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Rosh Pinah head writes to parents after ‘inexcusable’ Covid breach by Jenni Frazer @JenniFrazer

The furious headteacher of Rosh Pinah Primary School has condemned a decision by parents of pupils at the school to host a barmitzvah celebration for around 100 guests as “selfish, irresponsible and quite frankly inexcusable”. Jill Howson wrote to all parents at the Edgware school after it emerged that around 19 families were thought to have attended the simcha this month at an unnamed “hospitality venue”. She fumed: “I cannot even begin to express my anger and disappointment over this.” The event took place on the heels of a previous breach of restrictions, a birthday party, about which Howson had also written to parents. She pointed out that “it has not gone unnoticed the parents who hosted [the barmitzvah celebration] were one of the first to complain when our infant children were sent home for a few days, earlier in the term”. The headteacher said the school was doing its “utmost” to keep everyone safe, but that nevertheless she had had to send “a large number of children home” this week because of the risk factor surrounding infection. She herself is presently at home, in isolation, because

of having been classed as a contact of a staff member who had tested positive for Covid. She was unable, she told parents, to celebrate Christmas with her family, and her own plans for the holidays would not go ahead. Rosh Pinah has nearly 400 pupils and 70 members of staff. In her letter, written prior to strengthened measures introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last weeekend, Howson said “it does not take much to be defined as a contact”, despite the precautions the school was taking. She described herself as “very disappointed” to be writing to parents on such an issue and said “it really isn’t a lot to ask” that parents should “spend time thinking of others rather than themselves for the next few months”. Andrew Rotenberg, chairman of governors for the school, said: “The school has been focused on keeping the children safe and Jill Howson and her senior staff have done an extraordinary job. “It is not the first time she has had to send a letter reminding parents of government regulations, and we fully support her decision to call out those who have breached those regulations.” He added that in addition to the governors welcoming the letter from Howson, “parents have been overwhelmingly supportive of her move”. Disappointed: Headteacher Jill Howson

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UK SHULS CLOSED AS BRITS QUARANTINED IN ISRAEL - PAGES 2, 3 & 16


2

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

News / Israel flights

Travellers’ misery and shock Hundreds of British–Israelis are facing another week in quarantine in hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv after fears about the new strain of coronavirus provoked emergency measures as they flew back from the UK, writes Jenni Frazer. In Israel, there was utter confusion as passengers were told first one thing and then another. One woman said: “On the Easyjet flight from Luton on Sunday, people were told the regulations were changing and were given the choice of whether to leave the flight.” Those who remained were “hustled” off the plane at Ben-Gurion airport, their passports taken from them. The witness said passengers were “forced” on to coaches and driven to the internment hotels. There are thought to be almost 300 passengers in the Dan Panorama Jerusalem, including many children, and similar numbers in other hotels. The confinement is taking place under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and policed by the army. “People are under strict instruction not to leave their rooms and I have not,” one man told Jewish News. “But there are plenty of people strolling around the corridors.” Within hours of the passengers’ arrival, Anton Delin, a Londoner who runs the 8,000strong Brits Living in Israel Facebook group, coordinated donations of clothing and toiletries. “Everyone is just holed up in their rooms and are not allowed to congregate,” he said. His group was working with the Keep Olim In

PRECIOUS STONES

Volunteer Nadia Levene with essential items for arrivals in Israel forced to quarantine

Israel group, which is providing mental health programming for some of the passengers. There has also been Zoom programming aimed at the children in the hotel, including a virtual tour of the Biblical Zoo. He paid tribute to support provided by the manager of Virgin Atlantic in Israel, Nick Bettles, who, he said, “has been fantastic”. Among the beneficiaries of outside help is Ellen Steel, a Conservative Friends of Israel staffer who can see her Jerusalem apartment from the windows of her hotel. Referring to

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Delin and his helpers, she said: “The outpouring of love from total strangers is amazing.” She said all the minibar stock had been taken out of fridges in the rooms — and no alcohol was permitted, even from outside deliveries. Many people had resorted to takeaway food deliveries in the evening, she said, and many such meals had been paid for by Delin’s group. “We were told when we arrived that there would be three meals a day, but many people have simply not received adequate deliveries.” Steel said there were many strictly Orthodox people in the hotel and no one knew how they were managing. “We have all set up WhatsApp communication with each other but the charedim don’t have that facility.” Nevertheless, some people are being allowed to leave the hotel and return home, usually after applying for one of the various exemptions, such as mental or physical illness. One British citizen, Sarah Godfrey, and her seven-year-old daughter, were on Tuesday given permission to wait out the rest of their quarantine at home in Tel Aviv. Her daughter, she said, had benefited from “online English lessons” during their brief stay. She had originally intended to be in the UK for 10 days

ISRAEL HAS FOURTH ELECTION Israel’s Knesset was dissolved Tuesday night after failing to pass the 2020 budget, triggering an election that will take place on 23 March 2021. The date of the election, which will be Israel’s fourth in two years, could change through a government vote. A coalition formed earlier this year by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist Blue and White leader Benny Gantz had been shaky from the start, as Netanyahu balked at the stipulation that Gantz become prime minister after 18 months. The two also fought publicly about a range of issues.

to see her mother who has Parkinson’s and dementia but had cut short her trip when she realised the virus was spiralling out of control in Britain. Meanwhile, a group of teenagers were “in shock” this week after they were prevented at the last minute from flying to Israel for their gap year with Liberal Jewish Youth (LJY) and Reform Synagogue Youth (RSY) amid new regulations banning inward travel from the UK. The five,Tali Ehrlich, Lily Crane-Newman, and Elisheva Landau-Pope, all 19, and Evie Leibling-Blitz and Josh Freedman, 18 — had been planning their year in Israel for months. They had been assured that their status as educational trip participants would allow them to fly on Sunday. As Lily told Jewish News, the group had checked in their bags, gone through security and were waiting at the gate at Luton, ready to board their WizzAir flight. “But then they announced at the gate that people who did not have an Israeli passport would not be allowed to fly. We were separated into another queue while the airline authorities, and we, tried to find out what was going on.” Then the group had to “stand and wait while our luggage was taken off the plane”. Rabbi Charley Baginsky, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, said both the Liberal and Reform movements would be doing everything possible to get the group to Israel. The teenagers have to sit and wait. “We’d put our lives on hold for this year,” Lily said. “We really can’t believe what happened.”

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The Shnat participants ready to depart

Mother of six is killed near Jenin An Israeli mother of six was found dead in woods near her home in the West Bank on Monday in what police believe may have been a terrorist attack. Fifty-two-year-old Esther Horgen lived near Tal Menashe, a small town in the northern tip of the West Bank, near the city of Jenin. Many of the details surrounding her death are subject to a gagging order imposed by a court shortly after her body was discovered on Monday morning, the Kan national broadcaster reported. She had sustained injuries that were consistent

with severe violence, police said. They believe that a rock was used to crush her skull, Ynet reported. Police and the Israel General Security Service are searching for the perpetrators. Residents of Tal Menashe began searching for Horgen in the Reichan Forest, a popular nature reserve situated near the settlement, because she did not return for several hours from a walk she took in the area. She and her husband had two girls and four boys, the youngest of whom is 13 years old.


www.jewishnews.co.uk

24 December 2020 Jewish News

3

Pandemic latest / News

‘Magical’ chuppah set up hours before Tier 4 ban

James and Debbie with Rabbi Chapper

Photographers, hairdressers and guests – not forgetting the bride and groom – normally have months to plan meticulously for the big day, writes Tali Fraser. But Debbie Waterman and James Buckman have spoken this week of their “whirlwind� few hours as they brought their wedding forward by a day to avoid tier 4 Covid restrictions from Sunday. After Boris Johnson’s announcement on Saturday that the new rules would come into force in London at midnight, they sprang into action to invite family and friends, and organise help, for the ceremony at Borehamwood shul that night. Everyone was present who was originally meant to be there and in what James called an “overwhelming moment� a temporary chuppah was made out of a friend’s tallit, with the couple’s friends holding it up. By 10pm they were married, by Rabbi Alex Chapper. James said: “The ceremony was very special and intimate, at the heart of what a wedding is.

People on the livestream said they could feel the warmth. It ended up being better than I could have ever expected.� Rabbi Chapper said: “It was such a privilege to make it happen for them. They really wanted to get married before the midnight deadline and there was something quite magical and intimate about the lastminute and late-night chuppah.� Another couple also acted speedily to ensure their wedding took place. Chloe and Jamie Collins were originally due to marry on 6 September but had to reorganise three times due to changing restrictions. They were allowed 13 guests, 15 including themselves, but more than 100 people watched on Zoom. Chloe told the BBC: “Our rabbi had the idea to bring the wedding forward. We just started calling people... and the more calls we made the more people said ‘yes’. “It was a miracle that it just kind of came together. It felt like a dream. Some people take years to plan a wedding, but we did it in two hours.�

ONE IN THREE UNITED SHULS CLOSE DOORS A third of United Synagogue communities have announced temporary closures amid Tier 4 restrictions, despite updated guidance allowing those within the movement to stay open. US director of communities Jo Grose said: “Given the local situation varies, we know our communities will be taking careful decisions that are right for their members as they have done all year. “We know some will prefer to close while other will remain

South Hampstead shul

open and Covid-secure. We will continue to support our communities whatever decision they take, adding a range of online programmes for those which close.�

Care jabs on the way Jewish care homes in London have been assured that residents and staff will be vaccinated next month following fears of delays. Martin Machray, the city’s Covid-19 incident director, spoke to synagogue movements and major charities on Monday in a virtual meeting organised by the London Jewish Forum after concern about vaccine not being available to care homes, and Brent-

based Jewish Choice being told residents and staff might not get jabs till mid-February. Machray said “successful� trials last week meant authorities “can safely... do a vaccination programme for staff and residents�. Paula Peake, chief executive of Jewish Choice told Jewish News that “the meeting did present a little more light at the end� and she hoped that vaccines would be rolled out to them in January.

       

    

  

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

www.jewishnews.co.uk

News / Labour antisemitism / Activist tributes

Plans for complaints process Labour plans to introduce a fully independent complaints process to tackle antisemitism within the party by late 2021, writes Jack Mendel. The party published its plan for a major overhaul in response to the highly-damning report by the equality watchdog into its handling of the issue under Jeremy Corbyn. Backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the action plan published last Thursday also seeks to prevent the leader and his office from influencing outcomes and deal with a backlog of cases. The issues were cited as problems during Corbyn’s leadership by the EHRC investigation that found the party broke the law in its handling of antisemitism. Jewish groups broadly welcomed the plan developed under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, but there was a warning over the time expected for the complaints process to be put in place. The plan sets out that many independent elements of the process, which do not require an overhaul to the party rule book, will be in place by the end of April. But the full system will not be in place until “as soon as practicable after Labour Party Conference in

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Ruth Smeeth MP

September”, where the rule book changes would be made. Campaign Against Antisemitism chief executive Gideon Falter welcomed the plan, but added: “The Jewish community should be under no illusions – the action plan does not envisage an independent disciplinary process until a year from now.” However, a Board of Deputies of British Jews spokesman said: “We are realistic enough to understand that in practice this will take some time to

design, commission and implement, but this needs to be up and running as soon as possible.” Board president Marie van der Zyl said the action plan “provides a suitable basis” to move forward but that there are areas that “require further detail”. “We note Labour’s ongoing attempts to deal with this issue... We and other Jewish communal organisations will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure Labour follows through on the changes it has pledged to make.”

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Sir Keir acknowledged “there’s lots we need to do” in implementing the “very robust action plan” and added: “I’m absolutely determined to root out antisemitism in the Labour Party.” The formal response to October’s EHRC report is a major test for the party as it seeks to restore its reputation with the Jewish community. Other details include appointing external lawyers to advise on hearings and strengthening social media guidelines and due diligence checks for prospective Labour candidates. It also includes setting up an advisory board composed of members of the Jewish community to ensure transparency and increase trust in party procedures. EHRC executive director Alastair Pringle welcomed the plan as being “comprehensive” and said it “meets the recommendations” set out in the watchdog’s investigation. The Jewish Labour Movement, one of the party’s affiliated organisations, said it was pleased “we now have a new leadership committed to act” and welcomed the plan. “Our expectations will be however, as they always have been, for strong actions to follow positive words,” a spokesman said.

NEWS IN BRIEF

BOARD OF DEPUTIES BOSS MADE LIFE PEER

Sir Keir Starmer has nominated the chief executive of the Board of Deputies for a life peerage. Gillian Merron, who was appointed to her communal role in 2014, will take up her position in the House of Lords in the new year. The announcement from Downing Street includes 16 peerages, including seven nominations from Boris Johnson and five from the Labour leader. Merron, who was a Labour MP for Lincoln from 1997 to 2010, said she was “deeply honoured to have been appointed”, adding: “I have made it my life’s work to serve the country in whatever ways I can, whether in the trade unions, as MP for Lincoln, as a government minister and now alongside the outstanding lay and professional team at the Board of Deputies.”

Tributes paid to Labour activist Sir Keir Starmer has led tributes to veteran left-wing campaigner Lawrie Nerva, who has died aged 98. The Labour leader said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of his passing, calling him “a Labour member and activist since the days of Clem Attlee”. Nerva, who had a distinguished career as a local councillor in Brent, was a longserving chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). He became a vocal critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism claims in the party, but refused to leave. Nerva is survived by his wife Ruby, and children, Neil and Anne. Neil, who is himself a Brent Labour councillor, announced the sad news on Saturday, saying his father “led an amazing life”. The JLM said it was “saddened”, adding: “He was a rock of our Movement, keeping the flame of Poale Zion [JLM’s former name] alive for many years.” JLM national secretary, Peter Mason, called Lawrie a “fixture of our movement, leading us over such a long period, and overseeing our modernisation from Poale Zion to JLM. His memory will be a blessing to generations of activists who take forward

Lawrie with his wife Ruby, Louise Ellman and Adrian Cohen

what he built and cherished.” Its chair, Mike Katz, reflected on various roles Nerva held, saying he was “totally dedicated, always enthusiastic, he was a real mensch”. As well as being a local councillor, Nerva was active in the Jewish community, and represented Mosaic Liberal Synagogue (formerly Middlesex New Synagogue) in Harrow, on the Board of Deputies. MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas said he was a “wonderful man – great company and a lion for Labour”. Meanwhile, Board president Marie van der Zyl said: “His contribution to the community was outstanding.” Respects were also paid

from across the party, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan saying the Nerva “family are in my thoughts”, while the chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), and ex head of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, Richard Burden, also paid tribute. Lay chair of LFI Adrian Cohen, said: “Lawrie was imbued with the virtues of the old left and a sense of civic duty. He believed passionately in the importance of making a practical difference to people’s lives.” Former Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman said: “He had that rare ability to relate easily to people of all ages and backgrounds, always ready to listen to younger people. And they benefitted from his wisdom.”


24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Synagogue spat / Israel recognition / News

Synagogue trustees are at loggerheads with rabbi by Jenni Frazer @JenniFrazer

A bitter row has broken out in Golders Green between the trustees of the Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel synagogue, and its controversial Rabbi, Aharon Bassous. Correspondence between the trustees and the rabbi has taken an increasingly angry tone. In mid-December, the trustees wrote to the congregation’s members to say they were exploring the possibility of selling its new building, which opened only this year, because of the state of the congregation’s finances. Coronavirus, the trustees wrote, had left the synagogue, which is a charity, and affiliated to the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, “in a very precarious position”. It had expected to clear its considerable debts by hiring out its function hall, but coronavirus had put paid to that. In the meantime, Bassous had reportedly said he was resigning. But this week, a letter from the trustees to Bassous, was leaked on social media. In it, they claimed he “had chosen not to engage in any of the several mediation offers proposed by dif-

Rabbi Aharon Bassous has reportedly said he was resigning

ferent members of the community”. According to the letter, Bassous had “explicitly stated you were resigning on three occasions”, but had tried to claim the resignations were not valid. The trustees have decided to regard him as working out his notice, with his employment ending on 11 February 2021. Bassous has been informed that if he does not agree with the trustees’ actions, he could take up the matter with a Beth Din. The letter also suggested that “services were conducted apparently in

breach of Covid guidelines and against our instructions as trustees”. Trustees also claimed there had been “vandalism to the building with theft to internet and CCTV equipment which has paralysed some of the systems – including security. We have yet to investigate the matter fully and we reserve all our rights”. The trustees declined to elaborate on the letter and Bassous could not be reached for comment, but it is understood that he previously denied giving a binding notice of resignation.

HINTS OVER INDONESIAISRAEL NORMALISATION Hints have been dropped that major financial incentives are on the table to persuade Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, to recognise Israel. In an interview published on Tuesday with the Bloomberg financial news group, Financial incentives are being offered Adam Boehler, chief executive of the US Interna- ident Donald Trump’s son-intional Development Finance law and White House senior Corporation, said Indonesia adviser, Jared Kushner. Boecould come in for between $1 hler and Kushner flew on from and $2 billion more in funding Israel for talks in Morocco if it becomes the latest country with leaders including King to recognise and normalise Mohammed VI. But a congressional aide relations with Israel. Boehler told Bloomberg: with ties to the Democratic warned that “We’re talking to them about leadership it. If they’re ready, they’re because the Trump adminisready, and if they are, then tration was in its last days, the we’ll be happy to support even Indonesians may not want to more financially than what we rely on the proposed financial inducements. There was already do.” Boehler made his com- no guarantee President-elect ments in Jerusalem, where he Joe Biden would agree to any had arrived as part of a high- such “sweetener” to bring level delegation led by US Pres- Indonesia on board.

ourfreedomistheirlegacy MakeSupportingthemYours Every year, without fanfare, AJEX JMA helps veterans whose service and sacrifice represents the very best of the Jewish community. As winter draws on, the cost of food, heating and warm clothing is a worrying burden for them and their families. It is our duty and privilege to support them. Please join us in this vital work. Call 020 8202 2323 to discuss leaving a legacy to AJEX JMA. If you’d like to donate now, or find out more ways you can support our Education and Remembrance work, email headoffice@ajex.org.uk or visit www.ajex.org.uk

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News / Book launch / Dayan appointed / London guide

Lord Sacks: Tributes at launch of final book The late Rabbi Lord Sacks was described as “the grand ambassador of Judaism” at a moving event to mark the launch of his last book, Judaism’s Life-Changing Ideas. More than 6,000 people around the world watched the online presentation on Sunday night, organised by the London School of Jewish Studies and introduced by chief executive Joanne Greenaway. As Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum,dean of LSJS, recalled, Sacks – who died in November – had been student, lecturer, principal,president and honorary president of the institution. The line-up of scholars and former mentees of Sacks emphasised his legacy. Each of the 13 contributors explored a chapter of his book and expanded on one of the life-changing ideas he had highlighted, and their memories of him. Gila Fine, editor-in-chief of Maggid-Koren Publishers – which published this latest book – spoke about the “ethical will” he left, reminding viewers that “Rabbi Sacks wasn’t born Rabbi Sacks, he became Rabbi Sacks”.

‘There was no one like him’: Rabbi Lord Sacks giving a TED talk

Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, the United Synagogue’s representative in Israel, described Sacks as “the brilliant older brother I never had”. He revealed that among those who had written to the family were “two high-profile murderers in a high-security prison in England. They handwrote letters to Lady Sacks and said what a wonderful inspiration Rabbi Sacks’s Torah had been to them when it was taught to them by their chaplain in prison”. Rabbi Professor Joshua Berman, of BarIlan University, recalled a

Shabbat in Boca Raton, Florida, in which he had been able to introduce his father to Sacks. His father had Parkinson’s and was unable to go up to the rabbi himself, so Berman pointed out his father. “Rabbi Sacks walked over to my father and aid: ‘I know you are a very special man,’ ” a sentiment that touched the family. The event concluded with a tribute from Rabbi Joseph Dweck, head of the Sephardi community in London, who described Sacks as “the grand ambassador of Judaism”, adding: “There was no one like him.”

ENGLANDER IS LBD DAYAN Dayan David Shlomo Englander has been appointed as a new dayan to the London Beth Din. The Manchesterborn rabbi studied at leading institutesin America and Israel, including the Institute for Dayanim in Israel, led by Rabbi Yosef Fleischmann, where he secured the qualifications to become a dayan, or judge. Recently, he has served as dayan in two Orthodox courts in America: Bais Havaad in Lakewood, New Jersey and Kollel Harabbanim in Monsey, New York. Dayan Englander (pictured) has spent most of

his education and career in Canada and the United States, where he has built up a reputation for applying halacha in a way that is relevant to modern life. He is the author of a three-volume work covering the gamut of Jewish monetary law and is considered a world expert on the subject. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “This is a truly outstanding appointment.” Dayan Englander said he was “humbled” by his appointment, which he said was “a heaven-sent opportunity to serve the Jewish community”.

PM honours digital guide The prime minister has given his daily Points of Light award to a Jewish history volunteer tour guide for his outstanding community work. Since October, Ian Fagelson has led more than 900 people on his digital tour of London, starting with the arrival of a small community from Normandy in 1066 and ending at the Kindertransport statue at Liverpool St station. He has received charity donations in return and has raised £15,000 for Norwood and World Jewish Relief. Boris Johnson wrote to Fagelson: “As we mark the end of Chanukah,

allow me to thank you for your free tours of London’s Jewish heritage, cherishing what is not just Jewish history but British history and the fantastic contribution of our Jewish community to our great capital city. “I also want to express my admiration for all you have done – inspired by your son Jonathan – to establish The HOPE charity to support families with children with special needs.” Ian helped to set up the charity, which merged with Norwood in 2008, in the 1990s, as a parent of a child with learning disabilities.

THE JACOB FOUNDATION – THE JEWISH NEWS LIMITED

NEW TRUSTEE AND DIRECTOR ROLES The Jacob Foundation is a registered UK charity that aims to promote community and cultural development and cohesion, and the understanding and protection of shared heritage, within the UK Jewish community and between the Jewish community and wider society. The Jacob Foundation owns The Jewish News, a free-circulation newspaper title which provides comprehensive, credible and balanced reporting and sharing of community and relevant national and international news and events and acts as a respected, reliable and independent advocate and voice for the UK Jewish community. The Jewish News also acts as a critical communication vehicle for numerous other community charities. Following the recent transfer of the Jewish News to The Jacob Foundation, we are now seeking two new Trustees for the Foundation and two new non-executive Directors for The Jewish News Limited (“JNL”). These are all volunteer roles.

Time Commitment Three to four meetings per year. Trustees will also be invited to attend JNL Board meetings (10-12 per year). Directors of The Jewish News Limited The JNL Board seeks two new non-executive members to support its agenda of growth through enhancing its digital output and marketing and pursuing new revenue opportunities in print and on-line subscription, events and broader national distribution. Prior experience of UK news media and digital marketing are highly desirable, along with an interest in and understanding of the UK Jewish community. Current Directors Alex Brummer (Chair) David Bloom Adam Cannon

ROLE SPECIFICATIONS Trustees of The Jacob Foundation The Trustees ensure good governance, legal compliance, efficient administration and financial stability, and will safeguard the good name and values of the charity. Trustees act as ambassadors of the charity and it is hoped that they will use their own networks to promote the charity’s aims and activities. Trustees are invited to attend meetings of the JNL Board to provide guidance and support. Prior experience of UK news media and digital marketing are highly desirable, along with an interest in and understanding of the UK Jewish community.

Process This process is being run directly by The Jacob Foundation and the Jewish News. Applicants should notify their interest in writing by Friday 15th January 2021 to:Richard Ferrer - richard@jewishnews.co.uk

Current Trustees Robert Gibber (Chair), Alan Jacobs, Zvi Noé

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GP recognition / Antisemitism definition / News

‘Inspiration’ award for Covid fundraising GP A GP from Hendon has been given a coveted award for creating a number of schemes to relieve pressure on the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis. Along with her friend Alex Adams, Dr Sharon Raymond set up the Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation and through a crowdfunding page, which has now raised more than £115,000, helped source personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS, provide lifesaving equipment and support the most vulnerable Covid patients. Raymond, who has also been shortlisted for GP of the year, said it was “very exciting” to win the Inspirational Woman category from Inspiration Awards, adding that it was “nice to have something good happen after a lot of hard work”. She had also been nominated for the Amplifon Brave Britons Awards, which was won by Captain Sir Tom Moore, but she joked she was happy to let him have that one. The out-of-hours GP led a team of five mainly Jewish volunteers to

Dr Sharon Raymond

purchase specialist PPE for the NHS at the start of the pandemic. The team has procured and delivered nearly 50,000 items of PPE alongside medical equipment across the UK, including to Jewish Care and Hatzola. Raymond said she wanted to highlight the work the Jewish and wider community has done through different volunteering services, adding that she “hugely appreciates

their help”. It is thanks to volunteer bikers from The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club and disaster response charity Team Rubicon UK that Raymond’s foundation has distributed several hundred oximeters every week through bases at the Royal Free and Imperial hospitals. These oximeters are “vital”, Raymond said, in monitoring oxygen saturation from home and getting emergency help if levels drop too low. “For me, now, the focus should be on the homeless, the isolated and the vulnerable to get the care that they need,” she told Jewish News. As London entered Tier 4 restrictions, Dr Raymond said: “It is very important that, as a community, we are a beacon of proper behaviour [in adhering to the rules] – if we can limit the spread of the virus, we can limit the harm. “Those from every faith and no faith need to work together to protect us all.”

OXFORD UNIVERSITY ADOPTS IHRA DEFINITION Oxford has become the latest university to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition was formally adopted by the prestigious institution after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told universities they could face cuts if they refused to adopt the working definition of antisemitism before Christmas. Samuel Benjamin, president of Oxford University Jewish Society, welcomed the decision, saying: “This marks a milestone in the univer-

Oxford JSoc welcomed the decision

sity’s efforts to combat antisemitism, and serves as a significant step in safeguarding Jews on campus.”

NEWS IN BRIEF

QC MADE JUNIOR MINISTER

SHUL’S VIRTUAL PARTY

The barrister David Wolfson, QC, has been appointed junior minister at the Ministry of Justice. The unpaid post puts Wolfson on leave of absence from his chambers at One Essex Court and sends him to the House of Lords. Wolfson, who was born in Liverpool, was educated at the city’s King David High School, the Western Wall yeshiva, and Selwyn College Cambridge. He was made a QC in 2009 and is widely regarded as one of the most successful commercial lawyers at the Bar.

South Hampstead Synagogue is organising a virtual New Year’s Eve party. It will feature live music from the 1960s to the 80s, as well as jazz and popular Israeli numbers, courtesy of the Levi Levin Ensemble. Rabbi Eli Levin said: “To lift the gloom of everyone staying at home, we are hosting a spectacular interactive lounge party – and the bonus is everyone can have a l’chaim at midnight without having to worry about driving home.” The cost is £20 per household. To apply, email office@ southhampstead.org

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News / Special Siddur / Teacher tributes / Antisemitic abuse

Special Siddur for accessible services A groundbreaking new Siddur for people with learning disabilities and autism has been published this week, writes Jenni Frazer. The slim and colourful 70-page Siddur, full of songs and prayers in Hebrew and English, uses phonetics and symbols to make services more accessible. It has been published by JWeb, a new cross-communal resource founded by Deborah Gundle and Linda Goldberg, which collates information for people with learning disabilities in the Jewish community and beyond. Compiled by Gundle and Anna Perceval, the prayer book has been welcomed by Norwood and Langdon

and endorsed by the Movement for Reform Judaism. JWeb is working closely with the United Synagogue to produce a dedicated version for Orthodox communities. Many experts believe the Accessible Siddur will allow families to attend shul for the first time in years, confident that those with learning disabilities can enjoy the service, with their own prayer book. Gundle, herself the mother of a learning disabled son, was well aware of the difficulties facing parents and

Images from the Accessible Siddur

families when it comes to integration into the wider Jewish community. “The Siddur is a powerful tool in promoting social mobility for people with learning disabilities and encouraging synagogues and other organisations to make positive changes, to become more inclusive,” she said. “Copies could be given to young

‘Dame Fanny was a one-off’ Heartfelt tributes have been paid to renowned piano teacher Dame Fanny Waterman, who has died aged 100 at her residential care home in Yorkshire. Founder and President Emeritus of The Leeds International Piano Competition, Dame Fanny (pictured) was an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society. An internationally acclaimed

musician, her teaching books have sold more than three million copies worldwide. Adam Gatehouse, artistic director of The Leeds International Piano Competition, said: “[She] was a force of nature, a one-off, a unique figure in our cultural firmament who infused everyone with whom she came into contact with a passion and enthusiasm and sheer love of music that was totally impossible to resist.”

people to mark their bar or batmitzvahs, and multiple copies could be kept on synagogue shelves to be used at Shabbat services. People with learning disabilities could have their own copies to use for prayers at home or to bring to shul with them.” JWeb is rolling out the Accessible Siddur in two ways: a physical book (priced £14, available through JWeb, Amazon, and Norwood’s Kennedy Leigh Family Centre); and a free download, together with an accompanying film of a model inclusive

Shabbat service which was made with Finchley Reform Synagogue. So far there are eight synagogues and communities that offer inclusive Shabbat services across the religious spectrum. They are: Belsize Square Synagogue; East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue; Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue; Finchley Reform Synagogue; Manchester’s Menorah Synagogue; Mill Hill United Synagogue; New North London Masorti Synagogue, and the Friendship Circle. JWeb plans for the Siddur to be given out for free to those who need it, and wants to talk to other faith communities about how they reach out to learning disabled people.

PAGEANT RUNNER-UP ABUSED The runner-up in the Miss France beauty pageant received a torrent of antisemitic tweets and other online messages after telling the contest that her father is Israeli. “My mother is Serbo-Croat, my father Israeli-Italian. This gave me a passion for geography and the discerning of other cultures,” April Benayoum (pictured), ), 21, told the contest’s audience on Saturday night, according to

The Jerusalem Post. The tweets, including one in which the author wrote “Hitler forgot about you,” provoked condemnations from some of France’s top politicians, including Marlene Schiappa, the minister delegate in charge of citizenship. Schiappa wrote: “Full support to April Benayoun, who has been the target of unprecedented antisemitic hate speech.”

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News / Helping others

The drop-in centre changing lives and attitudes to Jews United Synagogue supporting asylum seekers from 30 countries including Iran, Iraq and Nigeria It’s a bright, sunny winter morning in Woodford Forest, and Kemi, from Nigeria, is talking about how she once regarded Jews, writes Jenni Frazer. We are standing in the courtyard of Woodford Forest United Synagogue. Kemi says: “In Nigeria, we believed Jews worshipped idols, and that they only dealt with other Jews.” Now, Kemi’s daughter attends Ilford Jewish Primary School, and when a friend remonstrated with her that the little girl would be learning Hebrew, Kemi robustly replied: “So what? It’s good for her to learn another language”, adding: “I’ve learnt that Jewish people don’t discriminate. They listen to us, and they help us.” Kemi is one of the hundreds of asylum seekers, mainly women, who come to the United Synagogue (US)’s drop-in centre in Woodford Forest. Pre-Covid, the centre operated monthly out of Woodford Forest and Hendon synagogues, but government regulations and Covid restrictions have meant a radical shift in service. Now it’s weekly at Woodford Forest only, in order to help the same number of people.

Under the supervision of Yael Peleg, director of strategy and development at the US, and fieldworker Hannah Gerson, a team of devoted volunteers do what they can to help the asylum seekers. Most of the women and their children live in cramped accommodation; they need basics such as food, clothes and essential toiletries, with nappies and feminine hygiene items high on the list. Once, in pre-Covid days, the asylum seekers could sort through the items; now the volunteers pack up bags of clothing according to age groups and hand them over. Food is another area that has changed dramatically. Previously, the asylum seekers – who travel to the centre from all over London – would eat a hot lunch with the volunteers. There was socialising and laughter. Now, the volunteers make 150 meals every week in the vast and wellappointed kitchen, pack and hand them out. The drop-in centres, explains Peleg, “were the first social responsibility project of the United Synagogue”, and they have been running for two years. They operate in co-ordination with asylum seeker centres under the The US-run asylum seekers drop-in centre

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auspices of the Masorti, Reform and Liberal communities. People are designated asylum seekers as soon as they arrive in Britain; they are not allowed to work but receive a tiny subsistence allowance and spend their time applying for leave to remain and to be designated “refugees”, a status that can take some time to achieve. The Jewish drop-in centres used to provide free legal and medical advice, but they have been shelved during the Covid restrictions – primarily because the discretion and sensitivity of the information would require a breach of social distancing regulations, and nobody wants to stand outside talking loudly about their private issues. The asylum seekers now have A volunteer hands out essentials to book time slots and come in 2018, after her husband fled in two at a time. They hail political opponents. She was told from more than 30 countries about the centre by others in her – Nigeria, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, hostel. “It’s a lifeline,” she says. Afghanistan and, most recently, Because it was Chanukah and a large number of Albanians. will soon be Christmas, the vol“We only take women who unteers have an extra task this have children under 16,” says Another prepares meals week – wrapping up a huge array Peleg. “There are very few men on the scene.” Each case is subject to stringent of presents for the asylum seekers’ children. The group wants the children to have toys vetting to establish they are who they say they are, usually by contact with the caseworker or and gifts so they can tell their schoolmates that they, too, are celebrating. The mainly Muslim lawyer assigned when they arrive in the UK. Roma (not her real name) is from Namibia families don’t care they are being helped by and says: “It’s a very important place for me to Orthodox Jews – they just appreciate the help. The Woodford Forest site is awash with donacome. We are starving and the food we get here makes a huge difference.” Like the other asylum tions from community members – even a shed seekers, Roma gets from Woodford Forest a onsite for bags of clothing has been donated. But reimbursement of her travel expenses and a £15 the US’ latest scheme allows people to help from Tesco voucher. She is a regular attender, Covid the comfort of their computers – http://theus. or not. “They are saving people’s lives,” she says. org.uk/toiletries – which takes the donor Mariam is from Chad and has a big grin as straight to an Amazon wish list and allows them she wheels her daughter’s buggy in to the court- to buy much-needed essentials. “We all have so yard of the shul. “I’ve just been granted leave much stuff,” Peleg says, “and these people have to remain,” she says, having arrived in Britain nothing. This is an easy way to help.”


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24 December 2020 Jewish News

11

Arab diplomacy / News

‘Secret’ Gulf diplomats are honoured A few years ago, an Israeli diplomat serving undercover in the Arab Gulf gave birth to a baby boy. This may have been the first time an Israeli citizen had been born in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “This was a family effort for the sake of advancing the ties most essential to the state of Israel,” the diplomat, who served in the Gulf between 2007-2009 and between 2012-2014, told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper last week. “We paid a not so insignificant price, but seeing the fruits of our work on the ground fills us with pride over the grain of sand that we contributed as a family to making the world a better place.” For years, Israel’s quiet diplomacy in the UAE and other Gulf states, now bursting into the open, has been one of the region’s worst kept secrets. But the names and stories of the 20 or so women and men who drove these clandestine efforts still largely remain under wraps. Their covert efforts are credited with laying the groundwork for US-brokered agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, allowing them to now take a tentative half-step into the spotlight. Last Thursday, the Foreign Ministry held a ceremony honouring the diplomats who over the past two decades served in cities across the Gulf, bringing part of their stories into the open, although their names are still kept quiet. “The peace today is built on the personal relations we’ve built over years,” an unnamed diplomat said at the Jerusalem ceremony, according to a statement provided to The Times

The Abraham Accords signing by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Right: The Israeli Foreign Ministry honours diplomats who worked in the Gulf

of Israel by the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said “the signing of the Abraham Accords led to the revelation of some of the activities, after two decades in which it was forbidden to talk about you”. While across town, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking about the symbolism of Chanukah as it related to the newly announced diplomatic deal with another Arab state, Morocco, Ashkenazi also found the timing of the ceremony during the Festival of Lights to be freighted with meaning. “This is a wonderful time to shine a light on those who worked away from the spotlight,” he said. “I hope that in the near future we will be able to reveal [to the full extent] the important

activities you have done for the state of Israel. You are the spearhead of Israeli diplomacy.” The Foreign Ministry declined several interview requests and did not even allow for the publication of the names of any of the diplomats who were honoured for serving in the Gulf, citing security concerns. But in private conversations, some of them revealed that they have fascinating stories to tell of their years serving secretly in the Arab world, some of which will probably only be made public years from now. What we already know is that while serving in the Gulf, the diplomats operated with false identities, often pretending to be businesspeople, a cover story allowing them to help build trade ties while pushing diplomatic initiatives.

Even with diplomatic ties now in the open, that expertise will continue to come in handy, aiding the burgeoning trade relationship. As with other postings, those stationed in the Gulf often brought their families along, or started them there. One diplomat said she met and fell in love with her future husband while on a secret mission. “In the unlikeliest place, where you could count the number of Israelis on one hand, we found each other. Our family was born in the Gulf,” she recalled. “Peace did not suddenly fall from the sky,” she continued. “It’s a lot of work by a lot of people over many years. It’s great to see how the state now reaps the seeds of peace we sowed at the time.”

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World News / Rabbi visit / Extremist sentenced

Israeli chief visits Dubai Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi became the first in his position to visit an Arab country last weekend, when he spent Shabbat in Dubai and inaugurated the community’s nursery school. Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef began his three-day visit by unveiling the Mini Miracles school before viewing plans and the proposed site for a mikveh. It marked another milestone in the burgeoning ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following normalisation with the Jewish state in the summer and more than 70,000 Israelis have visited since then. In a special ceremony at Dubai’s Jewish Community Centre after Shabbat on Saturday, the chief rabbi celebrated the official recognition by the UAE of the country’s flourishing Jewish community. The ceremony marked the first certification granted to a synagogue in the Emirates, the Beit Tefillah Synagogue in Abu Dhabi, and of the community’s Lubavitch rabbi, Levi Duchman. During the ceremony, Chief Rabbi Yosef expressed his appreciation to the Emirati royal family and government for its care for the wellbeing of the Jewish community.

Rabbi Levi Duchman with Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef

Rabbi Duchman said: “The visit of the chief rabbi is as historic as it is a great honour for us to host him. “We are excited to welcome him as we break ground on several of our new institutions, which are being constructed with the swiftness and efficiency for which the UAE has become world-famous.” During his visit, Yosef toured a newly opened kosher restaurant by the Burj Khalifa building and inspected a kosher poultry slaughterhouse. Daniel Seal, a Jewish commu-

nity spokesman for Abu Dhabi, said: “This visit epitomises the historic achievements of the past months. With gratitude to Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, we are now able to celebrate a new era of cooperation in the region, and we are setting out to ensure that Jews who come to work or visit in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and across the Emirates, will have access to Jewish institutions and services.” The chief rabbi also met government and faith officials in Abu Dhabi before his return to Israel.

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Halle killer jailed for life The far-right extremist who tried to heavy front door, which is now being shoot his way into the synagogue in repurposed into a memorial, kept him Halle, Germany, on Yom Kippur last out. He then shot and killed two people year has been sentenced to life in at a nearby kebab shop. Josef Schuster, the head of Germaprison for the murder of two people, multiple counts of attempted murder ny’s Central Council of Jews, wrote in a statement the verdict “makes clear and racial incitement. Stephan Balliet, 28, was sentenced that murderous hatred of Jews is met on Monday by the regional court of with no tolerance”. The Community Security Trust Naumburg in Magdeburg, near Berlin, and was denied the option of an early said: “This was an appalling terrorist attack on a synagogue on Yom Kippur release after his first 15 years in prison. The sentence he received is there- and our thoughts are with the victims fore unlimited, pending his death or of Stephan Balliet’s murderous hate. “We are pleased he has received a health-related changes in the conditions of his incarceration. It is the life sentence, especially given his lack harshest prescribed punishment of remorse. The fact Balliet failed to gain entry to the synagogue due to in the German criminal code, the front door being closed is DPA reported. a reminder that good secuDuring the monthsrity can sometimes be long trial, Balliet said he the difference, literally, carried out the attack between life and death.” because he believed Board of Deputies Jews were his “enepresident Marie van mies”. In his closing der Zyl said: “After the argument earlier this murderous rampage in month, Balliet denied Halle last year, this was the Holocaust several absolutely the correct times, ignoring the Guilty: Stephan Balliet verdict. European judge’s warning that states must confront anti-Jewish doing so was illegal. On 9 October 2019, Balliet turned hatred with every means at their disup at the Halle synagogue with the posal. Our full solidarity with the Zenintent of murdering congregants tralrat der Juden in Deutschland and praying inside, prosecutors say. The the German Jewish community.”

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

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24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Shechita concern / Book project / Dialogue initiative / Diaspora News

Jewish leaders decry EU court ruling on shechita Jewish leaders have reacted with dismay after Europe’s highest court upheld a Belgian ban on non-stun slaughter, with some warning that the verdict will be felt by Jews across Europe, including Britain. In an ominous warning, shechita (kosher slaughter) defenders in the UK said it could have an impact on British Jews too, even after Britain leaves the EU. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision, announced last Thursday, relates to a ban implemented in the regions of Flanders and Wallonia last year. Belgium’s constitutional court had already sent it to the EU’s top court in Luxembourg. The ruling allows other EU states to insist animals are stunned before slaughter, including for halal and kosher meat, even though stunning before slaughtering is forbidden under Jewish and Muslim law. Jewish leaders said it was “a fundamental attack on the basic rights of Jewish religious expression and practice” and “a disgrace”. Announcing its verdict, the ECJ said: “In order to promote animal welfare in the context of ritual slaughter, EU Member States may require a reversible stunning procedure which cannot result in the animal’s death.” Shimon Cohen, campaign director for Shechita UK, described the ECJ ruling as “very significant to the UK Jewish community, even post Brexit”. He said: “It is the first time a court of the ECJ’s standing has upheld a ban on religious slaughter and will be taken seriously internationally. We are disappointed with the ruling and will be working to understand the long-term implications.” European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said: “The right to practice our faith and customs, one that we have been assured over many years was granted under European law, has been severely undermined by this decision.” Representatives from the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organisations in Belgium (CCOJB) have been working with their Muslim counterparts to overturn the ban since it was announced by Flemish

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The Dutch government is to get a national coordinator to tackle antisemitism. Announcing the new position, the justice minister said the role holder will advise on legal issues and take responsibility for protecting Dutch Jews, including from online antisemitism. ‘This is not a battle we leave to the Jewish community alone,’ he said.

The European Court of Justice upheld a Belgian decision to ban non-stun slaughter

lawmakers in July 2017. However, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said its effects “will be felt by Jewish communities across the continent”, adding: “The bans have already had a devastating impact on the Belgian Jewish community, causing supply shortages during the pandemic, and we are all very aware of the precedent this sets, which challenges our rights to practise our religion.” Flanders and Wallonia are not the only European regions in which lawmakers have sought to ban a practice most veterinary associations deem cruel, with moves to do likewise in Wales last year. In its ruling, the ECJ acknowledged the difficulty of balancing freedom of religion, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, and animal welfare, as set out in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, signed in 1957, and one of two treaties forming the EU’s constitutional basis.

Daniel Schwammenthal of the Brussels-based AJC Transatlantic Institute, said it “effectively bans ritual and kosher slaughter”, while Hungary’s deputy prime minister, Zsolt Semjén, called the ruling a “disgrace”. A Defra spokesperson said: “We are aware of the European Court of Justice ruling on the ban on animals being slaughtered without prior stunning in the Flanders area of Belgium. This does not alter the UK’s long-established position on religious slaughter.” Jewish leaders were surprised by the verdict because in September, Advocate General to the ECJ Gerard Hogan called on it to “respect the deeply-held religious beliefs of adherents to the Muslim and Jewish faiths by allowing for the ritual slaughter of animals in this manner”. CCOJB president Yohan Benizri said the decision to ignore Hogan’s advice was “not only disappointing but undemocratic” and added that it would “pursue every legal recourse to right this wrong”.

The Jewish community in the Balkan state of North Macedonia has published an open letter urging the Bulgarian government to recognise its role in deporting 8,000 Jews from Macedonia during the Holocaust. US Holocaust historians say Bulgarian soldiers blockaded Macedonian towns in 1943 to prevent Jews from escaping.

City officials in Rio de Janeiro have inaugurated a 72-foot Holocaust memorial tower overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain. The tower is divided into 10 parts representing the 10 commandments, with the words ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ written at its base. A large underground space houses a high-tech interactive learning exhibition.

The tiny Jewish community of Casablanca celebrated an extra special Chanukah this year, hailing the ‘miracle’ of the country’s new ties to Israel. An event with the US ambassador marked both the festival and the news that Morocco’s king had agreed to normalise relations, the fourth Arabmajority country to do so in as many months.

THOUSANDS OF BOOKS ARE SENT FOR CHANUKAH The international project sending books with Jewish themes to families with children across the world celebrated its fifth birthday in Russia last week and hosted an online Chanukah party for 600 families. PJ Library is the books-to-homes initiative established in the US by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which extended around the world. This month, the team in Russia send out a record 10,000 copies of Golem’s Latkes

by Eric Kimmel. The initiative, supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), has sent out more than 300,000 books in Russia and helped inform young Jewish populations. GPG chief executive Marina Yudborovsky said: “During this Chanukah, the programme reached thousands of families, providing them much-needed support that is not only educational, but a source of comfort, continuity and connection when they are most needed.”

Initiative aims to halt drift of Israeli and diaspora Jews A ‘roadmap’ to boost links between Israel and diaspora Jews has been endorsed by Reuven Rivlin at a Jerusalem ceremony featuring Grammy winner Jess Glynne. Israel’s head of state backed the ‘Declaration of Our Common Destiny’ during a virtual event last Thursday, during which the British-Jewish Grammy winner’s image was projected onto the old city walls, alongside Israeli star Idan Raichel. The declaration, initiated by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) to lay out a ‘roadmap for the Jewish future’, is intended to halt the drift between Israeli and diaspora Jews, and “prioritise common ground”, amid a warning of “alienation and indifference” between Jews in and outside Israel. The venture has had the input of tens of thousands of Jews around the world through an online survey.

At the ‘Illuminate: A Global Jewish Unity’ event, Rivlin called “upon all of our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world to respond to this call for unity, for dialogue, for mutual responsibility”. He urged Jews around the world to “join us in this dialogue that’s based upon mutual respect, good will and the search for common ground and common destiny”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined senior cabinet officials in signing the declaration. Other signatories include Defence Minister Benny Gantz, Omer Yankelevich, who is responsible for Diaspora Affairs, and Knesset member Naftali Bennett. It was also signed by Mikhail Fridman, the co-founder and trustee of GPG, which launched Our Common Destiny initiative in partnership with the Israeli

Musicians Idan Raichel and Jess Glynne

Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, under the auspices of Rivlin’s office. Fridman said: “This ailment of discord, of conflict, of ever-shrinking common ground

threatens the very survival of Jewish peoplehood. I fear that for the first time we are facing the real risk of losing the meaning of the basic tenet of our existence – mutual responsibility. “Those who sign the Declaration,” he said, “sign a contract with themselves and with our people. This contract must be fulfilled through action – a determined effort to improve our unity, to find new ways to help and contribute to each other, to learn from each other, to listen – really listen – to each other.” Our Common Destiny CEO Sanford Cardin said the declaration “will shape how the Jewish people relate, empower, and engage with one another now and for generations to come”, adding that “Jewish unity has always found its expression in Jewish efforts for a common good”.


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Jewish News 24 December 2020

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS

1190

Let’s thank the heroes of this annus horribilis When the Queen addresses the nation tomorrow for the second time this year, she will no doubt reflect on another annus horribilis. Not just for her and her family, this time, but for the country and the world. The year 2020 will go down in the history books as one of unprecedented loss – of more than a 1.5 million lives cut short by a rampaging virus (including more than 600 from our community), of businesses facing repeated shutdowns, of human contact even in life’s most painful and joyous moments. Few things could have fitted this year’s miserable script more aptly than a mutant strain of the virus that forced new restrictions on millions, isolated Britain from her neighbours, closed synagogues and even prevented Christmas gatherings. As Jews, we know full well how hard it can be to be separated from our loved ones on occasions when families usually gather, such as Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. But this is also a moment to reflect on the scientific breakthroughs that now provide a path out of this nightmare; few dared to dream that today we’d be publishing stories about Holocaust survivors receiving a vaccine with such high efficacy or that it would soon be rolled out across our care homes. Crisis has also brought out the best in many: from the carers and healthcare workers who have spent months on the frontline to those who have gone above and beyond to help neighbours and strangers alike. This will be a festive season without the trimmings, but we shouldn’t forget to count our blessings to live among such heroes. With their help, and the growing détente spreading across the Middle East that we’ve been so thrilled to cover in recent weeks, let’s hope for a speedy recovery for all those suffering and a healthier, happier and more peaceful 2021. CONTACT DETAILS Publisher and Editor Richard Ferrer 020 8148 9703 richard@jewishnews.co.uk

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Your strange and upsetting love affair with Chelsea Football Club The bemusing love affair between your newspaper and Chelsea Football Club appears to know no bounds. Strange, really, as this is a football club that appears to make not enough real effort to address, combat or eradicate antisemitism and antisemitic behaviour by its own fans at home and away games as well as on the internet. Antisemitic chanting from Chelsea supporters was heard outside Stamford Bridge at the recent home game against Tottenham Hotspur and this has been reported to anti-racist organisations. Are you aware of that? Frank Lampard appeared in a film about the Y-word in 2011 condemning the use of that term as being both antisemitic and provocative and

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Shabbat goes out Saturday night 4.51pm

ENVOY WRONG ABOUT NAKBA The Abraham Initiatives works for a shared and equal society in Israel – essential to peace and prosperity for all Israel’s citizens, Jews and Arabs alike. That Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, said the Nakba – the forcible displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians around the 1948 founding of the state of Israel – is a “very strong and very popular Arab lie” is counterproductive and deeply disappointing. The Nakba resulted in deaths, depopulation of many hundreds of formerly Palestinian villages and tens of thousands of refugees to Lebanon and Jordan. Its denial creates a further obstacle to peace and to positive Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. We invite the ambassador to join a discussion of the issue with Jewish and Arab-Israelis, aimed at respectful dialogue.

Alex Brummer, chair of trustees Abraham Initiatives (UK)

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Printed in England: West Ferry Printers Limited Published by: The Jewish News & Media Group. www.thejngroup. com. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form of advertising without prior permission in writing from the editor. Registered as a newspaper by Royal Mail. The Jewish News reserves the right to make any alterations necessary to conform to the style and standards of The Jewish News and does not guarantee the insertion of any particular advertisement on a specified date or at all – although every effort will be made to meet the wishes of the advertisers. Further it does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by an error or inaccuracy Member of in the publication of an advertisement. Signatures of both parties involved are sometimes required in the case of Audit Bureau some announcements. An order for an advertisement shall amount to an acceptance of the above conditions. Hotels, products and restaurants which are not supervised are marked with an [N]. The Jewish News reserves the right to edit of Circulations letters for size and content without prior consent. Submission of letters is no guarantee of publication.

“Does Grandma call me ‘Bubbelah’ because I’m in her bubble?”

I was surprised to read Norwood was restructuring its services to focus on “disability alone”. This is wholly incorrect and I want to reassure the community that, in addition to beefing up our offer of life-

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inciting antisemitic behaviour. That’s nine years ago now and this behaviour still goes on. You remain strangely silent on the issue of the Y-word. It’s very strange and upsetting behaviour all round. Exhibitions and glitzy dinners are all very well in theory (albeit worthy in themselves), but the constant antisemitic behaviour from some Chelsea fans and the causes thereof should be dealt with and addressed properly and effectively by Chelsea Football Club on the ground where they actually happen. That’s the point you should be making, both to Chelsea and to your readers, which you seemingly fail to do. Jonathan Metliss Chairman, Action Against Discrimination

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

Opinion

I'm happy when Chanukah and Christmas coincide ALEX BRUMMER

CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL

C

hristmas is difficult for Jews at the best of times. The forced bonhomie, avalanche of cards with sacred images, the endless parties and apparent obligation to sip sherry are all part of the holiday season experience but not our own. One of my office duties has been to order the office cards, fix the party venue and menu and make sure the Secret Santa is in hand. It seemed to me that one of the few benefits of living through a pandemic was that social if not sacred Christmas would be cancelled and all these familiar rituals bypassed. That has now happened, but the clamour for Christmas normality before Tier 4 was intense. For weeks, as the infection and deaths from coronavirus accelerated, the determination to save the holiday grew louder. Quietly, I was reminded how little knowledge and sympathy there was for postponed seder celebrations, stripped down Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

not to mention a locked down Ramadan and Diwali. The Christmas dilemma for most of us brought up in the secular world can be intense. For those Jewish families living in parts of north London and Manchester and sending their children to Jewish schools, it is possible to shield. That is, unless one turns on the TV or radio or heads to the supermarket or shopping centre where it is impossible to escape the jollity. It has always been good fortune for Jewish families that our own more ancient festival of Chanukah often falls in this season. The rituals of lights, dreidel spinning, gelt, latkes and doughnuts provide a wonderful alternative. But somehow the joyousness and music lacks the grandeur of its Christian counterpart. Indeed, many in Anglo-Jewry seek the best of both worlds. A couple of years back, I was invited to take part in the singular honour of reading a lesson at the journalists annual carol concert at St Bride's Church off Fleet Street. Before accepting the mitzvah, I made two requests: my reading should be from the Old Testament (the curate came up with a section from Isaiah on the coming of the Messiah!)

IT SEEMED TO ME ONE OF THE FEW BENEFITS WAS THAT SOCIAL CHRISTMAS WOULD BE CANCELLED and I didn’t have to bow to vestry. Both asks were respected. In Britain, Jews are used to navigating this stuff. In the past, many of the family gatherings over the holiday included the turkey or goose dinners without the festive crackers and bacon. I remember that my father, as a kosher butcher, was as busy with turkeys at Christmas as he was with poultry over the High Holy Days. Parallel traditions, living side by side, were brilliantly represented in Tom Stoppard’s play, Leopoldstadt where, in pre-war Austria, the Chanukiah was temporarily perched on the top of an oversized Christmas tree. Growing up in Brighton, my brother and I and friends had our own holiday rituals. As long as Boxing Day didn’t clash with Shabbat, it was a trip to Hove Greyhound Stadium in the morning, lunch at home before heading to the old Goldstone Ground to watch Brighton &

Hove Albion play. Years later, when we would visit my in-laws in Cardiff, it became a tradition to drive the short distance to Caerphilly Castle to watch huntsmen, in their bright red coats, sipping hot toddies as the restless hounds awaited the sound of the bugle. This year, we had a new dilemma. In our largely non-Jewish street, the neighbourhood app, which has grown to maturity in the pandemic, suggested everyone brighten their lives with fairy lights in the front garden. As the lights went on up and down the street, our darkened house, on the eve of Chanukah, was the odd one out. My response was a visit to Amazon, some blue lights in the bushes, which would be lit for the duration of our festival. That is another one of those compromises we all make as we seek to affiliate, not assimilate, with the society around us. Happy holidays, keep well and a healthy 2021.

Jews and Christians have lots to talk about RABBI ALEXANDER GOLDBERG & JONATHAN REYNOLDS MP

T

here is such a thing as a society. If anything links Jewish and Christian teachings, it’s this common understanding. The late and deeply missed Lord Sacks said of society that it was more than the market or the state, "it’s about culture and shared values". Britain’s shared values are based on a sense of fairness, justice, the rule of law and social solidarity in the face of adversity, giving all a social safety net and free healthcare. This last value has come to the fore in the past few months as we rediscovered that sense of community, supporting each other through these dark months of the pandemic. It’s why we as a nation value the NHS and will never let it be dismantled or privatised by those who wish to place profit before people. Historically in Britain, we have championed the idea of community, rejecting other political models that place excessive emphasis on individualism or an overly powerful state over community. That’s why we in Britain defend public services, democracy and the freedom to make choices for ourselves where

they do no harm to others. Many of these shared values find their root in our religious communities, from our common teachings that we have a responsibility towards each other. It comes from that basic idea that all human beings are special, created in the same image, a sacred image. The Torah, the Qur'an, the Bible, the Talmud in turn teach us that it is for that reason that we cannot allow someone to suffer, and that we must feed, clothe and look after them when they are not well. These shared values found their way into Jewish and Christian thinking on the left. They underpin our Labour views. It’s why the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson was purported to have said that the Labour Party ‘owes more to Methodism than Marxism’. There has always been a quiet dialogue between faith groups on the left: an exchange of ideas about values forged in our collective faith. When Stephen Timms headed the Chris-

tian Socialist Movement and was a government minister, he organised a meeting with a Jewish delegation. After the usual pleasantries and a discussion on the challenges facing the Jewish community, he turned to two Jewish representatives and said: “I have a question for you and have been wondering about this for a while. This bar and batmitzvah process, this idea of becoming adult, of taking responsibility for those in your community: is it possible to open up this idea and make it public policy?" The answer is it’s worth talking about. Christians and Jews are used to talking: archbishops of Canterbury, chief rabbis, cardinals and other senior bishops and rabbis have engaged in interfaith dialogue for more than 80 years; our children engage in shared activities and school linking programmes. It seems natural to extend this to the sphere of politics. Members of the Jewish Labour Movement

and Christians on the Left along with others of faith within the Labour Party already have common ground: we know that discrimination, that antisemitism and racism are wrong, they are sinful, not kosher. We come from communities whose institutions have worked tirelessly to develop new ideas to promote social justice, solve housing shortages and worked to bring children out of poverty; and in previous generations, we developed new communal structures to support those in our community facing similar social and economic crises to the one we are facing during and in the aftermath of the pandemic. Faith communities developed new training institutes, credit unions and local schemes that put people back into work and helped new businesses to grow. We did so ethically in order to create a fairer, more equal society. We can and will do again. Perhaps now is the time to do it together.

THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A QUIET DIALOGUE BETWEEN FAITH GROUPS ON THE LEFT – AN EXCHANGE OF VALUES AND IDEAS


24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

Opinion

The revolution taking place in Arab schools RABBI DAVID ROSEN KSG CBE

INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF INTERRELIGIOUS AFFAIRS WITH THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE

T

here were good times and bad times for Jews under Muslim rule, but we experienced incomparably less persecution and demonisation in Muslim societies than in Christian ones. Indeed, they were protected by Muslim law as “people of the Book”. But the conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbours led to an Islamic demonisation of Israel and Jews. This conflict has served as something of a lightning rod for historical and contemporary resentments in the Muslim world that have little or nothing to do with Israel, Jews or Judaism. Nevertheless, over the past century, the Muslim world has increasingly adopted antisemitic tropes, while the Christian world started to radically purify itself of these. Ideas of Jewish conspiracies and publications of scurrilous fabrications, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have been overwhelmingly disseminated in recent decades within the Muslim world, and generations of

young Arabs have been fed a diet of hostility towards Jews (despite the disingenuous yet widespread claim that the hostility is only directed at “Zionists” and not Jews). Accordingly, one cannot overstate the significance of the recent dramatic educational changes taking place in the Arab world. Textbooks, particularly in Saudi Arabia, had described the Jewish people as a wicked nation, characterised by bribery, slyness, deception, betrayal, aggression, and arrogance, and portrayed Jews as a corrupting force in Arabia even before the birth of Islam. The Jews were generically described as having cooperated with Muhammad’s enemies after the emergence of Islam, for which they were punished with exile and more and were accused of having caused harm throughout world history. But a just-released study by Dr Eldad Pardo for IMPACT-se has revealed fundamental changes have been made in Saudi textbooks. Internal, regional, and international factors have all contributed to this change. The previous Saudi monarch, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, had started to encourage a more accepting and embracing approach including establishing an institution for internal Saudi dialogue and a global initiative for interreligious dialogue from the Muslim world to the

THERE IS A GROWING RECOGNITION ANTI-JEWISH SENTIMENT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH PROGRESS

religions of the globe. These changes in Saudi education materials have enormous significance well beyond the confines of the kingdom. Notable education developments have taken place elsewhere in the Arabian Gulf, in particular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Even before the recent signing of the historic Abraham Accords with Israel, the UAE had assumed a prominent role in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue from within the Arab world. The formal recognition a year ago of the small Jewish community in the UAE, and the overwhelming social and media support for the Abraham Accords, naturally have a powerful impact upon public perceptions of Jews, Judaism and Israel. But arguably the most exemplary development in the Arab world in the field of educational, especially as it relates to the Jewish People and its tradition, has been in Morocco. The heritage of Moroccan Jewry has remained largely unknown in modern times to

the populace, but in recent years some notable steps have been taken. At King Mohammed VI’s personal intervention, Jewish cemeteries around the country have been repaired, restored, and protected; and Casablanca’s Jewish museum, the first of its kind in the Arab world, and the nearby synagogue were renovated. Imams are required to undergo educational training to learn about Christianity and Judaism and now the kingdom has introduced a formal curriculum into schools teaching about the history and legacy of Moroccan Jewry. These developments indicate that, even more than a desire to advance diplomatic interests, there is a growing recognition that antiJewish sentiment and ignorance are incompatible with progress and prosperity. They reflect recognition of the necessity to effect a positive change in the mindsets of young people in order to promote peace and advance well-being in their own countries and their place in the commonwealth of nations.

Finally, ministers show teeth in fight against online hate MARIE VAN DER ZYL PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DEPUTIES

T

hroughout the centuries, antisemites have always seized on the key communication mediums of the day and warped these to their hideous purpose. The online space is no different. Antisemites have taken a key advantage of the online era – being able to meet people around the world – and used it to identify like-minded Jew-haters and recruit new members to their cause. This is a serious concern for our community. In a period where vast swathes of the population are confined to their own homes and spending more time online, those who hate us are busy recruiting. Last month, the UK’s head of counter-terrorism policing warned of growing concern at the rise in online radicalisation during the pandemic. Hatred of “the other” is a core part of radicalisation, whether on the far-right or among jihadists. And all too often, we Jews are that “other”. This week, the far-right terrorist

who tried and failed to break into a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Yom Kippur last year, subsequently murdering two people nearby, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He streamed his attacks on social media platforms. In the UK, there is now a way to fight back. The websites and social media companies that have, through inaction, allowed their networks to be used to spread hate are being targeted by a new law that could drastically reduce the spread of antisemitism online – if focused effectively. Last week, the government published its response to the Online Harms White Paper, providing further information on its intentions for the forthcoming Online Harms Bill. The response makes it clear the government is treating this subject seriously. The legislation “will apply to any in-scope company that provides services to UK users, regardless of where it is based in the world”. Additionally, “enforcement powers have been designed to be able to be used against companies with and without a physical or legal presence in the UK”. In other words, it doesn’t matter if your company is based in Silicon Valley with its European headquarters in Dublin; if it has UK

users, it will be liable under this new legislation. Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, will also take on responsibility for the online sphere. It will be able to levy steep fines – something the Board of Deputies called for – of up to £18 million or 10 percent of global annual turnover on companies that fail to comply with its directives. In extremely serious cases, senior managers of such companies could even face criminal charges. This is clearly a bill with teeth – as such, it is vital these punishments also be in place for companies that fail to take antisemitism seriously. The Board of Deputies has made it clear that for this to happen, Ofcom will need to adopt the International Holocaust Remem-

OFCOM SHOULD ADOPT THE IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM

brance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and judge the companies’ protection of Jewish users against that standard. Had something of this sort been in place earlier, we and other Jewish communal organisations might not have had to spend years pleading with social media companies to ban Holocaust denial. Requests to ban high- profile social media accounts that were spreading virulent antisemitism might have been responded to in minutes rather than days, weeks or months. And numerous reported examples of obvious hate might not have been met with the standard response that “this post/tweet/video does not violate our community standards”. Additionally, it is important social media companies be required to appoint UK teams to moderate UK users suspected of breaching community guidelines; they are more likely to have political, cultural and linguistic context for cases than a team based elsewhere in the world. We will continue to stress to the government and to Ofcom, the vital importance of ensuring the Online Harms Bill cracks down on online hate. Failure to do so would be a missed opportunity of catastrophic proportions.


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24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Community / Scene & Be Seen

1 SCOUT MEET-UP

During Chanukah, the 20th Finchley Scout group got together over Zoom to make doughnuts. While it is tradition for the children to get together on Chanukah, because of coronavirus restrictions, the group made the most of the situation virtually and were very happy to see each other. One of the children told the scout group: “Thank you so much for everything over the past few months. I have had a fantastic time.”

2 TOY COLLECTIONS

And be seen!

The community came together to ensure children in hospitals still received Camp Simcha toys this December. With Covid-safe collections, community drop-off points and an online Amazon Wishlist, there was a huge response to its ‘Be a Hero, Donate a Toy for a Child in Hospital’ campaign. Some 10,000 toys have been delivered to more than 120 hospital wards, hospices and community teams. Camp Simcha’s head of services, Daniel Gillis, said: “With hospital playrooms closed due to Covid, no visitors allowed and a one-parent policy, it was more important than ever that our Toy Drive was a success this year. We are so grateful to all those who donated, collected and volunteered for us.” Syreeta Gibbons, healthcare play specialist at Homerton Hospital, said: “Camp Simcha still managed to make the Toy Drive happen. Because of these wonderful gifts, the children and young people will have a happy holiday season.”

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

3 CHANUKAH CELEBRATIONS

The Aleph Centre held a virtual family Chanukah lighting, featuring an award-winning magician who impressed the children with mind-reading and illusions. The group enjoyed a Chanukah game show and shared their own presentations of Maccabee diary entries and news reports, before the winners of the create-your-own Chanukiah competition were announced. Chayli Fehler, director of education, said: “We were delighted to see so many Aleph Centre families coming together to celebrate Chanukah and enjoy the festivities with their friends and teachers.”

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CARING GIFTS

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Children brought light to older people supported by Jewish Care this year by making personalised Chanukah cards and sending 80 gifts to home residents. After opening her mindfulness colouring gift, Eveline Baer, a resident of Sidney Corob House, said: “I haven’t been doing much colouring lately. I’ve been missing it, but I will start again now. Thank you very much, I am very grateful. The present uplifted my spirit.”

5FESTIVAL DRIVE-IN

More than 300 cars attended the Chanukah Drive in, led by Rabbi Odom Brandman from Buckhurst Hill Chabad. Guests were entertained by bands, magicians, fire jugglers and singing and were given goodie bags of sweets and doughnuts. A giant menorah made out of chains was created for the occasion, to represent the pandemic with light as hope coming through for the future. Brandman was supported by Rabbis Aryeh Sufrin MBE, Yossi Posen and Mordechai Wallenberg. Sufrin said: “This was a fantastic and successful event marking the festival of Lights. Thank you to everyone who helped make this such a memorable evening during this very difficult period in our lives.”

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

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24 December 2020 Jewish News

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23

Film / Weekend

Marc Shoffman speaks to the filmmaker couple behind a documentary about the economy and how society runs on a creditocracy

Daniel Edelstyn and Hilary Pow ell wanted to expose the ‘sha

dows of the financial system’

Financial injustice revealed P arents often tell their children that money doesn’t grow on trees, but an artist and film-maker couple want to uproot that idea by showing how people can take back control of their money and beat the banks. Inspired by the Strike Debt movement in the US, which aims to cancel all student debt, Daniel Edelstyn and his wife Hilary Powell, embarked on a journey to highlight how the financial system has pushed us to live in a creditocracy – a world that operates on credit – rather than a democracy. Their quest is documented in a book, Bank Job, released in September and they have just produced a documentary charting how they set up a bank, sold their own notes with the faces of local heroes and used the proceeds to purchase £1.2million of debt to blow up. The pair aim to show just how easily money can be created and that debt can be forgiven or at least extinguished. Film-maker Edelstyn argues that unnecessary austerity measures have created falling incomes amid rising rents and house prices that are pushing people into debt through necessity rather than frivolity, with little support if they struggle to repay. In contrast, he argues, banks work

for the benefit of their shareholders rather than their borrowers and have been able to access state bailouts when their own lending and financial management goes wrong. Much of their motivation to challenge the status quo can be found in the pair’s upbringings. Powell describes growing up in a tax haven in the Isle of Man and being told she didn’t fit in as she waited tables among the so-called elites while attending Oxford University. Edelstyn’s father, George, was a famous cancer pioneer, founding Irish charity Action Cancer and was the first to promote combination chemotherapy for the disease. He is described in the book as being terrible with money and leaving the family with debts. Despite not having a religious upbringing, Edelstyn says his father, who was Jewish, passed on the idea of responsibility and living a useful and meaningful life. Edelstyn’s heritage is important to him and one of his previous films followed his journey tracking down his lost Jewish Ukrainian heritage and attempting to relaunch his great grandfather’s once-glorious vodka empire. “I have tried to live up to the shadow of who my father was and

take the lessons about the importance of trying to contribute,” he says. “That translates to me doing something incredibly unfeasible, like doing a film about debt.” Just as the Bank of England can print money to boost the economy and financial institutions can be bailed out, as some were in 2008, the pair wanted to show the same can be done for the people through debt forgiveness. Their plan to overhaul the financial system starts with opening their own bank in a former Co-operative Bank branch in Walthamstow on the aptlynamed Hoe Street. They cleverly name the bank Hoe Street Central Bank (HSCB), a clever play on words to sound like HSBC. Rather than banknotes showing the Queen, they printed pretend money showing local heroes, including a teacher and people running food banks and charities that were displayed as works of art. These were then sold to the public with half of the proceeds going to the causes represented by the person on the banknote and the rest to buy debt that would be written off. “We wanted to put people on the notes who were local heroes and figures of a resistance fighting the fallout of the economic system,” Powell explains. “People around the world were buying into an idea of economic education and being part of a movement.” Sales of the notes raised £40,000

and they are even being used in galleries such as the V&A and British Museum. Half of the funds were then used to buy £1.2m of payday loan debt, underlining the disconnect between the amount debt collectors pay to purchase credit and how borrowers remain liable for the full amount. The money paid wrote off these debts, which was symbolised by exploding a Ford Transit van full of the HSCB banknotes on a piece of land at the centre of banking power, Canary Wharf. The shrapnel was also put on display at HSCB. But is blowing up debt really the answer to clearing personal and public deficits? “We know the debt buy isn’t a solution,” Edelstyn explains. “It’s a lightning rod to expose the shadows of the financial system, the secondary markets and the injustices of the economy.” Edelstyn says the pandemic has shown the government can shake the magic money tree when it wants to. “The Bank of England can create money at the touch of a button and the government is under no impetus to repay at any speed,” he says. “This makes the idea of scarcity of resources to come through the pandemic just an idea. “People are frightened that money can just be created, but we now have a government whose instinct is free trade and non-intervention that has made a huge intervention in the economy. “The pandemic has moved the line in the sand about how far do we go to allow this laissez faire ideology.” It looks like money may grow on trees after all – just don’t tell the children.  The Bank Job documentary feature film is released in spring 2021. Details: https://bankjob. pictures/film

A look

Inside Real lives: Love in the time of corona

Lighter Side: Enter the homes of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Business: The companies transforming insurance for good


24

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

Weekend / Real lives

LOVE In the time of corona

‘I get to marry the love of my life... twice’ This week: Lucie & Gil

Get married... don’t get married; thousands of couples have had to alter their altar – or bimah – plans this year in line with the ever-shifting rules. Kari Colmans interviews resolute newlyweds who tied the knot against the odds in true Covid style

W

e are only a few seconds into our Zoom interview while I check names, ages and professions, when Lucie, 38, who heads up talent at a marketing software agency and Gil, 30, a data analyst, start giggling about their eight-year age difference. Eyebrows perhaps wouldn’t be raised had Gil been the older party, but while we will remember 2020 for many reasons, an antidote for sexism is certainly not one of them. The couple were introduced in the summer of 2017, when they were set up on a blind date by family friends. They met at The Gallery bar in West Hampstead and the conversation flowed when, before they knew it, they were the last ones standing while the staff mopped beneath their feet. Gil was “intrigued”, it being the first time he’d gone on a blind date, while Lucie was “open-minded, but with no expectations,” she laughs. He jokes that this was probably a good thing: “I set the bar low,” Gil deadpans. They were already planning the second date before the first had finished and, before they knew it, things were serious. “There was no game playing, no faffing,” Lucie clarifies, still giggling. “And had we met online, he wouldn’t have even come onto my radar. Literally. He would have been excluded from my profile algorithm options because of the age gap.” We chat further about the age gap as it’s clearly a source of much amusement between them. Some of Gil’s female friends found it surprising at first, while the lads were generally “really impressed”. They recall a date in the early stages where they went to play miniature golf and were immediately given student tickets, no questions asked, which cemented the Gil and Lucie and furry friends

fact that they didn’t look off-balance at least. Two-and-a-half years later, Gil proposed in a very casual way one Sunday evening at home. Gil told Lucie they needed to have a chat. She thought it was something ‘serious’. “There’s something missing from your left hand,” he mumbled to himself, before dropping to one knee. Lucie’s parents were already in the know, as he’d asked her father’s permission. Gil laughs, remembering that equally dramatic moment, which sounds like a scene from Friday Night Dinner.. “Lucie’s father is a little hard of hearing. I kept trying to whisper, ‘can we have a chat?’, but he couldn’t hear me. I ended up shouting it while Lucie was only standing a few feet away. Luckily she was too busy talking to hear him. His reply was, ‘about bloody time!’” Lucie had spent the day with her mother, who being so frightened of spilling the beans, had not said a word the entire time. The couple never intended to wait long after their January engagement and set on August this year for their nuptials before Covid made other plans just a few weeks later. Their siblings arranged an online engagement party in April, in the depths of the springtime lockdown “before Zoom fatigue set in”, jokes Lucie. After endless consultations with both their rabbis over double chuppah legalities, the couple decided on a civil ceremony this year, to be continued in 2021. “The idea of having a chuppah without all of our family and friends was unimaginable,” says Lucie, whose brother, sister-in-law and nieces live in the US. They also didn’t want to disappoint their non-Jewish friends, who were beside themselves with excitement to see them “thrown up on the chairs”, along with all the other traditions.

After Lucie and Gil’s civil wedding, they look forward to what they call ‘the main event’ next year

So they set the date for the civil wedding on 30 August, the same date as the planned Part Two next year, so that they would only have one anniversary. They tied the knot at The Gatehouse at St Albans Register Office with only 12 people in attendance, while other immediate family joined on FaceTime. Lucie’s brother delivered a reading over his iPhone. “It was so strict on numbers that at one point my uncle had to leave the room so the photographer could come in!” she says. The ceremony was followed by a small gathering in Gil’s parents’ garden. The mums collaborated on catering, with Lucie’s mum making a wedding cake, while other family members added little touches to make it special, such as

a wedding car to take them back and forth from the ceremony. But despite having had such a special day – “I never imagined I’d actually say ‘I do’ like in the films,” says Lucie – Part Two, in a country manor in Windsor, will still be the main event. “We did the best we could to make Part One special, and it does remind you what it’s all about: getting married,” says Gil. “But we won’t feel married until we’ve stood under a chuppah,” Lucie adds. “However, you’ve got to do what works for you. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone likes to share those opinions! But at the end of the day, I get to marry the love of my life twice. And not many people can claim they’ve done that!”


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24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

The lighter side

Weekend / Inspiration

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

Brigit@jewishnews.co.uk

Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY returning to old favourites and guilty YOU’LL HATE TO ADMIT THIS, BUT pleasures, which for me was the Real we all became Real Housewives in 2020. Not the aesthetically-enhanced, designer- Housewives. Imagine my delight, then, when in the midst of this interminable clad wives who star in the reality franchise malaise, a new Housewives strand appeared. set in New York, Beverly Hills and Cheshire Yes, just as I tired of rewinding NYC’s etc. No, we were the schlochy greyBethenny Frankel – along came rooted, pyjama-wearing house Meredith Marks of The Real fraus seen in Mike Leigh Housewives of Salt Lake City films – and some of us even (RHOSLC). appeared on the news in Immaculate and smoothly this apparel while clapping coiffed despite the frozen for the NHS. temperatures, one can only There were no lunches wonder how this Jewish jewellery at The Ivy or cocktails at designer wound up in the Wasatch The Connaught for us, just an Osem soup wolfed down between Meredith and Seth mountains of Utah. Don’t most females of the faith avoid dipping dusting, washing and Office Team their Louboutins in snow? meets on the PC. “Well, I’m originally from Chicago,” says Some brushed up for those doorstep Meredith, with an accent worthy of her portraits with the amazing Adam Soller roots. “Up until very recently, I was living but, encouraged (ordered) to stay in, all we between there and Utah, but since violence could do was dream of 2019 BC, when we ensued in Chicago with all the protests, went out to work instead of applauding by I really haven’t spent any time there. It’s the gate and chanting: been heart-wrenching to watch.” Wake, Vent, Clap Repeat Now, only Meredith’s husband, Seth, Has Hancock got it wrong? commutes back and forth, as it was his work Sleep, Cook, Eat, Repeat This year has gone Pete Tong. that first took the family to Salt Lake City 10 years ago. However, much like the terrain We also watched a lot of telly, they inhabit, theirs is a rocky 24-year marriage, about which they make no secret, from episode two when they announce a split. So did Meredith really

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

want her spiralling union aired internationally to millions? “Honestly, I didn’t really understand what I was getting myself into. I’d not watched a tonne of reality television prior to this and usually put on the news. So I got a quick lesson basically watching one episode from each US franchise prior to filming. “In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the best way to go about it.” Had she only asked, I would have told her that every eye roll and blistering row would now be fodder for the fans who invest in the housewives’ humdingers. On the upside, she gets to parade and position her fine jewellery, bags and accessories to an aspirational audience who can visit her Park City store or buy online (www.meredithmarks.com). All the housewives have collectively made a mint over time with endorsements and signature branding, but Utah is a long way to go to meet the sassy Salt Lakers. Home to the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the Mormons, the area is known mostly for raising the Osmonds, but that was the 1970s. Rose gold cuff by While it’s an appropriate Meredith Marks

IZZY Alert

MEN IN BLACK

Final shout out for the year for IZZY STREAM, where you will find Shira Haas in the short film Lost & Found and the warm and consuming drama series Where Do You Live? (Eifo Ata Hai? starring Rivka Michaeli, which is about Israel’s Bukharan community and its struggles with a traditional life and building a new one. Think of it as Central Asia’s Shtisel.

Just when you thought Israeli television couldn’t get any more addictive, along comes The New Black (Shababniks). In what could loosely be described as American Pie meets Yentl, this comedy-drama created by Eliran Malka and Danny Paran is about four hip, happening and sometimes struggling Orthodox students trying to master their mojo. The New Black is definitely green in Israel, where it has gone ahead in the ratings and picked up four television awards. With actors who look as good as Daniel Gad, Meir Sabag, Dov Lazer and Gedaliah, the appeal of these young men in black is not surprising. Take a good look at their good looks in The New Black at ukjewishfilm.org and tell me I’m wrong.

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael. com/spotlight/subscribe-to-izzy -the-israeli-netflix-for-less-than-5 -a-month

Shira Haas in Lost & Found

Rivka Michaeli

Meredith, Seth and their adult children

location for the baptism of fire that is reality TV, what is it like for this fine arts major and her Jewish family? “It’s completely different to Chicago and other cities I’ve lived in in America, but Utah has a unique culture,” insists Meredith, who has three children: Reid, 23, Brooks, 21, and Chloe, 19. “They’re all thriving and incredible – I could not be more proud.” Spoken like every Jewish housewife/ mother, and she also informs me that Salt Lake is “more religiously diverse than you imagine” and there is a synagogue in Park City. “I’m definitely very in touch with my Judaism in a cultural and historical way and I am so proud to be Jewish.” As a footnote, Reid, who works in New York, was on the Team Chicago 16-andunder basketball squad at the JCC Maccabi Games in 2013 and Brooks, who is gay, has already announced his fashion line on RHOSLC. Why wait would be my attitude, too, after a year like this, so if they ever make Real Housewives of Barnet I’ve got the childrens’ book, knitwear line and a singing daughter ready to market. Until that happens, Keep Well. Be Safe. Repeat. • Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is on Hayu


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Business / Insurtech

candicekrieger@googlemail.com

With Candice Krieger

THE COMPANIES TRANSFORMING INSURANCE FOR GOOD Candice Krieger speaks to two insurtech start-ups with very different offerings but one clear mission: to disrupt and transform the insurance industry through technology

I

nsurance is one of the largest industries in the UK yet it has hardly changed in 200 years. The sector, typically slow to adapt to socioeconomic shifts, is being challenged more than ever by the changing needs of workers, combined with the acceleration of the digital world. Insurtech (tech advances in the field of insurance) is a rapidly growing phenomenon. According to reports, the global market revenue for this year (2019) is valued at $5.48 billion (£4.12bn) and forecast to reach $10.14bn (£7.63bn) by 2025 – a compound annual growth rate of 10.80 percent. Two companies already influencing and disrupting the market are Collective Benefits, founded by Anthony Beilin and Benjamin Hay, and Sammy Rubin’s YuLife.

YuLife provides large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) alike with an end-to-end life digital insurance solution and engages with each member. Through its game-style app, users can earn virtual YuCoins, aka “the currency of well-being” for completing everyday wellness activities, such as walking, meditation, mindfulness and cycling, in return for vouchers and perks from leading brands, including ASOS, Avios, Nike and John Lewis. Rubin believes it was time to shake up a typically archaic sector. “Life insurance is one of the biggest business areas in the world. It has hardly changed in 200 years, yet our whole lives have changed. The focus has always been on when people die, but, actually, life insurance policies should add value to life. People are living longer and we wanted to create a new model that was more about life than death. “The Jewish ideal of prioritising life is so important to me, so to be able to build a company that puts life at the centre and bridges my own values means a lot for me.” SAMMY RUBIN, FOUNDER OF YULIFE Founded in 2016, YuLife It’s a time-worn adage that money has built up an impressive can’t buy you happiness. And member base and provides serial entrepreneur Sammy life insurance to busiRubin has experienced it nesses including the first-hand. Co-op, market research Rubin, who founded and provider Mintel and floated his first business credit card consolidain his twenties – and was tion app Curve. the youngest director of The importance of a publicly-listed financial mental health has been services company – is today thrust into the spotlight the founder of YuLife – a revoas Covid-19 takes its toll. “It lutionary award-winning insuris not taboo in the way it has ance company with well-being at its been,” explains Rubin. “More core. He was inspired to set it up after Sammy Rubin people are talking about it, accelembarking on his own spiritual journey and realising the importance of prioritising erated by Covid. Our business has taken off because companies are realising the importance well-being over material success. Tech-driven YuLife aims to encourage pos- of well-being for their people. And technology is itive lifestyle changes in its users by rewarding an amazing way people can be rewarded for very healthy living, and turn financial products into simple activities.” Well-being has become a dealbreaker for a force for good. Rubin says: “I had sold my first company and had achieved a lot, but something staff. “Employees can move from company wasn’t working. I had material success, but was to company, so firms are looking for ways to unfulfilled. I felt there was something more increase their benefits. People are demanding better perks and this has been accelerated by I needed to discover.” The entrepreneur took a six-month sabbat- Covid. It has changed our priorities as a society ical, travelling from New York to Safed, Israel, – well-being is now an important priority.” YuLife is backed by father and son duo learning yoga, meditation and deepening his understanding of spirituality. Motivated to do Robin and Saul Klein, ex-Index Ventures and something more meaningful with his life and co-founders of LocalGlobe, as well as FinTech career, and inspired by the Jewish concept investors Anthemis and Creandum Funds of tikkun olam (repairing the world), Rubin (investors in Spotify). Rubin believes now is the right time for returned to the UK with a fresh outlook. He became the founding CEO of VitalityLife (for- a new insurance proposition in the UK. “This is merly PruProtect), the first life insurance com- just the beginning. Huge enterprises are at long last recognising the importance of well-being, pany in the UK to reward healthy behaviour. But he saw an opportunity for a new type of and that their success and productivity is based enterprise. “I had always wanted to use tech on their people. It’s about helping their people as a force for good to build a new type of busi- feel good and giving them the tools to feel ness looking at the whole well-being of people, empowered to look after themselves.” The company’s ethos is reflected in its team, physically, emotionally and mentally – to harness all the amazing apps and tech to inspire largely from outside of the sector and somewhat unconventional for an insurance firm. people to live their best lives.”

YuLife co-founder typically do, says Anthony Beilin, a former head and COO is of global innovation at Aviva. Today, Beilin is part-time the CEO and co-founder of Collective Benefits, Rabbi Sam a first-of-its-kind tech platform that aims to Fr o m s o n , give independent workers access to a range the commuof insurance and benefits they otherwise nity rabbi at haven’t been getting. Golders Green Beilin, 33, says: “We used to talk shul, and BBC resabout six million independent ident doctor and workers in the UK, which includes best-selling author both higher-paid freelancers Dr Rangan Chatterjee and gig economy workers, but is its chief well-being by this time next year officer. there could be more than Rubin is no stranger 10 million and I think by to the insurance industry. 2025 at least half of the After finishing his computer working population in science degree at Imperial the UK, Europe and College, he built his first comAmerica will be indepany, Policy Portfolio, from his pendent workers. family’s dining room table. It was “Yet there is a a joint project with his father, and four growing protecand a half years later they floated it on the tion gap being London Stock Exchange. created where This year, YuLife was a winner at independent the Financial Services Forum Awards for workers don’t Product Service and Innovation in Insurhave a safety net; ance, and was recently named the best no sick pay, holiday allowLondon-based start-up to work for by recruitance, family leave or mental ment platform Tempo – something health support. We are Rubin is particularly proud of – and YuLife rewards healthy living building Collective BenHR Tech Provider of the Year at the efits to offer protections Personnel Today awards. and benefits to make independent work work Workplace well-being and mindfulness have for everyone.” become an essential part of YuLife’s business The self-employed are key to getting the and Rubin hopes other companies will take economy moving again, but the sector is strugnote. A recent YouGov-YuLife poll showed that gling. According to Collective Benefits data, 87 percent of UK office workers are more likely 96 percent of the nation’s self-employed have to stay with an employer who demonstrates a no income protection and 93 percent have no commitment to their well-being. health or critical illness cover, and Covid has “Enhancing mindfulness in the work- significantly exacerbated the situation. Many place is mutually beneficial for employers and were unable to benefit from the government’s employees alike. When companies invest in self-employment income support scheme. The employee well-being, they’ll be rewarded with World Economic Forum reports that 68 percent increased loyalty and retention. of gig workers have had no income during Covid. “It’s in businesses’ financial interests to max“Finding a way to blend the flexibility of imise retention and reduce employee churn working with the basic need of people’s income because, in the long term, there are high costs security is going to be the defining factor of involved in hiring and replacing employees and how independent work goes,” says Liverpoolonboarding new recruits, not to mention the born Beilin, who is now based in north London. positive impact induced by higher productivity “Never has it been more urgent. In fact, I wonder levels among happier and healthier workers.” what the role of traditional employment will be � www.yulife.com in the long-term. The data we are seeing shows there will be a natural evolution of this workforce. We need a new playbook to support that.” ANTHONY BEILIN, COLLECTIVE BENEFITS Beilin was inspired to create one after a proWithin a decade, the number of independent workers could overtake traditional employ- lapsed disc in 2018 meant he couldn’t work for ment. There are about six million self-employed six months. He recalls: “My friend, recently selfpeople in the UK – a number that could vastly employed, was also on sick leave. We were disincrease next year – as workers opt for more flex- cussing how difficult it was for him as he wasn’t ible roles. And the explosion of the gig economy, being paid or receiving any benefits and was based on flexible, temporary or freelance jobs living off his savings. His whole financial existwhere a piece of work is akin to a ‘gig’, highlights ence had radically changed by the fact he had gone from employee to self-employed. this. Think Uber, Deliveroo and Fiverr. “It was a strange lightbulb moment. Yet this burgeoning sector has been left exposed, with many workers not receiving the I had recognised the shift and, seeing all these income protections that full-time employees things happening, it really struck a chord.


24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Insurtech / Business

tion direct to consumers but Why weren’t all these benefits plans to do so in the future. available?” In April, it launched a comBeilin had been working munity Covid response at Aviva and part of his package, bringing 200 remit was to look at self-employed indithe changing demoviduals onto the platgraphics in the workform, providing sick pay force, notably the rise and benefits to help them in SMEs and independent secure their livelihood at a workers. “It became very difficult time. apparent that Aviva, despite The shift towards a more being the UK’s number one independent workforce seems insurer, was woefully underinevitable and the pandemic has equipped to solve the needs of this Anthony Beilin changing demographic.” and Benjamin Hay accelerated this. And it’s not just the usual suspects. There has He teamed up with Benjamin Hay, ex-leadership team at Sir Richard Bran- been an increase in workers not currently son’s Virgin Unite entrepreneurial founda- significantly gig-based, such as those in tion, and they launched Collective Benefits last white-collar business service industries. “It’s not just the lower income status we year. They raised £3.5m of investment driven by Delin Capital and Stride VC, who between are seeing as independent workers; it’s prolifthem have financed several high-profile com- erating across all sectors of the economy – not panies such as Zoopla and Deliveroo. They are just the Deliveroos and Ubers. It’s locum docalso backed by other angel investors, including tors, nurses, carers for loved ones, delivery of those behind Just Eat and Uber. They partner prescriptions, fulfilment of PPE, taxis, parcel with organisations that have independent deliveries... It’s an essential demographic.” Why, then, haven’t insurance companies workforces including TaskRabbit, DPDgroup, Gophr and Green Tomato Cars. This month, moved with the times? “They’ve had a product Collective Benefits won insurer innovation of that’s been around for 200 years. This market the year award at the Insurance Times Insur- has gone from around 800,000 people to 15 million and the changing demographic of ance Awards 2020. Collective Benefits does not offer protec- the independent workforce has completely

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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 same front page. government that a 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 a Labour into anti-Semitism, government. Under its adapted guidelines, Israel’s prime minister. party that was, claim to MPs vote on free is Labour We do so because the member On 5 September, home for our Party and comthe is a racist endeavour motion, calling for until recently, the natural values and integ- existence policies to those of Nazi Ger- an emergency definition community, has seen its Israeli to adopt the full IHRA contempt for pare – whatever that party rity eroded by Corbynite rulebook. many, unless “intent” its into is Jew” face a binary – can be proved. “Dirty Jews and Israel. Following that, it will of anti-Sem- means or be seen bitch” fair game? The stain and shame implement IHRA in full Her Maj- wrong, “Zionist a distinction choice: an institutionally itism has coursed through In so doing, Labour makes by all decent people as Corbyn Jeremy targeting since anti-Semitism party. esty’s Opposition between racial 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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Collective Benefits aims to provide benefits for the soaring number of independent workers

broken that product. At the best of times, these organisations are slow to move, but this is so notable now. The needs have changed so dramatically and the way to fulfil them needs technology and they have been slow to adopt that technology.” Beilin believes the government has played its part in supporting independent workers during the pandemic, but says that outside of the immediate emergency, the onus must be on companies. “Flexible working is here to stay and businesses need to change.” Many already are. Prioritising benefits for

workers has become a top agenda for the key players. “The CEO of the combined Just Eat/ Takeaway.com group has spoken about the importance of worker safety. And Amazon, which is the focus of a lot of negative press on this, has already started rolling out a programme in the US and Europe, representing their independent workers. Many are committed to putting benefit programmes in place, although they are now regulatory required to, so workers can maintain their flexibility and have the benefits that come with it.” � www.collectivebenefits.com


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Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA

Torah For Today

Vayigash

What does the Torah say about: Hugging and holding hands

BY REBBETZIN VICKI BELOVSKI This week’s parsha contains a turning point in Joseph’s story – the famous moment when he finally reveals his identity to his brothers, saying, “I am Joseph; is my father still alive?” The question brings into focus the significant theme in the parsha of connection, both interpersonal relationships and the connection between man and God. Having tested the strength of the relationship between his brothers, when Joseph sees Judah coming to Benjamin’s defence, he knows they have changed. He reaffirms his relationship with his family. The rabbis tell us that when Joseph asked: “Is my father still alive?” he needed emotional reassurance of Jacob’s connection with him. Next, he strengthens his connection with his brothers, assuring them he does not bear a grudge, and that God had orchestrated previous events to rescue the family from the famine.

The connection is particularly strong with Benjamin and they embrace first, weeping. The rabbis say the brothers also wept for the Temples and Tabernacle, which would be built in their respective territories and be destroyed. Jacob’s reaction on hearing the amazing news mirrors Joseph’s. There is a connection between them, but when father and son meet, the text only describes Joseph embracing his father and weeping, with no reaction from Jacob. Here, again, there is a spiritual overlay: the rabbis say Jacob was reciting the Shema, renewing his connection with God in the very moment he was reunited with his son, as a way of channelling his joy. We don’t need to wait for potential disaster to acknowledge God; his presence is also there in times of great joy.

◆ Vicki Belovski is Rebbetzin of Golders Green Synagogue

BY RABBI NAFTALI SCHIFF Rapid Covid tests could mean care home visitors could finally hug or hold the hands of their elderly relatives once more. What does the Torah say about the importance of physical touch? We British are renowned for being a bit stand-offish. We don’t kiss and hug strangers in the same way our continental neighbours are accustomed to doing at the best of times. However, whatever our level of tactile preference, one of the effects of the Covid pandemic is that boundaries and personal space are more strongly defined than ever before. “Innocent” touch, such as the simple handshake, is decidedly off limits, let alone anything more intrusive than that. Family intimacy and the close camaraderie of true friendship are hallmarks of healthy and normal Jewish life. The curtailment of such manifestations of deep relationships has

had wide-ranging ramifications, with perhaps the most painful of them being that elderly people are unable to hug their loved ones. Hugs and kisses are essential forms of non-verbal communication; they show that we are present and, most importantly, that we care. Physical contact deepens connection. Fascinatingly, to make the sign language for “friend”, hold out both of your index fingers hooked in a curved or ‘C’-like shape. Holding one hand with your hook index facing up, hook the second index into the first.

Then reverse the position for the hands and do it again. It is like your fingers are best friends and giving each other a hug. The idea of a hook is represented by the Hebrew letter vav, which both means a hook and is the letter of connection, the vav hachibbur. Human touches are essential to brain growth. A young child needs a lot of different sensory stimulation for normal development. Skin contact, or physical touch such as hugging, is one of the most important stimulations required to grow a healthy brain and a strong body. Touch communicates love and breaks down boundaries like nothing else. Perhaps it is because of this that the Torah places great emphasis on the power of intimate touch, preserving it for those who matter most. ◆ Rabbi Naftali Schiff is the founder and chief executive of Jewish Futures

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Progressive Judaism

The Bible Says What? Some dreams genuinely predict he future

Progressively Speaking What positive moments can Liberal Judaism and the wider world take from 2020 into 2021?

BY RABBI DEBORAH BLAUSTEN Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, which has been at the centre of our Torah narrative for the past few weeks, suggests some dreams allude to concealed truths about the future. With the right interpreter at hand, real insight into the world can be gleaned. The Talmud teaches that dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy, but what does that actually mean? And does it mean that we should worry that concealed within every nightmare or bizarre dream might be a secret message about what is about to happen to us? Sigmund Freud famously thought that dreams reveal something about the subconscious, and although scientists agree that our dreams are a result of some kind of internal processing, nobody really knows whether there is any sense or logic to be made from the snippets of the dreams people remember upon waking.

The rabbis distinguish between ordinary dreams and prophecy, a category that includes the dreams of Joseph, and others such as Daniel or Isaiah. Instead, they say that the meaning of dreams depends on how they are interpreted. In an age beyond the world of prophecy, dreams are not sent by God to tell us something about our future but, within the process of dreaming and processing, our internal and external worlds, many people experience insight or revelations about their own lives. Those dreams do not predict a future ordained by God, but they can hand people the opportunity to act, and it is our actions that truly have the power to shape our futures.

◆ Rabbi Deborah Blausten serves Finchley Reform Synagogue

FROM RABBI CHARLEY BAGINSKY For many, it’s so hard to find anything positive in 2020 – a year of bereavement, heartache, loss, financial suffering and great change. At Liberal Judaism, we’ve had the pain of holding funerals and shivas for those who died before their time, as well as members having to miss out on the simchas, festivals and family occasions they had been planning for months, if not years. On a movement wide level, Rabbi Danny Rich and Simon Benscher stepped down as Liberal Judaism’s chief executive and chair, respectively. And, as the year ended, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein came to the end of his tenure as chair of our Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors (CoLRaC). Together, they have decades of experience as leaders and pioneers, increasing Liberal Judaism’s membership, reach and public profile. Any organisation would miss

one of them, let alone all three. Luckily, in Ruth Seager, we have a very experienced chair, two innovative new co-chairs of CoLRaC in Rabbis Rebecca Birk and René Pfertzel, and the continuity of a dedicated staff team including our new chief operating officer, Shelley Shocolinsky-Dwyer. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns also accelerated a strategy we had in place – to get our members and communities fully connected, wherever they may be in the country or indeed the world. Services, cheder classes and seminars moved online, as did our flagship Biennial Weekend, all to record numbers and participation. For the past few years, our movement’s slogan has been that Liberal Judaism is ‘The Home for Your Jewish Story’. In 2020, we fulfilled that pledge by bringing our Judaism directly to people in their homes. The most pleasing thing for so

many of us is the huge increase we’ve seen, both within the Jewish community and wider society, in volunteering and those everyday acts of kindness – whether shopping for those who are shielding, befriending those who are isolated or helping people get online who otherwise would not be connected. So what do we take into 2021? It will be a long time before the return of normality – whatever that means. But, as humans, we have very short memories, our muscle reaction will be to try to return to exactly how things were before. Our challenge is to hold onto the positives. We must not go back to being parochial and inward-looking – instead we must remember how engaged, connected and value-driven we have been during this pandemic and keep that going once it has ended. ◆ Rabbi Charley Baginsky is the new chief executive officer of Liberal Judaism

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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: Tier four travel restrictions, a fun way to learn Ivrit before making aliyah and job protection during furlough ADAM LOVATT COMMERCIAL LAWYER

LOVATT LEGAL LIMITED

Dear Adam I am due to travel to see family outside London for New Year. What do the current restrictions mean for me and what penalty could I face if I break the restrictions? Danielle Dear Danielle This is an issue many people face over the coming days and weeks. The whole of London is in tier four until at least 30 December and so any travel to see your family for New Year is prohibited (whether they are in tier four or otherwise) until at least this date. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas and New Year period, unless

you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. The police can take action against you if you meet in a larger group and this could result in a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences, up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of more than 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000. The police are expected, by the government, to monitor the travel of those who are seeking to leave tier four areas and could take action against an individual seeking to break the restrictions that are in place. There is a review of the tier fourrestrictions scheduled for 30 December but a relaxation of the rules at that time seems unlikely. I am afraid you will be unable to visit your family outside of London for New Year.

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nary action. What are my rights? I feel so anxious but I don’t want to lose my job. Alison

DOV NEWMARK

EMMA GROSS

ALIYAH ADVISER

EMPLOYMENT LAW AND DATA PROTECTION

NEFESH B’NEFESH Dear Dov I am looking to make aliyah sometime within the next 12 months and would like to go with some Ivrit. What is the most fun and effective programme for learning to speak relevant Hebrew? Miriam Dear Miriam Making aliyah with some Ivrit will definitely help you have an easier absorption.

As my office is in Tel Aviv, I am very familiar with Citizen Café TLV. This school is famous for getting its students speaking modernday Hebrew from their first class and loving every minute! It was developed as an alternative to the traditional Ulpan system and instead teaches Hebrew through the local culture, using fun and dynamic exercises that instil confidence in its students. The system teaches live

online in every time zone and is praised for its classes only being 1.5 hours twice a week for 10 weeks in small group classes that allow for a lot of personalised attention. You can start with a free one-on-one introductory session to experience its method and get more info on its programmes. For more information, contact Jessica Kitchens via marketing@citizen cafetlv.com

SPENCER WEST LLP Dear Emma I work in a grocery shop in London and I was due to return to work under flexible furlough. I am clinically extremely vulnerable and don’t feel safe returning to work now. My employer is insisting they have taken the necessary steps to be Covid secure and that I must return to work or he will have to consider discipli-

Dear Alison Let me assure you that you are within your rights not to return to the workplace under these circumstances. Everyone is advised to work from home where possible, although in tiers one, two and three, if you cannot work from home you should attend work so long as necessary safety measures are in place. However, you are in tier four, where shielding is active, and so while it sounds as if your employer has taken steps to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in your workplace, the current

government advice is that as you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should not return to work. By law, you are protected against unfair treatment and dismissal owing to your health condition, no matter how long you have worked for your employer, and this prevents them from being able to unreasonably pressure you to go to work, or from unreasonably disciplining you for not going to work.


34

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Jewish News 24 December 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

DYSLEXIA PRACTITIONER SARAH BENARROCH Qualifications: • Director of Literacy Specialist Ltd, educational services for children with literacy difficulties and dyslexia. • MA in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia), APC, British Dyslexia Association, PATOSS, 20 years’ experience in child education and development. • Full diagnostic assessments and reports for dyslexia. • Primary-age tuition in reading, writing and spelling.

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

DIRECTOR OF LEGACIES

JEWELLER

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.

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

• • •

Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk Struggling to hear the TV? Missing out on family conversations? Hearing just not what it used to be?

TRAVEL AGENT

Telephone 020 8446 0214

Get the very best of life

jewish deaf association

EMMA GROSS Qualifications: • Specialist in claims of unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination. • Established record for negotiating out of court settlements, as well as handling complex tribunal cases. • HR services including drafting contracts and policies, advising on disciplinaries, grievances and providing staff training. • Contributor to The Times, HR Magazine and other titles.

SPENCER WEST LLP 020 7925 8080 www.spencer-west.com emma.gross@spencer-west.com

COMMERCIAL LAWYER 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.

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

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

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.

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.

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

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

REMOVALS MANAGING DIRECTOR

We have the technology to make a difference.

EMPLOYMENT LAW AND DATA PROTECTION

PRINCIPAL, PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL

STEPHEN MORRIS Qualifications: • Managing Director of Stephen Morris Shipping Ltd. • 45 years’ experience in shipping household and personal effects. • Chosen mover for four royal families and three UK prime ministers. • Offering proven quality specialist advice for moving anyone across the world or round the corner.

LOUISE LEACH Qualifications: • Professional choreographer qualified in dance, drama and Zumba (ZIN, ISTD & LAMDA), gaining an honours degree at Birmingham University. • Former contestant on ITV’s Popstars, reaching bootcamp with Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Kym Marsh. • Set up Dancing with Louise 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


24 December 2020 Jewish News

www.jewishnews.co.uk

35

Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

ACCOUNTANT

ADR CONSULTANT

DENTIST

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

INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST

IT SPECIALIST

CHARITY EXECUTIVE

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

ISRAELI ACCOUNTANT

INSURANCE CONSULTANCY

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.

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

ALIYAH ADVISER

If you would like to advertise your services here Email: sales@ jewishnews.co.uk

CAREER 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.

CLAIRE STRAUS Qualifications: • Free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Practical support, workshops and networking opportunities to maximise prospects. • Career coach with MSc in career management and coaching with a background in human resources and general management and experience of private, public and voluntary sectors.

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

RESOURCE 020 8346 4000 www.resource-centre.org office@resource-centre.org

DIVORCE & FAMILY SOLICITOR

PALLIATIVE CARE MANAGER

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.

POLLY LANDSBERG Qualifications: • Polly has worked in health and social care for more than 35 years. • Has a degree in nursing and a diploma in health visiting. • Polly is responsible for the day-to-day management of the palliative and end of life care service.

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

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

Since 2002 SweetTree has provided award winning care and support to people in their own homes and in the community

C all us for a free assessment or advice

Live-in & live-out home care Dementia - End-of-life care - Learning disabilities - Autism - Brain injuries Neurological conditions

020 7644 9554 www.sweettree.co.uk


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Jewish News 24 December 2020

An MRI scan can help identify health problems

No Radiation Our MRI scans do not give off any radiation More effective than x-rays

DON’T WAIT FOR A MRI IN PAIN WE DO IT THE SAME DAY shoulder? An MRI can diagnose dislocation, sports injuries, breaks, infections and tumours.

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finger pain or swelling? MRI scans can identify the cause such as arthritis, breaks and tendon and ligament damage.

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24 December 2020 Jewish News

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Fun, games and prizes

THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1

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ACROSS 1 Soft flat hat (5) 4 Historic theatre in Washington, DC (5)

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ENTERPRISING FEARLESS HARDY HEROIC PLUCKY RESOLUTE

Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Siphon 4 Disc 8 Air 9 Equally 10 Donna 11 Adept 13 Whale 15 Input 17 Inferno 19 Nag 20 Form 21 Veneer DOWN: 1 Scald 2 Piranha 3 Opera 5 Ill 6 Crypt 7 Puma 12 Expunge 13 Whiff 14 Ears 15 I Love 16 Tiger 18 Far

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3 7 6 9 5 2 1 4 8

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

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Suguru 4 8 9 5 6 3 7 1 2

SUGURU

See next issue for puzzle solutions.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sudoku 9 4 7 3 2 5 8 6 1

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STALWART TOUGH UNSHAKEN VALIANT VENTURESOME

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In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers 5, 22 and 23 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.

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

Y

1 6 8 2 5 2 5 3 6 9 2

CODEWORD

WORDSEARCH Y

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

9 Slump (4) 10 Goad into action (4) 13 Seed‑bud of a potato (3) 15 Brief attack (4) 16 Middle of a church (4) 19 Craft of building in stone (7) 21 Lubricant (3) 22 Merry? (5) 23 Obliterate (5) DOWN 1 Put in the earth and cover with soil (4) 2 Pasta dish (7) 3 Idle talk, gossip (6) 4 Flop (4) 5 Sewer rodent (3) 6 Outer area of a city (6) 11 Dish named after a ballerina (7) 12 Reminder (6) 14 Catalyst in plant and animal cells (6) 17 Uniquely (4) 18 Escape (4) 20 Concession given to appease the recipient (3)

8

9

SUDOKU

1 5 8 4 3 6 9 2 7

2 9 4 8 1 7 5 3 6

3 4 1 2 5 1

1 2 5 3 4 2

4 3 1 2 1 3

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

Wordsearch 1 2 4 3 4 2

4 3 1 2 1 3

1 2 5 3 4 5

4 1 5 3 1 3

2 3 2 4 2 4

5 1 5 1 3 1

2 4 3 2 5 2

3 5 1 4 1 3

1 4 2 3 2 4

K X I C I T Y B F D C P D

B U T C H E R V A H B H I

P T N E G A S W E N A N Y

C O S O Y E M M K I K A S

J A H I W D I L R B A I T

C G F S R S S D R A N C O

A Z V E T O R E G K Z I R

Codeword R T R A V E L A G E N T E

D E F N S L E F Q R H P C

S X U S E B A W Q Y M O O

H H E W G I F T S H O P R

O R E P O H S K O O B W P

P J P O H S T E P T R U L

F U C O O R AM G P OWE L A CO S C L U E S T E E V D R E

H S L P A T D I Q G E A Y E E L I A D

I A B G E T B U E R N J B B A N K E

I U N D OO O U R P O Y N B G I N L D

N A N M R A P Z D E D U H E D N EW N L I T E E R L

E X E R T E D S H Y L Y

B YWH I O P T GC D V N E J S U L Z Q K A X F M R24/12


38

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Jewish News 24 December 2020

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016

www.jewishnews.co.uk

BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY

Top prices paid

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

Carer

Clothing

WE BUY ANTIQUES Carer FURS WANTED Auxiliary Nurse VERY HIGH PRICES PAID. FREE HOME VISITS.

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

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

Cash paid for Mink Available support Allto Antique Furniture Hille & Epstein jackets, coats, you in your home. Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver,boleros, Paintings, stoles, Porcelain, also fox coats, etc. Glass,Days/nights. Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques jackets etc. Very reasonable rates. Full house clearances organised. Wardrobes cleared Call Please 0208 look 958 at 2939 our website for more details Call 01277 352 560 or 07495 026 168

House clearances Single items to complete homes MARYLEBONE ANTIQUES - 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED

WE BUY ANTIQUES

07866 614 744 (ANYTIME)

www.antiquesbuyers.co.uk

VERY HIGH PRICES PAID. FREE HOME VISITS. All Antique Hille & Epstein 0207Furniture 723 7415 (SHOP) Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver, Paintings, Porcelain, closed Sunday & Monday Glass, Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques etc.

Computer FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON:

0800 840 2035 or 07956268290

STUART SHUSTER - e-mail - info@maryleboneantiques.co.uk

Man on aOPEN Bike8am will TOget 9pm 7 DAYS. you working fast! RD LONDON. PORTOBELLO

Full house clearances organised.

MAKE SURE CONTACT BEFORE SELLING Please look YOU at our websiteUS for more details www.antiquesbuyers.co.uk

Rapid Response IT support for your PC & Mac Networks, virus problems, broadband, wireless systems, new computers and everything else you may need. CHARITY & WELFARE For small businesses & home users.

FOR APPOINTMENTS CALL SUE ON: 0800 840 2035 or 07956268290 OPEN 8am TO 9pm 7 DAYS.

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on

PORTOBELLO RD LONDON.

020 8731 6171 • www.manonabike.co.uk

ARE YOU BEREAVED?

Stirling of Kensal Green Established over 60 years. Know who you are dealing with.

Top prices paid

All quality furniture bought & sold.

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

Best prices paid for complete house clearEpstein, Archie Shine, Hille, G Plan, etc. ances Lounges includingSuites, china, Bookcases, books, Dining Suites, clothing etc. Also rubbish clearance Desks, Cabinets, Mirrors, Lights, etc. service, lofts, sheds, garages etc House clearances Single items to complete Please contact Gordonhomes Stirling

020 8960 5401 or 07825 224144 CHURCH STREET ANTIQUES � 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED

͔͚͚͚͕͛͛͘͘͘͜(ANYTIME) Email: gordonstirling65@gmail.com 0207 723 7415(SHOP) closed Sunday & Monday

STUART SHUSTER � e�mail � stuart@churchstreetantiques.net

MAKE SURE YOU CONTACT US BEFORE SELLING

WESTLON HOUSING ASSOCIATION Sheltered Accommodation

Charity & Welfare Bereavement Counselling for adults and children individually. Support Groups available. During the pandemic, we offer telephone and online counselling. ARE YOU BEREAVED? Contact Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service in adults confidence. Counselling for & children who are 0208Support 951 3881groups offered. experiencing loss. enquiries@jbcs.org.uk | www.jbcs.org.uk Call The Jewish Bereavement

Labels are forTURN, jars. Refer yourself or aKNOW loved one by IF YOU DON’T WHICH WAY TO Not people. calling 020 8458 2223 orOUR visit HELPLINE. REMEMBER www.jamiuk.org

For confidential advice, information and support don’t forget Jewish Care Direct. REGISTERED CHARITY NO. 1003345

020 8922 2222

Counselling Service in confidence

jcdirect@jcare.org

020 & 8951 3881 • 07765 693 160 CHARITY WELFARE

jewishcare.org/helpline

HOUSE CLEARANCE

E: enquiries@jbcs.org.uk

We have an open waiting list in our friendly and comfortable warden assisted sheltered housing schemes in Ealing, East Finchley and Hendon. We provide 24-hour warden WESTLON HOUSING ASSOCIATION support, seven days a week; a residents’ lounge and kitchen, laundry, a sunny patio and garden. Sheltered Accommodation For further details and forms, We have an open waiting list for ourapplication friendly and comfortable pleasesheltered contact Westlon Housing Association onpeople warden assisted housing schemes for Jewish in Ealing, East Finchley andjohnsilverman@btconnect.com Hendon. We provide 24-hour 020 8201 8484 or email: warden support, seven days a week; a residents’ lounge and kitchen, laundry, a sunny patio and garden.

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

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24 December 2020 Jewish News

www.jewishnews.co.uk

39

Business Services Directory SILVER

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40 Jewish News

www.jewishnews.co.uk

24 December 2020

Best Chanukah gift ever!!!

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