VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 9 July 2020
17 Tamuz 5780
Winona Ryder takes the plaudits in Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America Page 25
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Yoni’s brother backs organ donor scheme Sibling of teen killed in suicide bombing, whose kidney saved Palestinian girl’s life, urges community to sign up The chief executive of the Office of the Chief Rabbi this week urged members of the community to sign up to the NHS’s new organ donation system, which could go live in as little as three weeks’ time, writes Adam Decker. Ari Jesner, brother of Yoni, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Israel and whose kidney was donated to a Palestinian girl, issued the call in a virtual symposium as senior rabbis and clinicians discussed changes to organ donation law in England and its implications on Jewish law. In May, England adopted an opt-out system, meaning that anyone who is not in an excluded group and who has not confirmed that they want to be an organ donor will be considered to have agreed to donate their organs when they die. Owing to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, officials had Organ donor: Yoni Jesner assumed that implementation of the new opt-out system would be greatly delayed, perhaps until next year, but Jesner told the online gathering that it could be up and running in less than a month. “We had been led to believe that this would be a number of months away, but it seems that the NHS has managed to perform yet another miracle, and this will be coming online sooner than we expected,” Jesner said. “It seems this new deemed consent will be operating in practice possibly from the end of July.” As the system is now technically operational, Jesner said “the recommendation to the community is to go online and sign up with confidence” to the new organ donor register and complete the faith declaration. He added: “It’s a tremendous opportunity.” Referring to his brother Yoni, who was 19 when he was killed in the bus bombing in Tel Aviv in 2002, Ari said he knew all too well the importance of families discussing their preferences. He said the Chief Rabbi’s Office and the Board of Deputies had worked hard with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Continued on page 4
WE’RE DAVENING, FROM A DISTANCE
Mill Hill United Synagogue congregants adhered to strict social distancing this week as places of worship reopened. And it was safety first for Rabbi Alex Chapper (inset) at Elstree & Borehamwood synagogue, who wore a face mask carrying a quote from Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5: “Save one life, save the world.” Main picture: Marc Morris
Jewish News 9 July 2020
News / Annexation debate
Boris warns Bibi: Don’t set back peace prospects Boris Johnson has expressed concern in a telephone call with Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. The prime minister told his Israeli counterpart that the move would “set back the prospects for peace in the region”, Downing Street said. Netanyahu has been eager to begin annexing West Bank territory in line with US president Donald Trump’s muchcriticised plan for the Middle East. However, the plan appears to be on hold as Israel awaits a green light from Washington and deals with a fresh coronavirus outbreak. A No 10 spokeswoman said on Monday that Johnson and Netanayhu had spoken that evening. “The prime minister set out his concerns about
plans to annex parts of the West Bank unilaterally and cautioned that this would set back the prospects for peace in the region. “He reiterated his personal support for Israel and urged prime minister Netanyahu to return to negotiations with the Palestinians. “The leaders also underlined their ongoing commitment to UK–Israel trade and discussed the global response to coronavirus, agreeing to continue working together to tackle the pandemic.” Israelis protest against the annexation plans in Habima Square, Tel Johnson last week warned Aviv. Boris Johnson urged Netanyahu to return to negotiations that the annexing would be illegal and would jeopardise paper, he said: “Annexation strain potential Arab partners. relations in the Middle would put in jeopardy the pro- Israel’s enemies would seize gress that Israel has made in upon it, and use it against those East. improving relationships with in the Middle East who want to Writing in the see progress. the Arab and Muslim world. Yedioth Ahronoth “Annexation would repre“But however strong their newsinterest in a different kind of sent a violation of international relationship with Israel, annex- law. It would also be a gift to ation would inevitably set back those who want to perpetuate these opportunities and con- the old stories about Israel.”
Israelis split on annexing Israeli public opinion is split on whether the government should annex parts of the West Bank and which territory should be included, a survey found. The Israeli Voice Index for June 2020, a monthly survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, found that 24.5 percent of Israelis support applying sovereignty to all of the West Bank; 14 percent support applying sovereignty to the West Bank settlement blocs; 8 percent support applying sovereignty to just the Jordan Valley; and 25 percent oppose applying sovereignty to any part of the West Bank. Some 28.5 percent responded that they don’t know. When asked if Israel should still apply sovereignty if it is conditional on the establishment of a Palestinian state, 49 percent of survey respond-
ents said it should and 38 percent said it should not. Some 55 percent of respondents said there is a low or very low chance that Israel will go ahead with plans to annex parts of the West Bank this year. On the coronavirus pandemic, respondents gave the government 5.4 out of 10 for its handling of the crisis. Meanwhile, some 56 percent of respondents said they felt the US President Donald Trump is better for Israel’s interests than Democratic challenger Joe Biden, while 16 percent favored Biden. Twenty-eight percent said they did not know. The survey was conducted between 28 and 30 June and involved interviews with 609 men and women in Hebrew and 149 in Arabic. The survey has a sampling error of 3.7 percent.
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One of Benjamin Netanyahu’s most trusted diplomats has said Boris Johnson’s vow not to recognise Israeli sovereignty over annexed land makes for an “uncomfortable” position between the two states, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Dore Gold, a former director-general of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs, said it was particularly uneasy because the British prime minister was seen as “a real friend of Israel” in Jerusalem. Addressing a question from Jewish News, he said: “We’ve appreciated his positions in the past, and we coordinate closely with the British security establishment, so being in a position where we disagree with a political position put forward by the prime minister is not a comfortable position for us to be in.” Gold is one of Israel’s most experienced diplomats, who served as Israel’s ambassador to
the UN, and remains a close confidante of Netanyahu in his position as president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, so his views are sought after. Speaking during a webinar organised by the UK–Israel think tank BICOM, he said foreign office diplomats should “recall that Britain was one of the few countries that recognised Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank [in 1950]” which gave all residents automatic Jordanian citizenship. “No one in the Arab world recognised it except for Iraq, no one in the Islamic world recognised it except for Pakistan, and certainly no one in the European world recognised it, so what can I say? Britain took a position then that was unusual, it’s unusual today, although there are other European actors that also take that position.”
Two states an ‘illusion’, says Regev Former Israeli ambassador to the UK Mark Regev has called the two-state solution “an illusion” that will “never be implemented”, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. His comments came in an interview with Nick Robinson for Political Thinking which aired on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday. “Any peace has to be based on reality,” he said. “You can have a two-state illusion. It might look nice on paper, but it will never be implemented. “A real solution has to take into account the realities on the ground and first and foremost, you have to build peace on security because we know that peace that can’t be defended won’t endure, it can’t survive.” Regev left
London for Jerusalem last month. His comments follow Boris Johnson’s pledge not to recognise any territory annexed by Israel, arguing that a negotiated two-state solution was the “only” viable option. Regev said a future Palestinian state would be “just another failed Middle Eastern state… like Iraq or Syria or Yemen or Libya”, adding: “How is that good for peace? How is that good for Israel? More importantly, how is that going to be good for the Palestinians? “Is [it] a Palestinian state that is peaceful, democratic and one that wants to live with Israel side-by-side or is it going to be a superior platform to continue the struggle against Israel?”
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Movement leadership / News
Janner-Klausner to quit as Reform’s senior rabbi Reform Judaism has announced its Senior Rabbi, Laura Janner-Klausner, is to step down, writes Jack Mendel. The faith leader, who has been at the helm since 2012, is set to study for a PhD in digital theology at Durham University at the start of the next academic year, but will remain in post until 1 October. Thanking the movement for its support, Janner-Klausner said it “will have a special place in my heart” . She added: “I have loved my time in this role, in particular the opportunity to work closely with the professional and lay leaders of our youth movement, RSY-Netzer, for which I will always hold the deepest love and admiration.” She paid tribute to her colleagues “with whom it has been a true joy to work, and the members of all our synagogues, whose vibrant and unwavering passion for community has been an inspiration to me daily”. She said the new career direction comes with “a mixture of sadness and excitement”. Her peers responded with tributes to her “tremendous energy, warmth and integrity”. Reform chair Geoffrey Marx said her leadership “has transformed Reform Judaism”, adding: “We are now acknowledged major players in debates of national importance, standing up for
At last year’s Remembrance Day
our values on issues that matter”, including on refugees; fighting antisemitism; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; and making the progressive case for Israel. “From our leading efforts on the cam- Enough Is Enough protest in 2018 paign for equal marriage and our frontline role standing up for refugees, I know her Janner-Klausner “is a wonderful colleague and mentor. We are grateful to her for providing wise work has made Britain better.” Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky, chair of the and inspirational leadership for nine years.” Assembly of Reform Cantors and Rabbis, said Editorial comment, page 16
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
News / Arts fund / Donor plan / Open letter / Shul project
Mendes sets up fund to support theatre artists Sir Sam Mendes is spearheading a fund to help people working in the theatre industry in need of emergency financial support. The Theatre Artists Fund fund established with a £500,000 donation from Netflix counts Steven Spielberg among its supporters. Mendes said: “Thousands of theatre professionals in the UK are struggling. Many of them haven’t been able to get help from the existing government schemes, and the situation continues to worsen. They need help now.” The fund is “specifically designed for theatre workers who find themselves at breaking point, for those unable to put food on the table or to pay bills, or for those considering leaving the profession altogether”. It offers grants up to £1,000 per applicant
and is designed to support freelance artists who have been ineligible for government aid. It comes as the government announced a £1.57 billion support package to “protect” the future of Britain’s arts. Mendes said: “I am well aware this is a drop in the ocean in terms of what is required for a full recovery, but I hope it might ensure some form of survival until the theatres can reopen again.” He called for funding from individual donors and organisations, saying: “Please do consider a donation. I promise it will make a difference.” • More information can be found at https:// theatreartists.fund, and donations can be made at https://theatreinvestmentfund.enthuse.com/cf/ theatre-artists-fund.
YONI JESNER’S BROTHER BACKS DONOR SCHEME
Sir Sam Mendes, top, and Steven Spielberg
Rowling’s agent warns of ‘intolerance’ JK Rowling’s agent Neil Blair is among 153 backers of an open letter warning of an “intolerance of opposing views” and “a vogue for public shaming and ostracism”. The JW3 board member signed the letter, published online by Harper’s Magazine on Tuesday and set to appear in the October print edition.
Other signatories include New York Times journalist Bari Weiss, activist Gloria Steinem, scholar Noam Chomsky, and authors Martin Amis, JK Rowling (pictured) and Margaret Atwood. ( (pictured The letter claims a “needed reckoning” over racial and social justice and equality has “intensified” moral and political views that tend to “weaken our norms of open
debate”, warning that “editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics”. It adds: “The result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal.” Critics accused Rowling, 54, of transphobia in a blog post published last month, an allegation she denies.
Continued from p1 and the Human Tissue Authority to create a faith statement enabling Jews to record their decision based on Jewish law and ethical considerations. This new Jewish faith statement, which can be viewed and The scheme launches within weeks signed by any Jewish organ donor, is live on the Synagogue and the Jewish NHSBT website, and states Organ Donor Association, that if the donor’s family and and was moderated by Rabbi rabbi are assured that organs Alex Chapper. The panel addressed the or tissue can be donated “in a manner compliant with my challenges this new law gives Jewish faith” then donation the Jewish community and the “new positive approach from can proceed. The implications of the Jewish institutions”. Alongside Jesner was Dr system change on Jewish law has drawn interest from across Richard Schoub, a consultant the UK Jewish community, and in intensive care and anaesSunday’s symposium, which thesia at Barnet Hospital, who featured halachic and med- spoke about the donation proical experts, has already been cess, the definition of death viewed thousands of times on and the sensitivity of the medical teams when discussing social media channels. The event was convened donations with families. Chapper said the event by Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue in con- “addressed an issue that is junction with Bushey United of real interest within our Synagogue, the United community” .
Sandys Row explores past London’s oldest surviving Ashkenazi synagogue has launched an appeal for personal anecdotes and photographs of congregants named on its seat plaques, writes Mathilde Frot. Sandys Row Synagogue, which drew up to 200 worshippers on Shabbat in its heyday, declined in the 1970s as Jewish families left the neighbourhood. But the shul, founded in 1854 on a quiet street in London’s East End by a small community of Dutch Jewish migrants, has enjoyed a membership growth in recent years. Its Our Roots project, to launch online on 22 July, is aimed at offering snapshots of the personal lives of members past and present. As part of the project, the synagogue’s artist-inresidence Adam Dant captured the ornate decor and benches in The Grand Plan, to be exhibited in the Grade II-listed building. Leonie Lewis, the shul’s project coordinator, said: “The painting has been uploaded online,
Spectacular: Sandys Row Synagogue
with a view to matching photographs and anecdotes with seat plaques. If you and members of your family are, or were, associated with the synagogue, we want to hear from you.” To contribute visit www.sandysrow synagogue.org/your-roots
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KISHARON NURSERY AWARD
LEEDS ERUV GETS APPROVAL
Kisharon’s Tuffkid nursery was recognised in a prestigious mayoral awards scheme for its project to improve pupils’ dental hygiene. The Barnet nursery won a silver award in Sadiq Khan’s Healthy Early Years London scheme, which recognises the capital’s best early years well-being projects. Tuffkid held dental hygiene talks and workshops with children and parents, trained staff and sought to demystify trips to the dentist through creative children’s activities. Surveys showed the number of pupils consuming sugary and fizzy drinks more than once a week slumped to 28 percent after the project, down from 53 percent, the nursery said. Its headteacher, Janice Marriott, said: “The team worked very hard and parents were very co-operative.”
A Jewish MP has paid tribute to councillors in Leeds after a Jewish religious boundary was approved by local planners. The boundary, or eruv, was welcomed by Fabian Hamilton, the representative for Leeds North East, who said it was likely to have a “hugely beneficial effect”. The decision was taken by Leeds City Council this week and allows Orthodox Jews to perform some otherwise-prohibited activities on Shabbat, including pushing wheelchairs or prams. “This is the first of its kind in Leeds, and I am so pleased it is being set up to help those in the Jewish community who may have young children, or who might be disabled, to take part in more social activities during Shabbat,” said Hamilton.
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Protest backlash / Starkey sorry / Anti-Israel posts / News
‘PUPPET MASTER’ TWEET APOLOGY Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed has apologised for suggesting the Conservative donor Richard Desmond might be a “puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet”. Reed wrote on Monday: “I want to apologise unreservedly for the language in the tweet I posted on Saturday.” Desmond has been at the centre of a planning row involving communities secretary Robert Jenrick’s support for a £1 billion development. A source close to Reed said: “Steve did not know Richard Desmond was Jewish.”
YOUTUBE REMOVES HATEFUL ACCOUNTS YouTube has removed the pages of French comedian and political activist Dieudonné and American neo-Nazis Richard Spencer and David Duke for hate speech. Their channels were among 25,000 the platform took down on Monday. Dieudonné’s page, which was full of videos agitating against Jews, had 400,000 subscribers. In a Facebook post, he blamed “Israeli pressures” for the removal. He has been convicted seven times in France for inciting hatred against Jews.
Spurs rethink BLM Concern about antisemitic and anti-Israel posts by groups linked to the Black Lives Matter movement has led to the first supportive organisations distancing themselves from it. According to reports in the Telegraph, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the BBC have advised their personnel to drop any physical or overt display of support, including the wearing of badges and ‘taking the knee’. It follows a tweet from BLMUK account – which is not the movement’s official organisation – that “mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism”. The official BLM account is yet to disavow the tweet. At a local level, there was concern after BLM Oxford used an image of an antisemitic mural for a Facebook event, although it quickly removed the post and apologised. The Telegraph reported a BBC source as saying the broadcaster “cannot be seen to sup-
EVERTON INQUIRY Photo by Lauren Lewis/Middle East Monitor
NEWS IN BRIEF
BBC staff are banned from ‘taking the knee’
port any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign”. It also noted that Spurs had distanced itself from BLM, with director Donna-Maria Cullen telling a fan: “It is unacceptable that a valuebased action is being hijacked by those with their own political agenda.”
Starkey’s views ‘abhorrent’ The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has criticised historian David Starkey for his “abhorrent” comment that slavery could not be considered genocide because there are “so many damn blacks” in Africa and Britain. The historian, who was made CBE in 2007, was speaking on Reasoned, an online show hosted by BeLeave founder Darren Grimes. “Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there? An awful lot of
them survived,” he told the programme. The remarks drew a backlash from online users, including from former chancellor Sajid Javid, who said Starkey’s views were “a reminder of the appalling views that still exist”. Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “His words are abhorrent, and as an historian with a considerable platform and following, David Starkey’s irresponsible and racist views should be widely condemned.”
Everton FC and the Labour Party are investigating a picture of two men holding a banner calling for footballing authorities to ban Israel. The club said it was aware of an image posted on Facebook of the banner reading “Toffees [the club’s nickname] say kick Israel out of FIFA and UEFA”. Everton said a complaint has been lodged to Facebook for copyright infringement. It insisted that the two men, The picture on Facebook understood to be a known Liverpool fan and an actor turned activist, are not supporters. Jewish News understands the Labour Party is also investigating.
Limmud line up Limmud has revealed the lineup for its Limmud Together UK Summer session, which includes former MP Luciana Berger, author Howard Jacobson and TV presenter Rachel Riley. Public figures and campaigners will join online users on 2 August for talks on subjects from social justice to politics and technology. Event chair Phil Peters said: “Limmud continues to
bring you one step further on your Jewish journey. We are giving participants access to global experts from the comfort of their living rooms. “This exciting event, run by volunteers, will showcase the bold, innovative and exciting Judaism that Limmud participants are used to.” Tickets are £10, with £1 concessionary places for those hit financially by coronavirus. More at: www.limmud.org.
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
Special Report / United Synagogue’s 150th anniversary
United for 150 years Former president of the United Synagogue Elkan D Levy reflects on the growth of Europe’s largest synagogue body as it celebrates a landmark
he United Synagogue was formed in 1870 by the union of three major Ashkenazi synagogues in the City of London (The Great, The Hambro’ and The New), and two branch synagogues (the Central and Bayswater). The vision of Lionel Louis Cohen and Chief Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler was to unify and strengthen London Jewry. The Jewish United Synagogues Act of 1870 was the result. The United Synagogue is still the only Jewish religious body established by an act of secular legislature. The organisation grew rapidly, and expanded to the suburbs as the community moved. The appointment of Rabbi J H Hertz as Chief Rabbi in 1913, and the outbreak of the First World War, produced both support and opposition for the emerging Zionist movement. Chaplaincy for the Armed Forces largely came from the ministers of the United Synagogue. The development of suburbia in the interwar period led to the growth of many important communities, and membership of the United Synagogue was perceived as a step in the acculturation of those whose parents and grandparents had been part of the great immigration from Russia. The Second World War brought renewed problems. Evacuation from London produced small wartime communities. Many ministers served as chaplains and their place was taken temporarily by those who had escaped from
Synagogue, Duke’s Place, Houndsditch. Interior of the Great, drawn and engraved by Pugin and Rowlandson. From The Microcosm of London, 1809. On loan to the Jewish Museum
An 18th century English Chanukiah on tripod legs, its curved branches springing from hands. Used in the Hambro Synagogue
Europe. In rapid post-war expansion, 40 new book settled customs of prayer and the dignity congregations joined the United Synagogue of tefillot (services). The United Synagogue’s anniversary has, in the 25 years from 1945. When J H Hertz died in 1946 he was suc- of course, been overshadowed by the coronaceeded by Rabbi Israel Brodie, only the virus pandemic which has struck the Jewish second Chief Rabbi to have been born in Eng- community hard. The importance of a body like the United land. Educated at Oxford, Brodie had served Synagogue was underscored as the organisaa community in Melbourne Austion stepped up a gear to support its members. tralia, acted as a chaplain in both Rabbis, rebbetzens and an army of volunteers world wars, been taken off the arranged pastoral visits over the phone and beaches of Dunkirk, and condropped off medicines and food. cluded the war as a Lt Colonel The United Synagogue quickly reimagand the Senior Jewish Chaplain. ined itself as a broadcaster, pumping out hour He was succeeded in due course after hour of educational and religious proby Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits and gramming and live entertainment. then Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who have turned The United Synagogue Burial Society the Chief Rabbinate into one of the great offices of state. worked round the clock — and even, as Today the United Synagogue remains one is halachically allowed but unusual, on of the most influential religious bodies. Its the second and eighth days of Pesach structure has enabled new congrega— to ensure that even at the peak of tions to grow and old ones to down- Silver teathe crisis, funerals took place size gently with their assets used to spoon from promptly and safely, with care support other communities. a set of 24 and compassion. As the United Synagogue The Chief Rabbinate, today headed engraved by Ephraim Mirvis, developed from spoons from approaches its 150th anniversary, we have so much to the rabbinate of the Great Syna- the Hambro be proud of: vibrant communities led gogue has proved a unifying force, restraining internal argument and break by dynamic rabbinic teams and lay leaders, up. The London Beth Din and its attendant Tribe and Young United Synagogue providing high-quality young people’s programmes, Kashrut division has an international reach. The Burial Society has established stand- support for our Jewish schools, high-quality ards of dignity and care. The Singer’s prayer educational publications and hundreds of vol-
Hambro Synagogue, founded in 1707
New West End synagogue in Bayswater
The Abraham de Oliveyra rimmonim, in silver with octagonal gilt bells, crown and flaming vase finials. Dated 1716
unteers supporting vulnerable members and beyond. It is the people both behind the scenes and in the public eye who have created a vigorous and innovative force raising the standards of Judaism for its members and for the whole community to help ensure the United Synagogue continues to be at the forefront of British Jewish life. Elkan D Levy was president of the United Synagogue from 1996 to 1999
9 July 2020 Jewish News
150th anniversary / Special Report
FAMILY LINKS BUILT DEEP COMMITMENT Given the involvement of both sides of her family in their respective congregations, it’s not surprising that Claire Lemer (pictured) grew up firmly ensconced as a child of the United Synagogue, writes Jenni Frazer. Her father has been on the board of her ‘home shul’, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and is now, she thinks, in his 40th year of running its children’s service. So Dr Lemer, a consultant paediatrician, has United Synagogue in her veins. In 2014 she became a trustee of the US — a big responsibility to take on, considering her day job. But she says, when she speaks to young doctors at her hospital, Guy’s and Thomas’, she often tells them of the importance of having a hinterland on which to draw, unconnected with work, but which she believes has the capacity to make them better at their job. Her commitment to the US has grown over the years. She says: “Like many young people, growing up, [synagogue] was part of my routine, whether it was Hebrew classes or bat chayil, or attending Shabbat or festival services. When I went to university, for the first time I had to think about the choices I wanted to make. I was lucky enough to go to a small city (Cambridge) where the student Jewish society was very active, but also very connected with the local synagogue.” Accordingly she began to become involved in Cambridge Jewish life, and understood the nature of the behind-the-scenes work that had to take place in order for people to benefit. Back in London, finishing her clinical training, it was “head down”, with synagogue in the background, part of “the rhythm of the week”. But what she calls “various life events”, including a serious road traffic accident, brought Dr Lemer back to communal activity. At first she took part in a US programme for young leaders. “Then people in my local synagogue, knowing I had done this programme and seeing the skills I was developing, asked me if I would become involved in the strategy work that was being written for our community. And then I was asked if I would serve on the board, and I did that for a while. And the combination of all of that was to get involved in the rejuvenation of United Synagogue Women, led by Elaine Sacks [wife of the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks]”. That took her, Dr Lemer says, “from the
detail of the synagogue to the detail of the bigger picture, again, what was going on behind the scenes”. Around that time (2014) there were discussions about how to get more women involved by having them stand as trustees, and so she agreed to run for election. Looking back across the decades to the group of people who began the US 150 years ago, Dr Lemer describes them as “really revolutionary” in their initiative. But no institution reaches 150 years without changing and without listening to potential constituents. The most immediate change, Dr Lemer believes, is in the geographical location of US communities, and the support the umbrella body can give to new congregations, both in London and in the regions. Last year the US gained more than 1,000 new members, and that, she feels, is because they are trying to offer “more than just the life cycle of services and simchas and burials. “We are trying to support Jewish schools in a number of different ways, and have begun the Jewish Community Academy Trust to provide the best Jewish and secular education available.” The US has established two asylum seeker drop-in centres, in Hendon and Woodford Forest, which it hopes will bring in younger people interested in helping the wider community. “And, supported by the National Lottery, we are creating a Heritage Centre at Willesden Jewish Cemetery.” The US, says Dr Lemer, “is an incredibly important organisation which touches many people’s lives… we can offer a place where people can feel safe and connect with likeminded people”. She is aware of criticisms of the US in the past, but believes it is becoming “more agile” in its responses to what people want and need from their community. It is doing its best to provide a place for younger people who want to “invest and grow” in their Judaism. But in order to take what the US has to offer, Dr Lemer says, “there need to be people giving”. Despite a busy schedule in her paediatric work, and the problems of Covid-19, she says the US has given her “more challenging” opportunities to learn and think — and she hopes that more people will take up the baton to begin the next 150 years.
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
News / Family’s search / Declassified files
‘A start to a new life’ – soldier’s note to survivor
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir has made history by completing the first all-female spacewalk
A message written on a banknote 75 years ago has sparked a search for its author, writes Jack Mendel A personal message written on a German banknote 75 years ago to a Holocaust survivor has set in motion an extraordinary search for the family of its author – an American soldier who helped liberate her from a death march. Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert, 96, found the item while going through her possessions with her greatgrandson, who is helping to document and record her story. After the discovery, Dov Forman (pictured with Lily, above), 16, wrote on Twitter: “Yesterday my great-grandma showed me this bank note – given to her as a gift by a soldier who liberated her. Inscribed, it says ‘a start to a new life. Good luck and happiness’. Later on, she met up with those who freed her.” His post was retweeted by the Auschwitz Museum’s account to its one million followers, before it was shared widely, being retweeted a
further 2,000 times and receiving 14,500 likes. Thanks to responses from around the world, the teenager found out the note, currency issued by the US ahead of the occupation of defeated Germany, was given to his great-grandmother by Private Hayman Shulman from New Jersey. He was an American soldier and assistant to Rabbi Herschel Schacter, who was the first US Army Chaplain to participate in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945. He died seven years ago. Speaking to Jewish News, Forman said: “I have become more involved in learning as much as possible about my great-grandma’s story because I feel it is now a race against time to learn it
in depth before it becomes my – and the rest of my family’s – responsibility to become her witnesses.” He added that he was trying to get in touch with the soldier’s family to set up a virtual meeting with his son or daughter. Dov thanked social media users for the “love that people were sending my greatgrandma”, saying it “almost brought us – including her – to tears”.
Top: Lily, pictured second from right, photographed some time after liberation with several of her rescuers. Private Hayman Shulman is not in the image. Above: The handwritten note from him on a bank note
“Lily was speechless when I told her that in just one day I had managed to find the soldier who liberated her all those years ago, with the help of Twitter.”
Lloyd George: ‘Jews a dangerous people’
Wartime leader Lloyd George
Britain’s First World War prime minister gave secret testimony to the 1937 Palestine Royal Commission that Jews were “a dangerous people to quarrel with” but “very helpful if you get them on your side”, newly- unearthed transcripts reveal. David Lloyd George, who signed off on the 1917 Balfour Declaration giving Jews a national homeland in Palestine, gave evidence in secret to the Commission chaired by Lord
William Peel, with his testimony only recently declassified. Israeli researcher Oren Kessler unearthed the remarks after transcripts were made available at the National Archives at Kew in 2017. His essay on the subject is published in this week’s Fathom Journal. The comments show that while the Welsh statesmen and war leader remained an unflinching Zionist in 1937, at the age of 74 and a full 15
years after he handed the keys to 10 Downing Street to his successor Andrew Bonar Law, he held antisemitic views. “They are a dangerous people to quarrel with, but they are a very helpful people if you can get them on your side,” he told Peel’s Palestine Commission. “They are a very subtle race and they have means of communicating throughout the world which nobody seems to know about.”
Kessler said: “It was a paradox that for many British gentile Zionists, philo-Semitism so often commingled with its antithesis. So, too, for Lloyd George, in whose mind Jews pulled the levers of Bolshevism.” Producer of the journal, think tank BICOM, said Lloyd George’s testimony “centres on the wartime necessity of winning the backing of the Jews, a people he portrayed as wielding inscrutable power”.
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
News / Pandemic response
Jewish Care rejects PM’s Israel still on Q list criticism of care homes Jewish Care has reacted to the prime minister’s claim that “too many” care homes had not followed virus procedures, saying it did “everything possible to prevent the spread of Covid-19” in its facilities, writes Mathilde Frot. Gaby Wills, director of care services at the charity, said on Tuesday it went “above and beyond to ensure that we not only follow outlined procedures, but taken addi-
tional precautions, which had we not done, the impact of the virus could have been much worse”. Jewish Care had locked down a week before the national lockdown. Other measures included an increase in deep cleaning and buying 1.4 million items of personal protective equipment. The charity had begun to admit residents from the community only during the past three
Travellers from Israel still have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to England, as the UK relaxes restrictions. A list of countries and territories to be exempt from the UK’s quarantine travel policy as of 10 July includes France, Spain, Germany, Norway and New Zealand but not Israel. The United States, Portugal, Russia, Brazil and China are also absent.
Prince William and Chief Rabbi at a Jewish Care event
weeks, and will only admit a person if they test nega-
tive for Covid-19, and isolate for the first two weeks.
Levy praises donors Labour peer Lord Levy has praised the Jewish community’s “unbelievable” fundraising efforts to support care homes during the pandemic. “In a few days we brought in £4million, the reaction has been unbelievable,” the Jewish Care life president said in an apparent reference to the coronavirus appeal launched by the charity with Nightingale Hammerson and The Fed in Manchester. HALF PAGE ADVERT JAN 2020:Layout 1
He added: “I want to applaud our community. I want to give my respect and admiration to our Jewish community because they have been phenomenal. What they have done and how they have stood by those in need during this terrible period.” Lord Levy made the remarks on JLGB Virtual, a series of online “No singing? No food? Only 30 guests? Quick , events hosted by the Jewish youth find yourself a huHannah, sband organisation. while I can affo 09/01/2020 16:04 Page 1 rd it!”
Other countries may be added to the list of quarantine-free countries in the coming days. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “This is good news for British people and great news for British businesses. “The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to
move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.”
SIMCHAS OUT, MASKS IN tive Masks is the way we A simcha supply and rental could contribute to keeping shop co-founded by two Kinour community safe and give loss United shul members has back through our NHS conlaunched a line of face masks tribution.” partly in aid of charity. Garzon said: “While we Mimi Belilty and Stella look forward to the return Garzon, co-founders of north of our traditional simcha London based Creative related business it has been Favours, pledge to donate 10 exciting to launch Creative percent of profits from every face mask sold to support the Masks for sale by Masks through the lockdown National Health Service. Creative Favours using our social media activities on Instagram, Facebook, Belilty said the line was aimed at bringing “style and creativity Linkedin and Tik Tok” The masks, at £5.99 to £7.99, are to the fast-growing market for face masks”. She added: “Launching Crea- available at www.creativemasks.co.uk.
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
Jewish News 9 July 2020
News / Communal aid / Lockdown packs / Eco shul
Virus fund allocates £400k An emergency Covid-19 fund has distributed more than £400,000 to more than 200 families badly affected by the pandemic, writes Jack Mendel.
Launched by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) in April in partnership with employment charity Work Avenue, the Emergency Coronavirus Fund helped those hit
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hard by the crisis, or who may have struggled to obtain government support. The scheme, which closed on 30 June, supported more than 235 households in 72 postcodes across the country, including 449 children and 397 adults, with grants ranging from £360 to £2,500. One recipient called Emma described it as an “exceptionally scary time”, but said she appreciated the “generosity, kindness and compassion” of
the grant, which “has given me and my children the opportunity to keep our precious world safe and financially stable during this most horrible of times”. Almost three-quarters of applicants were under 50, with 45 percent being self-employed and more than one fifth being company directors. Work Avenue CEO Debbie Sheldon said: “The situations people found themselves in were heartbreaking and
The Work Avenue team with Debbie Sheldon (top, third left)
it was an honour to be able to help them.” David Davidi-Brown, the JLC’s director of development
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A fundraiser launched in memory of a Camp Simcha volunteer who died in 2016 has raised more than £750 to bring lockdown activity packs (pictured) to families affected by a serious childhood illness. Arts and craft supplies and activity packs have gone out to families supported by Jewish charity Camp Simcha, thanks to donations raised on
and strategy, added: “This has proved how our Jewish community continues to cooperate and coordinate so well.”
Virus an ‘eco opportunity’
Just Giving by mother and daughter Denise and Nicole Birley to honour their former colleague, Shira Lanning. “Shira had a genuine love and passion for working with people,” Nicole said. “With her warm smile and gentle nature, she touched many lives.” To donate: www.just giving.com/fundraising /sharing-shiras-smile
regard to the environment”. He praised Eco Synagogue, which is supported by United Synagogue, Reform Judaism, Liberal Judaism and Masorti denominations, as he urged “action” in a video this week. Board of Deputies vicepresident Edwin Shuker urged all UK synagogues “to embrace a more sustainable way of operating, and to make sure our relationship with the environment is a focal point of both our personal and communal lives”.
Religious and communal leaders have said the coronavirus pandemic represents an opportunity for the Jewish community to invest in ecofriendly changes, in a call to arms ahead of this weekend’s Green Shabbat. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was among several senior figures to back the crosscommunal initiative, saying the pandemic had “highlighted in so many ways how irresponsible our society has been in
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
Colitis campaign / First barmitzvah / News
Inspiring Ollie breaks stigma A 16-year-old JFS pupil with ulcerative colitis has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of the “invisible condition”, which affects more than 300,000 people in the UK, writes Mathilde Frot. Inspiring Ollie Kaye has lived with a stoma bag for several weeks after undergoing surgery at St. Mark’s Hospital Foundation last month to remove his colon, following his diagnosis in January. “Obviously, I was so ill all these months,” he said. “I felt strange physically, emotionally, mentally, and I wasn’t really doing anything productive. I was just stuck in bed.”
But the teenager from north-west London, who has begun to feel “better and healthier” after his surgery and wants “to get involved in society”, hopes telling his story will raise awareness of invisible conditions like his. He was inspired to launch the Kidwithabag Facebook and Instagram pages by the testimonies of social media influencers with the condition, which were a source of comfort ahead of his surgery and offered a patient’s perspective. Reactions to the social media accounts have been “amazing” and defied expectations. “It’s only been a
week and the support has been out of the scale that I expected,” he said. The futsal enthusiast, who won a gold medal at the European Maccabi Games 2019, hopes to be back on the court soon. “At the moment I am still recovering but in a couple of months, I should be able to get back in the sport, with the permission from my IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] nurse and the doctor’s green-light for me to get back into school,” he said. “I think I’ll have to train hard, much harder than everyone else because I’ve been set back. I’ve lost a lot of weight, muscle strength, technique.”
Photo by Sergey Orlov/TASS
IT’S BRENT SPLOSH
JW3 HOSTS GLOBAL DIASPORA DEBATE A former Israeli intelligence analyst and a British peer headlined a free online event this week to discuss the most pressing issues facing the future of the Jewish people. Hosted by JW3 and in partnership with Genesis Philanthropy Group , Wednesday’s event was part of the Global Diaspora Series, featuring US-born Israeli Sara Greenberg and Times columnist Lord (Daniel) Finkelstein. Greenberg has served as an adviser to the Israeli prime minister of Israel with a ‘world communities’ brief.
Role model: Ollie with stoma bag
There’s no masking Matthew’s pride
The North Circular Road at Brent Cross was submerged in water on Monday after a water main burst
NEWS IN BRIEF
his family to have his barmitzvah in Matthew Benn was among the first the synagogue; his great-grandfather teenagers in the country to return Bernard was a founding member. to shul to mark his barmitzvah, as The teenager found the day “absoplaces of worship reopened after the lutely amazing” and there was a lockdown, writes Mathilde Frot. “real excitement and joy in his voice” The Year 8 Immanuel College during the ceremony, Matthew’s dad pupil delivered his Torah portion in Hampstead Garden Suburb Syna- The family at Hampstead Garden Suburb shul told Jewish News on Monday. Due to the lockdown, the 13-year-old had to gogue on Shabbat morning joined by screens were set up around the bimah, learn his barmitzvah readings online. parents Bernard and Tracey Benn. “It really was quite a moment, and About 100 congregants, all wearing and all those attending had pre-regisit’s important that people are encourface coverings, watched the ceremony tered, to enable track and trace. Matthew was the third generation in aged to start going back,” his dad said. from socially-distanced seating. Perspex
‘CYBERATTACK’ ON LIVE VIRTUAL GALA A suspected cyberattack disrupted a live virtual gala held by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, making it impossible to view for most of the 13,000 people worldwide who had registered. The attack on the fundraiser, aimed at helping the orchestra overcome losses due to Covid-19, crashed the websites of the orchestra and its partner, Medici. TV. Shortly after the attack, the orchestra was able to share a replay of the event on its YouTube channel, where the gala can be viewed.
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
World News / Second wave / ‘Finnished’ emblem / Iranian fears
Health chief quits as Israel Finnish Air Force ‘loses control of the virus’ drops swastika logo Israel’s public health director resigned on Tuesday in protest against ministers’ decision to ease lockdown so quickly, as another warned that the country has “lost control” of the coronavirus, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist, said she had resigned because her warnings were ignored, with infection rates soaring in recent weeks to more than 1,000 daily new cases. On Monday, politicians re-imposed lockdown measures, closing bars, gyms and event halls, after a wide reopening in May, which included businesses and schools. Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis that “if we do not block the spread of the virus, we will have neither health nor an economy”, but Sadetzki said leaders were warned, adding: “Israel’s compass for handling the pandemic has lost its bearings.” Deputy health minister Yoav Kisch told a parliamentary committee that Israel’s second wave was now worse than the first, and that there could easily be up to 400 seriously ill patients by the end of July. Netanyahu’s own adviser, Professor Eli Wachsman,
Disinfecting a bus. Lockdown has been reimposed
told Channel 12: “We’ve lost control of this virus. We have no information on 90 percent of those who have been infected.” With 338 Israelis having died and more than 31,000 infected, public health expert Prof Doron Gazit, from Hebrew University, said the “steady rise in the number of sick has turned into a veritable deluge”.
‘SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE’ TO IRANIAN PLANT Iran has said the destruction of a secret facility working on advanced centrifuges will set back its nuclear programme, after satellite images showed the scale of the damage. While authorities first blamed the incident last Thursday on a fire
at the plant in Natanz, aerial images now show the charred remains of a building at the centre of the development programme, with scattered debris indicating a large explosion. Iran’s atomic agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said there
were “significant damages incurred… advanced equipment and precision measurement devices at this site were either destroyed or damaged”. He added that it could result in “a delay in development of advanced centrifuge machines”.
Finland’s Air Force Command has discreetly dropped the swastika logo it used as a unit emblem and replaced it with a neutral insignia featuring a golden eagle. The change – to avoid false and uncomfortable associations with Nazi Germany’s logo – took place in January 2017, but was not announced publicly by the military of the Nordic nation at the time. Teivo Teivainen, world politics professor at the University of Helsinki who is researching the use of swastikas in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s,
tweeted about the issue this week, bringing it to public attention. Brigadier General Jari Mikkonen, at Air Force Command Finland, told the Associated Press the swastika emblem had created confusion over the years among international colleagues. “We’ve had to explain the history of the [Finnish Air Force] swastika that dates back to 1918,” he said. “It caused misunderstandings with our foreign partners, so continuing to use it was considered inappropriate and unnecessary.”
Israeli official’s image concern The head of space programmes at Israel’s Ministry of Defence has expressed concern about the relaxation of a 1997 US law prohibiting the sale of clear satellite images of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Under the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, images in services such as Google Earth cannot show items smaller than two metres across, which Israel says prevents enemies from using the information to target sensitive sites. However, the US Commercial
Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs Office has now said it will allow the sale of enhanced resolutions of 0.4 metres, telling Reuters news agency that “a number of foreign sources” were already doing so. The ministry’s Amnon Harari said it could lead to a security issue and appeared surprised by the announcement. “I don’t think they asked us,” he told Israel’s public radio station, Kan. “We would prefer to be photographed at the lowest resolution possible.”
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Volunteer help / Shechita battle / Diplomat recognised / Diaspora News
Young come to rescue of Russian-speaking Jews Jewish organisations working with elderly and isolated Jews in the former Soviet Union have said the will to live for some people is “slipping away” – but young Jews are rising to the challenge to help. International agencies operating in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, where living standards are variable, said the lack of social interaction for elderly Jews there had been particularly hard-hitting. “They’re confined to four walls, some in dilapidated homes,” said Michal Frank, the executive director of JDC in the former Soviet Union, speaking to JTA. “For some, the will to live is slipping away.” Before the pandemic, JDC offered classes for yoga, gymnastics, pottery, language and painting through its dozens of community centres, with caseworkers visiting the house-bound but, to prevent the virus spreading, all that has now stopped. “For some, the virus has made that impossible,” said Frank. “We’ll be dealing with the effect this is having on their mental condition for a long time after this is over.” Jewish aid organisations have sought to respond to the pandemic with a package
Your weekly digest of stories from the international press ITALY
Researchers have begun the job of identifying and cataloguing every Hebrew book in Italy. The collaboration between the national libraries in Israel and Rome, together with the Italian Jewish community, has had funding from the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe. The task is huge – for centuries, Italy was a world centre for printing and producing manuscripts.
A JDC employee, right, delivers an aid package to a Jewish woman
of support measures, including hotlines staffed by trained volunteers and food deliveries to the elderly and vulnerable, with young Jews taking the lead. In some Jewish communities, volunteers in JDC frameworks, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), have been helping elderly Jews get online, through a series of instructional Facebook posts.
In it, they explain how to set up an online grocery account for home delivery, how to order medicine using online pharmacies and how to use Zoom to maintain face-to-face contact with family and friends. In addition, other groups have also been busy cooking and delivering thousands of hot kosher meals across several cities.
Jews and Muslims unite against shechita ban
Rabbi Goldschmidt and Sheikh Dr Mohammad Al-Issa
Senior Jewish and Muslim leaders this week issued a joint plea ahead of a European Court of Justice hearing into the legality of a Belgian ban on religious slaughter. Standing together on the issue were Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, and Sheikh Dr Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and president of Muslim Scholars Organisation. The pair recalled how bans on religious slaughter had presaged violence against reli-
SHOAH HERO WHO SAVED JEWS HONOURED IN LISBON
A Portuguese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust is to be recognised alongside the country’s greatest figures with a monument at a site in the National Pantheon in Lisbon. Aristides de Sousa Mendes (pictured), who disobeyed the orders of Portugal’s Salazar dictatorship to issue Jews with visas, was declared “a heroic historical figure” and “part of Portugal’s national patrimony” in a parliamentary resolution last month. “A moral legacy for all, his heritage is for the whole of civil society and above all a virtuous example for future generations,” it read.
WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF
In 1940, Mendes was serving as consul in Bordeaux, France, from where he issued visas to those fleeing the Nazis. One researcher said he may have saved up to 10,000 Jews, although that figure has been challenged. When his actions were discovered he was suspended, his pay docked and, a year later, he was forced to retire from Portugal’s diplomatic service, at the age of 55. He died in 1954, and was posthumously vindicated and recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in 1966, the first diplomat to be honoured as such.
gious minorities in the past, as the court prepared to weigh measures adopted by Belgium’s Flanders and Wallonia regions. “Food plays an important role in our religious life and how we prepare food represents a key tenet of our faiths,” they said. “Throughout history, bans on the religious slaughter of animals for food have been used to try to limit the migration of individuals from certain religious groups.” They said that while previously Jews had been the tragets of such legislation, now Muslims were increasingly becoming so.
The Dutch parliament has voted not to fund the security costs of the country’s synagogues. The motion was tabled by Geert Wilders and Gidi Markuszower of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, but it only mustered 28 votes in the 150-seat legislature. The duo had argued that the Dutch Jewish community ‘often lacks the means to adequately protect their infrastructure’.
Jewish groups in Cordoba have urged the city’s university to investigate a professor who reportedly offered his international politics students a bonus ‘to whoever finds a poor Jew’. According to one of his students, the academic is also alleged to have said the creation of the state of Israel was a concession to the Zionist lobby. Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA lodged a formal complaint.
Jewish groups are asking Lithuanian politicians not to honour a member of an antisemitic militia active during the Second World War. Some lawmakers want to dedicate 2021 as the ‘Year of Juozas Lukša-Daumantas’, from the Lithuanian Activist Front, but the American Jewish Committee and the Lithuanian Jewish community say he was a Nazi ally.
JEWISH GRAVESTONES FOUND UNDER AUSTRIAN CASTLE Jewish gravestones from the 17th century have been discovered in the foundations of an Austrian castle’s protective wall during repair work. The discovery of 28 stones and fragments was made earlier this year at Ebenfurth Castle in the state of Lower Austria, according to London-based Jewish Heritage Europe, which recently published a report. Johannes Reiss, the director of the Austrian
Jewish Museum in Eisenstadt, said in a blog post that they dated from 1622 to 1669 and represented a “sensational find”. The gravestones are due to be restored and displayed at the castle, which was built to protect the local population from the Ottoman invasion in 1683. Jews made up 20 to 30 percent of the population of Ebenfurth when they were expelled in 1671.
New database maps more than 61,000 Jewish graves in Turkey
A vast digitised database of Turkish Jewish cemeteries has launched online and been made available to the public after a monumental mapping exercise by Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University. A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990 details 61,022 Jewish tombstones from across Turkey and covers the period from 1583 to 1990. It is now the world’s largest such database, representing the culmination of decades of work by oriental scholars, some of whom died before its completion. It is based primarily on two years’ worth of fieldwork by the late Professor Minna Rozen, from 1988
to 1990, which until now has not been publicly available. Researchers at the university’s Goldstein Goren Diaspora Research Center said their primary goals were “to preserve the remnants of the gradually-disappearing Jewish life in Turkey, aid scholars to paint a richer picture of the past and help people search for their roots”. “This is unique in the academic world, both for its size and for the research opportunities it opens up,” they added. The database offers a sophisticated research platform with a range of search options, including the epigraphical content of the gravestones, and the materials used.
Top: Tombstone of Sol, wife of Avraham Safami, died 1775, Hasköy Cemetery. Above: Tombstone of David Zonanah, died 1746, Kuzguncuk Cemetery
Jewish News 9 July 2020
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS
LJK – a rabbi who’s making Britain better Laura Janner-Klausner has been a transformative leader of Reform Judaism. Her nine-year tenure as the movement’s Senior Rabbi, which will come to an end in October, have been marked by achievement after achievement. Rabbi Laura, or LJK, as she is affectionately known, has been a powerful campaigner on same sex marriage, LGBT rights and a strident defender of young people. She has made giant strides in cross-communal and interfaith work, establishing Real Conversations, a programme encouraging difficult conversations with Muslims and Jews. She petitioned for Muslim Uyghurs in Parliament earlier this year, was keynote speaker for the 2019 Genesis Prize on antisemitism and represents progressive Jews at the Cenotaph each November. During the current pandemic, Rabbi Laura has demonstrated the strength to take difficult decisions in consultation with the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors and contributed to the national response. She’s also been a loud and proud advocate for the rights of refugees (perhaps taking the cause a little too literally when she gave Jewish News’ foreign editor a roof over his head for a month while he was house hunting in London). As Rabbi Laura prepares to start a PhD in digital theology at Durham University at the beginning of the next academic year, colleagues this week reflected on “the recognition Reform Judaism has earned under her for what it stands for, its vitality and importance”. As Reform Judaism’s chair Geoffrey Marx puts it: “We are now acknowledged major players in debates of national importance, standing up for our values on issues that matter. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has made Britain better.” CONTACT DETAILS Publisher and Editor Richard Ferrer 020 8148 9703 email@example.com
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Schools have held steady I write in my capacity as a parent and a school governor in the Jewish school network to thank all of our school staff wholeheartedly for all that they have done during the lockdown period. This has been an unbelievably stressful and distressing time for teachers, particularly at the start of the lockdown, with constant uncertainty and changing parameters as schools received guidance in real time alongside the public. As a parent, I have experienced nothing but warmth and caring from my child’s primary school teachers, as well as a consistent and easy to navigate framework of work to follow. The weekly phone calls have been lovely and the speed of reply to any email has also been extremely reassuring. The videos from school have been a highlight and the school has succeeded in maintaining a sense of community
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THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 9.02pm 8.13pm
Shabbat goes out Saturday night 10.18pm 9.23pm
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under the most trying of circumstances. As a school governor, I’m in awe of the level of planning and logistical agility that has been taking place since the first day of lockdown. Much of this goes unseen, but the ‘behind the scenes’ planning and preparation has been enormous – particularly in the early days of lockdown, when many staff were undergoing extremely high levels of stress. Headteachers have held the ship steady in stormy waters. As a teacher, I can testify to the shock that comes with the closure of your school. I can attest to how well our schools have performed in comparison with schools nationally. The next challenge is around the corner as we spend the summer preparing for September. Sara Levan By email
STARMER HAS HIS WORK CUT OUT TO RID HIS PARTY OF ANTISEMITISM Maxine Peake has previous when it comes to attacking Israel. She was prominent in the coterie of left-wing artistic players that accused Israel of delving into all sorts of matters to destabilise the world. Only last year she arranged to star in a play that turned out to be a hoax, cancelled at the last moment just to obtain greater emphasis and publicity for the cause in ques-
tion, Palestinians in Gaza. Ms Peake at least backtracked on her claim that Israel was linked to the murder of George Floyd, but not so Rebecca LongBailey who originally promoted this libel on Twitter. Sir Keir Starmer has his work cut out to implement his stated aim of eradicating antisemitic and antiIsrael elements in his party.
Stephen Vishnick Tel Aviv
LABOUR MEMBERS SHOW SUPPORT
“I feel so much more like myself now I’ve been to the barber!”
Now that Jeremy Corbyn is no longer leader, perhaps the Labour Party can express support for the Jewish community with
a one-minute, silent, sitdown at party conference – by taking the toches.
Stanley Jacobs Finchley
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
Editorial comment and letters
MASKS AREN’T COMPULSORY In response to Jamie Griver’s letter, “We can’t mask indifference”, I was not surprised to read about customers and staff of a bakery in Hendon, and other shops he visited, not wearing masks (Jewish News, 2 July 2020). Face coverings are not compulsory for these groups of people, however desirable we may consider them. The males in question may not have been residents of Hendon. Even if they were, it is unfair to potentially besmirch the characters of all Hendon’s residents, by asking if they think “they’re somehow invincible?”
I gather, and do appreciate from his letter, that Mr Griver himself has been shielding for three months and very much hope that he is now enjoying going out and about and keeps himself as healthy as possible. However, I feel that it iis mportant to state that we all must, in these toxic times for public discourse, be clear about which issues we refer to, and are accurate when putting forward our comments.
JD Milaric By email
Setting the record straight In her letter lamenting the suspension of parking bays in parts of Edgware’s town centre, Elaine Mann of Louis Mann Butchers, said she telephoned me and that I “appeared to be unaware of the current situation” (Jewish News, 2 July 2020). This is incorrect. I have had no form of contact whatsoever with Miss Mann. All councillors in areas of Barnet where suspensions have been introduced were initially consulted by appropriate committee chairmen and council officers.
Since the rationale is health and safety and the increase of social distancing space to combat the spread of coronavirus, councillors have given their guarded approval. The installation of bollards to widen pavements is, by its very nature, a temporary measure, to be reviewed and relaxed as soon as the virus recedes further.
Councillor Brian Gordon Edgware Ward, London Borough of Barnet
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
Why is ethnicity an issue when things go wrong? ALEX BRUMMER
CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL
n the age of cultural wars, how should the media best deal with ethnic backgrounds? The current convention is not to mention it at all – whenever possible – and let names and photographs tell the story. That is, unless ethnicity is what the narrative is about, in the case of the unacceptably high BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] death count in Covid-19, or the first person of colour to climb Everest. The Jewish community presents special problems. In general, we rejoice in our successes from the arts to business, but recoil when reference is made to Jewishness when something goes wrong. The Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein scandals make us want to disown their ethnicity. The media has ways of getting round the problem. It finds pictures of the person in disgrace wearing a kippah at family barmitzvahs or refers to their work for Israeli or Jewish philanthropic causes. That may appear harmless, but it provides guidance to the reader or the listener as to their ethnic background without having
to make direct reference to Judaism or overstepping the line into antisemitism. Throughout the row over antisemitism in the Labour Party, its current leader, Keir Starmer, was admirably restrained in not personalising matters by referring to the Jewish ethnicity of his wife, Victoria. Now that he has made ridding the party of the stigma of antisemitism a high priority, it has become acceptable for the mainstream media to draw attention to this. The formula is not to say directly that she is Jewish, but to mention a Jewish family background or attendance at synagogue services. In business stories in particular, referring to Jewishness is particularly sensitive. The Rothschild name long has been abused by antisemites. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs famously was described as a ‘vampire squid’ by RollingStone magazine in New York. It evoked an old antisemitic trope of the octopuslike tentacles of Rothschild bankers and the
ancient blood libel. Goldman Sachs is among the most influential investment banks in the world. Former executives – such as US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin – have devoted themselves to public service and hold some of the most senior jobs in global finance. But it only requires a small ethical error at Goldman for the ‘vampire squid’ epithet to be dusted off. Superfluous references to ethnic background when they have absolutely no relevance to the narrative are particularly offensive. Amid all the turmoil on the high street in recent times JD Sports is regarded as one of the outstanding retailers. Even the best of businesses struggled under the weight of Covid-19 lockdown. Recently, JD’s board decided to place one of its offshoots, the retail chain Go Outdoors, into administration. Amid the many insolvencies in retail and the hospitality sector during lockdown, this was nothing exceptional. JD Sports is the publicly quoted retailer built
THE MEDIA PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO THE READER AS TO THEIR ETHNIC BACKGROUND
by Stephen Rubin’s Pentland group. It is best known for spotting the sneaker revolution and Reebok long before the world was converted to designer trainers. In a report on the Go Outdoors closures, The Sunday Times felt it necessary to point out that the Rubin family, Jewish philanthropists, were behind JD Sports. The reference, while not overtly hostile, was gratuitous. It was a nod and a wink to the idea that a remarkably generous Jewish family was somehow involved in something not entirely honourable. British Jews can rightly be proud of the huge contribution they have made in entrepreneurship and the nation’s economic success. Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Shell, Next and Burberry are among great names with Jewish roots. Ocado, Britain’s biggest online success story, is the creation of City traders who once worked at Goldman Sachs. There is much to take pride in, but we should also be warned that in hard times, when something goes wrong, someone, somewhere will find a way to highlight ethnicity. Much more care is taken by the mainstream media than in the past to avoid directly referring to Jewish backgrounds. The risk of glancing references exploding into abuse and antisemitism on social media is a real and present danger.
Israel’s plan isn't illegal and isn't ‘annexation’ NATASHA HAUSDORFF DIRECTOR, UK LAWYERS FOR ISRAEL
he past few weeks have seen a herd mentality, and misrepresentations about Israel abound. There has been fevered discussion about Israel’s proposed application of civilian law to parts of Area C in the West Bank. The move is consistently misrepresented as ‘annexation’ and a ‘violation’ of international law. Both allegations are false. The misconceptions stand in the way of any informed debate about the pros and cons of the move. There is an urgent need to realise that what is being considered is a change to the internal administrative legal framework in certain parts of Area C of the West Bank, which would replace military law with the civilian law that applies throughout Israel. The existing framework was intended to be temporary, but it has been dragged out for 53 years, through decades of failed negotia-
tions. It is regarded as an inadequate and antiquated administration, comprising a confusing patchwork of Ottoman, British Mandate, Jordanian law and aspects of international humanitarian law. The clamour of allegations that this proposal would violate international law rejects basic principles of international law and deploys double standards against Israel. A country cannot be said to ‘occupy’ territory that does not belong to another sovereign and to which it has a credible claim of title. The UK certainly does not recognise Palestinian sovereignty over the territory. Israel has the strongest legal claim to the territory, based on a principle of international law governing the new states. The universal rule for determining borders for emerging states, uti possideitis juris, dictates that they are established with the administrative boundaries of the prior administrative entity. Israel was preceded by the Mandate for Palestine, which was set up by the League of Nations and administered by Britain. As the
THE HARM TO ISRAEL’S STANDING ARISES FROM THE CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT THE PROPOSALS VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW, NOT FROM THEIR REALITY only state to emerge from the Mandate, international law dictates that Israel inherited the Mandate’s administrative boundaries. This principle provides that the territory concerned has been under Israeli sovereignty since Israel’s independence, even during Jordan’s occupation of the territory between 1948 and 1967. While the territory is politically
disputed, the legal principle is clear. The term ‘annexation’ is misconceived. The principle that a new state inherits the borders of the last top-level administrative unit has been universally applied upon the independence of new states, including to the emergence of states in Asia, Africa, South America and from the former Soviet Union. The only exception now appears to be with respect to the establishment of Israel. However, the record on this point was straightened in November last year, when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clarified that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law. It cannot be overstressed that, contrary to much of the rhetoric, the proposals with respect to Area C would not prejudice future negotiations. The spread of disinformation, on the facts and the law, has already damaged diplomatic positions in the UK and Europe regarding Israel. The harm to Israel’s international standing arises from the conspiracy theory that they violate international law, not from the reality of the proposals.
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Jewish News 9 July 2020
Our unique responsibility to heed the warning signs PHIL ROSENBERG DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, BOARD OF DEPUTIES
he genocide that took place in Srebrenica starting on 11 July, 25 years ago this week, was the largest act of mass murder in Europe since the Second World War. In 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found Bosnian Serb Military Commander Ratko Mladić guilty of the worst crimes that can be committed: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This, like the 2016 conviction of Radovan Karadžić, President of Republika Srpska in 1995, marked a long-awaited moment of justice for victims and their loved ones. Fikret Alić, the Bosnian who was photographed as an emaciated prisoner behind the wire of a prison camp in 1992, told journalists: “Justice has won and the war criminal has been convicted.” But for many, the outcome of this slow and
painstaking process – that concluded 22 years after the massacre took place – was too little, too late. Where was the international community who stood by in 1995 and, over the course of 10 days, allowed the genocide of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica? No serious person could doubt that these thousands of Muslims were targeted because of their ethnicity and faith. But, and as Jews know better than most, it never starts with mass murder. Genocide is a process that develops in stages, according to experts, from classification – distinguishing people into “us and them” – to extermination. This horrific process can be observed historically in accounts of genocides such as the murder of Jews, Roma and gay people in the Holocaust, of Tutsis in Rwanda and Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. As Jews, because of our history, many of us feel we have a particular responsibility to be alert for the warning signs, which could denote the stages of genocide unfolding. The world failed to do this in Bosnia, and thousands of
JUST AS THE JEWISH COMMUNITY FACES ANTISEMITISM, WE MUST ALSO GUARD AGAINST OUR OWN PREJUDICES
Muslims paid the price. We cannot turn a blind eye again. This is one of the reasons why, in my day job at the Board of Deputies of British Jews, we have been using our voice to raise awareness of the persecution of Uyghurs in China, who are today facing extensive violations of their rights. Again, all of this goes on in plain view of the international community. And we have called on the UK government to use its position at the United Nations to raise these grave matters loudly.
But closer to home, we must all guard against the slow creep towards genocide, which starts with discriminatory language against others. No community is immune from this, and just as the Jewish community faces antisemitism, we must also guard against our own prejudice of others, including Muslims. On this solemn occasion, marking 25 years since the genocide in Srebrenica, my fellow members of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress are, like me, seizing the moment, in different countries, languages and publications, to play our part in ensuring the international community and the worldwide Jewish community remember the horrific consequences that can result from inaction, and reaffirming our resolve to make ‘never again’ a reality. Phil Rosenberg is a member of the World Jewish Congress’ Jewish Diplomatic Corps, a worldwide network of young professionals acting in the fields of diplomacy and public policy
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
Nandy's call is music to the boycotters’ ears LUKE AKEHURST
DIRECTOR, WE BELIEVE IN ISRAEL
hadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy’s call for a ban on settlement goods if Israel proceeds with extending sovereignty/ annexation in the West Bank is not okay. I believe Nandy herself is a genuine twostater who does not realise that what she is calling for intrinsically delegitimises Israel. There are many passionate Zionists who oppose any move towards annexation and believe it endangers the two-state solution and the values upon which Israel was founded. I would argue you can hold fast to that position and use a range of tactics to criticise and put pressure on Israel without crossing the line into calling for the UK to take punitive economic measures against Israel, even if these are targeted against settlement goods. The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council are right to view even targeted sanctions as a red line that should not be crossed. The measures Nandy is calling for may be targeted at the settlements, but they are intended as a punishment for Israel’s government for whatever steps it might take. A state
taking punitive economic measures such as banning any form of trade with another state constitutes economic sanctions. Sanctions are the final and most extreme component of the escalatory series of economic measures called for by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. It’s disappointing that time and again when confronted with the question of how to get Israel to take a different approach, politicians and campaigners instinctively reach for the punitive economic measures promoted by the BDS campaign, rather than showing more imagination and looking for positive incentives that might get both Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The response is: “But this is different, it only affects the settlements.” In reality, this narrow boycott of or sanction against settlement goods is seen as the first stage, the foot in the door, of the BDS campaign, the culmination of which is intended to be a full consumer, cultural and academic boycott and state sanctions against Israel on both sides of the Green Line, with the aim of destroying the viability and morale of Israel as a Jewish state. The anti-Israel BDS campaign thus shares a tactic and a measurement of success with
the smaller group of people, often Zionists, who don’t want to boycott Israel itself but do want to boycott settlement goods. This means when Nandy calls for a ban on settlement goods, it isn’t just greeted as a victory by people who specifically dislike annexation or settlements, it is trumpeted by the BDS movement as a first stage victory for BDS and a stepping stone on the path to delegitimisation of Israel and an eventual one state solution i.e. Israel ceasing to exist. It also means that the practical manifestations of a settlement BDS campaign are very difficult to tell apart from the manifestations of a general anti-Israel boycott, and are ugly and unpleasant. All settlement boycotts look very much like Israel boycotts. They are supported,
THE BDS MOVEMENT SEEKS TO CREATE A PARALLEL BETWEEN ISRAEL AND APARTHEID
promoted, and largely led by people who do not support a two-state solution. If you go on settlement boycott picket lines, you would find yourself surrounded by people from PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign), a group that does not support a two-state solution. What would Nandy’s policy look like if implemented? It would, for instance, involve UK customs officers scrutinising Israeli wine, most of which ends up in kosher supermarkets, and banning entry into the UK of those bottles that can be identified as coming from say, the Judean Hills, or given their status in international law, the Golan Heights. The use of boycotts, divestment and sanctions as a tactic in regard to Israel is designed to have a very specific resonance with the main historic 20th century boycott campaign, which was against apartheid South Africa. By using the tactic that was used against apartheid, the BDS movement seeks to create an intellectual parallel between Israel and apartheid. Friends of Israel who are looking for ways to criticise and put pressure on its government over annexation urgently need to find ways of doing so that avoid falling into the trap of using the same delegitimising tactics that Israel’s most hardcore enemies use.
Why white Jews are still seen as foreign ‘other’ JEREMY HAVARDI HISTORIAN & JOURNALIST
lack Lives Matter (BLM) UK stirred controversy with its incendiary tweet in support of freeing ‘Palestine’. The tweet, which referenced the ‘annexation of the West Bank’ and ‘Israel’s settler colonial pursuits’, claimed that ‘mainstream British politics’ was ‘gagged of the right to critique Zionism’. This claim taps into conspiracy theories about the Zionist lobby’s “power” to control politics and the mass media. The notion the British political establishment has been silenced in this way suggests, firstly, that Zionism is a discreditable ideology that deserves censure and secondly, that such censorship is actually taking place. Yet Zionism is simply the Jewish people’s right to collective self-determination in their ancestral land, a fundamental right of all peoples and nations. If few politicians reject Zionism, that may be because they make a distinction between Jewish collective rights and the specific policies of the Netanyahu government. Very few politicians find themselves ‘gagged’ from criti-
cising Israeli policy. Where does this obsession with Israel come from? Arguably there are two sources, both of which reflect the fact that, in its ideology, BLM has a radical, hard-left agenda. The first is that many within the movement see Jews as part of the white supremacist elite. They are viewed as privileged and entitled members of the establishment, complicit with the oppression of black people everywhere. As the radical left defines racism in terms of the hierarchy of wealth and power, and Jews are depicted as white, rich and powerful, they are deemed to be among the oppressors in society, the progenitors of racism rather than its victims. Of course, the idea that Jews are ‘white’ is deeply controversial and historically questionable. It would certainly be a surprise to many Jews who come from parts of Asia and the Middle East and whose skin colour is not white. Second, ‘white’ Jews have been – and still are – seen by some as a foreign ‘other’, an ethnically perverse intrusion in an otherwise pure society. Their history as UK and US citizens has been marked by unprecedented opportunities, but also a degree of discrimination and prejudice that did not exist for other white citizens. Yet seeing Jews as white has cemented a
SEEING JEWS AS WHITE HAS CEMENTED A PERCEPTION THAT THEY ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY perception among some that they are on the wrong side of history, not so much allies in the struggle against racism but rather legitimate targets. In the aftermath of the appalling killing of George Floyd, Jewish synagogues and shops were attacked during the riots in LA, and antiJewish chants were heard in France. This is the racialised version of the ‘socialism of fools’. The second source comes from an anti-colonial reading of international politics in which the Israel-Palestine debate takes centre stage. Here, it seems BLM has adopted the hard left narrative in which Israel is attacked as a colonial oppressor of an innocent, third world people of colour. In 2016, a platform associated with BLM
claimed Israel was an ‘apartheid state’ that had committed ‘genocide’ against the Palestinians. This was outright demonisation of Israel. Crucially, Israeli ‘oppression’ is perceived to intersect with the oppression of black people in America. BLM advocates have made a direct link between the neck kneeling tactics used to devastating effect in George Floyd’s killing and the alleged tactics of the Israel Defence Forces. Maxine Peake was one among several who claimed Israeli forces had trained the Minneapolis police to use this heinous technique. The fact there is no evidence of any link heightens the fact it is a dangerous conspiracy theory with its insinuation the Jewish state is a source of danger for black people. What makes this all the more tragic is that it detracts from the noble campaign to tackle anti-black racism. The prejudice faced by black people, both in the UK and abroad, is a stain on any civilised community and it must be confronted by all people of decency and goodwill. Jews are allies in the struggle against racism, as they have so often been in the past, and they should be co-opted into the battle. But it must always be as Jews and Zionists that they fight for black rights.
Jewish News 9 July 2020
Scene & Be Seen / Community
1 WE’RE RIDING HIGH
A group of 16-year-olds raised more than £15,000 in aid of GIFT by cycling 110km from Hendon to Brighton after their GCSEs were cancelled. Route organiser Gavriel Sacks said: “GIFT’s hard work and dedication through these months has inspired me and should inspire everyone. They inspired me to do something positive with my endless free time, and they inspired me to give back.” GIFT’s Shira Joseph said: “These boys worked really hard in the run-up to the ride and on the day itself. They decided to do something positive with their free time despite the Covid restrictions and the result was incredible. We are all really proud of them.”
And be seen! The latest news, pictures and (virtual) social events from across the community Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School pupils Zara, Eden, both in Year 4, and Tali, in Year 3, raised more than £500 at a charity bake sale in aid of Chai Cancer Care. The pupils, who baked cookies, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, meringue kisses, jam tarts and gingerbread men, said: “We are so proud we raised so much and hope our donation helps Chai. Thank you so much to all those who came and supported us. We hope you enjoyed your treats.”
3 HOSPITAL SMILES
A Bushey teacher teamed up with charity Camp Simcha to collect toys for children in UK hospitals. Laura Bloomberg, a dyslexia teacher and mother-oftwo, set up Toys For Smiles to bring toys to children on wards and hospital playrooms. This week she delivered the first batch of toys to Starfish Ward at Watford Hospital. She said: “I spent the best part of two to three years in Great Ormond Street Hospital with a rare health condition so the idea of supporting children in hospital really resonated with me.” Toys For Smiles has brought in more than £3,000 worth of toys. For more details, email email@example.com
4 CARING BAKES
More than 1,000 cakes are being delivered to older people across London and the south east by volunteers as part of Jewish Care’s Great Jewish Bake Day, now in its eighth year. Among those taking part is Jamie Shone, 18, pictured, who brought cake and a goody bag to Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre member Anita Frankle, 90. She said: “It was a lovely surprise to see Jamie and Daniel at my front door and I enjoyed the cake.” For more details visit www.jewishcare.org/bakeday
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Jewish News 9 July 2020
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
Television / Weekend
THE UNITED HATES
Brigit Grant speaks to director Minkie Spiro about adapting Philip Roth’s dystopian novel for television
hilip Roth never got to see the television adaptation of his disturbing novel, The Plot Against America. The prolific author, who candidly explored middle-class Jewish suburban life in Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint, died in May 2018, when the HBO series was already being written by Ed Burns and David Simon, creator of The Wire. It was Simon who presented a revised ending to Roth’s story, which is set in an alternative American history and features a Jewish family battling to survive in 1940 as aviator hero Charles Lindbergh (played by Ben Cole), a notorious antisemite and xenophobic populist, becomes president and turns the nation towards fascism. Daring to revise Roth’s ending for the benefit of television, Simon has talked about his agonising wait as the author read the changes, only to respond with a non-committal “well, it’s your problem now”. The reaction to the series by American audiences suggests that Roth would have been satisfied, although the parallels to 2020’s political quagmire make it a fearful watch. As director of the first three episodes, Minkie Spiro, a Fulbright scholar and former photojournalist who grew up in St John’s Wood, understands the discomfort. “Little did I know, while making it last summer, that the world was going to unfold and how discerning and relevant the story was going to become,” she says. “The Plot Against America is a cautionary tale, for when a world forgets to respect inclusion and acceptance. It felt very significant to be making something
Rabbi Bengelsdorf meets Evelyn’s mother
went to the that speaks of a current moment. I just never thought it would be this current.” South, met with As the daughter of Robin and Nitza Spiro, who the local rabbi and pioneered the study of Jewish history and culture at spent time listening their north-west London institute, Minkie – one of six to various Southern John Turturro as the rabbi sisters and a brother – had a lifetime of familial inspira- dialects before supporting Lindbergh pitching one to us. tion to bring to the fictional Levins of the story, who “John has played so many Jewish characters he are based on Roth’s real family. might as well be Jewish, and the rest of the cast, if not The Holocaust knowledge imparted by Minkie’s Jewish, all had cultural or first-hand connections with parents also coloured her interpretation as she the world they were about to inhabit.” knows where the ghettoising of Jews as depicted in They included Northern Irish actor Anthony the drama leads. Boyle, who plays cousin Alvin and regaled Minkie with “But the story speaks to anyone who is marginalstories about his time on Broadway in Harry Potter ised. It just happens to be set in a Jewish community Child. in Newark, New Jersey, where and The Cursed Child “He’s not Jewish, but told Roth was raised. It is really a me he feels he is, having been portrait of any family that is adopted by New York Jews who persecuted and belittled for took him under their wing and being different and how love fed him chicken soup when he within that family wasn’t feeling great.” is tested in order to survive Friendships of substance a horrific moment in time.” are rarely made on film sets, Having worked with so Minkie’s popularity posta plethora of big names – production is a rarity, although including Dame Maggie Smith the delivery to Highclere Castle on Downton, Sam Rockwell and of spinach and feta parcels from Michelle Williams on Fosse and her Israeli husband’s deli did cut Verdon – calling the shots does some swathe on Downton. not faze the diminutive director, But deli life in Kensal Rise although she was impressed is a far cry from Hollywood, by Winona Ryder, who plays where Minkie, husband Doron impressionable social climber and daughters Blissy and RubyEvelyn Finkel, the love interest Plot party: Minkie with Anthony Rae live, although she has just of deluded Rabbi Bengelsdorf Boyle and Winona Ryder left for Canada to be executive (played by John Turturro). producer and director of Pieces “Winona is a very precious Of Her, an eight-part psychological thriller based on soul in my eyes,” says Minkie of the Jewish actress, Karin Slaughter’s novel. whose real last name is Horowitz. “She’s film and TV Taking on another novel after realising Roth royalty, phenomenally talented, yet so humble, warm requires a fresh mindset, but with the protests and and funny. She’s also an avid reader and huge Roth fan, unrest in America echoing Plot, Minkie knows it’s so was passionate about telling this story. Suffice it to a challenge.“The series reminds people to stop and say, I adore her.” think,” she says. “Never forget the past and be an As the rabbi, Turturro, who is the son of an Italian instrument of change. We need it right now, as these immigrant, also made his mark. past few months have taught me anything can happen.” “John is such an interesting man and we had The Plot Against America airs on Tuesday, wonderful rehearsal time prior to getting on set. You 14 July, 9pm, on Sky Atlantic and Now TV can dig deep with John and, to research the part, he
Inside Entertainment: Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne star in new Aaron Sorkin drama Desert Island Books: Former BBC boss Danny Cohen
Culture: How Amsterdam’s locals are visiting the Anne Frank House for the first time
Jewish News 9 July 2020
Weekend / Entertainment
Helpless Orthodox women who are refused a get are the focus of sympathy in an emotional Israeli drama series launching on UK Jewish Film next week. Unchained (Matir Agunot) created by Tamar Kay, Yossi Madmoni and David Ofek, is another opportunity to spy on Chasidic life, which was a closed world until secular film-makers decided to open it up, following Netflix’s hit series, Shtisel. Avraham Aviv Alush plays Rabbi Yosef Morad, a dedicated hunter of husbands who refuse to ‘unchain’ their wives. The character is said to be inspired by Rabbi Eliyahu Maimon, head of the Rabbinical Courts Administration’s Department for Agunot, but in this imagined story, the mysterious behaviour of his wife (Avigail Kovari) gives him cause for concern closer to home. Unchained is available to stream from 17 July at www.ukjewishfilm.org
COMEDY The Drive-In Club Adam Kay and Ashley Blaker are among a host of comedians performing live on stage at The Drive-In Club at Brent Cross this summer. They are joined by the likes of Jason Manford, Bill Bailey, Dom Joly, Omid Djalili, Ed Byrne, Shappi Khorsandi and Stephen K Amos at the drive-through venue, which is also offering family-friendly shows and film screenings, including Grease, Paddington, Jurassic World: Fallen Ashley Blaker and Adam Kay
Kingdom, Sing!, Moana and Captain Marvel. Kay, performing on 17 and 18 July, will share entries from his diaries as a junior doctor, which he scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends while working in obstetrics and gynaecology. His stand-up show has an accompanying, best-selling memoir, This Is Going To Hurt, which will be turned into a forthcoming BBC series starring Ben Whishaw. Meanwhile, Blaker brings his heimische humour to the stage on Sunday, 2 August. The Orthodox-Jewish comedian most recently completed a sellout tour of his show, Prophet Sharing, alongside Muslim comedian Imran Yusuf. Details: www.drivein. ticketline.co.uk
GADGET OF THE MONTH: Eufy RoboVac G10 Hybrid 2-in-1 sweep and mop robot vacuum cleaner (for hard floors only) Available from: Amazon, RRP: £299.99) PLUS POINTS:
• Very easy to set up and use – the youngest child got it working, including connecting the EufyHome app to the phone, in no time • In carpet mode, it can work when you’re busy elsewhere or be scheduled to start when you’re out • Good for in-between cleans – we were amazed at how much dust and tiny debris it removed • Can also be used via voice controls, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
• Although it says it features smart dynamic navigation, it seems to us to move in a somewhat haphazard way – but it can be set to carry out spot cleaning • Sometimes gets stuck for no apparent reason and isn’t able to return ‘home’ to its charging base • Mop function needs to be supervised and kept topped up with water
BUY OR NOT BUY:
If you have the space for it, it’s a useful appliance for a light clean of hard wood floors, but sadly it won’t replace the regular vacuum cleaner.
Reviewed by: Alex Galbinski
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Aaron Sorkin’s star-studded drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7,, has been bought by Netflix and will be released later this year. The gripping drama, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne, follows the real-life peaceful protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago (pictured above). Seven organisers of the protest – including Abbie Hoffman (played by Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) and Tom Hayden (Redmayne) – were convicted of conspiracy to incite a riot. The glittering cast also features Michael
NETFLIX Dead To Me
Sacha Baron Cohen, left, and Aaron Sorkin
Keaton as President Lyndon Johnson’s attorney general, Ramsey Clark, and Mark Rylance as attorney William Kunstler. Sorkin, whose best known works include the Oscar-winning The Social Network, A Few Good Men and Molly’s Game, served as writer and director on his latest project.
Liz Feldman’s dark Netflix comedy Dead To Me, starring Christina Applegate, has been renewed for a third and final series. The show follows Jen (Applegate), a sardonic widow determined to track down her husband’s hit-and-run killer and her unlikely friendship with Judy (Linda Cardellini), a happy-go-lucky woman who has recently suffered her own loss. “From start to finish, Dead To Me is exactly the show I wanted to make,” Feldman said. “And it’s been an incredible gift. Telling a story sprung from grief and loss has stretched me as an artist and healed me as a human.”
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Travel / Weekend
Amsterdam gets to know Anne In the tourist-free city, locals are finally seeing the Anne Frank House Under normal circumstances, the queue to enter the Anne Frank House stretches far along this capital city’s Prinsengracht canal, writes Cnaan Liphshiz. Tourists who had booked their visit at least two months in advance — the only way to guarantee entry — line up at assigned time slots to see the former hiding place of the world’s most famous Holocaust victim. They wait for 15 minutes and, barring delays, enter in one large group the cramped space where Anne wrote the diaries that would become the memoir The Diary of a Young Girl. Now, with tourism shut down across Europe because of the pandemic, the square in front of the Netherlands museum is empty and the building looks deserted. It’s not. Each week, the museum’s staff greet thousands of locals who had been put off by the wait times and queues but are now seizing the opportunity to visit the attraction in their own backyard. Many are entering the site for the first time. “I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve walked past the Anne Frank House
countless times, but I was just always put off by that long line of tourists,” one visitor, 62-year-old Stella Ruisch, said after she and her daughter visited on 12 June, what would have been Anne’s 91st birthday. Before the pandemic, the Anne Frank House was the third mostvisited museum in the Netherlands, with about 3,500 visitors daily. About 10 percent were local, Dutch media have said. Now 1,000 people visit daily, and they’re almost all locals. The museum was closed from March until June, when it reopened with a reduced capacity due to social distancing measures. The small building housing the museum now accommodates 35 people at a time, compared with 80 before the pandemic. That means visitors can find themselves alone for minutes at a time in one of the rooms that are decorated to resemble how they looked when the Franks and other Jews in hiding stayed there from 1942 to 1944. Anne Frank’s story is taught in most Dutch schools, so locals are likely to know more about her story than many of those from China,
Japan, Brazil and the United States, who account for many visitors. The absence of tourists is, however, a serious blow to the museum budget. The institution gets no government subsidies, relying on admission fees and donations for its overhead and educational activities in more than 40 countries. Currently, “ticket revenues will not be sufficient to cover the operational costs by a long shot”, Garance Reus-Deelder, the museum’s former managing director, wrote last month. The coronavirus forced the Anne Frank Museum, which opened in 1960, to close at the start of an important year: the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from Nazism. The anniversary, which government institutions and many museums in the Netherlands are observing, is also generating interest from locals in the Anne Frank House, according to Rembrandt Frerichs, a musician from The Hague and father of two. His 11-year-old son watched a video diary released by the Anne Frank House during the lockdown that simulates how Anne would have documented her time at the secrete annex had she lived in the digital era. “We figured it was time to visit the Anne Frank House as a family, and
An empty room at the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, where the diarist and her family hid for two years during the Holocaust. Illustrative: a picture of Anne accompanies visitors as they leave the museum
now that the tourists are gone, we’re definitely going to do it,” Frerichs said. Some viewers of the vlog commented that their experience of being confined to their homes offered a glimpse of the reality that Anne and the others inhabited. Frerichs, anonJew who visited the Anne Frank House many years ago,disagreed. “There’s just no basis for comparing our situation with theirs,” he said. Still, the jazz musician found himself thinking of the Franks in assessing his way of dealing with this spring’s wrenching changes. “I’m an optimist,” Frerichs said. “I keep telling myself that things are
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about to get better, even when rationally I’m not sure they ever will. I just wonder if they had similar thoughts in that little secret annexe.”
Jewish News 9 July 2020
In association with
Andrew Gilbert’s essential Israel online directory 2020 is a year unlike any other in so many
ways. For young British Jews, it sadly means no Israel Tour, no Birthright, no Onward Israel and, perhaps, no Israel family summer holidays. We used to have resource centres, libraries and books. Today, we have the internet and it is jam-packed with ways that you can find the most amazing things about Israel. Jewish News, in partnership with UJIA, has put together a selection of the most comprehensive collection of all things Israel – over these pages you’ll find a taster; the full directory is available at www.jewishnews.co.uk. It will be updated over time, to remain a resource for you, your family and our community.
JUST LANDED IN ISRAEL
Arriving in Israel, as most of us do, by plane at Ben Gurion Airport, we see the coast as we land (make that experience much smoother with travelingisrael.com/flying-israel). Start with seeing the whole length of the country with this seven-minute flight over Israel youtube.com/watch?v=tI7SpzB7D5k.
As soon as you land in Israel, you may want to get to Jerusalem. When you’re next in Israel, you can now get there from Ben Gurion in just 20 minutes by high-speed train. Till then, see it with a 360 tour www.jerusalem360.co.il/ eng. With so much to do in Jerusalem, the links in our Israel Directory give us a taste: you will find YouTube material covering not only every aspect of the city, but amazing film of Jerusalem just one month before the Six-Day War and an extract of an episode of a 1970s childrens’ programme. We have a film of Jerusalem Day 2020 and a British Pathé film on Jerusalem from before the Second World War. There is a link to watch the Western Wall in real time and you can find all sorts of things you didn’t know about the Mahane Yehuda market. There are the various virtual tours of so many of the attractions and special places in Jerusalem, cityofdavid.org.il/en/tours/city-david/ city-david-tours-biblical-jerusalem for example. There are lectures about Jerusalem and there is also an interactive Ancient Jerusalem map and a panoramic view and a tour through the Western Wall tunnels. There are virtual tours including explore.itraveljerusalem.com – a partnership between the Jerusalem municipality, Jerusalem Development Authority, East Jerusalem Development Company and an Israeli travel start-up.
TEL AVIV AND JAFFA
With links to print, pictures and YouTube, we discover how to explore Tel Aviv and Jaffa for free, we shop like a local 100 years in 15 minutes at Carmel Market, eat at Sarona Market, stroll around the refurbished and trendy port and wander through the historic Neve Tzedek
neighbourhood. It is great to see 100 years of Tel Aviv in 15 minutes youtube.com/ watch?v=D8B61WQJ9QU. For those who just want a quick guide to the markets of Tel Aviv, see youtube.com/watch?v=3eErgoGqXr8. In Jaffa, there’s the flea market, but make sure you also catch Julian Resnick, tour guide and educator, tell his story of one experience of an evening in Jaffa youtube.com/ watch?v=DsjXVswWGMc. Finally, check out Joel Meyer’s great virtual online tours, including of Tel Aviv joelmeyer.org/virtual-online-tours
com/watch?v=i3_ihL51bHo is somewhere once-experienced, never forgotten. And the Unistream project (unistream.co.il/about-us)’s mission is to improve Israeli society by training underprivileged Israeli teenagers in entrepreneurship and leadership. UJIA has a longstanding partnership with the Unistream Center in Julis. Finally, Dror Israel www.drorisrael.org works through a variety of urban and traditional kibbutzim across Israel, partnered by UJIA.
MASADA, THE DEAD SEA AND EILAT
Links here to action in the Negev, such as Midburn – Festival City in the Desert midburn. org/en-art, Hiking The Shvil Israel trail www. youtube.com/watch?v=rUU__fdyZNY, to Ben Gurion’s Desert Home, to the Desert Shanti Youth Village in the Negev shanti.org.il/en/ houses/#desert. (UJIA has been working with Beit Hashanti to provide engagement opportunities for young British Jews on Israel Tour.) The best beaches in Israel are all here (and may not be where you think they are!). Hear tour guide Julian Resnick on “When is a beach more than a beach?” youtu.be/Xct2u5NHicg. Despite what Meir Dizengoff had intended, the best beaches may not be in Tel Aviv... timeout.com/ israel/attractions/the-best-beaches-in-israel. There is also a quick tour around Israel’s nature reserves and national parks – how many of these have even regular visitors not been to … yet? youtube.com/watch?v=U9GKxNbOkw&feature=youtu.be
Masada 360 virtual tour
The highlight is the Masada 360 virtual tour from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority masada360.com, or you could take a virtually guided tour with facebook.com/moshegoldtourguide. Oren is a guide offering tours with some helpful videos travelingisrael.com. Sergio and Rhoda have a YouTube channel, with nearly 200,000 subscribers visiting some well-known and some less well-known sites youtube.com/ channel/UCMjyLTgfDR9MnREIpcWk95w/ featured
GALIL – THE NORTH
While our links cover the whole of the north of Israel, we want to focus on just three. Tsfat, where the mystical meets the worldly, youtube.
DESERTS, BEACHES, PARKS AND SUNSETS
The country might only be 72 years old, but Israelis have developed a unique culture. A mix of east and west, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, socially liberal with strong religious influences… there is much to see online. From the Tel Aviv Museum of Art www.tamuseum.org. il/en and Gutman Museum www.gutman
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
museum.co.il/en to the Mishkan Museum in Ein Harod museumeinharod.org.il/en and a tour of the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (my.matterport.com/show/?m=JKqSQG6QETf). This great list of talented Israeli artists is well worth looking out for www.israel21c.org/10 -talented-israeli-artists-making-their-mark-onthe-worlds-canvas. Perhaps our favourite link of all leads to the poetry classes of Dr Rachel Korazim. She packs rooms, including at Limmud and at universities, but it is very special to be able to listen to her take on so many poets and writers of Israel; listen to her ‘WIndows to Israel through Literature’ here www.rachelkorazim. com/recordedpoetryclasses. Israel has a growing number of other museums too … The Hebrew Music Museum has a virtual reality tour hebrewmusicmuseum.com, and there is archeology, natural history and Madatech, the Israel National Museum of Science Tech and Space www.youtube.com/watch?v=USO5y-ZaO7Y. Finally in this section, there is the blog ‘Israel in Translation’ at tlv1.fm/podcasts/israel-in -translation-show, where Marcela Sulak explores Israeli literature in English translation.
Without visiting in person, one is still able to see so much online. Start at the Israel Museum
9 July 2020 Jewish News
In association with CONFLICT
JW3-TV on the Balfour Declaration
tours.imj.org.il/en before dashing off to The Bible Lands Museum blmj.org/en/ Beit Hatfusot, the Museum of the Jewish People has lots available online bh.org.il/stayingindoors-visit-beit-hatfutsot-home. Every year, on UJIA’s Israel Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program, families visit Beit Hatfutsot to learn more about Ethiopian Jewry’s aliyah bh.org.il/event/operation-moses-30-years-2 and UJIA continues to partner with organisations in Israel that support its Ethiopian-Israeli population.
Begin with a simple history of the conflict at www.heyalma.com/israel-guide/the-historyof-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/; learn more about Suez from Professor Vernon Bogdanor www.youtu.be/YBNvAGkVGpw; or how the Six-Day War changed the map forever youtu.be/ B60O6Kcijso. There’s also this fascinating UK TV interview with Yasser Arafat and Ezer Weizman www.youtu.be/Y-szC7XBPLA
HISTORY OF MODERN ISRAEL
We have put together from many archives some incredible links about those who built and led Israel. Here are some tasters... For Theodor Herzl, there is the Herzl Archive zionistarchives.org.il/en/collections/Herzl Archive/Pages/Default.aspx and after you’ve explored that, learn more about two intriguing pre-state figures, Ze’ev Jabotinsky youtube.com/ watch?v=Tq4WpLekueg and Chaim Arlosoroff. For the latter, another video from tour guide Julian Resnick explains who he was youtu. be/09eUPHZ1IbE and there is an intriguing Goebbels connection! bh.org.il/blog-items/ the-goebbels-connection-romantic-mysterybehind-the-arlosoroff-assassination. Then learn about the Academy of the Hebrew Language en.hebrew-academy.org.il, where one can find more on the history of Hebrew, new words and the story of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, before dipping into a three minute overview of Ahad Ha’am and Cultural Zionism youtu.be/I1r8Hg4qhr8. Learn more about the Balfour Declaration jw3. org.uk/stories/jw3-tv-balfour-declaration100-years then, once the state was formed, meet the first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion youtube.com/watch?v=OQMykqFASfY, chart the rise and fall of Moshe Sharett youtube.com/ watch?v=ineP4TDmnow and watch Abba Eban address a British Delegation to the Holy Land youtube.com/watch?v=wRxAAlXlJHE. Moshe Dayan, hero of the Israel Defense Forces, in the first decades of the state, was interviewed on British TV youtube.com/ watch?v=s3FE4hOfkeo, as was Golda Meir youtube.com/watch?v=w3FGvAMvYpc&t=65s. Or catch Menachem Begin’s Nobel Prize lecture www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1978/begin/ lecture! In the full online directory, there are many, many more such links.
After Yad Vashem www.yadvashem.org and the Ghetto Fighters Museum gfh.org.il/eng, explore the Spielberg Film Archive and the era-defining trial of Adolf Eichmann www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uANesju1B58.
Yad Vashem Museum
Resources teach about history
We decided to include material and lectures from a wide range of Israeli historians and as you will see in the directory we have probably included someone with whom you might disagree. Here is a taster: What happened in 1948? The Derailed Debate by the Jerusalem Center youtu.be/ YqAXFi7rWFw or another perspective, this time focused on 1967 with Tom Segev uctv.tv/shows/ Israel-and-the-1967-War-with-Tom-Segev -Conversations-with-History-12623.
For those of you who don’t know your Likud from your Meretz, and those of you who keep
and Streetwise Hebrew tlv1.fm/podcasts/ streetwise-hebrew-show, a bitesize podcast showcasing modern Hebrew and its slang.
A TASTE OF SYNAGOGUES AND YESHIVAS ONLINE Bring music into your own home
Jerusalem – an attempt to bring peace through music davidbroza.net/?page_id=366 and it is on Prime Video/Netflix. There are six essential songs from Arik Einstein timesofisrael.com/ arik-einstein-six-essential-songs, 11 from Ofra Haza theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/ articles/the-iconic-ofra-haza-11-songs-youneed-to-know and, of course, The Idan Raichel Project youtube.com/watch?v=Vuh1-jDi7Qw. Tour guide Sam Greene offers his Kol Cambridge Podcast that showcases the amazing talent of Israeli musicians tlv1.fm/podcasts/kol-cambridge-show
FOOD & DRINK
The online food and drink section covers where to get stunning Israeli food and recipes you can try at home. Sample Tel Aviv street food youtube.com/ watch?v=3wmvk3SknxA, and get the latest from the Delicious Blog www.deliciousisrael.com/ blog. Like food and like watching films about Israel? Then you’ll love www.florentinefilms.com/ sherman/project/in-search-of-israeli-cuisine. And when you’re next in Israel, take a trip up north and visit the Kishor Winery in the Galil. Supported by UJIA, the winery provides a home for life for adults with special needs www. kishorit.org.il/en
Why not brush up on your Hebrew?
Orthodox: Yachad TLV (www.facebook.com/ groups/193582356423), Radio Kol Barama Bnei Barak http://kol-barama.co.il/live and Ichud TLV www.ichudolam.org/schedule Non-Orthodox: Mevakshei Derech www.mevakshei.org/eng, Nava Tehila www.navatehila.org, Kol HaNeshama www.en.kolhaneshama.org. il, BTI TLV Beach btfila.org and Beit Daniel www. beit-daniel.org.il/en. Yeshiva Online: Machon Pardes www.elmad. pardes.org; Conservative Yeshiva Beit Midrash www.conservativeyeshiva.org/learn/; Web Yeshiva www.webyeshiva.org HUC www. huc.edu/campus-life/taube-family-campusjerusalem Har Etzion www.etzion.org.il/en/ Hartman www.hartman.org.il/ and for Israeli universites go to Coursera www.coursera.org/ courses?query=israel.
Resources also offer Jewish learning
WHAT ABOUT SPENDING MOST OF THE NEXT YEAR IN ISRAEL?
President Reuven Rivlin
up to do date with every twist and turn of Israeli politics, we have a full range of resources. Kick off with President Reuven Rivlin’s seminal ‘4 Tribes’ Speech archive.president.gov.il/ English/ThePresident/Speeches/Pages/ news_070615_01.aspx and learn how to use Google Maps to take a virtual tour of the Knesset youtu.be/QFmlXIkZEpc. You can get all the latest polls and data from the very useful Knesset Jeremy at knessetjeremy.com, but for us the best thing every week is The Promised Podcast, which gives a real sense of Israel interspersed with contemporary Israeli music tlv1.fm/podcasts/the-promised-podcast-show.
Starting with 100 most viewed Israeli songs youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCE2txRE9iH5TRMmFYPEmbkCNk3zSy-a and the Israel Top 40 Music chart popnable.com/israel, there is a wide review of Israeli music past and present. Koolulam is a new social music initiative youtube.com/channel/UC7jCARgO4fPcwPqgkjQp4Rw/featured In the directory, we cover many of Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest entrants, including this top 10 youtube.com/ watch?v=ggcEeI3TrXk. Check out David Broza’s East Jerusalem West
Learn about the food of Israel
If you are aged 18 to 25, this is a great option through UJIA , which supports and signposts many programmes, including internships, study, tech, teaching and volunteer opportunities all over Israel lasting between five and 12 months. The youth movement programmes are very popular: Bnei Akiva Hachshara – a nine-month Modern Orthodox programme www.bauk.org/ hachshara, Shnat Netzer – a five-month Reform/ Liberal programme www.shnatnetzer.org.il Noam Drachim – a five-month Masorti programme www.masortiyouth.org/drachim, FZY Year Course – a nine-month pluralist programme www.fzy.org.uk/yearcourse, Habonim Dror Shnat – a nine-month socialist and cultural programme www.habodror.org.uk.
A section covering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities discusses guides, beaches, history and the olim experience.
There are top tips in many categories.
What better time is there to brush up on your Ivrit? Courses include ones from Duolingo duolingo.com/course/he/en/Learn-Hebrew, Ulpan Online ulpan.co.il/ulpan-bayit-online/
You can visit Israel on a Bnei Akiva scheme
Jewish News 9 July 2020
Books / Podcast With Zaki Cooper
In association with Listen to the podcast at jewishnews.co.uk
Interviewing: Danny Cohen
Leadership communications consultant Zaki Cooper invites high-profile Jewish figures to choose books that have the most meaning to them. The conversation is also available as a podcast at jewishnews.co.uk
head of documentaries and then I moved n the latest in our series of podcasts over to run E4, the youth network. I greenlit Zaki talks to Danny Cohen, who studied a couple of shows, Skins and The literature at Oxford, about his life, Inbetweenesr, in particular, and career and books that inspire him. I think they helped build my Danny is president of Access reputation. Then I was offered Entertainment, which invests the job of controller of BBC 3, in film, television and digital BBC’s youth service. companies and content. He was director of BBC Television The first book you’ve selected from 2013 to 2015, having is Great Expectations by Charles served in senior positions at Dickens. Tell us why the BBC before that. At the BBC, He is my favourite author. Comedy he oversaw production of Doctor is so hard to write, perform and Who, Strictly Come Dancing and Danny Cohen produce. For me, Dickens is EastEnders. peerless in the way he creates comedy for his characters and creates comic situations. You started your career at Channel 4 The imaginative depth of the worlds he and moved to the BBC. Tell us about creates is something I’ve loved since I was the early stages of your career a teenager. I read Great Expectations for the I worked principally on documentary at first time during my A-levels. Channel 4, as a commissioner and then
Your next book is The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (1922). What attracted you to it? I always had this sense that Katherine Mansfield is under-appreciated. I wish she was more widely read. She died young, in her early 30s, and this meant she only wrote short stories. I got the sense that she intended to write a novel eventually but she focused on short stories. They’re very beautiful, they’re subtle. She’s an author who makes you very aware that every word counts.
then begins which adds additional challenges. There is something beautiful, timeless, subtle and moving about the writing. You feel their pain and their happiness so deeply. I burst into tears when I finished that book.
Danny’s last holiday read
You were appointed controller of BBC One at the extraordinarily young age of 36. What was that like? I loved those jobs running channels. Particularly at the BBC, you know you are having an influence on culture, you have this very privileged role in deciding what people get to watch or producers get to make. You are very closely connected to what’s going on in public life. That said, those jobs come with ups and downs. Underpinning it all is that I really love story-telling. You were integral to the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee. What was that like? It felt like a wonderful opportunity to be part of something significant in public life. Those events are rightly seen as the BBC at their best, because they involve incredible teams of people. You are now president of Access Entertainment. Tell us about what your current role entails? Our company invests in TV production companies, independent film, live theatrical companies and digital content. We also own the Theatre Royal Haymarket. My work is far more commercial than it was at the BBC, but the fundamentals are not that different. I am looking to work with the very best creative talent and find ways to help them tell incredible stories. You have a particular interest in children’s literature and have also chosen The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay, a recent book. What’s so special about this book? It’s a beautiful story about two children, Clarry and Peter, who grow up at the beginning of the 20th century, with a distant father. They live for their summers in Cornwall which they spend with their cousin Rupert and some other children. World War One
Moving on to your Jewish identity, you said in 2014 that you had never felt so uncomfortable as a Jew in the UK. What prompted that? I said it at a television conference in Jerusalem and didn’t expect it to find its way back to the UK, not that I minded. I felt obliged to say something about the Labour Party moving to the extreme left.
One of the other books you’ve chosen is East- West Street I find it a remarkable combination of academic scholarship and personal story. That combination is very hard to achieve. It tells the story of four people, two Jewish lawyers – Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin – and two others Hans Frank [the “butcher of Poland”] and Philippe Sands’ own grandfather who survived the Holocaust. The inter-weaving of those stories around East-West Street has stayed with me. You are married to author Noreena Hertz. Tell us a bit about her writing and what you have learnt from her books I’ve learned that she’s much much smarter than me! I learned how hard it must be to write a book as it’s a very intense, singular process. It’s given me even more admiration for people who write books. Her new book, to be published in September, will look at the crisis of loneliness growing in the 21st century. You’re a big Liverpool football fan and a lover of sports books. Any favourites you’d like to mention? Whenever I go on holiday, I like to read at least one sports book. The latest one I read was James Milner’s Ask A Footballer. That said, I probably specialise in 1980s Liverpool biographies.
Danny’s page turners • • • • •
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens East West Street by Philippe Sands The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay Ask A Footballer by James Milner
9 July 2020 Jewish News
Torah For Today
SEDRA Pinchas BY RABBI BORUCH BOUDILOVSKY The birth of Moses is originally shrouded in genealogical mystery. We are not immediately told who his parents are. His sister remains anonymous, even as the text describes her important role in ensuring his safety. Indeed, in Shemot, which means ‘names’, Moses’ family remains nameless when we first encounter them. Later, in several places, the identity of Moses’ biological family is revealed. Our Parsha is one example: “The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.” These names embody much meaning. Amram means ‘an exalted nation’. Jochebed might mean ‘the honour of God’. These names might have offered comfort to the Hebrew slaves of the time. Nevertheless, the Torah omits these inspiring names when introducing the early life of Moses. A family unit consisting of parents with children gradually changes as children reach adulthood. When siblings are children, they live together. As they mature, they slowly leave
their family, often establishing a family of their own. Moses is different; he is raised in separation from his biological parents and siblings. His growth is shaped by his ability to return to them in an extremely meaningful way. Rather than the siblings slowly maturing and building separate lives, they partner to co-lead a nation. A consistent theme appearing in the Torah is the rejection of the idea that a family is a temporary social unit. We are challenged to follow the pattern experienced by Moses in which our relationship with our parents and siblings becomes more meaningful, as we become more independent. The commandment to honour one’s parents is not a lullaby song to young children telling them to tidy up their room when asked to do so. Rather it is a calling to mature, independent adults, who are genuinely busy looking after their own families, to prioritise their relationship with parents and siblings, and maintain their family bond, wherever they are in the world.
◆ Rabbi Boudilovsky serves Young Israel of North Netanya
What does the Torah say about: Ghislaine Maxwell BY RABBI DANIEL FRIEDMAN After months of eluding capture, Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested on charges of helping to recruit and groom underage girls, who were then abused by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The abiding principle here is the presumption of innocence (Deut.17:6) until a trial, but we can still discuss why people with apparently unlimited resources would engage in such terrible behaviour. The Talmud states: “One does not sin unless they will benefit.” (Kiddushin 63b) If the purpose was purely to feed Epstein’s desires, logic would dictate that Maxwell was innocent – otherwise what was her motive? Perhaps he manipulated her. On this matter, the Talmud (Kiddushin 42b) dispels the ‘Nuremberg defence’, emphasising an individual’s enduring responsibility for their own actions. So the question remains: why? The Torah states: “Six days
Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested
shall you work.” Rabbi Eliezer says (Ketubot 59b): “Even if a woman brings one hundred maids [into the marriage] he may oblige her to knit, for idleness leads to licentiousness.” The Creator placed us on Earth to toil and be challenged. Most people sustain unceasing trials and tribulations in the areas of livelihood, health and relationships. A rare few, however, are blessed with few challenges and prosperity, either by accident of birth or the grace of Heaven. The risk of such blessing is that
purposelessness sets in. Sometimes the situation ends tragically, or the prosperous individual creates their own scandalous situations of challenge. That’s Rabbi Eliezer’s meaning. The person who has everything may endeavour to test the limits of morality, wondering how far they can go without getting caught. But there are also many celebrities who maximise their potential by creating good challenges from their success. Think of the footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign and all the hungry children who will be fed this summer. Success should lead us to seek our next goal. The Torah doesn’t believe in retirement from accomplishment. Every moment you are still here means your life’s task is not yet complete. Let’s never waste a single precious moment! ◆ Rabbi Daniel Friedman serves Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue
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Jewish News 9 July 2020
The Bible Says What? ‘Moses’ wife was condemned for being black’ BY STUDENT RABBI DEBORAH BLAUSTEN In Numbers: 12, the Torah tells of an incident where Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ siblings, spoke out against their brother, because he had married a ‘Cushite’ woman. Tzipporah, Moses’ wife, was famously the daughter of Yitro, a Midianite priest. So what does it mean to call her ‘Cushite’? The rabbis of the Talmud interpreted this phrase to refer not just to a geographical region, but rather to the colour of her skin. The term Cushite is not just a reference to Cush – a region in modern-day Sudan – but more specifically an allusion to people’s dark skin colour. So commentators have suggested that Miriam and Aaron’s objection was a racial one. There are a number of ways to interpret ‘Cushite’ that avoid the question of race, but to do so is to ignore an important dimension of Torah. Moses and Tzipporah’s experience
is not just one told in the Torah, but rather is shared with many interracial couples. Just like Moses, many of those couples have experienced this kind of judgement from within their families or community. Rather than accepting Miriam and Aaron’s complaints, God is firm in responding in defence of Moses, punishing particularly Miriam for her words. In this moment, the Torah lays out God’s objection to discrimination in a very clear way. It also lays out a clear imperative to call out those who think it is acceptable to speak hateful and discriminatory words. Our diverse Jewish community is not a modern phenomenon, but the fact that such experience of discrimination continues to affect so many generations on should trouble us greatly.
◆ Deborah Blausten is a rabbinic student at Leo Baeck College
Progressively Speaking Assisted dying is a debate we must all have BY RABBI DANNY RICH In the opening to the third chapter of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), it states: “Everything has its season, and a time for everything under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die.” It is a verse I often go back to during the current debate on assisting dying, not least because it has been set to a catchy tune. As well as being a rabbi, I have served for a number of decades as a hospital and an occasional hospice chaplain. I have been present at all manner of deaths. Many people see death as the end of life, whereas others have convictions about a continuance beyond immediate physical death. Nevertheless, if you ask people when they are alive – or indeed relatives of those who are dying – they invariably seek a calm and painfree death having, where possible, ‘tied up matters’ and surrounded by
those for whom they care most. Last week I read a newlypublished book, The Last Rights: The Case for Assisted Dying by Sarah Wootton and Lloyd Riley of Dignity in Dying, a slim volume with ironically life-enhancing potential. It lays out a compelling case for a modest change in the law to permit those who are terminally ill, and in the final months of their lives, the option of dying on their own terms. Allowing incurably ill individ-
uals, subject to appropriate safeguards, to decide the manner and timing of their own deaths, is a cause supported by many people in this country, both those of religious faith and those not. But I’m often asked on what basis I, and so many other Progressive rabbis, champion it? Because to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, dying, rather like birth, needs to become a topic of conversation before it happens, so that it occurs with minimum suffering and maximum possible choice. Indeed, this is how I understand Kohelet’s call for ‘a time to die under heaven’. ◆ Rabbi Danny Rich is a vice president of Liberal Judaism
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9 July 2020 Jewish News
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Dear David My husband and I are desperate to go on holiday this summer. With travel restrictions lifted to some European countries, what’s your advice? Jan Dear Jan As straightforward as your question is, regrettably, I cannot provide you with a simple answer. Owing to the uncertain situation still prevailing, each passenger needs to make their own decision based on personal circumstances. While there has been a relaxation of travel restrictions and the introduction of the UK
‘air bridge’ to many European destinations, my advice is to continue following government guidelines. Bear in mind some countries are still insisting on a 14-day quarantine and some are not welcoming UK travellers. However, I do believe there is a twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel and, even though a holiday to Israel is somewhat “complicated” at the moment. I am hopeful tourism will resume in the not too distant future. You will need to understand, however, that wherever you go your holiday this year will be very different to anything you have been accustomed to in the past, with Covid-19 safety regulations enforced at airports, on flights and at hotels. My further advice is to ensure you are properly covered for comprehensive travel insurance and make sure you read the small print. I am very hopeful that before too long you will be able to travel to the destination of your choice.
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LLOYD PLATT & COMPANY SOLICITORS Dear Vanessa Can I get a no-fault divorce in the UK? Frances Dear Frances There is good news for divorcing couples in that the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Bill 20020 concluded its passage through the House of Commons last week, receiving
the royal assent, and has now become the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. This Act brings in the concept of “non fault divorce”. The current law on divorce is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which states there is only one ground for divorce, ie that the marriage has irretrievably broken down based on one or more of five facts. Only two of those allow for the divorce petition to be issued after one year of marriage, namely adultery or unreasonable behaviour; these both require blame by one party upon the other. The remaining three require two years separation or two years desertion, or five years separation where consent is not required. Now that this Act has been
introduced, those wishing to proceed with a divorce will still have to declare that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, but will no longer have to rely on blame. One or both parties will simply give a statement to the court confirming the marriage has irretrievably broken and the court will accept that statement. There is to be introduced a minimum 20-week period from the date the divorce petition is issued to the date of the conditional order (presently known as decree nisi) and a six-week period from the conditional order to final order known as the decree absolute. This Act is anticipated to be coming in in 2021 and, with it, there is likely to be a further influx of divorce cases.
STEPHEN MORRIS REMOVALS MANAGING DIRECTOR
STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD Dear Stephen My family is due to make aliyah this year and we are concerned at possible delays owing to the pandemic. Could you please provide an update on the situation? Dear David Yes, Covid-19 has caused numerous problems, but most have been resolved.
Firstly, rhe Jewish Agency would not provide visas until 1 July, but these are now being received. Secondly, we have the problems of social distancing and these I will go through now. If I need to survey the household and personal effects being moved, then I will do so but masked and with freshly washed/gelled hands before and after the visit. During the survey, I do request that only one member of the family is present and we then both remain at least two metres apart. We will use smaller crews on the packing, perhaps only two people, but for a slightly longer time and just add extra men for the final collec-
tion and container loading. The ships are sailing as usual and, so far, we have been able to deliver shipments by requesting that it either goes into a storage unit where possible or into an empty residence. Social distancing in Israel is equally important as in the UK and just now we are looking at the possible return of ‘lockdown’ in many areas. We are currently talking with the Israeli authorities and it is clear the regulations may change frequently. The ‘bottom line’ is that we can move you to Israel and we will update you regularly as to any changes in the regulations covering the final delivery. We will always work safely and in accordance with social distancing.
Jewish News 9 July 2020
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Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
PG Tips drink (3) Nosey (6) Obscured (6) Biblical mother of Cain (3) Poem addressed to a person or thing (3) 20 Camper’s fastener (4,3) 22 Instrument receiving sound programmes (5) 23 Recreational boat (5)
ACROSS 1 Stagger, totter (5) 4 Nearby pub (5)
7 Type of crossword (7) 8 Embankment to restrain water (3)
L S B B
N F V K O G W S
B R O A D
A R Y M J
U E N P T
A E U N F U
L C H
S T R
G E R S O O A W T B O L C D
Q N Y
L O T S E Z W H
P K Y R
SUGURU Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.
4 7 24
See next issue for puzzle solutions.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Gore 3 Scatty 8 Ring out 9 Ago 10 Blue cheese 13 Unreported 17 Bet 18 Ovation 19 Blonde 20 Hero DOWN: 1 Girl 2 Renal 4 Cot 5 Tease 6 Yeomen 7 Done up 11 Herbal 12 Hubbub 14 Retro 15 Elite 16 Undo 18 Odd
Sudoku 2 8 3 9 6 4 5 1 7
5 6 9 7 1 3 2 8 4
7 1 4 5 2 8 6 9 3
Suguru 1 3 2 8 7 5 4 6 9
4 5 7 6 9 2 8 3 1
6 9 8 3 4 1 7 5 2
8 7 1 2 5 9 3 4 6
3 4 6 1 8 7 9 2 5
9 2 5 4 3 6 1 7 8
1 2 1 2 3 4
4 5 4 5 1 2
1 3 1 2 4 3
2 3 1 5 4
2 5 4
H A C
L U M Q H Y
G E M L M N E
B A C
J O G C V F R D W U R
E C O D H O
N G F E X
X A D P Y U Z O E G C Y A
L V K C E M T R E N N U R B Z
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 1, 4 and 18 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
The words that come before bean 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.
F X Y B
8 2 3
8 6 5 9 5 3 7 6 3 9 1 4 7 7 2 1 4 1 2 9
F K T R K G M O P
DOWN 1 Pinpoint (6) 2 Beam (3) 3 Become more exciting! (3,2) 4 Fortuitous (5) 5 Tone, tempo (7) 6 Whitewash component (4) 10 Liquorice flavouring (7) 12 Feel sorrow for (3) 13 Stature (6) 15 As above (5) 16 Childcare provider (5) 18 Fasten by anchor (4) 21 Glossy fabric (inits)(3)
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
9 11 14 17 19
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 2 4 5 3 1 5
3 1 2 4 2 3
2 4 3 1 5 1
4 3 1 2 1 2
5 2 5 4 3 4
3 1 3 1 5 2
2 4 5 2 3 1
1 3 1 4 5 2
4 5 2 3 1 3
Q G H K C A J P P J H D P
F S R A E H S Y Q W R B L
P X L P T T H C N E R W I
B L E M R C D L V K F S E
Z K V A I I H I E I S U R
O E E L V R R E L S T A S
E H L C L D S E T N I J W
Codeword Z F T L W S P M E N W H L
L U I E B H A M M E R A C
A R R N C O N N L O D V W
D C I E K I N D D D G I Z
S S P A D E E V E E F C M
Y V S X C R R R A H R E S
S C B P OOD L O A A T O X I N S K I S O L L Q Y A B U T M A P B U B B L A B O S A L L Y T E S
A S E S HO C O E N V I N E A T E M C R A T I N N R E S C R W U E D I F R T
C A J O L I N G A C I D
O R D Y U S S C E Y S L Z E A E S H
GU N Y L H T Q J F BWP V K S D Z O X R C A M I E09/07
Jewish News 9 JUly 2020
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY
Top prices paid
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Computer FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON:
0800 840 2035 or 07956268290
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Top prices paid
All quality furniture bought & sold.
Antique â€“ Reproduction â€“ 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
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STUART SHUSTER â€? eâ€?mail â€? email@example.com
MAKE SURE YOU CONTACT US BEFORE SELLING
WESTLON HOUSING ASSOCIATION Sheltered Accommodation
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 DONâ€™T WHICH WAY TO Not people. calling 020 8458 2223 orOUR visit HELPLINE. REMEMBER
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020 8922 2222
020 & 8951 3881 â€˘ 07765 693 160 CHARITY WELFARE
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Call: 078 060 79299 Reg Charity No. 1003345
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 residentsâ€™ lounge and kitchen, laundry, a sunny patio and garden.
BUY/SELL For further details and application forms, please contact Westlon Housing Association on 020 8201 8484
Charity Reg No. 802559
â€œBetter Safe Than Sorryâ€?
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 residentsâ€™ lounge and kitchen, laundry, aSheltered sunny patioAccommodation and garden.
Town & Country House Clearance We buy quality items, furniture and bric-a-brac We also clear unwanted items and rubbish For free advice or a quotation Are you a Jewish woman experiencing domestic violence? With abuse in your home, do you worry about your children?
We are here to help Contact Finlay with free support, advice and information and confidential counselling. Mobile: 07973 542018 Kosher Refuge available for women and children in need. Email:Freetowncountrymove@aol.com Confidential National Helpline 0808 801 0500 firstname.lastname@example.org â€˘ www.jwa.org.uk
HOME & MAINTENANCE
Home & Maintenance
PLUMBSAFE (UK) LTD
No further, your
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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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Gants Hill service. Edgware personal
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9 July 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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LEGACY- LEAVE A GIFT IN YOUR MEMORY
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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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9 July 2020
40 Jewish News
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