Frills and spills! One jab
14 January 2021
Is Bridgerton the must-watch costume drama of the year? Corset is, says its Jewish writer •
1 Shvat 5781
at a time
The vaccination front line Page 18
The original social influencers
Over 80s who shaped our community See pages 13, 14, 15 & 20
Schools face crisis Soaring pupil numbers may lead to entry cap on key worker kids
Jewish schools are being overwhelmed by the rising number of children being sent in by “key worker” parents during the current lockdown, with one expert warning the situation has reached a “critical point”, writes Ellie Jacobs. The Jewish Community Academy Trust (JCAT), which comprises Wolfson Hillel School in Enfield, Hertsmere Jewish Primary School and Rimon Primary and Sacks Morasha in Barnet this week warned that some schools
are unable to cope with the increased demand and could be forced to cap entry. It reports that during the first lockdown in March only around 40 out of a total of 1,400 children at all four schools attended at any given time. This time, however, attendances have soared, with around 125 pupils (approximately 25 percent) at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School physically present, 150 pupils at Wolfson Hillel (33 percent of the total), 40 at Sacks Morasha (20 percent) and 100 at Rimon Primary, repre-
senting almost half of all pupils. While children of key workers have always been allowed to attend school, the clarity of the government’s message has changed, warned JCAT chief executive Kirsten Jowett. “Last time they encouraged parents to send in their children only if they had two key worker parents,” she said. “This time they have encouraged children with one or more.” Jowett also blames the expanded definition Continued on page 2
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
News / Charity donations / Jewish deaths / Israel vaccines
Giving ‘to continue’ A study this week is set to calm nerves among Jewish charities worried about their finances by showing that British Jews intend to continue their giving at much the same levels as before the pandemic, writes Stephen Oryszcuk. Drawing on a survey of almost 7,000 British Jews, a report published by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) outlines the “modest and manageable” financial impact of Covid-19 on most Jewish households. It will be some relief to communal organisations whose balance sheets have been hit by the virus and its associated lockdowns. It may even herald in a shift, with more donors saying they will target their giving towards Jewish causes than in previous years. “Early indicators suggest that the Jewish community should hold up reasonably well in light of the economic challenges presented by the pandemic,” said coauthor and JPR director Dr Jonathan Boyd. “While many have had to cope with redundancies and reduced
The Work Avenue team, which has helped people in lockdown
income, most Jews tell us they will continue to make charitable donations, pay synagogue membership fees and contribute to Jewish schools.” The proportion of UK Jews donating to charity dipped, from 86 percent in 2019 to 83 percent last year, but of these four fifths planned to give the same or more. Meanwhile 70 percent said they would give to Jewish charities, while 55 percent said so in
2013, when the target of giving was last measured. JPR said this “indicates a possible significant shift in donation behaviour”. The proportion of households paying full synagogue membership fees is expected to fall from 83 percent to 76 percent, and the proportion of parents paying the full recommended contribution at Jewish schools is likely to drop from 66 percent to 56 percent. JPR issued a warning that
the statistics measured intentions as of July 2020, when the country had emerged from its first national lockdown. There have been two more since, with daily Covid-19 deaths now surpassing the peak of the first wave, so families’ intentions may have changed. Boyd suggested that the proof would be in the pudding, adding that JPR would monitor the income received by Jewish charities, synagogues, and schools, “not just during a crisis, but at all times, to ensure we have reliable baseline data”. The survey follows a report by the Jewish Funders Network, which charts the giving of the Jewish world’s biggest philanthropic individuals and foundations. This found that funders were “shifting from projectbased grants to general support, creating new emergency and rapid-response funds, loosening reporting requirements, increasing the discretion of the grantee, eliminating matchinggift requirements, offering loans, and providing technical support”.
DEADLIEST WEEK SINCE LAST APRIL The deadliest week for the Jewish community since April has been recorded, with the number of Jewish Covid-related deaths increasing to a total of 691. In the UK, 43 funerals of members of the community took place last week with the coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate. Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “We must all follow government guidance scrupulously to protect our older and more vulnerable loves ones, as well as the health system on which we all rely.” The figures are collated by the Board with seven of the community’s largest burial boards, regional Jewish communities and the Jewish Small Communities Network. Burial boards include the Adass Yisroel Burial Society, Federation of Synagogues, Joint Jewish Burial Society, Liberal Judaism, the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community, the United Synagogue, and Orthodox burial societies in Manchester. More than 83,000 people have died nationally, with 1.96 million deaths worldwide.
Eureka moment for vaccine There were sighs of relief worldwide this week as statistics from Israel, where 22 percent of the population has already been vaccinated against Covid-19, showed a dramatic fall in infections, writes Jack Mendel. Data from Israel’s worldleading vaccination campaign suggests the Pfizer Covid jab curbs infections by nearly 50 percent two weeks after the first of two injections is given. According to Times of Israel, the country’s Health Ministry said 9,665 new cases had been confirmed at the start of this week – which was an all-time record. However, the rate of
More that 20% of Israelis have been vaccinated
positive tests was half of that in September, at under eight percent – and the number of daily tests being taken had skyrocketed to almost 130,000 on Monday. Speaking to Jewish News, Dr Asher Salmon, the Head of
the Department of International Relations at the Israeli Ministry of Health, said “it’s too early” to say how far it has curbed infections. “Immunity is only developing now and actually people are still quite exposed to developing the disease,” he said. “People should reach full immunity not before a week after the second dose.” The news comes as Prime Minister Netanyahu celebrated the two millionth vaccination this week, after Israeli ministers met the arrival of 700,000 additional Pfizer/ BioNTech jabs from Belgium. UK follows Israeli vaccine model, page 4
Pupil numbers at ‘crisis point’ Continued from page 1 of ‘critical worker’. She added: “The biggest change that has caused us a problem is the government said any child who can’t cope with or have access to remote learning can come in. This means pretty much any parent who feels their child cannot manage remote learning is being sent in.” With a “significant proportion” of staff shielding at home due to the new highly-transmissible Covid-19 variant and
with more staff needed to both teach children at school and those learning remotely, “the workload is doubling for staff” to ensure they offer pupils the best service, she said. Jowett has been forced to write to parents at Hertsmere and Hillel, where numbers are high, to share the government’s updated guidelines that asks even parents of critical workers to keep children out of school if they can work from home and to tell them the school may
create a priority list. Hayley Gross, headteacher of Sacks Morasha, told Jewish News that while most parents are being responsible and keeping children at home, “a few have used the guidelines to their advantage”. Two teachers from Beit Shvidler School in Edgware confirmed there has been a “significant jump” in pupil numbers at their school, with up to four times as many attending compared to the first lockdown.
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Capitol riots / ‘Apartheid’ claim / IHRA definition / News
Trump whipped up ‘mayhem’ Donald Trump has denied whipping up a crowd that morphed into an angry mob that stormed the US Capitol last week as dozens of Jewish organisations across the world rushed to condemn the riot, writes Joy Falk. The president, who was facing his second impeachment as Jewish News went to press, is accused of inciting insurrection after a series of lawsuits challenging November’s election result were rejected in US courtrooms. Jewish American groups blasted both the outgoing president and the rioters, many of whom are adherents to the antisemitic conspiracy group QAnon. Some wore clothes with Holocaust references; others were identified as members of a far-right militia. “Wednesday was a who’s who of the worst elements in society, people who despise Jews, hate blacks and literally don’t believe in our democracy,” said the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “These were hardcore extremists.” StandWithUs said there was “growing evidence of antisemitism and neo-Nazi affiliation among participants and leaders” of the mob, who carried out “an outrageous assault”. Other US-based organisations condemning the scenes were the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Council
NEWS IN BRIEF
ARNIE: RIOTS LIKE KRISTALLNACHT Arnold Schwarzenegger has labelled Donald Trump the “worst president ever” in a video calling for unity after the riots. The 73-year-old former California governor likened Wednesday’s violence to Kristallnacht, saying the rampage was carried out by the “Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys”, referring to the US far-right group. “Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States. The mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted.”
ANTISEMITIC SLURS ON ISRAELI VIDEO
The mob storming the US Capitol last week. Many were part of the antisemitic conspiracy group QAnon
for Public Affairs, Hadassah, and Jewish Federations of North America. In the UK, Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “President Trump bears a huge measure of respon-
sibility for inciting this mayhem.” Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, of the Conference of European Rabbis, urged people to “pray for the United States, the country, which taught the world
civility in political discourse and how to build democratic institutions”. Joe Biden will be sworn in on 20 January. The impeachment is aimed at stopping Trump running again in 2024.
A live broadcast of the US Capitol chaos by Israel’s Channel 13 correspondent Gil Tamary was interrupted by an agitator who used antisemitic slurs. The protester, dressed in black and holding a GoPro, steps in front of Tamary’s camera mid-broadcast. “I occupy this space, ok?”he says after Tamary asks him to move away, a possible allusion to Israel’s West Bank occupation. “I don’t represent… the Israeli government,” Tamary responds.
‘Auschwitz’ thug arrested The man who stormed the US Capitol wearing an antisemitic top reading ‘Camp Auschwitz’ has been arrested. CNN first identified 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer, whose shirt also said ‘Work brings freedom,’ a translation of the phrase that greeted Jews arriving at the Nazi concentration camp. Packer’s photo circulated in reports of the mob, whose storming of the Capitol led to the deaths of five people, including a police officer. He was arrested on Wednesday. Packer appeared most
Arrest: Robert Keith Packer
prominently in a report by ITV, in which his shirt — one of many extremist symbols present — is visible as he stands
behind people who are holding a torn piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office nameplate. Packer was described as “offbeat” and “extreme”. He has three convictions for driving under the influence and another for forging public records. Someone told CNN he worked as a welder. • Online retailer Etsy has removed a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ t-shirt listed on its site and is “vigilantly monitoring” similar items. It acted after the Auschwitz Memorial Museum raised the alarm on social media.
B’TSELEM CLAIMS ARE ‘MALICIOUS’
Lawyers say IHRA is ‘morally wrong’
Israeli diplomats in London reacted with anger and disdain after an Israeli human rights group said Benjamin Netanyahu ran a “non-democratic apartheid regime”. Embassy spokesman Ohad Zemet rejected the “false claims” in a new B’Tselem report after the NGO said Israeli policies “advanced and perpetuated Jewish supremacy over Palestinians”. Calling it “a propaganda tool”, he said: “Israel rejects the false claims. They are not based on reality but on a distorted ideological view.” B’Tselem claims Jewish supremacy is “an organising principle at the base of a wide array of Israeli policies”. Zionist Federation chair Paul Charney called B’Tselem “anti-Israel” and labelled its claims “malicious”.
A group of British lawyers has said forcing universities to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism is “morally wrong”. In a letter published in The Guardian on Thursday, the group, which includes two former Court of Appeal judges, accuse education secretary Gavin Williamson of “improper interference” with free expression by stating that if universities do not adhere to the definition they could face sanctions. The CST recorded 123 antisemitic incidents on campus between 2018 and 2020. A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The government expects institutions to take a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism with robust measures in place.”
A legacy gift will change the lives of young people in Israel
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Supporting Israel has been part of Martin & Sheryl Harris’ life for as long as they can remember. Martin’s late father, Louis, left a legacy gift to the UJIA Community Centre in Kiryat Bialik and this inspired his son to do the same. For Martin, remembering UJIA in his will is just the beginning. It is no less important that his daughters, Rachel and Lynsey, continue the work that his family has supported for generations. Martin’s legacy gift will not only have an impact on the lives of young people in Israel, but also on his own children too. To ﬁnd out more about the difference a legacy gift to UJIA can make, call Harvey Bratt on 020 7424 6431 or email email@example.com United Jewish Israel Appeal is a registered charity No. 1060078 (England & Wales) and Sc 039181 (Scotland).
Jewish News 14 January 2021
News / Covid treatments
UK follows Israeli vaccine model The UK this week copied the Israeli Covid-19 vaccination model, as the government unveiled seven giant vaccination centres across England to boost numbers and streamline the process, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. With three in the south-east, including one at the ExCel conference centre, the new mass vaccination centres are an idea borrowed from the Jewish state, which has led the world in getting its citizens immunised. The UK’s Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Israeli process meant it took just four minutes for each patient to get the jab,
which had informed Westminster’s focus on the “high throughput” facilities unveiled this week. “One of the things we learned is the speed at which they can vaccinate people,” Zahawi told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “We want to make sure we get to similar speeds. They’re at about four minutes per patient. That’s the sort of target we want to make sure we deliver on. At this stage it’s a race against time.” A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in London confirmed the two countries were working together on vaccine programmes and said:
% OF POPULATION VACCINATED “Last week [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock spoke with [Israeli Israel 22.1% Health Minister] Yuli Edelstein UAE 12.9% and discussed best practices and 5.4% future cooperation in fighting Bahrain the pandemic and vaccination UK 4.2% programmes in both countries.” USA 2.7% In his national TV briefing last week, NHS England chief execu- government to look at the Israeli tive Sir Simon Stevens referenced the model, saying the country’s experiIsraeli programme, saying England’s ence with national emergencies may geography meant a mixed approach have helped. “You have to view it as if it were a war. The Israelis are good at might work better here. Last weekend, Sir John Bell, getting on a war footing. Here it is not Regius Professor of Medicine at the clear whether it’s a national security University of Oxford, also urged the issue, but it is,” said Bell.
An Arab Israeli receives his jab
Israeli’s anti-virus spray could be ‘game changer’
Dr Regev with her anti-virus nasal spray
The first UK clinical trials of a nasal spray developed by a company co-founded by an Israeli that kills 99.9 percent of the coronavirus began this week, writes Ellie Jacobs. The SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to kill the virus that causes Covid-19 in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs. The spray, developed by SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. based in Vancouver, Canada, co-founded by Israeli Gilly Regev, proved 99.9 percent effective in killing the coronavirus in independent laboratory tests.
The treatment is based on nitric oxide, a natural nanomolecule produced by the human body with proven anti-microbial properties shown to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19. The treatment can be delivered by nasal spray, throat gargle or nasal lavage. Dr Regev told Jewish News she believes the spray could be a “game-changer” in the fight against Covid-19. “If you use it daily, I really believe you won’t be affected by Covid-19. We have shown in the clinical trials that the people who used it did not get infected.” Although this is the first trial done for early
treatment, she is confident it will prove its efficacy on humans. “We have shown in animals we can reduce the virus in the nose so I think we have all the science and the data to support this in humans.” Pre-Covid, NONS – which is unique in not only creating a preventative barrier but also killing the virus – was being used to treat other diseases such as acne, athlete’s foot and the flu. Regev hopes that after the trial, the spray will be available to purchase over the counter. “It will be pretty inexpensive,” Regev adds, “because our goal is that everyone can use it.”
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
Teen plotter / Khan concern / Ronson gift / Lawyer suspended / News
Mayor urges: Shut shuls London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Jewish communities to shut synagogues and “look beyond what is technically permitted” to save lives, writes Jack Mendel. He declared a ‘major incident’ last week as virus cases surged and called on the government to reverse its decision to let places of worship stay open during the third lockdown. As of Wednesday, 11 United Synagogue congregations out of 56 have kept their doors open. Other movements, including Reform and Liberal Judaism have closed all synagogues and moved services entirely online. Writing to shul chairs, rabbis and rebetzens this week, the United Synagogue said it has “permitted communities to determine whether they wish to close or remain open” and has “supported local leadership teams in making the right decision for their membership and local context.” “Many communities have made the deci-
sion to close and will review this decision at regular intervals. As of today, 20 percent of our synagogues remain open.” Khan praised London’s faith communities, who have “from the earliest stages of the pandemic, provided practical help and comfort” to those in need. He told Jewish News,, however, “with the levels of the virus circulating in our communities as high as it is, I no longer think allowing in-person gatherings is in the best interest of Londoners’ safety. “That is why I am calling on the government to close places of worship immediately, save for funeral services. “Until that happens, I am urging all of Sadiq Khan: plea
London’s faith communities to look beyond what is technically permitted and focus on the safest course of action for all Londoners – this means avoiding all communal worship for the time being to help reduce the risk of infections spreading.” The United Synagogue urged communities to “please consider cutting your total capacity even further”, suggesting the aim in big shuls of having “no more than 50 people in attendance in one room at any one time and far fewer in smaller rooms”. Communities still open are: Hendon, Birmingham, Edgware, Finchley, Golders Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Highgate, Kingsbury, Radlett, Sheffield and South Tottenham.
£8m for disadvantaged youngsters in Israel
Teenagers at Kfar Silver
The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation is giving £8million to a project for disadvantaged young people in Israel. It will be used to renovate the Kfar Silver Youth Village, near Ashkelon and
the Gaza border, home to about 740 students. The project – supported by Jewish education network World ORT – is the largest contribution to an ORT school and will take four years. The
village includes a high school, a boarding school and an agricultural farm. World ORT director general and CEO Dan Green said: “Kfar Silver is a jewel in the crown of the ORT network. We are
determined to transform the village into a location in which of young people can realise their dreams.” The campus will be named the Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation Campus.
LABOUR CLLR IS SUSPENDED The Labour deputy chair of Newham Council has been suspended over a series of social media posts, including one suggesting Israel should be relocated to the United States. Nazir Ahmed, head of practice at City law firm Lincoln’s Chambers Solicitors, shared an image in December 2017 which places Israel in the centre of the USA, the same image Labour MP Naz Shah shared in 2016, leading to her apology and suspension from the party. Ahmed said on his profile it was “an easy solution for Israel Palestine conflict!” He has been approached for comment.
NEO-NAZI TEEN CAN BE NAMED An 18-year-old neo-Nazi who planned a terrorist attack in his home city of Durham, including arson against local synagogues, can be named after an attempt to retain his anonymity was rejected by a judge. Jack Reed was sentenced last January to six years and eight months in custody after a jury found him guilty of preparation of terrorist acts between 2017 and 2019. He also wrote of planning to conduct an arson spree with Molotov cocktails on local synagogues. Police analysis of his computer devices and mobile phone uncovered internet searches on firearms, explosives and knives as well as downloads of far-right material.
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
News / Autism research / Memorial wall / ‘Violent propaganda’
MPs meet over Uyghurs Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said firms linked to the “harrowing” forced labour of China’s persecuted Uyghur Muslims will be hit with huge fines, as Jewish groups said more needed to be done, writes Adam Decker. Having suffered four years of mass internment – something China calls “re-education” – it was recently revealed that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang province are being used as slave labour, mainly to pick cotton. Raab said China’s persecution included “internment camps, arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture, and forced sterilisation, all on an industrial scale”, echoing details aired in Jewish News over recent months. “It is truly horrific,” he said, “barbarism we had hoped lost to another era, being practiced today in one of the leading members of the international community.” From now on, he said, firms sourcing prod-
Nus Ghani MP delivers JN’s Uyghur petition
ucts from China must check their origin or risk heavy fines under the Modern Slavery Act, and lucrative Government contracts will only go to firms that can show their supply chains
have no Xinjiang links. Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy accused Raab of pulling his punches, however. “The government has trailed long-awaited sanctions in the media on officials responsible for appalling human rights abuses in Xinjiang. We have waited months. Who has overruled him this time?” The Board of Deputies said it was holding an emergency meeting for MPs on the plight of the Uyghurs ahead of an important vote which will take place in the House of Commons in the coming days. In December, the House of Lords voted to add an amendment to a trade Bill. This amendment would revoke or prevent bilateral trade deals between the UK and any country which the High Court determines is carrying out a genocide. That Bill will return to the House of Commons soon and MPs will get to vote on it. The Board said the amendment – which is directly aimed at the treatment of the Uyghurs in China – needed to be pass for China to take it seriously.
...as China ‘propaganda’ tweet removed Twitter has removed a tweet by a Chinese embassy account spreading “violent propaganda” about the alleged sterilisation of Uyghur Muslim women, writes Adam Decker. Jewish community leaders and MPs had criticised the tweet from the embassy to the UK. The embassy shared an article from state-
run media China Daily, which claimed the “eradication of extremism” in Xinjiang, an area with a large Uyghur population, has given women “more autonomy”. It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and
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gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer babymaking machines. They are more confident and independent.” MP Nus Ghani called the statement “blatant fake news and violent propaganda against millions of Uyghur women children..”
Israeli researchers have shed new light on genetic mutations associated with autism, which may help scientists to find new and more effective therapies. Prof Sagiv Shif- Professor Shifman man at Hebrew University found that genes associated with autism tend to be involved in the regulation of other genes and to operate mainly in three areas of the brain including the cerebellum which is responsible for motor function, as well as social and cognitive functions. Shifman said: “Our work provides us with considerable hope that we will be able to develop medicines to assist children with autism.”
G2G memory wall A Holocaust education charity has launched its ‘Wall of Memories’ online platform featuring plaques paying tribute to Nazi victims. The initiative, which includes stories and recollections, comes from Generation 2 Generation (G2G), founded by the children and grandchildren of survivors. It costs from £250 for families to record the lives and accounts of a loved one. G2G trustee Andrew Hirsch says the wall ensures that “as people die, their lives and stories don’t die with them”. www.generation2generation.org. uk/wall-of-memories
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Special Report / Mental health
Support where it’s needed most Jewish pupils and parents are playing a full part in UK’s first mental health and wellbeing festival for schools, says Stephen Oryszczuk Jewish children and parents are set to play their full part in the UK’s first mental health and wellbeing festival for schools on 3 February, with thousands of classrooms already signed up. The ‘Now & Beyond’ festival is being held on Inside Out Day, on which pupils across the country wear their clothes inside out to show that how people feel on the inside can be different from what others see on the outside. Dozens of Jewish primary and secondary schools are taking part in the event, which this year is being held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools as far away as Dubai have asked to be involved. The festival will include about 600 sessions for children, parents and teachers, with others designed to help businesses get involved. Social media consultant and festival cocreator Louisa Rose thinks it cannot come
soon enough. “The whole situation is so concerning at the moment,” she said. “I’m reading reports of five-year-olds presenting with signs of anxiety. The 16-24 years age bracket is among the worst affected.” According to the Children’s Society, three quarters of all young people do not get the mental health support they need. The Prince’s Trust found that the number who say “life is not worth living” has doubled in recent years. Co-hosting the festival is Jewish mental health advocate Jonny Benjamin, who will be speaking on the day, helping Rose to coordinate the sessions, and launching a fund for grants to help to pay for schools’ mental health provision. “Too many young people are struggling in silence,” he said, referring to the effects of the pandemic. “Their mental health must be prioritised now more than ever.” Among the sessions will be live webinars
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Above and below: Jonny Benjamin speaks to school pupils about mental health
such as one specifically designed for teachers’ wellbeing scheduled for after-school, involving the Anna Freud Centre, as well as one for teenagers from Dr Alex George, and a session for parents at 8pm with the BBC’s Kate Silverton in conversation with child psychiatrist Dr Dickon Bevington. Rose, originally from Scotland, who has suffered from depressive episodes in the past, has two children aged four and one. She said she expected mental health education in schools in England to be “a given”, only to find that it was not. She said the festival was “designed to provide support to schoolchildren and teachers at a time when mental wellbeing is at an alltime low”, adding that she personally knew from family and friends working in education how demoralised teachers were right now. “Many just aren’t prepared for this [homelearning],” she said. “Some are more techsavvy than others. Some have difficult home circumstances, such as having children with additional needs. “There’s all this additional stress they’re under that we don’t necessarily think of, but it’s taken its toll.” A recent whole-community study by Education Support found that teachers’ stress levels from July to October rose from 62 percent to 84 percent, with the same study showing that fewer than one in five felt appreciated by the government. “This isn’t one person feeling a bit left out, it’s a really serious issue,” said Rose. “We expect them to be robust enough to carry our children’s mental health and wellbeing through
the pandemic but we’re not looking after theirs.” Likewise, with parents. “As a mum, I know happy mummy equals happy baby.” Jewish primaries getting involved include Etz Chaim, Sacks Morasha, Hertsmere, Alma, Wolfson Hillel, Independent Jewish Primary and Calderwood Lodge near Glasgow, while Jewish secondaries include JFS, King David, Yavneh and JCoSS. The sessions will be run by volunteers including almost 200 vetted and qualified child psychologists, educational psychiatrists, art therapists, counsellors, yoga instructors and mindfulness teachers. Many are drawn from the school’s local area to encourage longterm engagement. Rose says they have been “overwhelmed by the response”, speaking as Boris Johnson prepared to put the country into another nationwide lockdown. How will things be different this time round? “It’s the middle of winter,” says Benjamin. “The first was tough enough but it was the spring. Now, with it being so dark, I’m really worried about what it’s going to do to people’s mental health. I know so many people who are struggling with anxiety, some of them for the first time. This new variant is causing a kind of mass anxiety.” Rose adds: “The capacity to cope or tolerate another lockdown has massively reduced. Initially it was something new, things like clapping for the NHS, people did that with zest and energy. That’s now totally waned. “People are tired, drained emotionally. I can’t even describe how much more this festival is needed right now.”
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Adelson tributes / Merron steps down / Navy deal / Rinder event / News
Donor Adelson dies The Jewish world’s biggest and most high-profile donor Sheldon Adelson has died at the age of 87. The casino magnate based in Las Vegas was one of the world’s richest men, with a £25billion fortune as of September last year. He pumped vast sums into backing both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. His widow Miriam said this week that he was “the proudest of Jews” and “saw in the State of Israel not only the realisation of an historical promise to a unique and deserving people, but also a gift
Sheldon Adelson with Trump and wife Miriam
from the almighty to all of humanity”. The reason for his death was not immediately given, the family citing only “a long illness”. Given his financial firepower and proclivity
for politics, Adelson has been a huge factor in both US and Israeli elections for a decade, not least by bankrolling two Israeli newspapers that have given Netanyahu and his right-wing allies favour-
Board boss Merron quits after peerage
able coverage. Adelson had some British heritage – his mother came from England, and he once said his maternal grandfather was a Welsh coalminer. His father, of Lithuanian-Ukrainian parents, was a taxi driver, while his mother ran a haberdashery. Beyond politics, the Adelson Foundation gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Birthright Israel, Friends of the Israel Defence Forces, and Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum.
The Board of Deputies’ chief executive Gillian Merron is to step down after her appointment as a life peer, writes Adam Decker. Nominated by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the former Labour MP will leave the communal body on 2 April after six years at the helm, handing over to interim successor Michael Wegier, a former chief executive of UJIA. “I’ve had the great honour of serving our community and while I’m sad, I’m also proud to leave the Board in better shape,” she said. “I’ll look back with pride, warmth and fondness on everything we have achieved together.” Board president Marie van der Zyl said Merron had “transformed” the organisation during her time in charge.
Gillian Merron with Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Archbishop Justin Welby
It comes as revised proposals were submitted to Deputies to update the Board’s constitution. If agreed, it would expand the number of trustees from five to 11.
ROYAL NAVY’S £120M ISRAEL DEAL Rinder to discuss doc An Israeli defence firm has shaken hands on a £120million deal with the UK’s Royal Navy to train British sailors and submariners on the changing nature of security at sea. Elbit Systems’ UK subsidiary was part of the Fisher consortium that won a 12-year contract to modernise the Navy’s shore-based training and establish a Future Submarine School. Elbit has previously sold training aircraft to the
Royal Air Force and both battlefield management systems and Watchkeeper drones to the British Army, but this is its first deal with the Royal Navy. “We’re proud to be a part of the team to deliver nextgeneration training capabilities to the Royal Navy,” said Martin Fausset, chief executive of Elbit Systems UK. Suggesting it may speed up reaction times, he said it would help British personnel “achieve their potential and arrive at the front line quicker”.
Be the Light in the Darkness
A half-day of online innovative Holocaust education Date: Sunday 31 January 2021 Time: 14:30 to 21:00 (with breaks) Location: Online £22 (£20 before 18 January) | £10 for students Includes a special reduction on Prof. Lipstadt's recent book, Antisemitism: Here and Now
To book, please visit lsjs.ac.uk For telephone bookings, please call 020 8203 6427 For information about MOTL UK, please contact email@example.com
Registered Charity No: 1138604
Registered Charity No: 1131850
Robert Rinder is set to reflect on his moving BBC documentary, My Family, My Holocaust and Me in a special panel discussion on 18 January. Hosted by The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) in association with Jewish News, the TV personality and barrister will reunite with other second and third generation Holocaust
survivors, who featured in the two-part programme aired in November. They include his mother Angela Cohen, with whom he travelled to Treblinka and Noemie Lopian, whose mother was saved as a child by a French family. Free tickets are available now at eventbrite.com
Schedule 14:30 – 15:30 An insider's walk through the Ringelblum Archive Exhibition at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw In partnership with the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland
Presenters: Dr Samuel Kassow, Helise Liberman and Aleksandra Sajdak 16:00 – 17:00 Contemporary Jewish pilgrim sites? Jerusalem and Auschwitz - do they satisfy the same need? In both cases, handle with care! Presenter: Clive Lawton 17:30-18:30 Stories from the Darkness; Rabbi Shapira, Róza Robota, the Ulma family Presenters: Jude Williams, Rachel Century, Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, Angela Gluck 20:00 – 21:00 What can we all do to ensure the Holocaust and its lessons for humanity are never forgotten? Professor Deborah Lipstadt, in conversation with Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Special Report / Genetic disorders
‘Screening gave us peace of mind’ Family tragedy meant genetic test result was heart-in-the-mouth moment for one Jewish couple, writes Stephen Oryszczuk Gemma met husband Craig nine years ago at university in Leeds, when thoughts of starting a family were far from their minds. But after they got married in 2018 they were screened for Jewish genetic disorders. “I still hear it from friends who say ‘It’s okay, my husband’s Sephardi,’ but it only takes one family member to pass the genes down – as we found out,” says 28-year-old Gemma. The couple say they too “thought we were fine”, until Craig’s parents found out that the gene for Canavan disease, a rare and progressive neurological Jewish genetic disorder (JGD), ran in their family. “It was a shock to me,” says Craig. “My parents were proactive and thought they’d get tested so we could have the all-clear and relax.” It was a big moment, the significance of which was lost on no one, because of a family tragedy on Gemma’s side years earlier. “I always knew I might be a carrier of Canavan
disease, which is more common in Ashkenazi Jews, because both my parents are carriers,” says Gemma. “It means there’s a high chance of the children being carriers.” Indeed, Gemma’s older sister, Madeleine Curtis, had the disorder, diagnosed after she missed a series of developmental milestones. Madeleine died in 1997, aged nine. At the time Madeleine was born research into JGDs was in its infancy and tests were available only for a few diseases, such as Tay-Sachs. Little was known about Canavan disease. After the discovery, Gemma says “a big question mark hung over my parents’ heads about having more children”. IVF was not an option because it was not a fertility issue and embryonic screening for Canavan’s was not possible then.. “They were told they could have more children naturally but in doing so they ran a 25 percent risk of having another disabled child. “Fortunately, they had two more healthy children – my younger sister
Gemma’s sister Madeleine died
and I – but not without huge anxiety, which could have been avoided if reliable testing had been available.” This meant that the discovery that Craig’s family carried the gene was a heart-in-the-mouth moment. The chances of the couple both being carriers shrank from one in 13,500 to one in two, with a one in four chance of their children being affected. “We were in shock,” says Craig. “We felt sick to the stomach, but we were on the same page in terms of what to do.” Gemma nods. “Two people being the carrier of the same gene is very rare,” says Gemma. “Carrying the same recessive gene as her partner’s parents is really uncommon. But not as uncommon as we thought.” The couple were
Craig and Gemma with baby Mia, who is named after Madeleine
told about Jnetics, set about getting screened, and ultimately avoided the anguish Gemma’s parents suffered, but were “on shpilkes” before then. “After 10 weeks, on our wedding anniversary in fact, we found out that Craig was not a carrier,” says Gemma. “Although I am, and although our children may be, it meant that our chances of having an affected child were extremely low. It gave us peace of mind others sadly don’t have.” Did they discuss ‘what if’ during the wait? “We did,” says Craig. “We
decided that we would go down the IVF route.” Last year, the couple had a healthy baby girl they called Mia, after Madeleine. “We’re two of the lucky ones,” they say. “We have friends who say they’re not going to get tested. We do everything we possibly can to convince them that it’s worth it.” They now hope young Jewish couples hearing their story “realise how important it is to get tested. You might be a carrier without even knowing.” canavanfoundation.org
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News presents
EXCLUSIVE UK PREMIERE 14-17 January 2021 SPECIAL ONLINE EVENT Watch the first three episodes of the new season months before it is streamed in the UK + Q&A with the cast and creative team and behind the scenes exclusive
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
14 January 2021 Jewish News
120 Over 80
Our golden generation Jewish News' Forty Under 40 and Eighteen Under 18 lists celebrate those set to shape the future, but what about those who've influenced our community's present and past? Over the next four weeks, in partnership with Jewish Care, we profile 120 individuals aged 80 and over whose achievements have inspired us for decades. Why 120? Well, to paraphrase the famous Jewish blessing: "May those in our countdown live until 120.” OUR PANEL OF JUDGES
Baroness Ros Altmann CBE, Former UK Minister of State for Pensions. Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director, Liberal Judaism. Daniel Carmel-Brown, CEO Jewish Care Justin Cohen, News Editor, Jewish News. Russell Conn, President, Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region. Sarah David, Director, Yoni Jesner Foundation. Adam Dawson, Chair JAMI. Yocheved Eiger, CEO, Bikur Cholim (the Charedi community's leading mental health charity) Dame Louise Ellman. David Ereira, Life President, Norwood & Vice President of S&P Sephardi Community. Ellisa Estrin, Director of Marketing, Communications & Customer Engagement, Jewish Care. Shirley Fenster, Immediate Past Co-Chair, Masorti Judaism. Richard Ferrer, Editor, Jewish News. Andrew Gilbert, Chair, 120 Over 80 panel. Nicky Goldman, Chief Executive, JVN (Jewish Volunteering Network). Michael Goldstein, President, United Synagogue. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England. Henry Grunwald OBE QC, President, World Jewish Relief. Gayle Klein, Trustee, Jewish Care. Helen Lewis, Vice Chair, Leeds Jewish Welfare Board. Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Senior Rabbi, Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue. Neil Martin OBE, Chief Executive, JLGB.Tracy Ann Oberman, Actress and writer. Rachel Riley, TV presenter. Helen Simmons, CEO Nightingale Hammerson.
Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy, 81 For more than 50 years, Rabbi Levy has been a spiritual leader of the British Sephardim. Always “unafraid to push boundaries”, the 81-year-old established the Naima Jewish Preparatory School in 1983, the first new Sephardi school to open in a century. Appointed Spiritual Head of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation in 1981, Rabbi Levy went on to found the Young Jewish Leadership Institute and also modernised the Montefiore Kollel to train the next generation of rabbis. Now serving as the Emeritus Spiritual Head of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, Rabbi Levy was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to interfaith cooperation.
Agnes Kaposi, 88 A relative newcomer to Holocaust education, survivor Agnes’ impact has nevertheless been immense. Born in Hungary, as a child she survived the Debrecen ghetto and labour camps in Austria. A distinguished engineer who trained in Stalinist Hungary,
Agnes contributed to the development of the Hungarian TV broadcasting infrastructure. In 1992, she became just the third woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is currently emeritus professor in electrical engineering at London South Bank University. A “very passionate” storyteller, the 88-year-old recently published her memoir and works closely with the Echo Eternal project, which educates diverse communities about the Holocaust.
Alan and Marilyn Lazarus, 84 and 80 Alan and Marilyn Lazarus MBE were instrumental in co-founding Jewish mental health charity Jami in 1989. Heralded as a “visionary couple”, the pair have tirelessly raised awareness of mental health and wellbeing for more than 30 years after recognising a lack of provision in the Jewish community. Their ongoing support for Jami includes establishing the charity shop and raising millions of pounds to fund residential and community services for 1,500 users. Marilyn, 80, was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her instrumental efforts, while Alan, 84, received a Lifetime Achievement award from JVN six years later.
Alan Tyler, 96 Alan Tyler’s extraordinary naval career spanned three decades and encompassed almost every corner of the globe. His war record included commanding a gun turret instrumental in the sinking of the German battleship, Scharnhorst, and leading the fleet into Singapore for the Japanese surrender. Post-war, Alan’s naval responsibilities included handing over control of Haifa port on the eve of Israeli independence, serving as the UK’s first Hebrew translator to the navy and taking sole charge of Britain’s first nuclear bomb on Rosh Hashanah 1952. A former national chairman of AJEX and president of the Jewish Committee for HM Forces, the 96-year-old remains active to this day.
Lord Alf Dubs, 87 One of Britain’s most respected figures, Lord Dubs is a tireless campaigner for refugee rights. Arriving in Britain on the Kindertransport in July 1939 and owing to his keen interest in politics, Lord Dubs was elected as a Labour MP in 1979, before being promoted as Shadow Minister for Immigra-
tion, Refugees and Race Relations. The 87-year-old latterly became CEO of the Refugee Council, before being awarded a Life Peerage in 1994 and serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1997 to 1999. Notably, in 2016, the peer successfully moved an amendment in Parliament mandating the UK government to take unaccompanied child refugees from Europe, especially Calais and the Greek Islands.
Anita Alexander-Passe, 89 Legendary fundraiser Anita AlexanderPasse has raised millions for projects in Israel over the past 60 years. Since 1993, she has been director of the British Friends of Rambam Medical Centre, a national charity established to support The Rambam Health Care Campus located in Haifa. An accomplished speaker and fundraiser, she has helped initiate biennial exchanges of medical personnel between Homerton Hospital in Hackney and the Haifa hospital since the early 1990s. The 89-year-old is also chair of Operation Wheelchairs Committee, a past chair of Na’Amat (Pioneer Women) and was even a Jewish Chronicle correspondent during the 1980s.
Arek & Jean Hersh, 92 and 86 With their “incredible dedication” to Holocaust education, Arek and Jean Hersh have truly kept the flame of memory alive. Born into a Polish family, Arek survived the Lodz Ghetto, Otoshno camp (near Poznan), Auschwitz-Birkenau and Theresienstadt. With his wife, ‘Queen Jean’, accompanying him, the pair have recounted Arek's story at every possible opportunity since he started speaking about his experiences 25 years ago. They regularly travel across Poland and the UK, focusing particularly on educating non-Jewish communities in the north of England. Arek, 92, and Jean, 86, also visit Germany once a year to speak with non-Jewish Germans about the Holocaust.
Jewish News 14 January 2021
120 Over 80 Barry Hieger, 86
Arthur Lawson, 98 Second World War veteran Arthur Lawson has contributed extensively to Jewish communal and military associations. Transferred to the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers in 1941, his unit fought against the Japanese in Burma, with Arthur surviving a knee wound during the famous Battle of Imphal, which halted the Japanese advance into India. In his own humble words, a “rather lucky survivor”, the 98-year-old subsequently spent many years undertaking voluntary work with AJEX, eventually rising to becoming national chairman in 2002, and is currently president of the Monash Branch of the Royal British Legion. In 2003, he was awarded an MBE for services to Community & Veteran Affairs.
Aubrey Rose, 94 A “ground-breaking” campaigner for minority groups, Aubrey Rose’s distinguished career as a human rights lawyer includes co-founding the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and being the first Jewish Commissioner at the commission for Racial Equality from 1991-1995. A highly visible communal mensch, the 94-year-old served on the Board of Deputies for more than 50 years, including as senior vice president from 1991 to 1997, and is a founding member of the Commonwealth Jewish Council. Aubrey also led the first British Jewish delegation to Spain in 1992 to mark 500 years since the expulsion of the Jews, and has served as president of the Indian-Jewish Association.
Audrey and Geoffrey Morris, 89 and 88 Praised as the “beating hearts of British Jewry”, Geoffrey and Audrey Morris’ remarkable commitment has helped keep the Finchley Reform community flourishing for decades. The pair joined Finchley Reform Synagogue (FRS) more than 50 years ago, with Geoffrey, 88, becoming both vice chair and headteacher of the cheder. He was named a Diamond Champion by older people’s charity, WRVS, in recognition of his volunteering efforts. A stalwart member of the FRS choir and organiser of weekly study sessions, Audrey, 89, was also integral in co-founding Raphael, the Jewish counselling service. Limmud regulars, the pair continue to inspire their children and grandchildren with their commitment to Jewish learning.
Barry Hieger is JLGB’s longest serving volunteer, having held almost every major JLGB appointment since joining in 1948. After returning from his National Service, Barry became an adult volunteer leader in 1952 and helped run the first JLGB Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)’s Award expedition four years later. For more than 60 years, Barry trained and assessed thousands of participants on their DofE expeditions. His remarkable dedication was rewarded with a DofE Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by the Earl of Wessex in 2014. The 86-yearold is now an honorary JLGB vice president, having held the position of JLGB Treasurer for more than 16 years.
Sir Ben Helfgott, 91 Sir Ben Helfgott has led the Holocaust survivor community with distinction. Polish-born, he survived appalling conditions in the Piotrków Ghetto before being deported to Buchenwald, Schlieben and Theresienstadt concentration camps. Described as an “outstanding humanitarian”, Ben is the founder and chairman of the ’45 Aid Society, an association of orphaned child survivors flown to England in 1945, and campaigned in the 1980s for a memorial to be created in Hyde Park. A former champion weightlifter, Ben is also one of just a handful of Jewish athletes known to have competed in the Olympics after surviving the Holocaust. The 90-yearold was awarded a knighthood in 2018 for services to Holocaust remembrance and education.
Bernard Davis, 91 The “godfather of serious intellectual Reform Judaism”, Bernard Davis played a leading role in transforming the movement’s reputation within the Zionist Federation and the World Zionist Organization. Praised for developing South West Essex Reform Synagogue into a cutting edge and leading Reform community, Bernard became the synagogue’s first president and rose to become the youngest chair of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (the precursor to the Movement for Reform Judaism). An inspirational figure, the 91-year-old is currently a patron of Leo Baeck College and remains a leading figure within Reform Zionism.
Bernard Kops, 94 Praised for “vividly” conveying the British-Jewish experience, Bernard Kops is one of Britain’s most celebrated and prolific authors. Born in the East End of London to DutchJewish immigrants, Bernard’s first play, The Hamlet of Stepney Green, brought him national recognition in 1957. Heralded as one of the keystones of the New Wave in British ‘kitchen sink’ drama, it was subsequently performed all over the world. The 94-year-
old’s substantial literary contribution, which includes more than 40 plays, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two autobiographies, was recognised in 2009 when the Queen bestowed on him a rare Civil List pension.
Bernd Koschland, 89 With “selfless devotion”, Bernd Koschland has dedicated much of his life to teaching thousands of young people about the Holocaust. In March 1939, aged just eight, Bernd travelled on the Kindertransport from Germany, with his older sister joining him a few months later. It was the last time he saw his parents, who were murdered in Riga or Izbica in 1942. Bernd’s testimony was one of four used by the BBC to produce the Newsnight programme marking the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport. In his testimony, the 89-year-old spoke movingly of his recollections fleeing Germany and rebuilding life in his adopted homeland.
Beryl Sharpe, 80 Beryl Sharpe has played a substantial role in maintaining the vibrancy of Brighton’s Jewish community. As president of the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC), which provides a central contact point for all Jewish organisations in Sussex, the 80-year-old has “always had charity at heart”. Her numerous initiatives include staging major community events to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, collections for the homeless, and administering the Community Renewal Fund. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Beryl has united her local community through projects including a Community Support Network, collecting ‘Nosh for the NHS’, and initiating home deliveries of deli suppers to the elderly and housebound.
Bob and Ann Kirk, 95 and 92 Bob and Ann Kirk have educated thousands of schoolchildren about their experiences of the Kindertransport and the Holocaust. Born in Germany, Bob, 95, and Ann, 92, travelled to England in 1939 through the Kindertransport programme. As a teenager, Bob joined the British army, where he became an interpreter dealing with German prisoners of war. Ann attended South Hampstead High School, eventually training at a secretarial college. The pair met at a club for young Jewish refugees, run by Woburn House, and married in 1950. In 2019, the couple were awarded BEMs for services to Holocaust education and remembrance.
Bronia Snow, 93 Bronia Snow’s remarkable dedication to Holocaust education has been behind her decision to address thousands of students, with her story recounted in leading publications, including The Daily Telegraph. The 93-year-old recalls Hitler’s troops marching into Czechoslovakia and her subsequent journey on
14 January 2021 Jewish News
120 Over 80 the Kindertransport to live with her mother’s cousin. Bronia’s family were murdered in Auschwitz in 1944, ending her dream of being reunited with them. Always making a “big impact on young audiences”, Bronia often cites her enthusiastic adjustment to British schooling, and her gratitude to Britain and Sir Nicholas Winton for a new life.
Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu, 89 Dayan Ehrentreu is a leading rabbinical authority on Jewish law and served for more than 20 years as head of the London Beth Din. His achievements include successfully negotiating the construction of the north-west London eruv in 2003¸ improving the situation of agunot (chained wives) and working to improve competition and standards among kosher outlets. The 89-year-old is currently a dayan of the European Beth Din, and in 2018 was awarded Germany’s Federal Order of Merit in recognition of his crucial role in rebuilding traditional Jewish life as director of the Rabbinical Seminary of Berlin.
Clive Boxer, 86 Clive Boxer has worked tirelessly for decades to ensure that the significant contribution of the Jewish community to Britain’s security is never forgotten. A former national serviceman, Clive partook in the coronation parade of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and served twice in the Canal Zone in Egypt. For decades, the 86-year-old has supported AJEX, drawing up the foundation documents for the charity and serving as hon solicitor. His truly “unique commitment” includes leading the UK Roll of Honour project, a historical record commemorating the 90,000 Jews who have served in the military since 1932.
Cynthia and Neil Drapkin, 82 and 90
David Lipman, 83
Cynthia and Neil Drapkin have shown remarkable dedication to commemorating the lives of Czech and Slovak Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Since 2002, Cynthia has regularly visited the town of Spišská Nová Ves in Slovakia, contacting survivors and preparing a comprehensive archive of testimonies. Working with a local schoolteacher, whose students helped research the former Jewish community, the 82-year-old also successfully lobbied for the Jewish cemetery to be renovated. Her husband Neil, 90, has written a booklet about the history of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue’s Torah scrolls, one of which originated in Spišská Nová Ves.
For more than half a century, David Lipman has been a stalwart supporter of Liberal Judaism. After founding Nottingham Liberal Synagogue with his late wife in 1965, David rose to become chairman of Liberal Judaism and remains a vice president. He also served as chairman of the European Region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, receiving an MBE in 2017 in recognition of his extraordinary dedication. The 83-year-old has also contributed towards a scholarship programme for children in Slavkov in the Czech Republic, and was instrumental in restoring the town’s synagogue as a memorial to the former Jewish community lost in the Holocaust.
Lord David Alliance, 87 One of Britain’s foremost industrialists for more than half a century, Lord Alliance is an Iranian-British businessman who made his fortune in textiles. The former chairman of online retailer N Brown Group and founder of Coats Viyella, Europe’s foremost textile company, David was made a life peer in 2004. The 87-year-old has used his vast wealth to support charitable and educational foundations in Britain, Iran and Israel. Between 1984 and 1991, Lord Alliance was instrumental in the rescue of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan and Ethiopia by bringing them to Israel.
David Duke-Cohan, 92
An unsung hero of the community, Clive Marks has been one of the great benefactors of British Jewry. As administrator of the former Ashdown Trust, initiated by property magnate Lord Ashdown, Clive oversaw £50 million of donations between 1977 and 2012. Domestic projects included saving the London School of Jewish Studies (the former Jews’ College) from bankruptcy and donating generously to the Reform movement. Through the international ORT network, the 89-year-old also funded schools in Latin America, and established the UJIA-Ashdown Fellowship, which helps students to study in Israel and the United States during their gap years.
David Duke-Cohan is the former chair and president of Edgware and District Reform Synagogue (EDRS). Praised as “courageous and influential”, the 92-year-old ensured EDRS remained part of the Reform Movement during a turbulent period for the synagogue. David is the former vice chair of the Zionist Federation and has headed up its finance, constitution and Yom Ha’atzmaut committees. He is also one of the founders of Pro-Zion, the UK’s diverse Zionist movement for Progressive Judaism. A highly successful solicitor with more than 65 years of experience, David remains a dedicated and enthusiastic Talmud student at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue.
Corinne Oppenheimer, 84
David Farbey, 88
A “true role model who never seeks the limelight”, Corinne Oppenheimer has dedicated a lifetime of service to Liberal Judaism. Currently a vice president of Liberal Judaism, Corinne served for years on Birmingham Progressive Synagogue’s executive, holding roles as president, chair and secretary. Since moving to London, the 84-year-old has been an active member of Finchley Progressive Synagogue, where she has served on the council, caters communal seders and regularly helps the rabbi to support elderly and bereaved members. Corinne can always be relied upon and is unquestionably a legendary volunteer.
For more than 50 years, David Farbey has served as a senior representative of the progressive Jewish movement. “Respectful and respected”, his remarkable dedication to communal leadership includes 22 years on the Board of Deputies as Deputy for Finchley Reform Synagogue. He was also convenor of Progressive Deputies for 15 years, overcoming numerous challenges while serving on the Board’s executive, finance and cemeteries committees, plus its defence division. A muchloved Limmud presenter, the 88-year-old has authored several books and continues lecturing on a range of subjects, including historical Jewish opera singers, sharing his passion with students at Oxford, Bradford and Westminster universities.
Clive Marks, 89
David Parlons, 80 David Parlons has infused new life into Sandys Row, one of the nation’s oldest synagogues. Forever a “man of action who makes things happen”, the 80-year-old successfully fundraised to refurbish the decaying building. As part of a team of trustees, David has helped revive communal and daily services, with the minchah service becoming one of the city’s best attended. A passionate advocate for education and learning, he also formerly initiated the first Bat Chayil programme and ceremony for girls at Finchley United Synagogue. His impressive efforts were recently recognised with a BEM for services to the Jewish community.
Dr David Ryde, 92 Famously Britain’s lowest prescribing GP, David Ryde has for decades been a leading proponent of transforming diet and lifestyle over taking pills. After noting transformative benefits in his patients from reducing meat and dairy consumption, as well as leading an active lifestyle, he became a vocal proponent of reducing antibiotic overuse. Dismissed initially for his ‘radical’ views, he was later awarded a fellowship of the Royal College of General Practice in 1979. A keen sportsman himself, the 92-year-old served on the medical subcommittee of the British Olympic Association for 15 years and has been a team doctor at numerous Maccabi Games.
Lord David Young, 88 With a lifetime of business acumen and political experience, Lord Young has contributed immensely to the Jewish community. The founder of Start Up Loans, who set up his own property group Eldonwall Ltd in 1961, the 88-year-old is also a former president of the Institute of Directors. Made a Life Peer in 1984, David served under Margaret Thatcher as Secretary of State for Employment from 1985 to 1987, and subsequently as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. A proud communal supporter, David became the first President of Jewish Care from 1990 to 1997 and until recently was chairman of the Jewish Museum.
Jewish News 14 January 2021
News / Food gifts / Mirvis message / Prayer podcast
Kosher suppliers join effort for NHS staff
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Celebrating 150 Yea r s
Two kosher food providers are supplying meals to Jewish and non-Jewish NHS staff as medics gear up for the toughest phase of the pandemic. Kosher Deli and Bonjour bakery have joined an effort coordinated by Hendon GP Dr Sharon Raymond. She has arranged for 100 kosher meals a week to be delivered to intensive care and A&E units at the Royal Free and Barnet General hospitals, with more hospitals in the pipeline. Doctors and nurses she had spoken to said they were “struggling a bit when it comes to getting food on long shifts” as cases of the new coronavirus variant surge. She recruited Kosher Deli, which is providing 100 meals, and Bonjour, with a team of more than 40 volunteers ferrying food to the two hospitals, organised through WhatsApp. She said: “I thought it would be nice to have an initiative where the Jewish community is donating food to everyone, no matter what their faith, or no faith.” The GP, who has raised £116,000 as part of her Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation to
Meals from Bonjour Bakery (left) arrive at Royal Free Hospital
source PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS staff, called on the community to get involved in her initiative. “We’d welcome anyone, any organisation, any kosher eatery that wants to donate food. I’m sure anyone and everyone will be really delighted to partake of that food, bearing in mind that it’s not that easy, particularly in the evenings, to get hold of it. “When you’re on a long shift, and you’re in your PPE all day, it’s very difficult”, she said. She said Anat Abraham from Bonjour was donating
food five nights a week from her Hendon and Borehamwood branches; Kosher Deli was providing hot meals, including chicken and meatballs, every week. Jack Bendahan, district manager at Kosher Deli, told Jewish News: “We’re looking for other organisations or restaurants, if they can afford to sponsor 10 meals, or even once a week.” Bendahan, who has shops across London and Manchester, said the meals, which are for all NHS staff, are also halal, allowing Muslim doctors and nurses to eat them.
Get the jab, urges Chief
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The Chief Rabbi has said it is a “religious imperative” to get vaccinated against Covid-19 while telling observant Jews that if they feel at risk in shul they should pray at home. “When a vaccine is offered to you, you have a religious imperative to take it,” Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in a
video posted on Facebook. He also urged people “to recognise the dangers that exist right now… to behave with responsibility at this critically important time, to ensure that we don’t take risks with regards to our health, and to safeguard the lives of others”. He added: “You have a reli-
gious imperative to take it, both to look after yourself and those around you.” Dozens of Jewish doctors have signed an open letter to the community about the vaccine, stressing rumours that it contained pork or could harm fertility were entirely false. One jab at a time, page 18
RABBIS’ PRAYER PODCAST Two rabbis in the United States have launched a guided prayer podcast to “fill a gap in the market” and offer an alternative “avenue for spiritual nourishment” during the pandemic. Rabbi Dina Brawer and Rabbanit Leah Sarna’s PrayerFull was downloaded hundreds of times in the first week. Each episode focuses on a theme such as renewal and gratitude, and includes song, kavanot, and prayers. “Experiencing meaningful prayer can be challenging at the best of times,” they said. “The pandemic has limited the avenues for meaningful prayer precisely at the moment when our need for spiritual nourishment and anchoring has deepened.” PrayerFull is designed both as experien-
tial prayer or as hakhanah l’tefillah (preparation ahead of traditional prayer) and the two women say it “bridges the gap left by the current restrictions on synagogue services and communal singing”. They added that while synagogues are divided by denominations, the podcast “offers a variety of perspectives and intra-denominational voices”. Brawer founded of the UK branch of Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) and in 2018 became the country’s first Orthodox female rabbi after she took semichah (rabbinic ordination) following four years of intensive study. She has since moved back to the United States.
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Lockdown breach / Young star / Observer response/ News
EHRC boss had two police visits Boris Johnson was not the only highprofile public servant in hot water over coronavirus restrictions this week, as the Jewish head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission tried to explain her own recent excursion. Rebecca Hilsenrath had already apologised for travelling to her second home in Wales over Christmas, despite the country having been put under strict lockdown two weeks earlier, but was this week facing further questions. A senior government lawyer, she said she had not known the area was closed to visitors when she travelled 220 miles from Elstree, and that she headed straight back to the south-east once she
was told. However, it emerged this week that North Wales officers had to ask her to leave not once but twice. Sources have confirmed police visited Hilsenrath and her husband in Llanegryn on 22 December and again two days later. She finally left on 25 December. Hilsenrath, 55, co-founder of Yavneh College and Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, said she was unaware that on 4 December the Welsh government had said: “Travel into Wales is not allowed without a reasonable excuse, for example for work purposes. Visiting family and friends (other than as part of an extended household) or having a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.”
ZACK DISPLAYS FLOUR POWER! Zack Cohen, 13, rose above his rivals to claim a place in Channel 4’s Junior Bake Off. The TV station’s search for Britain’s best young baker began this week. Watch out for Zack’s speciality – challah – in an upcoming episode.
After a report in the Borehamwood Times, which referenced only one police visit, Hilsenrath apologised to the local Welsh community, where she felt “deeply embedded”. She said she had believed travel was allowed. “After a short and helpful conversation with the local police we agreed at once to leave on Christmas Day and did so without the need for further reminders.” Local councillor Louise Hughes said Hilsenrath had “shown a lack of integrity” by pleading ignorance, adding that villagers in Llanegryn were left “upset and angry” by her statement. EHRC chair Baroness Falkner is to consider disciplinary proceedings.
SUDAN IS FOURTH TO SIGN ACCORDS Sudan has joined the Abraham Accords, the US-sponsored treaty signed by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalising relations with Israel. The African nation’s intentions to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel was announced two months ago by the Trump administration. Sudan becomes the fourth Arab country to do so in recent months with US backing along with the other accord signers and Morocco. The Abraham Accords are named for the shared patriarch of Jews and Muslims.
Rebecca Hilsenrath visited Wales
‘FALSE’ HEADLINE STAYS The Observer has refused to change a headline that said Israel was excluding Palestinians from its vaccination programme. The Board of Deputies said the headline and photo gave ammunition to antisemites despite being “blatantly false”. The article, which appeared in print and online on 3 January,
WORLD NEWS BRIEFS
is titled: “Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers.” A spokesperson for the paper told Jewish News it had investigated and concluded that the headline and photo were not in breach of The Guardian’s editorial code. However, in the online version the photo
– of a bearded Jew with peyot – was on 8 January replaced with a gloomy one of screens in a Tel Aviv vaccination clinic. A footnote said: “A previous image showed a man in Ashdod receiving a vaccination... this may have given the impression that he was among Jewish settlers in the West Bank being inoculated.”
ARAB JOURNALISTS SEEK JEWISH HELP The president of the Bahrain Journalists Association asked JewishAmerican colleagues to support Arab media professionals who are bullied online for supporting normalisation with Israel. Ahdeya Ahmed AlSayed, whose organisation has 600 members, was speaking last Thursday at a videoconference organised by the American Jewish Press Association, or AJPA. “If you’d like to support us as we support peace, it would be a good thing,” he said.
Jami’s MHAS programme of events: Friday 22nd January 3.15pm United Synagogue MHAS dedicated Kabbalat Shabbat with Rabbi Daniel Epstein
22 - 23 january 2021
The impact of the pandemic The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat falls annually to coincide with Parashat “Bo” which tells of the Plague of Darkness – a suitable launchpad for discussions on the nature of mental health. For more information about MHAS, to view our events and to register for the toolkit, please visit jamiuk.org/mhas
Saturday 23rd January 8-9.30pm Mental Health Awareness through a Covid-19 Lens - Looking after ourselves, our families and our communities (Interactive Head Room Education session)
Sunday 24th January 8-9.15pm MHAS Community Conversations (Interactive Head Room Education session)
Monday 25th January 7-8pm Getting through lockdown: taking care of myself and my friends (interactive Head Room Education session) for ages 14-16
Tuesday 26th January 8-8.30pm Supporting our children during these difficult times - Samantha Simmonds in conversation with Dr Ellie Cannon
Thursday 28th January 8-8.30pm Monty, Mental Health and Mazal – Zaki Cooper in conversation with cricket legend Monty Panesar
Thursday 28th January 8.30-8.45pm Cake is my Super Power with Ilana Epstein of Ta’am – Judaism on a Plate Registered charity no. 1003345.
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Special Report / Vaccination front line
One jab at a time
Dr Leora Harverd, whose Temple Fortune surgery featured on Panorama this week, tells Jenni Frazer about the relief and gratitude of the first vaccine recipients and how she and her team hope to administer 50,000 doses by the end of August
Dr Leora Harverd
Dr Leora Harverd’s day currently begins any time from 6am — if she is woken up by her surgery’s practice nurse, telling her a new batch of anti-Covid vaccines has arrived — and continues until vaccinations cease at 4pm, before returning to her other pressing medical work. Her Temple Fortune surgery, which was featured on BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday night, was the first Covid vaccination hub to go live in Barnet. At her instigation, the practice car park has been turned into an outdoor vaccination centre, with around 400 elderly people a day, many of them Jewish, getting their first dose of vaccine. “People are beyond desperate to get the vaccine,” Dr Harverd says. “We saw 1,000 people in the first week (the service has been live since the New Year weekend), and for most of them, this was their first journey out of their houses in the entire nine or 10 months (since the first lockdown).
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“There were people sobbing from relief — there was a tidal wave of emotion. It was the last thing I expected. But people are so grateful, and we have had so much support and thanks, because people can see what a huge project this has been to take on, on top of our day job.” The random nature of the project — particularly not knowing when vaccines will arrive, or in what kind of quantity — has made this a very ad hoc situation, or, as Dr Harverd said, smiling, to Panorama, “a Blue Peter thing where you make things up on the hoof”. This week Temple Fortune got its first delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Up until now the surgery has been using the Pfizer vaccines, which require a complex procedure before use. “You have to take the vials out of the refrigerator and warm them up to room temperature. Then you have to rock them 10 times, add saline, and then re-rock the vials — essentially you have to treat them like newborn babies.” Add to that an enormous amount of checking and cross-checking, and dealing with elderly people who are required to make available a bared arm through endless levels of necessary winter clothing, and it’s astonishing that Temple Fortune has been able to vaccinate as many as 400 each day. The AstraZeneca vaccine does not require quite so much preparation, which makes Dr Harverd confident of being able to see even more people. There are 11 doctors in this busy practice, and normal patient service is
continuing while the vaccinations take place — so every member of staff is stretched to the limit, either vaccinating, going back and forth to the lab where the vials are initially stored, or doing regular consultations. Additionally, regulations require every person who has been vaccinated to be supervised for 15 minutes before they leave for home, and that task is now being carried out by the emergency medical response team for the Jewish community, Hatzola. “It’s really full-on, it’s like a factory,” says Dr Harverd. “We’re not just seeing our patients, we’re seeing the whole of south Barnet, so 50,000 people will end up having vaccines from us by the end of August.” Next week, she reckons, will be the busiest yet, anticipating at least 1,400 people through the doors. But even through all the misery of the virus, there is hope, she says: “People are even asking us for the batch number of the vaccine they are getting, so that they can book their flight to Israel!” Dr Harverd and her colleague, Dr Karen Grossman, are eager to share with other GPs what they have learned, and held a brainstorming meeting on Christmas Day at the Sage care home in Golders Green. “We are a really motivated team and I get emails every day from people offering to help, from volunteer vaccinators to marshals — we’re getting soup sent in next week because it’s been so cold in the marquee. “It’s been incredible — and the patients are keeping us going.”
‘This was the first journey out of their houses in the entire nine or 10 months. People were sobbing from relief – there was a tidal wave of emotion’
14 January 2021 Jewish News
German youth / Film festival / Covid gifting / Racism project / Diaspora News
Camp ‘reimagined’ More than 1,500 young Jews in Germany took part in a series of “reimagined” camps and seminars last week as the fun of learning and creating got under way at home. The Central Welfare Board for Jews in Germany (ZWST) designed and produced sendhome kits so the children and teenagers aged eight to 18 could take part in workshops and agebased discussions around Jewish identity, values and tradition. Moving online presented challenges akin to those experienced by other Jewish organisations around the world, challenges that led to a large degree of idea-sharing across national boundaries. In addition, there were opportunities to take part in traditional Sharing on screen: young German Jews meet online rather than in shuls and sports halls prayers, learn how to upcycle and The ZWST programme was run in partnership with the Stifbake, plus plenty of keep fit sessions including yoga and workouts with professional trainers, with parents encouraged to tung Deutsches Hilfswerk and Genesis Philanthropy Group. In the UK, Jewish youth organisation JLGB’s new platform get involved too. “The programme offered a virtual mingling and discussion prompted by the pandemic was recently announced as a finalist space where children and young adults were able to open up to in the Children & Young People Now Award. JLGB Virtual, sponsored by Jewish News and with GPG suptheir peers and counsellors about the real-life challenges as a result social distancing and isolation,” said organisers. “At this port, had brought 80 online shows to an audience of 1.8 million viewers by the end of last year. moment in time, that was of particular value.”
NY film festival moves online Jews around the world who are stuck at home under coronavirus lockdowns are being offered the chance to catch a movie at the New York Jewish Film Festival, albeit a virtual showing. With the pandemic making many film festivals virtual this year, organisers say that one of the upshots is that it has made global fringe cinema more accessible than ever. The New York Jewish film festival, which starts this week, will be streaming documentaries, shorts and features from the Lincoln
Centre. Highlights include Nir Bergman’s Here We Are, described as a moving story about a father and his autistic son, as well as Veronica Selver’s Irmi, an inspiring documentary about the life of Irmi Selver, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and the filmmaker’s mother. Born into a comfortable Jewish family in Germany in 1906, Irmi became a refugee when she was forced to flee Chemnitz, in eastern Germany, during the rise of Nazism. Her husband and two children were killed in the Holocaust.
Veronica Selver’s Irmi, about her Holocaust surivivor mother
Living in countries including the Netherlands, England and France, and working as a secretary and a therapist, she never really
spoke about the loss she had suffered until, in her mideighties, she wrote a memoir. She died in New York in 2004, aged 97.
WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF
Your weekly digest of stories from the international press SWITZERLAND
French–Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who made his fortune in diamonds, is standing trial in Geneva charged with corruption linked to a lucrative mining deal in the African state of Guinea. Steinmetz has always denied that his company, BSGR, paid £7 million in bribes through Swiss bank accounts to win an iron ore mining concession in 2008. He travelled to Geneva from Israel for the two-week trial.
The senior rabbi of the Emirates’ Jewish community has thanked the government for helping to reunite to Yemeni families after 21 years. Rabbi Elie Abadie called it a ‘great humanitarian deed’. In August 2020 Arab media reported that Yemen’s last remaining Jews would relocate to the UAE following its peace deal with Israel.
Jewish groups have marked six years since the terrorist attacks in Paris targeting satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed, and, two days later, the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, in which five people including the perpetrator died. Patrick Klugman, a lawyer for the families of four victims, said the national and international sense of solidarity with French Jews that followed the attacks “has all but dissipated”.
The son of a senior Jewish judge in New York has been identified as a US Capitol rioter. Aaron Mostofsky, whose father Shlomo is a Kings Country Supreme Court judge and former president of the National Council of Young Israel, was seen alongside Jake Angeli, the QAnon supporter in a horned hat, fur, and face paint.
US JEWS OF COLOUR SHARE EXPERIENCES Hundreds of American Jews of colour are to share their experiences of racism and identity challenges in a major initiative straddling academia and Silicon Valley. Researchers from the University of Southern California and Stanford will work with professionals from Microsoft on the Jews of Color study “to understand the lived experiences and perspectives of Jews of color in the US”. Project lead Ilana Kaufman said she wanted 1,000 voices, adding: “If we want to create Jewish communities and leaders that
reflect and represent all Jews, we must get this right.” The study will stretch from February to July and the results will be shared broadly “to formulate change within Jewish communities”. Kaufman added that American Jewry had often “associated Jewishness solely with the white Ashkenazi experience… “This mindset heavily influenced how organisations are structured and run, who they view as their audiences, what programmes are offered, and how people are welcomed – or not.”
Donors in Covid rethink Preserving Turkish tales Jewish donors have been prompted to drastically rethink their strategies by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the Jewish Funders Network. Focus has turned from long-term transformation to short-term wins, with fewer conditions attached, and philanthropists are generally looking far closer to home when deciding where to direct money. “I’d much rather get some hospital PPE, so people can live,” said Los Angeles-based donor Lisa Greer, speaking to J-Post. “Life became more important.” When the pandemic hit, “people really adopted wholeheartedly this more flexible way of giving,” said Andres Spokoiny, president of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN). Representing some of the biggest Jewish
philanthropic foundations, the JFN said the first few months of lockdown led its donors to give more than £400 million in emergency grants alone. This is roughly one third of the average annual amount donated to Jewish causes in any given year.
In the tales, princes are cursed by witches Turkey has launched a cultural salvage mission to protect the stories that comprise its and turned into stags, beautiful maidens are borne of oranges, mice cut hair, donfamed Anatolian folklore, which draws keys run errands, and tortoises bake on Jewish influences. bread, in a land of peri (fairies) and An unrivalled collection of ifrit (demons) who live alongside thousands of oral fairytales and farmers and sultans. myths passed down on the plaMost or the tales are hundreds teau bordering the Black Sea is of years old and, as with many at risk of being lost forever, say other stories from the period, Jews experts, so a massive collation were often cast as villains, alongside exercise funded by the Atatürk witches. Turkey’s secular founder, Cultural Centre is under way. Mustafa Kamal Atatürk, saw the The storytelling draws on the The phoenix-like Arabian Nights and Brothers Zumrutu Anka from folklore as backward and rejected it. The project, called Masal, is Grimm, as well as Kurdish, Persian, Anatolian folklore aimed at collecting and indexing Slavonic, Jewish and Romanian influences, from the Caucasus mountain range 10,000 stories to preserve for future generations, with 3,000 having been collected to date. through to the Caspian.
20 Jewish News
14 January 2021
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
Lives and legacies of our golden generation We do love a good list here at Jewish News. From Forty Under 40 to Eighteen Under 18, we take pride in identifying those poised to become the next generation of Jewish leaders – faces of tomorrow who will shape the future direction of Anglo-Jewry. But what of those who have already done the hard yards? What of those over the age of 80 who, through their diligence and devotion, shaped the community we take such pride in today? This week, in partnership with Jewish Care, we are delighted to launch a month-long celebration of their life-long achievements. This remarkable generation, born either side of the horrors of the Second World War, includes household names such as Sir Ben Helfgott, Lord Alf Dubs and Bernard Kops, whose reputation and impact stretch far beyond the Jewish community. Others on the 120-strong list will be unfamiliar but no less impressive. We are not publishing them in any particular order because their acheivements, spanning many decades, defy subjective analysis. Each is objectively extraordinary. We could not be prouder to celebrate their lives and legacies. CONTACT DETAILS Publisher and Editor Richard Ferrer 020 8148 9703 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Birds of a feather? Permit me to expand on Jenni Frazer’s excellent column on Jonathan Pollard (Jewish News, 7 January). I was privileged over 30 years to enjoy a very close friendship with the late Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee in the US Congress, and one of the least appreciated heroes of the Jewish world. He introduced me to Caspar Weinberger then US Secretary of Defence. I asked him directly why he persisted in preventing the release of Pollard, who was serving what most people regarded
an excessively long time in prison. Weinberger responded with great passion. As far as memory serves, I quote him verbatim: “Don’t for a moment think Pollard was either a Jewish hero or a Zionist patriot, he was motivated by monetary gain. His betrayal led to the execution of many of our agents in the Soviet Union because the Russians had an agent embedded in Mossad.” Benjamin Netanyahu’s presence at the airport to greet Pollard could be an example of birds of a feather flocking together. Michael Gross, by email
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I write representing at least 30 people in our community, who were dismayed and, frankly, shocked, at the venom Jenni Frazer threw at Jonathan Pollard after 35 years of captivity. Ms Frazer made all sorts of unfounded claims against him and repeated the lies we have heard for decades, against his previous wife, his present wife, and even the prime minister of Israel, because he welcomed Mr Pollard to Israel in person at 3am. Why should he not be there for a friend who experienced a gross miscarriage of justice? Daniel Davis, by email
POLLARD COLUMN MISLEAD After reading Jenni Frazer’s inaccurate and spiteful account of Jonathan Pollard’s incarceration I had to double check I was not reading an opinion piece in the Guardian. I was connected to various members of the Pollard family and followed the case for several years from within the prime minister’s office. Jonathan pleaded guilty because of a pre-arranged deal, but in an unprecedented move the judge ignored the plea bargain after receiving a note from the US Secretary of Defence and sentenced him to life imprisonment with no parole. Ms Frazer attempted to influence readers with a false account. James J. Marlow, by email
RABBI WRONG ON HOTOVELY
THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 4.05pm
WE WERE SHOCKED BY VENOMOUS VIEW
Rabbi Janner Klausner, former senior rabbi to Reform Judaism, criticised Israel’s new ambassador to the UK for stating that the Palestinians lied about the Nakba and acused her of not reflecting the opinions of some UK Jews. History is not about
opinions but facts and the role of Israel’s ambassador is to represent Israel and to speak the truth. It is incumbent on all of us to read and research before repeating false history and fake news. Naomi Benari By email
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Relief arising from vaccine is palpable ALEX BRUMMER
CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL
few days ago I was at a sparsely attended funeral at New Bushey for a friend of my wife who had succumbed to Covid. Erica was an accomplished person who taught Ivrit at cheder, won a prize from the V&A Museum for her art and wrote and illustrated children’s books. She had worked alongside my wife Tricia translating Yiddish tales for her puppet theatre. The funeral was a bleak affair conducted outside in the cold, with sleet falling intermittently and the rabbi’s glasses steaming up above his mask. Unfortunately, Erica had been fighting illness for some years. But her mind was still bright and she was a proud grandmother. In spite of her several illnesses it was Covid-19 that took her life in the end. Her husband, a computer entrepreneur who once rescued a lost book transcript of mine from the depths of a hard drive, was
unable to be there because he was isolating. Of the four offspring only two were present: one son had Covid and the daughter was shielding. All could take part in the Zoom shiva. By unhappy coincidence the funeral immediately following Erica’s was another Richmond synagogue member also taken by the pandemic. The most sobering thing about this experience was when the small band of mourners moved away from the open area between the prayer halls to the grounds for the internment. What caught my eye were the serried ranks of newly-filled graves. Of the many times visiting Bushey I have never been so aware of how fragile life has become in the age of coronavirus. Amid such gloom and terror from an unseen and deadly enemy, the relief arising from the arrival of the vaccine is palpable. In spite of the Twitter posting of broadcaster Piers Morgan, the Jewish community can take pride in the civilised, speedy and humane way in which Israel has gone about vaccinating its population, Jews and Arabs alike, including the Palestinians of East Jerusalem.
I'VE VISITED BUSHEY CEMETERY MANY TIMES BUT THAT DAY I BECAME AWARE HOW FRAGILE LIFE HAS BECOME
We should not forget that Morgan, in spite of acquiring celebrity status, was dismissed as editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 after the paper published graphic photos of alleged Iraq war torture victims. A probe found the pictures were fabricated. If there is any stain it is Morgan ill-advisedly criticising a country that is demonstrating how a civilised democracy, at whatever cost, is recognising first and foremost the value of life: pikuach nefesh. In the health care sector Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs work shoulder-to-shoulder in hospitals, care homes and pharmacies to save all lives.
What is to be praised is the way big pharma companies (Pfizer and Moderna happen to be headed by Jews) have become angels of hope. Each week I chat to my Aunt Sussie, my late father’s youngest sister, to check on how she is doing in the pandemic. She is a special person, an Auschwitz survivor, who witnessed the horrors of the Shoah but never allows past suffering to interfere in the joy of life. The call after Shabbat this week was particularly cheerful. Sussie told me that 24 hours earlier she had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The relief of this brave woman now well into her 90s was palpable. After long months of shielding she told me: “I will be able to go out again.” “Are you planning to go dancing?” I enquired. “I am a bit old for the night clubs,” she replied without pause. Her relief was palpable. With the Covid-19 mutation currently rampant there is a long way to go. Immunisation offers a path from filled-to-capacity hospitals and Bushey cemetery to the normality we all crave.
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
How our Trade Bill can halt Uyghur genocide NUSRAT GHANI MP
n October, Jewish News launched a campaign bringing together more than 150 parliamentarians from all parties with the support of the World Uyghur Congress and human rights charity René Cassin. We all wrote to the prime minister about the rights violations in China and urged him to ratchet up pressure on China over the plight of the Uyghur Muslims. This week, at last, our campaign showed signs of progress. Because of this continued pressure the foreign secretary announced extra restrictions on companies that buy goods from the Xinjiang province. UK businesses must never profit from slave labour and human rights violations, wherever they occur, and I welcome the new measures. But I am concerned that they do not address genocide. Just over 50 years ago the UK signed up to the 1948 United Nations Genocide Conven-
tion. It was the first treaty adopted by the General Assembly designed to ensure that crimes against humanity like the Holocaust could “never again” take place and supposedly a pivotal moment in improving human rights standards around the world. Yet this landmark treaty has done little to stop atrocities and successive UK governments have found it impossible to act in the face of genocide because there’s a gaping hole in the international legal order. This is especially important today given that two million Uyghurs and other minorities are forced into slave labour in Xinjiang’s cotton fields. Mass enslavement of the Uyghur continues with state-organised abuse of women and girls who face forced sterilisations and a resulting 85 percent drop in birth rates. The UK government says it can only define an incident as genocide if this has been determined in the International Criminal Court. The only way anything gets to the ICC is if the UN Security Council sends it there, and China has the power to veto anything that
IN 75 YEARS THE UK HAS NEVER SUCCEEDED IN RECOGNISING A GENOCIDE WHILE IT WAS ONGOING the UN Security Council does. That’s why our capacity to respond to genocide is so flawed. We have now left the EU and taken back control of our laws and our trade so we can reach out to new trading partners. But we must use these new freedoms to demonstrate the values that global Britain aspires to. Brexit requires us to play our part in shaping world events, rather than having the EU do it for us. So as we bring in our new post-Brexit Trade Bill over the next couple of weeks, we must not let economic concerns trump ethical ones. That’s why I am calling for a small but
significant change to the Government’s Trade Bill. Rather than sub-contract this to international judges, knowing that they are paralysed by China’s veto at the Security Council, I want British courts to have a role instead. And having taken back control of our laws, this is the sort of thing we are now able to do. If a UK court has seen credible evidence that genocide is being committed, judges will be able to make a statement to that effect for the government to consider. No judge could strike down a trade deal and parliament would remain supreme and sovereign. The government would be within its rights to ignore the “preliminary ruling” – though I hope we wouldn’t. It’s time to root out genocide. With its new Trade Bill, Britain can affirm the principle that we will never trade with countries that commit genocide or do business with its perpetrators. In the 75 years since the Nuremberg trials, the UK has never succeeded in recognising a genocide while it was ongoing. Now is our chance. The fate of many people rests on our shoulders. Let’s not let them down.
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
Mourn the victims and remember the rescuers ARKADY RZEGOCKI POLISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UK
s we approach Holocaust Memorial Day, we again prepare to honour millions of innocents who died in humanity’s worst tragedies. It is also a time to commemorate those who, risking their and their families‘ lives, helped save thousands. Among the 27,712 Righteous Among the Nations, Poles constitute the most populous group, with 7,112 individuals. And there are thousands more who have yet to be recognised, but are nonetheless righteous. From diplomats to average citizens, the Polish people helped their Jewish brothers and sisters far and wide, with Poland, Switzerland, Hungary, Japan, Shanghai, Turkey and Britain being just a few of the locations. Recently, perhaps the most prominent example of aid is that of the Bernese Group of Polish and Jewish diplomats and activists.
Headed by Poland’s ambassador to Switzerland Aleksander Ładoś, whose 130th anniversary of birth we are celebrating this year, the group produced fake Latin American passports, attempting to save European Jews from being sent to concentration camps. Ładoś worked with Jewish organisations, and managed to initiate a widespread intervention by Polish embassies, after which Paraguay and some other countries recognised the illegal documents. This effort was led by the London-based Government-in-Exile, which appealed to the Vatican. The Ładoś Group ultimately managed to forge travel documents for at least 10,000 people, with anywhere up to a few thousand surviving the war. The admirable and tireless efforts of the previous Polish ambassador to Bern, Jakub Kumoch, who discovered much of the information about Ładoś, are proof of just how much we still do not know about this extraordinary story. Another remarkable act of rescue came from Polish delegate to Hungary Henryk Sławik – “the Polish Wallenberg” – who
THERE HAVE BEEN 27,712 RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS, SOME 7,112 OF THEM POLISH
helped save more than 30,000 Polish refugees, including 5,000 Jews, by also providing them with counterfeit passports. Meanwhile, Polish ambassador to Japan Tadeusz Romer obtained the visas for 2,000 Jewish refugees from Poland and Lithuania and managed all of the refugee care activities after founding the Polish Committee to Aid War Victims in Tokyo. Later, he obtained recognition from some Latin American countries for the documents issued by the Bernese Group. In Turkey, Consul General Wojciech Rychlewicz saved hundreds of Jews by providing them with fake documents identifying them as Catholic, which allowed them safe passage to American and Middle Eastern countries. Then, in occupied Poland, there was Żegota, the Polish Council to Aid Jews,
which helped up to 60,000 Jews. The Polish informational efforts were no less laudable. In December 1942, the Government-in-Exile published “The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland”, the first official government document informing the West about the horrors of the Holocaust. The document informed the 17 December 1942 Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations pledging punishment of the guilty. This and other reports were made possible by men like Jan Karski and Witold Pilecki, who entered places like the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz to get information. Remember the rescuers. They represent the best of humanity. Their compassion is a quality we should all show in our everyday lives.
Sky's the limit for Israel and UAE after accords DR SABAH AL-BINALI HEAD OF GULF OPERATIONS, OURCROWD
he Abraham Accords, which normalised the diplomatic relationship between Israeli and the UAE, will have a profound impact on both economies. The first area is trade, where the flow between Israel and the UAE, based on the advantages that each country enjoys, is a two-way street. We are already seeing the first deals. Israeli medical tech firm Sight Diagnostics signed a partnership with the UAE’s Phoenix Capital last month, a classic trade agreement where Israeli technology gains access to Gulf markets through a local partner. The UAE’s DP World, which operates Dubai Port, a global shipping hub, announced a partnership in September with Israel’s DoverTower and plans to collaborate with Israel Shipyards to bid on the privatisation of Haifa Port. DP World is much more than a port operator. It is a global leader in providing end-to-end supply chain and logistics, from maritime
ports and mainland terminals to marine services and industrial parks, as well as technology-driven customer solutions. DP World runs a global network of 127 business units in 51 countries across six continents. Bilateral trade flourishes when it is reciprocal. The second main impact on both economies will be investment flows. Both nations are rich and, more importantly, already plugged into the global investment networks. The value of the relationship is not in the financial capital but in the comparative expertise in deploying that capital. Israel is known as the Startup Nation. This is not just due to its apparently endless supply
IMAGINE IF ISRAEL AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES WERE PRESENTED AS A SINGLE DESTINATION PACKAGE TO TOURISTS
of entrepreneurs but the financial risk-taking culture of its investors. The UAE has made great strides in supporting entrepreneurs and its open work borders have allowed it to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world. A new investment channel into the UAE, with a source in Israel which is geographically close, and the willingness and experience to deploy that capital into multiple rounds of a broad spectrum of startups, will be key to unlocking the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The UAE also has experience in infrastructure investing. Much of the UAE’s investment comes from sovereign wealth funds. Part of its mandate is to act as an endowment for future generations of Emiratis. This means long-term investments, with a relatively low risk/low return profile are a natural fit. The Abraham Accords makes Israel a potential investment destination for such funds. But by far the greatest potential lies in Israeli and Emirati investors and businesses collaborating to scale domestic business globally. Neither nations are strangers to global trade, but Israel’s comparative advantage in the US and Western European markets and the UAE’s comparative advantage in East Asia mean that Israel-Emirati joint ventures
UAE dignitaries wave goodbye to an El Al jet
will form the foundation for domestic businesses to scale globally. This requires a shift in mindset from seeing the countries as destination markets to realising that they are gateways to the western and eastern hemispheres. A simple example is tourism. Both countries have made their mark in terms of global tourism, each with different strengths. Imagine if Israel and the UAE were presented as a single destination package. Add to that the strength of Israel’s technological innovation and couple that with the strength of the UAE’s travel and hospitality sectors and my bet is that the post-Covid world of tourism will be led by an Israeli-UAE joint venture with both countries at the core.
14 January 2021 Jewish News
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not approved, hundreds, if ism, to Israel been definition of anti-Semit , of Labour and Momentum leading Jewish Alliance’s Labour MP Dame Margaret thousands need to be expelled. Today, Britain’s three e to members would News, Jewish provoking t in Brexit disnewspapers – Jewish to call her leader an anti-Semit With the governmen Telegraph – take Hodge yet. clear and present danger Chronicle and Jewish face, was the most sinister ni- array, there is a defi of speaking as his to IHRA step the nted the unprecede Labour has diluted 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 into anti-Semitism, Labour a government. Under its adapted guidelines, Israel’s prime minister. party that was, MPs vote on We do so because the member is free to claim On 5 September, Labour home for our Party and comthe is a racist endeavour motion, calling for until recently, the natural 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 many, unless “intent” Jew” is into its rulebook. it will face a binary – can be proved. “Dirty Jews and Israel. Following that, of anti-Sem- means shame game? or be seen fair and full in bitch” stain The implement IHRA Her Maj- wrong, “Zionist ally a distinction choice: itism has coursed through In so doing, Labour makes decent people as an institution all by Corbyn Jeremy targeting ism ic party. esty’s Opposition since between racial anti-Semit anti- racist, anti-Semit years for became leader in 2015. (unacceptable) and political ). After three deeply painful to Livingstone, Jews (acceptable From Chakrabarti y, September is finally Semitism targeting Israel Had the full our communit 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 IHRA nce Remembra International Holocaust
I’m not neurotic!
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THE VOICE O F OUR COMM UNITY
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workings of the parmomentous inner handling Labour issued a staffers ty’s complaints claims of public apology to former Wednesday unit contained in the High Court on interference in the fallout political after they sued over have been an investi- what should from a BBC Panorama t disciplinary handling independen gation into the party’s was strenuJack process. This writes m, of antisemitis ously denied by the party Mendel. before the at the time. However, just hours According to the were reports announcement, there ers’ lawyer, Jeremy whistleblow Labour that former Labour leader tions William Bennett, Corbyn, his former communica them of “acting and Labour’s accused during and chief Seumus Milne Jennie in bad faith t with the former secretary-general that after their employmen Formby had sought assurances of harming” the party, intention connected be their names would not accusations false. of lasting calling the who defended to the apology. In a sign Henderson, Mark the anger, Corbyn later dismissed not the Labour Party, said he “acknowldecision, about the claims apology as “a political these edges that a legal one”. are untrue, and we retract members, Claimants Seven former staff them and undertake about and withdraw who voiced their concerns them. Actions are being among not to repeat those who repeat the how claims of Jew-hatred with, sued taken against be taken against those members were dealt will and libels in of libel after they were accused to do so in future.” y, broad- who choose the Panorama documentar cast last year. of the The hour-long dissection
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
Netflix / Weekend
‘Bridgerton is exactly what we all need’ Francine Wolfisz speaks to author Julia Quinn about seeing her bestselling novels adapted into a Netflix global smash hit
rom dazzling debutantes and delicious dandies to smouldering passions barely simmering beneath tightly-fitted corsets, it’s no wonder Netflix’s sumptuous period drama Bridgerton has become the talk of the “ton”. Despite launching only three weeks ago, the streaming platform predicts its latest global hit, from Shondaland and creator Chris Van Dusen, will have been watched by 63 million households before the end of the month – making it the fifth most watched Netflix Originals series ever. As I churn out these eye-popping statistics, historical romance author Julia Quinn shakes her head in disbelief and smiles widely during a friendly Zoom chat from her Seattle-based home. “There’s some numbers I can wrap my head around, but like 63 million – honestly it’s too big for me to even conceive of,” she laughs. Telling her that’s almost the entire population of the UK doesn’t help. Set between 1813 and 1827, the Jewish author’s hugely popular Bridgerton novels each feature one of the alphabetically-named children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth. Her first book, The Duke And I, largely formed the basis for the Netflix adaptation and focuses on eldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Despite being called “the incomparable” by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), Daphne finds herself without any proposals, prompting the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) – the author of a high society scandal sheet – to cast aspersions about her. Meanwhile, Simon Bassett aka the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), a committed bachelor who enjoys nothing more than “raking” across the continent, is being hounded by ambitious mothers. The two concoct a plan to fake their courtship. Seen as unavailable, he will be left alone, while Daphne will become more desirable to other suitors. But despite their proclamations they have no interest in each other, it soon becomes abundantly clear the two were made for each other. For Quinn - whose real name is Julia Pottinger – the rocketing success of Bridgerton is not only “an incredible achievement”, but also extremely surprising. In the literary world, the 50-year-old author is a household name, having penned 18 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and sold more than 10 million copies in the US alone. But, she explains, her genre of historical romances rarely get adapted for television. “Period dramas like a Jane Austen adaptation, which are wonderful, or the glorious Downton Abbey have romance in them, but they are not a historical romance. They don’t always have that happy ending. “The thing Bridgerton really accomplishes is that when you finish all eight episodes, you have that same set of feelings as when you read a romance novel.” Perhaps other production companies thought
the plotlines of such novels too syrupy for audiences, but Bridgerton has just about disproved that. In fact, escapism and romantic fantasy right now seem like the perfect antidotes to living through a pandemic. “I do think the timing of the show was fortuitous,” agrees Quinn. “2020 was for most of us the worst year in our lifetime, if not for each of us personally, at least collectively. To have something like this at the end just turned out to be exactly what we needed.” While staying close to the novel, which was penned by Quinn 20 years ago, the television version does make some changes, notably switching the race of some characters originally written as white, such as the duke and the acerbic dowager who raised him, Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh). Meanwhile, new character Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, is portrayed by Guyanese-British actress Rosheuvel. “It’s wonderful,” gushes Quinn. “Television is a different medium than a book and you make it more diverse and inclusive. They decided to create a slightly alternate world, based on a historical nugget that Queen Charlotte may have had an African background. The idea was, say that had been acknowl-
Dynevor with Regé-Jean Page, who plays the Duke of Hastings
Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton and Ruth Gemmell as her mother, Violet
edged and accepted, that she used it to elevate others in society, what would the world look like?” Quinn describes herself as “not a very visual author” and admits to never having a preconceived idea of how her characters should look. She adds: “The thing that blew my mind was when they began to cast the actors, and I had faces to go with the characters I had created. As soon as they opened their mouth, I was like, yes, that’s exactly what I meant.” She grew up reading romance novels and has been writing since graduating in art history from Harvard. She was a published author by the time she started at Yale medical school, but left after a few months to pursue her first passion. She laughs when I remind her that, only this week, creator Van Dusen said he would love to make another seven series. “Every person I know sent me that headline. That would be amazing, but hopefully we’ll see the return of Bridgerton at least once more.” Her newly-found fans no doubt hope the same. Bridgerton is available to watch now on Netflix
Inside Television: Sarah Jessica Parker returns in Sex and The City reboot
Tech That: The sleek mobile perfect for (pre)teens on a budget
Lighter Side: Watch episodes from the new series of Shtisel!
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Weekend / Entertainment
Gadget of the month: Alcatel 3L 2020 Available from Carphone Warehouse, RRP: £129.99 PLUS POINTS: Very reasonably priced – in fact, it’s marketed as a budget phone Comfortable to hold Comes in three colours, including Chameleon Blue, which my 10-year-old son described as ‘sleek’ Ample 64GB storage for saving photos and downloading apps, with option to use Micro SD card for extra space Large 6.22-inch HD+ display screen ensures comfortable film watching Battery life is fantastic. The 4000mAh battery provided my son with enough power for a full day despite it being heavily used in lockdown – and sadly not just for educational apps; he also used it for watching YouTube and playing games Triple rear camera facility (48MP + 5MP + 2MP)
is brilliant, ensuring sharp and detailed images even in low-light conditions Safe mode for children was preinstalled as an app Includes dedicated Google Assistant button for accessibility NIL POINTS: Not a fashionable brand At 158.7mm x 74.6mm, it’s quite bulky and didn’t easily fit into my son’s pockets, so risked falling out, although it is sturdy Sound quality is tinny and not as good as higher-spec phones Won’t support wireless charging or 5G BUY OR NOT BUY: 4.5 stars A sturdy, entry-level phone that runs on Android 10, offers brilliant functionality and is cost-effective. Reviewed by: Alex Galbinski, @AlexG_journo
Sex and the City Hold the Manolo Blahniks! Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis are set to reunite for a new series of Sex and the City, more than 20 years after the show debuted. The trio – minus Kim Cattrall as Samantha – will reportedly receive $1 million (£740,000) per episode for the highly-anticipated HBO revival, And Just Like That, which will be based on author Candice Bushnell’s Sex and the City, as well as the original TV series created by Darren Star.
Production is expected to start in the spring for the all-new episodes, which will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. Sex And The City first aired in 1998 and ran for six seasons until 2004. The show was made into a 2008 film of the same name, followed by a sequel in 2010.
Holocaust Memorial Season Sky History is set to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of powerful new films. Escaping the Holocaust: Syndrome K tells the remarkable story of three courageous Roman Catholic doctors who saved the lives of Jews by convincing Nazi officials that their Jewish patients had a highly infectious and deadly disease, Syndrome K. The feigned disease was used by doctors in
Saving Hanno Children’s author Miriam Halahmy has penned a new book highlighting the plight of young refugees, which is published this week. Inspired by real events, Saving Hanno: A Refugee Boy and His Dog revolves around the moving story of a young German-Jewish boy sent to England for safety. Nine-year-old Rudi has a chance to leave Nazi Germany and make the journey to England on a Kindertransport. However, he cannot bring Hanno, his wonderful dachshund. Luckily, his family finds a way to smuggle Hanno to London. But with England on the brink of war, Hanno is still not safe. As a German invasion of England becomes
imminent, many people decide that their family pets will suffer as well as drain their limited resources, and thousands of animals are put to sleep. Rudi joins a group of children who commit to saving their pets and he and his new friends set out on a dangerous adventure. Will Rudi find a safe haven for Hanno? Saving Hanno: A Refugee Boy and His Dog by Miriam Halahmy is published by Otter-Barry Books, priced £7.99 (paperback). Available from 27 January.
Maureen Lipman’s acclaimed digital drama, Rose, is set to air on Sky Arts to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. Written by Martin Sherman and directed by Scott Le Crass, this powerful one-woman production blends the personal with the political as Rose reflects on what it means to be a survivor. Her remarkable life began in a tiny Russian village, took her to Warsaw’s ghettos and a ship called The Exodus, and finally to the boardwalks of Atlantic City, the Arizona canyons, and salsa-flavoured nights in Miami Beach. Lipman as Rose offers an intimate and at times humorous account of the 20th century and the ultimate triumph of humanity, while highlighting unity in the face of adversity and the need to empathise with the suffering of others. Rose is free to watch on Wednesday, 27 January, at 10pm, on Sky Arts.
Italy’s Fatebenefratelli hospital, who convinced their Jewish patients to fake symptoms in front of patrolling Nazi officers, making them able to declare it far too contagious for the soldiers to enter. Meanwhile Cheating Hitler follows three Canadian Holocaust survivors as they journey back to home towns, killing sites, archives and hiding places in search of unanswered questions about their past. Maxwell wonders what happened to a baby he saved in a forest in 1943. Helen wants to know more about the fate of her brother, while Rose retraces the final steps of her mother after she saved her life. Escaping The Holocaust airs on Sunday 24 January at 9pm; and Cheating Hitler airs on Sunday 17 January at 9pm on Sky History and Now TV.
14 January 2021 Jewish News
The lighter side
Inspiration / Weekend
Brigit Grant’s little bit of this and little bit of that...
Where there’s a will, there’s Shtisel OY VEY
YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT I DID LAST TUESDAY. While others were watching The One Show and serving up supper, I was having drinks with Dov’le Glickman and Zohar Strauss. There were snacks, too, which actor Hana Laslo (Menuka the matchmaker) got stuck into, while model and Shtisel newbie Reef Neeman sat Meredith, Seth and their adult children back looking gorgeous Real Housewives of Salt Lake City before heading off to another gathering. There was much laughter, secrets and sharing of news, which I’d like to tell you spilled over into dinner at a fancy restaurant but, alas, it was strictly an online soirée. Familar faces join me for laughter, secret sharing and snacks at the Shtisel soirée Fortunately, you can see every minute of this exuberant meet-up from today (14 January) that resulted in Ori Elon and Yehonatan soundtrack ahead of watching the season 3 along with three episodes of the new Indursky’s script being made. That Shtisel premiere. The achievement of completing season and exclusive behind the scenes the new series under Covid regulations was would become a global sensation four years footage. Just buy a ticket here www.seretafter it premiered in Israel was, however, not lost on the show’s executive producer, international.org/category/virtualnot something she ever envisaged or the Dikla Barkai, who joined our party and cinema and it’s yours. demand for her skills from American expressed her pride and gratitude at I never realised how much I missed studios. Modest and self-effacing, Barkai, reaching the final episode. I always refer Shulem Shtisel and his family until I heard who also created the series Srugim, to Barkai as Shtisel’s matriarch, as it was the first emotive strains of Avi Belleli’s experienced the same feelings as a top her instinct and ability to recognise talent band recording their third album when it came to the making of Shtisel 3. The anxiety was certainly apparent whenever we spoke last summer, as she was concerned about the welfare of older cast members Glickman and Sasson Gabay, who plays Shulem’s brother, Nuchem. Because of the series subject matter, Laslo believes the show is blessed, but this beatification appears to have been extended to other shows in the stable of Dikla with Dov, Michael, Hadar and Sasson Who is the daddy now?
TOPof my SHOPS
BECAUSE ALL THE SHOPS ARE SHUT, the permanent closure of Top Shop has barely registered. But it has with me and I’m sad. Personalities aside, the affection for that grand Victorian building on the corner of Oxford Circus was felt by every teenager who ever crossed the threshold in pursuit of great fashion. Top Shop was where I headed with the wages I earned as a Saturday girl at Crocodile, a designer boutique in Hampstead frequented by Sting and Lulu. As a fifth former I couldn’t afford the high-priced clothing I sold to celebs, so I got my style fix by jumping on the Central line and going to Top Shop. It was a palace of fad consumption, with a cornucopia of accessories where, armed with bundles of clothing, girls took over the changing room and paraded in front of the mirror. There were no selfies, but every fun shopping spree was commited to memory along with a ‘wow’ outfit for the weekend. Steeped in Jewish history, it was Lithuanian-born Sir Montague Maurice Burton(Meshe David Osinsky) who founded the Burton department store where Top Shop started and Sir Ralph Halpern took the brand forward in 1974, before Burton changed its name to Arcadia in 1998. Sir Philip Green acquired it in 2002, and for all that has happened since, you can’t deny the innovation of capsule collections by Kate Moss and others, nor the global expansion of a British brand or Arcadia’s contribution to the Fashion Retail Academy. It is just wrong to eradicate the positive contributions of people who displease us and I won’t accept that or the sullying of my shopping memories. Like it or not, in Top Shop, I will always be 16.
Israeli network Yes Studios. The series The Chef, a drama about a celebrity chef starring Rotem Sela was filmed along with an adaptation of Sarit Yishai-Levy’s bestselling novel, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem. Both are now part of the 2021 roster and the latter stars Michael Aloni. Switching from payot and tallit to sideburns and waistcoats in the August heat can’t have been easy for heartthrob Aloni, who was last seen on a gallery bench seated beside Libbi (Hadas Yaron). Of course, if you want to know how things have faired for the impeded artist Akiva, his father Shulem and their extended family, I suggest you get a ticket, grab a tissue and join me and the cast tonight. Tickets £20 for a supreme package from www.seret-international.org/ category/virtual-cinema
Jewish News 14 January 2021
TAKING BACK CONTROL
Louisa Walters speaks to Daniel Neves, founder of pest control experts Inoculand Ltd, about the best way to rid your home and office of unwanted guests for good
t was in 1604 that English lawyer Sir Edward Coke declared that an Englishman’s home is his castle. In the 21st century, our homes have become so much more than that. They are now our offices, our schoolrooms, our artsand crafts studios and our gyms; not only that, but they are, of course, where we eat, sleep, rest, watch movies, cook, do jigsaws and hang out. In short, we are all spending more time at home. As a result, London pest control services company Inoculand Ltd is receiving more and more calls from homeowners and tenants reporting mice running past them or bed bugs crawling on the walls. Meanwhile, empty office buildings, restaurants and shops have also caused an increase in pest activity. Restaurants have had to close at short notice with little opportunity to clean up. Without an active pest control contract in place, and rats feasting on the food stuff left behind, the problem has grown. Empty offices offer a great opportunity for mice to settle in. As a result, once they open up again, workers are all too often finding mouse droppings on their desks in the morning.
London, along with rats. They are a year-round problem. In the warm season they breed more, and in winter they get more into buildings to seek shelter. We put a lot of effort into creating helpful online content and artwork to illustrate how to get rid of mice.
Are rats a big issue?
We spoke to Daniel Neves, expert rodent and pest exterminator and founder of Inoculand, which provides highly professional and extremely effective pest control services in London, about the best way to tackle the problem.
by many trusted companies to block holes to stop mice, only covers the visible area and rodents can chew through it quite easily. At Inoculand, we don’t just get rid of pests, we make sure they don’t come back! Mice-proofing at Inoculand involves fully sealing critical areas with wire wool, wood and sometimes even metal plates, which guarantees effectiveness for the long-term. I spend months monitoring results, so I can adapt our treatments to make sure they are the best on the market.
Why should people turn to a company such as Inoculand?
Do hot summers like we had last year increase the likelihood of pests?
What are permanent pest control solutions?
Are mice the single biggest pest issue we face in London?
When I was working for Lambeth Council as a pest control officer, I was shocked to find that a huge number of companies – and even councils – were using temporary solutions for pest control, rather than seeking a more permanent option. I hit upon the idea of designing treatments to stop pests once and for all and founded Inoculand to do just that. Pest control in London is best left to the professionals! DIY or quick pest control solutions will only work for a short amount of time, and they’ll end up costing more in the long run. For example, expanding foam, which is used
The high season for Inoculand, and I would imagine the pest control industry at large, is the summer. This is mostly down to seasonal pests such as wasps and ants. The hotter the summer, the more likely the wasp and ant infestation problems. When the summers are cooler and wetter, people spend less time outdoors and ants and wasps are less active.
Mice are the cornerstone of pest control – about half of our workload is linked to them. Mice are by far the most common pest complaint in
Rats are also a year-round problem, often linked to the sewer drain system connected to houses. The rat treatment will deplete the stock of rats, but more will eventually come – and keep on coming. You need to keep them out, so you do not have them in the first place. The issue arises when the inspection chambers or manholes cannot be located. We often have to rely on Thames Water for the information, but every so often it leads to a dead end and therefore we cannot fit a no-return valve to stop rats from getting in.
What are the other pest problems for landlords and homeowners?
The two other main pests we deal with are clothes moths and bed bugs. Moths can quickly run down a home, destroying carpets and woollen clothes. Bed bugs are also a major issue. When you realise you have them at home, your world really comes crashing down. They are so difficult to deal with that you do need a professional with the right products and the right tools. I would discourage anyone from going DIY on bed bugs. Without commercial products, which include insect growth regulators, you are effectively just giving them a warm shower, and the strongest ones will stick around to continue the infestation. Once the bed bug population has been primed against pesticides, it only makes it more difficult to get rid of them. Simply replacing the bed or the mattress is a waste of money, as the bugs will reinfest – you need to call in a professional to sort the issue. � Details: www.inoculandpestcontrol.co.uk
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Coffee machine / Business
With Candice Krieger
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ME TO MAKE DAD PROUD Events company founder Ben Morrison tells Candice Krieger how the recent loss of his father and grandmother made him rethink his opportunities and provide coffee to the masses
hen you’re at rock bottom the hospital and I got to say goodbye to my dad.” He adds: “I am great believer that you can you either sink or swim,” says Ben Morrison, who either sit back and hope the world will change, or you can go out and help the world when faced with change. I knew I had to do somehis own devasthing to reinvent myself until tating situation the world of events returns.” could have been forgiven Cue Smart Bar. for sinking. A coffee lover, MorLast year, the Mancurison says: “I remember nian lost his father and during the first lockdown business to Covid-19 and driving to a Costa drivewatched his grandmother through and the queue was pass away from pneumonia, ridiculous as people clamall within a matter of weeks. But oured for their takeaway coffees. despite what he describes as probI thought: ‘This is crazy.’ Why not ably the worst year of his life, Mordrive the coffee to the people?’” rison chose to swim. The father of Ben Morrison He went on eBay in August and two has turned adversity into opportunity, re-evaluating his life and launching saw a Smart car for sale. “I put in a crazy offer a successful new enterprise, striving every day – the guy came back and said: ‘If you drive to to make his father, a well-known member of the Chester you can have it tomorrow’ and that was it. The idea for Smart Bar was born.” Prestwich community, proud. He converted the Smart car by putting a “Losing my dad and grandma, it has been a very strange and upsetting time, but it made coffee machine in the back and drove it to parks, me realise that life is too short and given me the businesses, sports clubs and schools, including strength and vision: it’s important to me now to King David where he was a pupil, and which his children now attend. do my dad proud.” “The parents loved it. They would say: Morrison, 35, founded his Bury-based events firm, We Are Events, in 2011, which specialises ‘Please could you come to our football games at in large simchas and corporate events. The the weekend?’ and it spiralled from there.” He got in touch with his corporate contacts company had doubled in size just before the pandemic struck in March and business came to and has recently signed a partnership with boiling water tap company Quooker. a standstill in the first lockdown. “This has opened our eyes to new offerings “It was as if someone had unplugged the phone,” recalls Morrison. “I have always been and will hopefully lead to other corporate parton the go, and couldn’t just stay at home waiting nerships so we can provide services on behalf of for the world of events to get back up and run- their clients.” Smart Bar also works with reality stars Charning. I had to come up with something.” However, at the same time, Morrison’s father lotte Dawson and James Argent and there are Bernard, who ran Prestwich’s well-known currently seven vehicles operating across Manchester, Cheshire and Liverpool with plans to Bonds Newsagents, was taken ill with Covid. “Dad was always busy, and wanted to keep roll out throughout other UK cities, including on working, even at the age of 73. He did have London. “Please G-d, one day Smart Bar will be underlying health issues, so we knew that if available in every UK city,” says Morrison. Covid has devastated the events and hoshe was to get the virus it could be bad, but he just wasn’t willing to stay at home. He was pitality sector, but Morrison is hopeful it will active and wanted to go to work – the newsa- “come back”. We Are Events remains open and Morrison has kept his staff on furlough and gent’s was his life.” Bernard, a member of the Prestwich Hebrew advises those in the industry to “stay strong and Congregation (Shrubberies), who had diabetes, find something for now to keep you going”. He continues: “We are a long way away from became unwell at the end of March and his wife large or corporate events, but I am hoping, Madeleine also contracted the virus. “She became very ill with symptoms so based on talks around summer time, to start to I couldn’t go into the house to see her and the see some movement. I think initially you will country went into lockdown,” Morrison says. “I see smaller events using a hybrid of virtual for went to hospital to see my dad on the Wednesday those who don’t want to attend in person.” In the meantime, Morrison is enjoying and he passed away on the Friday.” Morrison’s grandmother, Renee Miller, died spending time with his family: wife Samantha, and their two children, Natalya, seven, and Jake, a few weeks later after contracting pneumonia. “No matter how bad things are, there is four, while continuing the Smart Bar journey. always someone worse off,” reflects Morrison, He also runs children’s charity Destination also a member of Prestwich Hebrew Congrega- Florida, that every two years takes dozens of tion. “It’s important to step back, have a great children with life-limiting illnesses on an allsupport network around you and keep pushing expenses-paid trip of a lifetime to Florida. He says: “My dad would have loved Smart forward. “Positivity is key. I’ve a very positive outlook Bar. I know he would have wanted to be a part in life, and I feel lucky I was at least allowed into of this. Working in newsagents, he would have
Ben Morrison with his Smart car, the back of which he has converted into a coffee bar
followed the cars around with stock making sure everyone was ok and that no one was short of anything. I aim to make him proud every
day and know that he is driving me to strive for greater and better things every day.” www.wearesmartbar.co.uk
Jewish News 14 January 2021
Books / Desert Island Books With Zaki Cooper
In association with Listen to the podcast at jewishnews.co.uk
Sir Mick Davis
In the latest in our series of chats with Jews who are changing the world, Zaki Cooper talks to businessman and community leader Sir Mick Davis about his career and the books that inspire him
remarkable thing was that F W De Klerk and ick Davis grew up in South Africa Nelson Mandela emerged to take hold and pursued a career in of a new South Africa. Both rightfully the mining industry, got the Nobel Prize for Peace, becoming CEO of Xstrata from and created a nation with much 2001 to 2013. Before that he was potential. Sadly today we don’t an executive director and chief see that potential being realised. financial officer of Billiton. In the UK, he was president of the Your first book is Indaba, My Jewish Leadership Council 2009Children by Vusamazulu Credo 17 and is actively involved with a Mutwa. Why did you select that book? number of Jewish and non-Jewish charities. He also worked closely with Sir Mick Davis I read it when I was in my late teens. Indaba means ‘gather round’. This book Theresa May, serving as CEO of the demonstrates the richness in the tapestry of the Conservative Party from 2017 to 2019. lives and traditions of black people in Africa. At school in South Africa, our history was defined You were in South Africa for the breakdown of apartheid. What are your memories of that era? on a very Euro-centric basis. Black people were simply the other who were essentially a It was a surreal experience. You had a minority contrast to what we were doing. We never got determining the life of the majority. If you think to appreciate the depths of the history, their back now, it was an affront to humanity. The
religion, their philosophy, their life stories, the mythology that informed how their societies developed. When I came across this book as a teenager it really opened my eyes to the fact here was a society and history which was as relevant and authentic to the development of humankind as any other. You came to the UK in the late ‘90s and became CEO of Xstrata in 2001. Tell us about that The defining aspect of Xstrata was identifying discontinuity in the market and appreciating that the industrialisation of China and the move of people from an agrarian society into an urban environment would radically change the demand profile for commodities. We then attempted to acquire companies and resources which could meet that demand. The most defining transactions we did were the acquisition of Mount Isa Mines in Australia and Falconbridge in Canada. We converted this very, very small company into one of the world’s great diversified mining companies. You have selected a biography of Nelson by Dr John Sugden. Why? Although Nelson had high regard for tradition he nevertheless was prepared to act in ways which didn’t follow the herd. At times his interventions could be completely out of sync with accepted naval tactics. Nelson wasn’t a disrupter but he recognised that at times you need to do things radically differently and that’s the measure of leadership, especially in a complex environment. Does business have a social responsibility? If you’re going to be effective in a business, you need the social licence to operate. This goes far beyond meeting your regulatory and legal requirements. The communities you operate in have to see you as a force for good because if they don’t, they will disrupt your operations and capacity to provide a return to investors. You talk about a social licence and your next book is The Social Contract by Robert Ardrey. Tell us why you like that book It’s the final book in a trilogy that tries to understand the nature and development of man. This book addresses the issue of what drives man to be creative. It talks about a very egocentric and aggressive ‘animal’ but postulates that it is this aggressive tendency that allows man to be creative, to create value. The question posed is how do you move from the rights and desires of the individual to the need of the collective? It is the essential challenge of humanity, and Ardrey suggests that it is a noble obligation of man to seek to move beyond the self to the collective. And that fits well with my understanding of the normative values of Judaism.
As a business leader, how did you adapt to the political world? Very badly. It operates in a different way. It’s very ‘I’ focused, it lacks long-term strategic thinking, so it was a challenge. But at that point in time we were facing an existential threat in the UK, with a weakened Conservative Party. I saw it almost as a duty to help rebuild its campaign capability as this was fundamental to ensuring Jeremy Corbyn did not become PM. I am pleased that this renewed campaign capacity played a significant part in the 2019 election victory. Tell me what is special about your next book, Team of Rivals by Dorothy Kearns Goodwin The lesson in there is that you don’t have to like the people you work with. You have to recognise their ability to contribute. Life is not about choosing people who think the same as you, who like you or indeed are like you. It’s about choosing the best people and how you can interact with them and work constructively so that the whole is better than the sum of the parts. This book describes the unique ability of Lincoln to identify that and implement that. You were president of the JLC for eight years. What was that like? Ours is a complex community, which can recognise issues that need attention but which at times holds those who serve it to a standard that is almost impossible to attain. A community which rightly criticises wrongdoing and ineptitude in its leaders but could do better in acknowledging commitment and contribution. Nevertheless, I worked with some incredibly talented people. It was a very fulfilling time and I was privileged to be able to do it. You have chosen Subversive Sequels in the Bible by Judy Klitsner. Why? It demonstrates the complexity of the Tanach. I find many of the traditional commentators to be formulaic and at times simplistic and while this is hardly the definitive word on interpretation of Tanach it gets one thinking. You are a qualified cricket umpire I’ve always loved cricket. I was never quite good enough to play at the highest levels but I was a good umpire. If you want to appreciate the best cricket, there is nothing like doing that when you are 22 yards away from the batsman.
Mick Davis’ top reads
• Indaba My Children by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa • Nelson by Dr John Sugden • Team of Rivals by Dorothy Kearns Goodwin • The Social Contract by Robert Ardrey • Subversive Sequels in the Bible by Judy Klitsner
14 January 2021 Jewish News
Torah For Today
What does the Torah say about: Jonathan Pollard
BY REBBETZEN ILANA EPSTEIN In this week’s Torah portion we encounter the very first public “beyond nature” event. The God of the Hebrews demonstrates that He is different to the pantheon of gods to whom people had been praying. Those gods, as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks says in Covenant and Conversation, were connected to nature. Nothing those gods “did” was beyond nature. Yet, in last week’s sedra, a bush burns without being incinerated and, this week, the One God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and creates the plagues which are quite miraculous. God brings blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils and hail: that type of onslaught may even put the last 12 months into perspective! This is why God hardens Pharoah’s heart: in order to bring the miracles that will prove that the God of Israel is beyond nature, unlike the other gods. The Children of Israel needed to
BY RABBI DANIEL FRIEDMAN
see these miracles in order to have faith in God and follow Moses through the wilderness. We have had our fair share of problems this past year. What can we learn from the Egyptian plagues that relates to our situation today? Today’s natural phenomena are also the hand of God at work, even if we cannot or are not supposed to understand the reasons why. So many people in our community have suffered and our hearts go out to them. Sadly, the history of the Jewish people is replete with challenging times. We pray that, like our forebears who had to have faith, that the suffering would pass, ours will soon pass too, although it will likely be a few more months of tribulation until we get there. Rebbetzen Ilana Epstein serves Cockfosters and N Southgate United Synagogue
In 2007, I visited Jonathan Pollard at a penitentiary in North Carolina. I was overjoyed 13 years later to watch him land in Israel but can’t say whether Pollard should be viewed as a hero. No layperson is privy to the intelligence he passed to Israel. It is hubris to pretend to know what happened and offer an opinion either way. Let us just celebrate our brother’s freedom and homecoming. But the news provides an opportunity to examine spying from the Torah’s perspective. How undercover may one go in the service of one’s country? Is it permissible to act as a Christian or Muslim, eat pork, or intermarry? Think about the lengths to which Eli Cohen had to go to keep his cover intact. Generally, any risk to life
overrides all Torah duties. However, the rabbis teach three exceptions: murder, idolatry and licentiousness. One must rather take a bullet than practice another religion or act promiscuously. The implications of this law are farreaching. For example, honey trap missions, such as the capture of Mordechai Vanunu, would be unacceptable. Nevertheless, the Bible tells of Yael, who seduced Sisera in order to assassinate him. According to the Talmud, Yael was “blessed of all women” despite her licentiousness.
Rabbi Yechezkel Landau similarly lauds Esther’s selfsacrifice in the palace of Ahasuerus. Based on these cases, former Israeli Chief Rabbi Goren concludes that the three exceptions apply only to personal endangerment. When the entire nation is at risk, we override even these three cardinal sins. This ruling has wideranging implications, not least of which is the permissibility – or indeed, obligation – of espionage, for the sake of the safety and security of the Jewish people. May Hashem protect us from all our enemies and bring peace to Israel and the entire world very soon. Rabbi Daniel Friedman serves Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
The Bible Says What?
The trees argued over who should be king!
Why now is the time to lead from the front on Covid vaccinations
BY RABBI SYLVIA ROTHSCHILD In the Book of Judges we read about trees debating which of them should become their king. They first asked the olive, who refused on account of the oil it produces; they asked the fig, who refused because of her sweet fruit, and finally the grapevine who refused – well you get the idea. Then they asked the thornbush, who said that if they would honour him, they could shelter under him; if not fire would come that would destroy even the cedars of Lebanon. The story is told by Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, the judge who had brought Israel back to God after it had strayed into idolatry but who had refused the kingship. He said neither he nor any son would rule over them, as only God was ruler of Israel. Yet Abimelech, another of Gideon’s sons, had other ideas. After Gideon’s death, he killed his brother to become the first king of Israel.
The Bible tells us Gideon had 70 sons and only Jotham survived Abimelech’s murderous onslaught by hiding. When Abimelech was made king in Shechem, Jotham stood on Mt Gerizim and told the story of the trees to the populace. What was the purpose? To remind the people that good leadership comes with personal sacrifice; those who grab it for their own benefit can bring down the whole of society. Three trees were unwilling to give up their fruitful lives to take on leadership, so the thorn assumed the title with a claim that it gave protective shade (it cannot). Once in power, if anyone went against the thorn, it could fuel the fires that would destroy them all. Civil war descended and Abimelech died after a brief and bloody reign. Jotham’s is a story for us all.
Sylvia Rothschild has been a community rabbi in south London for 30 years
BY RABBI DR RENÉ PFERTZEL “It is a duty to care for the body, since humans have been created in the divine image and likeness.” (Leviticus Rabbah 34:3) The year has begun as the last one ended with lockdowns, job losses and isolation caused by the pandemic. But there is hope on the horizon in the form of a vaccine. According to a report from the British Academy, one of the essential elements needed for the vaccine’s success is a coordinated programme to encourage confidence and combat anti-vaxx misinformation – so that the take-up target of eight in ten people in the UK can be achieved. The report’s author, Oxford University’s Prof Melinda Mills, writes: “We need to move from the one-way provision of information and generate open dialogue that does not dismiss people’s real vaccine concerns and hesitancy.” Obviously scientists, doctors
and government ministers will take the lead in this, but rabbis and faith leaders have an important role to play. There is a reason the bimah is at the front of our synagogues (and Zoom screens): people look forward to our rabbis for leadership. And this is an issue we can lead on from the front. While many in Progressive Judaism will have no qualms about a jab, some will be among the 36 percent of people in the UK who say they are uncertain or unlikely to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Our job as rabbis is to show our
members, and the wider community, that the vaccine is safe, effective and part of our Jewish set of values – especially that of pikuach nefesh, the concept that saving a human life is more important than anything else. So what practical steps will we be taking? First, Liberal rabbis are going to record a video, standing side by side with frontline NHS workers in the Liberal Jewish community, declaring our support for the vaccine. Second, we will be talking to people – especially those who are nervous or worried about the vaccine or have family members who are. The key here is to provide reassurance. Finally, we need to look to inclusion and practically supporting members who may be blind, deaf, sick or vulnerable in getting the vaccine. Now is the time for us all to put pikuach nefesh into action. Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel is co-chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
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14 January 2021 Jewish News
Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts
Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Brexit versus EU trade deal, pursuing aliyah plans during lockdown and a stylish kitchen that’s practical too Norway, Turkey or Jordan. The main difference is that Israel got its EU deal in 1975, whereas LEON HARRIS UK/ISRAELI ACCOUNTANT & TAX ADVISOR the UK has just done a 27-point U-turn, to the HARRIS HOROVIZ CONSULTING & TAX chagrin of all concerned. As for Biden, he is more of an internationalist than Trump. He is expected to accept OECD Dear Leon proposals that would allow every country to How does the Brexit trade deal compare with impose income tax on e-commerce operators the EU trade deal with Israel? And what are who sell things to consumers in that country the tax implications of a Biden presidency for from afar. US states have already started British and Israeli business? collecting sales tax (their VAT) on certain out-ofSonia state supplies, at over 20,000 local tax rates! The OECD e-commerce proposals, if adopted, Dear Sonia may trigger multiple taxation and be hugely The two deals are similar, providing exemption complex for UK and Israeli businesses trading from import taxes on goods if rules of origin are internationally. Those businesses should start by met. This means exports to the EU must mainly doing an ABC check: automation, business taxaoriginate in the UK or Israel respectively, or tion criteria, and comprehensive structure that in the EU itself. But Israeli products may also minimises taxes internationally. contain content from EFTA countries and Please contact us for kosher international tax some Mediterranean countries, eg Switzerland, advice and reporting assistance: email@example.com.
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STEPHEN MORRIS SHIPPING LTD Dear Stephen Given the pandemic and general lockdowns in the UK and in Israel, is it worth pursuing plans to make aliyah just now? Rachel Dear Rachel Yes, it is worth pursuing.
The world is still turning and we will hopefully B”H all get through this in time. So, do please email or call me with your questions. It is never too early to start planning. You will need to decide where you are going to live, if you do not have somewhere already, and you will need to decide what you are going to take with you to your new home. Kitchen appliances, including washing machine, dryer, fridge, freezer, dishwasher and microwave are all sensible items to ship as are sofas and chairs and beds. These are generally all cheaper in the UK than in Israel. If you are making Aliyah, you will have the VAT refunded on new goods
when you ship and generally no VAT or duty charged on import into Israel. We will need to survey your move in order to obtain a volume and so be able to quote. I can offer approximate prices now but cannot issue a firm price and contract until the survey is complete. The survey can still be conducted during Covid provided strict procedures are followed and we will establish these prior to the actual survey date. That date should be booked approximately six weeks prior to your move and once you know for certain what items you would like to ship and what items will remain in the UK. Keep safe, keep sane!
SHANTI PANCHANI DESIGN DIRECTOR
THE KITCHEN CONSULTANCY Dear Shanti I love contemporary, clean-looking kitchens but I’m a busy mum with three young kids so need one that’s both stylish and practical. What type would suit my requirements? Katherine Dear Katherine
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Thanks for your question Katherine. Handleless kitchens are on-trend and match the style you’re looking for. While giving a streamlined, sleek appearance, handle-free cabinetry also offers practical benefits. There are two types of handle-less kitchens. The first version has a handle built into the top of the door. These are regarded as handled kitchens as we design them as a normal kitchen. The second, is where a finger rail is placed behind the door to allow opening. This is true handle-less. The second option is what more people go for as they can add lighting in the finger rail to create ambience. Also, it looks really cool, when
your friends come around. They are easier to clean than kitchens with handles because the smooth lines mean there are fewer hidden places for dirt to settle. You just give the cabinets a wipe-over and the cleaning is, in effect, done! Handle-free kitchens are also a safer option because they have no parts sticking out that could cause injury, especially to young children – so a perfect choice for you and your young family!
Jewish News 14 January 20201
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DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional clinical lead for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons Glasgow; GDC registered 212542.
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JEWISH DISPUTE SOLUTIONS 020 3637 9638 www.jewishdisputesolutions.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
GINGERBREAD HOUSE 01923 852 852 www.gingerbreadhealth.co.uk Adam.email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST
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.
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LISA WIMBORNE Qualifications: Able to draw on the charity’s 50 years of experience in enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, including: • The provision of specialist accommodation with 24/7 on site support. • Knowledge of the innovations that empower people and the benefits available. • Understanding of the impact of a disability diagnosis.
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MAN ON A BIKE 020 8731 6171 www.manonabike.co.uk email@example.com
JEWISH BLIND & DISABLED 020 8371 6611 www.jbd.org Lisa@jbd.org
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.
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If you would like to advertise your services here email: sales@ jewishnews.co.uk
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VANESSA LLOYD PLATT Qualifications: • Qualification: 40 years experience as a matrimonial and divorce solicitor and mediator, specialising in all aspects of family matrimonial law, including: • Divorce, pre/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, children’s cases, grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren, 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.
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40 Jewish News
14 January 2021
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14 January 20201 Jewish News
Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
ACROSS 1 High masses of land (5) 4 Wild yellow and white flower (5)
7 Impression of a design on brass or stone (7)
C R G L
M E G W E
Y E M E
W C P D N U O R G Y A
F K F M S D L
Last issue’s solutions
Crossword ACROSS: 1 Cons 3 Absorb 8 Knee-pad 9 Too 10 Needlecord 13 Repository 17 Put 18 Crew cut 19 Clouds 20 Used DOWN: 1 Coke 2 Niece 4 Bid 5 Outdo 6 Blonde 7 Spades 11 Esteem 12 Tropic 14 Patio 15 Races 16 Stud 18 Cod
2 1 4 7 6 9 3 5 8
9 3 2 6 8 4 7 1 5
SUGURU Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.
2 3 5
2 3 3
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 1
Suguru 8 7 1 9 2 5 6 4 3
6 2 7 7 1 6 3 5 4 1 9 8 7
Sudoku 3 8 7 2 5 1 4 9 6
PUPILS SKIPPING TEACHER WHISTLE
5 6 9 8 4 3 1 2 7
A E A V O P W U G N Q W M LESSONS LUNCHTIME MARBLES NOISE PLAYGROUND PLAYTIME
H C T O C S P O H T K H Z CHILDREN FIELDS FOOTBALL GAMES HIDE AND SEEK HOPSCOTCH
E S S O N S E T P
N Y B E D O P U E
L D R E N B B A E S
S E K S S N T O T B R S
O P G H L I
R Q L
F A P O A S A N T K C H
E X P A Q S A H
S T N C D E M M U
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 19, 21 and 22 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
The words relating to the school playground 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.
2 5 7 9
WORDSEARCH L U N C H T
9 4 1 8
DOWN 1 Move rapidly (6) 2 Room with Bunsen burners (3) 3 Be unduly thrifty (5) 4 Excavate (3,2) 5 To the soul (7) 6 Device for carrying buckets (4) 10 Creature with tentacles (7) 12 Sense of wonderment (3) 13 Stretch out (6) 15 ‘Go in’ sign (5) 16 Known facts (5) 18 Night ___, WH Auden poem (4) 21 Contagious disease (3)
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
8 Chinese pan (3) 9 Toilet (3) 11 The Pickwick ___, Dickens’ first novel (6) 14 Ramsay ___, Neighbours setting (6) 17 Big hit in cricket (3) 19 Venomous snake (3) 20 Precious edible fungus (7) 22 Defeated player (5) 23 Afghan ___, dog breed (5)
4 5 6 3 1 7 9 8 2
6 9 5 4 7 8 2 3 1
7 4 8 1 3 2 5 6 9
1 2 3 5 9 6 8 7 4
1 2 3 2 1 5
5 4 1 4 3 2
2 3 5 2 1 4
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 4 1 4 3 5 3
3 2 5 1 4 2
1 4 3 2 3 1
3 2 1 5 4 3
4 5 3 2 1 2
2 1 4 5 3 4
4 3 2 1 2 1
2 5 4 3 4 5
1 3 1 2 1 3
N D K N O T S L C G Y E N
R A S A V N A C R Q C V E
E R E K M C I L O L X T E
T N U M E L B A C B E H D
T R J W B C U S H I O N L
A L O G C R S J E P O W E
P R A R Z N O G T D B P S
Codeword K E A I O G N I W E S D B
A F Y T R I F K D N W O D
T N T E G E Q I W E R F I
O U R D L V T B T D R T A
B Y E C M E U A E O F Y R
D E S I G N T R M X M S B
S L I J A B K I L D I T S Y
U R E NGR E N E GG E D NO A O E L T WA R D T I S A F F E C T I NO P S I S U H H C A N NON A B X C E R C EME N T E D
A V E R L G T I ON A ROB E U E D L Y Q L U N DO A O L A Z E L E Y A R N
S F K L COB N I D Z MP Q H J X W Y R E G T V U A14/01
Jewish News 14 January 20201
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY
Top prices paid
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14 January 20201 Jewish News
Business Services Directory SILVER
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Jewish News 14 January 2021
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