Marcus Dysch



Tell us what you really think Mr Ambassador...

By Marcus Dysch, September 29, 2009

Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the UK, has an excellent comment piece in today’s Times, taking a hefty swipe at the UN Human Rights Council and the Goldstone report.

He doesn’t mince his words:

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Holocaust survivor to thank Pope for priest who saved him

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A Holocaust survivor whose life was saved by a Catholic priest during the war will visit the Vatican next month to thank the Pope.

Joseph Szlezinger was hidden in a Belgian convent and his mother Gita lived for 18 months in a basement after the priest, Father Clement, agreed to protect them from the Nazis.

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Glowing report for gefilte fish

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

The traditional choice for a kosher fish supper is chopped and boiled or chopped and fried. But we can reveal a new option — chopped and glow-in-the-dark.

Student Jessica Taylor was shocked to see her late-night gefilte fish snack light up the kitchen of her north London family home by glowing bright green and yellow. Her mother had bought the Hoffman’s product the previous day at Moshe’s Deli in Temple Fortune.

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Hillel goes from digs to digital

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

Gone are the days of Hillel houses being seen as run-down, out-of-date digs for religious students who want to be close to a morning minyan.

In the past year, Hillels across the country have undergone substantial changes, with houses being transformed into modern student centres furnished with plasma screen TVs, wireless internet and kosher cafés.

Daniel Marcus, UJS Hillel chief executive, said the organisation is making a conscious effort to provide Jewish students with plush surroundings.

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Highland Shabbaton

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

Northern region JSocs are holding their annual Highland weekend in October.

All students in Scotland and the north of England can attend the Shabbaton, taking place from October 16 to 18 near Glasgow.

Tickets cost £30. For more information, email northern.region.jc@googlemail.com or phone Hayden Krasner on 07795 155 040.

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Yom Kippur on campus

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

Yom Kippur services are being run by a number of JSocs for students returning to their campuses this week.

In Birmingham, a pre-fast dinner is being prepared by Rabbi Yaakov Singer and in Leeds a range of Orthodox, Reform, Masorti and Liberal services will be held.

Contact your JSoc for times and locations.

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Ex-recruit warns: ‘beware missionaries’

By Marcus Dysch, September 24, 2009

A former member of Jews for Jesus has warned that missionary Christians are creating a “spiritual holocaust in our communities” by converting Jews.

Julian Ciss told an audience at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue how he had been recruited and later converted by the organisation.

He explained how he was approached by an evangelical Christian at a college art fair in his native Canada, and after beginning a relationship with the woman started attending her church.

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Chagall's Jerusalem Windows sells for £82,000

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

A set of 12 prints depicting the biblical scene when Jacob blesses his sons on his deathbed have been sold at Christie’s for £82,250.

The Jerusalem Windows (Douze Maquettes de Vitraux pour Jérusalem) were originally designed by Marc Chagall in 1962 for the synagogue attached to the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre, Israel’s first hospital.

It was Chagall’s first stained glass work. The designs were later turned into the set of lithographs by Charles Sorlier.

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Sugar relieved after Sun terror tale proves false

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

A front page story in the Sun which named Lord Sugar and other prominent British Jews as potential targets for Islamic extremists was fabricated by the article’s main source, it has been revealed.

Headlined “Terror target Sugar: Alan on Gaza ‘revenge’ list”, the piece claimed the Apprentice star and others including Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Lord Levy, Amy Winehouse and record producer Mark Ronson were on a list being drawn up of “Britons supporting Israel”.

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Historians back BBC over Jewish massacre claim

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

Israeli historians have backed the BBC after the corporation stood by comments made in a TV documentary claiming that an ancient Jewish tribe massacred Christians who refused to convert.

The Board of Deputies complained to the BBC over perceived inaccuracies and lack of context in The Frankincense Trail, in which presenter Kate Humble followed the trade route which first connected the Arab world with the West.

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Police swoop on Shabbat beach dinner

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

A bottle of kiddush wine was confiscated and poured away by police who pounced on a group of messianic Jews enjoying Shabbat dinner on a beach.

Five members of the Messiach Ben Yisrael community had been using the Palwin No 4 to make kiddush on Bournemouth beach.

The Basingstoke-based group had begun a post-kiddush discussion about the hymn Adon Olam when two police officers approached them for breaking “no alcohol” regulations.

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University chaplains ready to help students

By Marcus Dysch, September 18, 2009

Eating disorders, alcoholism and clinical depression are not issues which Jewish parents traditionally worry about their children encountering at university.

But these are among the wide range of problems tackled by the rabbis and rebbetzins of the University Jewish Chaplaincy service.

This year UJC is extending its reach further than ever, with four new chaplains starting work in Oxford; Scotland and the North East; and Cambridge and East Anglia and the first ever chaplain covering the south coast region.

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Israeli hairdresser convicted of sexual assault

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2009

An Israeli hairdresser faces jail after being convicted of kissing and stroking a 13-year-old girl while chatting about how to give her a new look.

Shay Kaldron, 33, told the girl she was beautiful after slipping his hand under her top and caressing her stomach.

He had gone to her home in Finchley, north London, to cut the teenager’s and her mother’s hair.

But when the mother left briefly to pick up her son, Kaldron took his chance to make a move on the girl.

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How much should you reveal in a job interview?

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2009

So Brent North MP Barry Gardiner has dismissed his recently appointed communications officer Joseph Brown for not revealing he was pro-Palestinian.

Mr Gardiner, a former vice chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said while he didn’t expect his employees to share his political views, he was unhappy that former student union anti-racism officer Brown had not revealed what a controversial figure he had been at LSE.

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UJS: Our students will be resolute

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

The Union of Jewish Students chair says the organisation will approach the new academic year with optimism, despite a potential wave of anti-Israel action on campuses.

Adam Pike said UJS would stand up to the threat of boycott motions, antisemitism and attacks and pledged to not “cower in the corner”.

Last year was one of the most challenging UJS has faced. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last December and January sparked furious demonstrations on Britain’s campuses.

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Chief Rabbi makes New Year podcast

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has wished students Shana Tova in a podcast for the new Union of Jewish Students website.

In the three-minute message he said society was suffering from “mission drift”.

He said: “We are affluent beyond the dreams of any previous generation since man first walked on earth, yet rates of stress-related syndromes, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depressive illnesses have been rising with each successive generation since the 1950s.”

He advised students to instead celebrate life in a “wonderful university environment”.

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CST publishes booklet on campus race hate

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

Five thousand brochures giving practical and legal advice on tackling antisemitism on campus will be distributed to thousands of students and university officers when the new academic year begins later this month.

A 68-page guide, compiled by the Union of Jewish Students and Community Security Trust, will be sent to every student union equalities and diversity officer in the UK.

It explains how to identify antisemitism, who to turn to for help, and how to tackle it through education and fostering better relations.

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BNP must accept non-whites after legal battle

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

The British National Party is poised to accept non-white members and candidates of different ethnicities following a legal challenge which accused it of racial discrimination.

BNP leader Nick Griffin indicated that the party will make changes to its constitution after the Equality and Human Rights Commission sought an injunction, claiming the party’s membership rules breach the Race Relations Act.

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War on Want is cleared by charity watchdog

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

The Charity Commission has cleared War on Want of wrongdoing after the anti-poverty charity hosted an event which accused Israel of human rights abuses and called for a worldwide boycott of the Jewish state.

Zionist Federation president Eric Moonman, who had complained to the commission about WoW’s actions, will now put together a panel of academics to scrutinise the commission’s work.

The commission said this week it was satisfied that the anti-poverty group had worked within the rules and not breached charitable guidelines by hosting the event.

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So, Boris, fasting for Yom Kippur?

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

When Mayor of London Boris Johnson last week urged non-Muslims to fast for a day during Ramadan to learn more about Islam, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would enquire as to his views on the benefits of non-Jews fasting on Yom Kippur.

Perhaps it was equally inevitable that Mr Johnson’s response would come in his trademark garbled fashion.

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