Robyn Rosen

Grandmother arrested for 'selling tortoises illegally'

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

A Jewish grandmother has been arrested for allegedly selling tortoises illegally from her pet guest house in Essex.

Tracy Cooper, 43, was shocked when she woke one morning last month to discover six police officers, three police jeeps and a warrant for her arrest.

She runs a pet boarding house in Epping which currently houses 23 tortoises, 14 parrots, 10 canaries, nine rabbits, eight cats and two ferrets.

But she has been accused of selling tortoises without the required government documentation.

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BBC refuses Rosenthal's The Barmitzvah Boy release

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Actress Maureen Lipman has said that the BBC will not produce DVDs of work by her late husband, playwright Jack Rosenthal, despite numerous requests and high demand.

Ms Lipman, 63, made the comments while speaking to a packed audience attending the screening of Mr Rosenthal’s 1976 television play, The Barmitzvah Boy, screened to mark the UK Jewish Film Festival’s barmitzvah year.

She said later that she receives dozens of letters from fans asking where they can find DVDs of his films and plays, and she has even leant out her own personal copies.

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'Hug a Jew Day' launched

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

More than 100,000 people have joined a Facebook group urging viewers to take part in “Hug a Jew Day” today.

Ben Plaut of Pittsburgh created the group, asking followers: “Please aspire to hug as many Jews as possible.”

People from Israel, Australia, Britain and America are among those that have joined the group.

So, who would you hug and why?

TV vet Marc Abraham: “I would love to hug Larry David for giving us the comedic masterpiece that is Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

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Outrage over 'rape' poster that demonises Israel

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

The New Israel Fund (NIF) has defended a conference sponsored by three Palestinian groups it funds, which allegedly “demonised” Israel.

The poster publicising the conference, held in Haifa on Monday, shows the hand of an IDF soldier grasping the breast of a woman wearing a traditional Palestinian dress.

The poster reads: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her. The occupation penetrates her life everyday.”

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Hackney police visit Auschwitz

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Senior Hackney police officers joined a visit to the Auschwitz death camp site organised by the Charedi community.

Borough commander Chief-Superintendent Steve Bending and head of its safer neighbourhoods unit Chief-Inspector Pete Atkinson also toured Krakow and other sites of Jewish interest.

The trip was one of a series arranged by Chuni Kahan of the Hatzolah volunteer emergency service. “The purpose is to build bridges and understanding between various communities,” he said.

“It was a very moving, fulfilling and emotional trip and has been very productive.”

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Holocaust survivor wins 'unsung hero' award

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

A 90-year-old Holocaust survivor has received an unsung hero award from Jewish Care.

Richard Fisher was honoured at a business lunch at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, which was attended by 700 guests and addressed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Vienna-born Mr Fisher’s parents died in the Holocaust. He survived seven years in the coal and salt mines of Siberia — and some difficult times after being freed. He attempted to travel to England on several occasions before finally gaining entry in 1951.

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Simon Marks head resigns

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Simon Marks Primary head Nicole Delamere has resigned. In a letter sent this week, parents of pupils at the Hackney school were informed that she had quit after just a year in charge to “pursue her career in education in a different setting”.

When the head did not return after half term, the school originally claimed she was on “sick leave”.

Deputy head Norma Blair-Clayden has taken over as acting head. Parents have also been notified that year five teacher Rohan Plunkett will be leaving in December.

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Fight fans support Salita religiously

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Supporters of religious Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita are pulling out all the stops to be at ringside when he challenges Amir Khan for the WBA light-welterweight title at Newcastle’s Metro Arena on December 5.

Edgware travel agent Avrom Weisz has organised a trip for 50 Orthodox fans to travel from London after Shabbat. The group will leave by train at 6pm to arrive in good time for the 11pm title bout.

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Child Nazi refugees reunited with rescuers

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

A meeting at New North London Synagogue in Finchley brought together former child refugees from Nazism and those who rescued Jews during Hitler’s reign.

Marking the 71st anniversary of the Kindertransport to England, the Kindness of Strangers event attracted over 100 people. They included Elizabeth Rosenthal, 82, of Richmond, who was 11 when she arrived here on the Kindertransport.

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Tony Blair backs inclusive Mitzvah Day projects

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Tony Blair has singled out Mitzvah Day as an example of “what faith is about: meaningful, tangible collective action”.

Mr Blair also applauds the efforts of Mitzvah Day organisers to “engage with those of other faiths”.

The day of good deeds on Sunday will see 15,000 people from across the community involved in 250 projects.

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Council approves Borehamwood eruv

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

An eruv will be built in Borehamwood in a “matter of weeks” after Hertsmere’s planning committee unanimously backed an amended application.

Although the original application was approved in 2007, changes have been made to 21 of the 34 pole locations and one new pole site has been added.

“This has been needed in the community for a long time,” said Ebor Eruv Campaign trustee David Freedman. “I’m very pleased we’ve managed to secure what we wanted.”

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Hackney school headteacher disapperance worries parents

By Robyn Rosen, November 5, 2009

Parents at Simon Marks Jewish Primary School in Hackney have complained of being “kept in the dark” over the situation of head teacher Nicole Delamere.

Ms Delamere, who took charge in September 2008, did not return to school after half term and parents say they have not been told why.

Speaking anonymously, one parent said: “When Ms Delamere was sick in the summer, they told us, but this time no one has told us anything.” Letters were being sent out by deputy head Norma Blair, with no explanation as to why they were not coming from Ms Delamere.

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Harry Potter and the Holocaust Memorial movie

By Robyn Rosen, November 5, 2009

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has narrated a Holocaust memorial film marking the upcoming 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The film, The Legacy of Hope, is being released by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which Radcliffe, 20, is a supporter. The Jewish actor said he was “privileged” to be involved.

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Job losses as Holocaust Centre faces cash crisis

By Robyn Rosen, November 5, 2009

Up to nine redundancies will be made at the Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire in a bid to alleviate its financial crisis.

The memorial and educational centre founded by non-Jewish brothers Stephen and James Smith 14 years ago needs to slash its annual budget from £800,000 to £500,000 and activities such as professional training could be axed. It intends to focus its resources on educating the young — 22,000 primary and secondary pupils visit the centre every year.

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UK friends of Israeli mum killed in bus crash left traumatised

By Robyn Rosen, November 5, 2009

A police investigation is under way after a 29-year-old teaching assistant died in a road accident involving an Egged bus in Israel.

Last Wednesday at about 11pm, three cars and an Egged bus were involved in a pile-up on the road going from Eilat to Be’ersheva.

Liat Shoham, who returned to Israel last year after living in Chigwell for ten years, was a passenger in one of the cars with four members of her family.

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BBC under fire over 'antisemitic' material

By Robyn Rosen, November 5, 2009

Two complaints have been upheld against the BBC for “antisemitic” comments and “biased” material against Israel.

The BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) found that an item on the BBC news website, entitled “London summit on Jewish refugees” gave a “misleading impression” that Jews are treated equally in Muslim countries when, in fact, they are discriminated against.

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Rabbis attack conspiracy website

By Robyn Rosen, November 2, 2009

Rabbis across the country have spoken out against a new antisemitic website which denies the Holocaust, calls Jews “Satan worshippers” and lists addresses of all UK synagogues.

The site, entitled UK Lockdown, lists various Jewish conspiracy theories and claims that Jews were responsible for the economic downturn, MPs’ expenses scandals and 9/11 attacks.

UK Lockdown, registered to Michael Samuel, living in Tottenham, includes videos and newspaper articles and refers to Jews as “the enemy”, “satanic”, “vampires” and the “devil mercy”.

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Maccabi 'abusive' say referees

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

Maccabi League footballers are the most abusive of all to deal with, according to a number of referees who say it is putting them off the game.

Referees have said that players in the Maccabi Southern Football League (MSFL) are among the “worst” they have experienced.

Warwick Blake, 37, began refereeing the Sunday league less than a year ago but said he has already endured abuse and violence. Last month he returned to his car after a match to find all four of his tyres had been let down.

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Nurses find 'Hebrew' African village

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

Two Jewish nursing students had a pleasant surprise when they travelled to an impoverished town in Ghana only to discover a health clinic decorated with Stars of David.

Katie Susser and Sarah Mercer, both third year students at Birmingham University, have just returned from a two-month trip to Tamale, northern Ghana.

They volunteered at the Shekhinah Clinic, which was founded by Dr David Abdulai in 1989 and is run by local volunteers, helping patients with malaria, HIV and leprosy.

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Rabbi 'dug up graves for profit'

By Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009

The former head of the London Beth Din, Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, is to chair an extraordinary hearing against the chief rabbi of Turkey, who has been accused of desecrating ancient Jewish graves in Istanbul.

The allegations against Rabbi Yitzhak Haleva and his son, Rabbi Naftali Haleva of the Ortakoy congregation, have been made in a complaint to the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) by Israeli journalist Shaul Schiff.

He claimed the “destruction and desecration” of three Jewish cemeteries was ordered by “those craving wealth and profit”.

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