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28 January 2021

15 Shvat 5781

Issue No.1195


A law unto JN- Earpiece.indd 1

27/01/2021 13:55:10

• 50+ strictly-Orthodox weddings across London during lockdown • Lookouts used to raise alarm and money set aside for fines • Bride at one Stamford Hill wedding was ‘Covid positive’ • Police ‘not doing enough’ to prevent acts of lawlessness • Further simchas held since last week’s school wedding scandal


A strictly-Orthodox couple at a pre-lockdown wedding

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Jewish News 28 January 2021

Special Report / Jewish News investigation

For months they’ve brok STRICTLY-ORTHODOX WEDDINGS with more than 300 guests have continued apace throughout lockdown, including one that took place this week, an investigation by Jewish News reveals. Speaking on condition of anonymity, several whistleblowers have told this newspaper that laws designed to protect people from coronavirus by limiting or banning weddings are being routinely flouted. Angered by reports that police were called to break up a large wedding at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in Stamford Hill last week, people close to – and inside – the Orthodox wedding industry have now revealed that it was far from a one-off. “One took place last night,” a source told Jewish News earlier this week. “Another took place on the 17th also at Yesodey Hatorah, another wedding will take place tomorrow. It’s happening all over.” • Investigation by Ellie Jacobs.

THE ALLEGATIONS A source intimately involved in the Orthodox wedding scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “These illegal weddings have been going on for 10 months. We’re not talking about one or two. We are talking multiple weddings every day. All have 150-200 guests. At one wedding the bride was Covid-positive.”

THE VENUES There are five venues that are used regularly, several sources confirmed – “anything that has a hall”. One is the taxpayer-funded Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in Stamford Hill. “It’s the one that was caught,” said one person. The school’s long-time principal, Rabbi Avroham Pinter, died from Covid-19 last spring. The new principal is his son, Chaim, who became a director of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in July last year. Another is Belz Hall at 98 Clapton Common. There, two floors below ground, is a new, purpose-built banqueting space for simchas of up to 350 people. “There are up to four weddings a week there, Monday to Thursday,” another source said, in a claim later corroborated by three other people. “There are many entrances to the building, with smaller halls upstairs for Jewish studies, security guards on all the doors. They confiscate your phones as you go in so photos don’t get out. There’s literally a table with a mountain of mobiles.” Another person familiar with the shifting set-up said: “At one point they were taking over warehouses in the countryside, warehouses in Canvey Island, trying to do it behind closed doors… I think that’s what will happen now.” Two separate sources said there had been several large weddings at the Lismirrane Industrial Park in Elstree over the spring and summer. Another venue cited as frequently hosting large weddings during lockdown is Ohel Yaakov Beth Hamedrash (Pshevorsk) Synagogue at 26 Lampard Grove, a synagogue associated with the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. Yet another venue cited as hosting lockdown simchas is Beis Ruchel D’Satmar School in Stamford Hill, an 840-pupil girls’ school that

This wedding took place before the pandemic but similar weddings are being held every day among some strictly-Orthodox communities

was raided by police in October for breaching number restrictions in place at the time. A Charedi source based in Stamford Hill said: “There are 20-30 venues [for weddings] in Stamford Hill, almost all tied to a community centre with [a] wedding hall, school, synagogue, mikveh, such as [the] Bobov [centre] on Egerton Road.”

THE SUPPORT INDUSTRY As might be expected in such an insular community, there are a limited number of caterers, florists, photographers, videographers, musicians, organisers and security teams who are trusted to supply and support these large Orthodox weddings. For instance, the same florist was quoted by five different sources as supplying flowers to big Orthodox weddings during lockdown in London and, in recent months, Bournemouth. One informed source said: “She has 85 percent of the market, at least.” The florist denied all knowledge and involvement. Several also named a videographer as having filmed many of the weddings during lockdown, while Jewish News understands that there are three Israeli photographers who regularly fly in from Israel to take the snaps – and have done since March. One covered nine big Orthodox weddings in under four weeks. Another photographer is reported to have contracted Covid-19 at one of the London weddings, subsequently forcing an entire El Al flight into quarantine on its return to Israel. An Israeli involved in the set-up of weddings later said: “The mother of the chatan [groom] called me to tell me that she also had corona. She came to the wedding on Monday and she also had corona. She feels she got it at the wedding. You understand what happened in Stamford Hill now? Unbelievable. Unbelievable.”

Yet the increased risk is not leading to decreased incidence but only increased cost, with several sources telling Jewish News that some organisers of big Orthodox weddings are now asking for a £10,000 payment upfront specifically for the purpose of paying the fines if the wedding is raided by police.

THE PLAYERS The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) is an umbrella body representing more than 100 strictly-Orthodox synagogues around the country. It gets up to £500,000 per year from Kedassia Supervision Ltd, which approves kosher food for suppliers and caterers. Kedassia pointedly did not deny that it provides kosher supervision for the food at these weddings – a religious requirement if food is being prepared on the premises. The UOHC also has a close relationship to Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School. At least four board members are also governors of Yesodey. The UOHC vets prospective pupils, and its own Rabbinate is officially listed as the authority by which the school is guided. The relationship stretches beyond that, however. The UOHC says it “provides a range of facilities for the Orthodox Jewish community. These facilities include Simchas Nissuin.” On marketing material, Simchas Nissuin is described as “a subsidised wedding scheme offered in conjunction with the UOHC”. Two venues are offered for a “total package”. One of them? Yesodey Hatorah, for £7,495. The school earns £750 for each wedding it hosts.

THE ENFORCERS Privately, Hackney Council says claims of regular weddings at Jewish venues in Hackney are “not reflected” in their records of Covid-19

breaches, adding that enforcement is a matter for the police. Since March, 114 warning letters and 21 community protection notices have been issued in Hackney to businesses breaching the guidance. The council declined to say how many were issued to Jewish individuals, organisations or businesses. Multiple sources questioned why the police had not done more to stop the large weddings taking place. “Police have been told about them on numerous occasions, via 101 and 999,” said one. “Why are they turning a blind eye?” On one occasion, Jewish News understands, police were called to a venue known among locals as Belz Hall on reports of a wedding. “When they arrived, they were shown the small study halls upstairs to see there was no wedding,” said one. “They didn’t go downstairs.” Two people said large wedding parties often employed spotters or lookouts. “They stand outside. If someone comes, all the lights go off.” Another said they too had reported a wedding at Belz Hall to police. “I even told them -2 [that it was taking place two floors below ground]. When I called for an update, they said an officer rang the hall manager the next day, who told him, ‘Weddings? They’re illegal, we don’t do them.’ So, they never even went!” They added: “I even told them [the police] how to tell if they [strictly-Orthodox] are going to a wedding, the special fur hats, that it’s the only reason [why a fur hat would be worn in Stamford Hill]. They weren’t interested.” Another said: “I told them they were going on from nine at night until midnight. When I called back to get an update, they said an officer attended at 9.30am.” One senior local rabbi even suggested that weddings were so common in Stamford Hill that there was a perception among Orthodox Jews from across London that big weddings


28 January 2021 Jewish News


Jewish News investigation / Special Report

ken every rule in the book

were being permitted there. “They come with guests from all over north-west London because they aren’t allowed in their own area,” they said.

THE REASON Many strictly-Orthodox Jews in north London believe that they have collective antibodies, we were repeatedly told. “They think they have herd immunity,” said one, echoing a sentiment voiced by others. A well-known figure in the Charedi world offered another explanation for holding of the events. “Most people don’t understand that in the Charedi community, without a wedding there is no relationship,” he said. “It’s not like you can move in with your girlfriend and postpone the wedding for two years. That’s why weddings take on a completely different meaning in the Charedi context.” Another told us about how social norms exert their own pressure. Having attended two large weddings during lockdown, they told Jewish News that they were “very uncomfortable” doing so. “No masks, no distancing, nothing,” the source said. “I walked round thinking, ‘Seriously?’ No Covid prep. None.” They explained that they felt compelled to go at first but had more recently “made excuses”. Others felt there was an air of untouchability. A bridal wear boutique owner who caters to Charedi brides said: “They’re a law unto themselves. They come in saying ‘I want a dress,’ ‘I want a fitting,’… It puts us at risk, but they feel they are exempt from the rules. Their attitude is, ‘We’ll find a way.’ ”

PRIVATE ANGER A respected Charedi figure reflected the level of feeling. “I’ve been taking calls on this since Friday,” he said. “Trying to explain, justify or mitigate [the large weddings] doesn’t work. People feel too strongly about it. No one is

going to back down. It has already generated an unprecedented amount of negative coverage of the Stamford Hill community, in some cases well-deserved. But it is what it is.” They added: “I know Yesodey Hatorah is being used as a wedding venue and think it’s really stupid of the school, especially one that receives state funding. I think it’s a fundamental mistake, whether they outsource it or not. They should have seen this coming. There’s nothing to say in defence of that.” Elsewhere, a member of the Orthodox community who plays a part in weddings said claims of ignorance from Yesodey Hatorah were “bull”. They said: “The ladies come in to prep the halls from 4pm with flowers and everything. The staff don’t leave until 5pm. Yet they don’t know, they have no idea.” The same person also poured scorn on the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. “They condemn these weddings, but for a wedding to go ahead it has to be authorised by the rabbi, and the rabbi has to go to the Union to get the certification that says the couple getting married are Orthodox Jews.” A senior communal figure who represents the mainstream Jewish community revealed that there was a huge sense of disappointment at the top tables. “It lets the side down. Not only that, it’s downright dangerous,” they said. “Yes, it is important not to stigmatise a whole community, and we’re having conversations about what more can be done to avoid these breaches, but what we’re hearing is that there are far more breaches going on. “I’m flabbergasted. We don’t hold Jewish weddings at certain times of the year because of a plague that happened 2,000 years ago, yet the plague we’re living through now doesn’t appear reason enough to postpone. “We see some Charedi leaders do their best to distribute guidance, but we need the rabbis to take a much firmer line on this. We know how important marriage is to the community but people can’t hug their granny, their mother.” When told about this week’s planned coverage, they added: “Let’s hope the exposure brings some heavy downward pressure on those who are still breaching the rules. It’s the breaches we have a problem with, not the community.”

him that in Stamford Hill and Hackney we have discovered that large weddings have been taking place, are taking place, and are planned to continue. “In terms of Stamford Hill… that is not acceptable,” he said. “There is no excuse for not complying with the rules. The expressions of regret about what happened [at Yesodey Hatorah] are well made by various community and faith leaders. “There is no excuse. Everybody who knowingly breaks the rules is putting themselves and everyone else at risk, especially in a week like this, when we reach the awful milestone of 100,000 deaths. It is inexcusable. That is the right word in relation to what we saw last week.”

OFFICIAL DEFENCE After the police raid, Yesodey Hatorah said: “We had no knowledge that the wedding was taking place. We are absolutely horrified about last night’s event and condemn it in the strongest possible terms.” Likewise, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations said: “The Union is absolutely appalled that this event took place. We have condemned in the strongest terms any breaches of the law and we continue to work across the community to ensure everyone adheres to the lockdown.”

Why we reported without names The strictly-Orthodox world is a very closed place in which to live and operate. Those “breaking ranks” and reporting misdeeds externally can – at best – expect ostracism. At one point during our reporting, we were told: “If you say [X] they’ll work out who I am and come after me – that’s how bad it is.” We have, at every turn, sought to meticulously corroborate and verify what we have been told, and such is the anger over these breaches, we have largely been able to. Typically, it would be very rare for even one person to talk to the press. Tellingly, a large number have done so, such is the scale of privately-held anger at the continuation of large-scale events where guests do not wear masks and do not adhere to social distancing. All sources tell the same story: of an Orthodox wedding industry that hasn’t missed a beat. We have managed to corroborate more than 50 weddings, with dates and venues, that have taken place during partial or full lockdowns but have omitted these details from our reporting to safeguard the identity of sources. Of these, police attended two.

• Editorial comment, page 22

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HACKNEY COUNCIL Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “Coronavirus cases remain very high in Hackney, and it is utterly deplorable that people are making an active choice to put their own lives and the lives of others at risk by hosting illegal mass gatherings. “Staff at the Homerton and across the NHS are overwhelmed with the amount of cases. Those who are continuing to flout the rules are showing clear disregard for the tireless work of these NHS heroes and key workers.” He added that the council was “working closely with the police to crack down on coronavirus rule-breakers through joint patrols, including our recent day of action across the borough which resulted in 66 fines and three arrests”.

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Jewish News 28 January 2021

News / Holocaust Memorial Day

Lily beats the virus Duchess lauds survivors saying: ‘I chose life’ for sharing their stories An Auschwitz survivor has made a “miraculous recovery” from Covid at the age of 97, writes Jack Mendel. Lily Ebert became seriously ill with the virus one month ago. But last week, her greatgrandson Dov, 17, took to Twitter to say Lily “has just recovered from Covid-19”, adding: “Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery.” His message was retweeted almost 17,000 times, reaching 14 million people and leading to the pair being invited on to Good Morning Britain this week. Asked by co-host Suzanna Reid how she felt, Lily said: “I feel very well. I got it about four weeks ago. The worst thing is you get very tired and cannot properly think.” Lily, who was immunised last month, added: “I’m very excited to get the second dose because I know how important it is.” Reflecting on her recovery from Covid ahead of this week’s Holocaust Memorial Day, Lily said she “could choose life and carry on, or give up”. She explained: “I chose life, and I cannot give up. I have to carry on to fight.” Great-grandson Dov, who uses social media to tell her story to an audience of thousands, said: “I always knew that it would become my responsibility. “She isn’t going to be around forever. This

The Duchess of Camso important and so bridge marked Holocaust inspirational.” Marking HMD, Boris Memorial Day with an emotional virtual meeting Johnson held a converwith two survivors, writes sation with Renee Salt, Jack Mendel. a survivor of AuschwitzIn a reunion organised Birkenau and Bergenby the Holocaust EduBelsen, and Ian Forsyth, cational Trust, she met one of her liberators, whom Zigi Shipper and Manfred she met 75 years later. Johnson shared a video Goldberg, who accompanied her and the Duke on of their meeting, saying: “Nothing will stop their visit to Stutthof conus remembering centration camp in 2017. ‘Their stories will the unique Speaking about the stay with me forever’ Duchess of Cambridge photographs survivors horror of the priviledge of meeting her, for our Holocaust Memorial Day edition See pages 4 & 5 Holocaust and Goldberg, 90, told the recommitting Duchess: “It confirms to root out to me that I will never The photo of Steven Frank by antisemitism.” appreciate fully how lucky the Duchess of Sussex, inset Karen PolI was to live my life in this The Duchess of Cambridge lock, chief executive of the country, in freedom.” Shipper, 91, reflecting on said: “The stories you both Holocaust Educational Trust, his liberation, said his first six have shared with me again said: “As a longstanding supmonths in England were “hell”, today, and your dedication in porter of Holocaust education adding: “I had everything educating the younger gen- and remembrance, we know I wanted, but I did not have my eration about your experi- [Johnson] will remember this friends. After six months, my ences and the horrors of the meeting and knows the unrilife changed. I had the most Holocaust shows extreme valled power of hearing their strength and such bravery. It’s stories.” wonderful life.” Special edition marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

27 January 2020

Lily out for her first walk after her recovery

really is the last moment to hear from Holocaust survivors.” His great-grandmother was a “remarkable lady”, he said. “She’s really such a fighter and such an inspiration. I think people loved the tweet because it gave people such hope in such tough times.” Lily had been “really ill” but “while there were some dark moments, the family was sure she would continue fighting and never give up”. The pair are working on a book, Lily’s Promise, to be published by Macmillan in September.

STARMER: WE MUST GUARD TRUTH Gordon as a speaker. Cantor Sir Keir Starmer drew on the Jaclyn Chernett sang a memoPesach story of the four sons rial prayer. when he spoke at a Holocaust Wiener Library director Dr Memorial Day event last Toby Simpson told the nearly Friday hosted by the Wiener 350 viewers on Zoom the readLibrary, writes Beatrice Sayers. ings from its archive of testimoAnd after discussing the nies that would be heard were importance of survivor testimony, he finished his address Sir Keir Starmer at the event deposited decades ago, soon after the events they recalled. with a blessing in Hebrew. Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, Taking this year’s HMD theme, Be the Light in the Darkness, Starmer said we must consider said many Jewish constituents had emailed him how to share our knowledge. The son who does to explain how their families’ experience during not know how to ask reminds us to talk about the Holocaust had shaped their lives on issues. He stressed learning from survivors was the horrors of the genocides “to those who may not know about them, to warn them where a privilege future generations will not get. “It will be up to us to protect institutions like hatred, prejudice and bigotry can lead”. The Labour leader joined special envoy this library, to protect the truth and continue to for post-Holocaust issues Lord (Eric) Pickles recount these testimonies. Zichronam livracha, and New London Synagogue’s Rabbi Jeremy may their memories be a blessing.”

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Mayor speaks of duty to stand up Everyone must remember their duty to stand up and speak out against prejudice, the Mayor of London said ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day. Sadiq Khan and the chairman of the London Assembly, Navin Shah, joined Jewish community leaders and survivors on Monday in a virtual service ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day. Khan said: “The Holocaust marked one of the darkest chapters in human history and, although we are unable to meet in person to remember the millions of lives lost, it is important we still take the opportunity to reflect. “This year’s theme, Be the Light in the Darkness, is a call to action for each of us, reminding us of our duty to stand up and speak out against prejudice, oppression and injustice.” The pre-recorded 11am service included

speeches by dignitaries, a memorial prayer and testimonies from Holocaust survivor Renee Salt and genocide survivor Abdul Musa Adam. Shah said: “We must show understanding to those we perceive as different. We must report hate crimes if we see them. We must stand together ... to speak out against divisive tactics.” Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman said: “By reminding ourselves of the worst that human beings can do to each other, we guard against identity-based hostility and persecution.” Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We pay tribute to our brave and beloved Holocaust survivors, who have become digital experts to continue to share their testimonies.”

28 January 2021 Jewish News



Holocaust Memorial Day / News

Virtual memory wall Yad Vashem has launched a virtual commemoration wall in collaboration with Facebook to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, writes Adam Decker. Called the IRemember Wall, it is accessible in six languages – English, Hebrew, French, Spanish, German, and Russian – to let the public learn the names and stories of just some of the six million killed. Each participant who joins the event will be randomly linked to one of the individuals recorded in Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, which today numbers more than 4.8 million. The names of the participant and victim then appear together on the wall, prompting the victim’s story to be shared by the participant on social media. “By partnering with Facebook, we are able to reach a wider international audience, which is crucial to keeping the memory of the Jewish

victims alive and the meanings of the Holocaust relevant in today’s complex reality,” said Iris Rosenberg, director of Yad Vashem’s communications division. Last year, more than 85,000 victims were commemorated by people from 175 countries in their own languages, she said, making each participant an “ambassador of memory” responsible for promulgating the voices of those killed. Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said she was “grateful for all that Yad Vashem does to honour the victims of the Holocaust, including this incredible project”. She added: “Facebook is honoured to be a part of this project, helping to tell the story of the millions of women, men, and children murdered by the Nazis. They deserve to be remembered so this never happens again.”  Visit the IRemember Wall site here: https://iremember.yadvashem.org

The Lake District Holocaust Project has said the power of the story about Jewish children taking refuge in an iconic national park after fleeing the Nazis is “growing year by year”. Director Trevor Avery was speaking ahead of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day and a repeat broadcast of the

award-winning BBC drama, The Windermere Children on Wednesday night. Originally aired last year, the film by Simon Block and directed by Michael Samuels tells the story of “The Boys”, the 300 Jewish child survivors of the Holocaust who were brought to Lake Win-

dermere for rehabilitation after the Second World War. “Momentum is growing year by year, even during the pandemic,” said Avery. “It is testament to how powerful the story is and how we need to see that people are resilient and have the capacity to recover from horrific circumstances.”

Photo by YadVashem.org


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Jewish News 28 January 2021

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28 January 2021 Jewish News



Holocaust Memorial Day / News

Landmarks light up in memory The Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Blackpool Tower were among iconic British landmarks lit up in purple last night as the world marked Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), writes Jack Mendel. At 8pm yesterday the nation paused for a moment of reflection by lighting a candle in their homes, while sites across the UK displayed a message of remembrance for victims of the Shoah. The initiative, based on this year’s theme of ‘Be the light in the darkness’, included more than 25 locations across the UK, including Blackpool Tower, the Imperial War Museums, Canterbury Cathedral and Durham Castle. This year’s HMD theme was decided 18 months ago before the global pandemic. It has caused disruption in all areas of life – including Holocaust education and survivor testimony, which has been moved into the virtual world. Speaking ahead of HMD, Olivia MarksWoldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “As with everything else, we’ve had to change how we mark Holocaust Memorial Day this year. Our priority was to keep contributors, especially Holocaust survivors, safe. “We are so grateful to everyone who made HMD happen this year: the government, celebrity readers, landmarks and billboards that lit up in purple – and to people across the UK who put candles in their windows. It has enabled everyone – despite the pandemic – to learn from genocide for a better future’.” A virtual ceremony, presented by the BBC’s Naga Munchetty, also featuring Premier League stars, gave a message of unity against racism. It included contributions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, as well as celebrity readers such as adventurer Bear Grylls, criminal barrister and television personality Robert Rinder and

Blackpool Tower was lit up in purple to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

actor Tobias Menzies. HMD’s patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, reflected on this year’s theme, saying: “As I speak, the last generation of living witnesses is tragically passing from this world,

so the task of bearing witness falls to us. That is why the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which I am so proud to be patron, has this year chosen the theme, Be the light in the darkness. “This is not a task for one time only; nor is

it a task for one generation, or one person. It is for all people, all generations, and all time. This is our time when we can, each in our own way, be the light that ensures the darkness can never return.”

Children’s ID tags found at Sobibor Archaeologists working at the Sobibor death camp in Poland have made a harrowing discovery, which reduced them to tears – finding identity tags worn by four Jewish children from Amsterdam, writes Jenni Frazer. Yoram Haimi, from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, works in a team with Polish archaeologist Wojciech Mazurek and Holland’s Ivan Schute. The trio, together with residents, are involved in an excavation at Sobibor prior to the construction of a new visitors’ centre there. The children whose identity tags were found were Lea Judith De La Penha, Deddie Zak, Annie Kapper and David Juda Van der Velde, and were aged six to 11. Haimi said: “As far as we know, identity tags with children’s names have only been found at Sobibor and nowhere else. Since the tags are very different from each other, it is evident that this was probably not some organised effort. “The children’s identity tags were prepared

by their parents, who were probably desperate to ensure the children’s relatives could be located in the chaos of the Second World War. “Lea, Annie and Deddie’s tags have enabled us to link faces and stories to the names, which until now had only been anonymous entries in Nazi lists. Archaeological excavation provides us with an opportunity to tell the victims’ stories and to honour their memory.” While holding the dirt-encrusted tags, the archaeologists contacted the archive of the former transit camp, Westerbork, which now serves as a memorial site and visitor centre in Holland. All the children whose tags were found were deported via the Westerbork camp. Haimi recalled: “I have been excavating at Sobibor for 10 years, but this is the hardest day I have ever had. As we stood holding the tags in the field, beside the crematoria, we contacted the centre and we gave them the names. They responded immediately. By phone, we received

Some of the children whose identity tags were found at the Sobibor death camp in Poland

photos of smiling young children. “The hardest thing was to learn that some whose tags we held reached Sobibor on a children’s transport – 1,300 children, aged four to eight, who were sent here to die alone, without their parents. I looked at the photos and asked myself, how could anyone have been so cruel?” Six-year-old Lea’s tag was found near Sobi-

bor’s railway platform. Deddie’s was found in one of the crematoria; he was eight. Annie, 12, and her family were deported in April 1943, and all the Dutch Jews on that transport were murdered in Sobibor’s gas chambers. David, whose broken tag was found near those chambers, had been 11 when he was murdered, with his family, on 2 April 1943.



Jewish News 28 January 2021

News / Holocaust Memorial Day

Never again, in Arabic International Holocaust Remembrance Day was commemorated by young Israeli, Gulf and Arab leaders together this week in the Middle East’s first such event, writes Jack Mendel. Auschwitz survivor Vera Kriegel spoke of her experience at the hands of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele to participants from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, following their visit to Yad Vashem last month. The online event, organised by the Gulf-Israel Centre for Social Entrepreneurship (Sharaka), was addressed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who said it was moving to see young people from across the region working together. “We are bringing together Holocaust survivors with young Israeli and Gulf leaders, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and

Sharaka’s delegation to Yad Vashem

Druze, to say ‘never again’,” he said. More than 100 participants from across the world sent excited messages to each other during the Zoom call, for instance telling each other how to write ‘never again’ in Hebrew and Arabic. Sharaka used the opportunity to push an action plan that included “promoting” the International Holocaust Remem-

brance Alliance definition of antisemitism, as well as “countering” the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Holding back tears, Kriegel told the young Arab leaders: “I’m so overjoyed, so happy, so moved, so everything, and I embrace all of you. I am so happy that you want to know everything from the past. It’s so very important.” Beginning with the Arab greeting Salaam Alaikum she said: “I was a guinea pig for the satanic Dr Mengele. My selfesteem, my pride, my identity, all was taken from me.” Amjad Taha, co-founder of Sharaka, told Kriegel she had a new home in Bahrain “and in the heart of every peace lover”. He suggested that the UAE and Bahrain include the Nazi persecution of Jews in the school curriculum.


Janine Webber: silenced

A Holocaust charity is premiering its debut film featuring a survivor who couldn’t speak about her experiences for 50 years, writes Ellie Jacobs. Out of the Darkness, from Holocaust Learning UK, is based around the testimony of 88-year-old Janine Webber. Janine was nine when the Germans invaded her Polish city in 1941. Her family was forced to hide from the Nazis in a hole beneath a wardrobe. Her mother,

father and brother were killed but her aunt and uncle survived. The charity, formerly Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events, was set up 19 years by two synagogues and is now a partnership of nine communities who run programmes for 3,500 students each year. The virtual screening, which is free for schools, airs on 1 February and is available until May at holocaustlearninguk.org.

Raab reveals his family’s anguish Dominic Raab has revealed the “anguish of my grandmother” at leaving her family behind when she fled Czechoslovakia in 1938, writes Jack Mendel. At a ceremony to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, the foreign secretary (pictured) was joined by the UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles, Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely and survivor Janine Webber. Raab, whose father came to the UK aged six before the Shoah, told listeners: “I learned about the Holocaust first-hand from my family. I listened around the dinner table to the anguish of my grandmother, lamenting that she had left her parents to perish in camps when she fled Czechoslovakia in 1938.” He also told the event, hosted by the Israeli Embassy in London with the Foreign Office, that “dangerous expressions of antisemitism and attempts to distort the

Holocaust have been witnessed once again in recent months.” People who “peddled hate had taken the opportunity to use a crisis to target minorities, including Jews”, but Britain “remains absolutely committed to protecting the Jewish community”. With Covid-19 having led to the cancellation of inperson events, Raab said the move online “only serves to make today’s event and others around the world all the more important. Like so many things during this pandemic, we experienced them apart, but we know that our feelings are shared.” For Hotovely HMD was “deeply personal” because the “grandfather of my husband was a survivor”. One of eight brothers and sisters, he “lived through the horror and terror of Auschwitz and Dachau but unlike like his siblings he survived”.


Jonathan Robinson • 07476217948 jonathan@jasmine-events.co.uk

28 January 2021 Jewish News



Holocaust Memorial Day / News NEWS IN BRIEF

JLC CHIEFS GIVEN PERMANENT ROLE The two interim co-chief executives of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes, have now been appointed to their posts permanently. The pair, who were already respectively director of policy and public affairs, and executive director of Lead, at the JLC, were appointed on an interim basis in June last year, following the departure of Simon Johnson. Theirs is the first executive shared post in a major Jewish communal organisation.

AMAZON REMOVES HOLOCAUST DENIAL Amazon has removed 92 works of Holocaust denial from sale across its websites, after dialogue with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and Board of Deputies. The measure came after representatives of the Board and the WJC met Amazon UK’s public policy team last month to discuss the issue. The works in question include the Leuchter Report, a pseudoscientific document that falsely claims to prove the gas chambers did not exist.

Fury over Chinese participation A furious row has broken out after the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, tweeted proudly about his participation in a Holocaust memorial event at one of New York’s top synagogues, writes Jenni Frazer. The event, held on Monday at Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, featured the secretary-general of the UN, Antonio Guterres and the synagogue’s long-time Rabbi, Arthur Schneier. Also on the invitation, to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, were the synagogue’s cantors and its choir, together with “the participation of the diplomatic corps”. After the event, Zhang tweeted that he was “honoured” to join the UN secretary-general, adding: “History can’t be denied, distorted or forgotten. The great truth of history tells us humanity will prevail, justice will prevail and peace will prevail.” But his participation, in light of global criticism of the Chinese government for its treatment of the Uyghur community, was greeted with regret and dismay by Uyghur and Jewish leaders. Dr Dilnur Reyhan, president of the European Uyghur Institute, responded to the ambassador’s post with a furious tweet in French, in which she declared that inviting China to a Shoah com-

Zhang Jun, permanent representative of China to the United Nations. Inset: Jewish News’ front page

memoration was “like inviting Nazi representatives”. It was, she said, “a scandal, a moral failing, a historic failing, and above all an insult to the victims of the Shoah. The Jews stand alongside the Uyghurs, who are victims of a Chinese neo-Nazi genocide”. Rahima Mahmut, UK project director of the World Uyghur Congress, who was due to speak at Britain’s Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event yesterday, told Jewish News: “Their participation is disingenuous and insulting.

“The appropriation of the six million Jewish men, women and children to conceal your perpetration of a genocide should be deplored in the strongest possible terms. “As the shadows of the Holocaust loom over the persecution of the Uyghurs, Holocaust Memorial Day should be a day of robust and unrelenting opposition to this criminal regime.” Park East did not respond to numerous requests for clarification as to how the Chinese ambassador was

Did we save your family? If your family escaped Germany or Austria in the 1930s and 40s we may have their original case files. World Jewish Relief (as The CBF) rescued 65,000 people from the Nazis including many who arrived on the Kindertransport and 732 child Holocaust survivors known as The Boys.

We are returning these files to family members for free. Apply now! Find out if we helped your family at: www.worldjewishrelief.org/archives 020 8736 1250 “I am so moved to have received the files. I really can’t express adequately the emotions I felt, reading the words about my mother. I am alive today because of the generosity of so many” Mona Golabek

able to take part in the memorial event. Board of Deputies president, Marie van der Zyl, said: “While we welcome the support of all nations for the commemoration of the Holocaust, the lesson of the Shoah ... is also a lesson for today. “We would urge the Chinese government to take this opportunity to reflect on the evils done – and step back from the precipice of committing the sorts of atrocities we continue to commemorate on Holocaust Memorial Day.”  Opinion, page 25



Jewish News 28 January 2021

News / IDF action / Special mikveh / Anti-racism film

Soldier’s mum tells of ‘pride and worry’





Find out more at campsimcha.org.uk/appeal

The mother of a British-born Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier who fought off a Palestinian attacker this week told of her “pride and worry” after her daughter called her moments after the incident covered in blood, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. Michal Haroche told Jewish News how she had “not slept a minute” after hearing about the attempted stabbing attack involving her daughter, Leanne Haroche, 22, in the West Bank on Tuesday, in an area just south of Nablus. As Israeli ministers hailed her a “heroine”, Israeli-born Michal, who lives in Borehamwood, said her nerves were shredded, but that while she wanted her headstrong daughter to come home, she was proud of her actions. “After A-levels, she studied special needs teaching at West Herts College and was due to go to university. Then she did Israel Tour, came back and said, ‘I’m going to the army.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, you’re supposed to be going to university.’ She said ‘No, the army.’ “I objected, gave her a hard time, I didn’t want her to do it. We [Michal and her husband] are Israeli, we know what it is to be a soldier. I was scared and worried she would be in something she didn’t know, but she insisted.” Leanne made aliyah in August 2019 and, after a period of bedding in, with a spell in a kibbutz and a three-month ulpan, she began serving in the IDF last March, which coincided with the start of the first coronavirus lockdown. “I saw she was happy [in the IDF], but from last night I’m really worried, thinking now why did I let her do it. I didn’t speak to her much. She called me immediately after it happened, because she knew I would see it on the news. “She called me with her commander – ‘Mum, don’t worry, we had an incident, I’m OK, I can’t speak as we need to do the investigation, but just so you can see me.’ The commander said she was in good hands. There was blood on her hands as she was speaking to me; they were undressing

Michal Horoche with her daughter Leanne

her to see if she was wounded.” Michal added: “At that stage I didn’t know it was her fighting the terrorist; I just thought she was around an incident. Soon I saw it all on Facebook and WhatsApp, then I realised Leanne fought the terrorist who tried to stab her. “She was going to her duty, to do patrol. She was suspicious of somebody going backwards and forwards. He was aiming towards her friend, went to him, then decided to turn around and went for her. But he didn’t expect her to fight back.” The attacker lunged several times towards Leanne with a knife but she fought back and he was shot and immobilised, later dying of his injuries. “I can’t imagine what she went through,” said Michal. “On the one hand, I feel worried, on the other I feel she’s a hero; she saved a life and her own. We’re very proud of her.”

Activist launches mikveh

Mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin launched a new community mikveh in Barnet, writes Ellie Jacobs. The Wellspring Project UK (previously Mikveh Project UK) provides immersion pools for the traditional ritual as well as complementary therapies. More than 250 people from across the world joined an online launch event to hear from activists in the field of mental health discuss the healing powers of the mikveh. Benjamin spoke about his mental health struggles and the power of rituals to help with


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self-care. In a pre-recorded interview, he described the benefits of Wellspring as a space offering an alternative to traditional mental health care. “Wellspring gives the opportunity to really be, to not feel rushed or pressured to get to a certain point. It’s so rare in this world for people to have this opportunity,” he said. The mikveh, which will be a space for people of all ages, gender, faiths or nonreligious beliefs, will use rituals such as immersion to promote good mental health and recovery.

12/01/2021 15:23

A powerful film featuring television judge Robert Rinder and The Lion King actress Melone M’kenzy, has been launched to expose the Nazis’ racial ideology, which targeted Jews and black communities. The 90-second video, Darkness and Light, premiered this week, exploring fake racial science that classified black people and Jews as inferior to white people – 100 years before the Shoah. Produced by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Nottingham and written and

directed by Malcolm Green, the clip features Rinder, who is Jewish, and M’kenzy, who is Black and played Shenzi in the West End’s production of The Lion King. Rinder, who recently fronted an acclaimed BBC documentary entitled My Family, The Holocaust and Me, said: “Millions of Jews and others, including my family had their lights snuffed out in the darkness of the Holocaust. I am proud to be a small part of sharing this video.’


28 January 2021 Jewish News


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Jewish News 28 January 2021

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28 January 2021 Jewish News


120 Over 80

Our oldest and wisest 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? 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.

Sir Harry Solomon, 83 Committed philanthropist Sir Harry Solomon is a longstanding mensch in the community. The co-founder of one of Britain’s largest food businesses, Hillsdown Holdings, the 83-year-old has for decades served Jewish causes with distinction. A key figure in Jewish Continuity, he latterly helped set up the UJIA and currently serves as vice chairman of the Portland Trust, promoting peace, stability and economic co-operation between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2014, the Western Galilee College in Akko named its new business school after him, and the following year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Israeli Business Awards in recognition of his extensive philanthropic efforts across education and coexistence initiatives.

Joy Wolfe, 82 With a lifetime of service to the Jewish and lay community, Joy Wolfe is unquestionably a legendary leader. An unwavering Zionist, the 82-year-old is president of StandWithUs UK and honorary life president of Manchester Zionist Central

Council. Following a distinguished career as a magistrate specialising in family law and probation, she also served as a local councillor in Maidstone and co-founded the Stockport Multiple Sclerosis Society. Joy’s many accolades include receiving an MBE for services to the Greater Manchester community in 2009, and being awarded the Golden Golda Award from the World Zionist Organisation in 2019.

Judith Elkan, 90 Judith Elkan is the founder and chair of Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum (FBFF). The support group offers moral and financial support to the Bereaved Families Forum, comprising about 650 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones during the decades-long conflict and are seeking reconciliation over revenge. Praised for “persisting with charm and good manners”, since 2003 Judith has organised numerous speaking tours, concerts and exhibitions across the UK for Israeli and Palestinian members of the Forum and fundraised extensively to support the initiative. Under the 90-year-old’s stewardship, the organisation has also met with numerous parliamentarians to spread the message of peace.

Judith Usiskin, 86 As the co-founder and now honorary president of Jewish Women’s Aid, Judith Usiskin has played an integral role in supporting Jewish women facing domestic abuse. For the e in developing the charity, overcoming significant resistance to the admission that domestic abuse existed in the community. A social worker by profession, it was while working for Jewish Care that the 86-year-old realised that many abused Jewish women had nowhere to turn for help. Her contribution was recognised in 2004 with an MBE for services to Jewish Women’s Aid and to the Jewish community.

June Bradbury, 84 Over the past decade, June Bradbury has been a beacon of light to the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS) community. Praised as a “constant ray of sunshine”, the 84-year-old recently helped create a ‘Covid-19 Phone Tree’ to assist vulnerable members of the community. June also co-founded the synagogue’s innovative Shelanu (Inclusive) services, which celebrates Shabbat through music, multisensory experiences, and prayer. She was also involved in organising the first ever women-led service at ELELS in 2018. Attended by more than 50 people, it was dedicated to late community stalwart Betty Benscher and celebrated other pioneering women to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Kitty Hart-Moxon, 93 One of the first British survivors to share her testimony, Kitty Hart-Moxon is a pioneer in Holocaust education. Polish-born, Kitty and her mother survived the IG Farben industrial concern in Bitterfeld, before being forcibly transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau and latterly onto a death march into Czechoslovakia. Her memoir, I Am Alive, was published in 1961, at a time when few survivors spoke publicly, and in the 1980s she returned to Auschwitz with her son as part of a BBC documentary. The 93-year-old is an honorary patron for the Holocaust Educational Trust and helped shape its groundbreaking ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project. Kitty was awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to Holocaust education.

Leonard Tabiz, 94 Leonard Tabiz has been an “extraordinarily committed and reliable” volunteer serving the community. A social worker by training, Len rose to become assistant director of social work for Croydon Council. Since retiring, the 94-year-old has worked with the social services team at Jewish Care and, for the past decade, as a regular volunteer at the Nightingale House care home in Wandsworth. With his empathetic character, impressive academic knowledge and wealth of life experience, Len regularly provides sensitive support for the Men’s Group and the Holocaust Survivors' group.


Jewish News 28 January 2021

120 Over 80 Louis Rapaport, 87 Louis Rapaport has been a longstanding leader in Manchester’s Jewish community. An active member for more than 60 years, he served as president of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester from 2004 to 2007, tackling challenging issues including attacks on Jewish gravestones at Rainsough Jewish cemetery. Louis has served on the Board of Deputies since 1956 and is an executive member of Manchester Council for Community Relations. A veteran of the Korean War, the 87-year-old also remains an active member and supporter of AJEX. He is described as “tireless, energetic and enthusiastic,” and received a Special Recognition Award by the Manchester Representative Council in 2019.

Leslie Kleinman, 91

Mala Tribich, 90

Leslie Kleinman has moved thousands of people with his Holocaust testimony. Born in Romania, as a teenager he survived, among others, Auschwitz and Flossenbürg concentration camps, as well as two death marches, before being liberated by American troops. Working with JRoots and the Holocaust Educational Trust, the 91-year-old now dedicates his time to educating students and enabling them to see history first-hand by displaying the tattoo on his arm from Auschwitz. In 2018, he accompanied several grandchildren of Holocaust survivors on a visit to Poland, sharing his testimony with them over two days. Leslie was awarded a BEM in 2017 for services to Holocaust education.

Mala Tribich’s tremendous dedication to Holocaust education makes her a leading light among survivors. Born in Poland, Mala survived the Piotrków ghetto, and subsequently Ravensbrück and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Pre-lockdown, the 90-year-old would spend several days a week travelling nationwide, particularly to small towns who may never have heard a Holocaust survivor speak before. In 2017, Mala shared her testimony as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust's webcast to more than 500 schools, reaching 40,000 students in the largest single Holocaust remembrance event in the world. Last year, Mala spoke at the national ceremony to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, alongside The Duke of Cambridge, and met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Lord Leslie Turnberg, 86 Lord Turnberg is a pre-eminent British physician and outstanding advocate for communal causes. The 86-year-old was professor of medicine and a medical school dean at the University of Manchester (1973-1997) and served as president of the Royal College of Physicians (1992–1997). He made significant contributions to gastroenterology and academic medicine and was prescient in promoting public health. Raised to peerage in 2000, Leslie speaks regularly on health policy issues and the Middle East, co-chairs the All-Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group and took a firm stand against antisemitism. His modesty, humility and dignity confronting tragic adversity are an example to all.

Malcolm Ozin, 86 Malcolm Ozin is president of Jewish Blind & Disabled (JBD), a charity providing secure homes to hundreds of disabled Jews. Alongside the late Cecil Rosen, Malcolm established the charity in 1969, using his business acumen to develop a 20-apartment building in south London. More than 50 years later, the charity provides 317 purpose-built warden assisted flats across London, Essex and Hertfordshire and has helped thousands of people to live independently. Malcolm was awarded an MBE in 2012 for his services to charity. Highlighted for his “generosity and commitment to care for all”, the 86-year-old was also a longstanding warden of Hendon Reform Synagogue.

Lily Ebert, 97

Malvyn Benjamin, 84

Praised as a “stalwart of Holocaust education”, Lily has shared her testimony with prime ministers, chancellors and London mayors to impress upon them the importance of educating the next generation. Just 14 when she was deported to Auschwitz, she later survived slave labour in an ammunition factory near Leipzig. Always open to innovative ways of sharing her testimony, in 2018 she sat all day in Liverpool Street Station sharing her story with commuters during the HET’s #HearMyStory campaign. Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, the 97-year-old has embraced digital technologies to connect with people across the world. Lily was awarded a BEM in 2016 for contributions to Holocaust education.

Malvyn Benjamin’s substantial communal involvement spans more than 60 years. He has been a Deputy representing Hendon United Synagogue on the Board of Deputies for a remarkable 64 years. “Slightly mollified from his former firebrand days”, the 84-year-old has been involved in communal affairs since university, where he chaired the Inter-University Jewish Federation (the precursor of UJS). A former judge on the World Zionist Supreme Council, Malvyn also chaired the Zionist Federation’s Public Affairs Committee and served as vice president of British Likud. A proud advocate for Israel, Malvyn frequently appears on television, radio and in print, including in the Daily Telegraph and The Times newspapers.

Manfred Goldberg, 90 For many years unable to recount his testimony, Manfred Goldberg has for the past 15 years eloquently shared his

testimony with thousands of people. German-born, Manfred survived the Riga Ghetto, Stutthof concentration camp in Poland and a death march before liberation. With a unique ability to “grip listeners from start to finish”, Manfred has addressed more than 30 educational establishments, numerous major businesses, including HSBC and RBS, and even City Hall. In 2017, he accompanied the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an internationally reported visit to Stutthof, ensuring millions of viewers heard his story. The 90-year-old was recently awarded a BEM for services to Holocaust education.

Dr Martin Aaron, 83 Dr Martin Aaron is the co-founder and honorary life president of Jami, the Jewish mental health charity. The 83-year-old has pushed all boundaries to raise awareness of mental health for more than 30 years, directly influencing government by regularly attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Mental Health. Martin is also the founder chair of the National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum, co-chaired the medical group of the Three Faiths Forum, and was an adviser to the Prince’s Trust for 11 years. A former visiting professor at Staffordshire University, he still reaches a growing academic network dedicated to mental health campaigning.

Dr Martin Stern, 82 Dr Martin Stern has worked tirelessly to educate thousands of people across the country about the Holocaust. Born in the Netherlands in 1938, he survived Theresienstadt concentration camp after being arrested by the Gestapo aged just five. Upon arrival in Britain in the 1950s, he trained successfully as a doctor and has dedicated his retirement to sharing his testimony. His unique approach focuses on the psychology of genocide, developed in partnership with academics at Leicester University. Never one to slow down, the 82-yearold has embraced new technology, sharing his story via Zoom throughout the pandemic, and was awarded an MBE in 2018.

Mervyn Kersh, 95 War hero Mervyn Kersh has served his country with distinction both during and since his active service. A sergeant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, he landed on Gold Beach during D-Day before advancing through central Europe and arriving at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp just after liberation. As president of both Barnet Normandy Veterans and Southgate and District AJEX, the 95-year-old has educated thousands of school children about his powerful personal testimony. In 2015, Mervyn was presented with the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest distinction, and earlier this year received a covetedPoints of Light Award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Michael Bogod, 92 Michael Bogod’s remarkable contribution to the Reform movement spans more than 70 years. The 92-year-old has sat on Cardiff Reform Synagogue’s council since 1950, first as a youth liaison officer and thereafter for nearly 40 years as honorary treasurer. Michael’s dedication to the national Reform move-

28 January 2021 Jewish News


120 Over 80 ment includes serving as vice chair of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (RSGB), where he initiated the Reform Rabbinic Pay Scales, and established the Leo Baeck College. Michael also oversaw the rebuild of Cardiff Reform Synagogue in 1949 and all subsequent major structural developments, including the aptly named Bogod Hall. He is now the council’s first honorary life member.

Sir Michael Heller, 84 Sir Michael Heller is the chairman of property firm London & Associated Properties and a highly generous philanthropist. A committed Zionist, the 84-yearold has donated ambulances and mobile intensive care units to Magen David Adom, is a patron of the Jewish Museum and supports the work of Jewish educational network ORT. Deeply passionate about the arts, he also donates to the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and Hampstead Theatre. Michael formerly served as deputy chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel and currently sits on the Board of the Centre for Policy Studies, a centre-right think tank. Knighted in 2013 for charitable services, he received an Algemeiner Honouree in 2019.

Lord Monroe Palmer, 81 For decades, Lord Palmer has passionately advocated for Israel and the Jewish community among the highest echelons of power. A former Treasurer of the Liberal Party, the 81-year-old has served as Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords since 2018 and Deputy Chairman of Committees since 2017. Monroe is currently honorary president of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI), having served as honorary chairman for more than 20 years, and advises the party leader on the Middle East. A founding member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, the former Barnet councillor is also vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council and sits on the Community Security Trust's advisory board. He was appointed an OBE in the 1982 New Year Honours.

Morella Kayman, 85 Morella Kayman is the co-founder and vice president of the Alzheimer’s Society. Frustrated by the lack of support available after her husband developed early onset dementia in his 40s, Morella established the Alzheimer’s Disease Society in 1979 alongside a fellow carer. Later rebranded the Alzheimer’s Society, the charity now employs more than 100 people, operates a £100 million budget and reaches thousands of people every year. Described as an "incredible woman who has triumphed in the face of adversity”, the 85-year-old also regularly fundraises for and supports Jewish Care. Morella was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to healthcare and won Jewish Care’s Unsung Hero award in 2011.

Naomi Pope, 91 Naomi Pope, who sadly passed away since this list was compiled, has a remarkable life story – taking her from the War of Independence to becoming a successful fashion designer in London. Born in Burma but stranded in England in 1939, Naomi joined Habonim and, aged just 17, travelled to France post-war to help displaced persons from liberated concentration camps. An avid Zionist, in

1947 she sailed on the ‘Exodus’ and helped found Kibbutz Kfar HaNassi in northern Israel. The 91-year-old subsequently joined the Machal unit, carrying ammunition in trenches near the Syrian border during the War of Independence. Naomi volunteered for many Jewish charities.

Nathan (Natie) Kirsh, 89 Natie Kirsh is one of the community’s most generous and humble philanthropists. The 89-year-old spent a lifetime initiating and building businesses, first milling in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), now in South Africa, UK, Australia and USA. He is deeply committed to philanthropy, viewing this as his privilege in life and is guided by “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”. His global Foundation funds start-up loans for businesses and high school computer vocational training in Eswatini and Israel. His recent initiative provides clean water and solar power to millions with Innovation Africa. Closer to home, Natie has been incredibly supportive of the UK Jewish community, especially during Covid-19 with the Jewish Leadership Council’s emergency appeal. South Hampstead Synagogue, his community, received notable support for their new site.

Nettie Keene, 86 Legendary volunteer and fundraiser Nettie Keene has selflessly dedicated her time for nearly half a century. The 86-year-old has volunteered at Redbridge Jewish Community Centre since 1972, where she is a day centre co-ordinator and volunteer hairdresser. Her personal touch is “second to none” and Nettie still sits on the Sunday Socials Committee, makes soup for Ladies that Lunch and works in the Meals on Wheels office. Sadly, over a short period Nettie lost both her husband and son, Saul, who was aged just 40. Faced with tragic circumstances, she has channelled her pain into forming a fundraising group, which has raised more than £50,000 for Saint Francis Hospice and Redbridge Jewish Community Centre.

Neville Sassienie, 89 Neville Sassienie is a passionate environmentalist and stalwart of the Reform movement. Praised as a “prophetic voice of environmentalism”, the 89-year-old has successfully pushed the environmental agenda among communal leaders for decades. The former chair of The Movement for Reform Judaism, Neville was highly active in the Board of Deputies’ Social Action Group, which focused on environmental issues. He was also instrumental in establishing both Faith for the Climate, a space for faith communities working on climate change, and Eco Synagogue, which promotes environmental sustainability and engagement across the Jewish community. An accountant by trade, Neville also helped found Finchley Reform Synagogue in 1974.

Norman Rosenbaum, 86 Norman Rosenbaum is a tireless fundraiser for Magen David Adom (MDA). An “incredible inspiration” to his 10 grandchildren, the 86-year-old has secured 12 ambulances to support Israel’s national emergency service. Thanks to his efforts, MDA has responded to an additional 70,000 calls using vehicles donated by the retired surgeon and his community at Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue. Recently, he received the inaugural Humanitarian of the Year Award from MDA, and received a Points of Light Award from Theresa May in 2018. Norman is currently fundraising for his 13th ambulance: his ‘barmitzvah ambulance’!

Dr Peter Kurer, 89 Dr Peter Kurer has campaigned tirelessly to secure recognition for Quakers who saved Jews from the Holocaust. Peter’s family were brought to Manchester in 1938 via a mass rescue operation of 7,000 Jews from Germany and Austria, funded by the British Quakers movement. For eight years, he worked with historians to collate survivors’ anecdotes on the subject, finally securing recognition from Yad Vashem in 2010. A pioneering figure in dentistry, the 89-year-old also spent more than a decade in Jerusalem volunteering at a dental clinic for underprivileged children. Additionally, Peter chaired the charity responsible for the Morris Feinmann Home for the elderly, and was awarded a BEM last year for services to Holocaust Education.

Peter Levy, 81 Peter Levy played an integral role in transforming the status of Reform Judaism. The “strategic funder” behind the Reform Movement’s Sternberg Centre, the 81-year-old worked tirelessly to create more Jewish educational institutions, including Akiva School and most recently Shofar Daycare Nursery. Peter also served as chairman of the Jewish Chronicle for five years, and until recently as honorary vice president of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, having formerly chaired the research body. A past chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and vice president of London Youth, Peter was awarded an OBE in 1991 in recognition of services to charity. Sadly, Peter passed away after this list was selected.

R. Stephen Rubin, 82 Stephen Rubin is a businessman and leading Jewish philanthropist. As chairman of the Pentland Group, which owns brands including Speedo and Berghaus, the 82-year has led industry efforts to eliminate child exploitation and tackle climate change. Through the Rubin Family Charitable Trust, Stephen has donated large sums to lay and Jewish causes, including Crimestoppers, artsdepot in North Finchley, and various sporting initiatives in Israel. He is also president of the Holocaust Educational Trust and vice president of the Council of Christians and Jews. In 2002, Stephen was named an OBE for services to business and human rights, and was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame six years later.

Renee Salt, 91 Renee Salt has overcome unimaginable heartache to educate thousands of people nationwide with her Holocaust testimony. Polish-born Renee survived appalling conditions in the Zduńska Wola ghetto before being transported to AuschwitzBirkenau and latterly Bergen-Belsen. For decades unable to relive her experiences, she eventually worked with the BBC on the documentary, Grandchild of the Holocaust, Holocaust about herself and her grandson. The 91-year-old recently featured in the National Holocaust Museum’s ‘The Forever Project’, and the Holocaust Educational Trust's ‘Belsen75’ initiative. Last year, she returned to Auschwitz-Birkenau to mark the 75th anniversary of liberation. In 2016, she was awarded a BEM for services to Holocaust survivors, education and awareness.



Jewish News 28 January 2021

News / Divorce refusal / JNF campaign / Kashrut offer / AJEX patron

Lords urged to help agunot Cross-party calls for the Domestic Abuse Bill to protect victims of ‘get refusal’ were heard in the Lords this week, writes Sandy Rashty. Baroness Altmann, Lord Mendelsohn, Baroness Deech and Lord Palmer spoke in support of the proposals that would help ‘chained women’ (agunot) whose husbands are refusing them a Jewish divorce. Almost 30 women in the UK currently being denied a Jewish writ of divorce are being supported by Jewish Women’s Aid. At least 15 are going through the process of directly trying to receive a Jewish divorce but the rest have said the threat of ‘get refusal’ has stopped them pursuing civil proceedings. Altmann called on the government to consider implementing

JWA is supporting almost 30 women being denied a get

amendments, secondary legislation or statutory guidance so victims could be supported in UK

law. She said: “This Bill can offer a means of helping those impacted by the particular type of abuse

which can arise in some cases under Jewish laws of divorce.” Mendelsohn referred to the case of a woman who had been divorced in the civil courts and who was urged by the religious court to sign “a financial settlement of £150,000 less than that awarded by the civil court, and… relinquishing any ownership of the joint properties… she did not choose to do so”. Deech added to the list of examples of women who had been blackmailed into paying for a get. “A recent case involved a woman paying her ex-husband £50,000 for her freedom after 15 years of being chained; others have cost similar five-figure sums.” The results of their call are expected in the next three weeks.

JNF-UK gears up for Green Sunday Covid-19 has had a huge and unprecedented impact on many families in Israel, who have fallen below the poverty line for the first time, writes Adam Decker. JNF-UK’s annual Green Sunday appeal will devote funds raised this year to helping the estimated 40,000 families who find themselves in dire straits. From being used to providing for themselves, the families are suddenly suffering from financial problems — and a psychological toll as well. The charity

says that while Israel is a world leader in vaccinating its citizens, many of those individuals are still struggling with the effects of three national lockdowns. Accordingly, JNF-UK is asking for one-off donations to these families, that will enable them to survive until the national economy recovers. The charity said: “This appeal is unique in that it is specifically targeted at those who have never needed financial support before.”

A Green Sunday volunteer


Kashrut supervisors from the Manchester Beth Din have begun using their in-house laboratory to offer an insect-busting service to the public. The lab enables the close-up inspection of food items that may contain insects, with the service already being made available to the Beth Din’s licensees including restaurants, takeaways, bakeries and care homes. This week they announced the service’s extension so members of the public can also have items checked for infestation free of charge using the lab’s digital microscope, which provides up to 1000x magnification. Rabbi Yossi Lock, of Manchester Beth Din, said: “Food items such as rice, flour, barley, beans and other vegetables, edible plants and herbs may have infestation which is not clearly visible to the naked eye. Our lab gives us the scope to analyse things closer. It means we can be certain that items are free of infestation.”

New AJEX patron Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire has agreed to become an honorary patron of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX), continuing a family tradition. Robert Voss is the only Jewish Lord-Lieutenant in England, Lord Rothschild having been the only other British Jew to have held the title, in the 1880s. Voss is president of the County Military Forum and of the Reserve Forces & Cadets’ Association in Hertfordshire, as well as vice-president of the East Anglian Forces Association.


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28 January 2021 Jewish News



White House / Special Report

Biden’s kosher cabinet Almost a third of the new president’s top team is Jewish, writes Erica Terry

Science aide Eric Lander, left, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, CIA deputy chief David Cohen

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States last week

When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as US President and Vice-President last week, their inauguration marked a historic moment on several levels, including an unprecedented degree of Jewish representation in the new administration. If confirmed, six out of 22 seats will be filled by Jewish officials in the new president’s cabinet, and a host of others have been selected for highranking roles. Ronald Klain, a longtime Biden adviser, steps in as Chief of Staff, a position he held when the now-president served as vice president. Klain was also Chief of Staff to vice president Al Gore from 1995 to 1999, and was Barack Obama’s Ebola response coordinator in 2014, of significance as the US grapples with vaccine rollout challenges amid the pandemic. “It’s a reflection of who Biden is and who he wants his administration to represent, and that is represent America, which is diverse,” Jason Isaacson, chief policy and political affairs officer for the American Jewish Committee, told Jewish News. He thought it striking that the high level of Jewish designates had not proved an issue. “You wouldn’t have been able to say that 30 or 40 or 50 years ago,” Isaacson said. “That this is not remarkable in modern America shows how far we’ve come.” Antony Blinken will take on the mantle of Secretary of State, after serving as Deputy Secretary

of State during Obama’s last few years in office. Blinken, who has said he intends to keep the Israeli US embassy in Jerusalem – a Trump-era move – this week told a confirmation hearing that his family’s Holocaust past has informed how he sees the role of the State Department. He revealed that his grandparents escaped Jewish pogroms by fleeing to America in the early 20th century and that his late stepfather was the only member of his family to survive the Shoah, following imprisonment in the concentration camps for four years. “At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the Bavarian woods,” Blinken said at the hearing. “From his hiding place, he heard the rumbling sound of a tank. Instead of an Iron Cross, he saw a five-pointed white star. He ran to the tank. The hatch opened and an AfricanAmerican GI looked down at him. He fell to his knees and said the only three words he knew in English that his mother had taught him: God Bless America. The GI lifted him into the tank, into America, into freedom.” It’s that sense of cross-cultural mending that many believe is a sign of Biden’s intentions to lead through a more equal representation. “He intends to put together a cabinet that looks like America and reflects the fact that our diversity is our strength,” Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, told Jewish News. “It will have an effect on young

MITTENS GOT TALENT! Bernie Sanders’ knitted mittens stole the show at last week’s inauguration – then broke the internet. Memes of the former Democratic presidential hopeful wrapped up in a warm coat and mittens suddenly popped up in all manner of settings, including – for the keen-sighted – here in Georges Seurat’s 19th-century painting. Sunday on La Grande Jatte.

Americans of all backgrounds because there are so many firsts. It gives future generations great hope and inspiration.” Stories of overcoming oppression are prevalent among the new administration appointees, as are stories about breaking barriers and setting precedents. Janet Yellen, the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants, will be the first female Secretary of the Treasury; previously, she was the first to chair the Federal Reserve. Avril Haines, whose mother is Jewish, was confirmed this week as the first woman to head the Department of National Intelligence. Incoming Secretary of National Intelligence Alejandro Mayorkas, who was born

in Cuba and moved to the US at a young age, is the son of a Holocaust survivor. Deputy Health Secretary nominee Dr Rachel Levine would, if confirmed, be the first transgender federal official. Another familiar name on Biden’s list is Merrick Garland, who will serve as Attorney General. Garland, whose grandparents also fled pogroms in Russia in the early 20th century, was tapped by Obama to sit on the Supreme Court, although the appointment never went through. Further Jewish picks include David Cohen for CIA deputy director, Eric Lander for presidential science adviser, Anne Neuberger for National Security Agency Cybersecurity Director and Wendy Sherman as Deputy Secretary of State.



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Jewish News 28 January 2021

Special Report / Home education

Make a timetable but skip the class warfare Claire Belle Freed shares some tips to help you sail through lockdown learning It is the word met with groans and heart palpitations by parents across the country. The word we prayed would not be uttered again. But as soon as Boris Johnson made his announcement at the beginning of January, it was the concept we all needed to embrace – reluctantly, joyfully, or with a side of gin and tonic: home-schooling. After my husband and I homeschooled my seven-year-old and five-year-old during the first lockdown (while also juggling a baby and jobs), we swore that it was something we could never do again. I, much like many of the optimistic population, attempted to make the best of the situation. I made a timetable, a meal plan, snack allocations (they eat 48 snacks a week. I did the maths), daily walks, those blasted Joe Wicks workouts, and I told myself, as my brilliant father often reminds me during times of crisis, that “this too shall pass”. Well, it did pass. Momentarily. And now it is back. And the kids are bigger, more demanding, and (I don’t know how it is possible) hungrier than before. Google Classroom is still installed on every device, but this time around, all attempts at timetables, menus and routines have been chucked out of the window. Along with my sanity, and any hopes of a conversation with my husband before 8pm. But have we learned anything from the first round of homeschooling? Besides what a conjugated vowel is. Have things changed this time to make homeschooling easier? Or does it fill parents with the same dread that descended in March? “It’s just far more than I can take,” said a mother whose children attend a Jewish primary school in north London. “My husband and I both work and, as we are not key workers, our children are home. We must work, or we won’t be paid. And we must homeschool, as the gap in schooling is already so big. It’s unsustainable.” Michal Dwek Rosenbaum, whose children attend Rosh Pinah, is coping far better this time around. “The first time, I hated homeschooling. There were no lessons and no structure. We were all so frustrated.” So, what has changed? “The school has really stepped up to the plate. They have live les-

Claire’s five-year-old son Teddy takes over the office at home to learn coding. Inset: A makeshift art project thanks to Amazon deliveries

sons every day with follow-on work. This has created far more structure and normalcy. “I can leave them to get on with lessons and do what I need to do around the house. Even though they miss their friends so much, this structured way of the school being in control of lessons is making it easier.” If you are struggling (guilty), Joanie Adler, of Joanie Adler Education, has valuable advice to help us navigate through the learning landmine. “Get into the habit of a routine. Kids of all ages respond so well to structure. This will also help parents to carve out time for breaks, getting on with their own work, snack time and screen time.” Speaking of screen time, it can be so tempting to let them binge, but Adler stresses: “No screens until their work is complete. Try to get them to focus on calming activities if you need to concentrate on work or helping another child.” She also advises to have realistic expectations. “One-to-one requires a lot more focus and concentration. Follow their lead. If they are getting distracted or

irritated, then take a break. This will give you all a chance to calm down and regroup.” Loren Palman, a teacher at a Jewish school in London, agrees. “My advice to parents who are keen to strike a balance between providing the right environment for homeschooling is to create structure for yourself and your children. “Create a timetable that suits you, a time for

“Miriam’s son opens a business. In the first year he makes a £15,000 profit. How many people does she tell?”

the children to get up and dressed and be ready to start learning. “Try to incorporate an activity towards the end of the day that the children can look forward to. This will help to restore a sense of normality and family life that can get lost during lockdown.” And what about the overwhelming amount of pressure we parents find ourselves under, I ask her. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” Palman continues. “Even as a teacher, I have struggled at times to homeschool my own children. We find ourselves in exceptional circumstances and, ultimately, the well-being of our children and ourselves is paramount.” Working, lessons with the kids (begging them to sit still and pay attention), uploading work, preparing three meals a day for everyone, keeping the house clean, laundry done, fridges stocked and everyone happy and healthy is more than most people could ever cope with. Yet we are doing it. We are educating our children, whether we do one lesson a week or all of them. And, as exhausting as it can be, I can’t help but feel proud of all of us. Whether you have embraced it or hate it, just remember you are not alone. We will get through this, and if it means a little (or a lot) extra screen time, Among Us, bribery and snacks, then do it. Schools will be back. Our lives will return. And we will be able to reclaim our homes once again. Just like my dad says: “This too shall pass.”


28 January 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 28 January 2021

A big thank you For the past ten months, JDA has worked flat out to make sure all our most vulnerable clients have food, medication and everything they need to stay safe during COVID-19. And not only are they all healthy and stable, they’ve been able to stay connected with their JDA friends, had regular visits from our support staff and even had their challahs delivered fresh each Friday morning! And our efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Tobi, one of our professional interpreters just taught a 93 year old to Facetime!

Many of our Deaf clients have dementia, learning disabilities or frail mental health. JDA’s innovative support services have been featured on national TV - and Deaf charities all over the country have been learning from us how we’ve kept such high risk people free from Coronavirus, healthy, happy and out of hospitals and care homes.

...to JDA staff and volunteers

...and to you, our supporters

But this has only been possible because of our support workers who have been working unbelievably hard to look after those in our community who have no one else to get them through.

Running JDA’s emergency services during lockdown is costly. But they must continue and there is no question of cutting corners when lives are at stake.

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28 January 2021 Jewish News


Shoah centre / Azeri memorial / Plague discussion / Books restored / Majorcan Jewry / Diaspora News

Babyn Yar plans revealed

Your weekly digest of stories from the international press Photo by Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center

Plans for what will be one of the world’s largest Holocaust memorial centres have been revealed at the site of the Babyn Yar massacre near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The museum complex, which is being constructed over a 150-hectare site, will include a dozen buildings, commemorating the tens of thousands murdered in the infamous ravine over two days in 1941. Images have been released for International Holocaust Remembrance Day showing plans for the area, where there is already an existing memorial installation. The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre (BYHMC) said the buildings would include two museums – one to commemorate the Babyn Yar massacre and one to commemorate the Holocaust of Ukrainian and Eastern European Jewry. Another structure will show the names of the victims, while elsewhere there will be a spiritual centre including a synagogue, church and mosque, plus an educational and scientific research centre, a multimedia centre, a learning and recreational space for children and an information and conference centre for the public. “The concept is both interesting and amazing,” said famous Ukraine-born freedom fighter and BYHMC chair Natan


The existing Sefirot installation is made up of 10 stainless steel columns, which feature 100,000 holes, shot with bullets of the same calibre as those used by Nazis

Sharansky. “It demonstrates how the museum and educational centre will not only be high quality but different from many Holocaust centres. It will help fill a vacuum in the field of Holocaust studies.” Sharansky, who spent years in a Russian prison before finally being freed, said he knew nothing about the Babyn Yar massacre when he was growing up because of the Soviet policy of suppressing

information about the tragedy. The synagogue is due to be completed in September, ahead of the 80th anniversary of the massacre, during which 33,771 Jews were rounded up and shot at the ravine by the Nazis on 29 and 30 September 1941. Thousands of Ukrainians, Roma and others were subsequently shot and killed there during the Nazi occupation of Kyiv, with an estimated 100,000 victims.

Azeri Jews recall Black January Azeri Jews have paid tribute to the victims of Black January, when Soviet troops entered Azerbaijan on 20 January 1990 to quash independence protests. The military intervention, which focused on the capital, Baku, led to the deaths of 170 civilians at the hands of the Soviet army, soon becoming a pivotal event in the contemporary history of Azerbaijan. Among the peaceful residents of Baku killed in the massacre were three Jews: emergency care doctor Alexander Markhevka, Vera Bessantina, 17, and Yan Meerovich, who

sustained 22 wounds. To mark the tragedy, which analysts say served as the start of the Soviet Union’s demise, Azerbaijan’s small Jewish community hosted a charity event. A memorial service was held in Quba’s Ardabil Mosque. In attendance were local government officials including Pisakh Isakov, representative of the religious community of ‘Mountain Jews’. They distributed food packages to the families of the victims, as well as the city’s isolated elderly population. Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, George Deek,

Israeli Ambassador George Deek honours the victims

said: “Today I came to the Alley of Martyrs, on behalf of the state of Israel, to honour the memory of those who fell for the freedom of Azer-

baijan. All sacrificed some, but some sacrificed all. We stand with Azerbaijan in honouring the victims of Black January.”





Tennis star Diego Schwartzman has branched out from the court to the computer by helping Argentina’s largest Jewish sports centre establish itself as one of the country’s esports (professional video gaming) hubs. Schwartzman, who is currently a Top 10 player in the world rankings, will own the esports club, located at the Hacoaj Center in Buenos Aires.

Thousands of Chasidic Jews gathered without masks in Brooklyn for the wedding of a grand rabbi’s son last Monday night, prompting anger from fellow New Yorkers. The Covid-unfriendly shindig at Congregation Shaarei Zion synagogue in Borough Park was for the wedding of Shlomo Halberstam, 18, son of the Bobov rebbe.

A prominent Jewish doctor from Boston has died while attempting a challenging ascent of a mountain in Pakistan. Alex Goldfarb, 56, a nephrologist at Harvard Medical School, was taking time out after spending months treating Covid-19 patients. He died trying to scale Broad Peak, the world’s 12th highest summit.

The Chief Rabbi of Morocco has opened the country’s first Jewish kindergarten and agreed to pay the tuition fees of the first 15 children, who have already enrolled. Chief Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto welcomed the first cohort in Casablanca, saying it will help Jewish families initiate their children to Judaism and Jewish history.


of plagues in HollyWhat better discuswood, unearthing sion point during the story of the 10 the mass lockplagues of Egypt downs of a through archaecoronavirus ology and the pandemic Jewish household than plagues during lockdown. throughout The Plagues Jewish history? Project is a colThat is the John Martin’s art rationale behind depicting plague in Egypt laboration of five Jewish organian online event coordinated from Tel Aviv and sations, including BINA: California bringing together The Jewish Movement for 30 leading Jewish thinkers Social Change, whose deputy reflecting on how Jews have director Nir Braudo said: perceived plagues throughout “Plagues play an important role in Jewish learning and history. Subjects include the theme Jewish history.”

Villa Emma books restored Jewish life

Dozens of books read and studied by Jewish children sheltering from the Nazis in an Italian villa between 1942 and 1943 have been restored after being found in a shabby state in Modena in 2002. A total of 96 books – mostly written in German but with some in English, Italian and Hebrew – were given a new lease of life after being discovered in two wooden crates in a cellar in Villa Emma di Nonantola, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, almost 20 years ago. Experts say the books give “new insights into the hidden Jewish cultural life in Italy during the Nazi occupation” as the children hid in Villa Emma, the former summer residence of a senior military officer built in 1890. The collection includes textbooks and school literature as well as religious books and

social and entertainment novels by authors such as Heinrich Heine, Stefan Zweig and Thomas Mann, many banned by the Nazis as “un-German” in 1933. The old editions bore the ‘Delasem stamp’ – the emblem of the Delegation for the Support of Jewish Emigrants, an Italian-Jewish aid organisation. This helped researchers trace the collection back to Villa Emma. The vacant villa had been rented by the Delasem relief organisation and, in 1942, Recha Freier, a Jewish woman from Berlin, took 41 poor Jewish children from Germany and Austria first to Zagreb, then Slovenia, and finally to Nonantola, where they sheltered. In 1943, more orphans arrived, bringing the number to 73 and, when the Nazis invaded in September 1943, the villagers all helped hide the children.

in Majorca

The imprint of the Holocaust on the island of Majorca was due to be explained in detail yesterday (Wednesday) evening, shedding light on some of the Jewish interest in the Balearics. The Zoom webinar, which had initially been scheduled for last April but was postponed due to the pandemic, is organised by Limmud Majorca and was available to listen in three languages – English, Spanish and Catalan. Called Holocaust Footprints in Majorca, it explores how German Jewish refugees hid on the island, how the Shoah is taught in the capital Palma and featured a man interviewing his survivor father. Jewish history on the island goes back hundreds of years, with scholars still learning about

A group of Jews pictured in Majorca

the Chuetas, or crypto-Jews, who, during the Inquisition, publicly professed Catholicism while privately adhering to Judaism. Signs of this “secret people” can still be found today, particularly in the island’s traditional jewellery. Among the Balearic island’s Jewish leaders is New Yorker Dani Rotstein, who moved to Majorca with his wife and grew fascinated in the Chuetas, co-founding Limmud Mallorca.



Jewish News 28 January 2021

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.




A dereliction of the duty to preserve life Last Thursday’s strictly-Orthodox Jewish wedding, attended by 150 people at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School in flagrant breach of the lockdown, was a national scandal. It humiliated the Jewish community and sickened the country. Yet worse than the crime has been the shameless cover-up. The windows of the state-funded Stamford Hill school, whose principal, Rabbi Avroham Pinter, died from the virus last year, were blacked out to conceal the madness within. As our investigation this week reveals, this potentially deadly social event was far from an exception. Indeed, we are told the school hosted another big wedding days earlier. Steadily, a picture has been built of weddings at various venues every week from June, all with 100-plus guests. At one, the bride was Covid-positive. Sure enough, large and illegal weddings continue apace in this neighbourhood with carefree abandon, as if the deadliest pandemic for a century was a figment of the outside world’s imagination. As one senior communal figure elegantly put it: “We don’t hold Jewish weddings at certain times because of a plague that happened 2,000 years ago, yet the plague we’re living through now doesn’t appear reason enough to postpone.” Yesodey Hatorah pleads ignorance, saying it had “no knowledge the wedding was taking place”. This claim does not bear scrutiny. The school has a long-standing contract with Simchas Nisuin, a subsidised wedding scheme offered in conjunction with the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. The Union vets the school’s pupils, acts as the its rabbinic authority, and many of its board members are school governors. If this is armslength, how short is the arm? Simchas Nisuin charges £7,495 per wedding. For each, the school gets 10 percent. A Freedom of Information request shows how it made more than £75,000 in one year from this wedding revenue stream not so long ago. If the simcha is catered, then kashrut supervisor Kedassia – again under the Union’s auspices – would likely provide certification. We asked. They did not deny it. The Union said it was “shocked” at reports. What we find shocking is that it was shocked. This week, the UK passed 100,000 Covid deaths. The NHS is on its knees. People are dying without loved ones by their side. We can think of few other acts more disrespectful than holding mass gatherings with no masks or distancing, then denying it or professing blissful ignorance when caught. Of course this isn’t just a Charedi problem, or a Jewish one. One glance at the Metropolitan Police website gives a flavour of the number of illegal events being shut down. We can only imagine how are being held right now. These haven’t received anything like the publicity of last week’s Yesodey Hatorah wedding. But that’s no excuse for the level of flouting of the law we uncovered this week. Nor can we, as Jews, stand by, when fellow Jews ride roughshod over the fact Judaism places the preservation of life above everything else. We salute those who came forward to shine a light on what is happening. They are upset and angry and rightly so. People who would never typically speak to a Jewish News journalist have assisted our investigation, such is the strength of feeling. It speaks volumes that they cannot do so openly. There is much to admire about Stamford Hill’s strictly-Orthodox community, and we fully understand the importance of weddings to its members, but for the life of us we do not know why hundreds must still attend during a pandemic, when the government’s lockdown rules are so very clear. To call this an own goal is an understatement. It has caused deep and lasting damage, and hard conversations are already being had. Meanwhile, our evidence is with the police.

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Protests must go on


It is good to see the Board of Deputies and rabbis from all movements criticising China’s appalling treatment of the Uyghurs. They are being subjected to disgraceful containment in labour camps, suffering ‘re-education’ and denied the right to practice their faith. Global protests against this must continue and not be cowed by Chinese government bullying. The one caveat is the careless use of the term ‘genocide’. Uyghurs are not, as far as we know, being driven into forests in their thousands, shot in the head and dumped, even if still alive, in shallow graves they dug. They

As Israel leads the world in vaccinating over 20 percent of her population, the country has been criticised for not offering to vaccinate her neighbours in the Palestinian Authority (PA). That would certainly be a generous and friendly gesture – also serving to protect Israelis from reinfection by viruses wafting over the Green Line. But has the PNA Health Ministry asked for help? And how much would they be prepared to pay for it? Both Israel and the PA are facing a very serious health crisis, but nowhere near as dreadful as our own.

REVIEW INAPPROPRIATE na can we honestly be sure that slave labour was not used in their manufacture, especially since the tech industry is known to exploit the inhabitants of poorer nations in both the mining of minerals to make mobile phones and the exportation of e-waste to those countries? Michael Kenton Stanmore

THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... “As Glastonbury is cancelled again, we’re hoping to find a Charedi wedding party to attend this year instead!”

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Judging by the number of articles in last week’s edition, Jewish News is becoming a beacon of light exposing the Uyghur genocide in China. Why, then, on page 28, did we see a review of an Alcatel mobile phone? According to Wikipedia, these phones are made in China. Given The People’s Republic of China’s track record in this are-

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are not taken, as far as we know, in cattle trucks without food or water, to a camp to be gassed and burnt. That is genocide, a term not to be tossed around. The only examples of it since the planned Nazi extermination of every Jew, are the Rwandan genocide, when some 800,000 Tutsis were massacred, and the murders of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Pressure on China should not let up. Remember Pastor Niemoller’s famous confessional ending with ‘Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.’


Shabbat comes in Friday night 4.29pm Sedra: B eshalach

Shabbat goes out Saturday night 5.36pm

28 January 2021 Jewish News


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Jewish News 28 January 2021


The last simcha before celebrations stopped ALEX BRUMMER



s much as one might be an admirer of the intensity and spirituality of the Charedi way of life, it pains me to say the strictly-Orthodox have not had the best of pandemics. Whenever one hears of Covid-discipline breaking down, whether in upstate New York, Bnei Brak or Stamford Hill, the familiar garb of black hats and long silk coats tends to be involved. The obvious yearning for community prayer and the joyousness with which our Chasidic brethren approach life events is hard to suppress. However, the broader community could probably have done without the publicity surrounding the police intervention at Yesodey Hatorah Girls' School on the evening of 21 January, when 150 celebrants attended a wedding. On an early morning visit to Golders Green a week or so ago, to pick up our kosher meat order, I saw a stream of our strictly-

Orthodox brethren emerging from morning minyan clutching their tefillin and tallit bags. As someone who enjoys attending Shacharit services (under normal circumstances), there was a slight pang of nostalgia before the reality dawned that these fellow Jews were potentially placing lives in danger. The wedding scene in Stamford Hill reminded me of our own family "age of coronavirus" wedding, in March 2020, shortly before the country went into lockdown. My son, Justin, and his fiancée, Ruvani, who live in Austin, Texas, had returned to the UK to have the ceremony they had dreamed of surrounded by friends and family. My wife, Tricia, and Ruvani had built a decorated


chuppah incorporating a family tallit. Some 140 or so guests were invited to a golf club in west London, a Jewish officiant was engaged, the kippot and Bendicks mints ordered and everything was set for a ceremony and party. But as the day approached, there was increasing trepidation as Covid case numbers began to rise sharply and deaths among the elderly started to escalate. Ahead of the occasion, a steady trickle of guests cancelled, becoming more of a cascade in the final hours. Around 100 people stuck with the cause, including a couple of tables of our friends and family – an older and vulnerable cohort – and the bride’s family. Amid much sanitation, care and a little anxiety, the show went ahead. The chuppah was very moving and incorporated a trail of betel leaves and Buddhist poetry reading representing Ruvani’s proud Sri Lankan heritage. Then the Klezmer band sprung to life and the traditional Jewish wedding dancing began with ferocious energy. I would have preferred it if the older generation had sat it out. But before long they were on their

feet dancing with the passion of the Charedi themselves. The newly-married couple and their closest friends vanished into the night for the after-party and we returned home thankful it had been such a wonderful and inclusive occasion. But in the back of our minds fearful that all those at the wedding party, including the older and more vulnerable might – like those attending Purim celebrations in north London – be struck with the virus. As the Charedi might have observed, Hashem was with us that fateful evening. As infections, hospital admissions and deaths soared and Boris Johnson took the country into the first lockdown, the worst was expected. Surely, after all that exuberant dancing and mixing some of the guests were bound to become Covid-19 victims. As far as we know, not one of the guests was infected. The celebration scraped in under the wire and how worthwhile it proved to be. It was the last simcha and dance before the music stopped.

This memorial day I lit a candle for my mentor KAREN POLLOCK



his year, as we mark Holocaust Memorial Day, we are encouraged to find light in the darkness. It is strange to look for light in such a dark episode. But there are glimmers of light. There is light in the stories of those who, despite the risks, resisted or fought the Nazis. Whether they smuggled Jews to safety, forged false papers, or hid Jews in their homes, these people – ordinary people doing extraordinary things – made a difference. There is light in the small acts of kindness that happened across occupied Europe, from the farmer who gave a pregnant prisoner a glass of milk during her transport to a camp, to the mother who saved all of the potato peels she could for her children, despite being starving herself. There is light in the stories of those who liberated the concentration and death camps, saving the lives of the few weak and emaciated prisoners still left alive. And there is light today, in the courage and dedication of our elderly Holocaust survivors who, despite all they have endured, refuse to stop sharing their darkest memories.


Gena and Norman on their wedding day

Gena Turgel pictured with Karen Pollock

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme was born out of the words of one of the strongest and most indomitable people I have ever met, my friend, mentor and hero, the late Gena Turgel, MBE.

Gena was just 16 when the Nazis occupied Poland. She and her family were forced in to the Krakow ghetto and from there to the Plaszow concentration camp. She went on to survive Auschwitz, before being sent to Bergen-Belsen, where she was eventually liberated by British forces. Among the British soldiers who liberated her was Norman, who went on to become her husband. She lost five of her siblings during the Holocaust, and a number of members of her extended family. Gena passed away in 2018, but her light cannot and will not be dimmed. Thanks to her indefatigable determination to tell the world

what had happened during Europe’s darkest days, her story, and the story of six million Jewish men, women and children, will be remembered. Gena said: “We will continue to do our bit for as long as we can, secure in the knowledge that others will continue to light a candle long after us.” This Holocaust Memorial Day, we light a candle in memory of Gena and her five brothers and sisters who were brutally murdered in the Holocaust, all those persecuted and killed by the Nazis and all those who have been murdered in genocides since. And we pledge that her light, and the light of all of these stories, will glow in the darkness.

28 January 2021 Jewish News




MPs on all sides know scale of China's crime BENEDICT ROGERS HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST


n one of his last acts as US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo determined the atrocities perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party regime against the Uyghurs constituted genocide. His successor, Antony Blinken, immediately agreed, stating at his confirmation hearing that: “On the Uyghurs I think we’re very much in agreement. And the forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps, trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide.” Within an hour of Mr Pompeo’s announcement, the House of Commons came within just 11 votes from defeating the government and passing an amendment to the Trade Bill that would allow our courts to determine genocide. The fact 33 Conservative MPs, including an ex-party leader, several former ministers and the chairs of the foreign affairs and defence commit-

tees, rebelled and voted for the amendment, alongside broad cross-party support, is a great encouragement. The fight to enable the Uyghurs to have their day in court has only just begun. The genocide amendment started in the House of Lords and was passed by a thumping majority of 287 to 161. Backed by some of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers, including a former Lord Chief Justice and several former Supreme Court judges, it also has support among senior Conservative Party members, as well as the former heads of the RAF and MI5, Church of England bishops and the Labour and Liberal Democrat benches. The Conservative peer Lord Polak quoted the late Rabbi Lord Sacks who said there had been warnings of potential genocide in Rwanda: “Both times humanity hid its face”. Crossbench peer

and barrister Baroness Deech warned: “Advance action is needed to prevent genocide.” The International Bar Association, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, the Muslim Council of Britain, Humanists UK, the Catholic Bishop of Clifton, Anglican Bishops and, most especially, the Board of Deputies of British Jews are publicly supporting the amendment, as are two former foreign secretaries, and Bill Browder, the pioneer of Magnitsky sanctions. A Holocaust survivor recorded a powerful video message. It's hard to imagine a more impressive, credible coalition. Lord Alton of Liverpool, who introduced the original amendment, is bringing a new, revised amendment when the Trade Bill comes back to the House of Lords on 2 February. The new


amendment does two key things. It answers the government’s policy that genocide is a matter for the courts, not Parliament, to decide. The British government – in keeping with successive governments of both parties over decades – insists that genocide is, as the prime minister put it last Wednesday, “a judicial matter”. And it addresses the logjam where no court is able to consider genocide cases where China has an interest, because it has veto power over referrals to the International Criminal Court. MPs on all sides now know the truly horrific scale of the atrocities perpetrated against the Uyghurs – and crimes being committed elsewhere in the world, particularly against the Rohingyas. They have no excuse for inaction – the revised amendment in the Lords provides a way forward, around which Parliamentarians on all sides in both Houses should unite. Readers should contact Peers before 2 February to urge them to support the new amendment and encourage their MPs to do so when it returns to the Commons. Victims of the “crime of crimes” deserve their day in court.

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26 Jewish News


28 January 2021

Weekend / Book

The Holocaust as seen Thomas Geve was just 13-years-old when he entered Auschwitz and began making sketches of the inhumanity he witnessed, writes Francine Wolfisz


hat which he could not put into words, one 15-year-old boy who survived three Nazi concentration camps instead set about drawing a series of remarkable sketches to tell his story of the Holocaust. At first, Thomas Geve’s impulse was simply to explain to his father – who managed to escape to England during the Second World War – all the unimaginable trauma he had endured. But now 75 years later, Thomas’ etchings, created first with charcoal on pieces of cement sacks, and then in colour on scraps of paper no larger than a postcard, have taken on new meaning as one of the most remarkable testimonies of that time: the Holocaust seen through the eyes of a child. For the first time, more than 80 of his sketches are presented alongside his narrative of events in The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz, published this week. His poignant account, written with journalist Charlie Inglefield, recalls how Thomas was just nine when he waved farewell to his father, Erich, as he travelled from Berlin to England; how the family planned to join Erich, but that became an impossibility once the Second World War broke out; and how he stayed with his mother in the German capital working as a gravedigger – despite his tender age – until they were both deported to Auschwitz in 1943. There he remained until the inmates were evacuated in January 1945 and sent on a death march, before enduring Gross-Rosen concentration camp and later Buchenwald, which was liberated in April 1945. His incredible story of survival is interspersed with the drawings. Some are of everyday camp life, some show detailed lists, maps and statistics, while others show the sickening brutality of their oppressors. One shows stickmen playing in a camp orchestra, while a row of faceless men, all uniformed and without individuality, march along to the music. Another shows, through a child’s eyes, the process of selection for death, or what happened to those who bravely

tried to escape but were captured. Thomas even made drawings about what happened on the death march. Speaking over a Zoom call from his home in Israel, where Thomas emigrated in 1950, the now 91-year-old survivor tells me the drawings serve as a continuous reminder of his story and why he feels it is imperative to continue to educate people about the Holocaust. “I still think about it and know about it. It was my life,” he explains. Born in Beuthen before moving to Berlin just before the outbreak of war, Thomas was just a youngster when he realised being Jewish could put his life in danger. “I knew when I was five-years-old that I was Jewish because I was not allowed to play with the other children on the street anymore. They explained that I was something different. I even learned a song from the other children about Hitler and my family said, ‘My God, you’re not allowed to sing that song. You’re Jewish.’” Thomas remained with his mother until their deportation to Auschwitz, where he was taken off to the men’s camp as one of 18,000 prisoners there and given a tattoo with the number 127003. He says: “But I was just called 003 in Auschwitz; that was my name for more than two years.” His sketch of new arrivals at the notorious death camp, which has been engraved on a special memorial wall at Auschwitz (pictured, main right), is for him “the most important and by far the saddest picture of modern history”. He adds: “When we arrived, we didn’t really know what was happening. That was part of Hitler’s design, to hide all these things from the world. It didn’t really occur to me that we would be prisoners. I thought we were sent there to work in the factories, nothing more.” But soon the reality of their situation became clear – and, aged 13, Thomas was still just a child – a fact he kept hidden from the SS officers, thanks to his tall stature, which made him seem older. Officially there were no men aged under 15 at the camp. “Out of 18,000 men, I was the third youngest,” recalls Thomas, who was sent with other young men to become a bricklayer at the camp. “Because I was so tall, people didn’t recognise I was a child. But it was quite a struggle because I couldn’t fight or compete with the grown-ups. On the other hand, when people realised I was a child, they

did their best to help me.” One of the most remarkable stories that Thomas recalls in his book is how – for a very brief moment – he saw his mother again in the camp, with many people risking their lives to make that meeting happen. In his book, Thomas recalls: “Still in her late 30s, Mother looked as haggard as her companions. Without either of us slowing our stride, we touched hands. I managed to sneak a kiss. To hold her hand again was an unimaginable, miraculous moment.” Thomas would never see his mother again, but it was a moment he would never forget. Meanwhile, for the other camp inmates, the “one in a million chance” of a mother and son reuniting at Auschwitz provided a beacon of hope among the despair. Thomas’ daughter, Yifat Meir, says the episode is particularly moving because of the risk others must have taken to help them. “They helped each other to find those human moments. The camp was so much about erasing one’s identity as a person, but here they were helping each other just to feel human again.” After liberation, Thomas was sent to an orphan camp in Switzerland, before finally being reunited with his father in England. He had begun drawing his experiences prior to the ending of the war, but it while recuperating in Switzerland that his work became more prolific. Yifat believes the sketches provided a form of art therapy for the young teenager and inspired other child survivors to work through their trauma in the same way. She adds: “My father kept telling me he used seven colours and it came to my mind that those are the colours of the rainbow, a symbol of peace and life. “I think it was very healing for him to draw in colour to describe life in the camps. It was his way of taking back control over his life, having experienced so much suppression.”  The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz by Thomas Geve with Charlie Inglefield is published by Harper Non-Fiction priced £18.99 (hardback)


28 January 2021 Jewish News


Book / Weekend

through a child’s eyes

Clockwise from top left: Prisoners on roll call; selection on the ramp; the ABC of an Auschwitzer; the wooden barracks; the entrance to Birkenau concentration camp; going on the Death March; (centre) armbands showing prisoner hierarchy


Jewish News 28 January 2021


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28 January 2021 Jewish News


Entertainment / Weekend



House of Sand and Fog

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Director Vadim Perelman’s triple-Oscar-nominated House of Sand and Fog, which stars Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly, is released on DVD and digital download this week. The 2003 psychological drama revolves around grieving widow and recovering drug addict Kathy (Connelly) who, after being unfairly evicted from her house, starts a dangerous conflict with the new owner, Iranian immigrant Behrani (played by Kingsley). With neither party willing to back down, what begins as a legal struggle soon turns into a personal confrontation, with tragic results. The all-star cast also includes Kim Dickens (Gone Girl), Ron Eldard (Super 8, Black Hawk Down) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek Beyond), while James Horner was the talent

behind the film’s haunting soundtrack, which was Oscarnominated for best original score. House of Sand and Fog is available on DVD and digital download on 1 February

Uncork the Palwin – New York’s favourite 1950s Jewish housewife is back! Amazon Studios confirmed this week that the fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel began filming in New York under Covid-secure protocols. Lead actress Rachel Brosnahan returns as the lovable stand-up comedienne, alongside regular cast members Alex Borstein as manager Susie Myerson, Michael Zegen as her estranged husband Joel and Marin Hinkle and Tony Shalhoub as her neurotic Jewish parents, Rose and Abe Weissman. The award-winning comedy drama from Amy Sherman-Palladino, which is co-executive produced by husband Daniel Palladino, has picked up a raft of awards since it first premiered in 2017, including a Golden Globe for best television series and Emmys for Brosnahan, Borstein and Shaloub.



I Want You To Know We’re Still Here Esther Safran Foer’s deeply moving intergenerational memoir about family, the Holocaust and the search for truth is published in paperback this week. Her parents, who came to the US in 1949, were the only members of their respective families to survive the Holocaust, but their harrowing experiences were never spoken about. The result was a childhood marked by painful silences and continued tragedy. I Want You to Know We’re Still Here chronicles a shocking discovery by Safran Foer – that her father had a wife and daughter, both killed in the Holocaust. The book follows her trip

to Ukraine, armed with only a black and white photo and hand-drawn map, to find out more about her half-sister and the family who risked their lives to hide her father during the war. This post-Holocaust memoir details everything Safran Foer came to learn about herself and the extraordinary lengths to which her family went in order to survive. Her account inspired the internationally bestselling novel Everything is Illuminated written by her son, Jonathan Safran Foer, and adapted into a film of the same name starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hütz. I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer is published by HQ in paperback, ebook and audiobook. Available now.


Bridgerton Netflix has renewed global hit historical romance drama Bridgerton for a second series. Based on the books by Julia Quinn – the pen name of bestselling author Julie Pottinger – and created by Chris Van Dusen and Shondaland, the hotlyanticipated follow-up is set to go into production in the spring. While season one focused on eldest daughter Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her feisty romance with committed bachelor the Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page), Bridgerton’s second offering is expected to revolve around her brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey). Further details are being tightly held under wraps, but fans were told the good news after a teasing letter from gossipmonger Lady Whistledown – who was finally unmasked at the

end of series one – was posted to social media. She added: “Gentle reader, before you set the comments section alight with requests for more sordid details, know that I am disinclined to report on the particulars at this time. Patience, after all, is a virtue.” Bridgerton was watched by a predicted 63 million households in the first month after it premiered on Netflix on Christmas Day.


jewishne ws.co.uk Closing d ate 18 Febru ary 2021

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Jewish News 28 January 2021

Weekend / Inspiration

The lighter side Brigit Grant’s little bit of this and little bit of that...


Where there’s a will, there’s OY VEY in rising mortality rates or HAVE YOU HEARD THE ONE global unemployment, and about the two bubbes bragging if they could they have about their grandchildren nowhere to road during the pandemic? test their material. “Mine blows kisses I was living in through the window,” said New York when 9/11 one.“That’s nothing,” said stopped the laughter the other. “Mine are so and comedy was pushed good at social distancing, to the kerb. Wit was they won’t even call me.” It’s unwanted understandably, not a great joke, yet various but comedians know it’s all versions of it appeared in The Shiri Kenigsberg Levi about timing and audiences Scotsman, The New Yorker, Elle were ready when just weeks later Jon and other publications during the Stewart, then host of The Daily Show opened festive period with another hackneyed with: “They said get back to work as there joke about the chicken crossing the are no jobs available for a man in the foetal road because of ‘fowl’ social distancing. position crying under his desk.” Actually I improved it by inserting That Israelis have hung on to their ‘fowl’, but its still a weak gag for a family humour throughout the Covid crises is lunch, particularly when most of the no surprise as nothing (pogroms, the family is isolating elsewhere. Holocaust, suicide bombings) is off the table The truth is, comedy – good or bad for the irreverent Holy Landers living on red – requires an audience, so until we can alert. Hence the hilarious video that went congregate in venues and stand-ups aren’t viral of Ashkelon mother Shiri Kenigsberg sat down, we’re stuck with jokes that Levi ranting about virtual home schooling wouldn’t make it into crackers. and the Fauda spoof on satire show Eretz Even comedians who use death as a Nehederet, which had the tough guy trigger for dark humour can’t spot the wry

The pure farce of Fauda

In Bill Maher’s garden the laughter is in the can

Ashley Blaker running on empty

combat unit pursuing a tech worker who refuses to quarantine after going abroad. It’s on YouTube if you missed it, and so is Hollywood’s humour hero Mel Brooks enjoying a window visit from his son Max while delivering a zappy health warning to the nation. It takes more than leaded fenestration to block Brooks’ banter, just as it takes more than an empty auditorium at JW3 to ambush Ashley Blaker. Time and again the Orthodox comic has appeared virtually, cracking up home crowds from Hendon to Hull without a tin opener, unlike Jewish American comedian Bill Maher who wants canned laughter in his streamed garden gigs. That Ashley defeated the odds

Show me the funny South Park

and imagined the giggles is admirable at a time when most comics are on mute and even Michael McIntyre has been forced to work at the BBC fairground. Personally I’m desperate for laughs, but couldn’t find them in South Park’s Pandemic Special as it just wasn’t funny for me. Perhaps that was the subliminal intention of creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker who couldn’t mask the impact of Covid no matter how many cartoon bats and chin diapers they threw at it. So I’ll be conserving my chuckles until Ashley Blaker’s series, 6.5 Children, starts in the summer on Radio 4. I just hope laughter doesn’t have a sell-by date.

Mel Brooks’ warning through the window to his son Max

Day of BIRTH As days become weeks and weeks feel like days, it’s easy to miss significant dates. I had one of those last week, which not only coincided with Joe Biden’s inauguration, but stood out numerically. My birthday was on 21/21/21,, a particularly auspicious day when, at a certain point last Thursday, it was the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century. This was not the case if you follow the Hebrew calendar, but for myself and others it was a once in a lifetime moment that Stephen Fry considered worthy enough to tweet about: “21 21 21 21 21 21 21 etc... the smallest vibration in the force and a very loud hoot from a barn owl were the only clear signs of our transition into a new age of post 21-ness But we confidently expect more signs and portents to show themselves..” If the local owl hooted near my house, I didn’t hear it, as I was receiving balloons from my daughter along with perfect cupcakes from Junior Bake Off star Maddie Noah (@maddiebakes_1). My sister also persuaded Zoe Hart at Cake From the Hart to make me a Woody Allen strawberry-filled sponge homage, which I ate while watching Annie Hall.. Gifts from husband, family and good wishes from pals courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg magically halted Covid repetition for 24 hours. And to think I could so easily have missed my 21st!


28 January 2021 Jewish News



with the lockdown ... and tiring of discussing the continuing tragedy of Covid ... playing bridge online ... watching every film and box set possible ... spring cleaning for the nth time

Then welcome to benuri.org Discover a new world of engagement for everyone in the family. FOR YOU: This week we launched a new series of podcasts. Brief Lives. They are a new style of biography lasting just five minutes of fast and revealing information about great artists in our collection The first Brief Lives celebrates one of the country’s leading living artists, Frank Auerbach, who celebrates his 90th birthday in April this year. Once you have learned all about him, switch to another benuri.org innovation, 60 Second Insights, and watch two short films about his work. Then switch to Exhibitions since 1925 and see 10 classic exhibitions which include his work. Want to know a lot more about Frank Auerbach?

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27/01/2021 15:52


Jewish News 28 January 2021


Business / Venture capital


With Candice Krieger

WOMEN ARE STILL UNDERREPRESENTED IN MANY AREAS The founders of an Israeli venture capital firm tell Candice Krieger how they have made it in a man’s world and the ways they feel the status quo could be changed


astercard has ranked Israel the best country for female entrepreneurs. At the end of last year, the annual Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) promoted Israel to the top for the first time, up from fourth place in 2019. But behind the headline lies a tougher reality across the globe for women who are trying to make it in business, particularly as founders or venture capitalists, says Cynthia Phitoussi, managing partner and co-founder at venture capital firm SeedIL Ventures. “With only seven percent of Israeli entrepreneurs being women, and female-led counterparts raising $1 for every $2 raised by their male counterparts, many stereotypes associated with entrepreneurship continue to create barriers for female entrepreneurs,” says Phitoussi who, together with her SeedIL co-founder Audrey Chocron, has seen the challenges first-hand. Both Paris-born immigrants, the entrepreneurs have spent the past decade establishing a name for themselves in a male-dominated industry. Fascinated by the Israeli start-up ecosystem, they moved to Israel from the UK in 2010 and founded one of the first accelerator programmes in Israel, TheHive by Gvahim. Then, as Phitoussi puts it, armed with some Israeli chutzpah, they focused their efforts on bringing investors from around the world to invest in seed stage Israeli start-ups. Their SeedIL Club gathered 65 business angels in 2014. They then decided to action their dream and launched their venture capital fund, SeedIL Ventures, in 2018. They have invested in 22 Israeli start-ups, which have raised $185 million (£133m) between them, employing 385 people across the globe. But it has not been easy. “Although there has been some improvement, women are still underrepresented in many areas,” notes Phitoussi. “Only a few women are hired in VC [venture capital] funds, let alone at a partner level. For the past 10 years,

we have been surprised by the serve in the Israeli army aged 18, underrepresentation of women it helps women to feel more in business meetings, boards confident when they start of directors, and tech nettheir own business,” says working events. Chocron. “Recently, we organ“Also, there are plenty ised a Zoom event with of special science edu14 of our founders and cation programmes for were the only two women, girls, a plethora of organireinforcing our feeling of sations to promote coding being alone in a man’s world. training for female students As for our limited partners, or ultra-Orthodox women and only five percent are women.” non-profit organisations for Chocron adds, halfSeedIL co-founders female entrepreneurs.” amused: “Even after a decade Cynthia Phitoussi and Yet the duo believe there is still navigating the ecosystem, we Audrey Chocron an urgent need for a shift in the are often asked who are the gender perceptions of female entremanaging partners of SeedIL Ventures, because preneurs across the globe. they assume it must be a man.” “It starts at school when girls are less encourThe pair, who met through friends, believe aged to study science,” explains Phitoussi. women make great venture capitalists. “Starting a business, they feel less competent “Research hints at many benefits of women to start a technological project. When it comes investors: being more risk cautious, better at to raising funds, female entrepreneurs have to cutting their losses, having better crisis manage- pitch in front of male investors who are not so ment skills and putting extra time to research to keen to invest in women founders and it makes enlighten their investment decisions.” them even less comfortable and confident. “We feel women can better grasp an entre“Also, at the start, being an entrepreneur preneur’s personality, their DNA, strengths and requires you to work days and nights and travel weaknesses,” says Chocron. “Many of SeedIL’s all the time, which is difficult when you raise founders will tell you that part of the invest- young children.” ment process consists of putting them on the It is partly for this reason women have borne spot about every aspect of their business, irre- the brunt of Covid-19. According to the Masterspective of the ticket size. card research, 89 percent of women business “In that sense, women are more forthright, owners have been adversely affected during the more “tachles” [Hebrew slang meaning getting pandemic.“There has been no school during the straight to the point], less prone to battles of pandemic in Israel, making it very difficult for ego and more open to admitting when they are parents to work,” notes Chocron. wrong or when they don’t know.” “I believe mums are more likely to be The Mastercard index tracks the global pro- expected to stay at home, probably linked to gress of women entrepreneurs and business the lower salaries level, and therefore the gap owners across 58 economies. The US, Switzer- has been even bigger this past year in terms of land and New Zealand ranked second, third number of female entrepreneurs and funding.” and fourth, with the UK sixth. So what enabled Chocron and Phitoussi moved to Israel in Israel to take the top spot? 2008 and 2009 respectively. Fascinated by the “Since girls and boys are equal when they ‘Start-up Nation’, they wanted to make a mark

there. Chocron had been a senior relationship manager for corporate clients in a large bank for more than 13 years, while Phitoussi had created and run a corporate event company she sold. “Audrey and I are atypical VC partners in many ways,” says Phitoussi. “As new immigrants, we haven’t served in the army, in the expected 8200 or other prestigious elite unit where most of our colleagues started their ‘career’ and built their network. “Israel is a small country, so network in the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem is a key success factor to attract the best deals. After more than 10 years surfing in this world, we managed to carve out a place for ourselves and build our reputation.” Companies they have backed include BreezOmeter, Invocap, Donde and Dataloop. Konnecto and myInterview recently secured major seeds rounds. The fund has also forged strong partnerships with top start-up accelerators in Israel, such as Technion DRIVE and IDC’s Zell Entrepreneurship Program. But they are not fininished yet. “We feel a sense of responsibility as women investors,” says Chocron. “We believe entrepreneurship should be the way for women to set their own rules and challenge the outdated gender bias.” www.seedil.com

MASTERCARD TOP 10 COUNTRIES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS 1 Israel 2 United States 3 Switzerland 4 New Zealand 5 Poland 6 United Kingdom 7 Canada 8 Sweden 9 Australia 10 Spain

‘Work as a team and encourage each other’ Odelia Zucker, business development consultant and owner of Zucker Consulting “I have seen a growth in female entrepreneurship over recent years. As a result, many not-for-profits and companies in the UK have put women at the forefront and are organising female networking and other dedicated events. That’s fantastic news, resulting in more business opportunities and successes for women, which is great for our economy. In my

experience, women like to support each other and enable each other’s success. “My advice in this changeable climate is to be empathetic and patient as contacts and clients’ circumstances are constantly changing: their working environment has changed since many are working from home, and their needs are developing. Work as a team to compliment each other’s strengths and encourage each other; tap into your network of contacts for support. “Post-pandemic, I foresee a new way of working, more home-based, online with fewer face-to-face meet-

ings, networking and events. For female entrepreneurs, it would mean more thinking on their feet combined with careful planning in online communication, while at the same time enabling them to juggle home life more effectively. Honing in on online tools and social media will become a priority. Most importantly, working with a collaborative approach will be key.” Odelia Zucker recently presented to London firms through City Business Networking about business development during Covid-19

28 January 2021 Jewish News


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28 January 2021 Jewish News



Orthodox Judaism


Torah For Today


What does the Torah say about: Domestic violence

BY REBBETZIN VICKI BELOVSKI as, “You shall hold your peace!” This could be understood to refer to their complaints, but a number of commentators understand it to mean “Don’t pray!” This is surprising. Surely prayer is an appropriate response? The commentators think otherwise. Now is the time to be silent and rely entirely on God to save them, of His own volition, without a need for prayer. The splitting of the sea required the Jews to have faith that the waters would part. The midrash tells us that Nachshon ben Aminadav took the first steps into the water, which then split. His faith was enough, without any extra prayers, to enable the miracle to happen. In any difficult situation, we have to do our part: sometimes this is a practical effort, sometimes it is prayer and sometimes it is remaining silent and having faith.

◆Vicki Belovski is Rebbetzin of Golders Green Synagogue

With the Domestic Abuse bill going through the House of Lords this week, what does the Torah say about violence against family members? Being in lockdown has challenged people’s mental health and exacerbated the way some of us treat others at home, because we are rubbing up against each other constantly. In some cases, this generates a different, inexcusable reaction: violence. Those who claim that this is not a problem in our communities are simply trying to wish it away. In Talmud Pesachim 49b, there is disgust for the way an am ha-aretz or ignoramus treats his wife, beating her. Later rabbinic sources, however, suggest that it is permitted to beat one’s wife and restrict her to domestic duties. One has only to read the commentaries on Dinah, who went out to visit friends and was raped. Rashi says she should not have been out. Worse still, Maimonides

says a husband is permitted to beat a ‘bad wife’ to control her (Ishut 21:10). This attitude may have had a connection to contemporary Islamic law, as the Ashkenazi Rabbi Perez ben Elijah states in the 13th century that “one who beats his wife is in the same category as one who beats a stranger... the Jew may be compelled... not to beat his wife in anger or cruelty to disgrace her, for that is against Jewish practice.” Rabbi Meir ben Baruch of Rothenburg and R Simha ben Shmuel of Speyer say a man should honour his

il war Unciv high as Americans


This week’s parshah is actionpacked. It includes the crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptian army, the Song at the Sea when the Jews rejoiced in their salvation, the appearance of manna, which would sustain them during their wanderings, and a battle with Amalek, their ongoing enemy. There is an interesting contrast between two verses, immediately prior to the splitting of the sea: as the Jews see the Egyptians approaching, they cry out to God. The rabbis say this means that they followed the example of the Patriarchs when in a difficult situation and prayed. However, the text suggests otherwise: their crying out is quoted as complaints against Moses: Why did you bring us out here to die? Were there no graves in Egypt? Moshe reassures them, telling them that God will save them by fighting for them. He adds, “V’atem tacharishun”, generally translated



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



I’m not neurotic!

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wife more than himself. It is worse to hit her than to hit a stranger, and he should be compelled to divorce her. Similarly, although parents are allowed to smack their children, the Talmud in Ketubot 50a says a parent should not hit his 12-year-old since that will cause the child to retaliate and break the serious injunction not to hit a parent. It is notable that the late Rabbi Koppel Rosen ensured that Carmel College, despite being an attempt to emulate a British public school, did not copy the corporal punishment at that time exercised elsewhere. There can be no excuse for domestic abuse of anyone. Lockdown is not an extenuating circumstance and those who suffer it deserve our sympathy and support, with organisations like Jewish Women’s Aid on hand to help. ◆ Rabbi Zvi Solomons is Rabbi of JCoB, the Jewish Community of Berkshire in Reading

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

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Jewish News 28 January 2021

Progressive Judaism

The Bible Says What?

Progressively Speaking

‘God is a warmongerer’

A female vice president is a great leap forward

BY STUDENT RABBI LEV TAYLOR This week, we cross the Red Sea. With triumphant fanfare, the waves part and our biblical ancestors take history’s most miraculous sea-front promenade. As they leave Egypt for freedom, Pharaoh’s armies drown and the Israelites sing in celebration. That song has become known as Shirat HaYam (The Song of the Sea). It has a beautiful tune. But despite Exodus 15’s loveliness, some of its words are very worrying. “God’s right hand has shattered the enemy!” “Horse and rider God has thrown into the sea!” “God is a man of war!” Is that what we believe? Is God responsible for every military loss and victory? This writing reminds me of modern religious leaders blessing bombs and politicians conscripting soldiers into war with the promise that God is on their side. It doesn’t sit right. Most of the Tanakh does not endorse violence so lightly. The prophet Micah famously declared

that nations should beat their swords into pruning-hooks and study war no more. Isaiah promised peace without end. The Bible criticises military victory. Even King David, the great ruler of ancient Israel, is condemned. He expanded Israel’s territories, defeated his enemies and slaughtered anyone who resisted him. But God would not let him build a Temple because there was too much blood on his hands. War had made him impure. The Bible does not casually condone war. This victory was only celebrated because it was so necessary. Even then, the Talmud condemns this brazen song. According to Sanhedrin 39b, as the Egyptians drowned, the angels began to sing, but God silenced them saying: “How dare you sing for joy when My creatures are dying?” People might celebrate war, but God never does.

◆ Lev Taylor is a student rabbi at Leo Baeck College

BY RABBI CHARLEY BAGINSKY A number of years ago, my daughter bought a book that has remained a favourite in our house. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls features 100 extraordinary women whose stories are accompanied by full page portraits by female artists. Inside this beautiful and empowering book are ancient philosophers and sports stars, ballerinas and lawyers, scientists and pirates. And right at the back there is a blank page for the reader to draw themselves and tell their own story, a mirror in which to see themselves reflected. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of seeing yourself reflected in leadership positions. That’s why Kamala Harris being sworn in as the first female vice president in American history gives hope. It is crucial to have leaders at every level who represent the full range of diversity in society.

In Jewish tradition, and particularly in the Liberal tradition in which I grew up, we look internally and seek out the female voices and women who took on radical leadership roles, from Miriam to Deborah, from Golda Meir to Hannah Szenes. Looking round the Zoom calls on recent CEO forums within the Jewish community, one can visibly see the signs that women are leading many of our Jewish communal institutions. However, we have to remember that progress is not linear and never secure. It takes work and mainte-

nance and a consciousness. We need to ensure our daughters across the community see themselves reflected in all areas of leadership and are able to imagine themselves there, not as the only one, but as part of a diverse team of women leaders. But there is a further responsibility that those of us in the privileged position of leadership have and that is to empower other women to lead and to lead collectively. As Amanda Gorman, America’s first national youth poet laureate and the youngest poet accorded the honour of delivering the presidential inaugural poem, said: “I can only unlock my sister’s shackles if I break my own. And I can only break my own with another ally beside me, helping me slot in the key.” ◆ Rabbi Charley Baginsky is chief executive officer of Liberal Judaism

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28 January 2021 Jewish News

Ask our

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: Tips for online interviews, choosing a financial services provider and tax-efficient ways of investing in property ERIC SALAMON CAREER ADVISER


Dear Eric Do you have advice for acing an online interview ? Ilana Dear Ilana First, make sure you are clear on what technology will be used. As well as Zoom, there is Skype, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Adobe Connect and more. Check online to see if you need to download any software beforehand. Practise to ensure you understand how it works and are comfortable with its functions. Your background should be tidy and simple with ideally no windows behind you as natural light can affect your camera’s settings. Dress as


RICHDALE CONSULTANTS Dear Jacob I notice that some financial services firms are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and others are not. Should this influence my decision about using their services? Laura Hi Laura, When considering using a

financial service provider, a key consideration is whether that firm is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Businesses can either be directly authorised in their own right, or may be authorised indirectly as an ‘appointed representative’ of another directly authorised firm, which is known as the principal firm or network, e.g. our sister company, Richdale Brokers and Financial Services Ltd. There are various benefits to working with an authorised firm. These include the comfort you can take: 1. that the business has undergone a rigorous assessment of its operations by the FCA, (or by their principal firm), prior to the business obtaining authorisation; 2. that the business must


for a normal interview, but contrast it with your background so you don’t ‘disappear’ into it. Try out options, including lighting, by setting your device to video to see how you look. Sign in five minutes early so you can check all is okay. Ensure that your device’s camera is at face level – stand it on a box or some books if necessary. Adjust the screen/camera so it is at 90º to the surface. Fill the screen with head and as much upper body as you can. This will ensure you can show body language to indicate energy and enthusiasm. Look at the camera, not at the screen, to maintain eye contact. Make sure you are “in the room”. Use your hands, nod, smile, move in your chair occasionally so the interviewer see you have not frozen! A mock interview can help give you confidence, so it’s worth considering one of these. At Resource, we cover off all aspects of online interviews and more in our free mock interview service.

adhere to strict regulatory processes to ensure the services it provides you with are appropriate, and provided in a manner which is fair, clear and not misleading; and 3.that should the business have fallen short in the quality of the service that it provided you with, you are likely to be able to refer this to the Financial Ombudsman Service and potentially seek recourse from the FSCS. Although a business which is not appropriately authorised may be committing a criminal offence if they provide you with a service which requires authorisation, it should also be noted that the specific requirements for FCA authorisation are complex, as they are specific to the activity being performed by the business.


SOBELL RHODES LLP Dear Adam, I would like to purchase a residential property before the budget as a buy to let. Are there any tax-saving tips for property investors and developers? Emma Dear Emma You could consider holding property investments jointly with family members, spouses and civil partners, so you take

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Jewish News 28 January 20201

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

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Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk

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C all us for a free assessment or advice

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

020 7644 9554 www.sweettree.co.uk



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

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

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

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



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

LOUISE LEACH Qualifications: • Professional choreographer qualified in dance, drama and Zumba (ZIN, ISTD & LAMDA), gaining an honours degree at Birmingham University. • Former contestant on ITV’s Popstars, reaching bootcamp with Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Kym Marsh. • Set up Dancing with Louise 19 years ago.

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

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

28 January 20201 Jewish News



Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




ADAM SHELLEY Qualifications: • FCCA chartered certified accountant. • Accounting, taxation and business advisory services. • Entrepreneurial business specialist including start-up businesses. • Specialises in charities; Personal tax returns. • Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation Volunteer of the Year JVN award.

DONIEL GRUNEWALD Qualifications: • Accredited mediator to International Standards offering civil/commercial and workplace mediation; in a facilitative or evaluative format, or by med-arb. • Experienced in all Beth Din matters; including arbitration, advocacy, matrimonial settlements and written submissions. • Providing bespoke alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to the Jewish community.

DR ADAM NEWMAN Qualifications: • Dentist at the Gingerbread House, a Bupa Platinum practice in Shenley, Radlett. • Regional clinical lead for Bupa Dental Care UK. • Providing NHS and private dentistry, whitening, implants and cosmetic treatment. • Bachelor of Dental Surgery and member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons Glasgow; GDC registered 212542.

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

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

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




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

IAN GREEN Qualifications: • Launched Man on a Bike IT consultancy 15 years ago to provide computer support for the home and small businesses. • Clients range from legal firms in the City to families, small business owners and synagogues. • More than 18 years’ experience.

LISA WIMBORNE Qualifications: Able to draw on the charity’s 50 years of experience in enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently, including: • The provision of specialist accommodation with 24/7 on site support. • Knowledge of the innovations that empower people and the benefits available. • Understanding of the impact of a disability diagnosis.

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

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

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



LEON HARRIS Qualifications: • Leon is an Israeli and UK accountant based in Ramat Gan, Israel. • He is a Partner at Harris Horoviz Consulting & Tax Ltd. • The firm specializes in Israeli and international tax advice, accounting and tax reporting for investors, Olim and businesses. • Leon’s motto is: Our numbers speak your language!

ASHLEY PRAGER Qualifications: • Professional insurance and reinsurance broker. Offering PI/D&O cover, marine and aviation, property owners, ATE insurance, home and contents, fine art, HNW. • Specialist in insurance and reinsurance disputes, utilising Insurance backed products. (Including non insurance business disputes). • Ensuring clients do not pay more than required.

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

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



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

ERIC SALAMON Qualifications: • Provides free professional one-to-one advice at Resource to help unemployed into work. • Offers mock interviews and workshops to maximise job prospects. • Expert in corporate management holding director level marketing, commercial and general management roles.

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

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



VANESSA LLOYD PLATT Qualifications: • Qualification: 40 years experience as a matrimonial and divorce solicitor and mediator, specialising in all aspects of family matrimonial law, including: • Divorce, pre/post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, children’s cases, grandparents’ rights to see grandchildren, pet disputes, family disputes. • Frequent broadcaster on national and International radio and television.

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

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

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

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

40 Jewish News


28 January 2021

An MRI scan can help identify health problems

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

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

can show arthritis, tennis elbow and injuries t o tendons and ligaments.

Constant back pain? Numbness in the legs? An MRI can diagnose MS, injury,disc injury. brain or spinal cancer .

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

your knee, feet or ankles an MRI can diagnose a range of causes including arthritis, damage to bones, cartilage , tendons, muscles, blood vessels and ligaments .

Standard MRI £199

Claustrophobic open MRI £399





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28 January 20201 Jewish News



Fun, games and prizes










Tusked pig (4) Accept an order (4) Simple school maths calculation (3) Classic race at Epsom (4) Assist in crime (4) Naturally visible at night (7) Dragons’ ___, TV series presented by Evan Davis (3) 22 In a forlorn way (5) 23 Repeat broadcast (5)










4 Go up (a hill) (5) 7 Was recumbent (3) 8 Divert (7)

ACROSS 1 ___ Rinder, UK reality court show (5)






























Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Cosmic 4 Teem 8 Oil 9 Felt-tip 10 Decor 11 Table 13 Inner 15 Relic 17 Seabird 19 Ion 20 Thaw 21 Tragic DOWN: 1 Crowd 2 Silicon 3 Infer 5 Eat 6 Maple 7 Plot 12 Balding 13 Inset 14 Rein 15 Rider 16 Cynic 18 AKA

6 2 9 5 4 1 8 7 3






14 7







10 17




11 10


16 21





2 4 6 1 9 8 7 3 5

1 7 3 4 5 6 9 8 2










20 10




10 17






13 11

1 4 3






19 13

4 3





2 1





10 24







10 2 10

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 5 9 8 7 2 3 4 6 1

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.



8 6


11 21






10 8




22 22



12 1

24 17

7 8







8 3 4 2 6 7 1 5 9

11 22

18 8



Sudoku 7 5 1 8 3 9 6 2 4

























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 2, 13 and 20 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.

The drinking vessels 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.






4 7 3 2 8 7 3 5 9 1 7 4 1 3 3 5 4 9 2 2 8 7 5 2 4 1

1 8 5

DOWN 1 Discard (a lover) (4) 2 Area for ship repair (3,4) 3 Slip‑ups (6) 4 Brusque, snippy (4) 5 Promissory note (inits)(3) 6 So long! (3‑3) 11 Person who raises animals (7) 12 Universe (6) 14 One who dies for a cause (6) 17 Acted story (4) 18 Soon (4) 20 Archaic (3)

16 17

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

9 10 13 15 16 19 21





3 8 2 9 7 4 5 1 6

9 1 5 6 8 2 3 4 7

4 6 7 3 1 5 2 9 8

4 3 2 3 2 3

5 1 4 1 5 1

4 2 3 2 3 4

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


Wordsearch 1 5 1 4 1 2

3 4 3 2 5 3

2 5 1 4 1 2

3 1 5 2 4 1

4 2 3 1 3 2

3 1 4 2 5 1

2 5 3 1 4 2

3 4 2 5 3 1

2 1 3 1 2 4








Codeword T H O I S I N S A U C E E










T JWP R E X DMC V K I B U F O L S Y G N Q A Z H28/01



Jewish News 28 January 20201

Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016



Top prices paid

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)




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

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

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

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


07866 614 744 (ANYTIME)


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


0800 840 2035 or 07956268290

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

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

Full house clearances organised.

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

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

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

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on


020 8731 6171 • www.manonabike.co.uk


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

Top prices paid

All quality furniture bought & sold.

Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture (any condition)

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

020 8922 2222

Counselling Service in confidence


020 & 8951 3881 • 07765 693 160 CHARITY WELFARE



E: enquiries@jbcs.org.uk

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

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

Charity Reg No. 802559

PLUMBSAFE (UK) LTD “Better Safe Than Sorry�

Jami supports and represents people with mental illness across Fast & Efficient House the Jewish community.

For all your heating and plumbing requirements | boiler repairs and installation | complete central heating | | power flushing | complete bathroom installation service | | landlords certificates | project management | home purchase reports |



#jamithinkahead We are reliable, cover all neighbourhoods & suit all budgets.

Give support • Get support • Get involved

We also buy good quality furniture, old books & Judaica.

All NW-London postcodes covered

07860 881505 or 0800 610 12 12

020 8458 2223 | info@jamiuk.org www.jamiuk.org

Call: 078 060 79299 Reg Charity No. 1003345

Not shabbat


We cover all aspects of pest control for residential and commercial properties. Are you a Jewish woman experiencing domestic violence? With abuse in your home, do you worry about your children? Including mice treatment and mouse prooďŹ ng with We are here to help1 year guarantee. with free support, advice and information and confidential counselling. Kosher Refuge available for women and0203 children 405 in need.5000 Email: info@inoculand.co.uk Free Confidential National Helpline 0808 801 0500 Web www.inoculand.co.uk advice@jwa.org.uk • www.jwa.org.uk


Home & Maintenance




No further, your


“Better Safe Than Sorry�

Hall & Randall Plumbers


For all your heating and plumbing requirements | boiler repairs and installation | complete central heating | | power flushing | complete bathroom installation service | | landlords certificates | project management | home purchase reports |

All NW-London postcodes covered

07860 881505 or 0800 610 12 12

020 8953 2094 office

Not shabbat

020 8207 3286 home 020 8386 8798 hallandrandallplumbers.com



Home & Maintenance


PROFESSIONAL A. ELFES LTD PAINTING, DECORATING memorials & New PAPER HANGING Additional inscriptions Over & 20renovations years experience Friendly, reliable & Gants Hill service. Edgware personal

The specialist masons in creating bespoke Granite and Marble Memorials for all Cemeteries. Clayhall Showroom 14 Claybury Broadway Ilford. IG5 0LQ T: 0208 551 6866

Edgware Showroom 41 Manor Park Crescent Edgware. HA8 7LY T: 0208 381 1525

Email : info@garygreenmemorials.co.uk

STEPHEN: 07973 342 422 0207 754 4659 0207 754 4646


Gary Green ad 84 x 40mm JM Group v2.indd 1

12Very Beehive Lane 130rates High Street competitive Gants Hill, IG1 3RD Edgware, HA8 7EL Telephone Telephone

18/03/2019 12:50:51






& UPVC Fitters

58a Bowrons Avenue, Wembley HA0 4QP

+ " ) "# ,! " Head Office: 145 New Chelmsford CM2 0QT Rochester House, "London Road, Tel: ! # 07773

/ 01245 211 022 â—? Fax: 01245 211 001 â—? Direct: 102 386 07428 264 454 ! ) *" " - *'


Family run business

London 020 8485 8176

DRIVEWAYS PATIOS AUTOMOTIVE LANDSCAPING FENCING City and Guilds Electrician MOTOR VEHICLES All types of electrical work undertaken BRICKWORK PURCHASED JET WASHING Rewiring, extra sockets, BT points, Economy 7 CLASSIC OR CARS storage heaters, Shabbat time switches, security lighting, NEW ROOFS for vehicles overfinding, 10 CCTVportable appliance LED spotlights, fault tests, years old landlord testspreferably and house buyer’s surveys. ROOF REPAIRS withan low mileage For efficient reliable and friendly service. UPVC FASCIAS Call Harvey Solomons on UPVC SOFFITS 020 8958 6495 / 07836 648 554 Contact: Anthony – 07850 590415


! ! # ! " " #




28 January 2021 Jewish News



Business Services Directory AUTOMOTIVE





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07760 752 834 Honest and Reliable OFFICE FURNITURE



Leave the legacy of independence to people like Joel.



Need to furnish your home or office?

PLease remember us in your wiLL.


Tel: 020 8202 2323 Web: www.ajex.org.uk Email: headoffice@ajex.org.uk

visit www.Jbd.org

Registered Charity

or caLL 020 8371 6611 No. 259480 18-361-JM Small legacy advert v1.qxp_Legacy 09/10/2018 10:27 Page 1

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London’s leading supplier of new and reconditioned furniture. Free assembly and delivery next working day on most items – call now!

HELP US CONTINUE TO BE THERE FOR OUR COMMUNITY WITH A GIFT IN YOUR WILL. Call Alison on 020 8922 2833 for more information or email legacyteam@jcare.org Chancellors House, Brampton Lane, London, NW4 4AB Tel: 020 8903 8746 | Fax: 020 8795 2240 www.bfiwd.org | email: info@bfiwd.org

Call 0800 559 3917 Email sales@andrewsofficefurniture.com www.andrewsofficefurniture.com

Charity Reg No. 802559


Secure our

children’s future

Please include

CST in your Will

Charity no. 1042391

Every gift makes a difference legacy@cst.org.uk

020 8457 3700


COMPUTER Legacy advert 84x40.indd 1

Man on a Bike will get you working fast!

07/04/2017 14:47


£24 A WEEK

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

Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on

020 8731 6171 • www.manonabike.co.uk

Email Sales today at sales@jewishnews.co.uk

Quality care in your home for independent living.

Outstanding live-in and hourly care in

Providing outstanding care for 20 years based Primrose Hill, HelpingLocally people toin live independently at home

your home at flexible, affordable rates. PillarCare’s friendly, experienced team have been helping people live

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Jewish News 28 January 2021