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Extraordinary Care from Extraordinary People


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Jewish News 22 May 2020

5 a 6p n d ag FR e EE s

Prime movers Our Forty Under 40 continues, with numbers 30 to 21 Page 18

Extraordinary Care from Extraordinary People


28 Iyar 5780

Issue No.1159


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Changing minds

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

News / Organ donation law / Community statistics / Google doodle

New provision for donors The Chief Rabbi and Board of Deputies have welcomed a caveat to the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act, which came into effect this week, writes Jenni Frazer. The addition to the Act, which changes the system of organ donation in England from ‘opt-in’ to ‘optout’, means that halachic considerations will be taken into account and families will always be consulted. The shift from ‘opt-in’, where people had to register their willingness to donate their organs after death, was made in order to improve the level of organ transplants. ‘Optout’ essentially means that – with three exceptions – a person will be assumed to have agreed to donation, if they are medically eligible. The exceptions are under-18s, those who lack the capacity to understand the change, and people who have lived in England for less than 12 months, or who are not living here voluntarily. Because Jewish law on organ donation is complex, and its interpretation can differ from rabbi to rabbi, the Office of the Chief Rabbi and the Board of Deputies have been in close consultation for more than two years with NHSBT (National Health Service Blood and Trans-

plants). Now, a groundbreaking, cross-community arrangement has been agreed, whereby a person will be able to register, to declare that their faith is important to them, and that they are Jewish. A specially trained nurse will then speak to the deceased’s family and ask for a designated religious authority to advise whether donation can take place. The system is not yet up and running because of the coronavirus pandemic, but when it begins, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will be among those saying that should the question of organ donation arise with him, he will ask for halachic advice to be sought. The new proviso will cover all parts of the Jewish community, from the strictly Orthodox to the Liberal movement. Other faith groups will also be able to benefit from the arrangement. In a letter to the Jewish community, Professor John Forsythe, medical director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHSBT, and Dr Dale Gardiner, its national clinical lead for organ donation, say the essential principle was that “a person’s faith and beliefs will be respected in discussions with their families about donation,

The caveat ensures donation only goes ahead in line with a person’s beliefs

should the opportunity arise — whether or not they have recorded their decision in the register. “Our specialist nurses explore someone’s faith and beliefs when discussing the possibility of donation, to ensure that if it does go ahead it only does so if in line with these beliefs. The family can consult a faith leader, if they so wish. If a family has any concerns, our specialist nurses will support them

to address these and agree the best approach.” Professor Forsythe and Dr Gardiner say they want to give “greater clarity to people who want to donate but want more reassurance around how their faith or beliefs would be respected if they can donate their organs or tissue when they die”. The Chief Rabbi’s spokesman told Jewish News: “While the Deemed Consent organ donation

legislation becomes law this week, our ongoing engagement with NHSBT entirely reassures us that until the impact of coronavirus on the NHS significantly and measurably subsides, Deemed Consent will not yet be implemented.” The current situation was that where an individual’s decision was not known, families would continue to be helped to make decisions on behalf of loved ones, the spokesman said. He added that the Chief Rabbi’s work with NHSBT “has delivered an essential accommodation within the opt-out system which will allow a person to declare on the Organ Donor Register that their wishes for donation are entirely subject to guidance from their chosen religious authority. The effect of this accommodation will be to allow observant Jews to engage positively with the new system, safe in the knowledge that their faith will be respected. ” Board vice-president Amanda Bowman welcomed the agreement, saying: “It is now clear what the government’s organ donation reform means in practice — that families will be consulted to ensure the deceased’s wishes are carried out.”

Jewish deaths rise to 458

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The number of coronavirus-related deaths has jumped to 458 among UK Jews as of Monday, up from 440 at the same time last week. The figure, released on Tuesday, covers fatalities both in hospital and beyond, using data gathered from seven of the largest denominational burial boards, as collated by the Board of Deputies. The Board announced last week that it is using a new methodology with data reported by the Western Charitable Foundation and larger regional communities, in partnership with the Jewish Small Communities Network. The methodology now counts deaths

reported by additional regional communities across the UK, including in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Canvey Island and Exeter. A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies said in a statement: “We wish their families a long life, and pray that the memory of their loved ones should be for a blessing.” The representative body, which previously released daily figures, is now releasing data once a week, on Tuesdays. The national death toll among those who have tested positive for coronavirus across all settings on Tuesday passed 35,000, including more than 11,000 in care homes.

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GOOGLE’S 111TH BIRTHDAY WISHES FOR SIR NICK Tuesday’s Google Doodle honoured Sir Nicholas Winton, the architect of the Kindertransport, who would have been 111 this week. Winton arranged for eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain at the outbreak of the Second World War. The Doodle depicts him meeting Kinder at a railway station. Winton died in 2015.

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Virus pandemic / Starmer meeting / News

Bereaved share yellow hearts A Facebook group encouraging bereaved families to commemorate loved ones by displaying a yellow heart in their window has brought together thousands of online users during the pandemic, writes Mathilde Frot. David Gompertz, who turned 84 this week, lost his wife Sheila on 12 April. She died after she contracted the virus. Gompertz, who grew up in a Jewish family, set up the group with help from his grandchildren. In just nine days, the Yellow Hearts To Remember Facebook group grew to a membership of more than 5,100 and became an online community for those in mourning to express their grief and share pictures of those they lost. “I can’t look down


Meals on wheels for NHS workers Sheila Gompertz died with Covid-19 in April

it without crying,” Gompertz told Jewish News on Tuesday. “It’s always families who have lost their nearest and dearest, they couldn’t say goodbye to them in hospital or in their care home. They couldn’t have a funeral.” The creators of the Facebook group don’t feel that they own the page, he said. “It’s owned by all those families who have posted their loss. It’s a communal page.”

David’s granddaughter Becky, 19, helped to initiate the campaign with her cousin Hannah, also 19. The Facebook group is bringing together different faith communities and backgrounds, David added. “When you look down the Facebook page, you see people from all cultures who are actually hurting and they find somewhere in common to express their grief.”

An ambulance paid for through fundraising organised by a rabbi’s wife delivered more than 12,500 meals to NHS workers and vulnerable people last month, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. The adapted vehicle was a gift to the Ambulance Wish Foundation charity from London’s Jewish community, with Rebbetzen Freda Kaplan raising the money, and it has more than proved its worth during the virus lockdown. In normal times, the ambulance is used to transport terminally-ill and non-mobile people in safety and comfort to fulfil a memorable final wish, but has been temporarily repurposed to help feed key workers and those most at risk. Throughout April, volunteers delivered food packages on behalf of the United Synagogue, after one of the volunteering team came up with the idea of using the vehicle to transport meals while travel restrictions were in place. Partnering with other charities, The Felix Project, Gratitude and Morrisons supermarket, the ambulance dropped off 3,000 meals and food parcels in its first eight days of operation.

The Labour Party is to offer a private briefing to the Board of Deputies after the representative body raised concerns this week over 11 cases of alleged antisemitism. A briefing on the allegations, believed to be outstanding and “among the most serious”, was sent to the party, the Board s said in a statement on Tuesday. The umbrella group demanded an update by the end of May on the cases compiled by campaigners at the group Labour Against Antisemitism. The Board of Deputies also said it was “further heartened” by Keir Starmer’s virtual meeting with the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) on Monday. It was the first formal meeting between a Labour leader and JLM since 2014. Starmer, who was joined by deputy leader Angela Rayner and the shadow faiths min-

ister Janet Daby, reiterated pledges to implement an independent disciplinary process and any recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The watchdog launched in May last year a formal investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the party. The probe will determine whether the party “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.” A spokesperson for the party said: “Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have made it a priority to tackle antisemitism within the Labour Party and restore trust with the Jewish community. “This means engaging with leaders of the community, fully cooperating with the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s inquiry and working to establish an independent complaints process.”

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

News / Virus pandemic NEWS IN BRIEF

STINGING ATTACK ON LOCKDOWN BREACH Orthodox leaders have issued a rare and stinging criticism of those in their own community who breached the Government’s social distancing rules to hold a Lag B’Omer bonfire in the streets of London. The most senior rabbis in Stamford Hill condemned a “flagrant breach” of lockdown rules, describing the scenes as “completely unacceptable”. It is vanishingly rare for Charedi leaders to criticise their community publicly, and almost unheard of to do so in such terms.

COMEDIAN HOPES TO BEAT VIRUS GLOOM Comedian Ashley Blaker is offering “pay what you like” shows – and shuls, charities, schools and yeshivas in the UK and the US have already taken him up on his offer, he revealed. “This is a way for me to give back to the community and to help those institutions that are struggling both in terms of morale and finance. There’s rightly been a lot of talk about the heroic contribution of frontline workers. I hope I can also use my skills to contribute and lift spirits.”

Reform shuls could be shut for High Holy Days Senior Rabbi Laura JannerKlausner has urged Reform Judaism’s community leaders to prepare for the possibility it may not be safe to reopen shuls in time for the High Holy Days, writes Mathilde Frot. Rabbi Janner-Klausner made the stark warning in a letter sent to synagogue leaders on Wednesday. “We cannot throw our efforts away now,” she said. “This means confronting another festival – Shavuot – distanced from one another. “Realistically it even means facing the idea that we may not be physically together for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September, and for our com-

Rabbi Janner-Klausner

munities to start planning for what that might mean.” She also urged members to take advantage of the “plethora of opportunities to pray and join together virtually with our communities” to

celebrate Shavuot next week. In her letter, the faith leader noted the sacrifices made by many to practise social distancing as she warned the community must aim for greater vigilance. “We already know that the toll this virus has placed on our community – the number of lives we have tragically lost – has fallen heavier on us than on some others. We are a group at an increased risk. With that comes an increased responsibility on us,” she said. Even at a distance, she added, members must continue to remain a “source of strength for one another” as long as needed. • Opinion, p28

Fundraiser for ‘kind and gentle’ Jewish Care worker A fundraiser has been launched in memory of a “kind and gentle” Jewish Care worker who died last week after contracting the coronavirus. Mateo Aben, 61, began feeling unwell last month and spent three

weeks in hospital, the care and health provider said in a social media post. A member of staff at Rosetrees for 12 years, Aben was “a much respected, loved and highly regarded member of

CHAREDIM WARN NO SIMCHAS FOR A MONTH London’s most senior Charedi rabbis have told Orthodox couples not to expect weddings until late June at the earliest, with kosher caterers under their auspices ordered not to supply any event breaching lockdown, writes Adam Decker. In a notice to betrothed couples this week, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations said it did not expect weddings to be allowed in the next month, dashing hopes smaller-scale simchas will be allowed from 1 June. “Unfortunately, due to the [coronavirus] health risk, it is not yet clear when weddings will be allowed to take place, or what type of weddings will be permitted,” the

the care home team,” the charity tweeted. “He was a kind and gentle man and took great pride in taking care of his residents, always ensuring they looked their best. He exemplified the family spirit.” A Go Fund Me page launched by

statement read. “Currently it is unlikely that weddings will be permitted in the first half of June. The government is aware of the extraordinarily difficult position that many people find themselves in, and how hard the uncertainty is.” The Union was “in communication with people at the highest level of government,” including faith advisers in Downing Street, the Home Office and the Department for Communities, but said news of movement was still elusive. “We are hoping for an announcement this week that will give more clarity to those due to marry but even that is uncertain.”

Rosetrees manager Alison Prior to support Aben’s family had on Wednesday raised more than £15,000. Jewish Care’s chief executive officer Daniel Carmel Brown described Aben as “the bravest of all” and said he “will be so terribly missed by all of us”.  The fundraiser is at

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22 May 2020 Jewish News

Medical aid / School scheme / News

Bikers deliver to patients’ homes

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fall dangerously low. Doctors can request that one is delivered to a patient through a 24-hour helpline and the bikers aim to deliver the device to the patient’s home within 90 minutes of an order. The motorcyclists practice social distancing and do not ring the doorbell or knock, but leave the device outside and the patient receives a text confirming it has arrived. Once a patient has a device, a clinician should then call them within two hours to reassess them with the benefit of an oxygen saturation and pulse reading. If identified as having silent hypoxia, the patient can be taken to hospital for further treatment. The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead is acting as the hub for the team of motorcyclists, who were selected from the Bike Shed Community Response volunteers. Dr Raymond said: “Using the biking community to deliver this kit to patients most at risk could be instrumental in saving lives.” The service is funded purely through charitable donations and is asking for support through the CCR’s JustGiving page at crowdfunding/coronavirus-fightback

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A fleet of volunteer bikers are delivering life-saving medical devices to the homes of virus patients across London in a project set up by a Jewish GP.. The Urgent Oximeter Response was developed by GP Dr Sharon Raymond, who has set up Covid Crisis Rescue (CCR), working alongside The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club and disaster response charity Team Rubicon UK. The 200-strong team of motorcyclists are dropping off pulse oximeters so patients considered to be at high risk of “silent hypoxia” can measure their oxygen saturation levels. Dr Raymond said: “We know some patients with Covid-19 can develop ‘silent hypoxia’ where pneumonia can result in a steep fall in the body’s oxygen levels without the patient even realising. “Unfortunately by the time patients have noticeable trouble breathing and present at hospital their condition may have deteriorated dramatically.” The pulse oximeters allow patients who are at risk of rapid deterioration owing to the disease to monitor their oxygen levels before they

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The organisers of a pilot scheme seeking to promote well-being in Jewish primary and secondary schools have seen increased interest in emotional and mental health awareness during the lockdown, writes Mathilde Frot. The three-year community well-being project, led by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), was rolled out across nine pilot schools in London and Manchester to address growing concerns over mental health. The schools involved in the project launched 16 months ago – which include JFS, JCoSS, Yavneh College, the Jewish Community Academy Trust, and Broughton Jewish Primary School – each recruited a well-being practitioner to promote mental health and coordinate resources and activities tied to well-being. Julia Alberga, the scheme’s project manager, told Jewish News on Tuesday: “Everybody is recognising now the importance of wellbeing in their children’s lives alongside balancing their academic studies. It has become much more apparent since the pandemic,


Jewish News 22 May 2020

News / Emergency supplies / Simcha wall

Lockdown lifeline for vulnerable An ambitious campaign has raised £50,000 for emergency supply boxes to be distributed to elderly Israelis struggling with the effects of the coronavirus lockdown. The JNF-UK initiative is

helping 500 Israelis over the age of 75 and living below the poverty line, the charity doubling all committed funds to support one of the largest civilian responses to the coronavirus pandemic in Israel.

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A Londoner whose barmitzvah is in doubt because of the extended virus lockdown has created a ‘virtual simcha wall’ on Instagram. Jordan Pearlman, 12, who is due to celebrate his barmitzvah in Hampstead Garden Suburb in August,

launched the simcha wall “as a reminder that we can still all come together”. He said: “It will feature a photograph of yourself or something that is important to you. I would like this wall to be filled with wonderful photos.” Jordan said he wanted

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22 May 2020 Jewish News


Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

Jami fears a ‘tsunami’ ‘Men suffer in silence’ of cases after lockdown The community’s leading mental health charity is expecting a “tsunami” of referrals once lockdown restrictions are lifted, its chief executive revealed, writes Mathilde Frot. Writing in this week’s Jewish News, produced in association with Jami to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the charity’s Laurie Rackind said it is planning for a spike in demand from new service users due to the effects of the virus pandemic. “The immediate reaction was an increase in demand for support from our existing service users with heightened anxiety and feelings of isolation, but now we are seeing an increase in demand with new referrals,” the chief executive writes. “100 percent of new referrals to Jami since March are as a result of a reaction to the pandemic – we are expecting and planning for the ‘tsunami’,” he later added. Jami has moved its mental health support online, including its education programme and the peer support worker-led sessions normally held at the Head Room Café.

Jami has provided 700 hours of support since the start of April

The charity has also delivered tablets and other pieces of equipment to service users with no online access, so they can receive support remotely. It has delivered more than 500 meals to service users’ homes identified as being most at risk or in need of a lifeline of human contact. Figures released by the charity,

show it has experience a 55 percent increase in the total of hours of support delivered to service users. Since the beginning of April, 315 Jami service users have received over 700 hours of support over the phone – up from 245 users and 369 hours in the six weeks leading up to the pandemic. • Opinion, page 27

tioned. No one explained what When Michael Benjamin that meant.” visited his son Jonny at Michael said little Manchester University, information was prohe believed the 20-yearvided to parents old drama student was and carers of people safe and well, writes affected by mental Sandy Rashty. health issues. He thought the The Edgware & former JFS student Hendon Reform Synalooked tired and thin, but gogue member said men put it down to partying and struggle to vocalise mental demanding theatre rehearsals. But when Michael and his son Jonny health battles, noting suicide is the biggest cause Jonny returned home for the winter holidays, Michael realised of death in men under 35 in the UK. “I don’t think men look for help as much,” something was wrong. His son, this week’s Jewish News he said. “They hold their feelings in.” Michael, a trustee of charity Beyond guest editor, kept to his room. A visit to the GP confirmed he needed treatment Shame Beyond Stigma, co-founded by in a psychiatric hospital, where he was his son, which works with young people, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. is part of an informal coffee group made In January 2008, Jonny wanted to up of Jewish fathers of people who take his own life by jumping off Waterloo suffer from mental health issues. “Once Bridge but was stopped by a runner, a month we would get together to talk. We can’t resolve everything, but we are later identified as Neil Laybourn. “Jonny hid everything from us; we a sounding board and can signpost.” But now, with more awareness, had no idea,” said his father, 72, who worked in the clothing industry. “I was helplines and signposting in schools in London for a meeting when I got the and synagogues across the UK, call. They told me he was at St Thomas’ Michael says mental health has become more openly discussed. hospital and I rushed there. “Thankfully everything has moved “He was in a side room by himself wearing just a T-shirt and covered in on. The Jewish community is doing bruises, from when he had climbed over. a lot to help get rid of the stigma and He was taken back to hospital and sec- help people.”


Jewish News 22 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

Fresh thinkers who are shattering the stigma Young people are at the forefront of attempting to break remaining silence surrounding mental health issues. Mathilde Frot finds out what some members of the community are doing to help others in difficult circumstances YOUNG JAMI’S TWO COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS, Joshua Harris, 25, and Gabi

Mendelsohn, 23, both from Barnet, seek to raise awareness of mental health issues and money for Jami. Gabi, who is an analyst at Deloitte, got involved with the mental health charity in her second year at the University of Leeds, as chair of its JSoc ball committee. “Unfortunately, somebody close to my family passed away from suicide and so we were looking for a mental health charity and found Jami and began a relationship with them,” she says. Meanwhile, Josh, who works in the civil service, hopes to break the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly among young adults and men. While there has been a “positive shift” in recent years, he notes, the issue remains “a bit of a taboo subject, and one that we need to break some of the stigma around and encourage positive and open conversations about”. The committee, which has moved some of its events online during the pandemic, is now regularly uploading inspiring videos, challenges and pictures to its Instagram account, @youngjamiuk, including video sessions with fitness and yoga instructors.

MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE ABBIE MITCHELL is the co-host of a new podcast

series dedicated to young adults aged 18 to 35 who lost a loved one during their childhood or teenage years. The five-episode series, entitled Living With Loss, launched with the charity Let’s Talk About Loss to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, aims to offer “hope, comfort and empathy” to listeners and remove the stigma around bereavement through the insight and recollections of Abbie, 30, from north London, and her co-host Beth French, who both lost their mothers. “I lost my mum when I was 14 so mental health has always been a part of my life, finding out more about what that meant and having my own struggles, and that’s why I do what I do,” Abbie explains. “We’re saying it’s okay to talk about these things … and that yes, of course it’s sad, but there’s a lot of humour in it. People need to still be able to share their fun, happy memories.” You can listen to the Living With Loss podcast series on or Spotify.

EMMA LEVINSON, 36, co-founded the monthly non-therapeutic peer support group Cake Before Therapy Café with a friend as part of her own mental health journey. Emma, who previously worked as an accessory designer, left her career in fashion about six years ago. “I had a massive breakdown and was in and out of hospital and wasn’t able to do anything in that period,” she explains. “Fashion wasn’t for me, and my experience being in hospitals really showed my passion for helping people.” Emma, who then trained as a counsellor, co-founded the pop up café with her friend Sophie Alston. “We met every week for tea and cake in different places around London, and we realised this peer support that we were getting from each other was something we wanted to offer and would benefit so many others,” she says. Cake Before Therapy Café was recently moved online during the pandemic.

MENTAL HEALTH BLOGGER AND AUTHOR ELEANOR SEGALL, 31, from Edgware, is part of a team of five campaigners – most of them Jewish – posting for free brightlycoloured cards bearing uplifting slogans and the Samaritans’ helpline number (116 123) to online users struggling during the pandemic. The team, comprising Eleanor, Donna Davidson, Abigail Schischa, Emma Dorman and Becky Johnson, have also been sending cards to Jewish nursing homes in Manchester as part of the project. “I’ve had a lot of messages from people saying ‘I’m feeling really depressed and suicidal, can you send me a card because I’m not speaking to anybody’,” says Eleanor, who is also the author of Bring Me To Light: Embracing My Bipolar and Social Anxiety, a book detailing her experiences living with bipolar disorder, published last year. To find out more about the Corona Cards project, you can follow @ corona_cards on Twitter and @coronacards1 on Instagram.

22 May 2020 Jewish News

Behind closed doors vulnerable people at risk need your help People with poor mental health are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus outbreak and demand for Jami’s services is rising daily. For people already living with mental illness, the additional anxiety and physical isolation they are experiencing can be life threatening. Jami is continuing to provide practical and emotional support for everyone affected by a mental health problem as well as prioritising contact and expanding our services for the most at risk. Core services are provided daily by phone and video conference, supported by friendly doorstep chats, food deliveries and online groups and activities.

We urgently need your support to deliver and maintain these essential life saving services.

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

‘Charedi stigma is subsiding’ Stephen Oryszczuk hears how the leading strictly-Orthodox mental health charity helps those in need


n an unremarkable Stamford Hill building, strictlyOrthodox Jews from Britain’s largest Charedi community access therapy from one of three well-used rooms, entering and leaving through a separate entrance and exit. It is a path now trodden by about 150 Charedim every year. The help they access is provided by Bikur Cholim, the Charedi community’s leading mental health charity, whose chief executive, Yocheved Eiger, spoke to Jewish News this week. The organisation has come a long way in 15 years, when its services were mainly geared towards helping elderly and physically disabled Orthodox Jews, and when there was no Charedi mental health provider. “At that time, people found it less stigmatising to approach a general service than a specific one,” says Eiger. “We thought we were well placed to provide that service, even though at the time we didn’t know what ‘that service’ meant.” The charity started off by providing “emotional support – befriending, going to appointments, advocacy, phoning to remind them to take medication, that kind of thing”, she says. “Then the council asked if we could provide therapy.” In 2008, the government introduced its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, an aim of which was to use talking therapies to help working-age people with mental health difficulties back into the workplace. “IAPT was supposed to be for

everyone, but it wasn’t reaching the Charedi community,” says Eiger. “They weren’t excluded, they just didn’t see it as a culturally appropriate service, so didn’t access it. We recognised the gap.” Bikur Cholim discussed it with the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) in Stamford Hill, which “could see that minorities weren’t really accessing the service”, and about five years ago began working with a local Kurdish organisation to become registered IAPT providers. “Our CCG was fantastic, very encouraging. It supported us in every way possible, because it saw it as a benefit to have a culturallyappropriate provider.” A huge overhaul around the charity’s clinical governance was needed, so it took an entire year just to prepare. “We also had to get a clinical lead,” remembers Eiger. “Getting registered as a service provider with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) was a massive achievement.” As a registered IAPT provider, Bikur Cholim’s patient outcomes and service access information are now fed into NHS England and onto the national register. “They don’t care about personal identifying details, they just see that 20 people accessed talking therapies in Hackney this month, and our numbers are included.” While the charity is proud that all its therapists and frontline clinicians are Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jews from within the community, the clinical lead was in fact recruited from outside the community. “We did it sensitively,” says Eiger. “Service users don’t realise

Bikur Cholim’s chief executive says people may worry about whether it will affect their marriage prospects

because they never meet her. Besides, she’s so culturally sensitive and knows the community so well by now that it’s not an issue.” Alongside therapy, the charity also runs several “psycho-educational courses” covering such topics as anxiety, depression or postnatal depression, and several staff members have been nationally recognised – one even chaired the British Psychological Society. It only adds to an overall sense of professionalism. There are still several areas that could be addressed, including a shortage of Yiddish-speaking chil-

dren’s therapists. Those trained in this area tend to work in the private sector, which can put such services out of reach for many families. Yet Eiger says the biggest difficulty is overcoming stigma. “We’re still doing a lot of work to destigmatise,” she says. “Some people still don’t know about us. Others can still be nervous about accessing our services. They may worry about who they’ll see, whether it will affect their prospects for marriage, that kind of thing.” How does she deal with that extra pressure? “By supporting

people, by saying if they’ve had help for their mental health problem they’re in a much better position to get married than if they have a mental health problem that has not been dealt with.” Does she think things are getting better? “There’s a greater awareness. The stigma is decreasing [in the strictly Orthodox community] because we’re seeing younger people coming forward, understanding the need for earlier intervention and prevention, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and it’s important to do it.”



Confidentiality around mental health is paramount at the best of times, but at Bikur Cholim it is even more so, says the charity’s chief executive, Yocheved Eiger, because of the nature of a tight religious community where everybody seems to know everybody else. “You have those challenges in a closeknit community where people who come into therapy may be related to another therapist, so we’ll be very careful not to match people with people they may know personally. “While other services don’t accept clients with connections to therapists, that isn’t possible here, because it’s almost inevi-

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews in north London have been dialling into special advice about Covid-19 and parenting, with organisers saying many subsequently choose to seek therapy. Bikur Cholim said it had “a few hundred people on the line” with a Yiddish-speaking therapist running a session explaining at the end what mental health services the charity offers and where people can turn to if they need more support, which they say has led to a surge in requests for support. “In response to Covid-19, we set up two services,” says Yocheved Eiger. “One is a single session of therapy for people who need additional support. Quite a few of them have gone

table that someone is going to be related, or a neighbour, or something. “All our therapists are signed up to our service accepting family members, who would be seen by another therapist. “There is an enormous emphasis on confidentiality. The therapist who knows the user won’t know they’re using us. “Two people do the initial assessments and immediately change names to code. In other services, therapists can access the full files of all users, but here they can only access the files of clients they support. “It works. We had a therapist’s sibling come for therapy and the sibling who works for us never knew. They still don’t!”

on to have more than one session. I think they came in because a single session sounded less stigmatising. “There has definitely been an increase in calls to the helpline. Young parents find the lockdown increasingly challenging. Many want short-term or telephone support but will have therapy when children go back to school. “We’ve also seen a lot of bereavement, people who aren’t quite ready for help yet. For example we have one woman who was in hospital with Covid-19. While there, her husband died, also from Covid. She’s focusing on her physical recovery and hasn’t come to terms at all with it. We’ve been helping her but know she’ll need a lot of ongoing support.”

22 May 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

‘After mum died, the grief felt comforting’ One morning in July 2014, mother-of-three Alison Connick said goodbye to her husband as he left for work, made her way to Wimbledon train station, entered a restricted section and walked out in front of an onrushing train, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Alison, 51, had long struggled with depression and, three months previously, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, for which she was undergoing treatment. At the coroners’ inquest, her consultant psychiatrist said she had “had thoughts about suicide but no plans”. She’d suffered “a depressive dip and acted impulsively”. For mental health awareness week, we spoke to her husband Jeremy, a solicitor, and one of her two daughters, university student Elisabeth, known as Lizzie. It is their first joint interview. While Jeremy has previously talked about it publicly, Lizzie, 20, is only just starting to. “I felt angry a lot, but the first year felt pretty normal,” she says. “I was crying and talking about my feelings. As a family of four, we were close. Dad was home, it felt like we should sit there being sad, and we did. My anger was less at my mum, more at him, anyone still here. “In hindsight I was angry at the situation. I was 14 and found reasons to hate my dad, such as when he met Lisa. He was absolutely entitled to, but at the time I was irrationally angry. We had loads of fights. It felt like we were moving on and nobody was going to remember her.

Actually, I needed to understand my dad as a person, not someone who had to do what I wanted all the time.” Jeremy, whose family are members of Westminster Synagogue, says: “We all dealt with it differently. My counselling was a waste of time, so I relied on talking to my friends. Negative thoughts were going to destroy me, so I guess I told myself I did my best. It sort of worked. “I was also terrified of the future. All I could see was me sitting at home alone. Then a friend said: ‘Let the future come to you.’ That helped enormously, that and spending hours talking to friends about Alison. That was my therapy.” Lizzie says she didn’t want to go to therapy at first. “In a strange way, the pain and the grief were comforting. I don’t know if that’s common. I felt like therapy would ‘fix’ me and I didn’t want to be fixed. Maybe I wasn’t ready to be fixed. A few years later I tried again. “She [the therapist] was a very maternal figure and I really took to her. She helped me realise that nothing I could have done would have prevented it. She also helped me understand depression as an illness, the sorts of things my mum may have been feeling. My biggest problem was on the morning she died I’d woken up, said ‘hello’, then gone back to bed. “I kept thinking about that. I never normally sleep in, I get up early, but that day I’d gone back to bed. It really played on my mind for a long,

Alison during a precious family moment

long time. ‘If I hadn’t, maybe it wouldn’t have happened,’ that kind of thing. She helped me realise that this self-questioning isn’t helpful. She helped me to forgive myself.” Jeremy says once he got over the “dangerous thoughts” – could he, should he have stopped it? – he realised he was just plain old sad. “That stomach feeling you get when you’ve lost somebody, it represents a relationship,” he explains. “If you don’t feel it, there’s something wrong. So while I didn’t celebrate feeling loss, it reminded me of her and the good stuff we did. “I didn’t feel I needed to be fixed. Yes, I’d get emotional, but I’d associate pain with something good. That’s just how I dealt with it.” Six months after Lizzie’s mum killed herself, she was asked, “why aren’t you over it yet?” at school. “I’d feel like I was attention-seeking, being upset at school, showing my emotion, people thought I enjoyed the attention. It’s strange

Jeremy with son Olly and daughter Lizzie

because I did want people to help and support me. I wanted people to care and to understand why I might just start crying in a history lesson. So ‘attention-seeking’ to me is no longer a completely negative term. Lizzie’s plea this week and every week is for people to “see depression as an illness, and be on the same page”, which would end the questioning. “My mum had the most amazing energy and spirit, just a beautiful person. I shouldn’t need to say that.”


Benjamin said: “I set up Beyond out of One of the country’s leading mental health campaigners (and this week’s guest Jewish News frustration at seeing so many valuable local editor) has relaunched the grant-giving organi- mental health services close down owing to sation he co-founded with the stranger who lack of funding, particularly those organisations helping young individuals struggling helped save his life, writes Mathilde Frot. Jonny Benjamin, 33, awarded an MBE in with their mental health. “We know that suicide is the biggest killer 2017 for his services to mental health and suicide prevention, was diagnosed with schizoaf- of young people under 35, and that 75 percent of all mental illness begins in adolescence fective disorder at the age of 20. His moving memoir, The Stranger on the and yet, shockingly, three-quarters of young Bridge: My Journey from Despair to Hope, people who do have a mental health issue published in 2018, and which contains a fore- don’t get the treatment they need. “Our charity wants to go beyond these staword written by Prince William, details his encounter with Neil Laybourn, the stranger tistics and really make a difference by giving who talked him down from a bridge in 2008 grants to organisations up and down the and their reunion years later following a viral country in order to ensure young people get the help they deserve.” social media campaign to track him down. The organisation is setting up a youth board Now they are launching Beyond, a grantgiving organisation previously known as to sit alongside its main trustee board and be Beyond Shame Beyond Stigma, which allo- involved in the grant-making decision process. cates funding to organisations and charities • Editorial comment, page 22 already supporting young people, their families and educators. The organisation, which was set up in 2018, was relaunched with its new name on Monday to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, awarded its first grant to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families to support the children’s charity in developing emergency resources for young people’s mental health in the wake of the cor- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with former patient Jonny onavirus pandemic. Benjamin, right, and Neil Laybourn at St Thomas’ Hospital

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

Amy’s dad: Lockdown shows need for mental health focus The father of the late singer Amy Winehouse spoke out this week about his daughter’s struggles and his own mental health, writes Sandy Rashty. Mitch Winehouse, 70, said the UK-wide lockdown caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 had highlighted the importance of mental health. “It has shown that anybody can be affected by mental health issues,” he said. “Most people are. It’s indiscriminate and can strike at any time. “There has been more awareness of mental health and the problems people are facing over the past eight weeks compared to 10 years ago. The past two months have exacerbated people’s mental health issues – myself included.” Winehouse, whose wife Jane has been taking care of her mother, has In happier times: Mitch Winehouse with his been living alone since lockdown. daughter, Amy, who died aged 27 in 2011 The grandfather has stayed conhas further to go to recognise the impornected remotely to family and friends, tance of mental health. Winehouse, who but has found the distance “difficult”. To cope, he has taken long walks around was born in Stoke Newington, said: “I London and volunteered as a driver for remember what it was like with my parcommunal charity Jewish Care, delivering ents. It was something we never really disfood parcels to elderly people four times cussed.” When Winehouse was 16, his 43-yeara week. But he believes the Jewish community old father died after being diagnosed with

lung cancer. “I was told: ‘No tears. You have got to look after your mum, be strong.’ You couldn’t get out your grief. It’s something I still struggle with.” In 2011, his daughter Amy was found dead in her Camden flat after suffering from alcohol poisoning. A Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, the 27-year-old had battled alcohol and drug addiction as well as an eating disorder. “Of course, it’s all linked,” he said. “A lot of people thought it was about being in the limelight and being a big singing star. “Now, people have a completely different attitude and opinion of Amy. They know she was a strong woman who had strong issues; mental health issues.” Winehouse, who recalled attending Southgate Reform Synagogue with Amy as a child, co-founded the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which works with disadvantaged young people. A jazz musician, he is proud of the group’s use of music to support service users. He said: “It allows young people to express themselves through music. What better way is there?”


Mental Health Awareness Week could not have been timelier this BY ZOE SINCLAIR THIS CAN HAPPEN year. A small positive coming out of lockdown is more people than ever before are talking about their mental health. It’s not surprising to know that since the strict isolation measures were announced, mental health-related searches such as ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ have risen dramatically, causing breakout trends on Google. So how, as an employer or manager, can you ensure that you are supporting your colleagues in the most effective way? They must feel you are giving them priority over business performance. Depending on how many staff you have, try to speak to them daily. Remember not all the conversations have to be about work. You will need to increase communication to remote workers and the tone should always display trust. Ask employees how they are and listen non-judgementally before asking about work. Senior people should share vulnerability to inspire their workforce – it is not a weakness. Everybody needs to be kind to themselves as this will build resilience during tough times. We have all been affected during this time to some degree, so give your staff the opportunity to talk. Isolation, lack of privacy, parenting and being afraid to go out are some of the concerns they will have among many more, and these are all legitimate. Faith and mental health have, in the past, been a thorny issue. However, the Jewish business community is becoming more switched on thanks to the wonderful work of Jami and the work going on in schools. We must take steps to ensure a kinder, more responsible approach to our staff and their needs – there is no longer such a thing as ‘business as usual’. • This Can Happen Workplace Mental Health Conference will take place online between 23 and 25 November. For details and free mental health resources, visit

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

It’s OK not to be OK Mental health experts, as well as those with experience of poor mental health, offer tips on how to help yourself when times are challenging

Together with your child, start by writing out various types of feelings that they experience and then draw different types of weather that represent each of them. For example, happy may be sunny and sad may be rainy. There is no particular type of feeling that is connected to any type of weather, so it’s totally up to you and your child to choose what you do. Creativity and colour is very much encouraged! Dr Ilan Ben-Zion, clinical psychologist

Ask yourself what you would say to a friend in your situation. So often, we can be so unkind to ourselves and talk ourselves down, but we would never say that to a friend... it can help to be a bit more objective. Nicki Cohen, emotional wellbeing practitioner, JFS

No one can predict the future, so try not to worry about the “if” and “when”, but instead take every day as it comes and make sure you have a goal each day to do, whether that be to go outside and get some fresh air and exercise, or speak to a friend, or finish a piece of work – always make sure you have a goal to get up for each morning. Jo Novick, Inside Out Day

Practise expressing yourself. It isn’t always easy and it takes time and dedication, but even just a few minutes each day does start to strengthen those creative muscles. It could be free writing in a journal, singing to yourself, learning a musical instrument, dancing around to your favourite song on full volume or teaching a skill to someone else. It’s so important to let our true selves out from behind all the social restrictions we place on ourselves. SK Shlomo, musician

We are trained to privilege our thinking capacity over all other capacities, but often our minds make stuff up that is not true, useful or helpful. We are not our thoughts and, most importantly, we do not have to believe our thoughts. Treat them with care and try to observe them passing through you rather than assuming that they are true. They will pass and new thoughts will come. Rabbi Danny Newman, HaMakom

The distancing measures are particularly tough on teenagers. This is the time when they start separating from their families, finding independence and a new ‘tribe’ among their peers. Not being able to do this can be stressful. Anything you can do to support this connection will be beneficial. Dr Dominique Thompson, GP and author of How to Grow a Grown Up

Be kind to yourself – treat yourself as you would a friend

Learn something new. Acquire new skills and develop a sense of accomplishment and mastery. I own a small herd of alpacas. Something I knew absolutely nothing about. This leads to improved confidence and self esteem. Tanya Harris, head of services, Jami

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To protect your mental health on social media, curate your feed. If content on your social media feeds doesn’t make you feel good, empowered, supported or inspired, unfollow the creators. Follow hashtags that interest you and nurture your mind. The algorithms learn from what you do on social and will soon start serving you content based on your new behaviours. Louisa Rose, social media consultant, @louisanicolerose

It’s OK not to be OK. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. Be honest with yourself about how you are really feeling. Don’t feel pressured to live the life others may live; just be true to your own personal needs. Be patient and allow yourself time to process feelings. Getting help is always a sign of strength and not weakness. Rochelle Newington, counsellor

It may be useful to lower expectations. It is okay if you’re not on top of home schooling, haven’t learned a new skill or spring cleaned your home. Finding a friend or family member with whom to talk openly about the challenges you are facing is a great way to relieve pressure and help you to realise that you’re probably doing a lot better than you think. Curtis Baron, managing director, Barclays

Listen to your body first and foremost. If we are too tired, hungry or cold, then we can’t focus our minds on looking after our soul in its entirety. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi of Reform Judaism

When you are going through difficult thoughts or feelings, use writing or drawing to process what’s going on. I find it helps to put some distance between me and my thoughts and makes things feel easier. Joe Hyman, young adult programmer, JW3

Some sort of physical/creative exercise is a wonderful release and a great way to get or keep a good balance with whatever else is going on. Drums are good, as they’re an extremely physical and expressive instrument. Dan Renak, The Friday Night Rock Service

One simple phrase I heard last week that has had an enormous impact on me is ‘when life gets harder, go softer’. The tendency is to push harder when things are hard and be harder on ourselves; just having in mind the idea that we should go softer is quite a game changer. Caroline Cosgrove, volunteer, Shout Crisis Text Line

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Mental Health Awareness Week in association with JAMI Website: What they offer For Mental Health Awareness Week, JAMI is offering free online events, including a kindness workshop for ages 18–32 to a session for all on preventing mental health burnout. Register at https://jamiuk. org/mhaw. The website serves as a hub for accessing support, making referrals or browsing resources.

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YOUNG JAMI Follow @youngjamiuk on Instagram and Facebook for mental health and well-being content. What they offer Young JAMI regularly shares self-care advice tailored to young adults in the community. During the lockdown, this includes interactive activities designed to boost physical and mental well-being, including an online #YJweeklyworkout.

SAMARITANS Telephone: 116 123 Website: What they offer Talk to them any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

KOOTH Website: What they offer Kooth Student is a dedicated online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for students. It can be accessed through mobile, tablet and desktop and provides free, safe and anonymous online support.

RAPHAEL Telephone: 0800 234 6236 Website: What they offer Raphael is a well-established counselling service, at the forefront of its field, whose broad-based services are available to individuals and couples in London, the Home Counties and the Redbridge area.

THE BARNET WELLBEING HUB Telephone: 03333 449 088 Website: What they offer The hub is a new service providing a flexible, holistic, person-centred approach focusing on your needs and wellbeing. It makes it easier to access a number of different services more easily, tailoring the services we introduce to you to meet your needs.

JEWISH HELPLINE Telephone: 0800 652 9249 Website: What they offer The charity provides a lifeline to those who are feeling lonely, anxious, depressed or suicidal. Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight every day except Shabbat and Yomim Tovim, Fridays 12pm to 3pm.

GRIEFTALK Telephone: 0808 802 0111 Website/Web Chat: Email: What they offer A helpline for bereaved children, young people and families. Weekdays 9am–9pm

CHAI CANCER CARE Telephone: 080 8808 4567 Website: What they offer Counselling for cancer patients and families, genetic and relationship/psychosexual counselling.

MIND | BARNET Telephone: 020 8343 5700 Website: What they offer Subsidised long-term and short-term counselling for Barnet residents.

JEWISH WOMEN’S AID Telephone: 0808 801 0500 Website: What they offer Ongoing free counselling for victims of domestic violence.

Support when it’s needed. Free, safe and anonymous online counselling and support for students Message counsellors and talk to the Kooth community 24/7

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week in association with

Israeli algorithms help spot signs of depression Researchers are developing high-tech solutions to treat complex pyschological conditions, discovers Stephen Oryszczuk A patient with depression sits down with a psychiatrist as special highresolution cameras record their conversation. Over the next hour, their words, voice and facial expressions are captured and processed by algorithms created by Israeli experts in artificial intelligence (AI), machine-learning and natural language processing (NLP), a sub-field of linguistics. At the hour’s end, the patient gets a score of four. Last month, they were 3.5. It means the treatment isn’t working and the psychiatrist changes tack. It seems otherworldly, the stuff of sci-fi, but that scenario may not be too far away, because scientists funded by the Dangoor Centre for Personalised Medicine at Bar-Ilan University in Israel are leading a global race to develop game-changing AI programmes applied to depression, and are currently busy gathering preliminary data for what they call their Depression Meter. “We’re developing an algorithm that can identify and predict the level of depression, to be used by psychiatrists and psychologists in treatment,” says the centre’s vice-president for research, Professor Shulamit Michaeli. “We run a clinic as a charity, and from this we have many hours of audio and visual recordings from sessions. The camera that captures facial expressions is very sophisticated.” Hang on a minute, let’s go back a step... How can algorithms help when it comes to a complex psychological condition here, often seen in combination with other conditions such as anxiety or personality disorders? What can computer code offer a highly-trained psychiatrist who knows the inner workings and frailties of the human mind? Clinical psychologists Prof Eva GilboaSchechtman and Dr Dana Atzil-Slonim think it could be a lot. They’re using the session recordings and working with Dr Yossi Keshet, a machine learning expert who developed the Israel Defense Forces software that identifies keywords in conversations. Together with Bar-Ilan’s engineering department and two scientists at UCLA in California, the team is analysing patients’ speech using NLP to create a self-learning system. “Depression is getting worse and worse in the modern world,” says Atzil-Slonim, speaking to Jewish News. “More than 30 million Europeans are diagnosed, 260 million around the world.” Yet despite advances, recovery rates are still just 50 percent. In part, she says, that’s because there have been no big breakthroughs in this area for the past 40 years. “Treatments are mainly based on the

Clinical psychologists analyse thousands of hours of therapy sessions with the aim that machines will predict what will work

building blocks of psychotherapy, such as selfreports and clinician assessments, but they’re not enough,” says Atzil-Slonim . “They’re subjective – clients don’t always know how to capture what they feel in a certain moment and clinician assessments are expensive. For 40 years we’ve been in the same situation, not improving.” The treatments are numerous – psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural therapy, medications etc – but “all get similar results”, she says. “At the same time we know that there is a lot of variability between clients. They react differently to different treatments, so it’s important to capture what works for whom and when. It’s not just one disease. It’s complicated and we need a method to capture that complexity.” It sounds like an impossible task, but they’re convinced it isn’t as they use novel techniques and apply it to AI and machinelearning to analyse “a very unique data set”. Atzil-Slonim says: “We transcribed sessions with 500 patients over five years, took physiological data, plus data before treat-

ment, such as diary data, where clients write five times a day how they feel, so we have a lot of information on triggers and reactions, such as self-criticism or comments from a spouse that they can find insulting. “It’s a very rich, emotional data-set, including text, voice and facial expressions and spans pre-treatment to post-treatment. It tells us a lot about diagnosis and fluctuations in symptoms, which is very valuable. It lets us say ‘this is how the person looks and sounds when they’re depressed, this is what the person says when they’re depressed.’” Fine, but they’re still asking a machine to capture subtle human nuance. “Machinelearning can do that,” says Atzil-Slonim. “Just as when you talk to your loved one and pick up that something’s not right, so the machine also picks up on differences in the human voice or facial features to tell if this person is distressed.” Elements of the voice that the team has analysed include pitch, energy and quality. “All these features, when integrated together, can capture nuanced differences over time,” says Atzil. “It tells us if the client is getting better

within the session. It also tells us about the interaction between the client and therapist, how synchronised they are, and whether the therapist is helping the client to feel better. Watching them at work is fascinating. The team code the session moment-by-moment, providing labels for each speech turn, interaction and intervention. “We can train the machine to learn the codes, learn how specific moments are moments of change, and learn what intervention the therapist enacted earlier to bring about that change,” says Atzil-Slonim. “It learns from thousands and thousands of sessions, then predicts what will work in any specific moment.” It’s all still work in progress, but they’re using deep-learning models to find “signatures of depression”, says Michaeli. The results feed back into the algorithm, which updates and improves it. “This is machine-learning applied to health.” This is just one of the projects supported by British Jewish philanthropists David and Judy Dangoor, the family interest in the centre having first begun with David’s father, Naim, but it is among the most promising. Once the team has enough preliminary data to show “proof of concept”, they hope to land a bigger private donation or a grant from the EU or Israeli government. Either way, it’s a six to seven year task. “David’s funding is a glue grant,” says Michaeli. “It glues interdisciplinary scientists together around a major health programme, in this case using AI and NLP in the treatment of depression. We hope to initiate collaborations with major Israeli medical centres such as Sheba and Hadassah.”

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Museum cuts / Friendly simcha / News

Jewish Museum to cut exhibitions the promotion The Jewish Museum of learning and in London is to cut its engagement award-winning temdirector Frances porary exhibitions Jeens to lead the programme two museum on an months after saying interim basis. it “continues to play Its online an important part”. learning proThe announcegramme is ment of a “pause” expected to follows suggestions serve teachers, earlier this year families, commuthat the museum’s nity groups and former chief execumental health tive Abigail Morris The museum’s acclaimed exhibits are to halt charities, with resigned when she heard of plans to end the exhibitions programme, the coronavirus lockdown being blamed for the “temporary pause” in the acclaimed exhibitions for which the museum became known. Asked by Jewish News about its plans in programme. Announcing the future launch of virtual March, a spokeswoman said: “Our temporary exhibition programme continues to be an impor- classrooms, the museum said it was “planning a number of redundancies” in an effort to “put tant part of the museum.” This week it announced forthcoming redun- the organisation on a more sustainable financial dancies, an interim director, the departure of footing”. Weeks before the national lockdown long-standing chair Lord Young, as well as future was announced, the museum said it would be plans, in which the institution said it was “refo- reducing opening hours and closing the café. This week, Jeens said: “We have had to make cusing” its programme to online education. The museum’s treasurer, Tanya Persey, has the difficult decision to restructure the organisabeen appointed as interim chair. She praised tion and to make some redundancies. It is a great Young for his contribution, while announcing regret we cannot retain all our talented staff.”


Be Fruitful



With friends like these: Naftali chats to Courteney

Barmitzvah boy finds a new friend in Courteney A barmitzvah boy from Borehamwood got the surprise of a lifetime after virtually meeting Courteney Cox, his TV idol from the hit series Friends, writes Jack Mendel. Naftali Arden, who recently turned 13, was invited onto The Late Late Show with James Corden, to speak about his virtual celebration last month – that attracted more than 5,000 views online. The teen was forced to change his plans for a party inspired by Friends after lockdown was imposed, leading to what his Rabbi, Alex Chapper, said was the “first-ever virtual barmitzvah”. Naftali told Cordon on the show: “I thought it would

just be a small thing with my family and just a few friends. It turned out to be so big!” The host responded that a “friend of mine was also impressed” with the online barmitzvah, as he introduced Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller in the muchloved series. Seeing her appear on the call, Arden says “oh my gosh!”, before telling her he’s watched the whole series seven times, despite being born two years after the show concluded. Cox told him: “I was really touched by your story. Since you couldn’t have your barmitzvah like you had expected, I decided to get you a foosball table like the one in Joey and Chandler’s apartment.”

The body of an Orthodox Jewish man who died earlier this month has been released for burial after community leaders and lawyers appeared to renew hostilities with Inner North London Coroner Mary Hassell. It follows a letter of complaint from the Board of Deputies to Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft about the case of Rabbi Bobby Hill, alleging his family’s distress had been “exacerbated by Ms Hassell’”. Adath Yisroel Burial Society went to court in 2018 to challenge Hassell’s “cab-rank rule” for releasing bodies.

JANES & MENDOZA ARE INTERIM CHIEFS The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has appointed two joint interim chief executive officers to take over from Simon Johnson this summer. Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes will be taking on the role at the umbrella group on 23 June and keep their current responsibilities, with support from the JLC’s director of community strategy, David Davidi-Brown. Mendoza, who joined the JLC in 2011 and is the director of policy and public affairs, said: “It is an honour to be leading the JLC with Michelle.”









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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Jewish News–Jewish Leadership Council Forty Under 40

Rising stars shaping our community’s future... We kicked off our Forty Under 40 countdown in association with the Jewish Leadership Council last week by revealing those in positions 40 to 31. Today we continue with numbers 30 to 21 BENJY MORGAN, 37 26 RABBI As CEO of the Jewish Learning

Exchange (JLE), Rabbi Benjy leads 55 staff members, overseeing dozens of programmes that service more than 1,000 people per week. With popular content such as Rabbis Unscripted and Havdallah Live being streamed, as well as planned business breakfasts with the likes of WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, Rabbi Morgan has turned the JLE into a 21st century organisation. Formerly head of its Young Professional Department until his promotion to CEO in 2016, Rabbi Benjy continues to inspire and guide the next generation of Jewish leaders.



Miriam is co-founder of Kehillat Nashira, the Borehamwood Partnership Minyan. Taking place every few weeks with alternating Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services, it aims to develop an Orthodox community on the foundations of halacha (Jewish law), with participation from women and men. Praised for enacting leadership in a “quiet but poignant manner”, the 33-year-old provides an authentic voice in bringing Judaism to life. Miriam was previously the director of programmes and alumni engagement of Lead, a division of the Jewish Leadership Council that develops current and emerging community leaders.



The daughter of Labour grandees Lord Philip Gould and Baroness Gail Rebuck, Georgia has been leader of Camden Council since 2017. After studying history and politics at Oxford University, she worked for Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation before becoming a Labour councillor in Camden aged just 24 in 2010 and held cabinet roles with responsibility for young people, economic growth and adult social care. She is interested in youth politics and in 2015 wrote Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future after interviewing young people.



Richard is the former senior vice president of the Board of Deputies (elected in 2015 with a record mandate, he became the youngest senior VP in the Board’s history) , chairing its international division and working with politicians to defend the interests of the Jewish community. Formerly head of external affairs at World Jewish Relief, Richard is now director of communications at the United Synagogue, where he has been coordinating coronavirus communications. He is a Holocaust educator with March of the Living UK and guides groups across Poland.

GOLDSOBEL, 34 25 YEHUDIS Yehudis has propelled British

Jewry into tackling sexual abuse within the community. Realising that no Jewish charity existed to help victims of sexual abuse, the 34-year-old set up Migdal Emunah in 2013. The organisation, which now has staff in London and Manchester, has helped more than 500 victims of sexual abuse to speak out, access support and therapeutic services, and at times report their abusers. Yehudis founded Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which takes place each February.

CLIFFORD, 39 22 SAM Sam is a founding partner

of the Mikveh Project, which will open a cross-communal mikveh in north-west London and the initiative will support people with their mental health and well-being. Sam is the former director of the Yoni Jesner Foundation, set up in memory of 19-year-old Yoni Jesner who was killed in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing in 2002. The 39-year-old transformed the charity into a household name, having worked in the Jewish community for 15 years. Sam has also held senior roles at Lead, UJIA and Jewish Care, and now works as director of development for Jewish Museum London.



FLEMING, 27 29 DALIA The Jewish community’s foremost

professional leader in LGBT+ engagement, Dalia is the executive director of Keshet UK. The 27-year-old played a critical role in jointly producing the groundbreaking guide, The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools with the Office of the Chief Rabbi. An experienced facilitator and programme volunteer, Dalia previously organised the first LGBT+ Jewish Parliamentary Reception and ran a course at Jewish schools on how to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

LEA MÜHLSTEIN, 39 27 RABBI Rabbi Lea Mühlstein is a rising

star in Progressive Judaism. The 39-year-old is Senior Rabbi at Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue. Much of Rabbi Lea’s impact has been in education and social action, where she is responsible for the cheder and adult education programme, and through her work for Tzelem, the Rabbinic Call for Social and Economic Justice. She also chairs Arzenu Olami, the umbrella organisation of Reform & Progressive Religious Zionists, and is the only member of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel under 40.

WEISFELD, 38 24 HANNAH A “fearless advocate” for a lasting

solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict through a negotiated settlement, Hannah is the founder of Yachad. Under her direction, the ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ non-governmental organisation has secured membership on the Board of Deputies and significantly expanded its offering to include day trips in East Jerusalem with Israel tour participants. The 38-year-old, who advises government ministers, has galvanised a generation of student activists and secured her status as a compelling advocate of liberal Zionism.



Adam has established himself as one of the strongest critics of antisemitism in the Labour movement. The former Labour councillor in Barnet and NEC member of the Jewish Labour Movement has been published in the New Statesman and the Huffington Post, and has appeared on BBC News, Channel 4 News and Sky News. Most notably, after losing his council seat, the 33-year-old took to Twitter to appeal to John McDonnell in a viral video that received more than 150,000 views. Adam is currently head of communications and political adviser at the Jewish Leadership Council.

22 May 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

World News / New start / Spanish offer / World briefs

End to Israel’s 500 days of slumber Benjamin Netanyahu this week finally swore in his new government, ending more than 500 days of stalemate. It follows three deadlocked and divisive elections, a yearand-a-half of political paralysis and another three-day delay because of political infighting in Netanyahu’s Likud Party. The Knesset passed

a vote of confidence in Netanyahu’s new administration. Both Netanyahu and his rival-turnedpartner Benny Gantz announced their appointments for the new government – the most bloated in Israeli history with an expected 36 cabinet ministers and 16 deputies. Netanyahu and

Gantz, a former military chief, announced last month they would put aside their differences to join forces to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout. Their controversial power sharing deal calls for Netanyahu to serve as prime minister for the government’s first 18

Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

months before being replaced by Gantz for the next 18 months. Their blocs will have

a similar number of ministers and mutual veto power over most major decisions.

Citizenship extension IMMIGRATION EASED Spain’s government has said it will extend the deadline for descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country more than 500 years ago, who have launched the process of acquiring Spanish citizenship but could not complete it due to the pandemic. The extension of one year until September 2021 only

applies to those who had presented their preliminary request for citizenship before the October 2019 deadline. Spain’s Justice Ministry said it will allow applicants to sit for a test on Spain’s constitution and culture that had been cancelled, and give them more time to travel to Spain for an appearance before a notary.

Prospective Jewish immigrants to Germany from nations of the former Soviet Union will have an easier time under relaxed regulations announced by the German government. Jewish immigrants aged 60 and older, as well as disabled adults of any age, will soon no longer be required to partake

in an Integrationsprognose – a prognosis or forecast of integration into German society. Regulations pertaining to family reunification for parents and Jewish spouses will also be relaxed. Germany counts more than 200,000 Jewish immigrants since 1990 from the former Soviet Union.


Your weekly digest of stories from the international press MOROCCO

A group of 26 Israelis stranded in Morocco during the coronavirus pandemic was rescued in a secret operation aboard a plane owned by US casino mogul Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, according to an Israeli newspaper they own. Israel Hayom reported the rescue of the group, which included teenagers and businessmen and Bedouin Arabs from East Jerusalem. Morocco does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.


A new law giving Portuguese citizenship to descendants of Jews expelled 500 years ago by way of recompense looks set to be overturned after the country’s ruling party said it was being exploited for business reasons. A proposed amendment seeks to add the condition that the applicant legally resides in Portugal before applying as the government says most applicants have never lived in Portugal and say they do not intend to.


The most prominent pro-Israel lobby group in the US has warned that annexation should not affect the two countries’ relationship. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, whose annual conference typically hosts both Israeli prime ministers and US presidents, said reducing bilateral ties if Israel annexes parts of the West Bank would be ‘a mistake’. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he plans to annex parts of the West Bank by 1 July.


The South African Jewish Board of Deputies has created a £400,000 (nine million Rand) fund to help feed vulnerable communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic, after a large anonymous donation. It is working with partners in provinces including Gauteng, Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, North West, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

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22 May 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News 22 May 2020

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.




A message from our guest editor When asked to edit this issue to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, in association with Jami and Dangoor Education, I had little hesitation. In the last few years I have seen a significant shift within our community towards the complex topic of mental health. From the annual Mental Health Awareness Shabbat started by Jami in 2017 to the success of their Head Room Café on Golders Green Road, the charity has truly changed the way mental health is perceived and treated within our community. Of course we still have a way to go until mental illness is considered with the same regard as physical illness – I strongly believe we need to urgently focus on “prevention” and “early intervention” in our community as an example – but since I was first diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia over a decade ago, mental health is a great deal less of a taboo than I once found it to be. The very fact I’m writing these words in Jewish News, which has chosen to dedicate an edition to mental health, shows the progress we are making. In recent times, of course, there has been an understandable focus on our physical health due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we must not neglect our mental health during this period, which for many of us has also been impacted by the situation, especially youngsters. A report released this week by the Prince’s Trust and YouGov showed that almost half of young people in the UK feel increased levels of anxiety owing to the pandemic, with fears about their future employment prospects. The Young People in Lockdown report also revealed that one third of young people are “overwhelmed” by feelings of panic on a daily basis. We must begin to address any mental health needs resulting from the past few months sooner rather than later. To increase support in this area I’m using this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week to relaunch my youth mental health charity, Beyond. In this country, 75 percent of young people with a mental health problem do not receive the treatment they need (NHS Digital, 2018). I fear that this figure will worsen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s my dream to move ‘Beyond’ this shameful statistic and be part a community where wellbeing is finally given the priority it deserves. In this issue you will see how such a community is developing, thanks to nspirational individuals whose stories you will read, as well as organisations that are making a difference. But it is up to all of us to continue the conversation on mental health beyond this week and into the future.

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Irving was the best of us The ALEH family deeply mourns the passing of our beloved supporter and dear friend, Irving Carter. Irving was a kind and gentle soul who cared deeply for ALEH’s children in Israel with severe disabilities and complex medical conditions, and his giving heart was matched by an unparalleled generosity of spirit. Together with his dear wife, Gillian, he was constantly giving of himself to offer our residents a better quality of life, and did so with tremendous humility. Over the years, the Carter family has sponsored and co-sponsored important ALEH projects, including the recent dedication of a new medical clinic at Gedera’s ALEH’s residential and rehabilitative centre, which provides a fully-accessible treatment centre that benefits ALEH’s children daily. It is quite

Sketches & kvetches

Jonny Benjamin, MBE, is one of the country’s leading mental health campaigners. In 2014 his social media campaign to find the stranger who talked him out of taking his own life put the issues of suicide and mental illness on the national agenda like never before. The story of his campaign was told in the acclaimed film, The Stranger on the Bridge.

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symbolic that this clinic has allowed ALEH to keep the residents – all of whom have compromised immune systems and weak respiratory functioning – healthy, happy and out of harm’s way throughout this crisis. As the pandemic intensified, ALEH staff utilised the clinic to work wonders, and they cannot imagine what might have befallen the children without it. Although the novel coronavirus tragically took Mr Carter’s life, his family’s generous gift allowed us to save the lives of so many others. As we continue to shield our residents from Covid-19, we are indebted to Mr Carter and his wonderful family. We extend our deepest condolences to Gillian and their family.

Liron Rosiner-Reshef Director, British Friends of ALEH

BOARD OF DEPUTIES SHOULD NEVER TRY TO DICTATE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT POLICY The majority of Jews in the UK support Israel. There is a wide body of opinion among the Jewish community in this country as to Israel’s policies and that is reasonable as we are living in a democracy with freedom of speech. However, an organisation such as the Board of Deputies should never comment on, interfere with, criticise or try to dictate the policy of the Israeli government, especially on matters concerning any possible future agreement with the Palestinians and policy

towards Judea and Samaria. These are entirely matters for the democraticallyelected government of the State of Israel. Can one imagine a scenario, albeit highly unlikely, where the Israeli government followed a diktat from the Board and it proved to be a disaster, costing lives? What a terrible responsibility that would place on the Board. I know I speak on behalf of the vast majority of members of the community I represent.

Eric Harris, deputy for Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation

22 May 2020 Jewish News

Editorial comment and letters

WHICH SIGNATORIES WERE IMPERSONATED LIKE I WAS? My name recently appeared on an open letter to the Board of Deputies against annexation. I did not sign it and it’s clear I was impersonated. I was notified two weeks after it had been published. The organisation Yachad, which was involved with the letter, assured me the organisers of the petition removed my name and provided me with an email that had been used to submit my name. I am thankful that they did this. I note how the organisers of the petition and those supporting it (such as Yachad and Jewish Labour Movement) claim support from a wide spectrum for this petition.

This leads me to wonder if my identity as a religious Zionist was deliberately chosen. Or could it have beeen another Adam Shasha? Since there may have been no vetting to prevent the identity fraud I may have been subjected to, how do we know that there are indeed 500 people who willingly signed this petition? I have been informed of others who have had their names added to this letter without their permission. Unless the organisers verify the signatures the validity of this letter cannot be taken seriously.

Adam Shasha Jerusalem

BLAMING ISRAEL FOR FAILURE TO MAKE PEACE Why do columnists such as David Harel and Tal Ofer persist in blaming Israel for trying to end that strife? Israel has tried to do it the Arab way for decades but they just can’t see that is has not succeded. We have few enough friends in the world and a lot of enemies. Jews like some of the Board fo Deputies, Harel and Ofer play politics with people’s lives, much like is currently happening with Covid. Rather

than fixing things, the opposition seeks to convince the public of what a terrible job the government has done, engendering fear instead of giving them some positive hope. I for one won’t criticise Israel because the Palestinian Authority and Hamas choose to bite the hand that feeds them. It should be ‘peace for land’ not ‘land for peace’.

Adrian Korsner N20



Jewish News 22 May 2020


Israel must reconsider its choice of UK ambassador JENNI FRAZER


rdinarily, I would be cheering from the rooftops that the United Kingdom is to get its first female ambassador in the Israeli embassy. It’s way overdue and there are many talented women in the Israeli foreign service who would be wonderful representatives of the state of Israel. But, try as I might, I cannot view the announcement of this latest appointment with anything but despair. Benjamin Netanyahu, in putting together his newest, minister-heavy government, has put the icing on the cake by saying he is sending Tzipi Hotovely to London, to succeed Mark Regev. Where to start in the many, many ways this is depressing news? Let’s leave aside the fact that she is not a career diplomat, which would be reason enough not to cheer. Or the fact that she is not arriving in London for several months: first, she is going to serve in the government as leader

of the newly created Settlements Ministry, to be replaced by Tzahi Hanegbi when she leaves for Britain. The daughter of Georgian Jewish immigrants to Israel, Hotovely, 41, is a selfdescribed “religious right-winger”. She entered the Knesset as its youngest member in 2009 and, since then, her career arc, on even the most cursory examination, has consisted of hitting the headlines whenever possible – and not in a good way. What, for example, are we to make of her 2011 invitation to the Lehava organisation to speak to the Knesset’s committee on the state of women and gender equality, of which she was a member? Lehava’s mission is “prevention of assimilation in the Holy Land”, and its bigoted members – yes, bigoted – have frequently demonstrated

against personal or business relationships between Jews and Arabs. Hotovely’s reasoning was that it was “important to check systems to prevent mixed marriages”. It should scarcely be necessary to point out that even the most traditionally observant of politicians has no role in “preventing mixed marriages”. Would anyone have as casually invited members of the Ku Klux Klan to address a Knesset committee? Here’s another little Hotovely gem, this time having a go at American Jews: in a 2017 Israeli TV interview, the future Diaspora Minister – Lord save us – said that most American Jews “don’t understand the complexities of the region” [the Middle East], because they “never send their children to fight for their country. Most of the Jews don't have children


serving as soldiers”. Which is rich, considering that Hotovely herself did not carry out army service, instead bravely serving two years in Sherut Leumi, an alternative for religious women to the Israel Defense Forces, as a tour guide in a museum in Jerusalem and as a Jewish Agency representative in Atlanta, Georgia. The time spent in Atlanta, incidentally, presumably means that Hotovely at least can speak English, which is more than can be said of the earlier nominee for the post, Communications Minister Dudi Amsalem. It seems that Mr Netanyahu despises the professionals in the Foreign Ministry, and further that he doesn’t care if he insults both Britain and the Anglo-Jewish community by sending someone so manifestly unsuitable for this delicate role. When the novelty of a woman ambassador has worn off, we will be stuck with a hard-rightwinger who does not support the two-state solution and will alienate so many British Jews, never mind trying to sell such views to a critical British government. There is still time to change.

Herculean effort required to change party's culture PETER MASON



he meeting between the Jewish Labour Movement and newlyelected Labour Party leader Keir Starmer was remarkable. The last meeting of its kind took place way back in 2014, with Ed Miliband. Three leadership elections and three general elections later, JLM finally achieved a formal sit down in our centenary year of affiliation to the Labour Party. The intervening years have been catastrophic, both for the fortunes of the Labour Party as well as the Jewish community's relationship with it. Oddly, for JLM it has breathed new life into an organisation first established at the turn of the last century. From a movement of a few hundred just a few years ago, we now stand at 4,000 strong, with a clear mandate to continue our core missions of representing Jewish members within the party, and advocating for the party within the community. That second task has been near impossible for some time. Despite some notable exceptions, one of the hallmarks of Labour's antisem-

itism crisis was the notable absence of friends and allies outside the community. Too many found the culture of bullying, harassment and antisemitism so unbearable as to raise their heads and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous behaviour. While Covid19 has given some respite to that toxic atmosphere within the party by keeping us all distant, the leaks and the recriminations that have followed Keir Starmer's election as leader may well be a sign of the fights and fractious behaviour yet to come. Splits so intense and deep, even leading members of Momentum, the rump of the Corbyn supporting left, have thrown in the towel. That culture has not disappeared. Perhaps it may take years to refocus the party to a universal form of anti-racism, that treats discrimination against Jews in the same way that it should treat discrimination against anyone, of any race, religion, gender or protected characteristic. With the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation into the Labour Party expected to report imminently; the departure of Jennie Formby as General Secretary; an Information Commissioners Office investigation alongside further independent investigation into the leaking of a document

THERE WILL BE MANY MORE FIGHTS AHEAD AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD THE LINE that has seen young Jewish names feature on American Neo-Nazi websites; outstanding cases of defamation being brought by whistleblowers; all soon to follow, it'd be hard to see Labour Party antisemitism as being over. Because it isn't. There are those in the Community who seemingly wish to draw an artificial line in the sand, reverting relationships with the Labour Party to that which came before Corbyn. A return to the old status quo of parlour meetings and parlour games in the mistaken belief that asking for things to happen will make it so. The world has moved on from this model, and so has the Labour Party. Perhaps the most powerful moment of the years saga was the community's protest in Parliament Square. Finally, the organised Jewish community had rediscovered the language of protest and direct action. For the Corbyn left, we finally spoke in tones that they could understand. It is no surprise they doubled

down and from this point JLM's relationship with the Labour leadership disintegrated beyond repair. There is so much more left to do. It will require herculean strength of the new leader to see the change in culture that is required. This week's meeting gave members of JLM's NEC the chance to see that Starmer meant it. But just as action never followed words under his predecessor, so too must this new leadership be judged by their actions and not by the false sense of security that comes from proximity to power. The true judge of leadership is measured when those with power use it to repair, in this case, the Labour Party. JLM will not shirk our responsibility to hold those with power accountable. There are many more fights ahead and we will continue to hold the line. Our hope this time is we will have bolder friends and allies supporting us as we continue to lead the charge.

22 May 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News 22 May 2020




o, write about kindness, Jonny Benjamin tells me as he takes up the reins of Jewish News for a week. Ok, will do. I thought you might say write about mental health, this being Mental Health Awareness Week. But then kindness is related to mental health, isn’t it? A kinder world is a happier world. But then I also felt I should have a Jewish angle to my kindness angle. I’ve found it in music. Chapter 1: In case you hadn’t heard, I play the bagpipes. I have been playing more in lockdown even than in normal times, which is quite a lot. And before anyone cracks the usual borderline racist anti-bagpipe jokes, my neighbours complain when I don’t play, not when I do. This month I should have been playing

at the wedding of Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, whom I have known since she was a small child. She and her husband-to-be Alex Zatman, both proud Jews, threw me a pretty tough challenge– ‘bet you can’t play Hava Nagila.’ Georgia knows the best way to get me to do something is tell me I won’t be able to. I googled ‘Hava Nagila on bagpipes’ and it was clear Georgia and Alex were not the first to think this famous Israeli folk song could be played on the pipes. There are all manner of renditions on there, from the tuneful to the hideous, depending on the quality of the player. I then googled ‘Hava Nagila bagpipe sheet music’, and yet again struck lucky. Hava Nagila is hardly a tune written for the pipes, so it took a bit of time to get a proper feel for it, then practise and memorise it sufficiently to feel confident I would do Georgia and Alex proud. Then along comes Covid Bloody 19 and the wedding is off for a year. Chapter 2: I played my bagpipes outside


our house in north London on the first Thursday during which the country came together to clap for carers. I was particularly keen to do so because right next door to us is a Whittington Hospital nurse, Matilda ‘Sissy’ Bridge. She arrived home from work mid-clap, my daughter Grace spotted her and suggested I march her up the street while people were applauding. I did and she loved it and the film of it went viral – in a good way, not the way of coronavirus. I have played every Thursday since. On

week two, I noticed clapping on the pavement four doors down by our neighbours Maurice Monina, and his partner, Valerie Moss, also proud Jews, and I immediately thought on seeing them ... I bet they’ve never heard Hava Nagila on the pipes before, and I bet they’d enjoy it. They hadn’t; and they did. Dancing in the streets Gospel Oak style. Next thing I know, I am getting requests emailed and posted on social media. Then Grace tells me she just bumped into Maurice at the corner shop and he asked if I could play Danny Boy. As it happens, I couldn’t. Back to Mr Google. ‘Bagpipe sheet music Danny Boy.’ There it is. Now I can. Coming to a street near you, Thursday 8pm, Hava Nagila followed by Danny Boy, followed by the tune I wrote especially for Sissy, Our Neighbours, Our Nurses. Who would have thought it would take a crisis like Covid to get my bagpipe composing juices flowing? Have the pipes ever been kinder to my neighbours as now? Get good out of bad.



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22 May 2020 Jewish News



We are expecting surge in mental health referrals LAURIE RACKIND CHIEF EXECUTIVE, JAMI


e’ve all been feeling it in one way or another these past few months. Anxiety is a normal reaction to imposed self-isolation and the effects of lockdown on our lives, even if we have good mental health. However, we are already seeing signs that once the physical crisis caused by the pandemic is over, many will be left reeling from the mental health impact. Hospitals have seen a significant drop in attendance at accident and emergency departments with the British Medical Journal reporting a 25 percent fall in numbers the week after lockdown. Other areas of statutory services are experiencing a similar impact. People are ‘holding off ’ seeking urgent care to protect themselves from Covid-19 and to follow the government directive to ‘Protect the NHS’. Mental Health practitioners in particular are hugely concerned about the devastating

knock-on impact this will have in the foreseeable future. Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said experts fear that lockdown is simply “storing up problems, which could then lead to a tsunami of referrals” once all restrictions are lifted. For Jami, the community’s mental health organisation, the response to the pandemic has so far reflected the experience of our NHS colleagues. The immediate reaction was an increase in demand for support from our existing service users with heightened anxiety and feelings of isolation, but now we are seeing an increase in demand with new referrals. Many people using Jami’s services already live isolated lives and are amongst the most vulnerable of our society in the current situation. This period of enforced isolation enhances existing symptoms of poor mental health and makes people feel even more alone than ever. Many social care organisations, including Jami, had to close community centres and social hubs to protect service users from the impact of the virus. The knock-on effect for many service users is the removal of the only regular social


contact, as well as stripping away daily routines which help to provide structure, independence and thereby maintain self-esteem. Jami rapidly adapted services, mirroring, as far as possible, the services usually provided face to face. It has set up online weekly programmes for the people who would normally use our hubs or drop in to Head Room Café, with peer support worker-led sessions – people who use their lived experience of mental illness to support others – as well as staff and volunteer-led groups aimed at socialisation, fitness, wellbeing and creative activity. For those people most at risk, our redeployed staff and volunteers have delivered meals and,

even more importantly, had doorstep chats to identify any concerns and escalate support if required. One recipient said: “It makes me feel that someone is there for me, that someone will know if anything is wrong with me. It makes me feel loved and cared about.” Jami’s social workers and occupational therapists report a 55 percent rise in hours spent supporting people, with a 29 percent rise in the number of people supported on a one-toone basis compared to pre-Covid-19 levels. The adapted services are proving to be effective and the uptake by our service users and the wider community in the online programmes and support groups has demonstrated the clear need for the ongoing remote support. So far, this has been manageable. The Centre for Mental Health has been forecasting a large rise in the number of people whose mental health will be put at risk as a result of their experiences of the virus and the lockdown. Every single new referral to Jami since March has been as a result of a reaction to the pandemic; we are expecting and planning for the ‘tsunami’.

KKL is here for you, now more than ever At KKL we take great pride in being the Jewish community’s first and favourite wills and estate planning organisation. To us our clients are our family, which is why we always go above and beyond what you might expect. From legal guidance to pastoral care our approach is to always make sure you are fully protected and supported no matter what the future holds. So during these times of uncertainty, rest assured – you can always rely on us. For a no-obligation and confidential consultation, and to find out more about supporting JNF UK’s vital work in Israel, please get in touch. Call 0800 358 3587 or email

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12/05/2020 13:27:02


Jewish News 22 May 2020


We have adapted, now we must stay patient RABBI LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER



e are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. The past few months have been difficult for our society and acutely difficult for the Jewish community. Being physically together is core to our DNA. Seeing family and friends, hosting, supporting those going through sickness or bereavement, celebrating together — so many vital aspects of what it means to be Jewish have been put on hold by the physical distancing needed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. So many of us are yearning to return to our familiar ways. The recent announcements easing some restrictions in England and identifying a path forward may feel like the beginning of the end. I wish it was easy. But it’s not. We have made the toughest decisions possible to stem the tide and save lives. Our community must continue to show the utmost caution now to avoid our efforts going to waste. Yes, the temptation is going to come to

return to our synagogues, to our community centres and to our families. However, as a community, we must be even more vigilant than society as a whole and even more careful about our return to normality. We already know that the toll this virus has placed on our community — the number of lives we have tragically lost — has fallen heavier on us than on some others. We are, for many reasons, a group at an increased risk. With that comes an increased responsibility on us. We have already risen to this challenge. We have taken essential but heartbreaking decisions: to shut our synagogues physically, to stop visiting the sick and, most difficult of all, to stop attending funerals and shivah houses. This crisis has also seen us adapt with the most positive and innovative solutions to maintain our Jewish way of life in a different form. Suddenly we are all tech-whizzes, with services, education and children’s program-

ming from across the Jewish world available at the touch of a button. As ever, Judaism’s strength is its ability to innovate and survive. We cannot throw our efforts away now. This means confronting another festival, Shavuot, distanced from one another. Realistically, it even means facing the idea that we may not be physically together for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September, and for our communities to start planning for what that might mean. The speed of innovation shown across our communities has been breathtaking, and whilst our physical doors may be shut, our communities are very much open and facilitating a full Jewish life. For Shavuot, there are a plethora of opportunities to pray, learn and join together virtually with our communities. I hope as many people as possible take advantage of these spaces as thousands have been doing in recent weeks. This virus is not going to vanish quickly. We


will one day return to our usual routines, but right now we must take every precaution. Our clergy and lay leaders are showing the leadership we need and are thinking ahead. In partnership with the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors, we are producing guiding principles. These are based on Reform Jewish values and will underpin the decisions we make as to when we do reopen. They ensure that our actions reflect the needs of our communities and challenge whether reopening synagogue buildings whilst some members are forced to watch from afar is right and fair. When we come together again physically, we want to be a community inclusive of everyone, knowing we each played our part in keeping one another safe. We recently finished reading the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) in the Torah. Customarily we mark this occasion by saying “Chazak, Chazak, v’nitchazek” — be strong and strengthen one another. Well, that is what we have done: we have been strengthening one another for weeks now. Even at a distance, we must continue being a source of strength for one another for as long as is needed. No matter where we are physically, spiritually our communities will flourish.

My name teaches me old hate is still alive TOM TUGENDHAT, MP


’d never really considered myself Jewish before I entered parliament in 2015. As a British Catholic with a French mother and English father, the Austrian bit — our name — was a legacy of long ago. At a push, I would have said I was Jew-ish. But even that was tenuous. The Vienna my grandfather grew up in and left shortly after the First World War was not religious. It was dominated by Freud and Hayek rather than cantors and rabbis. And that world disappeared. Grandfather Georg left to study in London and married, converting to get her family’s permission. A veteran of the war, he had fought for the Emperor King Franz Josef and was marrying the daughter of a man who had died in Ypres fighting for King George V. Such marriages were unusual and it was clear that to my grandmother’s family, the Austrian Imperial Eagle was more of an issue than the Star of David; after all, he could convert. After five years in Westminster, though,

I have been made to ask whether he really could and forced to ask myself if I feel differently. As many non-Jews with the names Cohen will tell you, this prejudice isn’t theological. ‘Funny names’, like mine, are used to question loyalty and challenge belonging. A historical throwback that is as out of place as ducking stools or witch hunters is in Britain today and I’m seeing it for the first time. Antisemitism, in its varying shades,is still with us. I was surprised to see so many of the old tropes echoed in a Guardian column by the comedian Stewart Lee in recent days and, though grateful for the mountains of support including from many of their own journalists, was forced to ask: what do some think I am? A foreigner in my own country? Perhaps that’s not what was meant but the myths it repeated I’ve heard before and it reminded me that there is an ongoing blindspot for antisemitism in liberal, British society where the quinoa is followed by a quip. This more polished slight is nothing new. Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet was said to contain “more Estonians than Etonians”. It has taken me time to see it but serving in

I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE SO MANY OF THE OLD TROPES ECHOED IN A GUARDIAN COLUMN BY THE COMEDIAN STEWART LEE IN RECENT DAYS parliament has made it clear. It’s strange to see similar sentiments in a paper that would vilify anyone breaking the taboo of such insults to any other group. They’re right, of course. We should cherish the enrichment that Britons whose parents or grandparents brought to our islands, when their names show clearly that they grew up more than a few miles from church bells. But for some reason, not all should be welcomed. Not all are full citizens, clearly. My own name is a reminder of the days before Jews had rights. Tugendhat, rather grandly, means ‘has virtue’. Something which amuses me, albeit for different reasons, as I can imagine the hope of the citizenship that a name indicates. I smile at the arrogance of my ancestor who threw

caution to the wind and chose something so showy. Perhaps I’d have done the same. At the same time, I remember how I felt at Yad Vashem: Tugendhat just one name among millions and the hope it embodied barely a century before now reduced to a record in a war crime archive. Perhaps that’s why my last connection to a history of European Jewish culture makes me so conscious of the words that normalise hatred and try to turn me into an outsider in my own home. Many of those victims never thought of themselves as Jews either but their murderers felt otherwise. My grandfather, who converted to Catholicism, would have found that the Mass he attended, and I still attend, provided no defence.

22 May 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Scene & Be Seen / Community


A surprise pizza delivery and box of treats from Camp Simcha brought a smile to the face of 12-year-old Amelia, a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Amelia, from Leeds, suffers from a syndrome without a name and has been admitted for an intense and gruelling treatment regime. Her mum, Lisa, described the gifts as ‘a real boost’. Camp Simcha has also been sending in gifts for children on wards in other hospitals and creams and snack boxes for nurses and care teams. Naomi Joseph, clinical lead for the paediatric therapies team at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, said: “We [at Barnet Hospital] were delighted to receive a surprise delivery of cuddly monkeys, snack packs and a lovely poem of thanks from Camp Simcha. It made us feel particularly special knowing we are appreciated for what we do.’’

And be seen! The latest news, pictures and (virtual) social events from across the community Email us at


More than 100 Project ImpACT volunteers baked and delivered brownies for NHS and ambulance staff at the Royal Free, St Thomas’s, UCL and the Wellington hospitals during a bake-a-thon led by chef and caterer Fabienne Viner-Luzzato, together with a demonstration by chef Ines Romanelli. Chayli Fehler, Project ImpACT founder and director, said: “It is inspiring to see so many teens and families coming together to volunteer from home at our virtual ImpACT sessions.”


Tenants at Jewish Blind & Disabled’s Cecil Rosen Court in Bushey Heath have been keeping their building looking as lovely as ever in lockdown, including bedding and watering plants on the roof garden while staying at a safe social distance. Tenant Stephanie showing off her green-fingered handiwork.


More than 80 households tuned in to a Zoom cookery masterclass for Chai Cancer Care led by chef Ed Shaerf who has worked with Gordon Ramsay and Yotam Ottolenghi. The event was part of annual fundraising incentive ‘A Week for Chai’, which has raised nearly £10,000 through quizzes, poker tournaments, long distance running, bingo nights, pizza making and other activities. The charity is providing support services and care by telephone, Skype and Zoom. Chairman Louise Hager said: “Cancer does not stop for Covid-19 and neither does Chai.”





22 May 2020 Jewish News


Virtual fun day / Weekend

Lightening up lockdown! Thousands of people tuned into Jewish News’ joyful virtual fun day


hat do you get if you cross a rapping parrot with a cartoon masterclass and magic from Britain’s Got Talent (BGT)? That’s right, the first Jewish News’ Virtual Family Fun Day! From the comfort of their own homes, more than 5,000 people of all ages tuned in for three action-packed hours of drawing, painting, football skills, puppets and magic last Sunday afternoon. The Jewish News Fun Day, partnered with JLGB and JW3, kicked off with Captain Calamity’s slapstick set, complete with bubbles and balloons. Glue, crepe paper and paints took over, with Art Hub LDN’s creative corner, as participants had a go at being creative. BGT finalist Josh Horus took to the virtual stage, with a dazzling display of trickery, before Paul Solomons, Jewish News’ resident scribbler, led a cartoon masterclass involving a

Lucy, age 10

crocodile and a gorilla. As young people are not able to go outside for a kickabout with their friends right now, budding footballers got the chance to try out their impressive skills and drills with the SFC Academy. Following puppet fun with Stories With Sparkles, the day finished off with The Official Kids Party, as young and old got on the dance floor to boogie away their troubles. Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, who hosted the day in a full tuxedo with co-presenter Keely Price from JLGB, said: “What an amazing way to banish the lockdown blues. We were overwhelmed with the response. Having 5,000 people tuning in live to all our fun-filled activities was a real thrill. Thanks to our talented and creative performers and Keely for co-hosting. We will definitely be doing it again in the weeks to come.”

Tabitha aged 5, Poppy aged 11

Claire, age 5

mmy Casey and To

Sam, aged 5 Chloe

In association with

A look

Inside Jake, age 3

Jamie, age 5 Sienna, age 6

Sasha, age 7

Children in lockdown: Dame Esther Rantzen on helping youngsters with anxiety

Food for the soul: Cookery writer Claudia Roden reveals why she’s happiest in the kitchen

Recipe: New Yorkstyle cheesecake for Shavuot


Jewish News 22 May 2020

Weekend / Children’s mental health

‘We all need to make time for our children’ With an alarming rise in primary school age children struggling with anxiety, Childline founder Esther Rantzen tells Francine Wolfisz how best to help youngsters through lockdown


or young children living through the Covid-19 lockdown, parents can only wonder what they will remember in years to come. Perhaps it will be the empty streets, the closed schools, restaurants and shops, the abandoned park swings, but perhaps also that powerful symbol of hope displayed in almost every window: a rainbow. Up and down the country, youngsters have been encouraged to take part in the Rainbow Trail campaign, not only to show their support for the NHS, but also as a way of connecting with other children and helping to spread a smile. That campaign has in turn inspired a touching story, The Cloud and the Rainbow, about a lonely cloud who is reminded to have hope whenever he sees a rainbow in the sky. Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen and TOWIE star Samantha Faiers have both A screengrab of the video showing Esther Rantzen reading The Cloud and the Rainbow shared videos of themselves reading the story the news, seeing their parents lose their jobs and depression. Some were even counselled for on social media, as part of a campaign from Lidl, being cut off from vital mental health services suicidal feelings and self-harm. which has pledged £2million over and professional support. the next two years for the NSPCC’S One 10-year-old girl told her Some have found themselves looking after telephone advice service. counsellor: “I am seriously their siblings while their parents fall ill with While for many youngsters the struggling without my coronavirus, while others have been forced story is a perfect choice for bedtime support person. I have to stay within a home where there is physical, reading, there is also a deeper suicidal thoughts, emotional or sexual abuse. message for children struggling self-harm a lot and For veteran broadcaster Rantzen, who turns with anxiety during these times just want to run 80 next month, there is the added problem – and according to Childline, the away. I was feeling of vulnerable children being cut off from number of those needing the like this before the their grandparents, with all over-70s facing charity’s support right now runs coronavirus, but into the thousands. I feel the coronavirus a prolonged period of lockdown. She tells me: “There are many families where According to the latest figures, has made my suicidal grandparents are not only supplying childcare, Childline provided counselling thoughts worse. It but for children living in homes that are not safe, sessions for 2,700 young people scares me when I think where there may be violence or addiction, they aged up to 18 who were worried about ending my own also provide their one safe haven. about coronavirus, between the life and I am afraid for “So we are particularly worried about those end of January and the middle my safety.” children, who are not in safe places and haven’t of April. The impact of lockOf these, 492 were down on young people got the support of their friends, their schools, or their grandparents.” aged under 11, has varied widely Rantzen, now living in the New Forest, has and sought help from having their equally realised the “huge loss” grandparents for mental and routines disrupted are feeling at this time – including herself – emotional health and not being able having been physically cut off from family issues, including to see their friends, while in lockdown. anxiety, panic to becoming Dame Esther Rantzen “It’s a very precious relationship,” she anxious about attacks and

reveals. “I think the children love conversations with their grandparents. As you get older, you think opportunities are diminishing and then suddenly the grandchildren come along and your life takes off again, like a firework. It is exactly like that. “You develop these wonderful, magical relationships with your grandchildren – and it’s a huge loss when you can’t hug and cuddle them.” Still, Rantzen can at least talk to her grandchildren over the phone – and talking, she believes, is key to helping any child experiencing anxiety at this time. “It’s all about conversation,” she explains. “Parents think if a child hasn’t said something that there is no problem, but actually they might be trying to protect the parent by not talking about their fears. “One of the things I am most concerned about is that the kitchen table – where we all sit down and have a meal together – is becoming a rarer and rarer piece of furniture. “So many children are used to having a meal on a tray in their bedrooms while virtually communing with whoever on the internet, but actually it’s face-to-face conversations that still work the best. You do need to make time for your kids and now we’ve all got time. “Maybe this virus will teach us to be less busy, less frenetic and worry less about our emails – and do more for the people we care most about.”  Childline can be contacted on 0800 1111 or To watch The Cloud and the Rainbow video, view

Top tips for helping a child with anxiety

• Talk about feelings and worries • Keep in touch with family and friends • Balance screen time with family time • Try to create structure and routine • Help your child practice stress-busting exercises

22 May 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Weekend / Nosh

Food for the soul! B

aked rice with currants and chickpeas, a tagine of chicken with preserved lemons and olives, roast shoulder of lamb with couscous and date stuffing and, for the sweet-toothed, rice pudding with apricot compote. It all looks and sounds delicious enough and the taste is doubtless divine, but when it comes to rustling up her favourite recipes, cooking for Claudia Roden is as much about “giving love” as it is in getting the right balance of flavours. The celebrated author, best known for introducing Britain to Middle Eastern cuisine and her watershed work, The Book of Jewish Food, has long enjoyed researching into the roots and rituals and recording of exotic dishes handed down through the generations, but so too has she come to understand the therapeutic benefits of cooking. In short, that food really is good for the soul. It’s a more than apt topic to discuss during Mental Health Awareness Week, and just ahead of her virtual session next Monday evening for The Great Big Jewish Food Fest, a 10-day online celebration of Jewish cuisine through workshops, demonstrations and interviews. Speaking from her north London home, Roden, 84, tells me that even living on her own during lockdown has not stopped her from enjoying what she loves most. The Cairo-born writer tells me: “I still do cook for myself and I feel it’s therapeutic. If I just spend my time looking on the computer, or writing, I miss it terribly. And so I do cook. “Cooking is also wonderful for people living with their family or in a group. You cook together and you cook for each other. For whoever is cooking, it’s really a way of

giving love, giving comfort, and so there is a real emotional connection with food.” In recent months, Roden has been busy researching, collating and devising recipes for her new book of Mediterranean dishes, which will be published next year. Right now, she’s in the process of testing, with her family and friends around the world all trying out her creations – and she’s noticed that while lockdown has largely kept everyone apart, cooking has uniquely brought them all together. “I want them to test the recipes, not only because I want to know how much they like them – and they have to be absolutely wonderful to go in the book – but also it’s warming to see everyone communicating with each other, talking about which dishes they have tried and how it was for them,” she enthuses. “There’s so much that is frightening about the news at the moment, that to talk about something light and that gives happiness is a joy. It’s a relief.” As for her go-to “soul foods” that help her feel better, Roden simply laughs, explaining she has collated so many recipes – possibly into the thousands – that it’s hard for her to pick any particular favourite. “I was looking just now at a Spanish book for a recipe and I had forgotten just how marvellous that dish was, so I’m constantly reminded of my ‘favourites’. “The dishes that really make me happy however, are when someone cooks a recipe that my mother made or that we cooked in Egypt. Then I feel very touched, very moved. “Because of my work, I travel and go to restaurants all over the world and it’s wonderful to see what they have made out of home cooking, how they have transformed it and made it grand. But equally, if I were

Claudia Rosen/ The Great Big Jewish Food Fest

Culinary icon Claudia Roden speaks to Francine Wolfisz about why cooking brings her so much happiness

A selection of sharing plates by Claudia Roden, pictured left photo by Barbara Steinbauer-Gretsch

in someone’s kitchen and they made the simplest thing for me, that’s something I will remember forever.” Her sense of nostalgia is, after all, what brought Roden into the world of writing cookery books. Arriving in London in the early 1950s, she never forgot the beloved cuisine of her childhood, but following the mass exodus of Egypt’s Jewish community after the Suez Crisis in 1956, realised a trove of traditional recipes handed down through generations could be lost forever – and set about on a mission to collect them all. “There were no cookbooks in Egypt, none at all. The mothers passed on recipes through the family and if they were well-to-do, they had a cook – and the women taught them the recipes as well. “But I didn’t just write an Egyptian cookbook, because the community was

really a mosaic of Jewish communities and had come from all over the Ottoman world. “For instance, three of my grandparents came from Syria and one from Istanbul, and we had relatives who had come from Morocco, Tunisia and Salonika [Thessaloniki]. When they came to Egypt, they kept up their recipes, because it was a badge of their identity.” The resulting book published in 1968, A Book of Middle Eastern Food, firmly placed Sephardi food on the culinary map – surprisingly even in Israel where, until her book arrived, “people didn’t value their cuisine, because Middle Eastern culture at that time was considered backward”. She adds with a laugh: “I’ve even had chefs in Israel come up and tell me they first learnt Sephardi cooking from my book. “Today, of course, our cuisine is valued and when people cook it, they are not just making food – they are connecting to their heritage. They are part of something.”  Tea Time: Celebrating Claudia Roden’s Culinary Legacy with Leah Koenig takes place on Monday, 25 May, 8pm (UK time) as part of The Great Big Jewish Food Fest Fest. To see the full schedule and book a place, visit

Claudia Roden’s books: The Food of Italy; Tamarind and Saffron; Arabesque; The Book of Jewish Food and A Middle Eastern Feast

22 May 2020 Jewish News


The lighter side

Inspiration / Weekend

Brigit Grant’s little bit of this and little bit of that...

Holy land HOT

ISRAEL QUALIFIES as a leading confectioner when it comes to producing eye candy. Just take a gander at any Tel Aviv bus queue and you’ll spot several contenders for covers of Sports Illustrated and fashion campaigns. Good looks come naturally to our Holy Land brethren, many of whom naturally gravitate towards the catwalk or big screen. With the launch this week of Seret International virtual festival, media partnered by Jewish News, a roster of great Israeli cinema is now available on the small screem along with a chance to ogle aesthetic talent. Yes, I’d agree it’s shallow to focus on the punims instead of the performances, but it’s feasible to do both. Take Tsahi Halevi. Cast as the nation’s best spy in Mossad, it is hard to ignore his attributes as he sets about rescuing an American tech billionaire assisted by stunning model/actresses Adi Himelbloy and Efrat Dor. Efrat has already made her debut stateside in Sneaky Pete

Maor Cohen Tsahi Halevi

Efrat Dor

and Halevi has also been spotted. The multiaward- winning actor also appears in All In, which is about four best friends who reconnect 20 years after leaving secondary school to take part in a secret poker tournament organised by their arch-enemy. The cast also includes Yael Bar-Zohar, another model and actress who is resplendent, and for alternative appeal, there is Maor Cohen, who already has a fan base through his band Zikney Tzfat. With his brilliant portrayal in Incitement as assassin Yigal Amir, the Orthodox ultra-nationalist who murdered Yitzhak Rabin, it’s easy to forget how physically fabulous

Ruby, Ruby Ruby

be sprouting even now and may just bloom if we tend to them with care”. Ruby says the way to stop living in such a climate of fear is to turn our attention to the possible and positive. “I know what you’re thinking,” says the comedian. “Is it some kind of macabre joke? Has she been in a coma? How can Ruby Wax write a book about good news when the world is facing the worst disaster since the Plague?” Her answers await you in September.

Mental health poster girl Ruby Wax has just announced her fifth book, And Now For The Good News...To the Future with Love,, which will be published on 17 September. In her previous book, How to Be Human: the Manual, Ruby presented us with a guide through 21st century chaos and a user’s manual for surviving life. For the new tome, she’s searched out the green shoots in business, technology, education, community, health and food that “may

Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY THIS WEEK shed more clarity on loss in lockdown than I wanted, when one of my closest friends passed away. And he was far away – in Scotland – which in these unfathomable times might as well be Australia. Rabbi Mark Goldsmith kindly mentioned his name during streamed Shabbat prayers at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue, which gave me comfort, and the viewing figures for shuls online suggests many of us are seeking solace and continuity from our rabbinical leaders. If there were ‘ratings’, the Reform movement would be top of the leader board, and not streaming because of halachic restrictions is a missed opportunity to boost a congregation and light the candles together virtually. Trying to bring cheer to anyone while isolated isn’t easy and Mental Health Awareness Week reminds us of that. I introduced my dear friend to Amazon’s

Maisel which was the The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, uplift he needed, and I will be thankful to show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino forever for her hilarious Jewish housewife. Now you can watch the series and cast member Q&A’s on a weekly Twitter watch party at #MaiselMonday. A joyful show in tough times can briefly stop the tears.

Yehuda Nahari

Adi Himelbloy

Yehuda Nahari is in real life, but this is also true of comedian Nelly Tagar who is so compelling as a woman desperate to have a baby in Erez Tadmor’s The Art of Waiting. For those who lean towards less obvious pulchritude, director Guy Bentwich and his actress wife Maya Kenig are the epitome of cool and both star in Peaches & Cream, Guy’s semi- autobiographical film about a neurotic director promoting his latest film. How kind of Seret to provide such an eclectic selection of eye candy in films you won’t want to miss if only for superficial reasons.

Nelly Tagar

Yael Bar-Zohar


Jewish News 22 May 2020

Weekend / Food & Drink



ontributor Seven Glass’ family adore this cake and it was the one most requested by friends. This is a classic New York cheesecake with a sponge layer in place of a biscuit or pastry crust.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a 23cm (9in) springform tin, then tightly wrap the outside in foil so that water can’t get in. You will also need a deep baking dish that can fit the tin inside so the cake can cook in a water bath (bain marie).



2. To make the base, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with half the caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, then fold in the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter.

BASE 50g (⅓ cup/1¾ oz) plain flour ¾ teaspoon baking powder pinch of salt 2 eggs, separated 75g (⅓ cup/2⅔ oz) caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract finely grated zest of 1 lemon 30g (2 tablespoons/1oz) unsalted butter, melted ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then slowly add the remaining sugar, whisking in one spoonful at a time until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. 4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, tap a few times on the benchtop to remove any large air bubbles, then bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes or until light golden. 5. Meanwhile, make the cheese filling. Using an electric mixer, beat the cheese, sugar and cornflour until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the cream and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

CHEESE FILLING 1kg (2lb 3oz) cream cheese, at room temperature, chopped 230g (1 cup/8oz) caster sugar 35g (¼ cup/1¼ oz) cornflour 2 eggs 180ml (¾ cup/6 fl oz) pure (35% fat) cream 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6. Remove the cake tin from the oven, spoon in the cheese filling and place the tin into the baking dish. Pour enough tap water into the baking dish to come 3cm (1¼ in) up the side of the tin and place the cake and its water bath in the oven. (Double check that the water is below the foil and can’t seep into the cake.) 7. Bake for one hour or until the top of the cheesecake is light golden. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the cake tin out of the water bath. Allow to cool at room temperature for two hours, then refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

This recipe features in Now For Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club, published by HarperCollins, priced £25. Photographs by Alan Benson.

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Business / Digital mental health solutions

With Candice Krieger

START-UP STEPS UP TO THE COVID CHALLENGE Alex Stephany is the brains behind crowdfunding platform Beam, which recently won national recognition as a provider of support for the homeless, writes Candice Krieger


people into roles facing critical OVID-19 has been a big shortages, and as part of its driver for enabling and response, Beam, which was accelerating digital initially funded by the health solutions at a time Mayor of London, is now when they have never crowdfunding a Coronabeen more needed. virus Emergency Fund An increasing number and co-ordinating the of innovators have been provision of emergency switching their focus to the care packages to London’s crisis, showing what they homeless. can do to help via the digital “It’s widely documented delivery of care, or tools to supthat homeless people in port frontline health workers. And Alex Stephany particular are more likely to outside of the clinical setting the struggle with mental health,” says UK tech sector is rapidly responding Stephany, 38. “Covid-19 has only compounded to support the mental health of those struggling these issues. This could be anxiety over feeding with the unprecedented and overwhelming chalone’s children or contracting the virus. Many of lenges the pandemic has caused. the people we support already have underlying “Mental health is an incredibly complex issue health conditions, which means they aren’t that should be addressed through a combinaallowed to leave their homes. This has resulted tion of technology – which brings with it all kinds in feelings of isolation.” of efficiencies and scale – and personalised He adds: “I’m hopeful that we’ll start to see services,” says social enterprise entrepreneur Alex new technologies emerge which are designed Stephany, the founder of multi award-winning start-up, Beam, which supports homeless people. specifically for vulnerable or disadvantaged individuals. Wealthy people take for granted Last month, Stephany was a winner in the the amazing services they can get through their TechForce19 challenge, a competition launched phone from Spotify to Uber to Deliveroo. Our goal as a joint effort by NHSX (the unit that brings is to bring the best of private sector technology to together the Department of Health, NHS England some of the most disadvantaged people, so that and NHS Improvement), the AHSN Network technology can work for everyone.” (which brings together the 15 Academic Health TechForce19 was launched in March as the Science Networks in England) and the GovTech UK went into lockdown. It is aimed at funding venture firm PUBLIC to identify and fund compainnovations that offer a digital way to support nies that are creating digital support solutions for vulnerable people who need help. PUBLIC was those most vulnerable during the coronavirus. co-founded by Daniel Korski, the ex-deputy head Launched in 2017, Beam is a crowdfunding of policy at Downing Street and current vice-presplatform which supports homeless people ident of the Jewish Leadership Council. through training and into stable, paid work. It Beam was one of 18 digital solutions to be has recently turned its attention to helping the selected as a winner. The chosen companies homeless during the crisis. were recently displayed on Nasdaq Tower The platform’s current focus is on helping

Beam gets recognition on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square as a winner of TechForce19

Beam founder Alex Stephany and James Bowen

in New York’s Times Square as part of the electronic marketplace’s initiative to highlight innovative companies and bodies worldwide that are tackling Covid. Mark Lazar, director of programmes at PUBLIC, says tech companies have increasingly been turning their attention towards mental health. “There is a super established set of categories around things that improve mental health without pointing specifically at it, such as wellness, nutrition, exercise and meditation type of things. This is a very well-defined industry – players such as Headspace, Calm and others that have been doing very well for a while, and I would put those in the category of mental health but without it pointing directly at it. Even before Covid, we were seeing an increasing number of companies focusing more directly on mental health such as delivering mental health services and therapies online. “There is also a bunch of tech around finding and accessing communities of people to support. Companies are pivoting their services during these times to do things that will result in better mental health.” Beam partners with local authorities and homeless charities, then ensures that goods are funded, delivered and documented. The care packages are flexible and contain whatever is most needed for that individual and their family. “We’ve been able to fund a laptop and electronic tablets for homeless single mum Sonia, so her kids can do their school work from home,” says Stephany. A lawyer turned serial entrepreneur, and author (The Business of Sharing, published by Macmillan, a book which led him to advise the Mayor of Seoul on how to use sharing models to solve social problems), Stephany was inspired to set up Beam while on his commute to work when he would walk past the same homeless man daily. Stephany, who remembers learning at cheder

Hassko training as a barber

Monique training to be a beautician

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Digital mental health solutions / Business

Christianah working as a dental nurse

John working as a gardener

about Maimonides’ eight degrees of charity, began to think about what could have made a meaningful difference to his life. Since its inception, Beam – and Stephany – have picked up a host of accolades including last year’s MIT–Inclusive Innovation Challenge Best Financial Inclusion Organisation in Europe, Best ‘Tech for Good’ start-up in Europe at The Europas 2019, plus the 2018 London Homelessness Awards and an award for Best use of Technology in homelessness. This year, he was named one of NatWest SE100’s Top 25 Trailblazing Newcomers. Stephany has achieved a lot. As the former CEO of start-up JustPark, he grew revenue more than 10-fold in three years, raised funding from Index Ventures, and closed a £3.75 million crowdfunding campaign – then the largest ever equity crowdfunding for a start-up. He also gave a prestigious TED talk in Brighton last year. But he felt he wanted to do something with more social impact. “It’s high time that everyone in society had the opportunity to benefit from technology. At Beam, we can use tech to directly contribute to getting people out of homelessness. But most importantly, we’re giving people the tech to let them take control of their lives and progress towards true independence.” At the time of writing, £894,331 has flowed through the platform funding 246 campaigns, and 74 Beam ‘members’ have successfully entered skilled work, with a much larger number training or waiting to start their training once lockdown is over. Beam has yet to be supported by any major

Beam’s approach is to give people the means to be able to support themselves

donors from the Jewish community. “I know it’s only a matter of time as we are such a philanthropic community and Beam’s approach is at the core of the highest form of tzedakah – giving people the support to support themselves.” Digital tools have become essential for supporting the nation’s well-being at this time. According to reports, mental health-related apps have been downloaded more than one million times since coronavirus hit Britain. “I think digital solutions will continue to play a huge role in the years to come,” acknowledges Stephany.

“While technology plays an important part of our service, it’s not the answer to all of our problems. This is why Beam is a combination of technology and human-based, personalised services. One without the other is probably unlikely to work, at least for vulnerable people. I think a lot of interesting innovation and services made available for vulnerable people in the next 10 or 20 years will be services that fuse technology and data with human-based services that are personalised and also underpinned by technology.” •

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22 May 2020 Jewish News


A GUIDE TO GIVING No one is safe until everyone is safe: World Jewish Relief ’s global response to Covid-19 The Covid-19 virus has had a devastating effect on the lives and livelihoods of many in our community. But we are now increasingly worried about the impact this crisis will have on communities we work with in places where healthcare systems are weak and economies fragile. Since March, we have been helping our participants mitigate the impact of the virus. Much of our focus has been on the vulnerable elderly Jewish communities in Ukraine and Moldova. Our brave homecare workers have been delivering food parcels, medicine and supplies to thousands of home-bound individuals while also providing safe companionship. We’ve been prioritising the provision of food parcels to families who have lost their sources of income. Close to the conflict area in eastern Ukraine, we’ve also supplied protective equipment to hospitals, care homes and care workers. Liudmila, 78, had no way of getting food or medi-

cines. “I don’t know what I would have done without homecare. I would have just been left to die. I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am,” she said. And, of course, we are proud to be supporting communities beyond our own. In the overcrowded Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, we are distributing hygiene kits and face masks. In Mozambique, still reeling from last year’s cyclone, we have distributed hand washing kits to thousands and, here in the UK, we are supporting Syrian refugees who have lost their jobs with food parcels and supermarket vouchers. One recipient told us: “You helped me in the hardest time, thank you.” WJR chief executive Paul Anticoni said: “Working across 15 countries, each response has to be tailored to meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities. We have a responsibility to make sure we continue to look out as well as in, and to help those most at risk.” Covid-19 is a global pandemic. No one is safe until everyone is safe. World Jewish Relief will continue to do everything we can to support those affected.

NO ONE IS SAFE UNTIL EVERYONE IS SAFE. World Jewish Relief has been on the frontline of the COVID-19 response since early March delivering key services in 15 countries to mitigate the impact of the disease. Help us support more vulnerable people today.




Jewish News 22 May 2020


Camp Simcha’s mission is unwavering LOCKDOWN has dramatically changed everyone’s lives, but Camp Simcha’s mission, to bring vital practical and therapeutic support to families with a seriously ill child, remains unwavering. Practical services, such as hospital transports, crisis meals and night-time respite care, have continued, albeit with extra safety precautions. While face-to-face visits and outings clearly cannot take place at the moment, Camp Simcha has been working overtime to maintain a high level of support for families over the phone and using virtual communications, while sending in a steady stream of fun activities for the children. Head of services Daniel Gillis explains: “Our families need the continuity of our support more than ever. Their ill children are very vulnerable, so parents are understandably terrified. Juggling family life when all your well children are at home, with caring for a seriously ill child when much of your support has fallen way, is overwhelming and exhausting. “We are now running up to 50 weekly virtual therapeutic arts-at-home sessions.

Families have fed back how much of a boost this is to the children, while bringing a much-needed break for them. “We are also providing counselling, tutoring and lending of equipment such as iPads and laptops. Our family liaison officers have established virtual support groups to help counteract the sense of isolation many parents feel, while our new online parent portal gives them access to exercise videos, advice and family activities.” In addition, Camp Simcha has already sent families more than 1,200 creative toys, games and crafts, including seed and herb garden kits, while organising entertainers, concerts and a weekly challenge event for families, from treasure hunts to bake-offs. “You cannot imagine what all this means to families,” says Daniel. “But this message from one of our mums says it all: “Thank you so much for the big parcel with all the games and toys you sent us. My kids love it and are so busy playing with the Knex... Thank you thank you…I don’t have enough words to thank you. But thank you for just being here for us. It’s exactly what my kids and we all needed now.”

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WE’RE STILL PROVIDING FRONTLINE HELP FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES So many Camp Simcha families have seriously ill and vulnerable children and they are understandably terrified. This crisis has meant much of their normal support system may have diminished or disappeared entirely. Camp Simcha’s team, Family Liaison Officers, therapists and consultants are working round the clock to make sure all our families feel they are not alone. Throughout this crisis, children are still being diagnosed with serious and life-threatening illnesses and we have been continuously receiving new referrals. Camp Simcha has always vowed to be there for families whenever they need us, however they need us, for as long as they need us. That is still the case and will be throughout this emergency and beyond.

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22 May 2020 Jewish News


Orthodox Judaism

Torah For Today

SEDRA Bamidbar

What does the Torah say about: Kindness

BY RABBI DOVID LICHTIG This week we start reading the fourth of the five books of the Torah. The fourth is named Numbers, because it starts off with Moses being commanded to count the Jewish people and their numbers listed per tribe. However, conducting a census of the Jewish people has not always been so simple. Around 500 years later, when King David also decides to conduct a census of the Jewish people, his counting is opposed by his army commander, Yoav ben Tzeruah, and broadly regarded as a serious sin, which resulted in 70,000 Jews dying. Clearly, it’s not just about the numbers. The words used here are bemispar shemot, which translates literally as “counting by name”. Not a simple numerical counting, but a counting of each and every person by their name. Rabbi Meir L Wisser, more commonly known as the Malbim, says this clearly denotes a counting of individuals as opposed

to a count that was purely numerical. This counting was personal. The Malbim points out that when counting is done simply to get a total, all individuality is lost. Those counted become simply a drop in the ocean that make up a number, completely removing the value and power of each individual who was counted. Judaism believes more than anything in the value of each and every individual. Removing this also removes the very fabric that joins us together as a nation. Counting needs to be done individually by name, where every single person counted is irreplaceable and valued for who they are, not merely one of the millions that make up a nation. The lesson being taught here is simple – as much as we’re part of a larger nation that’s integral to our success and survival, most of all it’s the individual who needs to be respected.

◆ Rabbi Dovid Lichtig is managing director of Aish UK

BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, with the theme of kindness. So, what does the Torah say about this? Saul, King of Israel, was soothed out of his state of melancholy by David. Saul suffered badly from depression, which on one occasion caused him to throw a javelin at David and once at his own son, Jonathan. Notwithstanding, David’s kindness shone and demonstrated itself fearlessly. He understood Saul’s ailment and did not hold it against him personally. The power of healing music for mental suffering is, since Biblical times, a major focus for Jews. Part of the period between Pesach and Shavuot, which is commemorative of sad periods of persecution in recent times, stops the playing of music in many Jewish communities – but not all. A precedent was set by Don

into frightening uncertainty. Kings, rabbis, and commoners all suffer mental stress, no one is exempt. In recent times, pikuach nefesh, doing what is necessary to save a life mentally has been halachically equated with and considered as seriously as physical danger to life and self. Committing to a Mental Health First Aid course is as crucial to be proficient in as a St John’s Ambulance course in resuscitation. Recognising our mutual concern and looking out for each other always, is the greatest kindness from which society can benefit. Let the great displays of kindness we have seen recently bode well for a post-Covid world. ◆ Rabbi Abel serves Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation and is padre to Merseyside Army Cadet Force

Isaac Abarbanel, the great rabbi and sage of the Iberian community, who ordered that music should be played on Tisha B’Av, the Hebrew date in 1492, upon which the Decree of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain came into effect to expel Jews and Moors from Spain. Don Isaac did this because of his concern for the mental health and welfare of his people who could not bear the strain of seeing life descend

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

Progressive Judaism

The Bible Says What?

What’s different about a socially distanced Shavuot?

Fake news in the Torah BY RABBI CHARLEY BAGINSKY “Do not go about as a gossip monger among your people.” (Leviticus 19:16) “Careless talk costs lives” (1940s British government campaign). Do humans have short memories? Whether in Biblical times or during the Second World War, there is an understanding fake news and gossip can have a devastating physical impact on people and communities. In recent days, there have been dangerous anti-lockdown rallies and the ripping down of 5G masts in the UK, 500 people dying from drinking methanol in Iran and daily bogus miracle cures for Covid-19 from the American president. But such fake news predates Donald Trump... indeed, it can be found in our Torah. One of the most problematic moments for all who otherwise look up to Miriam as a female role model is how she, alongside Aaron, seem to have slandered their brother Moses’ wife. Criticising Zipporah for being a Cushite, Miriam is struck with leprosy

Progressively Speaking

in punishment. The rabbis understand she spoke first – therefore leading the tirade against Zipporah. What the Torah tells us is that just like skin disease, and indeed the coronavirus, such gossip can spread and play havoc with people’s physical and mental health. It’s why there is an explicit prohibition against it in Leviticus and why stopping “careless talk” was such a big part of Britain’s Second World War campaign. Today, we must remember to act with caution when we talk about information on social media and between our friends. Half truths and assumed facts can too quickly be held as wholly true. Turning to the Torah can remind us our words have the potential to do physical harm, that we must beware of careless talk and consider the impact not only of how we act, but how we speak.

◆ Rabbi Charley Baginsky is Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships

BY STUDENT RABBI DEBORAH BLAUSTEN Shavuot represents the end of a time of travel and uncertainty. The Israelites who had left Egypt needed time to adjust to the initial shock of freedom – to get used to their new normal – and to start functioning as a society so they could be ready to receive Torah. They stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and entered into a covenant, which gave them a shared sense of purpose and direction. Shavuot is inescapably connected to gathering; whether at the foot of Mount Sinai, later at the Temple in Jerusalem as people brought their first fruits on the festival, or today when thousands still gather at the Western Wall for prayers after a long night of study. When Torah describes the moment of revelation at Sinai, it describes that the covenant was made with all the people standing there and also with all those who were not there. Midrash to the book of Exodus

explains this to mean the souls of all Israel were at Sinai, even of those not yet born. This image of all Jews standing at Sinai is most often used to remind us that every Jew has an equal stake in our religious heritage, but this Shavuot, the image of everyone at Sinai has something else to offer. Embedded in the image of everyone together at Sinai is the idea that it is possible to be spiritually present, but physically distant.

Everyone was entitled to an equal stake in the moment of receiving Torah, whether there in physical form or not. Approaching a Shavuot when physical gathering isn’t possible, what does it mean to re-enact the receiving of Torah this year? Since the night of the first giving of Torah, it has been understood physical absence should not be an obstacle to receiving each of our textual inheritance as Jews. The image of everyone at Sinai is a reminder that it’s up to each of our Jewish communities to find ways to open the doors of learning and tradition to all, tradition that belongs to each of us, regardless of whether we are physically present. We might not hear the sounds up on the mountain so clearly this year, but I hope to still see you at Sinai! ◆ Deborah Blausten is a rabbinic student at Leo Baeck College

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Jewellery Cave Ltd, 48b Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT T: 020 8446 8538 Open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm (anytime) and Saturday 9am to 1pm (by appointment)

22 May 2020 Jewish News


Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Ask our Moving money to or from Israel? Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Investing in the next big thing, working while furloughed and finding a job in Israel

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Dear Leon I see Intel bought Mobileye for $15 billion (£12.5bn) and Moovit for $900 million (£736m). How might I invest in the next Israeli success story? Ernest Dear Ernest There are indeed many exciting Israeli success stories, especially in high-tech, biotech, medical devices, artificial intelligence and cyber. But around 80 percent of start-ups run out of money and quietly close. This is common in tech in other countries too. Most are private companies, so when


NOBLE SOLICITORS Dear Carl I’m currently furloughed and my employer has asked me to work on a particular project but from home. He has told me it’s ok for me to volunteer to do work for him even while furloughed. I am worried this might be illegal. Sam Dear Sam The coronavirus job retention

scheme allows employers to put their staff on leave and claim up to 80 percent of their wages from the government where, because of Covid-19, employers are unable to operate or have no work for particular employees to do. Your employer is correct in that the scheme allows volunteering or training for your employer so long as what you are doing does not amount to providing a service that might generate a profit for the employer. If a furloughed employee is asked to undertake a task that the employer knows is going to breach the scheme’s regulations, then that employer is likely to be committing offences of either cheating the public revenue or committing a fraud by false representation.

looking for the plums in the 20 percent band, plenty of homework is needed. You should seek advice, for example from Israeli accountants such as us, who are experienced in carrying out due diligence reviews on candidate companies. You should only invest a small part of your wealth in such companies in case you lose it. Also, you might consider investing via a venture capital (VC) fund. VC funds have invested many billions of US and UK money in Israeli private companies and make regular checks that their management are doing their best. On the tax side, there will often be initial losses, followed by Israeli tax breaks, But really you are in it for capital gains. If things are properly structured, you should only pay UK capital gains tax. L’hatzlachah!

An employee who works knowing they are doing so in breach of the scheme would also be liable in the same way. An offence of fraud is committed if it can be proved you have acted dishonestly. Dishonesty requires two separate tests to be proved. The first test is the employer or employee’s knowledge or belief as to the facts of what they were doing, and secondly, was their conduct honest or dishonest by the standards of ordinary people. You should consult an employment solicitor to clarify if what you are being asked to do might constitute a breach. If it does and you go on and undertake the work, then it is likely that you will be acting illegally.


NEFESH B’NEFESH Dear Dov I’m not sure how to look for a job in Israel. Can you help me? Naomi Dear Naomi In today’s tight job market, you can’t rely on luck to land your first job in Israel, but you can lay the groundwork to jumpstart your employment search before you get on the plane. •It’s difficult to apply for

+44 (0) 20 7847 9494

Struggling to hear the TV? Missing out on family conversations? Hearing just not what it used to be?

We have the technology to make a difference.

Telephone 020 8446 0214

Get the very best of life

jobs before you make aliyah, but you can help yourself by creating a network of professional contacts and emailing them ahead of time. If you feel you don’t have professional contacts, we are happy to help you find people to speak with in your field. •Find out what the market is like in Israel for your field, and tailor your job hunt and CV. • Flexibility may be the key to survival. Your first job in Israel might be just that, a starting point from which you will advance professionally. •Improve your Hebrew while still in the UK as after you get here, you’ll struggle with the pressures of settling into a new environment. Employers are looking for directed CVs that point to strong experience in a narrow

jewish deaf association

field, rather than broader CVs that describe a well-rounded person. If you have strong experience in something specific, make that clear. Before you decide where to settle, check out which region is best for your field, for example, you’ll find more opportunities in high-tech if you live in easy commuting distance to the Tel Aviv area. Finally, take a look at the Nefesh B’Nefesh job boards on Facebook and on our website.


Jewish News 22 May 2020

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST 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.

PATIENT HEALTH 020 3146 3444/5/6


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.



ISRAELI LAWYER 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.



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

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

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.


JEWELLERY CAVE LTD 020 8446 8538


• • •

Got a question for a member of our team? Email:

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

0-800-051-8227 | 020-8371-5250 |



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

NOBLE SOLICITORS 01582 544 370



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.



22 May 2020 Jewish News


Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




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

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.

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.

SOBELL RHODES LLP 020 8429 8800

LONDON PENTHOUSE 020 7665 9604





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.

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.

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.

CURRENCIES DIRECT 07922 131 152 / 020 7847 9447

RISK RESOLUTIONS 020 3411 4050

MAN ON A BIKE 020 8731 6171

ISRAELI ACCOUNTANT 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!

HARRIS HOROVIZ CONSULTING & TAX LTD +972-3-6123153 / + 972-54-6449398


PHOTOGRAPHER 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



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.

LESLEY TRENNER Qualifications: • Provides free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Offers practical support, workshops and networking opportunities to maximise job prospects.

NEFESH B’NEFESH 0800 075 7200

RESOURCE 020 8346 4000




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.

ALEXIS CIBRANO Qualifications: • HCPC registered social worker and SweetTree Dementia Service Manager. • Graduate of Fordham University, New York, receiving a BS degree in psychology, BSW degree in social work and MSW in social work, specialising in client-centred management. • Completing her Executive MBA at London Business School.



Got a question for a member of our team? Email: Registered Charity No. 259480

Leave the legacy of independence to people like Hayley.

eNABLeD PLease remember us in your wiLL.

Visit or call 020 8371 6611



Jewish News 22 May 2020



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22 May 2020 Jewish News


Fun, games and prizes




















ACROSS 1 Grapple, scuffle (6) 4 Equitable (4)

8 Employ (3) 9 Encroach (5,2)











































Crossword ACROSS: 1 Revel 4 Comes 7 Tankard 8 Nil 9 Rig 11 Terror 14 Brooch 17 Ear 19 Ail 20 Bazooka 22 Apart 23 Liken DOWN: 1 Rotary 2 Van 3 Least 4 Cedar 5 Manhole 6 Self 10 Gorilla 12 Etc 13 Ordain 15 Orbit 16 Hazel 18 Saga 21 Oak

9 6 1 7 8 2 5 3 4



16 20




23 18





23 6



11 24




22 5







26 7

13 26 15




26 12


1 2 3 8 5 6 7 4 9









5 26











5 4











14 16




26 6




17 3

4 3 5
















13 9














3 1 2 5

5 14

See next issue for puzzle solutions.
















Suguru 5 4 8 1 7 9 6 2 3

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




Sudoku 4 8 5 3 9 1 2 7 6




3 7 2 5 6 4 9 8 1





Last issue’s solutions





3 6













24 12



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

In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers 6, 24 and 26 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.

The listed words relating to a bus stop can all be found in the grid. Words may run either forwards or backwards, in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction, but always in a straight, unbroken line.






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

10 Soft and smooth (5) 11 Doubly (5) 13 Value (5) 15 In the vicinity (5) 17 Helicopter (7) 19 Mesh (3) 20 Deceitful (4) 21 Dairy product (6) DOWN 1 Visits various places (5) 2 Astral (7) 3 Campaigning group (5) 5 Beer (3) 6 Extent, scope (5) 7 Crushed stone (4) 12 Enrage (7) 13 Large parrot (5) 14 Category (4) 15 Stagger (5) 16 Metric fuel unit (5) 18 Bird of the night (3)

7 8


6 9 7 2 4 3 8 1 5

8 3 4 6 2 5 1 9 7

2 5 9 4 1 7 3 6 8

7 1 6 9 3 8 4 5 2

3 1 4 5 4 1

2 5 2 1 3 2

3 1 3 5 4 1

All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd -


Wordsearch 2 4 2 1 2 3

3 5 3 4 5 4

1 4 1 2 1 2

1 4 1 5 1 2

2 5 2 3 4 3

3 1 4 1 5 1

5 2 3 2 4 2

3 4 1 5 1 5

1 2 3 4 3 4








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








C D NMGU B T X S P J F H L W E A Q O Z I Y R K V22/05


Jewish News 22 May 2020

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016


Top prices paid

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)




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

Dining Suites, Lounges Suites, Bookcases, Desks, Cabinets, Mirrors, Lights, etc.

Cash paid for Mink Available support Allto Antique Furniture Hille & Epstein jackets, coats, you in your home. Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver,boleros, Paintings, stoles, Porcelain, also fox coats, etc. Glass,Days/nights. Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques jackets etc. Very reasonable rates. Full house clearances organised. Wardrobes cleared Call Please 0208 look 958 at 2939 our website for more details Call 01277 352 560 or 07495 026 168

House clearances Single items to complete homes MARYLEBONE ANTIQUES - 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED


07866 614 744 (ANYTIME)

VERY HIGH PRICES PAID. FREE HOME VISITS. All Antique Hille & Epstein 0207Furniture 723 7415 (SHOP) Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver, Paintings, Porcelain, closed Sunday & Monday Glass, Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques etc.


0800 840 2035 or 07956268290


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

Full house clearances organised.

MAKE SURE CONTACT BEFORE SELLING Please look YOU at our websiteUS for more details

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

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

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on


020 8731 6171 •


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

Top prices paid

All quality furniture bought & sold.

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

Best prices paid for complete house clearEpstein, Archie Shine, Hille, G Plan, etc. ances Lounges includingSuites, china, Bookcases, books, Dining Suites, clothing etc. Also rubbish clearance Desks, Cabinets, Mirrors, Lights, etc. service, lofts, sheds, garages etc House clearances Single items to complete Please contact Gordonhomes Stirling

020 8960 5401 or 07825 224144 CHURCH STREET ANTIQUES � 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED

͔͚͚͚͕͛͛͘͘͘͜(ANYTIME) Email: 0207 723 7415(SHOP) closed Sunday & Monday




Charity & Welfare Counselling for adults & children who are experiencing loss, and support groups. Contact The Jewish Bereavement ARE YOU BEREAVED? Counselling Service in confidence

Labels are forTURN, jars. Refer yourself or aKNOW loved one by IF YOU DON’T WHICH WAY TO Not people. calling 020 8458 2223 orOUR visit HELPLINE. REMEMBER

Counselling for adults & children who are 020 8951 3881 experiencing loss. Support groups offered. | Call The Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service in confidence

For confidential advice, information and support don’t forget Jewish Care Direct. REGISTERED CHARITY NO. 1003345

020 8922 2222

020 & 8951 3881 • 07765 693 160 CHARITY WELFARE



PLUMBSAFE (UK) LTD “Better Safe Than Sorry�

Jami supports and represents people with mental illness across Fast & Efficient House the Jewish community.

| boiler repairs and installation | complete central heating | | power flushing | complete bathroom installation service | | landlords certificates | project management | home purchase reports |


#jamithinkahead We are reliable, cover all neighbourhoods & suit all budgets. Give support • Get support • Get involved We also buy good quality furniture, old books & Judaica.

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Call: 078 060 79299 Reg Charity No. 1003345

Not shabbat


We have an open waiting list for our friendly and comfortable For further details and application forms, please contact warden assisted sheltered housing schemes for Jewish people Westlon on 020 8201 8484 in Ealing, EastHousing Finchley Association and Hendon. We provide 24-hour warden support, seven days a week; a residents’ lounge and kitchen, laundry, a sunny patio and garden.

For further details and application forms, please contact Westlon Housing Association on 020 8201 8484

Charity Reg No. 802559

For all your heating and plumbing requirements

We have an open waiting list for our friendly and comfortable warden assisted sheltered housing schemes in Ealing, East Finchley and Hendon. We provide 24-hour warden support, WESTLON HOUSING ASSOCIATION seven days a week; a residents’ lounge and kitchen, laundry, aSheltered sunny patioAccommodation and garden.

ADVERTISE IN THE UK’S BIGGEST JEWISH NEWSPAPER FOR LESS THAN £24 A WEEK Are you a Jewish woman experiencing domestic violence? With abuse in your home, do you worry about your children?

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) *" "- *'


PROFESSIONAL A. ELFES LTD PAINTING, DECORATING memorials & New PAPER HANGING Additional inscriptions Over & 20renovations years experience Friendly, reliable & Clayhall Showroom 14 Claybury Broadway Ilford. IG5 0LQ T: 0208 551 6866

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Home & Maintenance

The specialist masons in creating bespoke Granite and Marble Memorials for all Cemeteries.

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      +" ) "# ,!"        "      !        #        !      

•DRIVEWAYS •PAINTING London 020 8485 8176 •PATIOS •PLASTERING •BRICKWORK •PLUMBING ADVERTISE IN THE •ROOF REPAIRS •ALL BUILDING UK’S BIGGEST ADVERTISE IN THE •GUTTERING WORKNEWSPAPER JEWISH City and Guilds Electrician UK’S BIGGEST JEWISH All types of electrical work undertaken FOR LESS THAN NEWSPAPER FOR LESS A WEEK £24.00 FREE ESTIMATES & ADVICE Rewiring, extra sockets, BT points, Economy 7 storage heaters, Shabbat time switches, security lighting, THAN £24 A WEEK ALL WORK FULLYCall GUARANTEED LED spotlights, fault finding, CCTVportable appliance tests, Marc today landlord tests and house buyer’s surveys. on 020 7692 6943 Email Sales 581 Bowrons Ave, Wembley HA0 4QP For an efficient reliable and friendly service. today at Call Harvey Solomons on 01245 211 002 / 07773 102 386 Jewish 020 8958 6495 / 07836 648 554



All NW-London postcodes covered

07860 881505 or 0800 610 12 12

020 8953 2094 office 020 8207 3286 home 020 8386 8798



22 May 2020 Jewish News


Business Services Directory COMPUTER



Man on a Bike will get you working fast! Rapid Response IT support for your PC & Mac Networks, virus problems, broadband, wireless systems, new computers and everything else you may need. For small businesses & home users.

AERIALS & SATELLITE • Repairs & Installs • Any work under taken • Sky & Freesat

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DOMICILIARY CARE FREE CARE if you book before 31st October 2019, for every 4 hours of care booked the 5th hour will be 50% Free.


HOME CARE AGENCY Established Over 30 years

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Professional Care at Home Day & Night Care available North and Central London T: 020 8088 2789



Leave the legacy of independence to people like Joel.



PLease remember us in your wiLL.


Tel: 020 8202 2323 Web: Email:


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or caLL 020 8371 6611 No. 259480 18-361-JM Small legacy advert v1.qxp_Legacy 09/10/2018 10:27 Page 1

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Jewish News 22 May 2020

IF YOUR BUSINESS IS STILL IN BUSINESS, YOU NEED OUR HELP. In these difficult times our readers can’t find you without a personal introduction. We can provide the opportunity by creating sharp and interesting editorial in an original layout that tells the story of your company. Presented in print and online with links to your website or service. CREATE YOUR BESPOKE ADVERTORIAL NOW and spread the word about you. or call 0207 692 6929

22 May 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News 22 May 2020

Profile for Jewish News