In case you missed it…seven must-read stories from the past week!
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In case you missed it…seven must-read stories from the past week!

Catch-up with all the top news from the past week, including Natalie Portman criticising Israel, a rabbi in the UAE celebrating Chanukah and an Orthodox Jewish Santa Claus

Santa Rick! An orthodox Jewish Santa Claus
Santa Rick! An orthodox Jewish Santa Claus

Relive the past week on jewishnews.co.uk with our top-seven must-read stories from the past seven days…

Scroll down through this week’s stories, which include a professional Santa Claus who is an Orthodox Jew, Auschwitz researchers dismissing book about a camp tattooist due to ‘factual errors’ and Finchley Synagogue looking look into the situation of its suspended deputy Roslyn Pine as a matter of “urgency”.

1)   Labour activist who said Jewish MPs use Judaism to smear Corbyn avoids jail 

A Labour supporter who accused Jewish MPs of “using Judaism as a weapon” to smear Jeremy Corbyn has narrowly avoided jail. Nick Nelson, 29, who abused Jewish Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth in a series of offensive messages, was told by District Judge Tan Ikram at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday that he was lucky not to be jailed.

READ STORY HERE:

Labour MPs Ruth Smeeth (left), Luciana Berger (centre) and Jess Philllips (right) at a demonstration outside the Labour party disciplinary hearing for Marc Wadsworth in London.
Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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2)  Natalie Portman says Israel’s nation-state law is ‘racist’ 

Natalie Portman isn’t a fan of Israel’s controversial nation-state law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The Jerusalem-born actress slammed the law, which was criticised as it was debated and adopted over the summer, in an interview with BBC’s Arabic language channel published Sunday.  “It’s racist and there’s nothing else to say about that,” Portman said. “It’s wrong and I disagree with that.”

READ STORY HERE:

Natalie Portman

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3)    Auschwitz researchers dismiss book about camp tattooist due to ‘factual errors’

Auschwitz officials dismissed best-selling book ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ as historically unsound by citing a litany of factual inaccuracies, despite the novel claiming to be mostly true.  Heather Morris, a New Zealander whose book sold almost 400,000 copies in the UK alone, said it is “based on a true story” and “95 percent accurate” with details “researched and confirmed”. Auschwitz researchers said the novel gives “an impression about Auschwitz inspired by authentic events,” but that it was “almost without any value as a document”.

READ STORY HERE:

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4)   OPINION – Rabbi David Rosen: Chanukah miracles in the UAE

“..Some remarkable interfaith initiatives have recently been coming out of the Arab Muslim world – not least of all those led by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, recently appointed as head of the UAE’s supreme Fatwa Council. This octogenarian Islamic scholar, a former Mauritanian Minister and Professor of Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia, has emerged as arguably the most authoritative and impressive opponent against violent Islamist ideology in the world today….”

READ STORY HERE:

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5)   Finchley Synagogue to discuss suspended deputy Roslyn Pine

Finchley Synagogue will look into the plight of its suspended deputy Roslyn Pine as a matter of “urgency”.  Pine was suspended from the Board of Deputies for an unprecedented six years over comments, which were described as Islamophobic and anti-Arab. However, the Board’s executive ruled that she could return early if she apologised, showed contrition and expressed remorse.

READ STORY HERE:

Roslyn Pine

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6)  Head of the Zionist Federation to become new chief executive of UJS

The head of the Zionist Federation has announced that he is to leave to become the next chief executive of the Union of Jewish Students. Arieh Miller, 31, a former head of digital media and community relations at the Embassy of Israel, is to take over from David Davidi-Brown in March, and will work with incoming UJS President Esther Offenberg, who is Israeli.

READ STORY HERE:

Arieh Miller
Arieh Miller

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7)  Meet the Orthodox Jew who is a professional Santa Claus

Just like any other Santa Claus, Santa Rick will spend much of the next couple of weeks sitting children on his knee, asking whether they’ve been good and listening to their Christmas wishes. If it’s a Saturday, he may have slept overnight in the building. And he’ll only accept payment after nightfall.  For Santa Rick’s last name is Rosenthal, and he’s an Orthodox Jew who does not drive or handle money on Shabbat. But that doesn’t stop him from doing his job.

READ STORY HERE:

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