Out of Africa Meet the continent’s Jewish communities Pages 22 & 23
Golda girl Helen Mirren to play Israel’s only female PM in new ﬁlm P24
VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 8 April 2021
26 Nisan 5781
Wonder of wonders!
Nazi uniform maker Hugo Boss denies Uyghur slave labour claims By Michael Daventry email@example.com @MichaelDaventry
Fashion giant Hugo Boss, which notoriously used forced labour to make uniforms in Nazi Germany, has dismissed mounting allegations that it relies on a modern-day equivalent supply chain using China’s persecuted Uyghur minority. Human rights groups this week accused the luxury brand’s suppliers of using labour transfer schemes, a method where the Chinese government is said to forcibly move members of the Uyghur minority to work in factories outside of their home province of Xinjiang. Many relocations happen against their will and some people are sent from so-called “re-education camps”, campaigners say. Amid growing international scrutiny of China’s treatment of its Uyghur population, there is renewed focus on western fashion brands that use suppliers and subsuppliers to buy and process Xinjiang cotton. The International Olympic Committee was criticised this week for selecting a Chinese textiles company with links to Xinjiang as a supplier to this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. When asked by Jewish News, Hugo Boss did not respond directly to allegations that its Chinese suppliers and affili-
ates use forced labour or engage in human rights abuses. “All employees working for Hugo Boss suppliers worldwide must be free to choose the ways and means of the employment they pursue,” the company said. “We scrutinise all direct suppliers worldwide and demand proof that the materials used to manufacture our goods are produced according to these values and standards. This also includes identifying sub-suppliers and the production facilities they use for our goods.” It added that it had not procured any goods from direct suppliers in Xinjiang, but did not address questions about the use of labour transfer schemes among Hugo Boss’s indirect suppliers. The firm referred Jewish News to an undated statement on its website that said: “Effective starting October 2021, our new collections have been verified in line with our global standards once again.” Luke de Pulford of the World Uyghur Congress said: “Hugo Boss has not learned from history. It should know that cooperating with authoritarian regimes doesn’t end well. It will be forced to make a choice – human rights or the concentration camps of Xinjiang.” Hugo Boss apologised a decade ago after it emerged its founder Hugo Ferdinand Boss, who died in 1948, was an active Nazi Party member who oversaw a production line that supplied uniforms for the party.
STARMER’S END OF YEAR REPORT By Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmHarpin
Jewish Labour representatives have defended Sir Keir Starmer’s record as leader of the party amid mixed assessments of his first 12 months. Michael Rubin, director of Labour Friends of Israel, told Jewish News that while there was “considerably more to do” to win back the trust of the community,
Labour under Starmer had “dramatically improved” in terms of its position on the Middle East. Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the difference between Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn is “as clear as night and day”. Former Jewish Labour MPs Dame Louise Ellman and Ruth Smeeth also hailed what they said was the current leader’s “sincere” and “genuine” efforts to tackle antisemitism. News head-
lines in recent weeks have cast doubt on Starmer’s ability to define what he stands for during a year dominated by the government’s response to the pandemic. Starmer became leader on 4 April last year and in his first speech he referenced what he said was the “grief” antisemitism within his party had brought to the Jewish community. One month later, after being alerted to an investigation into his conduct, Professor David Miller, the Bristol University academic now at the Continued on page 4
Fiddler On The Roof at 50 – Jewish News reunites the cast! P5
Jewish News 8 April 2021
News / Labour reform / Vaccine emails / Conservative upset
‘I’ll rejoin when toxicity gone’ Dame Louise Ellman has said she will only rejoin Labour once the “toxicity” that still exists among the membership of some local constituency branches has been removed, writes Lee Harpin. Speaking to Jewish News after a report in last week’s Sunday Times claimed she was ready to deliver a first anniversary gift to Sir Keir Starmer by joining Labour again, the Jewish former MP confirmed she was waiting for further action to be taken at local party groups across the UK before making any decision. Dame Louise had quit Labour ahead of the 2019 general election after being a member for more than 55 years, citing former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure over antisemitism. “I am convinced Keir Starmer is genuine in his attempts to rid the party of the stain of anti-Jewish racism,” the 75-year-old said on Tuesday. “But there are too many people across various constituencies who are toxic. “I am waiting for this toxicity to be removed before I make any decision on rejoining. I think the party should be doing a bit more.” Jewish News understands concerns over “toxic” party members relates to cases across the country rather than just in her former north-west seat.
Former Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman is considering rejoining the party
The Jewish Labour Movement’s honorary president, and the vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said she recognised that it might never be possible to erase all antisemitic conduct from Labour. “Of course there are always going to be some examples of conduct that might be deemed to be antisemitic – every political party, unfortunately, has
some issue in this respect,” she said. “I want to see the party I am considering rejoining doing a bit more in tackling the problem on their own doorstep.” Dame Louise also hit out at the mounting criticism of the current Labour leader as his first anniversary at the helm of the party passed. “There is currently a trend where everyone is rubbishing what Keir has
done over the past year – and I do not like that,” she said. “I eventually want to go back to the party, and I acknowledge there has been a culture change under the current leader. There has not been enough recognition of what Keir has managed to do and what he is trying to achieve.” Under Starmer, the party has embarked on widespread suspensions of members who are accused of being problematic at party meetings, including many who are accused of antisemitism. But some Jewish Labour veterans remain concerned that suspensions do not always result of proper punishment for some repeat offenders. Dame Louise quit Labour in October 2019 writing that “under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, antisemitism has become mainstream in the Labour Party. Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out”. Her Liverpool Riverside Party responded by saying: “The Labour Party recognises the hard work and commitment Louise has shown to her constituents over the past 22 years. “Unfortunately she made it very clear at the last CLP meeting that she could not support a Jeremy Corbynled government. ”
NEWS IN BRIEF
FOUNDATION DROPS NAME FROM STUDY The Pears Foundation has withdrawn its name from the Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck. A statement from the charitable trust confirmed that from 4 May, the Institute will no longer bear the Foundation’s name, although it will continue to be one of its funders. The decision follows the publication of an article by the director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, Professor David Feldman, that openly criticised what was described as the “confusing and divisive” IHRA definition of antisemitism.
HARPIN JOINS JEWISH NEWS FROM THE JC Jewish News’ reputation as Britain’s preeminent Jewish media brand was further bolstered this week by the appointment of political editor Lee Harpin. Harpin, who joins from The Jewish Chronicle, has also served as head of news at The Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People. He joins an editorial team further buoyed by the recent additions of Michael Daventry from Euro News and Joshua Salisbury from Southwark News.
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Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said she has received “disgusting” emails comparing vaccine passports with the Holocaust, writes Lee Harpin. The veteran former frontbencher (pictured), who is Jewish and had relatives killed in the Holocaust, accused those who sought to draw similarities between plans for individual Covid status certification and victims of Nazi persecution of “fearmongering”. Dame Margaret shared one such email with the PA news agency, which stated: “Hitler had his own version of vaccine passports too”, and is accompanied by a picture of a bare forearm with a number tattooed onto it. The body of the email
also carried the message: “Politicians = SCUM. Media = SCUM” It appeared to have been sent to scores of Labour MPs. The MP for Barking said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. We should be having a grownup debate about vaccine passports; it’s a difficult decision, a balanced decision, but we carry on waiting for the government to produce details so we can have that legitimate debate. It [the email] is fearmongering.” Dame Margaret, who is a frequent recipient of antisemitic hate mail, added: “For som body like me, who never forgets that I’ve had relatives killed in the Holocaust, that image is just disgusting and horrible.”
JLC ‘DISCRIMINATION’ CONCERN The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has raised concerns at the “highest levels” of the Conservative Party after a former parliamentary candidate who had described an MP’s conversion to Judaism as “a con” was picked to stand for election as a councillor next month. Wendy Maisey, the chair of the Warrington Conservatives, claimed Labour MP Charlotte Nichols was faking her religion and would pretend to have a disability in order to win votes. Maisey – who later apologised “if I have caused any offence with my comments” – has been selected as the Conservative party candidate for a seat on Warrington borough council in the 6 May elections.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the JLC confirmed to Jewish News that members had met with Nichols and “absolutely condemn the discrimination she has faced”. In social media messages that emerged in February, Maisey had written that Warrington North MP Nichols had “turned her back on Catholicism but will jump on anything for a vote”. Writing on the Conservatives’ Warrington North campaign group on WhatsApp she added: “Next thing will be she’s in the vulnerable category. We always said she’ll pull out a disability at an appropriate time to go with Jewish ginger LGBT.” The JLC said it had “raised this issue at the highest levels of the Conservative Party”.
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Labour policy / ‘Hitler’ tweet / Lobbying claim / News
Labour ‘is honest Mid East broker’ by Lee Harpin @lmharpin
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy has said Labour is in a position to play an “honest broker role” over its dealings on Israel and the Palestinians. The Wigan MP told Jewish News that she was “determined” never to allow the debate within her party to be “used by a small group of people to propagate antisemitism”. But she stressed that a “balanced
approach” to Israel/Palestine meant Labour “won’t shy away from calling out behaviour that abuses human rights... that makes the hope of a twostate solution ever more distant”. Nandy said she and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shared the view that there would be no peace between Israel and Palestine and the wider Middle East unless we take seriously the big concerns and the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians. She added: “We have worked very
hard in the Labour Party over the past year to show that we will take a balanced approach on the issues. “We have reached out and are rebuilding relations with the Israeli Labor Party and we recently met with the Israeli ambassador. We met with the Palestinian ambassador recently as well and we work very closely with different groups across the Labour movement.” Nandy revealed that one of the “most moving moments as shadow
Anger over SNP hopeful A tweet from an SNP candidate for Holyrood comparing Theresa May’s actions in rejecting an independence referendum to those of Adolf Hitler has been condemned. Stephanie Callaghan is standing to be MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill and is sixth on the party’s regional list.In 2017, she tweeted about
then prime minister May’s refusal of an independence referendum. First reported in the Scottish Sun, the now deleted tweet said: “Tory propaganda provides a window into future plans: stamp on democracy. Hitler did same: set scene 4 Jewish Holocaust to lower opposition.”
Callaghan apologised, saying: “I have deleted an old tweet which I accept was crass and insensitive, and I apologise unreservedly for posting it.” Scottish Tory candidate Annie Wells said: “It’s disgusting and completely out of order for someone standing for election.”
foreign secretary” during the past year had been involvement with a meeting of Palestinian and Israeli figures “who meet regularly and work together in order to change things collectively for the people they are part of and that they represent”. She said: “They thanked us for taking a fairer, more balanced approach on both sides. They wanted an official opposition and a future Labour government who could command support and respect and be listened to by both sides in order to provide that honest broker role in the Middle East. “I believe that is the best way you stand up for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.” The 41-year-old MP, who won the backing of the Jewish Labour Movement in last year’s party leadership
Nandy said Labour had worked hard to show it can be balanced
contest, also spoke of the efforts being taken by party leader Sir Keir to “get our house in order in terms of antisemitism”. Year of Keir, page 4
CFI ‘STOPPED MY MINISTER BID’ Conservative Party veteran Sir Alan Duncan has claimed that he was prevented from becoming Middle East minister after an intervention by Conservative Friends of Israel, writes Lee Harpin. The former MP writes in his new political diaries that his new role was agreed until Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, alerted him to the fact that CFI “are going ballistic”. Sir Alan also uses his diary to suggest that he has been denied the role as Middle East min-
ister because he believes in the rights of the Palestinians. In an entry dated 16 July 2016, he accuses Downing Street of “telling Boris I cannot have the Middle East”. The following day, Sir Alan suggests he is told by the Cabinet Office that he cannot have the role because of his involvement in the oil industry. He then accuses leading CFI officials Lord Pickles and Lord Polak of having lobbied against him. Jewish News has contacted CFI for comment.
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
Special Report / Starmer’s report card
One year of Keir
Action Plan recommended by the EHRC ever since, and will make regular updates on their progress. Elections of officials at constituency Labour parties (CLPs) across the country have also replaced proCorbyn activists with members more supportive of the current leadership, another sign of the left’s weaking grip. This year the pro-Corbyn faction lost control of Hampstead and Kilburn, with its big Jewish membership. “We have seen huge progress, but there is still a long way to go,” says Smeeth, the former MP for Stoke on Trent North and a leading JLM figure. “It was only in October that the EHRC report outlining just how bad things had got in the Labour Party. Huge cultural change takes more than Starmer with Corbyn. Right: First year highlights a few months to achieve.” LFI’s Rubin said: “From the response to examples of alleged antisemitism within counthe EHRC to beginning to restore Labour as cils such as Haringey and Tower Hamlets as an honest broker on the Middle East, Labour’s evidence that work that still needs to be done in approach has dramatically improved.” He said terms of eradicating antisemitism. Last month Preston Tabois, a Haringey LFI looked forward to continuing its support of the leader and the tackling of “widespread councillor, was removed as a London Assembly candidate in next month’s elections amid accuobsessive hatred of Israel” in the party. But critics of Starmer point to continued sations of antisemitism. Some campaigners had argued for his expulsion from the Labour Party. A recent opinion poll suggested that 70 percent of Labour members still supported Corbyn. But Jewish News understands that the survey of 1,000 people may have been sent to some people who are no longer party members. In November it emerged that around 57, 000 supporters of Corbyn had left the party in protest at Starmer’s leadership. Labour’s current total membership of just under 500,000 also Trustees, Jewish Museum London includes supporters who have rejoined under the new leader. Other critics point to the continued influThe Jewish Museum London (JML) is seeking to appoint four new Trustees as the Chair, Nick Viner, ence of pro-Corbyn MPs such as former shadow appointed in Summer 2020, develops a diverse, inclusive and forward-looking Board, capable of chancellor John McDonnell in the party – and addressing the challenges of the future, following a period of considerable change. of the power held over the party by the Unite ng to appoint four new Trustees as the Chair, Nick Viner, The Jewish Museum London plays a vital role in telling the story of Jewish life, history and culture in union under leader Len McCluskey. erse, inclusive and forward-looking Board, capable of Britain and in challenging prejudice, provoking questions and encouraging understanding. The The implementation of an independent disllowing a period of considerable change. Museum’s collections are made up of over 40,000 objects that cover themes such as migration, ciplinary complaints process, as recommended ole in telling the story of Jewish life, history and culture in refugees, personal testimony, minority communities, faith and both material and ephemeral culture. by the EHRC, also still requires the backing of king questions and encouraging understanding. The The work of the Museum is centred around a passion for bringing these themes to life and caring for the party in a vote at its annual conference this 40,000 objects that cover themes such as migration, Designated Collection of culture. Jewish ceremonial art, considered to be among the finest in the world. autumn. JLM’s Katz said: “Nobody thinks the mmunities, faith anda both material and ephemeral d a passion for bringing these themes to life and caring for process of detoxifying the culture of the party New Trustees will have the opportunity to be involved in shaping JML for the future against the nial art, considered to be among the finest in the world. as well as creating a independent complaints backdrop of Covid 19, and the increasing reinvention of museums around the world. With the system can be achieved overnight. be involved in shaping JML for the future against the emphasis on community engagement and on the contribution that JML can make to tolerance of einvention of museums around the world. With the “But it is clear there has been progress and diverse and minority communities, JML is keen to ensure its Board members reflect what JML on the contribution that JML can make to tolerance of its clear there is political will to rebuild trust represents. in the areas of legal, museums and heritage, audience keen to ensure its Board membersExpertise reflect whatparticularly JML between the party and the Jewish community. engagement and marketing and digital is welcomed. eas of legal, museums and heritage, audience Anybody looking at it objectively and in good welcomed. To qualify for these Trustee roles you will need to bring to the Board your professional expertise, faith would see that is the case.” need to bring to the Board your professional expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to the mission and values of JML, eager to support the institution in The Campaign Against Antisemitism has on and values of JML, eager to support the institution in developing its future strategy, and in realising its ambition to be an outstanding local, national and this month cited Starmer’s pledge on becoming sing its ambition to be an outstanding local, national and international player. leader to “tear out this poison by its roots” but e Jewish, but you do need to understand theYou role do JMLnot can need to be Jewish, but you do need to understand the role JML can playdebate. in some of the major social issues which are affecting public debate. ch are affecting public suggested it is his “inaction” on anti-Jewish racism “that has been the dominant theme of his first year in office”. ishmuseum.org.uk and from Liz Amos of Liz Amos CAA chief executive Gideon Falter said: “It More information is available on www.jewishmuseum.org.uk and from Liz Amos of Liz Amos s.com or +44 (0)20 3004 4702. was always clear that addressing Labour antiAssociates on: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 3004 4702. ay 2021 (close of business). semitism would be the work of many years. CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 4th May 2021 (close of business). While the party has taken some welcome steps over the course of Sir Keir Starmer’s first year in office, the inaction speaks far louder. Sir Keir himself has rightly said that words are not enough. It is time to see some real action.” Continued from page 1 centre of a scandal over his comments about Jewish students and the Israel lobby announced he had left the Labour Party. His exit was the first of many among left supporters of the previous leader Jeremy Corbyn to exit the party over the past 12 months. With the appointment of new general secretary David Evans, the new Labour leadership has also enforced the suspensions of further highprofile suspensions of individuals connected to groups such as Jewish Voice For Labour. In July, Starmer announced that he had agreed to settle a defamation lawsuit by seven Labour whistleblowers who spoke in a BBC Panorama programme last year. The publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report into the handling of antisemitism in October was another landmark moment in Starmer’s first year in charge. He described the report as Labour’s “day of shame” at the press conference that followed its publication. Few could have expected that the suspension of Corbyn would immediately follow, first from the party (he was later readmitted), and to this day as a Labour MP, for questioning the scale of the antisemitism problem. The party has proceeded to implement an
Trustees, Jewish Museum London
8 April 2021 Jewish News
50th anniversary / Museum grant / News
L’chaim to half a century! A unique chance to celebrate the golden anniversary of Fiddler On The Roof takes place this Sunday, writes Brigit Grant. Jewish News is reuniting the actors who played the leading roles in the 1971 movie on a virtual platform hosted by JW3. For many of them, it will be the first time they have seen each other for 50 years. The film, adapted from the stage musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and based on Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye the Milkman, won three Academy Awards, including best music, scoring adaptation and original song score for arranger-conductor John Williams. Directed by the nonJewish Norman Jewison, who is now 94, the film introduced Chaim Topol, who played Tevye, a role for which he received a nomination as best actor. Topol’s youngest daughter, Adit, who played Chava when her father was in the musical at the London Palladium, will also join the platform on Sunday alongside Rosalind Harris (Tzeitel) Michele Marsh (Hodel), Neva Small (Chava) and Candy Bonstein (Bielke).
Paul Michael Glaser, who made his screen debut as the student Perchik in Jewison’s film, has also agreed to appear and share memories of the production, which was filmed in Yugoslavia. Interior shots were filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire as well as the iconic graveyard scene in which Fruma Sarah appears in Tevye’s dream. The casting of Ruth Madoc – who became a Hi Dee Hi star – as Lazar Wolf’s dead wife still surprises audiences, and the actress will make a guest appearance on Sunday where she will meet the cast for the first time at an event hosted by Jewish News’ Life magazine editor, Brigit Grant. More than 1,400 tickets for the event have already been reserved. For a free ticket, register at www.jw3.org.uk
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JEWISH MUSEUM BACK ON TRACK THANKS TO £50K GRANT The Jewish Museum has said a government grant of £50,000 will enable it to start opening to the public this summer, writes Jack Mendel. The Camden centre was given the boost as part of the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund, which is distributing £1.57 billion to thousands of organisations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The museum, run by chair Nick Viner and interim director Frances Jeens, was last year
forced to close its doors and go online where it has engaged with more than 100,000 people during lockdown. The £49,833 grant will help it to reopen from June to priority groups such as schoolchildren, researchers, communal groups and private visits. Jeens said: “The museum and its dedicated staff and trustees have been working hard this past year to adapt our programmes and change our practices so we can emerge from this year
with financial resilience, ambitious programming and with a new community built around us.” She said the funding “supports the incredible digital work the museum has delivered” while it also “supports our most exciting next step, the reopening of our physical doors and the welcoming back of visitors”. Viner said the “extremely generous” grant would “ensure access to our unique collection and expert staff can both continue and develop”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the fund, launched last July, helped thousands of organisations “survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced”, and it would now help “our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead”. The funding announced last week is from a £400 million pot, awarded by Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
News / Pandemic report / News briefs NEWS IN BRIEF
POLICE APPEAL AFTER ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI Police have launched an appeal to identify two men after antisemitic graffiti was daubed onto an Oxford resident’s front door. Officers said shortly after 10pm on 31 January the offenders approached the property in the city’s Stubbs Avenue and sprayed a swastika on the door. They returned 15 minutes later and used a pole to smash the CCTV camera installed on the property. Anyone with information is asked to contact 101, quoting reference 43210042799.
OFFICER CONVICTED FOR TERRORISM A 22-year-old man has become the first serving British police officer to have been convicted of a terrorist offence. PC Benjamin Hannam was found guilty last week of membership of banned right-wing extremist group National Action following a trial at the Old Bailey. He was also convicted of lying on his police application and vetting forms to join the force and having terror documents detailing making explosive devices. Hannam was warned by the judge he faced jail upon sentencing.
Amnesty: Israel has flagrantly violated vaccinate obligations Amnesty International has suggested Israel “flagrantly violated” its “obligations as an occupying power under international law” with its policy on supplying Covid-19 vaccinations to the Palestinians, writes Lee Harpin. The human rights charity’s annual global report, which was published yesterday, said the Israeli authorities had failed to provide vaccinations to five million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza when the vaccination drive began last December. The State of The World’s Human Rights report claimed this was as “a clear illustration of the extent of institutionalized discrimination in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).” It said: “This move flagrantly violated Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under international law.” Israel had surged ahead as
An Arab-Israeli man is given a Covid-19 vaccine
the world’s leading country for vaccinating its citizens against Covid-19 since December. In March, Israel decided to start vaccinating all Palestinians who come to work in Israel or in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. But for the around five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza the vaccination programme has lagged behind.
The Palestinan Authority (PA) had announced it sourced its own supplies of vaccine from Russia and was not asking the Israelis for assistance. Under the Oslo Accords, the PA is responsible for the health care of its citizens, although a line in the agreement relating to contagious diseases has been used to suggest Israel has a responsibility
to supply Covid vaccines. The former chief of Israel’s vaccine programme, Ronni Gamzu, is among those who to argue Israel should be looking to vaccinate a wider region that just its own border. The new Amnesty report also accused the Israeli authorities of resorting to raids, judicial harassments and travel bans to intimidate peaceful critics – including Amnesty International’s own campaigner, Laith Abu Zeyad, who faces a travel ban. It also accused the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza of continuing to crack down on dissent, including by stifling freedom of expression and assembly, attacking journalists and detaining opponents. The report also said Israel continued to carry out systematic violations, including crimes under international
Toget her Now
United Jewish Israel Appeal is a registered charity No. 1060078 (England & Wales) and Sc 039181 (Scotland).
law, against Palestinians with impunity. It said the pre-trial chamber at the International Criminal Court was still looking at the question of the court’s jurisdiction in the OPT, the result of which may allow for the Office of the Prosecutor to open an investigation into crimes under international law. The report said Israel continued to impose institutionalised discrimination against Palestinians living under its rule in Israel and the OPT, displacing at least 996 Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank through home demolitions. It said that in Gaza and southern Israel, sporadic bursts of armed hostilities flared up between Israel and Palestinian armed groups. Israel “maintained its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip,” the report added.
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Vaccine passports / Safety concerns / News
‘In Israel, we are hugging’ The former head of Israel’s coronavirus inoculation programme has said “any vaccinated individual” from the UK, Europe or elsewhere in the world should be free to travel to his country. Professor Ronni Gamzu – who became the public face of Israel’s vaccination programme after being appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu last July – also backed the use of so-called Green Passports to allow entry into bars, shops and other
venues for those who had received the jab. He told BBC Newsnight: “Green passports for a temporary period are reasonable. It allows you to reopen the country in the most safe way.” He was asked if the success of Israel’s vaccination programme and of the programme roll-out in the UK could soon lead to the opening of a travel corridor between the two countries. He said: “I believe any vaccinated individual, from the States, from the UK,
A ‘Covid green passport’ concert in Israel last week
from any place in Europe between Israel, any place in the world, any vaccinated individual can have, should have free travel.
This is what we are fighting for, this is getting back to normal ways. “In Israel, we are back to kissing, we are back to hug-
ging – this is the way to go.” A veteran doctor, former Health Ministry directorgeneral and current manager of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, Gamzu dismissed claims that the Green Passports are discriminatory and added that their introduction had allowed “vast” areas of Israel to reopen. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted on Monday they could be introduced in the UK in some form after describing the principle of vaccination passports as sensible.
Vaccine ‘will protect’ Young people have been urged to make a distinction between Covid-19 and the fall-out from the pandemic in a seminar hosted by the London Jewish Forum, writes Jenni Frazer. The event involved Jewish doctors Ellie Cannon, Leonora Weil and Charlotte Benjamin. Cannon said: “There is a difference between getting the virus and the ill-effects of the pandemic. The vaccine will protect us from going back to job losses and cancelled exams.” The doctors also spoke of the “impact” on mental health.
REPORT WARNS OF CONSPIRACY THEORY THREAT A new report by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Centre has warned the rise in online conspiracy theories during the pandemic “could lead to greater physical attacks on Jews when lockdowns end”. At the release of the Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2020, Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said “there has been a deep global polarisation, with the extremist margins increasing due to conspiracy theories and the
search for answers in a challenging world”. It said the number of violent antisemitic incidents across the globe decreased by 19 percent from 456 incidents in 2019 to 371 in 2020, due to lockdowns. But it noted a rise of 25 percent was observed in desecrations of Jewish cemeteries and vandalising of Holocaust memorials and other Jewish monuments – from 77 to 96 incidents in 2020, because these sites were open and unprotected.
Kantor expressed concern at the effect on people, in particular the younger generation, of the spread of online hate. “We have yet to see the results of a younger generation forced indoors during a protracted period of their formative years, with the closure of educational institutions and employment and entertainment opportunities and exposed in some cases at the click of a switch or the touch of a screen to 24-7 anti-Jewish hate in online forums,” he said.
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As Maccabi League games return on 12 April, but without spectators, Premier League-style sound effects are to be used to create atmosphere
Jewish News 8 April 2021
News / Christian ‘seder’ / Paul Ritter / Foreskin debate
CofE sorry for ‘Haggadah’ book The Church of England has apologised for publishing a booklet featuring prayers for Easter alongside the Shema in Hebrew and readings familiar from Passover. The booklet of prayers ahead of Maudy Thursday is “not intended to be a Christianised seder”, said the Rev Dr Richard Sudworth, the Church’s national interreligious affairs adviser, according to a report by the Jewish Chronicle. “We do not wish to encourage an impression
that was not intended by the resource and apologise for any offence caused.” The Church removed the web version of the booklet and ditched a video it had intended to release ahead of Maundy Thursday, the report said. A document published on the website of St Mary’s Islington, one of the CofE’s oldest affiliates, stated: “We recall this supper together in a homely setting and its origins in the Jewish Passover.” It instructed readers to
say the Shema in Hebrew and to have a dinner in which one reader asks, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” and another replies, “Once we were slaves in the land of Egypt, but the Lord rescued us on this holy night. That is why this night is special.” In another dialogue, one reader asks, “Why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?” and another replies, “We eat unleavened bread because there was no time that night to let it rise.”
The Church’s booklet told readers to say: ‘Why is this night different from all other nights?’
Friday Night Dinner star dies ‘I KEPT MY SONS’ FORESKINS’ Paul Ritter, best known for his role as dad centres on Shabbat at the Goodman Martin Goodman in Channel 4’s Friday household, a secular Jewish family in Night Dinner, has died, aged 54. north London. Its creator, Robert The star, who also played Anatoly Popper, said he was “devastated by Dyatlov in the mini-series Chernobyl, this terribly sad news”, adding: “Paul had been treated for a brain tumour. was a lovely, wonderful human being. His agent said he died peacefully Kind, funny, super-caring and the at home with his wife Polly and sons greatest actor I ever worked with.” Frank and Noah by his side. It added: Paul Ritter was 54 He also played Eldred Worple “He was fiercely intelligent, kind and in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood very funny. We will miss him greatly.” Prince and Guy Haines in James Bond film Long-running sitcom Friday Night Dinner Quantum Of Solace. HALF PAGE ADVERT JAN 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page 1
Stacey Solomon has admitted she still has her sons’ foreskins as she fronted a new decluttering programme for the BBC. The 31-year-old Loose Women star said she “can’t let things go” and has the keepsakes tucked away in a drawer. She made the admission for her new BBC One show Sort Your Life Out, which helps people reorganise their homes.
The mother of three boys said: “There are things in my house that if I was like, ‘why don’t we come and do this over at mine?’ they’d be like, ‘Stacey! How have you still got your son’s foreskin in a box?’ “I keep some random, gross stuff because I cannot let it go. So I totally understand.” Solomon is a mother to Zachary, 12, and Leighton,
Presenter Stacey Solomon
eight, from former relationships. She has another son, Rex, with fiancé actor Joe Swash.
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8 April 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 8 April 2021
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8 April 2021 Jewish News
Israeli elections / Iran deal / World News
Reluctant Rivlin picks Bibi Israel’s president this week said he was bound by law to give Benjamin Netanyahu the task of forming the country’s next government, even though he is facing criminal charges, writes Michael Daventry. Reuven Rivlin said no party leader had a realistic chance of building a working majority but that Netanyahu was supported by 52 MKs, more than any other. A minimum of 61 seats are needed for a coalition in the Knesset. “No candidate has a realistic chance of forming a government that will have the confidence of the Knesset,” Rivlin said. He said he would have given back the decision to the chamber if the law allowed him to, adding: “I know the position held by many, that the presi-
dent should not give the role to a candidate that is facing criminal charges. “Benjamin Netanyahu has a slightly higher chance of forming a government. I have decided to entrust him with the task of doing so.” Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, is supported by 45 MKs while all seven members of the right-wing Yamina party endorsed their leader, Naftali Bennett. Bennett was due to make a statement later on Tuesday afternoon. The election, on 23 March, created two large blocs in the Knesset, one supportive of Netanyahu and one opposed to him, but neither controlling enough seats for a majority. Yamina and the two Israeli Arab parties, the Joint List and the United Arab List, have the potential to be king-
according to a European Union statement issued after a virtual meeting last Thursday of the countries left in the deal – China, Russia, Iran, Britain, Germany and France. Instead, a coordinator will make “separate contacts” with
BAHRAIN APPOINTS ISRAELI AMBASSADOR Bahrain has appointed its first ambassador to Israel. Khaled Yousif AlJalahma, named in a statement from the capital, Manama, and reported by the state’s Bahrain News Agency, will soon report to Israel. “The decision of the Bahraini government to appoint an ambassador to Israel is another important step in the implementation of the peace agreement between and of the strengthening of ties between the two countries,” said a statement from Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s office, according to The Times of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu pictured with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
makers after winning enough seats to tip the balance for either faction. Netanyahu, whose trial on corrup-
tion allegations began this week, denies all charges. He says prosecutors are trying to force him from office.
TALKS PLANNED TO REIGNITE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL Iran and the United States will join talks in Vienna next week that aim to return all parties to the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. There will not be direct contact between Iran and the US at the in-person meeting,
NEWS IN BRIEF
the relevant countries. The Trump administration pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018. The New York Times, which first reported on the resumption of talks, quoted a US official saying the indirect talks
SAVE THE DATE
would sketch out a sequence for the parties to return to the original agreement. Once the sequence was in place, Iranian and US officials would meet directly. US President Joe Biden has said he wants a return to
the deal, which traded sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear programme, but Iran wants the Biden administration to first end the sanctions President Donald Trump imposed after leaving the deal.
CHAREDI GROUP LEADER ARRESTED A leader of an extremist Charedi Jewish group was arrested in Guatemala on the first day of Passover, the Orthodox news site Yeshiva World News reported. According to the Israeli news site Kikar Hashabbat, Yaakov Weingarten of Lev Tahor was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping children.The late Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans founded Lev Tahor in the 1980s in Jerusalem, with the small group eventually taking root in Canada and then Guatemala. Some deem the sect a cult.
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
News / Yom HaShoah / IHRA support/ Sculpture exhibit
Strolling with a survivor living embodiments of what it means to show resilience in the face of hatred and adversity. “The incredibly powerful Meet the Survivors series of films with Matt, Ronnie, Robert, Karren and Eyal will help to educate people about the atrocities of the Holocaust and with that knowledge hopefully make sure that something like that will never happen again.” To see the videos visit www.marchofthe living.org.uk/meet-the-survivors
Photos by Sam Churchill
Jewish comedian, actor and writer Matt Lucas is among the celebrities who have heard the moving experiences of Holocaust survivors to mark Yom HaShoah, writes Joshua Salisbury. Lucas, alongside fellow celebs Ronnie O’Sullivan, broadcaster Robert Peston, Baroness Karren Brady and Love Island’s Eyal Booker, were paired up with Holocaust survivors in a series of one-to-one interviews. The Meet the Survivors videos have been released today as a virtual March of the Living, which in pre-pandemic times would see more than 10,000 people ‘march’ the 3km from the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp to the gas chambers at Birkenau as a tribute to all those murdered by the Nazis. Lucas met 93-year-old survivor Harry Olmer. “It’s so important to remember the Holocaust as Harry himself has said repeatedly,” said the actor. “I’ve really seen an extraordinary glimpse into the power of the human spirit. He’s a survivor. If we forget these stories, and what happened and why, we’re at risk of it repeating itself.” Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, met Lily Ebert, a 97-year-old survivor. “There’s too many people that walk around naively thinking that was the past,” he said. “But unless we realise that this is something that happened to people alive today.” Scott Saunders, the founder of March of the Living UK, said: “The Holocaust survivors are
Clockwise from top: Matt Lucas with Harry Olmer, Ronnie O’Sullivan with Eve Kugler, Karren Brady with Agnes Kaposi, Robert Peston with Lily Ebert and Eyal Booker with Mala Tribich
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More than 350 academics from across the globe have signed a letter released on the eve of Yom HaShoah backing the IHRA definition of antisemitism, writes Lee Harpin. The letter, endorsed by the International Legal Forum, includes signatories from the UK, America, and from the Arab and Israeli world from differing political spectrums – but who all are united over the belief that IHRA is an “invaluable tool” in response to rising antiJewish racism. Among the signatories are the University of Oxford’s Dr Charles Asher Small, Dr David Hirsh of Goldsmiths, University of London, Professor Efraim Karsh of Kings College and Dr Majid Al Sarrah, of the United Arab Emirates and expert in public policy at the London School of Economics. The letter says the IHRA working definition “recognises that contemporary antisemitism
is often directed against the State of Israel”, focusing “obsessively on Zionism”, which antisemites seek to “malign and oppose”. In doing so, the signatories say, this “cannot be understood as anything but an assault on Jewish history, identity and safety”. It adds: “When Israel’s very existence is delegitimised and threatened, when Israelis and Jews are being excluded because of their association with the Jewish state, and when antisemitic conspiracies and tropes flourish under the guise of anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism, we recognise that this is antisemitism.” Other British academics to have signed the letter include Liverpool University’s Dr Katherine Harbord, Kingston University’s Professor Phillip Spencer and Professor James Mendelsohn of the University of the West of England.
SCULPTURES OF SURVIVAL SHOWN Works by artist and Holocaust survivor Naomi Blake are on show at a free exhibition from the Royal Society of Sculptors as part of its Pioneering Women Project. Blake, née Zissi Dum, was transported to Auschwitz and sent to Brahnau concentration camp, from which she escaped. The works are on the terrace of the organisation’s headquarters in South Kensington.
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 8 April 2021
Sussex’s school for Nazis Since the 1890s, hundreds of independent schools have operated in the English seaside resort town of Bexhill-on-Sea. But among all of Bexhill’s schools, one stands out for shocking reasons: Open from 1932 to 1939, the Augusta Victoria College (AVC) was a Nazi school for teenage girls and young women aged 16 to 21. Located on the south coast in East Sussex, the town of Bexhill has been historically considered a healthy and safe place for British and foreign aristocrats, diplomats and wealthy parents to place their children while they worked or travelled abroad. Among AVC’s students were chief of German police Heinrich Himmler’s goddaughter, the daughter of Nazi Germany’s Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, the daughter of Hitler’s representative at the Vatican, Diego von Bergen, and the niece of German ambassador to Britain Herbert von Dirksen. The unique college, named for the last German empress, provides the historical basis for the cinematic espionage thriller, Six Minutes to Midnight. The film opened in theatres and on demand in the United States on 26 March and its cast includes Dame Judi
(Courtesy of IFC Films)
A pre-war Nazi school inspires a new film, writes Renee Ghert-Zand
Dame Judi Dench as Miss Rocholl in Six Minutes to Midnight
Dench, Carla Juri and Eddie Izzard, who co-wrote the screenplay with fellow actor Celyn Jones and director Andy Goddard. Izzard, who has deep family roots in Bexhill and spent 11 years of her childhood there, told The Times of Israel in a recent Zoom interview from her home in London that
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she was amazed to learn about AVC. (Izzard, who identifies as gender fluid, prefers female pronouns. Left: An original Augusta Whereas she may be in ‘girl Victoria College badge dating mode’ while doing stand-up from before 1935. It includes comedy or in everyday life, she the British, Imperial German and Nazi Germany (Swastika) flags plays only male dramatic roles.) (Courtesy of Bexhill Museum) “This school was [in Bexhill], and it just seemed bizarre and wrong to me,” she said. Frau Helene Rocholl, who had close ties to the Izzard is not alone in being unaware of Nazi regime. the college’s existence. The Times of Israel Notably, the only published mention of the made inquiries about AVC with a number of school of which curator Porter is aware is in Jewish history scholars in Britain, including Paris Fashion and World War Two: Global one specialising in the history of the Jews Diffusion and Nazi Control (edited by Lou of Britain, and all responded that they had Taylor, Marie McLoughlin), which includes never heard of the school. a few sentences on the badge. A representative of the Jewish “Julian showed me this, and I was like, historical society of nearby Brighton and ‘Really?!’” Izzard said, as she held up the Hove answered similarly. logo’s image on her smartphone screen. Relatively little documentation survives “The fact this was happening in Bexhill about the school. Bexhill Museum’s curator, seemed odd… People wearing the Nazi Julian Porter, shared with The Times of Israel swastika on the British seaside is a the museum’s dossier on AVC. It contains fascinating juxtaposition,” she said. only some local newspaper clippings and a The swastika wasn’t just for show. The 2014 interview by Izzard with a 99-year-old au pair, Willing Hickie, recalled the students woman, Mollie Willing Hickie, who worked listening to Hitler’s speeches over the radio. in the late 1930s as a young au pair at the One student wrote in her memoir that they school, accompanying the students to celebrated Hitler’s birthday. their activities and helping them A photo of AVC students greeting German practice their English. war minister Field Marshal von Blomberg, Fortunately, two physical artefacts Hitler’s representative at the London coronasurvive from the school. They were so tion of King George VI, in May 1937, shows striking as to convince Izzard, Bexhill Museum’s patron, to make a film set at the girls giving the Nazi salute. AVC. The first is a school badge (worn Porter surmised that local residents by students on their uniform blazers) likely didn’t consider the AVC students dating to the school’s earlier years. a threat, because as long as they were The logo includes the German present, hostilities between lion, the imperial German flag, Germany and Britain were the Union Jack and the unthinkable. “It was a barometer for Nazi swastika flag. the probability of war,” Porter said. The girls were evacuated back to The second is a school prospectus Germany during the Munich from circa 1935, which Crisis in September 1938, has a revised logo, but returned to Bexhill after only two weeks. from which the imperial flag has been The next time they left Eddie Izzard as Thomas Miller omitted. This change was in late August 1939 – in Six Minutes to Midnight coincided with the and this time it was (Courtesy of IFC Films) for good. arrival of principal
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Symbolic synagogue / Matzah records / Citizenship decision / Diaspora News
Symbolic Babyn Yar shul open The newly-built symbolic synagogue at the site of a Holocaust massacre near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was inaugurated this week in the latest development at the Babyn Yar complex. It represents the first Jewish prayer space at the ravine where, during one autumn weekend in 1941, Nazis shot and killed 33,771 Jews from the city and the surrounding area. The inauguration of the synagogue at the site is to mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, and will be led by Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi. While Jews were the first to be killed at the ravine, on 29 and 30 September 1941, tens of thousands of others – including Ukrainians, Roma, and the mentally-ill – were shot and their bodies dumped at Babyn Yar in the following months, as the Nazis occupied Kyiv. An estimated 100,000 were killed there, making it Europe biggest mass grave. This week’s event is being coordinated by the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC), which is chaired by Russian-born rights activist Natan Sharansky, with a plethora of religious and political leaders attending. Among those at the ceremony will be Kyiv Mayor and former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko; Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi David Lau, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau,
The newly built synagogue near Kyiv was inaugurated to mark Yom HaShoah
a Holocaust survivor and chair of Yad Vashem; and Yoel Leon, Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine. This year will mark the 80th anniversary since the Babyn Yar massacre, when global leaders will converge on the site in September, in part to see the new synagogue, which takes its inspiration from the pop-up book. When closed, the building is a flat structure that is manually opened, and then unfolds into the three-dimensional space of the synagogue structure. The design also features an interior referencing the wooden synagogues of Ukraine from the 17th and 18th century that have since been destroyed. The walls are decorated with prayers and blessings, celebrating a reawakening,
while the main prayers of the Jewish liturgy, such as the Shema, or the Kaddish, are written on the walls. There is also a blessing for turning a nightmare into a good dream on the main wall, above the Aron ha-Kodesh. This was also written on the walls of the 17th-century synagogue of Gwozdziec of Western Ukraine. The ceiling “celebrates a colourful universe” that becomes visible above the heads of the visitors. These symbols have an additional meaning, as together they recreate the star constellation visible over Kyiv on the night of 29 September 1941. “For the visitors, looking up into the ceiling of the new synagogue will create a subtle link to the night the massacre started,” said organisers.
WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF
Your weekly digest of stories from the international press HUNGARY
The deputy prime minister has signed a £130,000 funding agreement to support the country’s Jewish Prayer Association for the next four years. It will be used to support rabbis and cantors, in particular from the liberal and modernist Neolog Jewish community, one of the two main denominations in Hungary. The Association’s Tamás Róna described it as ‘historic’.
A survey by the Anti-Defamation League has found that a quarter of American Jews have personally experienced antisemitism in the past five years, while almost two-thirds said that they had witnessed it. The findings, based on 503 respondents, represent an increase of nine percent on last year.
Housebound Jews in countries such as Moldova were connected to each other digitally over Pesach through an initiative in the former Soviet Union from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Virtual seders, educational programmes, cooking classes and digital materials were all used to connect people.
A bakery in the Netherlands has given 35,000 schoolchildren two free matzah as part of a 50-year-old tradition. Hollandia Matzes, a firm east of Amsterdam with 20 staff whose owners are not Jewish, made their offering through schools in the east of the country. The company runs the only matzah factory in the Netherlands.
Matzah munching most in FSU states
£20m painting’s fate undecided Authorities in Dusseldorf are to decide whether to return a £20 million painting to the descendants of its Jewish owner after research revealed the possible reasons for its sale. Foxes by Franz Marc, which is hanging in the German Museum Kunstpalast, was bought by banker Kurt Grawi in 1928. In 1939, he said he had transported it to Paris to be shipped to New York. He later sold it to pay for his escape to South America via Belgium and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Grawi eventually settled in Santiago, Chile, while the painting was sold in New York to a film director. It was donated to Dusseldorf in 1961. City officials are due to make a ruling next month on its future.
Jews in the former Soviet Union are the world’s most voracious matzaheaters, consuming nearly three times as much as the average Israeli soldier. Topping the tables are Azerbaijan’s 8,000 Jews, who between them can get through 10 tonnes of the unleavened bread that Jews eat at Pesach, averaging 2.7 pounds per person. Russia’s 155,000 Jews are not far behind, consuming 2.4 pounds each, while Ukraine’s comes in slightly less. “There’s a special emotional attachment to matzah here that you don’t find elsewhere because for decades under the communist years, Passover was the safest way to stay connected to Judaism,” Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar told JTA. “Pound for pound, Rus-
sian-speaking Jews buy much more matzah than what we know in other communities. Many keep eating matzah long after Passover.” While the UK and US have different suppliers, things are “more centralised” in the former Soviet countries, said one retailer. Zamir Isayev, rabbi of the Georgian Jewish community of the Azeri capital of Baku, said it was also a Covid-secure pastime. Lazar said: “Passover is a holiday that is celebrated inside the family and requires no special objects except the matzah, which is just a cracker, so it is relatively safe to practise.” The festival’s message of deliverance from slavery also resonated strongly with the oppressed Jews of the former Soviet Union.
Chanukah celebrations in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany
GERMAN PASSPORT DECISION ‘DECENT’ Germany has said it will make it easier for descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees to obtain citizenship in what Jewish leaders described as a “gesture of decency”. Lawmakers have already set to work drafting legislation that would ease the route to a passport for children and grandchildren of Jews who had to flee the Nazis. While the injustice of the Shoah “cannot be undone”, said Josef Schuster of the German Central Council of Jews, it was nevertheless “a gesture of decency” on the German government’s part. While there has long been a policy of returning citizenship to those hurt by the Nazi regime, not all survivors and their families have been able
to gain the German citizenship forfeited by their forebears. The Nazis stripped all German Jews outside the country of their citizenship in 1941, along with all their rights. It rendered those fleeing stateless. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that while the law would “not put things right”, it was about “apologising in profound shame”. He added that if descendants want to become Germans despite everything, it would be “a huge fortune for our country”. Austria had previously only allowed citizenship claims from direct victims of Nazi Germany, but in 2019 it changed its laws to allow their children and grandchildren to also become Austrian.
Jewish News 8 April 2021
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It is the musical of musicals! The one we’ve known all the words to since we were children. Sunrise, Sunset echoes under every chupah and every party is heralded by the rousing notes of To Life. It is that very song which will be performed by such esteemed names as Robert Rinder, James Cleverly and Ruth Smeeth, together with the four champion Tevyes – Dudu Fisher, Andy Nyman and Yehezkel Lazarov with a star turn from Chaim Topol in last year’s Chai virtual dinner – which heralds our 50th anniversary celebration of the film Fiddler On The Roof this Sunday. Marking its 50th anniversary was a no-brainer for this newspaper. The pandemic didn’t stop us from finding the surviving cast members and bringing them together in the Passover edition of Life magazine and again virtually on Sunday for our exclusive reunion in partnership with JW3. To see the actors who played the characters we know so well and hear them share their memories of our favourite film is a once-in-a-lifetime moment you won’t forget... and must not miss.
Fiddler At 50: RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW AT WWW.JW3.ORG.UK
How refreshing it was to read about the atheist Jew David Baddiel in conversation with the Orthodox Yehudis Fletcher, founder of anti-extremist charity Nahamu. They hold seemingly opposite views yet were able to meet, on Zoom, and calmly discuss – and even agree on – many issues. I am concerned by the way people are more inclined to exist within their own ‘bubbles’ of ideas. Anyone who disagrees with them is shut down, ignored or – at worst – cancelled. Years ago, we used to have friends of different persuasions, who didn’t hold the same political views, and that was okay. Now, it feels as
if we are incapable of hearing other people’s views. We get offended. While I don’t support the comments made by Professor David Miller at Bristol University, I am uncomfortable with the idea of him potentially being hounded out of a job. Surely people are entitled to hold views that others abhor? Anything else is reminiscent of the communist re-education ideology which, as we know, doesn’t end well. And in any case, the more we raise a fuss, the more people hear these views – which, surely, is the opposite of what we want?
Karen Linwood, Redbridge
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I was delighted with your Fiddler On The Roof at 50 feature in Life magazine. Growing up, my family and I watched this film on VHS so many times the cassette started coming apart, so it was a real treat to enjoy all the photographs and back stories. Ruth Madoc as Fruma Sarah and Norman Jewison not one of the faith – who would have guessed and such a big spread I almost forgot my matzah troubles! Abe Braun, Borehamwood
UNFAIR TO BLAME RABBIS Andrew Turek (Rabbis could act over get (Jewish News, 18 March) writes that get refusal “is not a problem for the secular law and courts”. This is true in the sense that Jewish divorce law, per se, is of no concern to it. According to Maimonides, there is a halachic mechanism for ‘persuading’ a recalcitrant husband to issue a get if the Beth Din considers him to be under an obligation to do
so. This involves flogging him until he agrees or, as he so delicately puts it, “ad sheteitzei nafsho [he expires]” – either way freeing his ex-wife. However, this is academic since the secular courts would not permit it, so it behoves them to come up with an alternative solution. It is unfair to blame “the heartless rabbis” for the consequences of “dina demalchuta [secular law]”. Martin D Stern, Salford
THE WORST IS BEHIND US
A FABULOUS FEATURE!
Last week’s front-page story noting the first week in more than a year in which we have had no Jewish deaths related to Covid was truly welcome. After many months of
misery, of lockdown and separation from family and friends, let’s hope this landmark moment is an indicator that the worst is finally over. Emma Adams, by email
8 April 2021 Jewish News
JDA’s door-to-door hearing aid service is a lifeline at this time of isolation
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
Brighton's Jewish centre is straight out of Omaha ALEX BRUMMER
CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL
ome years ago I went to Omaha, Nebraska, to write about the annual jamboree held by legendary investor Warren Buffett. I arrived on a Friday afternoon at the hotel on the fringe of town close to where the meeting would be held. When I asked at reception if there was a synagogue nearby, I was told there was a Jewish centre in walking distance. When I headed off to services, I was amazed to find there was a whole campus including sheltered housing for the elderly, a school and sports facilities. The architect-designed shul building that housed two sanctuaries was all glass and light wood and the walls adorned with magnificent designer silk fabric. The young Conservative rabbi, spotting a stranger, told me there was a Shabbaton dinner for cheder parents that evening if I cared to join them. Always glad to be at a Shabbat table and fascinated by the fact that there, in the middle of the hard-bitten prairies, was a Jewish
campus to die for, I wanted to know more. The former rabbi of the community was a keen bridge player and for years had played with Warren Buffett. When the rabbi's aunt left him a modest sum of around $10,000, he asked Buffett how to invest the money. Buffett told the rabbi to give him the money to look after it. The rabbi did just that and, a couple of decades later, the soaring value of stock in Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, had turned the small investment from tens of thousands to tens of millions. The rabbi became a benefactor, building the new community centre and had enough cash left over to donate a library at Yeshiva University in New York where a retired Jonathan Sacks would teach. I was reminded of all this when I read about the new development taking shape on New
Church Road in Hove on a large site that was the West Hove home of the old established Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation. In lockdown, the New Church Road Shul had been demolished alongside a couple of nearby old mansions that had served as the cheder, a community hall and the rabbinical residence. A new facility is being built at pace. At its core will be a new, smaller, modern shul with flexible space. There will also be a mikveh, a community hall, an Israeli-style kosher restaurant and a complex of homes designed to attract young, aspirational Jewish families to the area. Such ambitious projects don’t usually happen in shrinking, increasingly secular regional communities. The Hove project, having overcome planning objections, has been made possible by local hero and philanthropist
AT ITS CORE WILL BE A NEW, SMALLER, MODERN SHUL WITH FLEXIBLE SPACE
Tony Bloom. Scion of a well-known Brighton family, Mr Bloom is the gaming entrepreneur who has a history of rescuing local institutions from the depths. He helped bring back from ruin Brighton & Hove Albion, nicknamed the Seagulls, of which his grandfather was once chairman. He was the driving force behind the magnificent Amex Stadium built into the South Downs outside Brighton and financed the club’s renaissance from the lower leagues and helped make it a Premier League club. For as long as I remember, the Orthodox communities in Brighton have been riven with rivalry. The original 1856 Middle Street synagogue (where my uncle Philip served as chazan) spawned West Hove. Hove Hebrew Congregation on Holland Road, which was formed in the 1929, was less Anglicised and a haven for Eastern Europe Jews. Countless efforts down the years to forge a merger have stuttered. I wonder of if the rise of the spanking new community centre will encourage the ‘Yad’ to be buried and the shuls to come together. Engineering such a merge could prove trickier than rescuing the Seagulls.
ph ysi Runn cal ly + ing vir tua
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8 April 2021 Jewish News
Our five-year fight to jail Holocaust denier Chabloz STEPHEN SILVERMAN
CAMPAIGN AGANIST ANTISEMITISM
lison Chabloz first came to our attention in 2015 as an unremarkable musician with a remarkable compulsion to promote Holocaust denial. One of the most virulent antisemites to have appeared on CAA’s radar, this self-professed “patriot” routinely wonders aloud whether the wrong side won the Second World War, believes Nazi Germany has been falsely vilified and enthusiastically shares videos that exonerate Hitler. Over time, her behaviour became increasingly extreme. She made prolific use of Twitter to bait and harass Jews. She trolled the Auschwitz Museum during the run-up to Holocaust Memorial Day and asked a prominent American rabbi: “When are Jews going to apologise for the ritual murder of Christian children?” She accused Jews of behaving in a manner that will bring about another Holocaust.
We reported Chabloz to the police at the end of 2015 but, for a surreal period of time, she succeeded in persuading the police to treat her as a victim, on the basis that the reaction on Twitter to her constant outpouring of antisemitic hatred constituted harassment. In summer 2016, Chabloz uploaded to YouTube a home-made video in which she performed one of her own songs. The content was so appalling it even left shaken hardened researchers who had spent years combating antisemitism. We decided enough was enough. We assembled an expert pro bono legal team led by renowned QC Jonathan Goldberg and began a private prosecution, charging Chabloz with three offences under the Communications Act. The Crown Prosecution Service eventually took over and continued the prosecution and in the summer of 2018, in a landmark ruling, Chabloz was convicted on all three counts, but she was spared prison. By now, two things about Chabloz were clear. First, she considered promoting Holocaust denial to be her life’s work. Second, she reveled in the attention that had come
HER NARRATIVE IS DESIGNED TO NURTURE A LOATHING OF JEWS
her way. It was therefore unlikely she would stop offending, so we continued to monitor her incitement and compile evidence. Dedicated CAA volunteers spent countless hours watching video and listening to audio gathered from extremist hangouts on the internet. The material, all of it hateful and distressing, had to be meticulously analysed to create a compelling dossier of evidence. It was a lengthy and laborious task, but getting the right outcome is a marathon, not a sprint. Ultimately, it was two interviews given online to vehemently antisemitic extremist podcasts that proved to be the catalyst for her arrest and second conviction – this time leading to prison. Thanks to more forensic work carried out by CAA volunteers, one of those podcast
Sunday 11 April, 7.30pm, Free
FIDDLER AT 50: A Reunion Celebration of Fiddler on the Roof
Fifty years ago, Fiddler on the Roof premiered on screens for the first time. Today, we are joined by the cast and family to remember, celebrate, and discuss the impact of this ground-breaking film on the Jewish community and beyond. Topol’s daughters will share memories of growing up on set. Ruth Madoc (Fruma Sarah) and Paul Michael Glaser (Perchik) will divulge their favourite stories from behind the scenes, and the original sisters will probably break out in song.
BOOK NOW: jw3.org.uk/fiddler
hosts is also now separately awaiting trial, charged with inciting racial hatred. Chabloz, a vicious antisemite who is committed to the task of persuading others to share her hateful views about Jewish people is now behind bars. Inevitably, some will ask questions about freedom of expression, but the rights enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights do not extend to those spreading racist hatred. Chabloz was not only convicted because she says the Holocaust is a fairytale, but owing to her relentless campaign to convince people Jews are liars and thieves who wickedly invented a fake genocide in order to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Her narrative is designed to nurture a loathing of Jewish people. The courts rightly decided such hatred cannot be tolerated in our open and inclusive society and, with this latest verdict and sentence, sent a clear message to others who might feel inclined to emulate her. Everybody who cares about British values has reason to be thankful. Meanwhile at CAA, we continue our work to defend the Jewish community.
Jewish News 8 April 2021
Young minds hit hardest during the last 12 months DR SHARON RAYMOND DIRECTOR, COVID CRISIS RESCUE FOUNDATION
he pandemic has led to serious illness, bereavements, social isolation, including physical separation from loved ones and peers, school closures, Zoom lessons, an increasingly online world with escalating cyberbullying, financial pressures, as well as worries about contracting the virus and an uncertain future. It has had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of the nation and led to a rise in domestic abuse and violence. Kooth, an online mental well-being community, has 167, 000 active service users. In 2020, it experienced a rise in users of 37 percent compared with 2019. Children and young people have been affected badly, leading to deteriorating mental health and, in some cases, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. In July 2020, an NHS survey found that one in six children and young people had a likely mental health disorder, compared with
one in nine in 2017. During the pandemic, Kooth noted a 24 percent rise in children and young people presenting with self-harm, a 35 percent rise in suicidal thoughts, 77.7 percent rise in sleep difficulties, and a doubling in school/ college worries. Further, the service observed a 57 percent rise in eating-related difficulties compared to 2019. It may be difficult to detect and acknowledge that someone close to you is struggling with their mental health. The signs can be subtle, but there are features that can alert us to the need to provide support and share our concerns. Young people in particular may be guarded about sharing their feelings. But a change in behaviour may be a sign that help is needed. Parents and carers may feel guilty or seek to understand why this is happening. The priority is to avoid judging the child or young person, and focus on open communication and reassurance. Try to be optimistic about the prospects for recovery. Remaining hopeful is important, as hopelessness can act as a potent trigger for increasing suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Anxiety in children and young people may
THE PRIORITY IS TO AVOID JUDGING THE YOUNG PERSON AND FOCUS ON OPEN COMMUNICATION AND REASSURANCE
be indicated by any of the following signs: avoidance of anxiety-provoking situations; often appearing tense; panic attacks; episodes of being angry or upset; needing constant reassurance; excessive worrying; asking 'what if' questions; medically unexplained symptoms (such as headaches, a sore tummy, nausea); altered eating habits and difficulty sleeping. Features of depression in children and young people may include social withdrawal and isolation; persistent lack of motivation or low mood; often feeling upset; lack of pleasure
in doing things they once enjoyed; low selfesteem and altered eating or sleep habits. If a child or young person shares thoughts about self-harming or suicide, this should always be taken seriously. Approaches to supporting young people include reassuring them that you are there for them. Be patient and remain calm and approachable. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid and reassure them that they can be open about what they are going through. Access support from the registered GP or a 111 clinician and CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services). In an emergency, call 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department. Extra help can be accessed from the school/ college, and services such as Childline, Samaritans, SOS Suicide of Silence, Papyrus, The Mix, YoungMinds, Shout, Headspace, Calm Harm, Staying Safe, Mind and Kooth. Supporting a loved one or peer struggling with their mental health can be hard and selfcare and appropriate support are important. Doctor Lisa Racussen and Daniel Mills-Da’Bell contributed to this article
In the trade in antiquities, we are the fortunate ones VIVIAN WINEMAN
FORMER PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DEPUTIES
ur community’s links with the Royal Family have always been strong, but never more so than in recent years. in 2022 the Queen will mark her Platinum Jubilee – an unprecedented 70 years on the throne. Nine years ago, as an 85-year-old, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. The first event was an interfaith reception at Lambeth Palace, where all the nine religious faith communities in the UK exhibited. The idea was that each faith community should make a loan to the exhibition of an artefact that symbolised its connection with the UK. For us at the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the choice of artefact was obvious. The Codex Valmadonna is the oldest, in fact the only Jewish manuscript, which dates from the period prior to the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290. There are other fragments that can lay claim to having been produced here, but this Codex is the only substantial document, of which this can be said with a high degree of probability. It comprises the Chumash, Haftatrot and parts of other books of the Bible. Its connection with England is obvious but also intriguing, and involved a fair amount of detective work.
WITH DAVID SASSOON, THE BOOK RETURNED TO THIS COUNTRY. IT HAS NOW BEEN SOLD
The Jewish community really began with the arrival of William the Conqueror. The Jews came from northern France, spoke French and were mainly engaged in finance dominating the financial sector in England at the time. At first, they prospered. With the rise of the crusading spirit in the 12th century, however, their lot deteriorated. The first blood libel anywhere in the world occurred in Norwich. On the accession of Richard the First (Lionheart), the Jews were subjected to appalling massacres throughout the country, with the most notable being in York in 1190. Thereafter, the position of the Jews declined, debts owed to them were regularly cancelled, their economic position was undermined further with the influx of continental non-Jewish money lenders. In 1290, the by now impoverished and demoralised community was expelled by Edward I, not to return for more than 350 years. The Codex Valmadonna was not needed here. Identifying the origins of a manuscript is
much harder than those of a printed book. As with Bibles generally, though, owners wrote their names and location in the book. The owners of the Codex who left their mark were all German and it was assumed this was a German book. It changed hands numerous times down the centuries, until it was acquired by David Sassoon of the great Sephardi banking family. His son, Solomon, did not want to keep the collection and the Codex was auctioned in 1978. It was bought by the Valmadonna Trust whose custodian, Jack Lunzer, was another great book collector. Valmadonna acquired it on the understanding it was German but, as they researched it, they found this was not clear. The scribe, at the end of the book, wrote a line expressing his pleasure at completing it, and gave the Hebrew date 15 Tammuz (4)949 i.e. 2 July 1189. The researchers found this baffling because the quires were stitched and pierced using a technique developed in England and not exported to the continent untll the middle of the 13th
century. The suggestion was made it could be an English manuscript. This was more or less settled when the text was examined further, and marginalia were noticed translating Hebrew words into Norman French – the language of the ruling classes in England at that time. If the manuscript was written in England, how did it find its way to the continent? One possibility is that its owner perished in one of the massacres. One of the chroniclers of the period, Ephraim of Bonn, wrote that the rioters killed the Jews, stole their gold and silver and also ‘their beautiful books which were even more precious’. These they sold in Cologne. This would give the book a role in the martyrology of Anglo-Jewry. Alternatively, the book could have been taken by one of the expelled Jews on his flight from this land a century later. With David Sassoon, the book returned to this country. It has now been sold and has resumed its journey – a loss to English Judaica. But the three great depositaries of Judaica in this country: the British Museum, the Bodleian library at Oxford and Cambridge University Library, have a truly vast treasure of Judaica and other non-Jewish antiquities, almost all of which were produced overseas. The Cairo Genizah comes to mind, as do the Elgin Marbles. In the balance of trade in antiquities, we are winners.
8 April 2021 Jewish News
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22 Jewish News
8 April 2021
Weekend / Photography
Beth Yeshourun Jewish Community spiritual leader Serge Etele, left, inspects a new mezuzah at the Ambomo family home, in Douala, Cameroon
Hiloula of Rabbi Isaac Ben Walid, in Tétouan, Morocco
Out of Africa!
Photographer Jono David tells Francine Wolfisz about discovering some of the more rarely-known Jewish communities on the African continent
M Lemba community members, in Manavhela, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Kiddush, Shacharit (morning) service, Beit HaTefilah Israel, in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Matzah bakery, Hara Kebira, in Djerba, Tunisia
ore than a decade since conceiving the idea, eight long-haul trips and racking up thousands of miles across 30 countries, photographer Jono David has finally realised his ambitious project: a remarkable glimpse into Jewish communities living on the African continent. The Jews of Africa: Lost Tribes. Found Communities. Emerging Faiths features 230 visually stunning images – a tiny proportion of the more than 100,000 photos originally taken by its captivated author, although an additional 300 images are available via online bonus galleries for anyone who buys the book. David, an American-British photographer who has documented Jewish life and culture for more than 20 years, said he felt compelled to embark on the
project because he was “intrigued by the communities I had read about, in particular, the emerging Black Jewish groups in places such as Ghana, Madagascar, Cameroon and Uganda”. While each image is, he says, “a touchstone of memory and a treasure because of the people who welcomed me”, among his personal favourites from the collection is an image of youngsters from the Kasuku Jewish community in Kenya. He says of this image: “Children the world over respond to the camera in a universal way, particularly children of meagre means who likely do not own a camera. The glee in these children’s face is just so infectious. You can see how threadbare their lives – even their synagogue – are. What they lack in material things is made up for in copious amounts of joy in their eyes.” Also impactful for David was an image of Serge Etele, spiritual leader of Cameroon’s Beth Yeshourun Jewish community putting up a new mezuzah – the first to go up in the city of Douala. He explains: “A lady in Texas had contributed several kosher klaf and mezuzah covers, and she told me to distribute them as I wished. The Beth Yeshourun Jewish community of Cameroon had never had a mezuzah, so the gift was perfect and very much appreciated. I like this photo for the contrast of how the spiritual leader is admiring the mezuzah while the community member beside him is inspecting his phones. A few minutes later, we went out to the porch to put one up.” The photographer equally enjoyed witnessing a hiloula – a yahrzeit event – in Tétouan, Morocco. “I had never heard of a hiloula before I was invited to attend this
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Photography / Weekend
Children of the Kasuku Jewish community in Kenya
event,” he says. “These celebrations, in Morocco anyway, are wild festivals. Some go on for days. At this one, I found myself in the middle of a rugby scrum. People positively swooned as they touched the Torah. Later, at the gravesite of Rabbi Isaac Ben Walid, I was impressed by his enviable spot high on a hill with a sweeping view over the city and down to the sea.” While David enjoyed travelling across the African continent, for him it was as much about the warm welcome he received wherever he went. He adds: “I am always surprised by how welcoming people can be, but I’m not at the same time. The less people have in material things, the more welcoming they seem to be.”
Community meeting at Tikvat Israel Synagogue, in Abuja, Nigeria
Upshernish at Northcliff Hebrew Congregation, Johannesburg, South Africa
Hatikvah Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia
Inside Hello Again! Neil Diamond’s life retold in new musical
Golda girl: Helen Mirren to star as Israel’s first female prime minister
The Jews of Africa: Lost Tribes. Found Communities. Emerging Faiths by Jono David is published by Amazon Kindle Publishing. Available now in paperback and Kindle editions
Bible Says What? King Solomon wasn’t just wise…he was also greedy! Rabbi Eri Kaiduwa’s wife and children in Namutumba District, Uganda
Jewish News 8 April 2021
Weekend / Entertainment
IN THE PIPELINE
A Beautiful Noise
Academy Award winner Helen Mirren will portray Golda Meir, Israel’s only female prime minister, in a forthcoming biopic set during the Yom Kippur War. Production on Golda will begin later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The news follows the announcement last month of another star-powered production on Meir, a series titled Lioness led by Unorthodox actress Shira Haas. While Lioness will follow Meir from her birth in Kiev to her American upbringing in Milwaukee, her role in the formation of Israel and her rise to become the new nation’s only female prime minister, Golda will focus on the deadly 1973 war. Along with the rest of Israel, Meir and her allmale cabinet were taken by surprise by the attack on the eve of Yom Kippur in that year by Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian forces. The ensuing bloody conflict
— chronicled in the recent acclaimed Israeli production Valley of Tears — shattered the nation’s growing sense of confidence at the time in an embattled region. Golda will be directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv, who won an 2018 Academy Award for Skin, a short film about neo-Nazis that was later made into a feature. “As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honoured to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel,” Nattiv said in a statement. “Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year, a core of delusional generals undermining Golda’s judgment.” He added: “I could not be more excited to work with the legendary Miss Mirren to bring this epic, emotional and complex story to life.”
Dutch author Jan Brokken reveals the remarkable story of how one consul and his allies helped save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in his gripping book The Just, which is published today. Translated by David McKay, the story reveals how in May 1940, Jewish refugees in Kaunas, the capital of Lithuania, faced annihilation until an ordinary Dutch man became their saviour. Over a period of ten feverish days, Jan Zwartendijk, the newly appointed Dutch consul, wrote thousands of visas that would ostensibly allow Jews to travel to the Dutch colony of Curaçao on the other side of the world. With the help of Chiune Sugihara, the consul for Japan, while taking great personal and professional risks, Zwartendijk enabled up to 10,000 men, women, and children to escape the country on the Trans-Siberian Express, through Soviet Russia to Japan and then on to China, saving them from the Nazis and the concentration camps. Most of the Jews whom Zwartendijk helped escape survived the war, and they and their descendants settled in America, Canada, Australia, and other countries. Zwartendijk and Sugihara’s heroic actions have remained relatively unknown but now Brokken has wrested this story from oblivion and traces the journeys of a number of the rescued Jews. The Just: How Six Unlikely Heroes Saved Thousands of Jews From The Holocaust by Jan Brokken is published by Scribe UK, priced £25 (hardback). Available now.
Hello Again! The life of singer and songwriter Neil Diamond will be portrayed in a new bio-musical, which is set to open in Boston next summer. A Beautiful Noise, which will be directed by Michael Mayer and featuring a book from Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten, will open on 21 June, 2022 at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child choreographer Steven Hoggett has also joined the creative team. Diamond has previously said of the project: “The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows like Story, My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof. I’m honoured and excited to be West Side Story working with this great team.” A Beautiful Noise will chart Diamond’s meteoric rise from “a poor, Jewish kid from Brooklyn to one of the most universally adored showmen of all time”. Diamond, 80, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984. One of his biggest hits, Sweet Caroline, was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2019.
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
Jennifer Jason Leigh has joined the cast of Amazon Studio’s hit thriller Hunters, which will return for a second series, Deadline reports. The Single White Female actress will take on the role of Nazi hunter Chava, alongside retuning stars Logan Lerman and Jerrika Hinton in the 1970s-set drama about a vigilante group that embarks on a bloody quest to assassinate former SS officers living in their midst.
Hollywood veteran Al Pacino has not yet been confirmed, however, as returning as chief Nazi hunter Rabbi Meyer Offerman. Creator David Weil said the series was “a love letter to my grandmother”, having been inspired by stories told to him by his Holocaust survivor relative, Sarah. Leigh currently stars in the Netflix dramedy Atypical, with the series’ fourth and final season due to air this year.
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 8 April 2021
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Torah For Today
What does the Torah say about: Resilience
BY PNINA SAVERY “Keep calm and carry on” is a favourite British motto. It stems from the stiff upper lip attitude that helped the public stay strong in the face of hardships endured during two world wars. In this week’s Parsha we read of the tragic death of Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu. There are numerous explanations for their death: from their unauthorised entry into the innermost sanctuary to offering sacrifices after drinking alcohol. Perhaps the most outstanding part is Aharon’s response. The text tells us that “Aharon was silent”. There is no outpouring of grief, Aharon continues to carry out his duties in the Tabernacle service. Rabbi Eliezer Lipman Lichtenstein provides an interesting insight into Aharon’s reaction. The word va’yidom is used for silence, rather than vayishtok. While the latter denotes an absence of weeping and moaning, the former represents in-
ner peace and calm. Thus, va’yidom portrays Aharon’s ability to accept the situation without questioning. This saintly attitude is a clear reference to Aharon’s greatness, which is not something that can be easily emulated. However, his resilience reminds me strongly of the “stiff upper lip” attitude, which can help us to endure struggles. Kohelet (3:4) tells us there is a “time for weeping and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing”. Aharon needed to “keep calm and carry on”. The past year has sent us new challenges with many reasons to weep and mourn. When we lose a loved one, that loss will always be with us. But Judaism’s structured mourning process gives a framework to grieve, encouraging us to try to find the resilience that will enable us to rebuild our lives.
◆ Pnina Savery is a United Synagogue educator
BY RABBI NAFTALI SCHIFF We are hearing much talk about the imperative to teach and nurture resilience, how this life skill has been paramount throughout this Corona time and shall be increasingly so in the post pandemic world. What does the Torah say about this? Resilience and the concept of “new normal” have been integral to the life of the Jew throughout our epic 3,500year journey. From the beginning of time, we have been relentlessly propelled with drive, aspiration and hope for the fulfilment of a vibrant future, while the quest to achieve has made us the most obstinately persistent of nations to match. If resilience is predicated upon an appreciation that life is full of challenges and that flexibility, optimism and willingness to change are the fundamental attitudes necessary to steer the course, then perhaps the “wandering Jew” wrote the manual on resilience centuries ago. Haven’t we been schlepping the
book around in our suitcases each time we were driven from Anatevka? Are we not the pople who adapted with dogged tenacity each time we moved or were moved on? The first commandment given to the Jewish people as they prepared to leave Egypt charged with the mission to bring God’s word to mankind was that of identifying the new moon. A people whose journey follows the lunar cycle has built into their psyche the trials and tribulations of a fate that waxes and wanes with the vicissitudes of time. Neither the dark of the night, nor
the resplendence of the sun blinds their collective vision. The very name Yisrael implies survival alternately through, despite and at times because of that very struggle! The prophet Isiah describes the Creator as korei hadorot merosh, one who calls the generations from the start. We are a people who know our destiny from the beginning; a nation that appreciates there will be challenges every step of the way. On seder night, parents know to transform and transmit that arduous journey to an epic story to empower and educate their children. Such a nation suckles both persistence and resilience with its mother’s milk. Such a people on Yom Hashoah eight decades later uncannily proclaims that resilience with pride, exhilaration and harmony. Am Yisrael Chai! ◆ Rabbi Naftali Schiff is the founder and chief executive of Jewish Futures
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
The Bible Says What? ‘Solomon was not just wise – he was also greedy’
Progressively Speaking We are ready to build a new post-pandemic world
BY STUDENT RABBI LEV TAYLOR Solomon was a bad king. We are so used to the image of Solomon as the paragon of wisdom and good leadership that many have not heard this version of events. But Solomon’s terrible kingship is the simplest reading of Torah. In fact, Solomon explicitly does everything a king is not supposed to do. The king, Deuteronomy tells us, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself and he had better not send people to Egypt to increase his number of horses. Solomon did exactly that. Not only did he amass hundreds of horses from Egypt, he sold them on to Israel’s sworn enemies, the Hittites. Deuteronomy says a king must not take many wives, or his heart will go astray. But according to the book of Kings, Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. They convinced him to worship all their gods in his Temple. Finally, and most importantly, a
king must not accumulate wealth for himself. Solomon collected thousands of talents of gold; he was richer than any ancient Near Eastern king. He did deals with every despot in the region so he could get as rich as possible! Progressive Jews read the Torah as a composite work, written over many centuries. We think the laws in Deuteronomy were probably written after Solomon had done all these bad things. But even the account in Kings says that what Solomon did was evil in the sight of God. The Bible takes a very sceptical approach to powerful people, even when they are our own great kings. Far from the fairytale images of royalty, our tradition presents warnings about what the mighty can do with their wealth and power. We should heed them.
◆ Lev Taylor is a student rabbi at Leo Baeck College
BY RABBI DR RENÉ PFERTZEL There is something utterly comforting in the endless cycle of Shabbats and festivals of our Jewish calendar. There is not much certainty in our lives right now – so the succession of days and nights, weeks and months, Shabbats and festivals, anchors us in life and time. We change, but their fundamental meaning doesn’t. That is beautifully captured by the She’echeyanu: “Blessed are You, Eternal our God. You have granted us life, sustained us, and empowered us to reach this moment.” Our community life under Covid has been disrupted to a point that very few have known since the end of the last war. And yet, our communities have shown strength and resilience. Much has been written already about the effects of Covid on our society and our world. But it has also taught us some invaluable lessons. We cannot continue with the previous way of life, pursuing wealth at all cost with no consideration for
the environment and the well-being of our fellow humans. We have rediscovered the power of togetherness and community, the interconnectedness of all parts of our society, and professions that were taken for granted – carers, bin collectors, delivery people, supermarket workers – have proven to be essential for the upkeep of our collective life. We have now covered a full yearly cycle of Jewish festivals. We have experienced them with many external limitations, but their deeper meaning became more accessible than ever.
As we come to the end of the cycle, however, we are somehow despondent. We’ve had enough of these limitations. Many people have died and we have suffered many losses. Our patience has been tested. Our resilience has proved to be stronger than we thought. We know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but nobody dares forecast when this plight will be over. We have celebrated the last day of Pesach, which commemorates the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, the ultimate step of Redemption, when our ancestors put their feet on the other side and began the process of becoming a great nation. It feels like we, too, have now crossed the sea and are ready to build the new post-Covid world. We have moved far away from last year and are ready to begin our new journey. ◆ Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel is co-chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors
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8 April 2021 Jewish News
Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts
Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Taking holiday while furloughed, options for caring for eldery parents and kids’ dance classes... EMMA GROSS EMPLOYMENT AND DATA PROTECTION SPECIALIST
SPENCER WEST LLP
Dear Emma I’ve been on furlough since the last lockdown began and am due back to work on 29 April in line with retail reopening. I’ve saved my holiday leave, including some carried forward from last year, so I can take a trip to visit my family in Manchester when we are allowed. I’m also due to go abroad in October, and always hold some days back for December. My boss has said she is requiring me to take 10 days of my leave between 12 and 23 April while I am furloughed. Can I be made to take holiday while furloughed and can’t travel? Daniel
LEON SMITH ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES Dear Leon My parents are in their 80s, becoming frail and struggling at home. Where can I find information to help create a plan for the future? Joshua Dear Joshua There are many domiciliary care and housing options available – doing research and speaking to friends and
family is paramount. In addition to care at home and traditional housing options, there are hybrid models, and information on these issues can be found on the web or by contacting housing/domiciliary care organisations directly. You may wish to visit the customer review websites homecare.co.uk and carehome.co.uk, which will give you service user’s perspective. CQC – the care sector’s regulator – is a good place to look at inspection reports (cqc.org.uk). Financial arrangements can be complex. Where public funding is available, this usually comes via the local authority, the NHS or the Department for Work and Pensions. Eligibility
Dear Daniel You can indeed take holiday while on furlough, even if the lockdown measures are in place, as long as your salary is topped up to 100 percent and you are able to enjoy a period of rest and relaxation. You couldn’t be expected to take your annual leave if, for example, you were shielding, in isolation or unwell. Your boss is within her rights to request you take your leave on specified dates, however, you mention a period of 10 days beginning on 12 April. In order for your boss to make that request, she would need to have given you advance notice of twice the length of the leave – in this case, 20 days. This means she would have needed to have notified you of the leave no later than 23 March.
criteria often apply and can be complicated. This may also be an opportune moment to review legal issues such as wills and Powers of Attorney. Age Concern and the Alzheimer’s Society also have very useful fact sheets available. SweetTree Home Care Services know how complicated this research can be. To address this, they have put together a presentation for synagogues or social/ cultural groups that provides up to date information and signposting to other reliable sources. For more details on the presentation, which is currently available as a webinar or to chat about any of these issues, call 020 7624 9944 as SweetTree is always happy to help.
LOUISE LEACH PRINCIPAL, PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL
DANCING WITH LOUISE Dear Louise My daughter is desperate to get back to her dance classes. She misses her dancing friends and dancing together at the weekly sessions. She hasn’t been to classes for over a year now! I’m keen for her to go back next week and wonder what changes I can expect under Covid. Emma
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Dear Emma It’s so important, more than ever, for kids to get back to exercise and their creative outlets – not just for their physical health but their mental well-being too. It’s great your daughter is able to return next week. All organisations should be adhering to the latest government guidelines in order to keep everyone as safe as possible and to avoid germs spreading. These measures should include for example, social distancing within the building, mask wearing by all those over 11 years old in communal areas. You can also expect other changes such as adults not being allowed in the building, consistent class groups and
limited class sizes. We have found since running in a Covid safe way, (when we’re not in lockdown!), that the children adapt really quickly to these changes and just love being back in the studio getting back to doing what they love. It’s what they need more than ever right now.
Jewish News 8 April 2021
Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel
Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: email@example.com PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST
BREAST, GROIN & HERNIA SURGEON
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8 April 2021 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.
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Jewish News 8 April 2021
30 YEARS OF RESILIENCE
WE STAND BY THOSE LEFT BEHIND WILL YOU? Every year, IDF Widows and Orphans Organization provides essential support to ensure the emotional and financial well-being of the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen.
Your support can help rebuild lives. This Yom Hazikaron, Israel Memorial Day, be part of our mission and make a difference in the lives of our widows, widowers, and orphans.
YOM HAZIKARON Israel’s Memorial Day April 13th-14th 2021
8 April 2021 Jewish News
Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
13 Applied sciences, engineering (10) 17 Dutch ___ disease, tree disorder (3)
18 Bowling pin (7)
DOWN 1 Carry on the breeze (4)
3 3 8 7 5 2 2
2 Mechanism that controls the flow of a fluid (5)
4 Keep on offering (3) 5 Sign up for a course (5)
19 Very economical (6) 20 Russian monarch (4)
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
10 Futuristic 1926 Fritz Lang film (10)
7 Benefactor or sponsor (6)
ACROSS 1 Curly (4) 3 Charm (6)
Y M L G L
P W P S A T Q K R A O S K
N E R
T D P H
K P C H S O T
Y T N X O V C R F S M O H W T BALANCE BLADES GLIDE ICE JUMP
LIFT PIVOT RINK ROTATION ROUTINE
SKATER SKATES SLIDE SLIP SPEED
Crossword ACROSS: 1 Slap 3 Starve 8 Lambing 9 Mob 10 Adulterate 13 Ifs and buts 17 IOU 18 Miserly 19 Infant 20 Used
8 9 5 2 4 1 6 3 7
5 6 8 4 3 2 9 7 1
2 4 3 9 1 7 5 8 6
Suguru 9 7 1 8 5 6 2 4 3
See next issue for puzzle solutions.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Sudoku 4 1 7 3 6 9 8 2 5
6 3 2 5 7 8 4 1 9
L X F Z
G C S
Last issue’s solutions
DOWN: 1 Sell 2 Armed 4 Tag 5 Rumba 6 Emblem 7 Violin 11 Emboss 12 Bikini 14 Stuff 15 Turps 16 Dyed 18 Men
P N S T E L N M K N
U E V R N E S T F
J M U E R E T E Z U E S
S E D A L B
W B A D N U P F P T T D L I
18 The waves (3)
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.
D E K K O R N
D V Q E C O T R A
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 3, 17 and 24 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
B E Y P G Q D W R
U X A N Z S Q C V A
5 1 7 3 6 2 4 7
The ice skating words can all be found in the grid. Words may run either forwards or backwards, in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction, but always in a straight, unbroken line.
14 Wales, in Welsh (5)
15 Entrances to gardens (5) 16 Dam across a river (4)
8 Mistaken idea or belief (7) 9 Rodent sewer dweller (3)
WORDSEARCH P O B
11 Hip and abdominal area (6) 12 Reflexive pronoun (6)
6 Most modern and up‑to‑date (6)
7 9 1 3 4 6 8
1 2 4 7 9 5 3 6 8
3 5 6 1 8 4 7 9 2
7 8 9 6 2 3 1 5 4
1 3 1 4 2 3
2 5 2 3 5 1
4 1 4 1 2 3
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 5 3 5 3 4 1
4 2 4 1 5 2
1 3 5 2 4 1
2 1 3 1 3 2
4 5 4 2 4 1
3 2 1 3 5 3
1 4 5 4 1 2
2 3 1 2 3 4
1 5 4 5 1 2
B O N N E T C L P N D U T
B E V P P J T R I L B Y E
G T H K P A R W L Q V F R
W R B H A N C B L R E S E
D P O Q C S D B B D E U B
S N O S T E T S O F K N U
S O A R A A M R X M E H Z
Codeword T N M X L J A P A I S A O
Y O X B F G A V P M I T C
B A P L R N I K J H Y O E
R P X H A E R E L W O B Z
E C G M A O R K M T Y F Z
D Q A I P T U O F T Y W L
P R E Q B A U R I N S E A L WH E E L L X E X U D E D B X Z E RO P R T AMA Z I I N C N E T T
U E M B O E D Y D H E D NG E A D
B L OB T I E R U S QU E R U R N A I L D S I U P L I F T T U N J O Y E D O I K N A V E E S D D R E S S
Y EW I V X R BMGK U Z J H N F C P A L O T S D Q08/04
Jewish News 8 April 2021
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY
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