Marcus Dysch

Former JNF boss drops his employment case

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The former chief executive of JNF UK has withdrawn his claim for constructive dismissal against the charity.

Simon Winters agreed to drop the proceedings following negotiations between the parties. He will receive no compensation or further payment from the JNF.

Mr Winters was suspended from his role on June 27 last year while an investigation took place into allegations he had failed to control the charity’s income and expenditure ratio, allowed JNF money to be used “extravagantly” and used his company credit cards improperly.

More..

Regulator considers War on Want complaint

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The Charity Commission has confirmed it is considering a complaint from the World Jewish Congress about the actions of anti-poverty charity War on Want.

WJC president Ronald Lauder wrote to the Commission last month after WoW called for a worldwide boycott of Israel.

A Commission spokeswoman said it was “considering the contents” of the letter. However, the representative could not say when the matter would be resolved or what action could be taken.

More..

Shivah-conman film could make Oscars

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

A critically acclaimed short film starring Sir Derek Jacobi as a trickster targeting shivah houses could be nominated for an Oscar after winning a prestigious award in Hollywood.

Sidney Turtlebaum won best foreign film at the annual LA Shorts Fest — the world’s largest short film festival — last week and is now automatically eligible for Academy Award consideration.

The 10-minute comedy was first screened at last year’s UK Jewish film festival.

More..



Now it's Iran's 'narcotics' wall

By Marcus Dysch, July 31, 2009

Courtesy of Harry’s Place, more wall news.

After India last week we now have Iran apparently making attempts to keep out narcotics from Afghanistan.

Where next? Italy? Ivory Coast? Indonesia might find it a bit trickier….

More..

Shuls collect donations for arrested Jerusalem 'starvation' mother

By Marcus Dysch and Anshel Pfeffer, July 30, 2009

Donations were due to be collected in every strictly Orthodox synagogue in Stamford Hill yesterday to raise money for the family of a three-year-old boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem.

The toddler weighed just 14lb when he was admitted to hospital earlier this month.

The boy’s father grew up in the Stamford Hill community and his grandparents still live there.

Money was due to be collected following Tisha B’Av minchah services. Proceeds will be donated to the family to help pay for the mother’s legal costs and medical bills.

More..

US teenager dies in arms of British girls in freak camp accident

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

An American teenager has died in the arms of two British camp leaders following a freak accident.

Leah Blum, who was 14, was killed after a 51ft branch fell 30ft from a tree and crushed her as she played with other youngsters in a tent.

Sophie Greenfield, of Radlett, and Leeds University student Tash Nineberg, both 21, rushed to help, but found Leah critically injured.

The British youth leaders had been in a neighbouring tent when the accident happened at the Emma Kaufmann Camp in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, on Wednesday last week.

More..

US teenager dies in arms of British girls in freak camp accident

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

An American teenager has died in the arms of two British camp leaders following a freak accident.

Leah Blum, who was 14, was killed after a 51ft branch fell 30ft from a tree and crushed her as she played with other youngsters in a tent.

Sophie Greenfield, of Radlett, and Leeds University student Tash Nineberg, both 21, rushed to help, but found Leah critically injured.

The British youth leaders had been in a neighbouring tent when the accident happened at the Emma Kaufmann Camp in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, on Wednesday last week.

More..

Maccabiah dorm 'had bugs and live wires'

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

Athletes from Britain’s medal-winning Maccabiah Games youth team have described their shock at finding cockroach infestations and live electric wires in the bedrooms of their Israeli accommodation.

The teenagers were due to stay at the Neveh Hadassah youth village, near Netanya, for the duration of the tournament but were relocated to a five-star hotel by Team GB bosses after just 24 hours due to health and safety concerns.

More..

New convert will turn hotel into synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

A hotel is to be turned into a synagogue to house a Golders Green Jewish community.

Plans approved by Barnet councillors will see the Central Hotel in Hoop Lane converted into a shul with two flats by members of the Sassov Synagogue, currently based in nearby Helenslea Road.

A Sassov spokesman explained: “We already own the hotel building but we don’t have a timeframe for the work to be done. Our community is growing and we need the extra space.” The purpose-built shul would replace the smaller building currently used for services.

More..

Survivors want their stories told

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2009

British Jews are asked to take a greater role in documenting the testimony of those who escaped the Shoah.

The appeal has come from Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon, which wants the wider community to help record the experiences of its 550 members, passing on the baton of remembrance for future generations.

More..



Is there something Rubens isn't telling us?

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2009

Watching the closing stages of last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, my mother pointed out an appendage on top of driver Rubens Barrichello’s helmet.

The 37-year-old Brazilian was, seemingly, wearing a Star of David. Right in shot of the car’s on-board camera.

I’ve been watching Formula One on and off for quite a few years. Long enough to have seen Barrichello racing around circuits all over the world. I couldn’t remember ever having seen the symbol on his helmet before. Nor had I any recollection of him having any Jewish heritage.

More..



India's Security Barrier

By Marcus Dysch, July 24, 2009

Last night's Channel Four News featured a lengthy report on a security barrier.

But, shock horror, it was not Israel's fence/wall in the West Bank, but rather the one at the centre of India's efforts to protect her border with Bangladesh and slow the threat from Islamist militants.

When complete, the barrier will consist of no less than 2,000 miles of barbed wire, manned by thousands of armed troops. The intention is that by next year the whole border will be sealed off.

More..

Richard Desmond loses libel battle

By Marcus Dysch, July 23, 2009

Newspaper boss Richard Desmond has lost his libel action over claims that he abused his position to pursue a vendetta against a rival media tycoon.

A High Court jury has decided by a majority that the Express Group owner was not defamed in Tom Bower's 2006 biography of the former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black.

Mr Desmond faces a bill for legal costs estimated at around £1.25 million.

Outside the court, Mr Bower said the jurors had "done a great service to British journalism".

More..



Ronaldo bringing peace to the Middle East?

By Marcus Dysch, July 23, 2009

The Daily Telegraph has a story on its site about former Golden Boot winner Ronaldo (the original, fat one) who is to star as himself in a movie due to be made in Lebanon.

There’s plenty of potential for mirth in the simple facts of the matter: Would any child really dream of the toothy striker without waking up in a cold sweat? Does this mean his football career is finally over? Is he really still only 32?

I could go on.

More..

Mother whose arrest fired rage ‘is innocent’

By Marcus Dysch, July 23, 2009

The grandmother of a three-year-old boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem until he weighed just 14 lb has said she is standing by her daughter-in-law, whose arrest has sparked rioting by some of the city’s strictly Orthodox factions.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is a member of the strictly Orthodox community in Stamford Hill, north London.

“I’m giving my daughter-in-law my full support for everything. She’s a wonderful woman. She’s never had a personal problem,” the 50-year-old said.

More..

Shoah email sackings

By Marcus Dysch, July 23, 2009

Four council workers have been sacked for sending antisemitic emails comparing Israel’s operations in Gaza to the Holocaust.

Five other staff members received written warnings and have since returned to work at Lancashire County Council.

The office workers were suspended in April after the messages were discovered on the authority’s email accounts. The council said the staff had both sent and received “highly inappropriate emails”.

The sacked staff are appealing against the decision.

More..

Heather Mills: eat kosher with me

By Marcus Dysch and Cecily Woolf, July 23, 2009

It can’t be easy bouncing back from a high-profile divorce and a personality-pounding from the national press — but Heather Mills may just have found a happy, and haimishe, distraction from it all.

Sir Paul McCartney’s ex-wife this week said she had applied to the London Beth Din in an attempt to secure kosher certification for her range of vegan products.

She plans to serve the food, including fake meat, chicken and fish, at a vegan café she has opened in Hove, East Sussex.

More..



Never mind the kugelsack, Brüno has real chutzpah

By Marcus Dysch, July 20, 2009

If you thought the naked fight scene with Azamat Bagatov in Borat was as much as you could bear, it might be best to stay away from Brüno.

Last night I went to see Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest offering. Arriving at the cinema I innocently wondered what could possibly be in the film to have led the classification board to give it an 18 certificate.

An hour and a half later, and after a level of obscenity that shocked even this gritty Northerner, it was pretty obvious.

More..

Father given police warning over church row

By Marcus Dysch, July 16, 2009

An argument over church rent has landed a Jewish father-of-three with a police harassment warning.

Martyn Saunders-Rawlings, a former member of Hastings and Bexhill Jewish Society, had protested against a council decision to lease a building to an evangelical group at a reduced rate and with an annual grant.

He wrote to Cathy and Glenn Khan, who run Hastings’ Sonrise Church, as well as sending letters and emails to other church leaders and his local newspaper during the past year.

More..

Amnesty slams critics of war crimes report

By Marcus Dysch, July 9, 2009

Amnesty International has defended its report of the Gaza conflict in the face of fierce criticism from the IDF and NGO Monitor.
Although the report, Operation Cast Lead: 22 Days of Death and Destruction, says both sides committed war crimes, it focuses overwhelmingly on the actions of the Israeli army.

Amnesty’s Jeremy Croft said the charity “absolutely refuted” NGO Monitor’s attempt to “rubbish” the document, and said that since February, the IDF had refused requests to discuss the findings.

More..