Martin in Barnet, July 23, 2009

The new head of Barnet Police has pledged to do his “utmost to clamp down on antisemitic incidents” following a significant rise in cases within the borough.

Eighty-six incidents were reported in the year ending in March, compared to 53 over the previous 12 months. Close to half occurred in a two-month period from the start of Israel’s Gaza incursion.

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