How the pandemic has reshaped education P26
The Knesset’s Arab summer Islamist helping to oust Bibi P16
VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 10 June 2021
30 Sivan 5781
The blame Games Pressure on Beijing Olympics sponsors over Uyghur genocide An urgent campaign backed by the Chief Rabbi, Jewish human rights group René Cassin and Jewish News this week begun appealing to companies involved with the forthcoming Beijing Winter Olympics over China’s persecution of its Uyghur minority, writes Adam Decker. The initiative urges Britain’s Jews to “taint the brand” of the global sporting event in February and make their voices heard in the boardrooms of companies sponsoring or supplying it. Jewish leaders say China’s mass persecution of millions of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang is anathema to a people who suffered across Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and who every year say: “Never again”. This week, in a rare public intervention, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said it was unthinkable for Britain’s Jewish community to enjoy the Games without protesting against China’s oppression of the Uyghurs. “An Olympic Games is an opportunity for the host nation to proudly invite the world to celebrate its identity and its values together,” he said. “To take part in any such celebration for Beijing 2022, without raising our voices in protest against the unspeakable atrocities that are being committed today against the Uyghur Muslims, would be an unacceptable act of indifference. “Sport has a way of uniting and inspiring people. Therefore we must ensure that the Winter Olympics becomes a platform for
A launch event for February’s Winter Olympics. Inset: A Uyghur protest
solidarity with the Uyghur population rather than a tool for distracting the world from this most appalling injustice.” Joining the Chief Rabbi in pressing for companies to act is the Reform shul West London Synagogue (WLS), whose 3,000+ members are known for their activism, as well as Jewish human rights group René Cassin together with Jewish News. Companies sponsoring, supplying or providing the infrastructure for the Bei-
jing Winter Olympics, including holiday rental giant Airbnb, have continued their involvement despite the United States recently accusing China of “genocide”. The campaign urges firms to “drop their sponsorships and endorsements”, calls for British sporting authorities such as Team GB to “speak out against the persecution” and asks that any individual athletes doing so be
protected from censure. Jewish representatives say the Chinese Communist Party plans to use the Games to ‘whitewash’ its oppression of the Uyghurs in much the same way that Hitler’s Nazi Party used the Berlin Olympics in 1936 to portray a positive image of Germany whilst persecuting Jews. This week’s campaign illustrates a shift in strategy from politics towards the corporate world, which may yet end in a boycott. Efforts this year to lobby MPs to vote to add pressure on China narrowly failed to win enough support. Rabbi Helen Freeman at WLS said: “We need to respond in a practical way, so we are encouraging our members and friends to educate themselves about Uyghur persecution and then write letters to the companies that are investing in, or involved with, the Beijing Olympics.” She added: “We are asking these companies to reconsider their involvement, for the sake of their own reputations, and not be associated with a government that uses Uyghur Muslims as slaves in forced labour camps.” Mia Hasenson-Gross of René Cassin said: “We
Continued on page 10
JFS in turmoil as head replaced by former Ofsted boss and 900 warn of mental health failings Huge changes are under way at JFS as it emerged on Monday that headteacher Rachel Fink (pictured) ( resigned a week ago and has been replaced by a former head of Ofsted. The new leadership at the school follows the conclusion of an
Ofsted inspection late last week. It is understood that the inspectors’ report, expected imminently, will be critical of the way JFS has been run. Sir Michael Wilshaw, 74, who led Ofsted from 2012 to 2016, has taken over as interim head until a permanent replacement is found. Pupils at Europe’s largest
Jewish secondary were told of the sudden changes in assemblies on Monday morning – before parents had been informed – leading to criticism from some parents that they were left “in the dark”. The students themselves are calling for changes at the school, where there have been three pupil suicides in five years.
More than 940 JFS students have signed a petition urging the school to prioritise mental health amid claims it “has not taken accountability” or provided pupils with sufficient support after the deaths. Ora Hayes, a Year 10 pupil at the school, launched the petition this week on the birthday of the girl in her year
who died in March. Ora claims the recent tragedy occurred after the student was “brutally bullied for such a long time”. She wrote: “Since then all JFS did was bring in counsellors for a week and then leave us to our own devices.” Ora wrote after the assembly on Monday: “Today not once did
Continued on page 5
Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / Constituency changes / Convoy returns
Boundary review for Hendon and Golders by Lee Harpin email@example.com @lmharpin
Hendon and Golders Green could become a parliamentary seat in proposals on new constituency boundaries published this week, writes Lee Harpin. The existing Finchley and Golders Green seat – currently held by Tory MP Mike Freer – would become Finchley and Muswell Hill under the radical plans. A new Stanmore and Edgware constituency is being proposed, along with “significant changes” to the arrangement of seats across Barnet. Meanwhile, in the north-west, changes to the Bury South seat could see it rivalling Hendon and Golders Green as one of the most Jewish constituencies in the UK. On Tuesday, the Boundary Commission for England (BCE)
recommended the changes as part of its review of parliamentary constituencies. The Commission is required to ensure the number of electors in each constituency is more equal than is currently the case. In doing so, it suggests the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543. Under the proposals, Hendon and Golders Green would also be joined by a newly established Finchley and Muswell Hill seat. This would comprise five wards from the existing Finchley and Golders Green seat, but also taking in the Haringey wards of Fortis Green, Highgate and Muswell Hill. The plan includes a Stanmore and Edgware constituency of six wards, Burnt Oak and Edgware, from the existing Hendon constituency. The Hendon and Golders Green consituency, meanwhile, would comprise seven wards from Hendon and the two Brent wards
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer held the seat in 2019
of Kingsbury and Welsh Harp. Matthew Offord is currently the MP for the existing Hendon constituency. The proposals recommend “significant change” for the arrangement of constituencies across Barnet – with the Chipping Barnet and Hendon constituencies having electorates “above the
upper limit”. The report proposes a High Barnet and Mill Hill constituency that includes six wards from the existing Chipping Barnet constituency, held by Theresa Villiers. Meanwhile, the East Barnet and Brunswick Park wards, currently in Chipping Barnet, would move into a new Southgate and Barnet East constituency.
POLICE WARNED ON NEW CONVOY Police are being urged to ensure there’s no repeat of the sickening scenes of rabid antisemitism on the streets of the capital this weekend following news of another ‘Convoy for Palestine’. The convoy will travel from Bradford to the capital on Saturday, as it joins up with the ‘Justice for Palestine Protest’ outside Number 10 Downing Street, at 1pm. This comes after Palestine activists were filmed driving down Finchley Road on 16 May, blasting their horns and screaming “F*** the Jews, rape their daughters.” Four were arrested by the Metropolitan Police and by Greater Manchester Police for a “similar” incident near Salford. Concerns have been raised about the route the convoy will take through London, as members of the community go to and from synagogue. A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust said: “We are aware of this proposed convoy and we will be discussing it urgently with police, with a particular focus on the routes they may be planning to take into central London.”
Starmer urges PM to discuss Israel at G7 Sir Keir Starmer has called for the prime minister to press for a “meaningful Middle East peace process” at this weekend’s G7 summit. During Prime Minister’s Question Time, the Labour leader said bilateral talks with the American President Joe Biden and the “possibility of a new government in Israel” provided a “real chance” to restart talks. Starmer told the House of Commons: “The appalling violence recently which killed 63 children in Gaza and two children in Israel shows just how urgent this is. “For too many people in Palestine the promise of an end to the occupation and the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state feels more distant than ever. “So will the prime minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed agree-
ment to finally recognise a state of Palestine and to stop expansion of illegal settlements and to get a meaningful peace process back and running.” Responding Boris Johnson said: “It has been a long-standing objective of this government – and I think it is common ground across this House that the solution for the Middle East peace process is a two-state solution. “And we continue to press for that. I have made that position plain, both in conversations with the Palestinian Authority, and of course, with Israel.” The G7 summit starts on Friday in Cornwall. Climate change and the continued response to Covid will dominate the agenda, although the situation in the Middle East is also likely to be raised.
Labour prepared to investigate own MPs
Sky presenter sorry for ‘Jew hate’ tweet
Americans split on Biden backing Israel
Labour would be “happy to take a look” at cases in which party MPs are alleged to have used rhetoric which has inflamed tensions against British Jews, a spokesperson for Sir Keir Starmer has insisted. Responding to a question from lobby journalists in Westminster, the spokesman said the party would look into “specific cases” that may have arisen as a result of speeches during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Sky News presenter Mark Stone has apologised after suggesting “Jew hatred” in the UK is linked to the “consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies” and an “untenable occupation.” Stone was responding to a tweet that had suggested there was a connection between alleged unbalanced media coverage in the UK of the conflict in the Middle East and threats to Jewish life here.
Americans are split on whether President Joe Biden’s backing of Israel was on target during the recent Israel-Gaza conflict or whether he could have done more for the country. A poll published on Tuesday by Vox, a liberal online magazine, found that 34 percent believed that Biden was “not supportive enough” and 32 percent thought Biden “had taken the right approach,” representing an even split within the margin of error.
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Antisemitism warning / News
Brown decries Labour’s ‘moral’ failings in late historian’s book by Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
A briefing paper on left-wing antisemitism prepared for Gordon Brown by the late historian David Cesarani is to be republished in book format. The Left And The Jews, The Jews And The Left was written by the Holocaust expert at the request of Brown, then chancellor, as he tried to understand the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment which infected the British left ahead of the Iraq war. Brown was concerned by a 2002 cover of the New Statesman which showed a gold Star of David piercing a Union Jack with the headline ‘A kosher conspiracy’ and previous comments by then Labour MP Tam Dalyell alleging a “Jewish cabal”. In a new foreword to the book, the former prime minister writes: “David’s warning to all of us then – that ‘there are signs that in treating Jewish fears about anti-Jewish sentiment as merely a device to muzzle criticism of Israel ... [the left] is in danger of repeating the historic error of those...
who dismissed hatred of Jews and threats to their well-being as merely a delusion and the symptom of an ephemeral conflict’ – should have been heeded by the Labour Party itself. Had it been, this would have headed off the morally and politically catastrophic growth of antisemitism within the left.” Brown then suggests that only “strong” leadership from Sir Keir Starmer will deal with the antisemitism of the left, which found a partner in his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn. Brown recalls his pride in Labour’s record in areas such as security at Jewish schools during the years the party was in power between 1997 and 2010 and writes: “In September 2018, I spoke at the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference. “I wanted to show the Jewish community that there were those of us in the Labour Party who were determined to make a stand and try to right the wrongs then being inflicted on the Jewish community. The fight we were engaged in was, I said, one for the very ‘soul of the Labour Party’. “The battle against racism is
‘about who we are. Our conscience means we don’t just stand up for the rights of some people, some of the time, it means we stand up for the rights of all who are oppressed, all of the time.’ “If in recent years Labour failed to build resilience against antisemitism in our politics, we must correct this now under Keir Starmer’s strong leadership.” In her own foreword to the book, Cesarani’s widow, Dawn, says her husband, who died in July 2016, would have tackled the rise of antisemitism in Labour under Corbyn, who became party leader in September 2015. “I have often thought since what a shame it is that, at the moment it was most needed, David wasn’t there to help us better understand and chal-
David Cesarani’s work began as a briefing paper for Gordon Brown (left)
lenge the growth of antisemitism in the Labour Party,” she said. The book, published by No Pasaran Media, runs to 100 pages and traces the history of the Jewish people and their relationship with the left. On Israel, Cesarani, writes: “Criticism of Israeli government policy in
relation to the Palestinians, and on other issues, is totally legitimate, but some parts of the left have not broken free of the 19th-century Marxist dogma that the Jews are merely a religious group and not a people that has a right to national self-determination in its own land.”
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / BLM controversy / Union role / Demo concern
MP compares taking knee to a Nazi salute A Conservative MP has compared the decision by England’s footballers at the Euro 2021 tournament to “take the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to those who performed the Nazi salute in a 1938 match against Germany in Berlin. In a lengthy Facebook post on Sunday, Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith wrote: “Following the 1936 Berlin Olympics being used as a propaganda exercise and under a great deal of pressure from both the FA and Brit-
England’s Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips take a knee
ain’s ambassador at the time, the players were encouraged to join the hosts in making the Nazi salute prior to the
match... Regardless of the original intention, the mixing of politics and football had disastrous consequences…”
England manager Gareth Southgate has backed his players over their decision to take the knee in the tournament. Danny Stone, director of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: “This is an ill-considered and offensive comparison which, taken together with the additional comments, demonstrate an urgent requirement for education. I hope the party will take action.” Clarke-Smith later said his point was that politics and football should be separate.
Shah: Protests ‘infiltrated’ by antisemites Labour MP Naz Shah has suggested proPalestinian demonstrations are being infiltrated by those wished to “spew” antisemitic hatred, writes Lee Harpin. The Bradford West parliamentarian issued a statement recognising the problem after a video of a march at which she spoke in the city included footage of a female activist whose chant in Arabic
included the verse: “God lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!” Shouting through a megaphone, the same woman told the demonstration: “God, purify al-Aqsa from impure people! God, make the earthquake under their feet! God, support them with your soldiers! God, make the Jews lose!” Directly addressing the anti-Jewish
Struggling to cope is more normal than you think. Uncertainty and isolation can cause any of us to experience feelings of distress or anxiety. Whatever you are going through, you don’t have to face it alone.
remarks made at the Bradford demo, Shah said she was later “made aware” the individual had “made remarks following the rally in Arabic – a language I do not speak”. Shah said the woman was not an event speaker but “gained access” and that the translation of the comments were “not remarks I’d ever make”. Jenni Frazer, p20
GMB BOSS UNDERSTANDS ‘POISON’ OF JEW-HATE One of the UK’s bigand said he had congest trade unions sidered quitting has elected a the party. candidate with Smith also a long track supported the record of tackexpulsion of ling antisema GMB shop itism among the steward over membership as new antisemitism, and general secretary, New GMB chief intervened again writes Lee Harpin. Gary Smith when the union’s Gary Smith Jewish organiser, topped a vote of GMB mem- Rhea Wolfson, was targeted by bers and was confirmed as a blogger with “Hitler” slurs. head of the 600, 000-member Smith has said “no politunion last Thursday. ical party has clean hands Previously GMB’s Scottish on the issue of antisemitism secretary, Smith win the ballot but nobody should need any after receiving more than 50 reminders that antisemitism percent of the votes cast. is on the rise and we in GMB While in charge in Scot- are clear it is absolutely intolland, Smith launched an out- erable.” spoken attack on Richard One of Smith’s GMB colLeonard, the former Scottish leagues told Jewish News: Labour leader, over his failure “Some union people struggle to back the International with the idea of treating Holocaust Remembrance racism against Jews in the Alliance definition of antisem- same way they would treat itism. racism against other ethnic In a March 2019 interview, minorities. Gary understands the new GMB chief branded the poisonous nature of antiLabour’s failure at the time Jewish racism and does not on antisemitism “disgraceful” operate with any hierarchies.”
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
School turmoil / Ofsted warning / Israel-Palestine / News
JFS pupils: ‘Put mental health first’ Continued from page 1
Former head Rachel Fink and Michael Wilshaw
they mention her or bullying or prioritising mental health, but acting like the school will become a military site where all they care about is behaviour, punctuality and uniform. “It needs to be known that JFS had not taken any accountability for their role in this tragic incident... that they have not done anything to further support anybody and they claim they want their students to feel safe.” One signatory wrote: “Education, behaviour and discipline are important but they cannot improve without first addressing the deeper, more important issues.” After the school’s announce-
ment on Monday, an emergency meeting of the governors was held. Andrew Moss, chair of governors, wrote to parents on Tuesday about the “rumour and speculation following the inspection at the beginning of May”. He asked for parents to be patient while awaiting publication of the report, adding: “Until that time, we are unable, nor legally permitted, to comment upon Ofsted’s findings.” Referring to the previous day’s announcement, he said: “We have legal processes and duties which we are bound to follow, which means we are not always able either to announce changes within a timescale that we might choose,
or indeed at all. Clearly there are changes under way and we would only ask that everyone gives their support to ensure that the school ultimately can achieve the standards that we all require of it.” One parent told Jewish News: “It is a huge school and we have very little awareness of what has been going on behind the scenes. “It has been a challenging year for all school children, but the tragic events of what happened in March have had a profound impact on the JFS students, as well as on the entire school community.” One pupil said: “While Ofsted was in they spoke to some of the older students about issues around sex abuse and safeguarding. The
feeling in the school is that the inspection will be quite negative and I think that is the reason for the changes.” Another said: “The new headteacher introduced himself in the assembly, but not as the new headteacher. “He warned that he doesn’t stand for bad behaviour and he was here to help the school. No one mentioned during the assembly that Ms Fink had already left.” Fink had been head since 2017, when she took over from a turnaround specialist brought in after the departure of Jonathan Miller, who quit after a leave of absence. JFS has been approached for comment.
OFSTED WARNS ON ANTISEMITISM Schools are lobbied on Palestine Schools that do not act on antisemitism could fail inspections, Ofsted has warned. Jewish teachers have revealed in recent weeks a surge in antisemitism in the classroom, with some in the profession criticising the teaching union NEU for failing to support them. One teacher told Jewish News pupils competed to stick ‘Free Palestine’ stickers in her hair after discovering she was Jewish; another said they would leave their school after being abused.
The schools watchdog said that antisemitism had “no place” in schools and that it was supporting teachers affected by a rise in antiJewish hatred. “Where these incidents occur, we want to see schools deal with them quickly and effectively, and any failure to do so will be reflected in our inspection judgements,” a spokeswoman said. Senior Ofsted officials met with representatives of Partnerships for Jewish Schools.
The group behind the annual Al Quds Day parade in London has written to all headteachers urging them to “resist pressure for suppressing free speech on Israel/Palestine”. The Islamic Human Rights Commission wrote to heads this week claiming there had been complaints from pupils across the country who had been “reprimanded” for showing support for Palestine. It claims pupils had been disciplined for
saying ‘Free Palestine’, wearing badges or displaying flags – and that teachers had been “openly warned that such slogans could incite violence, as grounds for their suppression”. This comes after education secretary Gavin Williamson wrote to all headteachers to remind them of their legal requirements for political impartiality following a spate of incidents involving pro-Palestinian activism at schools.
BY RABBI DAVID MEYER
EXEC DIRECTOR, PAJES Schools in England are facing a crisis. It has been brewing for a while and is getting worse. In 2016 a study found that almost a third of school leaders were leaving within three years of taking up a position. More recently, a poll by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) found that almost half of school leaders said they were likely to leave their jobs prematurely once they had steered their schools through the Covid crisis. Schools in our community are not insulated from this problem and we have seen a worrying stream of headteachers and senior leaders leaving their posts. Considering the years of training and development required to reach a senior position, this loss has a potentially devastating impact on the future of our schools. However, this should not come as a surprise. The world of education has been transformed with increased legislation, repeated new Ofsted
frameworks, changes to examinations, broadening of the curriculum, British Values, Protected Characteristics and the academisation programme. The role of the headteacher has similarly evolved from a pastoral and educational role model to being an administrator, human resources and finance officer. Our most successful teachers are taken away from the classroom and, often with little training, expected to take on roles as middle leaders and then senior leaders. At each stage they are further removed from the classroom and increasingly ill-equipped and unprepared. Headteachers are required to have an exceptionally diverse skill set. The pressures are immense: safeguarding, staffing, Ofsted, Pikuach, the ever-present financial shortfall and, recently, the enormous challenges of Covid. It is too often a thankless task, and it is little wonder that so many are reviewing their positions. We are exceptionally fortunate to have some outstanding school leaders but we need to ensure they are supported, invested in, and recognised, for their excellence, their professionalism and their dedication.
GCSE history books on Israel-Palestine withdrawn for second time Two GCSE history textbooks on Israel and the Palestinian conflict have been withdrawn again over claims they downplay Arab suffering. The books, published by Pearson, which owns the Edexcel exam board, were withdrawn following complaints from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, which said 294 revisions made following interventions by the Board of Deputies and UK Lawyers
For Israel favour the Israeli point of view. The revised books – Conflict in the Middle East c1945-1995 for GCSE, published in 2016, and The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change 1917-2012, published in 2017 – had been reissued briefly last year. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson issued a further warning to schools last week about the need to teach the Middle East conflict in an unbiased manner.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / NEU stance / Workshop outcry
Union boycott ‘based on a lie’ by Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
Tech giant Hewlett-Packard has condemned the “untrue misinformation” being circulated by supporters of the Boycott Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement over claims it is profiting from “Israel’s oppression of Palestinians”. The company was contacted by Jewish News for comment after the paper learned of a decision taken by the National Education Union to shun Hewlett-Packard (HP) products as part of its hostile position on Israel. A spokesperson for the multinational said claims Hewlett-Packard profited from exploiting Palestinians as “unfounded”. They added that the company, which has long been targeted by the BDS campaign, “respect human rights in every market we operate”. Emails shown to Jewish News confirmed that the NEU had been operating a boycott of Hewlett-Packard produce since 2019. After responding to claims that HP was still linked to the “occupation” of Palestine joint NEU general
secretary Kevin Courtney wrote on May 22 2019 “we will now move to remove HP.” He added that were the company shown not to “involved in the occupation” then “obviously that should change our position”. A further email sent to Courtney from a senior official at the union that same day stated: “I’ve requested Edenred (a supplier) remove any and all HP offers from the NEU platform as they are not a company we can align ourselves with.” This was a reference to discount offers on products made by HP that had been made available to NEU members up until this point. Sources working for the NEU confirmed they had witnessed HP products being replaced with purchases of equipment from other firms. One staff member said: “Who knows how much this anti-Israel obsession is costing members of the NEU, who have to fund this boycott nonsense from their subs? “Biggest joke of all is that some of the equipment bought as replacements still uses Israeli technology. Our leadership don’t seem to have worked that out yet!” Jewish News contacted the NEU to
ask if it could confirm that it observed a boycott of HP goods. A press spokesperson initially said: “We do not have a boycott of Hewlett Packard.” But after being told that Jewish News had seen evidence of the boycott being discussed by the NEU leadership in 2019, an NEU spokesperson then insisted: “Our procurement policy does not explicitly reference a boycott of HP products. “It does support TUC policy, of which the NEU is an affiliate, which is to ‘boycott the goods of companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall’. This wording was adopted by the NEU at our Annual Conference in April 2019. We do not have an active programme of replacing functioning HP products.” Responding to the NEU’s decision to boycott its goods an HP spokesperson told Jewish News: “The misinformation about HP Inc. being circulated by some on social media is unfortunate and untrue. “As a matter of policy, we do not take sides in political disputes between countries or regions. HP Inc. adheres to the highest standards of ethical business conduct.
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Protest against Hewlett Packard over its contracts with Israel
“The company operates in strict accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, implements rigorous policies to respect human rights in every market where we operate, and contractually requires business partners to comply with these same standards. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded. “We will continue to uphold the strong values and ethics that have been core to our brand for more than 80 years and will always guide our
company.” Contacted for comment on his position over HP, NEU joint leader Courtney said:” I believe the press office has already replied to you on this question.” The NEU has long angered many Jewish members with its anti-Israel stance. In January 2019 the union’s official magazine appeared to endorse a boycott of Israeli businesses in the publication. It then appeared to backtrack, sayingd it made “an error”.
Ghetto vandal involved in antisemitism training An activist who sparked outrage after spraying “Free Gaza and Palestine” on the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto is supporting ‘understanding antisemitism’ workshops for Britain’s biggest education union, writes Lee Harpin. Ewa Jasiewicz was condemned across the Jewish community in 2010 after she daubed slogans at the site of the ghetto in Poland where thousands of Jews were imprisoned and starved to death under the Nazis. Trying to justify the daubing, which included the words “liberate all ghettos”, she said Israel had “coopted” the Holocaust to serve “agendas of colonisation and repression”. Jewish News can reveal that in her role as an organiser with the NEU (National Education Union) North West Region, National Team, the 43-year-old has been behind three recent ‘Understanding Antisemitism’ sessions held for union members. Two Jewish NEU members said they were “absolutely sick-
Ewa Jasiewicz’s graffiti at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto
ened” by the decision of the union to allow a figure such as Jasiewicz to organise antisemitism training sessions for members. One said: “This says everything about the NEU’s attitude towards Jewish members. How is the wider membership meant to gain a proper understanding of what antisemitism is when a woman like this is involved in sessions aimed at teaching the truth about anti-Jewish racism?” Before workshop two, which took place on 20 May, Jasiewicz directed NEU members to ‘core reading’ material produced by the controversial American group Jewish Voice For Peace which she said challenged “common
Eurocentric understanding of antisemitism”. Jasiewicz told Jewish News: “The sessions on Understanding Antisemitism were commissioned and run by the North West Black Members Organising Forum which I as an NEU staff member support and provide the Zoom platform for and communication with members. The workshops were part of a series of anti-racist workshops that they have organised. The workshops themselves were devised and run by Eran Cohen and Keziah Berelson.” In 2018 Jasiewicz withdraw from at event organised by the Momentum organisation at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool after her actions at the Warsaw Ghetto emerged.
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Vaccine take-up / Assisted death / Care activities / News
Shot in the arm for Jewish over-70s Jews have the highest takeup rate of second Covid jabs among over-70s with a stated religion, at 96.9 percent, writes Jack Mendel. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that nearly all the community’s over-70s had taken up the offer of a second dose. This comes after zero Jewish community deaths linked to the coronavirus since the week ending 9 April. In total, 903 members of the community are reported to have died within 28 days of a positive test for the virus. Those identifying as Christian had a similarly high rate:
96.2 percent; the rate for those with no religion was 95.8 percent. People identifying as Muslim had a considerably lower take-up rate, at 84.7 percent, and whose of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage had an 82 percent take-up rate. Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “The Jewish community has been hit hard by this pandemic so it is very encouraging to see that we have enthusiastically taken up the opportunity to protect ourselves and others through vaccination, with encouragement from our organisation, leading rabbis and other community leaders.
Board of Deputies calls the vaccine figures ‘very encouraging’
“This is almost certainly one of the reasons there have been no Jewish deaths recorded in Board of Deputies statistics for well over a month.”
Dr Jonathan Boyd, chief executive of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research said: “The differences are small, but the slightly higher rates among
Jews may be the result of several factors. “British Jews tend to have a higher than average socioeconomic profile, which is associated with higher vaccine take-up. They are overwhelmingly UK-born and speak English as their main language – again factors which would point to this result. “It’s possible that the very high infection rates among Jews during the first wave also had a bearing, but this remains to “Sorry folks, we’re going to have be proven.” to turn around. It’s gone amber!”
LIBERALS BACK BILL ON DYING Social care gatherings resume Liberal Judaism has joined a new alliance of religious groups calling for a change in the law to allow assisted dying. A private member’s bill was introduced to the House of Lords on assisted dying by Baroness Meacher, which could lead to the legislation being debated for the first time in five years. The proposed bill would allow mentally sound adults who are in the final months of a terminal illness to request an assisted death
with the permission of two doctors and a High Court judge. Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s chief executive, said the movement had joined the Religious Alliance for Dignity in Dying because it spoke up for “much-needed liberal reforms with compassion at their heart”. She said assisted dying was a “right we are proud to champion for people nearing the end of their life”.
Services for Holocaust survivors and other elderly members of the community are being relocated as Jewish Care announces the resumption of in-person activities. The social care charity will be moving activities from its survivors’ centre in Hendon to a space at the Michael Sobell
centre in Golders Green. This is being done to give better access to members, and because it has better transport links and parking. Activities at the Brenner Centre in Stepney are being transferred to community halls and other public buildings in the area, while Red-
bridge Jewish Community Centre’s events will also be run from a number of synagogues. The charity said its Dementia Day Centres will be the first to resume in-person activity, in July. It said it would take extra precautions to ensure in-person activities were done safely.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Royal request / Vaccine funds / News
Charles urged to help get little Alta to Israel Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has urged Prince Charles to intervene in the case of a twoyear-old Jewish girl with brain damage whose life support equipment is set to be switched off. Judges ruled last month that Alta Fixsler should be switched to palliative care after Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust concluded “there was no prospect of her ever getting better”. But Alta’s parents, who are strictlyOrthodox, want to take her to a hospital in Jerusalem for further treatment. Alta suffered a brain injury at birth that left her unable to breathe and eat or drink without medical intervention. Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has already approached his UK counterpart, Matt Hancock, asking him to authorise the transfer. But Rivlin wrote to the Prince of Wales on Wednesday because “I feel that the unique circumstances warrant a personal intervention on my part to you”. The Israeli president wrote: “It is the fervent wish of her parents, who are devoutly religious Jews and Israeli citizens, that their daughter be
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Two-year-old Alta is currently on life support
brought to Israel. Their religious beliefs directly oppose ceasing medical treatment that could extend her life and have made arrangements for her safe transfer and continued treatment in Israel. “It would be a tragedy if these parents’ wishes could not be accommodated in a way that respects both the law and their religious beliefs.” The High Court put paid to Alta’s parents’ hopes of a medical transfer in May.
Pears to match jab appeal A Jewish philanthropic trust has announced it will match every pound donated this summer to a campaign to provide two billion Covid-19 vaccines worldwide. The Pears Foundation will double every pound up to £100,000 donated until 31 August towards the Vaccinaid fundraiser. The campaign is aimed at providing nearly two billion doses of vaccine to health workers and the most high risk and vulnerable people in countries across the world. The vaccine effort – the biggest in history – is also backed by Jewish News, which encouraged readers to donate on its home page, and figures including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. The crowdfunding campaign, which calls on people to donate to “give the world a shot”, has raised nearly £2.7 million so far.
On June 3, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra wowed a sold out crowd at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran with an unprecedented classical music concert that highlighted the importance of disability inclusion like never before!
The foundation is supporting Vaccinaid
“It’s important to me, and I believe it should be important to our entire UK Jewish community,” Mirvis told Jewish News in April. “So often we quote that marvellous saying of our sages from the Talmud that if you save one life it is as if you have saved the whole world.”
Don’t miss your chance to see the full concert and a behind-the-scenes look at ADI’s Neuro - Orthopedic Rehabilitative Hospital in the Negev – the first of its kind in Israel’s south!
ANTI-VAXX NURSE STRUCK OFF An anti-vaxxer nurse who compared the NHS to Auschwitz and labelled vaccination teams “death squads” has been struck off. Kate Shemirani, who is also known as Kay Allison Shemirani and is a prominent member of the UK’s anti-vaccine community, had already been suspended from nursing for an interim period. Now the activist – who has frequently called Covid a scam – has been struck off the nursing register. It is believed she is the first to have been removed after spreading falsehoods about coronavirus. An investigation by the regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, heard how Shemirani had a string of
Removed: Kate Shemirani
“scaremongering tactics” that urged the public not to follow public health guidance during the pandemic. The panel heard that the conspiracy theorist had labelled healthcare professionals “Nurses and Drs of ‘The Third Reich” and called
face masks “dirty rags” and “[a] muzzle”. It found Shemirani, of East Sussex, had impaired fitness to practise on both public protection and public interest grounds, saying: “Mrs Shemirani had attempted to encourage people to act contrary to public health guidance issued by the UK government by spreading this information through social media platforms and at public events.” “She actively discouraged people from wearing masks, adhering to social distancing and taking vaccinations.” The panel found that Shemirani had not “shown any remorse, nor given any explanation for repeatedly spreading misinformation”.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / ‘Blame Games’ / Comment
Sponsors cautioned over China’s ‘Genocide Games’
IOC must learn lessons of 1936 BY MIA HASENSONGROSS
Continued from page 1
cannot ignore the fact that these Games are taking place in a country where there is growing evidence of a genocide against Uyghurs and other minorities. “The Chinese government must not be allowed to use these Games to whitewash its attempt to destroy a people. Beijing 2022 Olympics stakeholders must uphold human rights standards, otherwise it will become known as ‘the Genocide Games’.” Multinationals supporting the Beijing Winter Olympics include Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Visa, Panasonic, Toyota, Samsung, Allianz, Omega, Atos, Bridgestone, and consumer brands giant P&G. When asked, most have so far declined to comment. In February, campaign group Stop Uyghur Genocide highlighted the silence of Airbnb on the issue by posting a mock listing for one of the Chinese government’s “concentration camps” in Xinjiang. Among the more concerning sponsorships is that of German insurance giant Allianz, whose wartime role and conduct is not lost on many Jews. Under the ‘About Us’ section on its website, Allianz chief executive Oliver Bate says: “Preserving the memory of customers and employees who were stripped
Uyghur campaigners say the Chinese government wants to ‘whitewash’ genocide
of their rights, persecuted and murdered during the Nazi reign of terror is a central focus of our commitment to historical remembrance.” He adds that “learning from history – from good times, but especially from bad times – enables us to think into the future and act accordingly”. Asked by Jewish News how the company can claim to have “learned from history” by sponsoring the Olympics in a
state that may be committing genocide, an Allianz spokesman said the firm had no intention of pulling its support. “The Olympic Movement is built on the values of excellence, friendship and respect, and the Olympic Games is all about bringing the world together as a symbol of peace,” he said. “Allianz shares these values and we are not planning to withdraw from our agreement.” Editorial comment, page 18
SAVE THE DATE
In 1935, a year before Germany was due to host the 1936 Olympics, British athletes called on Adolf Hitler to mark the Games by freeing imprisoned Jewish athletes and others incarcerated “for racial or religious reasons”. They called on the UK government to back their campaign. The government refused. We all know what happened next. The Nazi regime used the Games for propaganda purposes, pushing the idea of white racial superiority. In 1931, when Germany was first awarded the Olympics, it was a republic. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, the International Olympic Committee refused to criticise its treatment of Jews for fear of irritating
its host, despite Jews being interned. History is repeating itself. Today, the International Olympic Committee is equally reluctant to criticise the 2022 host nation, instead relying on China’s promise that the principles of the Olympic Charter will be respected. Yet the Chinese government sees this as an opportunity to project soft power to the world, so we must remind the world that this festival of sport is taking place in a country where there is growing evidence of a genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. These Games cannot be allowed to whitewash an attempt to destroy a people. That is why we and others in the Jewish community seek to taint the brand of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Its sponsors will be sponsoring what the world may come to know as the ‘Genocide Games’. We urge them to step back now.
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / Faith values / Sefer Torah/ Data breach / Shul boost Social media has exposed ‘ugly face’ Social media companies must do more to address rising levels of hate speech in society, agreed an interfaith conference that included participants from Israel and Palestine. They took part in a workshop designed to offer training on different forms of hate, its impact on individuals as well as communities and how they can identify and combat it. Young people from Australia, Israel, Germany, Turkey, the US, Nigeria, Palestine, France and Switzerland were among those taking part.
Charedi publication blurs party leader pic A Charedi publication published a photo on its website that blurs the face of Israel’s Labour Party’s leader, Merav Michaeli. Bechadrei Charedim did not explain its decision on the photo, which was used with a story about Israel’s incoming government, but the reason was likely because Michaeli is female. Charedi Orthodox publications have excluded photographs of women from their pages for years, including Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state.
Orthodox leader debates Jews for Jesus evangelist by Josh Salisbury email@example.com @josh_salisbury
The strictly-Orthodox Jewish leader of an organisation promoting faith values has shared a platform with one of the UK’s leading Jews For Jesus-style evangelists. Judith Nemeth, former executive director of the National Association of Jewish Orthodox Schools, appeared in a YouTube talk with Tony Rucinski last week to discuss relationship and sex education in schools. Rucinski is a leading member of the International Mission to Jewish People, which is motivated by “conviction that Jewish people need to hear the good news of Jesus”. Nemeth, the current executive director of the interfaith Values Foundation for Faith and Family in Education, appeared on the talk to discuss Government changes to sex education (RSE). Giving advice to parents on the video, Nemeth said: “There are some ideological Debate: Judith Nemeth, top, and Tony Rucinski resource providers who are determined to sexualise your child from the age of four, are homosexual relationships.” Jewish News contacted both Nemeth and determined to ensure your child goes through a process of questioning his gender … who are the Values Foundation for comment but did not driven to equate heterosexual relationships and receive a response before publication.
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Man’s miracle Covid recovery leads to new Sefer Torah A new Sefer Torah is being inscribed after a Jewish man ‘miraculously’ survived from Covid. The Sefer Torah at the Jewish Life Centre in Borehamwood was initiated by Leah Mitz, who felt compelled to undertake the ‘Unity Torah’ project after her husband Dovid was hospitalised with Covid at the start of the pandemic. Family were warned he had only hours to live and were called to the hospital in Barnet to say their last goodbyes – but Dovid pulled through. The centre is now giving all Jews within the Borehamwood and Elstree area the chance to own a letter in the Torah, which is being named after the late Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. “Our goal is to give the opportunity to every single Jewish person in the Borehamwood and Elstree area
the opportunity to fulfill the mishloach of owning a letter in the Torah,” said Rabbi Chaim Hoch, one of the project volunteers. “We’re trying to bring the whole community together.” As Dovid took turns for the worse, Leah promised her niece that if he survived, she would begin a new Sefer Torah. “I had no idea where it came from, I just felt it and had to say it,” she said. Miraculously, Dovid managed to overcome the odds and leave the hospital. “It was the most amazing feeling to have him home,” she said. The centre contacted a scribe to undertake the Sefer Torah, but the day he was able to begin coincided with the day Sacks died, so the Sefer Torah is dedicated in his memory. • More details about the Unity Torah can be found at https://jewishlifecentre.org/ unitytorah
HACKERS TARGET SOCIAL CENTRE A Golders Green social centre for young Jews was hit by hackers, with users warned personal details had been potentially exposed. The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) has told users: “It is possible some of your data that has previously been entered into the JLE website may have been compromised.” This is understood to include names, addresses and phone numbers. The centre said it was difficult to ascertain how many users had been affected, but
Jewish Learning Exchange
that it could only confirm one user’s data had been lost through the attack so far. “Our IT teams are continuing to investigate the breach and immediately acted to
upgrade our digital security and reset passwords to protect users,” said a spokeswoman for the centre. “The breach may have been caused by a brute force attack or through compromised user logins from other websites. We do not believe it was a targeted attack on the JLE.” The cyber attack is not thought to have been motivated by antisemitism. It has been reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the watchdog for data protection.
Synagogue receives grant
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London’s oldest surviving Ashkenazi synagogue has received a financial boost from the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund to help fund repairs during the coronavirus pandemic. Sandys Row synagogue in London’s East End (pictured) has been awarded £25,000 for essential construction work, which will stop water seeping through the roof and eroding the Grade II listed building’s masonry. Lifeline grants from the Culture Recovery Fund are designed to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and heritage in local communities are protected during the months ahead. Harvey Rifkind, Sandy Rows’ president, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.
“It will make a significant difference to the work we need to carry out at Sandy’s Row so the synagogue can continue to play an important part in the life of our community.” The synagogue is the third oldest in the country and was founded in 1854 by 50 Dutch Jewish families who were all economic refugees from Amsterdam.
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Village’s future / News
Parents fear Norwood will close Ravenswood Village his most frequent sentence is ‘You want to be at Ravenswood,’” she said. Betty said she feared that the future could spell a move for Max to living in assisted living in Parents of adults with learning disabilities and a city environment, rather than a self-contained autism have raised fears that a specialist ‘one- village. “But for Max, he couldn’t cope somewhere like London,” she said. of-a-kind’ care facility could close. “They would need to give him strong drugs A consultation is taking place on the future of Ravenswood Village, a self-contained site in just to manage him, his life would become kind Berkshire for people with autism and learning of like a zombie existence.” Maurice Collins, whose daughter Kim has disabilities. The charity Norwood said it represents an learning disabilities and bipolar disorder, said outdated model of care no longer commissioned Norwood had talked the centre down rather by councils and that resident numbers are than promoting it as a one-of-a-kind site. “They’re saying it’s ‘outdated’, it’s kind of a declining making it financially unsustainable. “It would be cruel and immoral to move any- Ratner approach,” he said. Dr Beverley Jacobson, Norwood’s CEO, body out of the village, all of whom were promised life-long care,” said Tracy Murrell, whose said she absolutely understood the anxiety felt by relatives, but that guidance and policy had son Harry, 30, is a resident. “It’s the perfect place for my son. He has all changed since it was established in 1953. Investment needed to improve the site could his therapies on-site which he needs for his physical wellbeing. If he was moved it would be be “many millions” and might not even provide an environment that is best practice by today’s devastating for him emotionally.” Betty Rabie’s son, Max, is autistic and has standards, she said. “I want to be clear that no decision has been been at Ravenswood for more than three decades. “He’s never quite understood that people made about the future of Ravenswood Village,” “The 1consultation provides a critical refer themselves as I,JAN and2020:Layout others as you. But she added. HALFtoPAGE ADVERT 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page
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The Norwood site in Berkshire supports about 90 adults with learning disabilities or autism
opportunity for us to understand the views, opinions and ideas of all those connected to Ravenswood – our residents, families, volunteers and staff – and for us to discuss a range of options for the future, to which we hope they will contribute. “We are completely committed to identifying the option that will, in the medium and longer
term, ensure the best possible care and support for everyone currently living at Ravenswood, as well as for people who will need our services in the future.” The consultation is set to last until July, before a decision on the village’s future is taken later this year.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
News / Gaming concern / Presenter plea / Sigmund events
Nintendo removes ‘F*** Israel’ graffiti from game Nintendo has apologised after anti-Israeli graffiti appeared on a wall in the background of its popular Splatoon game, writes Lee Harpin. The words “Fxxk Israel” appeared as a graffiti daubing on a background wall in the Nintendo Splatoon 2 game which revolves around “Inklings” firing ink and claiming territory. After being alerted to the incident, UK Lawyers for Israel wrote to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and Nintendo’s legal counsel, to demand the offending graffiti be removed. The ESRB replied by advising that online-enabled games such as Splatoon 2 permit players to interact in real-time with other players as well as add content of their own, such as text and/or voice chat, skins for characters or maps for background images. The Online Rating Notice for such games reads “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB”. This is a warning to consumers, in particular parents, other players may be able to add content that has not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment. Rob Posgate, Legal Counsel to Nintendo UK, said: “The anti-Israel graffiti the
RADIO HOST SET FOR JAIL A radio host who pleaded guilty to spreading antiJewish hatred has been warned he faces prison. Graham Hart, 69, of Penponds, near Camborne, pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to eight counts of producing a programme in service likely to stir racial hatred. The charges relate to comments made on radio shows between 2016 and 2020,
which Campaign Against Antisemitism said was among the worst hatred towards Jews it had ever encountered. It has been reported Hart previously posted online a song called Hoax Train, to the tune of the disco song, Love Train, which appeared to question the Holocaust. Judge Robert Linford scheduled a sentencing hearing for 6 August.
Sir Sigmund’s legacy
The offending graffiti from a section of the game where users can generate content
child saw was not generated by Nintendo as part of the design of the game Splatoon 2. We strongly condemn such statements and the sentiments behind them.” The Nintendo lawyer explained that Splatoon 2, like many video games, contains features for users to generate and display certain content. Posgate continued: “Unfortunately, a very small minority of users may from time to time use this functionality to post
harmful and offensive messages. “To protect our users from this abusive behaviour, we include a reporting functionality within the game.” UKLFI director Caroline Turner said: “If anyone else comes across inappropriate content in a video game, it is important to report this to the video game company, so the offensive content can be removed as soon as possible, and the offenders can be barred from the game.”
The life of interfaith pioneer Sir Sigmund Sternberg will be honoured with a series of lectures and awards to mark the centenary of his birth. Over the next 12 months, events will honour the elderly who make an outstanding contribution to society and
people of different faiths who work to bring people together. The Sir Sigmund Sternberg Charitable Foundation will hold the annual Times/ Sternberg Active Life Awards and the inaugural memorial lecture in his name in autumn.
PRESERVED INSIDE POOP Archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare, almost fully intact 1,000-yearold chicken egg in an ancient cesspit in the Israeli town of Yavne.
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Business backer / Google role / Art sold / News
Sweet investment for label designer by Candice Krieger @CandiceKrieger
Lord Sugar has made his latest investment – with no boardroom, tense exchanges or gruelling interviews in sight. The Apprentice star was so impressed with entrepreneur Jemma Solomon’s label company that he decided to invest in it, having met her after she wrote to him for business advice. The Label Lady, launched by Essex-based mum-of-three Solomon last year, creates easyto-apply bespoke labels to help people organise their belongings, be they in the office or at home. Customers can choose from a variety of pre-made labels or customise their own. Sugar, who plans to start filming the next Apprentice later this year, said: “I was very impressed with Jemma when I met her. “She is highly determined, hard-working and, with The Label Lady, has created a brand that taps into the trend for home tidying. “I was particularly impressed with the way she had managed to scale the business in such a short time on social media, and built such a loyal customer base with little to no marketing spend. “I am looking forward to working with Jemma to help scale her business and take it to
the next level.” Solomon, 33, began creating labels as a hobby and to provide release from the pressures of her day job as a paediatric nurse. She bought her first label machine in 2016 and began making labels for water bottles and other household items as gifts for friends and family, and then for everything from balloons, signs, memory boxes, cake toppers and wedding stationery. Solomon started the business from her children’s playroom floor but, after her husband lost his job during the first lockdown, he built their first proper workspace – The Label Lady Den in their garden, which she outgrew within a few months. It became her full-time business in January last year and she now employs a small team that produces hundreds of bespoke labels a week. Eighteen months into the business, Solomon decided she needed help to scale up the company. She had always been a big fan of Sugar and decided to write to him for advice. He got in touch to arrange a call and, within a few months, made her an offer to invest in her company and become her business partner. Solomon told Jewish News: “When I emailed Lord Sugar and received his reply, I wasn’t sure if it was spam. My stomach turned over. And
Google diversity chief dropped for hate post Google has confirmed its global head of diversity will no longer work in the role after he was revealed to have written a blog in which he alleged Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war and killing.” Kamau Bobb – the global lead for diversity strategy and research at Google and the founding senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech – made the claim in a 2007 blog post published on his website and titled “If I Were A Jew”. During the same rant he also claimed Jews should have more “compassion” because of the Holocaust. In response to wide-
spread anger over the blog, Google issued a statement confirming: “We unequivocally condemn the past writings by a member of our diversity team that are causing deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community and our LGBTQ+ community. These writings are unquestionably hurtful. “The author acknowledges this and has apologised. He will no longer be part of our diversity team going forward and will focus on his STEM work. “This has come at at a time where we’ve seen an alarming increase in antisemitic attacks. Antisemitism is a vile prejudice that has given rise to unfathomable acts. It has no place in society and we stand with our Jewish community in condemning it.”
STOLEN ART IS SOLD FOR £200K A Jewish-owned painting seized by the Nazis in 1938 sold this week in Vienna for £200,000. The Compassionate Child (The Beggar), by the leading 19th century Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, was seized for Hitler’s planned Führermuseum in the Austrian city of Linz.
Lord Sugar gives his financial backing to Jemma Solomons and her alter ego, The Label Lady
I was completely taken aback. “They say everything happens for a reason and my goodness I can honestly say I never expected that in 18 months I would have worked my absolute butt off, enrolling family, friends
and even neighbours during what would be the busiest time of my life, and to go on to meet such an amazing person in Lord Sugar is nothing short of surreal. I cannot believe I can officially call him my business partner now.
Jewish News 10 June 2021
Israel News / Egalitarian plan / Coalition deal
Mixed-gender prayer plans Plans to create a permanent mixed-gender prayer space next to the Western Wall are set to be revived if Israel’s new unity government is sworn in, writes Michael Daventry. The coalition agreement struck between opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett includes provisions to expand the small egalitarian prayer platform into a more permanent space. Liberal streams of Judaism would be represented on a committee that would oversee the prayer space under the plans, which were frozen by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in 2016 under intense pressure from
strictly-Orthodox parties. The present gender segregation in the main Western Wall Plaza would remain under its plan for the Kotel, but the existing temporary platform for egalitarian prayer at the southern end of the wall would double in size. Another change would be in the way worshippers access the prayer spaces: all three would now share a common entrance. The original plans envis- Women activists at the Kotel aged a larger mixed prayer space (blue) alongside the reported members of the existing male and female new government were conspaces (purple). All three fident the plans could be would use a common entrance implemented because Israel’s The Times of Israel two strictly-Orthodox par-
ties – Shas and United Torah Judaism, which are key allies of Netanyahu – would not be in the coalition. Calls for more egalitarian prayer space have long been supported by diaspora Jews, especially in the United States, where many communities are progressive and oppose Orthodox rules on gender segregation and the ban on women wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall. The existing mixedgender prayer platform was described by Bennett, then minister of diaspora affairs, as a temporary arrangement when he opened it in 2014.
MKs to vote on eight-party deal
The eight party leaders met for the first time
Israeli MKs will vote on Sunday to approve an eight-party unity coalition that would end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years as prime minister. Knesset speaker Yariv Levin said the new government would be sworn in after a confidence vote on 13 June. In the coalition assembled by centrist leader Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett
would become prime minister first, with Lapid following in two years. Supported by left-wing, right-wing and Arab parties, it is set to be the most diverse government in Israel’s history – but potentially one of its most unstable too. The parties command 62 Knesset seats, just one more than a majority, leaving them vulnerable to defections.
NEW COALITION MIGHT MEAN A WALL FOR ALL BY MICHAEL DAVENTRY
For progressive Jews, who do not observe gender segregation in their synagogues and allow anyone to wear a tallit if they want to, visiting Judaism’s holiest site has long presented frustrations – but not for as long as you might think. It is only since 1968, the year after Israel captured it, that men and women were made to pray separately at the Western Wall. That was when Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical authorities, who were put in charge of managing the site, brought in their own rules. Women cannot wear religious garments or read aloud from the Torah, and any who try are stopped by officials. Yet there were no such restrictions in previous decades and centuries: whenever Jews had access to the
wall, they prayed as they wished. Diaspora groups in the United States, where the progressive movement is much larger than in Israel, amplified the campaign for more equal access to the wall in recent years. It produced a compromise in 2013 in the form of a new “egalitarian” platform next to the wall, but further south. The space is tiny, disconnected from the main plaza, and the Israeli minister who opened it — one Naftali Bennett — promised it was only a temporary arrangement. Yet it endures. Plans for a wider area that shares an entrance with the Orthodox prayer spaces were frozen five years ago by Benjamin Netanyahu under pressure from his Charedi partners in government. The exclusion of those parties from Israel’s new unity coalition means those plans are now back on the table.
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Naftali Bennett / Israel News
High-tech to high office? What you need to know about Israel’s prime minister in waiting by Gabe Friedman @GabeFriedman563
So, who will be the next leader of the Jewish state? The answer looks very much like being Naftali Bennett, a former ally of Benjamin Netanyahu who supports many of his right-wing policies and is a staunch advocate for Israel’s West Bank settlements. Like Netanyahu, he opposes Palestinian statehood has, at times, been to Netanyahu’s right. Bennett, 49, would break some boundaries. He would be Israel’s first Orthodox Jewish prime minister and the country’s first leader born of American parents. He would also be the first prime minister to have become rich in the tech sector. He is expected to become prime minister under an emerging, fragile coalition deal in which Israeli parties team up across the political spectrum with the sole aim of ousting Netanyahu, who has been prime minister for 12 years. Under his deal with centrist Yair
Lapid, Bennett would serve as prime minister for two-plus years, then Lapid would rotate into the role. He would also become prime minister as the head of an historically small party. In Israel’s most recent election, Bennett’s party won only seven of the Israeli parliament’s 120 seats and one of his lawmakers appears to have defected. However, the parties, which span from left to right, Jewish to Arab, have no shared vision for the 73-year-old nation. If the coalition deal doesn’t cross the line, Israel’s divided politicians will return to the drawing board.
American-Israeli background Bennett was born in Haifa to American immigrants from San Francisco, and lived in the US and Canada as a child for a time before the family returned permanently to Israel. Like Netanyahu, he speaks fluent English with barely any accent. Bennett attended a Chabad preschool while living in Montreal. He
in the 120-seat Knesset, and Bennett became Israel’s economy minister in a government led by Netanyahu. Since then, he has served as minister for diaspora affairs, education and defence under Netanyahu alongside his long-time political partner, Ayelet Shaked. He later split from Jewish Home and now heads the right-wing Yamina, which holds seven Knesset seats. After an uneasy alliance with Netanyahu, Bennett announced he would ally with Lapid. Naftali Bennett in conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu
is Modern Orthodox and wears a kippah; if he becomes prime minister, he would be the first to do so regularly. He lives in Raanana, a Tel Aviv suburb. After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, Bennett earned a law degree and entered the tech industry, moving to New York City. He co-founded a successful fraud detection software company, Cyota, and sold it in 2005 for £102 million. Back in Israel, Bennett got involved in right-wing politics. He quickly rose
to become Netanyahu’s chief of staff (from 2006 to 2008), when Netanyahu was opposition leader. After leaving the role, he became director of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organisation representing Israeli settlements. In 2012, he won the primaries of Jewish Home, a right-wing, religious Zionist party. In Knesset elections the following year, Jewish Home quadrupled the size of its delegation, winning 12 seats
Palestinian statehood and West Bank annexation Bennett is an unabashedly hawkish religious Zionist who has long opposed Palestinian statehood, citing Israel’s security concerns.
Economics Bennett advocates for free-market reforms, particularly in Israel’s expensive housing market. He is against regulation, taxes and other restrictions on business.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS
Winter of discontent Send us your comments Britain’s Jewish community is fighting a bitter fight for a people who live thousands of miles away, who worship a different God, who speak a different language and few of us had heard of only five years ago. We are fighting for Uyghur Muslims in north-west China, and that fight took a dramatic turn this week. As we reveal, the Chief Rabbi has thrown his influence behind a strategic shift that is fast gaining momentum: the push to press those companies propping up the next Winter Olympics, due to be held in February in Beijing. The aim is for them to withdraw their support and take a stand against the persecution. In many ways, this is round two of British Jews’ fight for the Uyghurs, and this round will be waged in boardrooms and on the high street. Round one was fought in Parliament, where a narrow defeat only adds to a feeling of Jewish collective determination. The push then had been for MPs to vote to give High Court judges the power to deem a foreign state to be committing genocide, with repercussions for bilateral trade if it did. The government pulled out all the stops to prevent it, fearing the financial implications. In other words, it boiled down to money. Companies – in particular, those sponsoring the Beijing Olympics – live or die by branding, so it is a high-risk strategy to nail their brand’s colours to the mast of a regime that is forcing millions through vast camps, systematising torture and forced sterilisation, shaving hair, removing names, packing dozens to a cell, transporting thousands in cattle carts, and quietly killing a people’s spirit and identity. Where MPs failed, readers can succeed. Western firms propping up a Beijing propaganda offensive cannot remain insensitive to customers. Let’s make our voices heard, on behalf of a people whose silence is being enforced.
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Arabs don’t want two states I write in response to last week’s lead letter, ‘Let’s have a two-state rally’. Sitting in the UK, that might seem like a fine humanitarian idea and much-supported by liberal/left-wing leaning Jews and, to quote the letter, “peace will only happen when there is a two-state solution: a secure Israel and a secure Palestine”. Unfortunately this can never happen as the vast majority of Palestinians want a one-state solution (try talking to them) – an Arab state that will undo the ‘historic injustice’ of the creation of the state of Israel. When you mention statistics, such as 96 percent of all Jewish children being born in Israel, your average Palestinian will say it is up to them whether they stay or leave the new Palestine. The Palestinian Arabs have been fed a fantasy (mainly by Arab nationalists, Islamic groups and
Sketches & kvetches
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THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat goes out Sedra: K orach Saturday night 10.23pm
JERUSALEM THE PROBLEM Letter writer Hayley Tontovic is another example of the deluded belief a ‘twostate solution’ could ever be achieved in relation to the territorial claims on lands currently controlled by Israel. She fails to describe her vision of a future two-state solution, which could offer the unity that would be displayed by showing both
Israeli and ‘Palestinian’ flags at demonstrations. I do not believe a credible two-state solution can ever be arrived at because Israel without sovereignty over all of Jerusalem and its environs has no value to believers in a Jewish state. Arabs will never concede East Jerusalem and their ‘right of return’. Alan Finlay, Hendon
GET RID OF TERROR FIRST
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Shabbat comes in Friday night 9.03pm
Iran, a fantasy for their own benefit) that the clock can be turned back to 29 November 1947 and that the UN, rather than deciding to partition Palestine, gave the whole of the British Mandate to the Arabs or alternatively the Arab armies had vanquished the infant state of Israel. Only when the Palestinian Arabs have weaned themselves away from this fantasy and realise that the Jewish state is here to stay can there be a reconciliation of Palestinian Arabs and the state of Israel. When will this happen? Perhaps we will need to wait for the current Palestinian leadership (not a good choice between Islamic Hamas or corrupt Fatah) to be consigned to the history books and a new generation of Palestinian Arabs to grasp the reality. Robert Stone Stanmore
“Just pretend you’re proposing and it’ll keep my mother quiet for a while!”
I write in response to the laughable letter about having a two-state rally. Hamas and Fatah have no interest in the wellbeing of their citizens. In order even to think about a two-state solution, the media bias needs to be
dealt with and all the hate and terror eradicated. Someone who is anti-terror and pro-peace needs to be installed in the Palestinian leadership and be open to the idea of Israel existing. Chani Hyams, By email
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Editorial comment and letters
Teachers need support I read your report on the persecution of Jewish teachers and am appalled. I was a primary school teacher and had the pleasure of teaching two Jewish children at the Church of England school where I worked. Please pass on my thoughts to the teachers. Others will be thinking as I do. I pray for wisdom and protection for all Jewish students and teachers. Heather Warford, By email
I was devastated to read about what Jewish teachers are enduring at nonJewish schools in the wake of the recent conflict in Israel and Gaza. I hope headteachers and governors are supporting these staff members through this difficult time and engaging with pupils and their parents about the difference between free expression and racist intimidation. Sally Mathers, By email
THREAT WAS REAL
I write in regard to your report on Sue Cipin, chief executive of the Jewish Deaf Association, receiving the Barnet Civic Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of her service to the deaf. I was disappointed there was a paltry article and no picture of Sue. And the article did not mention that I, a totally deaf member of the JDA, was lead nominator for Sue to be awarded. You only mentioned Mike Freer MP and Rabbi David Lister supporting the nomination. Neil Kaufman, By email
Regarding last week’s piece on the German invasion of the Channel Islands, I have visited the site of the Potsdam Conference in 1945. A Nazi map shows the UK including the Channel Islands. The plan was to exterminate us all. We shouldn’t forget this when trying to defend our homeland. Norma Neville, By email
SHUL – AS A RULE If you pronounce shul to rhyme with ‘rule’ why not spell it ‘shule’? If you pronounce shul to rhyme with ‘pull’ then why not leave spelling the spelling as ‘shul’? Lester M Abrahams, By email
ph ysi Runn cal ly + ing vir tua
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
Naz Shah is a shadow of a shadow minister JENNI FRAZER
ost people will remember the nuns’ song from The Sound of Music: “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!” Inexorably, it comes to mind this week, only with Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, in the lyrics. Yes, that Naz Shah, our Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, recently appointed (or should that be anointed) by Sir Keir Starmer, the man who vowed to root antisemitism out of the Labour Party. The same Naz Shah, in fact, who was suspended by Labour in 2016 – by none other than Jeremy Corbyn – for antisemitic comments on social media. And who was reinstated after a fulsome apology in the House of Commons for her remarks. The same Naz Shah who went to build
bridges with the Jewish community in Leeds and Bradford, assuring them she had much to learn. And the community believed her to be genuine in her assurances and held her up as an example of someone who was ready to say when she’d got it wrong, unlike many, many, of her Labour colleagues – including, of course, the repellent Corbyn. What then, are we to make of the latest actions by Maria – sorry, I mean Naz – the woman who didn’t just turn up to a Friends of Al Aqsa rally on 30 May, but spoke to the crowd, urging them to “keep the pressure on” by emailing MPs to push for Israel to be investigated by the International Criminal Court. Not a word from the “flibbertijibbet” Ms Shah about Hamas and its rocket attacks on Israel. It wasn’t her first public outing with a group of er, questionable people: on 12 May she and Corbyn took part in an online ‘Stand With Palestine’ event; and on 22 May she spoke at the hatefest demo in London. I ought to make it clear that I have no problem with MPs expressing support for
THE MP FOR BRADFORD WEST IS OBLIGED TO THE DESIRES OF HER ELECTORATE
the Palestinians – but not at the expense of overlooking demonisation of Jews without uttering a word of protest, and this is important, at the event itself. Naz Shah is in an unenviable position as MP for Bradford West. I can hardly pretend that she is not wholly obliged to the desires of her electorate – who are, indeed, mainly Pakistani Muslims, pro-Palestinian to a man (women’s voices, especially women politicians’ voices, barely count). But, to some extent, MPs who sit for constituencies with large Jewish populations – Margaret Thatcher, back in the day when she sat for Finchley and Golders Green,
or Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South, doing his best to learn Hebrew – are in similar positions. The difference is that grown-up politicians strive to express the other’s point of view, even if they don’t fully embrace it. So Naz Shah’s latest “apology”, that she will “never shy away from using my voice to raise the plight of the Palestinian people but I will never tolerate antisemitism and I totally condemn anyone perpetrating it”, has a hollow ring. She has claimed that someone at a rally at which she spoke “made remarks… in Arabic” which she does not speak, and said things she herself would not say. People had tried “to infiltrate demonstrations about the situation in Palestine to spew hatred”. I’m prepared to believe she doesn’t speak Arabic – but once she learned just what was being said, I would have hoped for something a bit more full-blooded. Maybe the girl just can’t help it. But, you know, shadow minister for community cohesion? Laugh? I can’t stop.
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Jews are afraid, but there are reasons to be cheerful CLAUDIA MENDOZA JOINT CEO, JEWISH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
ver the past few weeks, I have lost count of the number of people who have told me how despondent they feel about their future as Jews in this country. They feel besieged and frightened by the unprecedented levels of antisemitism reported by the Community Security Trust (CST). Those fears have undoubtedly been amplified by social media. I have also felt moments of despondency until I found a perspective offered by the late Lord Sacks. In one chapter of his outstanding book, Judaism’s Life-Changing Ideas, Sacks relays the story of the first spies Moses sent into Canaan. Ten came back with a demoralising report, leading people to wish they had died in Egypt. How could the spies come back from this bountiful land and only focus on the negative? So terrified were they of the Canaanites they
entirely failed to realise it was the Canaanites who were afraid of them. In response to the spies’ fatalism, Sacks calls upon the expertise of a friend working in the field of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a method seeking to amend distorted thinking where things are seen as polarised either/or. Sacks outlines a phenomenon known to CBT specialists as negative filtering, something that allows us to discount the positives and focus exclusively on the negatives. It should not need saying that one instance of antisemitism is one instance too many, but does antisemitism, even when heightened as it is now, mean we are not free to live our lives as Jews? Over the past few weeks we have seen government ministers, from the prime minister down, vocally and consistently support our
community. The police have taken strong measures to protect us from those who would do us harm. Another form of distorted thinking identified by CBT specialists is mind reading – we assume we know what others are thinking, when usually we are completely wrong because we assume things based on our own feelings, not theirs. Far from being 1930s Germany, Britain is a tolerant and open place and the electorate repeatedly rejects extremism. A recent JLC poll tells a far better story about our stake in UK society. While there are a small number of committed antisemites, most people do not approve of antisemitism and feel sympathy for the Jewish community. The poll shows that 44 percent of the population say incidents such as the north
THIS IS A COUNTRY THAT, WHEN FACED WITH FASCISTS, REJECTS THEM AT THE BALLOT BOX
London convoy, where we heard flag waving men shouting “death to Jews, rape their daughters”, has made them fear for the safety of British Jews. It found 52 percent of Britons agreed that incidents like the shouting of racist slogans from cars travelling through areas popular with Jews in London “makes me worry future atrocities against Jewish people are still possible”. Almost nine in 10 Britons agreed the perpetrators should be brought to justice – with over half of those agreeing those responsible should face the toughest penalties possible. This is the country that, when faced with fascists, would rather fight on the beaches and the hills than give in, and rejects them at the ballot box. Here, immigrant children become captains of industry, actors, directors, lawyers and doctors. In this country, our parents, grandparents and great grandparents found a place where they, and we, could find a life of meaning and fulfilment. It will take more than the events of the past few weeks to take that away from us. While we must always be vigilant and fight back, this is a plea for perspective and to see the world as it is, not as you are afraid it might be.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
Join the dots between what’s said and meant MARC CAVE
NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE
here is a solution to the brazen new anti-Jewish hate. It’s staring us right in the face. While the school curriculum does not contain ‘antisemitism education’, it does have ‘Holocaust education’. It only covers the ‘what’ of the Holocaust right now. We just need to add the ‘why’. It will explain why conflict in the Middle East sparks calls to rape Jewish women in London. The ‘why’ is as much about today’s call to eradicate the Jewish state as it is about the era when there was no Jewish state to insure against ghettos, pogroms and gas chambers. We need to stop teaching the Holocaust as a one-off and start connecting it to the other chapters of the story. This means that we stop filling our precious slot in the school curriculum with the message that ‘All hate is bad’ – a platitudinous waste, not to mention an
offence to the memory of the six million to so de-Judaise the Holocaust. Maybe it’s a Corbynite unconscious bias. Do some British teachers feel unable to highlight the problem of anti-Jewish hate without couching it in the universal, to appease other minority groups or to bury the real point for themselves? What is Holocaust education for, if not, as a primus inter pares, to teach about the longest, most genocidal hate in history? A new recipe should include these extra ingredients. The Holocaust happened and is distorted today, because of them: 1. Christianity, as a breakaway from Judaism, invented a set of anti-Jewish myths now used by everyone from Hamas to David Miller. 2. Being Jewish is ethnic not just religious. In 70CE, the Romans ethnically cleansed
the Jewish state of its Jewish people – the moment they became Wandering Jews. Then they renamed the country after their greatest foe, the Philistines. The name was Palaestina – or Palestine. 3. As the last of three colonial rulers after the Romans, Britain blocked entry to refugee Jews to this homeland. 4. The lifeblood of anti-Jewish propaganda is conspiracy theory, a phenomenon that weakens democracy and the rule of law for everyone. 5. Critical thinking is the key skill to combat conspiracy theories. We need to teach it. 6. From Shylock to Fagin and Rothschild to Soros, the popular imagination has long stigmatised ‘The Jew’ as a shady archetype. It made the Holocaust ‘understandable’. 7. Some depict the modern state of Israel as
WHAT’S HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IF NOT TO TEACH ABOUT HISTORY’S LONGEST GENOCIDAL HATRED?
personifying the archetype. Their agenda is not to question Israeli borders but Israel in any form. Because it is a Jewish nation. 8. The Holocaust would not have happened, had the modern state of Israel existed. Now that it does, Israel is the greatest reason for Holocaust distortion. 9. The elephant in the room is the distorters: an axis of Islamist and hard-left bad actors. Anglo-Jewry has never doorstepped Britain with Middle East politics. It has always been too grateful for a peaceful place in its society. But now it is we who are being doorstepped. So if you force us to be responsible as diaspora Jews for what happens in Israel, then the time has come for us, reluctantly, to tell you why Israel is a deterrent to the second Holocaust called for last week by an Iranian general. The Holocaust is not asleep in a dusty old history box. When ‘Free Palestine’ marchers wave their ‘Netanyahu surpasses Hitler in barbarism’ banners, they are malignly joining the dots. I urge Holocaust educators to now benignly join them.
Helping mensches like Uri shape Israel’s future LOUISE JACOBS CHAIRMAN, UJIA
was in Israel last week to witness the support my organisation has made available to communities recently under rocket fire from Gaza. I also spent time in towns such as Akko and Lod where, three weeks earlier, riots and violence shook the country. Neighbours turned on neighbours. Mobs carried out lynchings and threw stones and Molotov cocktails. I saw for myself the appalling damage to property and met people still traumatised by the harrowing scenes they experienced. I felt contrasting emotions. On the one hand, I was left in no doubt as to the enormity of the task of repairing and building a shared society in Israel. On the other, I was inspired by the many people I met whose hope, belief and commitment to that goal is stronger than ever. I am always amazed by the resilience of Israeli society and never more so than over the past few days. This resilience is embodied by Uri Yirmias, owner of Uri Buri restaurant and hotel in Akko. Uri is an icon of shared society or what he calls “common existence living”. During the violence, Uri was in his apartment above the restaurant when he was warned
that a mob was going to burn it down. Today, the restaurant is a burned-out shell, but this entrepreneurial Israeli is already rebuilding it. Uri did not shy away from complexity as he spoke to us about the complicated relationship between the Arab community and the state of Israel. Remarkably and inspiringly, Uri was sanguine and without bitterness as he urged us to think about what we can learn from what has happened. How can we use this experience to create a better future? How can we ensure people don’t lose their faith in the concept of a shared society? How can we put what we learn into action? He doesn’t want endless academic debate – he wants positive action. Uri himself is a man of action, and while his restaurant is being rebuilt, he has opened up a temporary restaurant providing work for his 62 staff, a mix of Jews and Arabs. I was lucky enough to eat there. It was as delicious as ever and, knowing Uri, I suspect he will keep it open even after his restaurant has been rebuilt! I met many others who, like Uri, keep hope alive. Like the wonderful educators from Dror Israel, who have continued running a bike project where kids from across Akko come together to build and repair bikes. I saw a diverse mix of young people – Arabs, Jews, Russians, Ukrainians –chatting about bikes, rejecting a cycle of violence for cycles of hope.
ONCE THE DUST SETTLES, REBUILDING TRUST WILL BE A LONG-TERM PROCESS
It was all the more remarkable when I heard what they had been through during the riots. These young educators literally had to barricade themselves in. They watched from the rooftop as their neighbourhood was set ablaze and a lynching took place. Rioters gathered outside the front door armed with Molotov cocktails. Luckily, the police came and the rioters moved on. Despite such recent trauma, the bike project carries on. These grassroot initiatives make Uri hopeful, providing what he says is the most important thing of all – a chance to show respect to one another. The job of rebuilding trust is a long-term process. But there is a passion and determination to work harder, stronger and smarter than ever to create a shared society. I have been asked what can we do as a community. We need to show our support, sensitive and responsive to the needs of these communities, and
Uri Yirmias in his burnt-out restaurant
guided by those within them who in the face of such terrifying events remain so positive and constructive. We must ask why this happened and how we, as diaspora Jews committed to Israel, can work with our Israeli partners to help them ensure it doesn’t happen again. UJIA stands ready and committed to continue the work we have been doing for over 100 years to strengthen Israel so every citizen can have a promising future.
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Community / Scene & Be Seen
1 SCIENCE TREAT
Pupils at Keser School in Gateshead were given a treat during Science Week when they got hands-on with a number of fascinating experiments. Students were visited by Emily Ben-Ze’ev, of ‘Emily’s Adventures in Wonderland’, who ran workshops to demonstrate common scientific principles.
And be seen!
Sisters Sadie and Ella Richards were among those enjoying the bouncy castle and facepainting at a family fun day to raise money for a dementia prevention charity. The event on was run by the new communal organisation, Dementia Prevention UK, and raised more than £1,000. The money will go towards future workshops.
The latest news, pictures and (virtual) social events from across the community Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 ROCK SCHOOL
Simon Marks Primary School turned into the School Of Rock when pupils collaborated with WeJam to form a rock band. Children were given instruments and scores to follow. Pictured are students trying out the keyboards as others take turns on the drums and guitar.
It was a whole school effort this week at Sacks Morasha Primary School in Finchley, who joined in a variety of activities for Morasha Cares Week. Students helped to raise money for Camp Simcha, Great Ormond Street Hospital and The British Heart Foundation among other charities. Pictured are Year 4 students making posters about the Yoni Jesner Foundation.
24 Jewish News
10 June 2021
Weekend / Virtual event
If these objects could talk ….
Silver and ivory clock, made about 1690
Monastery gates from Kiev
Jenni Frazer discovers how treasures plundered by the Nazis ended up in a Jewish-owned collection
O A look
Inside Changing the rules: How schools will look in a post-Covid world
The last liberator of Auschwitz: Tributes paid to Russian soldier David Dushman
Competition: Win a year’s membership with TotalBody Studio!
Its home was originally at Somerset ne day in 1969, House before moving to the V&A. It Arthur Gilbert, is now administered by a trust, which a Jewish still buys items to add to the collection. immigrant Schuhmacher, a Frankfurt-born to Los Angeles from historian who completed his doctorate London, wandered into in Oxford, arrived at the V&A in 2018 an antiques shop on the to begin meticulous research into the city’s upscale Rodeo 1,000 objects in the Gilbert collection. Drive – and fell in love. He has become both an art lover Specifically, he fell and a detective, following the paper in love with an almost trail in dusty archives, identifying forgotten and startling art the original owners of an object and form – what Gilbert called then trying to find what became of it micromosaics – thousands between 1933, when the Nazis rose to and thousands of tiny power, and 1945, the end of the war. pieces of glass that form To date, Schuhmacher, working a picture, almost indistinwith the Gilbert collection curator, guishable from a painting. Alice Minter, believes there are The technique, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert 80 objects in the collection that have developed in Rome in the gaps in their provenance. 18th century and applied Not all these gaps will have been to California, intending to retire. But to objects ranging from exquisite due to Nazi looting, but Schuhmacher Arthur’s genius for making money tabletops to snuffboxes, became the has identified at least eight with what from real estate led him to a second core of one of the most extraordinary he calls “concealed histories” – and career, becoming a property tycoon collections of decorative arts in any each object has a fascinating backstory. and benefiting from the post-war museum: the Rosalinde and Arthur Just trying to explain the story building boom in Los Angeles. Gilbert Collection, on permanent loan behind each artwork was a But as Dr Jacques Schuhat the Victoria and Albert Museum challenge in itself, as the macher, the provenance since 2008. V&A normally insists Even without the “mania for micro- and spoliation curator that each of its objects at the Victoria and mosaics”, the Gilberts’ story is extraoris only captioned with dinary. The beautiful Rosalinde Gilbert Albert Museum (V&A), 60 words. In this instance, met the handsome Abraham Bernstein explained, the Gilberts special dispensation had began building their – as he was then known – at a ball held Dr Jacques Schuhmacher to be given for explanatory collection “at a time when at Madame Tussauds waxworks in captions to double that figure. gaps in provenance [the detailed London; they married in 1934. One of the most striking items is With just £500, the couple launched ownership history of an artwork] were a sumptuous clock made from silver not seen as a problem”. a women’s high fashion house, and inlaid ivory, thought to have been And so, unwittingly, Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert Limited, based made in 1690, but not assembled in its Rosalinde, themselves children of on her designs. Because everyone present form until 1880. addressed Arthur, as he had become, as Jewish immigrants from eastern It was once owned by a successful Europe, did not ask whether anything Mr Gilbert rather than Mr Bernstein, Jewish clockmaker from Frankfurt, they were buying could have been he changed his name legally – and he Nathan Ruben Frankel, who died looted by Nazis from other Jewish eventually became Sir Arthur Gilbert in 1909. But no one knows what collectors during the Holocaust. at the end of his long life. happened to the clock – which features After Rosalinde’s death in 1995, By 1945, the fashion business was a tiny figure of a navigator looking Arthur gifted the collection to Britain. so successful that the Gilberts moved
out to sea, on the top level – between Frankel’s death and its acquisition by Arthur Gilbert in Milwaukee in 1979. Frankel’s descendants, Friedrich and Klara Frankel, had a thriving watch business in Frankfurt that they were forced to sell to the Nazis. The couple fled to France in 1938 and survived the war in hiding. But it is not known whether they still owned the clock when the Nazis took over their business – or if they reclaimed it after the war. Perhaps it is a mystery that will never be solved. There are also a stunning pair of filigree gates, once adorning a monastery in Kiev. The gates, now on display in the Gilbert collection galleries in the V&A, were once owned by S and J Goldschmidt, among the most famous of Jewish art dealers in both Frankfurt and Berlin. After their company was seized by the Nazis in 1937, the gates were eventually sold in London. But again, there are big gaps in the ownership history of these priceless items. It’s hard to judge Rosalinde and Arthur for not asking more questions about whether the items in their collection were the result of Nazi looting. Perhaps they were simply swayed by the fact that some of the objects had come from the collection of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. But where they were during the Holocaust may never be fully discovered. LSJS is hosting a special virtual talk, Concealed Histories: Nazi Looting and the Gilbert Collection with Dr Jacques Schuhmacher on Sunday, 20 June, 8pm. Tickets £12 (£10 if booked before 13 June), www.lsjs.ac.uk or 020 8203 6427
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Entertainment / Weekend
Indiana Jones 5
Here come the rolling boulders, crystal skulls, chilled monkey brains and, of course, snakes! Harrison Ford will return as cult hero Indiana Jones some 40 years after the first film was released – and was even spotted donning the character’s beloved fedora and brown jacket on set this week. The 78-year-old is literally getting out the
The Plot Against America actress Zoe Kazan and The Dig’s Carey Mulligan are set to star in She Said, which explores the story of two New York Times journalists who investigated sexual harassment claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, sparking his eventual arrest and conviction, as well as the global #MeToo movement. The actresses will play Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, the authors of She Said: Breaking the Sexual
whip on his co-stars, who include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thomas Kretschmann, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook and Shaunette Renee Wilson, as production gets underway in North Yorkshire. Scenes will also be shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire for what is expected to be the fifth and final installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. Steven Spielberg has handed over the director’s chair to James Mangold (Logan), but is still involved as producer, while composer John Williams – who has written the iconic score for all four Indiana Jones movies – returns for this project.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga, dude! Seth Rogen and Nickelodeon are bringing back the heroes in a half shell with a CGanimated reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He will be joined by co-producers Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, alongside screenwriter Brendan O’Brien and director Jeff Rowe. The film, which is due for release in August 2023, will feature karate master superheroes Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo, as well as their friend April O’Neil. First appearing in comics in 1984, from writer-artist team Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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have been adapted into several animated television series, a live-action film franchise in the 1990s and a rebooted series in the 2010s.
Senior Year More than 25 years after shooting to fame as Cher Horowitz in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone is returning to the classroom in Netflix high school comedy, Senior Year, alongside Rebel Wilson. The cast also features This Is Us actor Justin Hartley and Spider-Man star Angourie Rice, with Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Mary Holland and Chris Parnell. Directed by Alex Hardcastle, Senior Year is set in 1997 and follows Ruby (played by Wilson),
Harassment Story That Helped Ignite A Movement, reports Deadline. More than 80 women made allegations against Weinstein dating back to the late 1970s, and in 2020 he was found guilty of sexual assault and rape. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence in prison. Maria Schrader, who won an Emmy for Netflix hit Unorthodox, will direct the film scripted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz.
who is the most popular girl in school, captain of the cheerleading squad and well on her way to becoming the prom queen. She has it all – until she falls from the top of a cheerleading pyramid and ends up in a coma. Twenty years later she awakens as a 37-yearold woman and returns to high school to try to regain her status and claim the prom queen crown that eluded her.
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26 Jewish News
10 June 2021
Weekend / Special Report
‘You name it, we dealt Remote learning, well-being workshops, classroom bubbles and virtual parents’ evenings are just some of the ways Covid-19 impacted on schools – and the changes are likely here to stay, discovers Stephen Oryszczuk
peaking from the side of a swimming pool, Ben Freedman from Immanuel College explains how he has only been the independent school’s director of digital learning since January. There was no director of digital learning before him. It is a new role, one that reflects the post-Covid world into which Jewish schools are emerging. “We saw a prominent role for digital learning going forward,” says Freedman, one of several educators speaking to Jewish News this week about the pandemic changes here to stay. “It became an absolute necessity that all staff knew how to use digital tools to do the stuff they were doing really well anyway.” Extended lockdowns meant a crash
course in remote learning, educational technology (ed-tech) tools, digital classrooms, interactive workbooks and all manner of e-wizardry besides. It also put a new focus on mental health monitoring, changed relationships, and in some cases, completely overhauled the structure of learning. Rabbi Yehuda Pearlman, principal at Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School in Manchester, said: “There were lots of positives, chief among them the bubble model, which we’re keeping. “Every year group now has their own area of corridor, their own timetable, own lunchtime, own playground, but also their own dedicated group of teachers. “We split the year group between the teachers – four teachers per year group, two
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Teachers extolled the virtues of a combination of face-to-face and remote learning
teaching secular, two kodesh. They revolve, teaching back-to-back but to smaller groups, so never more than 15 to 20 kids in any lesson. “In the past, it was a bit disjointed and misaligned between secular and kodesh. Now, teachers are less spread out. They work harder but sharper. It’s a smoother operation. The kids are more settled. They love to learn in small groups, we just didn’t know we could pull it off until forced to reconfigure.” Debbie Lebrett, headteacher at Hasmonean Boys’ School, echoes the theme. “We’ve all surprised ourselves with our resilience and ability to change in difficult situations,” she says. “People think schools don’t move with the times, but we all had to change tremendously quickly. “For instance, we had to build online classrooms, train all staff in something completely new, run virtual and live schools simultaneously, set up testing labs, help students with stress, anxiety, loss, and bereavement… You name it, we’ve dealt with it this past year.” Pearlman says Covid “really embedded” mental well-being in schools. “We’d piloted it, but it became the norm during Covid, teachers addressing the emotional needs and language of children. We now have a well-being slot in the timetable. Covid made it bread and butter. It’s now second nature.” Lizzie Caplan, primary Jewish Studies advisor at Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), which coordinated the networks that supported teachers and schools throughout the pandemic, says the non-physical effect of lockdowns changed a lot. “During Covid, all the boundaries just blurred and vanished,” she says. “Boundaries between work and home, between school and home, it all changed overnight. You had parents sat next to their child on school Zoom calls, essentially in the classroom.” She says parents taking a far more active role in their child’s learning was “a really big positive” and one that posed a question. “Now it’s all shifted back to the classroom, do we try to keep parents as involved? Do we involve them at a more in-depth level? Or do we go back to the original model of just
updating them every so often?” Lebrett can’t see a significant change in teacher-pupil relationships, but does think the forced embrace of technology will have knockon effects beyond the classroom. “We moved to a virtual parents’ evening and I can’t see us ever going back. It’s fantastic. You get your time slot, you’re on a stopwatch, and when your time’s up you move on to the next. In half an hour, you see all your teachers. Before, you waited three hours in a cold hall for all the parents in front of you.” Caplan says “one of the big things” to come out of this time is realising that, “in terms of getting a Jewish education, the home is where it happens”, a sentiment repeated elsewhere. A tech convert herself, she recognises its limitations, particularly for Jewish children. “Making [Jewish Studies] something that’s relevant – that’s been hard to deliver remotely. It’s made us look again at the curriculum,” she says. “More than other subjects, it comes down to the energy of the teacher in the classroom, the experiences they can have together. It’s something that’s meant to be lived. That barrier of Zoom, the loss of the in-person dynamic, makes it not quite as real, not quite as immediate. “At the same time, with shuls and community buildings closed, there was a lack of back-up when it came to a Jewish presence in children’s lives. Schools were left to create a Shabbaton, a Kabbalat Shabbat online, that kind of thing, to build a Jewish community around children.” Freedman agrees and, despite his job title, he doesn’t want to teach holograms. “The best place for children is in the classroom and that remains the case,” he says, to the sound of splashing behind him. “The future isn’t remote learning. It’s using some of the tools that remote learning gave us.” He says the move towards technology in classrooms was “more a case of accelerating things that were beginning to happen anyway”. Prior to Covid, it was “loosely on the agenda, something for the long-term”, he says.
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Special Report / Weekend
with it !’ “Suddenly it became an absolute imperative to get the systems up and running. Post-lockdown, these tools will remain in place and will continue to be used.” But hang on, says Lebrett. The pandemic may yet teach us a different lesson. “I think the biggest change will be that those clamouring for more technology realised it may not be the answer for everything,” she says, quietly confident. “I might be wrong – let’s wait to see.” Shosh Hill, head of Jewish Studies at the independent Kerem School, says whatever we emerge with, “remote learning has forced all teachers to rethink their teaching styles”, adding: “What works in class doesn’t necessarily translate on Zoom.” Hill is one of several teachers to sing the praises of ‘blended learning’, which balances face-to-face and remote learning, or “independent-led and teacher-led” study. “It can mean part of class time watching videos, working off Google documents, digital quizzes,” says Freedman. “Exclusively teacherled remote learning just didn’t work at all. You have to be creative in the tools you use and the way you teach. In that sense, Covid has helped improve teaching.” That’s because teachers have to work harder to overcome the physical distance because the atmosphere in the classroom – pupils responding to each other, to the teacher, whole-class discussions – is harder to generate online, where only one person can talk. “It’s like everyone else is looking through a keyhole,” says Freedman. “It has to be a lot more interactive. You have to engage the kids in the environment of a classroom, because they’re all sat there in their own environments [at home]. It’s a completely different way of planning.” Before the pandemic, tech take-up was patchy at best, says Samantha Benson, director of education at PaJeS. “You had individual teachers who were tech savvy, enthusiastic, passionate, but it was more of an added extra. The idea of each child having their own device was a distant dream.” Cue the first lockdown and “everyone suddenly realised that there wasn’t the exper-
tise, there weren’t enough devices, sometimes there wasn’t even sufficient Wi-Fi or internet connection to support remote learning,” she says. “In the run-up to Pesach, it was a case of ‘make do’. Then schools got themselves sorted. Teachers and teaching assistants learnt to teach remotely, with different tech tools. Schools decided whether to deliver live sessions or recordings, how they were going to commu- Educators insist the best place for children’s education remains in the classroom nicate with children and parents.” His school has given its Year 7 cohort a For those worried that children will stop A lot happened in just a few months. Chromebook each and plan to expand it, with being children with all these algorithms and “People don’t appreciate how hard everyone devices “part of the things we do in the classonline interaction, relax. “Children can still was working behind the scenes. Holidays were room”. At Hasmonean, Lebrett says the school mess around on Zoom,” says Benson. “They out. We set up these WhatsApp groups where saw the future in December. were changing their name to ‘Connecting…’ teachers and headteachers were sharing infor“We saw straight away the benefits to using and turning their camera off.” mation and messages. Many were posting late computers, so the minute we came back every When all’s said and done, when Covid is a into the night.” student got a Chromebook. They have them in distant memory, and when everyone gets to Sharing knowledge became businessevery lesson. It meant we could move onto our look back on the period, what will be the most critical, says Pearlman. “Prior to Covid, we had virtual platform straight away. We’re learning abiding memory, emotion, or change to come a year group trialling blended learning. When where we can use technology for good in the from it? Hill doesn’t hesitate. “Thank God for Covid hit, suddenly the whole school had to classroom. It’s been a gamechanger.” the mute button!” become au fait with it. “Teachers who’d been learning it deployed across the school to train others. Since they knew we had no option, they picked it up and did amazingly well, so much so that each year group now wants their own set of devices to continue with it.” Benson says Broughton’s is a familiar experience. “Change was thrust on people, but what it’s given them is something they want to hold on to.” Those new skill sets, and the fact that technology in the classroom is here to stay, is already changing the working life – and recruitment requirements – of teachers. “It will become imperative,” says Freedman. “We’re already changing our expectations of staff, that they be comfortable using new technology as it emerges. It’s not something you can choose to use or not use. It’s now part of the job.”
Some subjects, such as biology, are more easily taught in person rather than via Zoom
28 Jewish News
10 June 2021
Weekend / Tribute
The last liberator who never forgot the horrors of Auschwitz Tributes have been paid to David Dushman, who drove a Soviet tank through the barbed wire of the notorious Nazi death camp, writes Michael Daventry
T On 27 January 1945, David Dushman drove through Auschwitz’s electric fence
His commander had heard that preparations were being made to kill prisoners
The images he witnessed of the camp prisoners affected him his entire life
he long life of one of the last soldiers alive to liberate Auschwitz was not enough to help him come to terms with the horrors he witnessed. David Dushman, who died last Saturday aged 98, was driving one of the tanks that burst through a fence around the Nazi extermination camp. It was January 1945 and German forces were in retreat across eastern Europe against the steady progress of a rejuvenated Red Army. Then aged 21, Dushman had already witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War at Stalingrad and Kursk. With the ultimate goal of Berlin in sight, a camp in occupied Poland may have felt like a diversion. But the sheer barbarity of what was happening there was only just becoming clear. “We, the 1st Belorussian Front, were travelling a little bit further north of Auschwitz,” he recalled in an interview 75 years later, “and our commander received a message saying that preparations were being made to kill the prisoners and we needed to help them. “And five tanks, including my tank, headed further south. “When we arrived, we saw the fence and these unfortunate people, we broke through the fence with our tanks.” It was clear even in January 2020 that time had not numbed Dushman to what he saw. “They were standing there,” he said slowly, fighting back tears, “all of them in (prisoner) uniforms, only eyes, only eyes, very narrow – that was very terrible, very terrible.”
But he did not realise the extent of the atrocities until after the war was over. His unit gave the prisoners what canned foods they had and let a Ukrainian regiment take over. The race for Berlin was on. Dushman was born in 1923 to a Russian Jewish family of doctors in Gdansk, then the mostly German city of Danzig. The family followed his father’s work first to Minsk, then to Moscow, where he worked for the Red Army. Yet in 1938 he was sent to a gulag north of the Arctic Circle as a victim of Stalin’s Great Purge, which was perhaps why the young Dushman volunteered his services so enthusiastically when war broke out for the Soviet Union in 1941. He needed to demonstrate his patriotic credentials. “I frequently wasn’t allowed abroad because I had two stigmas,” he said. “Firstly, I was Jewish; secondly, I was a son of an enemy of the people. “My father, who was one of the first recipients of the Order of the Red Banner during the war, during the Revolution, he was repressed and in 1938 sent to a camp.” Being the son of an enemy of the people was “a terrifying stigma”, he said. His father was only rehabilitated posthumously. Dushman became a war hero too, one among just 69 men in his 12,000-strong column of tanks to survive, but he was seriously wounded and had to have part of one lung removed. He devoted himself to rebuilding his health through sport. He became an Olympic class fencer and trained Soviet medal winners. “I couldn’t walk at all because
I got out of breath. I made up my own workout routing for one minute per day,” he recalled. “So very, very gradually, slowly, slowly, I reached a point where in 1951 I became the champion of Russia (in fencing).” His new career would lead to an encounter with Thomas Bach, a German national and fellow fencer who went on to become president of the International Olympic Committee. “When we met in 1970, he immediately offered me friendship and counsel,” Bach recalled this week, “despite Mr Dushman’s personal experience with the Second World War and Auschwitz, and he being a man of Jewish origin. “This was such a deep human gesture that I will never ever forget it.” Dushman moved to the west after the Iron Curtain fell, first to Austria and then Munich, where he would continue to train younger fencers at the local club every day until 2017. But even after so many years, the Holocaust left him numb, something he could never fully explain. “I’m not a politician, it’s hard for me to say,” he said. “Of course it’s completely incomprehensible.We didn’t know that Auschwitz existed. In Russian it’s called ‘Osventsim’. We didn’t know (about it). “When I was in Germany for the first time, I watched a German movie, about Buchenwald, that was really terrible. We didn’t know that. “The only thing I’m completely sure about is that the German people, just like the Russian people, are completely innocent in this war. The politicians are to blame.”
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Torah For Today What does the Torah say about: Martin Bashir
BY RABBI JONNY ROODYN Korach, the populist leader who led an insurrection against Moses and Aaron, seemingly came with a legitimate claim. “For the entire community, they are all holy and God is in their midst. And why do you lift yourselves up above the community of God?” (Numbers 16:3) Since each one of the members of the community is holy, there is no need for a leader or priest to bring them close to God. The irony is that, despite this claim, Korach sought to set himself up as a leader under the pretence of representing the public interest. It is this inherent contradiction that led to his downfall. Had he come with a rational argument, it would have been possible to debate with him; however, because it was based on gloryseeking and the desire for adulation, more drastic measures were needed. As a result, Moses does not engage him in discussion. Had he done so, he would have been able
to point out a fundamental flaw in Korach’s logic. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch notes that rather than being “holy people”, the Jewish People are anshei kodesh, “people of a holy calling”. Our task is to uplift ourselves to that goal and never confuse reality with destiny. This is the idea behind the Tabernacle, whose control Korach sought to usurp. Not everyone has access to the various areas within it. The Holy of Holies is open to the High Priest just once a year on Yom Kippur as a representative of the nation. The whole division of the nation and the camp into Kohanim, Levites and Israelites with a fenced-off sanctuary in the centre expresses that holiness is a goal to be attained rather than a given.
◆ Rabbi Jonny Roodyn is education director of Jewish Futures and serves Finchley Federation Synagogue
BY RABBI ZVI SOLOMONS and rabbinic sources. Lord Dyson’s recent The Talmud views this damning report discovered sort of behaviour as low. that BBC bosses covered You are never to lie to gain up Martin Bashir’s deceit business advantage. in faking bank statement to Indeed, you are only secure his 1995 interview allowed to lie to save a with Princess Diana. What life, for peace, to protect does the Torah say about modesty or others’ hospiemploying such lies? tality. All religions regard There is a concept in honesty as a basic Judaism of gneivat da’at responsibility of their or stealing others’ underfollowers. It’s part of the standing. This is what golden rule, “Do not do Martin Bashir, left, and the late Princess Diana Martin Bashir did, forging to others as you would not wish them to do to you” or able disapproval from the Bible. documents to deceive Diana to get “Love your neighbour who is as Jacob is exiled and never sees his the interview. Bashir’s deception has rightly mother again owing to his falseyou are.” The Bible tells us several hoods. Laban is punished for attracted the notoriety it deserves. times not to lie, particularly in his deception. Shimon and Levi It is a shameful abuse and utterly certain circumstances, such as are execrated by Jacob for their unprofessional. According to Halacha, this when you give evidence (as in the deception. Our revulsion at Martin Bashir’s behaviour is beyond the pale. Ten Commandments). In fact, it is part of the Holiness code in lies and deception of a vulnerable ◆ Zvi Solomonsis rabbi of Diana to get that interview is there- the Jewish Community of Leviticus 19. Lying attracts consider- fore supported by many Biblical Berkshire in Reading, JCoB.org
Leadership is not about the ego – it is about the duty The Rebbe also modelled to him true Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was a selfaware leader. He thought and cared about humility or bitul hayesh, the nullification of the challenge of leadership. He even the self, which Rabbi Sacks frequently referdedicated a book to the subject, Lessons enced: “It is not about the ego, it’s about the duty.” After meeting the Rebbe, he went in Leadership, including a foreword on to study for semicha at Jews’ by leadership guru, Ronald College (now known as LSJS), Heifetz, author of Leadership continuing there as a lecturer On The Line. alongside his communal career Rabbis Sacks once said he as rabbi of Golders Green was particularly drawn to the Synagogue. book’s subtitle, How To Lead In In his early writings, we see Dangerous Times, which very a feisty and sometimes frushonestly reflected the stresses trated young leader, establishing and strains of leading. His openhis credentials. He was unafraid to ness about his own challenges was what made his leadership so acces- Joanne Greenaway challenge established norms, such as the wearing of canonisible and empowering. But how did Rabbi Sacks become a leader and what can we cals and not challenging your community’s religiosity. learn from it? As he assumed the Chief Rabbinate, For those involved in assuming responsibility at any level, this is an important ques- his leadership became even more bold tion. As the leader of London School of Jewish and visionary, launching a ‘decade of Studies (LSJS), where Rabbi Sacks was prin- renewal’ that, for the most part, he cipal and maintained a strong bond, this ques- was able to realise. He oversaw the proliferation of tion motivates me deeply. When he was young, he did not imagine initiatives and organisations unseen leadership was his calling. His journey before in the community, such as began with a fortuitous meeting with the Jewish continuity, as well as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who urged him to step building of more than 20 new Jewish up and assume responsibility within the schools and a burgeoning of Jewish pride. His leadership was encouraging and Cambridge student community.
seven core principles of leadership. His unique gift was to show the absolute relevance of our tradition to key issues facing society. Although he began as a reluctant and frustrated leader, Rabbi Sacks grew to become bold and visionary, humble and reflective, empowering and inspiring. He was one of Anglo-Jewry’s great leaders and we will always be grateful. Many of us want to continue in his derech, his approach. As he said after his life-changing encounter with the Rebbe: “Good leaders create followers, great leaders create leaders. That was the Rebbe’s greatness.” Rabbis Sacks enabled many Jewish leaders, myself included, and we will endeavour to empower others, as he taught us. ◆ Joanne Greenaway, CEO of LSJS, taught as part of the recent Torah of Rabbi Sacks course and is running The Fifth Commandment and Parent-Child Dynamics Today every Thursday in June. To find out more, visit www.lsjs.ac.uk Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
inclusive – as he said in his installation address: “I cannot nor will I ever try to, lead alone… let us become joint architects of this Anglo-Jewish future.” He was a meticulous planner, a voracious reader and worked in harmony with his loyal team despite, by his own admission, not being a “people person”. He modelled good leadership by listening to people who had the qualities he lacked. He had the humility to admit a mistake and learn from it. In later years he became an increasingly broad religious leader, widening his messages to respond to global challenges. In Lessons in Leadership, he draws on both his life experience and the lives of the characters in Tanach to teach
Jewish News 10 June 2021
The Bible Says What? ‘Rabbi was helped to die’
Is gene therapy playing God?
BY RABBI DANNY RICH Judaism is life affirming and has at its core the concept of pikuach nefesh – making questions about the end of life more difficult than they might otherwise be. Although the majority of the Jewish community does now support assisted dying – 71 percent being in favour in a recent survey – there is a split along our usual fault line of ‘traditional’ against ‘liberal’. This debate goes back as far as the Babylonian Talmud and the story of the death of the famous Rabbi Judah HaNasi, the Prince, who died in circa 200CE. Judah is dying of a painful illness, but his disciples gather around his bed praying that he may live. His devoted handmaid, seeing there is no pain like that of her master, ascends to the roof, takes a pitcher and throws it to the ground. Its smashing distracts the disciples from their prayer and in that moment the rabbi dies. In throwing
the pot, she interrupted the prayers and effectively killed him. Was this an act of compassion by a woman who was able to comprehend that the disciples had lost sight of their master’s needs, were consumed by their own and were, in practice, carrying out an extraordinary method of artificial life support? We know the sources are agreed on only one thing: there is no disapproval of the handmaiden or her action. Judaism has, for much of its history, taken the view that a human being is made up of the physical and the spiritual, the soul and the body. If it is our goal to ensure everyone lives well, then we have an equal responsibility to see that they die well: empowered, as free as possible from pain and discomfort and with their souls as comforted as it is possible to be.
◆ Rabbi Danny Rich is a vice president of Liberal Judaism
BY RABBI DEBORAH BLAUSTEN The prospect of innovative new gene therapies that could transform the lives of those with genetic diseases is incredibly exciting. Even knowing this, the idea of altering human genes can be unsettling for some, raising questions of what it means to change or adapt our biology, and whether there is a conflict with the notion that we are each created in the image of God. Unlike in other areas of Jewish law, there is considerable consensus across rabbinic authorities on the question of medical gene therapies. This is because there isn’t an idea in traditional Jewish law that there is something that can be created from our natural world that is in any way unnatural. Everything around us is a potential building block and we are
able to apply our free thought and scientific reasoning so long as we do not violate Torah laws. Pikuach nefesh, the preservation of life, has primacy as a principle in deciding what a Jewish approach might be to any situation. Gene therapies both support and take us beyond this principle
because they are not just lifesaving, they also have the potential to be life altering, dramatically improving a person’s quality of life. This, too, is an important value. Progressive Jews often describe the application of scientific knowledge as a way of acting as partners with God in continuing the work of creation, discovering new things and bringing more of the potential embedded in the world into fruition. When humans use creativity and ingenuity to heal others, we are engaged in acts of tikkun, of repair. If the potential to heal is there in our natural world, then it is our religious duty, as a society, to find it and apply it. ◆ Rabbi Deborah Blausten serves Finchley Reform Synagogue
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Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Reducing tax liability, tackling religious discrimination at work and regaining confidence post-Covid CAROLYN ADDLEMAN DIRECTOR OF LEGACIES
Dear Carolyn My uncle, who never married or had children, passed away six months ago, appointing my brother and I as executors and leaving his large estate to be divided equally between us. The value of his assets exceeds the inheritance tax allowance, meaning there is a substantial tax liability. Is there anything we can do to reduce the liability at this stage or is it too late? Martin Dear Martin Your uncle’s estate exceeds the nil rate band, the tax-free allowance, of £325,000, which triggers an inheritance tax liability of 40 percent
EMMA GROSS EMPLOYMENT LAW AND DATA PROTECTION
SPENCER WEST LLP Dear Emma I am struggling at work as most of my colleagues are pro-Palestinian and often make inappropriate and judgmental remarks about my religion and love of Israel. I feel quite intimidated and have begun to feel very isolated. My employer said it’s freedom of speech, but I feel I’m not allowed to have a voice. What can I do? Dalia
Dear Dalia I am so sorry, Dalia. Religion or belief is one of nine “protected characteristics” covered by the Equality Act 2010 and you should not have to deal with this harassment in the workplace. Harassment is a form of discrimination that occurs when a person engages in unwanted conduct related to religion or belief when that conduct has the purpose or effect of violating another’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. It sounds to me that this is what you are experiencing here. There is also an aspect of direct religious discrimination at play, as your
on the remaining assets. The most common way of redirecting assets after death is for the beneficiaries under the will to execute a deed of variation. This is a document that effectively changes the terms of the will by ‘rewriting’ part of it. It is most often used to mitigate inheritance tax liability from non-exempt beneficiaries if done within two years of death and can reduce or wipe out the tax liability from non-exempt beneficiaries such as yourselves. It does this by redirecting assets to UK registered charities, which are exempt from inheritance tax liability. It is possible to change the destination of a percentage of the residue of the estate so that you still receive some of the assets as your uncle intended. However, by leaving a larger share to charity you will reduce the amount of tax payable and benefit good causes. KKL has served the community with executorship and trustee services for over 70 years.
colleagues are singling you out because of your religion of belief. Direct religious discrimination occurs where, because of religion or belief, a person treats another person less favourably than he/she treats or would treat others. Employers have a duty to protect you from discrimination in the workplace. If you feel discriminated against, you should speak to HR or raise a formal grievance. If this doesn’t work, then you have the right to bring a claim against your employer for religious discrimination. To reassure you, it would be unlawful for your employer to victimise you because you have made or intend to make a religion or belief discrimination complaint.
MATT MILLS DIRECTOR OF HOMECARE AND OPERATIONS
SWEETTREE HOME CARE SERVICES Dear Matt My mother has always led an active social life and, pre-Covid, enjoyed regular outings with friends. However, she has spent the majority of the past 18 months shielding and has lost a sense of who she was before. Could introducing a home care companion help her regain this confidence? Eric
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Dear Eric Maintaining social contact with loved ones is crucial to happiness, well-being, and helping to maintain a high quality of life. The pandemic has shown that although we can use technology such as laptops and tablets to keep in contact with people, it cannot replicate real-life interaction. Going back out into the community after a long period of isolating at home can feel daunting. We would recommend taking small steps to create a safe environment for your mother to open up and disclose any worries, allowing her to verbalise her feelings with a specialist care professional. Exploring the things your mother enjoyed doing prior to the pandemic, we can create
a person-centred plan to start bringing back the activities in which she used to engage. It would be beneficial for your mother to start out with short periods of companionship from a carefully matched and experienced carer. Having this initial reassurance and a friendly companion with whom to attend social events could help to rebuild her confidence before she feels able to attend independently. With reassurance and time, we would hope to help revert to her pre-Covid social interactions and events. One tip we have found works well is having a small gathering at home first, perhaps enjoying the sunshine safely with friends, is a good start to that confidence-building.
Jewish News 10 June 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
EMPLOYMENT LAW AND DATA PROTECTION
TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing Director, consultant specialists in affordable family health insurance. • Advising on maximising cover, lower premiums, pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • LLB solicitors finals. • Member of Chartered Insurance Institute.
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DIRECTOR OF LEGACIES
CAROLYN ADDLEMAN Qualifications: Lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in will drafting and trust and estate administration. Last 14 years at KKL Executor and Trustee Company. In close contact with clients to ensure all legal and pastoral needs are cared for. Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
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FINANCIAL SERVICES (FCA) COMPLIANCE
JACOB BERNSTEIN Qualifications: • A member of the APCC, specialising in financial services compliance for: • Mortgage, protection and general insurance intermediaries; • Lenders, credit brokers, debt counsellors and debt managers; • Alternative Investment Fund managers; • E-Money, payment services, PISP, AISP and grant-making charities.
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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INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS SPECIALIST
NAOMI FELTHAM Qualifications: • Leading currency transfer provider since 1996 with over 500 expert employees. • Excellent exchange rates on your transfers to/from Israel. • Offices worldwide, with local support in Israel, the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. • Free expert guidance from your dedicated account manager.
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Jewish News 10 June 2021
10 June 2021 Jewish News
Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
7 8 9 11 14 17 19 20 22 23
ACROSS 1 Person of exceptional holiness and goodness (5)
4 Group of competition judges (5)
R S A
P C N T
P P E R X T E
E E R N L
Y U U F L E
T W O O A T R N
D A L E R T E P A L
A D R U D R W I I
Y B L G X U E
A O W K E C D
DUCK EGRET EIDER FULMAR GANNET
GOOSE HERON MALLARD OSPREY PETREL
Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Such 3 Hot air 8 Fertile 9 Ken 10 Withdrawal 13 Top the bill 17 Tea 18 Arrayed 19 Sloppy 20 Pray DOWN: 1 Safe 2 Corgi 4 Ode 5 Askew 6 Rankle 7 Eighth 11 Reborn 12 Status 14 Piano 15 Layer 16 Edgy 18 App
PINTAIL PUFFIN TEAL TERN WIGEON
1 9 2 4 7 5 3 8 6
6 8 5 2 3 9 4 7 1
1 9 3
4 3 9 5 8 1 7 6 2
8 7 6 3 2 4 9 1 5
9 6 8 1 4 3 5 2 7
7 8 5 2 1 4 3
9 4 6 2 9 1 5 7 9 1 4 8 7 6
SUGURU Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.
Suguru 5 2 1 7 9 6 8 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 7 4 3 6 1 8 2 5 9
X A E C K O U C J M E S R E S O O G T Q R C O O T T
H M O C S E M R B A L G G A Q R T E
AVOCET COOT CORMORANT CURLEW DIPPER
G E O N F
R O E T W F G
F H L M D H N W V P
H V U P O
Z K D L P N Y B N S N T N R V V
In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers 2, 21 and 24 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
The water birds 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.
T M F Z E P N C
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
Come back in (2‑5) Butane, eg (3) Chinese cooking pan (3) User of books (6) Give (6) Bind (3) Shred (3) Obedient (7) Friend (5) Forward, cheeky (5)
DOWN 1 Astute (6) 2 ___ Station Zebra, Maclean novel (3) 3 Private instructor or coach (5) 4 Hooded fur coat (5) 5 Lack of care (7) 6 Opposite of ‘win’ (4) 10 Patella protection (4‑3) 12 One’s conscious self (3) 13 Truly (6) 15 Radio 4 news programme (5) 16 Charlie ___, Rolling Stones drummer (5) 18 Snatch hold of (4) 21 Contagious disease (3)
3 1 7 8 5 2 6 9 4
2 5 4 9 6 7 1 3 8
3 1 3 2 3 1
4 2 4 1 5 4
5 3 5 3 2 3
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 2 4 2 1 4 1
1 5 3 5 3 2
4 2 1 2 1 4
2 1 4 1 2 4
4 3 2 3 5 1
2 1 5 4 2 3
3 4 3 1 5 4
2 1 2 4 3 1
3 4 3 1 2 5
B R E K P T Q X G T N Z M
T K E C S N S O S H S F H
K S B H X E K P L G H V E
W G F U I M R E L P O E P
C S R R S E Q T C N P D S
U Y R C R V I Y A D S C Y
Q O C H A A V B R E H W X
Codeword L I C L C P U W C O H E T
Z T A X I S A S O N D T S
P M B M S S R L T J L E A
P O A T Y M T A M E N I C
I J O L J U B S Z A P F G
V P L I G H T S L O D S U
O F F E N C E S C U Q I I O U N H U R T R EM G I Y K I S U N N Y P S Y C S O T O E X T R EM I S A A E N A D V A N C E Y O J L I P O B U T T ON L A Z S A G E E S T A R T S AWD
OO X O T A H I L M S U T Y I L U U S
P E C
H Y T
L D F ON U J V S P T I Q W B E G Y R X K M A Z H C10/06
Jewish News 10 June 2021
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
Stirling BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture Top prices paid (any condition)
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jackets, coats, you in your home. boleros, stoles, Single items to complete homes also fox coats, Days/nights. jackets etc. MARYLEBONE rates. ANTIQUES - 8 CHURCH STREET NW8 8ED Very reasonable Wardrobes cleared Call 0208 958 2939 614 744 (ANYTIME) Call 01277 352 560 or 0749507866 026 168
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Ep Dini D
Diamond Jewellery, Gold, Silver, Paintings, Porcelain, Please contact Gordon Stirling Glass, Bronzes, Ivories, Oriental & Judaica Antiques etc.
Full house clearances organised. 020 8960 5401 or 07825 224144
Please email@example.com at our website for more details Email:
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Call Ian Green, Man on a Bike on
ARE YOU BEREAVED?
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Charity & Welfare
Bereavement Counselling for adults and children individually. Support Groups available. During the pandemic, we offer telephone and online counselling. Contact Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service in confidence. 0208 951 3881 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.jbcs.org.uk
Labels are for jars. Refer yourself or a loved one by YOU BEREAVED? ARE Not people. calling 020 8458 2223 or visit Counselling for adults & children who are www.jamiuk.org
experiencing loss. Support groups offered. REGISTERED CHARITY NO. 1003345 Call The Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service in confidence
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We hav warden a in Eal warden
For furth West
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Hall & Randall Plumbers
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Gary Green ad 84 x 40mm JM Group v2.indd 1
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10 June 2021 Jewish News
Business Services Directory SILVER
Inspirational speaker available to book
ANTIQUE JUDAICA & HEBRAICA Books, Manuscripts, Ephemera, Works of Art and Silver
HIGHEST PRICES PAID!
Enhance your special event. With a unique & meaningful presentation or speech by Elie Schwartz
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Contact me 07973696548 Or email email@example.com
ADVERTISE IN THE UK’S BIGGEST JEWISH NEWSPAPER FOR LESS THAN £24 A WEEK
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LEGACY- LEAVE A GIFT IN YOUR MEMORY
JEWISH WAR VETERANS
Leave the legacy of independence to people like Joel.
& THEIR DEPENDANTS NEED
PLease remember us in your wiLL.
Tel: 020 8202 2323 Web: www.ajex.org.uk Email: email@example.com
or caLL 020 8371 6611 No. 259480 18-361-JM Small legacy advert v1.qxp_Legacy 09/10/2018 10:27 Page 1
Registered Charity No: 1082148
Need to furnish your home or office? London’s leading supplier of new and reconditioned furniture. Free assembly and delivery next working day on most items – call now!
HELP US CONTINUE TO BE THERE FOR OUR COMMUNITY WITH A GIFT IN YOUR WILL. Call Alison on 020 8922 2833 for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org Chancellors House, Brampton Lane, London, NW4 4AB Tel: 020 8903 8746 | Fax: 020 8795 2240 www.bﬁwd.org | email: info@bﬁwd.org
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email@example.com ► www.cst.org.uk ► 0208 457 3700 ►
we protect our children’s future Please include CST in your will
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COMPUTER Legacy advert 84x40.indd 1
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ADVERTISE IN THE UK’S BIGGEST JEWISH NEWSPAPER FOR LESS THAN
ADVERTISE IN THE UK’S BIGGEST JEWISH NEWSPAPER FOR LESS THAN
Email Sales today at email@example.com
Email Sales today at firstname.lastname@example.org
£24 A WEEK
£24 A WEEK
40 Jewish News
10 June 2021
36 HO UR S
Partnering with Jewish schools today, so we can thrive tomorrow