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‘Expel Corbyn... then we might vote Labour’ Thousands of would-be supporters send Starmer emphatic message as pressure mounts ahead of conference by Lee Harpin email@example.com @lmharpin
Almost two-thirds of nonLabour voters who admit they would consider backing Keir Starmer’s party at the next General Election say they are more likely to do so if Jeremy Corbyn is expelled. In a survey published this week by the Labour Uncut news site, 60 percent of those who have previously voted for other parties said they would be more likely to back
Starmer if the former leader was booted out for failing to apologise over his comments relating to antisemitism. Tellingly, just 19 percent of those considering supporting Labour said they would be less likely to back the party were Corbyn expelled. In research conducted by Yonder, (the polling company previously known as Populas), one-in-four of those polled (26 percent) said they would consider voting for Labour at the next election, having previously backed other parties. But of this group, 66 percent said they were still worried about the influence of Corbynites in the party. Two-thirds of those polled agreed with the statement: “I didn’t want Corbyn to be prime minister and worry people like him are still too influential in Labour.” The polling, conducted by Yonder between 13 and 14 September with 2,010 respondents, revealed one-in-seven Conservative voters (14 percent), more than half of Lib Dems voters
(53 percent) and onein-four SNP voters (26 percent) are considering switching to Labour. Responding to the results, Atul Hatwal, editor of Labour Uncut, told Jewish News: “An opportunity is emerging for Keir Starmer. With one-infour non-Labour voters open to switching at the next election there’s a path to government opening up. This polling shows that voters want a decisive break from Corbyn and the stain of antisemitism expunged.” Margaret Hodge interview, p11
Jewish News 23 September 2021
News / Israel motion / Convoy case / EHRC change
Lib Dems oppose trade with Israeli settlements by Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
The Liberal Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favour of “a ban on UK trade with the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory” at their annual conference. Welcoming the passing of a lengthy motion dealing with Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran accused the UK government of doing “nothing” to stop Israel’s “continued expansion” outside its “sovereign territory”. She tweeted: “The UK has condemned the settlements. It distinguishes between the settlements and the sovereign territory of Israel in its trade policy. But, despite continued expansion, the UK and the international community does nothing.” Moran said that she was a
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey addresses the party conference
“firm believer of a two-state solution” but that a “new approach is desperately needed” by the UK to ensure this scenario materialised. In an occasionally fiery debate on Monday, the conference – which took place behind an online paywall this year – delegates backed a motion that committed the party to recognising a two-state solu-
tion with secure boundaries for Israel and Palestine based on 1967 lines. Addressing the issue of settlements, the motion committed the party to declaring that “illegal Israeli settlements represent a de facto annexation of Palestinian territory and that such settlements are a major but not sole factor in making the search
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for a listing peace ever more difficult to achieve”. The left-wing Yachad group was among the first to congratulate the Lib Dems “for taking a stance against illegal settlements and occupation”. A statement said the motion “isn’t an endorsement of BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement], nor is it anti-Israel.” Moran had been keen to hail what she claimed was the Lib Dems’ “radical new approach” to helping resolve the conflict in the Middle East. She tweeted after the conference vote that “at the heart of our new policy is increased co-operation, using trade as a tool for peace and upholding international law and human rights”. Her motion had been backed by both Lib Dem Friends of Israel and Lib Dem Friends of Palestine before the conference.
Four men charged over hate convoy Four men have been charged after allegedly shouting antisemitic abuse as they drove around in a convoy in north London. The suspects, all from Blackburn, Lancashire, are accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to stir up racial hatred. Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27, and Asif Ali, 25, both of Pringle The convoy of cars in north London Street; Jawaad HusThe alleged incident took sain, 24, of Revidge Road; and Adil Mota, 26, place after protests in London of Leamington Road, were and other cities across the charged via postal requisi- UK and Ireland in support of tion on 16 September, and are Palestine amid renewed condue to appear at Westmin- flict with Israel. The Community Security ster Magistrates’ Court on 6 Trust tweeted that it “welOctober. It is claimed that they used comes the news that four antisemitic language as they men have been charged in travelled around as part of connection with antisemitic a convoy of cars covered in abuse being shouted from a Palestinian flags in St John’s car convoy on Finchley Road... Wood, north London, on We thank Met Police for their work on this investigation.” 16 May.
EIGHT LABOUR NEC MEMBERS VOTE AGAINST RULE CHANGE by Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
Eight members of Labour’s national executive committee have voted against rule changes relating to disciplinary cases that were made a legal requirement for the party to implement following the EHRC’s report into antisemitism. In a move described by one senior party figure as “sad and factional”, the eight refused to back a batch of changes to Labour rules relating to the new independent disciplinary process for cases relating to protected characteristics, required by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report. Jewish News can reveal that the NEC members to defy the wishes of both the Labour leadership and the Commission were constituency Labour Party (CLP) representatives Mish Rahman, Gemma Bolton, Yasmine Dar and Nadia Jama, Ian Murray of the Fire Brigades Union, Andi Fox of the The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, Mick Whelan of ASLEF and Andy Kerr of the CWU. Despite their stance, the rule changes were still easily passed at last Friday’s meeting of Labour’s ruling body – with 18 members of the NEC voting in favour and one abstaining. Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, told Jewish News: “The NEC are the trustees of the party. It’s staggering that a handful of them think factional in-fighting is more important than ensuring Labour meets an essential recommendation from the EHRC in tackling antisemitism.
“Let’s be clear: if Labour failed to pass these rule changes this weekend it will lead to the EHRC taking enforcement action against the party.” In his own report of Friday’s meeting, NEC member Luke Akehurst wrote: “I was really disappointed that eight colleagues would vote against a change that is a legal requirement following the investigation into antisemitism.” The changes will now go before delegates attending this weekend’s Labour conference – where, according to party sources, they are “confidently” expected to be passed on Sunday. During a lengthy meeting, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer made an impassioned speech in which he rejected claims by the hard-left that he was engaged in a factional war against them with his crackdown on antisemitism in the party. Starmer told the meeting that he was in a fight to rid Labour of antisemitism – not a fight against any section of the party. Labour’s executive head of legal Alex BarrosCurtis also delivered a swift rebuke to claims made by Jewish Voice for Labour in a submission to the EHRC that the party had disproportionately expelled Jewish members. Barros-Curtis said the party utterly refuted the submission made Jewish Voice for Labour, “particularly that we disproportionately target them, and also that we ignore any complaints we have of theirs”. He added: “Indeed, those complaints are actually in the backlog – so will be dealt with as part of the clearance project, which will mean these are resolved as swiftly as possible.” Jewish News has contacted Labour for comment.
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Newspaper awards / Government roles / News
Jewish News named Britain’s BEST free weekly newspaper Ferrer added: “Thanks Jewish News is Britain’s best ❝ must also go to everyone free weekly newspaper! That’s DOES THIS CO TRIBUTE FFI N CONTAIN THE REMAINS ION EDIT MURDERED OF MY COUSINS who supports the Jacob the verdict of the Society Of AT AUSCHWI Sacks rd Lo i TZ? TH bb E CHIEF RA Ra BBI ADDRESS IS 19 48 -20 20 ING THEM IN HIS Foundation, the charity that Editors, which awarded us the EULOGY? now owns the title.” prestigious prize at last week’s Three landmark issues Regional Press Awards. were submitted with the Jewish News overcame fierce nomination, including a competition from a field of almost special edition for the 75th 700 entries, including larger shortanniversary of the liberation listed titles Islington Tribune and of Auschwitz edited by a panel Slough and Windsor Express to be of second and third generation named joint winner in the coveted and featuring portraits of surFree Weekly Newspaper category News A law unto vivors taken by the Duchess of alongside Camden New Journal. Cambridge, a dedicated issue The judges said: “Jewish News has thems elves focusing on mental health at a laser-like focus on the issues that GENE LES, TONY INCE CHAR the height of the first wave in are important to its readers. It also S FROM: PR OLA & JON NTRIBUTION RVIS, DINA SACKS, NIC CLUSIVE CO M, DANIEL RABBI MI RU IEF TURING EX ZA CH DR FEA I N, the pandemic and Jewish News’ works hard to promote co-operation ON BROW NER, RABB BBY IFIELD RD US DE & LA GO CH IR, R-K NE BLA ARRO See pages 5, N, RABBI JAN SACKER, JOANNA BEN 6, 7, 16 & 20 MENDELSOH DAN memorial edition marking the and understanding with other commuNY LIPCZER, TAUB, JON death of the former Chief Rabbi, nities. The high esteem in which it is A selection of front pages that saw us secure the national award Lord Sacks. held is demonstrated by the number of Dawn Alford of the Society of Editors, national politicians and civic leaders who con- year after the eleventh-hour disappointment isn’t an editor in the country who does not tribute to its columns. This is a high-quality of not merging with the Jewish Chronicle and want to get their hands on one. No other reli- said: “There was an incredible standard of gious paper in Britain has been shortlisted entries in a year where demand for trusted running a combined title. weekly newspaper.” “Newspaper accolades don’t get more for this national title, let alone actually won news has never been higher. Local and Co-publishers Richard Ferrer and Justin Cohen said: “This is simply a remarkable prestigious than this. The Society of Editors it. This recognition will spur the exceptional regional media has risen to the challenge.” Editorial comment, page 14 achievement. Jewish News has had a terrific awards are the Oscars of the industry. There Jewish News team to even greater heights.” 4 February 2021
ber 2020 12 Novem
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22 Shvat 5781
Every week we pen a love letter to Jewish life – all Jewish life – and when it’s printed we call it our newspaper...
• 18 Shevat 5779
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en Wilson Chief Execu tive of the United burial of six Holocaust victim Synagogue at Sunday’s s at Bushey New Cemetery
VOICE OF THE
exposure of huge underground (literally) superspreader events – a clear illegality and a danger to life. These events fly in the face of British and Jewish law that places life above all else. Likewise, it is with no joy that we report this week on a government study showing that two thirds of Charedi Jews contracted coronavirus last year. This is one of the highest With much reduced access to rates anywhere in the Guiding lights information from the outside world, world and nine times the this 20,000-stong community relies national average. on its leaders – senior rabbis – to And it is with open ears convey the deadly seriousness and that we listen to criticism, ever-changing threat of Covid-19. shown by the letters we If they say ‘adhere’, Charedim will publish today. • 50+ strictly-Orthod ox weddings adhere. If they say ‘no simchas,’ we Some asked why we do across London during lockdown • Lookouts used to raise alarm and money set would have no breaches to report. not instead reveal secular aside for fi • Bride at one Stamford nes wedding was ‘Covid Hill Yet our investigation last week, Jews breaching lockdown, positive’ • Police ‘not doing enough’ to prevent acts of showing how large Charedi wedignoring that we reported lawlessness • Further simchas held since last week’s school dings have continued throughout wedding scandal on our front page about a the pandemic, means some of barmitzvah with 100 guests them are saying no such thing. in Edgware just weeks ago. Yes, it caused upset nationally, Some said we should not UARY both externally and internally, Our front page report bad things about Jews. investigation sparked yet the reaction was telling. anger in sections of the community Some accused us of having Many were more upset than an agenda (although of whatSurvivors including Agnes Lily Ebert, Grunwald-Sp Renee Salt ier, shocked. Many were not in the least bit shocked at we’re still not sure). Some even said our reportingescort and Harry Bibrin a coffin contai ning the remain g what we reported, only that we reported it. echoed the kind of thing one might have readsix Holoca ust victim s of s to its final place at Bushe We make no apologies. We can think of nothing in Berlin in 1940. Tellingly, virtually no one conresting y New Cemet ery that better defines ‘public interest’ than the tested what we wrote. Continued on page 20 IT’S WEEK THREE OF OUR 120 OVER 80 COUNTDOWN EE
GO GREE N FOR JN F UK GR EEN SUN DAY
28 January 2021
15 Shvat 5781
, PAGES 11-13
Iconic landmarks help mark Holocaust Memorial Day
Israel is number one for vaccinations...
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A strictly-Orthodox at a pre-lockdown couple wedding
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We put our community first in everything we do and grab every opportunity to show off its vibrancy and achievements to the nation. That is our mission, our passion, our raison d’être. That is also why we have covered the great and good of the Charedi world, and done so extensively. In London alone this includes the neighbourhood watch service Shomrim, emergency response service Hatzola, mental health charity Bikur Cholim, special educational needs school Side-by-Side, public affairs group Interlink Foundation and new hospital food service Bedside Kosher, to name but a small handful – everything from interviews to whole days spent observing how an organisation works, meeting the people, seeing what they do, then telling readers. Far from ignoring the marvel that is the strictlyOrthodox community in full flow, we showcase and celebrate it. We have done more than any mainstream newspaper in Britain in recent years to build these ties and senior figures will happily Blake Ezra by it confi rm this. But ‘news’, as we all know, can be Portra both good and bad, and we do not look away either. Nor would you expect us to. The Charedi world derives its strength and longevity from keeping the secular world at arm’s length, but the drawbacks of tight-knit self-isolation have been thrown into sharp and shocking focus like never before by this deadly pandemic.
FRAZER AND FREER PROMOTED by Lee Harpin email@example.com @lmharpin
One of the few Jewish women in government has become financial secretary to the Treasury, while Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer has been given a significant new role within the Foreign Office. In Boris Johnson’s latest reshuffle, Lucy Frazer, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, who was previously at the Ministry of Justice, is now responsible for tax policy and customers including border readiness Frazer, a QC, grew up in Leeds where she was a member of BBYO in her youth. She replaces Jesse Norman as a Treasury minister. Meanwhile, in an announcement made on Tuesday, Freer was confirmed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (minister for
New roles: Lucy Frazer and Mike Freer
equalities) at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The role, in addition to his position as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, means he will have an opportunity to offer advice to new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who replaced Dominic Raab in last week’s cabinet reshuffle.
Dorries gets ‘cautious welcome’ Boris Johnson’s decision to promote Nadine Dorries to the role of culture secretary has received a “cautious welcome” from communal organisations eager to meet her to discuss the government’s landmark proposals to tackle antisemitism online. In a surprise move, Dorries was promoted to the cabinet role, for which she replaced Oliver Dowden, who is now co-chairman of the Conservative Party. As digital and culture sec-
retary, Dowden had previously spoken of his determintion to tackle online antisemitism in the Online Harms legislation that is set to be made law in 2023. One communal leader told Jewish News: “We had previously enjoyed good relations with Oliver Dowden, who seemed to be competent in his approach to making sure the government online harms laws attacked the problem of anti-Jewish racism. “It’s fair to say we cautiously
welcome the appointment of Nadine Dorries in the same role. We will just have to wait and see what she bring to the position. The hope is she will listen to our concerns to begin with. Antisemtism online is a massive issue for the community.” It is understood the Board of Deputies, Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust will be among those seeking meetings with the new culture secretary.
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
Special Report / Photography exhibition
Remembering absence Photography by Derryn Vranch / Royal Photographic Society
The largest gathering of UK Holocaust survivors for two years took place this week at the Imperial War Museum by Josh Salisbury email@example.com @josh_salisbury
Agnes Koposi with granddaughter Molly
Survivor Zigi Shipper
OU H SCAOMN PUS R E L M N H H A M WO W O P E NO
The joy and relief was palpable this week as Holocaust survivors mingled for the first time since the pandemic at a Jewish News-supported photography exhibition showcasing their lives. Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors at the Imperial War Museum reveals the lives of survivors and their descendants more than seven decades on from the Shoah’s horrors. Among 15 photographers taking part in the project were the Duchess of Cambridge and longstanding royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who was made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS). The exhibition is the culmination of an initiative started two years ago when Justin Cohen, news editor of the Jewish News, approached the Duchess of Cambridge’s office about an idea to combine her love of photography with her vow to pass on the memory of the Shoah ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Jewish News was joined by Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) and the RPS as partners
on the project and exhibition, which was sponsored by Dangoor Education. Survivors whose portraits are featured hailed the life-affirming exhibition, and told Jewish News they hoped it would encourage viewers to reflect on those “who are not there”. Martin Stern, a survivor born in 1938 in the Netherlands who survived both the Westerbork and Theresienstadt transit camps, features in the exhibition in a video with his granddaughter. “The standard of photography was extremely high,” he said. He urged people to reflect that survivors of the Nazi murder regime who are pictured surrounded by family were a “tiny minority”. “It gives a flavour of what could have come of those huge numbers of others who were murdered and the descendants they did not have,” he said. “Their world was destroyed. When they see our descendants, they should reflect on the wonderful people who came to be.” Mala Tribich, one of the survivors pictured, said the occasion was “so moving, it was very emotional. People should go and see it,” she said. Vera Schaufeld came to the UK from Prague on the Kindertransport when she was nine,
seeing her parents for the last time as they waved her from the station. She is pictured in the exhibition with her granddaughter and great grandson. “It’s important people know and remember the Holocaust and they see there are also refugees who need to have safety like the government gave to me,” she said. “The exhibit was so well done.” Renate Collins, who came to the UK on the Kindertransport and lost 64 members of her family in the Shoah, praised the exhibition. “Anything that brings it [the Holocaust] to mind is good because we don’t want people to forget.” The Duchess photographed survivor Steven Frank, relying on her background in art history to take inspiration from the painter Vermeer. Frank told the audience how he was struck by the royals’ insight into the history of the Shoah, recalling how the Prince of Wales had told him of his teachers at Gordonstoun School, many of whom had to flee the Nazis. “He has got great insight into what goes on in the minds of Holocaust survivors,” he said. He added: “As I’ve always said: You can cut old earth down to its base, but life will appear.” In his speech, RPS chair and chair of trustees
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Photography exhibition / Special Report
Holocaust survivors gather at the Jewish News-sponsored photography event
Simon Hill, said: “While looking at these photographs, I hope the visitor will catch sight of their own reflection in the glass. If they do, they might pause to consider how photography might be used to challenge the genocide that sadly, in so many places around the world, still exists.” HMDT chief executive Olivia MarksWoldman said: “It’s such a gorgeous exhibition. And what makes it gorgeous is you – Holocaust survivors and your families. Your lives are surely miracles.” David Dangoor, of Dangoor Education, explained why he backed the exhibition. “First, it was a forward-looking project… showing that out of darkness, new life can arise. And second was the venue,” he said, adding that the museum showcased how Nazism was defeated. The deputy ambassador of United Arab Emirates, Rawdha Al Otaiba, said: “It reminds us why promoting tolerance and acceptance of people different from ourselves is so important.” Exhibition curator Tracy Marshall-Grant said she hoped the pictures would be a lasting reminder of the legacy of survivors’ lives. The exhibition will go online thanks to support from European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor. Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors runs at the Imperial War Museum until 9 January 2022. Tickets are free and can be pre-booked via www.iwm.org.uk
RPS’ Evan Dawson and Michael Pritchard
This Rosh Hashanah,
Photographer Arthur Edwards with his award
YOU CAN CHANGE A LIFE FOREVER Moshe was sent to a psychiatric institution as a child. He was never spoken about at home. Then his family discovered Norwood and everything changed.
Steven Frank with Jewish News’ Justin Cohen
We need your support this Rosh Hashanah to help people like Moshe at every stage of their lives. Call 020 8420 6970 to make a donation today. Alternatively, visit norwood.org.uk/ rosh or scan the QR code below using your smartphone:
Philanthropist David Dangoor, centre
Steve Reed MP, survivor Ivor Perl and UAE deputy ambassador Rawdha Al Otaiba
IWM Institute’s Gill Webber, Olivia Marks-Woldman, David Dangoor and the RPS’ Simon Hill
Jewish News 23 September 2021
News / Duchess visit / EU plan / Graffiti trial
KATE’S BOAT RIDE BACK IN TIME The Duchess of Cambridge met surviving ‘Windermere children’ during a visit to Cumbria. She took a boat ride on Lake Windermere with Ike Alterman and Arek Hersh, both 93, who both survived Auschwitz. After her visit, she tweeted: “It was powerful to hear how their time in the Lakes enjoying outdoor recreation and art therapy allowed them to be able to begin to rebuild their lives and, eventually, their families here in the UK.”
EU to publish plan to fight antisemitism by Lee Harpin firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
The European Union is to publish a new strategy on “combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life” over concern that the pandemic has been the catalyst for
widespread extremist activity across the region. Katharina von Schnurbein, EU coordinator on combating antisemitism, has said she was shocked by how anti-Jewish racism had spiralled online, largely as a result of conspiracy theories linked to the spread of Covid- 19.
“It really exploded,” said the EU official of antisemitism online. “We saw many of the old conspiracy myths, the old ideas were repackaged. How quickly this exploded was really shocking.” The EU coordinator also recognised that antisemitism had soared earlier this year as
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a result of the latest military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This was “unjustifiable”, said von Schnurbein. “We don’t accept elsewhere in the world can be used to justify pressure against our citizens, or even attacks and criminal acts against our citizens here.” The EU’s strategy, which is due to be published next month, aims to “mainstream” the fight against antisemitism across all relevant countries through a series of policies. It would also involve an “important push” for EU members to transpose and apply legislation that criminalises hate speech. The strategy is also expected to express concern that only three EU countries have agreed national strate-
Marchers at a rally in Poland in July blamed Jews for the pandemic and agreed they ‘rule the world’. Inset: Katharina von Schnurbein
gies on tackling antisemitism despite a 2018 agreement that all members should adopt one. Elsewhere, there will be a pillar focusing on educating the public about the Holocaust, and on Jews in general. “We know awareness about Jewish life is very low,” von Schnurbein told the Politico website’s Brussels correspondent Eddy Wax last month. She said knowledge of the Holocaust was declining
across the EU at the same time as the number of survivors dwindled. She also spoke of the fact many towns and cities across the EU that used to be home to Jews now had few or none of them still living there. Sources in Brussels say the strategy is likely to be launched on 13 October at a conference in Malmö, Sweden, on Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism.
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Man in court over graffiti A man carried out a campaign of antisemitic graffiti in which he called Jewish and gay people “gray aliens”, a court has heard. Nicholas Lalchan, 49, allegedly used a black marker pen to deface bus stops around northwest London between February and July 2019. Opening the trial at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court in central London this week, prosecutor David Patience said the graffiti was motivated by hostility towards Jewish people. The court heard the graffiti referred to Jews and gay people as “gray aliens”, made reference to a “new world order” and encouraged searches of YouTube and Google for various conspiracy theories. The graffiti appeared in areas such as Edgware, Hendon and Finchley, which have large Jewish communities, jurors were told. Patience said: “They were seen by Jewish
people and non-Jewish people who were distressed by [it] and reported it to the police.” A still image of the culprit was recognised by a community support officer, leading to the defendant’s arrest at his home in Edmonton, north London. At the time, he was carrying a backpack containing black marker pens and leaflets saying similar things as the graffiti. A search of his home produced more leaflets and pens and a USB stick containing material making reference to Jewish people and conspiracy theories, it was alleged. On being told he was being charged, he allegedly said: “New world order. The fourth Reich. We will see.” Patience told jurors that the defendant accepted it was him who had daubed the graffiti but denied that he had been motivated by religious or racial hostility. The trial continues.
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Marathon man / Cyprus appeal / News Jeffrey Leader steps down at Pikuach The director of Pikuach, the Jewish equivalent to Ofsted, has announced he will stand down at the end of the year. Jeffrey Leader said after seven years in its top role, it was time for a “fresh pair of hands” at the helm. “I am confident the work Pikuach has done on Jewish spiritual development will see more enlightened teachers providing more meaningful teaching and learning to the forthcoming generations,” he said.
PR Office signs up leading light at Board The director of public affairs at the Board of Deputies is leaving to become associate director at The PR Office agency. Philip Rosenberg, who has become a high-profile name at the communal body – will join the agency in January. Its chairman, Shimon Cohen, said: “Philip is a talented and skilled operator, with a proven track record in policy, strategic relations, advocacy and communications.”
Blind Israeli runner’s £45k guide dog target A blind Israeli will run the Abu Dhabi and London marathons to raise money for a guide dogs’ charity, writes Joshua Salisbury. Avi Solomon, 38, has not stopped running since he lost his sight nearly two decades ago. He is sponsored by Jewish News, and will compete in the London Marathon in a T-shirt bearing this newspaper’s logo while fundraising for the Israel Guide Dog Centre. The father-of-seven came to Israel from Ethiopia as part of Operation Moses. He began losing his sight at the age of six, following an infection he contracted while he was living in a village on the outskirts of Gondar. His sight returned temporarily following surgery on both eyes when he was 14 but gradually deteriorated. His mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise the family. Running has helped Solomon deal with his grief. “I started running in Ethiopia. My love of running has been in my DNA from day one. Sadly, having so much grief in my life, I’ve turned it to be a strength. I’ve flipped my sadness into ‘nothing’s impossible’.” Solomon has set himself the challenge of competing in both Abu Dhabi and London – with the UAE marathon possible because of the Abraham Accords. “Peace hasn’t come from the leadership, it’s organically
Avi Solomon, left, says running is in his DNA
grown mainly through friendships,” he said, explaining that he aims to raise around £45,000 for the Israel Guide Dog Centre, who last year helped him get his guide dog, Nike. He hopes to raise enough money to provide someone else with the vital lifeline. “The dogs are not only friends, they’re soulmates. The level of communication is so high,” he said. To sponsor Avi, visit www.gofundme. com/f/2021-london-marathon-team-avi
Lawyers ‘happy’ after Cyprus rape appeal Lawyers representing a British woman convicted of lying about being gangraped in Cyprus have said they are “happy” after an appeal hearing at the country’s Supreme Court. The 21-year-old university student, from Derby, is said to be Police escort the woman in 2019 “anxious but upbeat” ahead of a ruling on the appeal, island hours after sentencing. which could come between The woman did not attend one and six months’ time. the hearing that was conShe was 19 when she was ducted in Greek in front of a given a suspended four-month panel of three judges. jail term last year by a Cypriot Her lawyers said the judge who found her guilty retraction statement, which of public mischief following formed the basis of the prosa trial at Famagusta District ecution case, should never Court in Paralimni. have been admitted into eviThe woman told police she dence because it was made was attacked by up to 12 Israeli by a vulnerable teenager who tourists in a hotel room in the had spent almost seven hours party town of Ayia Napa on in a police station without 17 July 2019, but was charged a lawyer. after signing a retraction stateSpeaking after the hearing ment 10 days later. Michael Polak, a member of She has maintained she was the woman’s English legal pressured by officers to with- team, said: “We were happy draw the rape allegation and with the way proceedings has vowed to clear her name, went and the way the judges having flown home from the engaged with our arguments.”
Jewish News 23 September 2021
News / Donor register / Farhud anniversary / School spaces / Care home
Donor law reassurance BBC recalls pogrom The Chief Rabbi has used his Succot message to reassure the community about the organ donation law change, writes Jack Mendel. Ephraim Mirvis this week encouraged members of the community to declare their religious beliefs on the NHS organ donor site, saying: “The law is clear that no person’s organs or tissue can be taken against their wishes.” This comes after the law changed last year from an opt-in to an opt-out system, meaning that there was ‘deemed consent’ for organs to be donated after death. Mirvis added: “It’s a common misconception that organ donation is not allowed according to halacha [Jewish law]. It can be done with remarkable lifesaving implications.” The Chief Rabbi’s office “worked closely with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the Human
Tissue Authority to deliver an essential accommodation within the opt-out system”, incorporating religious guidance in decision making. “NHSBT has created a provision which allows people to stipulate that their faith is important to them on the Organ Donor Register.” The guidance says the “new system allows observant Jews to engage positively with it, safe in the knowledge that their faith will be respected and their wishes carefully adhered to”. Anyone wishing to declare their beliefs can agree to a statement on the organ donor website, asking “NHS staff to speak to my family and anyone appropriate about how organ donation can go ahead in line with my faith or beliefs”. To ensure wishes are respected, specially trained nursing staff will discuss with family members of the deceased on the matter and a hotline has been set up with halachic authorities.
The 80th anniversary of the Farhud, a pogrom against Iraq’s Jewish community in 1941, has been marked by BBC Radio 4, writes Adam Decker. In a news package, the broadcaster recalled the history of the antisemitic attack against the Baghdadi community over the festival of Shavuot from 1 to 2 June 1941. It led to the deaths of at least 180 Jews, 1,000 people who were injured and the looting of 900 homes. Interviewee Edwin Shuker, who fled Iraq in the 1970s, said his mother remembered the pogrom. “She can’t speak of the atrocities she saw,” said Shuker, who acknowledged that there was a time when Jews were at the forefront of Iraqi “music, literature, political scenes”. Despite its 2,500-year-old history,
there are now only three Jews believed to be living in Iraq. Most of its community – like Jewish communities across the Middle East and North Africa, from Egypt to Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco – fled their homes after the establishment of Israel in 1948. Iraqi Jews, who once made up 40 percent of Baghdad’s population, faced increased persecution after the establishment of the Jewish state. By the 1970s, their phone lines were cut, they were not allowed to attend university, private clubs and many were imprisoned for allegedly working as “Zionist spies”. In the broadcast, Jewish News journalist Sandy Rashty spoke about being the London-born daughter of Iraqi Jews who fled persecution in the 1970s.
15 JFS PLACES NOT TAKEN Home closure ‘devastating’ JFS has confirmed its entry year is undersubscribed for the first time in years. It is understood 15 out of 300 places were not taken at the school. The Kenton campus also announced it is looking to become an academy under the guise of JCAT (Jewish Community Academy Trust). It was reported this week that the Regional Schools Commissioner confirmed JCAT, which is run by the United Synagogue, would be the sponsor for
its academisation and comes after the secondary school was rated inadequate in its most recent Ofsted report and placed into special measures. It appointed its fifth (interim) headteacher in seven years, Martin Tissot, taking over from former Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. It comes after the departure of Rachel Fink and concerns about safeguarding and bullying at the school.
The Donisthorpe Hall care home in Leeds is to close as a result of severe financial pressures, it has been announced. A statement issued by trustees to relatives and friends of the Shadwell Lane home, which specialises in looking after residents suffering from dementia, confirmed the shock news on Tuesday. The home, on Shadwell Lane, had provided residential nursing and dementia care for up to
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189 residents and had a long-standing association with the local Jewish community. The statement confirmed: “Donisthorpe Hall is under severe financial pressure presently and we, the trustees, are faced with a very tough, and for us unprecedented challenge, which will result in the closure of the home.” One source said the announcement was “devastating news for the Leeds community”.
23 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
News / Holocaust testimony / Survivor tributes
‘Toddlers will help us rest more softly’
Young children meet Holocaust survivors to become ‘witnesses for life’
Children as young as three met Holocaust survivors at a trailblazing event that encouraged them to be a “witness for life”, writes Joshua Salisbury. Five survivors, Zigi Shipper, Agnes Kaposi, Mala Tribich, Harry Olmer and Eve Kugler met more than 80 children aged three and four at the sell-out ‘Tomorrow’s Testimony’ event. Youngsters read stories and enjoyed interactive activities with the survivors, including colouring a butterfly, to symbolise the poem The Butterfly, written by a young poet in Theresienstadt concentration camp. Scott Saunders, founder of March of the Living UK, which organised the event, said: “We are not teaching the history of the Holocaust to three and four-year-olds. We are ensuring that in the years and decades to come, when the survivors are not with us, their memory, their stories and the importance of learning about the Holocaust will live on through these young people.”
Each child was given the opportunity to have a photograph with a survivor. The photographs will be sent in a keepsake pack together with the survivor’s testimony, to be opened when the children are a suitable age. Parents were also given the opportunity to hear about the survivors’ experiences at a talk the following day. Agnes, who is soon to turn 89, said: “Anyone who drinks from the primary source of our experience can be a second generation source, whether genetically related to us or not. “Those who listen to you might be my third generation Holocaust descendants, even if they had never met me. “So it might go on and on, the Holocaust becoming part of the culture, future generations learning to behave better towards each other than our generation had done. “And then perhaps the bones of us survivors will rest more softly.”
Tributes to ‘one of a kind’ Lili Tributes have been paid to a Holocaust survivor described as “one of a kind” who died last week, writes Jack Mendel. Lili Pohlmann (née Stern), alongside her mother, was the only survivor in her extended family of more than 300. She was born in 1930 in Lvov, then in Poland, where she had a happy upbringing until the outbreak of war. Lili’s family were confined to the Lvov Ghetto – and her life was only saved thanks
to the courage of two non-Jews, German civil servant Irmgard Wieth and Orthodox Archbishop Andrey Count Sheptytsky, who hid or sheltered her and her mother. Lili arrived in London in 1946 and her mother came the following year. “Lili Pohlman was one of a kind. She had an infectious energy, warm smile and a wonderful sense of humour,” said Karen Pollock, CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust. “She worked hard to honour
those who took unspeakable risks to save others, the Righteous Among the Nations.” Lili dedicated much of her life to building bridges between the Polish– Jewish communities and was awarded one of Poland’s highest accolades as well as an MBE for her tireless work. “Lili was an engaging and passionate speaker and educator on the Holocaust,” said Michael Newman, chief executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees.
Lili Pohlmann, above, and with her mother in 1954
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News meets... Dame Margaret Hodge
‘Corbynism lingers – it’s left a culture that’s hard to shift’ Veteran MP cautiously welcomes Starmer’s measures to root out Jew hate Dame Margaret Hodge has revealed that she would award Sir Keir Starmer a “big tick” for his efforts to defeat the antisemites in the Labour Party – but warns it will “take a long time to change the legacy of a culture left by Corbyn”, writes Lee Harpin. Speaking exclusively to Jewish News ahead of the Labour Party conference, which begins this weekend, the outspoken MP conceded that so far as rebuilding trust with the Jewish community goes, Labour was still “at the starting gate”. But while accepting that the toxic culture from the Corbyn era was still to be entirely extinguished, Hodge said the former leader should no longer be recognised as a “force”. In a wide-ranging interview, the parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement stopped short of calling for Corbyn’s expulsion from the party, following his suspension last November over comments that the scale of antisemitism in the party had been “dramatically overstated” by his opponents. Despite famously once branding him an “antisemite and a racist” Hodge, 77, suggests that Corbyn could return from his suspension as a Labour MP if he gave an “unconditional apology” to the Jewish community over his failings as a leader towards them and “accept in totality” the Equality and Human Rights Commission recommendations. The former minister under Blair’s and Brown’s governments was asked to give her verdict on the current party leader’s vow to make tackling antisemitism a top priority of his leadership. “I think you could put a big tick against that, a big tick – and a but,” she responds. “Keir has made it a priority, and I think we have taken massive action, expelled and suspended people. “Hopefully, conference will agree the rule change that will enable us to have a sensible complaints mechanism. We are rolling out the training programme [teaching members to recognise antisemitism], that’s been really good.” But the parliamentarian was more considered in her response as she reflected on the lasting damage inflicted on her party, particu-
ON SUNDAY LABOUR WILL VOTE ON CHANGES TO ITS DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES AND THE NEED FOR AN INDEPENDENT PROCESS larly with regards to relations with a large section of the Jewish community. “Corbyn has left a legacy of culture which is really, really hard to change,” she says. “It’s going to take a long time. And building confidence with the Jewish community – we are at the starting gate, and I recognise that.” On the day of the publication of the EHRC report on antisemitism last October and ahead of her appearance on the BBC’s 1pm news bulletin, Hodge learned that Corbyn “had made himself the story” by issuing a statement questioning the extent of antisemitism in Labour at the same time as Starmer issued his response to the report. “I was furious,” says Hodge. “I thought this is an unsustainable position. And then Keir suspended him just as I was about to go on the One O’Clock News.” Arguing that Corbyn had himself “created the situation whereby he was suspended”, Hodge says she was “deeply upset and taken aback” when without warning the Labour leadership held discussions to readmit the former leader. “I was not forewarned that they were going to have a disciplinary to readmit him,” she says. “That was a shocking day, ironically one of the most difficult. I thought, ‘If they let him back with his views on the E H R C. . .’ I think I w o u l d h a v e
been in an impossible position.” She reveals she was “quite close” last October to quitting for good the party she joined more than 60 years ago. When asked how she thinks the situation around Corbyn’s future in Labour can be resolved, she replies: “I’ve always thought he has got to offer a completely unconditional apology [and] accept in totality the EHRC recommendations and then he can think about his future – that’s up to him.” Asked about her view of Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford’s decision to speak at an event next week in Brighton alongside Ken Loach – the film director auto-excluded from Labour over his link to a now proscribed group that downplayed allegations of antisemitism – Hodge again gives a response that will surprise some. “I think you need to take a more sophisticated approach on this,” she says. “If I’d have been Mark Drakeford, I’d have asked who else was speaking at this event. “But let me put this in a bigger context, because I once fought Nick Griffin [the former leader of the farright British National Party]. During that period there was the idea that you shouldn’t share a platform with people who help views such as his. Do you remember he went on BBC Question Time? I’ve always Time believed the only way you really defeat race
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hate and promote anti-racism is through democratic discourse. Drake-ford has been careless, but I don’t believe in silencing him.” In an apparent olive branch to those on the left, Hodge says she believes Labour should always represent a “broad church” of views. Hodge, who was born in Egypt in 1944, to parents who had left Austria and Germany and who moved to the UK, reflects on the time Labour was “the natural party for a Jew, an immigrant, which I was all of those things”. Hodge had led a distant path in terms of engagement with the Jewish communal organisations during her distinguished political career, which included leading Islington Council and chairing the powerful Public Accounts Committee. It took the battle against rampant antisemitism in Labour after Corbyn become leader in 2015 to bring her much closer to the community, even though she had always said her Jewish roots were “what defines me”. In July 2018, Hodge openly confronted the then Labour leader in the Commons over his refusal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism in full. It was an incident that ensured she became a hate figure among Corbyn’s hardcore base, and Hodge has publicly spoken out about barrage of online hate directed towards her. While some in the Jewish community lauded her actions, other questioned her decision to remain in the same party as Corbyn, especially after the departures of other Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman. On Sunday, Labour’s conference will take the crucial vote on the changes to the disciplinary procedures and the need for an independent process on cases involving antisemitism, as laid out in the EHRC report. “I’m hoping the vote will go through unanimously,” says Hodge. Her message to those who intend to defy the party leadership with what is a legal requirement by the EHRC? She responds: “Can’t we ever learn from our mistakes? We must never, ever let this happen again.” Read the full interview at jewishnews.co.uk
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
World News / Vaccine study / Islamist attack / Warsaw Ghetto / Plotter jailed
Israel study: third jab is 20 times more protective A new study conducted in Israel shows that individuals given a third Covid-19 vaccine dose are nearly 20 times more protected against serious illness and more than 10 times more protected against infection, compared with those who received their second dose at least five months previously. The research, published by The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that 12 days after receiving a booster shot of a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, the chance of infection was 11.3 times less than among those eligible for a third shot but did not get one. And the chances of suffering serious illness as a result of Covid-19 among those who had received a booster shot was 19.5 times less, the research said. People receive the Covid-19 vaccine in Givatayim The study was conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Ministry of Health, boosted protection lasts. But a separate study conducted the Technion, the Hebrew University, Sheba Medical at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, outside Tel Aviv, Center and the KI Institute. has stoked optimism as to the amount of time for which Even with a more conservative analysis, which the booster shot retains its protection. attempted to control possible behavioural differences The study found that the antibody levels a week after between the two groups, the infection rate was at least the third Covid-19 vaccine dose was administered to its five times lower in the group that had received the booster staff were 10 times higher than their levels a week after shot, the Health Ministry said in a statement. the second dose was administered. The research includes data from more than one milIsrael – the first country to officially offer a third dose – lion Israelis. Among those who had not received a booster began its Covid-19 booster campaign on 1 August, initially shot despite being eligible, there were 4,439 confirmed rolling it out to those over the age of 60. It then gradually infections, including 294 cases of serious illness. Among dropped the eligibility age, eventually expanding it to those who received the booster at least 12 days previously, everyone aged 12 and up who received the second shot at there were 934 infections including 29 serious cases. least five months ago. Around three million Israelis have ThePAGE IsraeliADVERT data was JAN unable to reveal for how long the16:04received HALF 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 Page 1their third dose.
Police foil shul attack German police have thwarted a planned Islamist attack on a synagogue in Hagen on Yom Kippur after receiving a tip from an unnamed foreign intelligence service. Officers took a father of Syrian background and three sons into custody for questioning, according to the newspaper Die Welt. All but one son – a 16-year-old with ties to Islamists abroad – were released.
The synagogue in Hagen, a city near Dusseldorf in western Germany, is under police protection and Yom Kippur services were cancelled. The Central Council of Jews in Germany thanked the security authorities and said the apparent plan to attack a synagogue “on the highest holiday … shows that the increase in security measures at many Jewish institutions was and is necessary.”
GHETTO REMAINS BURIED Members of the Jewish community of Warsaw have buried the bones of a person who may have died 80 years ago in the city’s ghetto during the Shoah. The identity of the person whose bones were buried at a Jewish cemetery is not known. They had been discovered by Marek Slusarz in the basement of a residential building while looking for the source of a water leak.
In 1943, the Nazis crushed the former Warsaw Ghetto, killing as many of the residents as possible following an uprising. Slusarz, who is not Jewish, said he was glad to help bring the remains to a proper burial. “After nearly 80 years, this unknown person got his dignity back,” said Leslaw Piszewski, chairman of the Jewish Community in Warsaw.
Shul plotter is jailed for 20 years A US court has sentenced a man to 20 years in prison for planning deadly attacks on a synagogue in Ohio. Damon Joseph of Holland, an Ohio suburb, pleaded guilty in May to providing material support to a terrorist organisation and attempting to commit a hate crime. The US District Court in
Toledo also sentenced him on Monday to a lifetime of supervised release. Joseph was 21 in 2018 when he posted recruitment propaganda for Islamic State on social media. He told FBI agents who engaged him online he wanted to carry out a mass killing attack on a Jewish target.
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Holocaust memorial / Cholent festival / Inquisition remembered / Diaspora News
Memorial recalls names of Holocaust victims The long-awaited Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names has been opened in Amsterdam by His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands. Together with Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee, the monarch opened the memorial containing the names of all Dutch Holocaust victims without a grave. This includes roughly 102,000 Jews, along with Sinti and Roma. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the memorial comprises four stainless steel and highly reflective Hebrew characters that spell the word that translates as ‘in memory of’. As visitors enter the memorial, they encounter a labyrinth of passages on both sides, with two-metre-high brick walls carrying the message of remembrance and 102,000 bricks each inscribed with a name, date of birth and age at death. It remembers victims who were deported from the Netherlands as well as Dutch Jews deported from other countries before being killed in Nazi camps, or dying from hunger or exhaustion during transport and death marches. This is the first memorial in the Netherlands that lists each Holocaust victim by name, and is the latest such monument from Libeskind, who designed both the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the remembrance site at New York’s Twin Towers. “For the bereaved, it is of inestimable value to have a place where they can remember their loved ones,” said Grishaver. “It means the names of Holocaust victims will not be forgotten. Moreover, the memorial forms a trait d’union [hyphen] between past, present and future.” “Remembrance is not only for those who lived through the war, but also for those who did not experience it – the children and grandchildren and following generations. “In addition, the memorial raises historical awareness of where wars can lead.” The memorial is located in Weesperstraat, close to Jonas Daniël Meijerplein, in the eastern centre of Amsterdam, an area
A senior member of Majorca’s small but growing Jewish population has said the public celebrations for Rosh Hashanah and this year’s first ever Succot event are ‘a victory over the Inquisition’ that expelled Jews five centuries ago. Iska Valls told JTA: ‘We are like a phoenix, rising once more from the ashes.’
The man who opened fire in a deadly attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, in 2019 is to spend at least 30 years in prison after entering a guilty plea. John Earnest, a white supremacist, killed one and injured three when he entered the Chabad synagogue near San Diego. Just weeks earlier, he had torched a mosque.
Tributes have been paid after the death of the 103-year-old leader of Taiwan’s Jewish community. Ephraim Einhorn was Taiwan’s only resident rabbi, as well as a teacher, diplomat, businessman, scholar and father. He first visited the island on covert missions to ensure the safety of Jews living there.
POPE EXPRESSES SHAME ON SLOVAK SHOAH ROLE Each brick at the Holocaust Memorial of Names is inscribed
with a rich Jewish history. Within walking distance are a number of other memorials and buildings that each showcase aspects of Jewish life in Amsterdam prior to the Shoah.
The traditional slow-cooked stew
that simmers overnight, traditionally served for Shabbat lunch. It contains whole eggs in their shell, meat, beans,
potatoes, barley and spices. With 6,000 portions of kosher cholent being sold, guests could choose from one of several varieties, including vegan, Hungarian, Israeli and Tunisian. There were performances by Chasidic American rapper Nissim Black and English singer-songwriter Alex Clare. In the evening, hundreds accompanied a newly-completed Torah scroll to the nearby Bocskai Street Synagogue, which was officially inaugurated. Locals said it had been 85 years since so many attended a Jewish event in Budapest.
City to commemorate Jewish flight The city of Castelo de Vide in eastern Portugal has decided to commemorate the flight of its Jewish residents under the Inquisition in the late 15th century by marking the paths taken by Jews forced to flee. Mayor Antonio Pita, who is also vice president of the Jewish Cities Network in Portugal, said the city would sponsor an initiative to mark the routes taken by hundreds of Jewish families between 1492 and 1496. The new project – called El Camino de Sefarad al nuevo mundo (The Sefarad Route to the New World) –
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A new Jewish education centre has opened in the Siberian city of Tomsk, a century after communists closed the region’s synagogues. Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar inaugurated the building east of the Ural Mountains in Russia’s east on Sunday. It was opened with support from the ChabadLubavitch movement.
Annual festival celebrates Jewish food Cholent, the traditional Jewish stew, has been celebrated in Budapest in a festival that aims to bring Jewish food, music and traditions to the Hungarian capital. The annual ‘Cholent Festival’, now in its sixth year, is part of a wider rejuvenation of Jewish life in the country, and took place in an outdoor theatre two weeks ago, after last year’s event was cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Organised by the Chabad Lubavitch organisation Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, it celebrated the Jewish classic, a slow-cooked meat stew
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will cover hundreds of miles and trace the movement of Jewish populations during the Middle Ages. Castelo de Vide already maintains the remnants of the city’s Jewish history, including a synagogue and Jewish quarter (Juderia), and hopes to inaugurate the first museum in the world dedicated to the memory of the Inquisition that led to the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. The Inquisition refugees ultimately reached Lisbon and Porto, where they were either forcibly converted or managed to board ships bound for abroad.
The synagogue in Castelo de Vide
Pope Francis has said “the name of God was dishonoured” as he led a memorial to more than 100,000 Slovak Jews killed during the Shoah. Speaking on Monday, the pontiff said it was shameful how those who said they believed in God could perpetuate or permit “unspeakable acts of inhumanity” against minorities during the war, notably Jews. The ceremony took place at the site of a former Slovakian synagogue demol-
ished during the post-war communist era, ostensibly to make room for a bridge. Francis said the real reason was “to cancel every trace of the (Jewish) community”. He said: “Here, in this place, the name of God was dishonoured... Here, reflecting on the history of the Jewish people marked by this tragic affront to the most high, we admit with shame how often his name has been used for unspeakable acts of inhumanity.”
Good progress made on ‘digital census’ Italian and Israeli archivists are reporting good progress in creating a “digital census” of thousands of texts spanning five centuries and showcasing Italian-Jewish history from the invention of the printing press to the middle of the 20th century. The I-TAL-YA Books initiative is a collaboration between the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI), the National Library of Israel (pictured), the National Central Library of Rome and the UKbased Rothschild Foundation. It aims to create a bilingual
Italian-Hebrew database of about 35,000 volumes, covering Italian-Jewish history over 500 years, detailing the workings of 14 Italian Jewish communities and 25 state institutions. The texts are held in the collections of local Jewish communities, state-owned libraries, the Vatican and Italian church institutions, and 2,000 volumes have already been uploaded onto the ‘Teca’ portal of the National Central Library of Rome. The completed census will offer a window on the history of Italian Jewry.
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS
Award for all the community to share Jewish News prides itself on celebrating Jewish life. So it was gratifying that the Society Of Editors acknowledged this paper’s “laser-like focus on the issues that are important to readers” when naming it Britain’s best free weekly newspaper. The collapse of print advertising and the pandemic have seen off far too many newspapers. Those that remain will find longterm sustainability involves not just informing their readers but supporting them too – by campaigning, raising awareness, championing talent and honouring achievement – while remaining firmly rooted in the community with which they share common cause. Thank you to the Society of Editors for recognising this mission.
A memorable day at the Imperial War Museum While on the subject of campaigning and raising awareness, this week more than 50 Holocaust survivors gathered for a private viewing of a new Jewish News-sponsored exhibit at the Imperial War Museum. Entitled Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors, it features images by the Duchess of Cambridge and Royal photographer Arthur Edwards, who was made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society at the event. In the past year, Jewish News has worked with other faithbased media to promote interfaith understanding, campaigned for Uyghur Muslims in China and held an array of online events including a historic candle lighting with the ambassadors of United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel. But nothing means as much to this newspaper as supporting Holocaust education and remembrance. We hope this exhibition plays an important role in this pursuit.
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All right, Israel... let’s talk Nachman Shai will be pleased to know that mainstream Anglo-Jewry doesn’t hold with the views of some mega-rich Jewish philanthropists who think Israel should consider how its policies affect them in London, nor the hard-left fringe groups masquerading as the majority opinion, advocating from a safe distance policies that would endanger Israel. On the contrary, British Jews are grateful to Israel for always being there for them, and humbled by its sacrifices standing in the front line for us all. They are proud that Israel punches above her weight in science, medicine, the arts and more and is truly ‘a light unto the nations’.
Sketches & kvetches
THIS WEEKS SHABBAT AND SHEMINI ATZERET TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 6.40pm Shabbat goes out Saturday night 7.39pm Sedra: S habbat Succot
Yom Tov begins Monday night 6.33pm Yom Tov ends Wednesday night 7.30pm
“Sorry to steal your thunder, Emma!”
They have seen through the mantra of the ‘two-state solution’, falsely touted as the ‘only solution’, the illusion of giving up land ‘for peace’ exposed by the ongoing Gaza debacle, bringing misery to people living in Gaza and in southern Israeli communities alike. Mr Shai should read Khaled Hassan’s excellent Jewish News piece, ‘The West’s ignorance of the Muslim world is fatal’, to understand what would be the reality of a Palestinian state carved out of Israel’s heartland falling under the inevitable control of Hamas. So let’s have that conversation, Mr Shai. You might be pleasantly surprised. D Rosenthal, Hendon
INTOLERANT VIEWS It’s a bit rich of Gabriel Kanter-Webber (Jewish News, 26 August) to accuse letter writer Naomi Benari of stating that “the only divide in Anglo-Jewry is between those who agree with her and those who are uneducated” and calling her “shockingly arrogant”. Ms Benari actually wrote: “The community is indeed divided between those who take the trouble to acquaint themselves with Israel’s current situation and its legal history, and those who appear not to, while repeatedly criticising Israel.” Spot on! International agreements drafted explicitly and upheld by the UN, and historical events supported by overwhelming diverse testimony are not subject to “interpretation” other than by those who spuriously challenge their legitimacy. Gabriel Webber (as he then was) when a deputy at the Board of Deputies was known for being a little less than fully accepting of views other than his own, from time to time making formal complaints against deputies whose views were in conflict with his. He hasn’t changed. Nick Pitch, Former deputy, Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue
How does Chai care? “Pomegranates are known for their goodness and energy giving properties. Even though we have not been able to meet together physically, through each virtual art workshop, we always feel a boost of energy, wellbeing and positivity. These sessions recharge us all with the nutrients of mutual support and understanding, which carry us through the week ahead.” The Chai Art Workshop Group (Artist Carmella Ovadia)
חג שמח For more information on our extensive range of specialised services and care across the UK, please call our Freephone helpline on 0808 808 4567 or visit www.chaicancercare.org Chai Lifeline Cancer Care Registered Charity No. 1078956
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Editorial comment and letters
HARASSED DURING TOWN HALL DEMONSTRATION In 1934, the British Union of Fascists hosted an event at the Worthing Pier Pavilion and two notorious antisemites were present on stage: Sir Oswald Mosley and William Joyce, aka Lord Haw-Haw. Not all the people of Worthing welcomed them and a large crowd opposed their presence leading to a near riot and an evening later known as The Battle Of South Street. In 2020, I brought a motion to Worthing Borough Council to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. An amendment was tabled by Cllr [Helen] Silman (a Jewish Labour member) and seconded by me. It was voted unanimously by all members of all parties to adopt this. In May 2021, there was a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside Worthing Town Hall following attacks on Israel and on Palestine. I am neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian, but I am always pro-peace so I decided to attend. During the demonstration, I was harassed, intimidated, threatened, sworn at and blocked from taking pictures (I know not why). I was even reported to police for taking photographs at the event.
I believed this to be a non-political event, but some of the speakers used the event as a political platform and I believe I was targeted as I am a Conservative. But I was most appalled by the presence in the crowd of a man called Tony Greenstein, who has been suspended and expelled from the Labour Party. A man who has rejected the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, stating that it was to destabilise Corbyn. This is the same definition adopted by Worthing Council that I presented and that was amended by Cllr Silman. This same man has been referred to by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) as a “notorious antisemite”. He even tried to take the CAA to the High Court for this remark but the case was dismissed in 2020. He appealed against this and his appeal was also dismissed. Bankruptcy proceedings have now been issued against him. It angers me that I was abused but he seemed to be welcomed. Cllr Sean McDonald (Conservative), Worthing Borough Council
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Farewell, Ida, forerunner to Greta Thunberg and Malala JENNI FRAZER
90-year-old woman died last week in Israel. Her name was once on the lips of almost every Jewish activist in Britain and America – and yet I’d lay bets that today you’d be hard pushed to find people familiar with her story. Ida Nudel was an unlikely heroine of the Soviet Jewry movement. She was an economist who shot to prominence after 1970, when she first applied to leave the Soviet Union. Nudel, like so many other Jews in her day, lost her job and threw all her considerable energies into campaigning to leave the country. In parallel, her sister, Elena Fridman, who left for Israel with her husband and son, in 1972, harried the authorities to let Nudel go.
SHE SHOWED BRAVERY BY FLYING A BANNER OVER HER BALCONY THAT READ: ‘KGB, GIVE ME MY VISA TO ISRAEL’
In 1978, Nudel, who must have reckoned she had nothing to lose, showed considerable bravery by flying a banner over the balcony of her Moscow apartment that read, “KGB, give me my visa to Israel.” Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well and she was sentenced to four years of internal exile in Siberia, where she endured hideous deprivation. In March 1982, Nudel was released from Siberia, but it was plain that the Soviet authorities did not know what to do with her. They could not lose face by allowing her to leave the country, but she was clearly, in their eyes, a troublemaker. Part of the condition for letting her leave Siberia was that she should have no contact with other refuseniks, but, as usual, Nudel took no notice. A month after her release from Siberia, I went to Moscow with members of the 35s, the Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry. The intention was to meet Nudel – but every time we were on the verge of seeing her, we would discover that she had been moved to another location. During our entire time in Moscow, we never caught up with her, although we did see many other refuseniks, and learned eventually that she had been sent to live in Moldova, where she stayed for five years. Finally, 17 years after she had begun agitating to leave the Soviet Union, Nudel was allowed to go to Israel, where she arrived in 1987.
As other long-term political captives have discovered to their cost, the strength of the campaign to free them has often depended on vicarious factors: how good-looking or young the person was, whether or not they had camera-attractive family or supporters, how articulate they were. Nudel barely had any of these qualities. She had one high-profile global supporter, the actress Jane Fonda, who met her in the Soviet Union before her release and came to welcome her when she arrived in Israel. There is also the difficult issue of what becomes of a refusenik after they have achieved their exit visa. Some Soviet Jews – notably Natan Sharansky and Yuli Edelstein – chose political prominence. Others faded into muc longed-for domestic obscurity. Nudel chose far-right Israeli politics, clashing with other former Soviet Jews and even testifying in a libel case brought by Sharansky – against a man who falsely claimed he was a KGB informer. Nudel, true to her spirit of contrariness, testified against Sharansky. She supported Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, and campaigned against Israel’s pullout from Gaza. She was a disappointed woman, who never found regular employment in Israel and railed against the way Jews from Russia were treated. Nevertheless, Nudel deserves to be remembered with honour: for
Ida Nudel arrives at Ben Gurion in 1987
the work she did in supporting other Jews while still inside the Soviet Union, when she became known as their ‘guardian angel’. It seems to me that all successful protest movements need a stroppy, aggravating and tiresome person at their forefront. Otherwise, the world would not pay attention. Nudel’s heirs are not biological, but natural – Greta Thunberg, Malala, and two of our very own tough Jewish women, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Rachel Riley. So on Succot, the anniversary of her arrival in Israel, I am raising a glass to Ida Nudel.
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Islamophobia definition is flawed in its thinking WASIQ WASIQ
MUSLIMS AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
wenty years on from the war on terror, Muslim communities in the West have faced a difficult time through no fault of their own. The actions of a minority of Islamist terrorists has meant many Muslims have been tarnished as either terrorists or sympathetic to a murderous cause. Last week we heard evidence from MPs, activists and academics for the need to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (AAPG) working definition of Islamophobia. Labour MP Zarah Sultana gave an emotional speech about how she had been called a “terrorist sympathiser” or an enemy of the country in which she was born just for being Muslim. One show of strength against this ignorance, the racist far-right and Islamists that Sultana and other Muslims face is to scrap the APPG working definition of Islamophobia, which appears to be emulating the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and instead focus our attention on anti-Muslim bigotry and hate. The current definition of Islamophobia –
which has not been adopted by the Conservative Party – is weak as it appears to racialise Muslims whereas Jews are viewed as an ethno-religious group. For example, the definition states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism.” This is incorrect. Muslims come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. While Islam may have originated from Arabia, Muslims can come from anywhere. There are communities of Muslims – and as a whole, they are not a homogeneous bloc. Furthermore, the definition is advanced with the inclusion of “Muslimness”. The definition states “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” The inclusion of such a variable poses a threat to diverse Muslim communities. Go into any mosque on a Friday for the weekly Jummah prayers and you will see many Muslims; no two people will look, talk or dress the same. Thus, a possible description of Muslimness could potentially caricature Muslims in a way that erases the diversity existing in communities. The APPG definition of Islamophobia would be a gift to the racist far-right and Islamists. The former seek to caricature all Muslims as the same while the latter seeks to do this anyway.
MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN BRITAIN NEED TO BE TREATED EQUALLY, NOT GIVEN SPECIAL TREATMENT
This shared goal highlights why the inclusion of Muslimness should be discarded. The definition is further weakened as it appears to ignore intra-Muslim conflict. For example, while Sunni Muslims maybe the largest group of Muslims, there are other denominations, including the Ahmadi and Shia. Would conflict based on Muslim identity between these groups be considered Islamophobia? If so, how or where would racism fit into it? Since Muslims are not and cannot be a race, this is a huge oversight of the definition. To better protect Muslim communities, it would be prudent to focus less attention on potentially caricaturing Muslims and arguing that targeting them is racist, and instead focus on acts of bigotry and hate because a person is Muslim. Looking at Muslims and, by extension Islam, as alien from the fabric of British society where they need special protection that would not be enjoyed by any other community, is
bigoted and at odds with what Muslims think of themselves in Britain today. For example, in a recent report by the Crest Advisory think tank, more than three quarters (76 percent) of British Muslims believe that Britain is a good place to live. This view is reinforced about the reasons why, with the most commonly selected being ‘freedom of religion’. While the report confirms 89 percent of British Muslims consider ‘Islamophobia’ to be a problem, the APPG working definition does not appear to reduce the reason why this is the case. Muslim communities in Britain need to be treated equally, not given special treatment, and I say this as a Muslim. The APPG working definition of Islamophobia is flawed in its thinking and in practice. A better and more focused approach on tackling anti-Muslim bigotry and hate is needed, rather than misdiagnosing the problem with a definition that is not fit for purpose.
By supporting our shuls we show thanks to our rabbis CHAIR, COUNCIL OF PATRONS OF THE CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS
he past 18 months of the pandemic have posed a profound challenge to Jewish community life. The heavy toll felt across our communities and the wider world, not least the leaders and loved ones who lost their lives, must never be forgotten. In addition, restrictions on the ability to meet together, both in our homes and our synagogues, undermined the very basis of Jewish life. And yet, as communities start to readjust to a ‘new normal’, there are many reasons for optimism about the future of our communities across the diaspora. As chairman of the Conference of the European Rabbis (CER), it has been a privilege to witness the response of 700 rabbinic leaders to the pandemic from across Europe’s mainstream Jewish communities. Led by Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, CER rabbis from Reykjavik to Sofia and everywhere in between have used the unique challenges of the pandemic as an opportunity for new acts of chesed (kindness) and communal service. We can sometimes take it for granted that
community rabbis are there to consult, console and comfort in times of hardship, but we should not ignore the remarkable contribution of rabbis across our communities large and small. What we have witnessed is nothing short of a redefinition of the rabbinic responsibilities. Rabbis took on the mantle of an additional emergency service, delivering food and medical supplies to those ill or isolating, giving hope to their communities through online prayer and services, and bringing the light and life of Judaism into people’s homes while their synagogues sat empty. And now that those same synagogues have opened their doors for High Holy Day services, it falls to us to show our gratitude to those
RABBIS HAVE USED THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF THE PANDEMIC FOR NEW ACTS OF COMMUNAL SERVICE
Photo by Marc Morris Photography
What we have witnessed is nothing short of a redefinition of the rabbinic responsibilities
rabbis who have awaited our return. For some, the return to in-person community may not be possible, and ‘hybrid offerings’ of digital and face-to-face engagement are here to stay. But, looking towards the future, I have great hope in the full return to our places of worship, and the sound of prayer and song returning to synagogues and community events. It is my profound hope that many people
who may never have stepped into a synagogue or community centre before the pandemic may now come to realise the beauty and importance of being connected to a Jewish community. CER’s rabbis have been there for their communities through thick and thin. It is now our turn to show our thanks in the best way possible by supporting the growth of our synagogues and communities so they not only survive but thrive.
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Jewish News 23 September 2021
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
Children and Young People – emerging from the pandemic A Holistic View of the Impact of Covid-19 on Children & Young People
Freedom Day has come and gone and the new academic year has begun. This may seem like a fresh start for many, following almost two years of change and uncertainty, yet we can’t deny the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on ourselves and our young people. As we start to move forward we need to acknowledge the range of experiences children and young people have had and ensure we recognise and meet their needs.
crucial to their recovery from mental illness and distress. Young Minds found that for over half the respondents, isolation during Covid-19 had the most negative impact on their mental health. Additionally, whilst many clinical support services managed to successfully move online, some children and young people were unable to access their support services, with 20% not getting the support they needed.
Young Minds’, The Impact of Covid-19 on Young People with Mental Health Needs, monitored the experience of children and young people with lived experience of mental ill health during the pandemic. The most recent survey found that two out of three of the 2,438 young people surveyed believed the pandemic would have a longterm negative impact on their mental health. Fears concerned rebuilding lapsed relationships and friendships, worries about
Anna Freud’s report Emerging Evidence: Coronavirus and Children and Young People’s Mental Health Issue 8, found that some groups were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Girls had higher levels of anxiety symptoms and decreased life satisfaction than boys. Children and young people of colour had increased vulnerability to the impact of the pandemic due to institutional racism, discrimination and health and economic inequalities.
academic achievement, and thinking ahead to the impact on future employment. These worries will resonate with most children and young people to varying degrees, depending on their experience of the pandemic. But for those with preexisting mental health conditions, the impact of Covid-19 may have a more profound impact. For example, lockdown was an incredibly isolating experience for many, cutting young people off from activities and support networks - many of which were
Children and young people in the LGBTQ+ community reported increased feelings of isolation, being at home with unsupportive parents and reduced access to in-person support services. Whilst those who were homeless or living in poverty experienced increased loneliness, anxiety and sleep problems. Meanwhile, the UK National Domestic Abuse Helpline reported 25% increase in calls and online requests for help revealing young people at risk for domestic abuse and maltreatment.
When considering our next steps in supporting children and young people, it is vital we are aware of the needs of all young people and tailor our support options accordingly. Most children will thrive in a return to some form of normality. Young Minds’ survey found that 79% agreed that their mental health would improve when restrictions were lifted, so we should aim to give children and young people certainty and structure where we can, whilst maintaining honest and open communication where possible. They may have questions about how things will continue to change or fear another lockdown - it’s okay for us not to have the answers, but we should share what we do know and provide updates when we can. We may need to help young people renavigate school, communal and social environments, and be aware of those who may need more or different support. Many young people may have acclimatised to socialisation in the summer, but this may not be true for all young people. Some young people may need a space to talk and process the impact of the pandemic. Can we provide this space for young people to talk? A space where they are met with empathy and compassion. Alongside reassurance and practical steps to help them attain their current and future academic and vocational goals.
Support for Children and Young People is available here:
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Join us for our 2021/2021 Prospectus Launch There is so much happening at Jami Education this year. Our prospectus is your written guide to all of it, but if you would like to hear more directly from the team behind the work, this is your chance. We’ll be explaining everything that we have on offer and helping you discover which course is the right fit for you. Please join us and special guests to learn and explore what mental health means to us and how can we support each other through the good times and the times of mental illness and distress.
Oct 2021 Thursday
5.30pm – 6.15pm Cost: Free
Online via Zoom Webinar
on 67 ut re
Book your free place now at: jamiuk.org/events
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Expand your horizons with Jami Education Peer Education Night School We’re excited to launch this new, free, online and weekday evening programme: run by peer educators, designed to bring together like-minded people to talk about the things that matter. Learning is at the heart of Jami’s Education programme. We all have mental health just as we have physical health. Jami provides education about mental health and wellbeing to everyone in the Jewish community. Here is a selection of courses and events from our new prospectus: To find out more go to jamiuk.org/events or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever feel like you’re just faking it and sooner or later someone will call you for not being good enough? Then you might be experiencing Imposter Syndrome, an anxietyprovoking way of thinking that can really hold us back. Join us to share your experiences and learn new coping strategies.
A better understanding of the importance of sleep, optimal conditions for rest, and what prevents us getting a good night’s sleep are integral to our mental and physical health. Join us to uncover (no pun intended!) how we can increase those all-important Zzzzz’s.
We’re becoming increasingly reliant on online technology. Whether for remote working, socialising, learning and even our mental health. What might be the impact on our wellbeing? How can we set boundaries when life is so often lived online? Join us to explore this hot-button issue.
Stress & Mental Health
Empathy or compassion fatigue happens when we neglect our own needs while caring for or supporting others. What are our experiences of empathy fatigue? How may it impact us? And how do we make time for ourselves when we’re looking after others?
Do you feel frequently ‘on edge’ as if you are waiting for the next piece of bad news? Stress is unavoidable: we all experience it at some point or other. But sometimes we have more resources available to deal with stress than at others. Join us to discuss, learn new coping mechanisms and get mutual support.
Our boundaries are the lines we draw in the sand between what we are and are not comfortable with. Everyone’s boundaries will be individual and will be needed in different areas of their lives. Join us to consider boundaries, how we can assert them, where we may need them and why they are important for our mental health.
To book any of these courses, please email email@example.com or visit jamiuk.org/events
23 September 2021 Jewish News
The Thinking Mind
Understanding Radical Self-Care
Supporting each other is more important than ever. Talking to someone who has lived through similar experiences can make all the difference. Join us to consider the powerful role of a peer and gain skills to provide helpful and appropriate support to those around you.
Our thoughts and feelings are intrinsically connected. Which in turn can impact our behaviour. By understanding this connection, we can make and break habits. Press pause on overthinking. Or try and combat negative thoughts. Join us to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviours. And what it means for our mental health.
In a time when self-care is often re-packaged as a bubble bath or scented candles, let’s go back to our roots. Join us to explore how self-care has evolved in modern times, what we may have lost in the process, and the importance of self-care for our selfprioritization and self-esteem.
Join our Get Together to take part in the conversation around mental health and its intersection with the different aspects of our lives. Our monthly discussion group for 18 – 32-year-olds is perfect for anyone who would like to join our community of people who share their passion for discussion on mental health and societal issues.
If you’d like to join the Get Together mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions for your synagogue or workplace We have a range of sessions that we can run for your synagogue or workplace so get in touch.
MH Awareness in Communities
Increase mental health knowledge and understanding to enable community members to respond appropriately to those with mental health concerns
Create a more skilled and compassionate community, able to listen effectively and respond sensitively
Explore the new uncertainties we are facing, how we can manage them effectively and take back some control
Jami Education’s Bnei Mitzvah session on Mental Health Awareness would be a great complement to your synagogue’s Bnei Mitzvah programme. The content and style of our one-off session is tailored specifically for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah age group, introducing them to key mental health concepts and messages in an accessible, interactive and relevant way.
Understand how the COVID-19 outbreak will have an ongoing impact on our mental health and relationships
In addition, Jami provides a range of accredited Mental Health First Aid courses (MHFA). If you would like to book a course for your workplace or community, please email email@example.com To view all of our courses, see the full prospectus online at jamiuk.org/education
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Trauma and mental health
In 2020 Jami ran a seminar on Trauma. Mental health services are now directly influenced by the growing understanding of the impact of trauma on the mind and the link between trauma and mental illness.
The phrase that is often quoted, “Don’t ask
Philippa had met Debra Barnes, project
one of the therapists at Shalvata with many
what’s wrong with me, ask what’s happened to me”, contains within it the key to understanding
manager of AJR’s My Story programme, which publishes the stories of Holocaust survivors.
years of listening to survivors and helping them make meaning for today out of their
organisations was key to making this event happen and Jami hopes that the audience
how trauma can have an impact on our
Debra has spent hours listening to the stories
past experiences. Moshe has presented at
for the online event will reflect people from
mental health. Trauma has a systemic legacy
of survivors and painstakingly preserving
conferences and workshops many times
across the community who can relate to the
that impacts the mind and the body. The event included material related to the impact
these accounts for future generations. Debra worked with Philippa on the initial idea and
and understood Jami’s desire to create a space that speaks to the complexity of the
of Holocaust trauma on survivors and at
together they arrived at the conclusion that
Holocaust trauma in an accessible way
the seminar, second and third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors wanted to
providing a platform to both hear extracts from these accounts and discuss what the
to people from across the community. As an artist and art therapist, Moshe’s work
talk more about the impact of that inheritance
stories tell us about the mental health legacy
can bring to life the trauma that is often
on their mental health.
of the Holocaust could be impactful. Debra’s
held by people at an unconscious level
services can adapt to meet these needs and
mother was a holocaust survivor and Debra was moved to write a novel based on her
yet still makes its presence known through difficulties and distress experienced as part
and awareness of how mental health
mother’s childhood experiences – The Young
of day-to-day life.
is a crucial part of the conversation on honouring the Holocaust and supporting
The result of this collaboration is the birth of an event that seeks to acknowledge the
those still impacted by this cataclysmic
Philippa knew she also had to bring in an
hearing the heartfelt words of people who felt
expert from the field of supporting and
mental health needs of people affected by
their mental health was directly impacted by
Holocaust related trauma and think about
being a child of a survivor, I felt empowered to co-curate another event that could speak
reached out to Shalvata, Jewish Care’s specialist service at the Holocaust Survivors’
how services can continue to adapt and evolve to meet these needs, and that of
very clearly to the link between the Holocaust and mental health experiences.
Centre, which offers counselling and social work support for survivors. Moshe Teller is
second and third generations.
Jami’s Education Manager, Philippa Carr, was left feeling that this was a subject that needed to be revisited. “As a community we are at the forefront of keeping the Holocaust alive often through historical and cultural avenues. After
“At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.” From We Remember Them by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Reimer Following conversations on the Holocaust during our Trauma seminar in 2020/21 we are teaming up with AJR and Shalvata to delve further. We ask how has the Holocaust impacted on mental health and what services or support can help intergenerational needs? There will be readings from AJR’s My Story Project and special insights from those working to support both survivors and next generations. Please show your support by joining us for this very special educational encounter.
We know that trauma cascades generations and that is why thinking about the mental health needs of future generations is a key task. We’ll be asking how mental health what we can do to promote understanding
Holocaust Trauma and Collective Memory
“The sea of grief has no shores, no bottom; no one can sound its depths.” Primo Levi
Mar 2022 Tuesday
2.00 – 4.30pm
Online via Zoom
23 September 2021 Jewish News
A Day in the Life
d n er
Peer Support Worker, Ben Winton, tells us about a typical work day at Jami. My weekdays begin with coffee, a long
before the country went into a lockdown, we
The content of the group varies, and this week
As I head home, I reflect on how lucky I am
meditation and Jewish morning prayers. After breakfast, I use my commute to the Jami hub
managed to get her a laptop and internet connection, which have been a lifeline for
we looked at whether we can learn anything about moral perfectionism from the biblical
to work at Jami. I work alongside incredibly dedicated colleagues and, most days, I can
in Edgware to listen to my reading group book.
her in these trying times. She has used the
character, Noah. Halfway through the group,
identify a tangible difference that I have made
My job as a peer support worker is lively, so I value having this quiet time in the morning.
technology to join Jami’s online programme almost daily to connect with other people. This
a service user burst into tears of joy and relief. She shared that this was the first time she
to someone else’s life. My own recovery has been facilitated by investing in the recovery of
morning we finalised which smartphone she is
joined Jami Hubs Online, that she had been
others, as well as working somewhere where
going to buy herself, which will make it much easier to stay in touch with her family abroad.
so lonely since coronavirus restrictions started and regretted taking this long to reconnect
parity between mental and physical illness is a reality. I look forward to continuing to get as
with Jami. This probably had little to do with
much out of my work as I put in.
Peer support workers collaborate with serviceusers to identify and enact ways to improve their wellbeing. We emphasise the importance of building interpersonal connections, learning
I then provide telephone support for a
about service users’ individual needs and exploring what makes their lives meaningful
few people whose social interaction is severely reduced due to various effects of
- all while remaining their equals in stature.
the COVID-19 pandemic. We use this time
We can do this better because we have had mental health struggles of our own and can
to share concerns, encouragement and practical support.
My last task of the week is to check if any
After debriefing anything distressing with my
After George Floyd’s death and the following
choose to bring them in appropriately to inform our work. At Jami, we often provide support in teams involving other mental healthcare
boss, fielding emails and lunch, I jump back
onto Zoom to run a Jami Hubs Online group titled, ‘Shabbat Shalom’. Every Friday, service
My first appointment on Friday is over Zoom
non-judgmental, cross-denominational space.
with a lady who came to Jami struggling with depression and anxiety. She gets
The group finishes with lighting Shabbat candles, saying a prayer for the sick and
overwhelmed and endlessly delays making
lighting another candle to remember friends
important purchases. Luckily, in the final days
and relatives who have passed away.
professionals, including social workers and
users join to discuss something Jewish in a
my content, but everything to do with the supportive, Jewish space that Jami provides for members to feel a sense of belonging.
members of staff have added new entries to our shared antiracism resource document. protests calling for change, I steered this initiative to help Jami learn and work out ways to improve on equality, diversity and inclusion. A few months later, I co-founded a monthly antiracism working group, which continues to implement recommendations made by the Board of Deputies Commission on Racial Inclusion.
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.
Become a Jami Ambassador Join Jami’s team of amazing ambassador volunteers. With our specialised training and support, you can help your synagogue or community to take the next steps to better mental health.
If you need support or are supporting someone who needs help, call 020 8458 2223 or visit jamiuk.org/get-support
Registered charity no. 1003345
Visit jamiuk.org/ambassador to find out more and to apply. Or email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Registered charity no. 1003345
Jewish News 23 September 2021
“Jami saved me and my daughter” The number of families seeking support from Jami has tripled in the last year. We urgently need your support to meet this growing need.
While everyone was dealing with isolation and lockdown, I was also trying to save my daughter’s life.
Rachel’s Story When the doctor told me that if my teenage daughter, Issy, took one more overdose she could die, I was immobilised with fear. I wouldn’t let Issy out of my sight, yet I felt very alone and in desperate need of guidance. A friend introduced me to Sarah, the Carer Coordinator with Jami’s Carer and Family Support service. She listened to me without judgement, understood what I was going through and gave me practical
advice and support. She virtually held my hand every step of the way until I felt confident to manage what was happening with Issy. I don’t know how I would have coped without Sarah’s support.
Sarah When Rachel first called me, she wasn’t sleeping, eating or looking after herself properly. She felt helpless, guilty for neglecting her family and desperately needed guidance on how to help her daughter.
We talked about what was happening with Issy, about Rachel’s feelings, and about how to navigate the mass of information she had received about Issy’s illness and treatment options. We spoke regularly until gradually, Rachel felt stronger and more able to manage the situation with her daughter.
The past 18 months has had a devastating effect on many young people’s mental health and over 50% of children and young people with a mental disorder believe that lockdown has made their life worse. (NHS survey)
Every day I witness the impact caring for someone with mental illness has on the family. With your support, we can help more families like Rachel and Issy’s, that are struggling to cope with mental illness.
Your donation helps support hundreds of people like Rachel all year round.
could pay for nine coffees at Head Room Café, when our befriending pairs meet
could pay for six parents or carers of young people who self-harm to attend an online support group
could pay for two young adults with a mental health problem to attend group support
could pay for a trainer to facilitate a bat mitzvah course on mental health awareness
could pay for two sessions of occupational therapy to help someone manage their illness
could enable four carers to attend a mental health first aid course
Donate today at jamiuk.org/roshhashanah Registered charity no. 1003345. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in London no. 2618170
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Community / Scene & Be Seen
1 RAMBLERS’ RESULT
The grandparents of a teenager supported by Camp Simcha have raised £10,000 for the charity, with more than 100 fundraising walks over eight years. Barry and Leah Shamplin’s grandson, Sonny Nygate, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma 10 years ago, when he was almost six. After treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Sonny went into remission but his grandparents decided to establish the ‘Sunnymede Ramblers’ in 2013 – and have now raised £10,000 and reached around 125 members.
And be seen! The latest news, pictures and social events from across the community
Evie Bernstein, 11, wrote a poem for Rosh Hashanah that she dedicated to Holocaust survivors. Evie personally delivered cards with her poem and a Rosh Hashanah package to Holocaust survivors Rachel Levy and Ivor Perl, who are members of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. Evie, who plans to celebrate her batmitzvah in March at Shenley United Synagogue, said she was “honoured” to meet Rachel and Ivor. The packages were prepared and delivered by Jewish Care’s volunteers together with volunteers from the intergenerational charity JOY.
Email us at email@example.com
Pupils at Kisharon’s Tuffkid Nursery have been learning about the Yom Tov of Succot and its many symbols, including the esrog, lulav and succah. The children used their senses to smell myrtle leaves and a lemon, which they learnt is the cousin of the esrog, while also creating their own indoor succah. Meanwhile, students at the Kisharon Further Education College have enjoyed preparing for Succot learning about the festival, and making their own model succahs as well.
On Sunday, more than 100 people took part in decorating the succah at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, centred on the theme of ‘Around the World’. Participants made boomerangs with Aboriginal painting, creating Arctic animal pictures, giant totem poles and even made tropical fruit smoothies by riding a bike. Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, who led the gathering in an Etrog music session, said: “Succot brings communities together to celebrate the joy of nature and love of Jewish peoplehood.”
Jewish News 23 September 2021
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Graphic novel / Weekend
Cape expectations! Julian Voloj unmasks all-conquering Whistle, DC Comics’ first Jewish superhero in 44 years
id you know Batman’s hometown of Gotham City has a historically Jewish neighbourhood, complete with a synagogue? And during this year’s High Holy Days, at least one masked superhero worshipped there. Her name is Whistle, a.k.a. Willow Zimmerman, and she’s a Jewish superhero – DC Comics’ first to be explicitly created as Jewish in 44 years. She’s an activist-turnedmasked-crusader who draws inspiration from Jewish teachings; she develops the ability to talk to dogs; and she’s making her debut this month in Whistle: A New Gotham City Superhero, a graphic novel geared to young adults. “There’s a long and fascinating history of Jewish creators in comics,” says E Lockart, the book’s author and character creator. “Superman, Batman and Spider-Man were all invented by Jewish men, and scholars have interpreted them through a variety of lenses that take that into account. But while there have certainly been Jewish superheroes before, Whistle is the first Jewish hero to originate as Jewish from DC Comics since 1977.” Lockhart was referring to Seraph, a superhero from Israel who helped Superman in Super Friends #7 before immediately falling out of the public eye. Yet the roots of superheroes are distinctly Jewish. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the sons of Jewish immigrants, effectively kicked off the lucrative genre in 1938 with the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1. Superman was a new kind of hero, a noble, all-powerful defender of American ideals who harboured a secret identity and origin story that made him distinctly an outsider. If his origins weren’t specifically Jewish, they were certainly informed by the Jewish experience. Superman became an unexpected bestseller and, consequently, the blueprint for a whole genre, as the market soon flooded with new superheroes. The vast majority of these comic book pioneers – writers, illustrators and publishers – were Jewish, including Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. However, their characters were a generic form of “all American” without any religious or ethnic affiliation. So, while Captain America was allowed to punch Hitler on the cover of the hero’s debut, it took decades for superheroes to have a Jewish identity. There have been exceptions over the decades, most notably Marvel’s X-Men villain Magneto, retconned as a Holocaust survivor following his debut, and popular DC antihero Harley Quinn, a Brooklynite who sprinkles in Yiddish phrases and was voiced in her original 1990s animated TV debut by the Jewish comedienne Arleen Sorkin. (Harley’s current film incarnation, played by Margot Robbie, drops the Jewish signifiers.) What makes Whistle unique is that her origin
Clockwise from left: Whistle, also known as Willow Zimmerman, supervillain Killer Croc and Poison Ivy
story is centred around her Jewish identity. Willow Zimmerman is a social justice activist who volunteers at a local pet shelter and lives with her single mother, an adjunct Jewish studies professor, in Down River, a Gotham City neighbourhood modelled after the Lower East Side (LES). That means it comes with a long Jewish history, making Judaism canonical in Gotham more than eight decades after Bob Kane and Bill Finger, two Bronx Jews, created the Dark Knight. The setting was informed by Lockhart’s own upbringing. Growing up, she often visited the real Lower East Side with her father, the playwright Len Jenkis, who wrote for The Incredible Hulk TV show in the 1970s. “I always had a strong sense of my paternal family’s heritage and the history of New York City as intertwined,” she said. “I had done research on the Jewish history of the LES for another book, so when DC invited me to create a new Gotham City hero, it felt natural to use some of that research and my own love of the neighbourhood to create a new part of Gotham that’s a lot like the LES of the 1980s.” For Whistle herself, Lockhart drew inspiration from a different trailblazer at DC’s rival: Kamala Khan, the Muslim Ms. Marvel introduced in 2013. “I love Ms. Marvel and was definitely inspired by the way [author] G. Willow Wilson engaged with questions of heroism and the superheroic body through the lens of Kamala’s Muslim identity,” Lockhart said. “I thought about it a lot while I was writing Whistle.” Illustrated magnificently by Manuel Preitano, Whistle marks Lockart’s debut as a graphic novelist. “I write novels about young women who are navigating morally complicated situations,” she said. “Very often, the stories are about agency and power and self-knowledge, one way or another. So in that sense, Whistle is right on brand for me.” Those familiar with the Batman universe will recognise many side characters, such as the Riddler and Poison Ivy, in the narrative. “It was great fun […] to play in the sandbox of DC Comics’ Gotham City, which has a wonderful rogues’ gallery of spectacularly deranged supervillains,” Lockhart said.
Another Batman supervillain, Killer Croc, plays a central role in Willow’s transformation into a superhero. Outside her local synagogue, she and her sidekick, a loyal stray Great Dane named Lebowitz (named after Fran, Lockhart confirms), collide with Killer Croc and wake up being able to understand each other. “When she gets superpowers, she becomes Whistle – and no longer feels helpless,” Lockhart explains. “It’s a fantasy of empowerment, but her position is also morally complicated. “I didn’t want to shy away from asking questions about what it means to be a hero, emotionally and ethically.” Like Lockhart herself, Willow is secular. Her visit to Gotham’s synagogue is for meditation purposes. “I knew I would tell the most truthful and nuanced story if I wrote from my own identity and from the community I’m in,” Lockhart said on her decision not to make the character strictly observant. “My heroine engages with her Jewishness in much the same way that I do.” Rooted in Lockhart’s own past, Willow’s Judaism leans on old-neighbourhood nostalgia and Yiddishisms like bubbeleh. It’s a more traditionalist approach to a Jewish superhero identity than other recent efforts, such as Marvel’s relaunch of White Tiger in 2002 as a biracial Jew of colour struggling with his Black and Jewish identities. But Lockhart does touch upon many present-day topics animating Willow’s generation, such as gentrification, social justice and environmental issues. With Willow, a hero whose actions are clearly informed by her Jewish identity and the concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, Judaism will now be an integral part of Gotham’s mythology. Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E.Lockhart and Manuel Preitano is priced £12.99. Available now. This article was first published by JTA
Inside Tribute: Harpist for The Beatles dies aged 92
Competition: Win a play bundle with Lovevery worth £220
Taking Haart: My Unorthodox Life renewed for second series
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Weekend / Entertainment
My Unorthodox Life
Hit and Run
Reality series My Unorthodox Life featuring prominent fashion designer Julia Haart, who left behind her Charedi upbringing, has been renewed for a second series, the streaming giant revealed this week. No details about the content of the new shows or any approximate release date were disclosed, other than it will feature more “fashion, family, female empowerment, faith, fabulousness, and of course, Haart”, Netflix said in a statement. The series follows Haart – born Talia Leibov – who married at 19, but didn’t leave her Orthodox community in Monsey, New York, until the age of 43. After founding a successful luxury shoe company, in 2016 she became the creative director for Italian luxury fashion brand La Perla and in 2019 became the CEO of the international Elite Model Management agency.
Haart is also known for helping design a dress made out of crystals for top model Kendal Jenner. Over nine episodes, she and her four children wrestle with how to adapt their varying levels of Jewish practice in secular New York City society. The show sparked a wide array of debates in different Jewish communities and drew some criticism for its portrayal of Orthodox communities as harshly restrictive. “Before you judge the show, maybe you might want to watch the show?” Haart told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the series debuted in July. “Because they had the word ‘unorthodox’ in it, people have made a thousand assumptions without taking the time to listen to what I actually have to say.” The first season of My Unorthodox Life is currently streaming on Netflix.
In Good Company
Fashion doyennes Lucille Lewin and Nicole Farhi, who both left their stellar careers to become full-time sculptors, have teamed up for a new exhibition of artwork produced during lockdown. In Good Company opens next month at Lewin’s converted Victorian schoolhouse in Chiltern Street, Marylebone. Lewin, a South Africanborn British artist working in porcelain and glass, started in fashion as founder and creative director of Whistles, running it for 35 years before selling in 2001 and leaving for a career in art. Farhi studied art and fashion in Paris in the late 1960s. Her career as a fashion designer took off so quickly that she put art aside and
concentrated on fashion, but 12 years after starting her own label decided she wanted to return to making art. Both women work in clay, although their approach to working with the material is very different. Lewin works in porcelain clay, which is modelled, dipped, cut up, pressed and extruded over months of handmaking, which “reference both the chaos we have created and the wonder of nature and its ability to regenerate”. Farhi’s engagement with clay is the starting point before the work is cast in bronze, jesmonite or glass. Her works usually explore the human form. In Good Company runs from 7 to 22 October, eventbrite.com
Despite ending on a huge cliffhanger, Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff’s espionage thriller Hit & Run has not been renewed by Netflix for a second series, Deadline revealed this week. Raz also starred in the action drama – about a man left searching for answers after his wife is mysteriously killed – alongside a starry cast of Sanaa Lathan, Kaelen Ohm, Moran Rosenblatt, Gregg Henry and Lior Ashkenazi. Despite both critical and public acclaim, the nine-episode series will not return after being deemed too expensive to produce, having been filmed in both New York and Israel. Hit & Run was created and written by Raz and Issacharoff, the co-creators and executive producers of counter-terrorism thriller Fauda, alongside Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, creators of the Amazon comedy Z: The Beginning of Everything. The show, which is currently streaming on Netflix, revolves around Israeli tour guide Segev Azulai (Raz), who lives a contented life
in Tel Aviv with his young daughter and new American wife, Danielle (Ohm). But when she is killed in a mysterious hit and run on the day she is set to return to New York for a visit, he suspects it may not have been an accident. With the help of an ex-lover (Lathan), he uncovers disturbing truths about his beloved wife and the secrets she kept from him.
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
Weekend / Pet corner
DON’T JUDGE ME With TV’s favourite legal eagle Robert Rinder as his owner, French Bulldog Rocco is ready to unleash... Under normal circumstances, a clerk would say “All rise” when I enter a room – but I’m dispensing with such formalities for the purposes of this column. Inevitably, the day to day of my owner’s professional life, along with watching him on TV (while snoozing), has had a significant impact on me, so apologies if I slip into court jargon. Luckily I’m not under oath, so I can pretty much write what I like, but let the record reflect my constant need for a comfy cushion and Evian served at room temperature in my bowl. This is all on my rider, and worth remembering should you wish to book me as a guest speaker. Like so many Jewish people (and pups), my life began in tenement poverty before the fateful day I found my forever owner. He chose to keep my name Rocco (officially Rocco Ben Fido Halevy) to remind us both of my humble beginnings in Manchester, though fortunately I exited the place before slipping into flat vowels (not that I’m judging). Let’s just say it was love at first nuzzle, when he (the one in silks) and I met as we bonded like smoked salmon and cream cheese. I have subsequently acquired a taste for both since taking ownership of HIS house and picked up some of HIS traits, among them a love of food and HIS neurosis. Neither of us are keen on talking about age (him more than me) but when it is mentioned it is followed by a resounding “kinahora” or in my case “caninehora” followed by spitting. It’s an odd habit – even for an occasional drooler – but at the tender age of six and a half (42 for the four-legged) a French Bulldog is in his flirty prime (think Gérard Depardieu before he got fat) and, as such, I’m besieged by invites and cover shoot requests (see Pets at Home, March 2020). Looking one’s best as a high profile hound is essential and I rely on my groomers at Whiskey’s for full mutt cover. I can certainly recommend the ‘Banana Facial’, which removes dirt and discolourations for those with such nasty issues and the mani/pedi is essential ahead of any paw modelling work. It’s worth repeating that I took ownership of his house as everyone else just lives there. Visitors are advised to bring treats. For me! I prefer female company and notably those who wear good shoes as I’m in puppy love with red soles. Christian ‘Loubarktin’ please take note as I’d bite your hand off for a pair. Honestly I’m such a wag! And so ends my first deposition. Regardless of the verdict, I’ll be back with more tails soon, when I plan to cover everything from the Talmud to the best doggie diners. Until then enjoy. Love
The place for pets…
Bible breed Dogs are mentioned 32 times in the Old Testament, though we’ve yet to ascertain whether Samson had a Shih Tzu or Abraham had an Alsatian. Only the Greyhound is mentioned by name and that’s in King James New Testament (Proverbs 30:29-31) though the word “greyhound” is actually translated from the Hebrew phrase for “girt in the loins”. Despite their origin, Greyhounds don’t get a mention anywhere from Genesis to the Book of Samuel in the Old Testament as the dog of the day was the Canaan. It was the Canaan the Israelites used to herd and guard their flocks in the desert, and it’s still a favourite breed for the Bedouins. It’s amazing to think that the current batch of Canaans could be the
doggie descendants of mutts who went on walkies with Moses. Though the breed was only recognised by the Kennel Club in 1970, its biblical heritage was confirmed by the excavation of a dog cemetery in Ashkelon that had 700 dog skeletons, all of which were anatomically similar to the Canaan. It is now a very rare breed, with only two or three litters born in the UK each year, so if you want the Biblical equivalent of today’s Cavapoo, you will have to wait.
EMAIL a pic of your pet in its best Jewish pose to brigit@jewishnews.
Only in America would cat lover Larry Yudelson find a demand for his Jewish Cats Calendar, which features all the Jewish and American holidays, weekly Torah portions, select candle lighting times and more. Yudelson isn’t kitten!
Birdline A man walks into a pet shop and asks: “How much is that parrot?” “£5,000,” replies the shop owner. “Why so much?” says the man. “Because this parrot knows the Talmud by heart,” comes the reply. The customer was impressed. “What about that parrot?” he asks pointing to another. “It's £10,000,” says the shop owner. “Why so much?” says the curious shopper. “Oh because this bird knows the Talmud and all of the major rabbinic commentaries.” The customer then notices a parrot in a platinum cage and asks “how much for that one?” The owner says, “£100,000.” “Wow! What does that bird know?” asks the man. "I have no idea,” says the shop owner. “But those other two parrots call him ‘Rabbi’.”
23 September 2021 Jewish News
Pet corner / Weekend
The animals went in… NOAH WOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD OF DR ANDREW MONCHAR. Much like the Biblical saviour, Dr Monchar BSc (Hons) BVetMed MRCVS welcomes creatures of all shapes, sizes and varieties to his Finchley veterinary centre, Two By Two,, which is smaller than an ark, but better equipped. Administering care to animals of all kinds was always Andrew’s intention when he opened his small independent practice, so your pet could find itself sharing the waiting room with a tubby tortoise, tiny terrier or a mesmerising monitor lizard. Predominantly treating cats, dogs, hamsters, rats, guinea pigs and birds, in recent months Two By Two has also been on the front line for issuing Animal Health Certificates, which have replaced pet passports – and you’d be amazed
INTERESTING FACT Most popular Jewish pet names of 2021: Kugel, Aizik, Noam, Manish and Caleb
where these animals go. “Pets have been taking a lot of holidays – probably more than most people,” confirms Saskya Monchar, Two By Two’s business manager and the vet’s wife. “We had a hurry on papers for a dog who was travelling to America in a private jet and then there was the snake…” It turns out even exotic creatures get to go to exotic locations and the snake needed paperwork (they’ve ditched the pet passport) to slink off to foreign climes with its owner. Dr Monchar has yet to see any of the reptile’s holiday snaps but, as Saskya says: “Our practice is warm, friendly and fairly priced, so sharing is encouraged.” The Monchars’ four-year-old son, Ariel, is already thinking about becoming a vet, but has yet to fathom all the letters after his dad’s name. With the practice growing – “There were three of us last year and now we have a staff of eight” – Ariel might need to qualify sooner than expected. www.twobytwovets.co.uk T: 020 3865 8905
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Help support Avi Solomon (and his dog), who takes part in the London Marathon this autumn. You can donate at www.gofund me.com/f/ 2021-london -marathon -team-avi
26 Jewish News
23 September 2021
Weekend / Obituary
‘I’m known for four bars of music!’ Tributes paid to Jewish harpist Sheila Bromberg, the first woman to play on a Beatles album, who has died aged 92
heila Bromberg kept busy as an in-demand harpist in London in the 1960s, but when she got a request for a gig at EMI’s Abbey Road studio from 9pm to midnight she felt she couldn’t turn it down. She was, after all, a single mother to two small children, writes Ron Kampeas for JTA. Yet it wasn’t until the Jewish harpist heard a man with a Liverpudlian accent behind her she realised she was about to make history. “Well, what you got on the dots?” she recalled Paul McCartney asking her that night early in 1967. McCartney, who could not read music, wanted to hear her play the score he had dictated to Mike Leander, a music arranger. Bromberg, who died at 92 on 17 August at a hospice in Buckinghamshire was about to become the first woman to perform on a Beatles album. She played the harp accom-
paniment on She’s Leaving Home, the agonising snapshot of the void between parents and a daughter, on the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In a 2011 profile on the BBC, Bromberg, who had a pitch-perfect ear for accents, mimicked McCartney struggling to explain precisely what he wanted from her and the string orchestra. “No, no, I want something, eh … ” she quoted him as saying. “He couldn’t describe it, he couldn’t express it, and he was waiting for someone to bring it out of the air.” George Martin, the Beatles’ producer, was, atypically, on another gig; McCartney was missing the one man who could explain what he wanted. Bromberg and the orchestra went
Ringo Starr with Sheila Bromberg on The One Show
through three hours of takes. At midnight, Bromberg recalled, Erich Gruenberg, the German-born Jewish lead violinist who had trained in Mandate Palestine and who was also much in demand as a session musician, “tucked his violin under his arm and said, ‘Now it is midnight, ve have to go home because ve are vorking in ze morning.’” McCartney responded: “Well, I suppose that’s that then,” according to Bromberg. When the album came out, she realised McCartney had gone with
her first take, but dubbed it so it had a doubling effect. “That’s what he was after – clever!” she recalled thinking. Her delicate arpeggios set the scene for a young woman “silently closing her bedroom door, leaving the note that she hoped would say more”. The parents’ anguish – “Daddy, our baby’s gone”, the mother cries out – cut to the bone of a generation watching their children drifting away. “Something inside that was always denied for so many years,” McCartney sings, as Bromberg’s gentle strokes reemerge at the end of the track.
Bromberg was born in London. Her paternal grandfather was a noted Jewish musician in Ukraine before fleeing because of pogroms, and her father and son were also orchestral musicians. Bromberg recorded with other artists, including Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and the Bee Gees. She appeared on Monty Python’s Flying Circus playing the harp in a wheelbarrow and performed on the soundtrack of two James Bond films. She received £9 for her Beatles gig – about £140 in today’s money – and seemed for a period resentful the song was the apparent apex of her career. “I’m noted for four bars of music,” she once said. “I found that a little bizarre.” But as she settled into retirement in Lane End, a village in Buckinghamshire, she felt more comfortable with her role, later describing it as a “worthwhile project”. In 2011, she appeared live on BBC’s The One Show with Ringo Starr and surprised him with a rendering on the harp of Yellow Submarine, one of a handful of Beatles songs on which the drummer sang lead. “Thinking about it now, I really feel very proud to have been part of it,” she said.
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
SEDRA Shabbat Chol Hamoed
Torah For Today What the Torah says about: Emma Raducanu
BY REBBETZIN RACHIE LISTER On the Shabbat of the week of Succot we read the book of Kohelet, written by King Solomon. Before he took over from his father King David, God asked Solomon what he needed to lead the Jewish people and all he asked for was wisdom. God granted him great wealth precisely because he could have asked for it and did not. In Kohelet, King Solomon ponders the illusory nature of riches. He emphasises that money often distracts us from the real currency we are here to earn. Money seems the obvious thing to strive for, but beyond a point it blinds us to what really matters. In truth, says King Solomon, the main currency in life is time. We have a tight schedule to stick to and after our time is up, our activity stops. He urges us to view time as our main and most precious asset, as we can use it to serve God. Instead of time being money, money is often time, taking away our real riches.
This message is taught by Succot as well. Since we live in temporary shelter for all of this week, we remember that this world is transient, including our money. We would be fools if we overlooked the real currency that will take us to our permanent destination. We should use our time and money to generate the real money for the next world. Which world is the real one? Which world has more permanence? The book of Kohelet teaches that the real world is the world to come and the currency is God’s commandments. In the final scene of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler holds up a gold badge and with tears in his eyes proclaims: “This could have saved two or three more Jews.” Let us use the gift of Succot to remind us of the gift of time.
◆ Rachie Lister is the Senior Rebbetzin of Edgware United Synagogue
BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL In just a matter of weeks, 18-yearold tennis sensation Emma Raducanu – the daughter of Chinese and Romanian immigrants – went from being seeded 150th in the world to becoming the first woman to win a Grand Slam for 44 years. So, what does the Torah say about underdogs? The rise of foreigners to prominence is a long and honoured historic Jewish theme. When Abraham spoke with Ephron, he stressed his newness in the land of Canaan. “I am a stranger and sojourner amongst you,” he said. Abraham was to take no short cuts with his new neighbours. Many of his descendants have followed suit, not satisfied with a good effort, but the very best effort they can muster. Emma Raducanu had said that her father was hard to please. Whereas parents should encourage rather than run down
a child, being hard to please and somewhat demanding of standards is a good thing and, in Emma’s case, evidently so. A further point of Biblical note is that it matters not from where one comes. It is not the colour of skin, race and country of origin or creed that matters. On the contrary, one’s attributes are likely to provide a mix of skills and strengths untypical
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of what most people are capable. Our sages teach that according to the effort put in so is the reward. The prophetic stance is that it is a compliment to be compared to anything or anyone that demonstrates hard work, training and self-discipline; ants for persistence in the tasks to which they devote themselves. Ethiopians against whom Ahimaaz raced to prove fleet-footedness, while the Rechabites were praised for abstaining from alcohol. It is those who break the boundaries of the norms in life who gain special places not only in society, but before God. It is for this reason that physical qualities feature in the blessings showered upon the tribes and read in the synagogue next week on Simchat Torah. Chag Sameach! ◆ Rabbi Ariel Abel is based in Liverpool
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
The Bible Says What? ‘Moses could not enter Israel because he hit a rock’
Our prayer for rain is a reminder we must address climate change
BY RABBI DANNY RICH “You may view the land from a distance, but you shall not enter it.” In this verse from Deuteronomy, God is clear. Moses is to die on the east side of the River Jordan, having only a glimpse of the physical manifestation of the idea to which he dedicated his life: a Jewish people, freed from the bondage of Egypt and living in a land of their own. This divine decision arises from the incident recorded in Numbers 20, where the children of Israel are thirsty and indulge in their typical sentimental whingeing. Moses and Aaron are fearful of a coup and seek divine guidance. God advises the people should be gathered before a rock and Moses should instruct the rock to produce water. Inexplicably, Moses does not speak to the rock, but instead strikes it twice and water aplenty is the result. The people are satisfied, but God is displeased and announces what seems a disproportionate punishment: not to lead the Israelites into
BY RABBI MARK GOLDSMITH
their Promised Land. The harshness of this penalty meted out to a loyal servant – and by a God who seeks recognition as merciful – has troubled commentators for generations. Moses was the leader of a community. Leadership has its perks, but its responsibilities weigh more heavily. Any individual can carry out an action that may destroy another person’s world, but leaders have the potential to wreak havoc on a greater scale. No leaders are perfect and there is a hypocrisy in condemning in our leaders those faults we tolerate in ourselves. Yet leadership is a balance of privilege and burden, of expectation and responsibility. Perhaps in an inelegant way God was seeking to signal to Moses’ successor Joshua and those after him that a leader is an entity with the potential to inflict great harm, but also the capacity to promote much good.
◆ Rabbi Danny Rich is a vice president of Liberal Judaism
When the weather forecast was for rain as we built our synagogue succah this year, we knew we were going to get wet before we had finished. But last year was worse. For a succah to be authentic, it should not be so solidly built that it would stay standing in an abnormal wind and the roof should have enough gaps in order for us to see the stars. This is so we can feel the flimsiness of our dependence on nature when we are sitting in it. In Britain, we can mostly depend on enough rain to see us through the year, but that was not the case in Israel or in Babylonia from where our Jewish communities originated. So, each year after Simchat Torah, our daily prayers includes a prayer for rain every day. It is thought one of the origins of the four species that make up the lulav waved on Succot is to make the noise of rain, so critical for a good harvest in the year ahead.
In some synagogues that celebrate Hoshana Rabbah as the last day of Succot, there is a tradition of beating the willow leaves of the lulav to the ground to sound like the raindrops we will need. In the 21st century, we know that we are more and more likely to experience abnormal winds and extreme rainfall where we don’t need it. For example, rain recently overwhelmed underground train systems in London, New York and Zhengzhou
in China. We must constantly work to keep global warming in check. This year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow must achieve pledges and action to address the coming crisis, and there will be a strong Jewish presence there to play our part in putting pressure on governments to act. Our succahs should always be a celebration of our commitment to preserving nature and our engagement with the needs of our planet to be treated with respect. Our prayers for rain should be demonstrations that we will act as God’s partners in restricting our impact on the world so that weather systems are not artificially thrown into disarray. Who would want their succah blown down every year because the abnormal wind has become normal? ◆ Mark Goldsmith is senior rabbi at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue
Design: Decorative Arts 1860 to the Present Day Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Tuesday 12 October, 10:30am Pikuach is the only inspection service accredited by the Department for Education (DfE) to undertake inspections of denominational religious education at Jewish schools in England. Run by the Board of Deputies, it is the statutory faith equivalent of Ofsted. We are looking for a new
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR James Tower (British 1919-1988), a glazed earthenware model of a horse, 1952 £1,500- £2,500*
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The successful candidate will provide strategic vision and guidance for Pikuach; ensure that the inspection service is of the highest professional quality and continues to be at the forefront of Jewish educational thinking; lead and manage the inspections process; communicate effectively with all relevant stakeholders so that the work of Pikuach is enhanced and widely recognised. For more information and a full job description, visit www.bod.org.uk/careers
23 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
Fun, games and prizes
THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
10 13 15 16 19 21 22 23
ACROSS 1 Measuring gauge (5) 4 Triangular river-mouth (5)
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
Gambling token (4) Track circuit (3) Apprehensive (4) Slant (4) Wallpaper remover (7) Harbour boat (3) Synthetic silk-like material (5) Small island in the Bristol Channel (5)
7 Electric-cable coating (inits)(3) 8 Atomic (power) (7) 9 Female opera star (4)
The words related to Egypt 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.
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 with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.
U W Z N O T C O T U
P O T E C D R
N L S H E O D E S E R T E E L I
T A R H U A Z
E N R
S O S A T Y G P
D L N A E P E
S E A A L H U A X N E S
E A R R O C D R T X O
H P S
DESERT EGYPT GIZA KARNAK
LUXOR NILE PHARAOH PYRAMIDS
Last issue’s solutions
Crossword ACROSS: 1 Air bag 4 Beau 8 HGV 9 Acrobat 10 Sworn 11 Go far 13 Thing 15 Bleep 17 Tuition 19 Get 20 Make 21 Bistro DOWN: 1 Ashes 2 Ravioli 3 Again 5 Ebb 6 Utter 7 Trug 12 Freight 13 Totem 14 Gait 15 Bondi 16 Patio 18 Ilk
2 9 7 6 5 3 8 1 4
3 4 2 8 6 9 1 5 7
6 7 1 4 2 5 3 8 9
5 2 8 9 1 7 6 4 3
2 4 5 3
4 5 3
Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.
See next issue for puzzle solutions.
Suguru 8 5 9 3 7 1 4 6 2
5 1 7 7 6 4 4 2 7 7 8 9 3 8 9 2 1 5 6 8 3 5 9
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 3 5 7 8 4 9 2 6
Sudoku 4 8 6 1 9 2 7 3 5
K E W H N Y U E C D L S A ALEXANDRIA ASWAN CAIRO CAMEL
A Y N E L G N M S K E R O P A R T X N
S W O H M K T N U R M T T I
E N C A D R D C C L R Y M G A M O
G E L
7 1 8 9 6
DOWN 1 Act forlornly (4) 2 Striped mattress fabric (7) 3 Lease payment (6) 4 Air vent (4) 5 Would I ___ to You?, TV comedy panel game (3) 6 Sudden (6) 11 Gladden (7) 12 Riddle (6) 14 Two or more, grammatically (6) 17 Biased presentation of news (4) 18 Unsightly (4) 20 ___ Charles, Hit the Road, Jack singer (3)
9 6 4 5 3 8 2 7 1
7 1 3 2 4 6 5 9 8
1 3 1 5 4 1
4 5 2 3 2 3
3 1 4 1 5 1
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 4 2 5 2 4 2
1 3 1 3 1 3
4 2 5 2 4 5
5 4 1 3 1 3
1 2 5 2 4 2
3 4 3 1 3 1
2 1 2 4 2 4
4 3 5 1 5 3
1 2 4 3 2 1
R M S A E P D V J J I A F
F I M A I Z E E N N G F C
U L B L Y E L R A B Z L Z
G L Z U A C O I P A T A L
B E A T C C T S O N R F I
S T H P T K E U A A Q L V
S W E E S M W V T R X A O
Codeword X E E C O W P H M B T D C
B W M L I U D M E L P B O
S E I U L R J P A A H W Q
K N A S G N U M L E T G R
A K E N L E N T I L S Y X
I S E M S O L Y Y L E S A
Q U O T I N G A C H E S
U I C H E D O N I ON O O N T RU D R A S P E D W D X E S C A T A T CH E E E AD L Y
S J OK E H I E ORGA N Z V S N E D WE R L F L P L A SM C A H EM I S T A I A S N AME M G B S L OGA N
S L A V E A S S I S T S
A F CM T V Y Z X UWR K 23/09 ON J I GP L B S H E DQ
Jewish News 23 September 2021
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
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We hav warden a in Eal warden
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Ep Dini D
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23 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 23 September 2021
“I really want to make sure that my children don’t feel lonely, as I did.” Ekaterina is a single mother. She has been constantly abandoned, and struggled to feed her family. World Jewish Relief’s Workability Programmes have helped her find stable employment, and given her hope.
Will you help a Jewish single mother provide for her children?
020 8736 1250
reg. charity no 290767
AFGHAN REFUGEE CRISIS APPEAL Please help to provide emergency relief items in the UK and abroad
FOOD SHELTER HYGIENE KITS
Scan the QR code to donate
020 8736 1250 | worldjewishrelief.org/afghancrisis