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Thursday, 6 January, 2000, 17:54 GMT
Schoolboy set for internet fortune

London Jewish News website London Jewish News is to provide news for the site


A 17-year-old is set to become the internet's youngest paper millionaire by floating his website for the Jewish community on the stock exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Benjamin Cohen set up the site 10 months ago with 150.

On Wednesday he received the backing of technology investment bank Durlacher for a listing in May 2000 which could result in his stake of 10-15% being worth millions of pounds.


benjamin cohen Benjamin planned the website while fighting the illness ME

In September the site was estimated to be worth more than 5m, but it is thought the market capitalisation could rise to 50m or more.

Mr Cohen cannot cash in any shares for at least a year, so will only hold paper money.

The site, Jewishnet.co.uk, carries a range of information on cultural and religious subjects as well as an e-mail agony aunt and the first "cyber rabbi".

After the float it will be renamed SoJewish.com. It has agreed a deal with the London Jewish News to provide news and editorial content.

SoJewish will be headed up by Gary Sterns from the London Jewish News.

Money 'not the aim'

Hertfordshire schoolboy Benjamin planned the business during the four years he spent fighting the illness ME.

"I was in bed really ill and came up with the idea," he said.

Mr Cohen said that when he had thought up the plan, he had not been aiming to make millions, only at helping the Jewish community.

He has juggled setting up the company with studying for English and economics A-levels.

He wants to read English at university and is keen to write plays or go into politics, although he would also like to be involved with the media.

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