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12 November 2020

• 25 Cheshvan 5781 • Issue 1184


TRIBUTE EDITION Rabbi Lord Sacks 1948-2020

Portrait by Blake Ezra




Jewish News 12 November 2020

News / Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

‘He was a global icon, an intellectual giant’ Heartfelt tributes have poured in from across the Jewish community and around the world in memory of former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, who died on Saturday aged 72, writes Jack Mendel. Prince Charles said he felt the “most profound personal sorrow”. The future King added: “With his passing, the Jewish community, our nation and the entire world have lost a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal. “His immense learning spanned the sacred and the secular, and his prophetic voice spoke to our greatest challenges with unfailing insight and boundless compassion. “Although Rabbi Lord Sacks’ death is a cause of the greatest possible sadness, we give thanks for the immeasurable contribution which – in the tradition of the most revered teachers of the Jewish people – he made to all our lives. I send my deepest condolences to his family.” Gila Sacks, his youngest daughter, held back tears as she spoke on behalf of her siblings Dina and Josh at the funeral on Sunday. “We used to joke that if you bumped into my dad in the kitchen, he’d probably want you to work out how to solve global antisemitism while the kettle boils.” She said her father had given her “that single belief that nothing was inevitable, that no problems were too big for people to try and solve. That things could always be changed and people could always change them: that belief shaped everything else. “I felt his love overwhelmingly, because that is what he gave us above all. He loved us so much.” Lord Sacks, who was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, had twice had cancer and was being treated for a third time. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was “deeply distressed and sad”, saying: “Jonathan was a wonderful friend, a beloved mentor, a philosopher of extraordinary insight and of course a religious leader respected well beyond the Jewish community and well beyond the shores of Britain. “A brilliant speaker and thinker he had the rarest of gifts – expressing complex ideas in the simplest of terms. A man of huge intellectual stature but with the warmest human spirit.” United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein said “there are no words” to describe the loss. “The world is a darker place right now.” Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who succeeded Sacks in 2013, said: “The world has

Gila Sacks: ‘I felt his love overwhelmingly’

lost a Torah luminary and intellectual giant who had a transformative global impact.” Sacks “was an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism, helping many to understand and be proud of their heritage” and he “will be deeply missed”. “Writing in tears” in Jewish News this week, Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, of the London School of Jewish Studies, said Sacks “made the world see that Torah was on a par with any contemporary philosophy” and he “enabled us to hold our heads up high and be proud to be modern Jews”. Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “We are distraught. His astounding intellect and courageous moral voice were a blessing to all who encountered him in person, in writing or in broadcast.” Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “His leadership over decades transformed the role of Chief Rabbi into a national and global symbol.” Former JLC chair Sir Mick Davis said Sacks was a “great moral authority, not just of the Jewish people but of the world at large”. Mark Gardner, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, said the loss has “been

very deeply felt” by the organisation, which for 22 years had given him bodyguard security in his role as Chief Rabbi. “In that time, he and his family treated our staff and volunteers with the utmost respect and friendship. We, in turn, held him in the very highest regard and affection.” Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, president of Liberal Judaism, said Sacks had “brought so much recognition to, and respect for, the Anglo-Jewish community by his erudition, broadcasting, lectures and books”. Sacks was a candidate for the Genesis Prize for 2020, dubbed the ‘Jewish Nobel’. Stan Polovets, chairman of the Genesis Prize Foundation, said he was “deeply saddened” and paid tribute to Sacks’ “profound elucidation of Jewish values and their meaning in today’s world”. Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said Lord Sacks “was a firm friend and passionate supporter of Shoah education and remembrance. He was irreplaceable.” Holocaust survivor and former Olympian Sir Ben Helfgott said: “Rabbi Sacks often talked about the strength and inspiration he took from the survivors – but it was us who took strength and inspiration from his warmth and wisdom.” Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, described Sacks as “a towering figure of Judaism, who represented the Jewish people’s finest face to the outside world”. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he was a man who “had a deep commitment to interpersonal relationships – and when you met him you couldn’t help but be swept up in his delight at living, his sense of humour, his kindness, and his desire to know, understand and value others. It was that rare combination – profound depth, and equally profound commitment to relating with others – that made the leadership he offered possible.” Imam Qari Asim, chair of the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board, said Sacks was “a voice of wisdom and humanity. His passion to reconcile the pain and suffering of the world inspired so many.”  Editorial comment, page 20 Jewish News Podcast Special: Tribute to Rabbi Lord Sacks with Emily Maitlis Listen at jewishnews.co.uk

Tributes in Commons and beyond Politicians and public figures in the UK and Israel have paid their respects, with Boris Johnson speaking at prime minister’s questions in the Commons yesterday. He said: “I know the whole house will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who sadly passed away on Saturday. His leadership had a profound effect on our whole country and across the world. May his memory be a blessing.”

Earlier, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had tweeted condolences, describing Sacks as “a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community. I have no doubt that his legacy will live on for many generations.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan commented on the “extremely sad news”, saying: “My prayers are with Rabbi Lord Sacks’ family. I benefited hugely and learned a lot from him.”

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, who interviewed Sacks this year, said he “was a leader of such profound integrity, humanity, compassion and intellect. I can’t think of anyone I enjoyed interviewing more. Our conversations left me enriched, happier and dare I say – wiser. Our loss is immense.” Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin offered sympathies, saying: “We will always remember his warning against violence in the name of God and his belief that we can heal

a fractured world.” Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his “insights about the heritage of the Jewish people and antisemitism will stand in our generation and for generations to come.” Isaac Herzog, head of the Jewish Agency, told The JN Podcast he “was stunned” when the news broke. “I knew Jonathan extremely well – originally from family connections,” he said. He was a “giant” of Jewish law and world issues and a “beacon of morality.”

Sacks, pictured left, at his barmitzvah

GENIUS INSPIRED BY SCHNEERSON Born in London in 1948, Jonathan Sacks studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where he gained a first-class degree in philosophy. He then completed degrees at New College, Oxford, and at King’s College before being ordained as a rabbi. As a student in the 1960s, he visited Rabbi Menachem Schneerson — the spiritual leader who is credited with turning the Chasidic ChabadLubatvitch movement into a powerful organising force of Jewry around the world — in New York City. He credited that meeting with inspiring him to get involved with Jewish studies. He became rabbi of the Golders Green Synagogue in 1978 and rabbi of the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in 1983. He was appointed chief rabbi in 1991, a post he held until 2013. During his tenure he served under four prime ministers: John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. In 2009 he was made a peer. Sacks married Elaine Taylor in 1970. They had three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila, and numerous grandchildren. Two of the most controversial moments in his 22 years as Chief Rabbi were what became known as the Hugo Gryn affair and the Dignity of Difference row. Reform rabbi Hugo Gryn, arguably Britain’s best-known Holocaust survivor, died in 1996 and Rabbi Sacks did not go to his funeral. The Jewish Chronicle published a leaked letter by Rabbi Sacks, written in Hebrew, to the hard-right religious leader Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, denouncing Rabbi Gryn as an “enemy of faith”. Rabbi Sacks later attended a memorial service for Rabbi Gryn but the row did not subside. In 2013 Jackie Gryn, Rabbi Gryn’s widow, made it clear that she regarded the matter as closed and that she and Rabbi Sacks were on good and cordial terms. In his 2002 book The Dignity of Difference Rabbi Sacks argued that every faith had a different but equal role to play and one creed was not more important than another. Angry rabbis complained, one accusing him of heresy. He rewrote several passages in the book’s second edition. Rabbi Sacks published 28 books on the role of faith in the modern age and received many awards including the Jerusalem Prize; Grawemeyer Prize for Religion; Norman Lamm Prize, Yeshiva University; the American National Jewish Book Award for The Koren Sacks Pesah Mahzor ; and, in 2016, the Templeton Prize.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News announcement / News

Jewish News owner gifts the title to charitable foundation The owner of Jewish News has gifted the title to a charitable foundation, in a move that secures the future of Britain’s biggest Jewish newspaper and cements its place at the heart of the Jewish community. The transfer of ownership from longtime proprietor Leo Noé to a charitable trust called the Independent Jewish Community

News Foundation takes effect from today. It will see a seamless continuation of the editorial direction under the leadership of editor Richard Ferrer and news editor Justin Cohen, who also serve as co-publishers. Funding has been raised from a number of additional donors, which will underpin the long-term future of the title. Thanks to this support, the Jewish News will be able to invest in and grow its digital offering as well as add to its team, enabling it to increase advertising revenue and cover more topics in greater depth. The charitable trust will be WONDER a vehicle for continued fundD AN WOMEN raising for years to come. GAL POWER ’s Albert Speer Under the new ownership, talks daughter tolerance Jewish News will continue delivL: SHTISE t t’s Ou The Secre ering high-quality, balanced and agenda-setting content through a free-of-charge weekly newspaper, cutting-edge website partnered with Times of Israel and monthly magazines and supplements. ‘Their stori e It will also be able to deliver more stay with m s will e forever’ Duchess of Cambridge of the innovative communal projects photograph for our Ho locaust Me s sur vivors morial Day edition it has pioneered, engaging audiences





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of all ages and celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of British-Jewish life. Editor Richard Ferrer said: “Jewish News is the community’s newspaper. We are proud of the quality news and opinion that saw us commended by the Society of Editors last year. “It’s a tribute to our talented team that this vision has been recognised by major figures in the community who want to see Jewish News flourish. After a tumultuous 2020, this support guarantees a very bright future.” He added: “Without Leo Noé’s support and encouragement, Jewish News would not be

here today. Leo has funded Jewish News for more than 10 years and now his ambition to see a viable and truly independent title placed into strong communal ownership has been realised. We are hugely grateful to him and to all those who have chosen to support the Foundation at a time of particular pressure on communal funds.” Jewish News is also inviting readers to further strengthen its position at the epicentre of British-Jewish life by supporting its journalism via an online donations platform at jewishnews.co.uk.

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Jewish News 12 November 2020

News / US election result

Biden basks in mazeltovs fr Jewish leaders this week joined politicians from around the world in congratulating president-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the American election, writes Adam Decker. Biden was called as the winner of Pennsylvania on Saturday, meaning he had surpassed the 270 majority of electoral college votes needed for victory over Donald Trump in the race for the White House. Reacting to his victory, Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl said: “After a divisive and tumultuous few years in American and global politics, we hope that he will lead global efforts to tackle coronavirus, strengthen ties with allies like the UK and heal

the wounds between different groups in American society. “We also hope that he will continue in the strong tradition of bipartisan support for the world’s only Jewish state, the State of Israel, and reverse the rise of antisemitism and racism in America and beyond.” Steve McCabe MP, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said he was “overjoyed at Joe Biden’s victory”. It was “enormously encouraging to have a Democratic president-elect with such an unshakeable commitment to the Jewish state and a two-state solution”, he added. Boris Johnson tweeted his congratulations, saying: “The US is our most important ally and

I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.” Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, and prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also tweeted congratulations, while thanking President Trump for his support for Israel during his tenure.

Netanyahu said: “Joe, we’ve had a long and warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working

Joe Biden

President-elect’s Jewish team? American Jews are poised to take up some of the most senior positions in the new White House team, with responsibilities both at home and abroad. Tipped to be chief of staff is Ron Klain, a role he played for Joe Biden while he was vice-president to Barack Obama, as well as for Al Gore while he was vice-president to Bill Clinton. Born in Indianapolis to Jewish parents, Klain, 59, may lay claim to the most battle scars; he was played by Kevin Spacey in the film Recount, depicting the fight over votes in the

2000 presidential election between Gore and George W Bush. Biden’s external focus could be shaped by Tony Blinken, another veteran of the Obama years, who is being touted as either a national security adviser or even a secretary of state – in essence, the top US diplomat. Blinken, 58, was pictured alongside Obama and the generals in the White House situations room during the secret and successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011. The administration’s foreign policy focus

WHAT TO WATCH IN BIDEN’S WHITE HOUSE The Deal of the Century: In January, President Trump rolled out the Israeli–Palestinian peace plan he had touted for three years. One component of the deal that will come off the table with a Biden presidency will be the partial Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. Even in that instance, though, there’s not much practically different between the Trump and Biden postures: the Trump team told Benjamin Netanyahu he needed Palestinian buy-in to the peace plan before annexing territory, and that never was going to happen.


Biden has criticised Trump for exiting the Iran nuclear deal. Trump said the deal, which exchanged sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear capability, was too generous and not strict enough. The Netanyahu government agreed with Trump: prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu lobbied strongly against the deal, which was brokered by President Barack Obama, and which Biden helped sell to Congress.

Aid to Israel:

During the primaries, some Democratic candidates spoke of conditioning defence to

Israel on the country’s behaviour; Biden repeatedly rejected that proposal. He intervened to keep the word “occupation” out of the Democratic platform.


Immigration policy carries a special emotional weight for many Jewish Americans, who are mindful of their own heritage as refugees — and of the world’s hesitation to accept Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. Trump pursued an aggressively antiimmigrant agenda, including by reducing refugee admissions and separating children from their parents at the border, sometimes permanently. Biden has promised to launch a task force to reunite those families and to increase refugee admissions.

may also have input from Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under Obama, and – like Blinken – intimately involved in the Iran nuclear deal. Rhodes, 42, was born to a Jewish mother and Christian father. In 2017 it was alleged that an Israeli private intelligence firm, Black Cube, tried to manufacture incriminating or embarrassing information about Rhodes and his wife. A victorious Joe Biden greets supporters

US GETS ‘SECOND GENT’ – AND HE’S ONE OF US The first ‘second gentleman’ of the United States will be the Jewish husband of Joe Biden’s vice-president, Kamala Harris. Doug Emhoff, who married Harris in 2014 after a 16-year marriage to a TV producer, will also be the first Jewish spouse of a US president or vice-president when Harris is sworn in early next year. Harris, who has Indian and Jamaican heritage, will be the first woman, the first black person and the first Asian–American to be vice-president. She met Emhoff when mutual friends set them up on a blind date.

An entertainment lawyer born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents, Emhoff, 56, is a partner at law firm DLA Piper in Los Angeles but took a leave of absence in August when Harris was confirmed as Biden’s running mate. Since then he has helped to organise fundraising for the Biden–Harris campaign. When Biden was confirmed as presidentelect, his victory triggered columnists’ speculation regarding Emhoff ’s future title, with ‘second husband’ and ‘second spouse’ considered, before the team settled on ‘second gentleman.’


When Biden launched his campaign in April 2019, he said he had considered retirement — but was appalled by Trump’s equivocations after the deadly neo-Nazi and white supremacist march in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden constantly cites combating bigotry and antisemitism specifically in his appearances, including at the Democratic convention.

Proud husband: Doug Emhoff, a Brooklyn-born entertainment lawyer, with Kamala Harris

12 November 2020 Jewish News



US election result / News

rom Jewish world with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel.” He added: “Thank you Donald Trump for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognising Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the AmericanIsraeli alliance to unprecedented heights.” Rivlin said: “I send the

blessings of the Israeli people that our special relations and and of the State of Israel”, multifaceted cooperation will adding that Biden was “a long- continue to flourish and grow in the future.” standing friend of Israel”. While congratulating He heralded the the president-elect, “strategic alliance Rabbi Pinchas between our two Goldschmidt, countries”, while president of thanking Trump the Conference for “four years of European of partnership Rabbis, expressed in strengthening his thanks to Israel’s security. Trump “I have no doubt Uncowed: Donald Trump this week “for his

unwavering support of Israel”, including the signing of the Abraham Accords with Bahrain and the UAE. Hoping “US Jewry will overcome its deep political divisions and become united on all crucial issues”, Rabbi Goldschmidt wished Biden “God’s blessings and wisdom to navigate the US through the pandemic and provide relief, prosperity and peace to the people of the US”, as well as fighting antisemitism.

Trump fires Pentagon chief who had reassured Israel Donald Trump has sacked his defence secretary, Mark Esper, who played a key role in assuaging Israeli concerns about the sale of stealth combat jets to the United Arab Emirates. The outgoing president did not give a reason for the firing, which he made public days after losing the presidential election. Trump has been unhappy with Esper for dissenting over the summer when the president contemplated using troops to halt anti-racism

protests following the killing of George Floyd. Esper, appointed in July 2019, was the key administration official tasked with reassuring Israel’s leadership about the proposed sale of F-35s to the UAE, an apparent condition of the Emirates’ decision to normalise relations with Israel in a deal brokered by the White House. Israeli officials sought evidence from Esper that the sale would not affect Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East.


Former UN ambassador Danny Danon

Israel’s former UN ambassador has said Jerusalem’s main concern about a Joe Biden presidency is his wish to re-enter nuclear negotiations with Iran, writes Adam Decker. Danny Danon told the Jewish News Podcast, that if Biden were to start talking to Iran again, it would push Israel towards more regional alliances with Arab states who shared its fears. “Mr Biden said very clearly that he would reenter the JCPOA [Iran nuclear deal],” Danon told presenter Phil Dave. “That is a major change from the policy of Trump’s administration. Here in Israel we have to recalculate and

get ready for a new era. The way we see it, this is a miserable agreement, breached many times by the Iranians. “Many leaders of moderate Arab countries in the Middle East would have to think about what they do if the US changes course so dramatically. They are very worried about the Iranian nuclear race and they don’t have the capabilities we have in terms of defence systems.” Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said he thought Arab states worried about Tehran’s intentions may at first try to convince Biden “not to engage with Iran,

not to re-enter the JCPOA”. But he added: “If it happens, you will see interesting alliances in the region, with the bond between Israel and those countries becoming even stronger.” Acknowledging Biden as a “charming” man who cares about Israel, he said Israel wanted to see whether he would bring back some members of Barack Obama’s team. “We have some bad memories from those players. The way they treated [Netanyahu], the way they tried to push a resolution in the Security Council before he left office... so it will be interesting to see who is around Biden if he enters the White House.”

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09/11/2020 15:18



Jewish News 12 November 2020

News / Labour pains

Starmer: Spare us bitter courtroom battles Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has urged supporters of Jeremy Corbyn not to tie up the party with costly legal actions in an attempt to secure his reinstatement, writes Adam Decker. Corbyn was suspended from the party last month after claiming the scale of antisemitism in Labour had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”. His comments came after an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that, under his leadership, Labour had unlawfully discriminated against Jewish members. It has since been reported that former shadow attorney general Lady (Shami) Chakrabarti is working on a legal case to get his suspension revoked. However in an LBC radio phone-in, Sir Keir said the party should be focusing on campaigning and winning elections. He said he would raise the issue with Lady Chakrabarti – the author of an earlier, muchcriticised report on antisemitism in the party. “I don’t think anybody wants to see yet more legal cases. I want the Labour Party focused on campaigning to win elections,” he said. “We have got a massive set of elections next May, we have

Keir Starmer, left, with then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, now suspended from the party

got a general election in 2024. We absolutely have to be focused on that. So I don’t want to see any Labour Party money or time tied up with yet more legal cases. I will talk to Shami about this when I next speak to her.” He denied it had been a “political decision”

by general secretary David Evans to suspend Corbyn, although made it clear he strongly supported the action against his predecessor. Starmer said he was committed to putting in place measures to implement the commission’s recommendations by next month’s deadline.

“Don’t you just hate it when politicians pig-headedly refuse to accept decisions?” Meanwhile, Starmer is to address the Jewish Labour Movement’s virtual conference at the end of the month. JLM’s One Day Conference will take place on Sunday 29 November. Other speakers including JLM parliamentary chair Dame Margaret Hodge MP, and former MPs Ruth Smeeth and Dame Louise Ellman.

The Trustees, Staff and Students of Aish UK are deeply saddened by the irreplaceable loss of

‫הרב יעקב צבי בן דוד אריה זצ״ל‬ RABBI LORD JONATHAN SACKS ‫זצ״ל‬

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His leadership, wisdom, integrity and humility made him a special and inspiring leader. “We achieve greatness by handing our values onto the next generation and empowering them to go and build the future.” - Rabbi Sacks Rabbi Daniel Rowe and everyone at Aish UK extend our condolences to Lady Elaine and all the Sacks family.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



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Jewish News 12 November 2020

News / Lockdown 2.0

‘It’s heartbreaking centres are closed’

Meals on wheels delivered by Jewish care during the pandemic

The chief executive of Jewish Care has reassured the organisation and those who rely on it that while the doors of its nine community day centres may currently be closed, its services are very much continuing, writes Adam Decker. It follows news last week that 128 staff members from the centres – roughly nine percent of the charity’s workforce – were now in a consultation process, with some job losses envisaged after eight months of ongoing coronavirus restrictions. Despite the financial pressures that all charities are under, the vast majority of Jewish Care staff are not at risk of losing their jobs. Those in consultation will be redeployed where possible, in what bosses described as a rapidly changing landscape. Speaking to Jewish News, Daniel Carmel-Brown (pictured) said he was “committed to bringing people back” to the shuttered centres, which provide day care activities as well as meals but, even with new hopes of a vaccine, this prospect seems months away. “We’ve had to think very carefully about how we approach the next phase of

this,” he said. “Assuming restrictions will be in place for many months, we’ve had to work out how to structure the workforce to allow us to deliver the services we have been delivering since March. That has meant some tough decisions.” At the start of lockdown, some day centre staff redeployed to the charity’s residential care homes. Others moved to the popular Meals on Wheels, while others helped with the in-demand befriending service. Only 18 staff were furloughed. Outlining how the charity now needed “an interim structure”, Carmel-Brown heaped praise on staff for adapting so fast during lockdown and explained that while service users would one day return, where and what they return to may look different. “We look forward to resuming activities and meeting in-person when

it is safe to do so, but since that will depend on the pandemic, government guidelines and public health advice, we don’t yet know when this will be.” He said the opportunities thrown up by the coronavirus had also presented “an even wider offering of more flexible and outreach activities”, which allowed the charity to connect with “a far wider section of the community who also need our support”. Central to this evolving picture is the charity’s online programming, with Carmel-Brown saying he was “amazed at the uptake”. He explained: “From what I’ve seen, it’s a bit of a myth that the older generation don’t do technology.” Citing one example, he said the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre’s Wednesday morning Yiddish discussion group has now moved online, and, whereas pre-lockdown this was limited by geography to survivors in London, it is now open to anyone, anywhere in the world. “We’ve even had people from

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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Lockdown 2.0 / News Israel joining in on some Zoom activities!” On the job losses, he said activities “transformed overnight” in March and that while the charity had hoped and planned for a return to normal this autumn, the increasing infection rates – especially in Barnet and Redbridge – meant they needed a Plan B.   “It’s heartbreaking not being able to open them,” said Carmel-Brown of the centres. “I grew up in that part of the organisation and know the significance these services play in the individual communities where they operate. “But it is not a situation of our making. It’s been imposed upon us by the environment we’re all living in. “We’re under huge pressure, with a large workforce, sitting on empty buildings. Hopefully our interim structure will even enhance what we offer.” On his feeling of responsibility, he added that “my job and the job of the trustees is to make sure that we are custodians of the charity and its charitable resources, to make sure we are here for the future, and that has meant making some very difficult decisions recently”,

citing a care home closure in September. The growth of the charity’s digital programming, which began in earnest when relatives were forbidden from visiting, has expanded horizons and even led to talk of a “digital community centre alongside an actual community centre”. Until then, safety is the priority, with the charity having spent £500,000 on personal protective equipment since March, when early lockdown posed gargantuan staffing problems, with one in four staff members unable to come into work at one point. “We had to generate millions of pounds this summer just to see us through, and we’ve left no stone unturned for winter,” said Carmel-Brown. “We’re wholeheartedly committed to bringing people back when it is safe, but I suspect it’ll look a little bit different. We may not do it exactly as we did previously. Let’s see.”  There have been a total of 547 Jewish funerals carried out where the deceased contracted Covid-19, an increase of six on the previous week.

Council sorry for shul advice Hackney Council has apologised after a lockdown leaflet ordered synagogues to close until 2 December, without mentioning that they can stay open for private prayer, writes Joy Faulk. The leaflet, which caused offence in Hackney’s strictly-Orthodox community, was issued in three areas with a large Jewish population and only mentioned synagogues as an example of a place of worship. Now amended, the leaflet was sent out in the first week of November to all homes in the wards of Cazenove, Springfield and Stamford Hill, home to the UK’s biggest strictly Orthodox Jewish community.

It read: “Until at least 2 December, the government has put England under a national lockdown, which means places of worship such as shuls must close unless they are being used for certain exempt activities such as a funeral. Weddings will not be permitted to take place. No communal worship or study groups are permitted.” Jewish councillors were quick to point out that the national guidance on places of worship also lists as an exemption private prayer, prompting a swift U-turn. Hackney’s Conservative Group leader, Councillor Michael Levy from Springfield ward, said the leaflet

contained “mistaken information distributed on Shabbat to targeted households” and called it “a serious error”. Hackney said the three wards were leafleted because they were “the top three for positive cases of coronavirus, while also containing a high proportion of people who are digitally excluded due to cultural reasons”. It said: “The intent of the leaflet was to let people know that England had entered another lockdown and give information on the new laws around this as well as highlighting where people could access support.” The mayor’s office has been approached for comment.

‘VACCINE WON’T BE A MAGIC BULLET’ The editor of respected medical journal The Lancet has told an Israeli audience in Haifa the new Covid-19 vaccine that is reportedly 90 percent effective will be no “magic bullet”. In comments that will echo across the medical field, Richard Horton told the University of Haifa board of governors the announcement from US firm Pfizer and German company BioNTech would not be the final word. Calling it “an interim analysis”, he

said: “It is not the final bottom line on the study. True, it seems there may be a 90 percent effectiveness rate, but we have not seen the full data yet.” Horton, who was speaking after receiving an honorary doctorate from the university, also praised the Chinese medical and scientific community for being “an inspiring part of the story” in the global effort to find a cure for the virus. Despite being “cautiously optimistic”, he said the vaccine “is not going

to be a simple magic bullet to eradicate this coronavirus”, adding the PfizerBioNTech vaccine is one of 11 in the final stages of clinical studies around the world, with another 40 to 50 in early clinical trial developments and 100+ in pre-clinical development. He said developing a vaccine in just 10 months was a huge success, as was a 90 percent effectiveness rate, but expressed concern unregulated vaccines were being given out to Russian, Chinese and Gulf state soldiers.




AJEX will always remember the sacrifice and dedication of our ex Servicemen and Women and this year due to Covid restrictions the Annual Parade and Ceremony will take place as a poignant online Remembrance event, rather than at The Cenotaph.



facebook.com/ajexheadoffice instagram.com/ajex_jma

#AJEXRemembers #AJEXShabbat To find out more and take part in the AJEX ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE WEEKEND visit: www.AJEX.org.uk To register for news on the Ceremony and campaign E: ajexremembers@ajex.org.uk T: 02082022323 AJEX Charitable Foundation Registered Charity No: 1082148

10 Jewish News


12 November 2020

News / Charity landmark

Stars shine for Norwood 225th anniversary Jonathan Ross and Michael McIntyre joined a star-studded line-up to help Norwood raise an expected record amount from its virtual 225th anniversary dinner, writes Tali Fraser. A staggering 5,000 people from across the world tuned in to watch the dinner, which Norwood had “reimagined”, making it virtual for the first time. Host Jonathan Ross introduced the guest line-up, over a salt beef sandwich, and viewers saw first-hand the impact of the charity’s work on three young people and their families. Ross told viewers “donations are more important than ever” during the coronavirus pandemic. He became involved with the charity after seeing Talya, the eldest daughter of Norwood’s CEO Dr Beverley Jacobson, cycling past his house in May, singing at the top of her voice on her tricycle. Talya has mild quadriplegic cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and a severe visual impairment – and Ross was so impressed with her determi-

nation he instantly agreed to host the dinner and has since donated the winnings from his appearance on ITV’s The Chase Celebrity Special to Norwood. Singer Craig David, who performed during the evening, also has a link to Norwood, after meeting a group of the charity’s supporters and service users on a cycling fundraiser in South Africa, while he was on tour. On his return, he played an exclusive show in London to raise funds for Norwood. The dinner also featured Lulu, Dame Darcey Bussell, Michael McIntyre, Lewis Capaldi, Natasha Kaplinsky, Robert Rinder, Katie Piper and Strictly Come Dancing stars. Comedian McIntyre said: “I am supporting Norwood, a very fine and wonderful charity… let’s hope you can still raise as much money as possible.” Singer Lewis Capaldi, who performed for viewers, said: “I’m very, very happy to be involved in this Norwood event. What they do is incredible so be


KAPLINSKY SET TO VOICE AJEX EVENT TV newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky is to narrate the online remembrance ceremony on Sunday to honour thousands of Jews killed in battle. Kaplinsky, who won the first series of Strictly Come Dancing, will voice the annual AJEX event, which is having to take place digitally owing to coronavirus restrictions. “This weekend we are determined to communicate the importance of remembrance and the strength that it can give in such a time of crisis,” said new AJEX chief executive Fiona Palmer

Talya Jacobson with Jonathan Ross, who hosted the charity’s special dinner

sure to donate as much as you can.” Ahead of the event, the Queen, patron of the charity, said: “I send my warm good wishes to Norwood’s beneficiaries, staff and all those associated with the charity. I am well aware of Norwood’s long association with the Royal Family, and of your continued important work in providing support and care to individuals and families experiencing difficult times.” Jacobson said in a challenging year, Norwood worked hard to ensure the

safety of its staff and those it supports. Dinner chair Orly Wolfson said: “Thanks to my amazing committee, the dedicated team at Norwood and all the companies who made our dream a reality – we exceeded all my expectations with more than 5,000 people joining us from around the world. “It looks as if we will match last year’s fundraising total as well, which is a credit to all our wonderful supporters.”

‘HIDDEN HEROES’ MATCH CANCELLED Chelsea Women’s football team has had to cancel a match with UK Armed Forces Women owing to the lockdown. It was to be dedicated to around a thousand British Jewish women who served in the UK forces during the Second World War. The fixture was planned as part of the club’s partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum and the ‘Hidden Heroes’ project, which seeks to raise awareness of the vital roles played by Jewish personnel in the RAF during the Second World War.

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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Peres Centre / Online Shabbaton / Bris threat / News

Charles’ Peres gift The Prince of Wales has made a donation of an undisclosed sum to the Peres Centre for Peace months, after his first official visit to Israel, writes Tali Fraser. At the funeral in 2016 of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who founded the centre in 1996, Charles expressed his “admiration” for Peres’ peace-building efforts. The Israeli statesman, who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 after the signing of the Oslo Accords, set up the centre to promote harmonious relations between Israel’s different communities. In 2018, the Duke of Cambridge visited the centre during his first official visit to the region. British Ambassador to Israel

Prince Charles at Yad Vashem

Neil Wigan said Israel had been honoured to host both Charles and the William in recent years. “This private donation demonstrates the impact of those visits and the importance of the relationship between Israel and the UK.” In January, Charles attended

Shabbaton success

the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem at the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Chemi Peres, chairman of the Peres Centre, said: “It is a great honour to be the first Israeli nonprofit to receive support from a member of the royal family. “The Prince of Wales’ generosity will help ensure that the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation continues Shimon Peres’ legacy of building a better future for all people. Especially in the midst of a pandemic, it is important to reach beyond borders for the sake of a better tomorrow. I thank His Royal Highness for joining hands with us.”

LEAN ON US IN INTER FAITH WEEK A video sketch featuring the Reverend Richard Coles and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has been released for this year’s Inter Faith week to highlight the unity of different faith groups, writes Joy Faulk. With Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist leaders, it was scripted by Ivor Baddiel, who has written for shows like the X-Factor, and produced by Faiths United, a coalition of faith leaders responding to the pandemic. It shows the leaders being persuaded to

come together to sing Bill Withers’ Lean on Me. They said they took on the task to show that when people support each other they can produce something joyous. Baddiel said: “I was delighted to write the script for this. It’s a fun project with a serious point. Wherever we are in the UK, and whatever our faith, we need to stick together. I think the song we chose perfect highlights the camaraderie and togetherness that has helped a lot of people get through these very trying times.”

Mizrachi UK’s third Shabbaton At Home attracted hundreds of viewers from all over the UK as Rabbi Andrew Shaw, chief executive of the movement, welcomed Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, and the new Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, to bring messages of support. Shabbaton At Home is an outgrowth of the Global Shabbat Project, conceived by Chief Rabbi Goldstein. Communities in 1,600 cities across the world took part; the project encourages those who have never before observed Shabbat to enjoy a day of peace and spirituality. In Britain, 75 synagogues in

12 cities took part. Only people in Glasgow, which is not subject to the same lockdown rules as elsewhere in the UK, were able to celebrate in synagogue; everyone else, as Chief Rabbi Goldstein made clear, was taking part in the Shabbaton at home, echoing this year’s theme of “bringing it home” and the centrality of the Jewish home in observing Shabbat. Chief Rabbi Mirvis urged participants to “make the most of challenging circumstances” in the second lockdown. Hotovely brought greetings to the Shabbaton, saying that as an observant woman it was the time she enjoyed most, celebrating Shabbat with her husband and three daughters.

Finnish bris threat removed Lawmakers in Finland have removed language against non-medical circumcision of boys from a bill on female genital mutilation following a campaign by Jews in the country and in the UK. The measure calling to “clarify” Finland’s ban on the genital mutilation of women was passed on Friday after an interven-

tion from the Board of Deputies and Milah UK. Amendments would have potentially limited or outlawed nonmedical circumcision of boys, Yaron Nadbornik, president of the Central Council of Finnish Jewish Communities, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. His organisation contacted

Milah, a London-based advocacy group, which involved representatives at the foreign ministry, Nadbornik said. The European Jewish Congress also took part in efforts to eliminate the amendments added by the parliament’s legal affairs committee, which is led by Leena Meri of the populist Finns Party.

RABBI LORD JONATHAN SACKS of blessed memory We are speechless. No words can adequately do justice to the majestic symphony of light and sound bequeathed to us by Rabbi Sacks z”l. We can only heed his personal directive “build bigger, better, stronger than before” We’ll all do our best. Our thoughts are with Rabbi Sacks' wife Lady Elaine, their children and their grandchildren.

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Jewish News 12 November 2020

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From Coventry to Jerusalem, Kristallnacht is remembered Thousands of messages were projected on to Coventry Cathedral and Jerusalem’s Old City walls to mark this week’s 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, writes Jack Mendel. Prime Minister Boris Johnson led UK tributes as part of the ‘Let There Be Light’ campaign organised by March of the Living, which included participants in more than 50 countries. Kristallnacht – ‘the night of broken glass’ – was a two-day Nazi pogrom starting on 9 November 1938 in which more than 1,400 synagogues and Jewish properties in Germany and Austria were burnt or vandalised. “That night of broken glass led to humanity’s darkest moment,” Johnson wrote in a message that appeared on the cathedral. “Today we unite against antisemitism, racism and intolerance. We will never let the light go out.” Places of worship around the world kept their lights on during the night of 9 November, as a symbol of solidarity in the battle against antisemitism. Messages were projected on to Jerusalem’s Old City walls, with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying about Kristallnacht: “We remember the night that marked the beginning of the Holocaust,” and President Reuven Rivlin remarking that the “flames of hatred and racism... burn to this day”. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Kristallnacht was a turning point in one of the darkest chapters of history” that “must serve as a lesson to the world of the dangers of allowing hatred,

A message projected on to Jerusalem’s Old City walls to mark the anniversary

racism and prejudice to grow and fester.” Messages were also displayed from Lord Pickles, the co-chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, and Catherine McKinnell, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism. The Very Reverend John Witcombe, the Dean of Coventry, reflected on the significance of the campaign, saying: “On 14 November 1940, Coventry Cathedral was destroyed by fire” but people responded “not with hatred, nor the urge for revenge, but with a message of reconciliation”. Scott Saunders, founder of March of the Living UK, said: “By marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht at Coventry Cathedral, a building that was also targeted by the Nazis in their pursuit of


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A Palestinian rights activist expelled by the Labour Party who sued Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) for calling him a “notorious antisemite” has had his defamation action struck out by the High Court. Tony Greenstein (pictured), who brought the case against CAA early last year, was told that the description of him as an antisemite was a “general charge” and a “statement of opinion” that may have been honestly held. The court declined to “grapple with arguments over the correctness” of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, because “the term ‘antisemite’ is not defined”. Greenstein said CAA had

“misapplied and misused” the definition to attack him for political reasons, and not on the basis he is antisemitic. But the judge disagreed, in what CAA called “a humiliating case of legal action backfiring”, adding that Greenstein had “long sought to have CAA struck off the register of charities”. The judge considered some of Greenstein’s past statements on Twitter, including his use of the word ‘Zio’, which Labour’s Baroness (Shami) Chakrabarti determined to be antisemitic. Mrs Justice Tipples said: “The claimant’s tweet compares the people of Israel to the Nazis and, on any objective assessment, an honest person could have held the opinion that was an antisemitic statement.”

British submission, we remember that for us to defeat hate we must stand together in the face of all and any discrimination.” UK-based Holocaust and Kristallnacht survivor, Eve Kugler was seven at the time of the pogrom in the German town of Halle, where two years ago the synagogue was attacked on Yom Kippur. She said: “In the middle of the night, five SS officers and the local police chief trashed our apartment and led my father out of our home. The synagogue, which my grandfather had established, was torched and burned to the ground.” Meanwhile, during a virtual ceremony held by the Association of Jewish Refugees, more than 500 people, including descendants of refugees from Nazi Germany, remembered Kristallnacht.

Big names speak out for Shoah memorial Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, former prime minister Gordon Brown and lawyer Robert Rinder gave their passionate backing for a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Westminster as the inquiry into its planning concluded, writes Tali Fraser. Speaking to the inquiry yesterday, Mirvis spoke of what he called the “sacred task” that is building the memorial, “not just for the sake of the Jews but for the sake of the whole country and its future”. “The best form of protection” against extremism, Mirvis said, “is education”. He added that learning the lessons of the past was essential for the sake of our “collective” present and future. “It is with this in mind that the intentions of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation are so noble. They are engaged in a sacred task.” Brown, meanwhile, spoke

of his “anger and shame” at the Labour Party’s failure to root out antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, highlighting the crucial role of the centre in continuing to end persecution. “Our national responsibility, our past national failure to act, and the continuing need to fight prejudice around us,” he said, means “we need a national Holocaust memorial and learning centre.” Rinder referenced his BBC documentary tracing the impact the Holocaust had on his and other Jewish families as he argued against those opposing the centre being located near parliament. “The proposed Holocaust memorial stands, some have said, in the looming shadow of our parliament. “The design and position of the monument places neither edifice in darkness. They are precisely positioned to bring light to each other.”

12 November 2020 Jewish News



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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Erekat mourned / Village demolished / Temple Mount / World News

Palestinian negotiator Erekat dies from virus Peace activists and diplomats have paid tribute to Palestinian negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat after his death aged 65, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. He died on Tuesday in a Jerusalem hospital from Covid-19. Alongside Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Erekat was perhaps the bestknown Palestinian figure involved in peace talks Saeb Erekat, right, with Tzipi Livni and John Kerry over the past 25 years and pendence, end the Israeliwas the architect of the tions with Israel. When he contracted Palestinian conflict and Oslo Accords in 1993. He also jointly led the Covid-19 last month dip- achieve peace through Palestinian contingent in lomats feared the worst, diplomacy”, adding that negotiations in Madrid in given that Erekat had a he was “a firm believer 1991, Camp David in 2000 lung transplant in 2017, that a two-state solution and Taba in the Sinai in which made him particu- was the only means to achieve peace for all peo2001, before Annapolis larly vulnerable. British Jewish group ples of the region”. in 2007. He spoke most Jewish American recently of Palestinians’ Yachad said he was sense of “betrayal” after “a Palestinian patriot negotiator Martin Indyk, the UAE and Bahrain who devoted his life to who was US Special Envoy advance Palestinian inde-16:04 agreed to normalise relaHALF PAGE ADVERT JAN 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 Page 1for Israeli-Pal-

estinian peace negotiations from 2013 to 2014, called Erekat “my peace brother,” adding: “Your commitment to pursuing freedom for your people by peaceful means will shine forever as a beacon that will guide them onwards.” Among Erekat’s last public statements was his denunciation of Gulf states’ decision to establish relations with Israel, which he called “a killer to a two-state solution” and “a tremendous encouragement for Israel to continue its occupation”. He rejected Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan as “the art of a fraud” and said that by abandoning its position that settlements were illegal under international law, the US was instead opting for “the law of the jungle”.

Bedouin village razed Israel has razed a Bedouin village in the West Bank, claiming that the villagers did not have building permits. Some 73 people were displaced by the demolition, which a UN official said was the largest action of its kind by Israeli forces in a decade. Palestinian Authority prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh wrote on Twitter: “As the attention is focused on the US election, Israel chose to commit another crime: to demolish 70 Palestinian structures.” Israel’s army liaison to the Palestinians confirmed the demolition but did not comment on the timing, said Reuters. Some of the displaced residents had moved back to the village site last Thursday, it reported, and are staying in tents donated by aid groups.

Footage of the demolition

Footage uploaded to YouTube by the B’Tselem Israeli human rights group shows construction vehicles filing into the area and the aftermath of the demolition, including beds, toilets and household items out in the open. “They want to expel us from the area so settlers can live in our place, but we will not leave,” a resident said.

UN ignores Jewish link to site

A UN committee resolution has again ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem, mimicking a pair of UNESCO resolutions that sparked controversy in 2016. Out of 193 countries that are members of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, 138 voted last Wednesday in favour of seven resolutions involving Israel and the Palestinians. They denote Israel as an oppres-

sive occupying power and agree to stand for greater aid for Palestinian refugees. The resolution, titled ‘Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’, mentions Al-Haram al-Sharif without calling it the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews, who revere it as the site of ancient biblical Jewish temples.

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Jewish News 12 November 2020

Special Report / American crisis

‘Hate and division endure’ Even under President-elect Joe Biden, American Jews fear the country will remain as divided as it was under Donald Trump, writes Ben Sales After a gruelling election campaign and contentious result, the country is just as spilt down the middle as it was four years ago. While Democrat Joe Biden is now president-elect, tens of millions of people have thrown their support behind former president Donald Trump, who most American Jews believe advances values far from their own. “We are an incredibly divided country, and that was something we knew before yesterday, and something we know today,” says Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council. “There are certain people in the Jewish community who were hoping this would be a massive rejection of Trumpism, and no matter what the final outcome is in the electoral college or the Senate, this is not a massive rejection.” Liberal Jews fear this means that even with the defeat of Trump, the ideology he represents has staying power. They worry that his harsh policies against undocumented immigrants and refugees, in addition to the

rising antisemitism of the past four years, are supported or condoned by a large portion of their country. “The atrocities of the past four years haven’t made a difference to a lot of people,” says Rabbi Salem Pearce, executive director of Carolina Jews for Justice, a progressive activist group. “There are some things that are beyond the pale and thinking that is not a function of where you live.” Some Jews have blamed Trump for creating a climate friendly to antisemitism, even as his supporters counter that he has condemned hate and defended Jewish interests through a string of proIsrael actions. Deborah Dash Moore, a Jewish history professor at the University of Michigan, pointed to the defacing of Jewish gravestones with pro-Trump graffiti in the western Michigan city of Grand Rapids. While the vandalism, which was discovered just before election day, is not being investigated as a hate crime, she believes that it speaks to a newfound acceptance of antisem-

Far-right protestors and anti-fascist demonstrators clash in Charlottesville in 2017

itism in the US that the election results do not repudiate. “I’m really struck by how divided the country is and how much licence has now been given, for example, to antisemitism,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine the smearing of a gravestone with the name of the president… Since the end of the 1960s, you haven’t seen that kind of politicised antisemitism, which is what this is. That has been absent, it has been underground, it hasn’t been expressed.” Concerns about the country’s enduring polarisation, or the vote legitimising Trump’s ideology or empowering extremists, are not limited to Jews. Heather Segal, an immigration lawyer in Canada who has seen a substantial uptick in calls from the US this year, says she received six more since election day – all lamenting the state of the country no matter the winner. In recent months, she has been working with some 50 to 70 clients in the US on either moving to Canada or obtaining Canadian citizenship, which she called a “huge” increase over previous years. The calls and emails she has received, she says, are almost all from people, many Jewish, who were scared of a second Trump term. “[They’re] saying things like, even if Biden wins, what this has shown me is how divided our country is,” she says of callers on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding that they say: “‘It’s such a tragedy and failure of democracy.’ People are concerned and also [there’s] fear, a lot of fear.” Jewish communal professionals attribute part of the divide to geographic polarisation within and between states, something they think Jews should take action to minimise. Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, executive director of the St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council, said that because Jews mostly live in Democratic states and in urban areas, they don’t have contact with the people who have a different vision of the country from them. “The conversations that are happening

on the coasts are very different from the conversations happening in the Midwest,” she explains. “We as a Jewish community need to be doing more in terms of interacting with those rural areas… “We want to have a Jewish presence in those parts of the country. That also facilitates understanding in terms of people who don’t have the opportunity to meet Jews or interact with Jews.” But some progressive Jews say nothing could mitigate against the fact that many Americans voted to validate policies they see as deeply immoral. They are disappointed that this year’s election did not repudiate, for example, Trump’s more controversial immigration actions, such as housing migrant children in cages, or reject the idea that America should be closed off to refugees. Republican Jews say it’s unfair to paint all Trump voters as racist, when people choose whom to support for myriad reasons. But Josh Kantrow, a conservative political commentator from Chicago, says he hoped that Republican electoral success would not always cause concern among minority groups. “I want the Republican party to continue to do more outreach to build a wide coalition,” he said. “The Republican party is still seen as too many white people and white men and white Christians. We need to be the party that groups that feel disadvantaged can feel at home in.” No matter where Jews fall on the political spectrum, Rabbi Avi Shafran fears that the country’s divisiveness, and the ideological polarisation and extremism that have accompanied it, do not bode well for the Jews. “The divide among Americans remains as deep as ever, which is tragic,” Shafran, a spokesman for the Charedi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America said. “When there is social upheaval, it is never good for Jews. And with Jews prominent on both sides of the political divide, those inclined to blame Jews for the world’s ills will, sadly, see the Jewish community as their enemy.”

12 November 2020 Jewish News



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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Tech project / Jewish views / Publisher fined / Poetry talks / Racism denounced / Diaspora News

Tech funding project hopes to help bolster Jewish life The Israeli government has begun co-sponsoring a project in the former Soviet Union to use technology to boost Jewish communal life. Limmud Labs, a £1.5 million initiative that distributes micro-grants, can now claim Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs as a partner alongside the Russian-language learning organisation Limmud FSU. Organisers say Soviet Jews were excluded from the state’s centres of excellence in technology until 1983, with Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute and the Bauman Moscow State Technical University off limits. Despite that, Jews of Soviet family heritage have excelled in the world of technology after moving to America. Sergey Brin, Jan Koum and Max Levchin, the cofounders of Google, WhatsApp and PayPal respectively, are three examples. “Russian-speaking Jews throughout history, and today especially, have proved to be pathfinders of advancement in all spheres — the sciences, culture and business initiatives,” Gabi Farberov of Limmud FSU Labs told JTA. Brin has recalled in interviews how his family left Russia in 1979 “mainly because of antisemitism”, and how his father


GERMANY Participants in the Limmud Labs programme

Michael was not accepted to any university physics department because the subject excluded Jews. “My father couldn’t pursue his real interest in life,” Brin said. “We had to leave everything we had in the Soviet Union and rebuild our lives from scratch. It gave me a new perspective on life.” Limmud Labs gives out dozens of grants of around £10,000 every year to Jewish applicants from the former Soviet Union with novel ideas, such as developing an online evening school to teach Russian-

Visitors to Israel on a Birthright trip

the discourse between the government of Israel and world Jewry.” Yankelevich added that the Jewish

KULBAK POEM EXPLORED One of Yiddish literature’s most famous poems is to have its story told in a series of four free-to-join English language online talks starting next week. Moyshe Kulbak (pictured), who was born in what is modern-day Belarus, was a prolific writer before he was executed aged 41 on espionage charges during a 1937 Stalinist purge. Raysn is a poem Kulbak published in 1922 while living in Berlin, its title coming from the Yiddish name given to the territory of Belarus. Professor Marc Caplan of Dartmouth College will take a Zoom audience through it. The course is organised by Eshkolot, a Moscow-based Jewish

Your weekly digest of stories from the international press The Bank of Lithuania has minted a limited edition 10 Euro coin with Hebrew writing to celebrate 300 years since the birth of the Vilna Gaon, the 18th century rabbinical luminary Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who lived and died in Vilnius. It reads: ‘The year of the Vilna Gaon and the history of the Jews of Lithuania.’

speaking Jews vocational skills in demand in Israel ahead of their immigration there. Another project being developed by a team of Odessa applicants is an Uber-style application connecting people interested in a tour of the city’s many Jewish heritage sites with available guides who specialise in the subject. Omer Yankelevich, Israel’s minister of Diaspora Affairs, said Limmud Labs aimed to find and support people like Brin, to “empower them to be active in their local and greater Jewish communities”.

Israel aims to strengthen ties with diaspora Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry is hoping to make it a legal requirement for government departments to connect with diaspora Jewish communities on issues that affect Jews worldwide. News of the bill comes as diplomats desperately struggle to repair strained relations between the government and Jewish communities around the world, after years of widening rifts on multiple fronts. Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich stated that the aim was to strengthen ties and reiterate that Israel was the homeland of Jews everywhere, saying: “Now is the time to formalise


educational initiative, which praised Kulbak as “one of the most innovative and original Yiddish writers in the interwar era of literary modernism”. Raysn is described as a ballad sequence that “defies many expectations for Yiddish literature”. It is set in the countryside rather than the shtetl, its Jewish protagonists a family of farmers rather than Torah scholars or artisans. “There are few references to traditional religious culture,” said organisers. “The pivotal incident of a Jewish man’s love affair with a non-Jewish woman is passed over seemingly without moral opprobrium.” • The lectures can be viewed at http:// eshkolot.ru

world “deserves a voice in the Jewish state”, but progressive Jews outside Israel increasingly see fewer Israeli policies to which they can relate, owing to the influence of the country’s Orthodoxdominated religious leadership. Yankelevich said it was “a declaration of the government of Israel’s commitment to repairing and elevating this relationship” and called the bill “a visionary step, propelling forward the relationship”. She said: “When the government of Israel makes decisions that affect world Jewry, it must also have the decency to listen to world Jewry.”

Star of David stickers and the ‘Shalom’ greeting appeared on some German trams this week, ahead of the country’s celebration in 2021 of 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany. Organisers said it was “a sign against antisemitism and racism”. The sticker reads “Schalomschen Koeln!” – a Yiddish greeting sometimes still used in Cologne.


The remains of Jewish poet Shmuel Yefimovich Plavnik, whose pen name was Zmitrok Byaduli, have been reburied under a crucifix in Minsk in a ceremony featuring priests. Local Reform Rabbi Grisha Abramovich, who held a small Jewish ceremony afterwards, said the family of Plavnik, who died in 1941, had agreed to it.


French Jewish leaders have praised the interior ministry’s decision to ban a violent neo-fascist group with origins in Turkey. The ‘Grey Wolves’, which adheres to an antisemitic ideology and has been accused of assassinations and bombings for decades, was proscribed by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin last week.

FINE FOR ‘THIEF’ INSULT A Greek newspaper publisher has been fined about £1,500 for an opinion piece in which the former president of the Athens Jewish community was called a thief. Stefanos Chios was ordered to pay up by the Athens Court of Justice of First Instance after an op-ed in the Makeleio newspaper called Minos Moissis “a crude Jew who runs a loan-shark firm that has bought the debts of poor Greeks”. The 2017 article said Moissis, co-founder of a banking and finance firm, “pretends to be our friend” but was “stealing our money through the back door”.

Fined: Stefanos Chios

The court said this was defamation, and that the paper “contributed deliberately to the reproduction of a rhetoric of hate against the Greek Jewry”.

Albanian leader calls antisemitism ‘a threat’ Albania’s prime minister has said antisemitism is “a threat to our civilisation”, just days after the Muslim state’s parliament voted to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Jew-hatred. Edi Rama was speaking during a forum against antisemitism, the first such ever staged in the Balkans, which was organised in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel and held online owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Albania’s parliament unanimously approved the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, as Rama said: “We need to continue and fight any form of antisem-

itism, which is a threat to our own civilisation.” Top diplomats, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, took part in the forum, as participants noted that Albania was the only country during the Second World War in which no Jews were killed or handed over to the Nazis. The Jewish population actually increased from 600 to 2,000 by the war’s end. Albanians are proud to have protected Jewish residents and helped other Jews who fled from Germany, Austria and other countries by either smuggling them abroad or hiding them, despite Nazi German forces occupying the country from 1943 to 1944.

Praying in an Albanian synagogue


Jewish News 12 November 2020


Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.


Our community’s voice just got louder After a challenging year for Jewish News and, indeed, almost every publication, we are delighted that the newspaper has been generously gifted by its long-time owner, Leo Noé, to a charitable foundation. It’s been an annus horribilis for print media, which faced a decline in advertising long before coronavirus. Indeed, many established Jewish titles have been forced to fold, such as The Boston Jewish Advocate, Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and Canadian Jewish News. Now, under secure and ambitious communal ownership, Jewish News finds itself ending 2020 stronger than ever. You may have noticed we’re also inviting Jewish News readers to help strengthen our position at the centre of British-Jewish life via an online donations platform at jewishnews.co.uk. As we proudly state on the front page of every issue, Jewish News is ‘the voice of the community’. Today that voice is bigger and louder and prouder than ever.

All he left behind

What can be added to the abundance of eloquent tributes paid to Rabbi Lord Sacks this week? Perhaps simply this. Today, and for many days to come, it will feel as if his death has taken so much away from us. Yet it’s comforting to know that in the years and decades to come, the world will be blessed by all he has left behind. We wish Lord Sacks’ family long life and invite Jewish News readers to email their personal memories of the great man to tributes@rabbisacks.org. CONTACT DETAILS Publisher and Editor Richard Ferrer 020 8148 9703 richard@jewishnews.co.uk

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Services must restart quickly ‘Private prayer may continue in churches, but not services’, say the new shutdown rulings. This shows little or no regard for other faiths. Jews do not enter synagogues for private prayer or contemplation. They attend for a daily or Sabbath service and have recommenced doing this after the big lockdown, albeit in sensible minimal numbers by booking ahead. My granddaughter is due to celebrate her batmitzvah on 27 November. She will lead the Amidah, and chant from the Torah. She has been, in addition to attending cheder, practising and studying on top of her school homework for six months. Her occasion would have seen

her, her parents and grandparents, plus a select few others attend, with less threat to health than the limited numbers permitted to attend a funeral. Her letdown and disappointment is being felt in the homes of hundreds of barei and batei mitzvah children whose ceremony is due this and next month and longer. My granddaughter can mingle with hundreds of children in school, but not with a few masked and distanced relatives and a rabbi in her synagogue. This thoughtless restriction on worship seems to have taken into account the needs of Christians for prayer. Those of us of other faiths may be forgiven for feeling left out in the cold. December brings for practising Christians the celebration of the birth of a child. Barei and batei mitzvah is of no less significance for Jews. I appeal to the prime minister to think again – quickly.

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Simon Weinberg’s quandary (Jewish News, 30 October) as to what to do with his Grodzinski Golders Green bread receipt – should he auction it now or will its


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President Donald Trump was a true friend to Israel, initiating moves that have proved of great benefit to Israel’s security and standing both in the Middle East and wider afield. His attempts to right a number of wrongs against Israel should not be belittled and dismissed. He should always be recognised as a true friend. Stephen Vishnick Tel Aviv

LOCKDOWN AGAIN Am I the only person to have bought lipstick last week (lips covered by a mask), a new shul hat (can’t attend shul) and downloaded recipes and bought ingredients (can’t invite people in)? I will console myself by putting on my finest on Shabbat and eat the food alone. Norma Neville, Hendon



THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 3.59pm


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CORRECTION “A Jewish film festival is just like a regular one, but for each movie there are at least 10 directors.”

Last week’s article on job cuts at Jewish Care incorrectly stated that ‘most jobs’ at the charity are at risk. The proposed redundancies relate to Jewish Care’s community centres, not the charity overall. 100 roles are at risk of redundancy from a total staff of 1,300. We apologise for this error and are happy to set the record straight.

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hundreds, if not to Israel been approved, definition of anti-Semitism, of Labour and Momentum leading Jewish Alliance’s Labour MP Dame Margaret thousands, need to be expelled. Today, Britain’s three News, Jewish provoking her leader an anti-Semite to members would in Brexit disnewspapers – Jewish to call With the government Telegraph – take Hodge yet. danger Chronicle and Jewish face, was the most sinister there is a clear and present of speaking as his to IHRA defini- array, the unprecedented step Labour has diluted the man with a default blindness government that a same front page. a man one by publishing the community’s fears, accepted in full by the the existential tion, deleting the Jewish that hateful We do so because of more than 130 local councils, has a problem seeing this country that and key examples of who can easily step threat to Jewish life in and amending four rhetoric aimed at Israel Jeremy Corbyn-led to Israel. could be our next would be posed by a anti-Semitism relating anti-Semitism, a Labour into government. Under its adapted guidelines, Israel’s prime minister. party that was, MPs vote on We do so because the member is free to claim On 5 September, Labour home for our Party and comthe is a racist endeavour motion, calling for until recently, the natural existence emergency an integand values of Nazi Gerdefinition community, has seen its Israeli policies to those to adopt the full IHRA contempt for pare – whatever that party rity eroded by Corbynite many, unless “intent” its rulebook. “Dirty Jew” is into Jews and Israel. that, it will face a binary means – can be proved. Following anti-Semof seen or be fair game? The stain and shame implement IHRA in full wrong, “Zionist bitch” a distinction choice: through Her Majitism has coursed people as an institutionally In so doing, Labour makes Jeremy Corbyn targeting by all decent party. esty’s Opposition since between racial anti-Semitism anti- racist, anti-Semitic years for became leader in 2015. (unacceptable) and political After three deeply painful to Livingstone, Jews (acceptable). September is finally From Chakrabarti Semitism targeting Israel Had the full our community, alarming lows. Last there have been many The reason for this move? relating make or break. to adopt the full week’s stubborn refusal definition with examples Remembrance IHRA International Holocaust


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workings of the parmomentous inner handling Labour issued a staffers ty’s complaints claims of public apology to former Wednesday unit contained in the High Court on interference in the fallout political after they sued over have been an investi- what should disciplinary from a BBC Panorama handling independent gation into the party’s was strenuJack process. This of antisemitism, writes ously denied by the party Mendel. before the at the time. However, just hours According to the were reports lawyer, announcement, there Jeremy whistleblowers’ that former Labour leader William Bennett, Labour communications former his Corbyn, them of “acting and Labour’s accused during and chief Seumus Milne Jennie in bad faith with the former secretary-general that after their employment Formby had sought assurances of harming” the party, be connected intention their names would not accusations false. of lasting calling the defended to the apology. In a sign Mark Henderson, who the anger, Corbyn later dismissed not the Labour Party, said he “acknowldecision, about the apology as “a political edges that these claims a legal one”. are untrue, and we retract members, Claimants Seven former staff them and undertake about and withdraw who voiced their concerns them. Actions are being repeat to not among those who repeat the how claims of Jew-hatred with, sued taken against members were dealt will be taken against those of libel in libels and after they were accused to do so in future.” broad- who choose documentary, the Panorama 2 cast last year. Continued on page of the The hour-long dissection


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OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK Raffi Berg’s ‘thrilling and meticulous account’ (The Times) of the fake holiday village run by the Mossad to smuggle Ethiopian Jews to Israel.


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The young will pay the heaviest price for virus ALEX BRUMMER



he second lockdown is a grave disappointment for the economy, the nation’s spirituality and our social wellbeing. The economic consequences of the pandemic have become a specialist subject. Not only have they featured in countless online community and City events but they have dominated my working life, too. The economic data is quite literally terrifying and beyond anything seen in modern peacetime. At a stroke lockdown and the stop-start of tier restrictions since August have wiped 11 percent off national output. As national output has shrunk so has prosperity and household incomes. It will take at least a pandemic-free three-to-five years to catch up to where we were. The so called ‘V’ shaped recovery was an aberration seen briefly in the summer months as restrictions were loosened. Tragically, the worst effected by the

pandemic have been the elderly, particularly over-80s who have paid heavily with their lives and are spending their last active years wrapped in cotton wool. But at least they have lived most of their lives in freedom. In the case of Shoah survivors the virus is a second, less perilous, but deeply disturbing event. The young will pay the heaviest price over the longer haul. Education has been interrupted and the university experience ruined. The 18-to-24 year-olds will also be the generation which finds it hardest to enter the workforce. They will have responsibility for repaying a national debt of £2trillion which, with the extension of furlough, is swelling by the day. It is sobering to think that the loan from the Second World War was not paid off until 2006 and it took 10 years of austerity to recover from

the 2008-09 financial crisis. Even in the worst quarter of 2008 output never fell by more than five percent. The lost younger generation is as much a moral as an economic issue – especially as this group was the least threatened by a Covid-19 infection. The impact of the virus on citizens’ spiritual lives and morale is harder to measure. But one fully understands the frustration of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Christian leaders over the second lockdown. As brilliant as online religion has been, it has severe limitations. The platforms have turned most Jewish communities into viewers rather than participants. One of the most endearing aspect of community worship is its raucous and participatory nature. Particularly in Orthodox communities, congregational participation – from leading services


to singing loudly – is welcomed. That cannot be replicated on Teams, Zoom, Facebook and other venues. Online services have helped in keeping the elderly, isolated and in some cases the alienated in touch with their roots. The endless efforts of ministers such as Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld of Western Marble Arch, who has led a Facebook shachrit service every day since the first lockdown, has been uplifting. He has brought joy to those who tuned in and continued to broadcast when synagogues re-opened. Each service bookended with prayers for the sick and those NHS and care workers in the thick of the battle against the pandemic. Shul-going is also about comradery, mixing again with fellow Jews, even if communities have been Kiddush and whisky deprived. Synagogue going seem particularly relevant at this early stage of the Jewish year when the stirring narratives of Bereshit (Genesis) are an enduring inspiration. Our forefathers and mothers in Egypt and fellow Jews who suffered the brutality of the Nazis suffered far more than we ever will in the pandemic.

JNF UK mourns the passing of

Rabbi Lord Sacks Z”L An inspirational leader, defender of Israel, Honorary Patron and true friend of JNF UK May his memory be a blessing

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12 November 2020 Jewish News




Jewish News 12 November 2020



12 November 2020

25 Cheshvan 5781



Rabbi Lord Sacks, from his book Celebrating Life



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet Everyone at Kisharon is truly saddened by the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l He together with his wife Lady Sacks gave so much support for those with learning disabilities Our thoughts are with his family at this time

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020 3209 1187 • info@kisharon.org.uk www.kisharon.org.uk Registered Charity Number 271519

Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet With profound sadness we mourn the tragic loss of our teacher and leader, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. A statesman and a scholar, he was as comfortable sharing Jewish wisdom with world leaders and Radio 4 listeners as he was inspiring Jewish communities around the globe. Rabbi Sacks championed the depth and wisdom of Judaism in language that connected with the universal. His distinctive voice was greatly loved and revered by Prime Ministers and Royalty, as well as heads of faith and those of none. Rabbi Sacks supported our community’s organisations and the lay and professional teams who ran them. He will be sorely missed. We send our deepest condolences to Lady Elaine, Joshua, Dina and Gila, Rabbi Sacks’ three brothers and wish them a long life and comfort among the mourners of Zion.

Photo credit: The Office of Rabbi Sacks

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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020



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ver since I became interested in politics and religion at the same time, at university, and under the influence of two Australians, one an aspiring politician and the other a radical priest, I have always felt that religious leaders have a role to play in the small ‘p’ politics of a nation. Not so that they can support one Party or another, but so they can elucidate and educate the nation, to explain what it means to be a community of people with shared values, a shared spirit and a sense of a shared future. This task they can often do, with a credibility and a connection those involved in the hurly burly of Party politics cannot. But it requires a religious leader of exceptional talent and sensitivity to do it. Jonathan Sacks was undoubtedly one of the cleverest people I ever met. There was never a wasted conversation and believe me, in political life, that is a high bar. Every time we met, as we did many times over the years, I came away with fresh insight and improved understanding. His outstanding quality was not his intellect, but the use to which he put it. He didn’t shrink back from confronting the difficult questions. His book, The Dignity of Difference, came out in the shadow of 9/11. It was a passionate defence of religious tolerance, and an open-minded invitation to religious dialogue. Most of us would agree with those sentiments but, at the time, it was a brave case to make. Throughout his work, what shines through time and again is his humanity, combined with an infinite willingness to engage, no matter how difficult the subject or the audience – the mark of true intellectual confidence. He could interpret, and make come alive as no other, the Torah. I would love to hear him speak about Judaism, have him take me through Biblical stories so familiar to me, yet in his words they would take on new meaning and, best of all, contemporary relevance. He understood both the perils facing religion, the attempts to demonise it, to use its dark moments in history to obscure its capacity to light up a path to the future; and the essential place of religious belief in society: the right of those with religious belief not to hold the power, but to speak up to and occasionally against the powerful. He could see how easily secularism was becoming its own religion, and was one of the last great articulators of the danger of such a position and how it would subtly, but deeply, undermine a part of what gives a nation a grounding in the best of human nature. In one of his last broadcasts, he spoke with brilliant clarity of the difference between a society based on ‘I’ and one based on ‘we’. About the need for collective, and not just individual, responsibility. A society governed not by self-interest, but by the common good. We had another subject to discuss, however. One of my earliest conversations with him – after both of us at an early age had been given the leadership of our respective organisations, me of the Labour Party, he of the Jewish community – was about the challenge of leading. I said I thought I had the toughest job of the two of us. He smiled, then laughed, then literally put his head back and roared with amusement. “I think not,” he said. “But then,” he added, “I wouldn’t want it any other way. The Jewish people produce great leaders, but not many great followers.” Jonathan was one of my heroes. He was someone I loved and admired. His physical presence has left us, and Elaine and his beautiful family, far too soon, but his spiritual presence will remain with me until my own moment of passing comes.



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

Prince Charles’ personal tribute ound loss to the Jew acks is the most prof

ish community, to

this nation

rd S The death of Rabbi Lo urce of ts will have lost a so as dc oa br d an s on and to the world. s, serm g times. through his writing ering and confusin ld wi be n te of Those who knew him in n tio lost a trusted guide ve ty and moral convic ha ni , sa ly , al om on sd rs wi pe m ng unfaili of knowing hi elf, had the privilege iend. Those who, like mys true and steadfast fr a st lo ve ds, and my ha e, on r fo her. I, them knew no boun to n tio vo de e os and an inspired teac wh t man all, have lost a grea His family, most of his seemingly in their grief. l immensely. With se un co ’ ks heart goes out to them ac S bi ab the story had come to value R inct for the power of st in s hi d an om Over many years, I sd r-failing wi d to define of learning, his neve sues in question, an is al or m e th rly inexhaustible store ea entify cl d be relied upon to id in our lives, he coul of our current s being faced. usion and clamour nf co e th h fearlessly the choice ug ro th ing t th which he could cu ious disciplines, mak lig re d an r la cu se The apparent ease wi th rship in bo generations. ed in his deep schola ligion, culture and re of es ri da un bo concerns was ground ss tion acro d learning to speak with convic t to listening to, an en itm m m co : ts him uniquely able en ent itm nvictions; commitm ished by three comm co gu in eld st -h di ly s ep wa de e eir lif th His ation; ing either his or vocacy and particip t fear of compromis ad ou n th ow wi s hi rs h he ot ug , ro om th fr nurtured the nation, which he n – to shalom. to the institutions of ony of God’s Creatio rm ha ism the d an ity gr te in showed that in Juda he as , on si es commitment to the pr im ipate by r me made a profound which we can partic fo in e ot ity wr un he a y r, sa to es ea An Nature, unity of its Cr and the integrity of verse flows from the rs ni U he e ot th of of ity y on gn di rm e ha specting th ds of the self and re silencing the deman bi ement as Chief Rab ment of the divine. tir ag re ’ fr a ks ac th S bo bi in ab g R in k recognis e event to mar ar of the state of 13 when I spoke at th 20 in d ke ar m raries, born in the ye re po I em As nt co t ac ex re this we he was a ‘light unto hed years, he and I at is th , gu ah in st ai Is di g 22 in r ot te af ely misqu time, I said, deliberat ars to come. rning for many ye Israel’s birth. At that bu ht light lig at th ep ke , how brightly that he would d us pe to ho n I ve id gi sa s d wa an he nation’ e years that ated. years ago. But, in th n ve se ly on s places were illumin wa rk at da Th y an m w Divine ho , can only look to the lives were brightened we t, or sh t cu ly ed ct burned, how many d unexpe almist says, life so tragically an faith that, as the Ps ve ha d an t, In contemplating a us tr n his ow Rabbi Sacks placed Providence in which r nds. ed wisdom enough fo ha ar s sh hi d in an e e ar ot es wr , tim ied our me, stud the bi Sacks, it seems to ot fail to be struck by nn ca u yo d an s, In his 72 years, Rab ok read his bo ssion. sten to his sermons, ty, charged with pa ili m hu in ed ot many lifetimes. Li ro g, rnin ish people. he spoke: rich with lea achers among the Jew te st te ea urgency with which gr e th of on and we must a voice in the traditi n to us for so long, ve gi s It is unmistakably wa he at th od moral we must thank G ed, where all share a lu va e ar l al e er Even as we mourn, wh a society r which he stood: for honour the values fo ar, ovitch, earlier this ye in rpose. ab pu R ne m vi hu di ac a N d av an bond d teacher, R eat ing of his own revere us life. Having a gr ve gi ey Th . ge led Speaking of the pass e than know . eachers give us mor said of Rabbi Sacks be tly gh ri d ul co s Rabbi Sacks said: “T ose word . we get to heaven.” Th live on as a blessing y teacher is as close as or em m s hi d an e ue to shin for ever.” May his light contin r his mercy endureth fo ; od go is he r fo , the Lord “O give thanks unto


12 November 2020 Jewish News


Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020





Jewish News 12 November 2020

Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020


Photo by Blake Ezra


hen we were asked to write something about our boss Rabbi Sacks, the truth is that we weren’t sure we could. We didn’t know if it was possible to find the words beyond the tears and we apologise now because this piece, try as we may, will not do him justice. His passing, too sudden, too soon, when there was so much work still to do, has left a gaping hole in so many people’s lives. We find it so difficult to comprehend a world without him in it. It doesn’t seem fair, it doesn’t make sense, and we don’t think it will for a very long time to come. Rabbi Sacks was a giant of his – or any – generation, a Gadol HaDor, an irreplaceable and irrepressible leader of leaders, and a peerless and wise teacher whose intellectual clarity and moral voice carried such weight across the global Jewish community and far beyond. Yet to us, as he was to all who had the privilege of working for him, he was above anything else an inspiring boss, mentor and friend. He was the person who phoned us multiple times a day, sometimes to discuss work-related matters but more often than not just to chat about a new book he’d ordered, a new idea he’d read, a random YouTube music video he’d discovered or to laugh at a good joke he’d heard. He was the person we spent our working day with, helping to coordinate and prepare him for his various engagements, draft countless articles and speeches, write and research books and record videos, always challenging us to push boundaries, to never accept things as they were, to utilise every avenue possible to bring his ideas to the world. He was even the person who trusted us enough to tweet and use Facebook on his behalf! But he was so much more than that. He was the person who quietly, away from the limelight, gave so many individuals, groups, rabbonim or organisations who needed it, and needed him, his most precious thing: time, which he did so willingly, unfailingly and consistently. He was the person who quietly advised global leaders, helped mediate other peoples’ problems and offered endless support and guidance to anyone who asked his advice. And he was the person who called us when we had personal traumas or issues to deal with. And called again an hour later to check in. And again an hour after that. We have read so many moving tributes of how Rabbi Sacks’ teachings impacted peoples’ Judaism or how a single interaction or phone call with him changed their lives. As his team we were unbelievably blessed. Every conversation or car journey became a shiur and an amazing insight into his mind. His home contained thousands of seforim and books; we used to joke that he single-handedly kept Amazon in business. There wasn’t a subject he wasn’t an expert in. He was our rebbe and we were simply his talmidim. And he would always finish the

Rabbi Lord Sacks and wife Elaine with (from left) Dan Sacker, Joanna Benarroch and Debby Ifield

same way: “Guys, what do you think?” He – the smartest person any of us knew – asked us what we thought. That alone speaks volumes of the man he was. The Gemara in Megillah 31a teaches in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that: “Wherever you find the greatness of the Holy One, blessed be He, there you will find His humility.” And that is, we think, what struck us more than anything else about Rabbi Sacks. He never fully realised, or perhaps he was reluctant to realise, just how great he was – despite us and many others telling him. Whenever we shared letters of admiration or thanks with him, especially in the past few difficult weeks, he would often say: “Compliments are fine. So long as you don’t inhale!” But perhaps it was because above and beyond anything else, any titles he held, books he wrote or awards he won, he was simply a mensch, an eved Hashem, a humble servant of God, who had a particular mission: to inspire more Jews to live a Judaism engaged with the world and to, in his words, “Be true to your faith and a blessing to others regardless of their faith.” Aside from the outpouring of love since he passed away, of all the wonderful accolades Rabbi Sacks received during his life, there is one that comes to mind because it


moved him the most. It occurred as Rabbi Sacks was nearing the end of his time as Chief Rabbi in 2013 by his own rabbi, Rav Nachum Rabinovitch z”l, who passed away earlier this year. Rav Nachum spoke about how the greatest of our teachers transcend all titles. “There are those rare souls who venture out into the unknown, explore new areas and create new intellectual disciplines. They do not get new titles. Instead, they give their names to their pioneering discoveries. Jonathan Sacks ranks with the teachers of Torah whose personal name is the highest mark of distinction.” Rabbi Sacks has left us with a remarkable legacy and new ways of thinking. But he has also left us with a challenge. This year, his weekly Covenant & Conversation parsha essays are taken from his book Lessons In Leadership. We did this to allow him space to continue work on the Chumash which would

have undoubtedly been the pinnacle of his many achievements. In an unnerving sense of fate, at the end of this week’s commentary on Chayei Sarah, Rabbi Sacks wrote: “Leaders see the destination, begin the journey, and leave behind them those who will continue it. That is enough to endow a life with immortality.” We are totally heartbroken that his life has come to an end. Our love goes out to Elaine, Josh, Dina, Gila, Alan, Eliot, Brian and the whole family. Yet at the same time, we feel unbelievably blessed to have been so close, for so long, to someone so great. It has been the honour of our lives to have played just a small part in Rabbi Sacks’ unbelievable legacy. He was a leader who saw the destination and began the journey. It is now up to all of us to continue it. May his memory be for a blessing.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

Jonathan’s moral leadership inspired a whole generation BY GORDON BROWN FORMER PRIME MINISTER


he voice of Jonathan Sacks is silent today and words cannot adequately explain the personal loss I and so many now feel; and no single tribute can do justice to the lifetime achievements of such a great man. For Jonathan was not only renowned for his leadership as Chief Rabbi; he was a philosopher, academic, writer, raconteur, broadcaster and teacher whose intellectual insights and moral leadership captured the imagination of a generation. And he was also a great humanitarian to whom, whoever you were, you could go for advice, and whose reservoir of personal kindnesses seemed endless. I was one who benefited from his wonderful generosity of spirit. Honours, accolades and titles followed him like night followed day, including his election at a young age as Chief Rabbi, and then his membership of the House of Lords, the prestigious Templeman prize and visiting professorships in almost every continent But, as Jonathan himself wrote in a memorable passage, what at life’s end he would value most was that he had helped his neighbour come to the aid of a family in need, assisted someone in distress, and comforted someone who was grieving. Such was his basic humanity that, as I found, his first concern was always the health and well-being of those he met. When my daughter died, Jonathan was, for me and our family, a great source of strength; and I am grateful, too, that when I was under attack and even when I needed to clarify my thinking, Jonathan was there for me too. My father, a Presbyterian minister, had chaired the Church of Scotland’s Israel committee over two decades and had visited Israel twice a year for 30 years; and I had grown up learning not only of the unspeakable evil of the Holocaust but also of the importance of JudeoChristian ideas. But it was Jonathan who showed me – and us – the significance of these ideas for the new age we were living through, and, like so many others. my education would have been

wholly incomplete without his teaching. His writing – 28 books in as many years – was prodigious. Others took summer holidays: Jonathan used his time off from his pastoral work not to relax but to complete another book, and each one of them was born out of the best of scholarship and of the highest quality. I first came across Jonathan when I read his pathbreaking book, The Politics Of Hope. There, writing of community as the often-ignored space between markets and states, he broke new ground, challenging both those who believed there is no such thing as society and those who believed in an economy based on command and control. I was surprised to be asked by Jonathan to write a preface to a new edition of such a highly influential book, but honoured to do so. That was the 1990s, and before this new century has been shaped by extraordinary upheavals – 9/11, a global financial crisis, a decade of austerity, Brexit, rising pollution, and now a global pandemic. And at all times and throughout these crises, Jonathan has been a powerful voice explaining how, learning from these events, we can come together to build a better society. When the financial crisis hit us in 2008, it was

to Jonathan many of us turned to remind people of what too many had forgotten: that markets need morals. Markets may be value-free, but they can never be values-free. Like me, Jonathan saw the financial crisis as also a moral crisis: he recalled that the word ‘credit’ is more than an accounting term, but comes from the Latin credere, which means ‘to believe’ and who noted that the word ‘confidence’ was originally about far more than market sentiment and is derived from another Latin word, confider, which emphasises that trust is the only sure basis for successful commerce and industry. His turn of phrase was immaculate. I recall him saying words to the effect that financiers had rewarded themselves with bonuses they did not need, for work they had not done, on the pretext of risks they had not taken, at the expense of impoverishing those who went without. I recall, too, him warning us of the dangers of an overmaterialistic debt-laden consumer culture that neglected the bonds of family and community: of an obsession with buying goods we did not need with money we did not have in the breathless pursuit of a happiness that could not last. After 2010, he took on many in his own community and beyond when he wrote The

Dignity of Difference, a powerful call for all of us to build bridges across faiths. This was an important book that contained an accurate warning that terrorism flourishes when people are taught to believe coexistence is impossible. Inspired by him and many who share his views, that search to find common ground and move from the battleground of conflict to the high ground of cooperation and mutual understanding continues. When I spoke out against antisemitism and expressed my shame at what had been allowed to happen within the Labour Party, what I said was much influenced by my conversations with him. When Jonathan published his most recent book, Morality, I wrote to him saying I was nominating it as the book of the year. At yet another time of social and economic crisis, where we needed, as a country. Its chapters communicate his strong and enduring belief in fairness and social responsibility, in the need for an ethical foundation for all our lives and in the redemptive power of community. I believe the advice he gave us will stand the test of time, pointing us to the building blocks we need to fashion a more socially responsible post-Covid Britain. Jonathan could tell a story in a way others could not; he used illustrations from his own experiences to bring abstract concepts to life; he could bring an audience to its feet with memorable displays of humour, often directed against himself; and he could enrapture listeners far beyond the synagogue by the sheer eloquence and excellence of his oratory. He was the best type of teacher, somebody who communicated with passion what he knew and what he had learned, in the hope of creating a better world. Our thoughts are with his wonderful wife, Elaine, and the children of whom he was so rightly proud, Joshua, Dina and Gila, and with the entire family. Words may offer little consolation when the pain of loss is at its greatest, but I hope, over time, they will find comfort in the esteem, admiration and the respect in which Jonathan and the Sacks family is held across the country. Yes, his voice may be silent, but he will live on everywhere in the influence he will continue to have on all of us whom he leaves behind.

We have laid to his eternal rest my illustrious predecessor, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, with whom I had the privilege of working for the past 30 years. He had a distinctive, familiar voice. It was a voice of clarity and erudition; a voice of hope and promise; a voice of tolerance and love; a voice of warmth and wisdom, interlaced with sensitivity and humour; a voice that will be profoundly missed by Thought for the Day listeners, by Jewish communities around the world and by all those across the globe who found in him an invaluable guide who inspired faithfulness, moderation and compassion. The pain of his loss has been felt far and wide. Every year, coinciding with the anniversary of the death of Moses, we read the portion of the Bible that describes how he oversaw the building of the sanctuary, a home for God. Yet, astonishingly, his name is entirely absent from the text. God goes out of His way not to address Moses by name, even while he embarked on a most sacred task. There is a powerful message here about what constitutes a lasting legacy as opposed to fleeting fame. Legacy has nothing to do with one’s

name and everything to do with one’s impact. Rabbi Sacks was widely acclaimed, but the measure of his greatness is in the countless lives he enriched as well as the timelessness of his wisdom. One of Rabbi Lord Sacks’s brilliant original thoughts relates to history, for which there is no word in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, the word zachor is used, which means memory. He explained that history is ‘his story’ – an account by another person about events that happened to others. We recall it and study it, but we feel disconnected. Memory is quite different – we internalise it, carry it with us and make it a part of our future. Rabbi Sacks is now not only a part of our shared history. He will also live on in our collective memory. He himself put it perfectly. “Mortality,” he said, “is written into the human condition, but so too is the possibility of immortality, in the good we do that continues long after we are here, to beget further good. There are lives that defeat death and redeem existence from tragedy.” It is from Rabbi Sacks’ own words we can be certain that his remarkable voice will continue to be with us always.

Photo by Paul Lang Photography

Chief Rabbi Mirvis’ tribute



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

A legacy of insight and rare wisdom BY DANIEL TAUB



he position of Israeli ambassador to the Court of St James’ comes with a number of perks. But perhaps none was more precious to me than the regular appointment I would have, as Israel’s envoy, with the Chief Rabbi. For the first three years of my posting, this meant a regular monthly session with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. He had a keen interest in events in Israel. He had a deep personal connection himself (he would joke that when he visited during the Gulf War, he was the only person who followed the government’s instructions to shave off his beard so he could wear a gas mask), but he also wanted to be able to help his rabbis be effective in connecting their communities to Israel. He was eager to be briefed on the current security situation, the political intrigues and the state of Israel-UK relations. I had a rather different agenda. Here was an intellectual Jewish giant, who had singlehandedly created a corpus of Jewish thought unprecedented in modern times. He had energised thinking within the Jewish world and made Jewish ideas a force to be reckoned with in wider society. I was astonished at the range of nonJewish leaders I would meet with, from archbishops to public intellectuals, who would confide what a treasured


influence his writing had been on their lives. With such a teacher, I thought, there has to be a better way for us to spend our time together. I suggested to Rabbi Sacks I would prepare briefing notes so the business part of our meeting could be completed in 15 minutes at most. That would leave the rest of the time to study together. He agreed willingly, but the truth is our earliest efforts were not a great success. He was not a natural study partner, or at least the imbalance between us made our study awkward and stilted. I suggested an alternative. Rather than

study a text together, I would send him, in advance, five or six current and important questions. He could choose any one and speak freely about it. So did I come to have the benefit of a truly wonderful tutorial. The range of his erudition was breathtaking – we would leap from the history of language to the relationship of Judaism to oriental philosophy – but the discussion was almost never disconnected from the challenges of our time. His focus was on ideas as moral forces in the real world: how do we balance our local, national and global responsibilities; how do we navigate between hubris and humility in the face of scientific progress; how do we harness the power of faith without unleashing the darker sides of fundamentalism? At the same time, our sessions together gave me a glimpse of a man who had embraced his public role with reluctance. On one occasion, he spoke about the sin of the biblical spies, who gave a bad report on the land of Israel. They were scared, he suggested, not of defeat but of victory. If they succeeded in the battle, they would have to take on the challenge of facing the real world. As he said this, it seemed this was a fear he had known himself. Truly one of the great public speakers and broadcasters of our generation, this was never a role he imagined. I have a passion for ideas, he would say, but I’m just not a people person. It’s easier for me to speak to a thousand people than to three, he would add. If left to his own inclinations he would, he admitted, have been happy to remain in the ivory tower. Two things I think made him change his mind. The first was his acute sense of tzav hasha’ah, the call of the times. In a largely godless age, where the voice of faith was barely heard on the major issues of the day, he recognised he had a unique ability to redress that balance. The second was that he was surrounded by a remarkable group of people who cherished his strengths and appreciated his weaknesses. ‘I realised I needed to surround myself with individuals with outstanding people skills,’ he said. In this, he was blessed; above all with his wife, Lady Elaine, who was always in his mind when he advised people with an abstract intellectual bent like his own, to marry someone “who has a bigger heart than you do”. Alongside the legacy of wisdom and insight he has left us, and which is more relevant today than ever, Rabbi Sacks’ life leaves us with another lesson: with commitment and moral vision, and some help from our friends, we can become something greater than we ever thought we would be.

XVI at a meeting of With Pope Benedict

faith leaders

The Queen receives a menorah from then Chief Rabbi Sacks at St James’ Palace in 2006

Uniting with faith leaders in the wake of the 7/7 terror attacks in 2005

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

An eloquent messager to any audience BY JONNY LIPCZER

room, giving strength to Yoni’s

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, many friends and his wider Bnei WORLD MIZRACHI Akiva family. It was a challenging

T Receiving his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2005

The Prince of Wales and Lord Sacks at the formal induction of Ephraim Mirvis as the new Chief Rabbi in 2013

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The Queen Elizabeth is shown the Codex Valmadonna I book with Lord Sacks at a multifaith reception to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

he first time I met with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – more than 20 years ago – was at his office. At the end of the meeting, we both stood up to leave, and although I was closer to the door, I stood aside to let him walk ahead of me. He marched past me, looked at me, and said: “Lead from the front!” That was the first lesson in leadership that I learned from him. It was also the start of a very special relationship with him as my teacher and mentor. I credit Rabbi Sacks for my own continued involvement in Jewish education. His encouragement in every leadership role I have undertaken, and the time he gave to answering my questions, formed me into the person I am today. A few days before I moved to Israel, he phoned me. He wanted to give me a blessing. I remember his words clearly: “Continue to be involved in Jewish education. That’s your strength.” And so I did. Last year, my seven-year-old son asked me a question about Moses. I didn’t know the answer, but I knew who would. I emailed Rabbi Sacks’ office and, a few days later, received a response by way of a voice note, spoken in his characteristically eloquent style, and at a level that my son could understand. He had the unique ability of being able to direct a message to any audience, regardless of their age or background. In 2002, I became mazkir of Bnei Akiva UK and, just weeks into the start of the year, we heard news from Israel that a suicide bomber had detonated his belt on a bus in Tel Aviv, and that one of our members, Yoni Jesner, was on that bus. He was rushed to hospital, and we quickly arranged an evening of prayer at our London headquarters. Yoni was still in intensive care, but we knew there was no hope. As news spread of the gathering, Rabbi Sacks called me to say he would like to be with us. He didn’t wait to be asked; he knew this is where he was needed. He addressed the packed

moment for Bnei Akiva, and in Rabbi Sacks we had a leader we so desperately needed to light the way. His presence with us that night was a tremendous source of comfort. Whenever Rabbi Sacks visited Israel, I would invite him to speak to the Bnei Akiva gap year programmes. He never once refused. Bnei Akiva was the movement in which he grew up, and it was clear that

I LEARNED FROM HIM THAT IT IS NOT THE HONOURS WE RECEIVE THAT MATTER, BUT THE HONOUR WE GIVE he felt among friends there. On one occasion, when he finished speaking, he sat down, turned to me and asked: “Was that okay?” This was the Jewish world’s foremost orator, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, and he was asking me if he spoke well! This speaks volumes about his humility. He was the leader of the Jewish community, but he recognised that I was the leader of this group, and so my opinion mattered to him. In three short words, I learned from him that it is not the honours we receive that matter, but the honour we give. Rabbi Sacks’ essay on the weekly Torah reading for this week closes with the following words: “Walk ahead. Take personal responsibility. Take moral responsibility. Take collective responsibility. Judaism is God’s call to responsibility.” “Walk ahead” was the first lesson I learned from him. Today, it was also the last. In one of his books, Rabbi Sacks called on us to heal a fractured world. Now, more than ever, we must heed his call and follow in his footsteps. But, right now, we just need help healing our broken hearts.


Jewish News 12 November 2020


Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020



My earliest memories of my father are in the depths of his study at the bottom of the garden, keyboard clacking, surrounded by book-lined shelves; page after page he laboured over, focused, sometimes pacing, only coming up for air when we called him in for dinner, or occasionally, if it was important, a phone call. Sometimes, on an inspired and magical evening, Beethoven or the Beatles played at full volume, and we were swept up in the tide of music and the embrace of his energy. People came and went for meetings, gathered in our living room, eager to hear his words. There was a fervour, a purpose. When he walked, he walked fast. We had to run to catch up, physically and figuratively. A couple of years ago I took my parents to see Hamilton, the musical, in which I had recognised my father in the laserfocused, driven, titular role. He always knew he was running out of time, not believing that he would live past the age of 40, having had more than one previous brush with death. In fact, death was seemingly always in the back of his mind. He encouraged me as a teenager to write my own obituary, in order to forge my path in life, so that I should be suitably remembered after it. He encouraged that in all of us – to ask, what do we live for? For what will we be remembered? A few days before my father died my mother and I, walking in the park, saw four men holding sheet music, singing in another language and then in English, of a time “when we will not be alone, for we have each other”. Their voices transcended time and space. On telling my father that evening, he recalled the scene in The Shawshank Redemption where, in an act of rebellion, the wrongly

imprisoned Andy Dufresne plays a duet from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro – music “so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it”. My father’s mind was like that. He recognised the beauty and the pain of life and knitted them together in a compulsion to build, to renew, to hope. He loved the word hope. It embodied the art of possibility; it empowered each of us to change our collective situation when the need required; it challenged us never to accept what should not be accepted. There is a famous story of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidism, who, when his community was faced with misfortune, would go to a certain place in the forest to meditate. There he would light a fire, say a prayer, and the misfortune would be averted. His successor, the Maggid of Mezrich, when facing similar difficulties, would go to the same place in the forest, and pray, though he did not know how to light the fire. Still, the misfortune would be averted. His successor knew the place in the forest, but did not know how to light the fire and did not know the prayer. However, the place was sufficient. Then it fell to his successor to overcome misfortune. He could not light the fire, did not know the prayer, and could not find the place in the forest. All he could do was to tell the story, and that was sufficient. But, for my father, this wasn’t enough. He didn’t want us just to tell the story of those that came before us. He challenged us to rebuild, to fix that which had become broken, to renew that which had become old, to restore that which had been forgotten. I hope we make you proud, my mentor, my father.

Night a super

Lord Sacks was presented with a lifetime ac


12 November 2020 Jewish News


Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

rhero took centre stage

chievement award by Tony Blair at Jewish News’ glittering Night of Heroes dinner



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020


‘Religion has a d


I am writing this in tears. Rabbi Sacks always spoke words of Torah, on every occasion. He would quote, Ki hem chayenu v’orech yameinu (For they are our life and the length of our days). And so I will follow my rebbe. We say in the Shema: Veshinantem levanecha (And you shall teach them to your children). Rashi says: ‘These are your students, for we find everywhere that students are called children… and just as students are called children, so the person who is your teacher is called father.’ We have lost our spiritual father. Our beloved father. Rabbi Sacks, more than any rabbi I know, spoke to our generation. The Torah teaches us repeatedly that when there is a difficult problem to solve, we should go to the priest or judge “who shall be in your days”. Of course they are in our days, who else is there? But the sages taught that we must go to a person who is ‘in your days’, who understands the issues of now, who lives in the present, and not to hark back to long gone leaders. Rabbi Sacks was of our time, he understood the challenges of being a traditional Jew in the modern world and he found a way for us all to live our faith. I remember once at the end of a meeting, apologising to him if I had been rude when disagreeing on a matter we were discussing. “Don’t apologise!” he roared. “How can we learn if we don’t take criticism?” He just wanted to do his best for Am Yisrael, his beloved people, us. He taught me to love all our fellow rabbis: “Aleinu leshabeyach; it is for us to praise them.” And he was so sad when one would not live up to the task. “How can a person go through the whole Talmud, and yet the Talmud not go through them?” he would say. To sit with him was always an honour. And if I was ever frustrated and spoke inappropriately, he would say, gently: “Dignity, Rafi, always speak and act with dignity.” He embodied that, he made the world see that Torah was on a par with any contemporary philosophy or ideology, that our faith had something to say in the court of great ideas and deep truths. He enabled us to hold our heads up high and be proud to be modern Jews. His energy, his breadth of knowledge, his work ethic, were all legendary. I thank God that we were given a rabbi for our time. I miss him terribly. And when I quote him, which I will continue to do for the rest of my life, I will never say: “Rabbi Sacks said...”. I will always say: “Rabbi Sacks says”, for he is truly alive, in the words that he wrote, in the speeches he delivered, in the advice and support he gave, and in our hearts whenever we recall him and share his Torah. Rabbi Sacks says: “We do not have to redeem the world all together in one go. We do it one day at a time, one person at a time, one act at a time. A single life, said the sages, is like a universe. Save a life and you save a world. Change a life and begin to change the world.” And he did. He changed our lives. Hundreds of thousands, even millions of them. When Rabbi Sacks stands up to speak, there is a hush of anticipation. “Friends, let me share with you a little bit of Torah…” And then, as he spoke, the world would become a little brighter, hope became more real, God came closer and life had more meaning. I am sending love to his wife, Elaine, and their children, Dina, Joshua and Gila, and their grandchildren. May they be comforted by God and from the love the world has for him.

Rabbi Lord Sacks with Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum

In 2018, Lord Sacks sat down with Justin Cohen to reflect on his life’s work to mark his 70th birthday. Here we republish the interview in full When sitting down to interview one of the world’s foremost religious thinkers – a sought-after voice on the state of the world today – the songs of Ed Sheeran are surely among the least likely topics to crop up. Perhaps even more so when the interviewee is celebrating his 70th birthday. But, after the best part of an hour with the then 69-yearold Lord Sacks, that’s the unexpected turn our chat takes as he discusses the lyrics of the British hit-maker’s Castle on the Hill and I get a rare insight into the down time of the man beyond the orator. “Brahms is great to run to,” he says “but so is Ed Sheeran. Michael Jackson is also pretty good running music. My iPhone has got terrific music; music to meditate by, chill to and music to run on my treadmill to.” I couldn’t conceal my mild amusement. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by his grasp of popular culture; his belief in a Judaism engaged with the world was after all at the very centre of his message on leaving the chief rabbinate four years ago. Since then, Lord Sacks has taken that message to communities from Mexico to South America and to the wider public, including when he became the first religious figure to take the main stage at TED’s HQ – an experience he describes as “one of the most nerve-wracking in my life”. That talk was streamed to 100,000 people in cinemas

around the world and has been viewed online more than 1.5 million times. The peer has also innovated on social media, where a series of viral whiteboard animations voiced by Lord Sacks attract hundreds of thousands of views. While Lord Sacks had long planned for post-chief rabbinate life – “as I said to the government when it asked for my support for the Iraq war ‘have you got an exit plan?’” – he didn’t predict the extent of the interest in his message. “We couldn’t have foreseen the impact of social media and the development of the internet. This has created possibilities that never existed before, you can function globally in a way nobody could before, immediately and at low cost. It is also down to having the greatest team in the world.” But he suggests ever-developing technology – alongside weakening families and communities beyond religious groups – is one reason for increasing numbers of people turning to political extremes. “Humans can get used to almost anything: poverty, disease, war. What they can’t get used to is change. So they search for certainty and those certainties tend to lead them to extremes. When you’re trying to live by simple truths in a complicated world, you do become extreme.” He sees this trend continuing. “We don’t know quite what the impact of, for instance, artificial intelligence is going to be.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

duty to unite’ ❝


We are living in a very uncertain world and it’s going to become more uncertain. So it’s more and more important to safeguard support networks and there’s nothing more powerful than strong communities and families.” Lord Sacks is convinced the religious voice is more crucial than ever. “When politics is divisive, religion has a duty to unite.” Despite having his eyes firmly trained on the future and having “made it an absolute point of principle” not to tread on his successor’s toes, he heaps praise on Chief Rabbi [Ephraim] Mirvis for “creative” initiatives, including Shabbat UK and education programmes for women. He also “salutes” the Chief Rabbi’s decision to go to Limmud, despite his own decision not to. “I knew that Limmud is a fraught issue in the Jewish community, rightly or wrongly. For all my 22 years in office I said every rabbi that wanted to go should do so with my blessing. The Chief Rabbi going has not ended the controversy and I knew that my going would not end it either.” He says restrictions are a natural by-product of leadership. “I felt privileged for the whole of my chief rabbinate. But when you’re captain of the team, you have to play by the rules of the team. That means you can’t always say and do what you would do as a private individual. So, for the last four and a half years, being able to speak in my own voice and make my own decisions without necessarily worrying about others

has been exhilarating. People have noticed. I feel a lot younger than I did five years ago.” Having overseen an explosion in Jewish school places under his chief rabbinate, education remains a key focus today – whether through the launch this week of a curriculum bringing together his teachings with classical sources or in America where leaders have asked for his help. “American Jewry will never be like Anglo-Jewry because it’s bigger and has a different political culture. But the bigger respect in which we’re different is that we’ve built day schools. In America now, outside the Orthodox community, the religion is haemorrhaging. In many ways, British Jewry remains strong in a way that American Jewry has historically been strong, but today is beginning to weaken at the edges. We’re trying to tease through what would constitute a major campaign of the kind we did in Anglo-Jewry under Jewish continuity.” Sticking with America, he said he “understood” the criticism over his key role in helping Mike Pence draft his much-lauded Knesset speech. But Sacks said that while “they were looking at a person”, he was focused on issues. “It was the vice-president of America delivering a message on behalf of the American government about recognising Jerusalem. Whoever had been the person I would, if asked to help, have done so.” As he hits the big 7-0, just ahead of the Jewish state, he praised the country as “young for a 70-yearold nation” that thrives “because it empowers the young”. Though the announcement last week of the first official Royal visit came as a surprise at a moment of political deadlock, he praised the “wisdom and courage” of the move during the birthday year. Though he understood the difficulties for the British authorities, he said the Royals “had probably wanted to go before”. In many ways, British Jewry remains strong in a way that American Jewry has historically been strong, but today is beginning to weaken at the edges. The country’s greatest challenge, he insists, remains to find a way to embrace and bring together Israelis of all religious levels. He said: “Israel’s president, a man I hugely admire, has been speaking in recent years about an Israel of four minorities: the secular, the religious, the ultrareligious and the Palestinians who do not share a common narrative. “We are the world’s experts in creating narratives. Where is the vision in Israel of a society that embraces both some very holy people who are to Israel what the priesthood was in biblical Israel, plus a religious and secular public who, though they may be secular, are to a large degree very open indeed to Judaism if it is not forced on them?” As for the birthday boy, there’s little sign of the “semi-retirement” for Lord Sacks that Prince Charles referred to back in 2013. He was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award at Jewish News’ Night of Heroes, which he describes as “one of the best communal events I’ve ever attended because it lifted our moral and emotional horizons”. He insisted his “young team” keeps him fresh (he wears a Fitbit on his arm to track his healthy lifestyle) and says that continually moving outside his comfort zone – including comedy video with Ashley Blaker – keeps him from going stale. He is currently working on his Chumash, “the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken”, and is promising a five-part series on BBC radio on the big moral issues facing humanity. “I’m looking after my health,” he says. “I’m exercising as hard as I can because this work needs to be done.”

‘I got down on one knee within a month of meeting Elaine’

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and his wife Elaine married 50 years ago

In a deeply personal interview last year, Lord Sacks and wife Elaine warmly discussed their 50-year marriage Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks revealed how he proposed to his wife Elaine within three weeks – while she told how of how he cleaned her muddy boots to help him think. The couple, who married almost 50 years ago after meeting at Cambridge University, exposed the softer side of their relationship in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine in September 2019. Sacks, who served as Chief Rabbi from 1991 to 2013, said he “bought a ring from Woolworths” and got down on one knee in Oxford Circus within a month of meeting Elaine, who was at the university training to be a radiographer. In their ‘Relative Values’ interview, Sacks said his own father was “impossible to satisfy” and that he had not been “the world’s greatest father” himself. “I was a little distant,” he said. “I travelled a lot as Chief Rabbi and I was always thinking about my next speech.” He also described “a persistent lack of belief in myself”, adding: “There’s some kind of pain, which is perhaps an inherited thing. There is a sadness in Jewish music, a kind of minor key, that I heard when I was two or three years old. “It’s an existential sadness that I can’t eliminate, however hard I try. That’s probably what allows me to communicate with people who are unhappy.” Elaine, who said she was seen as “a little old” when she became a mother at 25, describes giving up her career to raise the couple’s children and the “intrusive” security measures put in place once Sacks became Chief Rabbi. A middle-class girl from Willesden, who was initially shy and reticent at official functions, Elaine recalled how a breakthrough moment came when a friend told her: “They’re terrified of you.” This led to her opening up publicly. She also described how a good boot-cleaning could leave her husband happy. “If we go for a muddy walk, the next day I will find my shoes sparkling clean,” she said. “Jonathan likes cleaning them. If everything is tidy, then his mind is clear to think.”



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

Being presented with a Jewish News first day cover designed by Alan W Benjamin to mark his retirement as Chief Rabbi in September 2013

Lending a hand during a Mitzvah Day gardening event

Rabbi Sacks’ final AJEX Remembrance Parade in 2012

Rabbi Lord Sacks with Rabbi Naftali Schiff

All should tear their clothes for Lord Sacks BY RABBI LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER



he Talmud Rabbi Lord Sacks (z”l) loved so greatly, teaches us that when a leading scholar dies, we must tear our garments as we also do for our closest kin when they die. The external tear, a keriyah, contains that wonderful possible double reading in English of a tear in clothing and the tears that flow naturally from our eyes when we feel the pain of loss. My tears flowed when I heard that our national and international intellectual giant and patriarch, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, died on Shabbat – the timing of his death on a Shabbat, traditionally marking the death of

a tzaddik, a righteous person. I was blessed, as when Rabbi Sacks and I served as heads of our respective denominations, we used to talk Talmud – neither of us being particularly dedicated to small talk. His piercing intellect and gentle compassion shone through. He taught us all through his endless capacity to think and to explain, his learning from past faults and instead to build strong relationships across boundaries. Rabbi Sacks promoted the depth of wisdom of Judaism through the lens of the universal. He articulated and related Jewish ideas to all and his strong but soft voice was greatly loved and revered on national media. I know from many comments, especially within the BBC, how much journalists, presenters and anchors loved working with him. He showed the world the genius our Judaism offers, no matter how people identify themselves. He cared about wider society, and he sought


its improvement through his writing, his position in the House of Lords and his connection with the individuals he encountered. He knew the job of a rabbi is to change the status quo through love, learning and courage. Rabbi Sacks also had a boisterous side, which he delighted in showing. It was a true pleasure to join him as he rumbustiously led Maoz Tzur with such gusto and joy every year at the Downing Street Chanukah event – fist punching the air with joy, bringing to life the mitzvah of ‘taking joy in your festivals’. Personally, our family will always be indebted to Rabbi Sacks for his kindness

to my parents (z’l), co-leading both of their funerals and bringing his compassion into our mourning. My heart is with the Sacks family – Lady Elaine, Joshua, Dina, Gila and their wider family. It is fitting that for this exceptional brain and soul, all of us should make a tear in our clothes. A leader such as him, who elevated the British Jewish community globally, who crossed the boundaries of communities and ideologies, should be mourned universally. Yihe zichro baruch, his memory will continue to bless our lives.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Rabbi Lord Sacks: 1948-2020

World leaders consider themselves ‘Sacks-ites’ BY LORD JON AND LADY NICOLA MENDELSOHN


onathan was a great friend and mentor to us both. We, like so many, were blessed to have our lives touched and changed by this unique and treasured gift from God. For just over 30 years, we had occasion to encounter him and to work with him across so many fields. Time with him was a joy, but time spent listening to him was truly joyous. Everyone has a Jonathan Sacks story. About a book they read. An inspirational speech listened to. Perhaps a call received. A life cycle moment transformed by his impact. Or words of comfort received at the most difficult of times. We will miss his voice, his smile and even his sighs. For in Jonathan, we truly had a leader to believe in. A decoder to help us understand. A sage to tell us what it meant and an architect who helped us build our lives, our family and our community.

He was a persuasive and passionate advocate of Jewish concerns whose participation in the House of Lords was always received with reverence and respect. His voice was always sure and strong. He provoked the simplest conclusions from a breath-taking ability to master the most complex of notions. He was admired by leaders in society. He was looked up to by all, for not just guidance in the ways of society, but as the most cherished of counsellors. Prime ministers who revelled in debating whatever he wrote – including those whose ideological approach was defined by so many by reference to their own names – who would


in private refer to themselves as Sacks-ites! He was rooted in history, anchored by ethics, a wide appreciation for the vast knowledge accumulated around the world and the foundation stone of Torah. To many, he was the greatest example of how to apply traditional values to a modern setting. But he was more. Everything he did was irrepressibly about hope and the future. He didn’t just think of how to accommodate to the modern era, but was so admired because he was about how to shape the modern era, applying notions, such as morality, to areas where advances always need to be tempered by an appreciation of not just their consequences but of the boundless good that can be achieved by people. His interventions in public debate always imbued the country and the world with thought, knowledge and wisdom. But he was so much more than a social philosopher and had a real ability to provoke ideas and notions of how to address the challenges of markets, science, technology and building community. In most recent years, he was a significant influence on many of the leading innovators,

engineers and business leaders involved in the leading technology companies in the world. They marvelled at someone so comfortable bringing in ideas first written in the Aramaic language while being open to listen and learn what the promise of computer languages such as Javascript and Python could do to change the world. He was truly liked and esteemed for visionary and deep-rooted thoughts and, as ever, hard at work being an important part of shaping a better future. Our hearts go out to Elaine, Joshua, Dina, Gila and the entire family. May they be comforted by the love and good wishes of his many admirers and the certain knowledge that his remarkable legacy lives on not just in the hearts and minds of so many, but in how the world today and the lives of so many is so vastly better for the influence and changes he caused to be made in his lifetime. His immeasurable contribution and extraordinary humanity will live with us forever. May his memory always be a blessing to us all.

At his grandson Elisha’s barmitzvah

Joyously dancing at a family wedding celebration

Photo by Blake Ezra Photography



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet Reform Judaism joins Jews globally in mourning the loss of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z"l. Jews of all denominations continue to benefit tremendously from Rabbi Sacks' profound scholarship, dedication to the Jewish faith and ability to connect to people of all backgrounds. His writing, rooted in his Orthodox Jewish faith, inspires us with its universal values of justice, tolerance, trust in the future generations and unfailing morality. Rabbi Sacks leaves an indelible mark on British Jewry. We have lost a truly great scholar, leader, statesman and friend. We extend our sincere condolences to Lady Elaine, Joshua, Dina, Gila and all of Rabbi Sacks' family. May his memory be a blessing.

‫ברוך דיין האמת‬ Photo Credit: The Office of Rabbi Sacks


Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet All of us at AJEX are devastated to learn of the passing of Rabbi Lord Sacks z’’l. He was a sincere friend to AJEX for many years and always closely supported our aims and endeavours. He was an inspirational spiritual leader to our entire membership. Remembrance was of supreme importance to him. He held our veterans in the highest esteem and always appreciated the education they imparted to schools and to the wider community. He will be deeply missed by all of us in the AJEX veterans’ community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

T 020 8202 2323 E headoffice@ajex.org.uk AJEX Charitable Foundation Registered Charity No: 1082148


12 November 2020 Jewish News


AJEX will always remember the sacrifice and dedication of our ex Servicemen and Women and this year due to Covid restrictions the Annual Parade and Ceremony will take place as a poignant online Remembrance event, rather than at The Cenotaph.


AJEX invite you to recite this special Remembrance Prayer this Shabbat


‫ ֲאדוֹ ן ָהעוֹ לָ ִמים‬Lord of the Universe;

at this time of solemn reflection and remembrance we salute the courageous British and Allied soldiers who served and died in the cause of liberty, right and justice. Many were proud Jews who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf; and this heroic service continues in the UK, Israel and around the world. We remember also the six million innocent victims of the Shoah and countless others murdered by the Nazis. We pray that we, who have survived, may carry forward the torch of memory and merit Your grace to flourish in life and Judaism - and serve our Queen and Country proudly in the cause of peace. Amen






#AJEXRemembers #AJEXShabbat T 020 8202 2323 E ajexremembers@ajex.org.uk AJEX exists to ensure that the immense contribution of veterans from the Jewish Community who served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces is never forgotten. It also supports the Armed Forces Jewish Community which represents the interests of those who continue to serve. The Charity is organised across three pillars: Welfare, Remembrance and Education. AJEX Charitable Foundation Registered Charity No: 1082148




Jewish News 12 November 2020


Remembrance, especially for Jews, is a sacred duty RABBI REUVEN LIVINGSTONE



uch of life is typified by its pace of change, which invariably takes us by surprise. The consistency of memory is vital in providing guidance, context and experience. This year, with Covid-19, we are faced with a stark reminder of how life can be fleeting and outside our control. Normal certainties and comforts we take for granted suddenly no longer apply. This extends to many aspects of our lives, including important communal fixtures like the annual AJEX Cenotaph Parade that recognises and honours Jewish military service to the Crown. This remembrance event, now in its 86th year, has had to be adapted and will this year take place online. The event focuses not only on remembrance itself but also appreciates and understands the experience and sacrifice of previous generations. Reflecting on the past helps us to put

into perspective the experience we are living through today in a helpful and reassuring way. Memory has sustained us as Jews through a most challenging history. Our faith and people are founded on the collective memory of ‘Matan Torah’ – the revelation at Sinai and our shared experience over millennia from diaspora to diaspora. Scripture repeatedly exhorts us to ‘Remember’ (for example. Exodus 20:8/11, Deuteronomy 5:15 and 25:17). Indeed, the Torah commands us always to: “Remember the past days; understand the years of every generation...”(Deuteronomy 32:7). When engaging with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of war in Afghanistan, I have seen how vital it is not to gloss over past experience, however painful. It is fundamental to support people to remember even the most traumatic of life events and then build rituals of memory in order to lay toxic demons and nightmares to rest. In this way, memory profoundly honours and supports both the living and the dead. Former Prime Minister William Gladstone once wrote: “Show me the manner in which

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a nation or community cares for its dead and I will measure... the tender sympathies of its people... and their loyalty to high ideals.” Those in professions that daily encounter death and loss have long understood the importance of channelled and ritualised remembrance, collective and personal. It is a therapeutic principle that enables us to reflect and remember rather than ignore or suppress, enabling us to live our lives in meaningful ways that honour those who have gone before us and learn precious lessons from their wisdom, deep experience and sacrifice. Moreover, it is indeed a truism that “those who do not learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them...” In light of the above, we must remind ourselves that memory is precious, and remembrance is not only a duty but a privilege. Our gain is to understand that no challenge is insurmountable and no effort hopeless – whether in crisis, war or even pandemic. Over our long history, our predecessors faced all of the above (and more) yet survived and even flourished. So, too, with God's help, will we. Remembering the remarkable Jewish

WHEN DEALING WITH SOLDIERS WITH PTSD, I HAVE SEEN IT’S VITAL NOT TO GLOSS OVER PAST EXPERIENCE survival and sacrifice of servicemen and women can strengthen us against the challenges we are currently facing. AJEX is built on this foundation and is recognised across our community and beyond as the definitive voice of Jewish Veterans’ Remembrance. The Armed Forces Jewish Community is the counterpart organisation, guarding the flame of continuing Jewish service. Together these two strands form a formidable association for the Remembrance of Jewish military service in the UK. As we reflect on the past, may we always cherish memory and use it to fortify ourselves for the challenges of today and the future.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Community / Scene & Be Seen


More than 6,000 households attended the first ever Global Challah Bake event last week, organised by Seed, the charity providing Jewish education, and the Shabbat Project. Led by Rebbetzen Joanne Dove, people from the UK to New Zealand tuned in to the online event.

And be seen!


Members of the 20th Finchley Jewish Scout Group stood outside of their front doors to show their support this Remembrance Sunday. Although the group has had little opportunity to meet in person, they have managed to hold more than 20 meetings ,including a virtual visit to parliament.

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


Jewish Care’s residents paid tribute this Remembrance Sunday by lighting candles across their homes and laying a wreath at Edgware cenotaph in tribute to those who fought and sacrificed their lives. Joseph Winton, 101 years-old, spoke of his own experience as a veteran from WW2.

4 FOOTBALL FOCUS More than 600 people tuned in to United Synagogue’s ‘Football and The Jews’ online panel. Including Rabbi Jonathan Hughes of Radlett United Synagogue, a former player at Swindon Town and Reading, the panel heard from four other Jewish guests involved in the game who discussed the community’s long-standing role in the national sport.


Want us to feature your community event? Send your picture to picturedesk@thejngroup.com





Jewish News 12 November 2020


12 November 2020 Jewish News



Book / Weekend

The faces of

SURVIVAL Photographer Matt Writtle commemorates 101 Holocaust survivors in his new book, Portraits For Posterity, writes Francine Wolfisz


f pictures are worth a thousand words, then Matt Writtle’s breath-taking portraits of Holocaust survivors must fill an entire library. For more than two years, Writtle (pictured), alongside curator Jan Marsh and project manager Jacki Reason travelled across the country to photograph and record the personal testimonies of 101 survivors of Nazi atrocities. Thirty of the photographs were initially exhibited at City Hall in 2007 and now, more than a decade later, Writtle has brought the collection together in a new book, Portraits For Posterity. Writing in the foreword, project organiser Reason explains that the idea came about after visiting the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum for the first time and realising that one of the video testimonies showed a familiar face. “He was Roman Halter, whom I met every day in the swimming pool, and who lived five minutes away.” Fellow swimmer Marsh, who worked at the National Portrait Gallery, suggested creating a portrait of Halter and it wasn’t long before Reason enlisted the help of her neighbour, Writtle, a freelance photographer for The Times. When the proposal was put to Halter, his response was: “Yes, but why just me?” From there, he introduced the group to his wife Susie, who was a fellow survivor, and put them in touch with both the

Thomas Konrad, above, and pictured in 1949

Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and ’45 Aid Society. Beginning with one portrait and testimony, they swiftly progressed to 30 and then 100 – “adding one more for luck”, writes Marsh. They travelled from London to Manchester, Leeds and Hove and the portraits were exhibited across the length of the country, from Cornwall to Liverpool. The exhibited portraits made an impact. Measuring 20” by 16”, visitors would find themselves staring into the lifelike sized faces of more than a hundred men and women who had witnessed the barbarity of the Nazi regime and, importantly, survived. But despite the success of the exhibitions, Writtle always felt the collection would be “perfect as a permanent memorial in a book”, not only to preserve their history for future generations, but also to make it more accessible to the wider public. “The reasons behind doing this are clear and obvious, in that the book is a reminder to everyone, especially in contemporary times, to look and see what these people had to endure,” he explains. “This is what human beings did to other human beings. Given the nationalisation and protectionism currently existing, it is not a far reach to think something like this can happen again.” From the outset, Writtle wanted to tell the stories of the survivors through the power of the lens and suggested the portraits should relate their individual contributions to British society. But after discussing it with Halter, he realised all that was needed was a much simpler approach for a more powerful message. He explains: “I chose black to symbolise the horror of the Holocaust and used the light as a symbol of their survival.” Using film and a medium-format camera, he fixed a single light high up and over the shoulder of his subject, while three reflectors surrounded his camera lens. The resulting effect was that the survivor could neither see him nor his assistant during the shoot, allowing him to capture even the smallest moment of contemplation. “You would see them start to go off into their own mind, lost in their thoughts – and that’s when I would take the picture,” adds Writtle. Mostly the survivors would remain quiet throughout the shoot, preparing themselves to speak about their

Above: Lili Pohlmann and, right, with her mother in 1954

experiences afterwards. “But sometimes there would be occasions when the survivors would talk and that was when there would be tears behind the camera,” reveals Writtle. “I still can’t believe people would do that to people.” One survivor’s story that has stayed with Writtle is that of Eva Clarke. “I remember she walked in and I remarked that she didn’t look old enough to be a survivor. She looked at me and said: ‘It’s funny you should say that. I will tell you my story in a moment.’ “I sat and listened to her story. Her mother weighed just six stone and was on the back of a cart going up to the gas chamber, when the Allies starting bombing. She then went into labour and had to give birth on the back of this cart, in silence, on her own, while other prisoners attempted to cover her. If she had been found out, the guards would have shot her and the baby. “There are so many horrendous stories, but that one for me really stood out.” Having had the privilege of meeting so many Holocaust survivors, Writtle acknowledges they have a “special stoicism”. “When you meet them, they could be my grandma, a family member, someone who is just like you and me – and that really was quite powerful to me, because it shows the Holocaust could happen to anyone. “But at the same time, there’s no doubt they are impressive human beings, because they experienced something that horrific and yet were able to continue with their lives.” Portraits for Posterity: Photographs of Holocaust Survivors in Great Britain by Matt Writtle is available from 16 November, priced £35 (hardback) at mattwrittle. com/shop

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Jewish News 12 November 2020

Weekend / Survivor stories EVA CLARKE “Commemorate the past in order to learn the lessons of history; encourage responsibility to promote respect and tolerance for all.” Eva (née Nathan) was born in April 1945 in Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, to Anka Bergman and her architect father, Bernd, who was shot just months before on a death march near Auschwitz. They were liberated a month later and she arrived in Britain in 1948, where she had a happy childhood in Cardiff with her mother and stepfather, Karel Bergman. Eva worked in further education for 20 years. In 1968, she married Malcolm Clarke, a law professor at Cambridge University. They have two sons, Tim and Nick, and four grandchildren. Eva was awarded the BEM in 2018.


“Words can never convey the abomination that took place. My story has a happy ending, unlike that of millions of others whose existence was obliterated. Their stories will never be told. Remember – and ask yourself: why?” Anita Lasker was born on 17 July 1925 in Breslau, Germany, as one of three sisters. In 1942, their parents were deported and killed. Anita and her younger sister, Renate, were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943, where she survived as a cellist in the camp orchestra. In late 1944, they were transferred to Bergen-Belsen and were liberated on 15 April 1945. She became a professional musician and married the late Peter Wallfisch. She has two children, Maya and Raphael, who is now a renowned cellist, and four grandchildren. Anita was awarded an MBE in 2016.

“The truth of our past – the history of the Holocaust – must be taught, especially to younger generations, for the sake of concord among people and for the building of a better, safer future and world.” Born in 1927, in Chodecz, Poland, Roman was the youngest of seven. Between 1940 and spring 1945, Roman was in Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Stuffhof concentration camps. One of ‘The Boys’, Roman came to Britain in autumn 1945, marrying fellow survivor Susie Halter. They had three children and seven grandchildren. He qualified as an architect, taught architecture and opened his own practice in London and Cambridge. Roman died in 2012.




“Less impersonal technology, more humanity.” Mala Helfgott was born on 24 September 1930 in Poland and held with her family in Piotrkow ghetto until 1942, when she was smuggled out to live with a Christian family. She was returned to the ghetto at the end of the year, when it seemed safe, but her mother and sister were murdered soon afterwards. Between July 1943 and the end of the war, Mala was transferred first to a labour camp, then Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen, where she nearly died of typhus. After liberation, she went to Britain and was reunited with her brother Ben. She married architect Maurice Tribich and the couple have a son and daughter and three grandchildren. Mala was awarded an MBE in 2017.

“We have a duty never to forget what one nation can do to innocent human beings while the world looks on. Learn from it and do everything you can to ensure it never happens again.” Schmuel Laskier was born on 27 August 1927, in Warsaw, Poland. During the war, he was sent to Bozochoff, Blizin, Starachovice, Skarzisko, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald and, finally, Theresienstadt – a three-week journey in an open wagon, surviving on leaves, grass and frozen snow. After liberation, Samuel travelled to Windermere in August 1945, as one of ‘The Boys’. He settled in Manchester and was reunited with his sister, Rushka. He went into the garment trade, where he established his own wholesale business. In 1956, he married Blanche; they have four children and five grandchildren. In 2005, he was presented to the Queen on the 60th Holocaust anniversary.

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Survivor stories / Weekend HANS ALTER “Be on your guard against racism in all shapes and forms. It is very dangerous indeed.” He was born Heyman Maurits Alter on 19 April 1933, in The Hague, Netherlands. Hans, his grandparents, father Philip, mother Frieda and sister Suze went into hiding in 1941. They spent nearly three years in a 6’ x 6’ hole in the ground and only left on 18 April 1945, when they were liberated by the British Army. Hans came to England to study textiles in 1950, before returning to join the family business in the Netherlands the following year. In 1973, he returned to London and joined a woollen merchant in Savile Row. By the time he retired, in 1985, he was a director. Hans married fellow survivor Anita Klein in 1959. They have two sons and four grandchildren.


EVA SCHLOSS “After the war and all its devastation, I despaired of life. It took 30 years, three lovely daughters, and much else, for me to become more positive, and realise that life can be beautiful. We must and can fight evil.” Born Eva Geiringer on 11 May 1929 in Vienna, Eva and her family left for Amsterdam after the Nazi annexation of Austria. By 1942, the family went into hiding, but two years later they were all arrested and transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her father and brother died in Mauthausen. After liberation, Eva and her mother came to Britain, where she married Zvi Schloss. They have three children and five grandchildren. Eva worked as a photographer for 20 years and then ran an antiques business. She became Anne Frank’s stepsister posthumously when her mother married Otto Frank in 1953. She was awarded an MBE in 2012.

“Our past must be taught and never be forgotten, in the hope future generations will learn to be tolerant and live in peace.” Born Arek Herszlikowicz on 13 September 1928, in Sieradz, Poland, Arek had three sisters and a brother. After the German occupation, the family escaped to Lodz, but soon returned to live in the Sieradz ghetto until March 1940, when Arek was taken to Otoszno. Between 1942 and 1945, he went back to Sieradz, was deported to Lodz and then to Auschwitz, before enduring a death march to Buchenwald and a month-long train journey to Theresienstadt. He was liberated on 8 May 1945 and arrived in Britain as one of ‘The Boys’. He settled in Manchester and trained as an electrician, before becoming a property developer. Arek married his second wife, Jean, in 1982. He lives in Leeds and has three daughters and seven grandchildren. In 2009, he was awarded an MBE for his Holocaust education work.


BEN HELFGOTT “Beware! Do not repeat the mistakes of the 20th century. Be tolerant and work in harmony with people of all races and creeds; reject hatred and revenge. Reach out with tolerance: live with integrity and give of yourself to society. Endeavour to enhance human dignity.” Ben was born in Pabianice, Poland, in 1929. After three years in the PiotrkowTrybunalski ghetto, he went to Bugaj and Hortensia labour camps and then Buchenwald, Schlieben and Theresienstadt. His mother and youngest sister were murdered in 1942. Ben came to England in August 1945 as one of ‘The Boys’ and in 1947 was reunited with his younger sister, Mala. He became a successful businessman and champion weightlifter. In 1956 and 1960, he captained the British Olympic Weightlifting Teams – the only known concentration camp survivor to have participated in the Olympics. He was British Lightweight Champion for seven years and gold medallist at the 1950, 1953 and 1957 World Maccabiah Games. Ben was knighted in 2018. He and his wife Arza have three children and eight grandchildren.

SUSIE HALTER “Having gone through a very traumatic time in my youth, I do hope my grandchildren and future generations will live in harmony.” Born Zsuzsanna Nador, in 1927 in Budapest, Hungary, Susie escaped from a women’s transport on the way to the Hungarian/ Austrian border in 1944. She had to live in hiding, under an assumed name and saw people being shot on the frozen Danube. Susan arrived in Britain in 1947 and swam for Hungary in the 1948 Olympics. She married Roman Halter, a fellow survivor, in 1951 and had three children and seven grandchildren. Susan died in 2015.



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Weekend / Entertainment


ART Future Dreams Jewish artists Gideon Rubin and Chantal Joffe feature alongside Rankin, David Yarrow and Gary James McQueen in an online art exhibition and auction for breast cancer charity Future Dreams. The auction is sponsored by Sky Arts, TK International and The Arts Club Mayfair, proceeds from which will support those undergoing treatment and surgery for breast cancer during the pandemic. Ahead of the auction of 25 works by artists, photographers and sculptors, a virtual exhibition curated by Pernilla Holmes and Amelie von Wedel of The Arts Club Mayfair will allow online visitors to enjoy the pieces before they are auctioned to the highest bidder. Tel Aviv-born contemporary artist Rubin, whose work explores themes of childhood, family and memory, explains that “as a husband and the father to three beautiful girls, the cause of Future Dreams is naturally close to my heart and helping them through the current crisis

becomes our obligation”. Other artists participating are Clive Arrowsmith, Céline Bodin, Adébeyo Bolaji, The Connor Brothers, Rosson Crow, Simon Emmett, Chris Floyd, Sally Hewett, Alba Hodsoll, Alexander James, Viv Lee, Ian McChesney and Scarlet Page. The selection also includes Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year contestants Raoof Haghigi and Tina Willis-Jones. The virtual gallery will be accessible from 10am on 23 November and will close at 7pm on 30 November at www.theauctioncollective.com. For more information on the charity and the auction, visit www.futuredreams.org.uk

IN PRODUCTION Oslo His Dark Materials stars Andrew Scott and Ruth Wilson are reuniting as a real-life husband and wife involved in the secret negotiations behind the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Oslo is based on J T Rogers’ award-winning play and stars Wilson as Norwegian foreign minister Mona Juul and Scott as her sociologist husband Terje Rød-Larsen, both of whom became intrinsic to the diplomatic conversations between a group of Israelis and Palestinians, ultimately paving the way for the historic deal. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the film will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg,

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Andy Samberg’s time-looping romcom Palm Springs will finally be released on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. The much-anticipated movie starring the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor broke records for the biggest sale in the history of the Sundance Film Festival and has a 94 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating from US audiences, after it was released there earlier this year. Palm Springs follows carefree Nyles (Samberg) and reluctant maid of honour Sarah (How I Met Your Mother actress

Cristin Milioti), who have a chance encounter at a wedding. Things soon get complicated when the pair find themselves stuck in a time vortex, unable to escape the venue, themselves or each other. Max Barbakow’s directorial debut is written by Andy Siara, while the cast also features JK Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin and Peter Gallagher. Palm Springs is set for release on Amazon Prime Video in early 2021.


12 November 2020 Jewish News



Jewish News 12 November 2020


Business / Lockdown impact


With Candice Krieger

WE HOPE OUR CUSTOMERS WILL REMAIN LOYAL Independent shops and businesses have been badly hit by the latest lockdown. Company owners tell Candice Krieger how they are faring


ocal high streets and the small independent businesses that adorn them have been left in a precarious position by the latest lockdown measures, at a time that should be their most lucrative of the year. Shops, salons and restaurants alike enjoyed some respite after the nationwide lockdown was lifted in the summer, but their forced closure as the holiday season approaches is yet another huge blow. So how will they cope? Candice Krieger asks a selection of independent businesses what the future might hold. COHENS JEWELLERS Cohens Jewellers is in Temple Fortune, northwest London, run by brother and sister Robert Cohen and Natalie Werter. It rebranded this year as part of its 50th anniversary. Robert Cohen: “We are so upset about having to lockdown again. While the government support has gone some way to helping, being closed for four to five months of the year is going to drastically affect any business. We took necessary measures to become Covid-secure and provide a safe environment for our staff and customers; it’s a shame these measures haven’t allowed non-essential shops to remain open. “Since we reopened in June, we had been busier than we expected, possibly as fewer people were away over the summer, but things slowed down prior to the second lockdown and as we approach Chanukah and Christmas – traditionally the busiest part of our year – the impact of closing will be harder felt. “All small businesses will find it increasingly harder to continue the longer lockdown goes on. January and February are tradition-

ally the quietest months for many retailers, so opening then is going to feel particularly tough. We have a very strong and loyal customer base and hope that once we reopen, business will return to normal again without any further interruptions. “This year, we celebrate 50 years on the high street and have an exciting celebratory promotion launching when we are able to reopen to reward our customers for their patronage over the years.” “The first round of financial support was helpful and although this time the furlough scheme has been extended to March, we hope that we are open again in December and able to bring our staff back to work.” www.cohensthejewellers.co.uk Instagram: @cohensjewellers CREAM BOUTIQUE Founded 46 years ago by Yvonne Lasky, Cream is a family-run trendy fashion boutique in Stanmore, Middlesex. It is now run by Yvonne and her daughters, Hayley and Michelle. Yvonne Lasky: “We did expect this lockdown. We were not sure about when it was going to happen, but we thought it may do given the rising rate of infection in October. “We understand that the government is in a horrible situation. It has a responsibility to protect people’s health while at the same time propping up the economy. “It has affected retail. Sadly, people can’t come into the shop, but we have tried to be progressive with our thinking by really developing our online presence. We built a website in the last lockdown and also have regular ‘live’ shows on Instagram, where we show our latest deliveries and will continue with our live Instagram shows so hopefully

Robert Cohen and Natalie Werter of Cohens Jewellers

Yvonne Lasky, centre, with her daughters, Hayley and Michelle, who run Cream boutique

things will be ok. KINK HAIR SALON “We hope we will be able to cope if lock- Theo Silveston founded Kink hair salon in down continues much beyond December. Mill Hill, north-west London, in 2007. We’ve been open for 46 years and have a very loyal customer base, so we hope they will still Theo Silveston: “I think most business owners need clothes. expected this lockdown after the tiers were “We love our customers. They see us brought in. It seemed like the only way it was not only as a provider of the most going to go. I believe the governup-to-date styles and fashion, ment is doing what it feels is but a place they can come and best. It’s a difficult decision socialise. with Covid cases rising “We worry, of course, but, at the same time, about what the future it’s a shame for small brings, but we hope we businesses that have will be around to serve followed all governour customers for many ment guide lines and years to come! [bought] PPE so we can “I think the government operate safely to then did a fantastic job during the have to close anyway. first lockdown to try to keep “It can’t be good to close businesses like ours alive, but for any period of time for any we need continued support as we Theo Silveston business. We have a large loyal still have full rent to pay with no help clientele but, at the same time, we from the landlord. don’t really want to put that to the test. “We know these are tough times and “Many clients will realise they can get by we know it may get worse before it gets without going to the hairdressers as often as better. One of our aims is to try to keep they have been. Our regular weekly clients are people smiling, optimistic and looking good, out bread and butter and the previous lockdown whether we are in the shop or not! has already affected that long-term. “We know we are privileged to still have “I believe if we keep a positive attitude jobs, as so many people in the country are towards our career and do what we can to make struggling and suffering, so with our live our service and experience the best possible shows we try to make them light and enter- [or our clients], we can retain our business taining for people.” to a certain level. We need to apply ourselves 100 percent all the time to keep our business www.creamboutique.co.uk going. It also depends on the support we get from Instagram: @creamboutique the government. “At the moment, I don’t think the govern-

12 November 2020 Jewish News



Lockdown impact / Business

ment has provided enough financial support to small businesses. Rent and rates continue, but our business does not. We are now having to contribute towards pensions and national insurance with no income. Small businesses will suffer from this lockdown and I hope every small business can manage to find a way to stay open and get through this unprecedented time. There’s always hope. “If people continue to work from home post-lockdowns, this could be a positive for local businesses. As a salon, we have and will always do, what we can to make sure our clients have the best experience possible and do our best to make them happy. After all, their hair is their crowning glory and plays a big part in how we feel about ourselves.” The owner of Kink Hair Salon in north-west London is keeping positive

www.kinkhair.co.uk Instagram: @kinkhairsalon Elliott Goldstein is managing partner at The MBS Group, a leading executive search and leadership advisory firm working across all consumer-facing industries. Clients include M&S, Sainsbury’s, The Body Shop, The Co-operative, Greene King, Kurt Geiger and Costa Coffee. He says: “November and December are the core trading months for retail and hospitality – in short, they are when most businesses generate the majority of their annual profits. “The latest lockdown is therefore

devastating for the non-essential retail and hospitality sector – and much more restrictive than the sector was expecting. “Businesses that were allowed to trade safely towards the end of the last lockdown – and which have invested heavily in Covid-19 safety materials – have been told this time to stay shut. “Most retail and hospitality businesses are trying to rapidly pivot to digital sales – indeed, one hospitality CEO with whom I spoke last week told me that their take-away and

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delivery sales were up nearly 500 percent pre-lockdown levels. However, of course, some shops simply can’t offer their products and services online. “Most retailers have tied up all their cash in stock for the festive season – so they will be making every effort to sell through their stock before the end of the calendar year. I expect consumers will benefit from a wave of dis-

counting and promotional activity, assuming stores can open in early December. “Independent stores are finding this period particularly challenging. They simply don’t have access to cash or debt in the way larger businesses do.” www.thembsgroup.co.uk Twitter: @theMBSGroup


Jewish News 12 November 2020



12 November 2020 Jewish News




Jewish News 12 November 2020

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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Orthodox Judaism

Torah For Today

SEDRA Chayei Sarah

What does the Torah say about: The US election

BY RABBI ALEX CHAPPER He was blessed with everything you could wish for: wealth, fame and long life. But there was one thing Abraham was concerned with more than anything else – he desperately wanted a wife for his son, Isaac. He instructs Eliezer, his most faithful servant, to find a match not only as a wife for Isaac, but also as a spiritual successor to Sarah, Abraham’s late wife. What is most striking are the specific directions Abraham gives to Eliezer, even making him swear ‘not to take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell’. Abraham is adamant that the girl cannot be a local, but must hail from his ancestral homeland of Charan and she must agree to live in the holy land of Israel. Why does Abraham make this strange stipulation? What is his objection to a wife being found among the indigenous population? The Kli Yakar (R’Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz) explains that Abraham had educated Isaac to believe in one God and he was extremely concerned that all this could be

undermined if he either married one of his polytheist neighbours or lived among the immoral inhabitants of his homeland. The only way to protect them from the dual set of negative pressures was to extract Isaac’s future wife from Charan and for them to live together in Israel. Abraham understood the impact environment has on a person, how much we are influenced by those who surround us and the extent to which the prevailing culture affects us. It is only right we invest significant resources into educating our children, but this is only one part of their overall development. Of at least equal importance is the environment in which they live and especially the influences to which they are exposed and those from which they need to be protected. Abraham was acutely aware that in attempting to secure our children’s future, we ignore, at their peril, the many negatives of the surrounding culture.

◆ Rabbi Alex Chapper serves Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue

BY RABBI ZVI SOLOMONS As the incumbent US president continues to challenge the results of last week’s election, what does the Torah say about democracy? The concept of democracy as we have it in western nations is essentially a Greek one. Every male citizen in Athens was allowed to vote and participate in civil decisions. The word we use comes from the Greek, meaning “rule of the people”. Yet the Bible also talks about a primitive type of democracy. The Sanhedrin was designed with this in mind. There were 73 rabbis sitting in court. Even today, the decisions in any Beth Din are to be made by a majority, with those who are junior voting first, in order to avoid their being intimidated. The rabbis base our customs on majority decisions, using the verse that we should incline after the majority – but only to do good. Majorities, however, can tyran-

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nise and cause problems: look at the story of the 10 spies who gave a bad report of Eretz Yisrael or the large number of people who followed Korach in his rebellion. In the days when there was a head of the Beth Din and a head of the Jewish community (Nasi) in Israel, they might hold different views on halacha. Where there were matters in dispute, they would have a vote. The story is told that the House of

Hillel and the House of Shammai were in such a dispute. The owner of the venue put armed guards at the door, and Beth Shammai, having a majority, refused to allow anyone out until the votes had been forced through. This, of course, was undemocratic. A similar story of the two Houses in dispute ends when a voice finally came from Heaven saying: “These are both the words of the living God, but the law is according to Hillel.” The reason why is because Hillel’s school always listened to and taught their opponents’ opinion first, allowing them to develop their argument. The example of Hillel would perhaps be a good one to follow in the current US elections, as indeed in all politics today. ◆ Rabbi Zvi Solomons serves the Jewish Community of Berkshire JCOB.org

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12 November 2020

Progressive Judaism

The Bible Says What? The Torah did ‘Hands, face, space’ long before Covid

Progressively Speaking Rabbi Sacks brought so much to our Jewish world BY RABBI DR ANDREW GOLDSTEIN

BY RABBI DEBBIE YOUNG-SOMERS When I was at university, I heard the Rev Malcolm Weisman, chaplain to small communities, talk about how Jews had often fared well in medieval pandemics because of our more frequent handwashing, particularly before food. I’ve never found a confirmed source for this claim, but we’ve really had the importance of handwashing rammed home to us this year. There is much in the Torah to help protect us from the spread of disease, and I suspect a lot of the language around ‘purity’ and ‘impurity’ was designed in part to prevent the spread of diseases among crowds who would be packed in together in the mishkan; the desert temple. If someone had a skin disease, a sexually transmitted disease, or a house that seemed to be infected with something contagious, quarantine was the Biblical solution. Give the sick space, let them heal and protect the community from infections. This was also used for other

categories, such as healthy bodily emissions, menstruation and sexual intercourse, but it was used and understood differently to illness, which required a sin offering to be brought. These healthy states were isolated, I would argue, for other reasons, but that’s for another time. Similarly, the Torah understood the health implications of contact with a corpse, so made it really hard to get clean after such contact in a bid to discourage it happening in the first place. Wash, keep your distance, don’t touch things that someone ill has been in contact with. The Torah seems to have understood public health management better than we might imagine for an ancient desert- dwelling society. Torah has continued to surprise me this year, as it so often does, by shedding light on our ancestors and lived reality today.

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

As president of Liberal Judaism, I share the appreciation of so many within our community, and far beyond, for the life and work and personality of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (pictured). He brought so much recognition to – and respect for – Anglo-Jewry through his erudition, his broadcasting and lectures. His intellectual contribution to modern Orthodox Judaism was immense and his wisdom and writings were appreciated by Jews and non-Jews across the spectrum of religious belief and within the secular academic world. Who could not be impressed by the erudition, humour, good sense and Jewish warmth that came over in his regular Thought For the Day broadcasts? His lectures were easy to follow, full of information and thought-provoking. His articles and commentaries were invariably interesting, often with an idea on which to base a sermon or a discus-

sion. His ability to bring classical or modern Jewish quotations, or reference to a very wide range of literature, to a talk on contemporary social issues was impressive. His books were valuable additions to modern Jewish thought and were rightly admired by the general public. One of his early books brought a certain disenchantment to the Progressive Jewish community. The Dignity of Difference was quite rightly praised for its inclusivity, but then we thought – if so open

to the truth and validity of other faiths, what about Liberal Judaism? We are not so different, but did not seem to have a place in his thinking. Of course, he also got into trouble for this book from the Charedi community. It’s not easy being a Chief Rabbi in the modern world. I recall joining him at interfaith gatherings and seeing the respect shown to him and the easy way he mixed in company. The great and the good had great respect for him and his congregants adored him. On a personal level, he was always friendly and collegial towards me. I recall several occasions when his quit wit and jokes brought peals of laughter from the congregation or audience. He was an intellectual giant, but with a human face. He brought so much to the Jewish and non-Jewish world – he will be greatly missed, above all by his wife and constant supporter, Elaine, and by his family. ◆ Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein is president of Liberal Judaism

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12 November 2020 Jewish News


Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Ask our Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Financial disclosure in divorce, making aliyah during the pandemic and private health insurance VANESSA LLOYD PLATT DIVORCE & FAMILY SOLICITOR


This week a study by the government-backed Money & Pensions Service found that 23 percent of people in relationships suspected that their other half kept a money secret; and 45 percent of those in relationships admitted to keeping an undisclosed financial product. In divorce proceedings full disclosure must be made of capital, income and assets from all sources including pensions. Whether you are making disclosure on a voluntary basis, on a ‘Form E’ document between solicitors or through the court process, you must reveal all property that you own, jointly or otherwise, bank and building society accounts, investments or trusts; , all income that you hold, or might shortly inherit, must be disclosed.


STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING Dear Stephen I’m planning to make aliyah in December but worry how Covid will effect my container shipping. Beth Dear Beth Since Covid became a reality earlier this year, ships have continued sailing worldwide

as normal and Israel is no exception. We can certainly move the container from the UK to Israel and there are weekly sailings. However, when it comes to the handling at each end of the journey, there are changes in effect. In the UK, we usually send a smaller crew (sometimes only two men) but they will then work over a longer period to export pack and load your household and personal effects either directly to the container or to one of our trucks to then load at our depot or go into store, as required. We ask that you allow our crew to work on their own with a maximum of one member of your household in the vicinity but even then

If it is shown that you have failed to disclose an asset or income that would have made a difference to the settlement then the settlement could subsequently be reopened with the consequences of this. Trying to transfer assets to relatives or friends at the start of divorce proceedings will only lead to the court deeming those assets are yours anyway. Creating false loans will be detected and will be set aside. Sometimes parties hide debt. If the financial position has arisen because of wanton expenditure then this could amount to misconduct and a deduction from the guilty party’s settlement. If as a couple you wish to address difficulties during Covid, conversations should be had about assets during your marriage and about mounting debt so that you can deal with these issues together before it is too late. socially distanced. If you have kids, please keep them in a separate room, in the garden (if you have one) or at a friend’s house with whom you have a social ‘bubble’. In Israel we are advised that we can continue to deliver to your new home but it is essential that you stay distanced from the delivery crew and in a room other than the ones into which they are delivering. If you are self-isolating then we are not allowed to deliver to the same building in which you are isolating. But, rest assured, we are currently completing our UK-Israel international moves as planned and with almost no ‘hiccups’!! Stephen

Registered Charity No. 259480

Leave the legacy of independence to people like Hayley.

eNABLeD PLease remember us in your wiLL.

Visit www.jbd.org or call 020 8371 6611


PATIENT HEALTH Dear Trevor If I contract coronavirus and become sick, how would private health insurance help? Irina Dear Irina Thank you for your question. It is important to address what the health insurers are doing to help their clients. Some insurers are providing cash benefit in

the event of hospitalisation owing to the virus, up to £5,000, which can be applied if someone is already in hospital, and contracts the virus, or is hospitalised as a direct result of it. In addition, testing can be facilitated through some of the insurers when symptoms appear. All the leading insurers now provide a free virtual GP service, which is especially valuable when the public are reluctant to attend their local surgery. Understanding that

medical issues can occur at any time of the day or night, they also provide 24 hour help lines, which are staffed by nurses who will offer the best advice. If anyone believes they should be tested, some of the insurers provide Covid-19 testing benefit, which will include an antibody and antigen tests. Clients will also have the choice as to where they would like to be tested, which is a complete end to end journey from conducting the test to providing the results with any additional support that may be required. There are costs associated with these tests although they do not affect any of the benefit limits on their plan or count towards their claims.



Jewish News 12 November 2020

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing Director, consultant specialists in affordable family health insurance. • Advising on maximising cover, lower premiums, pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists • LLB solicitors finals • Member of Chartered Insurance Institute

PATIENT HEALTH 020 3146 3444/5/6 www.patienthealth.co.uk trevor.gee@patienthealth.co.uk




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.

ADAM LOVATT Qualifications: • Lawyer with more than 11 years of experience working in the legal sector. Specialist in corporate, commercial, media, sport and start-ups. • Master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of London. • Non-Executive Director of various companies advising on all governance matters.

LITERACY SPECIALIST LTD 07940 576 286 sarah@literacyspecialist.co.uk

LOVATT LEGAL LIMITED 07753 802 804 adam@lovattlegal.co.uk



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.

SUE CIPIN Qualifications: • 20 years+ hands-on experience, leading JDA in significant growth and development. • Understanding of the impact of deafness on people, including children, at all stages. • Extensive services for people affected by hearing loss/tinnitus. • Technology room with expert advice on and facilities to try out the latest equipment. Hearing aid advice, support and maintenance.

KKL EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE COMPANY 0800 358 3587 www.kkl.org.uk enquiries@kkl.org.uk

JEWELLERY CAVE LTD 020 8446 8538 www.jewellerycave.co.uk jonathan@jewellerycave.co.uk

JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION 020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk mail@jdeaf.org.uk

• • •

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@thejngroup.com

Lloyd Platt & Co. Family Law Solicitors

We are pleased to help with all aspects of Family Law, including:

• Divorce

• Pre/Post - Nuptial Agreements



DAVID SEGEL Qualifications: • Managing director of West End Travel, established in 1972. • Leading UK El Al agent with branches in Swiss Cottage and Edgware. • Specialist in Israel travel, cruises and kosher holidays. • Leading business travel company, ranked in top 50 UK agents. • Frequent travel broadcaster on radio and TV.

CARL WOOLF Qualifications: • 20+ years experience as a criminal defence solicitor and higher court advocate. • Specialising in all aspects of criminal law including murder, drug offences, fraud and money laundering, offences of violence, sexual offences and all aspects of road traffic law. • Visiting associate professor at Brunel University.

WEST END TRAVEL 020 7644 1500 www.westendtravel.co.uk David.Segel@westendtravel.co.uk

NOBLE SOLICITORS 01582 544 370 carl.woolf@noblesolicitors.co.uk

• Cohabitation Agreements • Domestic Violence


• Children’s cases • Grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren • Pet disputes • Settlements for Cohabitees • Financial Settlement on Divorce • Family disputes To make an appointment please telephone 020

8343 2998

Lloyd Platt & Company, Third Floor, Elscot House, Arcadia Avenue, London N3 2JU Website: www.divorcesolicitors.com Email: lloydplatt@divorcesolicitors.com Regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority


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 19 years ago.

STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD 020 8832 2222 www.shipsms.co.uk stephen@shipsms.co.uk

DANCING WITH LOUISE 020 3740 7900 www.dancingwithlouise.co.uk Info@dancingwithlouise.com

12 November 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.

SOBELL RHODES LLP 020 8429 8800 www.sobellrhodes.co.uk a.shelley@sobellrhodes.co.uk

JEWISH DISPUTE SOLUTIONS 020 3637 9638 www.jewishdisputesolutions.co.uk director@jewishdisputesolutions.co.uk

GINGERBREAD HOUSE 01923 852 852 www.gingerbreadhealth.co.uk Adam.newman@gingerbreadhealth.co.uk




NAOMI FELTHAM Qualifications: • Leading currency transfer provider since 1996 with over 500 expert employees. • Excellent exchange rates on your transfers to/from Israel. • Offices worldwide, with local support in Israel, the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. • Free expert guidance from your dedicated account manager.

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.

CURRENCIES DIRECT 07922 131 152 / 020 7847 9447 www.currenciesdirect.com/jn Naomi.feltham@currenciesdirect.com

LONDON PENTHOUSE 020 7665 9604 www.londonpenthouse.com info@lphvgroup.com

MAN ON A BIKE 020 8731 6171 www.manonabike.co.uk mail@manonabike.co.uk



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.

HARRIS HOROVIZ CONSULTING & TAX LTD +972-3-6123153 / + 972-54-6449398 leon@h2cat.com

RISK RESOLUTIONS 020 3411 4050 www.risk-resolutions.com ashley.prager@risk-resolutions.com

JEWISH BLIND & DISABLED 020 8371 6611 www.jbd.org Lisa@jbd.org


ALIYAH ADVISER DOV NEWMARK Qualifications: • Director of UK Aliyah for Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation that helps facilitate aliyah from the UK. • Conducts monthly seminars and personal aliyah meetings in London. • An expert in working together with clients to help plan a successful aliyah.

NEFESH B’NEFESH 0800 075 7200 www.nbn.org.il dov@nbn.org.il

DIVORCE & FAMILY SOLICITOR 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, pet disputes, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.

LLOYD PLATT & COMPANY SOLICITORS 020 8343 2998 www.divorcesolicitors.com lloydplatt@divorcesolicitors.com

Got a question for a member of our team? LESLEY TRENNER Email: editorial@thejngroup.com Qualifications: • Provides free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed Why is the community smiling into work. about Patient Health CAREER ADVISER

Why is the community smiling about Patient Health

• Offers practical support, workshops and networking opportunities to maximise ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ALL FAMILIES job prospects. Patient Health is London’s health insurance intermediary HEALTH INSURANCE COVER of choice for WITH servicing the medical insurance needs and interests of the Community. Advising you impartially and independently and free of charge, is our legal RESOURCE responsibility, and as the insurers pay us, you don’t. 020 8346 4000 www.resource-centre.org office@resource-centre.org


Free of Charge, Instruct Patient Health to Review Your Policy

This means that you receive expert health insurance advice, free. As our client, you are our first priority, and we are a company which works with you, understanding what you actually require, to give you peace of mind when you need to Could you be paying much less? call for expert1.medical advice.

Transfer to Patient health today, for a company POLLY LANDSBERG 2. Could you enjoying that has the patience forbe every client. higher cover for less? Qualifications: Call Trevor Gee for details for transferring your policy to • Polly has worked in health and social care for more than 35 years. Could you becan paying benefi ts you do not need? a local expert,3.because if you obtainfor more cover • Has a degree in nursing and a diploma in health visiting. at a cheaper premium, why wouldn’t you call? • Polly is responsible for the day-to-day management of the palliative and end of life care service.

SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES 020 7644 9500 www.sweettree.co.uk polly.landsberg@sweettree.co.uk

Free Expert Advice 020 3146 3444 Trevor Gee 020 3146 3444 trevor.gee@patienthealth.co.uk


Jewish News 12 November 2020


12 November 2020 Jewish News



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Jewish News 12 November 2020

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016



Stirling of Kensal Green

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Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)




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

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

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closed Sunday & Monday STUART SHUSTER ‐ e‐mail ‐ stuart@churchstreetantiques.net




Sheltered Accommodation

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

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

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

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12 November 2020 Jewish News



Business Services Directory SILVER



Bespoke German Kitchens Konig experienced designers will plan, supply & install a stunning new kitchen to suit your lifestyle & budget giving you the best use of space, quality & value. Enjoy your dream kitchen - contemporary or traditional for many years.


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Jewish News 12 November 2020


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