NEW YEAR 10th Septemer 2020 • 21 Ellul 5780
Socially distanced Dov Glickman & Sasson Gabai
PLUS Fauda in fashion Food and dream staycations 1175JN RH01-2.indd 1
25 years on: Kassovitz’s La Haine Instagram’s Jewfluencers 02/09/2020 11:05
BETTER TOGETHER: The Shtisel brothers get back to work on Israelâ€™s finest export 1175JN RH01-2.indd 2
MIXED RACE, JEWISH AND PROUD
A SOUPCON OF SHTISEL
SOMEBODY CALLED PHIL
Editor’s letter WELCOME TO our Rosh Hashanah magazine. Bringing out a publication filled with great interviews, delicious food and entertainment is not the obvious way to end a year like no other, but we want to lift your spirits. The sound of the shofar will certainly be sweeter next week, as it heralds a new beginning for us all. Inside the star of Shtisel, Dov Glickman, exclusively expresses his hopes for a kinder world.
Those of you who have enjoyed JN’s Life magazine will notice this issue feels different – much like the time we’re in – but it looks as good and contains as many big reads and important issues. Glossy mags are ‘perfectbound’ but the term also applies to Jewish News, which is bound to our community and does an exemplary job supporting it. You support us too, as readers and as advertisers, many of whom are featured within, where we also report on hard-hit charities. I’ve included emails of travel agents we work with who can book your future hols and we’lll continue to write about simcha providers who create spectacular functions. Let’s hope we
party together soon. Wishing you a happy new year and well over the fast.
Brigit Brigit Grant
firstname.lastname@example.org Naomi.email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Brigit Grant email@example.com Art Director Diane Spender firstname.lastname@example.org Jewish News Editor Richard Ferrer email@example.com Contributors Alex Galbinski Louisa Walters
Designers Jodie Goldfinger Daniel Elias John Nicholls Advertising Sales Beverly Sanford Marc Jacobs firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7692 6929 FRONT COVER Dov Glickman & Sassoon Gabai photography by Moses Pini Siluk
Happy holidays from Carmel Winery
The leading kosher winery in Eretz Israel
FROM ONE NEW YEAR TO ANOTHER The good, fighting bad and horribly sad... in pictures
Virgin Atlanticâ€™s inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv. NASA astronaut Jessica Meir spacewalked without male crewmates. Thousands attend Westminster antisemitism protest
William and Kate visit Berlinâ€™s Holocaust memorial. Front page survivor photo by Kate Middleton. Covid victims Rabbi Neil Kraft and Rabbi Avrohom Pinter. Pesach matza delivery. The late, great Ilia Salita.
Unorthodox premieres on Netflix with Shira Haas and Amit Rahav. Virtual coming of age becomes the norm. A masked marriage in Israel. A landmark farewell to an El Al jet from the UAE. NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 5
This year, we are open as (un)usual. Wishing you a happier, healthier and sweeter new year. And we can’t wait to see you back in our building. jw3.org.uk +44 (0)20 7433 8988 JW3London 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
IT’S ALL NEW COMING TO YOU
BRIGIT GRANT ROUNDS UP ENTICING ENTERTAINMENT TO LIFT THE MOOD
Widow’s Peak As if Gal Gadot in armour wasn’t enough, Scarlett Johansson will appear in a blaze of tight black leather as Marvel’s Black Widow on 6 November. Officially the widow is Natasha Romanoff, a Russian agent trained as a spy, martial artist and sniper who has an arsenal of high-tech weaponry, including a pair of wrist-mounted energy weapons dubbed her ‘Widow’s Bite’ and Scarlett wields them well. A dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises in her first solo outing, which cues the entry of assassin and former colleague Melina Vostokoff, played by Rachel Weisz. What better way to toast a healthy Rosh Hashanah than with the promise of two dangerous Jewish women.
WONDER ABOUT FINALLY IT’S HAPPENING. The DC superhero film we forgot we were waiting for opens on 2 October at cinemas we hope to visit. Originally slated for release last December, Wonder Woman 1984 brings Gal Gadot back into our lives as Diana Prince, the Amazonian warrior princess of Themyscira who honed her battle skills in Israel’s IDF. It was in Israel that Gal also orchestrated a celeb group singalong during lockdown and was derided for her efforts, far more than she deserved. Fortunately, after several edit-induced delays and a global pandemic, Gal no longer has to ‘imagine’ the reaction to her sequel, as Justice League director Zack Snyder has seen it and declared it “amazing”. As a producer of Wonder Woman 1984 it’s a predictable verdict, but he can say what he likes as he wrote the first WW and his wife Deborah produced what came to be the highestgrossing superhero origin movie of all time. When your last picture makes $821.749 million, an actor can expect $10m to appear in the sequel, and it’s a good month for Gal as she also stars in Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Death on the Nile. She plays glamorous heiress Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle, who is also the murder victim – which is not much of a spoiler as Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel has been adapted three times for cinema, but Branagh’s Hercule Poirot is the first to be lost in his moustache. Gal, meanwhile, got to wear the famous 128-carat Tiffany diamond, which appeared on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and on Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars.
Not content with wowing the world with his first set of album covers, care worker Robert Speker has done it again for New Year. His Sydmar Lodge Care Home residents agreed to recreate another set of vinyl classics including Abbey Road. Pictured above, in place of George, Paul, Ringo and John there is Helen H, Denise (carer), Anita A and Hannah P, who are only a bit older than McCartney and Starr. Robert has raised £3,798 on his Gofundme page, which will be split between Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Friends and AgeUK. He also has £275 to donate to Australian Children’s Cancer charity, Camp Quality following resident Roma Cohen’s appearance on Australian game show, Have You Been Paying Attention? Roma was David Bowie originally, but didn’t make the Ultravox album. www.gofundme.com/f/8rz5n-the-show -must-go-on/share
Briefly a Jewish News intern, former Yavneh pupil Chana Levy was always the artist and, like many of her friends is filling the funding gap, by selling her work on etsy as Chana Mikaela. Had the small craft platform been around in 1883, Van Gogh might have done the same, so buy while you can still afford her. On the right is Grandma’s Wardrobe for sale at www.etsy. com/uk/shop/ChanaMikaela NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 7
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Remember Bill & Ted? Well they’re not your zayda’s bridge partners, but the buddy protagonists in the cult comedy sci-fi series forever missed by men who were teens in the 1980s. Well miss no more, as they’re back on 23 September in Bill And Ted Face The Music, which is a franchise full of faith. The co-writer Ed Solomon was staff writer on Laverne & Shirley while at college, then graduated to the unforgettable Garry Shandling’s Show, before going big time with Men in Black. And then there’s Bill of the title played by Alex Winter, who reprises his role alongside Keanu Reeves in a story about the twosome tasked with writing a song to save the world. Now that’s timely or what? Just don’t rely on Bill and Ted.
Not Quite Claudia Not even Covid can stop Strictly Come Dancing and, as the professional hoofers assembled in quarantine to practice their moves, host Claudia Winkleman announced her book. Amazon describes Quite as a hotly-anticipated introduction to the world of Claudia, containing such ironic highlights as ‘the importance of melted cheese, why black coats are vital, and why good friends and a good eyeliner can literally save your life’. No mention of ‘fringe benefits’ , but the synopsis suggests Quiet would be the preferred title. Launched on 1 October, we’re counting the days.
Peter Rabbit should have made his comeback in March, but we know what happened then, so he is joining us instead for the second night of Chanukah. Jewish director Will Gluck returns to the helm of the herbivore sequel The Runaway, which has the James Corden voiced protagonist taking even more risks in the name of adventure.
8 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
Virtually a PARTY
Cacao Catering & Events
TRACY-ANN OBERMAN knows how to throw a party as her guest list for JW3’s Big Night In reveals. The unlikely mix of Boy George, Stephen Fry, Mark Ronson Imelda Staunton and hubbie Jim Carter, Simon Callow, Jason Isaacs, Alex Edelman, Shappi Khorsandi and Victoria Coren Mitchell will not just be sitting about on camera, but entertaining in a non-stop relay of music, talks, comedy and acting (sort of). Medic turned performer Adam Kay will be on hand to treat any stage/ screen fright as things kick off tonight in a live stream from 8pm on www.jw3.org. uk/bignightin and on JW3’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Although the Big Night In is free to all, this is about fundraising, as JW3 ia struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic and welcomes donations. Genesis Philanthropy Group will match the donations made to JW3 during an evening attended by a nice Jewish doctor. If Tracy- Ann is looking for a suitable caterer, then Kushan Marthelis is worth considering as he is embracing the Rosh Hashanah vibe with his handmade White Chocolate Mousse Apple Compote(pic above). Too good to eat possibly, but the guests in your new year bubble might disagree. As an alternative to sweet, Kushan can rattle off a pomegranate salad at www. cacaocaterings. com. And do spare a thought for all caterers as we head into the High Holy Days, as they are having a tough time with no large-scale simchas to produce and, after all the lockdown lunches you’ve prepared, isn’t it time you got to enjoy a chag away from the stove?
An online celebration marking the start of UJIAâ€™s centennial year on the evening of Wednesday 30th September 2020. With guests including President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli singersongwriter Idan Raichel. Visit www.ujia100.org for info and to register.
United Jewish Israel Appeal is a registered charity No. 1060078 (England & Wales) and Sc 039181 (Scotland).
CALL TO ACTION
CAROLINE AARON TALKS TO BRIGIT GRANT ABOUT HER CIVIL RIGHTS PAST AND A NEW FILM ROLE FOR WHICH SHE PORTRAYS TWO PEOPLE
he memory of Ku Klux Klan crosses burning on her front lawn hasn’t disappeared in the embers for actress Caroline Aaron. She was just five in 1956, but as the daughter of prominent Jewish civil rights activist Nina Friedman, growing up in southern Richmond, Virginia, exposed her to the racist abuse endured by black families. The hatred of her late mother, who walked with Martin Luther King Jr at Selma, was visceral and the recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests brought the past into sharp relief for The Marvellous Mrs Maisel star. “Someone who knew my mother emailed me and said ‘your mother would be so sad’ and she would, because we are going backwards,” she says. Caroline, who shines as comedian Midge’s balaboosta mother-in-law Shirley Maisel, lost her father when she was 13 and her mother, a professor of sociology, was the only white member of staff at Virginia Union University. “A lot of the big BLM protests happened in Richmond on Monument Avenue, which had enormous statues of Confederate heroes, but they’re all down now,” says Caroline. “There’s no learning curve as one tragic murder follows another days later. It’s like the kids’game Candyland, which sends you back down the mountain if you draw the wrong card. America drew the card, which sent us down and now we have to
climb our way back up.” Closeted with husband James in New York transitioning from lockdown, Caroline appears movie-set groomed on Zoom – a striking contrast to one of the two characters she portrays in Amazon’s Call Waiting, which was a play by the late Dori Fram, a first-generation Holocaust survivor. Caroline starred in the play and is now a tour de force in Jodi Binstock’s movie within a movie as she switches from unkempt, struggling writer Judy Baxter to Carol Lane, the actress portraying her. Each woman has her own demons, but the story leads with Judy’s struggle with her sister and writing her parents’ Holocaust history. “I learnt a lot about the children of survivors through Dori’s sister, who did not have the same father, as her real one died in Auschwitz,” says Caroline. “She felt so betrayed by them withholding this truth she never forgave her family. “War brings a lot of collateral damage – as the last line of the play says: ‘I lost my sister in World War II and she lives two blocks away.’” Caroline is never off screen in the film and juggles incessant phones calls with the same ease as she controls her mishpacha as Mrs Maisel snr. The actress confirms Maisel season four is burgeoning, while wondering how creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will pick up after the season three finale saw Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) bumped from the Shy Baldwin (LeRoy McClain) tour for
Caroline as Shirley Maisel with screen husband Moishe (Kevin Pollak) 10 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
besmirching the black gay singer. “Amy and Dan are brilliant because they start with a blank page, but they must also be psychic,” says Caroline. “Midge Maisel was on a steady ascent, but has failed because of something she said, and that’s really happening. I believe there’s a fine line between getting people to treat others with respect and censorship.” Caroline has no idea what happens to Shirley, only that Amy won’t let set safety impinge on her plans. “The show is about a young woman who led a sheltered life making her way in the big wide world. You can’t take away the world.” There had been hints Maisel was coming to London – “Yes, I thought we were going to meet,” sighs Caroline, who also cancelled her first trip to Israel to stay with a bestie, but is ready to start shooting in New York. “They are taking every precaution to make it safe, but it won’t be fun, I can tell you that, as we’re not allowed to eat
Another call taken by Judy Baxter, one of Caroline’s two roles
together or learn lines or talk in the trailer as that could be a form of transmission.” For an actress with activism in her veins, being locked down has not stopped her vocalising her disdain for Trump and she has a podcast – Angst and Daisies – to educate the misinformed. “If he gets re-elected, I would leave if I could,” she says, but as season four films after Thanksgiving, she will find purpose in staying. “As high-minded as it sounds, entertainment – whether it’s on stage, film, or television – is there to show us our common humanity. It is a way to bring us all together.” Her mother would be so proud. • Call Waiting is on Amazon Prime Video @callwaitingmovie – IG @therealcarolineaaron – IG @danbucatinsky – IG @jodibinstock – IG @CallWaitingMov – Twitter
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RELIVING THE HATE MATHIEU KASSOVITZ TALKS TO BRIGIT GRANT ABOUT HIS GENRECHANGING CLASSIC, WHICH OPENED FRENCH EYES
E NEVER AGREED TO BE THE SPOKESPERSON FOR HIS COUNTRY’S IMMIGRANT UNDERCLASS, but 25 years after making La Haine, writer and director Mathieu Kassovitz, is still asked to comment. The Hate, as it is less lyrically known in English, is the story of three young men – one an Ashkenazi Jew, one black and one north African – living in a deprived, druginfested housing project outside Paris. Artily shot in black and white, La Haine showed what immigrant life was like beyond the chic arrondissements – and it became a cult classic. Cited in academic studies on social unrest, Kassovitz controversially showed the reality of police brutality in the ‘banlieues’ (projects) to a blinkered elite, and caused furore at the Cannes film festival, where he won best director and the police turned their backs in protest. Even Jean-Marie Le Pen, then leader of the Front National, was riled and called for the ‘yobs to be jailed’ – which is a real achievement for a Jewish film director and grandson of Hungarian concentration-camp survivors. Kassovitz made La Haine in part to help his father understand why “ a little Jewish guy” was hanging out in the projects with black guys, so what does he make of the antisemitism in France now? “There’s no real antisemitism in France,” he says without hesitating and I’m thrown. Back in February, Paris-based political commentator Anne-Elisabeth Moutet described France as “the most antisemitic country in the west”, and the pandemic has started a wave of anti-Jewish rhetoric in caricatures and
YouTube videos attributing blame on us. Yet Kassovitz who was“raised in a world of Jewish humour” is not convinced there’s an issue. “I have never experienced something like that, or had a friend who was insulted that way,” he insists. “I believe there is a very strong feeling about Israel’s policies and that is what they’re fighting against. Yes, there is a blatantly racist hard core, but there are others who are not educated and struggle to see a difference between an Orthodox Jew in the street and what they see of Israel on TV with machine guns and shooting. “So of course it creates a very strong, violent feeling, but it’s not antisemitism as we would define it. Not like the Nazis. Not like people who do really hate Jews. It’s just kids being stupid and not knowing. They are confronting Israeli policy.” He continues: “Jews in France say there is antisemitism because some are victims of it and when you are a victim, you think it’s part of the perpetrator’s culture. It isn’t and I never felt it. I hang out with black guys and Arabs and never had any problems. Never.” Kassovitz’ friendships and experiences in the housing project of Chanteloup, where he later filmed La Haine, naturally inform his strident views – which many would challenge – but further questions are left hanging as he has to feed his children in 20 minutes. Kassovitz adjusted to lockdown better than others in entertainment and he loves being confined. “I just enjoy being by myself with nobody f****** around with me and wish I could be like that all the time. I have a nice house and I’m with my kids and dogs, so I don’t need anybody else. All I need is a government cheque so I don’t have to go to work.” For fans of the glorious French film Amélie, Kassovitz will always be Nino, the handsome elusive stranger
pursued by Audrey Tautou’s kooky waitress, and he has new fans hooked on his current role as the intelligence officer code-named Malotru in the French spy series The Bureau on Amazon. The BFI rerelease of La Haine on its silver anniversary reminds us of the impact Kassovitz made when he wrote a game-changing script inspired by the murder of a 17-year-old Zairian immigrant in police custody. There were hundreds more similar cases, which begs the question: is life better now in the ‘banlieues’? “I think it is better,” he replies. “Because it’s the same as before, but the police brutality is much more documented. “People are more aware and there are activist movements, which didn’t exist 25 years ago. The names of the victims are known today and people are fighting for them. And that’s the difference. “I made the movie to warn others about what was happening and the kids who were victims of it. And now 25 years later, we can see it’s true.” In 2015, there was talk of Kassovitz doing a sequel to La Haine, but as he no longer considers film-making as impactful as a one-minute Instagram video, he is doing a contemporary stage musical sequel instead. With rap? Like Hamilton? I propose. “It will make more sense than Hamilton as they will rap for the right reasons,” he jokes pointedly and then proceeds to loosely describe his urban opera, which begins rehearsing this month. “It will open in Paris and at some point come to London,” he says. And it’s all in French? “Yes, in French,” he informs me. That’s me told and I wished him bon appetit.
‘I made the movie to warn others about what was happening’
• La Haine opens tomorrow at the BFI Southbank and is released on remastered Blu-Ray from 16 November NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 13
Alex Tubis and his Boy with a Goldfish
THERE’S NO TELLING WHEN INSPIRATION WILL STRIKE, BUT MONTHS BEFORE COVID-19, ARTIST ALEX TUBIS BEGAN PAINTING EMPTY SPORTS CENTRES
e is not the first to represent deserted stadiums on canvas, as uninhabited space appeals to artists. “But the concept of isolated places that should be full of people came to me and now the paintings feel like a prediction.” Like all creatives who need an audience, the pandemic prevented the Moscow-born artist, who lives in Ness Ziona, a town in central Israel, from exhibiting. “And socially distancing from art work is a good way to see it; no galleries were open,” he adds. Tubis’ work is normally shown to buyers at the Dan Gallery in Tel Aviv on request and sold on www. artsy.net but his popularity has grown since he was identified as the real creator of Akiva’s work in season two of Shtisel. Like all film and television productions, the shooting of Shtisel was also delayed, but Tubis, along with season one artist Menahem Halberstadt, had their brushes poised for the call to paint. Although one assumes a script would be essential for creating the show’s required art, Tubis did not want to read it as he didn’t want to know what happens.
14 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
“I’m a fan and like to see what happens with everyone else, so I just painted what the writers wanted.” When Tubis, a graduate of the esteemed Bezalel Academy first saw his Boy with a Goldfish painting in the context of the drama, he was blown away. “It was the same with the mother in the chair with the baby as I had no idea about its significance and it moved me to tears.” Creating a new version of that painting in 24 hours was also required when the mother was too exposed, but with a masked crew and actors working against the threat of another lockdown, there was no room for error in the artwork. Shtisel has now wrapped and Halberstadt, the other undercover artist also collaborated with series writer Ori Elon on A Basket Full of Figs (Green Bean Books), a children’s picture book retelling of a Midrash story about an emperor’s encounter with an old man who plants a fig tree for future generations. Tubis is now focused on selling his ‘premonition’ paintings with The Lonely Goal, a lamentable summing up of every sports fan’s feelings. Mini Pitch
Words of wisdom from CHIEF RABBI EPHRAIM MIRVIS CHIEF RABBI OF THE UNITED HEBREW CONGREGATIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND THE COMMONWEALTH
Greetings from PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
Welcome by ISRAEL MAIMON GLOBAL PRESIDENT & CEO, ISRAEL BONDS
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“Opening a window to the New Year: seeing sunshine instead of shadows” SIVAN RAHAV MEIR ISRAELI MEDIA PERSONALITY & LECTURER
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DAVID DE’OR SINGING SHIR LAMAALOT (PSALM 121) & HATIKVAH
GIL SHOHAT ISRAELI COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR & PIANIST
MOSES AND THE MOUNT
MEET THE HOLY LAND CREATOR WHO IS CHANGING HISTORY MOSES PINI SILUK is one of Israel’s most gifted photographers – but the trickiest to spot as he’s often in disguise. As Van Gogh. As Leonardo da Vinci. Or as Theodor Herzl, whom he recreated with prosthetics, then took to Tel Aviv’s most popular gay club for photos. “I took him to see how wild and free Israel is today,” explains Moses. “Herzl envisioned a free country, but did he ever imagine it as the liberal epicentre of the Middle East?” Physically adopting the identities of famous artists and scholars is Moses’ ‘self-portrait’ collection, which are more than homages. “They are my interpretation of tikkun olam (Hebrew for ‘repairing the world’),” stresses the 37-yearold from Netanya. “The artists I recreate seldom got to experience recognition in their lifetime and I felt their dreams should be resolved. 16 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
Gallery Visit - Leonardo visiting the Uffizi gallery
Vincent Van Ghost
Truth Come Dream Come True Tribute to Vincent
Michelangelo Triptych Trinity
So I transformed myself into them physically and spiritually to create portraits of experiences I believe they would have loved.” It’s a complex concept, but one with enormous heart, which is evident in his Vincent Van Gogh portrait, Truth Come Dream Come True. “Van Gogh sold only one piece of work before his death and never received the support he deserved, so I showed him what he achieved posthumously, by taking him to New York’s Metropolitan Museum to see his name on the hoarding.” Moses did the same for da Vinci, with a portrait set in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, where he was never commissioned and did similar mounts for the likes of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Titian. The photos, which are digitally painted over many days in Photoshop, look like classical paintings, including his epic-sized image Lion of Zion, featuring a spectacular lion wearing tefillin that was created to raise the moral of soldiers injured during the last war with Hamas. Moses got into photography as a night-life snapper in 1999, capturing
The Lion from Zion
high energy parties attended by the famous and fabulous. “Initially, I was just excited to be hanging out,” he says, “but when I got to shoot a kibbutz soldier’s party, something clicked in my mind and I understood the power of capturing a fleeting moment for all time.” Moses has told many photo stories since and during Israel’s initial lockdown when citizens were confined to their homes and took actors Dov Glickman and Sasson Gabai to the beach in Tel Aviv to create the Shtisel socially-distanced moment on our cover. “Both actors are so culturallywise that when I also asked them to recreate the chess scene from Ingmar Bergman’s film, The Seventh Seal, they understood.” The veterans had grasped Moses’ high art concept of checkmating the angel of death during a pandemic and posed beside the breaking surf for the visual risk-taker, who can manifest the future. “I presented Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in a shoot for Sheva Leylot magazine seven years before she was considered for the role. Back then, she was a rising star with a dream and fierce
determination who was flying around the world working and taking care of her family.” Using the Marvel character was intuitive and fun, which is Moses’ intention and he recently shot Gilad Erdan, the newly-elected Israeli Ambassador at the UN as Superman, with a Magen David logo on his chest. The image has yet to appear, as it was a step too far for Gilad. “Perhaps when he runs for president,” says Moses, who believes in following dreams, although his next is controversial, as he is resolving conflict in Biblical stories in order to spread a message of hope and forgiveness to the world. So there will be no blameshaming by Adam and Eve before God; no stone-throwing in David and Goliath and Delilah will not cut Samson’s hair. “I hope to unleash peace,” he says. “To see an end to war and chaos and changing the stories we grew up with is where to start. The project is called Khalas, which is Israeli/Arabic slang for ‘stop’ or knock it off. Think of it as a contemporary commandment.” www.mosessiluk.com NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 17
When producer Dikla Barkai announced Shtisel writers Ori Elon and Yehonatan Indursky had written season three, its devoted audience was euphoric. Then the pandemic struck and the filming date deferred until it was possible to start production safely. In lockdown, actors and close friends Dov Glickman and Sasson Gabai met for a socially distanced photo shoot with Moses Pini Siluk. On 1 September, Shtisel season three was in the can. Brigit Grant talks to its star players Introducing DOV GLICKMAN “I’M SORRY for joining you late,” says Dov Glickman and I’m speechless. Rabbi Shulem Shtisel has appeared on my computer in a photo with his cat. “Can you see me? Something is wrong,” he continues, in an all-too-familiar tech battle. “Ah, there you are!” he says and the eyes are so warm and familiar. “Sorry for the moustache – the beard is stuck on and I have one more day filming. Tomorrow I shave it off.” Some time ago, Dovlai (his full name) was in a café in Paris when two women in hijabs approached and asked if he was in Shtisel. “It was astonishing because they were from Lebanon and
Dov Glickman at the Stuttgart State Theatre
18 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
I know they see it in America, Brazil and China etc, but not there. They told me Muslims love Shtisel. It touches religious people.” And the religious are not alone, as Shtisel is Israel’s most emotive export. At its helm is Shulem, the rabbinical sage, who is still learning life lessons like his artist son, Akiva (Michael Aloni). “I like this role more than any I’ve played. I’m afraid to say such a thing, but it’s life-changing,” says Dov, who has won two Israeli Television Academy awards for a role that is a masterclass in subtlety and realism. It’s a performance from the heart, I tell him, and his widower made us cry nestling in his dead wife’s clothes. “I remember the scene well. The director let me be by myself so I could be in the moment. It was a sad situation to which you bring associations, but it’s the genius script, which comes from
writers Ori and Yehonatan.” At 70, Dov is part of a new generation of Israeli TV and film success and has rocked in such cult hits as Big Bad Wolves and Laces. So does he wish the industry had been as globally prolific when he was younger? “No, I am happy and have no regrets because I’m still alive,” he retorts. “It’s not as if I’m looking down from upstairs and wishing I was there. I am here and it’s a wonderful time for me.” And who would argue, as he has been super busy enjoying a lockdown revival of Israel’s longest-running TV satire show Zehu Ze! and starring alongside actor buddy Sasson Gabai in the
Shulem and brother Nuchem in Shtisel
comedy drama Stockholm. “There’s a big love between us,” says Dov of Sasson. “He’s a great actor and great friend. He is truly the brother of my choosing.” But would Shulem say the same of Nuchem? “Because it’s him, I forgive him for many things, but he is really a bad guy and gives a bad name to Jewish people.” Revealing season three spoilers is not allowed or desired by fans, but do the actors have their own ideas for their characters? “My nature as an actor who mostly does comedy is to always change the text. But on Shtisel, I change nothing
Photos by Moses Pini Siluk
I hope after November we will be without Trump and other evil people controlling us who make life too hard.”
because it’s perfect,” informs Dov, who did have one suggestion for season three. “Shulem smokes a lot and while I enjoyed that in previous seasons, I’ve stopped smoking and now it really disturbs me. So I asked if Shulem could stop and the writers accepted it, so he gives up on the doctor’s orders as part of the story, but it makes him nervous.” Dov’s big idea for season four is to send Shulem travelling, which arose partly from his own enjoyment performing in Germany at the Stuttgart State Theatre. “I think Akiva will run away, maybe to London, and I will come to find him and see if you are hiding him in your house,” jokes Dov – and I would.
Sasson in The Band’s Visit
During our long chat, the actor reveals how he loathed the summer heat on the Shtisel shoot in a glued beard and how he uses the Shulem idioms – ‘nu nu’ and ‘what’s important is what’s important’. “He’s a clever guy Shulem,” notes Dov. “Very cynical, very tired, but in a way clever.” So has being cast as the head of a yeshiva made him more religious? “I would be in a mental hospital if I took on the traits of each role,” he says, but still offers a Rosh Hashanah message. “It’s a cliché, but we are just guests here, visitors to a world of nature that has returned in this strange time and we have to understand and appreciate that. And
Harder still to end a Zoom with Shulem Shtisel, who is welcome any time.
Introducing SASSON GABAI WHEN ALMOST all the characters in a series are beloved by the audience, it’s tough to play the one who rankles. “He’s a funny character, but a challenge,” admits actor Sasson Gabai, who arrived like a whirlwind in season two as Nuchem Shtisel, the supercilious entitled younger brother and immediately made waves. “He is very money-minded, egotistical and self-centred. He doesn’t see anyone besides himself and his needs, so it’s difficult to find something appealing about his character and likeable for the audience. He is kind of a b*****d.” Sasson laughs down the line from New York, where he headed for work discussions after filming ended. He knows the city well, as he was on Broadway in 2018 in The Band’s Visit, a musical based on the 2007 Israeli film Bikur HaTizmoret in which he played the ultradisciplined conductor of an Egyptian band stranded in a fictional Negev town. The
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Tony Shalhoub had the role on opening night and won a Tony, but it was Sasson’s interpretation that first lit the producer’s flame, and his son Adam, 22 – the only actor among his five children – joined him on a national tour that was cancelled by Covid. The stage is where it’s at for Sasson, who is married to a playwright and counts Tel Aviv’s Beit Lessin Theatre, his professional home. “We were midrehearsals for Florian Zeller’s L’Envers du Décor (Behind the Scenes) when lockdown came, but I’m hearing theatres might start with precautions.” Born in Baghdad, Sasson arrived in Israel when he was three and fell in love with drama as a shy 10-year-old who “got a small part in a school sketch and felt such freedom. It was in my spirit”. In later years after the army, when he lost his father and failed an audition for the entertainment team, he studied drama at Tel Aviv Univerity, but had doubts about his calling. “My late brother Zvi, who was a father figure to me and Israel’s first ambassador in Ireland, was the bridge from old school Baghdad to the new world.” And it was Zvi who told Sasson’s mother: “If he loves it, let him do it”, athough the actor is more emphatic when advising wannabes now. “Being an artist is not a safe profession. It’s filled with financial risks and you fight and struggle every time. So you can understand why Nuchem wouldn’t want his daughter to be with an artist.” And we’re back. To the Orthodox world of Shtisel, where observance overrides instinct, and a controlling uncle sabotages a talented nephew’s dreams of art and love. Does Sasson understand the sacrifices? “The Orthodox don’t think about it or discuss it – they accept it. But we are doing them an injustice as they’re not all extremists and I know, from the response I get in Israel and in Brooklyn, that they watch the show and don’t all refrain from accumulating art.” Nuchem’s love of art and music remains in his subconcious, according to Sasson, and conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 to an imaginary orchestra revealed “he can be gentle and has developed a way to protect himself”. So does he redeem himself in season three? “It’s going to be interesting and poetic as usual, but we signed agreements so I can’t reveal.” With a huge body of work between them I wonder if he and Dov are lauded as veterans in Israel. “Firstly I don’t know how I became an older actor, but it’s not like England. We are more Israeli and when you show respect or flatter somebody too much, they question it.” Try telling that to Shtisel fans. NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 19
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CALLED PHIL Brigit Grant chats to the food fanatic eating his way around the world
t could have been easy to hate Phil Rosenthal during lockdown. As we nibbled our 65th TV dinner with more to come, he was sampling lemon yoghurt with hot tomatoes and green gazpacho prepared by Yotam Ottolenghi. Or tucking in to a tubular gefilte fish at the Mishiguene Jewish restaurant in Buenos Aires, before splitting an anchovy doughnut with Nigella Lawson in Shoreditch. It may have been the shakshuka mini pizza at Mashya in Tel Aviv that pushed you over the edge, but no matter where you watch him eat, every episode of Somebody Feed Phil ends with you feeling hungry. Phil – who wrote and created the award-winning comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond – had already banked two seasons of his addictive food show. But season three aired in lockdown, and he acquired far-flung fans who hang on his every mouthful. “You know, a cynical person might say that Netflix started Covid,” he jibes. “I hope you know I’m joking, as the death of comedy is the explanation of the joke.” Later, he talks about the struggles of a top sit-com writer who can no longer find a home for his humour. “If you want a hit now, you need to do it with Cardi B,” he suggests. But Phil has a hit driven by his personable manner, which defies any language barrier. Replacing pompous foodie terms with sighs and coos, Phil is the gourmet equivalent of Mr Bean. He is also menschy, sweetly video-messaging both parents from the road until his mother passed away last October. “I was away filming season three because once you get the green light you go,” he explains. “But my wife [actress Monica Horan, who played Ray’s sister-in-law] is a saint and stayed with them.”
The couple are also supporting the international charity World Central Kitchen founded by chef José Andrés, which has fed 15 million people globally since the outbreak of Covid. “They go anywhere struck by disaster and set up kitchens with paid restaurant employees who have lost their jobs.So it’s accomplishing two great things at once.” Phil and Monica are matching all donations through a link on his Instagram, which continues as their home city, Los Angeles, remains largely in lockdown. “Our kids Ben, 26, and Lily, 23, have been with us, which is probably horrible for them, but not for us,” says the New Yorker who has adjusted to La La land. “When I arrived, I felt like Woody Allen ready to order a plate of mashed yeast. Then slowly it got nicer. We never get winter and making a little money doing what you dreamed about it makes it nicer still.” There are five more episodes of the show, “but I’m not allowed to say where we went, so I’m almost like Beyoncé dropping an album”, says the host, who now has invitations to everywhere. “I just don’t know if they’ll be more shows or when we get to travel again,” he admits. Phil isn’t religious and ducked out of Hebrew hastily, but still has a new year message. “I’m not going to be first for a vaccine as I don’t even update my phone until I see what happens to everybody else,” he says. “I’ll just say watch the show, enjoy it and plan your trip the way you would have done before the pandemic.This will end and I want you to see how beautiful the world is and it will be waiting for you.” Somebody Feed Phil is on Netflix. Donate to World Central Kitchen at https://donate.wck.org/give/ 278931/#!/donation/checkout NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 21
Here’s what we tooned W into JEWISH NEWS CARTOONIST PAUL SOLOMONS REFLECTS ON A VERY UNUSUAL YEAR
Rosh Hashanah Around the World: No.1 - Switzerland 22 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
HAT HAS THIS TIME MEANT TO ME? – Just like everyone else, I’ve been saddened by the tragedy of those who have been lost, or who have lost loved ones to the virus, or have lived with its effects. Similarly, by the terrible effect that lockdown has had on people’s physical, mental and financial health. I have been appalled by those who stripped the shelves and disregarded advice given for the good of us all, and by those who think the virus is just some kind of conspiracy. But I have been heartened by seeing the good in people – the clapping and support for front-line workers and the community spirit that has helped us to weather this storm. I have enjoyed online cartooning sessions with people with whom I would never have come into contact under normal circumstances. As a cartoonist, I have often questioned the value of what I do. Here am I sitting in my safe little house, drawing silly pictures, while doctors, nurses and others face real danger under unthinkable conditions. But, it is at times like this that we need humour. If we can look at the terrible events unfolding before our eyes and still be able to find something to laugh at within them, then we can keep our spirits up and be ready to face the next challenge. When we can no longer laugh, all is lost.
The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album shares its 50th anniversary with a slightly lesser-known recording
“At least it makes a change from Brexit. So, do you support Levy or Romain?”
“ He’s a super-stubborn-idealistic-exposedantisemite...!”
50 Ways We Left the EU
“We know that the mummy was from the time of the 10 Plagues because he had a frog in his throat!”
“Er...!” “You couldn’t have decided to carry on before I schlepped this fershtinker crate all that way?!”
“As a lockdown activity I suggested that the kids play ‘statues’ with me. So, they all picked me up and threw me in the river!”
“Great, Shlomo, you spotted a gap in the market. So, you want to tell me how people go in if they haven’t got a mask?”
“You think I don’t know how tricky it is to choose between health and the economy? I once dated a doctor and an accountant!”
NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 23
They Call Me Dr. Miami
THE REEL WAY BACK IT’S LIGHTS, CAMERA AND EVEN MORE ACTION FOR UK JEWISH FILM, SAYS CHIEF EXECUTIVE MICHAEL ETHERTON
For the head of a film organisation, closing cinemas is the stuff of nightmares – and not the Elm Street kind. A closed box office and a silent auditorium is a sorry sight for any passionate cinephile, but for the leader of an organisation launching and promoting independent films, it is painful. Only a couple of weeks ago, I was one of the first to venture back to a newly-reopened cinema for what should have been one of the major Jewish cinema events of the year. As it turned out, there were only four of us who turned up to watch Seth Rogen in the comedy drama An American Pickle, which is great, but lacked the relish provided by a laughing crowd. Returning to cinemas in 2020 will be a slow and uncertain process but, despite this, most of us have been enjoying more Jewish films and TV content than ever before. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t watched Shira Haas in Unorthodox, for which she has been Emmy nominated, and UK Jewish Film’s On Demand service has been inundated with viewers for new Israeli TV series, such as Unchained and Asylum City. With the distraction of such compelling productions, time has passed faster than Scorsese’s The Irishman, but the question I’ve been asked repeatedly over these anxious months of global pandemic is: will the 2020 UK Jewish Film Festival take place? Thankfully, I can now tell you that it will, from 5 to 19 November – but it will look and feel a bit different from usual. This year’s festival will be an entirely online affair. That means, for the first time, all of our films will be 24 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
available to everyone, wherever you live, nationwide. And we will be selling festival passes at very reasonable prices, because we would like you to be able to access as many films as you like over the two-week period. So now you want to know what will you be watching, and I’m delighted to reveal the highlights, which include a raft of brilliant features from Israel, such as the comedy Honeymood, which follows the first crazy 12 hours in the marriage of a young couple from Jerusalem. I was also engrossed by Golden Voices, with its poignant tale of a Russian couple who discover that their previous fame is irrelevant in their newly-adopted homeland. You absolutely must not miss the powerful and moving UK premiere of Winter Journey, which is also the final film of multi-award winning actor Bruno Ganz (Downfall). Our programming team has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure you can still enjoy a brilliant range of unique films and TV from around the world. There will also be more post-screening Q&As and panel discussions than ever before, with leading actors, directors, producers, journalists and others, all included in the festival pass. And look out for some cheeky freebie extras, such as the online horror make-up workshop that takes you behind the scenes of new Israeli spoof horror Happy Times. We have also curated a wonderful comedy strand for you this year, which includes the funny and irreverent US drama Shiva Baby; the hair-brained Israeli parody Mossad; stylish French comedy of manners, It Happened in St Tropez; and the long-awaited 40th anniversary screening of the film classic, Private Benjamin, starring Goldie Hawn. Yes, it’s been 40 years, which shocked me, so I’ll switch track to mention the fascinating documentary films
competing for your attention, and one of my top tips is the shocking They Call Me Dr. Miami, which uncovers the plastic surgery industry and the cult of social media personalities. Aulcie, tells the story of the Jewish AfricanAmerican basketball player who almost single-handedly transformed the fortunes of Maccabi Tel Aviv, taking it to win two European championships. Breaking Bread takes a fresh look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of eatingand asks whether Jews and Arabs can unite over their shared love of food. With around 40 new feature length films and some wonderful short film gems too, this is a chance to watch more Jewish films and TV than ever before, all from the comfort of your own home and, for those who just want to dip into an individual film, there will also be pay-asyou-go film tickets. Films will be available for specific 48-hour windows during the online festival, so you still need to carefully plan your festival watching to ensure you can catch the films you want to see while they are screening. But the advantage is that you now have two days rather than the usual strict start time on a single date at a designated cinema.So, rather than wallow in postlockdown uncertainty, we can look forward to seeing you, virtually, at this year’s UK Jewish Film Festival. 5 – 19 November 2020. Full programme announced on 29 September. Priority booking for members from 24 September. https://ukjewishfilm.org
Shooting in tricky times TWO SHORT FILMS SELECTED FOR SPECIAL FUNDING WILL PREMIERE AT THIS YEAR’S JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
An American Pickle
As film productions go, Eshet Chayil was always going to be more north London than Hollywood, writes Mathilde Frot. But the coronavirus pandemic‘s transformative effect on the industry from top to bottom is evident throughout the otherwise nondescript red brick detached house in Barnet where the short film finished shooting last month. When anyone arrives on set, their temperature is taken with a thermometer gun and they are The crew of Eshet Chayil, which was filmed in a house in Barnet greeted with a two-page Covid-19 The Schnoz – directed by Justine Priestley – form, face masks and a bottle of hand sanitiser is partly inspired by script writer and lead actor – ubiquitous sights on the socially-distanced Sophie Shad’s own Jewish upbringing. production. “My grandma had always half-jokingly said that Set up in the back garden are two large tents, where bubbles of cast and crew can wait in between she’d put some money aside for ‘if you ever inherit my nose and want it done’. I never did take her up takes in a well-ventilated space. on the offer, but always thought that was really One challenge is keeping crew numbers to funny,” Shad says. a minimum while “trying to produce at the level With the project, she hoped to turn the family that we are”, according to production manager Mel anecdote into a heart-warming story about a young Brown. “A lot of the time, with fewer hands on deck, girl who learns to accept her imperfections because people are more focused on what they’re doing of the heritage they represent. and less mindful of things like keeping their masks The Schnoz stars actress Maureen Lipman who up,” she says. plays both the lead character’s grandmother and “Reminding them to do that without disrupting the ghost of another ancestor whose nose Lydia has the production too much, but still keeping safe was inherited and who bears the legacy of her family’s a very delicate line to walk,” she adds, noting the difficult journey from Poland. feat was helped by the late timing of the project, Working with Lipman was “a real masterclass”, when the cast were already “more accustomed to says Priestley, who recalls one scene where the this new change in pace and lifestyle”. soap star was able to “squeeze the juice out of every The short family drama, directed by Dominic single moment of her camera time”. Davey, centres on a young Charedi couple grappling “There was one close-up in particular, where with unsaid trauma after the loss of a child. every second of that shot is usable. There’s “There’s an asymmetry in the experience,” says excellent subtext, and very, very funny moments,” script writer Jason Collin, who decries a tendency she adds. among some fathers to believe their grief is less Like its subject matter, the comedy was made legitimate. with the intention of remaining a “timeless” piece, “Whereas in this story, actually the very thing that rather than a lockdown creation, says producer she needs is for him to open up. She needs him to Dalton Deverell. recognise his own pain and actually that’s how “Covid-19 added another element to the shoot, they can move forward together,” he explains. “Grief, whether it be losing a child or miscarriages, and the cast and crew handled all the restrictions and guidelines with true professionalism,” he says. can be a very lonely experience, and you think “We’re thrilled to now be in post-production.” you’re the only one it’s happening to in the world. “The more it’s talked about, the less lonely people will be. Hopefully this will in some small way contribute to tackling that issue.” The project is one of two films selected from a record 61 entries to this year’s £13,500 Pears Short Film Fund, both of which will premiere at the 2020 UKJF Festival. The second is a comedy that hinges on the unusual birthday present left to 21-year-old Lydia by her grandmother: a £7,000 cheque for a nose job. An unusual birthday present is the theme of The Schnoz
NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 25
Why this return to school presented Norwood with a unique learning curve Going back to the classroom after the summer holidays is supposed to be a time of new beginnings and fresh opportunities. But after a prolonged period of home-schooling and lockdown, this year’s back-to-school season saw Norwood’s Children and Families Services more in-demand than ever. This is how the charity responded to an unparalleled set of circumstances…
oral duties, risk assessments, class bubbles, conflicting scientific evidence, second spikes… it’s fair to say that, for families up and down the country, getting the children back to school over the past few weeks proved to be a little more complex than just having to pop out for a new pair of shoes and a pencil case. As a result of all the uncertainty, it was no surprise that many children returned to their schools displaying the impact of the coronavirus crisis on an emotional level. Which is why, for organisations such as Norwood – and its Children and Families division in particular – the past few months have been key for both imagining and implementing the services that would be needed. As Sue Cohen, Norwood’s psychological therapies manager, puts it: “We were pushed to do things differently and had to really sharpen our flexible and creative side.” Norwood created initiatives for all stages of the school journey. For children preparing to start in reception, the charity’s occupational therapy team created a six-week structured programme called Get Ready, Get Set. Run over the summer holidays, Get Ready, Get Set was introduced to ease the transition that would ordinarily have been facilitated by existing childcare or nursery routines. For reception children, the unfamiliarity of new school routines and set-ups would not necessarily be an issue. But what of those pupils whose schools would feel somewhat different and who had already been affected by the loss of routine and seeing their friends? To support these children, Norwood partnered with Heads Up Kids and PaJes (Partnership for Jewish Schools) to provide the Back 2 School programme, a framework for schools “to support [children] to reconnect, rebuild relationships and make sense of what has happened and where we are now”. This programme has been downloaded more than 170 times and is now being widely used in schools.
For children who found going back to the classroom even more challenging, Norwood has also provided Back on Track, a short-term art and drama therapy group that will take place once a week for six weeks starting next month. According to Cohen: “These groups will be aimed at the more vulnerable; children who may find it hard to regulate their feelings and find the concentration needed for learning.” But while all of that expert support, advice and assistance is invaluable, there will still be those children whose barriers to learning are such that they will need further intervention. According to Daniel Stavrou, Norwood’s education manager: “For children who have been diagnosed with some form of special educational need or are simply presenting with social and emotional behavioural challenges, Norwood’s special educational needs service, Binoh, is putting in place a new specialist provision.” Stavrou explains: “The need for this sort of support often becomes visible around year 4. Until then, the child might have been able to mask their difficulties.” In fact, some of these challenges may have come to light when parents were home-schooling; a period in which behavioural patterns that might have been easier to hide in classes of up to 30 pupils quickly became apparent. According to Stavrou, Norwood has always had a small specialist unit, but the plan now is “to provide four morning sessions every week that will present a time-bound intervention focused entirely on reintegrating these children back to school after one or, in some cases, two terms”. This vital work will, of course, only be undertaken with the full support of each child’s school. “When we unlock what works well with each
child, the idea is to hand these findings over to the school,” says Stavrou. “We want schools to work with us around what’s best for each child. “We appreciate that taking a child out of school is not an ideal scenario,” he adds. “There is always going to be a social cost associated with that. But the truth is, sometimes, going back to school could actually exacerbate the ongoing difficulties. So before we initiate this intervention, we ask ourselves: is this step justified by the potential to reengage this child with learning? If the answer is yes, we begin this process.” This highly specialised work will be done in a small group setting with two permanent, qualified and experienced special needs teachers and further input from other practitioners, such as Norwood’s speech and language therapists and an educational psychologist. As well as the lessons, built around the core curriculum and tailor-made for each pupil, the programme is also designed to enhance social resilience and emotional wellbeing. What is clear is that the months ahead will be an exceptionally busy time across the charity’s team of child specialists and education experts. But Norwood – the UK’s largest Jewish charity for families in crisis and adults with learning disabilities or autism – is well equipped to deal with the ever-changing education landscape. “We believe that however disengaged from learning a child might have become, everyone has the ability to learn and grow,” adds Stavrou. And it is precisely this – Norwood’s “no child left behind” ethos – that is going to prove rather more vital to the community’s wellbeing over the coming months and years than any shiny new pair of school shoes ever could.
If you would like to donate to, volunteer for or just know more about Norwood’s invaluable work in the community, go to norwood.org.uk
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For educators facing the biggest challenges of their careers, there has been no time to reflect on the new year – only to plan for it. Here, the principals of three Jewish secondary schools generously share their thoughts and hopes for their students and staff
Just as lockdown was being imposed back in March, I heard a comment on the radio that said that after Covid, people will remember less about what they did, said or learnt, but how they felt. Having just commenced the new school year, we stand at the crossroads between one Jewish year and the next, a time traditionally associated with reflection in advance of the future. Even the most resilient among us will have had fluctuating moods and days where we wished ‘it would all just go away’ like a bad dream and the world would return to the days of old. What will the new year hold for us all? This period has been extraordinary in so many ways across the world, here in the UK, and particularly for schools. When I consider that we generally start planning the next academic year six months ahead and that schools were given not much more than 24 hours to adapt to lockdown, it is remarkable what we have achieved. Each school has had to make judgements about what would work for its community, and in that I include students and staff. The key to this period has been maintaining contact with students, and where it has been strong – whether through live lessons, online assemblies, weekly email contact from form tutors or teachers giving written feedback – it has enabled everyone to maintain a sense of belonging and keep the JFS spirit alive. Delivering education to 2,000 students is no mean feat. Managing the balance between concerns around ‘too much and not enough work’ reflects the diverse student body, both in terms of background, ability and access to online learning. I hope that in addition to their learning, students will reflect on the many online initiatives in which they had the opportunity to participate – we have celebrated chagim together, been fortunate to hear from some highly regarded speakers and, most notably, been impressed by the huge amounts of chesed and charity work with which students have engaged. We generally think about people through the lens with which we encounter them. Most students and parents will think of their class teachers as just that – teachers who deliver education. What this period has revealed is that teachers are also parents with children at home learning. They are spouses or single parents, carers for elderly or shielding relatives, and people who have sadly experienced grief and loss, just as students and their families have done. In this we have shared a common experience. As a headteacher, my duty of care is as much to my staff as it is to my students. Some of the most moving and profound school experiences for me have been the letters of support in the early days from so many JFS families, the vast number of teachers who received ‘thank a teacher’ cards from their students, and the continuous outpouring of gratitude from which we are creating a special display so we don’t forget the very best of this time. When things have not gone to plan, the collaborative way in which parents and staff have worked together is something I would bottle and sell. There have been so many occasions of the best examples of a true home school partnership over the past six months, and my fervent wish is that this will continue.
With school reopening, the planning for a school like JFS has been immense. Every aspect under consideration had to be scaled up. Under the new regulations, we have year group capsules of 300 students, whom we need to ensure can get to school, can be educated, are fed and supported pastorally while doing our best to reduce any potential spread of the virus. This has required physical changes to the building, clear and extensive information packs to staff and students and a willingness to work together and to be mindful of those around us so that all can stay safe and well. I hope students, having stepped back into JFS this past week, feel as if they have come home and that our new students feel warmly welcomed. It is important as a school that we recognise various types of loss, not only associated with bereavement but also related to rites of passage, lack of social interaction, loss of routine and structure and loss of celebrating important milestones with family and friends. At the same time, it is vital we focus on education, identifying and filling any gaps in student knowledge and helping new students settle into their surroundings. I want students to return to the JFS they left and to the school their parents chose for them. Schools, like businesses, have been hit financially through Covid and I hope the parental support we have received will also extend to voluntary contributions, which are a vital lifeline for the school. These contributions enable us to provide outstanding Jewish education, both formal and informal, provide special well-being programmes, and offer clubs and societies, school productions, music and sport enrichment beyond the regular curriculum. All of these contribute to the holistic education I believe makes for a well-rounded and well-prepared future member of society. As staff, we need to demonstrate a combination of compassionate leadership with effective teaching methods. While not forgetting for one moment families who have been severely affected by the pandemic, for the vast majority of our students this has not been a trauma but a serious life challenge. How we frame the experience for students will have a huge impact on them now and in the future. It’s about balance – we cannot focus entirely on the negative aspects of lockdown, butcannot ignore them. The inside pages of my machzorim for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are covered in names and prayers for family members across the years. Every year when I open the covers, I reflect on which prayers have been answered and for what I might request of the Almighty for the coming year. I have been fortunate that many of my personal prayers have been answered, but this time last year, in synagogues across the world, nobody could have foreseen the year that has passed. A secure environment that will enable every student to flourish despite many future unknowns will be added to my list this year. And just like the ending of the Etz Chaim prayer, I hope ‘all our days are renewed as of old’. Humanity has suffered terrible losses. May we all be inscribed in the book of life and may we take us with the positive lessons learnt through adversity about what really matters. G’mar Chatima Tova. Rachel Fink Headteacher, JFS
NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 27
WISE WORDS I recently read some reflections on life during a pandemic from a fellow school leader in Melbourne. My predecessor at JCoSS, Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, now principal at Bialik College, wrote in his column for The Australian Jewish News about some of the unexpected blessings of lockdown – quieter streets, a new sense of perspective, the joys of Zoom Shabbat tables and the confident determination that the community will pull together and survive. I read them with a mixture of recognition, envy and grim amusement. Remember when it felt like that in the UK? It’s early days in Australia but, with a death rate so far of just 16 per million compared to the UK’s 609 per million, they look unlikely to get anywhere near where we are, either in health statistics or in the impact on the economy, or schools or the public mood, but things change daily for us all. I hope they avoid it all: having written very similar sentiments in April and May, my sense now – certainly on the headteacher WhatsApp groups – is that we are battling against darkening despondency. When the advice for reopening schools was updated at 7.30pm on the Friday before term started, the reaction among heads was weary resignation rather than outrage, as if even our capacity for anger had been exhausted by the ghastliness of the previous fortnight for schools. How, as the academic and Jewish new year begins, are we to rekindle hope? And how can we grasp the things that we learned during closure so as to keep the best of them? The first priority is to get our schools open again, to reunite as a community face to face. Of course the economy needs that, but what motivates me is the joy, not the duty. Being back together – for all the new routines and constraints we will be navigating – is by far the best healer of the disease of the past five months. The sheer fact of physical proximity (appropriately distanced, sanitised and one-way-systematised…) restores sanity, humanity and perspective that just can’t be conveyed fully on a screen. We saw this before our very eyes in the last few weeks of the summer term, as small numbers of staff and students returned. We entered the building tentatively, fearfully, even resentfully. By mid-morning, we were smiling, relaxed, rejuvenated. Here is normality – albeit an altered one. Here is familiarity. Here we can reconnect using the full palette of 3D interpersonal tools and be real to each other again. It is like water to the thirsty. As we drink that water, though, we need a keen alertness and readiness to learn: not only are there new habits to get into – attentiveness to hygiene, changes to classroom layout, new routes around schools, the choreography required to move 1,500 people safely around a confined space – but we must also be alive to the different ways closure has affected members of the school community, both adults and children. For families with a comfortable workspace and a computer each, where parents had the capacity and inclination to support learning, where children were self-motivated and biddable, lockdown was not all bad, and the impact on learning and well-being was small and recoverable. For less advantaged families, or those who endured illness or bereavement, it was truly an affliction. The progress and attainment gap between those with the most and least cultural capital was too wide even before the pandemic; we need to identify fast where it has widened further or where other kinds of upset and isolation have taken a toll, and take action to restore and repair. When confidence in government, institutions and experts has been battered – in particular thanks to the mishandling of public exam results – schools have to model calm and wise leadership and restore faith in fairness. Above all, we need to frame the story of the past months in the right narrative. Some have talked of the need for a ‘recovery curriculum’ in schools, warning that a term’s closure has permanently damaged a generation of children. But talk of ‘recovery’ presupposes something from which we have to recover, and talk of damage can create the very problem it is warning against. There have indeed been some big challenges – but we need to tell the story in a way that doesn’t pathologise them and trap us into negativity. As Dr Mark Berelowitz [director of the Royal Free’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service] has observed about the boys trapped in the Thai cave in 2018, the fact they approached their experience with trust and an eye on the needs of the group rather than the individual was key to their survival. They did not turn a drama into a trauma, and neither must we. Schools are steeped in values, in humanity and in morality. They are one of the most important repositories of these vital resources, and Jewish schools even more so than others. My prayer, as we move through a month of reflection and repentance towards the fresh sweetness of a new year, is that we tap back into those deep and refreshing streams, count again our own unexpected blessings, and resume our position as a light to others, showing wider society what community, hope and learning should look like.
This year we faced the toughest challenge ever experienced in my many years of teaching and leadership. The realisation that schools were actually closing was a shock to us all, but I am very proud of how we pulled together to ensure that Immanuel College could continue to operate at maximum capacity, albeit remotely. The tremendous hard work and commitment of our staff meant that throughout the Shavuot term, we were able remotely, (and in the case of our Prep School, in person) to offer not only all of our academic curriculum, but also a number of co-curricular activities, as well as extensive pastoral care and Jewish life and learning opportunities. This gave our pupils and their parents the best experience possible during this pandemic crisis. We adjusted (not without some learning curves!) to remote end-of-year examinations, assemblies, parents’ evenings feedback and regular communication through email, chat and newsletters and even weekly online staff coffee mornings. Our Year 11s impressed us with their resilience to the news of the cancellation of GCSEs and their enthusiasm and commitment at adapting to beginning their A-levels (and Extended Project Qualification) early, and our Year 13s graciously appreciated the material given to help them with the next stage of their different educational journeys. Our staff were magnificent in adjusting to new circumstances, learning new skills and showing a true commitment to their pupils. Our pupils, and not forgetting their parents, were similarly outstanding, adapting and showing commitment to the online learning provision offered; developing resilience in coping with disappointments of the cancellation of public examinations that had been worked so hard for and the cancellation of trips that had been eagerly anticipated by pupils and skilfully planned for by staff. Pupils and their families harnessed their creativity in new hobbies and innovative ways to help the community, with incredible social action including (but not limited to) baking for the NHS, remotely running youth groups, organising charity toy drives and making personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS workers, as well as learning to help out more at home and interact with family members, including grandparents and siblings. This strength of character shown by both staff and pupils will be vital to what will be a challenging year ahead, as we continue to adapt to the new normal at school and in life in general. Having had the experience of all our Prep School children on site, we have seen the challenges we will be facing for the whole college in September and created solutions to overcome these. Although many activities will continue to take place, albeit with adjustments to the “new normal”, our weekly whole-school assembly will now only be possible via live stream, as we did from home last term, so this is what we will do, using skills and ideas learnt from home to overcome challenges on site. Similarly, celebrating the chagim in school will be adjusted to ensure social distancing is maintained. We will make this happen! As our provision of online learning opportunities has extensively developed over the past months, if we have to face a second lockdown, we will be ready to respond to the needs of remote provision relatively easily. We cannot wait to be back attending school, interacting in person rather than through a screen and resuming something relating to “normal”. Of course, this will not be easy and it has required enormous amounts of effort from staff and governors over the school holidays, but I have every confidence that Immanuel College will rise to this new challenge and continue to provide academic excellence, pastoral expertise and an inspiring Jewish education – as always.
Patrick Moriarty Headteacher, JCoSS
Gary Griffin Head master, Immanuel
28 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
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JEWISH AND PROUD
PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH DUAL HERITAGE FEAR IF THEY’LL EVER BE FULLY ACCEPTED, HEARS ALEX GALBINSKI
manda is still furious at the memory. She was at the simcha of an Israeli friend, and another guest, a man she didn’t know, turned to her and asked: “Why have you got to be with him?” He was referring to Jide, Amanda’s then fiancé (now husband), who is Nigerian-born and black. She felt sick at the blatant racism. Thankfully, Jide had not heard the comment – but her friend, the hostess had, and asked the man to leave. The couple – who met 13 years ago and are reluctant to use their surnames in case of repeat experiences – have two boys: Joshua, four, and Zachary, two. Joshua is about to start a Jewish school traditionally affiliated to the United Synagogue and the couple are worried about the attention the pair will receive. They already feel under the spotlight wherever they go, including at synagogue. “People do look at us,” says Amanda, 42, who is white, grew up going to a United Synagogue and has family and friends who embraced Jide without any hesitation. “I do feel a bit uncomfortable – and I shouldn’t have to, because I’m
Jewish and so are my boys. But I know it’s not the norm, so people aren’t used to it. “Although I don’t really care what people think, I do care about my children. It’s a big worry and I wonder whether I should have gone down the less religious route.” It’s not a worry without foundation. Sadly, Jews of colour are often made to feel they don’t fit in within a somewhat white and ‘Ashkenormative’ community. The findings of the Board of Deputies’ Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community, which is chaired by the New Statesman’s political editor Stephen Bush, will certainly make for interesting reading, not least of all for those with direct experience. CURTIS, a 23-year-old student at Leeds University, attended a Jewish secondary school. His mother is white and grew up “very frum”, attending an independent shtiebel in north London, and his father is black, from Barbados. He has a strong Jewish identity, but at school, as one of only two Jews of black descent aside from an older Ethiopian Jew who was only there for a year, he was made to feel different. “When I got to secondary school, I was definitely the ‘black boy’. In my first week, I was sent to my head of year eight times because the school considered my having my hair in braids an ‘extreme’ hairstyle. I had to have written permission in my homework diary allowing me to have this hairstyle. “At a parent-teacher meeting, one teacher didn’t comment on my progression, but only on how unacceptable it was to have my hair like this.” His peers, meanwhile, would question him on his heritage. “They would ask whether I liked
going to have experiences like watermelon and chicken; I did with that man. We any stereotype they could should be educating our find from a TV show, they children now so we can would try to apply to change things.” me. Younger kids didn’t But Curtis is keen believe I was Jewish; to emphasise that he they thought I was does not feel alienated pretending in order to universally. His family go to a better school,” attends New North he recalls. London Synagogue, which “I was quite an emotional Curtis they find extremely inclusive child so it did get to me because and welcoming. people always applied stereotypes “It depends on the community,” he says, I felt didn’t fit as I identified as being Jewish. but it is shocking to hear him admit that But after a while I thought, you know what, people’s reactions to him have made him if people want me to be this big angry black step back from practising his faith. man then I guess I should fit the stereotype. He has also experienced prejudice from “The ‘n’ word was also thrown about very regularly, so I started hitting people, but they outside of the Jewish community because of his dual heritage. Liz recalls taking him left me alone when I started reacting.” to a concert when he was 16 and a police While he says the school wasn’t inclusive officer coming towards him with a sniffer and some incidents went unrebuked, other dog. “He didn’t bring the dog near me or my incidents happened under the staff and mate, only to sniff Curtis. And while there is parent radar. Sometimes he didn’t tell his that attitude, there is a problem.” parents what had occured and students Liz’s husband used to work in central knew they couldn’t report him for lashing London and, night after night, would be out as they knew the racial slurs would get stopped by police. “The police force is them in trouble. massively racist and it racially profiles,” Sadly Curtis is also used to being made claims Liz. “I do have concerns for Curtis.” to feel like an outsider in other arenas. Her son has also experienced casual On Simchat Torah about three years ago, antisemitism as a student. “I’m the first Jew he went with friends from his school and some people have met and there’s a lot of from another Jewish school to a Lubavitch it about. If someone’s being stingy, it’s very synagogue. His friends all enjoyed dancing normal for someone to say, ‘Oh, what a with the Sefer Torah but, when he got up to do the same, he was physically moved away. Jew!’ I feel like the whole country needs a revamp.” “He was very hurt by that,” says his From being made to feel like he has to mother, Liz. “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew,” she constantly confirm his Jewish identity, affirms. “Hitler wouldn’t have differentiated, choose whether he is white or black so why do people in the community? I don’t (“I’m a mixture of races”) and face up to antiknow why Jews look down on each other – Jewish prejudice, Curtis is used to answering we are racist towards each other and colour people’s questions and standing up for shouldn’t come into it.” himself. Amanda agrees, arguing that Jews have “I was always labelled as being different experienced so much antisemitism they so I don’t mind the questions if it helps should think twice before behaving in people become less ignorant,” he says. a racist way towards others. But perhaps, after the Commission reports “I’ve had sleepless nights worrying if and implements its recommendations, my boys are going to be welcomed and accepted by their peers – who are very much Curtis, along with Amanda’s boys and others in the community, will have to do it influenced by their parents and the Jewish less often. community as they grow up – or if they are
Zachary and Joshua NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 33
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As an ambassador of mental health issues, Jonny Benjamin has changed the lives of those who share his invisible illness. After taking top spot in JN’s 40 Under 40 and virtually holding the hands of those unable to cope, Jonny now admits his own struggles have returned 34 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
hen I was asked to write this piece, I wanted to pen something hopeful and positive as we look towards the new year. Rosh Hashanha is usually a time of such celebration, joy, and togetherness. This year, however, it feels altogether different and I am finding it hard to muster much optimism. To be totally blunt, I am struggling with my mental health. It started to deteriorate recently alongside a flare up of another “invisible illness” which I have, ulcerative colitis. I feel a great amount of relief sharing this with you, but also (and more predominantly) an enormous sense of guilt and shame. It’s ironic because for the last few years I have visited various Jewish schools and synagogues to tell my story and leave them with the key message that they should never feel embarrassed for struggling with their mental health. However, the much talked about stigma that is attached to mental illness seems ultimately ingrained within me. This is exactly the reason I am so passionate about ensuring wellbeing is addressed from a very early age in our schools – before the shame and embarrassment associated with mental health ensues. There has been so much focus on children and young people’s physical health recently with youngsters finally returning to school but I believe we must concentrate equally on their mental wellbeing which ,for so many, has been impacted by the lockdown. It is not just our youth who have been affected by the pandemic of course. I know many adults of all ages that have suffered greatly throughout the last few months. Most tragically of all, I know of a number of suicides in the Jewish community that have taken place in the last year. We have to do so much more to tackle this issue. I hope it will be something we prioritise as a community in the coming year. It is essential that we do. In spite of the progress we still need to make, there have been a number of achievements in the past year which we should be hugely proud of – from the success of February’s Inside Out Day which was started by Jo Novick in memory of her sister. It saw schoolchildren around the country turn their uniforms inside out to raise awareness of mental health issues. Then there was the triumph of Jami’s Head Room Café putting together an online programme for the past few months which have kept many members of our community connected during the lockdown. My personal highlights of the year were having the privilege of guest editing the Jewish News, which dedicated an entire issue to this topic in May during mental health awareness week and also having the opportunity to meet virtually with the Chief Rabbi who expressed his commitment to eradicating the shame and stigma linked to mental illness. It can be such a lonely and terrifying place being stuck in your head as I have been recently. But in writing this piece something has shifted within me. I feel almost as if a weight has been lifted away from my shoulders. In short, having put pen to paper, I realise I am not alone. I am incredibly lucky to have such supportive family, friends and community around me. It’s been extremely hard being physically distant from loved ones during the lockdown. After spending a difficult Pesach alone, I was convinced we would all be together at Rosh Hashanah. However, this unfortunately will not be the case for many of us. Nevertheless, I realise through writing this that I need to reach out to them, tell them how I am feeling and ask for help. I truly hope that if someone reading this is also struggling, they may be inspired to do the same. We may not know what the coming year holds for us, but one thing for certain is that none of us should have to suffer in silence during it. Please do reach out and ask for support if you need t,o as I am about to do right now. • For futher help please visit https://jamiuk.org/get-support
JDAâ€™s door-to-door hearing aid service is a lifeline at Rosh Hashanah
Of course I enjoy having my great grandchildren here. Before Andrew from JDA came and made my hearing aids work properly, it was exhausting trying to keep up with their excited chatter. But now I can hear again. I have my confidence back and am so looking forward to Rosh Hashanah and a home full of family and love. Since lockdown, audiology services have been closed and JDA has come to the rescue, travelling to peopleâ€™s homes and making sure their hearing aids are in tip top condition. This Yom Tov, thanks to JDA, more and more people with hearing loss are enjoying life and feeling the joy of connecting with their loved ones again.
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Not giving up
g n i v i g on
A FALL IN FUNDRAISING AND INCREASED DEMAND ON SERVICES IS THE PRICE OF THE PANDEMIC. BUT JEWISH CHARITIES ARE FIGHTING THE FIGHT, SAYS JOY FAULK
36 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
or most of her life, Amelia has been in and out of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The 12-year-old has an unknown neuromuscular condition, which affects all her muscles and movement in her limbs. Pain, fatigue and a feeding tube have been Amelia’s norm for as long as she can remember. When Covid-19 hit, Amelia’s family faced a distressing choice. Amelia was about to go into a hospital for what they thought was a few days of treatment. Owing to Covid, it turned into eight weeks, with mother Lisa at Great Ormond Street, and the rest of the family coping at home in Harrogate. Within days, the manageable uncertainties of their lives were replaced by unprecedented and terrifying new challenges. Yet the family were not alone. Camp Simcha stepped in. “Families like Amelia’s quickly found themselves in an impossible situation,” explains Camp Simcha’s chief executive Neville Goldschneider. “As well as living in fear for their very vulnerable child, a lot of their usual support network suddenly became unavailable. Meanwhile siblings, often the forgotten sufferers, were also at home, needing their parents’ attention.”
World Jewish Relief
Remarkably, despite an income loss of £400,000 owing to cancelled challenges and events, the charity has maintained all of its services throughout lockdown. “We are still finding ways to deliver Camp Simcha’s special brand of fun and attention, which is so impactful, especially in such isolating times,” adds Goldschneider. “Virtual events such as bake-offs, treasure hunts, talent competitions and, more recently, visits from the Camp Simcha Disney-style float have brought some light in very dark times.” Yet the charity has had to dip into its reserves and has also utilised the government’s furlough scheme. Goldschneider’s biggest fundraising concern is the uncertainty around Camp Simcha’s biennial Manchester and London dinners, due to take place in November and March respectively. “The income raised at these dinners contribute to a large percentage of our running costs over the next two years. We also fear that some children will not have been diagnosed early enough due to the pandemic and that we may face an increase in late diagnoses of very serious conditions. “With all of this in the foreground, it will be crucial that we find alternative income sources over the next six months,” explains Goldschneider.
The challenges posed by social distancing and national lockdowns worldwide have stretched and challenged even the community’s largest charities. “Much of our work in Eastern Europe involves delivering services to elderly, and often housebound, Jewish individuals, which includes home repair programmes and running communal centres,” explains World Jewish Relief (WJR)’s chief executive, Paul Anticoni. “With lockdowns being imposed across the region, we have had to close our community centres, slow down home repairs and ensure all other services are delivered to people’s houses at a time when they need us more than ever. “We’ve done what we can, but for many vulnerable people without internet or even phone access, it’s been very difficult. For the most vulnerable, nothing beats a face-to-face interaction,” he adds. For most charities, Rosh Hashanah normally signals the replenishing of coffers through a unique opportunity to engage with donors and interested parties. With synagogues this year at limited capacity, charities fear making ends meet moving forward. That means budgeting anew for the year ahead. Despite WJR reaching more people during the pandemic and experiencing no philanthropic fall in the
Magen David Adom
short term, Anticoni has nonetheless already reduced his anticipated 2020/21 income budget by 20 percent. Charity leaders are holding their breath. WJR’s biggest fundraising event is its annual dinner each January, which last year raised £1million. This year it will be virtual for the first time. What it will raise is anyone’s guess. Yet Anticoni remains upbeat. “During the 2008/09 recession, we didn’t see a philanthropic drop. People cut down on holidays and luxuries, but fortunately not on their philanthropic giving.” However, for the community’s numerous Israel charities, the outlook is less certain. Sharon Dewinter, director of Emunah, which provides services for thousands of vulnerable children and families in Israel, notes that some donors have recently withheld funding, wishing instead to “support efforts to tackle the pandemic here in the UK first and foremost”. This is despite Emunah’s Crisis Centre in Sderot witnessing a spike in demand, with domestic abuse cases rising, adding to the challenges faced by their clients. “The world at the moment is a very different place, but unfortunately the help that Emunah provides for the 10,000 vulnerable children and families in our care isn’t,” explains Dewinter. “But I am confident our donors
will continue their support this Rosh Hashanah.” Already, Jewish charities are exhibiting unparalleled resilience and creativity in their fundraising efforts. Learning disabilities charity Kisharon must raise £2m per annum to maintain its services. With fundraising events put on hold, including its annual dinner, the charity turned to a matched giving campaign in May. The ‘Kisharon Carry On Campaign’ has eased pressure on this financial year, engaged new donors and provided a platform for increased social media presence. Camp Simcha’s fundraising team has also worked hard to generate alternatives, including a ‘Text to Donate’ drive, a wellsupported 2.6 Challenge weekend and a ‘Camp In for Camp Simcha’ event in partnership with Jewish News. Numerous charities have embraced new-found opportunities posed by the lockdown. Many of Norwood’s services have moved online, with Facebook Live events attended by more than 1,000 people offering much-needed advice for vulnerable, often disabled, children and their families. With its educational specialists anticipating increased demand from children struggling with returning to school, either owing to anxiety about Covid-19 or from having been in lockdown for so long, it is hoped these
measures will help ease service pressures. Daniel Burger, chief executive of Magen David Adom UK, believes his charity has reached more potential supporters than ever by growing its online presence. Popular webinars over Zoom such as with Professor Eilat Shinar, director of Israel’s National Blood Services, and even a comedy evening with Ashley Blaker, have helped reach an entirely new donor base. Weekly email updates have also enjoyed substantially improved opening rates. More traditional fundraising routes have also been strengthened. Throughout the pandemic, WJR staff, while working from home without any office travel, have managed to call all their supporters over the age of 80 to offer a friendly chat and discuss their support. Much of Magen David Adom UK’s ageing donor base – “for whom the pen is mightier than the internet!” notes Burger – have had more time to read letters and appeals during lockdown. This new year, trepidation persists, but resilience is the pervasive theme for the community’s numerous charities. As Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care’s chief executive, summarises: “Just as our community relies on Jewish Care in its hour of need, we are relying on the community to be as generous as they can this Rosh Hashanah.”
NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 37
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Kisharon, a charity helping people with learning disabilities, has a range of gifts for Rosh Hashanah, including this activity painting and decorating set (right), £7.50, and gift set (top), £10, https://equal.kisharon.org.uk Other products on sale in the Temple Fortune store include personalised honey jars, honey dishes and cake sets, napkins and more. They can also be ordered over the phone for collection.
ALEX GALBINSKI TAKES A LOOK AT NEW YEAR PRESENTS FOR HOSTS
Size envy Shofar, so good notebook, £3.49, www.amazon.co.uk
Country cover Bee safe in two-layered face mask, £10, www.mosneymill.co.uk
Drink up Bag it up
Honest Grapes Muscular, fruity and full-bodied, the Falesco Marciliano 2014 is one of the finest and best-loved Bordeaux blends from northern Italy, £49.90/bottle. It’s also just one of many wonderful high-end kosher wines available from UK Wine Club Honest Grapes, www. honestgrapes.co.uk
Bees perfect for honey teas, £11, www.sassandbelle.co.uk
pomegranate pretty pouch, £20, www.charlottemacey.co.uk
Cushion comfort Velvet embroidered bee cushion (comes in other colours), £15, ww.marksandspencer.com
Luxury New Year biscuit tin for veggies, £45, www.biscuiteers.com
Who doen't need long blue/pink and matches in bottles?, £16.50, www.bellajacob.com
Raise that card
Table elegance Pomegranate felt table runner by Israeli artist Dorit, from £30, www.contemporaryjudaica.co.uk
Sweet as sugar Spoonfuls of Honey: Recipes from around the world by Hattie Ellis (Pavilion Books), £12.99
Buy some Rosh Hashanah cards (this and other designs), from £1.50, and support Shaare Zedek UK, which raises funds for the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem. Since 1902, the non-political hospital has combined compassionate care with advanced medicine and serves more than half a million patients annually. https://shaarezedek.org.uk NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 39
Lentils & Tagines & Pears DENISE PHILLIPS PUTS THE WOW FACTOR INTO NEW YEAR DISHES www.jewishcookery.com •
Apple, Carrot and Lentil Soup This is a parev carrot soup with a difference; slightly piquant with a hint of coconut milk to mellow the spice. Straightforward and easy to make – just what any hostess wants when preparing for the Rosh Hashanah meals. Preparation time: 10 minutes
• Cooking Time: 25 minutes
• SERVES 6
➤ INGREDIENTS ½ teaspoon chilli flakes 2 teaspoons cumin seeds or adjust to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 450g carrots – peeled and cut into small pieces
2 Bramley apples (approx 450g), peeled, cored and roughly chopped 1 celery stick – finely sliced 125g split red lentils 750ml hot vegetable stock 400ml coconut milk
Small handful of coriander leaves
➤ HOW TO MAKE IT Heat a large saucepan and then add the chilli flakes and cumin seeds. Dry fry for a minute or so until they release their aroma and pop around in the pan. Remove half of the seeds and set aside. Add the oil to the pan, and once it is hot, stir in the carrots, apple and celery. Fry for about 5 minutes, and then add the lentils, stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, covered with a lid, until the carrots and lentils are tender. Blend the soup until smooth and season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon into bowls, scatter with the reserved spices, and add a few coriander leaves. Tip: This soup keeps really well, so if you don’t eat it straight away, store it in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze in individual portions for up to three months. 40 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
Apple, carrot and lentil soup
Quinoa Chicken & Chickpea Tagine This is a delicious one pot warming main course. I like to use the trio coloured blend of quinoa – red, white and black available from Ocado and Waitrose. If you cant get it, just use regular quinoa. This recipe is also gluten free. Preparation time: 20 minutes
• Cooking Time: 45 minutes
➤ INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon ground turmeric Salt and pepper 4 large chicken thighs 2 red onions – peeled and roughly chopped
1 lemon – finely sliced 1 tin chickpeas – drained 120g three colour blend quinoa 30g dried apricots 500ml vegetable stock – two tablespoons vegetable powder to 500ml boiling water
30g toasted split almonds, small bunch flat leaf parsley
➤ HOW TO MAKE IT Heat the vegetable oil in a large deep saucepan. Combine the spices and coat the chicken pieces. Pan fry until golden on both sides. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Aromatic quinoa chicken and chickpea tagine
Stir in the lemon, chickpeas, quinoa, apricots and stock. Cover with the saucepan lid and simmer for 40 minutes.
Fanned Pink Lady Apple Pie This makes a beautiful centrepiece dessert and is ideal for the Rosh Hashanah celebrations. The secret of the apple topping is to cut the slices as thinly as possible. I have kept it dairy free, but you can use regular cream cheese or butter if you prefer. Preparation time: 35 mins, plus 20 mins for pastry and 45 minutes for the apples • Cooking Time: 1 hour • SERVES 10
➤ INGREDIENTS For the pastry 300g plain flour 150g non-dairy margarine 3 tablespoons icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 egg For the apples 3 large Pink Lady red apples – cored and
cut into very thin slices 75g brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon mixed spice For the filling 225g non-dairy cream cheese 2 tablespoons apple purée 2 tablespoons icing sugar
GLAZE: 3 tablespoons apricot jam melted
➤ HOW TO MAKE IT For the pastry, combine all the ingredients in the food processor. Remove, cover with cling film, and leave in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
Fanned Pink Lady apple pie
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF/ Gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry between two layers of cling film to fit a 22cm loose-based tart tin. Cover with foil, insert baking beans and bake blind for 20 minutes. For the filling, combine all the ingredients together and spoon into the base of the cooked pie base.
Slice the apples and transfer to a bowl. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice together and toss the apples in this mixture.
Drain the apples, discarding any excess juice. Arrange in an overlapping fan pattern across the pastry or in a circular pattern starting at the outside edge and continuing until you reach the centre.
Leave for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Bake at 180ºC/ 350ºF for 40 minutes or until the apples are cooked and golden. NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 41
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MOND AY TO FRIDA Y W ITH TH IS VOU
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Vivian Henoch, editor of myJewishDetroit talks taste and tolerance with chef Michael Twitty
TWITTY’S BLACK-EYED PEA HUMMUS Ingredients
15 oz can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ⅓ cup tahini ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice 1 ½ teaspoons salt 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon coriander ½ teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon brown or raw (demerara) sugar 1 teaspoon hot sauce 2 teaspoons minced parsley for garnish
Throw everything but the parsley in a food processor and run it until everything is smooth and mixed together. Taste and add more spice, hot sauce or whatever you think it needs. Serve with the parsley sprinkled over and a drizzle of olive oil on the top. The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty is published by Amistad and is available at www.amazon.co.uk
“I DON’T BELIEVE IN ‘RACE’ except for the human one,” says Michael W. Twitty. Black, devoutly Jewish and gay, this American chef who grew up outside Washington makes no bones about the complexity of his identity, but chooses to explore it and demonstrate how food connects us. Bringing diversity to the table is Twitty’s objective and with such hybrid specialities as black-eyed pea hummus, mac ‘n’ cheese kugel and matzo ball gumbo, he has carved out a culinary niche merging African American (Southern Antebellum) and Jewish cuisine. It’s no surprise his mix of Creole and kneidels has made him a star turn on the US shul circuit and his skills at the stove also comes with a fascinating backstory about his conversion to Judaism. “Growing up alongside Jewish neighbours, it was nothing for me to go and build and play in a succah when I was little and in my mother’s kitchen, challah was a weekend staple, as the only bakeries open on Sunday were Jewish.” Twitty was seven when he saw the film adaptation of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen and wanted to give being Jewish a go. “I thought, wow, I can relate to this spiritual thing, so I told my mother I was Jewish. She said, fine, and let me be Jewish for one week. I made a baseball cap into my pseudo kippah, and refused to eat bacon for breakfast or read the New Testament.” Deterred by his mother’s warning of a second circumcision, Twitty’s eventual immersion into Judaism occurred later when he met Jewish cookery author Joan Nathan at a festival and was introduced to a Sephardi synagogue in Rockville, Maryland. “The first person I met there was an African American man about my age and I took it as a sign.” Twitty eventually became a Hebrew teacher facing all kinds of “questions of validation” from students of mixed orthodoxy. “I was the Yid of a different colour – a young, male, African American of Jewish descent by conversion,” he says too kindly of the curiosity, but he loved teaching and also learnt about Sephardic and Mizrachi food. As an acclaimed culinary historian, Twitty traced his ancestry – both black and white – in his awardwinning book, The Cooking Gene, using recipes from
Africa to America and slavery to freedom. The tasty tome is the tale of his ancestors’ survival over three centuries, and he continues to explore the traditions of Africa, African America and the African diaspora on his popular erudite blog, Afroculinaria.com. It is in that space he shares his thoughts and recently wrote in response to events: “Black Lives Matter means I should be able to do normal things without dying” and revealed for the first time his own experience of racism with American police. The incident occurred on Tisha B’Av, when a white friend was driving him to synagogue. “I was the passenger,” he says, and describes being tailed by an unmarked car, which suddenly put on a siren, indicating for them to pull over. Twitty was holding a Siddur when the Maryland police officer told him to put his hands on the dashboard and accused him of holding a gun. “It was my prayer book with God’s name in beautiful gold Hebrew letters gleaming at me on a sunless day,” he writes, which shocks and shames. His kippah was knocked to the ground. No demands were made of the white driver and a police check revealed neither passenger nor driver had a record. “I was too scared to say anything or file a complaint,” says the chef with 52.4K followers. “But had that cop been turned up one more notch I would not be writing this – I’d have been fat, scary, Black, worthless and dead.” There is an incomprehensible chasm between his experiences as a black man in his homeland and his profile, @Koshersoul on Twitter, where he celebrates black-eyed pea hummus. “Jewish food and African American diaspora food share a lot of similarities because we are both migratory people who have often been at the same places at the same times,” says Twitty. “Black-eyed peas are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food, which is part of the ancient Talmudic menu and eaten by Sephardim who believe they increase one’s mitzvot in the year to come.” NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 43
A SOUPCON OF A SELECTION OF AUTUMN RECIPES DELIVERED BY THE ISRAELI DRAMA WE SIMPLY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
POTATO KUGEL (feeds 12 Shtisels)
and smooth the top with a spatula. • Bake the kugel, uncovered, in the heated oven for one hour, or until golden-brown on top. When the kugel is done, a knife inserted in the centre should come out clean. • Leave the dish to cool, then serve garnished.
HAREDI CAFES are rarely cited for their contribution to global culture. For klops and blintzes possibly, but that was as far as it went, until writers Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon came up with an Orthodox Jewish drama at 11 Malchei in Jerusalem, otherwise known as the Shtisel restaurant. The kosher café has always been popular, but this pales to the colour of calf's foot jelly when compared to the adoring fan base for the TV series that shares its name. Still, there was clearly something about the scent of tzimmes in the air that lingered in the hearts and minds of the sagacious authors, as the series is full of food. In Shtisel, food is the glue in familial relationships, the solace for heartbreak and the conduit to communication. Not an episode passes without the making, serving and consumption
44 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
of a dish that alludes to a character’s mindset; and often the simplest food (tomatoes and cucumber) gets eaten in the most complex scenes. We are given a menu of familiar Jewish/Israeli dishes that run the emotional gamut, taking us from laughter to tears without the peeling of a single onion. Replicating the recipes in your own kitchen will not be like ordering cholent at Anshel’s, but hopefully it will authentically fill your tum until the show returns.
Starters We are introduced to the Shtisel family a year after Dvora, the matriarch of the family, has died. In episode one, the son, Akiva, a handsome yeshiva teacher who secretly paints, has a dream about his late mother in which she is seated, at a table in Anshel’s diner, surrounded by eskimos with a penchant for pickles. As snowflakes fall (indoors), Akiva announces his surprise at her presence. “I missed the kugel,” says the nearfrozen Dvora. The icy coldness of separation and grief juxtaposed with Jewish humour and gherkins sets the ingenious style of what’s to come.
Ingredients 4 pounds russet (or other floury) potatoes, peeled and quartered 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered 4 large eggs 4 large egg whites ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons melted chicken schmaltz or vegetable oil, divided 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 ½ tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon finely-ground white pepper Optional fresh parsley and chives for garnish • Heat the oven to 400ºF / 200ºC. • Oil a baking dish. • Using a grater or food processor, coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. • Let the mix stand, then place it in a colander or clean tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid. • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, flour, salt and pepper together. • Add the grated potatoes and onions to the egg-flour mixture. Mix with a large spoon until smooth. • Pour the kugel mix into the dish
Everyone eats in Shtisel, but none more so than patriarch Shulem, who never refuses free nosh, notably served by a woman willing to court him with her kishkes. At home in the humble family apartment, the widower relies on Akiva to cook, and classic moments occur at the kitchen table between father and son. Akiva is slow to master sandwiches, but Shulem compliments his omelettes. Equating his eggs skills with his talent for painting is tough on the tortured artist. Giti, the daughter, is also a tortured soul, but has her mother’s gift for making grivalach, which she prepares for the meal to mark the end of mourning. The smell of the sizzling chicken skin fuels a silent, but intense exchange between Akiva and Elisheva, the woman he loves from afar who needs to borrow a heater – another smart euphemism for unspoken desire. GRIVALACH Ingredients Chicken skin, preferably large pieces from a whole breast/ leg-thigh combo Salt and pepper or other seasoning of choice
FAST TRACK CHOLENT (serves 8 Shtisels or a famished 6)
• Boil ½ inch of water in a saucepan. • Add the chicken skin and blanch for 15-20 seconds until it is fully cooked. • Remove skin and place on a paper towel to absorb excess water. • Once the skin is cool enough to handle, pull off any big pieces of fat or meat. • Transfer the skin to a plate, season with salt and pepper or any other sprinkle you like. • Fill a frying pan with ½ inch of oil and heat it. • Drop the skin into the pan and wait for it to turn golden and crispy. Don’t touch it until the spattering stops. Let it cool before eating.
Entrée The German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine described cholent as ‘a ray of light immortal' and the slow-cooked stew ignites the friendship between Shulem and school secretary, Aliza Gvili. The cosy dinners for two are Shulem’s way of masking his grief, but Aliza is misled so hands him chicken soup in Tupperware and shuts the door.
Ingredients 2 onions, chopped 2 small potatoes, cubed 2 pounds beef stewing meat, cubed 2-4 marrow bones, optional 1 cup pearl barley ½ cup kidney beans 1 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon chilli powder 2 tablespoons honey 1 kishka, optional 3-4 cups of water Salt and pepper to taste
• Place the onions and potatoes in the bottom of a slow cooker. • Top with the beef and marrow bones. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. • Add the barley and kidney beans, then sprinkle over the paprika, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. • Drizzle honey on top of the cholent, then pour the water over the top to cover the beans. • Cover the slow cooker and cook on a slow heat overnight, or for at least eight hours.
the loss, but we also get a glimpse of the after-life as the departed appear in the oddest places to deliver sage-like observations to the living. Twice-widowed Elisheva even cooks for her deceased spouses, who moan about the seasoning – “You know I don’t like spicy food”, and Shulem buys a Stollen for the widow of a former colleague. “It is baked at the start of winter and the longer it stands the better it tastes,” he tells her. Who knew the Eastern European cake had such meaning, but it registers because she is soon making him Hungarian Lecso (stew). LECSO
Main Course Shtisel’s focus is the human experience – albeit within the confines of orthodoxy – and immerses us in birth, betrothals and death served with refreshments. A bris, several shivas and a stone-setting are shared with the audience, who feel
• Sauté the diced onion in oil in a frying pan for 8-10 minutes on a medium flame. • Add the squash, cubed tomatoes and mushrooms and sauté for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally. • Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste and then add the small can of tomato sauce. • Leave it to cook for another 10 minutes.
Extras Soup has always been a liquid solution for Jews, with chicken soup as the star fix. The Shtisels, who have a background as ‘chalmers’, a Yiddish term for strictly-Orthodox Jews who have lived in Jerusalem since the mid-19th century, are also soup lovers. When Akiva’s first cousin Libbi arrives, the first thing she does is make ‘soup mit nisht’ (soup from nothing), and her raid on the fridge proves a hit with
Ingredients ¼ cup of oil (for sautéing) 1 small onion, diced 2 squash, peeled and cubed 2 plum tomatoes, cubed A punnet of fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly 1 small can of tomato sauce salt black pepper sugar NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 45
our hero. The matchmaker, Menucha, shares her soup ‘croton’ recipe (leftover dried challah marinated in olive oil and fried) with Shulem, and although Giti is a super soup maker, it is her meatballs and mashed potatoes that bring in the punters at Weiss, her new restaurant. SOUP FROM NOTHING – Zup mit nisht recipe Ingredients 1 onion, 1 courgette, 1 large potato 1 swede, 3 carrots, 2 bay leaves Stock, salt and pepper • Chop the vegetables into small cubes. • In a saucepan, fry the onion until browned. • Add 2 litres of hot stock to the pan and then add the rest of the veg.
IVOR ROTH fell in love with Shtisel because “it is unlike any other show”. The Birmingham born artist who resides in Bournemouth welcomes any programme without Americanstyle car chases, but says the Israeli series “is the best thing I’ve ever watched”. Working mainly with oil on canvas, Ivor usually focuses on architecture, urban settings and the human figure. Inspired by Shtisel, he painted the cast in character and got so many likes, he produced a clothing and homeware range. Even bubbe gets a bag, but paintings are also available on any item at www.ilroth.art
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• Season with salt and pepper. • Cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are tender. • Blend if desired.
Afters Only a fool would share a recipe for chicken soup with other experts, and the soup mit nisht, which owes its origin to poor Jews in Eastern Europe, was typically a borsht or krupnik made of barley, potatoes and fat, which is easy to produce. So let’s look at food as an influencer in Shtisel, be it Giti’s daughter, Ruchami, taking a food parcel to yeshiva student Hanina, which leads to wedlock, or Akiva’s childhood memory of sucking a lemon with Libbi, which leads to…well, we shall see in season three. Ultimately it is the modest Bubaleh that makes
the biggest impact, as Shulem’s younger brother fails in his attempt to use it to borrow money and unearths a deep fraternal conflict. No amount of sugar could sweeten that Hungarian pancake, but you might like to give it a try. BUBALEHS (serves two feuding Shtisels) Ingredients 3 eggs, separated 4oz fine matzo meal (1 cup) zest of 1 lemon butter, for frying sugar, to serve • Beat the egg whites until stiff. • Slowly fold in the yolks, matzo meal and lemon zest. • Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan.
• Carefully drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. • Fry on one side until done, then gently flip over and continue cooking on the other side. • Sprinkle with sugar and enjoy bubbala.
Refresh By Louisa Walters
Some restaurateurs used lockdown as an opportunity to make changes. There are also green shoots of new openings on the horizon
hen restaurants went into lockdown in March, Rob Laub, owner of The Bull in Highgate, took advantage of the time to rethink, regroup and refurb, determined that his pub would come out of the situation better than it went in. Helped by the kitchen team deciding to move back home, he sourced a new head chef, Alfie Crewe, formerly with Mark Hix, and surrounded him with others of equally reputable backgrounds. He invested heavily in equipment and smartened up both the interior and the exterior. There are two lovely large outdoor spaces and a two-floor country-style venue in which downstairs they have one-metre distances and upstairs two metres for those more conscious about distancing inside. Highlights on the menu are bbq mackerel with cucumber and dill in a buttermilk sauce, onion pakoras with raita, beef short rib croquettes, chilled almond soup with lovage, melt- in-the-mouth meat dishes and plenty of choices for non-meat eaters. Desserts are dreamy... chocolate mousse and bbq pineapple and spiced rum cheesecake.
Fans of Morso – Italian small plates haven in St John’s Wood – will be delighted to learn that this restaurant, plus the new branch
The Suburban Whisky Lounge
it did, and just two days later we were in lockdown and it had to close... now it is open again with strict hygiene and distancing measures in place. This is the place to go for kosher burgers, rotisserie chicken, fried chicken and all the sides. There are hearty salads and pasta dishes too, plus amazing desserts such as black chocolate cake and diner-style ice cream sundaes. Upstairs is a large 80-seater event space, for when we can party. In the meantime, sit downstairs and tuck in.
in Kensal Rise (which opened just before lockdown and then had to shut up shop sharpish), is now back open. Superb pasta (egg yolk ravioli is a must) and arancini, fish dishes (check out sashimi-grade seared tuna with tomato, cannellini beans and courgette salad and Scottish salmon pan fried in brown butter with sorrel and almond pesto), a fantastic range of grappa and the best – absolutely the best – tiramisu. During lockdown, the team spent time working on the garden out back at the Kensal Rise branch and it’s looking really pretty.
At The Swing in West Hampstead, manager Olivia Bernstone and head chef Andy Hall spotted a trend – the veggie dishes (that represented 70 percent of the menu) were repeatedly the most popular, with miso candy sweetcorn, cauliflower and miso aubergine regularly the best sellers. Coincidentally, the entire team is veggie so when they reopened after lockdown, they took the opportunity to do something they all believe in and live by and turn The Swing into a fully vegetarian restaurant. They felt it was the right time for them, for the environment and, most importantly, for the customers. The change has been met with a hugely favourable response. The ‘no tuna tacos’ are a must-try.
Portuguese restaurant O Tino in Camden was opened by Florentino (from the Portuguese island of Madeira) and his Angolan wife Elizabeth in 2009. During lockdown, Florentino was taken ill with Covid-19 and spent 14 weeks in hospital. His son Pedro and daughter Denise took over the restaurant and used the time to carry out a much-needed refurbishment. Florentino and indeed the restaurant are now doing really well. The regulars are coming back for authentic Portuguese dishes such as piri piri chicken, Argentine steak, pasteis de balcahau (cod fishcakes) and pastel de nata (custard tarts) and the refurb has also attracted many new customers. If you’re not going to get a dose of the real thing this year, a visit here most definitely feels like dining in Portugal. The Suburban Whisky Lounge just off Market Place by Hampstead Garden Suburb is a pop-up collaboration between The Whisky Palate (private members’ club) and the Biltong Factory (kosher meat producers). The brainchild of Dani Smolowitz, affectionately known to many as the Whisky Rabbi, and Adam Ziff, who brings to the table many years of experience in the hospitality industry, the lounge offers 100 different whiskies, plus wine, cocktails and small plates of South African-inspired kosher meaty dishes, such as pulled beef in sourdough baguette and sticky ribs. This is a great opportunity to try rare, different whiskies, some of them very high end, that are not available by the dram anywhere else. Soyo yoyo… we waited eagerly for SOYO Diner in Golders Green to open, and then
THERE’S A FLURRY OF NEW RESTAURANTS about to open in Mill Hill. The Bank is a swish, sexy restaurant and bar on the site of the old HSBC bank, with tons of outside space (covered and uncovered) plus a seriously glam interior, opening later this month. The owners have earnt their stripes at Apollonia in Stanmore, so you can expect great food, great service and a seamless operation. A few doors up, Ananas will be a kosher bakery, salt beef and shawarma unit from the team who ran The Deli House in Borehamwood. At the opposite end of the Broadway, Numa will be an all-day IsraeliMediterranean dining concept from the hands of Tomer Vanunu, who also owns El Vaquero in Mill Hill. Due to open next month, you can expect a brunch menu and sharing plates in the evening. NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 47
WISHING ALL OUR CLIENTS A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
10 Golders Green Road London NW11 8LL Opposite Cafe Nero
REOPENING BARGAINS Suits from £79.50
Overcoats from £79.50 RAINCOATS £29.50
POLO SHIRTS £7 ANY Trouser Bargains £25 2 FOR £10 LIGHTWEIGHT CHINOS Raincoats from £49.50 £20 ANY 2 FOR £30 SUMMER CASUAL JACKETS from £20 SUIT BARGAINS fromLarge £85 Sizes a SHIRTS £15 ANY 2speciality for £25 Open everyday & Sundays til 5:00pm
t ver d a his tie. t E ng bri a FRE e s r a Ple in fo
HE RELEASE OF FAUDA SEASON THREE could not have come at a better time for fans. Stuck at home and desperate for action, a show that takes the Hebrew and Arabic word for chaos as its title reminded us things could be worse. We could be running around, schvitzing in combats pursuing enemies like the show’s hero, Doron Kavillio and his tough terror fighters. The show’s co-writer, Lior Raz, who plays Doron appeared on a Zoom to tell us how his alter ego would handle quarantine. “You cannot lock down Doron. He would be like a lion in a cage. He would escape and hunt the coronavirus by himself.” This is the macho rhetoric we expect from a character who never checks his outfit in a mirror – something that appealed to Fauda’s new quarantined female fans. Now they can style a spouse in Doron’s likeness as autumn brings the desired leathers and jeans. You could visit www.americasuits.com where the Doron Kavillio copy is sold in sartorial homage, but why waste your time when you can get the same and better in jackets and jeans at Wallers (www.wallersclothing.com) in Golders Green? Owner Marcel Plesner has the pedigree to provide, as his grandfather founded the company in 1925 when men knew how to dress. For more autumn 2020 inspiration, check out the leathers at Dunhill, Dior and Dries Van Noten or slip on a Prada military shoe or Fendi chunky sole. Men shoe shop less frequently than women, so want their boots made for walking to last. Shoetherapy (www.shoetherapy.co.uk) has the definitive Fauda footwear – statement shoes you can forget you’re wearing, made from the finest quality eco-friendly vegetable tanned leathers and lined with supersoft “mestizo” leather (not pigskin). The shoes and boots also feature the ‘Shoetherapy Air Circulation System’, which allows feet to breathe in a comfy and healthy environment. Based in Northamptonshire which has shoe history, the company was actually established in Brazil in 1994 and sells to more than 70 countries. Best of all, the range is available in generous regular and extra wide fittings for butch feet ,with removable insoles to facilitate orthotics. We’re not sure if Doron is flat-footed, but he has surely slept in his jeans during a desert stakeout, so hardy dark denim is required to create the air of cool combat. Engelbert Strauss jeans (www.engelbert-strauss. co.uk) are made of power denim and are tear-resistant – ‘For those who like to feel comfortable in the toughest conditions’, reads the blurb, so perfect for Fauda’ing. For the Fauda finish, a cuff or dog tag with a powerful message showing allegiance to the Holy Land or IDF past . Doron may not be a necklace kind of guy, as chains are risky when grappling with the enemy, but they are fine for watching Fauda on the sofa.
Watching the show is no longer enough. Now you need the LOOK…
Du n h i Below Gangster jacket, £435, Belstaff
Pr a d a
Right Navy vest, £49.99, Zara
Right Leather jacket, £89.99, Zara Right Black leather jacket, £190, All Saints
Below Willa indigo jeans, £55, Reiss
Below Leather jacket and jeans, Wallers
Right and below Necklace in bronze, £75, and cuff, £142, modern tribe.com
Right Cargo worker jeans POWERdenim £119.99, Engelbert Strauss
Right Leather Chealsea boot, £82, Shoetherapy
NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 49
UNLOCKED Did the Jewfluencers of Instagram let themselves go when they couldn’t go out? Naomi Frankel singles out the style leaders post-lockdown
ESTHER HYAMS is an Orthodox fashion blogger living in London, who has made it her mission (especially during lockdown) to show her fans how to “have fun and look beautiful while dressing modestly”. “My Judaism definitely influences my fashion in a positive way, seeing as I didn’t grow up religious,” Esther admits. “It’s a constant reminder of how far I have come and how much further I can go.” Esther was pregnant for the first time during lockdown and is now a proud mum to Noah. Did you adapt your fashion during lockdown? Because there was literally nowhere to go, I started to dress more casually, but It was a struggle to adapt my style to pregnancy so long, flowy maxi dresses became my go-to and stretchy material my new best friend! I did do an impromptu photoshoot in London’s deserted streets – it felt good to get dressed up again. Did you discover new styles or experiment ? Until Covid arrived, I didn’t realise how much clothing I have in my closet! Not being able to go shopping allowed me to go through everything and discover things I’d not worn in years. The best thing was being able to mix and match outfits with no pressure to conform to the latest styles. Any autumn/ Rosh Hashanah suggestions? Pair an outfit with a great belt – mine are from Two 12 Fashion. My personal tried and tested style is a sleeveless dress with a blouse under or over, belted together. I’m also loving turbans as a wig alternative, they’re on trend and striking for shul, without seeming ‘dressed down’. You can get some great materials to work with, like silk and lace – try Bitz of Glitz UK, The Scarf Bar, Cover In Style and Nos Vies En Fulards. I’ve even bought a Swarovski Crystal scarf from The Big Bow Shop. Follow Esther on Instagram: @esther.hyams
With 169,000 Instagram followers, ELIZABETH SAVETSKY juggles her roles as fashion/ lifestyle influencer with Jewish activism as efficiently as she teams Balenciaga with Prada. The mum of two (soon to be three), affectionately known as Liz or Lizzie, started her blog, Excessories Expert: a Guide to Excessive Accessories in 2013. “This was before being a ‘blogger’ meant anyone with an Instagram account,” she explains. Aside from the stunning aesthetic of her Insta feed and shots of her adorable daughters, Liz’s appeal is her relatable open nature and willingness to delve into real and sometimes difficult topics affecting women. “Over the past few years, I’ve focused more on raising awareness for causes important to me and was amazed by the support from my audience when I revealed my three miscarriages . It’s so important to destigmatise miscarriage and help women feel less alone in their grief.” Has lockdown affected your attitude to beauty and fashion?. Between pregnancy and the pandemic, my motivation to get dolled up is not what it once was, but I still feel much better when I put the effort in. I’ve just become much more low maintenance. With a new baby coming this autumn, G-d willing, I’m sure I will continue to embrace an easier, less fussy approach.
What has been your go-to outfit these past months? Most days, I throw on an easy dress or jumpsuit and layer up some fun jewellery. My advice for easy glamour for a mum on the go? Select a one-piece outfit and pile on some statement accessories.
What are you wearing for autumn? I will be nine months pregnant during the Jewish holidays, which presents a challenge, but not one that scares me. I’m dreaming about statement knee-high boots for autumn, but Dallas is brutally hot throughout September so these may have to wait. Cecilie Bahnsen has exquisite babydoll dresses for pregnancy – they’re a bit out of my budget, but a girl can dream! I love big shoulders, ruffles, bows and jewelled details. I also recently discovered a Jewish brand – Shtettl Wear – their hoodies and tees are fun and great for the whole family.
How do you incorporate Jewish activism in a fashion focused feed? My Jewish identity is my ‘North Star’. I cannot separate myself from it in my work, as it encompasses everything about the way I live. I feel a great responsibility as a Jewish person with a platform to stand up for my people and Israel and share my spirituality. I also recently partnered with My Soldier, an Israeli organisation that provides financial, emotional and spiritual support to lone IDF soldiers. My Instagram audience raised more than $55,000 (£41,411.90) for a Sefer Torah to donate to soldiers on the front line. Instagram: @elizabethsavetsky 50 NEW LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
CARA MELZACK established her own brand in April last year, with the motto Create A Right Attitude (CARA) and Reach The Sky, never imaginging she would soon face global shutdown. “There is so much pressure when you start a new business – to succeed, to prove to yourself and everyone that you are going to make it. Either the higher powers are trying to tell me something or this is a major learning curve,” she reflects wryly.
TAMARA CORIN is an award-winning beauty editor and stylist, who has years of experience working for glossies and runs a personal styling service.She also consults for beauty brands such as P&G, L’Oréal, Dove and Estee Lauder. She is a mum of five and her Instagram name (@blusherandbabies) now makes sense.
What was your lockdown style? I’ve coined a new hashtag – #wfhcosychic – it’s all about feeling good about yourself, but still being super comfortable. As we all figure out the new normal, self-care and finding a routine that works for you is so important. I wake up, do half an hour of social, go for a run, shower, put on my fave Cara & The Sky jumper, make a cuppa and I’m ready to face the day!
How much pandemonium has the pandemic caused for the beauty industry? It has had a devastating impact, What frustrated me was the temporary shutdown of the beauty sector not being taken seriously, even though it contributes heavily to the country’s income. I’m thankful hair, beauty salons and spas are now back in full swing and so are shopping centres. Admittedly, wearing a mask and not being able to use changing rooms makes it less enjoyable.
How does a stylist style herself during lockdown? Anyone who follows me knows I’m very much a dress-a-day kinda girl, but juggling home-schooling five kids with my own work and countless Zoom meetings has Where are your jumpers made? found me in a more relaxed Cara and the Sky is a firmly British brand; I wanted to manufacture in the UK to help bring look than usual! Full-on activewear isn’t my thing back industry to the country and support local communities. We also need to be aware (unless I’m heading for the gym) but I did cave and of our fashion footprint by ensuring all packaging is eco-friendly. buy a gorgeous Year Of Ours tie-dye tracksuit, which I wore a lot! Although I knew I wouldn’t What is your vision for the new year? be going anywhere more exciting than my local It’s been incredible to see how everyone has pulled together to keep small businesses going. park with my children, I always ‘put my face on’, If we work together, we can achieve greatness. After all, it’s the local businesses, brands and sometimes even a red lip. When I’m wearing artists that make our lives vibrant, exciting and the backbone of British culture. make-up, I feel more confident and it definitely raised my spirits during some tough days. How do I incorporate a Cara & the Sky piece into everyday wear? Knitwear is so versatile; you can dress it up or down. Our new ‘Bella’ tunic launching this October Do you recycle clothes or just buy new ones? can be styled with everything from ‘mom’ jeans to miniskirts. The collection has been designed I’m actually quite the hoarder and have clothes that have sat in my wardrobe for to be on trend, yet trendless. I want the buyer to fall in love with every piece, knowing it will be 20 years. I rarely throw clothes out, they sometimes go walkabout to one of my relevant for seasons ahead. three sisters, but I do wear them all, promise. What I would have worn years ago, I would still wear today. I’m also very fortunate to have a very glamorous grandma What are the trends for autumn? who used to work in the fashion industry, and have some fabulous vintage Minimalism replaced by maximalism. Neutral tones and clean cuts have been switched for clashing pieces that are my most treasured possessions. colours, mixing prints and textures. Our knitwear has gone against the high street by mixing colours, stitches and yarns. A statement chunky cardigan is my staple piece as a cosy cover-up or a colourful What’s your regular style for autumn? alternative when you’re not quite ready for a full-on coat. My second collection unites the whimsical and I have quite a distinct style throughout the year - midi dress, layering, urban with an unexpected mix of stitches, clashing colour, twists and stripes seen in our hero piece, accessorising galore, bold lip and natural base. I love prints and colour. the ‘Allie Cardigan’. www.caraandthesky.com and select boutiques nationwide. I often tear up the rule book and clash prints, picking up on one colour to tie my whole look together. I adore autumn/winter dressing – opaque Instagram: @caraandthesky tights, long boots, beautiful outerwear, layering accessories. I have my eye on wide statement belts and this season’s must-have bag shape – the bucket bag. Maje has some strong tailored pieces for looking stylish when you’re back in the workplace. Is your positive attitude reflected in your knits? I’m obsessed with colour and draw huge influence from nature, which has inspired both of my collections of beautifully-knitted jumpers and accessories, cardigans and dresses. Each piece is designed in-house, appeals to all ages and has a unique style, from shape to texture and yarn.
Who are your beauty inspirations? My great-grandma was a milliner and always used to tell me: “Never leave anything for best.” Her mantra is something I’m inspired to live by every day, whether it’s a new dress or a tablecloth! When it comes to celebrity style, Olivia Palermo, American socialite and fashion muse, nails it every time. Follow Tamara on Instagram: @blusherand babies
NEW NEWYEAR LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 51
Putting the Jew into
Jewellery Follow Naomi on Instagram: @naomz92
What better way to bring a bit of New Year cheer than by supporting small businesses who wear Jewish pride around their necks, wrists and earlobes? Naomi Frankel went in search of glitter created by the brethren
Peace Love Light Shop
Jewellery Cave There’s no denying the appeal of face-to-face retail. Most of us have longed for a pleasant exchange in a shop rather than the online exchange as a result of wrong sizing and never more so than when purchasing jewellery. A glamorous Yom Tov buy in the heart of leafy Finchley is now possible at The Jewellery Cave. Stroll through the showroom – a treasure trove of affordable diamond bracelets, earrings, necklaces, wedding and eternity rings – and chat with owner Jonathan Williams who has been in the business for 42 years. Like the rest of us, he can’t recall a time like this, but is keener than ever to offer customers a great wholesale price every time. Jewellery Cave also does bespoke, oneof-a-kind creations; has a popular pre-loved collection of Judaica and gorgeous custom jewellery pieces and it boasts a modern luxe jewellery collection that takes classic ancient symbols and gives them a trendy twist while staying firmly high end. 48b Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT Tel: 020 8446 8538, Whatsapp: 07770 303745 https://diamond-bracelets.co.uk www.diamond-bracelets.co.uk www.howweddingrings.co.uk Instagram: @jewellerycave
52 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
(@peacelovelightshop) The Peace Love Light Shop has elegant, minimalist Jewish-themed jewellery, decor and other pieces. Owner and chief designer Lisa Fero used her interior design background to create objets for Chanukah in 2017 and Peace Love Light has grown into a full lifestyle brand. The ‘love’ necklace with dainty Magen David in place of the ‘o’ is a big seller in sterling silver, gold, rose gold and 14K gold and the Shema Israel pendant is a hit with batmitzvah girls who want a bit of tikkun olam (repairing the world) on show. Peace Love Light donates a portion of all sales to the Anti-Defamation League. www.peacelovelightshop.com Use code JewishNews for 10% off
Ravit Hazday Jewelry
(@ravit.hasday) Ravit Hazday makes Kabbalistic and Judaic precious metal designs in her Ra’anana studio. Inspired by the spiritual songs of Idan Raichel, she inscribes his verses into her jewellery, which got his stamp of approval. Ravit believes the growing popularity of her Idan range is because “it reinforces messages we intuitively know, but often forget”. Ravit’s other message is in her ‘Eishet Chayil’ (woman of valour) collection, which is taken from an intimate verse traditionally sung by husbands to their wives on Friday nights. Pieces in this range are also bought by women as an empowering gift for their female friends. www.ravithasday.com Spend more than $50 and get a 10% discount using code 1652. Valid for a year
(@tovamalibu) Summer and sea meet Jewish soul in Tova’s designs, and her necklaces, with names such as Destiny and The Good Earth, are adored by the likes of J-LO and Jennifer Garner. Custom made in silver and gold plate as well as sterling silver with occasional diamonds, it is the customisable ‘slinky bracelets’ that feature most in her Instagram stories. In Hebrew, Tova means ‘good’ and she is “drawn to designing pieces that symbolise good energy” and is also doing good herself by donating part of the proceeds sold from any of her featured jewellery to Chai Cancer Care, a cause close to Tova’s heart as her mother was recently diagnosed with uterine cancer. www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TOVAMALIBU Use code CHAI15 for 15% off all products
(@modern tribe_jew) Whether it’s Jewish identity jewellery or bar/batmitzvah gifts, ModernTribe provides it with a modern aesthetic. There are adorable Rosh Hashanah-themed apple and honey studs with realistic details and textures that founder Amy reveals “sell out fast every year” and “bring in the New Year in the sweetest possible way”. As well as its own handmade designs, ModernTribe curates products from all over the world, teaming up with many independent artists to support and promote their work. Its website helpfully features sections for all Jewish holidays, occasions and gift ideas, making it easy to navigate and find that perfect piece. www.moderntribe.com Use code JEWISHNEWS10 for 10% off any order
Natasha Davidov looks like she was born wearing pearls, and often uses them alongside other precious stones in her jewellery. It was the Aska maternity movement bracelet that brought her to our attention in lockdown, proving a blessing for women wanting to monitor baby movement away from hospital. Serbian-born Natasha’s family dates back to 18th century Odessa before fleeing to Hungary, and she creates stories for her bespoke pieces from her client’s tastes and interests. Drop pearl earrings for a 30th wedding anniversary in quarantine were conjured up after a phone chat following the loss of her mother in July. “I’m trying to survive through this,” says the former magazine editor. “One precious stone at a time.” www.davidovlondon.com Natasha is offering a 25% discount to readers with the code NEWYEAR
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From Jewish Child’s Day One There are few moments more precious than the birth of a baby. Yet at that very same moment, a parent is wracked with fear and uncertainty. For the majority, the newborn is quickly moved into their parent’s loving arms. For Lia, born at just 24 weeks, the story was very different. With a birth weight of just 700g, Lia was put straight on a ventilator. Without access to the most advanced medical equipment, many babies are not being given an equal chance of survival. Jewish Child’s Day is supporting children and families from day one in Israel, in the UK and worldwide. In the case of Lia, this involved supplying the ventilator. For others it’s the purchase of medical and neo natal equipment. Jewish Child’s Day is there from day one and throughout the childhood of thousands of Jewish children in need. This is only possible with your support.
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LOCKING DOWN THOSE LOOKS BRIGIT GRANT FINDS YOUTH SOLUTIONS IN ISRAEL AND THE IDEAL BEAUTY INGREDIENTS FOR ROSH HASHANAH
in clinical nutrition and an MA in marketing. That isn’t Claudia Cabelli Fajn me in the picture, but the Sensifirm delivered significant toning to the bits that needed it, and six months more should have me in shape for summer next year. I’ve yet to try the Sensilift as I got hooked on another Israeli designed product, the Newa (www.newaneauty.co.uk), which lifted my chin so much I looked like I’d had surgery. I’m hopeful Sensilift will be as effective and quizzed Claudia:
NO BOTOX. NO FILLERS. No matter, as no one will be seeing you. My initial dismay at the government’s stay-at-home mandate on 23 March switched to abject horror when I realised the rule also applied to aestheticians. There were women for whom the closure of hair and beauty salons spelled disaster as their husbands thought they were naturally blonde with no moustache. Having dyed my hair green at the age of 14, sorting grey roots was not an issue, but the return of glabellar lines (between nose and brows) was. In the scheme of things – bereavement and a cancelled batmitzvah – the reappearance of wrinkles should not have mattered, but it did. Keeping them at bay for 15 years has stopped me looking cross when I’m not, and even the best skin products have their limitations. I was set for my furrowing fate – until Israel saved me. As the UAE has discovered, the tiny
54 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
country is a technological giant and, when it comes to beauty gadgets, there is no hair-removing, line-erasing, skinsmoothing device it hasn’t developed. Sensica, established in 2016, is one of the global market leaders in this arena, and its six innovative home-use devices include Sensilift, a clinically-proven solution for mild to moderate facial wrinkles; Sensilight with its Reactive Pulse Light (RPL™) technology, which permanently reduces unwanted hair, and Sensifirm, which sorts out cellulite and the circumferences of buttocks, thighs, waist, hips, abdomen and arms. This is some arsenal, I thought, while snacking and, as trials are a perk of the job, introduced myself to Sensica’s Claudia Cabelli Fajn, who has a degree
Are the gadgets more effective when used in conjunction with professional treatments? CF: I wouldn’t say they are better, but they certainly can be complementary. In the current situation, when nothing is certain, we need more flexible treatments in general. Some women feel vulnerable having a treatment in a salon now,so achieving those results at home with Sensica is appealing. Do Sensilight’s hair-reducing lasers work and how often do you use it? CF: All hair removal treatments require patience and consistent use and should be done two weeks apart for the first four treatments and then four weeks apart. The results are individual and depend on hair colour and genetics, but our clinical studies show a reduction in hair growth after four treatments. How long is a Sensica product in development? CF: Producing a product from scratch, under medical ISO and FDA regulations takes approximately two to three years. Which products do you use? CF: I’m very satisfied with the Sensilift and my daughter uses our latest hair removal device Sensilight PRO, which is cordless with unlimited flashes. And what about a Rosh Hashanah gift? CF: Personally I’d suggest the Sensilift Premium Kit and offer your readers a coupon for a £50 discount with the code: JN2020 Visit: www.sensica.com
APPLE PRY Anything containing apples, honey or pomegranates is my request to beauty companies ahead of Rosh Hashanah and there is no shortage of replies. Nordic Roots – an organic Danish skincare concept using the region’s native flora and fauna for ground -breaking skin care. The Apple Complex Moisturiser (£25) is soothing but busy activating hydration. Available from: www.greenpeople.co.uk and selected Waitrose and Planet Organic. Wild Beauty is the skincare range from Rhug Estate in North Wales. Cloverrich pastures, rivers and clear streams is where the apples and honey are from in its Replenishing Mask with Rhug Honey (£75), which contains mineralrich, detoxifying White Clay and skinprotecting honey produced by local bees who frequent flowers fed only on rain. Its Moisturising Lip Treatment with Beeswax (and honey) (£32) contains wild-foraged heather and arnica. www.rhugwildbeauty.com D’ALCHÉMY Purifying Facial Cleanser (£23.80) is for mature, dry, sensitive skin with blemishes. This natural cleansing agent is perfect as a non-irritant, which protects the skin’s natural pH. Soap-free, it unblocks pores, soothes inflamed acne and, yes, it contains apple to even out skin tone, and pomegranate, which is an antioxidant preventing collagen deficiency. www.dalchemyskincare.uk
Product Of My Year Apples and honey don’t get a mention here, but I suggest you invest in TEOXANE R [II] Eyes (£54). It is magic with a metal applicator and it instantly takes away the puffy under-eye nonsense that suggests no sleep. I’ve struggled to regulate schluff patterns, and this formula – which contains something called EPS Seafill, a marine biotech active and Escin, an antioxidant that stabilises collagen and elastin – allowed me to take off my sunglasses. It is the bees’ knees without the honey and will give you the eyes for a brighter new year. www.teoxane.com
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Two UK hotels welcoming hounds
iven the green light to go further than the front gate, families got very patriotic over the summer, vacationing in GB. Many who normally decamp to Marbs or Mykonos were on the road, Jack Kerouac-style, with wellies satnaving their way to places they’d only seen in Rick
The swimming pool at Boringdon Hall
Stein’s shows. Padstow soon became the place to bump into your Chigwell neighbours and the Eden Project assisted overwrought parents. Not needing passports meant the puppies came too, but gave them a false impression of future travel prospects. Our dog has travelled a lot, giving six-paw ratings to the likes of Boringdon Hall in Colebrook near Plymouth, where he was allowed to wander the grounds and lobby and had a big cushion in his room. It was our room, but a Tibetan terrier called Dumbledore 56 NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk
Boringdon’s Gaia Spa was a bonus and is a real plus for anyone taking a December break. Like so many grand UK properties, Boringdon has the perfect setting for trees and fireside carols and they are doing an inviting Christmas line-up, with spa facials, a murder mystery three-course dinner, more buffets and the Queen’s Speech. www.boringdonhall.co.uk
Road trips with four-legged passengers require multiple stops, and ours was in Sherborne on the way back to stay at The Eastbury Hotel. Easily spotted on Long Street by a period taxi, it’s those little touches that are trademark for Peter has the advantage in a Saxon manor De Savary, who also owns Devon’s resembling Hogwarts. charming Cary Arms and Spa in Boringdon ‘Burth-Y-Don’ in Saxon Babbacombe Beach. means ‘enchanted place on the hill’ The Eastbury is as chilled as that cove and it is still, owing to the extravagant hideaway, but with Georgian furnishings make-over of the stately pile. A total and art that are more family heirloom of 42 rooms surround the courtyard, than hotel property. “No, you can’t take leading to a hall of nooks and sofas, it,” said my husband as I eyed a tapestry which appealed to Dumbledore. pheasant cushion – one of many ‘likes’ He wasn’t allowed in the Àclèaf in our suite, formerly a Victorian potting restaurant, but we were, to sample head shed. Dumbledore came as close as a dog chef Scott Paton’s menu of decadently can to dancing entering the suite with displayed dishes. Lots of them are fish as wet room and private terrace, as he had Dartmouth is close, but you must try the gifts – bandana, biscuits, – and a welcome whipped goat’s letter addressed to cheese on beetroot him. soup (borscht) Evidently, his but leave room for presence was raspberry lychee required in the and rose dessert. dining room, where As swimming executive chef pools had been Matthew Street out of bounds, would make his the chance to supper, and he dip in the pool in graciously rustled Whipped goat’s cheese on beetroot soup
The Eastbury Hotel and its vintage taxi
Eating outside at The Easttbury Hotel
up a Vale of Camelot cheese brûlée, with pear, celeriac and walnuts for us.The vivid selection of starters and colourful mains. are served on white clothed tables overlooking the walled garden dotted with bronze wildlife, Mr D could pop out when necessary. The Eastbury also has a spa, and De Savary has renovated the cottage next door where he stays, but is available to hire. As the location for Peter O’Toole’s Goodbye, Mr Chips, Sherborne hums with Leslie Bricusse songs and echoes with Thomas Hardy, who mentioned the Earl of Wessex Inn in his novel The Woodlanders. I think Thomas would prefer a weekend at The Eastbury. www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk For more dog-friendly spots, visit www.petspyjamas.com
And Still in Blighty Louisa Walters of The Restaurant Club headed south-west to Somerset then to Warwickshire ...
There are rooms in the original Tudor part of the building, but ours was in the newer contemporary section. Devoid of decorative cushions and bed throws owing to the painstakingly careful Covid measures by the management team, it was elegantly designed and supremely comfortable with a gorgeous, gleaming bathroom. The hotel has many cosy lounges and a pretty garden. Located opposite Shakespeare’s New Place (the home he built for himself) and the famous Guild Chapel, Hotel Indigo is in a perfect spot from which to explore the town. Of the five houses connected with Shakespeare only one – Shakespeare’s Birthplace – has reopened. Advance booking is necessary and it’s well worth a visit to learn about the Bard and see the home in which he was born and grew up. We meandered along the River Avon, we wandered around the
ruton has been dubbed the Notting Hill of Somerset by The Times owing to the preponderance of celebrities buying homes there. We checked into gorgeous eight-room boutique hotel Number One Bruton. Quirky, pretty and Covid-friendly, with charming staff and divine bedrooms (ours was pinky and chintzy with a little fireplace) and bathrooms. Dinner next door at Osip restaurant is a joy. The owner has worked (and is friends) with nice Jewish boy Daniel Morgenthau of Portland restaurant – and it shows. The seven-course tasting menu has no menu, just round after round of beautifully presented dishes served by young, pretty, friendly and wellinformed staff. The next day, after a simple yet simply Bruton is a short drive to muchdelicious breakfast, we drove one hour lauded new hotel The Newt. This through stunning countryside to Burton is not open to non-residents, but we Bradstock beach. This is a shingle beach, spent several hours exploring the Left and above: Number One Bruton home to Hive Beach Café, where we on-site magnificent gardens. These feasted under a canopy on the best fish are a destination in themselves, on the shops and we fast forwarded from the and chips we’ve ever had. Seriously. The scale of Wisley/Kew, home to 267 varieties 16th century to the 20th in the Fourteas freshest fish. The crispiest batter. The of apple and the stunning Garden Cafe, (sic), an authentic 1940s café where some crunchiest, fluffiest chips. where we had an absolutely people visit in full forties costume. Classic By the seaside. Total and superb vegetarian lunch sandwiches, cream teas and homemade utter joy. On colder days, overlooking the grounds. cakes are served up on classic green they pull the canopy’s We clocked up 12,000 steps wartime china, while Keep Calm and sides down so you still get walking around them, and Wash Your Hands posters are a witty nod the view, but stay toasty braved the treetop trail. to current times. warm. On the way back, Stratford-upon-Avon We had dinner at The Woodsman we stopped off in the pretty has long been a draw for restaurant, a definitively British village of Crewkerne for theatre buffs and history offering at Hotel Indigo. This part of Hive Beach Café sundowners in the courtyard lovers alike; normally the building was formerly an inn, and it garden at The Crooked Swan pub. swarming with American tourists, the played host to The Royal Shakespeare Bruton itself offers lovely meandering British have reclaimed it this year. Club’s annual dinner from as long ago walks with lots of alleys and turnings to We stayed at Hotel Indigo, housed in as 1824. Under the same ownership as explore, a couple of shops and restaurants a newly-restored Grade II listed blackLondon’s only Michelin-starred pub, The and uber-modern gallery Hauser & Wirth, and-white timbered historic building, Harwood Arms, the focal point of the which has a renowned restaurant. which dates back to the 16th century. restaurant is the wood-fired oven and
COTSWOLDS COOL Understated, design-led and effortlessly cool, The Rectory in the Cotswolds is one of the new generation of country house hotels without the frills and fuss. Situated between Malmesbury and Cirencester in the picturesque village of Crudwell, the hotel has a swimming pool, Negroni cocktail bar and gorgeous bedrooms adorned with Miro artwork, vast beds and cast-iron roll top baths. For larger groups, there is a threebedroom cottage in the grounds. Food is served in the elegant dining room or the striking glasshouse. The hotel’s sister pub, The Potting Shed, serves a mouth-watering menu of creative British fare.
The Woodsman Restaurant at Hotel Indigo
charcoal grill, from which flame-grilled and roasted meat, fish and local vegetables are produced with theatre and gusto. Incredible service, open fires, real ale and a serious wine list come together to place The Woodsman at the top of any foodie’s Stratford hit list.
Where to now?
Despite evidence to the contrary, Portugal, specifically the Algarve and Alentejo, have had low Covid numbers excluding arriving tourists and Madeira, a popular winter destination, still ranks as a place to go in December. Be sure to call West End Travel and Travelink UK for advice, and take a look at independent properties such as www.casademondo.com in Boliqueime for safety in small numbers.
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Introducing the pandemic puppies Without the sound of planes, trains and automobiles, the patter of tiny paws was audible during lockdown. They weren’t all Dalmatians, but 101 or more cava-, cockaand maltipoos arrived in the silent suburbs at Jewish homes. How they got there we’ll never know, but the ‘Cummings’ and goings across the country were not for eye tests but collections. Ensconced in their new homes with surnames that belie their breeds, we want you to send more pics to share on our website. With the kids back at school and some adults returning to the office, the pups need to adjust, and dog behaviour therapist Tracie Elmaleh of Waggingtons can help or visit.
Sonny Blue Sky Miller-Hardman (miniature schnauzer)
Denzel G (Tibetan terrier) Buddy Morris (cavapouchon)
Waggingtons’ woofs of wisdom 1 For all the lockdown puppies who are now fully vaccinated... get out there and socialise.
2 Always have
‘high value’ treats in a pocket or bag and start recall training immediately by letting pup go with training lead attached for easy and quick grabbing when needed.
3 Only reward calm and wanted behaviour. 4 Never use dog’s name when correcting behaviour, only use it as a reward.
Sadie Davis (Alsatian-ish rescue puppy)
Enzo Bull (golden retriever)
Luna Sherman (cockaspaniel)
5 Spend enough time with your puppy outside to ensure toilet training is successful.
6 Do not overstimulate young pups with unnecessary chatter.
Stay calm and introduce new guidance with calm assertiveness.
7 Create a routine that works for all and be consistent.
We have a TreatCaddy to give away to every puppy on this page, which is essential on walks to get pup wise. Just send an email to Brigit@jewishnews.co.uk with your address. www.mytreatcaddy.com / www.waggingtons.co.uk For more training, see https://waggieswonderdogs.co.uk
Ivy WoolfRichmond (golden retriever)
Remi Foreman (cockapoo)
A happy dog is a dog that knows its place in the pack and a happy dog means a happy home. Waggies Wonderdogs provides training, behaviour consultation and exercise. All services including dog walking are private so your dog will always receive the highest level of personal one to one care and attention. Please go to our Facebook Page for a full list of our services: @waggieswonderdogs Instagram: waggieswonderdogs Email – email@example.com Web: www.waggieswonderdogs.co.uk Phone: 07743 012804
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