Robyn Rosen

School falls foul of adjudicator

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2010

Hertsmere Jewish Primary has committed more than two dozen breaches of the admissions code, an independent schools adjudicator has found.

The adjudicator, Canon Richard Lindley, identified 26 breaches and told the school to clarify its code for the 2012 intake.

A parent contacted the Office of the Schools Adjudicator in October over an admissions issue. Canon Lindley initially refused to deal with the objection because of its late submission but then "discovered what I considered to be a large number of breaches of the requirement of the school admissions code".


Highly prized children

By Robyn Rosen, December 16, 2010

An eight-year-old boy who raised money for charity in memory of his mother was among the winners at Sunday's Jewish Children of the Year awards.

At the north London ceremony, staged by Jewish Child's Day and Camp Simcha, Independent Jewish Day School pupil Ben Sinclair received the inspiration award for setting up a sweet shop to raise money for the Gift charity. His mother died when he was two.

The personal achievement category was won by 11-year-old Amy Jo Brownson from Hale in Manchester, who raised £1,500 for charity from a celebrity joke book, Laugh Your Socks Off.


British Ort solves refugee mystery

By Robyn Rosen, December 10, 2010

British Ort, the Jewish education charity, has helped puzzled police uncover the history of a German refugee who died alone in his London flat.

The charity was contacted last week by the missing persons' department at Marylebone police station, which was searching for the next-of-kin of Franz Joseph Nebel. Mr Nebel's body was found by police in his home in October.

When searching his Maida Vale flat, police came across an article from Germany about a group visit to Berlin in 1989.


Kosher meat labels rejected by EU

By Robyn Rosen and Michel Zlotowski, December 9, 2010

The campaign to save shechitah in Europe has passed another hurdle after European ministers rejected controversial labelling plans.

The Council of Ministers approved a draft of new food information regulation on Tuesday.

The draft did not include Amendment 205, which called for all meat products derived from animals slaughtered by shechitah to be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".


British charities mobilise for Camel forest fund

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

Dozens of charities have launched appeals to fund recovery after the forest fires.

JNF UK, along with its sister organisations worldwide, is raising money to replant and replenish more than 12,000 acres of destroyed natural woodlands.

Samuel Hayek, JNF UK chairman, said: "What has happened in the Carmel region is an absolute tragedy for all involved. JNF mourns the loss of the life which has occurred and is greatly distressed by the extensive environmental and ecological damage caused by the fires.


Hague anger at no Israel settlement freeze

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he is “disappointed” Israel has not renewed its freeze on settlement building.

The announcement comes after the United States abandoned its efforts to persuade the Israeli government to freeze construction in the West Bank for a further 90 days.

Mr Hague said: “I am disappointed that Israel has not renewed the freeze on settlement construction and that peace talks are currently on hold.

“It is Britain’s longstanding view that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.


Warning over Charedi poverty

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

The umbrella organisation for strictly Orthodox charities has warned that the Charedi community is on the brink of "massive, frightening changes" and that poverty will grow to levels "beyond living memory".

Interlink reported a £41,000 surplus for the financial year at its annual meeting, following two years of deficit. It raised £2.39 million for the community and helped 19 organisations to secure public sector contracts last year, 11 more than envisioned.


Student shortage threatens deaf classes

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

A lip-reading class for the deaf and hard of hearing is on the brink of closure because of a shortage of students.

The Wednesday class at the Jewish Deaf Association in North Finchley launched two years ago after Barnet College ended its longstanding courses following funding cutbacks. JDA chiefs believe the issue is not a lack of need, but that "not enough people know about our classes".

Executive director Sue Cipin said lip-reading was vital to people with hearing impairment.


JLC advises on Big Society

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2010

The Jewish community has been assured that the Government's Big Society plans will not infringe on Jewish charities' faith-based work, following concerns flagged up in a new report.

The report, The Big Society and the UK Jewish Community, published by the Jewish Leadership Council this week, claims that the Government should "promote" Jewish communal organisations.

On Tuesday, representatives from the JLC, Jewish charities and schools met communities secretary, Eric Pickles, to discuss the report.


An interesting evening at LSE

By Robyn Rosen, December 7, 2010

Last night I was refused entry into a lecture at LSE.

The lecture was by Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper and was entitled How much influence does the Zionist lobby exert in the US and UK?

Mr Atwan, who was invited by the Palestine Society, was captured on video in 2007 on MEMRI TV saying: “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel – by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel.”


European victory in save shechitah campaign

By Robyn Rosen, December 7, 2010

The campaign to save the slaughter of kosher meat in the UK has passed another hurdle after European ministers today passed draft legislation which will not introduce controversial labelling.

This morning, the European Council of Ministers approved a draft of new food information regulation. The draft did not include amendment 205, which called for all meat products derived from animals slaughtered by shechitah to be labelled "meat from slaughter without stunning".


Carmel fire evacuee: 'the whole sky was red'

By Robyn Rosen, December 3, 2010

Thirteen-year-old Einav King was evacuated from her home in Nir Etzion along with her parents, three siblings and dog, to stay with her British grandmother, Gloria King, from Sunderland, in Hofit.

“When I came back from school in Haifa, the whole sky was red,” Einav said. “It was filled with dust and smoke. At home, everything was covered in smoke. I came out the house and saw the flames about five kilometres away.


Asbo pensioner promises he'll behave

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

A 72-year-old sheltered accommodation resident who was given an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) six months ago has won his legal battle to have it revoked.

John Godfrey, a resident of Daniel Court in Colindale, north west London, was given the order in May after the Jewish Community Housing Association accused him of "threatening violence" towards staff.

Mr Godfrey, a retired Merchant Navy officer, clashed with staff over conditions in his housing block and in February, the police were called after he personally removed locks from windows when his request to do so was refused.


Scottish Friends of Palestine take on referees

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

The Scottish Friends of Palestine have complained to European football's governing body over its "failure to address the actions of Israel against Palestine", after two Israeli referees stepped in during a strike.

Referees from Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg and Israel were drafted in to officiate at 11 Scottish matches last weekend after Scots referees refused.

Israel's Meir Levy refereed Hamilton's game against St Mirren along with two Israeli assistants. Another Israeli team, led by Eli Hacmon, officiated in Kilmarnock's game against Aberdeen.


Haringey recruits head

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

A Londoner who has been teaching in New York will be the first head of the cross-communal Haringey Jewish Primary, one of the new government-funded free schools, which is set to open next September.

Joint project leader Peter Kessler says Jo Sassienie was chosen for her "innovative attitude, her deep commitment to cross-communal Jewish education and her outstanding track record".


Edgware school gets funded

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

Edgware Jewish Primary School has won its battle to become state-funded.

Barnet Council approved the school's application on Monday and it will take effect from January 3.

Expressing gratitude to the council, governors' chair Eddy Breuer-Weil added: "EJPS is the first Orthodox Jewish primary school to achieve voluntary aided status this century. This is the culmination of two years of working in partnership with Barnet Council. We look forward to realising the benefits for the children of EJPS."


Another eruv planned

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

Brondesbury Park Synagogue is planning the latest London eruv, allowing the Orthodox to carry items or push buggies and wheelchairs on Shabbat.

An eruv committee has been formed and meetings are being held to confirm the boundaries, taking in Brondesbury Park, Queens Park, Mapesbury and parts of West Hampstead.

"This really takes the Brondesbury Park community to the next level," Rabbi Baruch Levin said. "It is going to open up new boundaries in terms of the level of observance of the community and attract people to an area which ticks all the boxes Jewishly and communally.


Hospital orders menorah removal

By Robyn Rosen, December 2, 2010

Hampstead's Royal Free Hospital has withdrawn its consent for a giant electric menorah in the entrance area.

The menorah was placed on Tuesday by Tzivos Hashem, a charity run by Rabbi Yossi and Chanie Simon, after permission was received from the hospital's communications officer. On Wednesday, the couple were told to remove it.


Toy Story's Holocaust Allegory

By Robyn Rosen, December 1, 2010

The blogosphere is buzzing about Oscar nominations, due to be announced in January, and Toy Story 3 is one film hotly tipped for best animation category.

Having loved the film myself, I have been keen to read other views and came across this interesting theory which claims that the entire movie is based on the Holocaust.

Those that have seen the animated film, about a group of toys whose owner has grown up and is ready to move to university without his childhood companions, may be shocked by this suggestion.


New Zealand kosher poultry ban overturned

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Jewish community in New Zealand is celebrating after the country’s ban on kosher poultry was overturned.

An agreement has been reached with the minister of agriculture which will enable the shechitah of poultry to continue, but the community is still negotiating over the slaughter of lamb .

In May, Agriculture Minister David Carter rejected a recommendation that shechitah be exempt from the new animal welfare code, which mandates that all commercially slaughtered animals must first be stunned, making shechitah illegal.