Marcus Dysch

JFS school bus abuser in court

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

A teenager has admitted threatening to stab a group of Jewish schoolchildren whom he verbally abused as they travelled home from school.

The 16-year-old, unnamed for legal reasons, shouted “Jewish scum” at the JFS pupils during the incident on November 10 last year.

He admitted charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Magistrates heard how the unemployed youngster, who was around 6ft 6in tall, boarded a 183 bus in West Hendon with a gang of friends.

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Coventry sends a message in fight against intolerance

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

An emotional service in Coventry on Sunday attended by over 100 Shoah survivors served as the national commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Reflecting the government’s commitment to HMD, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was among the audience of 800 at the Belgrade Theatre and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears was one of the speakers, pledging to combat extremism in her Salford community and beyond.

“I will give my all to stop the Far Right,” she declared. “I will work hard to ensure Britain is a place where all are safe.

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Tony Benn: 'Expel the Israel envoy'

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2009

Former Labour MP Tony Benn used a demonstration in Trafalgar Square to call for Israel’s ambassador to Britain to be expelled from the country.

Speaking last Saturday, Mr Benn, president of the Stop the War Coalition, accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza and said Ron Prosor should be banished in response.

He also said Israeli airlines should be banned from landing planes at British airports.

Similar calls to remove Mr Prosor were made during a parliamentary debate on the conflict last week.

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MP bids to change royal marriage law

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2009

A Jewish MP is at the forefront of attempts to overturn a 308-year-old law banning British monarchs from marrying Catholics.

LibDem Evan Harris presented his Private Member’s Bill, aimed at amending the 1701 Act of Settlement, to Parliament on Wednesday.

If passed, the Bill would also end the practice of male heirs taking preference over older sisters, allowing Princess Anne to move above princes Andrew and Edward and their children in line to the throne.

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Fraud-charge Chasid faces extradition

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2009

A court has recommended the extradition of a member of the US-based strictly Orthodox Skverer community who fled to Britain to avoid multi-million dollar fraud charges.

On Tuesday, City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court cleared the way for Avrum David Friesel, 56, to stand trial in the US.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith (who is due to be guest speaker at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner in March) must now decide whether to rubber-stamp his extradition.

But Mr Friesel’s barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, said it could take up to a year to arrive at a final decision.

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Gongs of praise for those who made a difference

By Marcus Dysch, January 8, 2009

Charity volunteers, entrepreneurs and Holocaust survivors are among the Jewish recipients recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.
Jenny Abramsky, former director of BBC audio and music, is made a dame for services to broadcasting.

Currently chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund, she said: “My father [Chimen Abramsky, a former professor of Jewish studies] was thrilled.

“For someone who came here as a refugee in 1932 and is now 92, to see his daughter getting an honour like this is great.

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How community fared in honours list

By Marcus Dysch, December 31, 2008

Charity volunteers, entrepreneurs and Holocaust survivors are among the Jewish recipients of New Year’s Honours announced today.

Jenny Abramsky, former director of BBC audio and music, is created a dame for services to broadcasting. Currently chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund, she said: “I'm thrilled because I believe this honour recognises the importance of radio in this country.”

She was made a CBE in 2001. Her father, Chimen, was a renowned professor of Jewish studies, and her mother, Miriam, a leading social worker.

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Ahmadinejad Xmas speech has C4 under fire

By Marcus Dysch, December 31, 2008

Channel 4 has defended its invitation to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver its alternative Christmas message.

In his speech, Mr Ahmadinejad claimed society faced a range of moral, political and security crises.

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Can’t pay? Then you will miss Maccabiah

By Marcus Dysch, December 31, 2008

The mother of a 15-year-old girl thrown out of a Maccabi GB basketball team over a financial disagreement, has accused Maccabi of acting “outrageously”. Ofra Azar-Freedman had told Maccabi that she would struggle to meet the £2,750 fee to be paid for each Maccabiah competitor as she is recovering from an emergency operation and has been unable to work.

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Police probe Facebook complaint

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2008

Comments posted on the social networking website Facebook are to be investigated by police after a Jewish user claimed they were antisemitic and could incite racial hatred.

One group, titled “We hate Tottenham”, contains references to “dirty yiddo scum” as part of its introductory description.

The group has more than 1,240 members. One person wrote: “Yid scum….hate em more ‘n more every week.”

Another states: “Let’s smash them yid mugs tonight!”

A London-based 34-year-old man, who does not want to be named reported a number of comments to police last week.

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Hip-op man disabled by hospital fall

By Marcus Dysch, December 23, 2008

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.

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Payout pensioner dropped by hospital nurse

By Marcus Dysch, December 19, 2008

A pensioner has received £180,000 in damages after hospital staff dropped him as he recovered from a hip replacement operation.

Harold Shaw, 82, was left unable to walk and confined to a care home after the incident at Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North-West London.

Mr Shaw’s son, David, took legal action against Barnet Primary Care Trust (PCT), which manages the hospital. The case was due to be heard at the High Court last month, but the trust settled out of court.

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Life lesson for ‘fit Jew’ students

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Oxford students will attend a cultural diversity course as punishment for their “bring a fit Jew” party.

Members of the under-21 rugby team will take part in the special seminar in January, but university proctors have refused to reveal details.

It has been organised after an investigation into last month’s party at which players were invited to find “fit” female students as dates and “dress as Jews”.

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students, but some team members went ahead as planned.

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The end of the road for posters like this

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Roadside billboards in the heart of a Jewish community are to be removed after objectors claimed they were too provocative.

The Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) adverts for nasal sprays to help with impotence resulted in more than 150 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Barnet Councillor Brian Gordon demanded action from his own officials. He said: “To a lot of people, seeing a great big poster with the word ‘sex’ on is very provocative.

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Sex abuser is to be sentenced

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

A 32-year-old man may face jail next week after admitting that he had encouraged underage girls to perform sex acts, and that he had made indecent images of a child.

Philip Knorpel, of Woking, will be sentenced at South West Surrey Magistrates’ Court in Guildford on Tuesday.

At a court hearing a fortnight ago, the IT project manager admitted two charges of making indecent photos of a child, and four of inciting a girl to sexual activity.

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Swan pub in limbo as doors close

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

A pub which is due to be converted into a synagogue by a strictly Orthodox community will close next month, although its long-term future remains uncertain.

Representatives of Stamford Hill’s Bobov community have been in discussions to buy The Swan for around £1 million since the summer.

But they have faced obstacles from pub regulars who set up a Save the Swan campaign and arguments with a rival Bobov faction.

The discovery of a restrictive covenant, which prohibits the future use of the building as a pub, has also threatened the deal.

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Volunteers out for the holidays

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Three hundred Jewish volunteers are expected to help out at care facilities and deliver food parcels over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Light up a Life scheme will be the second run by the Tikun charity, which reports that the response is double that of the inaugural year.
Volunteers will serve in soup kitchens and staff homeless centres. They will also visit residents at Jewish Care homes whose relatives may find it difficult to get to see them over the holiday period.

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Four to fight ‘Yom Kippur’ council seat

By Marcus Dysch, December 16, 2008

Four Jewish candidates are standing for election to a council which held a poll on Yom Kippur.

The four, together with a fifth candidate who is not Jewish, will compete for a seat on London's Haringey Council, following the death of Seven Sisters ward incumbent Fred Knight in November.

The ward is to the north of Stamford Hill and is home to a large number of strictly Orthodox residents.

In October the authority caused outrage among Jewish voters after scheduling a by-election in Alexandra ward on the holiest day of the year.

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Bagel boss caught on camera chewing over price-fixing deal

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Britain’s two biggest bagel companies are at war after the boss of one was secretly filmed at a kosher restaurant allegedly suggesting a price-fixing arrangement.

Peter Maycock, of New York Bagel Company, was clandestinely filmed by Paul Kahalani at Met Su Yan in Golders Green as they discussed a possible buyout of Mr Kahalani’s firm, The Bagel Group. The companies supply almost all of the 200 million bagels sold in UK supermarkets annually, with New York Bagel accounting for 90 per cent of the market.

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Champion of ‘just and open Judaism’ dies

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Rabbi Dr Michael Rosen, founder of Yakar, the alternative Jewish community centre, died this week.

He was in his late 50s and had suffered from a degenerative neurological disorder for some time. He was injured in a fall last month and died on Sunday night in Israel, where he had lived since 1993 with his wife, Gila, and their six children.

More than 1,000 people attended his funeral, which was held in Jerusalem on Monday.

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