Marcus Dysch

Rebuilding plan for Golders Green school

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

An Orthodox school in Golders Green school is to be rebuilt to increase its capacity.

The privately run Talmud Torah Tiferes Shlomo in Elmcroft Crescent currently educates 148 boys aged between three and seven but is struggling to accommodate them in its run-down prefabricated buildings.

New classrooms will enable it to cater for 210 pupils. They will be built around an open courtyard with a second courtyard serving as a playground.

Rooftop play areas will also be created, with fencing and vegetation around the premises.

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UK Beth Din settles Sydney rabbi’s row

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

A long-running legal battle between a prominent Sydney rabbi and his cash-strapped congregation has been settled by the London Beth Din.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, of the Orthodox Bondi Mizrachi Synagogue, will receive AUS$952,000 (£484,700) when he leaves the congregation, which he has led for more than 21 years.

The LBD ordered the shul to pay the rabbi a £121,224 lump sum when he departs, either by resignation or dismissal. He will then receive the rest of the money in monthly payments, starting in March 2012.

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5ft 2 woman in court for attacking 'stocky' neighbour

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

A mother of four has spoken of her relief at being cleared of assaulting a neighbour during a row over a lost football.

Petite Susannah Marmot, 42, endured a ten-month ordeal following a scuffle with stocky George Louka outside her home in Edgware, north west London.

She was accused of actual bodily harm after Mr Louka fell and cut his head, requiring ten stitches, as she tried to retrieve her son’s ball.

Dustman Mr Louka was described in court as an “Alf Garnett” figure who regularly shouted abuse at neighbours and called police to make complaints.

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BBC backs Jeremy Bowen in bias probe

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

The BBC has confirmed that a trustee who says he has “complete confidence” in Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen will be allowed to chair an investigation into complaints against the correspondent.

Richard Tait, head of the corporation’s Editorial Standards Committee, will lead the case considering allegations of inaccuracy and bias.

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Cambridge mikveh plans are rejected

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

Plans to build Cambridge’s first mikveh were plunged into further confusion this week after a council rejected a rabbi’s planning application.

Chabad’s Rabbi Reuven Leigh had asked for permission to convert a ground floor garage and kitchen into a ritual bath at his Castle Street home.

But Cambridge Council planning committee turned down his request, despite the council’s own officials advising them to give the project the go-ahead.

Rabbi Leigh, who is also rabbi of Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation, said he would appeal against the “bizarre” decision.

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Minister says UK has crucial MidEast role

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

Ivan Lewis, the Middle East minister, believes Israel and the Palestinians are facing their “best last chance for peace in a generation”.

Speaking after returning from a tour of the region which took in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Lebanon, Mr Lewis outlined a ten-point plan which he believes will help Britain play an important role in the peace process.

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Netanyahu meets Brown at Downing St

By Marcus Dysch, August 25, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart Gordon Brown have held Downing Street talks on the future of the Middle East peace process.

The leaders discussed the future development of West Bank settlements and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programme.

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Ex- JC reporter cleared of assault

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

A former JC reporter has been cleared of assaulting her neighbour in an argument over her children’s football.

Susannah Marmot, 42, was found not guilty at the Old Bailey after just half an hour of jury deliberations. She faced one charge of actual bodily harm.

Mrs Marmot, of Edgware, north west London, was accused of attacking George Louka and leaving him needing 10 stitches following a row outside their homes in October last year. He had confiscated a ball belonging to the children after it rolled into his garden.

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Swastika mystery in Aberystwyth

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

A series of alledged antisemitic attacks are being investigated by police in a Welsh seaside town where strictly Orthodox Jews were on holiday.

Officers in Aberystwyth responded to reports of swastikas painted on grass and sheets of paper daubed with the Nazi symbol being scattered near a student village where dozens of Chasidic Jews were staying.

But Dyfed-Powys police said they had found no evidence of the grass incident and had received no complaints from the Jewish visitors.

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Family of cancer man raise £2m for centre

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

A multi-million pound cancer diagnosis centre has been opened at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea in memory of music industry executive and cancer victim Raz Gold.

Mr Gold, who held senior posts at EMI and Warner, died in 2005 at the age of 39. Since then relatives including former Spurs vice-chairman Paul Kemsley have raised £3 million for the Raz Gold Foundation, of which £2 million has been put towards a rapid diagnostic and assessment centre at the Royal Marsden.

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Lockerbie bomber released

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is to be released from jail on compassionate grounds.

The decision comes 24 hours after the parents of Jewish victim Marc Tager said such a move would be “ridiculous”.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today rejected a prisoner transfer request which would have seen al-Megrahi serve the rest of his sentence in his home country.

But he agreed to the release on grounds of al-Megrahi suffering from terminal prostate cancer.

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Family's trauma over neighbours 'from hell'

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

A Jewish family say they are being tormented by antisemitic abuse and harassment from a family of nine travellers living next door at taxpayers’ expense.

Jeremy and Hannah Kaye, an administrator for the Hanoar Hatzioni youth group, and their sons Jamie and Charlie, say they have been taunted with shouts of “Yids, Yids” and had glass jars and sacks of rubbish thrown at their home.

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Supremacist Wiginton banned from Britain

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2009

An American white supremacist was barred from entering Britain to attend the BNP’s annual summer festival over fears that his presence would stir up racial tension.

Preston Wiginton, 44, was turned away from the UK border after arriving at Heathrow from New York for last weekend’s Red, White and Blue festival.

He has close links to BNP leader Nick Griffin and helped to organise a university speaking tour for him in the US.

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Pick a card...

By Marcus Dysch, August 19, 2009

On Monday I visited the Home Office for a briefing with Lord Brett, the wonderfully titled Identity Minister (add your own 1984 joke here).

I’d been invited to discuss the rollout of the national ID cards scheme which is supposedly gathering speed.

Before going to meet the affable Mancunian Peer, I made some enquiries within the Jewish community as to people’s views on whether the cards would be, essentially, good or bad for the Jews.

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Lockerbie parents slam convict release plans

By Marcus Dysch, August 19, 2009

The parents of Lockerbie victim Marc Tager believe it would be "ridiculous" to release on compassionate grounds the Libyan man convicted of the bombing.

Michael and Birthe Tager, of Hendon, north west London, said it would be wrong to free Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who is serving life in a Scottish jail for murdering 270 people aboard Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

He is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and is believed to be in a grave condition, close to death.

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Mudslinging bikini activists protest against Ahava and Kristin Davis

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2009
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Stolen Beauty, a group committed to boycotting Israeli goods, has specifically targeted Oxfam ambassador Kristin Davis and her promotion of Ahava cosmetics.

Stolen Beauty is run by American women who were initially opposed to the Iraq war. They turned their attention to Israel in June, with bikini-clad protestors demonstrating outside an Ahava store in Washington DC and gate-crashing a beach party event promoting Tel Aviv in New York City.

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Hand of history

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2009

I don’t want to go all Tony Blair on you, but there is something a little bit special about feeling the hand of history on your shoulder.

Joining Baroness Ruth Deech in Krakow last week to collect her family silver – hidden away for nearly 70 years – was a remarkable privilege.

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Israelis banned from world conference

By Marcus Dysch, August 13, 2009

The Israel Antiquities Authority has launched a furious attack on the World Archaeological Congress claiming Israeli archaeologists were excluded from a conference held in Ramallah.

Together with the Archaeological Council of Israel, the IAA claimed WAC officials had “set out with the goal in mind of inserting political issues into the professional archaeological experience” during the Overcoming Structural Violence conference.

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How the baroness got her silver back

By Marcus Dysch, August 13, 2009

It was smuggled out of the Nazis’ grasp and hidden in a secret drawer in a small Krakow flat for more than 60 years, but a set of silver cutlery finally took pride of place in the home of a British baroness this week.

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Mountain rescue for yeshivah boys, again

By Nigel Burnham and Marcus Dysch, August 13, 2009

Rescue teams in the Lake District have criticised a group of 23 yeshivah students who got stuck on a mountain for the second successive year.

An all-night rescue operation was launched on Sunday after the group from Gateshead Talmudical College became stuck while descending the 2,057ft Looking Stead, in one of Cumbria’s most remote valleys.

The male students, aged 14 to 23, were stranded on steep ground in mist and rain after wandering off a fell pass. Many were ill-prepared and were wearing T-shirts and trainers.

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