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Leeds Jewish Representative Council is refusing to meet Labour deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon until after the results of the Labour election on April 4.

Burgon, who represents Leeds East and has been a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, had been due to meet the council last week, but the meeting was postponed after Burgon had publicly claimed that he was “engaging with the Jewish community on a national scale.”


Rep Council president said, “The Leeds Jewish Representative Council and the local Jewish community will not be used in national political point scoring.”

Burgon had declined to meet with the council before he decided to run for the deputy leadership.


Jewish Board Not Crazy About New Immigration Laws

The Board of Deputies is concerned about the government’s point-based post-Brexit immigration system, which comes into effect next year. Under the plan, low-paid, unskilled immigrants will be denied visas.

Board of Deputies vice president Amanda Bowman said, “The Board of Deputies notes with some concern the newly-announced post-Brexit immigration plans and the direct effect this may have on Britain’s Jewish community. Many of the security guards and care workers that the Jewish community employs, for example, are EU migrants.

“The new rules will make it much harder to attract new workers, meaning that costs for organizations which provide security and social care for our community are likely to rise.”


Charedim Deny Unflattering Report

The Stamford Hill charedi community has denied a report from the Hackney’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission that its “leaders were willing to use the safety of Jewish children as a bargaining chip” in negotiations regarding unregistered yeshivot.

A charedi spokesman told the Jewish News, “The community always takes health and safety seriously. We were trying to reach an accommodation with the authority. However, sadly there was not enough good will to allow that to happen. There is no question of compromising on the most minor element of health and safety. That is paramount.”

He added, “If the council really cared about health and safety, they would have found a way of working together.”

Authorities insisted that the yeshivot adopt the national curriculum and accept oversight by Ofsted.

Chinuch UK rabbis from London, Gateshead, and Manchester have written to Ofsted stating that charedi schools would not teach pupils about “lifestyles prohibited by the Torah.”

The letter came after Manchester’s Mechinoh School was told by the Department for Education to contact Chinuch UK for suggestions on how to teach LGBT matters after the school failed an Ofsted inspection over it.

Rabbi Avrohom Pinter of Chinuch UK told The Jewish Press, “The Torah does not allow us to compromise.”


Congregation Applies to Build Eruv

Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation, a South Manchester Synagogue, has applied to Stockport Council to build an eruv despite the fact that a similar proposal was turned down three years ago by nearby Trafford Council after nearly 1,000 complaints.

Eruvim are already in place in North Manchester and Whitefield, north of the city.

Neil Sugarman, publicity officer for Yeshurun, told The Jewish Press, “We have an aging population, which brings mobility problems, and a younger population with young children, who require buggies. An eruv would be the solution to that.”


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Doreen Wachmann served as a senior reporter and columnist for Britain’s Jewish Telegraph newspaper for more than 20 years.