Robyn Rosen

Mitzvah Day volunteer force is set to reach 15,000

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

Mitzvah Day, the nationwide volunteer initiative where Jews across the religious spectrum give their time to help others, will be “bigger and better” this year, its founder promises.

Laura Marks expects to build on last year’s 10,000 participants and 85 partner organisations for the 2009 Mitzvah Day on November 15, for which the www.mitzvahday.org.uk website has now been launched. This year, she anticipates the involvement of 15,000 people and 130 communities from across the UK.

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Jumping for joy over GCSE success stories

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

Record-breaking Jewish pupil achievement in A-levels was continued at GCSE with Hasmonean High students recording the school’s best-ever performance.

Half the exams sat by the 131 Hasmonean pupils were passed with an A-star or A grade. And 90 per cent of students achieved five or more A-star to C passes including maths and English.

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Michael Howard on interfaith group's board

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

The former Conservative leader Michael Howard and the Labour MP Frank Field, a former minister, have been appointed as part of a “reinvigoration” of the trustees board at the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ).

The new appointments are part of an attempt to bring in influential characters who can increase the impact and reach of the CCJ, which aims to promote religious and cultural understanding between the two faiths.

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Brit milah inquest opens

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

An inquest will open next week into the death of a baby who stopped breathing after his circumcision.

Hornsey Coroners’ Court will hear testimony from an extensive list of witnesses who will give evidence about the death of Amitai Moshe.

The baby died on February 9 2007, eight days after his brit milah took place at Golders Green Synagogue.

He was taken by the strictly-Orthodox volunteer ambulance service, Hatzola, to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead but then transferred to University College Hospital, where he died.

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Irish NGO forced to cut back

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

An influential Dublin-based NGO which opposes settlements in Israel is cutting back its West Bank activity due to a lack of donations.

Trócaire will be forced to pull out of nine countries over the next 18 months and cut back its work in 27 other countries.

The Catholic aid agency has been operating in Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories since 2002 and spent approximately €500,000 (£441,500) there in the last financial year.

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Chief plans broadcast on crunch

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

The credit crunch will be the focus of the Chief Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah broadcast this year.

In his annual New Year message, to be aired on Monday, September 14, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks speaks to financial experts on whether faith can help us out of the recession.

Entitled A More Gracious Life, the programme will feature an interview with the BBC’s economics editor, Robert Peston, to discuss why the markets failed and what we have learned since the downturn.

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Kisharon may be moving

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

Special needs facility Kisharon has merged the management of its nursery and day school.

And the new principal, Rabbi Yitzchak Freeman, has revealed that the Kisharon Day School in Temple Fortune and the Golders Green-based Tuffkid nursery may be on the move.

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Star King Solomon student faces next test in army

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

Eran Dotan has achieved a magnificent seven at A- and AS level.

The 18-year-old King Solomon High pupil who commutes from Hendon to the Redbridge school recorded As in A-level maths, physics, chemistry and modern Hebrew, plus As in AS biology, further maths and Spanish.

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JFS pupils make the grade with record A-level results

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

JFS has reported its best-ever A-level results with 78 of its 226 pupils achieving three or more A grades.

“Results of this calibre owe much to excellent and highly focused teaching, our outstanding home–school relationships and the caring guidance and support every student receives,” JFS head Jonathan Miller said.

Emily Goldblatt achieved five A grades and six others got four — Joshua Bellman, Abie Cohen, Greg Garfield, Mark Graham, Coren Lass and Shelley de Jong.

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GCSE results delight education chiefs

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

Early GCSE results included a perfect performance from students at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Golders Green, who all achieved A-star standard in Jewish studies.

Education manager Judy Trotter was “absolutely thrilled. Some took the exam early so it is great news. I saw how hard these kids worked and how nervous they were beforehand so it’s not fair to say exams are getting easier.”

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Samurai assault on pair who challenged noisy neighbours

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

A property developer assaulted his neighbour with a samurai sword after a dispute about noise reached a climax, a court heard.

Estate agent Simon Korn, of Marylebone, central London, opened his door in the early hours of October 26 last year to see pyjama-clad Simon Carson, 58, wielding an antique samurai sword.

Mr Korn grabbed the sword, accidently slashing own his hand as he grappled Mr Carson to the ground, before Mr Carson’s wife, Freddie Booker-Carson, began slapping Mr Korn’s wife, Madeline, Southwark Crown Court heard.

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Sorry, Palwin lives to flay your palate another day

By Robyn Rosen, August 27, 2009

Some people always have a “glass is half empty” attitude. So when stocks of the famously sweet kiddush wine, Palwin, appeared to have run low at supermarkets across the country, frantic customers contacted the JC, worried that Palwin had closed down.

More than 100,000 bottles of Palwin wine are produced every year by the Israeli winery, Carmel, solely for the British market, but customers have reported a shortage in recent months.

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Samurai sword attack on couple

By Robyn Rosen, August 24, 2009

A couple who were attacked by samurai sword-wielding neighbours in their Marylebone home are outraged after the pair walked free from court.

Madeline and Simon Korn said they were “disgusted” after Mrs Freddie Booker-Carson was given an absolute discharge after admitting common assault.

Mrs Booker-Carson’s husband, Simon, was earlier given a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he attacked Mr Korn in October last year.

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Interest rockets in Jewish Care vacancies

By Robyn Rosen, August 21, 2009

Jewish Care is experiencing a massive upsurge in job applications as the recession forces more people back on to the employment market.

The health and social care charity claims a 1,600 per cent increase in responses from job seekers.
Recruitment drives normally attract 100 to 200 applications. This year, there have been 2,000 inquiries for 43 positions in the care sector.

Jewish Care director of human resources Diane Blausten has been overwhelmed by the interest. “We have been inundated with inquiries and have received some very high calibre applications,” she reported.

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Rabbis row over settlements

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

A row has broken out after a senior Reform rabbi publicly attacked two high-profile Progressive colleagues over comments made about Israel.

Rabbi Steven Katz, senior minister at Hendon Reform Synagogue, spoke out after the JC published the opinions of prominent British Jews on the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Britain later this month.

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Ivan Lewis on Israel visit calls for Gilad Shalit release

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

Ivan Lewis, the Middle East minister, has asked the Palestinian leadership for help in securing the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Making his first visit to Israel and the territories since taking up his Foreign Office post in June, Mr Lewis spent four days in the region. The trip followed a visit to Syria and Lebanon earlier this month.

Mr Lewis, MP for Bury South, a former vice-chairman of Labour Friends of Israel and chief executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation, said his aim was to help realise the goal of a two-state solution.

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Legal challenge to Stamford Hill homes quashed

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

The Agudas Israel Housing Association is celebrating the defeat of a legal challenge to a building project for Orthodox families in Stamford Hill.

In the High Court last Friday, Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected an application from local residents for a judicial review of Hackney Council’s approval of plans to redevelop the former Avigdor School site in Lordship Road into a special needs school and 29 residential units.

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Charity relief for the Jews of Moldova

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

A British charity worker has just returned from setting up a scheme to help unemployed Jews in poverty-torn Moldova.

World Jewish Relief programmes manager Cassie Williams said the Golders Green-based charity has pledged £50,000 over the next year to help single Jewish women improve both their job prospects and confidence.

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Amnesty stops its support for Cohen concert

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

Amnesty International says it has withdrawn its support from a concert in Israel because it did not receive sufficiently widespread support from Israelis and Palestinians.

Organisers of the Leonard Cohen concert, which sold out in a day and is due to take place in Tel Aviv next month, approached the US branch of the human rights charity to set up a fund which could distribute the profits of the concert to Israeli and Palestinian charities.

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Suicide-bomb sitcom attacked by Board

By Robyn Rosen, August 20, 2009

An online comedy about a group of Muslim suicide bombers in Britain could cause “gratuitous offence”, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies has warned.

Living with the Infidels, a sitcom which was launched on the web on Thursday, centres on a Bradford-based terror cell who are “set on a path to martyrdom” but are tempted by football, the pub and busty women.

The production company, The System Predicts, led by film-maker Aasaf Ainapore, claim the series has been made with the support of a senior, though unnamed, member of the Muslim Council of Britain.

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