Marcus Dysch

Celebration for Birmingham chaplain couple

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

A celebration dinner has been held to mark Birmingham chaplain Rabbi Fishel Cohen and his wife Esther's 25 years of service.

The couple moved to the city in August 1984, initially taking responsibility for the entire Midlands region, and have since attended to the religious, pastoral and welfare needs of thousands of students.

Over the years they have covered universities in Warwick, Wolverhampton, Derby, Coventry, Loughborough, Leicester and Nottingham.

On Sunday, more than 200 people attended the Midlands Region Chaplaincy Board dinner to celebrate the couple's work.

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Lawyers face £34m fraud investigation

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

Three prominent Jewish lawyer brothers are embroiled in an alleged multi-million pound fraud case in Gibraltar.

London-based Isaac Marrache and his brothers, Benjamin and Solomon, who own and run the Marrache & Co firm, have all been declared bankrupt and face a range of charges.

Benjamin and Solomon, who run the firm's Gibraltar office, were declared bankrupt in early May by Gibraltar's Supreme Court, which claims that the pair have stashed money in Israel and Panama.

The company is now in administration and specialists are investigating claims against it totalling £34 million.

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Who is Lord Triesman?

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

Lord Triesman, the Labour peer, has resigned from his roles as chairman of the Football Association and its World Cup 2018 bid.

His departure followed revelations in a Sunday newspaper that he had accused Spain and Russia of planning to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup in an attempt to aid their own 2018 bids.

The comments were made during a private meeting with Melissa Jacobs, a 37-year-old former aide who secretly recorded their conversation.

She also claims to have had an affair with the 66-year-old, which he denies.

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Manchester students urged to stay in city

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

Manchester JSoc's final Friday Night Fever of the year saw speakers tackle the issue of the "brain-drain" of graduates leaving the city after completing their degrees.

Four members of UJIA's leadership programme discussed the perceived problem of students not interacting with the local Jewish community and then returning to their home cities after graduating, rather than starting their careers in the North West.

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Tournament in memory of Oxford student

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

More than 125 people took part in a football tournament in memory of Oxford University student Antonia Bruch.

Antonia, who was 18, had been studying theology at Regent's Park College for a month when she contracted meningitis and died last October.

The Lag b'Omer event, sponsored by University Jewish Chaplaincy, saw 25 teams compete in the five-a-side competition.

Other attractions included a kosher barbecue and an auction of football memorabilia.

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High demand for Jewish uni chaplains

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

An unprecedented level of demand from students has led University Jewish Chaplaincy to recruit extra staff for a range of new roles.

Requests for assistance with a variety of social, educational and welfare-related problems has stretched the country's team of 10 chaplains.

In response, UJC has created two new roles to cover JSocs in London and the north east.

From September, a project officer will work with London chaplain Rabbi Gavin Broder to provide extra help.

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Jewish psychic sues management for £1m

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

A psychic has started High Court proceedings against his former management company, claiming he is owed £1 million.

Colin Fry, who hosted the TV show 6ixth Sense, in which he explores the world of the paranormal, has applied for an injunction to freeze the assets of International Programme Marketing (IPM).

Mr Fry, who is Jewish, claims IPM failed to pay him a fair share of profits from his touring show, in which he demonstrates "mediumship".

IPM had managed his business affairs since 2000.

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Student 'considered quitting' over Leeds story

By Marcus Dysch, May 13, 2010

A university student union officer has admitted he considered resigning after being criticised for censoring a student paper.

The paper had published an interview interpreted as suggesting Jews control the media.

Jak Codd, Leeds University Union communications and internal affairs officer, helped take the decision to remove, temporarily, copies of Leeds Student from the Union building a fortnight ago.

The paper's Laura Mackenzie had interviewed Sameh Habeeb, the founder and editor of the online Palestine Telegraph, about his experiences during last year's Gaza conflict.

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Porcelain and the Palestinians

By Marcus Dysch, May 11, 2010

So there you are happily going about your business at a typically British spring craft fair.

The tables are lined with porcelain bits and pieces, no doubt there's some Tupperware containing rhubarb crumble, and the odd dodgy watercolour laying around.

But what is that amid the dream catchers and clay pots? A sizeable pro-Palestinian demonstration? Well of course, what better says ‘village green craft fair’ than banners promoting the intifada?

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Dismore may challenge Hendon election

By Marcus Dysch, May 10, 2010

Former Labour MP Andrew Dismore may legally challenge the result of the poll in the Hendon constituency, which has one of the highest percentages of Jewish voters in the country.

Mr Dismore wrote to supporters asking them to provide him with evidence of disorganisation and proof they had been denied the chance to vote.

He lost the seat, which he had held for 13 years, to Matthew Offord, a former deputy leader of Barnet Council, by just 106 votes following a recount.

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MPAC boasts of election 'triumph'

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

A Muslim organisation which campaigned against candidates who support Israel has claimed it is responsible for Andrew Dismore losing his Hendon seat.

Mr Dismore was narrowly defeated by Conservative candidate Matthew Offord, losing the constituency by just 106 votes following a recount.

On its website, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) claimed it had “defeated the top ranking Zionist MP Dismore!”.

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Election result: Glasgow South

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Labour’s Tom Harris held the Glasgow South seat, home to a large section of Scotland’s Jewish community.

He won with 20,736 votes – the highest number of votes for any candidate in any of the city’s constituencies – and a majority of 12,658.

His nearest challenger was the Scottish National Party's Malcolm Fleming and there was a 1.5 per cent swing from Labour to the SNP.

Mr Harris was first elected in the constituency – then known as Glasgow Cathcart – in 2001.

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Election result: Altrincham and Sale

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Conservative MP Graham Brady has comfortably held on to his Altrincham and Sale West seat on the edge of Manchester Jewry’s most affluent community.

Mr Brady recorded 24,176 votes to remain as the representative of the largest number of Jewish voters outside north Manchester, a constituency which includes Bowdon, Hale and Sale.

He now has a majority of 11,595, despite a small swing of 0.8 per cent from Conservative to Lib Dem.

That left Lib Dem Jane Brophy second with 12,581 votes, just ahead of Labour’s Tom Ross on 11,073.

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Election result: Liverpool Wavertree

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Luciana Berger has won an impressive victory for Labour in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

Despite upsetting some voters who believed she had been “parachuted” into the safe seat, the former Labour Friends of Israel director received 20,132 votes.

That was more than half of all votes polled in the seat and represented a five per cent swing from the Liberal Democrats to Labour.

Ms Berger increased the party’s majority by more than 2,000, picking up more votes than outgoing Labour MP Jane Kennedy did in 2005.

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Election result: Ilford South

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Labour’s Mike Gapes has held his Ilford South seat, increasing his majority despite a bitter face-off with anti-Israel extremists who were determined to oust him.

Mr Gapes received 25,311 votes and a slight increase on his share of the vote. The result gave him a majority of 11,297.

Leaflets distributed in the run up to polling day had described him as a “pro-war, pro-Israel and Islamophobic MP”.

Mr Gapes declared the personal attacks, carried out by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), as “poisonous”.

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Election result: Finchley and Golders Green

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Conservative candidate Mike Freer has been elected in the constituency with the highest proportion of Jewish voters, Finchley and Golders Green.

Mr Freer finished with 21,688 votes, giving him a comfortable majority of 5,809.

The former Barnet Council leader had been a heavy favourite with the bookies, who had quoted him at odds as short of 1/20 to win in Margaret Thatcher’s former constituency.

His victory represented a 5.8 per cent swing from Labour to the Conservatives. The seat had been one of the Tory party’s key targets.

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Election result: Hendon

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

Conservative candidate Matthew Offord has ousted Labour’s Andrew Dismore to win the Hendon constituency in one of the country’s closest election battles.

Mr Offord, a former deputy leader of Barnet Council, won by just 106 votes following a recount.

He received 19,635 votes to Mr Dismore’s 19,529.

The result represented a swing of 5.2 per cent to the Tories from Labour.

The Liberal Democrats’ Matthew Harris, the only Jewish candidate in the ward, trailed in third with 5,734 votes.

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Jewish students lead the way for charitable work

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

Jewish student organisations are leading the way as campuses become a focal point for charity work and volunteering projects.

They are increasingly taking part in social action programmes to give something back to communities in the towns and cities where they study.

The Union of Jewish Students launched its One campaign earlier this year, using Jewish values to encourage social activism and train members for involvement with a range of charitable efforts and apply for grants to help make a difference on their campuses.

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UJS runs fair for student advice

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

The Union of Jewish Students is running a fair for sixth form students who are preparing to go to university.

The JC-sponsored event will give A-level pupils the opportunity to meet members of JSocs from around the country.

Those attending the event will be able to learn about what life is like for Jewish students on campus.

There will be specialist stalls giving advice on safety and security, welfare and financial support, pastoral care, accommodation and gap year programmes.

The fair takes place in Borehamwood on June 20.

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Internship aid on offer

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2010

Students, graduates and job seekers will have the chance to find work experience and internships with the help of a Jewish charity this summer.

TrainE-TraidE, which provides employment opportunities for Jews, is running a scheme aimed at placing prospective job candidates in companies across a range of industries.

Shraga Zaltzman, managing director of TrainE-TraidE, said: "Finding a job is difficult at the best of times, not to mention now during an economic recession. The summer placement scheme will help to provide candidates with experience."

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