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‘How I escaped the QAnon cult’ One woman’s terrifying journey into the depths of American conspiracies

25 February 2021

13 Adar 5781

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Issue No.1199


Win an iPad! Do you have the write stuff? Page 27

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Jewish News 25 February 2021

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‘How I escaped the QAnon cult’


13 Adar 5781

Issue No.1199


Win an iPad! Do you have the write stuff? Page 27

One woman’s terrifying journey into the depths of American conspiracies Page 25

Look what we’ve missed! Community primed for life after lockdown, pages 6, 7 & 18

Family’s plea for early cancer tests Brave father and daughter undergo chemo together by Candice Krieger @CandiceKrieger

A father and daughter simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy this week made an emotional appeal for people not to delay getting tested for cancer. North London mum-of-three Sarah Rubin started treatment for breast cancer last week and dad Graham is having chemo for stage 4 pancreatic cancer in Liverpool. “When I was diagnosed, I was just

pleased it was me and not the children,” he said. “They say a parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child, so receiving the news about Sarah was a huge body blow. But we are going to fight. “The reality is that I’m having palliative care. My goal is to live long enough to see her well.” He added: “I want people to understand that I have been lucky. I have a wonderful family with eight grandchildren and an amazing wife. We’ve been married for 44 years.”

Graham with his daughter, Sarah


Sarah, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December after she found a lump. She said: “I now know it was nothing to do with genetics, just coincidence.” Graham, 69, said: “My symptoms were mild; I had a bit of a sore back and had lost a bit of weight, but being proactive about your health should be a lesson to everyone, as health is more important than anything else. “It was in the height of the first lockdown, which made it very diffi-

cult to get a medical appointment as all the hospitals were full with Covid patients, but we managed to get to London for tests.” His daughter added: “That’s the problem with pancreatic cancer. You never catch it early enough, so it’s crucial people don’t wait to be tested. Finding I had cancer came as a huge shock to me as I felt – and still do – absolutely fine.” The following month she had a

Continued on page 5


IntERNATIONAL Women’s Day 8 MARCH 2021 Photo credits: Finsent - Image modified CC BY-SA 4.0 creativecommons.org



Jewish News 25 February 2021

News / Labour conversation / Leaked report

Starmer eager to look forward Sir Keir Starmer this week expressed reservations about some Israeli policies – although he did not specify which, writes Jenni Frazer. The Labour leader made his comments in a wide-ranging conversation with members of South Hampstead Synagogue, which falls into his constituency of Holborn and St Pancras. In a genial conversation with the synagogue’s Rabbi, Shlomo Levin, who he knows well, Starmer – a passionate ‘remainer’ in the Brexit debate – nevertheless ruled out Labour support for rejoining the European Union, saying it was important for Britain to do whatever it could to move forward on its own account. He said: “I don’t think there’s any appetite for a second referendum and I don’t think there’s a case for rejoining. We have left and we have to make a success of that – and that’s what I am determined to do. We have to accept where we are and build on what we have got.” If there was one theme to Starmer’s remarks – made to nearly 400 viewers at the online event – it was “we must make progress, we must go forward, rather than going backward”. It was a mantra he applied to many of his responses, including how Labour deals with the business world, antisemitism in Labour, Brexit and the Iran nuclear agreement. On Iran, he regretted that because of Brexit and the pandemic, the issue had “somewhat dropped off the political agenda and has not got the coverage it needs”. The world “needs to

Sir Keir Starmer had a conversation online with members of South Hampstead Synagogue

recognise what Iran is and what the risks are in relation to it – but we need to find a way to move forward”, he said. “But we must never underestimate the threat that comes from Iran.” Starmer robustly defended his decision to stay in the shadow Cabinet during the Corbyn years, although he did not address a question about why he had “electioneered” for Corbyn as a potential prime minister in 2019. He insisted he had repeatedly raised the question of antisemitism in the Labour Party both inside and outside the shadow Cabinet,




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but acknowledged that Jewish friends and organisations had told him he would be judged on his actions, and not merely on his words. He believed, he said, that the “vast majority” of Labour members did not espouse antisemitic ideas, despite Levin’s gentle insistence that antisemitism had “become part of the political philosophy” of a significant part of the party. Smiling, Starmer admitted: “There is a mountain to climb – and we are in the foothills.” Asked about the issue of free speech and “cancel culture”, he stood by his decision to “take

the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign. He deplored the slave trader record of the 18th century merchant Edward Colston, whose statue was overturned and pushed into Bristol Harbour last June. But while he loathed the fact that Colston had made his fortune in the slave trade, he did not agree with the way the statue had been removed. “I’m not a big fan of stopping people speaking and what they can and can’t say,” he said, “but I am a big fan of having an honest discussion about history and individuals in a calm environment.” He was asked about Labour’s view on trade with China in view of what is happening with the Uyghur Muslim population there. Starmer, a former human rights lawyer, said Labour’s ethical foreign policy had to be based on human rights and international law. “We tried to win amendments in the trade bill going through parliament the other week – together with some Conservatives. Now we are outside the EU, we have to conduct our own trade arrangements and have to decide who we trade with and what trade agreements should include within them. “There ought to be some guidance that makes it clear that if any country has engaged in something which amounts to genocide, we would not be trading with them. I do think the government is going to have to go down this road because it can’t stay in this values-free world when it comes to trading with other countries.”

LABOUR VIEW ON LEAKING The Labour Party has “reached a clear view” about who leaked an internal report into allegations of antisemitism, lawyers representing a former senior staffer have told the High Court. An 860-page report on Labour’s governance and legal unit, which found “no evidence” of antisemitism being handled differently from other complaints, was leaked in April last year. The internal investigation carried out in the final months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership concluded “factional opposition” towards the former leader contributed to “a litany of mistakes” hindering efforts to tackle the crisis.

The leaking of the dossier, which included emails and WhatsApp messages between several senior Labour officials, prompted new party leader Sir Keir Starmer to launch an inquiry. Emilie Oldknow – Labour’s former director of governance, who is married to shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth – wants to bring claims for defamation and misuse of private information over the leaking of the report, which contains hundreds of references to her. At a hearing on Monday, her lawyers asked the court to grant an order requiring Labour to reveal who leaked it so she can sue them.

UK told: oppose resolutions The Foreign Office has been urged to oppose all anti-Israel resolutions at a forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Council meeting. The government has previously committed to oppose permanent agenda Item 7 on the council. But during a meeting with Conservative Friends of Israel (CFOI) this week, MPs expressed concern about “other hostile resolutions.. including the ‘Accountability’ resolution tabled under Item 2”. Following the meeting, CFOI wrote to Middle East minister James Cleverly, saying it “raised concerns over the International Crim-

inal Court ruling at a pre-trial hearing that it has territorial jurisdiction to open a probe into allegations of war crimes in West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We urged the UK to voice opposition to this ruling publicly”. It also brought up UK policy towards Iran and its “destabilising regional activities as well as its nuclear programme”, calling for Israel and Arab partners to be included in the process. A Jewish News investigation this month revealed antisemitism and incitement in UKfunded Palestinian textbooks. The letter says Britain must “not turn a blind eye” to incitement in the education system.


020 8457 4429 / info@jgift.org


In our investigation about breaches of the coronavirus lockdown in Stamford Hill, we wrongly included reference to the Pshevorsk Shul at 26A Lampard Road. The synagogue has asked us to make clear it was not involved in any lockdown breaches and was included in our report in error. We apologise to the rabbi, trustees and members of the synagogue for any distress caused.


25 February 2021 Jewish News


Uyghur campaign / Covid vaccine / News

Hope on genocide clause

A Muslim prays before a Uyghur solidarity protest

Hopes were raised yesterday of a breakthrough in parliamentary ping-pong over the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill, writes Adam Decker. Dozens of Conservative MPs, led by Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Nus Ghani, want to give the High Court the power to determine whether a British trading partner is committing genocide, and if so, for there to be repercussions on bilateral business. If they succeed, judges will decide whether China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslims, including what campaigners say is forced labour and sterilisation, amounts to genocide. However, ministers say this should be a matter for politicians, not the judiciary, and Boris Johnson was this week quoted as saying he was a “Sinophile”.

A source close to the campaign said Duncan Smith “met [foreign secretary] Dominic Raab and the Chief Whip last Thursday, who both received the revised Genocide Amendment well, and agreed to consider it seriously”. They added that “no substantive objections to the new approach were raised”. A tweaked version of the amendment, which narrowly failed to pass in the Commons, despite wholesale support in the Lords, adds an extra layer of parliamentary scrutiny, through involvement of a select committee. Duncan Smith said in a letter to MPs, now seen by Jewish News, that the move represented a “significant and reasonable compromise on our part”. He wrote: “We will, through this amendment, be able to utilise the legal expertise and dispassionate ability

to interrogate evidence available to us in parliament, to ensure that the word genocide is only employed with the gravity it deserves.” He said their suggestion had been received favourably, but since then the amendment had been opposed in the House of Lords, where the government was soundly defeated. Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “We call on MPs to back the amendment when it returns to the House of Commons shortly.” The mass detention and “re-education” of hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims in China’s east is close to Jewish hearts, and Jewish News has led the coverage outlining the accounts of survivors. This week Canada’s parliament voted to recognise China’s persecution of its Uyghur minority as genocide.

Jabs for those with learning disabilities The government has said people with learning disabilities will now be invited for Covid-19 vaccines – weeks after Jewish News called for this on its front page, writes Adam Decker. Jewish charities welcomed the news that 150,000 people on the GP Learning Disability Register will get their jab “as soon as possible”. Hadassa Kessler, director of

operations at Jewish learning disabilities charity Kisharon, said the news “can’t come soon enough”. “We have been advocating [for this] from the start but have been told to wait our turn,” she said. “There has been a lot of anxiety given the statistics around Covid deaths for people with learning disabilities.” Jewish News’ campaign last

month called for people with learning disabilities to be prioritised, given that they can be up to four times more vulnerable to the coronavirus, and the issue was thrust into the spotlight again this week with the hospitalisation of the sister of BBC DJ Jo Whiley. “I am so relieved to hear that all people with learning disabilities

will now be offered vaccine at priority level 6,” said Kessler. “So many people and their families have long awaited this day and will now be so reassured.” NHS figures show that in the five weeks since the third lockdown began, Covid-19 accounted for 65 percent of deaths of people with learning disabilities. The road to freedom, pages 6 & 7

Gaby, a GP in Hendon, wanted to leave a legacy to a cause close to her heart.








A conversation with Harvey Bratt started the process


The connection continues with a UJIA legacy gift


and together they identified the UJIA supported Faculty of Medicine in Tsfat as the perfect beneficiary.

When Gaby, a GP in Hendon, thought about writing a will, she had no idea how straight-forward it would be. She knew she wanted to continue her lifelong connection to Israel through a charitable donation and legacy gift in her will to a UJIA medical project ticked all the right boxes. One call to UJIA started the process and after a meeting to discuss her ideals and priorities, a will was drawn up to suit Gaby’s requests. It was quick, efficient and exactly what she was looking for. To find out more about how Harvey Bratt and the UJIA legacy team can make will-writing easy call 020 7424 6431 or email harvey.bratt@ujia.org United Jewish Israel Appeal is a registered charity No. 1060078 (England & Wales) and Sc 039181 (Scotland).



Jewish News 25 February 2021

News / Academic anger /Anti-hate lessons / Court case

‘End Zionism’ prof not fired Jewish student leaders this week left a meeting with Bristol University disappointed after it “again failed” to commit to act against an academic who called to “end Zionism”, writes Joshua Salisbury. Representatives of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol University Jewish Society met leaders of the institution on Tuesday amid concerns about sociology lecturer Professor David Miller. The professor caused outrage last week by calling to “end Zionism” as an ideology and branding it the “enemy”. When Jewish students complained, he used alleged antisemitic tropes, leading to the Board of Deputies and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on antisemitism to write to the university vicechancellor with their concerns. More than 4,000 people also signed a petition calling for Miller to be sacked and Bristol Jewish students held a virtual protest. Following the 45-minute meeting between

Bristol Jewish students, UJS and senior managers at the university, UJS said: “Yet again, the university has failed to give concrete steps on what they can do to protect their Jewish students from hatred and racism both physically and digitally. We will not let this go and will continue to hold the university to account and get hate off campus.” A university spokesperson said: “We had a useful meeting with Bristol JSoc and UJS. We heard their concerns and are continuing to work with them.” Meanwhile, Miller is believed to be seeking a court order against social media giant Twitter. According to court filings on 18 February, Miller is seeking a ‘Norwich Pharmacal’ order against Twitter. He is being represented by media lawyers, Carter-Ruck. Norwich Pharmacal orders can be used to force disclosure of information from third parties such as social media companies.

antisemitism. At the scheme’s launch 50 children from US and UK schools attended an online workshop involving Chelsea player Christian Pulisic, ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt and club chairman Bruce Buck. Chelsea Foundation head Simon Taylor said the rollout of a UK-based version followed a successful US pilot.

A Chelsea football supporter who abused a Jewish journalist after he reported on antisemitism during matches has been issued with a threeyear restraining order, writes Jack Mendel. Sam Mole, 20, sent antisemitic and homo-

PALESTINIAN COURT: BALFOUR IS INVALID A Palestinian court has ruled that the British government’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 is invalid, calling on London to issue an apology to Palestinians. The ruling, delivered in the Court of First Instance in Nablus, in the West Bank, on Sunday, also held Britain legally responsible for the consequences of Balfour’s statement that Britain supported “a national home for the Jewish people”. Balfour was British Foreign Secretary as the First World War drew to a close, and the future administration Palestine was on the government’s agenda.

Professor David Miller of Bristol University

Chelsea and ADL team up FAN GETS RESTRAINING ORDER Chelsea Football Club this week teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League to encourage British pupils to reject racism, writes Adam Decker. The ‘Say No To Hate’ programme will be delivered in 15 UK schools and is funded by Roman Abramovich. Its lessons and activities focus on diversity and getting children to tackle discrimination including


phobic messages to Dan Levene, including one wishing he would die and lamenting he had not been killed in the Holocaust. Mole was allowed to walk free from court last Thursday, however, because he was on holiday

in Australia at the time he targeted Levene, who reports about Chelsea and has been a vocal critic of racist chanting by its supporters. He was found not guilty of racially/religiously aggravated malicious communications.

BARON COHEN KILLS OFF BORAT AND CO Sacha Baron Cohen says his days of dressing up as characters such as Borat Sagdiyev, the antisemitic Kazakh journalist that made the Jewish actor a star, are behind him. He said he has been sued and nearly arrested over the course of filming his movies and shows, most of which involve a disguised Cohen tricking the people around him into saying or doing absurd things. “At some point, your luck runs out. And so I never wanted to do this stuff again,” he said on Monday.


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25 February 2021 Jewish News


Cancer warning / Sacks honour / News

‘Don’t wait to be tested’ mastectomy and on this year’s World Cancer Day, 4 February, she found out her treatment plan: 16 rounds of chemo, then radiotherapy, then more surgery. “It was a poignant day to find all this out on,” said Sarah, who plans to document some of her journey on social media to help others. “My dad and I are quite private people, but if I can raise some awareness about breast cancer from posting about it on Instagram, then this can only be a positive thing.” While Graham, who is having his third type of chemotherapy, under The Christie Hospital, has the BRCA 2 gene, Sarah found out that she does not, but both want to do all they can to raise awareness of BRCA 2 and encourage people to get tested. Sarah, who works with her father on retail business Chums.co.uk, said: “When dad found out he had it and I was diagnosed, I thought I must have it too. This assumption

Sarah will have chemo, radiotherapy and then more surgery

was backed up by my geneticist, who said I had an 80 percent probability of also having BRCA 2. What are the chances of a father and daughter having cancer at the same time? “Although I don’t have it, it’s so important for people to get tested, particularly Jewish

people, who might be more at risk.” One-in-40 Ashkenazi Jewish women are believed to have a BRCA gene mutation, which raises a person’s risk of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancers at a young age. Sarah’s sister,

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Rebecca, and brothers, Adam and Josh, are in the process of being tested for the gene. Their mother, Shelley, is a survivor of thyroid cancer 25 years ago. Sarah’s children are Bobby, nine, Jesse, eight, and Sonny, five. “I’m trying to be as open with them as I can about my treatment,” she said. On Wednesdays Sarah and Graham have chemotherapy simultaneously. Her parents, members of the Childwall Hebrew Congregation in Liverpool, formed a support bubble with her several months ago and are hoping to travel to London this weekend to see her. Graham said: “I want my wife Shelley to go to London more to be with Sarah, even if it means getting carers for me. We can’t bear the thought of her going through this on her own.” He adds: “It’s a bit shmaltzy I know, but the black clouds will pass and the sun will come out again. I’m praying Sarah will get back to normal health.”

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Continued from page 1

A major event is being planned this autumn by The Genesis Prize Foundation to honour its 2021 nominee, former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who died three weeks before the end of the award’s public voting. Sacks, who died on 7 November, received tens of thousands of votes. The prize, known as the ‘Jewish Nobel’, later went to film director Steven Spielberg. Now, the Genesis Prize Committee said it was “recognising the immense contribution of Lord Sacks to inspiring the next generation of Jews, his unique role as teacher of Jewish values and advocate of inter-religious dialogue”. It said it planned to “honour the life and impact of this extraordinary Jewish leader” at a London event on 14 November, and “many UK luminaries and distinguished leaders of the global Jewish community are expected to take part”. As part of the event, the Foundation will produce a documentary about the life and impact of Lord Sacks and is in discussions with the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust about supporting other initiatives.

Lord Sacks died in November 2020

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Jewish News 25 February 2021

Special Report / Life after lockdown

This week the PM announced the reopening of British society in the weeks and months ahead, so we’ve been asking what this means for Jewish life. From the unlocking of synagogues to invitation to old friends for Friday night dinner and booking flights to Israel, the government has given us dates and hopes. In so doing, it has

prompted much planning, but is this a run or a walk? How might it affect the backbone of Jewish life in the UK – the culture centres, the simcha venues, the synagogues that have been gathering dust? Ellie Jacobs and Joshua Salisbury asked these very questions and heard that – for many – what’s most important is the easing of restrictions safely…

Scenes like this will soon be behind us... won’t they?



Outdoor socialising over Purim gets a big welcome


Synagogue leaders have welcomed news of some outdoor socialising with family members over Pesach but say social distancing measures will remain in place for some time. “The situation remains very serious and so all United Synagogue social distancing measures will remain in place,” said Steven Wilson, chief executive of the United Synagogue. “We will continue to assess and be led by the data and provide guidance for our communities in due course, as we have done for the past 12 months.” Wilson urged members to celebrate festivals safely despite “the optimism provided by the vaccines”. Echoing comments by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, he said those able to attend a Megillah reading must follow full social distancing guidelines. Other synagogue groups have not yet com-

Social distancing measures will stay for now

mented on what Boris Johnson’s announcement might mean for in-person services. Among those still digesting what the prime minister’s road plan means was the Masorti movement, whose leadership held an initial meeting on Tuesday.


Maccabi will fix dates after Pesach Maccabi said it hopes to resume its leagues by the second week in April as it hailed the announcement as a chink of sunlight for its schools PE programmes. David Wolff, chairman of Maccabi GB Southern football league, said he hoped to resume by 11 April, with the season finishing at the end of June if given the go-ahead by the Football Association. “Everybody wants to get out of their house, everybody’s chomping at the bit so there should be a lot of enthusiasm to restart, I’d hope,” he told Jewish News. Maccabi runs 29 teams in three divisions up and down the country, but needs to wait until after Pesach and guidance from the FA before a date is firmly fixed. “Before we can resume, we’ve got to get the advice from the FA, we’re just waiting for

that,” he said. Maccabi, a Jewish sports charity, can resume its schools outreach activities from early March, which has been hailed as good news by CEO Ashley Lerner. “As the sun is shining, there’s hope,” he said. “We’re delighted, the fact that schools are opening means we can run our PE lessons in schools. “Speaking as a father and as CEO, physical activity is really important. They’re all delighted to be getting out and about. “It’s not all at once, there’s a gradual process. We’re still looking at what it means for us in terms of events. The big one for us is the community fun run.” The event is still pencilled in for June, he said, but is dependent on what restrictions are in place in the summer.

Care homes suffered greatly as a result of the virus. According to the Care Quality Commission, 24,919 residents in care homes died with Covid-19 involvement between 10 April 2020 and 29 January 2021. Since 6 January, many homes have stayed shut to all but end-of-life visits. But on Monday, the government said that, from 8 March, residents can have one relative or friend to visit and help with personal care, washing and dressing. Jewish Care told this newspaper that it has laid out a proposed plan for each of its residents to have a designated visitor, who will be able to visit,

indoors, wearing personal protective equipment and with whom they may finally hold hands. CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown said he was “delighted” the guidelines were encouraging social contact and recognise the “impact of prolonged separation from loved ones and the need to allow visiting in care homes”. The provider said it will be taking extreme precautions, such as requiring visitors to answer a number of questions before they can enter the home, have their temperature tested, and will need to have a negative Covid-19 test on the

day of the visit. “We will follow the cautious approach suggested by the government with regards to the lifting of restrictions. “It is vital that by facilitating individual visits, we do not compromise the safety of residents and staff, and that we continue to do all we can to keep Covid-19 out of our homes.” One care home that will not be making long-term plans is Jewish Choice in Brent. The home, which started as Beth Holim in 1747, announced it must close its doors amid the financial impact of the pandemic.


Delight at being given priority Despite facing some opposition from teaching unions, schools will reopen on 8 March. Regarding Boris Johnson’s decision to allow all pupils in England to return, Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJes) said he was “delighted” schools have been prioritised for reopening and that they have “been given a proper lead time to prepare for their return”. But he expressed concerns about the test and trace system. “PaJeS is liaising with the government and continues to support schools as they work towards reopening.” Kirsten Jowett, chief executive of the Jewish Community Academy Trust (JCAT), which comprises Wolfson Hillel in Enfield, Hertsmere JPS and Rimon Primary and Sacks Morasha in

Schools in England will reopen from 8 March

Barnet, was ready to “welcome our pupils with open arms”, but is remaining “cautiously optimistic” about reopening. JFS head Rachel Fink said the school is to operate a “phased student return” from 8 March.

25 February 2021 Jewish News



Life after lockdown / Special Report SIMCHAS



COUPLES RESCHEDULE Theatres and venues Some students will be THEIR WEDDING DATES ‘need more certainty’ readmitted to colleges Soon-to-be married couples have begun to reschedule their weddings in the hope social distancing requirements will be scrapped by the planned date of 21 June. Those involved in the planning of simchas told Jewish News enquiries have jumped in expectation of social distancing rules ending in summer. People are getting optimistic “People have gotten much more optimistic,” said Jonathan Robinson, who runs simcha business Jasmine Catering. “People have been rushing to reschedule their weddings until after 21 June.” Wedding planner Michelle Jacobs said: “Our phones and inboxes are buzzing. I for one am very excited to be getting back to planning weddings.” Others, however, struck a note of caution. “I think it’s too soon to say,” said Jeremy Freedman, who runs Freedman Photography, which photographs simchas including barmitzvahs. “I don’t know if people will be putting plans into place until they see proper relaxing of the lockdown.”

Theatres and cinemas will reopen from 17 May. West End producer Kenny Wax, who last July was forced to halt a planned tour of Six The Musical at drive-in venues around England owing to Covid concerns and local lockdowns, said the government’s plan was “tremendously encouraging”, albeit there were still significant financial concerns for the industry. He said: “The news was tremendously encouraging, but I’m not going to get carried away until we have a little more certainty. It’s impossibly expensive and damaging to public confidence to open a show and then shutter again for 10 days if there are positive cases in the company with the risk of that cycle being repeated two weeks later. We need to be sure that our company members are as safe as they can be and while planning for the earliest scenario we have to make contingencies for later dates.” JW3’s Raymond Simonson said his organisation “was working hard to finalise plans for reopening our physical spaces again”. Recognising how important the space is to the community, he said when the JW3 was allowed to open in the summer/autumn “many people were extremely emotional when they returned for the first time in nine or more months”. Yet Simonson admitted it was “not going to be an easy year for JW3 or any other venue-based organisation” and said it would need to work hard to “continue to protect our people first and foremost, and also our assets and finances”.


‘Restaurant booking sites are buzzing ’ One of the hardest-hit industries of the pandemic is hospitality. On Monday the government announced that, after four months of closure, ‘outdoor only’ venues will be allowed to open from 12 April, while pubs and restaurants will be permitted to open indoors no earlier than 17 May. With venues closed since December, many businesses worry about future survival. Julio Mattera, the owner of kosher restaurant Balagan and manager of Sababa, both in Borehamwood, is concerned about how to get through the next few months. While he says Boris Johnson’s statement gave him some hope, “surviving until May is going to be really hard, especially for Sababa, which opened in September.” Mattera says that because of the business’ new status, he was unable to qualify for government grants and is struggling. He says he would like to see the government reinstate the Eat Out to Help Out

Reubens restaurant near Baker Street

scheme “as this will be a really good push for all businesses that are quiet and short of cash flow to start again”. Nira Workman, chief marketing officer at S Group – a group that oversees 10 kosher restaurants across London, says they have “mixed feelings” about the government’s proposals. While they “simply cannot wait to welcome back our dear customers” they really hope the latest lockdown is the last

and so would rather “wait an extra month or so” until more people are vaccinated “for the sake of future stability.” Louisa Walters, founder of The Restaurant Club and The Catering Club, says restaurant booking platforms were “abuzz on Monday, with outside tables being snapped up all over London”. But she said that “cancellations have been coming through as for many restaurants it simply won’t be viable to open with outdoor seating only and they have now closed off their booking platforms”. However, she says there is still “plenty of optimism” as people plan ahead with enquiries for “restaurant private rooms’’ and “caterers for small events at home”. Rob Laub at The Bull in Highgate, who invested heavily in covers and heaters for his two large outdoor spaces, said he has taken “loads of bookings including one for a birthday for 30 people later in the year”.


WE SHOULD BE PACKING OUR BAGS BY JULY Jewish travel agents have seen a sudden increase in enquiries since the prime minister’s announcement. Anthony Gothold, managing director of Travelink in Hendon, said the past 11 months had been the most difficult he had ever experienced in 40 years in the industry. “But since the announcement yesterday where there’ll be potentially allowed tourism from 19 May, we’ve seen a number of enquiries,” he said. “It feels like we’ve turned a corner. They want to reserve, so we’re encouraging that. But I’m not bringing back all my staff until I know for certain.”

Most of those enquiries are for Israel, he said, because people feel safer as “the vaccination programme is going so well”. David Segel, of West End Travel, which has branches in South Hampstead and Edgware, said he thought overseas travel would resume from this summer. “I reckon, pin your hopes on July,” he said. “The market will come back, because people want to go abroad. I do see a chink of daylight for the first time, because we’ve got a little bit of a roadmap. There will be a good trickle of passengers this year, emotional travel and essential travel.” However, he said he thought it would

take until 2023 for the travel industry to get fully back to normal. Both said uncertainty showed the need for travel agents, as those who booked their own hotels or travel had found it harder to get refunds when flights or hotels were cancelled. Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein last week opened the door for an ‘air corridor’ arrangement between the UK and Israel in time for summer, telling ITV’s Robert Peston: “I sincerely hope that by holiday season, it will be in our mutual interests to open the borders with the socalled green passports.”

Universities, too, will be allowed to readmit some students on 8 March. However, the prime minister noted that only those “who would be unable to complete their courses if they did not return to take part in practical teaching, access specialist facilities, or complete assess- Some students can return ments’’ would be able to return. However, at the time of publication, the definition of ‘practical’ had yet to be defined. The government said some students would have to wait until the end of the Easter holidays to return. In a statement to Jewish News, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said: “After a year of providing solely digital engagement, we are cautiously excited at the prospect of being able to include some live and in-person activity before this academic year draws to a close. We will continue to follow strict guidelines and will not act hastily or rashly, focusing our efforts on ensuring our students are engaged, but safely.”


People left ‘in limbo’ after confirming plans This week’s news of a path back to normality was little consolation to those hoping to make aliyah who have been left in limbo after selling their homes and leaving their jobs.. Israeli citizens have also been left stranded in the UK, as rescue flights are only being offered from Frankfurt, after Israel closed its airspace. A group of those affected Stranded: Yaniv Ben-Dahan have sent letters in protest both to the Transport Minister Miri Regev and Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely, demanding direct rescue flights from London. Yaniv Ben-Dahan, an Israeli citizen who owns a business in Manchester, has not been able to see his wife and children in Israel for nearly three months. He flew to the UK in December before catching Covid, leaving him ill for six weeks. In that time, Ben Gurion airport closed, leaving him trapped. “I’m not able to see my kids and wife – it’s been like an eternity. I can’t work here, shops are closed, there’s nothing for me to do,” he said. Each time he gets permission from the government to fly back home, the flights are already gone, he said. “They should be operating rescue flights all over Europe,” he argued. Brits hoping to make aliyah to Israel also feel abandoned, with one family telling Jewish News they were living out of suitcases because they had rented out their home ahed of the move. “Our tenants moved into the house, but we were still here so we had to move out,” said one London father of five. “We’ve been living out of suitcases with three kids in friends’ spare rooms. We’re homeless in our country.” Another woman has become so desperate she and her husband are considering chartering their own private plane to get to Israel. “We’re in limbo,” said the semi-retired management consultant from London. “Everything has been put in order to move, and then undone, and then redone, you’re on tenterhooks 24/7.” Israeli embassy spokesman Ohad Zemet said: “Since the start of the pandemic and even more so since the last restrictions, embassy staff have been in touch with the Israeli and Jewish community in London,” he said. “We witness the difficulties some have been experiencing and we hope the situation will improve.”



Jewish News 25 February 2021

News / Alcohol fears / Dangoor gift / Heritage grant / Charity funds / Sephardi webinar

Last orders for Purim booze-ups A coalition of charities campaigning to toughen alcohol laws in the UK have penned an open letter calling for public Purim celebrations to be outlawed because they “promote excessive drinking”, writes Esther al-Kee. Alcoholism Care & Treatment (ACT), the Campaign for Alcohol Limits (CAL), and the nationwide Public Intoxication Support Team (PIST) came together to urge London boroughs with large Jewish populations to put a stop to Purim partying, even after the pandemic. In a joint letter, they said the “sight of drunken Jews on the streets shouting into the night is not only unedifying but dangerous in its message to the young, relating intoxication to a religious celebration”. The charities called on the government to “seriously consider outlawing the public celebrations of a festival for which

the celebrants are specifically encouraged to imbibe large quantities of alcohol”. They also argued that not to do so would be “inconsistent with the health warnings mandated by the government on alcohol labelling in the UK”. In separate letters, they urged councils including Hackney, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge to crack down, including “issuing penalty notices” to those appearing drunk on the streets. “Freedom of religion is one thing, encouraging young Jewish teenagers to get blind drunk then hang out of moving open-sided lorries through London’s streets in quite another,” said coalition spokesman Vic Hamann. The Board of Deputies’ social responsibility officer, Meg Illah, said: “Purim celebrates the failure of a mission to kill the Jews of Persia, with deep historic reso-

Groups like PIST want to avoid anti-social scenes like this one

nance to our giving of gifts and drinking of alcohol. PIST et al would do well to remember that.” She added: “They tried to take our booze, they didn’t succeed, let’s drink.”

DANGOORS GIVE £2M A Jewish philanthropic family has pledged £2million to the world’s oldest defence and security think tank. David and Judy Dangoor, through their Exilarch’s Foundation, gave the “extraordinary” gift to the 190-year-old Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). In a statement, David Dangoor said the need for “politically unbiased” analysis was growing ever more important, as the threat to democracies from misinformation pushed through social media channels grows ever larger. RUSI chair Sir David Lidington, who served as a minister under David Cameron

Gift: David Dangoor

and Theresa May, said: “I’m bowled over by the generosity of the Dangoor family. This donation is extraordinarily welcome and a huge vote of confidence in RUSI.” Dangoor added: “The work of RUSI has become increasingly important in these challenging times and it deserves our support.”

BEVIS MARKS GETS £500K TO PROTECT CULTURAL HERITAGE The UK’s oldest synagogue has been given a grant of nearly £500,000 to protect its heritage, writes Joshua Salisbury. Bevis Marks near Aldgate has received £497,000 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund “to protect its collection of significant objects and illuminate the history of the site”. The Grade I-listed building administered by

the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community, opened in 1701 after the readmission of Jews to Britain in 1656. The sum is among £18 million given from the latest round of the fund to 22 heritage organisations and 33 independent cinemas. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues,

our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can’t wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so. “All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, while safeguarding the livelihoods of the people who work in them.” Construction on the synagogue began in

1699 to the designs of Joseph Avis, an associate of St Paul’s Cathedral mastermind Sir Christopher Wren. It was the second synagogue to be erected in England after the resettlement of 1656. Heritage activists this month voiced their concern about plans for a 21-storey tower near to the synagogue that they feared could alter its “significance and setting”.

Charity exceeds fundraising target Almost 4,000 donors helped Paperweight raise a staggering £560,000 in just 36 hours last weekend, exceeding its appeal target by more than 150 percent. Chief executive Bayla Perrin said: “The impact of the pandemic will be long-lasting, but thanks to this incredible support, we now have the means to respond to the growing calls on our services. “We will also be able to accelerate the implementation of new initiatives that will provide additional relief and protection to our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families.” The organisation, which supports people at their most vulnerable, has 200 caseworkers in London, Manchester and Gateshead. The pandemic has seen Paperweight’s caseload triple.

Sephardi rabbis hold webinar on halacha

Sephardi rabbis came together in a landmark webinar to discuss monetary disputes in halacha, or Jewish law, and the adoption of secular law in the Beth Din. The Sephardi Beth Din considers matters including conversions, divorce proceedings and Jewish identity cases, but monetary disputes can be among the toughest, and delegates gained insight into the role of lawyers within a Beth Din. Among the speakers were leading Torah scholar Rabbi Asher Weiss, and Lord Wolfson, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, who spoke of the theory and implementation of the Beth Din in today’s world. Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar echoed the thoughts of others, saying: “When the Beth Din is strong, the community is strong,” as delegates recited a special blessing for the speedy recovery of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, who served for many years as the head of the London Beth Din. The Senior Rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community, Rabbi Joseph Dweck, made the final remarks.


25 February 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 25 February 2021

Special Report / Desert tales

Under fire from Saddam’s Scuds

A top surgeon reflects on his role in the first Iraq war with Stephen Oryszczuk Thirty years after the end of the first Gulf War, retired Jewish neurosurgeon Colin Shieff recalls the conflict with something of a light-hearted look. A tented hospital in the Arabian desert was very different to life at the neurosurgical department of The Royal Free Hospital in London, once the professional home of the humble welfare officer at the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX). “My dad was in the RAF at the end of the Second World War and had some stories to tell,” says Shieff, in an hour’s call during which he never mentions his five tours of duty, his trusteeship of a brain injury charity, or the Queen’s Volunteer Reserve Medal he was awarded in 2011. Now with stories of his own, both from the Gulf and Afghanistan, this valued brain surgeon first heard rocket warning sirens in January 1991, after Saddam Hussein had invaded neighbouring Kuwait from Iraq and an international coalition set off to stop him. Aged 39, he was doing his Entry Officer course for the Territorial Army when British TV began carrying images of the Iraqi dictator patting detained British children on the head. As all that was riling the public, senior officers got wind of what Shieff did for a living. “Two days after I got back, my secretary came through and said: ‘There’s a strange man on the phone.’ That strange man was the director of Army Surgery, asking if I’d go and help them fight ‘this man’. I instantly said yes! I was single and up for a fight after training heavily for two weeks.” It was Yom Tov, there was paperwork and kit and vaccinations to sort, but soon he was ready to go and, before the year’s end, he would be swapping the colder climate of London for the sand of northern Saudi Arabia, very close to the Iraqi border. “Sometimes I had a feeling of adrenaline, other times I was thinking ‘what have I done?’ I hadn’t thought through the consequences and all the things that might happen, and I didn’t realise how disruptive it would be to my fairly stable, fairly comfortable existence. “I also didn’t realise quite how much shouting, regulation and standing in line there would be, but I had fun and learnt a huge amount, and was better able to commit myself after, both professionally, militarily, even to relationships. “I never regretted it, despite my concern at the beginning.” The adrenaline was mainly caused by Saddam’s infamous Scud missiles – Iraq’s inaccurate long-range weapon of choice, fired towards the Allied forces building up nearby, including at Shieff ’s base. “It was known that Mr Hussein had weapons of mass destruction including gas, which he’d already used, and biological nasties such as

Colin Shieff in Kandahar, Afghanistan

botulinum [a toxin], so we had training on the PPE [personal protective equipment], how to eat and drink – and do number twos! – in special protective equipment, within a ‘chemical’ environment. “You could actually see these things [Scuds] flying over you, not a ball of flame as such but something going through the sky that obviously wasn’t an aircraft,” he says, recalling how air raid sirens would send those on base running for cover. “When I got home, I remember being on Oxford Street and hearing the sudden sound of a fire engine. I immediately twitched and got down on my knees, because it was so similar to the sound that had sent me panicking for three months. “I was embarrassed. People were asking if I was OK, but I could see there were one or two others who’d reacted in a similar manner. It’s a learnt response to a crisis situation. Military training elicits this instinctive reaction, to protect the soldier.” Despite the much-mooted “shock and awe” tactics of American-led bombers in the first wave of Allied attack, the field hospital remained quiet at first. “We had a handful of injuries, not from bombs or rockets, but car crashes and motorcycle accidents that went with the mayhem of war,” he says. “Turns out that’s quite normal [for a field hospital] – less is due to bullets and shrapnel, more to things like falling or putting your back out.” The calm did not last. Among the worst injuries he treated were soldiers with horrific burns – “sufficient to stretch our medical skills”

Top right: Colin’s birthday supper. Above: Colin, pictured far left, hosting a seder on base

– as he worked with Danish, Dutch, Canadian, Swedish, and Singaporean doctors in a maze of tents housing makeshift wards and operating theatres, lacking items such as CT scanners. As the weeks went on, serious cases with brain injuries were also brought in. “To my great surprise, the patients we treated were almost exclusively Iraqi soldiers,” he says. “They’d been badly injured in the Allied drive forward and taken captive. They were flown in on a helicopter, to our hospital, and treated in the same way as we would have treated one of our own. “Some of these Iraqi guys, God bless, were very malnourished, dehydrated, hadn’t been wearing shoes for quite some time… Some didn’t know what was going to happen to them.

“Communication was through ex-pat Kuwaiti interpreters, brought in to spot any Iraqis pretending to be Kuwaitis – so, guys on our side. They weren’t shy in telling the Iraqis what they thought of Saddam! “These were patients, not prisoners, but it was the first time I’d dealt with patients with whom I had no immediate means of communication. You had to be empathetic, smile, look them in the eye. “That said, there were also times when you had to provide quite aggressive medical care for people who didn’t understand what was going on, were patently petrified, and who’d been told we were going to torture them or something. Ultimately though, we did contribute to saving lives.”

25 February 2021 Jewish News



Diversity division / IHRA debate / News

Mayor’s diversity champion resigns A member of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s statue diversity commission has been forced to resign after being accused of antisemitism, writes Joshua Salisbury. Activist Toyin Agbetu was among 15 members appointed by Khan for his Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, tasked with reviewing the capital’s landmarks. Agbetu has now relinquished the role after Jewish News brought blog posts commenting on Jewish people to City Hall’s attention. Among them are posts in which he claimed there was an “immoral hierarchy of suffering” which had seen victims of the Holocaust “served well by Nazi hunters” compared to African victims of the slave trade. Agbetu, who is also a member of Hackney Council’s review of naming in public spaces, also praised academic Tony Martin, who urged his students to read the book The Secret Relationship Between

London mayor Sadiq Khan and, inset, Toyin Agbetu

Blacks and Jews. The book, widely condemned as antisemitic, claims Jews played a leading role in the Atlantic slave trade. In a blog post, Agbetu paid tribute to the academic Martin – who also wrote a book called The Jewish Onslaught – as “a first class historian”. This book was condemned by Martin’s own faculty members as antisemitic when it was released in 1994. But Agbetu wrote in 2007: “His alleged ‘crime’ was being the author of a book that

explored the role of Jews in the Maafa [great disaster],” adding that Martin was “a reputable academic.” A letter signed by Agbtu stated the Chakrabarti inquiry into “antisemitism and other forms of racism” in Labour was unwittingly discriminatory as “racism against Jewish people is set apart from racism against other people.” It is the latest controversy to hit the left-wing activist after he was also accused of posting anti-vaccine comments on social media.

A Private Collection of Silver & Judaica

Greens debate IHRA status The Green Party is set to debate the validity of the international definition of antisemitism. A series of motions have been put forward endorsing the BDS (boycott divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel and opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition. The Board of Deputies called it a “risky juncture” for the party, while the Community Security Trust (CST) said a refusal to back IHRA would mean “setting themselves apart from other mainstream political bodies”. The conference takes place from 1 to 7 March. The motion in question, put forward by the party’s former deputy leader and current Home Affairs spokesperson, Shahrar Ali (pictured),, claims there has been “relentless pressure” on public bodies to adopt IHRA “and the

associated contentious examples referring to Israel”. He says examples in the definition “systematically conflate opposition to Israeli policies with antisemitism”, and adopting it “would mean BDS would be treated as antisemitic”. The Board of Deputies said: “This is a risky juncture for the Green Party. There is anecdotal evidence of those who poisoned the atmosphere in Labour in recent years trying to infiltrate the Greens. As such we call on them to adopt the IHRA definition as soon as possible and make it clear they will not tolerate antisemitism in any form.” A CST spokesperson said: “If they do adopt the definition it will send a powerful signal that they are serious about giving themselves the tools to tackle antisemitism within their own party.”

Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Wednesday 17 March, 11am

A miniature illuminated Megillat Kohelet [Book of Ecclesiastes Scroll], early 20th century. Estimate £2,000-£5,000*

A large Austro-Hungarian menorah, mid19th century, stamped only with 13 standard mark. Estimate £1,000-£2,000*

A silver filigree spice tower of architectural form, by the Bezalel school, Jerusalem, c.1920. Estimate £2,000-£4,000*

HaMelech Esther scroll, megillah, in a silver case and original olive wood box, by the Bezalel School, Jerusalem, c.1925. Estimate £1,000-£2,000*

BLAIR AND GRAFF ON ORT PANEL Tony Blair’s son and the UK head of Linkedin looked forward to positive changes in the post-pandemic world of work when they joined Tuesday’s online ORT panel. Euan Blair and Josh Graff joined Olly Olsen, co-founder of The Office Group and Sophie Eden, co-founder of tech recruitment firm, Gordon & Eden, to discuss how the crisis will shape the future of work. The ORT UK virtual

business event was media partnered by Jewish News, with BBC journalist Samantha Simmonds moderating. Blair said the new way of remote working has meant “you don’t need to go to university or have a degree, or work daily in an office or meet your employer to know you want to work for them”. Graff, who will take over as LinkedIn’s regional managing director next month, said

employers “are recognising that hiring someone based on skills and experience can be equally as powerful and there is a real opportunity to move the labour market forward over the next couple of years”. ORT UK’s CEO Dan Rickman said: “Our panel offered food for thought on what to expect in terms of workspace, networking, recruitment and training, assuring us the future of work looks bright.”

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Jewish News 25 February 2021

Special Report / Israel–US relations

‘Joe, glad you called, I was starting to worry’ By delaying his call Biden avoids embracing Netanyahu before Israeli vote Joe Biden finally spoke late last week with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one month into the US president’s first term. The conversation was “friendly and warm”, Netanyahu told an Israeli electorate that places a high value on healthy relations with the US. His tweet, in Hebrew and accompanied by a photo of himself on the phone grinning, comes weeks before an Israeli election. The delay to this first exchange caused anxiety among officials in Jerusalem. Many of the Jewish state’s supporters around the world have been left feeling uneasy too. “Nobody really knows what is going on in the mind of President Biden, but everyone is asking,” said analyst Shlomo Brom, former deputy to Israel’s national security adviser, suggesting that the American is trying to take Netanyahu down a peg. Donald Trump phoned Netanyahu within days of taking office in 2017, and quickly ushered in policies that delighted him, like moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. When it comes to Biden, a White House spokeswoman insisted that the delayed first call did not constitute “an intentional dis”. Yet according to Brom, a senior scholar at the Institute for National Security Studies, Biden has an axe to grind. He notes that Netanyahu showed “resistance” to the last Democrat president, Barack Obama, and then appeared to throw in his political lot with Trump. That meant Biden was pulled in two directions when it came to deciding how to act. Brom commented: “Biden has a long history of support with Israel, and has a basic empathy with the country, but on the other hand, he has an antipathy to Netanyahu personally because of way he conducted himself towards the American political arena, showing resistance to President Obama and then favour for Trump.” So, Biden called but he made Netanyahu wait. “What Biden wants to do is educate Mr Netanyahu, to show him there’s a price for everything and that there is a price for his conduct,” said Brom. Netanyahu’s pride aside, does any of this matter? What many of Israel’s supporters fear is not that Biden will show antag-

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife greet Joe Biden, then US vice-president, in Jerusalem in 2013

onism: it is important to remember that all the normal diplomatic and security channels are wide open, and functioning well, unaffected by the change in administration. Furthermore, Biden has a deep appreciation of Israel and has heaped praise on its founders, on the creativity that has built one of the most “innovative societies on earth”, and on the IDF. As the relationship between the men develops, he is unlikely to let his disappointment with Netanyahu get in the way of doing what he considers best for Israel. On the other hand, personal

dynamics play a large part in politics, as Netanyahu himself stressed in his last election campaign. The Likud party posted billboards of the PM smiling with Trump, showcasing his strong personal connection with the then-president as a factor that should compel Israelis to vote for him. The message was that a good connection with the US President is good for Israel. Biden has no interest in being cast as a prop in Netanyahu’s reelection campaign, and it seems he is being cautious about any gesture that can be interpreted – or spun – as an embrace ahead of the election.

This may have contributed to his delay in picking up the phone, along with his desire to assert himself on Iran. Netanyahu angered many Democrats in a Congress speech of 2015 when he blasted the nuclear deal with Iran, which Obama strongly backed. Now, six years later, and following Trump’s withdrawal from the deal, Biden wants to revive the agreement in some form. Jerusalem is concerned, and Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the US, indicated on Tuesday that if the US does re-enter the deal, Israel may take its own path.

He told a radio interviewer that Israel “will not be able to be part of such a process if the new administration returns to that deal”. Udi Sommer, a political scientist at Tel Aviv University, believes that Biden’s aides want to keep the Israeli elections and the Iran deal as low on the president’s agenda as possible for the now. “They realise that elections are very high-stake and don’t want to have any footprint on them,” he said. “Regarding Iran, when you talk to me of your closest allies about their concerns, it can limit you. For now, Biden is focused on domestic issues and doesn’t want to be limited on Iran when he turns to the matter.” But Sommer thought people should not jump to the conclusion that Biden’s approach will be the same as his Democratic predecessor, saying: “People say it’s going to be ‘Obama 2.0’, but people in this administration realise that reality has changed in the past four years, and this is good for Netanyahu.” On Iran, he said Biden’s people realise that the nuclear deal was lacking in two respects, and will be keen to fix this in any revived agreement. “One issue was that after the deal Iran still felt able to use its proxies like Hezbollah freely and with hardly any constraints, and this was a major loophole,” said Sommer. “Another loophole was the freedom of Iran to develop ballistic capabilities, even if not nuclear.” Taking a wider view of the region, “during Obama and before, the paradigm was always that solving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the prerequisite for changing things between Israel and the Arab world. This is out of the window, it’s completely gone, now that we have seen the Abraham Accords and normalisation with the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.” Sommer did not have an insight into what was said when Biden finally called Bibi, but suggested that the new administration will have a new take on both the Israeli– Palestinian issue and Iran compared with Obama. “Biden comes with the world view of the Obama administration, but the reality is that after four years of Trump, things are very different, and we won’t be seeing copy-paste policies.”  Additional reporting by JTA



25 February 2021 Jewish News





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Jewish News 25 February 2021

World News / Oil spill / Restrictions lifted/ Megillah gift

Israel’s ‘worst eco disaster’ A huge stretch of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline was coated in tar this week, after a suspected oil spill from a tanker caused problems for wildlife and tourism, writes Joy Falk. Up to 40 percent of the country’s 106-mile coast was hit, with sea turtles among the animals affected, just days after a 17-metre-long fin whale was found washed up on a beach. An autopsy found oil-based material in its body. “This will not end in the next few days; we are preparing for long, hard work,” said environmental protection minister Gila Gamliel.

“We identified 10 vessels that passed through. One or more could be responsible for this severe incident.” Israeli soldiers have been drafted in to help with the clean-up, which occurred during a storm last week. Bad weather also hampered the detection of the slick until it was too late. The Israeli government has told people to stay away from beaches, saying: “Exposure to tar could harm public health.” An oil spill also caused damage at a nature reserve in southern Israel in

Clearing up after the suspected oil spill from a tanker

December 2014, but Shaul Goldstein, head of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority,

said this week’s spill was Israel’s “worst environmental disaster in a decade”.

WHAT A MEGILLAH! A 550-year-old megillah has been gifted to the National Library of Israel and made available to view online, in time for Purim. The scroll is believed to have been written by a scribe on the Iberian peninsula in the 15th century, prior to the Inquisition, based in part on carbon dating. It is written in brown ink on leather. HALF PAGE ADVERT JAN 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page 1

LOCKDOWN LIFTS BUT AIRPORTS STAY SHUT Israel lifted lockdown restrictions this week and introduced a ‘green passport’ system, with even indoor gyms reopening, writes Joy Falk. Vaccine passports are being considered in England and Scotland and all eyes are on the Israeli model following its rapid rollout of jabs: more than half its population has now received at least one dose. Israel has used the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine and analysts are treating the country as the first population-wide efficacy study. Figures this week show the vaccine is 96 percent effective in preventing hospitalisation and death. A fall in serious illness has led to shops, libraries, museums and attractions such as zoos reopening, albeit with visitors wearing masks and keeping their distance. In addition, gyms, hotels, cinemas, swimming pools and synagogues reopened to people carrying a green passport – a certificate contained within an app, which is given to those who have been fully vac-

Covid passports are in use

cinated. In a system that may be replicated in the UK, Israelis get a green passport one week after their second jab, and it is valid for six months. The UK is currently vaccinating over50s, a process it expects to complete in ten days. Israeli ministers said life was returning to normal, but not all infrastructure has reopened. Airports remain shut to all but emergency flights and freight, while at sporting events very limited spectator numbers are allowed. Medics have reiterated the dangers for pregnant women who avoid vaccination after 32-year-old Osnat Ben-Shitrit and her unborn baby died from Covid-19 last week.

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25 February 2021 Jewish News




Jewish News 25 February 2021

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25 February 2021 Jewish News


Moishe House / Jewish studies / Faith centre / Diaspora News

Young Russian-speaking Jews get new LA home An organisation engaging Jewish young adults in peer-led programming is set to give young Russian-speaking Jews “a place to call home” in LA. Moishe House, which is known for its pods, ‘House Without Walls’ and Jewish learning retreats, is opening its sixth location in the City of Angels, but the first for Jews from the former Soviet Union. Supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), the organisation caters for young Jewish adults in their 20s, and 30s and said its new branch in West Hollywood would serve one of the largest Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) populations in the US. Moishe House facilitates collaboration between young Jewish adults to foster a sense of fellowship, giving them the freedom and resources to curate their own events. Members develop networks and often become leaders in their communities. “Russian-speaking Jews are integral to the diversity of the Jewish people, and bring a unique culture to our Moishe House communities around the world,”

said Moishe House chief executive David Cygielman. Russian-speaking Jews in LA comprise 10 to 15 percent of the local Jewish population. They mainly live in West Hollywood, where the new branch is located. Among the most active RSJs in LA are David Chernobylsky, 27, and David Bromberg, 29, who met through Hillel and have now become the residents of the new Moishe House. “I view my role as a community leader by creating and setting up events that will let community members feel welcome and connected through common values, culture and history,” said Chernobylsky. David Chernobylsky and David Bromberg The first event was a virtual Russian-style New Year party last month, Moishe House can serve as a key resource which organisers said was “focused on dis- for creating community and shared bonds. pelling bad memories of 2020 and looking This newest one will build on the global success of the model, helping young adults forward to 2021”. GPG chief executive Marina create programming that is relevant Yudborovsky said: “Around the world, and engaging.”

Jewish studies in Frankfurt

The course will be taught at Frankfurt’s Goethe Insitute

Students in the emerging European business capital of Frankfurt have a new Jewish Studies option in a programme named after a Jewish philosopher dismissed from his city university post by the Nazis. The news from the BuberRosenzweig-Institute for Modern and Contemporary Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History came exactly 142 years after Martin Buber, who taught at the university from 1924, was ordered to leave in 1933. With his colleague Franz Rosenzweig, Buber established the Free Jewish Teaching

House in Frankfurt, and the new course – one of a growing number of Jewish Studies programmes in Germany – will be taught at the city’s Goethe University. “We are delighted about Christian Wiese [Martin Buber chair for Jewish Thought and Philosophy]’s initiative,” said Professor Enrico Schleiff, president of Goethe University. “The new institute has great potential to further expand cooperation with other institutions, especially internationally, and to initiate other important projects in the future.”


Your weekly digest of stories from the international press GERMANY

A special stamp has been presented to the North RhineWestphalian state parliament to commemorate 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany. The 80-cent stamp, now available from Deutsche Post, was created by Cologne-based designer Detlef Behr and shows the Hebrew lettering chai, which stands for ‘life’.


The University of California Berkeley has received a $10 million (£7m) endowment to safeguard its Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies in its tenth year. The institute supports academic discourse and scholarship on the study of Israel through course coordination, programming and research support.


An auction house in New York suspended the sale of a 19th century document listing Jewish burials that the small Jewish community of Cluj in northern Transylvania had said was stolen by Nazis during the Holocaust. Kestenbaum & Company, a Brooklyn auctioneer specialising in Judaica, pulled the ledger from sale at the eleventh hour.


A rabbi believed to be hiding in Israel has become the subject on an international arrest warrant issued by Argentine authorities who want him extradited. Marcelo Daniel Krawiec, 44, the former rabbi of a Buenos Aires synagogue, is accused of sexually abusing two young men from 2010-18. He flew to Israel in 2019.

DUTCH TORAH SCROLL IS RETURNED INTACT A Torah scroll that went missing from a Dutch synagogue after the Nazi invasion 80 years ago has been returned intact to the Jewish community. The scroll belonged to a synagogue in the southern city of Dordrecht, according to Chris den Hoedt of the Jewish Community of Rotterdam, and had been kept safe by the Pennings family, whose members forgot about it. News of the find came after one of the family mem-

bers told local historian Kees Weltevrede she had found a Torah scroll of unknown origins in her home. “[The scroll] was simply presumed lost, like so many other religious artifacts lost in the Holocaust,” said Weltevrede, who thinks the scroll and several others were kept by Meijer Michiel Cohen, a Jewish metal factory owner who survived the Holocaust. Fellow merchant Aart Bezemer bought the factory and gave the scroll to respected teacher Kees Pennings, who died in 2001.

Karatsev reaches semi-finals Plans unveiled for Karatsev, ranked 253 in the world, received a pat on the back from the champion, who was playing his 39th Grand Slam. “We need to give Karatsev a hand,” said the veteran Serb. “Huge congratulations on reaching the semi-finals on his debut. He played a great tournament.” On his way to meeting Djokovic, Karatsev beat fellow Jewish player Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, currently ranked in the top 10 in the world.

shared faith house

Plans for a £35 million shared faith centre dubbed a “churmosquagogue” have been unveiled in Berlin. The foundation stone for the new ‘House of One’, to be shared between the city’s Christians, Muslims and Jews, will be laid in May on the site of an old church torn down by the Communist rulers of East Germany during the Cold War. After a decade of planning, the project’s backers say the new building – designed by Berlin architects Kuehn Malvezzi – will incorporate a church, a mosque and a synagogue, all linked to a central meeting place. “There are many different ways to God, and each is a good way,” said co-creator Rabbi Andreas Nachama, who is working with a pastor and imam. “It is more than

© Kuehn Malvezzi, Photo: Ulrich Schwarz

A Russian tennis player with Jewish heritage who lived in Israel for nearly a decade came close to making it to the Australian Open final – despite being 114th seed. Aslan Karatsev (pictured) ended up playing – and testing – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final in his first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament, despite a struggle in the qualifying tournament just to make the draw.

How the ‘House of One’ could look

a symbol. It is the start of a new era where we show there is no hate between us.” Although Christians, Muslims and Jews would worship separately, the visionaries say congregants could visit each other.



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.




Slowly does it, and let Send us your comments this be a spring of hope PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@jewishnews.co.uk

The pending end of lockdown is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom (masks, distancing), the age of foolishness (huge weddings, anti-vax myths), it is the epoch of belief (normal’s on its way), it is the epoch of incredulity (I’m staying put), it is the season of light (book Israel, darling), it is the season of darkness (Finchley staycation), it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair. It certainly has been a desperate winter, 11 months of it minus a fleeting summer interlude. As the voice of the Jewish community, we know that voice has, for almost a year, been a scream. So forgive us a double-page celebration this week of the beckoning ‘Jewish normal’. If ever a people was social, we are that people: the shoulder tug, the cheek pinch, the scrum over sushi, the exit-blocking as we linger before leaving. Enough with the indoors, the nuclear family, the home-schooling, the poor-cousin Zoom replacements, the online services, the WhatsApp gossip that’s much juicier face to face. If normal is around the corner, British Jewry is hogging the inside lane and picking up pace. A plea from this newspaper is to get there sensibly. Many of the protective measures in shuls and elsewhere will, alas, remain for now. Dangerous variants are doing the rounds, and far too many have died already. Let’s get ‘Jewish life’ back but let’s do so as slowly as we need. Let this be an age of Jewish wisdom, an epoch of Jewish belief, a season of Jewish light and a spring of Jewish hope.

Young people, find your inspiration in adversity

Enthusiasm, not knowledge Allow me, as an Orthodox Jew, to refute letter writer Dov Leitner’s claim (11 February) that “the Torah clearly forbids any kind of lashon hara, even if it is true and even if it benefits someone else”. He continued: “A newspaper as the way you want it to be is completely against the Torah.” Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case with Charedi apologists, what they possess in enthusiasm they lack in knowledge. The book Chafets Chaim is widely accepted as the ultimate Halachic guide for laws on lashon hora. In Chapter 10.1 it states: “If one sees someone causing damage to another... and knows with certainty that he has neither rectified the damage not requested forgiveness for it, one may relay the information to others to assist the victim and to denigrate in public these evil deeds.” The focus of your report was large-scale

Sketches & kvetches

It seems only fitting that our third Young Writers’ Competition – which is launched today in association with WIZO and PJ Library – is themed around courage. During the past 12 months, courage has shown itself in many guises, from selfless doctors and nurses and emergency workers, to essential retailers, bus drivers, teachers and care home assistants who put aside their own fears to continue supporting the most vulnerable in the face of a pandemic. For youngsters too, months of disrupted schooling and distance from friends has been especially hard, but now a beacon of hope is visible with the recent announcement of a timetable for the ending of restrictions. We hope that from adversity comes strength; in this case in the form of inspiration for our young writers.

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WOODY ALLEN HATCHET JOB I was surprised to see your newspaper promoting the hatchet job on Woody Allen. The filmmakers did the same to wrongfully accused students in the documentary The Hunting Ground and overlooked testimonies of the inno-

cent. This is another example of poor research and ignoring the facts. Allen is besmirched in a four-part documentary focused on the Farrow family. Why promote this nonsense? Marnie Bailey West Hampstead


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­ eddings in a pandemic, which 99 percent of raw tional people would classify as “causing damage to another,” and would, therefore, be permissible to be reported on. In fact, your exposé already seems to have borne fruit in the form of kosher shops now insisting on masks being worn. I was surprised Mr Leitner didn’t invoke the go-to card of mesirah, which some Charedim understand to forbid publicisng or reporting any misdeed or crime committed by a fellow Jew. However, even mesirah is itself a matter of much debate among Halachic authorities, with notable figures such as Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg, Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv and Rabbi Shmuel Wosner permitting reporting to the authorities in certain circumstances. Name withheld on request By email


It was the government who decided that over 80s would receive the vaccine first – a first jab as soon as it was approved and a second three weeks later. That was the recommendation of Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company first on the scene. Now, for many like myself it has been decided to delay the second dose for 12 weeks.

We have read in the press that this is too late as immunity from Covid 19 will not be effective after the three week period. Now there seems a likelihood of shortages of the vaccine so any second dose could be delayed even longer. At this rate, will we ever get to the Promised Land? Norma Neville By email


25 February 2021 Jewish News


Editorial comment and letters

ORTHODOX BRIDES REPENT AT LEISURE With reference to Chaya Spitz’ article (18 February), headlined ‘How dare Nahamu stigmatise strictly-Orthodox marriage’, I question why broken engagements in Stamford Hill’s Chasidic community are unheard of yet divorce among young couples is more frequent. Chasidic relatives and young women I have met while volunteering for Camp Simcha have freely admitted that breaking an engagement is taboo, as it is considered far better to divorce, and that refusing a prospective match after meeting is extremely uncommon due to pressure to please those involved – coupled with the fear of being labelled fussy and uncooperative. Therefore, I take issue with Chaya’s view that “the choice of the young people

in this process is paramount” when that choice is a minor factor within the decision to consent to marriage. Far more important is the young person’s belief and trust that their parents have conducted thorough research into the suitability of the prospective match and the fear of disappointing those who have invested time and effort into coordinating the match. How can Chaya deny that the “truncated shidduch process’ does not equate to coercion” when time, freedom of expression and assurance that cancelling a wedding is all right are not available in the Chasidic community?As the adage says: “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” Avital Menahem By email

COERCED, NOT FORCED I refer to your recent article on forced marriages (11 February). In our experience, including counselling members of the Chasidic community, most couples enter into an arranged introduction not an arranged marriage, as defined by members of Nahamu. This is done with

consent from both parties, which is a requirement under Jewish law. While there may be instances whereby one might feel coerced, we have not come across any party feeling as if they have been forced. The Jewish Marriage Council, Hendon

Help clean up spill The sand beaches, plant life, marine, animal and bird populations the length of Israel’s Mediterranean coast line have been catastrophically damaged by the oil spill this past weekend. Thousands of volunteers, directed by the Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) in Israel, the Parks Authority and local municipalities, have been engaged in a desperate race to salvage and save as much of these ecosystems as possible from asphyxiation by

toxic tars. Cleaning the landscape will take many months to complete. SPNI has issued an urgent appeal for funds to meet this challenge. If you have enjoyed and marvelled at the natural blessings of the land of Israel, please respond to this call, now. Through this UK charitable arm of SPNI (Charity Number 327268) we will forward all donations to the rescue effort without delay. John Levy Chair of trustees, UKSPNI

THE BOARD HAS ITS OWN JACKIE WEAVER A number of letters have been published in both the Jewish and general media in support of the proposed Holocaust Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens in central London. One such letter published last weekend was signed by a broad selection of the great and the good, including Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies. I am a deputy (representing Finchley Synagogue). I do not agree with Mrs van der Zyl. In my view, the proposed memorial is an eyesore, misconceived and potentially the source of abuse by the far left and far right. That is my personal view. I have not sought the views of my constituents. But neither has Mrs van der Zyl. The Board continues to support and promote this plan as though it had overwhelming support among deputies and the wider community. The truth is, like most issues, the Board’s executive has never sought the approval for its stance from Deputies, let alone their constituents. In fact, the Board rarely seeks formal votes on policy from deputies and ‘debates’ at plenary meetings often resemble the unfortunate parish council meeting that gained so much publicity recently, with the president firmly cast in the Jackie Weaver role. Brian Gedalla Finchley


Jonathan Robinson • 07476217948 jonathan@jasmine-events.co.uk



Jewish News 25 February 2021


Let’s be conscious of our unconscious bias ALEX BRUMMER



he senior female colleague with whom I share an office has a perennial complaint. When a call is put through from the switchboard on a land line, the assumption made by the caller is that she is my office assistant rather than one of the country’s foremost business writers and broadcasters. Decades after the feminist movement, there is still an unconscious bias that a woman working alongside a man must be in charge of his diary. Many of us in the Jewish community have experienced some form of conscious bias. One of my fellow classmates was constantly greeted with the refrain ‘Jewish boys can’t paint.’ Antisemitism, as the community has learnt to its cost, is as rampant on the far left as it is among the right-wing populist parties in the EU. There is nothing unconscious about comments by Bristol University Professor

David Miller suggesting Jewish student groups on campus are used ‘as political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.’ Similarly, there may be ignorance but there is nothing unconscious about lesbian couples being brutally assaulted on a London bus or Jews, wearing kippot, being abused as they head to synagogue. Such attacks on ethnic minorities or people with different sexual preferences is a consequence of overt prejudice. There can be very few among us Jews who have not faced unconscious bias or, for that matter, are not immune to such tendencies in ourselves. While we may recognise it exists, the idea that students and faculty alike at Oxford University and elsewhere should be required to go through a form of unconscious bias training has kicked off such a raw public debate.

As a correspondent in the US, one of my early assignments was to cover a coal miners’ strike in Western Pennsylvania. My guide was a welleducated, thoughtful and hospitable secretary general of the union. It all went swimmingly well including a weekend visit to his log cabin up in the hills. As we relaxed by the fire, my host – seeing me only as an English journalist – embarked on a tirade about how the Jews and Israel controlled capitalism and the world. He clearly liked my company but had an unconscious bias against Jews. I am not sure a training course at an Oxford college could ever have eradicated such a deeply-held belief. The truth is that society is riddled with unconscious bias. More than two decades after the Macpherson report and its finding of ‘institutional racism’ in the Metropolitan Police,


a black driver is far more likely to be pulled over than a white one. In our own community, the commonly-held view that Charedim are the main vectors of coronavirus and we should cross the road when a Chasid comes our way is also a form of unconscious bias. However, unconscious judgements are made about people for the way they speak, where they went to school, whether they prefer football to rugby and from whence they come. In the Jewish community, we tend to assume the bias is conscious. Jeremy Corbyn is an interesting case. He has long proclaimed there is not a racist bone in his body. That’s because his anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish tendencies are largely unconscious. He and his followers may have adopted ancient tropes without realising it. The movement to eradicate unconscious bias at Oxford is seen by many as just another example of ‘woke’ politically correct culture. It almost certainly is. But if one really believed that, with training, deep-seated prejudices about Jews, Muslims, Old Etonians, immigrants, Yorkshire and LGBT people et al could be tackled, maybe – just maybe – they could be supported.

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25 February 2021 Jewish News



Bristol must act over its conspiracy theorist prof DAVE RICH



rofessor David Miller has a strange attitude towards some students at Bristol University, where he teaches sociology. To put it bluntly, he thinks some of the students on his campus, and in his lectures, are agents for a hostile foreign power as part of a global strategy – an “all-out onslaught”, as he puts it – by this country “to impose their will all over the world”. He thinks students are at the front of a “campaign of censorship” and “political surveillance” in support of an ideology that, he says, “has no place in any society”. It is no surprise about who Miller has in his sights: Bristol University Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), both of whom, he claims, are ultimately “directed by the state of Israel”. This is nothing short of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and it isn’t the first time Miller has indulged such fantasies. Before arriving at Bristol, he made his name

with his theory of the “Five Pillars of Islamophobia”, which claimed that anti-Muslim prejudice was encouraged and spread by, among others, “parts of the Zionist movement”. To justify this claim, he produced reports aiming to prove that the “wealthy businessmen and financiers” who gave money to organisations he deemed to be Islamophobic, also gave money to pro-Israel and Jewish causes; thereby putting “the financial and political resources of the Israel lobby” in the service of global Islamophobia. His research and conclusions relied more on inference than evidence, but this was enough for Bristol University to give him a professorship and allow him to teach this dangerous nonsense to students. It can’t be stressed enough that Bristol hired him in full knowledge this was the nature of his academic work. Since then, its senior management has haughtily dismissed repeated complaints from Jewish students and staff at Bristol, and from UJS and the Community Security Trust (CST), among others, and now it has a problem entirely of its own making.


Miller believes his academic freedom is under threat, but it is his spurious accusations that threaten the academic freedom of his Jewish students, to study free from the suspicion and hostility he clearly feels towards them. Given his latest comments, it is inconceivable Bristol University can allow Miller to continue teaching while also observing its legal duty of care to those same students. It needs to address this problem urgently and it was positive that it met representatives of Bristol’s Jewish Society this week to hear concerns. The CST’s recent report, Campus Antisemitism in Britain, showed campus-related antisemitic incidents have been at unprecedented levels over the past two years, and some of these incidents were perpetrated by academic staff. Meanwhile, there is strong resistance from

some academics to the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, such as at UCL, where the academic board recommended its institution should reverse its previous adoption of the definition. Those opponents often suggest an alternative definition as “hostility towards Jews as Jews”, and complain that talk of antisemitism masked as anti-Zionism is a distraction from “real antisemitism”. It would be helpful to know if those same academics agree that Miller’s language has been antisemitic. There has been almost complete silence from the usual voices in academia who are normally so quick to sign their round-robin letters to The Guardian. Perhaps it is simply the case that, for many of them, protecting Jewish students from antisemitism isn’t such a priority.

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Jewish News 25 February 2021


I'll never get back the years I was 'chained' RIFKA MEYER



pring has always been my favourite month of the year. Spring symboliszes renewal. Birth, a fresh start, the promise of tomorrow. Spring also brings Pesach. The holiday celebrates our redemption from the slavery of Egypt, the pain and affliction we suffered. Our journey to becoming a nation and receiving the Torah. We strive to make this exodus applicable to our lives today. While Pesach means an end to the scrubbing, cleaning and reorganising of our homes, it hopefully leads to the cleaning and reorganising of our emotional and mental states too. Personally, this year the meaning of Pesach is particularly special as discussion of redemption and freedom have an entire new meaning. Pesach 2021 is my first year as a free woman. After almost a decade of being an agunah (chained woman). Years filled with pain, waiting, of negotiating and pleading. This year I am finally free. I will sit at the head of my table, surrounded by my supportive EE

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‘I’m sorry’

workings of the parmomentous inner handling Labour issued a staffers ty’s complaints claims of public apology to former Wednesday unit contained in the High Court on interference in the fallout political after they sued over have been an investi- what should disciplinary from a BBC Panorama handling independent was strenugation into the party’s Jack process. This of antisemitism, writes ously denied by the party Mendel. before the at the time. However, just hours According to the were reports lawyer, announcement, there Jeremy whistleblowers’ that former Labour leader William Bennett, Labour Corbyn, his former communications accused them of “acting Labour’s and during and chief Seumus Milne Jennie in bad faith with the former secretary-general that after their employment Formby had sought assurances of harming” the party, be connected intention their names would not accusations false. of lasting calling the defended to the apology. In a sign Mark Henderson, who the anger, Corbyn later dismissed not the Labour Party, said he “acknowldecision, about the apology as “a political edges that these claims a legal one”. are untrue, and we retract members, Claimants Seven former staff them and undertake about and withdraw who voiced their concerns them. Actions are being among not to repeat Jew-hatred of those who repeat the how claims with, sued taken against members were dealt will be taken against those of libel in libels and after they were accused to do so in future.” broad- who choose the Panorama documentary, cast last year. of the The hour-long dissection

t. we don’t charge for conten Unlike other Jewish media, on e we are free, we rely That won’t change. Becaus s lifeline, which has dropped Thi ts. cos advertising to cover further due to coronavirus. in recent years, has fallen we do. help sustain the vital work For as little as £5 you can help us continue celebrating 100% of your donation will ant diversity. our community in all its vibr something worth preserving. We hope you agree that’s Shabbat shalom.


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hundreds, if not to Israel been approved, definition of anti-Semitism, of Labour and Momentum leading Jewish Alliance’s Labour MP Dame Margaret thousands, need to be expelled. Today, Britain’s three News, Jewish provoking her leader an anti-Semite to members would in Brexit disnewspapers – Jewish to call With the government Telegraph – take Hodge yet. danger Chronicle and Jewish face, was the most sinister there is a clear and present of speaking as his to IHRA defini- array, the unprecedented step Labour has diluted the man with a default blindness same front page. government that a a man one by publishing the community’s fears, accepted in full by the the existential tion, deleting the Jewish that hateful We do so because of more than 130 local councils, has a problem seeing this country that and key examples of who can easily step threat to Jewish life in and amending four rhetoric aimed at Israel Jeremy Corbyn-led to Israel. could be our next would be posed by a anti-Semitism relating a Labour into anti-Semitism, government. Under its adapted guidelines, Israel’s prime minister. party that was, Labour MPs vote on We do so because the member is free to claim September, Party 5 On our for home and comthe is a racist endeavour motion, calling for until recently, the natural values and integ- existence policies to those of Nazi Ger- an emergency definition community, has seen its Israeli to adopt the full IHRA contempt for pare – whatever that party rity eroded by Corbynite many, unless “intent” its rulebook. into is Jew” face a binary – can be proved. “Dirty Jews and Israel. Following that, it will of anti-Sem- means or be seen bitch” fair game? The stain and shame implement IHRA in full Her Maj- wrong, “Zionist a distinction choice: itism has coursed through people as an institutionally In so doing, Labour makes Jeremy Corbyn targeting by all decent party. esty’s Opposition since between racial anti-Semitism anti- racist, anti-Semitic years for became leader in 2015. (unacceptable) and political After three deeply painful to Livingstone, Jews (acceptable). September is finally From Chakrabarti Semitism targeting Israel Had the full our community, alarming lows. Last there have been many The reason for this move? relating make or break. to adopt the full week’s stubborn refusal definition with examples Remembrance IHRA International Holocaust

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children able to relate to the story of Pesach in a way I never thought I would. Being an agunah, you learn to get on with your life, yet there is an ever present feeling of a noose around your neck. A feeling that someone still has full control over you and the power to manipulate you and your loved ones. It's an ongoing feeling of an unbearable weight on your shoulders, a constant worry. Will I ever be free? Can I ever move forward? Will he truly be held accountable for what he put me and my children through? Get (or gett) refusal is abuse. Abuse of halacha and abuse of a mitzvah. I have yet to learn of one other area of Jewish law where we tolerate blackmail, threats for custody, finances, emotional abuse and manipulation to revoke criminal proceedings or overturn a civil ruling. When it comes to get refusal, the Beit Din does its best but that isn’t always enough when what someone shows is their worst. They say the darkest time of the night is right before the new day begins. This is so relatable. From my pain, from the noose that was tightening around my neck came the

2 Continued on page

‘I’m not’

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birth of GETToutUK, a charity organisation I co-founded supporting agunot throughout their challenging journey towards a get. We offer emotional support as well as legal referrals. We operate within the parameters of Jewish law and work alongside local Batei Din as well as top lawyers who offer legal counsel if a legal route is the right course of action. GETToutUK condemns the withholding of a gett as a bargaining chip or a weapon and firmly believes prolonged refusal to grant a get is a form of domestic abuse, which should not be tolerated by the community or its leaders. For almost a decade I continued my life

and tried to seem fine. I tried to suppress the feeling of being in limbo, still in a marriage that was so long dead and irreparable there was no hope. I tried to pretend the implications of being married – that I couldn’t move on with my life and find a new partner – were not ever present in my mind. Why are women expected to pay such a high price for our freedom? Why are there still so many women hiding in plain sight, smiling in the grocery store, holding it together for the family, yet feeling so alone and helpless inside? There are more than 30 agunot in the UK, 13 of whom we are now working with. Women who wait for freedom. Nine-and-a-half years of my life has been taken from me. Because of that, I hope not only to change this for every woman in the UK who is suffering, but to find a real solution that protects our daughters tomorrow. We will not be silent any more. I thank God with all my heart that I am free. Please God, next year let every agunah be free.  For details visit www.gettoutuk.org

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25 February 2021 Jewish News



Community / Scene & Be Seen

1 VIRTUAL SHABBATON More than 300 children across the country celebrated Bnei Akiva’s Shabbat Ha’Irgun online. There was a packed schedule of virtual activities, including a concert, games and Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah services. Pictured are siblings Elazar, Yedidya, Amalya, Libby and Yakira Kaplan.


And be seen!

Israeli start-up in the field of disabilities, Beit Issie Shapiro, partnered with Holon Institute of Technology to create Purim costumes for children with disabilities who use a wheelchair or walker. The project gives children with disabilities confidence; bringing them joy with their dream costume that highlights, instead of hides, their wheelchair or walker.

The latest news, pictures and (virtual) social events from across the community Email us at community@jewishnews.co.uk


Torah Action Life (TAL) prepared 250 Purim packs, each with a Megillah and treats for community members, especially the vulnerable and those not lucky to be with their families on the festival. TAL founder and director, Rabbi Jonathan Tawil, said: “Big thanks to our generous donors. it’s incredible how these Purim packs have brought such joy to so many people.”


Children at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue made their own spin drums and baked hamentashen to celebrate Purim. More than 50 families were welcomed to the Big Hamantashen Bake. Helped by artist Emma Grant, the children made drums to use as greggors at Purim, while chef Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, along with her son Elie, demonstrated how to bake hamantashen with a variety of fillings. Pictured is Jacob with his bakes.



Your family announcements Jake Pollock celebrated his barmitzvah in December 2020 Photo by Paul Lang

Photo by Paul Toeman

Jamie Coffer celebrated his barmitzvah at Edgware United Synagogue on 23 January




Jewish News 25 February 2021


25 February 2021 Jewish News



Real life / Weekend

‘QAnon consumed my life’ One woman reveals how she had a breakdown and almost lost her marriage when she was sucked into believing right-wing conspiracy theories, hears Alex Galbinski

Melissa Rein Lively today


elissa Rein Lively seemingly had it all – happily married, a flourishing marketing and PR career and a nice home in affluent Scottsdale, Arizona. But last July she found herself overcome with rage, smashing up a display of face masks in her local branch of homewares store Target while muttering profanities, all while livestreaming the video on social media. A second video emerged of her telling police officers, called by her fearful husband, that she was the White House spokeswoman and they were taking her away because she is Jewish. That was her lowest point: a mental health crisis brought on by family trauma exacerbated by the pandemic that led to her getting sucked into believing far-right conspiracy theories espoused by QAnon. The incident also proved to be her turning point, because she was finally forced to confront her painful past. In the months leading up to her public breakdown, Lively, 35, says she had fallen “hook, line and sinker” for the wild theories promoted by QAnon, including that a shadowy cabal of people in power are running a child sex-trafficking ring. Followers also believe that former

US president Donald Trump is their saviour, explaining why they turned up in their droves at the Capitol Hill riots in support of him. Lively had started compulsively reading about the virus just before the March lockdown, after which she lost half of her business overnight. Coupled with not seeing friends or going to the gym, this sent her into a downward spiral. She tells me: “All I was doing was sitting at home on my couch, scrolling and getting more and more worked up and scared. I became all-consumed with it, but also feeling compelled to share this information. Over several months it completely replaced the way I thought and convinced me the sky was green.” While corruption in government and unscrupulous politicians make the headlines, QAnon theories go further in demonising people, she says. “I believed there were very, very bad people in our government and corporate entities who were practicing satanism, pushing a ‘new world order’, global genocide, population control against the USA, and that they were poisoning people through food, water and vaccines.” She was consuming semi-religious content – things that appealed to her interest in wellness and spirituality – which later led her down internet rabbit holes towards QAnon. “I clung to it, as these are the answers you’re looking for. While they might be horrifying answers, to learn

Protestors, some of whom were QAnon believers, storm Capitol Hill

Above: Melissa with her parents, who are flanked, left, by her paternal grandparents at her naming ceremony in 1985

that the new world order is planning a second Holocaust, at least I knew it was coming, and I could protect myself, my family and friends. “That’s how QAnon grooms you; it’s like you’re chosen for this mission. I was upsetting people, but I didn’t realise the impact it was having on others. I felt like they needed to know.” Following her meltdown in Target, Lively was forcibly taken to a psychiatric hospital and spent several weeks in therapy, where she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She is now speaking out about the dangers of QAnon, which she describes as “cult-like” and which the FBI has denoted as a “domestic terror threat”. She tries not to watch the videos of herself, saying: “It’s incredibly disturbing, heart-breaking. It’s a person in severe mental distress.” It is indeed difficult to reconcile how she appears in the videos with her calm and measured demeanour when we speak via Zoom. “QAnon is stealing happiness, peace of mind and families from people,” she says. “It’s a very frightening, lonely place to be in when it consumes your life.” In Lively’s case, it also almost ended her marriage. After the videos surfaced, her husband filed for divorce, but the couple have now reconciled. Part of her healing process involved dealing with traumas she had experienced in her past, including the death of both her parents: when she was 14, her mother, Randee, died from an overdose, and her father, Solomon, died in a freak accident eight years later. Lively also grew up in a family

traumatised by the Holocaust. Of her paternal grandmother, Frieda Reinstein, who endured Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and the death marches, Lively says: “She was one of the only survivors of Oswiecim, where Auschwitz was built. The Nazis took my grandmother’s father’s bakery and food distribution business away. The neighbours said you have to run away, but they stayed. “Ninety-six percent of my family was murdered in the Holocaust, including my grandmother’s parents and cousins. My grandmother and a couple of cousins were the only ones who survived.” Her grandfather, Alex Reinstein, who met Frieda in a displaced persons camp in Germany, was also a survivor. After the war, Solomon changed the family surname to Rein to escape the antisemitism he felt was holding back his residential developing business. “My dad was around my grandparents and [other] Holocaust survivors a lot. There was an overwhelming sense of fear and distrust; fear of too much government control.” Lively’s reaction was perhaps understandable when she came across a QAnon meme showing Jews wearing medical masks being put into a railway carriages. The caption read: “Welcome to new world order population control.” She explained: “I saw that and I was inconsolable. I freaked out.” Now writing a book about her experiences, Lively wants to show how any vulnerable person can fall prey to conspiracy theories. “If my story allows other people to emerge from this experience whole, or it empowers them to pick up the phone and pursue mental health treatment, it will all be worth it.”

A look

Inside Budding writers: Win an iPad for yourself and your school!

Competition: Win luxury chocolate truffles from Booja-Booja!

Torah For Today: Harry, Meghan and their tell-all interview



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Weekend / Entertainment



Your Honor

The Glorias (15) Director and producer Julie Taymor has teamed up with writer Sarah Ruhl to bring to life a biopic of journalist, fighter, and feminist Gloria Steinem. Against the backdrop of a lonely bus on an open highway, four Glorias (portrayed by Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Lulu Wilson and Ryan Kiera Armstrong) trace Steinem’s influential journey to prominence – from

her time in India as a young woman, to the founding of Ms. magazine in New York, to her role in the rise of the women’s rights movement in the 1960s and beyond. Bette Midler also stars as feminist and lawyer Bella Abzug, in this adaptation of Steinem’s autobiography, My Life On The Road. The Glorias is available to watch from Sunday, 7 March on Sky Cinema and Now TV.

A legal thriller based on the original Israeli drama Kvodo launches on Sky Atlantic next week, starring Bryan Cranston. Original creators Ron Ninio and Shlomo Mashiach executive produce this English-language adaptation, which stars the Breaking Bad actor as Michael Desiato, a respected judge who tries to protect his son (Hunter Doohan) after he becomes involved in a hit-and-run, believing he can keep him safe if he tells no one. However, it soon becomes clear that the accident’s victim is a member of a crime family that metes out its own brand of justice.

Torn between protecting his son and doing the honourable thing, he is led into to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. The 10-part drama also stars Amy Landecker (Transparent), Margo Martindale (Mrs America) and Chet Hanks (Shameless). Your Honor begins on Tuesday, 2 March, 9pm on Sky Atlantic and Now TV


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jewishnews. co.uk Closing da te 11 March 20 21

Jewish Book Week David Baddiel, Jay Rayner, Michael Rosen and Robert Rinder are all Jay part of this year’s Rayner virtual line-up of acclaimed writers, comedians, columnists and historians at Jewish Book Week, which begins this weekend. Now in its 69th year, the festival features more than 50 live panel discussions, debates and talks. Foodies will enjoy Rayner, The Observer’s restaurant critic and author of My Last Supper, in conversation with Pen Vogler, who will discuss her new book, Scoff, the fascinating history of food and class in Britain, from 1066 to the present day. Broadcaster and author Baddiel will speak about his recently-published book, Jews Don’t Count, which explores antisemitism through a unique combination of reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes.

Meanwhile Rinder, presenter of the BBC’s My Family, The Holocaust and Me, will discuss the legacy of survivors with Rebecca Clifford, associate professor of history at Swansea University. Author Rosen, who spent months in hospital recovering from coronavirus, presents Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS, which mixes stunning new prose poems with the moving diaries of the doctors and nurses who saved his life. Jewish Book Week runs from Saturday, 27 February until Wednesday, 24 March, David www.jewish Baddiel bookweek.com


The One Hitman: Agent 47 and The First actress Hannah Ware headlines Netflix’s new sci-fi series, The One, which is released next month. Based on a book by John Marrs, this relationship drama tackles a unique premise: What if we could find our perfect partner through DNA matching? Ware – sister of singer Jessie Ware – stars as Rebecca, the ambitious and impulsive founding CEO of MatchDNA, a tech company that helps people identify the one person

with whom you’re genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love. While the idea is simple enough, those who take part soon discover the implications are nothing less than explosive. The eight-part drama also stars Riviera actor Dimitri Leonidas, as Rebecca’s best friend and co-founder of MatchDNA and Industry star Amir El-Masry as one of her friends, who harbours much deeper feelings. The One airs from 12 March on Netflix

Jewish News and Booja-Booja, the multi award-winning vegan confectionery company, have teamed up to offer five lucky readers a box of 16 luxury Booja-Booja hazelnut crunch chocolate truffles from The Artist’s Collection. Hand-painted by artists in Kashmir, India, using traditional art forms, this box makes the perfect gift for those who love vegan and organic chocolate, as well as beautiful things. The 185g box of truffles, which is also available in fine de champagne flavour, retails from £19.99. For more than 20 years, Booja-Booja has worked closely with a social enterprise in Kashmir called Persian Dowery, whose artisans make The Artist’s Collection range of chocolate gift boxes. Together they have given a real boost to the declining Kashmiri industry of papier mache

production and decoration, growing from a team of 30 artists to an enterprise that hires approximately 150 people. Recognised as one of the leading vegan and free-from confectionery brands in the UK, Booja-Booja has won more than 140 awards for its chocolate truffles and vegan ice creams. The company was recently named as a UK CoolBrand© by the Superbrands organisation. For more details, visit www.boojabooja.com To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question: The Artist’s Collection is hand-painted by artists from: A. Brazil B. Kenya C. India

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Five winners will receive a 185g box of The Artist’s Collection hazelnut crunch chocolate truffles from Booja Booja. The prize is as stated, not transferable, not refundable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or exchanged in whole or in part for cash. By supplying your email address, you agree to receive marketing information from the JN Media Group or any of its affiliates and carefully selected third parties. The promotion excludes employees of Jewish News and the promoter, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the relevant promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see www.jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 11 March 2021

25 February 2021 Jewish News



Story competition / Weekend

Write us a story and win an iPad for you and your school! Jewish News is teaming up with WIZO and PJ Library for our third annual Young Writers Competition


ewish News is calling on budding writers to pen their thoughts on courage for their chance to win an iPad for themselves and their school! We have teamed up for our third Young Writers Competition with WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organisation, and PJ Library, which distributes stories celebrating Jewish values and traditions to more than 8,000 children across the UK. WIZO is the largest independent social welfare organisation in Israel, supporting more than 800 projects across the country at every stage of life. These include day care centres for children, emergency centres for babies and children at risk, youth villages for vulnerable teenagers and more than 100 after-school programmes. The charity also provides additional services, including support for single parent families, foreign language groups for immigrants, shelters for victims of domestic violence and a retirement home.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER! Simply write a story or poem about courage – either when you, someone you know, or a fictitious character showed they were courageous – in no more than 300 words. The competition is open to boys and girls in two categories: primary (ages seven to 11) and secondary (ages 11 to 18). The prizes include an iPad for the winner in each category and one for their school, while runners-up will receive a PJ Library Goody Pack (in the primary category) or book tokens (in the secondary category), as well as a selection of books for their schools.

ENTER ONLINE: jewishnews.co.uk/ story-competition Closing date 4 June 2021

TIPS FOR INSPIRATION: ‘WIZO taught me to be brave’: Yonatan’s story • What does courage mean to you? • Do you know someone who is courageous? • When have you witnessed acts of courage/bravery? • Why do we need courage? • What different types of courage are there?


I never knew my father. My mother couldn’t look after me, so I had to live in an orphanage. When I was three, my mother came back for me and we went to Israel. I had never been to Israel before. We had no money and all six of us had to live in a tiny apartment with one room. It was very dark. I only went out to try to find food for my family and I kept everything I could find in my suitcase. My suitcase was my friend. My mother became ill soon after we arrived in Israel and she couldn’t manage. Then I broke both my legs in a bad accident. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. When WIZO found me, I was very sad, frightened and lonely. They took me to a WIZO boarding school,

looked after me and taught me to be brave. Now I am 10, doing well at school and have lots of friends. I try to help the other children with their problems. I tell them: “You have to be brave.”



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Literature / Desert Island Books With Zaki Cooper

In association with Listen to the podcast at jewishnews.co.uk

Interview: Jonathan Goldstein In the latest of our podcasts with Jewish people who are changing the world, Zaki Cooper talks to businessman and community leader Jonathan Goldstein about his life, career and the books that inspire him


onathan Goldstein is a British businessman and philanthropist. He has been chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) since 2017. He is chairman of the Chief Rabbinate Trust and together with his wife, Sharon, is an inaugural honorary president of Camp Simcha. He is the chief executive and founder of Cain International in the property sector. Previously, he worked with Gerald Ronson at Heron and at the law firm, Olswang, becoming CEO aged 32. You studied law at Manchester University and went to Olswang, becoming a partner at 28 and CEO at 32. What did you like about law? I always liked the idea of fairness and being able to argue someone else’s position as well as understanding things from their perspective and trying to execute against their wishes. I found the

“Make sure you always look at it from the other person’s point of view” and that’s the biggest philosophy I’ve tried to take with me through my life. Jonathan Goldstein

practical elements of the law much more interesting than I did the academic. For me, life is all about those relationships you create and the law gave me opportunity to create a huge number of them. Talking of the law, the first book you’ve selected is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, written in 1960. Why do you like this book? I’ve been obsessed by this book since I was a kid. I’ve always had this notion of social fairness and social justice. There are two big messages I have always taken with me from To Kill a Mockingbird. The first one is the whole treatment of the black community in America, which is outrageous, and the bravery of Atticus Finch, the father, in standing up to a hostile community. But, more importantly, the overriding message of the book is when Atticus says to the two children:

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You then went to work at Heron for Gerald Ronson, a legendary figure. What did you learn from him? Gerald is an amazing character and he’s an amazing person to work with, to watch, to study, to listen to. If I could take two principles from Gerald, the first is discipline. He really believes in doing the same thing over and over again so you learn how things operate. The second thing he also taught me is not to rush. If you don’t know what the answer is, take your time, think about it and the answer will come. You went on to co-found Cain International six years ago. How’s it been going? We’ve got a big business now. We’re across the UK and Europe and in America. The hardest thing has been the lack of connectivity so I’ve not been able to travel, to see my teams in America. Obviously, very few businesses were positioned for a pandemic. Therefore you’ve had to work hard to make sure you stand still. You are in the thick of the business world and you’ve chosen as your second book The Big Short and various books by Michael Lewis. What attracts you to those? Over the past 15 to 20 years, the majority of my reading has been nonfiction, biographies and business books. The thing that always stood out for me is the really successful people I’ve met are wired differently. They could be in sport, in art, in business. I love The Big Short because none of us can understand the strength it took to stand against the entire financial system, to bet against every investment bank that was writing these products. You have chaired the JLC since 2017 and been at the forefront of the battle against antisemitism in the Labour Party. How has that been? The biggest conclusion I draw is how proud I am that our community had the strength of character to stand up and say “enough is enough”, to stand up and say we will not be threatened by a man who could be prime minister of this country. We always believed the British public would back that. We’re very proud to be British and for the British people to have made that choice. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks played a huge part in showing us that you could live in British society, be a proud Jew and look at the secular world.

You led the community against this prejudice. One of the books you selected is Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Why do you like this book? Nelson Mandela is, in my view, the standout man in the 20th century. He was subjected to such brutality. He had the ability, when he came out, to exercise revenge on his captors and he chose reconciliation. That’s one of the great moral choices of the 20th century when, at the click of his finger, he could have caused absolute carnage. Linking that in with Natan Sharansky, you couldn’t be involved in the Jewish community without understanding the plight of Soviet Jewry and Sharansky is the modern Jewish hero. My wife and I went to visit Refuseniks in Moscow and Leningrad in 1985/86. You do so much in the Jewish community aside from the JLC. How do find the time for it all? When I started in law, I was going to become chair of Kerem and I went to see someone who was the chair of Immanuel College and asked him how he coped. And he said: “I treat it like another client; if there’s something to be done it doesn’t get relegated. I just do it.” I was brought up in a family where it wasn’t optional – it was part of our existence. Our big problem in the community is not that we don’t have enough leaders. We don’t have enough followers or volunteers. People always find an excuse. If you want to do it, you’ll find the time. You’ve also selected The Kite Runner. What’s special about that book for you? I love the narratives across the countries I’ve visited or would like to. We had a personal connection with Afghanistan, with a close friend who died eight years ago. He taught us a lot. The Kite Runner is set in Kabul and has stories about unfair treatment, which is a consistent theme in what I talk about. The way the book is written, combined with my experience of a man who was born in Kabul and brought his Afghan traditions to London and they live through his kids today, brings a personal touch to that story, which I love.

Jonathan’s top reads

• To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee • The Big Short – Michael Lewis • Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela • Fear No Evil – Natan Sharansky • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini • The Prime Ministers – Yehuda Avner


25 February 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 25 February 2021

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25 February 2021 Jewish News



Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA Tetzaveh

Torah For Today What does the Torah say about: Tell-all interviews

BY HANNAH REUBEN This week’s sedra, Tetzaveh, focuses primarily on the design and manufacture of the priestly garments. It opens, however, with a commandment to take “pure pressed olive oil for illumination” that is to burn continuously in the menorah that stood in the Tabernacle. While we might suggest that the various branches represent the range of all of human wisdom, the central branch of the menorah, from which all the branches extend, also underscores the centrality of Torah to Jewish life. King Solomon reaffirms this message in the Book of Proverbs (6:23) when he writes “for the commandment is a candle, and Torah is light”. Our rabbis explain that the mitzvah is a candle because its purpose is to illuminate the path to Torah, the source from which all light comes. They take this idea further and say that every Jew must light a ner tamid (an eternal light), the light of God, in their own heart. The candle must be lit not only

in the tabernacle, the synagogue or during the time of prayer, but also me’chutz la’parochet, “outside the curtain” (Exodus 27:21) – meaning in the street, in business, when engaging in everyday matters and during one’s interaction with others. Every Jew is expected to have a flame in their heart, to feel inspired, invigorated, and excited about Jewish life, mitzvot and studying Torah, but there is more to it. The well-known rabbinic interpretation of the verse in the Shema, “these things that I command you today” (Deuteronomy 6:6), underscores that God’s commandments should always be fresh in our hearts and minds. The implication is that every Jew should feel excited about being Jewish, feel the thrill of performing mitzvot, but also find a way to bring God into everyday life and everyday activities. ◆ Hannah Reuben is a United Synagogue Living & Learning Project executive

RABBI ALEX CHAPPER This week, Buckingham Palace confirmed Harry and Meghan will not return as working members of the Royal Family – just days after it was revealed they will give a tell-all television interview to Oprah Winfrey. What does the Torah say about revealing too much information, or potentially causing embarrassment to others by doing so? Perhaps the most powerful proof text is the verse in Micha in which the prophet says: “It has been told you, man, what is good, and what God requires of you; only to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” The Hebrew word tzniut, translated here as ‘humbly’, is better understood as ‘modesty’. This is an important principle in Judaism and is not limited to laws governing our mode of dress, but is rather an overarching guide to how we should conduct ourselves in all aspects of life. The Gemara teaches us that if we are required to conduct public activities, such as weddings or funerals with modesty and discretion, then in matters that tend to be conducted in private,

such as giving charity or personal relationships, all the more should they be conducted discreetly. This week, we celebrate Purim, with Esther the heroine of the story. Her name means “hidden” – not only did she keep her identity a secret while in the Palace, but she also conducted herself with the modesty appropriate for a queen. This idea is understood from a verse in Psalms: “All the honour awaits the king’s daughter who is within.” Royalty is defined by a comportment that is conservative at all times, circumspect when necessary and demure in both public and private. As it says in Proverbs: “When arrogance appears, disgrace follows, but wisdom is with those who are unassuming.” There is little value in no holds barred interviews. Revealing information that would be more prudent to remain undisclosed possesses the inherent danger of embarrassing everyone who is involved. ◆ Rabbi Chapper serves Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue

Caring for others means going well beyond our community In 2005, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks published To Heal a Fractured World. At that time, I had studied for two years in a post high-school yeshiva. I was outwardly religious. But I was inwardly conflicted. Too many Orthodox Jews, it seemed to me, cared too little for the welfare of non-Jews. Rabbi Sacks’ book introduced me to a different sort of Orthodoxy. In this book, he discussed the ‘ways of peace’ (darchei shalom) – a collection of Jewish laws that include a number of injunctions concerning the welfare of Gentiles. We must provide for their poor, visit their sick, eulogise their dead, comfort their mourners and more. The Bible commands us to do these things for Jews. To promote peace, the rabbis insist, we must do these things for Gentiles too. But is this a matter of mere expedience, making sure not to stoke the flames of antisemitism, or does it run deeper than that? Are we actually supposed to care? Imagine yourself in the days of the Bible, as the Bible describes

not blameworthy for failing to them. Open miracles frequently believe in God, or for believing in occurred back then. Manna different gods. When the rabbis fell from heaven. Walls came instituted the ‘ways of peace’, tumbling down. The sun stood they were not engaging in selfstill. If you failed to believe in interested public policy. They God, in the face of all those miracles, then there is a sense in which were expressing their appreciation for the Torah’s deepest you would be blameworthy. values: kindness and peace. That is why the Bible only Prophetic peace cannot come commands us to go out of our way until the end of days. In the here to care for Gentiles who accept the truth of monotheism. and Not to be a monotheist back then was a massive failure. Fast-forward to the Messianic future, as described by the prophets. God’s existence will be self-evident to all people at that time. Once again, to reject monotheism would be blameworthy. According to Rabbi Sacks, in every other period of history, a person is not blameworthy for doubting the truth of Judaism. Open miracles are not a frequent occurrence. To use Biblical terminology, God’s face is hidden these days. Rabbi Lord Sacks Consequently, a person is

now, the best we can do is to walk upon the ‘path’ towards peace that the rabbis set out for us. That path is one of unconditional love to Jews and Gentiles alike. In recent days, I taught a class on this topic. I tried to reconstruct something of the journey Rabbi Sacks must have taken to situate his vision of the ‘ways of peace’ in an Orthodox setting. How did he relate to the debate between the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Maimonides on the nature and scope of the ‘ways of peace’? How did he understand the terribly difficult Talmudic text that seems to imply we are commanded to refrain from graciousness to Gentiles? How did he under-

stand the cacophony of conflicting, but equally authoritative, medieval and modern commentaries discussing these issues? All of those texts can yield to the ethical vision of Rabbi Sacks, but it takes some work. I enjoyed teaching the class immensely. Even over Zoom, I felt people were really engaged. But now, as I write these words, I find myself mourning the loss of Rabbi Sacks anew. In preparing this class, I was trying to reconstruct the journey he must have taken. I only wish I could discuss it with him. At one point in time, I could have. The cliché is true: We do not truly appreciate what we have until we have lost it. ◆ By Rabbi Dr Samuel Lebens, who lectures in philosophy at the University of Haifa. His class was part of an online course run by LSJS on the key ideas of Rabbi Sacks, taught by some of his most accomplished students. It continues on 8 March. Details: lsjs.ac.uk



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Progressive Judaism

The Bible Says What? ‘Remember to forget’

Progressively Speaking From one Purim to the next, giving charity has become more poignant

BY STUDENT RABBI LEV TAYLOR “Remember what Amalek did to you... after you left Egypt... Never forget how, undeterred by fear of God, he ambushed you as you walked, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers at your back.” We read only three lines from this important parashah in the Torah portion before Purim, and within these is a seeming contradiction: “Blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” We must remember what he did, and also destroy his memory. Rashi says we should never mention his name again. How can we do both? The philosopher Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi suggests this is about what remembering means in Jewish tradition. We do not have history, he says, but memory. Jews do not record historical events, the names of kings or the dates when important battles were fought. That is history

and is somebody else’s domain. Jews have memory. We recall and retell. Every year we re-enact. At Purim, we are not reading a historical account. We are carrying out a pantomime with a host of characters, remembering the essence of a story long forgotten. In that way, we have already blotted out the name of Amalek and have turned him into every evil person from a past. Whatever man he once was is now a stock character for evil. And when you have blotted out an individual like that, all that is left is the moral lesson from their behaviour. He attacked the weak. |He took advantage of people at their most vulnerable. He was a coward and a bully. We forget who he was by putting his name onto everyone like him. We remember what he did so we may never be like him.

◆ Lev Taylor is a student rabbi at Leo Baeck College

BY RABBI REBECCA BIRK Isn’t it interesting and rather poignant that last Purim we gathered without fully understanding the virus in our midst? Purim, a relatively minor festival, impacted us profoundly. This past year has been full of loss and suffering for so many. Some more than others, as we know from our communities. Covid has been brutal to health capacity, but also to livelihoods and so many had careers, work and income damaged. That has meant real suffering in many homes. But Purim 2020 also reminded us of the custom of mishloach manot (sending gifts) and matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) and these permeated the Jewish year way beyond the festival. We have spent the past 12 months ensuring we send gifts to those who need both food and cheering. We have had to be far more responsive to those who have struggled. Possibly for the first time, some

have had to rely on food banks and gifts, when they have hitherto never needed charity. So many of our synagogues have become hubs for food banks; our community letters have reminded since last Purim that if we are able to give we should. Looking ahead to Passover when we say at the seder, “Let all who are hungry come and eat” will take on a new meaning, as it has already through these months. Gifts and food

for those who need have become a necessity rather than an option. Famously, the Book of Esther excludes the name of God. But even more so, the word Esther contains the root of the word meaning “to hide oneself”. Talmudic rabbis play with this, and suggest Esther is from Hester Panim – the hidden face of God – as alluded to in Deuteronomy 31.18, when God insists: “I’ll hide my face”. It has been a dark year, but there is light ahead, starting with Purim and then Passover. The Megillah ends with Mordechai “seeking goodness and speaking of peace to his descendants”. We hope for a new ease and peacefulness. As we navigate these two holidays so anticipated, may this be a blessing for us all, our communities and our country. ◆ Rabbi Rebecca Birk is co-chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors

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25 February 2021 Jewish News

Ask our


Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Registering business for data protection, the Uber court case and high-quality care at home IAN GREEN IT SPECIALIST


Dear Man on a Bike This week I received a letter claiming to be from the Information Commissioner’s Office saying I need to register my business for data protection and asking me to pay a fee. Is this correct or is it a scam? I run a small business but I do have my client details all on computer. GDPR is so confusing and I don’t want to risk a fine. Isaac Dear Isaac While there are several scam letters and emails doing the rounds talking about general data protection regulations (GDPR), there are also genuine letters coming out to registered


LOVATT LEGAL LIMITED Dear Adam I recently read that the Supreme Court has advised that Uber drivers are employed by Uber rather than being considered as being self-employed. How did it come to this decision? Jack Dear Jack This has been a long-running case that was appealed by

Uber to the Supreme Court following three defeats by the company in the UK’s lower courts. The Supreme Court has followed the decisions of the lower courts by determining that the Uber drivers are employees for the following key reasons: 1. Uber is responsible for setting the fare price for journeys – resulting in it determining the earning capabilities of the drivers; 2. Uber sets standard form contract terms with those using Uber cars; 3. Uber can penalise drivers who reject too many rides from customers; 4. Uber can terminate the relationship with a

companies. These will point you to the ico. org.uk website, which is the official government site. Every business is different and depending on what you do with the information you store about your customers and also if your business has CCTV will affect whether or not you need to pay for a registration. There is a helpful online checker you can go through on the website that will tell you if you are required to pay a fee. This fee is usually £40 or £60 but, if you just have details so you can bill your customers and tell them about your services, you probably will not be required to register. Regardless of registration, all businesses need to follow the rules on how they use and store information about customers or members and how you keep in contact with them. It is advisable to have an audit done on your business to make sure you are following the rules and I am happy to help with this.



driver in the event that star ratings for a driver are below expectations. As Uber had these controls over drivers and as earnings of drivers could only increase by them working longer hours, the relationship was seen as being of one between an employer and employee.

Dear Polly How could I have safe and high quality care at home in the pandemic? Elizabeth Dear Elizabeth Given that SweetTree Home Care Services just achieved the highest rating possible of ‘Outstanding’ from its

Lloyd Platt & Co. Family Law Solicitors

We are pleased to help with all aspects of Family Law, including:

• Divorce

• Pre/Post - Nuptial Agreements • Cohabitation Agreements • Domestic Violence • Children’s cases • Grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren • Pet disputes • Settlements for Cohabitees • Financial Settlement on Divorce • Family disputes To make an appointment please telephone 020

8343 2998

Lloyd Platt & Company, Third Floor, Elscot House, Arcadia Avenue, London N3 2JU Website: www.divorcesolicitors.com Email: lloydplatt@divorcesolicitors.com Regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) suggests it provides an excellent benchmark for what high quality care looks like. The CQC report was high in praise, stating: “People using SweetTree, and their relatives, gave us excellent feedback about the service. They all said they would recommend the service to others. "The governance of the service was outstanding… Staff were extremely caring for people who used the service and their families. All people and relatives spoke highly of staff who supported them. They said that although the Covid-19 pandemic affected the intensity of the support provided, staff still did all they could to reduce the impact of the pandemic on people."

The past year has been a learning experience for us all but, for care providers on the front line supporting clients, it has come close to pushing us to the limits. The team at SweetTree has stood up to those challenges making sure that all of those assisting clients were highly trained in how to provide amazing care in exceptional times, fully supported by the managerial teams. The SweetTree team is available for its clients 24/7. It carries out regular assessments and reviews and appoints a dedicated care managers to make sure each person being assisted always received the best quality care. SweetTree goes over and above for its clients… even in these most challenging times.



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

Our Experts Do you have a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk




JACOB BERNSTEIN Qualifications: • A member of the APCC, specialising in financial services compliance for: • Mortgage, protection and general insurance intermediaries; • Lenders, credit brokers, debt counsellors and debt managers; • Alternative Investment Fund managers; • E-Money, payment services, PISP, AISP and grant-making charities.

SHANTI PANCHANI Qualifications: • Experienced designer with 25+ years’ experience in German and English kitchens. • We provide a full-circle approach: from designing and supplying to installing your new kitchen including appliances and speciality worktops. • Our suppliers are flexible in design, ensuring the customer remains the priority. • We have been supplying kosher-friendly kitchens for over 15 years.

RICHDALE CONSULTANTS LTD 020 7781 8019 www.richdale.co.uk jacob@richdale.co.uk

THE KITCHEN CONSULTANCY 07738 067 671 www.thekitchenconsultancy.com shanti@thekitchenconsultancy.com



TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing Director, consultant specialists in affordable family health insurance. • Advising on maximising cover, lower premiums, pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • LLB solicitors finals. • Member of Chartered Insurance Institute.

SIMON MARSH Qualifications: • Consultant General Surgeon with specialist interest in dealing with both breast cancer and non-cancer breast conditions. • Surgical Director of the Gilmore Groin and Hernia Clinic experienced in hernia surgery, including “non-mesh” hernia repair and Sportsman’s Hernia. • Local anaesthetic surgery including lipomas, cysts and skin cancers.

EMMA GROSS Qualifications: • Specialist in claims of unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination. • Negotiate out-of-court settlements and handle complex tribunal cases. • HR services including drafting contracts and policies, advising on disciplinaries, grievances and providing staff training. • Contributor to The Times, HR Magazine and other titles.

PATIENT HEALTH 020 3146 3444/5/6 www.patienthealth.co.uk trevor.gee@patienthealth.co.uk

108 HARLEY STREET 0207 563 1234 www.108harleystreet.co.uk info@108harleystreet.co.uk

SPENCER WEST LLP 020 7925 8080 www.spencer-west.com emma.gross@spencer-west.com



CAROLYN ADDLEMAN Qualifications: Lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in will drafting and trust and estate administration. Last 14 years at KKL Executor and Trustee Company. In close contact with clients to ensure all legal and pastoral needs are cared for. Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

• •

JONATHAN WILLIAMS Qualifications: • Jewellery manufacturer since 1980s. • Expert in the manufacture and supply of diamond jewellery, wedding rings and general jewellery. • Specialist in supply of diamonds to the public at trade prices.

KKL EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE COMPANY 0800 358 3587 www.kkl.org.uk enquiries@kkl.org.uk

JEWELLERY CAVE LTD 020 8446 8538 www.jewellerycave.co.uk jonathan@jewellerycave.co.uk

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk Sobell Rhodes 10x2 953_Layout 1 16/11/2016 14:59 Page 1

“I’m so grateful for your brilliant service and proactive advice; this has saved me a huge amount of tax. When it comes to property advice there is no one better!” Ben Sarner- Director, Harkalm

Wouldn’t it be great to work with an accounting firm who understands your challenges? As you can see Sobell Rhodes has saved other companies like this one thousands on taxes, helped them reduce their hassle factors – and taken away their headaches.

Call or email us today for a free copy of “The 5 Biggest Headaches Facing Business Owners and How To Relieve Them” Tel: +44 (0)20 8429 8800 Email: info@sobellrhodes.co.uk Web: www.sobellrhodes.co.uk

Elstree office at The Kinetic Centre | Theobald Street | Elstree | Borehamwood Herts | WD6 4PJ

West End office at 33 Cavendish Square| London | W1G 0PW | UK Watford office at First Floor | Building 2 | Croxley Business Park | Watford | Herts WD18 8YA


COMMERCIAL LAWYER ADAM LOVATT Qualifications: • Lawyer with more than 11 years of experience working in the legal sector. Specialist in corporate, commercial, media, sport and start-ups. • Master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of London. • Non-Executive Director of various companies advising on all governance matters.

LOVATT LEGAL LIMITED 07753 802 804 adam@lovattlegal.co.uk


DAVID SEGEL Qualifications: • Managing director of West End Travel, established in 1972. • Leading UK El Al agent with branches in Swiss Cottage and Edgware. • Specialist in Israel travel, cruises and kosher holidays. • Leading business travel company, ranked in top 50 UK agents. • Frequent travel broadcaster on radio and TV.

SUE CIPIN Qualifications: • 20 years+ hands-on experience, leading JDA in significant growth and development. • Understanding of the impact of deafness on people, including children, at all stages. • Extensive services for people affected by hearing loss/tinnitus. • Technology room with expert advice on and facilities to try out the latest equipment. Hearing aid advice, support and maintenance.

WEST END TRAVEL 020 7644 1500 www.westendtravel.co.uk David.Segel@westendtravel.co.uk

JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION 020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk mail@jdeaf.org.uk



STEPHEN MORRIS Qualifications: • Managing Director of Stephen Morris Shipping Ltd. • 45 years’ experience in shipping household and personal effects. • Chosen mover for four royal families and three UK prime ministers. • Offering proven quality specialist advice for moving anyone across the world or round the corner.

LOUISE LEACH Qualifications: • Professional choreographer qualified in dance, drama and Zumba (ZIN, ISTD & LAMDA), gaining an honours degree at Birmingham University. • Former contestant on ITV’s Popstars, reaching bootcamp with Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Kym Marsh. • Set up Dancing with Louise 19 years ago.

STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD 020 8832 2222 www.shipsms.co.uk stephen@shipsms.co.uk

DANCING WITH LOUISE 020 3740 7900 www.dancingwithlouise.co.uk Info@dancingwithlouise.com

25 February 2021 Jewish News



Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




ADAM SHELLEY Qualifications: • FCCA chartered certified accountant. • Accounting, taxation and business advisory services. • Entrepreneurial business specialist including start-up businesses. • Specialises in charities; Personal tax returns. • Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation Volunteer of the Year JVN award.

DONIEL GRUNEWALD Qualifications: • Accredited mediator to International Standards offering civil/commercial and workplace mediation; in a facilitative or evaluative format, or by med-arb. • Experienced in all Beth Din matters; including arbitration, advocacy, matrimonial settlements and written submissions. • Providing bespoke alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to the Jewish community.

DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional clinical lead for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons Glasgow; GDC registered 212542.

SOBELL RHODES LLP 020 8429 8800 www.sobellrhodes.co.uk a.shelley@sobellrhodes.co.uk

JEWISH DISPUTE SOLUTIONS 020 3637 9638 www.jewishdisputesolutions.co.uk director@jewishdisputesolutions.co.uk

GINGERBREAD HOUSE 01923 852 852 www.gingerbreadhealth.co.uk Adam.newman@gingerbreadhealth.co.uk




NAOMI FELTHAM Qualifications: • Leading currency transfer provider since 1996 with over 500 expert employees. • Excellent exchange rates on your transfers to/from Israel. • Offices worldwide, with local support in Israel, the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. • Free expert guidance from your dedicated account manager.

IAN GREEN Qualifications: • Launched Man on a Bike IT consultancy 15 years ago to provide computer support for the home and small businesses. • Clients range from legal firms in the City to families, small business owners and synagogues. • More than 18 years’ experience.

LISA WIMBORNE Qualifications: Able to draw on the charity’s 50 years of experience in enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, including: • The provision of specialist accommodation with 24/7 on site support. • Knowledge of the innovations that empower people and the benefits available. • Understanding of the impact of a disability diagnosis.

CURRENCIES DIRECT 07922 131 152 / 020 7847 9447 www.currenciesdirect.com/jn Naomi.feltham@currenciesdirect.com

MAN ON A BIKE 020 8731 6171 www.manonabike.co.uk mail@manonabike.co.uk

JEWISH BLIND & DISABLED 020 8371 6611 www.jbd.org Lisa@jbd.org



LEON HARRIS Qualifications: • Leon is an Israeli and UK accountant based in Ramat Gan, Israel. • He is a Partner at Harris Horoviz Consulting & Tax Ltd. • The firm specializes in Israeli and international tax advice, accounting and tax reporting for investors, Olim and businesses. • Leon’s motto is: Our numbers speak your language!

ASHLEY PRAGER Qualifications: • Professional insurance and reinsurance broker. Offering PI/D&O cover, marine and aviation, property owners, ATE insurance, home and contents, fine art, HNW. • Specialist in insurance and reinsurance disputes, utilising Insurance backed products. (Including non insurance business disputes). • Ensuring clients do not pay more than required.

HARRIS HOROVIZ CONSULTING & TAX LTD +972-3-6123153 / + 972-54-6449398 leon@h2cat.com

RISK RESOLUTIONS 020 3411 4050 www.risk-resolutions.com ashley.prager@risk-resolutions.com


If you would like to advertise your services here email: sales@ jewishnews.co.uk


DOV NEWMARK Qualifications: • Director of UK Aliyah for Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation that helps facilitate aliyah from the UK. • Conducts monthly seminars and personal aliyah meetings in London. • An expert in working together with clients to help plan a successful aliyah.

ERIC SALAMON Qualifications: • Provides free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Offers mock interviews and workshops to maximise job prospects. • Expert in corporate management holding director level marketing, commercial and general management roles.

NEFESH B’NEFESH 0800 075 7200 www.nbn.org.il dov@nbn.org.il

RESOURCE 020 8346 4000 www.resource-centre.org office@resource-centre.org



VANESSA LLOYD PLATT Qualifications: • Qualification: 40 years experience as a matrimonial and divorce solicitor and mediator, specialising in all aspects of family matrimonial law, including: • Divorce, pre/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, children’s cases, grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren, pet disputes, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.

POLLY LANDSBERG Qualifications: • Polly has worked in health and social care for more than 35 years. • Has a degree in nursing and a diploma in health visiting. • Polly is responsible for the day-to-day management of the palliative and end of life care service.

LLOYD PLATT & COMPANY SOLICITORS 020 8343 2998 www.divorcesolicitors.com lloydplatt@divorcesolicitors.com

SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES 020 7644 9500 www.sweettree.co.uk polly.landsberg@sweettree.co.uk

Computer problems solved PC, Mac, WiFi, Laptops & Desktops Remote Support and On-Site Man on a Bike IT Consultancy Call now 020 8731 6171 www.manonabike.co.uk



Jewish News 25 February 2021

A big thank you For the past ten months, JDA has worked flat out to make sure all our most vulnerable clients have food, medication and everything they need to stay safe during COVID-19. And not only are they all healthy and stable, they’ve been able to stay connected with their JDA friends, had regular visits from our support staff and even had their challahs delivered fresh each Friday morning! And our efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Tobi, one of our professional interpreters just taught a 93 year old to Facetime!

Many of our Deaf clients have dementia, learning disabilities or frail mental health. JDA’s innovative support services have been featured on national TV - and Deaf charities all over the country have been learning from us how we’ve kept such high risk people free from Coronavirus, healthy, happy and out of hospitals and care homes.

...to JDA staff and volunteers

...and to you, our supporters

But this has only been possible because of our support workers who have been working unbelievably hard to look after those in our community who have no one else to get them through.

Running JDA’s emergency services during lockdown is costly. But they must continue and there is no question of cutting corners when lives are at stake.

And they’ve been aided by a team of volunteers who have spent their days keeping the spectre of loneliness and isolation away from our clients.

020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk

The JDA is a family made up of clients, an outstanding workforce, selfless volunteers and our incredibly valued supporters who provide the fuel to keep us running. Thank you so much for bringing us this far and please help us to keep providing the specialist services our community need.

Registered Charity No. 1105845 Company Limited by Guarantee 4983830

25 February 2021 Jewish News



Fun, games and prizes






















7 Tangle (3) 8 Load (new software) (7) 9 Item of footwear (4)

ACROSS 1 Appeared before (5) 4 Kebab bread (5)










N 23

A E C L W X U A S Z Z U A 11












Last issue’s solutions


Crossword ACROSS: 1 Auburn 4 Fair 8 Ice 9 Coolant 10 Shiny 11 Yearn 13 Freak 15 River 17 Sparrow 19 Sap 20 Dull 21 Energy DOWN: 1 Alias 2 Beehive 3 Rocky 5 AKA 6 Rat on 7 Body 12 Adviser 13 Fused 14 Kerb 15 Rowan 16 Repay 18 All

3 9 5 6 7 2 1 4 8


4 2 7 1 5 8 3 6 9



4 5

2 3


3 4

3 7


14 9 22






2 4 6 7 1 5 9 8 3

8 7 1 3 9 6 2 5 4

7 1 2 8 6 3 4 9 5

8 2 5 3 4 7 8 4 1 3 8 6 9 5 2 5 6 9 1 8 4 7 1

SUGURU Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.















9 1

















2 2

















22 19





19 3

5 3 2
















14 26
















See next issue for puzzle solutions.




















Suguru 5 3 9 2 8 4 7 1 6



Sudoku 1 6 8 4 3 9 5 7 2




























In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers 4, 16 and 26 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.

The China-related words can all be found in the grid. Words may run either forwards or backwards, in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction, but always in a straight, unbroken line.


Non‑alkali (4) Boy (3) Measuring reel (4) Very unattractive (4) Cultivate (7) Stocking ladder (3) Attentive (5) Distinctive smell (5)



Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.

DOWN 1 Notoriety (4) 2 Draw level (with) (5,2) 3 Piffle (6) 4 Opposite of ‘pull’ (4) 5 Ty‑Phoo product (3) 6 Make reference (to) (6) 11 Unit of heat, familiar to dieters (7) 12 Division of a long poem (6) 14 Coercion (6) 17 Eject (4) 18 Weave wool on needles (4) 20 The Murders in the ___ Morgue, Bela Lugosi film (3)

16 17


10 13 15 16 19 21 22 23


9 8 3 5 4 7 6 2 1

6 5 4 9 2 1 8 3 7

2 3 4 1 2 1

1 5 2 3 5 3

3 4 1 4 2 4

All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com


Wordsearch 1 2 3 5 1 3

4 5 1 2 4 2

1 2 4 3 5 1

1 4 2 3 5 3

2 3 1 4 1 4

1 4 2 3 5 2

2 3 5 1 4 1

5 1 4 2 3 2

4 2 3 1 5 1








Codeword N L A I B S O L T T H N T










V T DGN Z L B A I X E Y F H P S O M Q C R K J W U25/02



Jewish News 25 February 2021

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016



Top prices paid

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)




Epstein, Archie Shine, Hille, G Plan, etc. Antiques

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Man on aOPEN Bike8am will TOget 9pm 7 DAYS. you working fast! RD LONDON. PORTOBELLO

Full house clearances organised.

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Rapid Response IT support for your PC & Mac Networks, virus problems, broadband, wireless systems, new computers and everything else you may need. CHARITY & WELFARE For small businesses & home users.

FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON: 0800 840 2035 or 07956268290 OPEN 8am TO 9pm 7 DAYS.

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on


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Stirling of Kensal Green Established over 60 years. Know who you are dealing with.

Top prices paid

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25 February 2021 Jewish News



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Jewish News 25 February 2021

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5954 CST DD JN 4pp Wrap v4.indd 7

25 February 2021 Jewish News


23/02/2021 15:59


Jewish News 25 February 2021

5954 CST DD JN 4pp Wrap v4.indd 8


23/02/2021 15:59

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