Marcus Dysch

Aaronovitch proves he’s no Weak Link

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

Two JC columnists came face-to-face with Anne Robinson this week on special celebrity editions of BBC1's The Weakest Link.

On Sunday, David Aaronovitch avoided the frosty host's "You are the weakest link, goodbye" jibe by winning a journalists-only episode.

Recalling his experience in front of the fearsome quizmistress, he said: "She was rude about the things you expected least. She kept talking again and again about me being fat."

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‘Nazi-joke’ officer suspended

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

A community policeman has been suspended after allegedly impersonating Hitler and goose-stepping around a police station.

Police Community Support Officer Paul Ryan is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police after colleagues claimed they saw him making Nazi salutes at his team's base in Swiss Cottage, North-West London.

The incident took place on July 24 and Ryan was suspended on August 5 after being reported to senior officers.

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Israeli children still not found

By Marcus Dysch, September 4, 2008

British officials are still refusing to disclose the whereabouts of two Israeli children who entered Britain unaccompanied, more than two months after their first contact with immigration officials.

The JC reported in July that a 12-year-old girl and her nine-year-old brother had been sent to Britain alone by their Tel Aviv-based mother. The girl had been kept under British welfare supervision for more than a month before contact was made with Tel Aviv authorities, prompting an astonished response from Israeli officials.

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A*-grade for girl of 12 taught by her father

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Among the Jewish students excelling at mainstream schools was 12-year-old Alexandra Evans.

Her A*-grade in maths saw her become one of the youngest pupils in the country to pass a GCSE. Tutored by her father, maths teacher Richard Evans, she started work on the course two years ago and followed in the footsteps of her brother, Jamie, who achieved the same grade at the same age in 2006.

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GCSE grades again break records

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Students at Jewish schools across the country have again achieved record-breaking GCSE results.
The majority achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, bettering the national average of 98 per cent.

Pupils at Hasmonean High School in North-West London achieved the school's best-ever results, 94 per cent gaining five or more A*- to C-grades.

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Should they refrain? The stars who turned to verse

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

A number of Jewish celebrities have revealed their literary skills by writing poems for a charity campaign.

Sir Alan Sugar, Esther Rantzen and Maureen Lipman are among those to have written verses based on the imaginary lives of fruit, vegetables, and in one case bacon, with varying degrees of success.

The creations are part of a campaign due to be launched next month by Rays of Sunshine, an organisation that grants the wishes of children living with serious illnesses.

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New law ‘won’t stop hire of foreign rabbis’

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Legislation requiring foreign religious leaders to have a government-approved sponsor in order to work in Britain should not seriously affect the Jewish community, rabbis have said.

The new laws, expected to come into force in November, will require the sponsor to pay for a licence before a rabbi arrives to work in the country.

The Home Office said the new legislation would formalise current arrangements.

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The 720-year-old London shofar found to be only 200

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

Two shofarot thought to pre-date the expulsion of Jews from Britain are in fact much more recent, radiocarbon dating tests have revealed.

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Bride recovers from horrific fire accident to walk under chupah

By Marcus Dysch, August 28, 2008

When Sharon Karia suffered 21 per cent burns in a fire at her home, doctors believed she would die as a result of her injuries.

But last week she completed a remarkable recovery by walking down the aisle to realise her dream of marrying fiancé Alan Blumenthal.

To add to the celebration, her new husband is president of Birmingham's Singers Hill Synagogue, and the wedding is believed to be the city's first marriage of a sitting shul president for around 300 years.

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Students across the country achieve record-breaking GCSE results

By Marcus Dysch, August 26, 2008
Students at Jewish schools across the country have again achieved record-breaking GCSE results.

The majority achieved a 100 per cent pass rate, bettering the national average of 98 per cent.

Pupils at Hasmonean High School in North West London achieved the school's best ever results, with 94 per cent gaining five or more A* to C-grades.

Among the most outstanding achievements was Rebecca Sassoon's 13 A* grades. She was one of 39 students who each received at least 10 A* and A-grades.

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7/7 survivor gets the community talking

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

London area synagogues have been key backers of the WalkTalk community cohesion initiative launched by a woman who lost both legs in the 7/7 bombings.

Gill Hicks - who now has prosthetic legs - has spent the past month covering the 200 miles from Leeds to London with her husband Joe Kerr and a variety of supporters. Their aim has been to promote dialogue between people of different backgrounds while walking together, or during refreshment breaks.

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Shoah leaflet refers to gays but not Jews

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has launched a campaign that condemns the Holocaust's slaughter of gays and lesbians, disabled people and trades unionists - but fails to mention the fact that there were Jewish victims.

The party circulated a petition in a "Stop the Nazi BNP" leaflet at the British National Party's annual festival last weekend and encouraged signatories to join the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) campaign.

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Racist attack in Llandudno

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

A man was punched and had his kippah knocked off in what police describe as a racist attack.

The 24-year-old was wrestled to the ground by two men and hit in the face during the assault in Llandudno, North Wales, last week.

He had been walking close to a Chabad-run community centre on the outskirts of the town when the men attacked him. They removed his skullcap before running away.

The victim, who has not been named, was treated for shock and minor injuries.

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TV lawyer bailed over poisoning claims

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

A high-profile divorce lawyer and TV pundit has been arrested for allegedly lying to police about a plot to poison her.

Vanessa Lloyd Platt, whose North London-based company, Lloyd Platt & Co, is one of the UK's leading family-law and divorce firms, regularly appears on shows including GMTV and Richard & Judy to discuss celebrity separations.

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Home Office acts on child neglect case

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

Immigration officials have told the JC this week that solving the case of two Israeli children who entered Britain unaccompanied was a "top priority".

The sister and brother, aged 12 and nine, have been in the care of social services for more than a month while attempts are made to organise their repatriation.

They were sent to Britain by their mother, a 38-year-old Russian-born Israeli, who was later arrested by Tel Aviv police on suspicion of neglect.

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Auschwitz site ‘needs £50m refit’

By Marcus Dysch, August 22, 2008

Almost £50 million is needed to preserve buildings at Auschwitz, according to officials maintaining the site.

Museum director Piotr Cywinski has appealed to EU governments to help fund repair work and create new exhibition centres.

The Polish government contributes around 10 million zloty (£2.5m) each year, with foreign contributors donating around 600,000 zloty (£150,000).

Some former barracks buildings require urgent reinforcement, with funds also needed to convert other structures into educational rooms for visitors.

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Woodside Park split on rabbi

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

The troubled Woodside Park Synagogue will continue to operate without a full-time rabbi after failing to agree on a candidate to replace Rabbi Hershel Rader, who departed controversially at the end of last year.

Two candidates shortlisted by a selection committee took part in an assessment day, including second interviews and practical tests, at the end of July.

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Knife raiders rob boutique in 7 seconds

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

Staff at an exclusive boutique were threatened with a knife during the latest raid on stores at the heart of a Jewish community.

A balaclava-clad gang stole a dozen handbags worth a total of around £10,000 during Monday's lightning robbery at Larizia in Temple Fortune, North-West London.

An attempted break-in also took place 100 yards away at another Jewish business, Genevieve, days earlier.

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Wrapit: no refunds

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

Newlywed couples and their wedding guests are unlikely to receive money or undelivered presents from collapsed online gift company Wrapit, administrators confirmed this week.

KPMG said it "did not consider funds would be available" for unsecured creditors, including gift-less couples, staff and suppliers.

A full report into the company's failure would be published within the next eight weeks, said the administrator.

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Hebron claims attacked UK envoys were on an ‘antisemitic’ mission

By Marcus Dysch, August 15, 2008

A fact-finding visit last week by British diplomats to Hebron, during which their car was attacked by settlers, was "antisemitic", according to a representative of the city's Jewish community.

The settlers blocked the route of the armoured vehicle before kicking and shaking it during the incident in the West Bank last Thursday.

The three middle-ranking diplomats were on a tour organised by human-rights group Breaking the Silence. Their guide, Mikhael Manekin, said the incident had proved "a bit nerve-wracking" for the unnamed officials.

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