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They’re simcha the best!


28 Ellul 5780

Issue No.1176


We make a song and dance about the community’s top party planners

See P46-47

Extraordinary Care from Extraordinary People

• Residential • Respite • Independent Living 020 8908 4151 jewishchoice.org

Three years of making matches Jewish matchmaking service We Go Together is celebrating three years of helping singles in the Jewish community. Set up by Lady Daniela Pears on Rosh Hashanah 2017, the free personalised introductory service has since found many matches for people of all backgrounds and denominations within the British Jewish community. Since lockdown began, demand for We Go Together’s services has grown even stronger – with face time dates and socially distanced walks in the park allowing people new ways of dating with more meaning and less pressure. Open to anyone in the Jewish community between 28 and 80, We Go Together matches people based on their energy, aura, lifestyle, values, interests and Jewish practice. Daniela – who is passionate about charity work and has been heavily involved with Mitzvah Day and JAMI – had a very personal reason for setting up this service. She said: “The inspiration comes from my mother who had been on her own for 30 years, after my father tragically passed away when I was 12. It is very sad to see wonderful people with so much life to enjoy but no one to share it with. “I realised that there are so many charities for our Jewish community but there was a definite gap to help people, who choose not to be alone, to find happiness in long term partnerships.

“Now heading into our fourth year, together with my wonderful committee, we work closely across all UK Jewish denominations to ensure that any Jewish person can use our free service.” What sets We Go Together apart from dating apps and websites is that Daniela and her team really get to know their clients. Roberta said, “in the early years, my friends did introduce me to single men but the only thing we had in common was that we were single.” After registering people are invited to an informal interview, now over Zoom or FaceTime, to discuss their values, interests and what they are looking for in a future partner. With many people never having articulated this before – they find the experience and encouragement of the We Go Together team invaluable, as is the chance to talk again after a date. Daniela added: “Dates are still the best way to get to know if a couple will click. Even when they don’t go as

well as we or our clients had hoped, it still affords us the opportunity to get important feedback, which in turn helps us finesse our matching for both parties. “And when the date does go well and the chemistry is there… you know you’re on your way to a great Jewish match!” If you or someone you know is looking to find their perfect Jewish partner, please sign up at www.wegotogether.net/contact-us

The We Go Together Committee would like to wish all their current and future clients a wonderful and promising new year!

Lady Daniela Pears (right) with her mother, Roberta Benscher (left), the inspiration for We Go Together


Jewish News 17 September 2020


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First dates have never been so easy

We offer a free, personalised, face-to-face, confidential introductory service for Jewish people to meet.




They’re simcha the best!

VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 17 September 2020

28 Ellul 5780

Issue No.1176


We make a song and dance about the community’s top party planners

See P46-47

Extraordinary Care from Extraordinary People

• Residential • Respite • Independent Living 020 8908 4151 jewishchoice.org

Middle Eastern promise

History made as Israel signs double peace treaty. See inside

Chief Rabbi: Don’t risk lives of others

Urgent virus warning as community prepares for new year

Social distancing at Mill Hill United synagogue Pic: Marc Morris

The Chief Rabbi has issued a stark warning to the community to strictly follow government guidelines on public gatherings during Rosh Hashanah or “risk posing a danger to the lives of others”, writes Jack Mendel. It comes after new restrictions were introduced by Boris Johnson on Monday, making it illegal to gather in groups of more than six – in a bid to stem the flow of virus transmissions. While shuls are allowed to host services with greater numbers – provided social distancing is followed within the building – it’s illegal to “gather with more than five other people in private gardens”, or in a “public outdoor space”

such as a park, unless it is “exempt or has been organised” by a body applying “COVID secure risk controls.” In a D’Var Torah message, Chief Rabbi Mirvis asks: “How responsible are we being towards others? Because if we’re neglecting our health we could be posing a danger to the lives of others. Literally, physically, are you too close to other people at a time when you should be socially distancing? Are you standing at events and in places where the law is being flouted? How responsible are you being to yourself?” He concludes, saying: “As we enter into the forthcoming High Holy Days, sadly here in the UK, as is the case in

many other places around the globe, cases of Covid-19 are on the rise and this is primarily due to irresponsibility – the responsibility that people have towards themselves and others.” His message comes in wake of mortality figures which show just three Jewish deaths in the past two months. More than 300 funerals took place in April at the peak of the crisis. The United Synagogue’s Jo Grose said: “The community recognises the urgent public health need to do what we can to bring the disease under control.” Reform Judaism said: “We need to be very cautious. All of our communities will be holding virtual services.”  See pages 4, 5 & 32



Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / Gulf states’ recognition of Israel

Historic Israel accords signed between Israelis and Palestinians based on two states must be achieved. Israel and the UAE agreed last month to establish normal relations, in a surprise announcement from the White House. Palestinian leaders of both Fatah and Hamas criticised the agreements, calling them “treachery”. Joining Netanyahu for the signing ceremony in Washington this week was the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who said on Sunday: “Many good people worked on this for many years, it didn’t start yesterday.” Bahrain’s leaders seldom act geopolitically without first gaining agreement from their giant neighbour Saudi Arabia, so analysts said last week’s deal with Israel must have had the nod from Riyadh. Of all the Gulf states, Bahrain has been among the most open to relations with Israel. In 2016, it pushed for the Gulf Cooperation Council to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation. Oman, where Netanyahu made a state visit in 2018, is another Gulf kingdom to have welcomed the announcement; analysts said that Muscat might be the next capital to reach out. Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and US secretary of state

Jewish communities around the world cheered this week as two Gulf kingdoms long opposed to Israel finally signed off on their recognition of the Jewish state, 72 years after it came into being, writes Adam Decker. The Abraham Accords normalise relations between Israel and both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with more Arab states set to follow suit, as a beaming US President Donald Trump heralded a new era of peace in the region. Israel shelved plans to annex large parts of the West Bank in return for the signatures of the region’s kings and crown princes, but Palestinian leaders have said they feel betrayed by Bahrain and the UAE for breaking the Arab consensus to refuse to recognise Israel until a two-state solution has been agreed. Benjamin Netanyahu earlier described a “very warm conversation” with Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, whose tiny Gulf kingdom became the second in a month to reach out to Jerusalem. The Israeli prime minister said the pair agreed “the official establishment of peace with full diplomatic relations with all that entails”; Al-Khalifa said “a just and comprehensive peace”

Donald and Melania Trump welcome Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu to the White House for the signing ceremony

Mike Pompeo flew to the Bahraini capital of Manama last month to ask the king to normalise relations with Israel. The Iranian foreign ministry

said Bahrain’s rulers “will henceforth be complicit for the crimes of the Zionist regime”. An EU representative said the

developments “represent a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East”.  Editorial comment, page 30

Covert diplomacy has paid off BY RICHARD PATER PRECIOUS STONES















• •




In an interview in the Israeli media last weekend, Tony Blair revealed that in 2015 he first introduced Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trusted consigliere Yitzhak Molcho to an Emirati cabinet minister in London. The meeting went well and led to further engagement. By the end of 2016, the same Emirati minister met with Netanyahu, who was then introduced to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed (MBZ) and their conversations became more frequent. In 2018, Netanyahu visited Abu Dhabi twice. According to Blair, MBZ showed “exceptional political and leadership talent”, (Blair also described Netanyahu as a “remarkable politician”). The covert alliance was built on the convergence of shared threats. Netanyahu and MBZ also share a passion for science and technological innovation. The new allies will harness synergies in a range of sectors. In parallel to the cultivation of a long-term

relationship spearheaded by the Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the Trump team successfully cajoled the relationship out of the shadows. Jared Kushner, who many mocked as being out of his depth in top-level diplomacy, showed tenacity, but the real sweetener for the UAE was the US commitment to supply F-35 fighter jets. For Trump, this is perhaps his only foreign policy success; the ceremony provided favourable optics amid his re-election campaign. Though ironically, another shared Israeli-UAE assessment is the perceived US disengagement from the region, making reliable regional alliances a safer long-term bet. For Netanyahu, facing so much domestic pressure, this is the legacy achievement he dreamed of, while at the same time, neutering political rivals and exposing the Palestinian veto as a busted flush. Most encouraging is the desire of the Emirati public to welcome the Accords and openly engage with Israelis. The framing of the Abraham Accords, peace among the monotheistic faiths, should be celebrated. Now we look forward to welcoming more Arab states across the threshold.


therapies. The co-operation is An Israeli hospital has agreed to centred on the use of technology. work with the United Arab Emir• A UAE school textbook, pubates to develop drugs, design lished two weeks after the deal hospitals and manage healthcare with Israel was announced, tourism between the two counpraises the initiative. IMPACTtries, whose leaders agreed to se, an Israeli organisation which normalise relations last month. Sheba Medical Centre, in UAE deal has been signed analyses textbooks and curricula across the Arab world, says the Ramat Gan, and APEX National Investment in Abu Dhabi signed a memorandum Islamic Studies 2020 book stresses that co-operof understanding last week, which included ation and peace are not just Islamic values but sharing data on patient outcomes to improve “UAE national characteristics”.


17 September 2020 Jewish News


Patel grilled / Candidate apology / News

Patel brushes aside questions from Board Priti Patel presented a trenchant defence of her most controversial recent stances in conversation with the Board of Deputies on Tuesday evening, writes Jenni Frazer. The home secretary brushed aside chief executive Gillian Merron’s attempts to ask about “inflammatory language” used in reference to asylum seekers and refugees, instead telling viewers of the livestreamed event that she received many “hostile” communications as an MP from people anxious about immigration policies. Asked about her recent attack on “activist lawyers”, Patel said: “I appreciate these lawyers are doing their job, but at the same time they are actively cam-

paigning to frustrate the deportation of many individuals, many of whom do have criminal backgrounds… they have caused great harm, they have hurt victims.” Merron asked the home secretary about a number of areas: the Online Harms Bill; Windrush; refugees and the rejection of the Dubs Amendment; the use of “inflammatory language”; and concerns about the Gypsy and Roma communities. Little time was available for viewers’ questions, although dozens of mainly critical comments were sent in by text during the event. On the Online Harms Bill, Patel denounced social media companies for “paying lip service” to pledges to reform. She said she wanted to appoint “an inde-

pendent regulator, who will be tooled up to understand what has to be done to deal with the perpetrators of criminality” on social media platforms. Merron asked if the government would reconsider legislation to make the kind of provision that the Dubs Amendment – put forward by Lord Dubs, a former Kindertransport refugee, that the government should accept child refugees – had sought. But Patel replied by talking about a previous “resettlement” scheme under which 19,000 Syrians had arrived in Britain. She did not address the issue of what would happen to unaccompanied children, many of whom have travelled in small boats across the Channel in recent months.

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson sanitise their hands

Lib Dems suspend candidate ‘MY AWFUL TIRADE WAS A ONE-OFF’ The Liberal Democrats have suspended a candidate hoping to run for mayor of London after footage emerged of her running an antisemitic campaign against former MP Jack Straw. Geeta Sidhu-Robb was shown in the clip, posted on Twitter by GnasherJew, telling Muslim voters during the 1997 election campaign in Blackburn: “Don’t vote for a Jew, Jack Straw is a Jew. If you vote for him you’re voting for a Jew. Jews are the enemy of Muslims” . Standing as a Conservative at the time, according to PoliticsHome, she claims Labour was telling voters she is “against Islam, she is not Muslim. So, we are just going to pull the

gloves off. I am going to get a car and walk around, and drive through town telling everyone Jack Straw is a Jew. How is a Muslim going to vote for someone who is Jewish?” Straw, who is Christian, has Jewish heritage through his maternal grandfather’s mother, who came from eastern Europe. Sidhu-Robb took to social media, saying: “I am deeply ashamed of the ignorant and abusive language.” Lord Palmer of Childs Hill, deputy Speaker in the Lords, said: “She has rightly been suspended and removed as a candidate for London mayor. She has no place in my party.”

BY GEETA SIDHU-ROBB Twenty-three years ago a hotheaded young woman, keen to cut her teeth in the world of politics, made a stupid, offensive error of judgment, stoking racial tensions and resorting to antisemitic rhetoric to try to retaliate against an attack. She was immediately deeply

ashamed – but the damage had been done. I am that woman and I cannot apologise enough. Having rightly been pilloried for the past few days, there is a natural temptation to go to ground, but I want to make amends and to try to rebuild the bridges that were so destroyed. I sincerely want to use this opportunity generously afforded to me by Jewish News to reiterate my heartfelt apology.

My ridiculous tirade was a one-off. Today, I am a mother of three children and a businesswoman. I have a track record of encouraging women and disadvantaged minorities to be strong, to be heard and to achieve their full potential. As the Jewish community prepares for the High Holy Days I look inwards, reflect and repent. I hope others will find it in their hearts to accept my atonement.

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Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / New year restrictions

Pupils write about how we’ve united

Jewish youngsters were among the winners of this year’s Faiths United youth competition after being asked to show how their community has been brought together by the pandemic, writes Joy Falk. Friends Miriam Burns and Scarlett Hershcorn, both 11, start at JCoSS this month having won the younger age category for their Little Local Book Hub entry, while Esti Elijah, 17, was runner-up in the older age bracket. They were among the winners in the Connected Communities competition, sponsored by Jewish News, after a judging panel led by some of Britain’s foremost educators assessed the entries. The girls’ efforts were recognised at a virtual awards event last week featuring faith minister Lord Greenhalgh after entrants aged seven to 18 submitted their responses to the question: “How has the Covid-19 crisis brought your community together?” The idea for the book hub came about during lockdown when Scarlett’s mum Monique put some secondhand books outside her home

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JCoSS students Scarlett Hershcorn and Miriam Burns won their category

in Stanmore for others to take; bookshops, schools and libraries were closed and people told to stay inside had time to read. Miriam’s mum Sarah quickly followed suit in Edgware and their friend Tonie Jascourt helped with the online messaging. The girls helped to organise the open-to-all sites, run from the front gardens of volunteers, and the idea took off. “Dozens more volunteers joined in over the next few months and the project spread as far as Ipswich, Gloucester and Cornwall, plus a second hub in a different part of Edgware, run by Natasha Wise,”

said Sarah. Monique added: “People say it really kept them going when the world was shut down.” The competition entries, which came in the form of videos, drawings, photos, poems and prose, were judged by Dame Helen Hyde and Sir Antony Seldon, among others, with partners including the i Newspaper and the Eden Project as well as Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh media outlets. The project was initiated by Faiths United, a coalition responding to the pandemic, which is chaired by Jewish philanthropist Maurice Ostro.

COMMUNITIES UP NORTH ON ALERT Communities in north-west England were this week warned to take action to protect themselves during the new year. With cases of Covid-19 rising in Bury, Salford and Manchester and celebrations set to begin, local public health teams said the holidays could help to spread the virus unless families took social distancing seriously. The infection rate in Bury has more than doubled in the past week and the area, which has a large Jewish community, is now one of seven Greater Manchester districts in the ‘red zone’ where further restrictions may be imposed. Dr Jeff Schryer, chair of NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP at Whittaker Lane Medical

Practice in Prestwich, said: “In this part of Greater Manchester we are at a pivotal moment as Covid-19 cases begin to rise. The only way we are going to stop [this illness] spreading is to stay apart. I’d ask that people stick to the rules and keep the numbers affected by this terrible virus as low as possible.” The High Holy Days typically means packed synagogues, with friends and family get-togethers, but local lockdown restrictions in the North West prohibit different households meeting, unless they form a support bubble. Shuls will be open but will be subject to strict arrangements, including number in attendance.

Strictly-Orthodox studied Strictly-Orthodox Jewish communities are to be a focus of a major research project into transmission of the virus. Eight strands of the study will cover its spread among children, health workers and the Charedi community, fol-

lowing the awarding of £5.3 million in funding. The research will help inform policy decisions about the virus, including prevention strategies and containment measures, the National Institute for Health Research and UK

Research and Innovation said. It will be led by Dr Michael Marks, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and will investigate asymptomatic transmission, household structure and preexisting conditions.

17 September 2020 Jewish News



New year restrictions / News

Synagogue congregations downsized by up to 90% Synagogue congregation sizes will be reduced by up to 90 percent over the Jewish new year, writes Jack Mendel. At Borehamwood United, in the heart of Britain’s biggest Jewish community, the normal capacity of 3,500 will shrink to just 600 people because of virus restrictions. Hampstead Garden Suburb United will see attendances cut from 2,000 to 900, while Edgware United is reduced from 1,100 to just 400 people being allowed in for services. Elsewhere, Woodside Park will be reduced by 72 percent with just 200 shul-goers allowed and Mill Hill

United will welcome 500, down from the usual 2,000. Mill Hill’s Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet said: “It’s not the numbers per se that will impact the atmosphere as much as the quicker service, lack of singing and social distancing. That said, as I’ve emailed the community today, we can all still make the experience meaningful. Sitting in your own two meters, covered with a mask, provides private space to be a little more intimate with God”. Cranbrook Shul in Ilford will have less than 10 percent of its normal capacity, down from 950 to just 82 attendees. Its rabbi, Steven Dansky

SHRINKING SHUL CAPACITIES Borehamwood and Elstree United

3,500 congregants down to 600

Hampstead Garden Suburb United

2,000 to 900

Edgware United

1,100 to 400 told Jewish News there will Cranbrook United 950 to 82 be one service, then “we’re going to be having a break Mill Hill United 899 to 500 and then an exploratory serFinchley United 2,000 to 700 vice - and after this, we’re Chigwell United 750 to 140 going to clean in between”, to ensure it’s safe. Woodside Park United 750 to 200 He said it is a “very sad state of affairs” that there will be no singing, and he a Rosh Tov online provision and printed “will not pressure anyH a s h a n a h materials to reach out to those “All I’m saying, Elijah, like no other who cannot come to shul as well body to come. If you feel is it’s a bit tricky...!” but one I as through running socially dissafe enough to come then know United Synagogue lay and tanced services, multiple shofar you should”. Rabbi Nicky Liss, chair of The Rabbinic leaders have done their blowings and a range of innovaRabbinic Council of the United best to make memorable for their tive family and children’s proSynagogue, said: “This will be members. Both through pre-Yom gramming.”

EVENTS IN THE WOOD CANCELLED Shofar in the park is out Borehamwood United has cancelled a series of events for Rosh Hashanah and is “reworking our shofar programme” amid new coronavirus restrictions and a rise in cases. The synagogue, at the heart of Britain’s largest community, wrote to members about alterations to its programme, following talks with Hertsmere Council and a public health team. The rise in cases in

Hertfordshire is in part connected to a cluster at Yavneh College, which forced pupils to self-isolate. Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue (BES) told members it had spoken to authorities and “gained reassurance that the regulations we are adhering to will create a Covid-secure environment” but “we remain concerned” by local trends, and “we feel we

need to re-examine our plans”, before making a decision about opening fully for Rosh Hashanah. BES said: “We are cancelling our Tashlich in the Park event, family treasure hunt and kids collections on Rosh Hashanah and are reworking our shofar programme.” The shul warned people not to turn up unless they were registered and confirmed.

Shofar blowing in parks and communal tashlich prayers will not be allowed at Rosh Hashanah, according to United Synagogue gudiance. In a letter this week to chairs and rabbis of its 40 communities, Jo Grose, communities and strategy director, and Rabbi Nicky Liss, chair of the US rabbinical council, told congregations that in-building services could continue as planned, as long as Covid-19 guidelines

were followed. However, to prevent the spread of the virus, the US asks “members not to linger after services”. They also said that “it is looking unlikely that communal shofar blowings in public spaces such as parks will be permitted”, but that it is “seeking clarification” from the government. “Members should be encouraged to say private tashlich” rather than do it communally, they added.

How did we cope when our world was turned upside down? By coming together. Our entire caring community pulled together to help us get through the Coronavirus pandemic. But it came at a cost. Jewish Care needs to raise an extra £5 million on top of the £16 million we need to raise every year just to keep our services going. Our world was turned upside down. This Rosh Hashanah, will you please help make sure we can continue to care for everyone who needs us?

To make your gift, please call 020 8922 2600, or visit jewishcare.org/donate

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14/08/2020 16:45



Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / Inclusivity commission / JW3 fundraiser

Rabbi’s U-turn on Board probe The senior rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community has backed the Board of Deputies’ Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the community after initially questioning its broad remit, writes Adam Decker. Rabbi Joseph Dweck had previously been a critic of the commission’s terms of reference, telling The Jewish Chronicle: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to put them together. I don’t think it’s the same experience, I don’t think it’s the same issue in any way.” However, after the commission’s chair Stephen Bush staunchly defended the process, Dweck said: “I questioned the inclusion of Mizrachi Jews as perhaps too broad a focus.

Having learned the details of their purpose and after hearing testimony describing experiences of prejudice from Mizrachi Jews, I fully welcome the aims and work of the commission and stand in solidarity with Jews – Mizrachi, Sephardi, Yemenite, or black who have faced discrimination.” Morocco-born Ralph Assor, trustee of Harif, a UK charity that represents Jews from North Africa and the Middle East, had also criticised the decision but said on Monday: I have engaged with the Commission and gave evidence about my own experience of discrimination, and I am heartened to learn that so many other Mizrachi and Sephardi

Jews have felt able to come forward and give testimonies too.” Bush, who is political editor of New Statesman, had said: “We opted to consider the experiences of Mizrachi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jews because firstly, multiple Mizrachi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jews asked us to do so. Secondly, and equally importantly, many black British Jews and Jews of colour are, themselves, Mizrachi, Sephardi or Yemenite. We have received countless bits of written and oral testimony from British Jews who are black, Mizrachi or both. I do not believe that being told by a security guard you are ‘not Jewish’ is any less an unhappy experience when it happens to

Stephen Bush, bottom right, during a commission Zoom call

a Mizrachi Jew. I will continue to be led by the evidence and am grateful to our witnesses and participants for their bravery and honesty.” After taking evidence since

June, the commission is now taking opinions from leaders of Jewish organisations, including Jewish News, with a series of recommendations to be announced in early 2021.

Stars help JW3 raise £330k A record-breaking £331,765 was raised at JW3’s Big Night In fundraiser. The online event to support the Jewish community centre was supported by The Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), a long-time backer of the centre, which donated £100,000 in matching funds. Raymond Simonson, chief executive of JW3, avdmitted he “pulled in every favour”

he could to provide a star-studded line-up of actors, writers and musicians, with Boy George top of the bill. The evening was hosted by actress TracyAnn Oberman and featured her in conversation with many of the guests, from actor Jason Isaacs to Oscar-winning song writer and producer Mark Ronson, sharing his memories of his late friend, singer Amy Winehouse.


PAPERWEIGHT SEES WORKLOAD TRIPLE A Jewish charity has seen its workload triple because of the corona pandemic. Paperweight, run by 200 volunteer caseworkers in London, Manchester and Gateshead, operates as the Jewish community’s answer to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, giving hands-on help and explanation to clients. Many of them are making their way through a thicket of forms and bureaucracy for the first time. New client numbers – in the year ending 31 July 31 – have shot up by more than 50 percent.

BERGER TAKES ON MMHA CHAIR ROLE Luciana Berger is to chair a coalition of 97 organisations and professionals working to improve mental health support during pregnancy. The former politician will take the helm at Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) at the start of next month. Now the managing director of Public Affairs and Advocacy at Edelman UK, Luciana Berger said: “Perinatal mental health is an urgent and pressing issue for the whole of society.”

“It’s heart breaking when your husband won’t accept help. Every day I wore a mask while underneath I was crumbling” – Shoshana

Demand for mental health support has never been higher. Please help us meet the increasing need this Rosh Hashanah. Since the onset of Covid-19, Jami has been providing more help than ever for people living with mental Illness and received an increase in requests for support from people affected by the pandemic. During lockdown, Shoshana witnessed her husband Michael becoming increasingly anxious and isolated. With these dark periods lasting days or sometimes weeks, she, like hundreds of people over the last few months, contacted Jami – taking the first step in addressing both their urgent needs.

Jami can only provide essential mental health support with your help. Donate today at jamiuk.org/donate For help and support visit jamiuk.org Telephone 020 8458 2223 | Email info@jamiuk.org

Registered charity no. 1003345. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in London no. 2618170

17 September 2020 Jewish News



Kate’s portraits / News

No one comes. There’s nobody to talk to. I’m all alone. HAIR TODAY, HOPING THE VIRUS IS GONE TOMORROW A Bristol-based Israeli artist has been featured by the National Portrait Gallery’s new Hold Still project, conceived by its patron the Duchess of Cambridge, telling the story of life under lockdown. Among the 100 works chosen – out of more than 30,000 submitted – is this one by Ra’anana-born photographer Karni Arieli. Entitled ‘Home Hair’, it shows her Israeli husband, Saul, cutting their six-year-old boy Teo’s hair in their garden.

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Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / Prince’s role / McDonnell meeting / Starmer greetings

Charles to be JLGB patron Prince Charles is to become patron of JLGB in a boost for the youth organisation as it celebrates its 125th anniversary, writes Justin Cohen. The news emerged as the charity unveiled a new online hub, JLGB Fuel, to bring together activities and make it easier for young people to join in across the country. JLGB president Lord Levy said: “We are delighted and honoured to have the recognition and support of His Royal Highness. Young people of our community deserve nothing but the best for their future, and there is no more significant a way to start a new era than with the Prince of Wales as our patron, who cares and helps so much with the youth of our country.” Prince Charles is already a patron of World Jewish Relief, the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. During lockdown, JLGB organised nearnightly activities for youngsters with guest appearances from celebrities, politicians and

The prince with JLGB members last year

leaders of business and charity. The launch of JLGB Fuel prepares the organisation for the return of face-to-face activities in October if government guidance allows it. The site will enable youth leaders to access training, safeguarding information and activi-

ties in one place while helping participants set up new groups and track their progress on awards like the Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme. There will be 30 themed weeks, from robotics to mental health, delivered to four age groups spanning seven to 18 years old. Neil Martin, chief executive of JLGB, said the prince “has always been a tremendous believer in the power of young people to support and lead their communities for the betterment of British society and a brighter tomorrow”. He said the prince’s new role “rightly pays homage to the incredible role JLGB has played over the past 125 years in society, but also shows absolute faith in the future contributions the next generation of young British Jews are yet to make”. The Prince of Wales has long supported JLGB through both the Youth United Network and the Step Up To Serve #iwill Campaign, of which he is also a patron.

‘I DIDN’T SUPPORT EXPELLED PAIR’ Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell has defended sharing a platform with expelled party activists Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, writes Jack Mendel. The Board of Deputies has called for Labour to investigate what it called a “serious potential breach” of its Ten Pledges to fight antisemitism. In January all Labour leadership candidates signed up to the Boards’ pledges to eradicate antisemitism. Pledge 5, to ‘provide no platform for bigotry’, states: “Any MPs, peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should be suspended.” McDonnell told Jewish News: “Speaking to an open Zoom meeting which is not hosted by me or whose audience is not selected by me could not in any rational judgment be construed as providing a platform, support or campaigning for individuals who may or may not be attending.” Labour was asked to comment.

Starmer: At new year, I reaffirm my pledge to you Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has wished the Jewish community a happy new year, praising it for “rising to the occasion” during the pandemic. Reaffirming his pledge to rid the party of antisemitism, which became the defining issue of Jewish community–Labour relations during Jeremy

Corbyn’s leadership, he said Sukkot would mark his first six months in the job and that progress was being made. “I have been proud to strengthen existing friendships while also establishing new ties right across the Jewish community and its organisations,” he said. “In my acceptance

speech, I committed to tearing out the poison of antisemitism by its roots… There is more to do, and at this most fitting time of the year, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, I reaffirm my pledge to the Jewish community.” Starmer said the High Holy Days were “a period of deep reflection and

solemnity,” adding: “This year it feels more significant than ever.” He said: “In these past six months, like every other part of Britain, the Jewish community has experienced pain, isolation and hardship brought about by Covid-19. My thoughts are particularly with those who are alone,

those who are vulnerable and most tragically, those... who have been bereaved. As always, the Jewish community has risen to the occasion. “The spirit of volunteerism and multiple acts of compassion, of chesed, have brought light where there has been darkness.”

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17 September 2020 Jewish News


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Jewish News 17 September 2020

Special Report / Campus concerns

University in an age of Covid Sandy Rashty chats to under graduates faced with paying living expenses and housing fees while working remotely, as they study under restrictions

Above: Sheffield University student Eva Jacobs and, right, Sam Kunin

University students have said that vague guidance around contact hours means many will be paying for accommodation away from their homes while predominantly studying online. Students will be faced with paying living expenses and housing fees for accommodation they committed to last winter.

“I’m potentially going to be in that situation,” said Shoshana Cohen, who is reading English at Bristol University. “I was supposed to have in-person seminars this term but, with the new government regulations, I don’t know if those are going to happen. “I signed a contract for my house this year last December; so I might be


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paying rent, but only have university online.” Activities at Jewish societies (JSocs) across the country will also be limited owing to restrictions on social gatherings as a result of Covid-19. But Cohen, Bristol JSoc’s Interfaith Officer, said the society would adapt to the situation. “We’re talking to the chaplains about other events we can put in place; there will be weekly Zoom events and we’re also looking at getting a gazebo to try to organise some in-person events if possible with the government’s new guidelines. “For Yom Kippur, we are preparing boxes for students with food to have before the fast.” Former JSoc president Eva Jacobs, who is going into her third year at Sheffield University to study civil engineering, said: “As I understand it, lectures are all going to be online; they’re aiming for us to have labs, but I think it’s hard for them to say at the moment. We’re also expecting to have one contact hour face-to-face a week. It’s probably all up in the air at the moment.” She added: “Last year, I would have 20 to 25 hours a week of lectures, labs and tutorials. Labs and practicals are essential for my course; I don’t know how they will do it, but it’s important because it’s such a practical subject.” Jacobs said activities at the society might be limited, but that the small society would predominantly focus on engaging people this year

via social media. But student Sam Kunin, who is studying Chinese and is going into his second year at Cambridge University, said it was worth students staying at accommodation near campus, despite limited contact hours. He said: “Courses may end up being predominantly online, but we can’t forget the importance of university as a step in our holistic development into adulthood. “At least in Cambridge, our goal is to make sure people still feel part of something bigger and have a chance to meet new and interesting people despite the circumstances. “I definitely didn’t think twice about wanting to go back to university. In so many ways, these places really do become our homes.” As one of the JSoc’s Fresher representatives, he said he would commit to welcoming new students: “Bringing people together in a world where we all need to carefully distance is a real challenge, but with a blend of online and small in person events, I have no doubt we’ll succeed.” A spokeswoman for the Union of Jewish Students said: “JSocs are also constantly reviewing if any kind of in-person event can be done… we are seeing ideas such as Friday night takeaways, or bagel deliveries being considered.” She added: “JSocs could plan their entire year from now until June but, because of the level of uncertainty, it can all change.”

17 September 2020 Jewish News



Kisharon’s £13.5m campus / Special Report

Smiles in every classroom “Imagine saying to a special needs pupil after six months in lockdown: Today, you’re going to be swimming with dolphins!” Dimming the lights, Richard Franklin, Kisharon’s chief executive, gestures towards a hydrotherapy pool in which specialist lighting projections and seabed murals have been installed to stimulate creativity and mobility, writes Joy Faulk. Within seconds, dolphins begin gliding smoothly across the water. “We’ve never had access to such pioneering technology – it’s a real game changer!” Franklin is leading a tour of the newly-opened Kisharon Noe School for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or complex needs. Every inch of the 25,000 sq ft building in Hendon exhibits unparalleled innovation, filled with £1.5million worth of specialist equipment. With facilities designed to develop pupils’ skills to live as independently as possible, Franklin demonstrates a food tech space with adjustable worktop heights and ovens with slide and hide doors designed for young people using wheelchairs.” There are even environmentally-friendly spaces for growing vegetables outdoors. The £13.5m project has taken two years to complete and includes nine classrooms, each with height adjustable desks, interactive screens, break out areas and specialist lighting. Each space has been carefully planned around the needs of the pupils. A music therapy room boasts modern equipment in a soundproofed setting. Franklin points to the radiator: “The covers have specifically been designed to ensure no child can burn themselves.” The future is equally exciting. A library designed to house 5D virtual reality is set to be installed in 2021. On the final leg of the tour, Franklin passes a teacher: “What’s been the highlight of your week?” he asks. “It’s definitely been seeing the children back. We can’t wait to get started!” Back in the headteacher’s office, that enthusiasm for learning is evident, although it has certainly not been an easy ride. “This is undoubtedly the most challenging time any headteacher has ever experienced or even imagined experiencing,” explains Sora Kopfstein, headteacher of Kisharon Noe School.“It’s a completely unique experience to open a school during Covid-19. It’s a new world and a new way of working. Sadly, it’s also so contrary to the way you want to work with children,” she adds. Pupils will be split into bubbles for the duration of the school day. In classroom settings, they will all face frontwards and be spaced out, where appropriate. “People just aren’t used to being in a school environment and enjoying the freedom of mixing. It’s a sociable environment – we work together as a team,” Kopfstein continues. “It’s sad for the children. There’s no socialising between classes – your best friends could be in a different class.” The government guidance for SEND schools does, however, allow for certain flexibilities. “Teachers should sit next to pupils, rather than opposite them. But you cannot feed a

child who cannot feed themselves from the side,” Kopfstein explains. The senior leadership team have clearly taken their responsibilities seriously and planned for every possible eventuality to keep their pupils and staff safe. “Anxiety is very common among children with autism at the best of times, which can cause behavioural problems in the school. Our job is therefore to demonstrate that these measures will keep themselves, their parents and their teachers safe.” With the start of a new term, there is excitement in every corridor. In time, the learning disabilities charity will educate 72 pupils in the new school setting – more than double the 33 at the former site in Golders Green. “When I met Sara in 2013, she made it very clear she wanted a building that would enable her staff to deliver the highest possible standards for pupils,” concludes Franklin. “We can now proudly say we’ve delivered on that aspiration.”

Headteacher Sora Kopfstein, left, with a pupil


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Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / Sir Nicholas Winton movie

Hopkins to play Sir Nicky in BBC biopic A feature film about the life of Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from the Nazis, is in production with Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins in the lead role. One Life has Hopkins playing an older Winton, Deadline Hollywood reports. British actor Johnny Flynn portrays the young Winton. Winton, nicknamed “the British Schindler,” died in 2015 at the age of 106. The baptised son of Jewish parents, Winton (pictured, far right) was a 29-year-old stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938.

He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. Over the following nine months he organised eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain. Winton’s heroism was widely unknown until the 1980s, when his wife found evidence of the rescues. The discovery led to a surprise reunion with some of the children and a documentary. Winton received many honours in his later years, including a knighthood. The “Schindler” reference is to the German industrialist Oskar Schindler, credited with saving some 1,200 Jews in the Holocaust. His story was made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg. Aisling Walsh is directing One Life, which was developed by BBC Films with See-Saw Films.

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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Into the archives / Special Report

Rosh Hashanahs of the Holocaust recalled by Yad Vashem Each year, Yad Vashem opens an online exhibition of Holocaustera artefacts related to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, with stories drawn from its archives, writes Jenni Frazer. This year the stories range from the heartbreaking to the redemptive. Jewish News is highlighting two, both of which relate to the Netherlands. Simon Dasberg and his wife Isabella lived in Groningen in the

High Holy Day symbols on a shul window in Assen, Holland

Netherlands, where Simon served as the community rabbi. They had four children – Fanny (Zipporah), Dina, Samuel and Rafael. In 1943, the Dasbergs were deported to Westerbork and from there to Bergen-Belsen. Rabbi Dasberg took a Sefer Torah with him, which briefly allowed him to read from it for services and even guide barmitzvah boys in the camp. In preparation for Rosh Hashanah 5705 (September 1944), the Dasberg children made Shana Tova cards in Bergen-Belsen. They drew the symbols of the holiday – the shofar and the apple dipped in honey, decorated the cards with bright colours, and wished their parents a better year than the one they had just lived through. In Dutch, Rafael, the youngest, aged eight, wrote: “This year I will be a very good boy and I will never cry.” But that year Simon, Isabella and Rafael were murdered in the camp. The three elder children survived and emigrated to Israel after liberation. The Rosh Hashanah cards were brought to Yad Vashem by the eldest, Fanny Stahl, nee Dasberg, and photographed for the archives.

A new year card from 1947. The Yiddish inscription at the bottom reads: “With heartfelt wishes for a good year.” Below: A shofar made under perilous conditions in the forced labour camp

In contrast to the sadness of the Dasberg cards, Yad Vashem also features the story of the Van Oosten stained glass windows. The High Holy Days-themed windows were designed by a talented Dutch Jewish architect, Abraham van Oosten, for the synagogue in Assen, in north-eastern Netherlands, where he and his family lived. The windows were completed and installed in 1932. Five years later, van Oosten died, aged only 40. Heintje and their three children, Gonda, Leo and Johanna, stayed in the town. In 1940, the Germans occupied Holland. Leo was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where he was murdered. In October 1942, the Jews of Assen, including Heintje and her daughters were deported to the Westerbork transit camp. In Westerbork, Gonda married Asher Gerlich, a Zionist pioneer. In

1944, the couple was deported to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Gonda’s mother, Heintje, and younger sister, Johanna, were sent to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Gonda, the sole survivor of the Van Oosten family, changed her first name to Tamar and emigrated to Israel in 1946 with Asher. The couple joined Palmach pioneers and established Kibbutz Beit Keshet in the lower Galilee. They had seven children. Most of the Jews of Assen did not survive the Holocaust. A few returned, but they were not able to reestablish a Jewish community and the synagogue was never reopened. The building was eventually purchased by the local Protestant community and

converted into a church. In 1974, Tamar learnt that the former Assen synagogue was to be demolished. She decided to save the stained-glass windows her father had designed, and bring them to Israel. For a time, they were installed in the renovated dining hall of Kibbutz Beit Keshet; but as it became clear that the dining hall was no longer the central meeting place of the kibbutz, Tamar asked Yad Vashem for help in preserving the windows for posterity. Today the windows are part of Yad Vashem’s Artefacts Collection, a memorial to a Jewish community that no longer exists, but which celebrates the work of Abraham van Oosten and the High Holy Days.



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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Shul dispute / Hatzola help / Kate bakes / News

Funeral director ‘undermined’ One of the UK’s longestserving Jewish funeral directors claims he was systematically “undermined” by leaders of his Orthodox community, to the point where he was unable to work, writes Jenni Frazer. Martin Gross, 55, who has worked as an independent funeral director for 26 years – 25 of those for the Brighton and Hove community, had a threeyear renewable contract with the community. A consultation period was held before the contracts were signed, about six months earlier. However, when his latest contract was due to expire he says “nobody contacted me”, and he understood he

was unlikely to receive a new contract as his role had been taken over by Bungard, a nonJewish funeral company. Jonathan Conway, who is a Cohen and the son of the vice-chair of Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation, (BHHC) Susan Conway, was named in 2018 as the unpaid director of the cemetery. Orthodox Judaism places restrictions on where a Cohen can go in cemeteries. Gross, who claimed he had frequent clashes with Conway over how the cemetery was run, nevertheless continued to work – without a contract – until just before last Yom Kippur. In February 2020, Gross was offered a new contract

by the BHHC board, seen by Jewish News, which he rejected as “insulting”. BHHC’s Rabbi Herschel Rader refused to speak to Jewish News about the issue, saying he “would not com-

KATE KNOWS HOW TO BAKE A BAGEL The Duchess of Cambridge looks like she may have perfected her baking skills during the lockdown after giving a masterclass in preparing bagels. Kate and William got stuck in when they visited east London’s Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery on Tuesday to learn what has made the famous institution popular for more than 40 years. The 24-hour bakery is famed for its salt beef bagels, which give a taste of the food once popular with the East End’s former Jewish community.

ment” and “you have got all your facts wrong”, but would not clarify what was incorrect. In a statement, Seidel said: “BHHC does not discuss or comment on its discussions or negotiations with employees or contractors”. He did not reply when invited to change his mind. BHHC board member Godfrey R Gould said: “Following his appointment as the board member responsible for the cemeteries, Mr Conway has ensured the clearance of overwhelming undergrowth... and arranged that notices be placed at both cemeteries warning of hazards and specifically on unsafe gravestones. He has also rebuilt the toilets.”


Rabbi Zimmerman, right, with Lord Levy

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17 September 2020 Jewish News



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Jewish News 17 September 2020

News / Jewish Nobel / Wartime memories

Sacks and Baron Cohen among prize nominees Voting opened yesterday for the winner of the 2021 Genesis Prize, aka the ‘Jewish Nobel’, with former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in the running, writes Adam Decker. The winner receives $1million (£770,000) to distribute to good causes as they see fit, but Sacks has some A-list competition in the form of singer Barbra Streisand, director Steven Spielberg and Israeli Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot. Another candidate from across the Atlantic is US Supreme Court judge Elena Kagan, while Sacks’ British competition is supplied by actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In recent years, winners have included Hollywood actresses and billionaires, including Black Swan star Natalie Portman and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg. The prize, launched in 2013, is given to those who have excelled in their chosen professional fields, made a lasting contribution to humanity and shown a demonstrable commitment to Jewish values. Gal Gadot, Sacha Baron Cohen, Lord Sacks and Steven Sacks, a prolific author and world-renowned Spielberg have been nominated for the ‘Jewish Nobel’ public speaker on religion and ethics, would be the second Brit to scoop the prize alongside artist Sharansky, who distributed the money to several chariSir Anish Kapoor. ties, including Jewish Care in the UK. The seven individuals on the list were selected Genesis Prize Foundation chair Stan Polovets said: from more than 4,000 names nominated by more than “While members of the selection committee and the 45,000 people worldwide and include the owner of Time prize committee will make the ultimate decision, our magazine Marc Benioff. foundation has asked them to give considerable weight Last year, it was won by human rights activist Natan to the popular vote.”

JEWISH NEWS AND AJEX WANT YOUR WAR STORIES The Jewish Military Association for the UK has asked its 1,600strong members for their memories of the Blitz, whose 80th anniversary is being marked between now and next May, writes Jenni Frazer. For eight long months, London and other major British cities were bombed on a nightly basis by the German Luftwaffe. Some recollections were published by Jewish News last week, prompting reader and local historian Nigel Grizzard to get in touch. He said that more than 2,000 Jews were victims of the Blitz, but wondered why there was no memorial to them. There is a small plaque in a church in Epping, recalling eight women who were killed when a maternity home was bombed — and three of those women

The 80th anniversary of the start of the Blitz, which continued for eight months, was marked last week

were Jewish. But there is no separate memorial to Jewish Blitz victims. Mike Bluestone, chairman of AJEX, said that since education was one of the organisation’s three pillars, his board felt it was important to support an initiative to remember those civilians who died between September 1940 and May 1941.

“Many of our members were either children at the time, or had friends or relatives who were killed in a Blitz bombing.” Jewish News hopes it will be possible to put up a plaque in remembrance of the almost forgotten victims of the Blitz.  Email editorial@ jewishnews.co.uk



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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Councillor mourned / Peer concern / Housing scheme / News

Brian Gordon dies, aged 64 Barnet councillor Brian Gordon has died at the age of 64 – just two days after he was due to have been inducted as mayor of the borough, writes Joy Faulk. Gordon, from Edgware, was a Conservative councillor and was deeply involved in Orthodox Jewish communal life. The cause of death has not been confirmed, but he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had been due to celebrate his 65th birthday next month. A solicitor by profession and a trustee of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Gordon was due to have been confirmed as mayor earlier this week, having been elected in March, but the ceremony was postponed owing Councillor Brian Gordon to his ill health.

Gordon was a regular columnist for Jewish News over the past decade and was known for his controversial views on such issues as immigration and sex education in schools. Among the charities he worked with were Stonegrove Community Trust and Days & Atkinson Almshouses, the latter providing housing for sociallydeprived families and individuals. He was elected to Barnet Council in 1998, representing initially Hale, then Edgware, and held several senior council positions, including as chair of Hendon Area Planning Committee.

He was also a governor of Rosh Pinah Primary School. As an executive member of the UOHC, he represented Edgware Machzikei Hadass and was recently elected vice-chair of the Union’s external affairs committee. Barnet council leader Councillor Dan Thomas said: “Brian was a valued councillor and respected member of the Conservative Group, who passionately represented Edgware ward ... and I know the whole community will be reeling from this sad news.” Mayor Caroline Stock said: “I am not sure words can sum up how sad it is to hear this news in the week that Brian was going to become the mayor.” Tributes posted on jewishnews. co.uk referenced his “valuable contributions” to Jewish life.  Letters, page 30

DUBS: ASYLUM SEEKERS WANT TO WORK A peer who fled the Nazis as a child on the Kindertransport has called for restrictions on asylum seekers’ right to work be relaxed. Lord Dubs, a campaigner for refugees and asylum seekers, spearheaded the call to ease the rules, claiming it would help integration, give people dignity, save the taxpayer cash and avoid the threat of exploitation.

The proposal came as the House of Lords continued its scrutiny of the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, which has cleared the Commons. The proposed legislation would end free movement following Britain’s departure from the EU and deliver a pointsbased immigration system.

Dubs said: “We want people in this country to have a sense of their worth and to have self-respect, because to deny that to our fellow human beings is pretty appalling. “It’s a matter of integrity that people should be allowed to work. It’s a matter of being a way out of poverty. “Talk to any asylum seeker, and they will say what they

want to do is to contribute to this country and to our society.” Other peers who called for a relaxation of the rules included the Liberal Democrats’ Baroness Hamwee, independent crossbench peer Baroness Meacher, Lib Dem politician Baroness Ludford, Tory peer Lord Randall and opposition spokesperson Lord Rosser.

Work starts on £12m project Building work was gathering pace this week on an “historic” affordable home development for Leeds Jewish Housing Association (LJHA), costing £12 million. A total of 22 properties have The LJHA site in Moortown, Leeds already been demolished on the site at homes scheme since the assoQueenshill Avenue, Moor- ciation was founded in 1953. The development is in town, to make way for two new housing blocks, com- partnership with government prised of 85 one and two-bed agency Homes England and flats, more than 50 of which will be connected to other will be sheltered accommoda- LJHA accommodation “to create one large sheltered viltion for older residents. It is the largest affordable lage” off Stonegate Road.

Shofar blowing goes private Manchester’s Jews have been told they can request a “private socially-distanced shofar blowing” outside their home for Rosh Hashanah, as well as a special new year package of honey, grape juice, candles and cake. The offering from L’Chaim Chabad is coordinated through a website also showing the location of public shofar blowing throughout the city on Sunday. “We want to make sure as many Manchester Jews as possible hear the shofar on Sunday, despite coronavirus restrictions,” said organisers of the Shofar Support initiative.  For more details, see www.shofar.support or call 0161 792 6335 extension 8



Jewish News 17 September 2020

World News / Rivlin tributes

Cartoonists drawn to president’s 81st Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin celebrated his 81st birthday this week with an exhibition of 24 cartoons of previous presidents at his residence in Jerusalem. Sixteen cartoonists, living and dead, are represented in the exhibition, devised with the assistance of the Israeli Cartoon and Comics Museum in Holon, near Tel Aviv. Rivlin, renowned for his open sense of fun, told the cartoonists: “I know the situation we are in at the moment doesn’t particularly lend itself to laughter, but if there is one thing I’ve learned during my years in Israeli politics, and in general, it is that even when you are dealing with the most serious issues, it is important to leave some room for humour. It’s

important to laugh. To laugh at the situation and to laugh at ourselves.” He emphasised his belief that “satirical criticism can make us stronger”, enjoying the flavour of a good joke. To his surprise, and to celebrate, his staff produced a birthday cake with a cartoon of President Rivlin, by Tal Lezer, on it. “They say 81, but I feel 18,” he said with a smile, pointing to the candles on the cake.

President Rivlin

Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

The president inspects the 24 cartoons, by 16 artists, that comprise his birthday exhibition

President Ezer Weizman

President Shimon Peres...

...and from a different angle


17 September 2020 Jewish News




Jewish News 17 September 2020

Special Report / Lady Cochrane’s legacy

Beirut victim had links to Herzog by Jenni Frzer @JenniFrazer

A 98-year-old woman who died as a result of injuries sustained in last month’s Beirut port explosion was a unique figure in the Middle East — with ties to Israeli ex-President Chaim Herzog, Britain’s Jewish community and the early Zionist movement. The extraordinary life of Lady Cochrane, born Yvonne Sursock, has been painstakingly unravelled by journalist Tal Schneider for Globes, the Israeli financial news site. Known as the grande dame of Lebanese high society, Lady Cochrane, the widow of Sir Desmond Cochrane, Ireland’s one-time consul-general in Beirut, lived in the glamorous Sursock Palace in Beirut’s Christian quarter. The palace, home to the aristocratic Sursock family for decades, was badly damaged in the port explosion, which killed 190 people and injured thousands more. Ten years previously, after 20 years of renovation, the palace was opened to the public after serious damage during the Lebanese civil war. But long before, Lady Cochrane’s family, the Sursock clan, played a pivotal part in the history of the Middle East. Yvonne was born in Naples, Italy, in 1922. Her father, Alfred Bey

Sursock, owned thousands of tracts of land in what became the state of Israel, including much of the Jezreel Valley, the Western Galilee, Haifa and Jaffa. He began buying the land in 1870 from the Turkish government. By 1891, says Schneider, “Zionist activists entered into negotiations with the Sursock family for land purchases. Bit by bit, plot by plot, properties were purchased by Zionist movement leaders Yehoshua Hankin, Laurence Oliphant, Arthur Ruppin, the Jewish National Fund, and the World Zionist Organization (WZO)”. The Sursock family were sympathetic to the early Zionists and helped them with land purchases. But although they sold huge amounts of land, they retained many properties and plots in the new Jewish state. In 1950, Lady Cochrane embarked on a long legal battle to release her assets. But she was repeatedly turned down under the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, and Israel’s Development Authority took control of the Sursock holdings. Working with her London lawyers, she appealed to the British Jewish community, citing her family’s long support for the early Zionist movement. Unfortunately for Lady Cochrane, the new state of Israel was not willing to set a precedent for com-

Roderick Sursock Cochrane, right, gives UNESCO’s director-general Audrey Azoulay, centre, a tour of the damaged Sursock Palace. Inset: Lady Cochrane

pensation to a Lebanese citizen. So in the late 1960s she turned for help to lawyer Chaim Herzog, whose approach was to focus on her citizenship of Ireland and Italy, as well as that of Lebanon. Herzog, through his law firm, Herzog, Fox and Ne’eman, also

enlisted the help of his brother-in-law, Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He reminded Eban Lady Cochrane had the support of leading British Jewish figures, such as Sir Isaac Wolfson and Marks & Spencer chief Marcus Sieff.

Eventually, Herzog appealed to the Israeli High Court of Justice. Lady Cochrane persuaded the ex-President of Lebanon, Camille Chamoun, to support her bid. And Herzog went to court in 1980 and successfully argued that because of her multiple nationalities – and the fact her husband was an Irish diplomat – her stay in Lebanon was “out of diplomatic necessity”. The court ruled in her favour and a compensation agreement was signed. It wasn’t a massive payout, but she had been determined to gain recognition of her family’s long-standing support for the early Zionist enterprise. In a piquant pay-off, one of her four children, Sir Roderick Cochrane, has agreed with Herzog’s old law firm that all the historic papers connected with the case should be be transferred to the Chaim Herzog Foundation archive. Herzog’s son, Isaac, now head of the Jewish Agency, told Globes: “[My father] had a well-developed sense of justice and felt this was the way to thank the Sursock family for agreeing to sell land to the ‘land redeemers’.”

17 September 2020 Jewish News


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Jewish News 17 September 2020

World News / National lockdown / News briefs

Second Israel lockdown A new national coronavirus lockdown from tomorrow will leave Israelis unable to venture more than 500 metres from their own homes for the High Holy Days, after hospitals “raised a red flag”, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Making their country the first to impose a second national lockdown, Israel’s leaders said on Sunday that medics raised the alarm as the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases rose to a record 4,000 ahead of Rosh Hashanah. The virus was set to spread through the mass gatherings typical for this time of year. Fears of even more Covid-19 patients in alreadyoverburdened hospitals prompted the Israeli cabinet to take the unprecedented action, which will last for three weeks from Friday until 9 October. The strictly-Orthodox housing minister Yaakov Litzman, who served as health minister until April, resigned in response to the new lockdown, saying worshippers should not be prevented from attending shul for the High Holy Days. Weekly protests in Israel’s major cities have voice anger at the government’s handling of the pandemic, in particular decisions by

A over-65s group of folk dancers in Jerusalem enjoy fresh air and exercise before Friday’s second lockdown, due to last for three weeks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was quick to lock down in March, but who reopened too early and too broadly in May, causing a more deadly second wave. Deaths in Israel now stand at more than 1,100, with a staggering 150,000 positive cases, in a country of nine million. This week’s lockdown means that all but schools and shops selling food and pharmaceuticals will be closed. Israelis still travel to workplaces, which are allowed to operate on a limited basis.

Among the Saturday night protesters were owners of restaurants, gyms and cafes who said the lockdown was, in the words of one analyst, “akin to a terrorist attack” on Israel’s commercial sector. Many have said that they will ignore the second lockdown and stay open, fearing bankruptcy if they do not. Since May, the government’s strategy has been to impose only local curfews, from 7pm to 5am, in areas with high infection rates.


Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli prime minister, has attracted strong criticism in Israel for retweeting a crowdfunding legal appeal for a convicted Jewish terrorist. On Monday, Lod District Court gave three life sentences to 26-year-old Amiram Ben-Uliel, who murdered a Palestinian family, including an 18-month-old baby, Ali Dawabsheh, in an arson attack in 2015. The firebombing took place in the West Bank village of Duma. The Dawabsheh parents — Riham and her husband Saad — died of their injuries. Their four-year-old son, Ahmad, was the only survivor of the attack by Ben-Uliel. The court said BenUliel’s actions were “meticulously planned, and stemmed from the radical ideology he held, and racism” and the punishment was “close to the maximum penalty prescribed by the law”. But Ben-Uliel’s wife, Orian, told reporters that “the judges didn’t seek justice or truth” and that the family would appeal to the Supreme Court. Shin Bet agents said Ben-Uliel had confessed to planning and carrying out the attack, and that two others were accessories. Yair Netanyahu, however, has backed a crowdfunding campaign in support of BenUliel’s appeal, which called the trial “a despicable libel”. He went further and said BenUliel’s confession was obtained by Shin Bet using “physical torture in the most medieval fashion you can imagine”. A social media critic described the younger Netanyahu’s action and support for Ben-Uliel as “surreal and indescribable”.


2,000 ETHIOPIANS TO ARRIVE IN ISRAEL Israel is set to approve funds to bring 2,000 Ethiopians Jews to the country by the end of 2020. Immigration absorption minister Pnina Tamano-Shata has been pressing the government to rescue as many people from the Jewish community as possible in light of reports that up to 14,000 waiting to immigrate are facing a Covid-related disaster. The virus is spreading rapidly in Ethiopia, with 60,000 cases and nearly 950 deaths. Some Ethiopian Jews have been waiting 20 years to make aliyah.

CALL TO STOP STATES BANNING SHECHITA Individual member states should not be able to ban shechita, the general of the Court of Justice of the EU has said. The advice by Gerard Hogan is “an important development that could spell the end of attempts to ban shechita in the entire European Union”, according to Hans Knoop, of the Forum of Jewish Organisations in Belgium. The court “should find that member states are not permitted to adopt rules” […] for a prohibition of the slaughter of animals without stunning,” Hogan said.

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Jewish News 17 September 2020


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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Virus measures / School funding / Polish festival / Diaspora News

Diaspora differences for the High Holy Days


Your weekly digest of stories from the international press

customs are more limited for Orthodox Jews, whose strict observance of religious laws precludes using technology on the holidays, meaning they cannot watch services online. Several synagogues said the shofar would be tested for the virus and will have a mask placed over its end to prevent droplets from spreading while it is being blown, while others said children under 12 are asked to stay away.






Members of the small but thriving Jewish community on the island of Majorca have said they are looking forward to participating in the European Days of Jewish Culture festival later this month. An open-air Ladino music concert has already been held, and a local guide will escort online visitors through the Jewish quarter. It is the second time the island has participated.

cally draw the largest crowds of the Jewish calendar, but synagogues are having to adapt services and gatherings for safety. In New York, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun said worshippers were worried about coming to shul, “so the shul will come to you”, with sermons and “concert quality” videos with Rosh Hashanah prayers featuring the cantor and choir. In Kraków, Poland, the Jewish community is small

Jewish schools across Europe are to get more than £2 million in donations after a continent-wide call for help following the financial pressures caused by Covid-19. The money for the 13 schools in countries such as Greece and Spain came from five of the seven donors who support Educating for Impact, a London-based non-profit organisation that “promotes strategic change in Jewish schools to secure and strengthen Jewish communities in Europe”. Among the schools to benefit will be the Lauder Athens Jewish Community School,

enough that social distancing in the synagogues is not a problem, but the community centre is dividing people into smaller groups to protect older and sicker members. Across the world, there will be shorter prayer sessions, mandatory mask-wearing, strict cleaning rules, social distancing and no singing, but many synagogues have opted to go virtual instead. Such changes in ritual

the Jewish school in Tallinn, Estonia,and the Ibn Gabirol School in Madrid. “With parents struggling to pay tuition as well as regular donors unable to support the schools at previous levels, the situation has become dire,” the statement read. The five donors, plus two external donors, put the money into the European Jewish Community Day School Crisis Fund, which was established to support the struggling Jewish schools. The donors include the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, the Maurice

and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation, the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, the Maimonides Fund and the Russian philanthropist Mikhail Fridman, plus another anonymous donor. It comes after several big Jewish secondary schools issued financial warnings earlier this summer, with the financial squeeze caused by the pandemic leading to less private money to pay for subjects such as Jewish Studies. A round of emergency fundraising has raised more than £1m in recent months.

Lublin holds first Jewish culture festival Authorities in Lublin, eastern Poland, held the city’s first Jewish Culture Festival this week, with organisers saying it marked “a new event on the region’s calendar”. World-famous cantor Yoni Rose performed at the opening night, heralding the start of two days of Jewish tradition presented through music, performances, meetings and educational activities and the Polish Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich also took part. Lublin Mayor Krzysztof

Żuk said: “We wanted to show the history of our city and its multiculturalism by recalling the culture and life of that third of our Lublin inhabitants who are no longer there.” The city is home to Poland’s largest Jewish cemetery, the pre-war community having numbered almost 45,000 – about a third of Lublin’s population at the time. Tours of the graves of luminaries formed part of the fes-

tival and organisers said one of the aims was “to fill the empty space left by the former Jewish district”, which stretched around Lublin castle.

POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN 1982 PARIS RESTAURANT BOMBING Norwegian police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in a 1982 attack on a Jewish restaurant (pictured) in Paris that left six dead and 20 wounded. The suspect, who has not been named, has been living in Norway for almost 30 years and French authorities have wanted him extradited for the past five. Palestinian dissidents were behind the attack by masked terrorists on the Jo Goldenberg restaurant on Rue des Rosiers in Paris’s Jewish quarter on 9 August 1982, at the height of the city’s summer tourist season.

The unit, comprising five terrorists, rst threw a grenade into the packed restaurant, before opening fire on diners and staff with machine guns and throwing a second grenade. They escaped through the quarter’s narrow streets. Police have long suspected Abu Nidal, who split from Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation years earlier, and in 2015 an international arrest warrant was issued for three former members of the Abu Nidal Organisation. One of them is the man arrested in Norway. The trio have been identified in statements by their ex-combatants.

Poland’s Nazi occupiers established a ghetto, and in 1942 transported its inhabitants to Bełżec, where up to 500,000 were killed.

First-year students at Northeastern University can bring back a piece of Israeli art to their dorms for a year after the first Israeli art lending library opened. ‘It brings a tangible piece of Israel,’ said the local Hillel, a joint organiser. Students can choose from prints, photos and original pieces from Jewish, Muslim, Christian, LGBTQ and disabled artists.

The Jewish community living in Austria is set to benefit after its federal security funding tripled to around £3.6 million. It follows last month’s assault on Elie Rosen, the leader of the Jewish community of the Austrian city of Graz. Officials said the perpetrator was motivated by hatred of Israel. Jewish leaders in Vienna said it would allow communal life to continue.

An historian in Beirut is finishing a 25-year project charting Lebanon’s once thriving Jewish community. Nagi Zeidan, whose report was published in Arab News, interviewed families, trawled archives and gathered photos in homage to the country’s Jews, who today number 29. After the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Lebanon was the only Middle Eastern country to experience growth of its Jewish community.

SURVIVORS: WHAT WE LOST Holocaust survivors have been sharing their stories of stolen property in a new social media campaign from the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO). Millions of items were taken from Jews and many represented cherished memo ries of loved ones or happier times. “The campaign focuses on survivors, their descendants and their connection to their family history before and after the Shoah, to shine a light on the unprecedented theft of property from Jewish people and communities during the Holocaust and its aftermath,”

Restituted artwork

said WJRO’s Gideon Taylor. The campaign, which marks 75 years since the Holocaust, will add further pressure to Poland – the only country in the EU not to have passed comprehensive legislation for restitution or compensation for private property.

Kyiv Jewish Forum World leaders and senior diplomats addressed Jewish representatives at last week’s Kyiv Jewish Forum as, over two days, participants discussed the most pressing topics in the Jewish world. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz were among the high-profile speakers, alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Elan Carr, US special envoy on antisemitism. Britain’s Lord (Jonathan) Mendelsohn discussed the threats from the far-right and

far-left, while former champion boxer Vitali Klitschko, now Kyiv mayor, discussed a new memorial and learning centre at Babi Yar, the site of a notorious Nazi massacre of the city’s Jews in 1941. Also speaking was Natan Sharansky, the rights activist who now chairs the Insti- tute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, while Jewish leadership in the ght against Covid-19 was discussed by Euro-Asian Jewish Congress chair Aaron Frenkel, GPG chief executive Marina Yudborovsky and World ORT chair Robert Singer.

Photo by Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center

Jewish communities around the world have explained the measures they are taking to protect worshippers and stop the spread of Covid-19 during this month’s High Holy Days. Beginning with Rosh Hashanah this week, an investigation by The Media Line has shown the varying approaches, with one congregation even buying a short-wave radio station for the day. The High Holy Days typi-

Plans for the memorial at the massacre site



Jewish News 17 September 2020

Jewish News meets... Sir Ronald Cohen

‘Our capitalism is no l Sir Ronald Cohen’s new book warns governments and big business that bringing ‘impact’ to our choices is the only way to stop rising inequality. By Stephen Oryszczuk


ne of the first things you notice about Sir Ronald Cohen’s book on changing the way money works for us is that Bono calls him ‘Ronnie’. Sure enough, as you speak to others about him, you realise that everyone does. Cue our Zoom interview and he starts by asking me to call him ‘Ronnie.’ As a big and deferential fan, I say, it’s ‘Sir Ronnie’ as a minimum. It should probably just be ‘Sir’. This knight is one of the most respected voices in world finance (and one of the most difficult to interview – I’ve been trying for eight years). The U2 star is but one of the glitterati penning epithets on the sleeve of Impact: Reshaping capitalism to drive real change. Others tipping their quills to the investor and philanthropist include the managing director of the IMF, a former chief executive of the World Bank and a Nobel prize winner in economics. He’s the Jew you’ve never heard of but should get to know. Who is he? Almost 50 years ago, aged 26, he co-founded Apax Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm which today manages more than £50 billion. In 1994, he made Apax the first British investment house to set up shop in Israel, 20 years later he helped set up Israel’s first social investment bank, and it is from Israel that he dials in now. Aged 60, he stepped down from the top job “to tackle social issues and try to help resolve the conflict in the Middle East”. The Portland Trust, which he chairs, helped to build the Palestinian industrial city of Rawabi to boost entrepreneurship and opportunity in the West Bank. It had mixed success, in part because the Israelis didn’t turn the taps on, but in terms of impact investing he’s lit the skies, co-founding the UK’s first social investment bank (Big Society Capital) with money from dormant bank accounts. His aim these days is more modest: to remake capitalism. He has long warned of a “wall of fire” between rich and poor if inequality continues, and in his new book he sees the outcome in violent protests in France, Lebanon and Chile. In the UK, too, he hears sirens – Brexit, refugees, frustration, nationalism, the strain on public infrastructure – while everywhere we degrade the planet. “Capitalism has served us very well for 250 years, but we’re at the stage where the consequences of the capitalist system are so great that governments can’t cope with them,” he says. “They’re looking at social and environmental issues without having the tools or resources to bring credible responses to them.” His book is about “how things can’t go on as they are,” he says. “We’re digging a deeper and deeper hole for ourselves. Companies cause huge damage, governments then have to tax us all to remedy it, but the scale of the damage means that governments don’t have enough resources to do that. So, we must bring ‘impact’ to our choices. We must buy products from companies whose values we share, work for companies whose values we share, invest in companies seeking to do good and minimise harm.

Sir Ronnie Cohen: ‘We must buy from companies whose values we share, work for companies whose values we share and invest in companies seeking to do good’

“To do that effectively, we must measure companies’ impact. If we measure the effects they have on people and the environment through their products, employment and operations, then effectively we bring ‘impact’ to the centre of our economic system. That’s when investment drives solutions to improve the world.” To get people thinking about impact, he’s asking questions. To the wealthy: do you just want to make money, or do you want your money to make an impact? To businesses: do you just want to drive sales, or do you also want to do good? To the rest of us: do you just want to buy based on price and convenience, and work for the best payers, or do you want to buy from and work for firms based on how they impact society and the environment? Because computing power and big data means that firms’ negative impacts can now be measured, costed and published, and for a new generation of consumers, workers and investors, this information matters. His latest victory is this very information – the dull-sounding, world-changing field of ‘impact-weighted accounts’. Impact investing is driving private capital to serve social and environmental good. It’s when decisions are based not just on risk and reward, but on ‘impact’ too. How? By “linking improvements in environmental and social outcomes to a financial return”. Hence ‘impact-weighted accounts’. The idea of linking social or environmental outcomes to financial return can manifest in something called a Social Impact Bond (SIB), first trialled in Peterborough in 2010, when the financial return on a security was linked to a reduction in reoffending of young male inmates in Peterborough jail. It worked. Reoffending fell by ten percent over five years, and investors made three percent. Scale it up and you under-

stand Tesla founder Elon Musk, who “wants to make a tonne of money but also change the world for the better”. Sir Ronnie’s ideas are laced not only with idealism but also layered with realism. Indeed, as he says, this is no longer pie in the sky: witness all the institutional investors emerging with “an impact lens” in the past three years. The reason they queue up to listen to this softly spoken sage is because he knows what he’s on about. First asked to advise the British government on poverty 20 years ago, he chairs both Apax Foundation (through which Apax gives millions to good causes) and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment at Harvard Business School. He is also an author (his first book, in 2007, was The Second Bounce of the Ball)) and cofounder of the UK’s first social investment bank. His new book brims and bubbles with the language of revolution and the urgency of a man who never wanted his crowning achievement to be a 30 percent annual return on investment. We are all of us forged through

our experiences, and Sir Ronnie is no different, having fled Egypt aged 11 for refuge in the UK. “We arrived with just one suitcase each, me clutching my stamp collection under my arm, fearing that it would be taken away from me.” It set him on a path to Oxford, Harvard, the City of London and, in 2001, to a knighthood, philanthropy and a retirement advising prime ministers including Tony Blair and David Cameron. Years earlier, it started with a fellowship: “It paid for my first year at Harvard,” he recalls, “but required me to bring something of value back to the UK. I ended up bringing back venture capital.” He thrived in it, but ‘it’ was contributing to inequity, which is now unsustainable. As a proportion of its wealth, the rich world spends on health and education twice what it did 60 years ago – “and it still isn’t enough”. Philanthropy chips in but can only do so much, he says. A new system is needed. To an extent, it is here. An incredible $30 trillion is already tied up in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing around the globe, that is in companies seeking to achieve more than just Sir Ronnie is co-founder of Apax Partners, which today manages more than £50bn

17 September 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News meets... Sir Ronald Cohen

longer fit for purpose’ profit. That is one third of the world’s professionally managed assets. Likewise, there is now nearly $1 trillion of impact investment, where the impact is actually measured. The breakthrough moment came last year when Harvard published its ‘impact-weighted accounts’ after crunching four decades’ worth of data on the environmental impact of 1,800 firms and costing it (employment and product impacts to follow next year). You can now compare, for instance, two global chemical companies with similar sales. The annual environmental damage from one is £13 billion, the other £3 billion. If you are an investor, or a potential business partner, or an end user, and you know this, which firm do you choose? Impact investing incentivises social and environmental integrity over self-interest; and in the UK, where we have social investment tax relief, it also pays. The idea is spreading: Barclays now has impact investment products for small investors, while foundations such as the Guys and St Thomas’ Charity are moving endowments into impact investing. Last year, Rethink Impact Fund launched with £250 million to “invest in female leaders using tech to tackle global challenges”. State and private-sector interests need not collide, Sir Ronnie says. He wants governments to mandate that all companies publish ‘impact-

investors and companies felt they could rely on the accounting system.” The effects will ripple down from stock exchanges to shopping aisles. “You’ll pick up a box of cornflakes and define each ingredient by its environmental and nutritional impact,” he says. “You’ll measure individual product lines’ impact using phones and barcodes. You’ll be able to see the impact of what you’ve bought. That’s just one implication.” His job appears to be steering capital towards impact, but isn’t it difficult asking those who made money in one system to seek another? “Some think making as much money as possible is the purpose of life, regardless of the consequences,” he says. “My book won’t persuade them otherwise. But most people who made a lot of money in recent decades came from nothing, and their origins are not far, psychologically, from their consciences.” From where will the urge to change come? “The young

weighted accounts’ in two or three years’ time “so that we can look at the impact performance of a company alongside its profit performance”. In Israel, the pension regulator has already told pension fund managers to account for impact. “If governments mandate that companies must publish their impact, you turn that $30 trillion into a powerful engine for change. The result? Less damage to the environment, fewer social issues such as child labour, underpayment, poor working conditions, and more money to retrain and reskill people.” He’s not there yet. Questions remain as to how precisely to measure impact, but Sir Ronnie is unfazed. He draws a comparison with the effect of the Wall Street crash of 1929, which led the US government to require all companies to prepare accounts according to accepted practices and have them independently verified. “At the time, many said it would spell the end of American capitalism. In fact, it led to huge growth in investment markets, because

‘The impact revolution will be led by young people,’ he says





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today feel overwhelmed. It’s much more difficult to get the jobs, to buy a house, to make ends meet, so they are much more receptive to changing the system. Jobs are changing, professions are going through transformative change, and whole industries are declining, so for a lot of young people ‘impact’ is a way out of this mess, a way forward. That’s why I believe the impact revolution is going to be led by young people, just as the tech revolution was.” He mentions tikkun olam throughout, so I finish by asking why ‘impact investing’ should be of interest to his fellow Jews. “Most of us were brought up in homes with thinking that life is not just about ourselves,” he says. “Impact is a way of being for yourself, being for others, and doing it now... Making profit improves the world around us, we’re investing in improving lives and the planet. ‘If not now, when?’ The time is now. We cannot meet the huge challenges we face without changing our system.” To understand the future of money, what it does and how it will drive change, we need not look far. UJIA chief executive Mandie Winston told a webinar audience recently that Sir Ronnie’s book was “crucial and visionary”. “When you hear about Sir Ronald’s work and the way he is transforming philanthropy and our society, one cannot help but feel proud, inspired, and moved to action.” I couldn’t agree more.



Jewish News 17 September 2020

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.



Even UAE deal can’t boost Bibi’s ratings Israelis were pleased to see the country’s agreement to normalise relations with two Gulf kingdoms officially inked this week, but if their prime minister thought this might help his ratings he should think again. Israelis are furious – and rightly so. Their Covid-19 death rates per capita are now the fifth highest in the world. Their hospitals cannot cope and have said so, raising the red flag this week. Their towns and cities have suffered a patchwork quilt of local lockdowns and sporadic curfews, while cultural and social calendar-makers have lost track of what year it is, such has been the see-saw changes by ministers who cannot agree on much. Some, such as Yaakov Litzman, the recently resigned Housing Minister and former Health Minister, say Israelis should flock en masse to synagogues, given the time of year, while the 70-year-old Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, already the subject of such scorn and weekly protests, had to be pulled kicking and screaming from a private jet he wanted to whisk him to the White House for the UAE-Bahrain signing ceremony. Advisers, it seems, told him it wasn’t a good look, given he was on trial for corruption in a case at least partly triggered by his and his wife’s alleged love of all things shiny. Israel is in trouble. Its leaders have seldom lacked this much legitimacy in the eyes of the public, while economically the country is in deep recession, now made worse by the three-week lockdown announced, one that will surely kill small businesses up and down the country. The finance ministry says the three-week hiatus will cost about £1.5 billion. Having initially taken all the right decisions – to lock down fast and tight – this feels like Israel having led 1-0 for 90 minutes, only to have let in two sloppy extra-time goals. As their PM smiled from the White House, the fans were booing him off the pitch.


Send us your comments PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@jewishnews.co.uk

Memories of Brian With great sadness I write to pay my respects to Brian Gordon, a deeply religious man, a man who has helped many people and wrote in all the Jewish newspapers, words of wisdom. He was honest and forthright in his language, in what he believed to be true, and in correct behaviour. He was a real mensch and his passing will leave a great void in the community. He would have made a great Mayor of Barnet, and brought honour to that position. I was fortunate to meet him

when he was a regular broadcaster on Spectrum Radio when it was stationed at Brent Cross. To be taken away from the community at such a young age was also a tragedy. I’m sure other people in the community will have a lot more to say about him. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may he be remembered for his righteousness and always standing up for what he thought was right. Solomon I Solomon NW4

Sketches & kvetches

Here’s to partying again The loss of big celebrations with family and friends has impacted on us all, but it has hit the simcha suppliers hardest. Their livelihoods have suffered and, in some cases, been destroyed by lockdown. It has never been more important for us to support them. Ever inventive, they have come up with ways to enhance a virtual event and produce food orders for small numbers. You can read their new year greetings on pages 43 and 43. Jewish News would like to wish them all continued success and good health. Here’s to partying again with their help very soon.

Yom Tov ends Sunday night 7.51pm

Shabbat ends Saturday night 7.53pm

Sedra: Rosh Hashanah

I thought it was just my mother, but after reading an article and speaking to fellow students, it has become apparent that other Jewish mothers are saying similar things to their own sons and daughters who suggest not coming home for Yom Tov to avoid spreading the virus. Our mothers’ retort, with various edits, can be summed up thus: “I don’t care if you kill me.”

Name withheld upon request

OUR HEROES OF THE PACIFIC The leading article in Jewish News of 22 August rightly asked us to recall the courage and suffering of Commonwealth Jews who fought the Japanese and those held prisoner. The classic work on this is Voices of the Jewish POWs of the Japanese in the Second World War by AJEX archivist Martin Sugarman,

published by Valentine Mitchell in 2014. It contains dozens of first-hand and archival stories, mostly never told before in any book, as well as a record of honour of all those who were prisoners of war, including hundreds of civilians interned. It is an astonishing read.

Alan Homes By email


THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT AND ROSH HASHANAH TIMES... Shabbat and Yom Tov begins Friday night 6.54pm


“So, here are the laws that I agreed to, but here’s what we’re going to do...”

I’m aware of concerns that members of the Charedi community are not social distancing, but I have been witness to mammoth efforts, past and present, to curb the spread of the coronavirus, from providing risk assessments to shuls and public premises, and

working with them on how to implement it, to Charedi schools representative group Chinuch UK supporting teachers in instituting preventative measures. We must all do what we can to play our part.

Joel Friedman Interlink Foundation

How does Chai care? “The sound of the shofar stirs different emotions in each of us. Chai understands the whirlwind of emotions we each experience following a cancer diagnosis. Throughout Covid, Chai’s support has been a constant for us all, bringing a burst of colour and light into our lives when we need it most.” The Chai Art Workshop Group (Artist Linda Sharpe)

For more information on our extensive range of specialised services and care across the UK, please call our Freephone helpline on 0808 808 4567 or visit www.chaicancercare.org Chai Lifeline Cancer Care Registered Charity No. 1078956

17 September 2020 Jewish News



Editorial comment and letters Enabling independent living

DISPUTING SCIENCE GET THE MESSAGE I’m retired and live in Stamford Hill. I would like to thank Mr Shafier for his attempt to get the Chasidic community to wear face masks in shops (Jewish News, 5 September). I’ve tried asking customers why they do not wear them and have been met with blank stares. I phoned one of the shops with the same question and was told: “We don’t believe in the science, we don’t trust the government and we believe people should have the freedom to choose.” So, some of it might be ignorance, but it appears some of it is wilful, which is extremely worrying as Hackney has the highest incidence of coronavirus in London.

Yvonne Howard By email


Last Wednesday I drove along Armitage Road in Golders Green and was utterly shocked to see what must have been at least 100 strictly-Orthodox Jewish men crowded together within inches of each other, absolutely none of them wearing masks. They must have been there to hear or see someone. It just makes me so angry – they’re going to cause another lockdown. They just don’t seem to care, and think God will save them. Actually, it will be my friend in the Royal Free who will save them, and she could really do without it. What will it take for them to get the message?

Name withheld upon request

Jewish Bournemouth I’m writing to ask readers for help in filling some information gaps for a book I’m writing on the history of the Jewish hotels and guest houses in Bournemouth. It will chart their rise and demise and contain chapters on aspects of hotel life: food, religion, entertainment and the relationship between the establishments and the local community. The book is based largely on oral history

interviews, interwoven with contemporary accounts and archival material. However, I have relatively little information on the Langham and East Cliff Court hotels. If you know about or stayed in either of those hotels, I would love to hear from you. It is also not too late to contribute your memories and stories via pamfox@virginmedia.com.

Pam Fox By email

Wishing the community a Happy and Healthy New Year 020 8381 4901





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Jewish News 17 September 2020


The rule of six turns Yom Tov on its head ALEX BRUMMER



nusual as it might be for a Jewish person living in London, I have a soft spot for BBC agricultural programmes. As someone who spent most of his childhood growing up on a farm in Sussex, Farming Today and The Archers are high up on my listening list. The big theme in the past week has been turkeys. On the pages of Farming Today, one of Britain’s biggest turkey breeders is pulling his hair out at the ‘rule of six’. How ghastly to have invested heavily in a relatively normal Christmas, only to find that the birds would be too big for the festive table or that families would only want a breast rather than a whole bird. As for Ed Grundy on The Archers, as is fitting for the Ambridge chancer, he has doubled down on his turkey breeding on the grounds that quarantine and self-isolation will mean demand for home, fresh deliveries will soar. The concern about Boris Johnson as

the Grinch who stole Christmas with his unwanted rule of six has been like a lightning bolt. The Daily Mail’s editor hopefully will forgive me for breaching the confidentiality of our leader conference by letting it be known that ruination of holiday arrangements was among the reasons for the newspaper’s agitation about the latest 'save lives and keep safe' policy. My contribution to this debate was to point out that the great Jewish festival season was upon us, beginning with Rosh Hashanah this coming weekend. I am not sure about the popularity of turkeys. My father was a poultry farmer and kosher butcher so it was a tradition in our family to have turkey at new year. But the rule of six already has turned our Yom Tov on its head. As we are already committed to having my brother and one of my son’s and his girlfriend staying with us for the new year,

it means we are effectively unable to legally entertain my daughter, her husband and three grandchildren. One option (proposed by a rebellious family member) is to ignore the rule of six and, if the warden or police comes knocking on the door, pay the £100 fine (after Yom Tov) of course. And anyway, what are we going to do with all the fried and gefilte fish that my brother – the official family fryer – has been preparing after his bi-annual trip to Sam Stoller in Temple Fortune? Putting all of these domestic questions to one side, what I found slightly more worrying about the office discussions is the lack of awareness that an intense period of Jewish celebration and prayer with the Days of Awe was upon us. And that our community would be affected months before Christmas. Given that Jews have been back in England since the 17th century and play


such a central role in Britain’s commercial, creative and intellectual life, the lack of knowledge about our central and hallowed traditions is worrying. This is especially so after the events of last year, when antisemitism was so central to the national political dialogue. It becomes less surprising that parts of the public have a misplaced image of Jews when they know so little about us. How different to when I and my family lived in the United States, where Jewish holidays were afforded the same joy, reverence and respect as their Christian counterparts. Those of us who are by nature synagogue goers already had come to terms with the idea that this year the Yamim Noraim would be different – the missing choral Selichot services, pick-and-choose shift systems in shul, masks and distancing and undertone singing. How one yearns for the days of yore of packed congregations, overflow services and the handshakes with acquaintances not seen since the last holidays. Now family gatherings look to be victims too. As dissenters say as the Yuletide season approaches, Bah humbug! A healthy new year to all readers.

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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17 September 2020 Jewish News


THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU Thanks to your generosity, we have not only passed our first goal of £ 900,000 but reached a bonus round of £ 1,202,126 M. Because of your kindness we will continue to THRIVE and keep connecting thousands to THEIR lifeline. With tremendous appreciation,

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Jewish News 17 September 2020

The old normal was hard enough. Without Langdon, the new normal would be devastating. For our members and their families, many of whom were already facing immense daily challenges before COVID-19, life without the support of Langdon would be a severe struggle. As Shelley, mother of member Adam, told us, “The recent tough months reminded me just how much support my son needs and brought back my deepest fear – if I die, how will Adam survive? Words cannot express how grateful I am to Langdon.” Your donation this Rosh Hashanah will help us continue to provide all of our vital services to our members across London and Manchester.

Please donate today at langdonuk.org

Registered Charity no. 1142742


17 September 2020 Jewish News



Community / Scene & Be Seen


Brothers Toby, Spencer and Jason Laufer were among the many GIFT volunteers who helped pack up hundreds of Yom Tov food packages for families in need ahead of Rosh Hashanah. The project was sponsored by Magen Avot Synagogue in Hendon. GIFT’s founding director, Michelle Barnett, said: “Not only are we distributing the usual weekly food support packages and fruit and vegetables to many hundreds of households, an increase of over 25 percent in new referrals during this period, but recipient families are also receiving Yom Tov packages including wine, honey, candles, honey cake and three-course freshly catered meals.” Chaya Langerman, of Magen Avot, said: “It is a great pleasure and honour for the Magen Avot community to collaborate with GIFT and provide hundreds of meals for families experiencing financial difficulties. We are grateful to all our generous donors who opened their hearts at such unusual times.”

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


More than £22,000 was raised by 80 golfers at the annual Asher Teper Memorial Golf Day, which was held at Hartsbourne Country Club in Bushey. The event, organised by the Hebrew Order of David and under the stewardship of Mike Tannenbaum and Michael Foreman, raised funds for Manna – the UK branch of Meir Panim – as well as The Malki Foundation and Camp Simcha.


MasterChef finalist Emma Spitzer cooked up a storm with a live Rosh Hashanah cooking demonstration in association with Migdal Ohr UK and Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue. More than 500 people joined the event, which was held to raise funds for Migdal Ohr’s Chag Saveah for Children Campaign. Migdal Ohr UK’s executive director Amit Fraser explained more about the project, which distributes food parcels to 40,000 impoverished families across Israel before the new year.



More than 30 Camp Simcha volunteers helped pack and deliver gift boxes to families with seriously ill children throughout the UK. Camp Simcha head of services Daniel Gillis said: “The Rosh Hashanah gift boxes we have sent in are full of treats, like honey cakes and biscuits and arts, crafts and toys. As well as the fun and entertainment this brings for the children, it makes our families feel connected.”






Jewish News 17 September 2020

Weekend / Photography

When photographer Marc Morris saw his own daughter struggling with lockdown, he came up with a unique postcard project linking youngsters from Israel and the UK, writes Francine Wolfisz

K In association with

A look

Inside Entertainment: Teen slasher flick Scream set to return

Food: Meet the men making a Balagan

Travel: Feel like you're spa and away in the South Downs

ate Middleton, it seems, is in good company. Before the Duchess of Cambridge started curating her pandemic photo exhibition, budding photographers at one north London synagogue were staving off the monotony of the “new normal” by learning new skills and making vibrant postcards for new friends – even the ones who live thousands of miles away. The innovative project, called Hands Across The Lands, was conceived by photographer Marc Morris, who teamed up with Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue in Edgware and UJIA, after noticing his own daughter, Elisheva, struggling with not being able to go to school or see her friends in person during the UK lockdown. Instead, Morris came up with a scheme that taught more than 30 youngsters aged eight to 17 the basics of photography and designing personalised postcards, which could then be sent out to family and friends. Rabbi Joel Levy, the part-time rabbi of Kol Nefesh Masorti, suggested the postcards were also sent to children at Ma'ayanot Masorti in South Jerusalem, where he is an active member, resulting in new links being forged between the two communities. The scheme was funded by UJIA, which provided more than £100,000 in grants to projects across the country through the charity’s Summer Engagement Fund, in lieu of the regular camps and activities that would have run before the pandemic struck. “It’s a positive Covid story,” reflects Morris. “I wanted the voices of our young people to express these extraordinary times through photography and the written word. “It was a joy to see all these budding photographers take some amazing images and I’m looking forward to seeing where this project will go next.” Liz Preter, co-convenor of Kol Nefesh Masorti, says the project helped children “reconnect with each other after spending such a long time not seeing friends”, and youngsters from outside the community were also welcomed. She adds: “It has been lovely to see how creative the

Some of the postcards created by children from Kol Nefesh Masorti during lockdown

postcards have been and was a great way of helping them think about what other young people are going through in different countries.” Rabbi Levy agrees that the Hands Across The Lands project has certainly brought the two communities closer together, with members from both joining recent shofar-blowing sessions over Zoom. He adds: “Normally the lives of the kids in those two shuls are totally distinct and there is no contact between them at all, but ironically the total lockdowns in Israel and the UK meant they shared a common reality for a little while and Marc has translated that shared experience into a shared

visual language. "It was a simple and really clever way of bringing children in the UK and Israel closer.” For parents, the project helped give their children something to focus on other than the pandemic or, as one describes it, “a meaningful purpose”. One mother called Sarah says: "Lockdown meant it was very easy, over the summer, for teens to just drift through the days and spend much of their time being insular and inward-looking. "This project encouraged children to think about how lockdown really impacted on their use of time, both positively or negatively and encouraged them

17 September 2020 Jewish News



Photography / Weekend to consider how teens in another culture might have experienced lockdown very differently.” As for 11-year-old Leah Greenfield, the project has even inspired her to take up photography. She says the “inspiring” project will be “a memory I’ll keep for a very long time”. Eli Gaventa, head of youth and students at UJIA, described the project as “a great example of innovation”. He says: “We know a thriving British Jewry with a lifelong connection to Israel starts with our young people. The Kol Nefesh Hands Across

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the Lands programme is a great example of the innovative work that was done across the community, bringing together young people in the UK with their peers in Israel.”  A short documentary telling the story behind Hands Across The Lands will be available to view at www.jewishnews.co.uk

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Jewish News 17 September 2020

Weekend / Entertainment

FILM Scream Don’t answer the phone! Neve Campbell is set to bring back her muchtraumatised Sidney Prescott in a new Scream movie. David Arquette and Courtney Cox will reprise their roles as Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers, alongside newcomers Jack Quaid, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega in the fifth Scream film from Spyglass and Paramount Pictures. The action returns to the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, and there will no doubt be a new psychopathic killer donning a sinister white mask based on Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, The Scream. Campbell is descended on her mother’s side from Sephardic Jews who immigrated to

the Netherlands and converted to Catholicism, and has said in past interviews that she considers herself Jewish. The original Scream film, which was released in 1996, was a huge smash at the box office, grossing more than £133 million worldwide. Scream 5 is slated for release in 2022.

DOCUMENTARY Enslaved Author Afua Hirsch and investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici have teamed up with Hollywood icon and human rights activist Samuel L. Jackson for a new four-part docuseries on the slave trade. Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade will be shown on BBC Two and sheds new light on 400 years of human trafficking, as millions of enslaved Africans were shipped to the Americas by Western European slave traders. More than 12 million people were

kidnapped and sold into slavery. At least two million perished en route at sea. Using new diving technology – such as advanced 3D mapping and ground-penetrating radar – to locate and examine sunken slave ships on three continents, the series reveals an entirely new perspective on the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The story takes viewers from Africa to the Americas, as well as the UK, with Hirsch visiting the now infamous – and since toppled – statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.


Tiny World

Ant-Man star Paul Rudd narrates a stunning new nature series, which will be released on Apple TV+ next month. Tiny World shows the natural world as never seen before, from the perspective of some of the smallest creatures on the planet, including the pygmy marmoset, midwife toad and flying squirrels. The 12-part series features more than 200 species and combines stunning cinematography with dynamic storytelling to bring viewers closer to the action, whether taking place on the dramatic African savanna, an exotic rainforest or a more mundane garden. Tiny World airs on Apple TV+ from Friday, 2 October

BRITBOX Spitting Image Spitting Image is certainly pulling no punches in its portrayal of Dominic Raab as a karateloving kid, in new images released this week. The foreign secretary joins a growing list of politicians, celebrities and royals set to be lampooned in the highly-anticipated comeback of the satirical puppet show, which premieres on Britbox next month. Raab, whose Jewish father came to Britain as a six-year-old child following the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, is not the only member of the tribe featuring on the show. The latex versions of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and American politician Bernie Sanders are all set to star alongside the likes of Adele, Barack Obama, Prince Charles, Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian and

Melania Trump. Even Boris Johnson’s baby – and dog – will feature on the programme. The show launched in 1984 and around 15 million people avidly tuned in every week during its heydey to see the hysterical lampooning of Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Ronald Reagan and The Queen. Now 23 years later, London-based entertainment firm Avalon, alongside original creator Roger Law and The Simpsons writer Jeff Westbrook, are bringing a contemporary version of the hit show to television screens. Impressionist Luke Kempner and Britain’s Got Talent contestant Jess Robinson are among those lending their vocal talents. Spitting Image airs on Britbox from Saturday 3 October.

GADGET OF THE MONTH: OnePlus Nord Available from: oneplus.com, John Lewis, Amazon RRP From £379 PLUS POINTS:


• Great build quality for the price • The phone is 5G compatible, making it futureproof • The screen is bright and has a high refresh rate, meaning animations look smooth and responsive • The main camera lens takes great pictures in daylight and at night using Nighscape Mode • Oxygen OS (OnePlus’s flavour of Android) is by far one of the best to use and provides regular software updates, improving the phones capability over a long period

• No wireless charging • There was an anomaly whereby phone reception was unavailable indoors, but a software update appears to have fixed it • Macro camera lens was awful quality and should not be included in the next version


After making premium flagship phones for a few years, OnePlus is returning to its roots by creating a high quality device without charging a hefty price. I really enjoyed using this phone; the Nord offers good value for money and even though the average punter may not have heard of OnePlus, the company is definitely worth checking out. Reviewed by: Daniel Elias (He’s techie and he knows it)

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17 September 2020 Jewish News






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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Food & Drink / Weekend

WHAT A BALAGAN THEY’VE MADE! Brigit Grant speaks to the three non-Jewish owners of Borehamwood’s newest kosher restaurant and discovers a melting pot of cultures


here is nothing unusual about a kosher restaurant opening in Borehamwood – as a new one seemingly appears every day. Balagan, however, is a unique arrival because its owners hail from India, Italy and Romania – and none of them are Jewish. Marius Cezar Cretu, a Romanian with an Italian moniker, was a dish washer at Pizaza when he first arrived in London, and Naplesborn Julio Matter, a master pizza maker, was a waiter, then manager, at Soyo. His pizza skills aren’t required at the Middle Eastern eaterie. And then there’s the third partner, Abdul Mohammed Hannan, who also has a share in Sababa and ChikChak Noodles on the Hertfordshire high street, and ran Pizoyo until the boss offered to help support his own business. As Hannan is a Muslim, he is the most obvious to ask about their incongruous decision to go kosher. “He is very well known in Golders Green, but then we all are,” says Marius by way of explanation. For Hannan, the leap from halal to heimishe was not that big. “I watched everything and learnt a lot about all the preparation and what is allowed,” he says – and he can now set up a kosher kitchen with his eyes closed. In fact, this non-Jewish triumvirate has such passion for parev and knowledge of fleishig, they could outsmart any shomer, but the one at Balagan has become a friend. They also have other friends who come to the restaurant – “Non-Jews who are happy to eat kosher,” says Julio, who is the only one to have visited Israel, where they were convinced he was of the faith. “I have lots of friends there who thought I looked Jewish when we first met,” he says, but that didn’t stop his family from being baffled by his decision to open a kosher diner.

“All our families were very surprised. Really, very!” admits Marius. “But now they are delighted with my decision and like all the food.” Opening Balagan in August under Covid conditions might have felt like a fool’s errand to other restaurateurs, but all three knew the time was right. “It was a risk obviously, but I just had this feeling,” said Marius – and the frequency of diners and take-away has proved him right. But it was also a tragic time, for as they worked towards the big opening, Hannan’s father passed away in India from Covid. “He could not go there for the funeral,” informs Marius sadly, when his partner took a call. “He was also due to be married and we were all going. We were very excited.” Their friendship formed on Golders Green Road between new émigrés who discovered kashrut is quite the tale, and hiring an Israeli executive chef, Shaka from Ashdod, is another surprise. The Moroccan cigars stuffed with beef and tahini were Shaka’s idea among others, but all three are capable of cooking every dish on the menu, be it the chicken pargiot or the Balagan burger. Choosing the Hebrew word for “utter chaos” as the name of the restaurant was an odd choice but, as Julio says, “I kept hearing it in the community and in Israel” and it suited the fusion of their mixed backgrounds coming together in Borehamwood. “When we got our kashrut licence from the Beth Din, it was the best day ever,” says Hannan. “And I’ve got the photo,” adds Julio. That their respective families have the shot framed on their homes in India, Italy and Romania is balagan at its best. Balagan, 47 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, 020 7112 9253, or order online at www.just-eat.co.uk

A selection of the tasty food on the menu, including chicken pargiot and the Balagan burger

The team at Balagan, which means ‘utter chaos’ in Hebrew

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Jewish News 17 September 2020

Weekend / Travel



Clockwise from above: South Lodge, the pool overlooking the grounds and Camellia restaurant

Ben Kentish leaves his September blues behind with a relaxing break in the South Downs


s the days get shorter and the dark nights draw in, autumnal weekends in the country provide the perfect escape from the city gloom. Those seeking a quick-fix cure to the September blues should look no further than a spa break at the spectacular South Lodge hotel. Set in the rolling South Downs, the hotel is less than an hour’s drive from London and, as a member of the Pride of Britain family of first-rate hotels, you don’t need to worry about what you’ll find when you arrive. South Lodge is nestled in a hundred acres of gardens and parkland, surrounded by camelias, daffodils and rhododendrons through the warmer months and stunning colour through the autumn as the leaves begin to turn. The floral theme continues inside the 19th century stately home. From the individually styled rooms, each named after a species of flower and complete with empty vases for guests to fill with blooms from the surrounding grounds, to the floral engrav-

One of the luxury bedrooms

ings in the wood panelling of the pink-hued Camellia restaurant, South Lodge has been modelled in the legacy of the house’s original owner, botanist and collector Frederick Du Cane Godman. His explorations around the globe saw him return with myriad orchids, magnolias and rare plants – many of them now a feature of the hotel. One of the finest examples is the 30ft high and 40ft wide, ‘Old Cornish Red’ rhododendron – believed to be the largest in the UK – that towers near the entrance to the hotel. Floral theme aside, South Lodge has the feel of a classical stately home, but with modern and quirky twists, such as the wire sheep sculptures placed on a second-floor roof to enhance an otherwise nondescript balcony. The hotel’s lounges, bars and restaurants are decorated with contemporary art, impressive glasswork displays and chic but comfortable furnishings, perfect for sinking into after a long autumnal walk. The 89 bedrooms are large and comfort-

able and include plush four poster beds and state of the art bathrooms, complete with surround-sound speakers and waterproof televisions to keep you occupied during a long soak. Small personal touches complete the experience, including fresh biscuits by the bed, garden games in the cupboard for use on the sweeping lawns and the hotel’s very own “pillow menu”, which allows guests to choose from a range that includes lavender and manuka-scented, anti-snoring and the intriguingly-named ‘The Romance’. The new jewel of South Lodge is the impressive 44,000 sq ft spa, which opened last year. While the hot stone massage comes highly recommended, the spa has plenty to offer visitors less inclined to fork out on treatment. With two types of steam room, sauna, outdoor pool, gym, spinning rooms, barber and large infinity indoor pool overlooking the green lawns, the spa is pristine, state-ofthe-art and extremely well-equipped. Braver souls than us can test their mettle in the chilly outdoor natural pond, complete with water lilies, reeds and even some marine life, which is guaranteed to take your breath away – quite literally. Guests don’t have to stray far from their lounger to refuel at the spa’s Mediterraneanstyle restaurant, Botanica. While diners enjoy their post-swim snacks in cosy gowns and slippers, the food is far from casual. Fresh and seasonal ingredients are used in the wholesome, veggie-heavy dishes, with the grilled cauliflower, heritage roasted carrots, and artichoke and truffle ravioli particular standouts. Dinner at the more casual Camelia restaurant is no less tasty. Spread across three stately dining rooms, the restaurant makes for an intimate and romantic setting. The locally sourced dishes, with many ingredients plucked from the hotel’s walled vegetable and herb garden, are beautifully presented and perfectly prepared, with

a good range of fish, meat and vegetarian options. The menu changes daily to ensure only the freshest ingredients are served up. Spa and sumptuous dining aside, South Lodge has a lot more offer. Guests can enjoy a drink in the house’s old billiard room, now a cosy bar, take high tea in the splendid drawing room, or sample a glass of wine or three in the cellar. But while one could easily spend a weekend wandering around the hotel’s grounds by foot or on bicycle, there are plenty of other attractions within easy reach. On your way home, make a detour to Guildford, which played home to a prominent Jewish community in medieval times. In 1995, excavations unearthed a 12th-century chamber under what is now a branch of Monsoon. An alcove and a scorched section of wall – signs of an ark and Ner Tamid – led experts to conclude that it was the remains of an ancient synagogue – one of the oldest such remains in Western Europe. The room is not open to the public, but a stone from the chamber is on display at the nearby modern shul, and artefacts and more information can be found at Guildford Museum, which has now partially reopened and is open Wednesdays to Saturdays. Other nearby attractions include the footpaths of the South Downs, Arundel Castle and the south coast towns. Whichever you choose, South Lodge makes the perfect base for some autumnal exploring - if, of course, you manage to tear yourself away from the spa.

BEN’S TRAVEL TIPS Ben stayed at South Lodge, where rooms start from £301.50 based on two people sharing, including breakfast. Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 or visit www.prideofbritainhotels.com

17 September 2020 Jewish News


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Jewish News 17 September 2020


17 September 2020 Jewish News


The lighter side


Inspiration / Weekend

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


Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY LET’S TALK ABOUT SIX. Not the brilliant musical about Henry VIII’s wives, but ‘SIX’ as in the number of people now allowed in your home. Or outside it. Is there anyone who didn’t shout ‘damn it!’ when Boris delivered the cruel social blow on Sept 9? Just as we were savouring the thrill of interacting with 30, the PM pulled the rug from under our guests’ feet, upsetting every hostess who had already placed her Rosh Hashanah order at Louis Mann. Now sharing honey and apple is only permitted with a core clan of SIX, but families are not about even numbers. What becomes of the stray singletons, widowed relatives and lonely neighbours over the chagim? Do they get dropped from the list in order to comply with the new rules? Isn’t maintaining their well-being part of our High Holy Day righteousness (Tzedadah)? Obviously we want our nearest and dearest to be well (pah,pah pah) but sociallydistancing for Jews is the result of a broiges and being disinvited is where that starts. For the law-abiding there’s no alternative, though I’m convinced with

Who let the DOGS IN? In our fabulous Rosh Hashannah magazine now online, we featured the puppies purchased during lockdown. Some were missed, so please meet Cavapoo Ronnie Rufus Silver,, Tibetan Terrier Deeney Rose and labrador Freddie Colton.. Evidently the presence of pups at school gates is causing more confusion than the double-parked 4X4s, but the dogs are better at reversing. Please send more pics.

FOR REAL Real Housewives fans will be as excited as me to hear that the new franchise is in Salt Lake City and stars Jewish jeweller Meredith Marks. As they are in Mormon country I’m sure there will be some testy moments in the series which starts on hayu in November.

Ocean’s 11 is more workable for Rosh Hashannah

some filmic inspiration, Boris might have been kinder with his numbers. Oceans 11, 12 Angry Men and Apollo 13 are all workable, but he went with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, so we’re stuck with

12 Angry Men could have inspired Boris

she also produced some blistering ideas ‘Two households, both alike in dignity”. for ways to continue if restrictions prevail. Still if you think SIX is a disaster for I seriously hope that SIX is short-lived, you, spare a thought for the simcha for as one Sunday paper stressed ‘They industry. Slashing the numbers can’t cancel Christmas’– but what about has crushed every event planner, Yom Kippur? With so much to feel sorry caterer, photographer, DJ and any about we need it more than ever and I will other function facilitator who makes be virtually praying on Saaturday our parties memorable. for good health and simcha Already engulfed by spring returns. You see on Saturday cancellations and deposit my 13-year-old daughter (a refunds, many were thrown virtual bat mitzvah survivor) a lifeline with 30, but went to a friend’s simcha subtracting 24 is a numerical and her smile at the end of travesty. Those with future the night warmed my heart. I bookings tried to squeeze realised I’d missed the dresses, their events into last weekend dancing and named hoodies as before the Monday bell tolled, much as her and probably you. A but for others it’s a waiting game. Natalie Davis reduced Rosh Hashanah and stripped This week I spoke to Natalie back celebrations is not what we Davis, founder of Pop Fusion, a want, but I’ll work with SIX until I can cosmetic entertainment company bringing the bling to big nights. A well-known face on invite you all. the circuit, Her Five Minutes with… online PS. Don’t holdback on that eventual chat supports simcha providers in their simcha spend if it makes you happy. quest to survive and allows them to share their tsorus. But Natalie is not defeatist and www.facebook.com/5minuteswithyou along with having a baby during lockdown,

Amy Winehouse’s dad on wheels


Even Jewish Care was surprised when they realised Mitch Winehouse, was among their volunteers delivering Meals on Wheels to clients. As the father of music legend Amy who died in 2011, charity is as important as it was for his daughter who worked with disadvantaged children and the Foundation in her name helps young women overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Amy enjoyed her dad;s singing as much as Betty Pam will the next time he wheels meals to her home.

It’s all about apples and pomegranates now, but my love of the fruits continues post-rosh hashanah in pies and potions. Creams featured in last week’s mag, but not the excellent Infinite by Forever Hydrating Cleanser £25.50 and Forever Restoring Crème £56.33. The former has apple extract and apple amino acid mixed with cocoa fatty acids which is really hydrating and not sticky and drying like other washes. The crème is loaded with aloe acai, pomegranate, and vitamin B3 to even out tone and smooth parched old skin like mine . www.foreverbyglen.com

Break the Love Fast Lockdown certainly scuppered chances of meeting a mate,so now we’re down to socialising with SIX, one date would be a memorable miracle, let alone the 50 forgettable ones enjoyed by Adam Sandler. Help is at hand with We Go Together, a completely free of charge introduction service for members of the London Jewish community aged between 30 and 78. Featured on our wrap We Go Together could bring romance to the life of your child or your own. Just think,you could be breaking the fast with your new soul mate. www.wegotogether.net



Jewish News 17 September 2020

Weekend / You’re simcha the best!

We look forward to cele ADAM SOLLER PHOTOGRAPHY

Shana Tova and a happy, healthy and Covid-free new year to all my clients past and future, including those families I was lucky to photograph during lockdown – helping them celebrate socially-distanced simchas. Check out photos on my website and get in touch to discuss your simcha. www.adamsoller.com, T: 07412 953953, photography@adamsoller.com


Wishing the whole community Shana Tova u’Metukah. Anoushka wishes you a very happy and healthy new year! We look forward to seeing you in store to explore our newest collection of eveningwear and bridal, offering exclusivity and a bespoke service catering to all your needs. 31 Temple Fortune Parade NW11 0QN, T: 020 8458 1029, @anoushkaglondon


Ben Tenenblat has redefined luxury kosher cuisine, opening up a new world of culinary possibilities. Owing to Covid, he has produced a high-end online site, offering customers the option to have his delights in the comfort of their own home. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year. www.ben-tenenblat.com, T: 020 8205 0463, info@ben-tenenblat.com, @bentenenblat


Wishing the whole community Shana Tova u’Metukah. Our strength is in our common bond, and in the cherished moments we experience together with our families, our friends and our communities. May the year ahead be one of good health, togetherness and celebration. Yamit and Blake Ezra, www.blakeezraphotography.com


Adrian Kelaty and the team at Blend Video wish everyone a happy, healthy, sweet rebooted 5781. Digital video. Photography. Licensed Drone Filming. A media production company that can handle it all! Call Adrian on 07985 647982


Looking for something sweet to start the new year? Say goodbye to Zoom quizzes with our brand new FREE garden magic show. Your guests will witness unbelievable magic right in front of them! Book today with a £10 deposit. www.bookthismagician.co.uk/garden-magic, T: 07814 722502


We want to wish all our clients a happy and healthy new year and well over the fast. We are here to cater for any event, from a birthday lunch to big-scale parties (when allowed) – and always beautifully presented. Just call 07981 992717 to discuss your dream simcha. Visit www.cacaocaterings.com


Richard and Natasha Cohen, together with their family and team at Creative Designsz, would like to wish all their Jewish clients a happy and healthy new year and well over the fast. Despite the impact of Covid-19, we remain open for business as usual and cannot wait to celebrate with you all again very soon. www.creativedesignsz.com, T: 020 3773 4442, events@creativedesignsz.com







Wishing us all a Shana Tova. May we be blessed with a year of good health and many smachot. To my clients, thank you all for letting me be a part of your special moments. See you on the dance floor! www.ejacobsphotography.com, T: 07807 850281, elliot@ejacobsphotography.com

From Stu and Benjy at Eat Me Events, we wish you and your families a happy and healthy new year ahead. We are excited to be creating events again, and look forward to the new year celebrating only good times ahead. www.eatmeevents.com, T: 020 3772 0810, info@eatmeevents.com

Events by Knight (Kwamé Knight) would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. We plan, produce and manage all aspects of events. We specialise in creating a unique experience especially for you. From concept to completion, we are with you every step of the way. For all your event and entertainment requirements, get in touch. www.eventsbyknight.co.uk, T: 07956 104086 / HQ: 020 3130 4040, www.eventsbyknight.co.uk


We at EventCapsule would like to wish all our present and future clients Shana Tova and well over the fast. Feel free to contact us any time regarding Zoom bar and batmitzvahs. We offer a three camera set-up with live editing through Zoom. www.eventcapsule.it, T: 020 7157 9705, nick@reelmash.com


Freedman Photography would like to wish the Jewish News and all of its readers a very Happy healthy New year. May this year bring good health happiness and wonderful memories. I look forward to creating those memories over the new year. www.freedmanphotography.co.uk


From all of us at The Function Band, we wish you a healthy and happy new year. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all very soon. Our offices are open and still taking bookings, so please feel free to get in touch. Keep up with throwbacks on our Instagram @thefunctionband. Stay safe, stay well and see you all soon for lots of celebrating! www.thefunction.band, T: 020 3971 0222, info@thefunction.band


Established in 1992, Funtime Hire provides entertainment equipment hire to the industry’s best event management companies, public sector, corporate and private clients. We remain committed to offering our services in a safe, socially distanced and compliant manner. Wishing you continued good health – together, we will weather this storm! www.funtimehire.co.uk, T: 01371 811381


With smaller celebrations in an uncertain world, we continue to conceptualise and curate the perfect collective of artists for a musical experience to fit within your special day and government guidelines. We can’t wait to party with you again soon and wish you all a happy, healthy and safe new year. T: 07956 875284, info@thegilevshowband.com

Wishing all my lovely clients a Shana Tova . We are missing adding our glitter and sparkles to all your events and cannot wait to be back partying with you all soon. Keep safe, stay well and we will all come through this together, from Rachel. T: 07946 499533, Facebook: Rachel Park, @Rachels_glam_it_up

GrahamsImages wishes a Shana Tova u’Metuka to all our past and future clients. We miss “clicking with people” at all the amazing parties and celebrations and hope to be able to be back parting with you again soon. Your memories are safe in our lens, from Graham Chweidan. www.grahamsimages.com, T: 07770 677508

When the parties begin again, so will the speeches. And we’ll always be here to help. In the meantime, Shana Tova, from Lawrence and the team at Great Speech Writing. www.greatspeechwriting.com, T: 020 7118 1600


We would like to wish all our clients, friends and family a happy and healthy new year. Many beautiful dresses to fit any occasion, Zoomitzvahs and smaller events. We still need to celebrate these special times! For your personal appointment, call Rebecca Rinder on 07887 603921 or email rebeccarinder@gmail.com


Impeccable wishes all our customers a safe and happy new year. We’re a long established family business famous for our super clothes and outstanding service. We hire and sell slimfit three-piece plain and tweed suits, dinner suits and morning suits. Let’s have fun making you look great and feel great. Impeccable, 339 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, HA54JN. www.impeccablewear.co.uk, T:020 8421 1111


To all my clients past, present and future. Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and sweet new year. I look forward to celebrating with you again soon. With love, Jackie Ash Catering. T: 07974 226641. www.facebook.com/jackieashcatering, Jackie@jackieash.co.uk, @jackieashcatering

JAMES ZIMMER The year 2020 will be remembered for some incredible

weddings and events. We have created magical moments for our clients, transforming their dreams into intimate events. James Zimmer and his team wish you a happy and healthy new year. Our team is ready to take your call. www.jameszimmer.co.uk, T: 020 8830 8330, events@jameszimmer.co.uk


Jonathan and the Jewellery Cave team would like to wish everyone in the community a happy, healthy, prosperous and above all safe Shana Tova and well over the fast. T: 020 8446 8538, @jewellerycave


Shana Tova to all of our friends. The ultimate surprise entertainment for your event, specifically tailor-made for Jewish simchas: the UK’s Finest Surprise Singing Waiters and Chefs. Songs you will know and love, such as To Life, Tradition, Shalom, Mazal Tov and a memorable Israeli hora medley to finish. www.jewishencore.co.uk, www.encoreentertainment. co.uk, T: 020 7993 2874 / 07961 350751

17 September 2020 Jewish News



You’re simcha the best! / Weekend

ebrating with you soon! JP TOASTMASTER

JP Toastmaster is wishing everyone a chag sameach and a happy and healthy new year. Sending positivity to all through a tough year! Please get in touch for your future simcha. www.jptoastmaster.com, T: 07947 305355, jamie@jptoastmaster.com


Kisharon Design & Print combines the requirements of the community with the needs of our charity. Offering bespoke event stationery, business branding, personalised calendars, Shabbat/festival packs and many other items made to measure. A unique opportunity for people at Kisharon through work experience and social engagement. Contact creative@kisharon.org.uk or call 020 8457 5003


Wishing you all a happy new year! We’re still here… organising weddings and bar/batmitzvahs! If you’re looking for a venue, caterer, DJ, band, photographer, florist etc, KP can help. We know the industry, have more than 20 years’ experience, work with fantastic suppliers and will help you create something special. www.kpevents.co.uk, T:020 8883 7411, www.facebook. com/KPEventsLondon, @kp.events


Happy new year from Craig at Krypton Nites. Why not hire me to sing for your friends either in your house/garden or on the doorstep for a socially distanced celebration? Birthdays, anniversaries or just a good old excuse to have some fun! Email events@krypton-nites.co.uk or call 07813 589830


Mill Hill United Synagogue wishes the entire Jewish community Shana Tova u’Metuka, and we pray 5781 brings peace, health and happiness to us all. We look forward to returning to celebrating simchas in the Annie and Samuel Levy Hall. www.nerorre.co.uk, office@millhillsynagogue.co.uk, T: 020 8959 1137


Luvli Events wishes everyone a happy and healthy new year and we look forward to celebrating with you very soon. www.luvlievents.com, T: 020 8432 0789


Wishing all event colleagues, clients and future clients a happy and healthy new year and hoping we will all be able to celebrate good times together as soon as possible, Lynne Brent of Lynnovations. Creating the WOW factor with pieces such as lit tablecentres, balloon creations and flowers. www.lynnovations.info, T: 07889 387218


We would like to thank all clients, new and old, for their support and patience during the pandemic and to take this opportunity to wish you all Shana Tova u’Metukah. May next year be filled with celebrations and good health, love Matt. www.mattfrankelevents.com, T: 07776 111166


The Party Band wishes all our friends a happy Rosh Hashanah. We wish you well and will be seeing you ‘after the barrage lifts’ Now booking for 2021/22 so give us a shout and ‘prepare to party!’ www.mixedfeelings.com, T: 07894 960222



After the difficult start to the year, it’s now time to plan that special celebration you’ve been waiting for. With appropriate precautions, we are ready to meet the entertainment needs of valued customers, old and new. Weddings, birthdays, bar/ batmitzvahs, DJs and discos, photo booths. Find out more at: www.moonliteentertainments.co.uk or T: 07970 275998


Novelties Direct would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. This year has seen changes and we now have a huge range of personalised gifts to choose from. We are still printing T-shirts and hoodies and have all your favourite fun novelties and decorations. www.novelties-direct.co.uk, T: 01923 819109


Wishing all my family, friends, clients and colleagues Shana Tova and, in these challenging Covid times, all the best for 5781 to all of us in the simcha world who are itching to get back to work. www.paullangphotography.co.uk, T: 07711 096939, paul@paullangphotography.co.uk


Elliot, together with all the team at London Rox Events, would like to wish all of our family, friends, clients and suppliers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. www.londonroxevents.com, T: 07930 204633

The team at Just Smile Ltd would like to wish all of our customers, friends and family a happy new year… we look forward to making more people smile next year… www.justsmile.co.uk, T: 01923 750525

After numerous requests, Toby Levy Catering has decided to launch a selection of soups made fresh on the day and delivered to you personally. £5 for each 520ml tamper proof container under supervision of the Sephardi Beth Din. Wishing everyone a safe, prosperous and healthy new year. T: 020 8505 2725 / 07910 285115



We know it’s been a difficult time for everyone over the past couple of months. Here at L.S Photography, we want to wish everyone a happy, sweet new year filled with good health and happiness. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all soon and create photos for you to cherish for eternity. www.leivisaltmanphotography.com. T: 077840 18496



Specialists in cosmetic entertainment. Wishing our clients a happy and healthy new year. We have adapted our service to cater for small gatherings and have launched customised bling in box kits for Zoom mitzvahs. Please follow us on Facebook & Instagram @popfusionevents for the latest images and news. Contact Natalie Davis, T: 07815 110880 natalie@popfusion.co.uk


Adding that extra sparkle to your event, from pop-up glitter stations to luxury bell tent hire, we bring the party to you, adding that wow factor. Covid certified. We have missed our clients so much and look forward to partying with you all soon and wish you a happy and healthy new year. Call Katy: 07956 967381, email: katy@thebeautyprincess. co.uk, @oncallbeauty


We wish all of our previous clients, future clients plus their families and all friends a very happy new year. We wish you well over the fast and hope you all keep safe. We look forward to when we can all get together. T: 07956 257497

Entertainment – Events – Production Let’s upstage 2020 together and bring you closer to your family, friends and colleagues through unforgettable experiences. A simcha or event is always worth celebrating and, at UPSTAGE, we are ready to help you achieve this and much more… Let’s make this new “scenario” the best possible event for you and your beloved ones. Chag sameach! www.upstagecreative.co.uk, T: 07807 234435, info@upstagecreative.co.uk


Uptown Events would like to wish all our clients a happy and healthy new year. We would be delighted to help you with your Zoomitzvahs, virtual charity events and socially distanced parties. Contact us via our website: www.uptownevents.co.uk, email: create@uptownevents.co.uk or call us on 020 8358 7320


Don’t forget we are back open and we look forward to seeing you at the hotel soon. Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, WD6 3SB. www.village-hotels.co.uk, T: 020 3841 9890


We want to wish everyone a really healthy and happy new year and to thank those who have used our event and marquee services. No matter how big or small, we can make your simcha special and unique. Just call us for a quote. www.wacarrandson.co.uk, T: 01923 773611


Wackybooth Events Ltd would like to wish all our friends, clients and colleagues a very happy and healthy new year. We have a fabulous range of new products available and are currently taking bookings for 2021/2022. For more information, see www.wackybooth.co.uk, or contact us on 020 8502 7232, sales@wackybooth.co.uk


WOW Bespoke Gifts would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful new Year. We are continuing to create stunning bespoke and personalised gifts for all occasions – mazeltov, Yom Tovs, Thank Yous, new babies and much more. Contact Sarah Cole for your gifting requirements. www.wowbespokegifts.co.uk, T: 07886 567657


Jewish News 17 September 2020

A holistic and fun approach to fitness


Kosher Mehadrin hotel on the Garda Lake

Call today for a healthier you !


Open all year round

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Pain relief through functional movement

HOTEL OLYMPIC KOSHER HOLIDAYS, SIRMIONE Food shop • Café • Ready made foods • Restaurant • Shul with a Sefer Torah Ideal location for star trips to Venice, Verona, … Milan, the Dolomites and Switzerland Plenty for children and youth

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Including flights to Verona, transfer and half board in the hotel or in a local resort

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Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA Rosh Hashanah BY RABBI JONNY ROODYN This Rosh Hashanah will be... well let’s just say different. Our synagogues will look different, feel different and sound different. The familiar is out the window with Covid requirements and social distancing the order of the day. Who would have ever imagined that chazzanim could be dangerous? Or something as innocent as a shofar being treated with as much suspicion as a loaded weapon? Yet the spreading of aerosols is a serious concern and we must all take necessary precautions, including refraining from communal singing. However, in the middle of this muddle, our Yamim Noraim help us chart a path; they are a compass in a topsy-turvy world. On Rosh Hashanah, we read of Hannah, the barren woman, whose heartfelt plea for a son was uttered in silence. The Talmud takes her prayer as the prototype for our own, hence the central and most crucial part of the service, the Amidah, is uttered in silent devotion.

Rosh Hashanah is a day to dream, to yearn for a perfect world and to challenge ourselves to identify and play a part with the national mission of the Jewish people of leading by example as a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. There are times when we can sing this out loud and there are times too, as the Chasidic Masters used to say, “keep the fire within”. This year is one such time. Whether you choose to go to synagogue, or to pray at home, let your voice join the rest of the Jewish people in muted, yet fervent devotion to striving for a world where evil, pain and bloodshed is a thing of the past and all of humanity is united in devotion to the universal truths that Judaism has been proclaiming since its inception. And when we do that, we may just be able to discern God’s very own kol demama daka, still small voice.

◆ Rabbi Jonny Roodyn is education director of Jewish Futures and serves Finchley Federation Synagogue


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What’s in a number?


BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL The Hebrew letters corresponding to the new year, 5781, jumble up to spell some interesting variations on Tav Shin Peh Aleph. Tashpa contains the root for ashpah, a quiver, which is the ancient symbol of a confident warrior, and later in literary history, a scholar. The Psalmist employs this rare root when he declares: “Happy is he who has filled his quiver with these...!” In Modern Hebrew, ashpah has come to mean garbage or rubbish, as we say in UK English. The tav indicates the future tense and so this year’s indicative letters could read as: “Dump last year’s waste!” When jumbled up, Tashpa rereads as tishaf, which is to inhale. The Hebrew verb lishof means to aspire after something, indicating the will to achieve.

Ashaf is the Aramaic word for a magician and appears in the Biblical book of Daniel. In recent history, Ashaf is the acronym in Arabic for the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Additionally, eshatef, a further combination of the letters of 5781, means to share or partner up. So perhaps, as if by magic, we can emerge from this last year’s plague and in the Middle East achieve a peace through and with Israel’s neighbours in the Gulf, which will

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eventually put to rest the unrest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This, indeed, will be a star achievement and cause us to breathe a lot easier. The four letters split and taken separately, yield 57 and 81, which spell zan – sustenance – and af – nostrils: key words representing the economy and the breath of life. Coronavirus attacked both, claiming lives through respiratory disease and severely threatening the economy. Let us hope that in the coming year there will be a reprieve for the economy through a better state of health for us all. Wishing all our readers a happy and healthy 5781! ◆ Rabbi Ariel Abel serves Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation and is padre to Merseyside Army Cadet Force



Jewish News 17 September 2020

Progressive Judaism

Progressively Speaking

The Bible Says What?

What does the new year mean if we can’t be in synagogue?

‘You can’t handle the truth!’


BY RABBI DEBBIE YOUNG-SOMERS On Yom Kippur morning, we will read one of my favourite parts of Torah, Exodus 33, when Moses asks to see all of God, and is pointedly refused. Moses, the receiver of Torah, and the one in closest communication with God, is not granted the honour of seeing the fullness of the Divine – he sees only God’s back. The Torah is couched in language and imagery specific to people, time and place. Moses, in Jewish tradition, is the greatest of all prophets, but if even he can only see where God has been and experiences revelation in language specific to him and his people, how can anyone else be expected to grasp more? Moses was a great leader, but nonetheless human, limited by the events and surroundings forming him and experienced revelation through his remarkable, but particular lenses. So even within the telling of the revelation at Sinai, the giving of Torah to the Jewish people, the Truth that humans can conceive of is limited.

No one person – or group – can grasp the fullness of the Divine, or lay claim to a monopoly on the Truth of God. There is infinite room for the other. The more we hear one another’s glimpses of Truth (and truth), the more we can expand our own understanding. Knowing no one can know the whole truth is comforting. It also means I worry when people tell me they know exactly what God wants or is. The Torah itself reminds us we can’t know – and perhaps here begins the millennia of Jewish debate and disagreement about what every phrase, word and letter might tell us. On Yom Kippur, when we consider our relationship with God, we are asked to embrace theological humility – we might not know it all. In doing so, we can learn more and perhaps even see a little bit more of the unknowable and of ourselves.

◆ Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers serves Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Joshua Heschel said of the Jews that instead of building huge cathedrals to mark space, we make cathedrals of time. As a community, we navigate liminal periods with ceremonies that take us from one moment to the next. Havdalah takes us out of Shabbat and into the week, bnei mitzvah from childhood to adulthood and Rosh Hashanah from one year into the next. The fact that we cannot be physically together in the same space this year, in the same way as we have done for as long as we can remember, can mean that we can feel suspended in the in-between – desirous to leave the old year behind and yet unable to enter the new one. It can feel that we have no real marker, no cathedral of time. My colleagues in Liberal Judaism, and across the entire Jewish community, are doing their very best to create new rituals and

reinvent old ones. The year 5781 will be remembered for many things, but for me above all it was the year we were creative enough to keep congregations open and connected even when we had to shut the doors of our buildings. It was the year we recognised how many people had been excluded from our communities in years past, by the stumbling blocks we did not know we had erected, and we flung doors, screens and webcams open

wide to bring them in. This year over the High Holy Days, Liberal Judaism will return to Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube to bring our members everything from traditional services and discussion groups to plays and puppet shows. We would be delusional if we thought it will be the same. But then, even when we are in our buildings, the year end and beginning is not the same. Rosh Hashanah is in itself a liminal moment; we stand between life and death, the good and the bad and what are we told? Only choose life and the good, reminds our text and our tradition. So this year, as we enter 5781 and say goodbye to 5780, I am embracing this wilderness, this moment as itself a chance to note the blessings and curses of this time, the good and the bad and I will choose life… ◆ Rabbi Charley Baginsky is interim director of Liberal

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Israel this week as well as Portugal and several other countries over the past month. Until DAVID SEGAL there is a realistic end in sight, most airlines TRAVEL AGENT will not resume flying or at best will only offer WEST END TRAVEL restricted schedules to limited destinations. On the positive side most airlines are offering Dear David credit vouchers if flights are cancelled or postWe’re hoping to travel abroad for a special poned, allowing a date change of up to one year family occasion. We would consider any without a rebooking penalty. country that the UK permits travel without Unfortunately, this situation is likely to quarantine, but are worried that we will lose remain for several months. Should you still our money if we are forced to cancel should decide to travel to a country on the “UK green the government’s green list change yet again. list”, my advice is to first check the Government Your advice would be appreciated. Travel Advice, ensuring you do not commit to Anne arrangements that are non-refundable. I would love to encourage you to book your Dear Anne milestone holiday but my advice at the moment On the surface your question is straightforis simple: sit tight, be patient and hopefully ward, but regrettably, there is no easy answer as I will be able to bring you better news in the the situation regarding travel restrictions are months ahead. I wish you and all readers a continually changing. We have seen this with happy and healthy new year. writing required. How can we help her? Elie


LITERACY SPECIALIST LTD Dear Sarah Our 12-year-old daughter has always been a slow reader and weak at spelling. She was given easier texts and shorter spelling lists in primary school, which helped her manage her work. However, now that she is in secondary school she is struggling with the amount of reading and

Dear Elie Secondary school involves a new set of challenges for students with reading and spelling difficulties. They encounter a more demanding level of work which requires efficient reading and comprehension. They must be able to meet the expectations of several different teachers. I would recommend that you contact the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and year leader. Talk to them about your concerns and hopefully this will result in a plan being put in place to support and monitor your daughter’s reading, writing and spelling. The school might be able to provide help such as a

learning support assistant or smaller group teaching. Persistent problems with reading and spelling often signify the presence of a specific difficulty such as dyslexia. This is a learning disorder that affects both children and adults. Generally, people with dyslexia have difficulty breaking down words into simple sounds. They struggle to learn how sounds correspond to letters and words, which can lead to slow reading, weak spelling and poor reading comprehension. If the school feels there is a need, it might recommend an assessment for your daughter. This would provide a detailed profile of her strengths and weaknesses, a diagnosis if appropriate and recommendations for going forward. Best of luck!


STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD Dear Stephen I’m planning to make aliyah in October. How will Covid affect my container shipping? Sarah Dear Sarah Since Covid became a reality earlier this year, ships have continued sailing worldwide as normal and Israel is no

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you have kids, please keep them in a separate room, in the garden (if you have one) or at a friend’s house with whom you have a social ‘bubble’. In Israel we are currently faced with a further ‘lockdown’. We are advised that we can continue to deliver to your new home but it is essential that you stay distanced from the delivery crew and in a room other than the ones into which they are delivering. If you are self-isolating, then we are not allowed to deliver to the same building in which you are isolating. But, rest assured, we are currently completing our UK-Israel international moves as planned and with almost no ‘hiccups’!



Jewish News 17 September 2020

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing director, consultants in affordable family and corporate health insurance. • Specialise in maximising cover, lowering premiums and pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • LLB, solicitor finals, FCA Regulated 773729.

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• • •

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Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




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Fun, games and prizes







10 11 13 15 17 19 20 21

7 8












ACROSS 1 Astutely (6) 4 Flat token (4)

8 Latin word meaning ‘by way of’ (3) 9 Sheer fabric (7)










































6 7


Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Cynic 4 Binge 7 Rewrite 8 Doe 9 Etc 11 Ardour 14 Hidden 17 Tea 19 Imp 20 Climber 22 Teddy 23 Eject DOWN: 1 Carpet 2 New 3 China 4 Breed 5 No doubt 6 Eyes 10 Clipped 12 Rue 13 Carrot 15 Decoy 16 Naive 18 Diet 21 Bee






8 1 7 2 5 4 3 9 6










8 5


6 2



19 15
















19 26


7 6 3 4 9 8 5 1 2

1 8 5 7 2 6 9 4 3




23 8

















22 5








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








3 2 1

21 21


20 20


4 3 2 5


15 19











4 2 3


26 15



23 16

1 6

2 1


25 2

3 6 6 9 3 7

9 7 6

10 2

8 4



1 6 4

7 3


















8 5

See next issue for puzzle solutions.















Suguru 2 4 9 3 1 5 7 6 8

6 9



Sudoku 4 5 2 6 3 9 1 8 7




3 9 6 8 7 1 2 5 4




























7 1

In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers 6, 15 and 25 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.

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


Loud sound (5) Outer casing (5) Large drain (5) Canada’s leaf (5) Productive (7) Hill, rocky peak (3) Encourage (4) Biochemical catalyst (6)



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

DOWN 1 Interlaced (5) 2 Marine panorama (3,4) 3 Ill‑fitting, slack (5) 5 Coaching house (3) 6 Move on hands and knees (5) 7 Matures (4) 12 Fellow feeling (7) 13 Exhales audibly (5) 14 Breach (4) 15 Juicy gourd (5) 16 Unearthly, spooky (5) 18 Written promise to pay (inits)(3)




9 3 4 1 8 7 6 2 5

5 7 8 9 6 2 4 3 1

6 2 1 5 4 3 8 7 9

1 3 4 3 1 2

4 2 1 2 4 3

1 5 3 5 1 5


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

Wordsearch 2 4 1 2 4 3

5 3 5 3 5 1

1 4 2 1 2 4

2 3 1 4 2 3

1 5 2 5 1 5

2 4 1 3 4 3

1 3 2 5 1 2

2 5 1 4 3 5

1 4 3 2 1 4








Codeword A T B E A A O U C K I N E









R Z X Q L KO E I T H C P Y N G B U V F D A J M S W17/09



Jewish News 17 September 2020

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17 September 2020 Jewish News



Business Services Directory SILVER



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Leave the legacy of independence to people like Joel.



PLease remember us in your wiLL.


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Jewish News 17 September 2020





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