Simon Rocker

Faith is good for business

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

Businesses could benefit by taking more account of the religious needs of their workers, according to a new paper by the Institute of Business Ethics.

It says that sensitivity to the religious practices and ethos of the workforce can improve morale and lead to higher retention of staff.

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Hayek to resist JLC's fees claim

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

JNF UK has hit back over claims that it left the Jewish Leadership Council last week owing thousands of pounds in subscription.

JLC chairman Vivian Wineman had accused the charity of owing more than £10,000 in membership fees, plus another £15,000 which it had failed to contribute to the community's anti-boycott campaign.

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The happiest man in America

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

If you want to be happy, take a cue from Alvin Wong of Hawaii.

According to a formula used by Gallup to measure wellbeing, the paragon of contentment would be a tallish Asian-American Jew who was in his 60s, married with children, living in Hawaii and earning more than £80,000 year.

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Elite company for Mr Blair

By Simon Rocker, March 10, 2011

The Israeli press has taken an interest in the hospitality apparently being shown to the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair by local businesswoman Ofra Strauss. The glamorous divorcee chairs the Strauss group, Israel's second largest food manufacturer whose products include Elite chocolates.

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Lord Sacks on Royal Wedding guest list

By Simon Rocker, March 9, 2011

The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is to attend the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton which will take place shortly after Pesach.

His office confirmed this week that he had accepted an invitation to next month’s event.

Other guests will include Reform movement president Rabbi Tony Bayfield.

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Dishing up flavour of an Iraqi childhood

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Linda Dangoor's family left Baghdad when she was just 10. But she took the tastes of her childhood with her.

More than a half-century after going into exile, the London-based ceramicist has published Flavours of Babylon, a cookbook fondly recording the culinary traditions of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities.

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Rabbi Brawer quits Elstree for the workplace

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Rabbi Naftali Brawer has announced his resignation from Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue to take on a new public role.

The American-born minister, who will leave in August after four years with the congregation, is to lead a foundation dedicated to promoting spirituality at work.

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Pope insists Gospels are not antisemitic

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A new book by Pope Benedict XVI will make clear that the Gospels cannot be used to justify antisemitism or the Jews blamed collectively for the death of Jesus.

According to the Catholic Truth Society, which publishes Jesus of Nazareth- Holy Week next week, it will also explain why Catholics should not attempt the conversion of Jews.

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JNF quits leadership council after dispute

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

One of the oldest Jewish charities, JNF UK, has been accused of "withdrawing from communal life" by deciding to quit the Jewish Leadership Council.

JNF chairman Samuel Hayek, writing in today's JC, said he had resigned his seat at the council because of the JLC's escalating costs and its executive's failure to listen to other members.

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The great sports conspiracy

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

You can't fool the Iranians, who have rumbled that the 2012 Olympic Games is a cunning plan to promote the interests of Israel. Their delegation protested to the International Olympic Committee this week that the official logo for the London Olympiad spells the word "Zion".

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Make Dana our diplomat

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

several British-born diplomats have been tipped to replace Ron Prosor as Israel's UK envoy, including Mark Sofer and Daniel Taub.

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The wig that went missing

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

New Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner got short shrift from Sunday Times critic A A Gill who called it a "sad and feeble leftover thing". He noted there was little Jewish about it besides Tamsin Greig's shtetl? Shtetl? I am reliably informed the gremlins got to his copy and he actually wrote sheitl.

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Sex please, we're Jewish

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A survey of Nottingham students from six religions found that Jews were the most permissive in their attitudes towards sex.

More than 70 per cent of our youngsters claimed to be sexually active - 27 per cent higher than the average.

Better start sending the chaplains round with chastity belts.

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Reform's royal invitation

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Recently retired Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield is certainly in royal favour. Having collected his CBE from Buckingham Palace last week, he has been invited to dine with the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle early in April. At the end of the month he will join them again, this time in Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

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Heavy metal secrets from a Mid-East cave

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Robert Feather is out to prove the sceptics wrong. A metallurgist with a passion for archaeology, he has been asked to help authenticate what he believes could be one of the most exciting religious discoveries since the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Labour group attacked over boycott backing

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

Hendon Labour Party has protested to the leader of the Labour group on Tower Hamlets Council over its support for a resolution to boycott Israel.

Councillors in the east London borough last month voted in favour of sanctions against the "pariah state".

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Reform gets Rich with executive choice

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

The Movement for Reform Judaism, which has been professionally headed by a rabbi for the past 16 years, has chosen public relations expert Ben Rich to be its new chief executive.

He will succeed executive director Rabbi Shoshana Boyd-Gelfand full-time in May, although he will begin working with her next month to ensure a smooth transition.

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JNF say no to UK Arab task force

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

JNF UK has decided to keep its distance from a recently established task force to increase awareness among British Jews of issues faced by Israel's Arab citizens.

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Leadership Council role re-think

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

JNF UK has refused to quell speculation that it is reconsidering its membership of the Jewish Leadership Council.

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UK pushes for two states 'by September'

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

The Board of Deputies has asked for a meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague amid concern that the UK government holds Israel responsible for the deadlock in the Middle East peace process and is

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