He’s a Shai ﬂyer! Shai Weiss, the Israeli boss of Virgin Atlantic, on Extraordinary Care from working Extraordinary People alongside • Residential Sir Richard • Respite • Independent Living Branson 020 8908 4151 Pages 24-25
VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 1 October 2020
13 Tishrei 5781
We are with you 150 MPs and peers sign our Uyghur petition
More than 150 parliamentarians have backed Jewish News’ call for the government to ratchet up the pressure on China over the plight of its Uyghur Muslims writes Justin Cohen. Together with Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani, and with the support of the World Uyghur Congress and human rights charity René Cassin, this newspaper wrote to MPs and peers last month urging them to push for sanctions and an independent investigation. Around one million Muslims are understood to be held in camps in Xinjiang, a region in the country’s northwest, according to human rights activists. Rights groups have accused China of abuses including forced labour and sterilisation. Chinese authorities deny any mistreatment of the Uyghur and other Muslim minority groups, saying the detention camps offer vocational training. Last month, criticising another letter from faith leaders, the Chinese Embassy said its contents were “sheer rumour and smear. We strongly deplore and oppose it”, a spokesperson
A Muslim man prays during a demonstration against China’s inhumane treatment of its Uyghur population
for the embassy told Jewish News. “The so-called genocide and forced sterilisation is nothing but a lie,” the spokesperson added, alongside a lengthy rejection of claims made about Xinjiang.
After more than 20 Jewish leaders backed our campaign, 152 senior MPs and peers from across the political spectrum added their names to the letter, which will be presented to Number 10 next week.
They include Tories Tom Tugendhat and Damian Green, Labour’s Chris Bryant and Margaret Hodge, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Caroline Lucas of the Greens. Sup-
porters in the Lords include Lord Pickles and Baroness Deech. Communal backers include Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl and United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein, Union of Jewish Students president James Harris, Jewish Care chief executive officer Daniel Carmel-Brown, B’nai B’rith UK president Alan Miller and Mitzvah Day founder and chair Laura Marks. Other supporters are Dr Edie Friedman, executive director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, and Marc Cave, chief executive of the National Holocaust Centre in Nottingham. The letter petitions MPs to push for sanctions on “state and non-state perpetrators” and for the proscription of all companies and individuals “facilitating these atrocities.” The letter — which is backed by the Board of Deputies as well as leaders of the United Synagogue and the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements — says: “After the ratification of the Genocide Convention back in 1948, the words ‘never again’ Continued on page 2
STARMER: MEMORIAL IS VITAL Starmer said: “It is vital for our Sir Keir Starmer has given his “wholehearted nation that we commemorate the support” to the proposed Holocaust six million Jewish men, woman memorial next to Parliament, writes Jack and children murdered during the Mendel. The Labour leader’s backing Holocaust. It is more important than ever comes ahead of an inquiry chaired that we educate current and future genby a planning inspector, amid a legal erations of the horrors of genocide.” challenge by heritage groups protesting its He added: “The fight against intolerance proposed location. On Wednesday Starmer met with Lord Keir Starmer and prejudice in our society, and the stain of antisemitism, goes on. So I offer my wholeEric Pickles and Ed Balls, co-chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, to stress the hearted support to the Holocaust Memorial and significance of the memorial, and push for its Learning Centre and its placement next to the heart approval. This comes amid a legal challenge brought of our democracy. It is disappointing that, despite against the government by the London Historic almost two years passing since the planning applicaParks and Gardens Trust, protesting the location of tion was submitted, permission for the project has the proposed memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens still not been granted. I urge the planning inspector – a Grade II-listed park next to Westminster Abbey to recognise the national significance of this project.” and the Houses of Parliament.
LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
The iconic statue of David Ben-Gurion standing on his head cut a lonely figure this week on Tel Aviv beach as Israelis endured a second week of lockdown. The country recently recorded its highest daily Covid-19 case numbers. Full story on page 14
Jewish News 1 October 2020
News / Uyghur campaign
‘We have a moral obligation’ Uyghurs – and our mesContinued from page 1 sage must be that we will were a common political refrain. You dunces! not tolerate it any longer. We have an urgent moral obliThis country and our comgation to give meaning to these munities are united in our words. If we fail to act now, we will determination to raise have shown them to be empty.” awareness of what is hapIt describes alleged abuses as “a JN leads call for MPs to pressu re China over Uighurs pening, hold to account crime of unimaginable violence those responsible, and and demands us all to respond, ensure that we are not a safe as individuals, countries and as space for those who facilian international community”. tate, profit from, or associate “For the Jewish community, themselves with the perreports emerging from the INCLUSIVITY PROBE WIDENS petrators of these barbaric region bring terrifying echoes human rights abuses”. of the Holocaust,” it reads. The Jewish News camGhani said: “Britain is a paign coincides with the beacon of hope to many in announcement of a parliathe world, and as a country How we launched the campaign mentary inquiry by the Busithat holds freedom, democracy and human rights above all else, we should ness, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select be one of the staunchest critics of what is hap- committee, which will explore the extent to which pening in Xinjiang. I am thankful to all MPs who UK businesses are exploiting the forced labour of have signed this letter and I’m pleased to see rep- Uyghur in the Xinjiang region of China. Writing in The House magazine (a parliamenresentations from so many different parties”. She said she was also “tremendously grateful tary publication) about the select committee to the Jewish community, who are making their inquiry, likely to take place in November, Nusrat voices heard and standing in solidarity with the Ghani says international brands such as “the Uyghurs. It is crucial that we stand together and Walt Disney Company, ByteDance, the parent use Great Britain’s moral and legal authority to company of TikTok, and clothing giants such defend them as they face destruction and humili- as Adidas, Nike and North Face, have questions to answer about their business involvements ation at the hands of the Chinese government.” The MP continued: “Free people every- relating to the Chinese Communist Party”. where are disgusted by what is happening to the Editorial comment, page 16 FR
LIFT ING SHO FAR BAN IS MUS IC TO OUR EAR S, SEE PAG E 3 How exam grade s debacle shook Jewish schools Pages 4 & 5
VOICE O F THE C OMMUN ITY • 30 Av 5780 • Issue No.1172 • @Jewish
It’s Shalom Abu Dhabi!
20 August 2020
Don’t be silen NewsUK
The story behin d the deal P2, 10 & 11
A Jewish News appeal to MPs turn up the to and United pressure on Synagogue president China Michael over the plight Goldstein, it of its Uighur calls on MPs Mus- to push lims this week for an independ received the back- tigations ent ing of senior into alleged human invesfigures across the abuses community, writes rights in Xinjiang. Mathilde Frot. The letter was It also petitions organised in partMPs to push for nership with sanctions on World Uighur “state and non-state Con- perpetrat gress, human rights ors” and for the proscripCassin and Conserva charity René tion of all companies and tive MP Nusrat individuals Ghani. Around “facilitati one million Muslims ng these atrocities are believed to .” Signatori be detained in camps of Jewish es also include Union in Xinjiang, a region in the Students president coun- Harris, try’s northwes James Jewish Care chief t, according to human officer executive rights activists. Daniel Carmel-B Rights groups B’rith UK president rown, B’nai have accused Alan Miller China of abuses including forced and Mitzvah Day founder and chair labour and sterilisati Laura Marks. on. But Chinese authorities deny Other backers any mistreatm are Dr ent of the Uighur and other Muslim Friedman, executive director Edie minority groups, of the saying the deten- Jewish Council for Racial tion camps off Equality, and Marc Cave, er vocational training. chief executive As part of the appeal, an open the National Holocaust Centre of letter will be sent Nottingham. in to return next month, MPs when they The letter says: A mask painted “After the ratifi with the flag than 20 signature carrying more tion of the caof East Turkesta Genocide s from Reform, n, homeland Masorti and words ‘never again’ Convention the crime of of the Uighurs, Liberal rabbis, unimaginable silenced by were a common senior political community violence and the Chinese demands us all leaders and refrain. flag Earlier this month, to respond, as charity executives. “We have an urgent the Chinese indi- embassy viduals, countries spokesperson Signed by Jewish for the embassy tion to give meaning moral obliga- tional commun and as an interna- another criticised the contents of News editor told Jewish News. letter, signed to these words. ity”. Richard Ferrer, “For the Jewish Board of Depu- If we fail to act now, we leaders, demandin by senior faith “The so-called will have some ties president commun g “justice” for shown them to genocide and Marie van der of the be empty.” forced reports emerging ity, China’s minority commun Zyl It describes alleged from lation. ity popu- lie,” sterilisation is nothing but the region bring The contents a terrifying echoes the spokesperson abuses as “a of the letter the Holocaust,” of were “sheer added, alongside it reads. a lengthy rejection rumour and smear. of claims We made about strongly deplore and oppose it”, Xinjiang. a Opinion , page 18
ISRAELI JETS OVER DACHAU
Israeli and German fighter jets performe d a historic joint flyover in Germany for the first time this week. They flew in formatio n over the Dachau concentration camp and the site of the 1972 Munich Olympics, where 11 Israeli athletes were murdered
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Dear Prime Minister A human rights crisis is unfolding in China, which has shocking echoes of the worst atrocities in living memory. At least one million Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic groups are being arbitrarily detained in ‘re-education camps’ in the Uyghur region of China, as part of a wide effort by the Chinese government to erase their culture and identity. Children have been separated from their families, women forcibly sterilised, countless thousands subjected to forced labour to provide goods sold on our high streets. What the Chinese Communist Party is perpetrating in the Uyghur region is a crime of unimaginable violence and demands us all to respond, as individuals, countries and as an international community. For the Jewish community, some of the reports emerging from the region bring terrifying echoes of the Holocaust. We must not and we will not turn a blind eye. We therefore pledge to campaign for the UK government: • To push for an urgent, independent United Nations investigation into atrocities carried out against Muslim minorities in China • To work urgently towards a legal recognition of the crimes under way – independently from the UN if necessary • To pursue all possible methods to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its egregious human rights abuses • To add state and non-state perpetrators to the UK ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions list • To proscribe companies and institutions which are facilitating these atrocities After the ratification of the Genocide Convention the words “never again” were a common political refrain. We have an urgent moral obligation to give meaning to these words. If we fail to act now, we will have shown them to be empty. Signed: Richard Ferrer, Jewish News Mia Hasenson-Gross, Rene Cassin Marie van der Zyl, Board of Deputies of British Jews Michael Goldstein, United Synagogue Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Movement for Reform Judaism Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Masorti Judaism James Harris, Union of Jewish Students Michael Newman, Association of Jewish Refugees Marc Cave, National Holocaust Centre Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care Laura Marks, Mitzvah Day Imi Wise, Federation of Zionist Youth Rosa Slater, Liberal Jewish Youth-Netzer, Rafi Cohen, Bnei Akiva Judy Silkoff, Association of Jewish Women and Organisations Dr Edie Friedman,The Jewish Council for Racial Equality Alan Miller, B’nai B’rith UK Nusrat Ghani MP, Conservative Tim Loughton MP, Conservative Christian Wakeford MP, Conservative Rob Roberts MP, Conservative Steve Baker MP, Conservative Robert Largan MP, Conservative Alison Thewliss MP, SNP Kate Osamor MP, Labour Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne TD MP, Conservative James Gray MP, Conservative Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Conservative Owen Thompson MP, SNP Virendra Sharma MP, Labour Stuart McDonald MP, SNP Karen Green MP, Labour Alyn Smith MP, SNP Tom Randall MP, Conservative Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrats Gareth Bacon MP, Conservative Chris Clarkson MP, Conservative Chris Bryant MP, Labour Bob Blackman MP, Conservative Alan Brown MP, SNP Pauline Latham MP, Conservative Dr Philippa Whitford MP, SNP Neil Gray MP, SNP Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrats Paul Girvan MP, DUP Rt Hon Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Plaid Cymru Nicola Richards MP, Conservative Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru Drew Hendry MP, SNP Crispin Blunt MP, Conservative Neale Hanvey MP, SNP Caroline Ansell MP, Conservative Tom Tugendhat MBE MP, Conservative Andrew Rosindell MP, Conservative Alicia Kearns MP, Conservative Jonathan Gullis MP, Conservative Andrew Lewer MP, Conservative Patricia Gibson MP, SNP Mohammad Yasin MP, Labour Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrats Rt Hon Sammy Wilson MP, DUP Ben Everitt MP, Conservative Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, Conservative Robbie Moore MP, Conservative Anne McLaughlin MP, SNP Kieran Mullan MP, Conservative Rt Hon Ian Blackford MP, SNP, leader of the SNP in the House of Commons
Anthony Mangall MP, Conservative Sarah Champion MP, Labour Christian Wakeford MP, Conservative Alan Brown MP, SNP Richard Thomson MP, SNP Chris Law MP, SNP Margaret Ferrier MP, SNP John Nicholson MP, SNP Douglas Chapman MP, SNP Deidre Brock MP, SNP Angus MacNeil MP, SNP Brendan O’Hara MP, SNP Hannah Barden MP, SNP Stewart McDonald MP, SNP Rosie Cooper MP, Labour Michael Fabricant MP, Conservative Baroness Altmann, Conservative Baroness Lister of Burtersett, Labour Baroness Nicholson of Winterborne, Conservative Baroness Deech, crossbench Lord McInnes of Kilwinning, Conservative Baroness Jolly, Liberal Democrats Lord Alton of Liverpool, Liberal Democrats Lord Pickles, Conservative Lord Balfe, Conservative Kirsten Oswald MP, SNP Dr James Davies MP, Conservative Baroness Neuberger, Crossbench Baroness Whittaker, Labour Baroness Eaton, Conservative Lord Hylton, Crossbench Martyn Day MP, SNP Stephen Flynn MP, SNP Carol Monaghan MP, SNP David Linden MP, SNP Marion Fellows MP, SNP Patrick Grady MP, SNP Kenny MacAskill MP, SNP Vivien Lichtenstein, Jewish Greens Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrats Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrats Caroline Lucas MP, Greens Mick Whitley MP, Labour Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Greens Paul Bristow MP, Conservative Matthew Offord MP, Conservative Fleur Anderson MP, Labour, co-chair of the APPG for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity Rt Hon Damian Green MP, Conservative, chairman of the One Nation Conservatives caucus Siobhain McDonagh MP, Labour Jamie Stone MP, Liberal Democrats Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan DBE MP, Gordon Henderson MP, Conservative Sally-Ann Hart MP, Conservative Graham Stringer MP, Labour Dr Stephen Farry MP, Alliance David Warburton FRSA MP, Conservative Elliot Colburn MP, Conservative Julian Knight MP, Conservative, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee Rupa Huq MP, Labour Andrew Selous MP, Conservative Dr Neil Hudson MP FRCVS, Conservative Barry Gardiner MP, Labour Rt Hon Sir George Howarth MP, Labour Rt Hon Margaret Hodge DBE MP, Labour, parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement Imran Ahmad Khan MP, Conservative Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrats
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Hate definition / MPs discussion / Presidential debate / News
Jewish student leaders have called for “a culture change” after research revealed that only a fifth of higher education institutions had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, writes Adam Decker. The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said more than 100 universities were “defying” the government’s repeated call to adopt the definition, demanding that the remaining institution “step up”. In January, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick called for all universities and colleges to adopt it, but they are legally independent and not required to do so. “Nine months on from the Secretary of State’s intervention... freedom of information requests have shown that only 29 out of the 133 higher education institutions in the UK have adopted the IHRA definition,” UJS said this week. While pleased that some
Photo by Yakir Zur
Only one in five universities adopts IHRA definition, research reveals
British students on an educational visit to Auschwitz
had adopted the definition, it added: “We continue to be frustrated and dissatisfied that universities have failed to sufficiently protect their Jewish students from antiJewish racism.” UJS campaigns organiser Bradley Langer this week urged universities to “step up and demonstrate their support for Jewish students and staff”. He said: “The only way to achieve the mass adoption and
implementation is for Jewish students to take the lead creating grassroots campaigns on campuses and forcing university to staff to see the need. “It is now time for there to be a culture shift where the adoption of the IHRA definition is seen as an example of ‘good practice’ and not a controversial step.” Robert Halfon, chair of Parliament’s Education Select Committee, said: “It is both
UJIA is committed to improving the lives of children and young adults in Israel. Over the past few months, we have had to go further, as the corona pandemic threatened to make life even worse for those on the periphery or at risk. We have worked with the vulnerable to ensure the gaps that already exist do not widen during these challenging times.
shocking and disappointing that, yet again, antisemitism is swept under the carpet by some of our major higher education institutions in our country. “It seems strange that they are prepared to virtue signal on so many PC issues, but when it comes to Jewish people, they are ignored. The minister must make it absolutely clear that IHRA is adopted – no excuse or delay.” UJS said 17 institutions had told it they planned to discuss the definition in formal meetings in the coming months, while 80 said they had not adopted IHRA and had no plans to do so, with some citing freedom of speech as a reason. However, Jewish student representatives said antisemitism on campus had risen by more than a third since lockdown, adding the definition “is a cornerstone in ensuring that antisemitism, when reported, is dealt with in a way in which the Jewish community can be confident”.
Peace deals ‘a step forward’ MPs clashed in the Commons over Israel’s recent peace deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. Conservative MP David Jones, the former Brexit Minister, reminded the Commons it had “voted in 2014 to recognise Palestine”, saying it was “now time for the government to confirm that recognition”, while Israel received “its own recognition across the Arab world”, after deals with the UAE and Bahrain. Conservative Friends of
Israel members, including chairman Stephen Crabb, Christian Wakeford and Damien Moore spoke in favour of the recent double peace deal. Crabb called them “an enormous step forward”, adding that “the intransigence and refusal to engage on the part of the Palestinian leadership is a huge block to progress”. Labour’s Stephen Kinnock, however, urged the UK government to “ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements”.
Trump on far-right fence Donald Trump refused to categorically denounce white supremacists during Tuesday night’s presidential debate alongside Democrat Joe Biden. The moderator asked the US president: “Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and in Portland?” He initially said: “Sure. I’m
willing to do that,” but added: “Almost everything I see is from the left wing. Not from the right wing.” However, when asked to denounce the far-right Proud Boys group by name, he sidestepped. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa [short for ‘anti-fascist’, a loose affiliation of far-left activists] and the left,” the president said.
OPP O RT UNI T Y Here in the UK with Israel Tour and Birthright not able to take place this summer, we have been working on new and innovative ways to ensure that our young people are still engaged with Israel, even when they cannot visit. This Kol Nidre our appeal to you is to help us close the gaps in Israeli society by changing inequality into opportunity and working with us to ensure that future generations of British Jews retain that unbreakable lifelong connection. To support the work of UJIA today, you can donate online at ujia.org/kn20 or contact Jonathan on 020 7424 6447 or email email@example.com
ujia.org United Jewish Israel Appeal is a registered charity No. 1060078 (England & Wales) and Sc 039181 (Scotland).
Jewish News 1 October 2020
News / Pandemic latest
Zoom socials help freshers beat isolation By Freyde Sayers
Settling into the first year of university always has its challenges but this autumn’s intake of freshers have had the entire experience upended by the pandemic. One of the institutions with scores of cases and hundreds of students self-isolating is Abertay University in Dundee. Jakob Dalland, a first-year Jewish student at Abertay, feels lucky not to be locked down and has made a friend in his accommodation block, but knows the experience is not what it could have been. Jakob, from Edinburgh, said: “I’ve got less chance to meet other people because I can’t socialise.” As for joining societies, he said Zoom meetings feel awkward so he found them a turn-off. “It’s a lot different to seeing someone in person. You can’t read someone’s body language.” Emily Cohen, a first-year psychology student at Leeds, said her first few days at university felt quite normal. “Although we couldn’t go to clubs, people were still socialising and it was fun,” she
said. But after 10 days she had to isolate because Covid was going round her accommodation. “It’s not ideal because you want to meet as many A socially distanced university lecture – but UK universities are now holding them online people as possible at the beginning, “I expected it. My friends and I have already people. That element won’t be there.” William Craig, an economics student at interacted with hundreds of people, so it Likewise, at Durham University JSoc, live Durham, is not enjoying life as a Covid fresher. wasn’t surprising the virus was spreading. It’s events have been turned into virtual ones. “It’s very strict, with wardens coming around to hard, but so many of my friends at different Miriam Makin, the society president and a make sure you don’t mix households.” The uniunis are in the same position. It’s just final-year psychology student, said uni versity is running in-person events for freshers what we’ve got to deal with. I’m life this term is “very different from such as silent discos to keep boredom at bay, but happy that I like my flatmates. If normal”. Every week JSoc would the whole experience feels odd, he says. “Online you don’t it’s even harder.” hold a buffet-style dinner, lectures are horrible,” he added. Tobias Cohen, 21, president which it hoped to keep going Of course some students decided – or were of Cambridge University Israel in some form. “Alternatives are forced – to defer their places and are on gap Society and in his final year of being worked on.” years. Angelica Levy, 18, from north-west a degree in human, social and Mia Shindler, a final-year London, is in Jerusalem on the Aardvark Israel political sciences, would normally history student and the JSoc’s programme. “We’re in a lockdown but it’s not be organising one-to-one events to head of outreach, hopes to come that bad,” she said. “Yom Kippur in Israel is so recruit freshers but is relying up with “creative ways of running cool. My friend went for a run on a motorway!” on virtual gatherings. “A large Student Emily Cohen online events,” adding: “For Rosh What is clear is that although there’s a part of the way we work is that Hashanah and Yom Kippur we degree of normality at many universities, Zoom people meet each other and make new friends had Zoom events and the people who didn’t want is looming larger in freshers’ lives than they and hang out and you build relationships with to join during the day caught up afterwards.” would wish.
JSocs work hard to sustain Jewish life The student experience has been virtually put on hold during coronavirus, with lectures online and clubbing banned – but what does it mean for Jewish life on campus, writes Tali Fraser. Covid legislation has scuppered a number of Jewish Society plans. Josh Collins, president of Nottingham University’s JSoc, said it had intended to move to real-life events after having been online for six months, but the rule of six meant that although students were on campus, they still had to go online for events. “I have found it very challenging trying to cater to the current environment quite often, we are just doing the best we can,” he said. Nottingham JSoc says it has been
working with Chabad and the Chaplaincy, together with the Union of Jewish Students, to make sure a Jewish student experience is still provided. UJS organised a JSoc Chazon (Vision) day as training for committees to help JSocs air their concerns, work together and create new initiatives during coronavirus. The issue highlighted the most by committee members: what happens to Friday night dinners? Students’ first suggestion was to come up with a plan, alongside chaplains, for Friday night takeaways across campus. The chaplains for Leeds, Yorkshire and Nottingham, Eli and Shevi Grunewald, said they were doing all they could to support JSoc commit-
tees’ ideas and have found themselves providing more help than ever this year, under coronavirus. As I spoke to them, they were prepping dinners for self-isolating students to drop outside of their doors. “Parents are getting in touch about their kids and expecting to get Shabbat dinner”, they said but “students are being very resilient”. The Grunewalds were hopeful that whether is is food being dropped off for Friday night takeaways or socially distanced events, a semblance of Jewish life will remain on campus. Some students are still concerned though. Annie Steadman, a student from Manchester with a place at the University of Cambridge, has deferred starting for a year because
of “the probability of not getting the full university experience”. Sabrina Miller, a third-year student at the University of Bristol, said concerns were understandable as “JSoc for me is first and foremost a social society. The Friday night dinners, the JSoc pres [drinks before a night out] and the lunch and learns. “As a result of Covid restrictions the most important parts of Bristol JSoc won’t be able to function legally for at least the next six months and that is a true shame.” Shiri Wolff, communications office for UJS, said it was “seeing JSocs struggle” without the ability to plan social events ahead of time, due to changing guidelines. “JSoc is a very social atmosphere,
it is not just about religion but also culture,” she said. “It gives Jewish students a crucial space to be Jewish however they see fit.” Jewish societies across the country said they were doing everything they could to continue providing for students. Leeds JSoc even put together an event where freshers were divided into groups of five and given a route to follow around campus, walking to each important Jewish location where they would, socially distanced, meet a member of the committee, never in a group bigger than six. While it may be difficult, as UJS and the chaplaincies recognise, most JSocs are doing their all to maintain a Jewish social life on campus.
PAYOUT PLEDGE FOR COVID CARE WORKER’S FAMILY
Melvyn Sher flanked by brothers Malcolm (left) and Hylton
The family of a frontline worker who died in April with Covid-19 have welcomed a government guarantee about a life assurance payout after concerns over its delay, writes Tali Fraser. The family of Melvyn Sher, who worked as a healthcare assistant for Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital, and whose photo was used by the government in its publicity for the payout policy, launched shortly after his death, said bureaucratic practices had delayed the £60,000 payout. Melvyn’s son, Joseph Sher, told Jewish News that his dad “loved his work and he loved working at the hospital… he always said the NHS were his second family”. He criticised the government’s response, saying the grief for his father “wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t getting dragged out. I just want to get it sorted once and for all now.” After Jewish News contacted the Department for Health and
Social Care for a statement, the family were informed that their claim had been successful and that they would be given help to complete the final steps required. While the family have now gained reassurance, they still face another wait before payment, with Covid-related delays affecting the remaining legal stage. Melvyn’s widow, Charmaine Sher, had contacted the Paperweight charity – which provide practical guidance to those in the Jewish community crisis – two months ago with her concerns. Benjamin Conway, chairman of Paperweight, “We are delighted with the positive outcome for the Sher family. However, many people face similar challenges because of the pandemic, which is dramatically impacting on the welfare of hundreds of families in our community”. Three funerals in the past week brought the total number of Jewish virus victims to 513.
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Pandemic latest / News
Simcha suppliers have joined forces to attack government restrictions on events, writes Sandy Rashty. More than 100 Jewish suppliers are part of a lobby group called the British Events Industry Coalition in a bid to get the government to do more to support the industry. Those in the kosher catering, music, floral and photography businesses say they need “more support” after Covid restrictions were extended last month. Kosher caterer Ben Tenenblat, who has lost close to £1.2million in revenue from cancelled or postponed charity functions and sim-
Photo by The Crawleys
Simcha firms join lobby
Party suppliers are calling for more government support
chas, wants the government to extend the furlough scheme beyond October, when it is due to end. “If we make our staff redundant now, we won’t be able to trade in the future. At
the same time, we have no work coming in.” Tenenblat, whose business has adapted with a catering trailer, added: “Cash flow is a massive issue. We need more support.”
Florist Miri Moses, whose company is based in Stamford Hill and Golders Green, said: “I worked so hard to build my business.” She suggested that instead of venues with 500 people, the government allowed 50 with social distancing. “I feel they could find a way if they wanted to. They don’t care that so many industries are going under.” Atmotion videography company director Paul Richman was disappointed at the government’s decision to cut the number of wedding guests to 15 from 30. “The industry is dying and the government seem to be doing their best to make it even worse.”
JFS PUPILS STAY HOME AFTER COVID CASE Europe’s largest Jewish secondary has confirmed a positive coronavirus case, forcing some staff and students to stay at home. JFS headteacher Rachel Fink has written to parents outlining that a “small number of children and staff who have been in close contact with the individual who has tested positive” have been informed, and they will now need to self-isolate. The school told people to stay at home for 14 days after the date of possible contact, which was either 22 or 23 September, depending on which class a student or staff member was in. It added that “the majority of teachers in the history department are also required to isolate”. Asking concerned parents to “support us by not calling the school” or sending “general enquiry emails”, the letter stresses that “for most people, coronavirus (Covid-19) will be a mild illness”. Urging people to follow advice from the government, Fink said: “We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England.” The school added, that it “remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal”. Elsewhere, pupils at Shenley’s Clore Shalom Primary School are self-isolating.
Succahs under strict regulations, no Simchat Torah dancing The United Synagogue issued new Covid-compliant guidelines this week in line with latest government advice, impacting on Succot and Simchat Torah, writes Jenni Frazer. The biggest change focuses on the Arba Minim, or Four Species, traditionally carried in shuls and passed from one person to another to perform the relevant blessings. But not this year. The US said: “We received a very clear message from government that we should not facilitate the use of shared items in any way.” Communal succahs will be allowed, but under straitened con-
ditions. Anyone who has a succah at home will be encouraged to go home and use it; those who need to fulfil the mitzvah at their shul will find no chairs inside the succah, a socially distanced queue to get in, and a pre-packed biscuit and drink carton to be collected in order to make kiddush. Only one household at a time will be allowed inside the communal succah. Simchat Torah is an even bigger casualty of Covid restrictions. The “the exuberant singing and dancing which we normally associate with the festival” can’t happen this year, the US said.
Inside synagogues on Simchat Torah, the normal procession and circuits of the bimah, holding sifrei Torah, will have a different look: everyone will be obliged to wear face masks and walk two metres from each other, and there will be no handing of scrolls from one person to another. Anyone who falls sick after a shul visit will be asked to tell the honorary officers where they were sitting so that extra cleaning can be carried out. Editorial comment, page 16
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News / Job fears / School plans / Ratana tribute
Shomrim mourn ‘a great friend’
Lost your job? Been furloughed? Worried about your future career?
Jews in Stamford Hill “could not believe it” when they heard about the fatal shooting of Sergeant Matt Ratana in Croydon Police custody suite last week. Chaim Hochhauser, of the Stamford Hill branch of Shomrim, the community security group which has close links with the Metropolitan Police, knew Sergeant Ratana well. He said: “Sgt Ratana was part of the Safer Neighbourhood team in Hackney and we went on a lot of patrols together. He was very nice, very helpful, and his main approach was ‘how can we make the Jewish community feel comfortable?’ ” Hochhauser said the sergeant was keen on “stamping out instances of antisemitism”. In return, Shomrim donated bike lights and helmets to the local police team — “it worked both ways”. Only two weeks ago Sgt Ratana, who was originally from a Maori family in New Zealand, had sent Hochhauser a message wishing him a happy new year. “His text is still on my phone.
Resource Advisors can help you to start thinking about the positive actions you could be taking and help you find the way forward. There are still jobs out there, and with our free support and practical advice we could help you secure one. Book a chat with a Resource Advisor on 020 8346 4000 or visit www.resource-centre.org
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Sgt Ratana, right, with Stamford Hill Shomrim
We have lost a great friend”, Hochhauser said. “No one can believe what has happened.” He said that in due course Shomrim would consider what the organisation would like to do to honour Sgt Ratana’s memory.
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ening of Gesher School’s provision, A community school for students with facilitated now by the move to special educational needs is to relopermanent premises, is a very cate and expand its intake to secsignificant addition to the ondary pupils, writes Jack Mendel. landscape of Jewish educaGesher will move from tion in this country” that will Willesden to a larger three-acre “benefit many more families, site in Pinner, at the premises at in ways that will have a transthe former Moriah School in Sepformative impact on the lives tember 2021. The move, announced of SEN children”. with the Harrow Jewish Day School Rabbi David Meyer, execuTrust last week, will allow the oversubscribed Gesher Primary to Gesher will move to Pinner tive director of the Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), offer an extra 16 places next year, congratulated Gesher on the move, saying “it growing to 56 pupils overall. The school will offer a year 7 and possibly is particularly pleasing to see that communal year 8 intake in September 2021, with the aim resources are being utilised so effectively. He of having specialist secondary provision and added PaJeS is “confident that they will con120 places for pupils across the community tinue to succeed in creating a nurturing and within five years. In addition to relocation and supportive environment for their students”. Sarah Sultman and Ali Durban, co-founders expansion, the school will open an assessment and diagnosis unit, and research centre working of the school, said it is “the fulfilment of an ambidirectly with Professor Simon Baron Cohen and tious dream... to enable our community’s SEN children to have access to an education that the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. The announcement was welcomed by Chief meets their needs, allowing them to develop, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said the “broad- flourish and reach their potential”.
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Two of the community’s leading employment charities have said job losses are going to continue to rise in spite of new measures announced by the chancellor, writes Jack Mendel. The CEOs of Work Avenue and Resource cautiously welcomed some of the initiatives revealed last week, while urging the community to support those adversely affected. Rishi Sunak set out a multibillion-pound package of economic support – including a Job Support Scheme, aimed at protecting “viable” roles once the furlough scheme comes to an end. Debbie Sheldon, Work Avenue’s CEO, said the measures to keep people in work “are positive, showing that the government is supporting companies to encourage their employees to
work and to hopefully build up to full time hours and pay as the market improves”. She added, however, that the only real support the government was offering to sectors most likely to be affected by the virus, which include hospitality and events, is an extension to the VAT cut from 20 percent to five percent until the end of March 2021. “While this is a nod to these struggling sectors, it is unlikely that they will be able to survive with the increase of restrictions that were announced. “People working in these sectors will need to look at the transferable skills and their experience to see how they can find work within viable sectors and companies. This is where Work Avenue can help.”
1 October 2020 Jewish News
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Jewish News 1 October 2020
News / Blast from the past / Nursery initiative / Deaf assistance / BAME support
1873 Jewish time capsule found On 11 June, 1873, the cornerstone of the first Sephardi synagogue in Manchester was carefully placed in position — but not before, in the space underneath, a time capsule was concealed, writes Jenni Frazer. Just over 147 years later, a team of builders restoring the synagogue, to become a reborn Manchester Jewish Museum, began the delicate work of removing the cornerstone. To their huge excitement the glass jar time capsule was discovered underneath, its wax seal intact. The jar contains some coins, some contemporary newspapers, (possibly the Manchester Guardian) and what looks like the 1873 minutes of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. But as Max Dunbar, chief executive of the Manchester Jewish Museum, explained: “We don’t know exactly what’s inside because we haven’t opened it yet.” Until the building work for the revamped museum,
in Cheetham Hill Road, north Manchester, is completed, Dunbar said, there was nowhere to keep the astonishing find. “But our first task is to find a paper conservator so that the jar can be opened safely. The last thing we want is to open it and have the papers disintegrate.” Though the museum team was unaware of the existence of the buried time capsule until it was found, a check of early synagogue records show that the founders of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue discussed it and its location, next to what was to become the Aron Kodesh, or Ark, of the building. The Manchester Jewish community of the end of the 19th century was mainly centred in and around north Manchester. Asher Myers’ Jewish Directory for 1874 records the beginnings of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in the neighbourhood: “It is intended to open the synagogue May 7, 1874.
The glass jar, still intact, contains coins and newspapers
The synagogue will have seat accommodation for 300 per-
sons: 200 gentlemen and 100 ladies. The seat rental will be
as follows: Gentlemen from £3.3s. to £10.10s. per annum; Ladies from £1.1s. to £2.2s. per annum.” Although the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities were very different in Victorian Manchester, Dunbar said it was not surprising that the Sephardi worshippers chose to build their synagogue near their Ashkenazi counterparts. “This was the historic Jewish quarter for migration in the city,”he said. “People would arrive at Victoria Station and begin living in this area, in Red Bank and Strangeways.” Red Bank became a hotbed of workers’ radicalism towards the turn of the century, mainly spearheaded by Ashkenazi Jews. But the Sephardi founders of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue were much wealthier individuals, primarily, says Dunbar, “textile merchants, from the Iberian peninsula and from Aleppo in Syria”. These men capitalised on Manchester’s rich cotton
trade and became the hinge of the city’s global success in the field. The discovery of the time capsule, Dunbar said, came “at an apt and symbolic period, a reflective and thoughtful time of year when many observers look backwards as a means to move forwards. We are thrilled and overwhelmed by its discovery and look forward to showing it off in our collection when we reopen next spring.” The item will become part of the museum’s permanent collection of more than 31,000 objects — including a Russian washboard used as a cricket bat, an English/Hebrew teapot and the belongings of a Holocaust survivor who spent the war hiding in a coal cellar. When the Manchester Jewish Museum reopens next spring, it will house a new gallery, learning studio, learning kitchen, café and shop – all built in an extension alongside the existing Grade II* listed synagogue.
Dementia-friendly kids Keren’s Nursery Hampstead Garden Suburb has become the first nursery in Barnet to sign up to the council’s Dementia Friendly scheme. Nursery manager Marlene Costa used to work with dementia sufferers and understands how isolated they can feel normally, let alone during a pandemic which limits social contact. Staff will plan Zoom sessions, allowing participants to join in with nursery circle time and listen to stories as if they were sitting with the children. There are even ideas for the children to ‘adopt’ a grandparent, send cards, food or care
packs, and even visit care homes to wave from the windows. Costa said: “People aren’t communicating or interacting as much as they were before the pandemic, and at the nursery, we’ve even noticed that some children are now scared of approaching others. “We wanted to find a way to help isolated people, whilst making sure we teach children to care about others, even in this new way of being.” The nursery would like to hear from local care homes interested in partnering with it.
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A graduate of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design has created a groundbreaking project to help deaf or hearing-impaired people. Dalik Samkai, 33, has devised Blubbles, a visual communications program, to allow people with hearing difficulties to see the faces of those around them and read their spoken
words as if they were text balloons in a comic strip. It is an “augmented reality” program, which recognises speech and creates a written version of it, using a facial recognition tool. Dalik, who was diagnosed with hearing loss when he was 17, thought up Blubbles when he saw his father, also hearing-impaired,
struggle to keep track of Shabbat meal conversation. The app is being shown at Bezalel’s graduate projects show. It’s available in Hebrew and English but Dalik says it can be developed to work in other languages and act as a translation tool, which would mean everyone, not just those with hearing loss, could use it.
Jews show solidarity with blacks and Asians A statement of solidarity with black and Asian communities in the UK has been signed by nearly 50 organisations and more than 130 individuals from across the community. The statement, led by the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) and endorsed by the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust, looks at action that can be taken in the UK to combat racism. JCORE executive director Dr Edie Friedman
said the pandemic highlighted the inequalities faced by black and Asian British communities. The announcement follows a similar statement from 600 American Jewish organisations after the murder of George Floyd in the US. Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, said: “The Board is clear that fighting the racism experienced by black and Asian people must be a priority for the Jewish community, alongside tackling antisemitism.”
1 October 2020 Jewish News
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Jewish News 1 October 2020
1 October 2020 Jewish News
School meeting / Online hate / Historic deal / News NEWS IN BRIEF
PROTESTORS PEDDLE ‘ANTISEMITIC LIBEL’ Conspiracy theorists have “hijacked” legitimate concerns about child abuse to peddle antisemitic “vile nonsense”, Parliament has been told. The group, which took part in a recent anti-lockdown protest in central London, were responsible for promoting the false allegation of a global elite kidnapping and sacrificing children, said Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey. This represented an “insidious resurgence” of the centuries-old antisemitic blood libel, he added.
NORWOOD ONLINE EVENT RAISES £200K A charity supporting young people with learning disabilities and autism raised £200,000 at its first virtual corporate event. Norwood welcomed more than 200 investment professionals from London and New York last Thursday, with funds going towards supporting families in crisis amid the coronavirus outbreak. Sponsored by law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the event included an address by Hermitage Capital Management CEO and cofounder, Bill Browder, whose wife, an orphan, was taken in by the charity 55 years ago. Industry titans Paul Singer and Jeff Aronson also spoke.
Private school makes plea for financial help An extraordinary meeting “that we already have enough for parents and supporters of to start our programme of Immanuel College was due upgrades” – but not enough to to be held last night, with the finish. chair of governors making a plea Immanuel had “a fantastic for financial support, writes family atmosphere”, Warrens Jenni Frazer. said, “with very good Jewish Professor Anthony Warrens, engagement and pastoral supspeaking at a rapidly-arranged port for those who need it.” Zoom meeting, said the Covid Now, his hope was that crisis had affected almost every the parental response would aspect of Immanuel’s school life. answer the governors’ plea and Speaking to Jewish News, provide the school with a solid he said: “The school itself is fine. financial base. We have a very successful eduBut there are no immediate cation system and are getting plans for raising the school fantastic results. Our students Immanuel College deputy headteacher Barnaby Nemko fees, he told Jewish News, not are getting into the best univerleast because of the difficulties sities, yeshivot and seminaries. affecting some parents over “Against that, we don’t have much in and Dentistry, said the corona crisis was pandemic job losses. Current fees range the way of endowments and we have had an unusual opportunity – “a chance for us between £3,500 and £6,300 a term. a very tough time with Covid, because our to invest and move up a gear”. Also due to speak at the Zoom meeting top priority must be the safety of our staff He said the governors envisaged were Yitzi Bude from CharityExtra, who and students. a three-to-five year plan of improvements is running the fundraising campaign, and “We also are working from a very to the school. “I was really humbled, when Rabbi Alex Cowan, who was a student old estate, which could really do with this meeting was announced,” he said, during Immanuel’s first intake in 1990. renovating and improving.” “how many parents made contact and said In June, Hasmonean High Schools Warrens, who is dean for education at they would like to help and donated funds raised £1.5 million in 36 hours in an appeal Barts and the London School of Medicine straight away.” This meant, he explained, to make up a Covid-related shortfall.
NEWS IN BRIEF
POLICE END WILEY SOCIAL MEDIA PROBE Police have ended the inquiry into grime artist Wiley’s antisemitic social media tirade, because he wasn’t in the UK at the time. The Campaign Against Antisemitism said UK authorities closed the investigation due to “jurisdictional issues”. While not confirming which country the artist was in when he launched his rant, CAA said it “has already appointed lawyers in that jurisdiction and we will pursue justice abroad”. Wiley engaged in a series of antisemitic posts and messages in July.
FRED PERRY POLO TOP WITHDRAWN Clothing brand Fred Perry has withdrawn one of its polo shirt designs from sale in North America because it has become associated with a US neo-fascist organisation. The company, founded and eponymously named by the British tennis and table tennis champion in the early 1950s with Jewish businessman Tibby Wegner, announced the decision after the black and yellow tops were adopted by the group Proud Boys, which is classified as an extremist group.
‘IHRA DEFINITION SHOULD BE IN BILL’
The fringe Board of Deputies-LDFI event
This comes as communal groups have been meeting social media executives to flag the issue of online hate, in the wake of grime artist Wiley’s antisemitic diatribe in July. Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl heralded its “first ever” event at the party’s conference, saying: “We were pleased to hear Ed back our call for social media companies to be compelled to use the IHRA definition of antisemitism as a basis for tackling hate”, while Stollar said it was a “wide-ranging discussion on antisemitism, Holocaust education, the meaning of Zionism and wider Middle East peace”.
London kosher kitchen to open in Dubai standing with Blue Horizon in the Gulf state, allowing it to provide kosher food to hotels and restaurants for tourists and corporate clients. Operating under the London Beth Din’s kosher licence, it supplies leading catering companies, hotels and venues, including The Savoy, The Ritz, The Dorchester, Claridges, and the Houses of Parliament. Its managing director Natalie Salama-Levy said: “We
are very excited to be bringing our unique celebration of Jewish cuisine to Dubai in 2021 and to play our part in ensuring kosher visitors are able to enjoy excellent food during their stay”. The partnership was established following the support of the UAE-Israel Business Council, Founding Member, Justine Zwerling and the Founder and CEO of Crumbiz, Shahar Matorin.
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The international definition of antisemitism should be included in proposed online harms legislation, the new Liberal Democrat leader said. Sir Ed Davey, who was elected leader in August, made his remarks during a virtual conference fringe event hosted by the Board of Deputies and his party’s Friends of Israel (LDFI) group. This comes after the UK government became the first country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in 2016. More than 30 countries have agreed to it, in addition to councils, MPs and trade unions. Davey told the meeting, which was co-hosted by LDFI chair Gavin Stollar: “We have long argued that Online Harms legislation should include clear definitions, and if you’re taking clear definitions, to make sure people know what is acceptable and what isn’t, it makes sense for the IHRA definition to be part of that.” The government is considering an Online Harms Bill, which is not expected to be in front of Parliament for final approval until next year.
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Jewish News 1 October 2020
Special Report / Synagogue attack
One year after Halle Twelve months after the attack on a German synagogue victims are still looking for answers, writes Joe Baur The protective locked door had kept out the shooter. On 9 October 2019, that was the one bright spot in the aftermath of the attempted synagogue shooting on Yom Kippur in Halle, a sleepy city of 240,000 about 100 miles south-west of Berlin. It was the most frightening terrorist attack targeting Jews on German soil in recent memory. Many saw it as symbolic of rising antisemitism and right-wing extremism across the country. But there was also a somewhat encouraging result: The synagogue’s security system had done its job. The attacker, a neo-Nazi sympathiser named Stephan Balliet, tried to enter the building, but the main door withstood his guns and homemade explosives. He instead shot and killed a passer-by before firing into a nearby Turkish kebab shop, killing one customer. No one inside the synagogue was physically injured – they even kept the Yom Kippur service going through the turmoil unfolding outside. However, in the months that followed, a fuller and more disturbing narrative about the attack began to surface. Local police admitted that they had no idea about the Yom Kippur holiday, which brought a larger than normal number of Jews together. About 20 young Jews had also travelled down from Berlin to observe the holiday in Halle on a trip organised by the Base Berlin/Hillel Deutschland, a pluralistic Jewish home in the city that hosts events and learning sessions. According to Max Privorozki, the chairman of the Jewish Community of Halle organisation, it took the police 10 minutes to arrive at the synagogue after he called to report the attack. Police finally captured the gunman after a 50-mile chase. Privorozki has become the public spokesman for Halle Jews, a community made up mostly of Russian immigrants – who are wary of speaking to the media – and Holocaust survivors. “In my opinion, they were too slow,” he said of the police. “When there’s a report coming from a synagogue of an attack, they need to be there immediately with all their power.” When Christina Feist, one of the visitors from Berlin, arrived in front of the Halle synagogue, she said she immediately noticed a lack of security compared to other Jewish institutions in Europe. The 30-year-old Vienna native had come to Berlin for a doctoral programme that required her to split time between the German capital and Paris. “Wherever shul is, is where the police are,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised in my naive conception that hey, maybe Halle is the place where you do not need police to be in front of shul because there is no antisemitism.” Inside, Feist asked the synagogue’s cantor about the situation. She recalls the cantor telling her that the synagogue had made requests for security, but nothing had happened until that point.
People leave flowers and candles in memory of the victims of the attack in Halle, Germany
The police have claimed the congregation Germans throughout the country. “What the police don’t know isn’t their fault, did not request any security for Yom Kippur. Privorozki has disputed that charge, claiming Privorozki said, “but rather the fault of whoever the State Association of Jewish Communities is responsible for giving them all the informain Saxony-Anhalt sends the city an updated tion they need to do their job well.” It’s something Jewish institutions are Jewish calendar every year along with an explaworking to address. The Central Council of nation of the most important holidays. In February, the state of Saxony-Anhalt Jews in Germany, the country’s umbrella launched an investigation into the police Jewish organistion, launched a programme earlier this year called Meet a Jew, designed to response. Survivors have also complained of a general increase contact between Jews and non-Jews. “We realised a lot of people in Germany don’t lack of compassion they say police showed them, allegedly treating them as suspects instead of know Jewish people in person,” said project victims. For example, police are alleged to have coordinator Mascha Schmerling. “The knowlmade it difficult for survivors to retrieve their edge they have about Jews comes from history kosher food after the attack to break the Yom books, from school, or it’s connected to the Kippur fast. Later at the hospital, survivors con- Shoah or current antisemitism or sometimes tinued their service, only to allegedly be inter- through the policies of Israel.” Hetty Berg, the new director of the Jewish rupted by police. “In the middle of the prayer, the police came Museum of Berlin, has also told the Jewish and said they had to debrief us immediately,” Telegraphic Agency she would like the museum recounted Rabbi Jeremy Borovitz, one of the to do more to connect with local non-Jewish Base Hillel trip’s organisers. “I resisted and said communities. But the claims of cultural insensitivity have they would have to wait 20 minutes until we finished before we can talk. They were angry and persisted throughout the trial of the shooter, frustrated, saying the debrief was more impor- which is taking place in Magdeburg, a city tant than our prayer. The only reason between Halle and Berlin. Survivors of the they didn’t manage to break up attack have been making the trip the prayer was that one of the from both cities to give their testimony in support of the hospital’s managing directors told them to stop intervening 43 co-plaintiffs. and let us finish.” Last year’s Yom Privorozki argues that Kippur was supposed to be the causes of this schism between a unique expelocal Jews and rience shared police “lies much by different communities. deeper” than the Privorozki police said he and response the rest of the mostly older to the attack. He Halle commusays there is nity – about a broader lack 530 members, compared of education concerning Jewish culto 740 in ture in Germany, and 2005 – were excited to a stark divide between hear about Jews and non-Jewish Mourners comfort each other
the bus of young visitors. “The idea was to support the local community and bring new energy into shul,” Feist said. “They welcomed us and it was really nice.” After the attack, locals were reserved in sharing their experiences. Some of the visitors, however, have spoken and written about their experiences openly. And Privorozki has been public about his grievances with the press, saying the experience has been “ganz negative” or “completely negative”, with few exceptions. “I can understand that there was an attack, it’s a rare event, it’s out of the ordinary,” he said. “But it seems, regardless of the country, the media didn’t understand that we were in a very challenging situation.” Above all, Privorozki is tired of answering what he calls “the most unpleasant question”, the question he’s asked the most by the media – to recount his experience on the day of the attack. “You need to understand, I don’t want to relive that day,” he said. “I’d really like to never speak about it because when I speak about it, the events are once again woken up in my head. “I’ve experienced something in my life that I’ve never experienced before and hope to never experience again.” That said, Privorozki has resigned himself to the fact that it’s his obligation to tell the story on behalf of a community which, for personal reasons, has refused to speak to the press. “I’m chairman of the community and have certain obligations, regardless of whether or not I like it,” he said. Following the attack, Feist felt herself tensing up whenever she visited Berlin. In the months afterwards, she felt panicked and triggered in crowded spaces or whenever she heard a loud bang. She signed up for boxing lessons to deal with the trauma, but it became clear quickly she needed therapy as well. Mollie Sharfman, another visitor from Berlin, walked out after the morning Yom Kippur service for a quick break – expecting she’d be right back – and missed the attack. Still, she is acutely aware of the fact that had she left a few minutes later, she could have encountered the gunman in the street. She displayed similar traumatised symptoms and began therapy, too. “The most helpful therapy was EMDR Trauma Therapy [Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing],” Sharfman said. “It helped me see past the current situation and see a bright future again.” Owing to the ongoing pandemic, Privorozki explained that this year’s services did not take place in the synagogue, but in a larger rented hall so more members could attend while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Base Berlin, the organisers of the bus trip to Halle last year, marked the anniversary with a Festival of Resilience in Berlin, in a beer garden and park, where the community reflected on the healing process. For Privorozki, the most important thing to reflect on is the fact that two people lost their lives. It’s impossible for him to put this aside but, as things stand, he’s optimistic about the future of Jewish life in Germany. “The reaction from regular people in and outside of the city leaves me more optimistic than before the attack,” he said.
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Firefighter ceremony / Faith initiative / News
Tribute to firemen killed in Blitz
use as a fire sub-station received a A London police commander has direct hit. The floors above collapsed paid tribute to seven firemen killed as the vehicles and the garage petrol by a German bomb dropped on Soho store, also above, crashed into the 80 years ago, one of them having been his basement, creating a huge ball of fire.” Jewish great-uncle from the East End. He said it was “remarkable” the In a ceremony last Friday, Detective building itself still stands today, Chief Superintendent Steve Clayman and that the plaque would remembered Myer Wand, a 31-yearbe “a poignant reminder” old Auxiliary Fire Service firefighter of the Blitz and its impact who died at the start of the Blitz on on London. 18 September 1940. “I am extremely proud Wand, a father, lived in Stepney to follow in my great-uncle’s and was killed by the bombing of the Then and now: 11 Rathbone Street, where a memorial plaque will be fitted footsteps and protect Rathbone Place fire station that day. Londoners by working in Clayman told fellow officers he Myer Wand His Jewish colleague Harry Errington, building, killing the firemen and sevour emergency services,” who was awarded the George Cross eral civilians sheltering there. Ahead was there “to remember the sacfor his bravery on the night, survived. of the Rathbone Street ceremony this rifice these firemen made and the gal- said Clayman. “Myer and Harry were both from the London Jewish commuweek, the London Fire Brigade said lantry they have shown”. Errington died in 2004, aged 94. He said: “The building that was in nity, the children of immigrants.” The bomb demolished the whole a plaque would be fitted at the site.
CHARITY MARKS SUCCOT WITH HOPE The Council of Christians and Jews, the oldest interfaith charity in Britain, has created an innovative project to mark Succot – the Little Squares of Hope: Shelter from Storm Project, writes Jenni Frazer. Almost 700 fabric squares have been embroidered and decorated, primarily by refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, as well as other countries, and are now living in Sheffield, London, Manchester, and in towns and cities in Scot-
land. Faith communities have taken part. The squares have been sewn together to form a quilt that is draped across the walls of a pop-up succah at JW3, the Jewish Community Centre for London. After Succot, the quilt can be viewed online at the Jewish Museum, London. Each square represents the experience of being a refugee and their perspective of shelter. Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, one of CCJ’s presidents, said: “The project
brings Succot’s central theme into a contemporary context, and encourages the construction of a society that treats all people with dignity.” Project co-ordinator, CCJ programme manager Esther Sills, said: “The quilt serves not only as an outlet for experience to be heard, but as a thread of common humanity, building connection and bringing people closer together.” The Little Squares of Hope quilt
NEWS IN BRIEF
ECONOMIST COOKS FOR THE NEEDY A West Hampstead economist who made more than 800 shepherd’s pies for others during lockdown, ran a workout to raise money for future “comfort deliveries”. Deborah Abram and her sister Katie cooked mostly for older members of the community and those living alone, through a north-west London Facebook page. Deborah held a workout session in Regent’s Park on 6 September. She said her initiative had made such a difference she decided to continue. For updates, visit @something_ special_da – or JustGiving to donate.
LECTURE AUDIENCE IMPROVES ONLINE One of the Jewish community’s most anticipated lectures and debates series has said its move online has seen participation increase tenfold. Organisers of JW3’s Abraham Lecture and Debating Society, who have held in-person events with a typical attendance of 20, say its transition to Zoom has led to an average of 200 tuning in, with geography no longer a factor. The isolation of lockdown has in part contributed, they say, and organisations such as Jewish Care have enabled residents to get involved.
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Jewish News 1 October 2020
World News / Virus lockdown / News briefs NEWS IN BRIEF
AOC WITHDRAWS FROM RABIN EVENT Progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has withdrawn from an Americans for Peace Now event memorialising Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who was murdered by a Jewish extremist in 1995 for his efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians. “We are sorry to hear Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will no longer be speaking at our 20 October Yitzhak Rabin memorial,” Hadar Susskind, Americans for Peace Now’s president, told JTA. “She would have added to the event.”
118-YEAR-OLD PAPER PRINTS FINAL COPY The Jewish Advocate, a 118-yearold newspaper in Boston founded by Theodor Herzl, is the latest victim of the coronavirus crisis. The weekly, formerly a sister newspaper of Jewish News, announced last week that it has suspended publication. “The decline of advertising revenue, and now in the current pandemic its virtual disappearance, has not been sufficiently offset by contributions and organisational support,” it reported on its final front page.
8,000 cases in one day Israel confirmed more than 8,000 new coronavirus cases in one day this week – a new high – as the rate of tests coming back positive climbed to 14 percent and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the country had opened too fast after the first lockdown. Israel currently is more than two weeks into a second lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. On Saturday, the Health Ministry reported that 8,315 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed as of last Friday. By Sunday morning, there had been 1,450 Israeli deaths from the coronavirus. “Did we make mistakes in the past? Of course,” Netanyahu said in a Hebrew video posted on social media. “The opening of event halls was too fast. Maybe the opening of the whole school system,” he said. “Our decision to open event halls was too fast. Perhaps also the decision to reopen all schools.” Meanwhile, coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu apologised specifically to Orthodox Israelis, who have felt targeted by the restrictions. A top Charedi lawmaker resigned from the government to protest
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A Covid-19 testing station outside Tel Aviv
the lockdown’s timing during the High Holy Days. Netanyahu called on Israelis to avoid attending synagogue for Yom Kippur, which the vast majority of them do in a typical year. The stricter lockdown rules permit up to 50 people to attend services indoor at a time in some areas and 25 in areas with high infection rates. In a separate Facebook post, the prime minister offered oblique criticism of the protesters who
have been staging weekly protests against his leadership, including his handling of the pandemic. He juxtaposed a picture of the Western Wall Plaza uncharacteristically empty against a picture of the 16,000 protesters who gathered in Jerusalem on Saturday night. About 150 protesters were fined for not adhering to social distancing rules and the government will again take up legislation that would limit protests and public prayer during the lockdown.
COUNT YOUR CHICKENS Strictly-Orthodox Jews in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Mea Shearim perform the ritual of Kapparot on the eve of Yom Kippur. Swinging a live chicken above their heads is an act of atonement of sins before God
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1 October 2020 Jewish News
Virus repercussions / Security funding / Education boost / Tombstones found / Diaspora News
Communities reliant on foreign support As Europe’s Jews celebrated the High Holy Days, the financial repercussions of the pandemic came into sharp focus. Smaller Eastern European communities, which languished under communism for decades and have only recently developed local sources of revenue, enabling them to shed their dependence on foreign donors, are increasingly dependent on external aid. This is familiar territory for Jewish communities in former communist countries such as the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), particularly, spent hundreds of million of dollars on caring for the basic needs of Jews in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most Jews in these newly democratic countries had little knowledge of their religion and its traditions, so millions of dollars more went to helping them build community institutions, including schools, summer
camps and youth programmes. Among those helping to rebuild Jewish life has been the Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG). Many of the small communities had created new revenue streams through tourism, as people from all over the world flocked to see beautifully restored treasures such as Prague’s Jewish Museum, the Dohany Synagogue in Budapest, or Bulgaria’s Sofia Synagogue, said to be one of the jewels of the Balkans. But as the pandemic has effectively dried up tourism, the Jewish communities are having to rethink how to fund themselves – and Sergio Della Pergola, a professor of Jewish demography at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says there is a real problem. “The coronavirus crisis is compounding the pre-existing financial problems of small communities in Europe. They are limited in their sources of income, and burdened by maintenance problems on old
WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF
Your weekly digest of stories from the international press SWEDEN
The Swedish government has allocated ¤1 million for preparations for a museum on the Holocaust. The funds will be assigned to the Living History Forum, a public agency with extensive experience in collecting and disseminating knowledge about the Holocaust, as well as in linking history with the present. The Forum is already working to collect testimonies and objects. On 22 September, it opened two exhibitions on the theme of Sweden and the Holocaust, in which the country’s complex relationship to genocide is examined.
The synagogue in Sofia, the largest in the Balkans
properties [which have been returned to the communities],” he explained. The JDC has led an emergency programme to provide relief to 1,600 Jewish families in 16 countries, including 11 in Europe. The first phase of the Pandemic Humanitarian Relief Programme – funded by a consortium of donors including the Ronald S. Lauder Founda-
tion, the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation, the Maimonides Fund and GPG – began in April with stipends ranging from $100 (£78) to $180 (£140) each month. That fund is in addition to a $17m (£13.2m) allocation last month from the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency to support small Jewish communities through the crisis.
Germany announces security funding increase The German government has announced a substantial increase in funding for the security of Jewish institutions and facilities in the country. Last Yom Kippur, a neoNazi gunman tried to attack the Halle synagogue to murder the worshippers inside. But, unable to force his way into the synagogue, he shot and killed two passers-by. Now, according to a statement from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the
German Federal Government and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the three bodies have signed off on a deal that stipulates an additional grant of €22 million (£20m) to the Central Council for upgrading security at Jewish sites. The Minister of the Interior, Horst Lorenz Seehofer, said: “Jewish people must be able to live in safety and security in Germany. This is part of Germany’s national ethos. “The Jewish community
can be sure the Federal Government is doing everything possible to provide the needed protection,” he added. “We are aware of our responsibility.” The president of the Central Council, Dr Josef Schuster, said: “The costs of providing security often place a considerable financial strain on our Jewish congregations. “The attack in Halle, however, made it painfully clear that Jewish life requires serious and massive protection.
LOREN RETURNS TO SCREEN TO PLAY HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR The doyenne of Italian film stars, Sophia Loren, is returning to cinema after an 11-year absence. Now 86, but still trailing her legendary glamour, Loren (pictured) stars in a new Netflix film, The Life Ahead, directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti. Loren plays Madame Rosa, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who helps raise the children of deceased sex workers, because she, too, was once a prostitute. She then strikes up an enduring friendship with Momo, a 12-year-old Senegalese orphan who tries to steal her candlesticks.
The film is based on a novel by Romain Gary and is the second to be made – a 1977 film starred Simone Signoret as the eponymous Madame Rosa. Following a premiere in Rome in October, Netflix will stream The Life Ahead on 13 November. Loren, despite more than a decade off-screen, “jumped at the chance” to play Madame Rosa, who, she says, reminded her of her own mother. She has worked with her son twice before, most recently on 2002’s Between Strangers.
Outside Halle synagogue
“We greatly appreciate the Federal Government’s commitment.”
Work is underway to revamp the permanent exhibition in the synagogue in the Dutch city of Groningen and also to renovate some of the building’s infrastructure. The exhibition revamp will be a “move towards ‘digital storytelling’, which will
allow visitors to be immersed throughout the building in Jewish rituals, festivals, and stories,” including the Shoah, according to reports. The new interior will be open to the public next February.
A Jewish woman in Buenos Aires has been recognised on a street sign for an unusual reason – she was a former prostitute who became known as a fighter for women’s rights. Raquel Liberman was born in Poland and moved to Argentina with her husband and sons in 1922. When her husband died, she was forced to work in a brothel, one of many managed by Jewish immigrants. This network of prostitution was named Zwi Migdal. Liberman escaped twice and finally went to the police, and her testimony helped break up the network. Last week, a plaque went up near the brothel where she worked, reading “Here Raquel Liberman was exploited… her fight continues”.
SCHOLARSHIPS GET £3M BOOST Schools in Brazil’s largest Jewish community, Sao Paulo, have raised $4 million (£3.1m) in donations in a 50-hour campaign blitz to fund scholarships. The amount donated, by more than 3,000 people before Rosh Hashanah, was multiplied by four thanks to sponsors. A growing number of students at Sao Paulo’s 14 Jewish schools have their $800 (£622) monthly fee entirely or partially funded by scholarships. “We have reached an amount that not only will guarantee the continuity of current
scholarships, but also increase the number of students to attend a Jewish school,” said Sao Paulo Jewish Federation President Luiz Kignel. “Jewish education makes a difference and the fruits will arrive in the next generation.” This year’s campaign was online only due to the pandemic.
Jewish tombstones found in Lezajsk When renovation work began on the market square of the sleepy town of Lezajsk, in south-east Poland, there was a surprise waiting beneath the builders’ rubble – 150 tombstones, the last record of the Jews of Lezajsk. Lezajsk is the site of the grave of an 18th century rabbi, Elimelech Weisblum of Lizhensk, who attracted similar annual pilgrimages from Chasidim every year – until this year’s pandemic when the Polish authorities asked them not to visit. But the absence of Jewish visitors was deeply felt and so there was wide excitement when the first of the gravestones was uncovered on 8 July.
Before the war, 4,500 Jews lived in Lezajsk, about 90 percent of the entire population. When the Nazis occupied the town, those Jewish residents who had not fled were confined to a ghetto, murdered in 1942, and the Nazis used the rubble of Jewish homes and of the synagogue for construction. When that material was used up, they went to the Jewish cemetery and raided gravestones. This is why the gravestones were found in the market square, where they had been used to pave roads and build pavements. The mayor, Ireneusz Stefanski, is insistent: “These gravestones need to find their appropriate place, and it certainly is not underground.”
Now discussion is taking place between the municipality, the national government and Jewish organisations as to what will be the last resting place of the gravestones.
Jewish News 1 October 2020
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS
We’ve spoken, now we must act over Uyghurs When Jewish News ran a front page earlier this year with the headline ‘Chilling echoes’ – in reference to the abuse of the Uyghurs and parallels with the Shoah – we didn’t do so lightly. Any hint of a parallel with the darkest chapter in human history is something we’d always caution against. But the discovery of tonnes of hair taken from members of the minority community in China invoked emotions we as Jews simply could not ignore. Our unflinching intervention sparked the community to talk widely – and act – in a way it hadn’t before, with letters, opinion pieces in national newspapers and awareness-raising events. We hope our campaign enlisting the support of some 150 MPs and peers, calling on the government to turn up the pressure on China to halt its horrific actions, will spur yet more action in the corridors of power. While our proactive stance has been praised, the truth is that we should have spoken out sooner. We, more than most, know where persecution can lead. Reports about the horrors visited on the Uyghurs in China have long mounted: a million people are thought to have been detained and sterilisation and forced labour is commonplace. China can protest all it wants that these camps are for nothing more than “vocational” training but the world will not be fooled. The British government has already accused China of “gross human rights abuses”. Now is the time to follow words with strong action. If your MP does not feature on the list of signatories on page two of this week’s newspaper, we urge you to contact them to add their name to a growing and influential list.
Through the wilderness
Yom Kippur is behind us and we now look towards Succot when our succahs will, sadly, be as empty as our shuls. The festival recalls our ancestors’ trek through the wilderness, at the mercy of Mother Nature. A perilous journey through the unknown, confronting elements they were powerless to control. Sound familiar?
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Sharansky’s positivity shines I found your interview with Natan Sharansky extremely inspiring (Jewish News, 24 September 2020). It is hard to imagine being locked in a cell for days on end with nothing to occupy one’s mind, let alone this ‘punishment’ being inflicted purely because of one’s political or societal beliefs and with a view to breaking down one’s spirit. We in the west don’t know we’re born. Yes, there are issues with the government – this one as well as previous ones – and no political system is without its flaws. But we are free in a way that refuseniks were not and others now are not. We are allowed to discuss
Sketches & kvetches
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THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT AND SUKKOT TIMES... Yom Tov ends Sunday night 7.18pm
Yom Tov 2nd day begins Saturday night 7.21pm
Sedra: Shabbat Succot
the face of adversity. Kol hakavod, Mr Sharansky – I hope you will continue to be an inspiration for many, many more years. Walter Bloom Epping Forest
A SOUND TO RAISE SPIRITS I attended a sociallydistanced shofar blowing with two friends in the Royal Park of Greenwich, organised by Greenwich and Docklands Chabad. Not only was it very moving to hear the sound of the shofar in the beauty of the park, but a moment of history as it was the first time since it became a Royal park, 593 years ago, during the reign of Henry VI, that
the shofar had been blown in Greenwich Park on Rosh Hashanah.
Ze’ev Portner High Wycombe
THE PANDEMIC UNITES US
Shabbat and Yom Tov begins Friday night 6.22pm
anything we want, we have the freedom to protest, the freedom of religion and the list goes on. I know under which system I’d prefer to live – and it’s not the one of Animal Farm. Despite being imprisoned, Mr Sharansky says he had his freedom and his identity – may we all be this positive in
“Eating as much as you can before a certain time is nothing. We Jews have been training for years!”
“We have sinned, we have been obstinate, we have gone astray.” I always questioned why I must admit to sins on Yom Kippur I don’t feel guilty of. And why the plural? Because, I am told, we speak as a group for everybody
not just ourselves. Similarly we are now suffering from a pandemic that unites us and we should feel responsible for others. Let us hope that by Chanukah we can dance and sing while lighting candles.
Michael Neville, by email
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1 October 2020 Jewish News
How Yitzhak Rabin event exposed AOC’s hypocrisy MICHAEL RUBIN
DIRECTOR, LABOUR FRIENDS OF ISRAEL
he refusal by Alexandria OcasioCortez (AOC) to attend an event by Americans for Peace Now – the US wing of the Israeli peace movement – to commemorate the murder of Yitzhak Rabin exposes a hypocrisy at the heart of the far-left’s approach to the Middle East. They claim to be supportive of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. They claim their opposition isn’t to Israel’s existence, but to Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government and to policies such as settlement expansion. If that were true, there would be no issue commemorating Rabin's life. After all, Rabin gave his life in pursuit of peace. He was assassinated by a far-right extremist, after speaking at a Tel Aviv rally for peace, precisely because of his courageous commitment to peace with the Palestinians. If one cannot commemorate his sacrifice and learn from his legacy, which Israelis would pass the threshold for approval from the Twitter mob? Peace between Israelis and Palestinians will
only ever come about through Israeli participation. There are some in the international community who still cling to the belief that Israel can be bludgeoned into submission by international condemnation. The recent signing of the Abraham Accords well and truly exposes this to be a complete fantasy. To build peace with their enemy requires brave leaders in both Israel and Palestine who are prepared to make difficult compromises. AOC’s decision has unwittingly revealed that there are sections of the left who don’t seek to stand in solidarity with their comrades on the left in Israel and Palestine who pursue peace, but instead only care about demonising Israel. Leaders and peacemakers are seldom without controversy, and Rabin is no exception, but focusing only on his war record does a complete disservice to his legacy. Rabin was passionate in his support of peace; this passion stemmed from the fact he’d seen up close the cost of war and violence. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Rabin explicitly linked his past to the fragile peace he was trying to build. He concluded: “There is only one radical means of sanctifying human lives. Not armoured plating,
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THEIR COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING PEACE SEEMS TO PRIORITISE ATTACKS ON ISRAEL or tanks, or planes, or concrete fortifications. The one radical solution is peace.” As the Israel Policy Forum's Michael Koplow tweeted: “There is no such thing as a peacemaker without war... There is no such thing as peace without complexity and compromise.” Those on the hard-left often speak about supporting peace and justice in the Middle East. What concerns me – and is typified by AOC’s actions – is that their commitment seems to prioritise performative attacks on Israel over supporting any actual effort to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Even Yasser Arafat – himself a leader hardly without controversy – praised Rabin and Shimon Peres for “all their tireless efforts they exerted with us to reach this joint agreement. I tell them, let us nurture this peace of the brave for the sake of our grandchildren, of our people, and of the region as a whole.”
Generations of Palestinian leaders have accepted that a two-state solution is the only way they can achieve their legitimate desire for selfdetermination and the associated dignity, peace and justice. Tragically, parts of the western left seek not to stand with those Palestinian progressives who support recognition of Israel and the pursuit of a negotiated peace, and instead align themselves with the violent and regressive forces in the region, such as Hamas and Iran, who seek the destruction of Israel. This does tremendous harm to both Israelis and Palestinians. This approach is also actively harmful to community relations at home. Jeremy Corbyn spends his political career standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, he professes to be a “lifelong anti-racist”, but what did he achieve? This toxic approach to Middle Eastern politics does untold damage to the Jewish community and nothing to help Palestinians or Israelis.
Jewish News 1 October 2020
When it’s best to stay shtum about success ALEX BRUMMER
CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL
non-Jewish journalist friend emailed me the other day with a cutting from The Washington Post (subsequently picked up by UK press). It concerned the habits of foreign leaders staying in the president’s guest house. Benjamin Netanyahu had developed an unenviable reputation as a laundry and dry cleaning freeloader. He would arrive with a cargo of bags and suitcases containing dirty washing taking advantage of free valet services provided. The report contained statutory official denials, but those familiar with the reputation of the Netanyahu and his wife Sara for serial freeloading, including a legal tug of war in Israel in 2016 over laundry bills, will not be that surprised. Putting to one side the risible proposition of a world leaders schlepping dirty washing across continents, the reported incident reminded me of a phone call from a leader of Europe’s Jewish communities received on the eve of yom tov. Alex, he suggested, wouldn’t it be nice if the
Daily Mail chose to write something positive about the contemporary Jewish contribution to British and continental life ahead of the holidays. Something to cheer us all up in semilockdown. My reply was hesitant. The Jewish press (I pointed out) is always discovering successful Jews in the most unusual places and claiming people as one of our own. We love to kvell at our perceived successes, but are on difficult territory when it comes to pointing out disproportionate representation of Jews in business, the media and legal profession. Before one knows it (and this has happened to me several times) one is confronted with ‘green ink’ letters or social media bombardment about how the Jews control the world. When, on occasion, I have written about my family and their experiences in the Shoah, some of the responses are unrepeatable. As a features editor told me when I wrote on the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation earlier this year: “That was a beautiful and moving piece of writing.” He then advised me not to look at some of the comments. Undeterred, I mentioned to a close colleague, with good Jewish knowledge and some paternal ancestry, possibly using my
ENTREPRENEURS MIGHT NOT BE OVEREXCITED AT THE MENTION OF THEIR ETHNICITY daily City column to look at some of those Jewish achievements. Well, she said, it’s fine for you to be proud, but I will mention a few names to start with: Maxwell, Weinstein and Epstein. To this list, she might have added Sir Philip Green and his non-disclosure agreements and upmarket fashion entrepreneur Ray Kelvin, of Ted Baker, who had to retreat from office after allegations of overenthusiastic hugging. In my mind, I had started to compile a list of the untainted entrepreneurs and media figures making a contribution to British national life. But I also recognised that they might not be overexcited if one were to draw attention to their ethnicity. Having recently been at a stone setting at Willesden, I thought of the great Jewish business creators and scientific pioneers interred there. These included the founder of Shell, Lord Bearsted (Walter Samuel), Tesco founder
Sir John Cohen and the great industrialist of the late 20th Century, Lord Weinstock, as well as Rosalind Franklin, the chemist who missed out on a Nobel. It is less controversial to mention the dead rather than the living. In the end, I decided on a compromise. In the last brief item in my column, which appeared on Rosh Hashanah morning, I noted it was the Jewish new year and praised AngloJewry for, among other things, making an ‘economically significant’ contribution to all our lives. Uncontroversial enough I thought. Not a bit of it. When I arrived for the first shift minyan at 8am on Rosh Hashanah while collecting my tallit from the locker, I was asked why I had chosen to use – what I thought – was an uncontentious phrase and: “Was it right to point out Jews play such a role in the economy. Wouldn’t it excite the not-yetextinct Corbynites?” Best, it would seem, to keep shtum.
A time to take stock of 1,500,000,000 tick tocks RICHARD FERRER EDITOR, JEWISH NEWS
y most vivid memory of my father’s parents, aside from their inability to eat spaghetti bolognese, is the incessant tick-tock of the grandfather clock that echoed through their Whitechapel flat. I loved boasting to grandpa Daniel and granny Minnie that I could count up to a gazillion tick-tocks, but always got bored before 30. That antique timepiece in that longdemolished high rise on Jubilee Street came to mind last week as I turned one billion, five hundred million tick-tocks old. Better known as 50 ( just short of a gazillion). You don’t notice the accumulating ticktocks. Then one day, like Tesco Club Card points, you have enough for a bottle of cava and a cheesecake to celebrate a landmark birthday. Bemoaning lost youth is a cliché, so I’m going the other way and embracing being a man of a certain age – a hip young gunslinger of the 50-to-69 questionnaire age range. I’m proud of the ‘uugh’ noise I make when sitting down, as if I’m doing some sort
of exercise, and refuse to be shamed by my sudden penchant for women in pantsuits (such a pity about that nice Hillary Clinton). I’ve also found patience. The children recently broke my favourite swivel chair. Time was I’d have chucked it and got a new one. Not ‘Richard Version 50’. He called the manufacturer and spoke to a lovely lady called Roxanne who sent him four replacement screws in the post. This week, ‘Richard V50’ was back swivelling to his heart’s content while watching a documentary about trains with that nice Michael Portillo, before dozing off midway through. Age ain’t nothing but a slumber. It’s a privilege to be afforded my 50s. I’m looking forward to seeing over the horizon into my 60, 70s and, who knows, if I ration the pistachios and pinot noir, maybe even a telegram from King William. Those closest to me, however, don’t seem to be taking it as well. My wife is “mildly freaked out” to be married to a 50-year-old. “Well not freaked out as such, darling, but 50. I mean, 50! It makes me feel like I’m married to a professor. And no, I’m not buying a pantsuit!” Dad’s also having a bit of a wobble at the
DECADES ARE LIKE TESCO CLUB CARD POINTS – YOU DON’T NOTICE YOU’RE COLLECTING THEM thought of a 50-year-old son. My Sunday morning phone calls to ask if he wants bagels turn into Ted Talks on the meaning of life. I was on the phone to him on Sunday when he told me to focus on what I think of myself rather than what others think of me. I replied that others had a low opinion of me as I was holding up the queue in Platters, to which Alan Ferrer, Finchley’s great philosopher, earnestly replied: “Son… [he’s taken to calling me ‘son’] half-a-dozen poppy seed and a tub of chopped liver.” For a birthday present, he and Mum bought me a copy of The Times from the day I was born: Wednesday, 23 September 1970. There was a fascinating piece on how greengrocers are under threat from new-fangled
hypermarkets (“A shopping revolution has been set in motion. My guess is that most women will like it.”) and news that former Wimbledon tennis champion Roy Emerson had been beaten by “unrated 18-year-old university freshman James Connors”. The day’s lead letter was by Labour MP for Leicester North West, Greville Janner, writing to complain about media coverage of Israel (plus ça change). But what struck me most were the job ads. “Reckitt & Colman’s international pharmaceutical division is looking for three marketing men”, “British Rail is hiring two senior marketing men”, “A career in advertising awaits to the right men between the ages of 22 and 32”. Women’s appointments had its own sub-section, where roles ranged from secretary to personal secretary to secretarial assistant. Society has changed so much in the course of one billion, five hundred million tick-tocks, but the values that give society its meaning and purpose – love, friendship and a sense of community – remain a constant. Today, in a society riven by a deadly pandemic and bitter public discourse, we’d do well to remember that the tick is nothing without the tock.
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Community / Scene & Be Seen
1 PEDAL POWER
Friends Sara and Jonny Kibel, Kelly and Mark Hilton, Gemma and Phil Koster, Nicole and Alex Herman, Gabs Abrahams and Suzi Epstein cycled the equivalent distance of London to Brighton around the capital, raising £6,300 for The Sam Keen Foundation, which supports the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Sara helped organise the event – after the real route was cancelled due to Covid-19 – in memory of her brother, Sam, who died aged 27 nearly nine years ago from malignant melanoma. She said: “The support within our team was magical and we have been blown away by all the donations we have received.”
And be seen! The latest news, pictures and (virtual) social events from across the community
2 IN THE SWING
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Nearly 100 sociallydistanced golfers raised more than £40,000 for Chai Cancer Care at the annual Club Golf 18 Tournament earlier this month. Proceeds from the event, which was held at Dyrham Park Country Club in Barnet and organised by 18 Golf Committee joint chairmen Ronnie Gottlieb, Michael Lubliner and Michael Lerner, will go towards the charity’s Home Support Service. The winning team with 95 points comprised Trevor Abrahmsohn, Alex Beare, Hilton Lewis and Hylton Treisman, while Dovi Krok won the raffle.
3 ON THE CARDS
Hundreds of youngsters created Rosh Hashanah cards for people isolating and in care homes, as part of GIFT’s Card of Care initiative. Iniative lead Nicci Menashe said: “The fact elderly and isolating individuals received these beautifully personalised and decorated cards from a stranger meant the world to them.” The charity also arranged more than 50 shofar-blowing stations across north west London, which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
4 CELEBRATORY TEA
The fine china was out in force after Jewish Care’s Redbridge Supportive Communities Tea Parties won the Caring For Others Award in this year’s Mayor’s Community Awards in Redbridge. The project offers isolated and elderly members of the community the chance to make friends and feel part of the community. During the pandemic, the tea parties have been taking place weekly over Zoom, while volunteers have been checking in with participants over the phone. Tea parties coordinator Alison Smardina said the volunteers “have shown they really can keep going the extra mile”.
Jewish News 1 October 2020
Postcards of the past
1 October 2020 Jewish News
History / Weekend
Photos supplied by Hebrew University
Postcards from David Pearlman's collection that he gathered over 60 years. The cards were kept in shoeboxes in his garage
David Pearlman amassed an incredible 130,000 postcards from the Holy Land written over two centuries – and he has now donated them all to Hebrew University
which to my mind holds such fascination.” ore than a hundred years ago and These are just a handful of the 130,000-strong 2,000 miles from home, young British soldiers stationed in Palestine collection of postcards dating back to 1883 and amassed by collector David Pearlman, which offer an were left in awe by their surroundinvaluable insight into Israel’s history over the past ings in the Holy Land – and eagerly wrote two centuries. postcards to loved ones back home telling them For more than 60 years, Pearlman – an of exotic springs, luscious lakes and ancient accountant from north London by day and collector Biblical sites they had visited that very day. by night – scoured auction houses, private collections “I can say mafish, which means ‘enough’ and estate sales to piece together his incredible [in Arabic]…and I hope the war will soon Postcards of Palestine collection. [end] so I can go home again,” wrote one Now he has donated them all – British Tommy. weighing no less than a tonne-and“I came through here…between Mt a-half altogether – to the Folklore Ebal and Mt Grizim…It is of course Research Center at Hebrew Univerthe Shechem where Jacob fed his sity’s Mandel Institute of Jewish flocks and Jacob’s well is here. There Studies, where researchers are busily are many springs and consequently examining how Israel has captured gardens where I saw the first green the imagination of visitors through I’d seen for months,” wrote another. the decades. One young officer marvelled Thought to be the largest collecat a land steeped in ancient times. Collector David Pearlman tion of its kind in the world, the Choosing a postcard depicting the Sea postcards document everything from the Ottoman of Galilee for his parents, he wrote: “This is the shot period and General Allenby’s visit to Jerusalem in I should like to see more than anyone in Palestine, 1919, to the beginnings of the British Mandate and but don’t expect to have the opportunity to do so. creation of the state of Israel, the early pioneers, the “The man in the next bed was up there with the Six-Day War and the emergence of modern cities, cavalry says it’s very fine, the water being beautifully such as Tel Aviv. clean and there are several nice streams running Many of the postcards show an abundance of into it. artwork by leading 20th century Bezalel artists, such “While there, they were able to get fresh fish as Meir Ben Gur Aryeh, Ephraim Lilien, Ze'ev Raban, which was a nice change from the ‘bully [beef ]’… as well as pictures taken by Karimeh Abbud – who The lake which saw so much of His life on earth and
was known as the Lady Photographer – one of the first female photographers in the Arab world. A sizeable portion catered to Christian pilgrims, who made their way from Egypt to Jerusalem and on to Damascus, visiting holy sites along the way and sending postcards that depicted camels, palm trees, Bedouins, Chasids and an overflowing Dead Sea. For Pearlman, the fascination of collecting postcards was for him as much about the pictures on the front as it was the carefully inscribed notes on the back. “It gave me a great thrill to feel I was touching a little piece of history,” he says. “I began collecting stamps as a young boy and graduated to postcards when I realised that, instead of collecting dull postage stamps, I could collect these beautiful cards. “I kept them in shoeboxes in my garage all these years. At a certain point, the collection grew so large that I began to park my car on the street to make room for more shoeboxes.” Having been admired and looked after by Pearlman for so many years, these postcards – once sent thousands of miles by land, sea and, later, air – have now made their way back to their origin. “He wanted these postcards to return to Zion,” muses Dr Dani Schrire, director of HU’s Folklore Research Center. “This collection is immense and now we are in a good position to begin research into understanding the imagination of the Holy Land.” For more about David Pearlman’s collection, visit www.bfhu.org
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Television: Sarah Solemani’s gripping Neo-Nazi thriller, Ridley Road
Paws a minute: This month’s perfect pooch
Jewish News 1 October 2020
Weekend / Entertainment
Win a goody bag from Slow Ageing worth over £200!
FILM The Midnight Sky
Producer Grant Heslov has teamed up with George Clooney for post-Apocalyptic film The Midnight Sky, which is released on Netflix later this year. The Hollywood A-lister stars as lonely Arctic scientist Augustine, who races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe. Clooney also directs the much-anticipated film, which is adapted from Lily Brooks-Dalton’s acclaimed novel Good Morning, Midnight, and stars David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir and Tiffany Boone. The Midnight Sky is scheduled for release in December on Netflix
PHOTOGRAPHY Time To Act
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This image of American-Jewish A-lister Jake Gyllenhaal is one of more than 230 stunning backstage portraits taken by photographer Simon Annand and included in his new book, Time To Act, which is published this week, with proceeds donated to The UK Artists Fund. The accomplished photographer has spent 35 years capturing actors as they prepare to take to the stage. His other subjects include Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sharon D Clark, Lenny Henry, Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench. Blanchett has said of his work: “It is as difficult to capture actors and creative teams in unselfconscious action as it is to arrest birds in flight [but] there lies Simon’s skill.” Time To Act by Simon Annand is published by Lannoo Publishers, priced £39.95 (hardback) and available now. A selection of the images will also be available to view on a virtual exhibition from 5 October at timetoactphotos.com
IN PRODUCTION Ridley Road
Actress and award-winning writer Sarah Solemani has adapted Jo Bloom’s acclaimed novel Ridley Road for a new BBC thriller. The four-part drama tells the story of a young Jewish hairdresser, Vivien Epstein (played by newcomer Aggi O’Casey) who falls in love with Jack (Tom Varey), a member of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain. When Jack vanishes, she rejects her middle-class life in Manchester and joins the fight against fascism by infiltrating the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement becoming increasingly prominent in London. The cast also includes Years and Years actor Rory Kinnear as Colin Jordan, leader of NSM; Eddie Marsan as hot-headed, sharp-witted cab driver Soly Malinovsky, leader of
Jewish News and Slow Ageing have teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a goody bag containing the entire Essentials face range, worth £232! Join the Slow Ageing revolution that enables people to look and feel their very best with skin that is radiant and healthy. The bespoke blends of skin boosting anti-oxidant essential oils and botanicals in the Slow Ageing Essentials range are meticulously Exfoliating Polish, Face Balm, Face Wash ENTER sourced, precisely and Moisturiser. ONLINE: formulated and stringently To find out more about the full range, visit jewishnews.co.uk tested to reduce the effects www.slowageing.co.uk Closing date of time on your skin and 15 October ensure it looks its very best, To be in with a chance of winning, answer 2020 every day. the following question: Each product has been Slow Ageing products: carefully formulated to work in synergy A: Enable skin to look radiant and healthy with the others in the collection to help you B: Offer a bespoke blend of boosting antiachieve the best possible results. oxidant essential oils and botanicals The prize includes Essential Facial Essence, C: All of the above
62 Group; Tracy-Ann Oberman as Soly’s wife Nancy, who plays a crucial role in group operations; and Samantha Spiro as Vivien’s mother, Liza. Solemani says: “A young hairdresser from Manchester makes an unlikely hero in this little-known slice of British history. But in these unprecedented times, it is the unlikely heroes whose stories are now worth telling.”
One winner will receive a goody bag of Slowing Aging Essentials face range, worth £232. Prize is as stated, not transferable, not refundable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or exchanged in whole or in part for cash. By supplying your email address, you agree to receive marketing information from the JN Media Group or any of its affiliates and carefully selected third parties. The promotion excludes employees of Jewish News and the promoter, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the relevant promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 15 October 2020
Sex Education Season 3 Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs has joined the cast of Netflix dramedy Sex Education, which has gone into production for season three. The British–Jewish actor takes up the role of Peter Groff, the more successful and not very modest older brother of Mr Groff, played by Alistair Petrie, who has been staying with his sibling since separating from his wife. Isaacs is joined by Girls actress Jemima Kirke, playing former student and new headmistress Hope, who plans to turn Moordale back into the pillar of excellence it’s always been.
Rounding off the newcomers is gender nonconforming recording artist and songwriter, Dua Saleh as Cal, a student who instantly clashes with Hope’s new vision for the school. The returning cast of the eight-part series includes Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa and Connor Swindells. Sex Education revolves around Otis Milburn (Butterfield), a socially awkward secondary school student who struggles with his interfering sex therapist mother, Jean (Anderson). Sex Education Season 3 returns in 2021
1 October 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 WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT IT? A 13-year-old with a bucket list. I’d always believed the inventory of dreams in a pail was the preserve of aged folk desperate for a last shot at bungee jumping or crossing the Pacific aboard a pedalo. But I was wrong. Turns out teens laid claim to our bucket some time ago and the March-September confinement allowed them to further itemise their ambitions. In a blog post last week my friend, the author Debra Barnes, reflected on the High Holy Day experience for her late mother in occupied France during the Holocaust. Such deprivation and terror is mercifully beyond the imagination of my peers and their children, but while accepting there’s no comparison, dismissing people’s current anxieties is wrong. Yes, it’s trite to malign the wearing of a Cath Kidston face cover when our elders wore gas masks to school, but, as my friend Stacy’s gran often said: “My shoes hurt me!”
Hugging is on my daughter’s bucket list
This handy phrase – which I steal – was her quaint way of acknowledging an individual’s right to feel the way they do without guilt. Granted, culpability is in our DNA thanks to our Jewish mothers, but in these unsettling Covid times, no one should feel bad about feeling bad. And if you are admonished for self-pity, why not conjure up your inner Streisand and sing “we got nothing to be guilty of” right back at them. Our children shouldn’t feel guilty, either, as it’s not their fault we raise them in a privileged bubble, so not being allowed to do the things they usually do because of restrictions is understandably upsetting. You can always try a round of Blame Boris instead of Simon Says at birthday parties short on guests and then, in an act of support, hire several out-ofwork performers to entertain. It sure beats playing five-a-
side football with six! Experiencing the joy of live entertainment has made it to my daughter’s bucket list and she cites Pretty Woman, The Prince of Egypt and Waitress – “one more time, Mum” as shows she still longs to see. Hamilton and &Juliet will be on repeat once they open and Carrie Hope-Fletcher’s must. Cinderella is a must Trying on clothes in shops, Fashion Week and dressing up for evenings in are also in her bucket as is “travelling without quarantine” and “more than six friends in a room”. To the list she has also added “seeing friends employed by theatres go back to work”; “hugging all my family” and “finally having my batmitzvah party”. What reads as text book teen also reminds us of what we have missed and continue to miss and it’s interesting to see how
things that were once the norm for her are now considered goals. Hopefully when it all becomes available again, she will appreciate it more, so lockdown has provided lessons more valuable than just learning to Zoom. To mention Anne Frank in relation to a 13-year-olds’ bucket list in suburban luxury seems amiss, but Anne was also 13 when she wrote about her ambitions to be a famous writer, goals to act on stage or just watch another movie starring Rin Tin Tin. The famous dog appeared in The Lighthouse By The Sea, which was the last film Anne saw on her birthday before going into hiding. Had she lived, anything would have been possible for the 13-year-old with years ahead of her, and that is what we want for our own children. Of course, oldies will always harbour ambitions and some did a few listicles of their own during lockdown. But they will fit comfortably in a petri dish, so let’s leave the bucket with the teens.
The last movie Anne Frank saw
Paws A MINUTE
AND SHE’S BACK. Well, almost. The hilarious housewife from the Upper West Side is having her first costume fittings . While chatting to Carole Aaron, who plays Midge’s mum-in-law, Shirley, she expressed the need for a headsup well in advance of dress fittings as she has acquired lockdown pounds. The 1950s girdles will be essential wear for season four and, in preparation for its upcoming arrival, here is the viewing mask from www.redbubble.com
There isn’t time to blink before the next pup appears, and this is Crumble Noah, a labradoodle from Edgware. Keep those woof pics coming to email@example.com to get your free treat caddy from www.mytreatcaddy.com
Winkleman & Lawson
They may sound like estate agents, but they’re sassy Jewish women with books to promote. Claudia Winkleman of the fulsome fringe got the cover of a certain Sunday mag to talk loudly about her book, Quiet. Nigella’s new book of stories and recipes, #CookEatRepeat, has a title inspired by the EatSleepRaveRepeat lyrics of FatBoy Slim. Who better than a weighty lad to lasso your tome to, though Fat aka Norman Cook is as feather-light as Nigella’s pavlovas. We wish both authors well and wonder why their Jewishness never extends to talking to us? Even Jeremy Corbyn did that.
Crumble Noah Treat caddy in three colours
Jewish News 1 October 2020
Business / New opportunities
With Candice Krieger
‘WE’RE VERGING ON TWO DAILY FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL’ Candice Krieger speaks to Virgin Atlantic chief executive officer Shai Weiss about how the company has fared during the coronavirus pandemic and what it now hopes to achieve
irgin Atlantic boss Shai Weiss says the airline could soon be flying to Israel twice a day, possibly as soon as next month, despite the pandemic. In an interview with Jewish News, chief executive Weiss, who is himself Israeli, says: “We are proud to be flying back to Tel Aviv. We are flying three times a week and hope to move to twice daily in November, or maybe the new year, depending on developments on both sides of the Mediterranean.” Virgin started flying daily to Ben Gurion a year ago, but flights ground to a halt in March when Covid-19 took hold. After a pause, the airline launched cargo-only flights carrying essential supplies between the two countries. Passenger flights between London Heathrow and Ben Gurion resumed last month, as Weiss puts it, in time for Rosh Hashanah. Israel is the first country to have a second full lockdown and, at the time of writing, people arriving there from “red countries” with high coronavirus rates have to quarantine for 14 days. And while 2020 hasn’t been the year Virgin Atlantic planned, its commitment to the Israeli market remains steadfast. Weiss, who has been at Virgin Atlantic for six years – and at the helm since January 2019 – has watched the sector in which he works get destroyed by the pandemic, as national governments moved to curtail travel to safeguard public health. For 90 days, Virgin Atlantic did not fly one passenger. Weiss has been leading the call for the government introduction of mass passenger testing (pre-departure and post-
arrival) in order to relax travel restrictions, remove quarantine and get people, and the economy, moving again. “Without mass testing – though not diverting away from the NHS and front-line staff – the economic recovery of the UK will not take off in its time of need. Shai Weiss “We now expect to be in recession in Q4 and, with an extended recession period that will probably go into next year, the economy needs everything and travel is an essential piece. Five hundred thousand jobs in the UK are at risk without action.” He says the technology for testing is emerging. “We are now looking at trials at what we can do for our crews, people and passengers.” He is also calling for a London-New York and New Jersey corridor to be opened up, if the aviation industry and UK economy is to recover. “The government has had some success with corridors. I understand why the government wanted to talk about islands, but we need to differentiate between New York and New Jersey, and other places now exhibiting rates of infection that are lower than the UK and Europe more broadly, so quarantine can be removed and movement resumed, because the importation of infection is unlikely, especially if you introduce robust testing.” Transatlantic flying represents 70 percent of Virgin Atlantic’s network. “It’s such a significant contributor for the UK economy.
Israeli-born Shai, pictured with Branson, has worked at Virgin Atlantic for six years
Virgin Atlantic boss Shai Weiss in conversation with the airline’s founder Richard Branson
IT’S BEEN HUMBLING BECAUSE IN RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS, THE COMPANY, THE TEAM, THE SHAREHOLDERS ACHIEVED WHAT MANY THOUGHT IMPOSSIBLE We should take the first step and say that on arrival from New York and New Jersey – and if you show that you are a resident of New York or New Jersey – you can come into the
Virgin Atlantic staff
UK. If we do that, the US will probably open up the reverse.” Last month, Virgin Atlantic achieved what many thought impossible with the £1.2 billion private-only solvent recapitalisation of the airline and holiday business – taking the company a step closer to securing its survival. Weiss says the period leading up to the restructuring has been the most challenging he has ever faced professionally. He describes it as “humbling and devastating”. “This has impacted the livelihood of so many, and Virgin Atlantic is no different. Aviation was one of the first and deepest to be impacted and will probably be one of the last to emerge from the crisis. We suspended flying on 1 February, but little did we know how severe, impactful and lengthy this crisis would be. “It’s been humbling because, in response to the crisis, the company, the team, the shareholders achieved what many thought impossible.” Virgin, which was on track to return to profitability before the crisis, has had to cut nearly half its pre-pandemic workforce of 10,000 people.
1 October 2020 Jewish News
New opportunities / Business
Was there a time he thought Virgin Atlantic might not survive? “Of course, there were days I doubted whether we could achieve everything. This was a very complex process. But my job is to wake up in the morning, dust myself down and start all over again. Yes there were moments of doubt, but not ones that clouded my conviction or belief to get it done.” He adds: “We have taken a huge step forward, but the fight for survival for many companies in response to the pandemic continues.” Outside of discussing the crisis, Weiss found the time to wish the Jewish community a Shana Tova. He says: “Internally, I have used the phrase that we would like to be a head and not a tail, and it is ever more relevant this year. We intend to lead from the front and manage our destiny from the things we can control and supporting the things that we do not.”
Based in London, Weiss, a selfdescribed long-suffering Arsenal fan, holds an MBA from Columbia University and BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College. Before joining the Virgin Group, he held several senior management positions at NTL:Telewest (now Virgin Media). Prior to NTL, he established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a senior associate with Morgan Stanley. He also serves as a nonexecutive director of Checkpoint Software Technologies. He regularly reads The New Yorker magazine from cover to cover and attempts to play basketball. Weiss is particularly proud of Virgin Atlantic’s UK-Israel route, which has been extremely successful since its launch. He reels off some impressive stats: there are 300-4,000 flying club members and the route is consistently in the top five in terms of customer satisfaction. The route is also popular for its connectivity to the US – about 80percent are point to point with about 20-30 percent moving onwards to the US, and from the US. “I think people now appreciate what we stand for. It’s a route our people love to serve.
Branson touches down in Tel Aviv with Weiss after Virgin’s launch flight in 2019
All the cultural training we did a year and a half ago in preparation served us well and is a blueprint for what we are doing for Pakistan.” The company recently announced it will be flying from the UK to Lahore and Islamabad from December. Looking ahead, he expects travel in 2021
to be at 50 percent of what it was in 2019 and doesn’t expect passenger volume to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. “But I hope and expect that, with the introduction of a vaccine and improvements in treatment, the new year next year will be a better year than this one.” Amen to that.
Jewish News 1 October 2020
1 October 2020 Jewish News
SEDRA Succot BY RABBI JONATHAN TAWIL Are you up for an adventure? Not had the opportunity to get out of lockdown properly? Well you’re in luck. Try sleeping in the succah – camping out at home is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your natural neighbourhood intimately. The Torah tells us to “live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths, so your descendants will know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 23: 42-43.) When we sit in the succah, we recall Jewish history – not just the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, but also the entire experience of exile. The succah is defined as a ‘temporary dwelling’ (dirat arai). It is one of the most powerful symbols of Jewish history. Which other nation sees its home not as a castle, but as a fragile tabernacle? We are the nation that was born, not in its land, but in the desert. There are two opinions in the Talmud as to the essence of this mitzvah. Rabbi Eliezer held that the succah
represents the clouds of glory that surrounded the Israelites during the wilderness years, protecting them from heat during the day, cold during the night, and bathing them with the radiance of the divine presence. Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, says succot mammash, meaning a succah is a succah, no more and no less: a hut, a booth, a temporary dwelling. If a succah is merely a hut, what was the miracle? Why should there be a festival dedicated to something ordinary and non-miraculous? Rashbam (Rashi’s grandson) says the succah was there to remind us of our humble origins so that we never fall into the complacency of taking for granted freedom, the land of Israel and the blessings it yields. The miracle is that despite the trials and tribulations we have endured in Jewish history, we are still here. We might not see it, it might seem to be just a hut, but in essence it is the protection of the Almighty. Chag sameach!
◆ Rabbi Jonathan Tawil is the founder and director of Torah Action Life
Jewish News 1 Octoberr 2020
Head of Jewish Studies
REQUIRED for January 2021 or sooner
Salary Commensurate with experience
Sinai School is seeking to appoint an experienced and motivated Head of Jewish Studies who will be an enthusiastic and committed member of the school community and will join our dedicated Leadership Team. Sinai Jewish Primary School is dedicated to motivation, inspiration and excellence. We are a happy, thriving and successful school with a positive, caring and imaginative learning environment that gives our children the very best start in life. We are seeking an ambitious and energetic professional with experience of leading teams, monitoring teaching and learning, and with experience of successfully leading improvement and raising standards. Our community is highly valued by our families and staff and as a school we expect everyone to actively contribute to and promote our strong, positive ethos. If you are a dynamic and inspirational leader with the capacity to grow and develop in the role, if you have initiative, constructive enthusiasm, a thorough knowledge of all key stages and the ambition to play a major role in the leadership and management of our school then we would love to hear from you. What Sinai can offer: • an opportunity for career development • exciting opportunities and development • a forward thinking Jewish Studies curriculum • children who are eager to learn, conﬁdent and enthusiastic • staff who are fully committed to making a difference • superb resources in excellent facilities. • Inner London Weighting in an Outer London borough The successful candidate will be: • an enthusiastic and consistently strong practitioner with a sound knowledge and understanding of Primary Jewish Education; • an innovative and effective classroom practitioner who is passionate about learning and teaching Jewish Studies; • an effective communicator with parents and colleagues • highly motivated and able to motivate others. • knowledgeable about practicing Judaism • experienced in Leading teams Further details and an application form please contact the Headteacher’s PA firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline Friday 16th October Interviews week of 19th October Sinai School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all who work here to share this commitment. The successful applicant will be subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure and other relevant checks.
Succot will be challenging this year, but its message to help others is unchanged BY RABBI AARON GOLDSTEIN Tradition is a mixed bag for us British Jews. On the one hand, it is a mitzvah to live through Succot in our temporary booth; on the other, it is a joyous festival and to sit shivering or sodden in our succah contradicts its essence. This year will be particularly challenging to engage in traditional celebrations of gathering. However, it does provide an opportunity to return to the essence of the festival. The underlying message is to recall the times when we, as a people, were in need and were provided for. God bought the Israelites out of Egypt and protected them in booths. God looked out for us. So, in turn, we should look out for others. Every individual, regardless of bank balance, can hand over something of what they produce – and at Succot, we are talking about agricultural produce – to others. All the symbols of Succot point us to think of others in need and there is a moral imperative to do what we can. The Kabbalistic notion of ushpizin, inviting one of seven lauded men of Israel, rather hides the understanding known to Maimonides, that of inviting a poor person on each night to eat in the succah. He noted the temptation towards self-
aggrandisement of so doing. This year there are really no temptations. I sincerely hope that we will enjoy our increased time at home. I also hope we will consider the focus on what we can do to support others whose risk of food poverty is acute. While not emphasising the minutiae of the exact quality of fronds on a palm, the focus of Liberal Judaism congregations has been on the ethical message of Succot. How we can look out for others as God looked out for us? My own Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue has partnerships with our local food bank, as well as charities for preventing homelessness and supporting refugees. We work with them at all times, but especially at Succot. There is a huge opportunity for us to be involved in such social action work and social justice. That Marcus Rashford is having to continue to battle for free school meals for children in need throughout the pandemic is just one example of a campaign with which we might engage. May your succah be a delight and your generosity a joy. ◆Aaron Goldstein is senior rabbi at Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue
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1 October 2020 Jewish News
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Photo: May 2020
LUXURY APARTMENTS fRoM NIS 5.4 MILIoN 3 to 4-room Garden Apartments with large gardens and spectacular Penthouses The Ofer Investments Group is proud to present their luxury “Pituach by the Sea” project built on one of the most desirable strips of real estate in Israel – Herzliya Pituah, A stone’s throw from the sea. The project was designed by a team of first-class architects and designers. It was built to the highest specifications and includes high-end brands and attention to the smallest detail without compromising on quality and accuracy.
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Jewish News 1 October 2020
Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel
Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: email@example.com 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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DYSLEXIA PRACTITIONER SARAH BENARROCH Qualifications: • Director of Literacy Specialist Ltd, educational services for children with literacy difficulties and dyslexia. • MA in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia), APC, British Dyslexia Association, PATOSS, 20 years’ experience in child education and development. • Full diagnostic assessments and reports for dyslexia. • Primary-age tuition in reading, writing and spelling.
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ROSENBERG & ASSOCIATES 0203 994 2278 www.israeli-lawyer.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
CAROLYN ADDLEMAN Qualifications: Lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in will drafting and trust and estate administration. Last 14 years at KKL Executor and Trustee Company. In close contact with clients to ensure all legal and pastoral needs are cared for. Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
JONATHAN WILLIAMS Qualifications: • Jewellery manufacturer since 1980s. • Expert in the manufacture and supply of diamond jewellery, wedding rings and general jewellery. • Specialist in supply of diamonds to the public at trade prices.
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JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION 020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk email@example.com
• • •
Got a question for a member of our team? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CRIMINAL DEFENCE SOLICITOR
DAVID SEGEL Qualifications: • Managing director of West End Travel, established in 1972. • Leading UK El Al agent with branches in Swiss Cottage and Edgware. • Specialist in Israel travel, cruises and kosher holidays. • Leading business travel company, ranked in top 50 UK agents. • Frequent travel broadcaster on radio and TV.
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WEST END TRAVEL 020 7644 1500 www.westendtravel.co.uk David.Segel@westendtravel.co.uk
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REMOVALS MANAGING DIRECTOR
PRINCIPAL, PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL
STEPHEN MORRIS Qualifications: • Managing Director of Stephen Morris Shipping Ltd. • 45 years’ experience in shipping household and personal effects. • Chosen mover for four royal families and three UK prime ministers. • Offering proven quality specialist advice for moving anyone across the world or round the corner.
LOUISE LEACH Qualifications: • Professional choreographer qualified in dance, drama and Zumba (ZIN, ISTD & LAMDA), gaining an honours degree at Birmingham University. • Former contestant on ITV’s Popstars, reaching bootcamp with Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Kym Marsh. • Set up Dancing with Louise 10 years ago.
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DANCING WITH LOUISE 020 8203 5242 www.dancingwithlouise.co.uk email@example.com
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts
ADAM SHELLEY Qualifications: • FCCA chartered certified accountant. • Accounting, taxation and business advisory services. • Entrepreneurial business specialist including start-up businesses. • Specialises in charities; Personal tax returns. • Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation Volunteer of the Year JVN award.
DONIEL GRUNEWALD Qualifications: • Accredited mediator to International Standards offering civil/commercial and workplace mediation; in a facilitative or evaluative format, or by med-arb. • Experienced in all Beth Din matters; including arbitration, advocacy, matrimonial settlements and written submissions. • Providing bespoke alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to the Jewish community.
DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional clinical lead for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons Glasgow; GDC registered 212542.
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INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST
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JOE GRIFFIN Qualifications: • More than 13 years’ experience in the construction and property industry, with a specialism in high-end residential and commercial property. • Negotiation of site acquisitions and property deals; design and planning strategies. • Focus on niche market purchasing airspace above commercial and residential blocks to create additional stories of accommodation and penthouse apartments.
IAN GREEN Qualifications: • Launched Man on a Bike IT consultancy 15 years ago to provide computer support for the home and small businesses. • Clients range from legal firms in the City to families, small business owners and synagogues. • More than 18 years’ experience.
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LEON HARRIS Qualifications: • Leon is an Israeli and UK accountant based in Ramat Gan, Israel. • He is a Partner at Harris Horoviz Consulting & Tax Ltd. • The firm specializes in Israeli and international tax advice, accounting and tax reporting for investors, Olim and businesses. • Leon’s motto is: Our numbers speak your language!
ASHLEY PRAGER Qualifications: • Professional insurance and reinsurance broker. Offering PI/D&O cover, marine and aviation, property owners, ATE insurance, home and contents, fine art, HNW. • Specialist in insurance and reinsurance disputes, utilising Insurance backed products. (Including non insurance business disputes). • Ensuring clients do not pay more than required.
LISA WIMBORNE Qualifications: Able to draw on the charity’s 50 years of experience in enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, including: • The provision of specialist accommodation with 24/7 on site support. • Knowledge of the innovations that empower people and the benefits available. • Understanding of the impact of a disability diagnosis.
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VANESSA LLOYD PLATT Qualifications: • Qualification: 40 years experience as a matrimonial and divorce solicitor and mediator, specialising in all aspects of family matrimonial law, including: • Divorce, pre/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, children’s cases, grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren, adoption, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.
POLLY LANDSBERG Qualifications: • Polly has worked in health and social care for more than 35 years. • Has a degree in nursing and a diploma in health visiting. • Polly is responsible for the day-to-day management of the palliative and end of life care service.
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Got a question for a member of our team? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Directors and staff at West End Travel hope that all our clients are staying well and coping during this very difficult time for all of us. We look forward to taking care of all your travel needs as soon as life gets back to normal, hopefully in the very near future. Stay well, healthy and safe. Head Office: 4-6 Canfield Place, London NW6 3BT 020 7644 1500 Email: email@example.com Edgware Office: 70 Edgware Way, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 8JS 020 8958 3188 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.westendtravel.co.uk
Jewish News 1 October 2020
JDA is enabling a whole new generation of deaf childrento achieve their aspirations and flourish
On my f irst day at sixth form college, my tutor made a point of welcoming me, proudly wearing his clear mask. I felt so reassured and instantly at home. I plan to become a doctor and I wonâ€™t forget the value of good communication. JDA is supplying schools, colleges and medical establishments with clear face masks so that everyone who needs to lip read can feel confident and communicate effectively. Understanding and caring for each other is the key to getting through this time safe and sound.
Please show you care by making a donation today.
020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1105845 Company Limited by Guarantee 4983830
1 October 2020 Jewish News
Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
ACROSS 1 Buddy (4) 3 Fortified wine (6)
8 Furiously (7) 9 Shout of disapproval (3)
Y C B
K K M E
F Q C C W E X W L
Y M T
A G H V G L
A S S
L Q T
X H E V Y R I
R O Z
O X T
B W U O R
X G A
S R E E H C B G Y B S E M
Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Seven 4 Kiwis 7 Gas 8 Theorem 9 Seer 10 Tsar 13 Yes 15 Ease 16 Used 19 Off-peak 21 Tar 22 Clear 23 Early DOWN: 1 Sage 2 Vespers 3 Notary 4 Keen 5 War 6 Sombre 11 Sweater 12 Heroic 14 Suckle 17 Year 18 Troy 20 Foe
1 6 9 5 7 3 2 4 8
2 8 4 1 6 9 3 5 7
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 5 4
Suguru 7 9 3 6 4 8 5 2 1
5 1 8 3 9 2 7 6 4
3 4 4 1 6 7 8 9 1 9 2 5 4 5 3 1 9 1 3 5 8 4 6
See next issue for puzzle solutions.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Sudoku 3 5 7 8 2 4 6 1 9
T R A K
G C O U P K Y
N O O E B N R S B J
Z O V N D A P
T C B A O N U T
S U E N G A P M A H C C N A E D D T
F Q U H T J
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 9, 13 and 14 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
The champagne 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.
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
10 Drink from oranges or apples, eg (5,5) 13 Device that can help deaf people (7,3) 17 Lavatory, or card game (3) 18 Kerosene light (3,4) 19 Half of a quarter (6) 20 Period of time which can be leap or light (4) DOWN 1 Indicate, convey (4) 2 Big cat (5) 4 Dried grass as fodder (3) 5 Jewish leader or teacher (5) 6 Old royal attendants (6) 7 Bathing costume (6) 11 Jog, bob (6) 12 Postpone (6) 14 Lengthwise (5) 15 Furious, livid (5) 16 Goad for a horse (4) 18 In a state of unconsciousness (3)
6 4 2 7 1 5 9 8 3
4 2 1 9 3 6 8 7 5
8 3 6 4 5 7 1 9 2
9 7 5 2 8 1 4 3 6
2 1 4 3 2 1
3 5 2 1 5 4
2 1 3 4 2 1
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 3 5 2 1 3 4
2 1 3 4 2 1
3 4 2 1 5 3
1 2 1 5 3 1
4 3 4 2 4 2
5 2 5 1 3 5
3 1 3 4 2 1
4 2 5 1 3 5
1 3 4 2 4 1
J B J Q P A Z S X M I T R
T O O C I D N A B Y O D E
C A B G L U L D U V E C G
Z A V D N C K N R P F B D
T A R K C A L B A I B A A
B R A E B R L Y I L B B B
U E E K L R R S U S E O F
Codeword F T A L Q A W E M E O O O
F G U V B B W H T O R N G
A B M R E H E L A I O B N
L A A X A R E N H W T B P
O B S L B U T T E R F L Y
Y R E B U S H B A B Y B U
V A N I L L A I U I I S U B T L E R I I O Y T A L E T E L B OW B M F O F F QU I X EMU R N OW L OC C U R A O E U R N MA D AM K
B L L A AM E E D T C K H J C I B E E
OG R T O W A T H P E N P O V D I C N E
U S N N E E Z U E D R T R T Y S S T
GK D S V L X BMQ I A C J Z U R E O P N Y H F W T01/10
Jewish News 1 October 2020
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY
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1 October 2020 Jewish News
Business Services Directory SILVER
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Jewish News 1 October 2020