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Yeshivas held council to ransom over child safety Hackney schools only willing to meet safeguarding standards on ‘quid pro quo’ basis, report reveals EXCLUSIVE A council’s efforts to safeguard 1,500 Jewish boys attending illegal yeshivas were “frustrated” after strictlyOrthodox leaders warned they would only co-operate on a “quid pro quo” basis, writes Adam Decker. The stunning revelation – that Charedi leaders were willing to use the safety of Jewish children as a bargaining chip – is revealed in an internal council document seen this week by Jewish News, the contents of which will shock the wider community. The damning indictment came in an update to a landmark report from Hackney’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission in 2018, which revealed up to 29 illegal yeshivas are educating up to 1,500 Jewish boys. The latest update, dated 28 January 2020, shows how Orthodox leaders “acknowledge” serious safeguarding issues, but still wanted the council to “exempt yeshivas from the national curriculum” in return for them agreeing to a framework to keep the boys safe. Ofsted check safeguarding arrangements in all schools, but yeshivas are not classed as ‘schools,’ meaning there are no independent external safety checks of any kind carried out.

Many are instead defined as Unregistered Educational Settings (UES). After 34 yeshiva students almost drowned off the Kent coast in 2017 the commission sought to engage the Charedi community in plans to establish a safeguarding system, but last week it said Orthodox leaders were “unable or unwilling” to help them do so. The commission said there had been a “positive” meeting between Charedi leaders and the independent chair of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Board Jim Gamble in April 2019, before revealing their sudden change of heart. “At this time [9 April 2019] those engaged were positive about the idea of potentially creating a safeguarding committee for yeshivas, chaired by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations and populated with relevant community individuals,” it reported, before Gamble received an email from communal leaders on 4 June outlining a change in attitude. “This [email] reflected the ongoing position of some in the local community who, having positively engaged, have since retreated to a position whereby they say they cannot address the safeguarding concerns – which they acknowledge Continued on page 4

WE’RE SO GILAD FOR YOU! Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held prisoner by Hamas in Gaza for five years until 2011, has announced is engagement. Fiancée Nitzan Shabbat posted a photo of the happy couple on Instagram in which she shows off a glittering diamond ring. The couple have been dating for about 18 months.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

News / Labour deputy leadership

Don’t use us to score points, Burgon told A Jewish group postponed a meeting with Labour deputy leadership hopeful Richard Burgon over concerns the MP could use it for “political gain”, writes Mathilde Frot. The Leeds East MP was to meet officials from the Leeds Jewish Representative Council and Jewish Leadership Council. However, in a letter to the MP, LJRC president Lisa Baker asked for the meeting to be delayed until after the Labour Party’s leadership and deputy leadership contest on 4 April. The letter suggested that the MP had cited the upcoming meeting “as evidence you are engaging with the Jewish community on a national scale” while on the campaign trail, including at hustings in Nottingham. “This is at best a misrepresentation,” it read. “The Leeds Jewish Representative Council and the local Jewish community will not be used in national political point

Deputy leadership hopeful Burgon infamously called Zionism “the enemy of peace” at a party meeting

scoring.” According to Baker’s letter, the president had previously asked to meet all local MPs after taking the helm of the organisation in April

2018. But despite “prompts and reminders”, Burgon’s staff indicated that he “could not find the time” for a meeting, unlike all other MPs contacted, according to the letter.

“The issues of anti-Jewish racism within your party over recent years is well documented and the outcome of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investiga-

tion is awaited,” it stated about the impending probe into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. “As a member of the front bench your failure to speak out has been noticed,” it continued, citing the shadow justice secretary’s refusal to endorse the Board of Deputies’ 10 pledges to stamp out antisemitism from the party. The pledges, unveiled by the Board of Deputies last month, were adopted by the majority of candidates for leader and deputy leader, including Rebecca Long-Bailey, Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray. The other candidates for deputy are Dawn Butler and Angela Rayner. In his reply to Baker, seen by Jewish News, the MP offered to reschedule the meeting and said he looked forward “to the next one”. “I have raised some concerns about a small number of the Board of Deputies’ 10 pledges, for example on the outsourcing of a disciplinary process,” he wrote. He added: “I look forward to discussing these in more detail at the meeting but please be assured that I am committed to working with the Board of Deputies and the whole Jewish community to fight antisemitism and discrimination and for an inclusive society.” The LJRC and Burgon were contacted for comment.

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The former Conservative Party co-chair James Cleverly has been appointed minister with responsibility for the Middle East. A minister without portfolio until being given the Mideast and North Africa brief at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Friday, he was congratulated on his appointment by Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. Cleverly takes over from Dr Andrew Murrison, who was given the brief in May last year. Before him the post was occupied by veteran Middle East expert Alistair Burt. In 2015, four months after being elected as an MP, Cleverly visited Israel as part of a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) delegation. It was here that he first met Regev, who at the time was a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The delegation made a visit to

Sderot “to see the remains of Hamas rockets”, a moshav to see “the entrance to a Hamas cross-border terror tunnel”, and a kibbutz “where Hamas terrorists attempted to launch a terror attack”. At the end of the trip, he said on a CFI video: “It’s been a real eye-opener. Israel is an amazing country, no doubt about that. It’s a liberal, open democracy in a region where that is a real rarity. He added: “All of us, especially those involved in public policy, have a real duty to understand the dynamic here, understand what’s going on. This is going to be a key area over the next couple of decades… Through this visit I feel I’ve got fewer opinions, a few more facts, but still lots of questions. I definitely recommend you come and visit.”

James Cleverly

... AS LEADING ALLIES OUSTED Some of the Jewish community’s big political supporters left the cabinet in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, among them Chancellor Sajid Javid and Theresa Villiers at Defra. While other supporters such as Priti Patel and Michael Gove remained in place as home secretary and cabinet office minister, Javid and Villiers will be seen as losses by groups such as Conservative Friends of Israel. Javid has banned local authorities from boycotting

Israel, pushed a post-Brexit UK-Israel trade deal, pumped government money into Holocaust education and added Hezbollah to the Treasury’s list of proscribed terrorist groups. He has also visited both Auschwitz and Israel, and is a regular speaker at Jewish and pro-Israel fundraising events, despite suffering abuse from the Muslim commu-

nity for doing so. At the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, Villiers was seen as having a key role for Jewish groups keen to protect shechita from calls to ban it. Javid is replaced by Rishi Sunak, a Hindu who last year praised the Jewish community’s “phenomenal” contribution.

Theresa Villiers


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Flash floods / News briefs / News

Family’s ‘nervy’ flood escape A Jewish holidaymaker stranded with her family on the first floor of a cottage hit by Storm Dennis has described her “nerve-racking” evacuation writes Mathilde Frot. Jessica Falk Perlman, based in London, said she and her family were rescued from their flooded AirBnb in south Wales at the weekend. The family – including Falk Perlman’s parents, husband, brother and her dog Peach – climbed through a first-floor window into a rescue boat. “The water was so high, it actually wasn’t much of a drop,” Falk Perlman, 29, told Jewish News. “The water was up to nearly the top of the doorway of the ground floor. They came in their boat, and we sat on the window ledge and they said ‘lean on our shoulders and jump into the boat.” The marketing professional had travelled to the “beautiful” town of Crickhowell for a 60th birthday celebration for her mother, who is originally from south Wales. Noticing floodwater seeping under the front door of the house on Saturday evening, Falk Perlman “put some towels down and moved belongings upstairs”. By around 10pm firefighters closed the floodgates on the Usk and began

Rescuers in Crickhowell, south Wales, and Jessica Falk Perlman (inset)

pumping water away. “They were working hard, but they didn’t seem concerned. We were chatting to them through the window. They were busy but they weren’t at all panicked. It seemed like it was quite routine, so we went to bed,” she said. But it was “a major shock”, she said, to be woken up at 4am by a firefighter knocking on the door, up to his hips in floodwater and warning the River Usk was about to burst its banks. Within “about half an hour” the

water had reached the ground floor ceiling and top of the stairway, confining the family to the first floor until their rescue at 12.30pm the next day. “That was quite frightening. We had visions of it coming up on to the first floor of the house and thinking ‘oh no when’s it going to stop’,” she said. But floodwater eventually stopped at the top of the stairs. “We were then waiting. All the family sitting in the same room,” she said. While the storm put a dampener on

the family’s gettogether, Falk Perlman seemed more concerned about the welfare of uninsured homeowners and residents. “For us, being on holiday it’s a pretty significant inconvenience and it’s worrying, but it was just really sad thinking about all the people who lived here all year round,” she said. “We were thinking about elderly people, people with mobility problems. It’s really worrying thinking about other people that were affected.” In a statement on Tuesday the Environment Agency urged the public to consult the latest safety advice amid a significant flood risk, with further rain forecast this week. It said that more than 3.7 miles of temporary flood barriers were put up to protect some 25,000 properties, with over 900 members of staff providing support on the ground. John Curtin, executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, said: “There are flood warnings in place across much of England.”

NEWS IN BRIEF

SINN FEIN TD SORRY FOR NAZISM TWEET Irish leader Leo Varadkar has said tweets posted by a Sinn Fein TD before she was elected should “trouble us all”. Reada Cronin, newlyelected TD for Kildare North, posted that Israel had “taken Nazism to a new level” and suggested a picture of monkeys working on computers reminded her of the Israeli embassy. Her Twitter account has since been made private and she issued a statement “unreservedly and wholeheartedly” apologising and said the tweets were “glib” and “off-the-cuff”.

RABBI’S WARNING ON RADICALISATION A senior European rabbi has said the power given to people on the fringes of society by social media companies was “causing chaos”. Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), was speaking at a debate about social media companies and radicalisation at the Munich Security Conference. He said the attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, last October was “digitally inspired,” as was the attack on two New Zealand mosques.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

News / YomHashoah commemoration / Yeshiva concerns / Israel conference

10,000 to attend Yom HaShoah 75 Photo by John Rifkin

Organisers of this year’s Yom HaShoah UK commemoration say they want to see 10,000 British Jews come together at the Allianz Park stadium on 20 April to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust. Whereas Holocaust Memorial Day is focused on helping the wider community heed the lessons of the past, Yom HaShoah is the Jewish community’s own day for reflection, and in 2015 more than 5,000 Jews marked the 70-year anniversary. “In what many call the last of the big anniversaries, and where the message of ‘never again’ feels more important now than ever before, we hope that this time 10,000 will pledge and join us,” said Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl. “This will ensure the legacy of our survivors, refugees and liberators is not forgotten, but through our community

YESHIVAS WANTED ‘QUID PRO QUO’

Board president Marie van der Zyl, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Lord Howard and US ambassador Woody Johnson at last year’s commemoration

continues for generations to come.” Sir Ben Helfgott, president of Yom HaShoah UK, said: “Our generation of survivors cannot last forever. But the memory and lessons of the Shoah will last because you will remember and you will keep teaching them from generation to generation.” He added: “Nothing

would please us more than to see thousands of children and their families join us for this important commemoration.” This year’s event will take place at Allianz Park on Monday 20 April. • Tickets are available to book via the Yom HaShoah UK website: www.yomhashoah.org.uk/ NationalEvent

Continued from page 1 – unless they are part of a wider ‘quid pro quo’ that exempts yeshivas from the national curriculum.” It adds that “this is outside the influence of both the safeguarding board and Hackney Council”, before suggesting national government intervention was needed. The public expression of “frustration” marks a sharp change in tone from just two years ago, when the council said it was “confident the Charedi Jewish community would act in good faith on our recommendations”. In its latest update, the commission said “the overall vision of the strategy remains

The council has expressed concerns over safeguarding

frustrated on a number of levels… No real progress has been made”. It said there were “repeated attempts to engage community leaders to seek their cooperation to develop a safeguarding reassurance framework, however they have been unable, unwilling, or lacked the authority, to commit to the changes required”.

The commission added that it had even asked the police, fire service and other partners focusing on health and safety “to intervene with those running the [yeshivas] in an effort to safeguard the young people frequenting them” – but to no avail. Levi Shapiro of the Hackney-based Jewish Community Council, an Orthodox representative group, said: “We are in constant conversations with the leaders of yeshivas to help them improve their health and safety standards. Everyone has good intentions.” The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations was approached for comment.

Chelsea to host Israel conference Chelsea Football Club will team up with one of Israel’s a newspapers for a policy conference, continuing its battle against antisemitism. The Blues announced the March event at Stamford Bridge with The Jerusalem Post, which will feature politicians from the UK and Israel, as well as community leaders and sports personalities. The fight against antisemitism in sport will be at the forefront of the discussion,

in addition to diplomatic and security challenges, as well as bilateral relations. Confirmed speakers include Israeli politicians Israel Katz and Gilad Erdan, ambassador Mark Regev, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the government’s antisemitism adviser Lord John Mann, and Conservative Friends of Israel chair, Stephen Crabb MP. Israeli women’s football captain, Karin Sendel, will also take part.


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Hertsmere ‘abuse’ / Envoy votes / Student funding / News

Activist claims abuse A Jewish candidate for Labour defeated in a Hertfordshire by-election last week has said he suffered antisemitic abuse from local Conservatives during the campaign, causing “enormous stress” to his heavily pregnant wife. Dan Ozarow, an academic at Middlesex University who stood for Labour in the Kenilworth ward of Borehamwood, said he had been called a “terrorist sympathiser” and was told to “go and die in the gas chambers” in a flurry of messages, some sent to his work. Ozarow, the chair of Hertsmere Labour, explained he

Stress: Hertsmere candidate

had now reported Hertsmere Conservatives to the police “for inciting racial hatred” after one message was sent to his work email called him a “self-hating Jewish c***”. A Hertsmere Conservatives spokesman said they “refute the allegations in their entirety… We do not support or

promote racist abuse aimed at any political candidate”. He added: “Labour have run another dirty local election campaign”. Ozarow was supported by Angela Rayner MP, a contender for Labour deputy leader, but he lost last Thursday, after the Conservatives scooped 49 percent of the vote, compared to Labour’s 41 percent. Publishing an open letter on his website, Ozarow said he and his family had been subjected to “smears, relentless intimidation and abuse”, including “offensive” messages sent by online trolls.

TRUSTS UNITE TO HELP STUDENTS Charitable trusts that help pay for Jewish students to attend higher education courses have combined to make it easier for families to apply. The Anglo-Jewish Association, Finnart House School Trust and the Jewish Widows and Students Aid Trust have come up with one application form for financial assistance to

t. Es

help families whose access to the internet may be limited. Students typically have to apply while preparing for their A-levels, so the groups worked together after “recognising the additional burden” and said they hoped their cooperation would help the funding go further to help those with the greatest need.

Union of Jewish Students trustee Carolyn Bogush said: “With the growing costs associated with attending higher education, our group has come together purely in the interest of easing access to funding for Jewish students. We would be delighted to welcome other charities that also provide funding for Jewish students.”

LONDON EMBASSY STAFF CAST THEIR VOTES... AGAIN his trial would begin Diplomatic staff at just two weeks after the Israeli Embassy Israelis return to the in London voted for voting booths for the the 30th Knesset this third time in a year. week, marking the With polling still 23rd time envoys have close, he could yet form participated in an electhe next government. tion from Kensington. After the latest The country goes election was held in to the polls on September, negotia2 March, but more tions over a possible than 5,000 Israeli repgovernment of national resentatives in almost unity took place 100 missions around the world need to cast Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev casts his vote between Netanyahu’s Likud and the Blue and their postal votes this week, in order for them to be returned and White Party, led by former army chief Benny Gantz, and the Yesh Atid Party leader counted on time. Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Benjamin Netanyahu learned this week that • Netanyahu trial date set, page 15

Board urges Uyghur action Jewish leaders in London have urged Downing Street to take the Chinese government to task over the “dire” treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. The Board of Deputies’ vice-president Edwin Shuker this week implored the government’s special envoy for religious freedoms to use Britain’s standing at the UN to put a stop to the oppression of up to two million people.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

News / Labour leadership contest

Nandy has her Zionism and eats it Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has come under fire for endorsing pledges proposed by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, days after earning the nomination of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and defining herself as a “Zionist”. The PSC, which describes itself as “the biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights”, is in favour of Palestinian refugees’ right of return. Nandy tweeted her backing for its pledges, which were put forward last week. They included a promise to oppose any Middle East peace plan comprising Palestinians’ right “to self-determination and to return to their homes”. She backed the PSC’s commitments on Saturday shortly after winning the support of 50.9 percent of ballotted JLM members. The MP for Wigan, who is chair of the parliamentary group Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, tweeted that she will “always” support Palestinian rights. “That’s why I oppose Trump’s ‘plan’, have campaigned against British business profiting from the OPTs [occupied Palestinian territories] and support any embargo on arms deals which violates human rights. I’m happy to back these @PSCupdates commitments,” she

Photos by Marc Morris

by Mathilde Frot mathilde@thejngroup.com @mathilde_frot

Lisa Nandy (second right) at the JLM hustings, chaired by Robert Peston. Top right: Margaret Hodge MP, Ruth Smeeth and Sharon Hodgson MP

wrote. She said in a statement: “With President Trump acting with even more impunity and carving out a ‘deal’ that does nothing but give Palestinian rights away, our role in the UK to stand with the Palestinians is ever more important.” Nandy’s tweet sparked concern among some in the community. Stephane Savary, a national vice-chair of the JLM, accused her in a tweet on Monday of “playing both sides”. The parliamentary group Labour Friends

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of Israel warned that a Palestinian right of return would mean “the end of Israel as a Jewish state, so is incompatible with support for two states for two peoples”. “The obsessive demonisation of Israel does absolutely nothing to support peace,” the group wrote on Twitter on Sunday. Nandy described herself as a “Zionist” at JLM hustings last week, where she was joined by Rebecca Long-Bailey, the frontrunner Keir Starmer and the shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, who was knocked out of the contest after falling short of the 33 nominations needed to remain in the race. They were grilled by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston at the packed event, backed by Jewish News and Labour Friends of Israel, held at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood. All candidates apologised to the Jewish community for Labour’s handling of the antisemitism crisis. During the 90-minute hustings, all three candidates pledged to implement recommendations made by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission following their investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the party. Furthermore, all three promised

to offer an apology and financial settlement to former staffers who spoke out against Labour’s handling of antisemitism cases in the BBC’s Panorama programme, broadcast last year. At the hustings, Nandy said she had previously considered her position in the party over the antisemitism crisis. Antisemitism is “a sort of racism that punches up not down, that argues that Jewish people are privileged and powerful, and because there are people on the left who believe that their job is to challenge privilege and power, therefore, wrongly and disgracefully, argue that Jewish people are a legitimate target for racism,” she said. But it was a question from an audience member that delivered perhaps the night’s most noteworthy moment. When asked whether they identified as “Zionists”, all candidates bar Keir Starmer replied they did. “I don’t describe myself as as Zionist, but I understand and I sympathise and I support Zionism. So I wouldn’t describe myself in that way. But, of course, you know, we have family in Israel,” he said. “That is part of my family.” Nandy and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were approached for comment.

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Britain’s new environment secretary has made “no secret of his views on shechita and on Shechita UK”, the organisation has warned. Theresa Villiers, seen by some as a staunch ally to the community, was sacked and replaced in the environment role by George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth, during Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle. Speaking after the appointment, Shimon Cohen, campaign director at Shechita UK, described Villiers as a “great friend of our community”. He added: “We are sorry to see her go and are very grateful for her support, particularly over the last few months.” While congratulating Eustice on his new job, Cohen said: “Mr Eustice has made no secret of his views on shechita and on Shechita UK. “However, we look forward

to a constructive dialogue with every confidence that as a member of the cabinet, he will support the pledge that this government has already given us to maintain the longstanding commitment to the protection of religious slaughter for food.” Eustice, who previously served as agriculture and fisheries minister, has spoken in favour of labelling meat that was not stunned before slaughter. He also drew criticism last year when he proposed that MPs hold a free vote on the religious slaughter of farm animals. “There has been an alarming rise in the proportion of farm animals slaughtered without stunning and our regulations in this area are outdated,” he said. “We are falling behind other developed countries.”


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Immigration policy / Shul withdraws / News

Post-Brexit visa policy criticised The government’s proposal for a pointsbased immigration policy has provoked fears about its potential impact on social care and community security, writes Mathilde Frot. Under the new system, “low-skilled workers” and non-English speakers would not be eligible for visas. The proposal, unveiled by home secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday, would come into force on 1 January 2021 in an attempt to scrap the UK’s reliance on “cheap labour from Europe”. Points would be allocated for specific skills, qualifications and salaries – and Priti Patel and Boris Johnson only applicants able to garner 70 points would be allowed visas. for our community are likely to rise.” The All those seeking to live in the UK would Board had relayed its concerns to the Departneed a job offer and a minimum salary of ment for Exiting the EU and the Home Office”. £25,600 – with exemptions for applicants Meanwhile, Dr Edie Friedman, of the in “specific shortage occupations”, such as Jewish Council for Racial Equality, cast doubt nursing, earning at least £20,480. on whether the policy would meet social care The Board of Deputies expressed “con- demand “already under enormous strain”. cern” about the policy and the “direct effect” it “The way this new policy is being presented may have on Britain’s Jewish community. is making a statement that these individuals Vice-president Amanda Bowman said on are just economic commodities, wanted only Wednesday: “Many of the security guards for their skills and not for any cultural or social and care workers that the Jewish community benefit that they bring to the country,” she employs, for example, are EU migrants. The said. “As others have pointed out, how many of new rules will make it much harder to attract our ancestors would have been able to come to new workers, meaning that costs for organisa- Britain under such strict language and income tions which provide security and social care requirements,” she added.

WEST LONDON SUSPENDS ITS REFORM JUDAISM AFFILIATION West London Synagogue has suspended its membership of the Movement for Reform Judaism following “recent events”, writes Mathilde Frot. The extraordinary decision comes after one of the synagogue’s rabbis, David Mitchell, agreed last month to take time away from the synagogue over bullying allegations. Mitchell, 40, who denies accusations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour, is set to jointly replace Julia Neuberger as senior rabbi when she retires in March, alongside Rabbi Helen Freeman. West London Synagogue’s chair, Mark Fox, and member Madeline Young have stepped down as Reform Judaism trustees. “We regret having to take this decision but have done so in order that we – as a synagogue and independent charity – can focus our attention on the recent events at West London

without external distractions or pressures,” read a letter from its president and board to the movement on Friday. “We, as the synagogue’s leadership, are handling these internal matters in a sensitive and responsible way, in line with our own governance code and our community’s values.” Mitchell’s decision to take time away from the shul “coincides with an independent review, instigated by the board, relating to complaints received by the synagogue following the announcement of Rabbi Julia’s successors as co-senior rabbi”, it added. “These complaints are being taken extremely seriously and, as is right and proper, a formal and impartial process has now been put in place to consider the issues raised.” The letter criticises previous statements made by Reform Judaism “about matters relating to our synagogue without consultation”.

NEWS IN BRIEF

BENTLEY NAMED CHAIR OF MAGEN AVOT SHUL

PRINCESS DIANA’S NIECE CONVERTS TO JUDAISM

Yad Vashem UK Foundation chair Simon Bentley has been named as the chair of Magen Avot Synagogue, based at Nancy Reuben Primary School in Hendon. The United Synagogue announced the decision “by a unanimous vote”, also confirming Joy Kay as vicechair. Bentley takes over from Jonny Solomon. There will be an election for honorary officer positions at the next AGM. The shul recently welcomed Rabbi Joel and Sarah Kenigsberg, who arrived from Jerusalem.

The niece of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is converting to Judaism before marrying a Jewish fashion tycoon. Lady Kitty Spencer, a 29-year-old model, is engaged to Michael Lewis, 61, who chairs the Foschini Group. It will be the second marriage for Lewis, a South Africa native whose fortune is estimated at about £76 million ($100m). The Sunday Times cited friends of the couple as saying that Spencer is “taking religious instruction” in preparation for the marriage.

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20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Caroline Flack’s death / News

Flack’s Jewish friends tell of pain and shock Jewish celebrities have paid heartfelt tribute to Caroline Flack, the television presenter found dead last weekend, writes Francine Wolfisz. The 40-year-old, best known for hosting Love Island and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, took her own life at her flat in Stoke Newington on Saturday. According to close friends, Flack had been tormented by press scrutiny and comments on social media while awaiting trial for assaulting her 27-year-old boyfriend, Lewis Burton, last December. She denied the charge, but learned the day before her death that the Crown Prosecution Service was set to proceed with the trial, despite Burton not supporting it. Taking to social media, former Love Island contestant Eyal Booker posted a photo of himself with Flack and said he was “beyond devastated and shocked”. He added: “You lit up every room. May you rest in peace and your spirit live on. You touched the lives of so many people.” Singer Jess Glynne posted a request to journalists to “know your power and respect it, because whoever attacked this woman had not one ounce of it”. Presenter Gaby Roslin posted a picture

Caroline Flack with Eyal Booker and (right) with TV producer Mollie Grosberg

of a rose, captioned: “Please be kind. Hold the ones you love close and don’t judge.” Loose Women host Stacey Solomon showed support for her own actor boyfriend Joe Swash, who was a close friend of Flack. “In this moment in time, all we can do is be kind,” she wrote. “And remember that there is a human in every picture, behind every story, every post, every headline, and every TV screen, a real person, taking it all in, the good and the bad. “There is no such thing as the perfect human. Having empathy and kindness is all we can truely strive towards.” Mollie Grosberg, a TV producer

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friend and Flack, posted a series of photographs on Instagram, and wrote of “this massive, heartbreaking loss”. She said: “Carrie had a smile on her face, a naughty laugh and her heart open wide. When she let you in, you were the luckiest and she taught me to love everyone and forgive everyone.” World Jewish Relief’s Paul Anticoni tweeted he was “sad and shocked” and posted a photograph of Flack at a WJR programme in Rwanda, as part of her role as a Sport Relief ambassador in 2014. An inquest into Caroline’s death noted she had died by hanging.

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We didn’t get much notice when Sports Relief asked if it could bring a celebrity to see a WJR project in Rwanda and film the journey. They wanted Caroline Flack to visit to show how donations were spent. I had concerns. I wasn’t sure how a celebrity expected to be treated. Rwandans are reserved people and don’t generally show emotion. Also, the countryside is vast and I was unsure the team realised the effort it would take to visit different locations. I needn’t have worried. Caroline immediately proved herself to be hardworking and professional. We took her deep into the Rwandan countryside where she had to stand for long periods under a hot sun while

filming. She joined farmers in tomato fields and spent time harvesting, carrying the basket on her shoulder and helping to load the truck. And whether it was an uncooperative goat or an overtired little girl, Caroline handled it all with humour. She was also warm and approachable with our participants. She greeted them with a big smile and listened to their stories with concentration interest and compassion. WJR has worked in Rwanda for 12 years. Many of those we support are vulnerable and traumatised. When Caroline spoke to them it looked like she had known them for a long time. In front of her, they seemed to open up. It was an honour to have such an engaged and warm person visit our project to highlight the difference it has made to people’s lives.

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20 February 2020

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News / Board survey / Ofcom ruling

Withdrawn Israel survey sparks debate A survey of Board of Deputies members’ attitudes towards Israel stirred controversy at a meeting of representatives on Sunday, writes Mathilde Frot. The Board’s president, Marie van der Zyl, suspended the review on Israel last

month amid growing divisions about the content of the questionnaire. Vice-president Sheila Gewolb, who chairs the organisation’s international division – which focuses on foreign policy – discussed

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the survey on Sunday. She told deputies she was forced to ban observers from sitting in on meetings of the division over “leaks”, according to a report in The Jewish Chronicle. She claimed that a proposed set of draft questions was “leaked” before being finished, according to the paper. “Every member of the division was really unfortunately concerned at the lack of respect to me and other mem- Marie van der Zyl and Sheila Gewolb of the Board of Deputies

bers by causing voices to be silenced by leaking a piece of work that was not completed,” she said. A deputy, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Jewish News that there was “complete chaos and panic” at the Board. “There appears to be open warfare between the honorary officers themselves, and between the international and defence divisions,” the deputy said.

TalkRadio is fined £75,000 for ‘Goebbellian’ Galloway breach

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TalkRadio has been fined £75,000 for allowing ex-MP George Galloway to breach impartiality rules when discussing antisemitism. The left-wing former talk show host broadcast skewed views of Labour’s antisemitism crisis on 27 July 2018, using inferences taken directly from the Third Reich, when railing against those who felt the party had a problem. He said they were “literally summoning up the demons of Nazism against Brit-

ain’s finest anti-fascist”. He added it was “a giant Goebbellian lie that Jeremy Corbyn not only hates Jews but that… the existence of Jewish life in Britain is threatened”. Ofcom said the station, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, “ought to have known that Mr Galloway had strong views on the issue of allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”. He was sacked from the radio station last summer.

EINSTEIN’S TOY UNDER HAMMER Albert Einstein’s favourite childhood toy, a German game consisting of coloured beads that can be put in a punch-hole frame to create patterns, is up for auction next month in New York.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

News / Y-word definition

Tottenham cry foul over ‘misleading’ ‘Yiddo’ term Tottenham Hotspur this week hit back at a “misleading” new definition of the term ‘Yiddo’ entered into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), in January, with the hate slur used to describe “a supporter of or player for” the London club. A club spokesman said last week: “We have never accommodated the use of the Y word on any club channels or in club stores and have always been clear that our fans (both Jewish and gentile) have never used the term with any intent to cause offence. “We find the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word misleading given it fails to distinguish context and welcome their clarification.” The dictionary’s publisher, The Oxford University Press (OUP), said in a statement: “As we state at the closely related word YID… Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is traditionally associated with the Jewish community in north and east London, and the term is sometimes used as a self-designation by some fans. We will ensure the context for this connection is very clear in both definitions.”

It’s not just ‘Yiddo’. The Oxford English Dictionary has added an array of other Jewish-themed and Yiddish terms to its new edition, from ‘Jewdar’ to ‘Jewfro’. � CHUTZPADIK [Yiddish], adj.: “Esp. in Jewish usage: showing chutzpah; impudent, impertinent; audacious, very self-confident.” � GLATT KOSHER, adj.: “Designating food prepared according to a strict interpretation of Jewish dietary law; of or relating to such food; strictly kosher.” � JEWDAR, n.: “An ability, attributed esp. to Jewish people and likened humorously to radar, to identify a (fellow) Jewish person by intuition…”

What’s in a word: The Oxford English Dictionary definition

It added the OED was a “historical dictionary” that “records the usage and development of words in the English language”. Usage of the term to describe Jewish people can be considered offensive, but some Spurs fans have historically adopted the word in terrace chants. The club has a sizeable Jewish fan base, who have been targeted with antisemitic behaviour. Organisations working to combat antisemitism condemned

some Spurs fans’ use of the word, with one saying it was “a badge of shame” for the club. A spokesman for the Community Security Trust said: “The OED has introduced several Jewish-related terms, so it is important those which are antisemitic or otherwise offensive are clearly marked as such. The Antisemitism Policy Trust said: “It should be a badge of shame for Tottenham that the club is associated with the word.”

� JEWFRO, n.: “A curly, frizzy, or bushy hairstyle worn by some Jewish people, reminiscent of an Afro.” � JEW YORK, n.: “A name for: New York.” � KVETCHING [Yiddish], adj.: “Characterised by complaining or criticising. � SHABBAT GOYAH, n.: “In Jewish usage: a non-Jewish woman who performs for strictly Orthodox Jews tasks forbidden to them on the Sabbath (see Shabbat n.)…” � SHALIACH, n.: “An emissary or agent; a representative or proxy. Also (in Jewish worship): a person responsible for leading the communal worship of a synagogue; =…”

JLC chairman changes tune The Jewish Leadership Council’s chairman has had a change of heart on the acceptability of the Y-word. Jonathan Goldstein, a “lifelong” Spurs fan who previously defended supporters’ use of the term, revealed he changed his mind amid rising levels of antisemitism. Goldstein said the reasons for his sudden volte-face in a joint-column written with fellow Tottenham Hotspurs supporter, the Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard. The Evening Standard published the piece entitled “Fellow Spurs fans: please stop using the Y-word”. “Anti-Jewish racism has moved from the margins into the mainstream... In that context, it is no longer possible for Spurs fans to act as if we exist in a vacuum. Antiracist campaigners say that by using the word, Spurs fans make it harder for those who seek to highlight and tackle anti-Jewish racism.” Jewish News has long campaigned for the Y-word to be banned in football stadiums.


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Virus alert / Campus fears / News

Israelis test medical app to battle virus Israelis returning from China have been testing a new telemedicine app to help the country prepare for the spread of Covid-19, the official name for the coronavirus, with robots lined up to treat sufferers without endangering staff, writes Adam Decker. The latest technology was launched last week at Sheba Medical Center, with homebound patients entering information regarding their vital signs such as body temperature and submitting this for doctors’ assessment. “This is one instance where telemedicine protects both staff and patients by minimising direct contact with those infected by the coronavirus,” said Galia Barkai, head of telemedicine at Sheba. Once in quarantine in hospital, patients could be tended

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to by a California-designed remote-controlled robot, with the clinicians operating it from outside the room. They are already used in the hospital’s paediatric cardiology and trauma wards. “This technology is the perfect solution to provide care to patients infected with coronavirus, while protecting staff

from contagion,” said Barkai. Last week, Sheba ran its first drill for operating a pop-up unit to deal with any Israeli outbreak of Covid-19, with isolation units for those who test positive. Covid-19 tests can give results in hours, but currently only those returning from China are been screened.

... As Jewish MP stays away from public events as a precaution A Jewish MP who was at a conference attended by someone diagnosed with coronavirus asked to be formally assessed for the illness. Alex Sobel confirmed he was among more than 200 guests at the UK Bus Summit in Westminster on 6 February and an unnamed patient confirmed to have the illness, also known as Covid-19. The Labour and Co-operative MP for Leeds North West said he had cancelled all engagements until tomorrow as a precaution. “Whilst I have been informed I am at very low risk, I have called 111 to be formally assessed,” he wrote on Twitter. “As a precaution, we have cancelled all engagements until the 14-day potential incubation period ends.” A statement from Sobel’s office said he had “spent the afternoon in isolation in a room in his office away from staff.” “After receiving advice from 111 and being

established as low risk, Alex will not remain in isolation, but will stay away from public engagements as a precautionary measure,” it read. “To be absolutely clear, Alex has not been tested for coronavirus, only assessed by 111,” it added. Dr Yimmy Chow, consultant in health protection at Public Health England, said: “One of our main priorities has been to identify any people who we think have been in close contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 to provide public health advice, as they may be at slightly increased risk of catching the virus. “While the degree of contact conference delegates may have had with the case is unlikely to have been significant, we have taken a precautionary approach and informed them.” A letter sent to delegates advised anyone developing symptoms such as a fever or cough to remain indoors, avoid outside contact and call NHS 111.

‘APARTHEID WEEK CAN BE DIFFICULT’ Jewish students have raised concerns about anti-Israel events to be held on university campuses next month. During Israel Apartheid Week, which runs from 16 to 21 March, there will be some 200 events on campuses, including at the Universities of Bristol, Leeds, York, Lancaster and King’s College London. Organisers say the week – inspired this year by the theme “United Against Racism” – seeks to advocate for “Palestinian rights in the context of global struggles against racial

oppression”, according to an article on their website. Daniel Kosky of the Union of Jewish Students, said the week “can be a difficult time”. He added: “Too often, antiZionism is used as a mask to cover underlying antisemitism. We see incidents such as

‘mock checkpoints’ and guest speakers who engage in antisemitism, which intimidate and sometimes target Jewish students.” Michael McCann of proIsrael group Israel Britain Alliance, described Israel Apartheid Week as a “lie constructed by people who loathe the only Jewish state in the world”. The group is urging the public to demand MPs apply pressure on universities to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition as part of a campaign launching on Monday.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Special Report / Jewish war heroes

Never, in the field of human conflict... Stephen Oryszczuk talks to an archivist who quit her job to tell the epic stories of Jews who fought in Bomber Command A non-Jewish archivist researching Jews who fought and died in Bomber Command from 1939 to 1945 has set up a self-funded website to share their stories, using Christmas and birthday money to pay for it. Cathie Hewitt left her job last year at the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln to focus on the project full-time, creating hundreds of family trees and travelling the world to uncover life stories. Her research has revealed how Jewish airmen risked death to fly low over the occupied Netherlands to drop food supplies to one million starving Dutch citizens, and how a Jewish Londoner sailed a boat to Dunkirk and brought back 500 men. She began in late 2018 when working at Bomber Command, planning a research project to support her master’s degree in genealogy. “I decided to focus on Jews who died serving in Bomber Command during the Second World War,” she told Jewish News this week. “As the project became larger, more time-consuming and more rewarding, I decided to stop my studies, give up my job and concentrate on it full-time. I am now selffunding. My birthday present this year from family was money to pay for the website.” That site, www.thejews

monwealth War Graves Commission, which sent Hewitt a list of those known to have a Magen David on their headstones. “My database now holds the names of more than 1,000 Jewish men who came from all over the world to serve in the many air forces that supported Bomber Command, including Canada, Australia and South Africa,” she says. “I decided I would start the archive by recording the names and details of those who served in the RAF, which numbers nearly 300 men. The next

ofbombercommand.com, was finally launched last week. Hewitt admits to “welling up” in the days since, having received dozens of emails from families thanking her for her help telling their relatives’ stories. These are the families she has found and contacted for the past 18 months who, in turn, provided information, documents, photos and memories of their relatives that now feature in the freeto-browse archive. Most of the information has never been seen by those outside the families themselves. Hewitt’s initial database was created using WR Chorley’s book RAF Bomber Command Losses, looking for “typical Jewish names” An iconic Second World War Spitfire and Henry Morris’ We Will Remember Them, which phase will be to include those who records Jews who died in the Armed came from the other nations.” Over several months, Hewitt creForces 1939-1945. Martin Sugarman, archivist at ated more than 300 family trees in the Jewish Military Association the search for the families of these (AJEX), helped, as did the Com- Jewish men, often making contacts

The Engelhardts, from left: Leo, Wolf, Issy, Siegfried and Sophie

through online genealogy portals. “I am now in contact with more than 60 families,” she says. “I have been privileged to see many previously unseen photos, letters, documents and memorabilia. “So far, I have uploaded 20 stories and have another 45 to type up and place, along with documentation, on the website.” The archive’s focus is to record short biographies detailing the fighters’ backgrounds, schooling, jobs and family life before they died. “There are many internet sites

that give information about the aircraft, burial places and missions, but not about the men themselves. “It has been a struggle to find details on the lives of many of the airmen, mainly due to name changes and those who came from overseas to serve in the RAF,” she adds. “I hope to find more families to help fill in the gaps.” It had been “a complete privilege” to travel across the UK and to Israel to meet the families, scan documents and gain further information about their relatives’ early lives.

‘WE HEARD THE GRIM REAPER SWISHING HIS SCYTHE... WE THOUGHT WE’D HAD IT’

GERMAN SPEAKERS WORKED AS SPECIAL OPERATORS TO THWART THE ENEMY

Among the many previously private photos and documents that Hewitt has found during the project was the final letter of wireless operator and Air Gunner Maurice Benjamin, for 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, which he wrote to his mother and father. He begins by asking forgiveness for not having written of late, saying he has been “pushed lately. “Everything is going fine for us now,” he continues. “I bet you’re all glad the black-out is being lifted, London with all its lights on again will indeed be a fine sight, the story of the ‘Battle of the Buzz Bomb’ makes spectacular reading and I feel proud that you at home took it while my comrades and I dished it out. We certainly had some excitement between us all, didn’t we!” He describes having flown two dangerous missions in three nights. “The second time we went... we heard the ‘Grim Reaper’ swishing his scythe. By God I was scared. We all thought that we’d had it, however we made our way back to base with three engines, one thousand miles of mental torture, when we landed. We felt the luckiest guys in the world.” He then says: “Tonight we are flying again if the weather holds good, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.” He finishes by promising to “write soon”. He was killed four days later, aged 21.

There are eight young men on Cathie Hewitt’s website who served in 101 Squadron as a special operator, known as the eighth man. They were German speakers who would use a receiver and transmitters to identify the German language and VHF frequency and jam them. If the Germans changed frequencies, they were skilled enough to do likewise. Among the stories on the website is that of German-born Wolf Engelhardt, whose parents, Leo and Sophie, ran a clothing shop in East Germany. He escaped on a Polish passport in early 1939, followed

by his brother, Siegfried. His parents and younger brother, Issy, were deported to the Nowy Sacz ghetto, from where they wrote until 1941, when they were killed in the Holocaust. Wolf became a farm labourer in Essex and said that when the war ended he wanted to grow flowers in Palestine. In 1943, both brothers went to sign up for the RAF. A trainee engineer already working on aircraft, Siegfried was told to remain in his post. He later developed aircraft parts for Barnes Wallis, who invented the bouncing bomb, and died in London in 2009.


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Bibi trial / UN blacklist / News briefs / Israel News

Corruption trial date set Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial will begin on 17 March, an Israeli court announced this week – two weeks after the national elections. Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a number of cases in which he is alleged to have accepted lavish gifts from billionaire friends and exchanged regulatory favours for more positive media coverage. He denies any wrongdoing. In a brief statement, the court said Netanyahu was expected to attend the initial hearing. Israel will hold parliamentary elections on 2 March, its third vote in less than a year, after both failed to yield a conclusive result. The first two elections were largely a referendum on Netanyahu, and the third is expected to be no different. His campaign has sought to divert attention away from the corruption charges while his main challenger, former military chief Benny Gantz,

Arch rival Benny Gantz

Netanyahu will face trial two weeks after the March election

has sought to highlight them. Gantz argues Netanyahu is unfit to serve as prime minister while fighting the legal charges. Gantz also said he would work to mend ties with America’s Democratic Party if he wins next month’s elections. He accused Netanyahu of neglecting bipartisan ties in Washington in favour of exclusive support from US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party. Gantz, who leads the Blue

and White party, said it was “very important that we will emphasise the importance of bipartisan relationship between Israel and the United States”. Netanyahu has heavily emphasised his relationship with Trump in seeking to shore up support with his nationalist base in Israel. Gantz recently met the US president at the White House, where he welcomed Trump’s strong support for Israel.

“But we don’t care if the American president is a Republican or Democrat,” he added. “If he is a good president for the United States,” then that person would be a “good president for the state of Israel as well”. Gantz and his running mate Yair Lapid addressed a crowd of around 1,000 mostly English speakers at an event late on Monday in Tel Aviv. Lapid said Israel faces the task of a “rehabilitation” of ties with the Democrats and with US Jews in general. The American Jewish community votes overwhelmingly Democrat. Pre-election polls indicate that neither Gantz nor Netanyahu has a clear path to a parliamentary majority.

‘SHAM’ UN LIST OF FIRMS OPERATING IN WEST BANK Jewish leaders have criticised the United Nations for publishing a “blacklist” of companies operating in West Bank settlements as a “sham”. It follows the release of a list of 112 companies by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights four years after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) first voted for the publication of such a list. Three of the companies are UK registered: construction equipment manufacturer JCB, metal coatings firm

Firms named on the ‘blacklist’

Greenkote and online travel agency Opodo. Israel has long accused the UNHRC of bias, highlighting its permanent Agenda Item 7 about Israel that is discussed at every meeting.

NEWS IN BRIEF

97% OF CASES LET PALESTINIANS STAY

IDF TARGETED IN ‘HONEYTRAP’ OP

A total of 97 percent of legal cases brought by British-funded lawyers against Israeli demolition or eviction orders in Palestinian communities have been won. The figures were given in the House of Commons last week by former Middle East Minister Dr Andrew Murrison [since replaced by James Cleverly] in response to a question from Labour’s Anneliese Dodds.

Hamas was behind a “honeytrap” operation to hack into the phones of Israeli soldiers to extract information including locations, said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The elaborate cyber-attacks used fake profiles of young attractive women on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Telegram, in order to target active duty conscripts.


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

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20 February 2020 Jewish News

17

Birthright trip / Orthodox trial / Special service / Diaspora News

‘Guests are part of a legacy and a thriving community’ Hundreds of Russian-speaking diaspora Jews visited Jewish communities near the Gaza border last week as part of a 10-day Birthright Israel trip. Celebrating Birthright’s 20th year, around 800 visitors from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan attended the ‘Taglit in the Flourishing Desert’ event in the western Negev to “show long-standing support” for the residents and businesses near Gaza. Activities included foodtasting, graffiti workshops, drumming circles, bike tours and even “laughing yoga” as participants toured places such as Ashkelon and Sderot, as well as kibbutzim and moshavim. The evening event in Eshkol Cultural Hall was opened by actress and singer-songwriter Ania Bukstein who, born to a Russian-Jewish family in Moscow, told the participants her story, from studying classical piano from the age of five,

Around 800 Jews from the former Soviet Union took part in a 10-day Birthright Israel visit near the Gaza border

immigration to Israel and rise to international fame. Gidi Mark, chief executive of Birthright Israel, said the visit was “humbling and a source of great pride…”. He added: “It is important our participants experience the real Israel, the good and

the bad, and can speak from a place of understanding when they return to their communities. “They are part of a legacy, and have the opportunity to take their experiences home, and be part of a strong, thriving international community of

Russian-speaking Jews.” Supporters of the trip included the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG). Ilia Salita, president and chief executive of GPG, said: “This is a partnership that aims to ensure that one of the leading projects of the Jewish people will always remain attractive and relevant to young Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. “Today, more than 70,000 FSU [former Soviet Union] participants later, Birthright Israel goes onwards and upwards, powering the Jewish identity of young Jews, strengthening their bond with Israel and fostering new networks of personal connections.” Dr Haim Ben Yaakov, director-general of the EuroAsian Jewish Congress, said: “We are proud to support this important event, which brings the diaspora Jewish youth closer to the State of Israel.”

WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF

Your weekly digest of stories from the international press UNITED STATES

An Orthodox Jewish mother of five has won the Miami Half Marathon Race. Beatie Deutsch, 30, who lives in Israel, Beatie Deutsch, 30, finished in a time of 1:16:4, winning in the women’s category. She is trying to qualify to represent Israel in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. She ran her first marathon less than four years ago but has since won the Israeli national championships.

SPAIN

Madrid is to get a Jewish museum in two years’ time in a building reclaimed from far-left activists. “This is the only major capital in Western Europe without a museum, yet it has deep Jewish ties to countless Jews who continue to nurture the Sephardic culture since the expulsion of 1492 and their affection to Spain,” Mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida of the right-wing Popular Party said in a speech announcing the decision.

GERMANY

Possible police failures over the deadly attack on a synagogue in the city of Halle on 9 October last year are being investigated. Surveillance footage shows that officers took eight minutes to arrive on the scene, as an armed assailant filmed his attack. Germany’s Jewish leaders had earlier asked why there was such a delay. Around 50 worshippers were in the synagogue when the attack began.

HUNGARY

The new leader of Jobbik has said the party has changed from when senior figures called for lists of Hungarian Jews for ‘national security’. Peter Jakab, who has Jewish heritage but is a practicing Catholic, said one of his first moves in charge was to kick out of the party Gergely Kulcsár for spitting on a Holocaust memorial in Budapest. “This Jobbik is not the same Jobbik it was five years ago,” Jakab said in an interview.

EX-CHASIDIC COUPLE Shabbat service in Egyptian synagogue SUE OVER EDUCATION A former Orthodox Jewish couple is suing Quebec province and school system for not making sure they received a complete education. The trial, which is the long-awaited culmination of Yohanan and Shifra Lowen (pictured) filing their lawsuit five years ago, opened on Monday in Quebec Superior Court and is expected to last about two weeks. They are not seeking financial compensation or damage but rather

a declaratory judgement to force Quebec to increase its oversight in religious schools to make sure pupils learn the provisional curriculum. Prosecutors argue the pair “finished their high school education without knowing about the St Lawrence River or the theory of evolution”, but lawyers for the province and the Chasidic community sect in which they grew said problems with the students’ education had been addressed.

Jewish students at Harvard form BDS-supporting group Jewish undergraduate students at Harvard University have formed a new anti-Zionist organisation that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace said in a Facebook post it was “founded in the idea that Jewish liberation is inextricably bound up with the liberation of all people”. It added: “We build on a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism, which teaches us that Jewish safety or liberation will never come at the expense of other people’s lives and land.” The group said it would focus on Palestinian solidarity work, fighting

antisemitism and creating Jewish spaces and events outside Hillel. Its foundation was first mooted during Israel Apartheid Week last year. Another group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has been active across several US university campuses in recent years. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says it “regularly demonises” Jewish students who identify as Zionists. “SJP’s insistence that one cannot be a good Jew while still being a Zionist is a blatant effort to constrain the Jewish identities of their fellow students,” said the ADL.

two to have survived Almost 180 Jews of from an era when the Egyptian origin flew in city counted more than to celebrate a special 40,000 Jews among its Shabbat at a newlypopulation. At its peak, renovated 14th century there were 12 synagogues. synagogue in the Fire caused by Napoancient Egyptian city leon’s 1798 invasion of Alexandria. Egypt destroyed the The governmentbuilding, but it was rebuilt funded restoration proin 1850, and today’s tiny ject, which began in 2017, remaining Jewish comincluded structural and munity this week praised architectural reinforcethe Egyptian government ment to the building, for its conscious efforts to plus the “meticulous” preserve Jewish history. restoration of facades “I’m very proud of and ornate walls as well what my country has as wood and copper done,” said Magda elements. In addition, Jews with Egyptian heritage visited the renovated Haroun, head of Cairo’s the synagogue has had Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in the city of Alexandria Jewish community, a new lighting and security speaking to Ha’aretz. system. “It symbolises Daniel Association, a charity working To celebrate completion of the work at Eliyahu Hanavi on the preservation of Jewish sites living together. Today, there is no difference between MusSynagogue, Jews of Egyptian her- in Egypt. Christians and Jews The synagogue, which traces its lims, itage from around the world flew in for a weekend organised by the Nebi construction to 1354, is one of only in Egypt.”

Iceland celebrates first permanent Torah There was dancing in the streets of Reykjavik this week as Iceland’s tiny Jewish community marked the first completion and inauguration of a Torah scroll in the island nation. The scroll, inscribed in part by community members, was paraded down Laugavegur, the capital’s main street, with celebrations continuing at the home of the US ambassador, who is Jewish. Until the May 2018 arrival of Rabbi Avi and Mushky Feldman of Chabad, Iceland had no full-time Jewish insti-

tutional presence, although temporary synagogues were set up during the Second World War by Jews fleeing Nazi Europe. “Until now we’ve been borrowing the Torah scroll we read every Shabbat morning,” said Feldman. “We’re very excited to finally have our own.” The scroll was donated by Uri Krauss of Zurich for his 50th birthday as he wanted it to have impact so began researching and came across Iceland’s infant community. His family were in Reykjavik to witness the occasion.


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

www.jewishnews.co.uk

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.

1146

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS

Doing deals over children’s safety News this week that Orthodox representatives sought a “quid pro quo” with Hackney Council over the safeguarding of boys in yeshivas ought to horrify all who read it. Yeshivas are not inspected, so no one has any idea what – if any – safeguarding measures are in place there. Yet up to 1,500 Jewish boys attend yeshivas in Hackney alone. When a special independent commission set up by the council approached the Orthodox leaders to help get yeshivas up to scratch, the initial reaction was positive. But two months later they backed off, saying they wanted something in return. What did they want? For yeshivas to be excused from the national curriculum, something Hackney couldn’t grant – even if it wanted to. It is nothing short of shocking that the safety of Jewish boys was used as a bargaining chip in a public policy dispute. This newspaper sides with no one willing to do that. What was it that Hackney wanted the yeshivas to do? Criminal record checks on all staff, safeguarding training, whistle-blowing procedures... Nothing that ought to worry any safe institution. In fact, everything it should already be doing. What can be done? Nothing. Why? Because no one has the power to close down these yeshivas. Why? Because they are not registered as schools, and nor do they need to be. Why? Because of the way “schools” are legally defined. It means that they fall down a legal black hole between the inspectorate, councils and the Department for Education – accountable to none. The ability of yeshivas not to play ball and not to feel any consequences on such a fundamental issue is a damning indictment on past governments, which may well have endangered the welfare of Orthodox boys potentially at risk in these closed, unregistered settings. This government must be better. It must act. Moreover, it must act now, and our community must support it. This includes defining “a school” as “any place designated as a school by the local authority”, so yeshivas have to register for inspections. It also includes legislation giving clear and unambiguous legal powers to local authorities to enter – and potentially close – unsafe and illegal settings. So far, however, this government’s response has been wholly inadequate, choosing only to throw money at the problem and “consult on frameworks”, as if it were a non-consulted framework that really posed the problem here. The Jewish community is rightfully proud of its education system (last week’s Jewish Schools Awards is testament to this), and the Orthodox community is rightly proud of its noble Torah traditions, but these have never, should never and will never come before a child’s safety. Let’s sort it.

THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 5.11pm

Shabbat goes out Saturday night 6.15pm

Sedra: Mishpatim

Send us your comments PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@thejngroup.com

Who’s the happy couple? I was scanning the photograph and slide collections of my late grandfather and amauter photographer Victor Sassoon, and I came across these wedding photos. I’m not entirely sure when or where they were taken, but I imagine it was the 1950s or earlier. I’d love it if the people whose wedding this was could see these images. Perhaps readers know who they are? I’m sure the family would be absolutely delighted to see them.

Harry Sassoon By email

Sketches & kvetches

IT’S DANGEROUS TO CRY WOLF One of your readers rightly pointed out that it was misleading to criticise the BBC for not mentioning Jews in one of its news bulletins on Holocaust Memorial Day when it had, in fact, dedicated time to the subject (Jewish News, 6 February 2020). I believe such criticism reflects on the overzealousness many of us have in crying “antisemitism”. A case in point – one of the approximately 15 articles in Jewish News last week about anti-

semitism was about an entry on a website and a mug that was for sale with this word. However, even a rudimentary glance at the website will show that most of its more than 10 million entries are offensive, and that with a click of the button any one of the entries can be printed on a mug. We must ensure we do not get obsessed with antisemitsm to the extent we trivialise it by constantly ‘crying wolf’.

Anthony Lewin By email

TOTTENHAM MUST BE RID OF YID “So, the Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle will have one streamlined team for both. Wouldn’t it be fun to try that with the Treasury and No.10?!”

I am appalled at Jewish supporters of Tottenham who think the term Yiddo is acceptable. It is not. I’ve

complained to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Rachelle Marks By email

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BEGUM DECISION BAD FOR US ALL The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) dismissed Shamima Begum’s appeal against the government’s decision to revoke her UK citizenship. This outcome must be of concern to all British-born Jews. The right of virtually anyone born in the UK to acquire British citizenship automatically has been radically eroded. The Secretary of State may now deprive anyone of British citizenship if they think they were responsible for acts seriously prejudicial to the national interest, and if they are further satisfied deprivation of British citizenship would not render the person stateless. In the case of British-born Ms Begum,

the government has argued that, because she is eligible to apply for Bangladeshi citizenship, she is not being left stateless. Every Jew here is eligible to apply for Israeli citizenship. This SIAC decision will put in jeopardy the UK citizenship birthright of British-born Jews, who must now accept their UK citizenship is second-class. Ms Begum left the UK voluntarily to join Islamic State in Syria. If the government believes she has perpetrated crimes, let her stand trial. But, for all our sakes, her status as a UK national must be upheld.

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Professor Geoffrey Alderman University of Buckingham

MP must recant on graves I have visited Alderney since I was three. My father lived there after retirement and family members are still part of the community. Recently, Matthew Offord MP called for the excavation of the graves of Second World War slave workers on Nazi-occupied Alderney, many of whom were Jewish and housed in the only concentration camp on British soil. But the excavation of Jewish graves goes completely against the rules and traditions

of the religion. He advocated for “the identification of bodies” – how is that possible without digging them up and how will they be identified? And who is to say Longis Common, where most of the victims are believed to have been buried, is not “a proper resting place”? Mr Offord must fully and unequivocally withdraw his words.

Matthew Diebel By email

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Mayoral Election 2020 BREAKFAST BRIEFINGS WITH MAYORAL CANDIDATES The elections for the Mayor of London take place in May. London Jewish Forum with the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies, Jewish News and JW3 are organising breakfast gatherings with each of the leading candidates. Before casting your vote, come and hear what the candidates plan for our city and have the opportunity to question them on your priorities.

Shaun Bailey AM, the Conservative Party candidate – 4th March | 8am | JW3 Sian Berry AM, the Green Party candidate – 11th March | 8am | JW3 Rory Stewart, the Independent candidate – 12th March | 8am | JW3 Siobhan Benita, the Liberal Democrat candidate – 17th March | 8am | JW3 Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party candidate – Date to be confirmed.

£10 with breakfast included. Book at https://www.jw3.org.uk/event/briefings-mayor-candidates

News JEWISH

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Opinion

Show the importance of saying ‘thank you’ RABBI DAVID MEYER CHIEF EXECUTIVE, PAJES

I

t started with a phone call. It was Justin Cohen from Jewish News with an idea for an awards event for Jewish schools. Coincidentally we had been discussing a very similar idea. We agreed to join forces, with Jewish News reaching the community and Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) working with schools and running the event. It is hard to believe that this was five years ago, and last week we celebrated our fifth and biggest Jewish Schools Awards. During this time we have recognised outstanding and inspiring staff, and celebrated talent, expertise and dedication and the achievements of teachers, staff and volunteers. The community is good at celebrating the outstanding achievements of our schools, as year on year they perform towards the top of the league tables. However, what we too often miss is that this excellence is only achieved

due to the tireless efforts of those working in schools. The Jewish School Awards is the opportunity for parents, grandparents, students and even colleagues to say thank you. Each year we ask for nominations in different categories at both primary and secondary levels. It is hard to express our excitement when nominations start pouring in. They are assessed, shortlisted, further references obtained and two panels of judges then select the finalists and the winners. The aura in JW3 in the first year of the awards was indescribable as the community gathered to celebrate our wonderful teachers. So successful were they that a generous benefactor passed a note to me and Jonathan Goldstein, at the time the chair of PaJeS, to say he would like to increase the prize money, ensuring every finalist received £1,000 and each winner £5,000. The funds were to be spent on projects in the school. Now, five years on, we have numerous initiatives, run by some of our most innovative and inspirational teachers, and inspiring our children in different ways. The awards would not have taken place

WE HAVE RECOGNISED INSPIRING STAFF AND TAUGHT CHILDREN AN IMPORTANT LESSON without the generous support of our sponsors and the exceptional generosity of the Emmes Foundation and the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust. In the second year, we had more than 350 nominations, double the first year. It was obvious that the awards were as important to the schools as they were to us, and important for boosting staff morale. This has become a fixture in the community’s calendar and, whereas at the first awards ceremony, the majority of nominations came from London schools, we were delighted that this year half the nominations came from northern schools. Last year, the PaJeS board decided that for the fifth year the event had to be even bigger and better. We decided to host a dinner and, thanks to the generosity of the Genesis Philan-

thropy Group, introduced a new competition, the PaJeS Pitch: students would have the opportunity to bid for funding for an original idea for their school, with the finalists pitching their ideas to a panel on the evening. The night exceeded our expectations. As one teacher said: “Thank you so much for an incredible evening that I and the children will never forget. It was truly a highlight of my 18 years in education.” It isn’t just the finalists who are recognised: each year we send certificates to every person nominated. It is wonderful to think that over the past five years PaJeS and Jewish News have helped to celebrate the achievements of hundreds of teachers. In so doing we have shown our children perhaps the most important lesson of all – the importance of saying thank you.

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Opinion

Party unelectable while under spell of the PSC LUKE AKEHURST

DIRECTOR, WE BELIEVE IN ISRAEL

B

izarre as it seems, the Jewish community may have reason to be cautiously optimistic about Labour’s leadership election. The “continuity Corbyn” candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey, trails Keir Starmer after the second stage of the contest, nominated by only 164 CLPs (Constituency Labour Parties) to his 374 and 72 for Lisa Nandy’s insurgent campaign. At the huge hustings meeting held by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) last week, Nandy wowed the crowd with her answers on antisemitism and whether she was a Zionist, helping her to win JLM’s nomination with 50.9 percent of the vote. Starmer gave solid answers, even if he was reticent to describe himself as a Zionist. But this week both Nandy, chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, and Long-Bailey signed three pledges by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

Starmer has yet to respond. The pledges read: • “To oppose any proposed solution for Palestinians, including Trump’s ‘deal’, not based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes. • To adhere to a consistent ethical UK trade policy, including in relation to Israel, in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and stopping any arms trade with Israel that is used in violation of the human rights of Palestinians. • To oppose the government’s proposed restrictive legislation regarding procurement and investment and, if passed, to promise a future Labour government would make it a priority to rescind laws which restrict the globally recognised rights to freedom of expression and association to campaign for ethical trade policies.” Prospective leaders of any major party shouldn’t have their stance on Israel and the Palestinians dictated by the PSC, which has never committed to a two-state solution or accepted Israel’s right to exist, leads the UK BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign, and has

failed to deal with antisemitism in its ranks. The first pledge undermines the concept of two states with a reference to a complete right of return. We know from its campaigning that PSC argues for the absolute right to live in Israel of all descendants of Palestinian refugees, about seven million people. This would mean Israel ceasing to exist as a Jewish state. There would be two Palestinian states, not two states for two peoples. The arms embargo would ban the export of British kit the Israel Defense Forces needs for counterterrorism and “trade policy … applying international law on settlements” is code for a boycott of goods from and companies operating in the settlements. In practice, this is a full boycott of major Israeli companies. Overturning the new anti-boycott laws

PSC HAS NO PLACE WRITING FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA OF UK PARTIES

means a free pass for councils and universities to alienate Jews by boycotting a country with which they feel an affinity. If Starmer or Nandy win, Labour will start to tackle antisemitism in a more determined way. But asking Labour just to quit being antisemitic, while giving it freedom to be as anti-Israel as it wants is both confused and defeatist. The wellspring from which much of its antisemitic poison was drawn was extreme forms of anti-Zionism that delegitimise and demonise Israel, and deny Jews their right to self-determination. Supporters of Israel should demand Labour’s new leadership doesn’t just tackle antisemitism, it needs to disassociate itself from overt antiZionists and reverse the policy changes Corbyn brought in and call for a return to the bipartisan support for Israel and the two-state solution. The PSC has no place writing the foreign policy agenda of any UK major party, its policy platform and its behaviour highlights how it is one of the root causes of the problem Labour has been grappling with for the past five years. As long as it continues to exert such a powerful influence, Labour will remain unelectable.

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20 February 2020 Jewish News

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23

Community / Scene & Be Seen

1TRIBAL GATHERING

United Synagogue’s Tribe educational team visited seven Jewish schools for Tu B’Shvat, teaching 800 children about the festival and the seven species of fruit. Rabbi Cobi Ebrahimoff, one of the Tribe rabbis, said: “Educating the next generation to appreciate and connect with the land of Israel is vital to developing and strengthening their Jewish identity.” He is pictured with Year 4 pupils at Wolfson Hillel Primary School, brandishing fruit kebabs.

And be seen! The latest news, pictures and social events from across the community

2 EXOTIC BUFFET

Email us at community@thejngroup.com

Residents, staff and volunteers celebrated the Tu B’Shvat at Jewish Care’s assisted living facility, Vi & John Rubens House in Ilford. They are pictured celebrating the holiday adorned with fruit crowns and facing a buffet of exotic fruit.

3 FRUITY HOLIDAY

Children at the Kisharon Tuffkid Nursery prepared fruit platters to celebrate the Tu B’Shvat. The younger children, pictured, were asked to bring fruit to the nursery to celebrate the Jewish holiday also known as Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot (new year of the trees).

4 RESORT MISSION

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Photo by Raffi Berg

The former Mossad commander, known as Dani, who led the operation to smuggle Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan in the 1980s using a fake holiday resort as cover spoke at Belmont United Synagogue about the fouryear mission. The story, which inspired the 2019 Netflix film Red Sea Diving Resort starring Chris Evans, has been told in the new book Red Sea Spies, by Belmont Synagogue member Raffi Berg, published earlier this month. The commander helped Berg work on the book and attended its launch in London. In his sell-out talk, Dani described how he stumbled across the abandoned resort while looking for suitable bays for the Israeli navy to land, and convinced the Sudanese to lease it to him, pretending he was the director of a tourism company. Berg, right, is pictured with Dani.


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Scene & Be Seen / Community

5 GIFT WORKSHOPS

6

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A dozen young volunteers from Berlin took part in GIFT’s supermarket challenge, which seeks to shine a light on the challenges of food poverty, and prepared sandwiches to donate to the homeless. Group leader Shimon Motsa said: “Our participants felt they had accomplished something beneficial for others.” Senior GIFT educator R’Zeidman said: “It is always a pleasure to showcase GIFT’s educational and volunteering initiatives and the effect on students, volunteers and community members.”

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6 SHOAH TESTIMONY

Holocaust survivor Steven Frank, 84, recounted his journey as a child from Amsterdam to the Czech Republic with Year 7 pupils at Immanuel College, and showed them his yellow star and the soup pot that kept him and his family alive. Frank survived multiple concentration camps as a child but lost his father at Auschwitz. He was recently photographed by the Duchess of Cambridge for Holocaust Memorial Day.

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7 MYISRAEL LAUNCH

Famous Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard performed mindreading tricks and predictions, wowing 400 Anglo-Israeli guests in Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Centre for the Israel launch of UK organisation Myisrael. The fundraising platform’s founder and CEO Danni Franks said: “Myisrael has raised more than £6 million and helped tens of thousands of people in Israel have a better life. There are so many causes that need our help to continue their vital work, so I hope by fundraising in Israel,

we will be able to support even more of them.”

8 ISRAEL OPS

Mill Hill Synagogue hosted some 200 university graduates looking for work, apprenticeship, study and volunteering opportunities in Israel, with 20 organisations taking part, including StandWithUs, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, UJIA and Masa Israel. Students heard from Israel Ambassador Mark Regev and UJIA’s chief executive Mandie Winston. “We are so proud to be able to show this generation the vast array of opportunities open to them in Israel,” said organiser Orli Lang, pictured with Regev and a group of Israeli shluchot.

9 PLUMEY FRIENDS

Nursery children at the Menorah Foundation learnt about the bird kingdom and got their hands on a variety of feathers brought in by Emily Ben-Ze’ev, who runs the interactive children’s workshops Emily’s Adventures in Wonderland. She visited the nursery with a range of hats inspired by the bird theme and 20 toy birds designed to mimic authentic bird calls. The workshop was inspired by the text of Parshat Beshalach.

10 ICY JOY

One hundred and fifty members of Woodside Park United Synagogue took over Alexandra Palace to put the “joy back into oy” at an ice skating event, organisers said. The day included a talk on the ice, frozen quizzes, a skating display and ice games. Pictured is Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch with his son Rafael and the Woodside Park teddy.

Your family announcements Sofie Rosenhead celebrated her batmitzvah at Barnet United Synagogue

Gavriel Busse celebrated his barmitzvah at Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation Photo by Paul Lang Photography

Photo by Paul Lang Photography

Photo by Paul Lang Photography

Elliot Poole celebrated his barmitzvah at North Western Reform Synagogue

Photo by Karen Zetter

Kai Lachs celebrated his barmitzvah at Cranbrook United Synagogue

Have you had a recent simcha? Send your picture to picturedesk@thejngroup.com


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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25

Television / Weekend

Revenge is theirs…

Francine Wolfisz hears from the cast and creator of new Nazi drama Hunters, a gruesome thriller starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman

A

fter the Second World War, the Allies identified a staggering 13.2 million men suspected of being Nazis – but only a tiny fraction ever paid the price for their war crimes. As thousands of Nazis disappeared into the night, some Holocaust survivors believed that justice had been evaded and dedicated the rest of their lives to tracking down fugitives across the world. But others turned vigilante, intent on wreaking murderous revenge on their former tormentors. It’s against this backdrop of real life events that proved the inspiration for Amazon Prime Video’s thrilling new series, Hunters, starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, which airs from Friday. Created by David Weil, the story is set in 1970s New York and revolves around Holocaust survivor Meyer Offerman (played by Pacino), who heads up a vigilante group of lock pickers, forgers, combat fighters and crime scene cleaners to hunt down Nazis living in their midst before they are able to bring about the Fourth Reich. Thrown into the mix is Jonah Heidelbaum (Lerman), who develops a bloodthirsty appetite for revenge following the unlawful death of his beloved grandmother, and Travis Leich (Greg Austin), a fanatical and sadistic young man dedicated to the fascist cause. At a launch event this month, Weil – who also serves as executive producer and showrunner explains that the series was a “love letter to my grandmother”, having been inspired by the stories she told him as a child. The Long Island native recalls: “My grandmother, Sarah, was a Holocaust survivor and when me and my brothers were young, she would tell us stories about her experiences in the camps. “Growing up and getting older, I struggled with that notion of birthright, legacy and responsibility. With so many survivors no longer with us, we are the next generation to tell this story in certain ways. “[This show] is an exploration of my birthright,

Clockwise from top left: a captured Nazi; the Hunters; Al Pacino as Meyer Offerman and Logan Lerman as Jonah Heidelbaum; and Greg Austin as neo-Nazi Travis Leich

this desire to wear that vigilante cape, to get justice, to shed light on hidden crimes and truths.” Weil adds that his grandmother’s wartime experiences conjured up a fight of good against evil, of heroes vanquishing their enemies more commonly seen in comic books, but which provided a starting point for his new drama. “That really became the lens through which I began to see the world,” he explains. “I just really wanted to see a Jewish superhero, represented by so many others in this eccentric, eclectic kind of way. So that was the genesis of it.” But as Weil knows, heroes are often flawed or conflicted and the characters in Hunters are no different. Lerman says he was attracted to the role for the “interesting arc” his character undergoes, while Pacino was equally happy to take on the “unpredictable” Meyer Offerman. “He is tricky, he has his own world,” says the 79-year-old Hollywood star. “His past is very interesting, very strange, without giving too much away, but there’s a lot to him. “When I first read the script, I thought this is something I think I can do, something I can get into, so I’ll try this.” For his role, Pacino had to wear a number tattoo on his arm, which the actor credited as helping him “become that person”. He tells me: “It was a

reminder, it contributed to all the aspects of the character you are playing and how you absorb a character.” Thoughtfully, Weil adds that they took “great pains” to ensure none of the tattoos worn by actors were the same as those forcibly given to real Jewish victims of the Holocaust. “We made sure the numbers depicted on screen were all above 202,499, which was the last recorded number. We wanted to treat all the victims of the Holocaust with great respect and not represent the tattoo of a person who actually existed and suffered.” While Hunters is fictional, there were small clusters of Jewish vigilantes operating in the post-war years, most notably Nakam, a group of 50 survivors led by Abba Kovner, whose mission was to indiscriminately kill six million Germans, or “a nation for a nation”. The series also reflects the real-life events of Operation Paperclip, a secret American programme in which more than 1,600 German rocket and space scientists and engineers were taken from Germany to work for the United States – despite many being former members or leaders of the Nazi party. And following a spate of antisemitic attacks in the United States, the inclusion of a storyline focused on American white supremacism couldn’t be more relevant: just weeks ago, the FBI reclassified neo-Nazis to the same threat level as Isis.  Hunters is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from Friday

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A look

Inside Competition: Win a place on the UK’s leading tech camp for children Film: Michael Morpurgo on his Holocaust story, Waiting For Anya Jews Got Talent: We profile the nine finalists starring in this weekend’s extravanganza


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Weekend / Film

‘Many looked the other way to save their skins’ Mathilde Frot speaks to Michael Morpurgo about his Holocaust story Waiting For Anya, which has been adapted into a film starring Anjelica Huston and Noah Schnapp

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uthor Michael Morpurgo (pictured, inset) believes his story about the war-time rescue of Jewish children in occupied France is “more relevant today” than 30 years ago when it was published. The acclaimed children’s author spoke to Jewish News ahead of tomorrow’s release of Waiting for Anya, which has been adapted for the big screen. Directed by Ben Cookson, the comingof-age drama stars Anjelica Huston, Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp and Thomas Kretschmann, alongside Jean Reno, Sadie Frost and Frederick Schmidt. The film depicts the true-life rescue of Jewish children disguised as shepherds, smuggled to safety across the Spanish border by the inhabitants of a small rural village in the Pyrenees in southern France, right under the noses of high-ranking Nazi officers. Morpurgo says he never thought when writing the novel 30 years ago that the themes it explores would become so prescient. “In a strange way, it’s more relevant now, and I never thought it would be,” says the 76-year-old author, who is known for his bestselling novel, War Horse. “Wherever we look today, we find a fear of others, a resentment, a suspicion and, of course, that can lead to hate.” The community portrayed in his story influenced the film-making process, says Morpurgo,

who described the experience of depicting the story on-screen as more immersive than it was with his book War Horse, which was turned into a film in 2011 by Steven Spielberg. Before making the film, which was shot on location in rural southern France, Cookson travelled to the area to speak to residents, some of whom had first-hand memories of life under occupation. “He did take the trouble to go there and talk to the people and live there for a month or so,” Morpurgo said. “You couldn’t plonk it somewhere else and call it a location.” “With War Horse, the war scenes were extraordinary, but I felt that quite a lot of the culture of the place, whether it was Devon or the battlefields of France, wasn’t nearly as convincingly portrayed for me,” he adds. The Holocaust, Morpurgo said, was at the forefront of his mind while writing the book as “history, just history from which you must learn”. But, he says, in the decades since it was published, “it’s almost like there has been some sort of cancer in the thinking of people, that this thing seems to rise and rise”, making an adaptation of the book more important than ever. Some young people today, the author warns, seem “unaware” of the Holocaust itself, its modern significance or, going further back, the pogroms that took place in medieval England. “I find eyebrows being raised,” he says. “I tell them to go back centuries and centuries

Thomas Kretschmann as a Nazi corporal with Noah Schnapp’s 13-year-old shepherd, Jo

to medieval England, to York. There was a massacre of Jewish people because they were Jews.” Sobering statistics flashing up on screen at the film’s end reveal that some 75,000 French Jews were deported to Nazi camps during the Second World War, evoking the extent of collaboration in the country under the Vichy regime. But in conveying the lessons of the Holocaust to younger readers, both the book and its “faithful” adaptation focus on the period’s heroes, rather than its collaborators – a decision Morpurgo openly admits. “Waiting for Anya doesn’t disguise this is where some of these Jewish people ended up,” he says. “I was telling a story about a small community that did gather around, and they existed.” “I chose to focus on the positive side,” says the author – whose 2018 book In the Mouth of the Wolf recounts how his uncle, a conscientious objector, came to fight with the French resistance. In spite of the story’s focus on heroes, it could offer important lessons to children about the complexity of human nature. “The most important thing is not to spend our time pulling the wool over their eyes,” Morpurgo says. Nowhere in the film is the moral ambiguity of the period starker than in its dramatic opening scene in which a Jewish father, Benjamin, is separated from his daughter, Anya, as they flee deportation. Benjamin, played by Schmidt, saves his daughter from near-certain death by carrying her through the open window of a commuter

Anjelica Huston plays Horcada, an elderly widow who helps smuggle Jewish children

train that had stopped on the opposite platform. The scene, not featured in the book, was inspired by a real railway station in Bobigny on the outskirts of Paris – where for a brief moment ordinary commuters apparently caught glimpses of Jews facing deportation. “Can you imagine coming the other way?” asks Morpurgo, adding: “Most people would have looked out the window and seen these trains. I wish they would have asked questions. “Some of them might have been antisemitic, but most weren’t – they just looked the other way to save their skins. “The collaboration or the resistance, or the saving of these people, happened in ordinary places in little houses hidden away, in little villages hidden away.”  Waiting for Anya (12A) is released in UK cinemas tomorrow (Friday)

From left: Jo grapples with difficult realities with his mother (played by Elsa Zylberstein), a Nazi corporal (Kretschmann) and Jean Reno as Jo’s grandfather, Henri


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Jews Got Talent / Weekend

Who will steal the shoW? Nine acts battle it out to be crowned Jews Got Talent champion

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SINGER Suzanne Noble

singing doctor, a comedian “old enough to know better” and a singer who began performing aged two are among the line-up for Sunday’s Jews Got Talent. Nine talented acts will show off their skills at the live finals this weekend in front of a panel of stellar judges, including music producer Harvey Goldsmith, who has worked with major artists including Queen, Elton John, U2, Madonna and The Rolling Stones, Geoff Posner, producer and director of TV hit series Little Britain and Come Fly With Me and impressionist Francine Lewis, a former Britain’s Got Talent finalist. Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer rounds off the judging panel at the event, hosted by writer Ivor Baddiel and presented by the Hebrew Order of David for Jewish Care.

So without further ado, let’s meet this year’s contestants for Jews Got Talent: SINGER Charlotte Kurash

Age: 16 School: JCoSS Do you belong to a shul? Barnet United Synagogue What makes your act different from others? I am a classical singer, not a pop artist. For how long have you been performing? 12 Years. What motivated you to audition for JGT? I have a Jewish mother! Do you think you can win? Yes, but performing in front of an audience is the best reward. What’s the big dream? To get a music degree and use my music to help and entertain others.

DRUMMER Joel Felsenstein

Age: 27 Occupation: Musician and drum tutor Do you belong to a shul? Borehamwood and Elstree United What makes your act different from others? You don’t see many drummers in talent shows, but it’s easy to learn. For how long have you been performing? 20 years. What motivated you to audition for JGT? I want to inspire others to learn the drums. Do you think you can win? If the audience enjoy it, that’s what empowers me to keep going. What’s the big dream? A professional musician in Hollywood.

SINGING COMEDIAN Rosalyn Miller

Age: 34 Occupation: GP Do you belong to a shul? Barnet United Synagogue What makes your act different from others? I have written an original comedy song and accompany myself on the piano. For how long have you been performing? Since I was a kid. What motivated you to audition? My mum told me to. Do you think you can win? I would love to, but mainly I hope people will enjoy my performance. What’s the big dream? I'm releasing my EP on Spotify. It would be amazing to hear my songs on the radio and do regular gigs.

DOUBLE TWIST DANCE COMPANY

Ages: 20 to 30 Occupations: Dancers and choreographers. What makes your act different from others? We tell a story through movement. How long have you been performing together for? The company was formed in 2013. Some of the dancers in this piece have been in the company since it started, and others are new. What motivated you to audition for Jews Got Talent? We wanted to find theatre opportunities and promote what we do. Do you think you can win? Yes – we tell a story through our bodies and believe we are the only act to do this. What’s the big dream? We would love to perform our ballet contemporary production in other top London theatres.

COMEDIAN Neil Ben

Age: Young enough to still have my own teeth, old enough to know better. I’ll be 57 at the final. School/Occupation: Yes, I went to school and I occupy myself. I also happen to be a BAFTA nominated producer and director. What makes your act different from others? I’m in it! For how long have you been performing for? I don’t feel I’m a performer. I just stand on stage chatting and telling stories to the audience and most of the time they laugh. What motivated you to audition for JGT? The Jewish community deserve to see my comedy. After all, they’re used to suffering. Do you think you can win? I certainly have a talent. What for I am not sure. But I’ll give it my best shot. What’s the big dream? I've written a romantic comedy feature film I hope to have produced. If anyone has a spare £5million to invest, it has the potential to make a massive difference in the world.

DANCER Francesca Vella

Age: 9 School: Frith Manor Primary School Do you belong to a shul? Mill Hill East Synagogue What makes your act different from others? I do my own choreography on all my dances. For how long have you been performing? Since I was three. What motivated you to audition for JGT? I thrive on challenge and my mummy made me audition! Do you think you can win? Absolutely. Miracles happen! What’s the big dream? Definitely Hollywood!

Age: 58 Occupation: Co-founder of social enterprise Advantages of Age What makes your act different from others? I perform jazz and a very particular style of blues from the 1920s to 1940s. For how long have you been performing? I was a session singer and performed with a band in my 20s. I returned to singing semi-professionally in 2018. What motivated you to audition for JGT? I thought it would be fun and make my parents proud. Do you think you can win? If I didn’t think I could win, I wouldn’t have auditioned. I hope everyone feels this way. What’s the big dream? I perform with my pianist George Webster. Our ambition is to get a booking agent and play bigger venues such as the Pheasantry, Crazy Coqs and the 606 Club.

SINGER Joel Brahams

Age: 11 School: JCoSS Do you belong to a shul? New North London Synagogue What makes your act different from others? I am told I sing with an unusual amount of emotion for a boy my age. I have been known to move adults to tears when they hear me sing. For how long have you been performing? Since I was two. I started singing ballads when I was three and remember singing Rolling in the Deep by Adele. What motivated you to audition for JGT? I thought it could boost my career in the Jewish community. Do you think you can win? Yes, because there are not that many boys my age singing songs of my musical genre. What’s the big dream? Absolutely Hollywood! I am aiming for the top. I will know I have done what I set out to do when my picture is on the walls of L’Artista in Golders Green.

COMEDIANS Helen Abrahami (left) and Linda Josephs

Age: Linda is 69 and Helen is 68… although we act as 35-year-olds! Occupation: Linda is a marketing and sales whizz and Helen is a secretary and personal assistant. Do you belong to a shul? Edgware United Synagogue. What makes your act different from others? Our act is very comic and taps into reality, which people can associate with. We manage to complement each other and is excellent for its timing and content, with Helen’s knack to choreograph and direct. For how long have you been performing? We have performed together over the years and are members of Grosvenor Players, performing murder mysteries at Edgware, Yeshurun and Kenton shuls. Do you think you can win? We work very well together and think we could just win. What’s the big dream? To be on the stage and act. Hollywood would be nice, because as Brits we would be appreciated there for true English comedy, being able to do almost any accent or character.


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Weekend / Disability awareness

MAKING SENSE OF DISABILITY Francine Wolfisz on how British Friends of Aleh is helping educate youngsters during Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month nside the hall at Akiva School, a group of 28 pupils meticulously pick up cotton wool balls from a bowl with a spoon and move them to another bowl on their heads. That would be challenge enough for most dextrous seven-year-olds, but today they are facing the added obstacle of having to do it blindfolded, as part of a creative workshop about what it feels like to live with a disability. Some children laugh as the balls miss

I

The winning poster for JDAIM designed at an inclusion project

their intended target, some just keep going before giving up, while others reach a point of frustration and pull away their blindfolds. “It must be really hard not being able to see,” concludes Betsy. “I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t do it,” admits Oliver, but it was Sophia who perhaps made the most poignant observation. “I didn’t feel included, because I couldn’t

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British Friends of Aleh director Liron Rosiner Reshef oversees the cotton wool ball challenge

see what was happening around me,” she tells me. The session is just one of several creative activities organised by British Friends of Aleh for its campaigning Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), which runs until the end of February. Earlier this month, teenagers from Project ImpACT teamed up with service users from Kisharon to design campaign posters for JDAIM, and inclusive tea parties were held throughout the community. Next week, the Jewish Learning Exchange will host a sensory dinner for young professionals. Still a relatively new concept, JDAIM was launched in the UK last year as a way of encouraging communal organisations to spread greater awareness about disability and inclusion. This year, British Friends of Aleh, which supports one of Israel’s largest providers of residential care for disabled children and young adults, is focused on taking out that message to schools and youth groups as a way of educating young people and celebrating diversity. On the day of my visit to Akiva School in Finchley, British Friends of Aleh director, Liron Rosiner Reshef, is leading a workshop for Year 3 students, which, apart from the cotton wool ball challenge, features short clips from the 2017 film Wonder, about a boy born with facial deformities, and an advert for the Paralympics. Both prove inspirational talking points for the workshop, devised from the charity’s new education programme, Bechinuch, which aims to “create a more caring world”. The programme is an offshoot of Aleh’s Tikkun Olam programme in Israel, which, since 2016, has educated young people about inclusivity and inspired more than 100,000

students to become disability advocates. Liron is pleased by the youngsters’ responses to her workshop. “I felt inspired,” she says. “I’m optiYear 3 students at Akiva School took part in the workshop

mistic for the future and that the next generation will know about these things.” She adds: “JDAIM is about bringing this issue into our minds and thinking about the most vulnerable in our community. We are all aware that it is challenging to have a disability, but how many of us stop to think about how it feels? “How many of us reflect on the lessons we ourselves can learn from people with disabilities, about their persistence, their creativity in solving problems, their resilience? Through education, we can help to change perceptions about disability and, in that way, change society.”  To find out more about the British Friends of Aleh, visit aleh.org.uk, email liron@aleh.org.uk or call 07426 317496


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Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA Mishpatim and Shekalim BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL This week’s reading introduces a comprehensive civil code for the Israelites and outlines all the Jewish festivals. It contains laws intended to protect the rights of ordinary citizens, including slaves, the personal safety of parents, victims of attack and kidnap and injured parties emerging from a fight. Animals must be controlled by their owners and potholes must be fenced off or covered. Everyone has a right to protect their property, even if it means fatally wounding a robber who comes under cover of darkness. Premarital sex obligates the man to seek a (consensual) marriage with the woman concerned. Witchcraft and bestiality are prohibited. The most serious offence in the week’s listings seems to be reserved for one who oppresses the convert. One should respect public officials, and agricultural workers should neither delay tithes nor trade non-kosher carcasses for human consumption, but feed them to the dogs. There is a warning against peddling gossip and collaborating with false witnesses. Decisions should be made

by majority vote, but the impoverished should not be unduly favoured in a dispute. Lost animals should be returned, while overburdened animals should be assisted by the passer-by. The reading ends with a promise God will send his angel to guide Israel. God warns the Israelites to complete their conquest, to avoid trouble later. Moses is ordered by God to erect 12 stones, on which the codified laws are inscribed. A celebration ensues, and the participants enjoy a vision of God on his heavenly throne. Moses then ascends the mountain to collect two tablets and spends 40 days and nights there. The added reading of Shekalim is one of four approaching Pesach. The half-shekel donation to Templar funds was used to maintain the building. Today, the custom to collect coins worth half the value of the unit of national currency is carried out on the eve of Purim during the Mincha prayer.

 Rabbi Ariel Abel CF serves Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation and is padre to Merseyside Army Cadet Force

Torah For Today What does the Torah say about: Caroline Flack BY RABBI ZVI SOLOMONS Life and death are in the power of the tongue. The Midrash tells us of the various parts of the body arguing over which is more potent. The hands talk about their fine deeds, the legs about their running. The tongue bides its time. The owner of these organs is on a mission to find the milk of a lioness to cure a Persian prince. The tongue speaks up on presenting the milk to the king, saying “here is the milk of the bitch you wanted”. Immediately the man is sentenced to death, but the tongue says: “In my country a lioness is sometimes referred to as a bitch,” thus saving all the limbs. With the internet, words are ever more dangerous. I refer to words written in haste without any malign intent and then picked on, the incessant bullying of Twitter and the tabloid echo chamber. Most people do not analyse minor actions or throwaway comments, but as Marie Antoinette found out to her

great loss, they can be twisted, sometimes with fatal consequences. Unkind words have a severe effect. Our ancestor Yehuda could have been embarrassed by his daughter-in-law Tamar, when she was discovered to be pregnant – by him. She does not mention the culprit, and he saves face. The Talmud says one should rather die than embarrass someone. The prophetess Miriam is punished when she speaks about Moses’ relationship with Tzipporah and gets leprosy for her ill speech. The recent case of Caroline Flack

(pictured), who took her own life after she was trolled online while awaiting trial for assault, is a sad example of what happens when prosecuting authorities are overzealous. Sensitivity is vital. The balance between fair comment, which is of public interest, and salacious persecution, is what makes the difference. In Ms Flack’s case, the main prosecution witness withdrew his complaint. It could have ended there, with less serious consequences. Once the words and information are out there, they cannot be taken back. In today’s internet-obsessed world this is more the case than ever. We can only hope that those like Ms Flack, who suffer the most from this plague, find peace and shelter with God from their terror, despite their desperate and tragic response.  Rabbi Zvi Solomons serves JCoB, the independent Orthodox community in Reading, Berkshire

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Progressive Judaism

Progressively Speaking

The Bible Says What? ‘Moses needed to hold up his hands to win a battle’

Jamaican deportations are unkind and unfair BY RABBI IGOR ZINKOV

BY RABBI DEBBIE YOUNG-SOMERS In Exodus, we read: “Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. Whenever he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” It’s almost a comic book image – Moses holds up his arms, and the Israelites begin to defeat the Amalekites. When he lowers them, the Amalekites begin to prevail. You’d think if miracles were to be done, they wouldn’t necessarily require a man to really feel the burn of an arm workout so challenging he ends up with two supporters, each supporting an arm. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Moses’ heroic (if at times troubled) leadership. An exhausted man on the edge of the battlefield with allies holding up his arms so the fighters below aren’t defeated. I wonder what this looked like to the Israelites themselves? Might they have considered it a weakness on Moses part? Or was this an important opportunity for the Hebrews to learn that with

freedom comes responsibility for sharing the burdens of leadership? In Yitro, the portion following this account, we hear about Moses struggling to manage the day-to-day tasks of running and managing the business of the 12 tribes, and his father-in-law, Jethro, becomes our first recorded management consultant, encouraging him to let others help. While God could have directed the battle without the public image of an exhausted Moses having his arms held aloft by Aaron and Hur, perhaps it was important for both Moses and the Hebrews to learn we all sometimes need a little help from our friends, no one is an island, and great victories are rarely won alone. Who has been there to hold up your arms when you needed it? And could you be holding someone’s arms up in the coming week?

◆ Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers is community educator at Reform Judaism

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What is the most difficult principle of Judaism? In my view, it is holding the belief that the same God is simultaneously just and merciful, punishing and forgiving, strict and kind. We have to grapple with the idea that the ultimate justice is when every transgression is followed by appropriate punishment, yet the ultimate mercy is when every sinner is given a chance to repent. This struggle is expressed in the core Jewish prayer: “Hear, O Israel, the Eternal One (Adonai) is our God (Eloheinu), the Eternal God is One.” In Judaism, there are many names for God. The most common names are Elohim and YHVH (pronounced as ‘Adonai’). Elohim is the God of justice: behave well, and God will reward you; cross the line, and God will punish you. When the Torah refers to God as Adonai, God is often demonstrating kindness and forgiveness. Therefore, the Shema can be

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understood in the following way: Hear, O Israel, God is both kind and just. Judaism teaches us that justice is not the only criteria for a fair and good society. Perhaps there are two questions we should ask ourselves before we make a decision: is it a just decision? Is it a kind decision? When I read about the deportation flight to Jamaica, I asked myself these questions. Was it a just decision? Perhaps. Was it a kind decision? Unfortunately not. Many of those people arrived in the UK as children and do not have

any connection with Jamaica. They have families in the UK, some even served in the British army, and all of their life is here. This deportation is arguably just in formality, but surely not kind in essence. As a Jew, I cannot be indifferent to the unfair treatment of the vulnerable. As a Jew, I am commanded to pursue justice and believe in teshuvah (repentance). I cannot look at this decision without remembering the verse: “A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). This was the beginning of the story of enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt. Rashi points out it could be understood it was the same king, but he made new edicts. In other words, where there is will there is a solution. As a Jew, I believe the world should not only be just, but kind and compassionate too. ◆ Rabbi Igor Zinkov is part of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue rabbinic team


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20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Delivery solutions / Business

candicekrieger@googlemail.com

With Candice Krieger

POSTHASTE! THE FUTURE OF PARCEL DELIVERY

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Picture the scene: a network of underground tunnels ferrying millions of parcels across the UK at high speed using magnetic motors. It might seem like a glimpse into the future, but such a vision could soon be a reality thanks to a groundbreaking British start-up, writes Candice Krieger

Tech4Good

ounded by entrepreneurs Phill Davies and Rupert Cruise, Magway is a delivery system designed to transport people’s online orders through a network of pipes, combating congestion and pollution, using linear motor technology. “It’s an absolute game changer,” says Davies, who has more than 25 years of experience in retail and technology. “We are at a point where the current infrastructure can’t cope with the amount of deliveries. The biggest challenges are air quality, road safety, congestion and road maintenance, and we can help with all of these.” Launched in 2017, the company has received close to £3 million in private and grant funding, including more than £2.5m from Innovate UK, the government’s technology innovation accelerator. Magway’s Innovate UK project consortium partners comprise Ocado, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, Space Syntax, Force Engineering and TRL. The entrepreneurs are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the development of a full commercial pilot. Initially, Magway will provide short freight delivery routes travelling in and out of major airport hubs and theme parks, but the plan is to install longer routes of up to 100km that will form a network of delivery pipes, each one 0.9 metres in diameter, connecting the UK. “At scale, we think we can remove more than one third of emissions from freight off UK roads – that’s six million tonnes of carbon dioxide,” says Davies, a Muswell Hill Synagogue member who is married to BBC News presenter Samantha Simmonds. Magway has the capacity to transport two lorry loads per minute, and send 72,000 parcels an hour or 12 million per year through each pipe in each direction securely and efficiently. Manchester-born Davies has always had an entrepreneurial flare. At university, he had a business selling inflatables at football grounds. “I used to stand outside Maine Road selling inflatable bananas.” But, “to appease his parents”, he qualified with Deloitte and worked in strategy consulting, and also at Lehman Brothers as a vice president European IT services equity research analyst. He is active in the start-up space helping various companies including LOVESPACE and RotaGeek with their commercial roll-outs. Cruise, a member of New London Synagogue, is one of the world’s pre-eminent experts on linear motors. He has worked on illustrious tech engineer Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project, and designed linear motor systems for US navy aircraft carriers. After almost seven years in academia as a researcher and lecturer at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, the engineer

completed an MBA at Oxford University. He is married to Gila, who works for Investec. The men met about seven years ago on an entrepreneur’s programme run by the Saïd Business School and Goldman Sachs. Davies recalls: “About three and a half years ago we started talking about the changing habits of online ordering.” The “light-bulb moment” came when Davies ordered three identical products at the same time. He received them on different days and ended up sending two of them back. “I was working for a business doing online returns so, again, I saw this explosion of goods going back and experienced it myself.” By 2021, roughly 93 percent of UK internet users are expected to shop online – the highest online shopping penetration rate in Europe, says Statista. “We thought: ‘Ok, we think the hyperloop space is cool and we love it, but it’s about 15 or 20 years away, how can we address this now?’” Magway’s system uses magnetic motors, powered by electricity, to shuttle pods filled with goods through pipes above and below ground. Davies explains: “We are using an electromagnetic force. We have a powered rail and we create a magnetic wave across the rail. There are permanent magnets mounted on our carriages and it repels them along the route. That means there are no moving parts in the drive train. Our solution means we have very low maintenance and operating costs. We have effectively taken the driver, engine and fuel out of the carriage.” There are no batteries and it sounds like something from a film. “The Jetsons and Star Trek comes up a lot in meetings. One of the biggest challenges is that people hear it and think ‘wow’. They get the problem and understand the need for a solution, but we are having to convince people this is the here and now and we can deliver it today and affordably. You only need to look in any newspapers to read about the environmental challenges we are facing.” Magway has generated much international interest and was the winner of the New Civil Engineer’s Visionary Airports award, a finalist in the Heathrow Innovation Competition, named as one of Top 100 Global Start-ups by Singapore Government Slingshot, Michelin Movin’ On Competition, and Slaughter and May’s Fast Forward Competition. Davies acknowledges it’s quite an unusual venture for two Jewish entrepreneurs. “Yeh, and I don’t think the Wright Brothers were Jewish, although I’m sure if you went back far enough you might find some link. The Wrightovitches…” he jokes. But they might soon have something in common. “We think it’s the equivalent to the Wright Brothers or the introduction of mobile phones,” says Davies. “It happens in a generation where you have a new mode of transport or a new technology being introduced and we are doing it, sitting in a fairly small warehouse in Wembley. It is genuinely that exciting.” www.magway.com

Magway’s plan is to install longer routes that will form a network of delivery pipes to connect the UK


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Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Ask our Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Caring for people who are ill or dying, buying an electric car and dealing with hearing loss POLLY LANDSBERG PALLIATIVE CARE MANAGER

SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES

Dear Polly How do we start conversations about living well until we die? Emma Dear Emma When things haven’t been right for a while, it’s good to start to talk about feelings, plans and the future. Illness can sometimes seem to change everything, causing us to reflect on what is important. Caring for those nearest to us with love, respect and dignity helps people cope, especially when we listen attentively. People feel very relieved when innermost thoughts are

ADAM SHELLEY ACCOUNTANT

SOBELL RHODES LLP Dear Adam I'm a business owner and have been thinking about purchasing a new car. I have heard it may be tax efficient to consider an electric car and I like the look of a Tesla. Is this an option for directors and employees? Caroline Dear Caroline Directors and employees are

taxable on a benefit in kind when they are provided with a car available for private use by their employer. The benefit is calculated as a proportion, based on the emissions, of the list price of the car, which currently ranges from 16 percent for low emissions cars to 37 percent for the most polluting. From April, all electric cars have a 0 percent benefit, therefore no company car tax is charged in the 2020/2021

expressed and even recorded. Speaking openly can give peace of mind, reduce emotional burdens and reassure others close by. Being open about illness or dying and facing whatever comes together, may make situations easier to cope with. The person at the centre of the conversation can give instruction on how and where they would like to be cared for and nominate someone to help make decisions for them. This enables the person’s inner life to be preserved, preventing misunderstandings and puts the person very firmly in the ‘driving seat’ of their own life. We specialise in caring for people – assisting people and families to start conversations about the future. We understand what each person wants, so they can get on living day-today as normally as possible. SweetTree helps you live well to the end of life by adding ‘life to your days’. Visit www.sweettree.co.uk.

SMS ISRAEL AD 100X84.qxp_Layout 1 01/06/2017 11:58 Page 1

financial year. This rises to one percent in 2021/2022 and is capped at two percent from 2022/2023 onwards. As a comparison, for 2020/21, on an electric car costing £40,000 a higher rate taxpayer would pay no personal tax on the benefit, compared with a liability of £5,600 for a petrol car with emissions of 150g/km. In addition, the employer pays National Insurance contributions on the car benefit, so would pay nothing for the electric car and £1,932 for the petrol car. Electric cars have the added benefit of no road fund licence and exemption from the congestion charge in London. Therefore, an electric car can be very tax efficient.

You need to be assessed as to whether this is temporary, from an infection, or a wax build up for example. Or is it that you have a noise-related hearing loss, or the type that comes to most of us, with age? The audiologist may suggest a hearing aid(s). These, and/or other pieces of technology can help. In our Technology and Information Centre at the JDA in North Finchley, we have a room full of equipment that you can try out and discuss with us before you consider buying. We have numerous styles of amplified phones on display, and our friendly, professionally trained staff can advise you about the many apps available. If you are struggling to hear the TV or one-to-one conversations, we can show

SUE CIPIN CHIEF EXECUTIVE

JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION Dear Sue I've finally admitted to myself that, although I’m only in my early 40s, I've a hearing loss. What advice could you give me please? Elliot Dear Elliot The short answer is, loads! First, see your GP and request a referral to an audiologist.

Moving to Israel? Stephen Morris now moves more families than any other relocation company from the UK to Israel each year and has done so for more than 40 years. Our service is fully inclusive and door to door. Call us on 020 8832 2222 to discuss your move with Stephen personally or to arrange a free, no obligation survey and quotation for your move. Stephen Morris Shipping Ltd. Unit 9, Ockham Drive, Greenford Park, Greenford. UB6 0FD UK.

T: +44(0)20 8832 2222 E: info@shipsms.co.uk W: www.shipsms.co.uk

you some great equipment to make life easier. Doorbells with improved volume or visual displays are also available. Do you have difficulties hearing your wake up alarm? We have clocks with extra loud ringers, at different tones (depending on your type of hearing loss). Or a clock that has a very bright light in lieu of volume, or clocks that have a small vibrating pad that fixes under your pillow to ‘shake’ you awake. Our advisors can help you contact the publically funded Access to Work scheme, where financial help can be given to working people with a hearing loss. Please contact us for a free appointment – we can help!


34

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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST

JEWELLER

TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing director, consultants in affordable family and corporate health insurance. • Specialise in maximising cover, lowering premiums and pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • Board member UK International Health Management Ass • LLB, solicitor finals, FCA Regulated 773729.

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.

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

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

DIRECTOR OF LEGACIES

DENTIST

DYSLEXIA PRACTITIONER SARAH BENARROCH Qualifications: • Director of Literacy Specialist Ltd, educational services for children with literacy difficulties and dyslexia. • MA in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia), APC, British Dyslexia Association, PATOSS, 20 years’ experience in child education and development. • Full diagnostic assessments and reports for dyslexia. • Primary-age tuition in reading, writing and spelling.

LITERACY SPECIALIST LTD 07940 576 286 sarah@literacyspecialist.co.uk

ISRAELI LAWYER

CAROLYN ADDLEMAN Qualifications: Lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience in will drafting and trust and estate administration, eight years at KKL Executor and Trustee Company. Keeps in close contact with clients to ensure all legal and pastoral needs are cared for. Member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional Clinical Services Advisor for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Member of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners RCS England. GDC registered 212542.

ELI ROSENBERG Qualifications: • All aspects of Israeli law. Specialising in property law, property tax, inheritance law and dispute management. • Third generation lawyer from Israeli firm established in Israel in 1975. • Authorised and regulated by the Israeli Bar Association and Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel, with teams in Tel Aviv and London.

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

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

ROSENBERG & ASSOCIATES 0203 994 2278 www.israeli-lawyer.co.uk eli@israeli-lawyer.co.uk

• •

TELECOMS SPECIALIST

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

MAXI ROSE Qualifications: • MD at RCUK since 1999. Grown the business into three substantial UK branchesserving clients worldwide – USA, Europe & Middle East. • Telecoms specialist in business & consumer mobile solutions, landline and broadband services and Ofcom Telecoms registered reseller. • Successfully established the RCUK International Travel

DR BEV JACOBSON Qualifications: • Able to draw on the expertise of Norwood’s professional staff team, including social workers, educational psychologists, behavioural specialists, speech and language and occupational therapists, teachers, psychologists, benefit advisors and psychotherapists. • Expertise in services available for children and their families and young people with special educational needs and adults with learning disabilities and autism.

SUE CIPIN Qualifications: • 18 years’ hands-on experience, leading JDA in significant growth and development. • Deep understanding of the impact of deafness on people at all stages of life, and their families. • Practical and emotional support for families of deaf children. • Extensive services for people affected by hearing loss/tinnitus.

RCUK 020 8815 4115 www.rcuk.com Maxi@RCUK.com

NORWOOD 020 8809 8809 www.norwood.org.uk bev.jacobson@norwood.org.uk

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

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@thejngroup.com

Thinking about ALIYAH? Contact the Jewish Agency for Israel certified by the Israeli government to facilitate Aliyah!

0-800-051-8227 | 020-8371-5250 | gci-en@jafi.org

TRAVEL AGENT

CRIMINAL DEFENCE SOLICITOR

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.

CARL WOOLF Qualifications: • 20+ years experience as a criminal defence solicitor and higher court advocate. • Specialising in all aspects of criminal law including murder, drug offences, fraud and money laundering, offences of violence, sexual offences and all aspects of road traffic law. • Visiting associate professor at Brunel University.

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

NOBLE SOLICITORS 01582 544 370 carl.woolf@noblesolicitors.co.uk

REMOVALS MANAGING DIRECTOR

PRINCIPAL, PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL

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 10 years ago.

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

DANCING WITH LOUISE 020 8203 5242 www.dancingwithlouise.co.uk louise@dancingwithlouise.co.uk


20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

ACCOUNTANT

IT SPECIALIST

PROPERTY DEVELOPER

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.

JOE GRIFFIN Qualifications: • More than 13 years’ experience in the construction and property industry, with a specialism in high-end residential and commercial property • Negotiation of site acquisitions and property deals; design and planning strategies • Focus on niche market purchasing airspace above commercial and residential blocks to create additional stories of accommodation and penthouse apartments.

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.

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

LONDON PENTHOUSE 020 7665 9604 www.londonpenthouse.com info@lphvgroup.com

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

INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST

SOCIAL WORKER

INSURANCE CONSULTANCY

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.

CAROLYN COHEN Qualifications: • Supports couples dealing with infertility and reproductive health. • Strictly confidential helpline. • Specialist medical support and information. • Counselling for individuals and couples and educational events. • Expert medical advisory panel.

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.

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

CHANA 020 8203 8455 Helpline: 020 8201 5774 / 020 8800 0018 www.chana.org.uk info@chana.org.uk

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

ISRAELI ACCOUNTANT

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

ALIYAH ADVISER

HARRISON GALGUT Qualifications: • Experienced wedding and event photographer. • Specialism in portraits and light management. • BSc(Hons), BTEC music tech, specialising in film, and member of Royal Photographic Society.

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.

EDIT6 07962599154 www.edit6.co.uk harrison@edit6.co.uk

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

CAREER ADVISER

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.

CLAIRE STRAUS Qualifications: • Free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Practical support, workshops and networking opportunities to maximise prospects. • Career coach with MSc in career management and coaching with a background in human resources and general management and experience of private, public and voluntary sectors.

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

DIVORCE & FAMILY SOLICITOR

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@thejngroup.com

Quote New20

20% off new private dental patient check-up*

PALLIATIVE CARE MANAGER

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, adoption, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.

POLLY LANDSBERG Qualifications: • Polly has worked in health and social care for over 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

Book before 31/03/2020

01923 889 520 DUK03782 v1 | Dec19

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!

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

PHOTOGRAPHER

The Gingerbread Centre, Black Lion Hill, Radlett, WD7 9DE health@gingerbreadhealth.co.uk *Terms and conditions: 1. Offer only available at Gingerbread House Dental and Health Centre to new private patients who book and attend a consultation between 06/12/2019 and 31/03/2020 inclusive. 2. Discount is made to the full price of a private check-up. 3. The full price of a private check-up is £90. 4. Appointments subject to availability. 5. Patients must be 18 years of age or over. 6. One offer per eligible patient. 7. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. 8. Offer may be withdrawn or amended at any time. 9. No cash alternative is available. 10. Patients must quote ‘New20’ at the time of booking. Gingerbread House Dental and Health Centre is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales no: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

WWW.BANDCSECURITYSERVICES.CO.UK | PHIL@BANDCSECURITYSERVICES.CO.UK

www.jewishnews.co.uk


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20 February 2020 Jewish News

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Win a child’s tech course / Fun, games and prizes

WIN A PLACE AT THE UK’S LEADING TECH CAMP FOR KIDS, WORTH £550! Jewish News and Fire Tech, the UK’s leading tech camp for children aged nine-to-17 have teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a place on their April camp in north London, worth £550! Fire Tech’s mission is to give young people the tools and inspiration to become the tech creators, makers and leaders of the future. For any parents who would like their child to have fun with cuttingedge technology and develop the skills they need to take the digital world by storm, then this is the camp for you! Fire Tech has delivered more than 16,000 learning experiences to young people across the world.

There are courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, Hollywood special effects, python coding, digital photography and more. The courses last for five days and are taught in small class sizes (8:1) by a top-notch team of tutors from the UK’s best universities. One winner will receive a free spot at Fire Tech’s April camp hosted at South Hampstead High School, which runs between 30 March to 10 April and is worth £550!

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING, ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: Fire Tech offers courses in: A. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and Hollywood special effects

C. All the above and more

 For more details, visit www.Fire-Tech.com, @firetechcamp on social media or call 020 3950 7310

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SUDOKU SUDOKU

13 Large coniferous tree (5)

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17 Variable (7)

9

19 Furnish with weapons (3) 20 Long garment (4)

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21 Full of bubbles (6)

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DOWN 13

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1 Horrify, dismay (5)

2 Second‑hand tyre (7)

3 Fish, or bird’s position (5) 17

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5 Make of cooker (3)

6 Fleshy, muscular (5)

7 Far from brand‑new (4)

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13 Transparent (5) 1 Curt (6)

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

12 Surgical addition (7)

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ACROSS

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

15 Data entry (5)

7 8

Closing date 12 March 2020

9 Declare afresh (7)

4 Paint roughly (4)

10 Bloodsucking worm (5)

8 Touch lightly (3)

11 Char, cleaner (5)

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

14 Long‑tailed rodents (4) 15 Meet with (5)

Last issue’s solutions Crossword

Sudoku

ACROSS: 1 Payee 4 Awful 7 Rematch 8 Ass 9 Age 11 Rasher 14 Really 17 Par 19 Use 20 Elderly 22 Sit‑in 23 Livid

16 Childish word for ‘stomach’ (5) 18 Burgle (3) See next issue for puzzle solutions.

6 7 2 4 9 DOWN: 1 Portal 2 Yam 3 Enter 8 4 Ashes 5 Flare‑up 6 Last 1 10 Element 12 All 13 Frayed 5 15 Lie‑in 16 Yodel 18 Ours 21 Rev 3

9 5 8 3 1 6 7 2 4

3 1 4 2 5 7 9 8 6

2 3 5 6 7 1 4 9 8

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5 2 1 7 6 3 8 4 9

8 9 7 1 2 4 6 3 5

20/02

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

By Paul Solomons

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jewishnews.co.uk

B. Python coding and digital photography

THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD THE JewishNews CROSSWORD 1

ENTER ONLINE:

One winner will receive a free spot at Fire Tech’s April camp hosted at South Hampstead High School, which runs between 30 March to 10 April 10 and is worth £550. Prize is as stated, not transferable or 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, agents or anyone professionally connected to the promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 12 March 2020


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Jewish News 20 February 2020

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016

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BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY

Top prices paid

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

Carer

Clothing

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Top prices paid

All quality furniture bought & sold.

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Sheltered Accommodation

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18/03/2019 12:50:51

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20 February 2020 Jewish News

www.jewishnews.co.uk

39

Business Services Directory COMPUTER

SILVER

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07/04/2017 14:47

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WASTE REMOVAL


40 Jewish News

www.jewishnews.co.uk

20 February 2020

THE UK JEWISH COMMUNITY NATIONAL HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION

MONDAY EVENING, ALSO MARKING THE LIBERATION OF 20TH APRIL 2020 DOORS OPEN AND EXHIBITION 6:00PM BERGEN BELSEN CEREMONY 7:15PM PROMPT BY THE BRITISH ALLIANZ PARK, ARMED FORCES BARNET COPTHALL STADIUM, NW4

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IN 2015, 5,000 PEOPLE PLEDGED TO REMEMBER

NOW WE HONOUR THAT PLEDGE

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