Simon Rocker

Archbishop of Canterbury joins rabbis in talks on Israel and antisemitism

By Simon Rocker, January 31, 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has held his first meeting with his fellow leaders of the Council of Christians and Jews since taking office last year.

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Shoah teacher’s Unesco role

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

The founder of Britain’s first Holocaust museum has a new international role to promote awareness of genocide.

Stephen Smith, who opened the Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, has become Unesco’s first chairman of genocide education.

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Leading Federation rabbi dies

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

One of the UK's most respected rabbis, Dayan Gershon Lopian, of the Federation of Synagogues, has died today, aged 73.

Historian of British Jewry Geoffrey Alderman said that he was “one of the leading halachists in this country, who was significant in raising and ensuring the Federation’s credentials internationally.

“He was a great preacher and very approachable.”

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Survey: Ageing but sprightly

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

Despite the boom in Orthodox births, the Jewish population is ageing.

Over half of all those aged 65 per cent report some limitation or discomfort because of health — although that remains a minority for those under 80.

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Survey: A strong giving impulse

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

The charitable instinct remains strong among British Jews with 93 per cent having made a donation over the previous year.

But 45 per cent gave priority to non-Jewish charities, compared with 37 who gave more to Jewish charities.

A quarter of contributors gave only to non-Jewish charities, while eight per cent restricted their donations to Jewish causes.

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Survey: Demand for schools has peaked

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

Jewish schools may have dramatically increased in number and intake, with almost 30,000 pupils now compared to 12,500 in the 70s.

But their popularity may have begun to peak, at least among the broader middle-of-the-road or non-Orthodox public, the survey suggests.

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Survey: Rate of marrying out is slowing

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

One in four of all Jews in a relationship has a non-Jewish partner but the rate of intermarriage has slowed.

Overall, 23 per cent of married couples are mixed faith and 61 per cent of cohabiting Jews have a non-Jewish partner.

While fewer than one in five of Jews who married in the 1970s had a non-Jewish spouse (18 per cent), a quarter of Jews marrying since 2000 did so.

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Survey: Under-40s emerge as frummest group

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

One of the most striking findings of the entire survey is that younger Jews below 40 are more religiously observant than their parents and grandparents’ generation.

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Survey: God and Israel lose out in our list of priorities

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

The identity of UK Jews rests more on ethical values and ethnic solidarity than belief in God or studying Torah

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Survey: Mainstream is on the retreat

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

The survey reveals striking evidence of the religiously squeezed middle.

While the traditional camp that typified the middle-of-the-road United Synagogue member has shrunk, there has been a significant rise in the numbers of Jews who identify as cultural or secular.

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Largest ever survey reveals decline of Jewish mainstream

By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

Younger Jews are more religious than their parents’ generation, intermarriage has slowed down and the mainstream Orthodoxy that once typified British Jewry is in retreat.

These are some of the major findings of the most comprehensive survey ever carried out on the Jewish population of the UK which were released yesterday.

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Mirvis is praised on his century

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014

United Synagogue president Steven Pack has complimented Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on an “amazing job” in his first 100 days of office.

In an article posted in the US’s online magazine, You and US, Mr Pack gave Rabbi Mirvis “10 out of 10”, saying he had “certainly delivered his objectives” in the opening months of his chief rabbinate.

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Ofsted checks on 'missing' schools

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014

Hackney Council believes there could be as many as 20 local yeshivot where children are being taught without the necessary state registration.

Under the law, children must be taught in a recognised institution until they are 16, even if it is independent.
But more than 1,000 strictly Orthodox boys from the age of 13 are still thought to be “missing” from the registered system in London.

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Successor to Mirvis at Kinloss

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014

Finchley Synagogue congregants have overwhelmingly endorsed the appointment of Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence — currently with the Sydney Great Synagogue — as the successor to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as its senior minister.

Rabbi Lawrence, his wife Mandy and two of their four children had spent Shabbat with the Finchley community prior to the vote.

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New London's 50th

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014

The New London Synagogue in St John’s Wood launched its jubilee celebrations on Sunday with a civic service incorporating the induction of chazan, Cantor Jason Green.

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New London's 50th

By Simon Rocker, January 27, 2014

The New London Synagogue in St John’s Wood launched its jubilee celebrations on Sunday with a civic service incorporating the induction of chazan, Cantor Jason Green.

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Synagogue cancels talk by 'Down's Syndrome is a punishment' rabbi

By Simon Rocker, January 24, 2014

A Sephardi congregation has cancelled a talk by a rabbi who believes that Down’s Syndrome and autism are punishments for sins committed in a previous life.

Israeli-born Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, who runs an outreach organisation in the United States, was due to speak at Od Yosef Hai in Hendon, north London next month.

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Glenda Jackson: 'ban Jobbik leader'

By Simon Rocker, January 23, 2014

Labour MP Glenda Jackson has joined calls to ban the leader of the far-right Hungarian party Gabor Vona from entering the UK.

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Ban this man: Jobbik visit to UK is 'deplorable'

By Simon Rocker, January 23, 2014

Community leaders have demanded that Home Secretary Theresa May ban a scheduled address by the leader of the neo-Nazi Hungarian party, Jobbik, in London on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

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Board urges UK government to ban Jobbik leader

By Simon Rocker, January 21, 2014

Jewish leaders have called on Home Secretary Theresa May to ban representatives of the far-right Hungarian Jobbik party from addressing a meeting in London on Sunday.

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