Robyn Rosen

More MEPs weigh in on Shechita row

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

More influential MEPs have spoken out in favour of "discriminatory" legislation which would lead to the labelling of kosher meat.

The 15 British MEPs who sit on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Envi) committee, have been approached for their views on amendment 205 to the Provision of Food Information to Consumers legislation. Amendment 205 requires all meat products derived from animals slaughtered by shechitah to be labelled as "meat from slaughter without stunning".

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IDF taught British Army vital lessons

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

The former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan has praised the Israeli army and said the British Army has learnt important lessons from it.

Retired Colonel Richard Kemp said some policies by the British Army have been formed "as a direct result" of consultation with its Israeli counterpart.

Speaking at an event held by the Zionist Federation, Colonel Kemp made his comments as royal sculptor Frances Segelman completed a bust of him at a fundraising event for BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association) and the Shalom Foundation, a children's charity.

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Desmond Tutu urges boycott of Ben-Gurion University

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged Johannesburg University to end its partnership agreement with Israel's Ben-Gurion University.

On Friday, more than 200 of South Africa's leading academics and writers published a statement supporting the termination on the grounds of BGU's "direct collaboration and involvement with the Israeli military and occupation".

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School backtracks on expansion plan

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Akiva School in Finchley has backtracked on plans to expand to three-form entry.

In June, the primary applied to Barnet Council for funding to purchase the adjacent beit midrash from the Movement for Reform Judaism to make space for an extra form.

Philip Simmons, chair of the school's foundation, said then that the move had been prompted by high demand for places. But despite being awarded the funding, governors have now decided not to proceed.

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Mourners' cars vandalised during funeral

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Mourners at a Bushey cemetery funeral are facing expensive vehicle repairs after "malicious" vandalism.

They discovered the damage following the funeral of Alan and Rochelle Bernard, who died after a car collided with them as they walked along a road to their holiday home in Dorset.

Graham Temple from Radlett, who had known the Bernards for more than 30 years, said the funeral had been attended by 800 people. "Even though we got there early, the car park had filled and many vehicles were parked along the grass verge outside the cemetery. I estimate there must have been 40 to 50.

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South London works towards first Jewish primary school

By Robyn Rosen, September 28, 2010

Motivated by a desire to "save the community in south London", a lawyer from New Malden is fronting a committee working towards the first Jewish primary school in the area.

Lawrence Kingsley last week presided over the inaugural meeting of the South West London Jewish Primary School Project, attended by professionals from across the Jewish spectrum. The aim is for a cross-communal school for children from south London and Surrey.

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Tributes to Manchester crash victim

By Robyn Rosen, September 27, 2010

A Manchester hospital manager has died in a crash in India while “living his dream” during a round-the-world trip.

Jeremy Paul, 30, was at the end of his six-month sabbatical from Wythenshawe Hospital, when he was killed in a collision in Rajasthan last week.

Cousin Robert Morris said: “He was a genuinely nice person who never got into trouble.

“He was liked by everyone that ever met him and the world will be a poorer place without him.

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'British Schindler' Holocaust hero honoured

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the British Schindler after he rescued 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia, has been honoured with the unveiling of a life-size statue of himself.

Sir Nicholas, who is 101, attended the unveiling of the bronze statue, created by sculptor Lydia Karpinska, on the Reading-bound platform at Maidenhead railway station at the weekend.

On the eve of the Second World War, Sir Nicholas began an operation, later known as the Czech Kindertransport, by helping the children escape German-occupied Czechoslovakia and arranging for their safe passage to Britain.

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MDA launch new Shalit campaign

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Magen David Adom UK has launched a campaign to demand Red Cross access to kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit.

The British branch of the Israeli ambulance charity, which is also part of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is urging supporters to sign a petition calling on Hamas, under the Third Geneva Convention, to allow the Red Cross to visit Sergeant Shalit.

Almost 11,000 have so far signed the petition, addressed to Tony Blair in his capacity as Quartet representative.

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MEPs reveal voting plans on shechitah

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

British MEPs who sit on a committee preparing legislation on labelling kosher meat are torn over how they will vote.

Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and a member of the committee, has said she will vote in favour of an amendment to the provision of food information in consumer legislation. It would mean all meat products derived from animals that have been slaughtered by shechitah would be labelled as "meat from slaughter without stunning".

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Wanted: mosque to host Shoah play by Muslim

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

A Muslim director has spoken about his failed attempts to perform at mosques a Holocaust play, which he claims "will unite communities to stand up to hate and extremism".

Nic Careem, a self-declared "Zionist-Muslim", spoke about his plans as he announced a special performance of James Still's award-winning play, And Then They Came For Me - Remembering The World Of Anne Frank, in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) Pakistan flood victims appeal.

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Fernandez 'kosher' pub plans criticised

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Hendon residents are campaigning against plans to demolish a kosher pub and turn it into a block of flats.

Developer Platinum Riverside has applied to Barnet Council to demolish Fernandez in The Boroughs and erect a five-storey building, with two basement levels, comprising 14 apartments, parking and a retail unit.

They have separately applied for conservation area consent.

The pub and restaurant, previously called Don Fernandez, took over the former White Bear pub site about five years ago.

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New Hackney girls school planned

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

The Satmar community has purchased the former Skinners site in Stamford Hill and will turn it into a girls' school.

Developers Berkeley Homes, who purchased the site three years ago, planned to knock down the school and build luxury homes but in March Hackney's planning sub-committee voted against the proposals.

Members of the Belz, Satmar and Lubavitch communities launched
a campaign, supported by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Board of Deputies' president Vivian Wineman, against the housing proposal. They wanted the site to be reserved for educational use.

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Orthodox propose cut-price wedding plan

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

The strictly Orthodox community has been advised to "reduce expenses" on simchahs to help families in financial hardship.

A letter from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations suggests "no more than drinks and pastries" and limiting guests to family, close friends and immediate neighbours.

By doing so, "the burden of expenses will surely be eased. The rabbinate considers it their most particular duty to care for the well-being of the kehilla."

The union offers a "low-budget" wedding scheme where members can invite 150 couples for around £7,000.

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Channel 4 to broadcast series of films about Jewish mothers

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2010

Comedian David Schneider and harpist Lucinda Belle are among those featuring in a Channel 4 strand of films about Jewish mothers.

Starting on Monday, September 27, seven different Jews will be in seven 90-second films, as part of the 4thought series, broadcast 365 days a year on Channel 4 in the evening and online.

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Couple killed by car as they walked home after dinner

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2010

A couple from north London died after a car collided with them as they walked "arm in arm" along a road in Dorset.

Alan Bernard, 53, and wife Rochelle, 51, members of Northwood United Synagogue, were declared dead at the scene after a silver Mercedes crashed at 10.35pm on Banks Road in Sandbanks, near Poole, on Saturday.

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Holocaust-denier Irving to hold Nazi death camp tour

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2010

Anti-racism campaigners have slammed the "gutless" Polish government for not taking further action against Holocaust-denier David Irving's planned tour of a Nazi death camp.

Irving, who served a prison sentence for Holocaust denial in Austria in 2006, will hold a guided week-long tour from Tuesday in Warsaw and will include visits to Hitler's Wolf Lair headquarters in Poland.

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School's kosher concerns answered

By Robyn Rosen, September 16, 2010

Hertsmere Jewish Primary School is to appoint a shomer after parents voiced concern about kashrut supervision.

The school announced it was working with the London Beth Din to find someone to oversee kashrut.

New head Steven Isaacs said: "The school has followed strict guidelines and taken advice regarding the appropriate supervision of food at all times." However, "as a stringent measure", it was moving towards engaging a shomer.

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Recipes for success

By Robyn Rosen, September 16, 2010

British supporters of a humanitarian network running soup kitchens in Israel raised a tasty £40,000 at the launch of the fourth Food For You cookbook in north London. Proceeds for Hazon Yeshaya were boosted by Rosh Hashanah gifts and the sale of other items.

One thousand copies of the book, featuring 180 recipes from around the world, were sold on the day.

The series has to date raised £500,000 for the charity, which also provides job training.

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Genetic disorders awareness camapign

By Robyn Rosen, September 16, 2010

The wife of a lawyer with a rare condition has set up a charity to raise awareness of genetic disorders which are more prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews.

Katrina Sarig, 38, founded Jewish Genetic Disorders UK after struggling to discover information about her husband's neuromuscular condition.

Now 40, Ro'i Sarig was diagnosed with Torsion Dystonia when he was 15. But it was five years ago when the couple began planning a family that they came to appreciate the difficulty in gathering information.

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