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VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 30 September 2021
24 Tishrei 5782
Hug sameach! by Lee Harpin at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton email@example.com @lmharpin
Dame Louise Ellman has said the only promise made to her by Keir Starmer ahead of her momentous decision this week to rejoin Labour was that he would “continue to eradicate antisemitism” and make the party “a better place”. Speaking to Jewish News at the party’s conference in Brighton, the former Liverpool Riverside MP, flatly rejected suggestions she had been promised a place in the House of Lords to secure her sensational return to the party she quit two years ago over Jeremy Corbyn’s failure on antisemitism. Ellman said: “I haven’t been promised anything except that Keir will continue his mission to eradicate antisemitism. That’s the only promise I have been given. I did speak to Keir after I made the decision to return. I felt things were changing. I wanted to come back. I was waiting for the party to change. I’m back because I feel that it is on the way to becoming electable again.” Ellman, who was elected as MP for Liverpool Riverside in 1997, served as chair of the transport select committee for nearly a decade, having previously been leader of Lancashire County Council for 16 years. She said she had first joined the Labour Party more than 55 years ago “because I wanted to change society for the better”. The former Labour Friends of Israel chair said her political beliefs have not changed and she did not want her decision to go back into the party to be “all about me”. The 75-year-old added: “I want an anti-racist society, a more equal society, a society that treats people more fairly. That is something that has never changed for me. Under Corbyn, Labour became something very different. Now it’s coming back and I want to be part of it .” Ellman said she was under absolutely no illusion that the problem with anti-Jewish racism had been eradicated entirely. “There are still antisemites in the Continued on page 2
The picture that says the Corbyn nightmare is over: Starmer welcoming Louise Ellman back to Labour
Jewish News 30 September 2021
Labour Party Conference
Nandy blasts ‘one-sided’ pro-Palestinian motion by Lee Harpin at the Labour Conference in Brighton firstname.lastname@example.org @lmharpin
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy (pictured) strongly distanced herself from a “one-sided” Palestine motion passed by conference that accuses Israel of committing an “ongoing Nakba” – that failed to condemn Hamas crimes. Jawad Khan of Young Labour moved a motion condemning “illegal actions” by Israel’s government against Palestinians. He said: “The motion before you today will not only send our uncompromising solidarity with the Palestinian people by calling for sanctions against the state that is practising war crimes, it will bring us one step closer to finally ending the shameful century of British complicity and the denial of the right to self-determination, liberation and return.” Labour Friends of Israel chair Steve McCabe told delegates in the Brighton Centre the Young Labour motion was “completely hostile to the people of Israel”. Reminding them that to buy a house in Israel means you have to “build a bomb shelter”, he
the party who remain unhealthily obsessed with Israel. We must continue to work to restore our party’s proud tradition of support for Jewish self-determination.” Luke Akehurst, who sits on Labour’s National Executive Committee, said: “Disgusting that the mover of the Palestine motion compared Israel to Franco and delegitimised Israel as ‘settler colonial’, a clear denial of Jewish self-determination and possible breach of IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] definition.” The motion appeared to pass with a 2-1 majority following a show of hands in the arena. There were cheers, but no sign At the 2019 conference, Palestine of the Palestinian flag-waving under former flags were waved in the main hall leader Jeremy Corbyn. Labour MP Angela Eagle had earlier called said after the motion was passed: “This motion is completely unacceptable, grossly inaccurate for delegates at the conference to “manage their and morally repugnant. It does not represent passions” in a foreign policy debate on Israel and Labour’s longstanding policy in support of a Palestine. Nandy condemned the pro-Palestinian two-state solution, backs the toxic BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement that motion, saying: “We owe it to the people of Palsingles out the world’s only Jewish state and estine and Israel to take a fair and balanced approach that recognises there can only be peace propagates the apartheid smear. “It will undermine the process of rebuilding through a safe and secure Israel existing alongLabour’s relationship with Britain’s Jews and side a sovereign and viable Palestinian state. “We cannot support this motion. It does not with Israeli progressives who are fighting for address the issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conpeace, coexistence and reconciliation. “This vote shows there are still too many in flict in a comprehensive or balanced way.”
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Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)’s national co-chair Leah Levane was expelled from the Labour Party and marched out of the conference venue over her support for organisations proscribed by the party for denying or downplaying antisemitism. A lone JVL protester, standing outside the security barriers at Labour’s conference venue in Brighton on Sunday, confirmed the expulsion and then claimed that Levane had been “marched out” of the official conference venue and “had her pass ripped up”. The JVL activist, who identified himself as “Gary, a member of JVL”, stood outside the venue holding a placard bearing photos of members of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn group who had also faced sanctions. He told Jewish News: “They are all being disciplined by the Labour Party – supposedly for antisemitism. What they mean is they are
JVL member ‘Gary’ outside the conference
the wrong type of Jews. What that means is they are Jews who stand up for Palestine, they are socialists.” Gary then added: “So Leah Levane, who is the national co-chair, has this morning been marched out of conference, had her pass ripped up and been expelled from the party.”
YIZKOR – Living with
Continued from page 1 party, I suspect there always will be,” she said. “But there are many good people in the party.” Recalling how “devastated” she was to leave the party ahead of the 2019 election as a result of the abuse she received from activists and Corbyn’s failure to deal with the problem, Ellman said: “It was a terrible time.” She says it “took its toll” both on her own mental health and that of fellow Jewish MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Luciana Berger. But as she walked around the Brighton conference centre on Tuesday, Ellman was repeatedly greeted with genuine warmth from Labour MPs, members and councillors over her return. She was photographed in conversation with Starmer inside Brighton’s Hilton Hotel. And Ellman was also the star attraction at the Labour Friends of Israel conference event on Tuesday evening. “I know I’ve made the right decision,” she said. “So many people have come up to me to welcome me back.” In her speech on Tuesday night, Ellman said: “I’ve always been proud to be a Zionist and a member of LFI. And you know, bigots, that’s what they are, tried to tell us there was no place in the Labour Party for LFI. “They could not be more wrong and they have been defeated.” She also paid tribute to Hodge and Berger, who she said, also had to “bear the brunt” of vicious abuse.
LABOUR EXPELS JVL CO-CHAIR
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Ellman: abuse took its toll on us
‘Shocking’ opposition to vote Labour National Executive Committee member Luke Akehurst has said it was “absolutely shocking” to witness the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum organisation instruct supporters to vote against new disciplinary procedures for antisemitism, mandated by the law at this year’s party conference. Reflecting on a decision that contributed to 25 percent of delegates at the conference opposing the recommendations of the Equality
and Human Rights Commission over the creation of independent complaints processes, Labour To Win director Akehurst said: “The hardcore around Momentum are not only anti-Israel, but they are anti the processes that have been mandated by the EHRC. I find that absolutely shocking.” Speaking to Jewish News of the battle to defeat Labour’s hard-left, he said: “After all the work [founder] Jon Lansman did inside Momentum to help them understand there was
a problem with left antisemitism they have dropped any pretence.” Figures shown to Jewish News appeared to support Akehurst’s view that Momentum was “becoming increasingly marginalised” under Starmer’s leadership. A study of constituency Labour party delegate voting from 2019 to 2021 showed a swing of 24.9 percent away from the hard-left towards those holding more moderate positions in the party.
30 September 2021 Jewish News
Labour Party Conference
Starmer: ‘Welcome home’ by Lee Harpin and Josh Salisbury email@example.com
Sir Keir Starmer yesterday “welcomed home” Dame Louise Ellman in his first in-person conference speech as Labour leader, as he insisted the party could win the next election. The Labour leader said he was “totally serious” about defeating a Conservative government that “can’t keep the fuel flowing” or supermarket shelves stocked. But after a bruising conference that has seen him clash with the Labour left, Sir Keir was heckled by activists. It did not go unnoticed inside the Brighton Centre how Starmer’s speech represented a devastating critique of Jeremy Corbyn – without mentioning his name once in his entire 90-minute address. The applause that followed Starmer’s welcoming of Ellman said much about the mass membership’s view of her return. But to the left of Starmer, on the upper balcony, came the first of several lone protests against his leadership. “Oh Jeremy Corbyn,” shrieked a woman, wearing a Palestine badge. But instead of joining her, the crowd screamed “shut up” as she was led out of the auditorium by stewards. Another demonstrator held up a “No purges” sign later on. Others sitting around him forced him to put it down. Starmer responded to one activist by com-
Keir Starmer laps up the applause as he gives his keynote address. Inset: Louise Ellman looked close to tears during the leader’s speech
paring them to the Tories who normally heckle him in the House of Commons at PMQs. In a highly personal speech, the Labour leader described “family and work” as “the two rocks of my life – the two sources of what I believe to be right and good”, highlighting his background as the son of a toolmaker and an NHS nurse who later needed long-term care. Contrasting his past as the head of the Crown Prosecution Service with the prime minister’s background as a columnist, Sir Keir attacked
Boris Johnson as “a trickster who has performed his one trick.” He claimed Britain had been left “isolated and irrelevant” on the world stage under Johnson. But he also recognised Labour’s failure under Corbyn to defeat the Tories, and praised the party activists who had saved it from “obliteration” in the landslide defeat in 2019. “I can see the ways in which we can remake this nation and that’s what we get to do when we
MP apologises for ‘purges’ and ‘false’ claims at pro-Corbyn event Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has times when you are being purged or set issued a grovelling apology to party up with false allegations, I not only members whom he claims are apologise, I will endeavour to do being “purged” by “false” claims. better because we have to support In a clear reference to memeach other.” bers who had fallen foul of new One of Russell-Moyle’s colrules proscribing groups that had leagues, who heard his speech said downplayed or denied antisemthey found his remarks “sickening” itism, the Brighton Kempton MP told in a week during which leader Keir a rally held by Socialist Campaign Lloyd Russell-Moyle Starmer said the party was on the Group MPs at the The World Transright path to root out antisemitism. formed festival on Tuesday: “I want to apologise. In her speech at the same event, Coventry MP I was struck by members who feel alone in our Zarah Sultana said the leadership had “disgraceparty at the moment. fully” removed the whip from former leader “I want to apologise... because if we have Jeremy Corbyn. made you feel like you are alone, if we have not She added: “There are many members or reached out our arms enough in these tough delegates who have been unjustly suspended.”
win,” Sir Keir said. “Yet, in a way, the more we expose the inadequacy of this government the more it presses the question back on us. If they are so bad, what does it say about us? Because after all in 2019 we lost to them, and we lost badly. I know that hurts every one of you. So, let’s get totally serious about this – we can win the next general election.” While distancing himself from the Corbyn era – promising “we will never go into an election with a manifesto that is not a serious plan for government” – Sir Keir praised the record of the New Labour years. Highlighting improvements in healthcare, social mobility and poverty reduction, he said: “You want levelling up? That’s levelling up.” Setting out the contrast between himself and the prime minister, Sir Keir said: “The one thing about Boris Johnson that offends everything I stand for is his assumption that the rules don’t apply to him.” Drawing on his previous profession to position Labour as the party of law and order, the party leader promised to fast-track rape and sexual assault cases and tougher sentences for rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers. He also pledged Labour would tackle climate change. Editorial comment, page 16
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‘Unequivocal’ on two states Sir Keir Starmer has said that under his leadership, Labour is “unequivocally committed to a negotiated two-state solution with Israel safe and secure and recognised within its borders”. In a video message played at Tuesday night’s Labour Friends of Israel reception, Starmer also said: “Labour welcomes the Abraham Accords and the growing diplomatic normalisation between Israel an its Arab neighbours.” The Labour leader also said his party “strongly supports”
the planned International Fund for Israeli and Palestinian peace and said it was “incredibly disappointing” the government had not got “fully got behind” the proposals, of which LFI had been leading advocate. Starmer also vowed to visit Israel with LFI, saying he “looked forward” to the trip where he planned to “listen and to understand”. Starmer used the video recording to provide his clearest indication yet of the foreign policy strategy for the
region he and shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy were setting out. He said: “Under my leadership Labour is unequivably committe to a negotiated two state solution – with Israel safe an secure and recognised within its borders living alongside a democratic, independent Palestinian state.” He restated his commitment to “tackle the poison of antisemitism” and his determination to make Labour a “safe space” for Jewish members.
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
Labour Party Conference
Complaints process endorsed and Muslim party members who really hit home with their pleas for the moves to be backed. Jewish CLP members from Hove and Enfield Southgate told of their struggles to remain in the Nearly three-quarters of delegates party during the Corbyn era owing at the conference endorsed a new to rampant antisemitism and the independent complaints profailure to stamp it out. cess prompted by the Equality A party member from Vauxhall and Human Rights Commission said as a Muslim he was proud to (EHRC) report into antisemitism support the measures and a speaker in the party. from Harrow West CLP said it was But in a swipe at the remaining to Labour’s shame there was a need 24 percent of delegates who to debate anti-racist measures at all. failed to support the changes the Smeeth told the floor: “If you’re party was ordered to adopt by an anti-racist, if you believe in the watchdog, the Jewish Labour Mike Katz, Margaret Hodge and Ruth Smeeth at the conference equality and if you want the scourge Movement’ (JLM)s vice-chair Ruth final approval at party conference. When the of antisemitism to be removed from our party, Smeeth branded the rebels as “racist”. The changes to disciplinary procedures will results emerged on Sunday evening, 73.6 per- then you have to vote for these rule changes.” Hodge said: “Never again can anti-Jew affect the handling of complaints about anti- cent of delegates voted in favour of the changes, semitism, Islamophobia, other forms of racism, with 26 percent opposing the EHRC’s recom- racism pollute our party. Never again can we become a hostile environment for Jews. Never mendations. sexual harassment and discrimination. And in an often emotional debate on the again can the complaints process be manipuSir Keir Starmer said the approval of the moves represented a “decisive and important Brighton Centre conference floor, a stream of lated, with serious complaints ignored and vicJewish Labour figures stepped up to speak in tims silenced.” day in the history of the Labour Party”. JLM national chair Mike Katz said: “From The Labour leader added: “I promised to favour of the changes to disciplinary procetackle antisemitism in our party. We’ve now dures, in a move aimed at repairing the damage day one Keir Starmer has shown the real leadership Jeremy Corbyn never did, in taking conclosed the door on a shameful chapter in our of the Jeremy Corbyn era. While former Stoke on Trent North MP crete steps to tackle anti-Jewish racism. But... history. I want to acknowledge the courage of all Smeeth, and JLM chair Dame Margaret Hodge the reaction by some both inside and outside the people who spoke up against it.” After Labour’s ruling National Executive drew standing ovations with their speeches – it Conference today shows there is still a huge Committee had backed the moves earlier this was delegates from constituency Labour parties amount of work to do for Labour to become a MAPJN21.pdf 1 27/09/2021 month, under Labour’s rule book, it 12:14 needed (CLP) across the country, including non-Jewish truly safe and welcome space for Jewish people.”
by Lee Harpin at the Labour Conference in Brighton email@example.com @lmharpin
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Labour chair Anneliese Dodds has revealed she has spent “many months” working with Jewish stakeholders on new antisemitism complaints procedures “so everyone can feel safe in our party”. Speaking after the Labour conference approved the new independent processes on Sunday, the MP told Jewish News: “It will be the most robust, transparent complaints process of any political party we know of in Europe.” Dodds confirmed the new independent disciplinary measures would be implemented next January, in line with recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Jewish News understands that representatives from the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust have been among those groups to have worked with Labour on the new processes. “It is really important that our house is in order, that we stamp out antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head,” the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities said. Labour had taken on board the EHRC’s recommendation that the party “never again have a politicised process” – a regular criticism of the Corbyn era – she said, adding that the advice of Jewish communal leaders and legal experts had proved vital in putting in place the procedures. “The work with representatives of the Jewish community has been going on for many months to ensure we do have a robust process in place.”
GMB boss: I nearly quit
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GMB trade union general secretary Gary Smith has launched an outspoken attack on Labour members who still defend the film-maker Ken Loach following his expulsion from the party over his support for a banned group that denies and downplays antisemitism. Smith spoke of his anger at hearing speakers at the Labour conference continuing to defend Loach, despite his history of comments about the Holocaust, Israel and Zionism. Addressing a Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) rally at the Queens Hotel in Brighton, Smith said: “I find it horrific people in the party are still praising Ken Loach in the way they do. That shows how far we still have to go to challenge antisemitism.” In a passionate address to the packed room, Smith recalled how he had moved to expel Scottish member Pete Gregson from his union over antisemitism allegations. Loach had been among those to express support for Gregson, who had claimed the “Zionist”
Gary Smith speaks at the Labour conference
JLM were trying to undermine democracy in the UK. Smith said he had been on the brink of quitting the party because of “shameful” antisemitism and praised Labour general secretary David Evans for his fight against antisemitism but questioned whether he was “going hard enough and fast enough to weed out this toxicity in the party”.
LBC REPORTER ‘ASSAULTED’ The political editor of radio station LBC accused notorious anti-Israel activist Tony Greenstein of “assaulting” him at a fringe event at the conference. The incident on Sunday evening took place during a Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) event listed in the Labour Party official guide, entitled Labour in crisis: Tackling racism in the party. It was chaired by JVL’s Jenny Mason and attended
by former shadow chancellor John McDonnell. LBC’s Theo Usherwood tweeted: “I have been been forcibly removed from the JVL fringe event at the Labour Party… I was assaulted by Tony Greenstein and was expelled from the Labour Party for antisemitism… he grabbed my phone.” Usherwood was later allowed back into the meeting and tweeted: “Listening to one
speaker declare the EHRC [Equality and Human Rights Commission] findings are being used by ‘Starmer to run a tyrannical regime’.” Greenstein was declared bankrupt earlier this year after losing a libel case following him being called a “notorious antisemite”. He was ordered to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism more than £81,000. He also lost a subsequent appeal.
30 September 2021 Jewish News
Labour Party Conference
conference Jewish News’ political editor Lee Harpin (pictured top right with Louise Ellman) had his ear to the ground during a hectic four days on the south coast...
● LANGLEBEN’S RETURN
Attendees to fringe events held by the Labour First group and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) would have heard mentions made by former Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth of Adam Langleben’s pivotal role in getting the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to investigate Jeremy Corbyn’s party. But there was also more news to be shared with those at both gatherings. Langleben (pictured) had renewed his Labour Party membership – two and a half years after quitting. In February 2019, Langleben, a senior figure in JLM and a former Labour councillor, had famously written an open letter to the former leader saying he could no longer remain in the party owing to antiJewish racism. It is a testament to the changes taking place under Sir Keir Starmer that he now feels confident enough to rejoin.
● BUTLER’S JVL BADGE
Meanwhile, questions were being asked of Labour’s Brent South MP, after a photograph emerged of Dawn Butler holding
Is that a JVL badge you’re wearing, Dawn?
up a Lesbians For Labour T-shirt, which also revealed an upside-down badge of the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) group underneath the right arm. Some observers suggested the JVL badge was pinned onto Dawn’s conference pass – even though many of the group’s members are expelled or suspended from Labour, mainly over their support of other banned organisations. Or maybe, just maybe, the badge was pinned onto the T-shirt Dawn was holding up – and she hadn’t noticed it? We have contacted her to ask.
Phil Rosenberg and Michael Wegier
● ANTISEMITISM RULE CHANGE
● PALESTINIAN FASHION MISSING
The crucial vote on Labour’s antisemitism rule changes took place on a Sunday – reason enough for senior figures from the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the London Jewish Forum (LJF) to travel down to Brighton to witness events. Jewish News spotted new Board chief executive Michael Wegier, Board president Marie van der Zyl, out-going communications chief Phil Rosenberg and public affairs officer Daniel Sugarman in Sussex after the momentous vote took place. LJF chair Adrian Cohen, dressed very smartly, was also seen on the seafront looking pleased with the outcome of conference proceedings. Meanwhile, Claudia Mendoza, the JLC’s co-chair had also taken the Thameslink train down to the south-coast – and she wasn’t here for the sunbathing either. The JLC had arranged a morning visit to an impressive new Brighton synagogue and community building for Labour’s Jo Stevens, the shadow digital, culture, media and sport secretary. Hard-working Mendoza hung around in Brighton as the result from conference became known. Rosenberg and Wegier attended some Succot celebrations at the specially constructed Board succah outside conference. Who says our Jewish communal leaders don’t put in the hours?
the SCG for a parliamentary Bill he has circulated. He appeared to also be present as Zarah Sultana MP led the chants of “Free, free Palestine” among the small gathering of Corbynistas.
● NANDY’S FORMIDABLE LFI SPEECH
Either they’ve become another victim of the post-Brexit delivery crisis, or they’ve fallen out of fashion, but one of the most noticeable thing about this year’s Labour Conference is the lack of Palestinian badges and lanyards among delegates. In the Corbyn era, you looked out of place without some form of Palestine fashion merchandise on show. One individual who was still sporting a Palestinian lanyard was Mish Rahman, who sits on Labour’s National Executive Council. But he ran a mile when Jewish News attempted to speak to him outside the Brighton Centre. There was, however, rather more Palestine fashion on display later in the week at Momentum-backed The World Transformed event.
● FRIENDS IN DIFFERENT PLACES
The Brent North MP Barry Gardiner was a surprise attendee at Tuesday night’s Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) conference reception at the Brighton Hilton hotel. Gardiner has made his suppport for Israel known in the pre-Jeremy Corbyn years. But more recently he has been a friend of those on the left not known for their praise of the Jewish state. And literally 30 minutes before attending the LFI bash, Gardiner had been seen attending a rally organised by the Socialist Campaign Group (SCG), held in a circus tent at The World Transformed festival. Gardiner was lapping up the support from
Lisa Nandy delivered another excellent speech at the LFI rally – setting out what she said was Labour’s pledge to stand firm in its support of Israel, while also standing up for the Palestinians and a two-state solution. Among those also in the room were shadow defence secretary John Healey, shadow communities secretary Steve Reed and MPs Alison McGovern and Catherine West. It was also interesting to see general secretary David Evans and ethics and standards advisor Jane Ramsey – two of Labour’s most effective operators in the fight against antisemitism – in the room at the LFI event.
● EHRC RECOMMENDATIONS BACKED
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was seen leading the karaoke session, performing lead vocals alongside a band, in renditions of classics by Oasis and Blur. But more serious, and more reassuring news also emerged about Rayner’s performances in Labour ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings. Sources who have sat in the room alongside Rayner confirm she has been “staunch” in her backing of the EHRC rule change recommendations, unlike at least eight other NEC members associated with previous leader Corbyn.
Dames Louise and Margaret at LFI event
Labour meeting turns toxic over ‘weaponising’ claims A meeting of Hackney North Labour Party on the eve of the party’s conference turned toxic after the main speaker accused Keir Starmer of “perpetuating tragedy” against the Palestinians by using the “label of antisemitism as a weapon”, writes Lee Harpin. In a rant, which was halted by the chair of the General Committee meeting, lecturer Ghada Karmi accused the Labour Party’s leadership of “using this antisemitism smear accusation” as a “weapon” to expel and suspend innocent party members. At one stage, Karmi stated: “The party, the leadership today, is one that
supports Israel over the rights the Palestinians.” Karmi said it was “quite absurd to talk about antisemitism” when some of those being sanctioned in the Labour Party were Jewish themselves. Meeting chair Sue Millman cut short the 82-year-old writer’s talk, saying: “We have many, many Jewish members of all persuasions. Specifically, because it wasn’t the sort of talk we were expecting, we need to draw it to a conclusion now….” Karmi began her talk by accusing Israel of using “classic apartheid techniques” to undermine the lives
Karmi says ‘Labour backs oppressor’
of Palestinians and told members of the north London constituency Labour party the subject of her talk
would be the “role of this country and in particular the Labour Party under Keir Starmer that is perpetuating this tragedy”. An associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University, Karmi claimed the “number of suspensions, expulsions of members of the party who [are] accused of antisemitism” was proof “the waters have muddled for the simple reason – the definition of antisemitism”. Karmi, who was born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and Syrian mother, claimed the definition of
antisemitism now used by Labour was “one that equates criticism of Israel with Jew-hatred”. She continued: “Because of using this antisemitism smear accusation as a weapon… what’s happened is... the political debate about Palestine and the rights of the Palestinians is gradually muted and in fact silenced. “It is not moral, it not correct, it not even on the right side of history to support the oppressor against the oppressed. That is not what the Labour Party has usually stood for. “An anti-racist party... is slowly becoming a party that supports the oppressor against the oppressed.”
Jewish News 30 September 2021
News / Labour Conference / Brits in Israel / Liverpool synagogue / Entrepreneurship lessons
All things Brighton beautiful by Lee Harpin at the Labour Conference in Brighton email@example.com @lmharpin
Labour’s shadow culture secretary, Jo Stevens, has spoken of a “better” and “different atmosphere” at this year’s party conference as a result of the crackdown on antisemitism. During a visit to the construction site of a new synagogue and communal hub in Brighton, the Cardiff Central MP said it was “really, really important” to take time out from her busy conference schedule to join the tour – organised by the Jewish Leadership Council – of the site and of the city’s Grade II-listed Middle Street Synagogue. Stevens told Jewish News: “It’s really important to me that Jewish people feel comfortable and welcomed and equal in the Labour Party. “At conference I feel there’s a different atmosphere, a better atmosphere. But what’s important to me is hearing from Jewish members and delegates who are here on whether they feel there’s a better atmosphere. “It was very important to come and meet leaders of the Jewish community in
Brighton. And because of my brief in culture and heritage and tourism I wanted to hear about and see this fantastic new facility that’s being built for the Jewish community, and the community of Brighton and in Hove.” Claudia Mendoza, the Jewish Leadership Council’s co-chair, said: “We were delighted to introduce the shadow secretary of state Jo Stevens to the Brighton Jewish community and visit such an exciting new development. “Brighton and Hove was already a great place to be Jewish with a fantastic and vibrant community but the addition of BNJC [Brighton & Hove Jewish Community] will make the city even more attractive for many Jews wishing to live by the coast.” BNJC CEO Marc Sugarman gave the group, which included Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl, a hard-hat tour of the impressive site, which is due to open next summer. The centre, which has similarities with north London’s JW3, aims to cater for Brighton’s 4,000-strong Jewish community and beyond, including a synagogue and kosher restaurant. The group were then taken to Middle Street Synagogue, at which Rabbi Her-
shel Rader gave an emotional address, asking Stevens to pass on gratitude to Keir Starmer for his attempt to rid the Labour Party of the stain of antisemitism. “It has been a cancer in the party,” Stevens admitted. “I think what Keir has done and the changes he’s made are making a big difference. “But as Keir says, we will only know if that has been successful when Jewish members and former members feel they can return to the party. I feel we are on good way down the road.” Stevens was asked for her thoughts on facing new Tory culture secretary Nadine Dorries after she was a surprise replacement for Oliver Dowden in the prime minister’s reshuffle this month. “So far we’ve only had one outing together in the chamber and to be fair to Nadine she’d only just been appointed,” she said. “So when we had oral questions the next morning she couldn’t really answer my questions. I believe not just in words but in actions. “So I will judge whoever is the secretary of state by their actions. And one of the things I will judge them on is this Online Safety Bill to make sure they do deliver world-leading legislation that protects the Jewish community and everyone else.”
Jo Stevens MP, right, with Mark Sugarman, Claudia Mendoza and Rabbi Rader at Brighton’s Middle Street Synagogue
Best of British help Princes Road stops services shape modern Israel Liverpool’s oldest synagogue has indefinitely suspended services due to low congregant turnout. The 147-year-old Princes Road Synagogue made the announcement last week, with senior warden Saul Marks saying the shul has seen “a number of disappointing attendances” since reopening last month. Marks said two synagogue officials “Edward Marks and Neil Nevitt now feel that the mental and physical strain of attending on foot, combined with their responsibilities during the services, is no longer sustainable on a regular basis”. It said last Shabbat and Simchat Torah had
been cancelled owing to low numbers, but Shemini Atzeret on Tuesday was due to take place. “Given that it appears that too few members and officiants are both willing and able to attend on a weekly basis, all services after Shemini Atzeret will be suspended until further notice. “The charitable trustees are scheduled to meet in the first week of October and discussions will be held as to how frequently services can be provided. “I am sure you will all agree that this is an exceedingly sad state of affairs and will therefore do your best to attend when services resume.”
DÁIL VETERAN MERVYN TAYLOR DIES Eylon Levy, Keren Hajioff and Yair Zivan are all in senior Israeli government roles
Three British Jews have taken up positions working alongside senior Israeli figures this summer, a sign that UK Jewry is becoming increasingly influential in the country. Eylon Levy, Keren Hajioff and Yair Zivan have all now begun their roles working for the country’s president, prime minister and foreign minister. Levy is foreign media spokesman for Israel’s new president, Isaac Herzog. A journalist who also translates books into Hebrew, he first achieved widespread recognition as a student at Oxford University, when George Galloway walked out of a debate with him. Galloway, then the MP for Bradford West, left the room saying: “I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.” Levy subsequently moved to Israel and became an anchor for i24 News. Keren Hajioff was last weekend named the international spokesperson for
Naftali Bennett, Israel’s prime minister for the next two years. Born in London, she made aliyah in 2009 and became a major in the Israeli army. She was most recently working alongside the spokesperson for the IDF. Hajioff holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in political communication from Bar-Ilan University Meanwhile Yair Zivan, a long-time adviser to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, is continuing to work alongside the politician after he became Israeli foreign minister. Zivan was born in Israel and raised in Leicester. He was hired by Lapid in 2014 to sharpen up his international image and help build experience in foreign affairs. The former UJS campaigns director previously worked for President Shimon Peres in a similar capacity, having sent his CV into his office on a whim.
Mervyn Taylor, who was reportedly the first Jew to serve as a cabinet minister in Ireland and was a lawmaker for 16 years, has died in London aged 89. Taylor, who had been treated for cancer, served as equality and law reform minister between 1993 and 1997, under Ireland’s Labour party. As a cabinet minister, he led reforms that prioritised opportunities for women, people with disabilities and the Roma community, according to The Irish Times, which also said he was the first Jew to serve as a cabinet minister.
In an interview with that paper in 1993, Taylor said his Jewish identity gave him empathy with minority groups. “It comes from 2,000 years of history,” he said. Former Labour leader Dick Spring said he was “quintessential Labour Party from a very young age”. He was a “hard-working politician, very conscientious and always put the needs of the public at large as his priority. He was a gentleman to his bootstraps.” His legislative reforms included the passing of Ireland’s Maternity Protection Act and Domestic Violence Act.
Immanuel teaches enterprise Immanuel College has become the first and only faith school in the UK to launch a specialist course to teach entrepreneurship to pupils. The initiative, called the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, will offer accredited enterprise courses and qualifications to teach children financial literacy and how to run their own business. The school’s partnership with the academy, founded by Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den fame, hopes to bring “the boardroom to the classroom” and teach students hands-on skills needed for work.
Jones said he was delighted that Immanuel College was the first faith school to offer the academy. “It is more important than ever to empower the next generation of business leaders, wealth generators and change-makers with the skills to succeed in the world of work,” he said. Sharron Shackell, the school’s director of sixth form, said she was “delighted” by the initiative. Parents wishing to find out more can email Lynda Dullop at ldul@Immanuelcollege.co.uk or call 020 8950 0604.
JCFULLGUIDE.pdf 1 14/09/2021 www.jewishnews.co.uk
30 September 2021 Jewish News
University Jewish Chaplaincy Guide for Parents As your children start or return to university this September, University Jewish Chaplaincy has prepared this short guide to help them stay safe, healthy and happily Jewish on campus.
Practical Skills Check List (essential skills for students away from home) - Cooking and washing up - Cleaning (especially the loo) - Laundry - How to register with a GP - How to obtain over-the-counter medications and deliver basic First Aid - Budgeting and accessing student discounts - What to do if you lose important documents Keeping Safe (things to remember)
Possible Signs of Distress (general)
- Avoiding walking home alone or using ATMs at night - Avoiding getting drinks spiked and asking for help if intoxicated - Using mobile security apps and carrying a rape alarm - Parental contact – agreed frequency
- Infrequent or over-frequent contact - Listlessness and / or unwillingness to go out - Unwillingness to talk about course or social life - Anxiety about going out when normally sociable - Sudden changes to demeanour Possible Signs of Distress (Jewish issues) - Refusal to speak about Jewish life - Talking about antisemitism or unusual sensitivity to news items involving Jews - Unexpected sudden activism or major changes of level of interest / engagement around antisemitism, religion, politics, etc. Who to contact... - Student services at your child’s university (details easily found online) - Police (if you feel there is an immediate threat to your child’s safety) - Your child’s Jewish student Chaplain (www.mychaplaincy.co.uk) - Union Of Jewish Students (www.ujs.org.uk) - Jewish Womens Aid (www.jwa.org.uk) - CST, for any antisemitism related incident (www.cst.org.uk) - Student Minds (www.studentminds.org.uk) - JAMI (www.jamiuk.org)
University Jewish Chaplaincy provides Jewish students – on whichever campus – access to a chaplain and offers vital support to 8500+ Jewish students at over 100 universities in 11 regions. We are proud to: • Protect and promote a safe and happy Jewish life for every Jewish student • Empower and inspire student-led activism and programming • Deliver ongoing, non-judgemental welfare and pastoral care to all Jewish students • Offer a ‘home-away-from-home’ for all Jewish students University Jewish Chaplaincy 305 Ballards Lane JewishChaplaincy London N12 8GB JewishChaplain 020 8343 5678 www.mychaplaincy.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Strategist and Rabbinic Head – Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski. Chief Executive Officer – Sophie Dunoff: email@example.com Registered Charity No. 1126031 Registe
Jewish News 30 September 2021
News / Shul campaign / Dahl’s legacy / Succot worldwide
Bevis Marks ‘must be saved’ Sir Simon Schama is among those backing a campaign to save the UK’s oldest synagogue from an “existential threat” against nearby tower blocks that could leave it stranded in darkness, writes Joshua Salisbury. Bevis Marks, a Grade I-listed building in the City of London, has held regular services for 320 years, but its rabbi, Shalom Morris, fears its future is at stake if two towers are approved. One of the towers, a 48-storey office block on Bury Street, which the synagogue says would block out sunlight to services, could be given the go-ahead by the City of London on 5 October, after planners recommended approval. The other proposed building is a 21-storey office block in Creechurch Lane. Historian Sir Simon (pictured) said the campaign to stop the application was a “matter of the deepest historical and cultural significance not just for England’s Jewish community but for Britain’s deep history”.
An impression of one of the looming towers
He said: “Its preservation should be as critical a matter as if, for instance, a Hawksmoor or Wren church were similarly threatened and darkened by commercial highrise development. It must be saved.” The historic building is lit by up to 240 candles. These were supplemented in 1928 by limited electric lighting that cannot be enhanced because of the listed building restrictions. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the Board of Deputies president, Marie van der Zyl, have voiced their fears over the proposals, while the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America has written in protest to the British Ambassador in Washington DC, Dame Karen Pierce. Morris urged the proposal be rejected, saying: “It’s clear the world is watching as the City of London Corporation makes one of its most historically significant decisions.”
Netflix urged over Dahl antisemitism Netflix has been urged to produce a documentary about Roald Dahl’s antisemitism after buying the author’s entire catalogue of children’s books. The streaming giant’s landmark acquisition of the Roald Dahl Story Company will allow it to create a “unique universe” with his classic stories such as Matilda, The BFG and The Twits, Netflix has said. President of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, said: “The virulent antisemitism of Roald Dahl (pictured) is wellknown and has marred the full enjoyment of his works for many Jewish (and other) people.” She added: “Netflix should produce a documentary fully exploring the antisemitism that so tarnishes Dahl’s legacy. “Failure to do so will not go unnoticed.”
11 COUNTRIES CELEBRATE SUCCOT AS ONE
The World’s Biggest Succah Hop in action
Succot celebrations from 11 countries across six continents were streamed live last Sunday as part of the World’s Biggest Succah Hop. From Jamaica and Tanzania to Israel and Argentina, British Jews saw how the festival was marked around the world. Co-hosted by the Commonwealth Jewish Council’s (CJC) Clive Lawton and the Times of
Israel’s Sarah Tuttle-Singer, the broadcast was produced by Hampstead Synagogue, Beverley Hills Synagogue, the CJC, The Jewish Agency and United Synagogue. Hampstead Synagogue’s Gabriel Herman invited people to “explore the cultures, customs and traditions of our global Jewish community”. Robby Hoffman, general secretary of the
Commonwealth Jewish Council, said: “Many of the Commonwealth communities we are visiting are still experiencing the challenges of another Succot in isolation. We hope by bringing people together virtually we can help everyone have an uplifting and meaningful Succot.” Watch the event at www.TheUS.tv/ succah2
30 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
News / Fundraising activities
Bright walkers raise £50k for Shani More than a hundred brightly dressed walkers put their best feet forward and raised £50,000 in memory of a young girl who died from a rare heart condition. Shani Berman, five, from Elstree, died in 2017, having been diagnosed as a baby with a congenital heart defect known as pulmonary atresia. Her family set up charity Shine For Shani to fundraise for medical research and equipment that can help improve the life chances of other children with heart conditions. The charity’s Pulse Challenge, a 20-mile walk from London to Hertfordshire that was held on 12 September, will help to fund a new ECMO machine for the cardiac intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Shani’s family revealed that the
...AND HE WOULD WALK 500 MILES!
youngster herself benefited from one of these machines at GOSH following heart surgery. Wearing sunflower yellow T-shirts, 130 participants started out at GOSH and made their way through London to Hampstead Heath, where they were joined by a second group of walkers. At 5.75 miles – a distance chosen to symbolically reflect how old Shani was when she died following complex open heart surgery – the rest of the participants joined the group, ending at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue, where they were greeted by a rainbow-coloured balloon arch at the finish line. Jamie Summers walked 13 miles of the course and aimed to raise £1,300 for the charity, having chosen it for his barmitzvah fundraiser.
Stephen Marcus HALF PAGE ADVERT JAN 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page 1
Shani’s mum Juliet, said: “We knew that planning a big event in these uncertain times would be an extra challenge and so we are especially thrilled so many people signed up to walk and volunteered to help. “The sun shone, and friendly conversation, a wonderful community spirit and the smiles on everyone’s faces made the long walk pass quickly and it was so lovely to see Shani’s friends, family and even one of her teachers being part of a very special day.” The charity is also funding a pioneering Holoscope at the Schneider Children’s Medical Centre in Israel, which allows doctors and surgeons to view a 3D image of the child’s heart in the air.
A teacher is walking 500 miles from London to Glasgow to raise awareness of climate change, writes Joshua Salisbury. Stephen Marcus, a primary school supply teacher, began his arduous journey from Piccadilly Circus on 5 September and hopes to
Clockwise from above: Jamie Summers with his mother, other participants and Shani Berman
For details about Shine For Shani, visit www.shineforshani.org or
arrive in Glasgow the day before the crunch UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on 31 October. The 58-year-old, who lives in Shenley, is the only Jewish member of the Extinction Rebellion sub-group, XR Faith Bridge, making the full journey.
to donate visit www.justgiving. com/fundraising/s4spulse challenge2021
“It’s been lovely to be able to tell people about the Jewish holidays and how they relate to what we’re doing,” he said. Around 15 people are involved on the ‘Camino to COP’ walk, covering roughly 10 miles a day, while more have joined in as day walkers.
Nights have been spent in church halls and community centres, said Marcus. “We’re trying to engage with communities on the way through and raise awareness of climate change and the importance of COP26.” To find out more, visit caminotocop.com
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
Synagogue’s example / Refugee aid / Graffiti trial / Interfaith succah / News
Bushey awarded for support of refugees Prime Minister Boris Johnson has wide. It really spoke to the more honoured Bushey United Synageneral humanitarian kindness gogue for its remarkable collection that is in the UK.” to support refugees last month. He added the Bushey Gives Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden Back initiative is important presented the prestigious Points not just for the collection of Light Award to Rabbi Elchonon last month “but the ongoing Feldman and a team of volunteers work, which has continued, of at the synagogue on Friday. keeping the relationship with This comes after thousands of the refugees”. items of clothing were donated He also praised two local through the synagogue to support charities, Goods For Good and Afghan refugees who fled the TalSebby’s Corner with which they iban and settled in the local area. Rabbi Elchonon Feldman with his Points of Light Award are working closely. The collection was co-ordiUnited Synagogue president nated by Bushey United’s social action shul and the wider Hertsmere commu- Michael Goldstein said it was “thrilled the committee, Bushey Gives Back, and nity. I could not think of someone more efforts of Rabbi Feldman and the Bushey Feldman’s team has continued to deserving of this prestigious award.” United Synagogue team have been recogdistribute items as well as meet refugees The Points of Light Award is given by nised by the prime minister”. to ensure they feel welcome. the prime minister’s office on a daily basis He added: “The outpouring of generDowden said: “Having worked closely to “outstanding individual volunteers – osity from the Jewish community and with Rabbi Feldman as the local Member people who are making a change in their beyond is heart-warming and we are of Parliament, I know his commitment to community”. so proud of the community for receiving his community is unparalleled. Speaking to Jewish News after last this award. “I know Bushey United Synagogue was Friday’s ceremony, Feldman said he was “The community’s wonderful response swamped with donations from the local “so proud of our shul and the human to support Afghan refugees is a tangible community, so much so you could not spirit, because although the volunteers and practical way to make a difference to get into the car park. This is testament who coordinated the whole thing came many people in need. to both Rabbi Feldman, volunteers, his from the synagogue, this spread so far and “Kol hakavod for leading the way.”
CONSPIRACY THEORIST GUILTY A conspiracy theorist has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred through a campaign of antisemitic graffiti, thanks in part to Jewish News. Nicholas Lalchan, 49, used a black marker pen to deface 17 bus stops and the window of an accountancy firm in north-west London between February and July 2019. Some of the graffiti was reported to police by a Jewish News journalist. The cost of the damage to each bus stop was said to be £100. Lalchan had admitted criminal damage and having
Some of the graffiti spotted
black marker pens to use in the offence. Following a twoday trial, he was also found guilty of stirring up racial hatred, which he had denied.
He is due to be sentenced on 1 December. A Nightingale court jury could not decide on other charges alleging the criminal damage was racially and religiously aggravated. Prosecutor David Patience had told the court how Jews and non-Jews alike had been upset at seeing the graffiti and reported it to police. It called Jewish and gay people “gray aliens”, made reference to a “new world order” and encouraged searches of YouTube and Google for various conspiracy theories.
Israelis help bring Afghans to safety Several Israeli philanthropists helped bring dozens of Afghans fleeing Taliban rule, including female athletes, to Abu Dhabi, it’s been revealed. The rescue operation led by Aaron G Frenkel, an aviation professional who had helped airlift thousands of Jews out of the Soviet Union, ended on 6 September, as 41 asylum seekers from Afghanistan reached Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress detailed the operation in a statement. Frenkel, who is the chairman of the Congress, teamed up with the group’s honorary president, Alexander Machkevich, and the
Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams to extract the passengers from Afghanistan to neighbouring Tajikistan. Adams provided the funds for chartering a private jet from Tajikistan to Abu Dhabi, carrying on board members of Afghanistan’s former women’s cycling team, human rights activists and members of a robotics team, including women, the statement said. All were deemed at risk of Taliban reprisals. “When troubling events occur in the world, we have an obligation to act as leaders,” Frenkel said. “If it is within our power to provide assistance, it is our duty to come to the rescue of any human being.”
Israeli philanthropists helped to rescue asylum seekers
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RABBI SCORES WITH SUCCAH Premier League side Brentford FC hosted an interfaith succah event at its stadium. Radlett United Synagogue’s Rabbi Johnny Hughes, a former professional footballer for Reading FC, officiated and met the club’s chairman who is a member of his congregation. Hughes said: “I was delighted to be invited to help host the event and welcome people from a range of faith backgrounds.” Pictured is the club’s club’s diversity and equality officer, Kevin Coleman, left, with Rabbi Alex Goldberg, chair of the Football Association’s Faith and Football group.
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
World News / Emergency services / UN boycott / Abuse trial
Helping Jordan cope with Covid
Nazi death squad translator dies
The president of the Jordanian Red Crescent has spoken about how training in Israel helped equip paramedics in his country to face the Covid crisis, writes Justin Cohen. Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid – who personally paved the way for the admission of Magen David Adom (MDA) to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 2006 – was the guest of honour at a lunch hosted by MDA UK to mark the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords. At the event – which was hosted by Brenda and Maurice Geller – he took the opportunity to warn that leaders of the countries signing the accords must ensure normalisation leads to improvements in people’s lives to avoid the failures of the 1994 peace between his country and the Jewish state. “It’s not enough to sign accords,” he told the gathering at the Arts Club. “Those for the Jordan-Israel deal were thinking quality of life would be better. This did not happen because the agreement with Egypt and Jordan focused more on security issues. The people need to see projects in the Middle East to make sure we can improve quality of life for regular people.” But he insisted the conflict with the Palestinians must not be ignored
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio recently invested an undisclosed amount in Israeli alternative meat startup Aleph Farms, a maker of cultivated meat that grows steaks from modified cattle cells. Aleph Farms rolled out the first cultivated steak in 2018 and a cultivated ribeye cut earlier this year. DiCaprio has long championed environmentalism with his eco-focused Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
A translator for a Nazi death squad has died at home in Ontario at the age of 97, ending a decades-long effort to deport him from Canada for his role in the murders of tens of thousands of Jews. Helmut Oberlander, born in Ukraine in 1924, had long said he was forced on pain of death at the age of 17 to become an interpreter for Einsatzkommando 10a, which killed nearly 100,000 people, most of them Jews.
Photo by Yakir Zur
DiCaprio invests in meat start-up
Russell Jacobs, Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, Efrat Perri of the Israeli Embassy, Fahad Al-Binali of the Embassy of Bahrain and MDA UK’s Daniel Burger
amid new regional ties – with the need for negotiations leading to a two-state solution. It was under Al-Hadid’s chairmanship of the Standing Commission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent that MDA and the Palestinian Red Crescent signed a landmark memorandum of understanding. The organisations were admitted into the movement under a deal whereby it adopted a third, crystal symbol alongside the cross and crescent, enabling the Israelis to use that when abroad.
He told the audience – that included Lord Pickles, Rob Rinder and diplomats from Bahrain and Israel – the Israeli emergency service was doing “a great job”. He said: “It’s a fantastic organisation. I sent a cohort of Jordanian students to Israel. I could have sent them to various countries or they could drive one hour and arrive in Israel. “They spent four years there and made lots of friends. MDA trained them and trained them well. Now many of them are working in our centre
and were instrumental in the Covid crisis.” He revealed that Jordanians will be taking part in a workshop in Tel Aviv in December to prepare for earthquakes in the region. On the many occasions he has had to call on the Israeli Embassy in Amman when Palestinians need help “straight away it falls on listening ears”, he said. “We never talk about politics with our colleagues. Maybe we have differences but the commonalities are so much stronger. The colour of blood doesn’t distinguish between Arab, Jew or non-believer. To mobilise people you need an enemy. Let that be pandemics, social injustice, poverty.” In an impromptu address, Bahrain’s deputy ambassador Fahad Al-Binali said the accords were “recognition Israel is part of the region” and prosperity is achieved through cooperation. MDA UK chair Russell Jacobs said: “There was a palpable sense of common purpose: that the job in hand is to tackle the region’s humanitarian challenges emanating from conflict and climate change together, through joint initiatives in cross-training, technology sharing – leveraging Israel’s and MDA’s local resources for the benefit of the region as a whole.”
Countries boycott UN session Dozens of countries steered clear of a UN General Assembly session that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the controversial UN World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, which was accused of veering into antisemitism. Israel and dozens of other nations boycotted the commemoration event amid worries it would also feature attacks on the Jewish state, with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeting that 34 countries would not attend. “Thank you to everyone who enlisted in a focused and successful diplomatic operation,” Lapid wrote of those helping organise the boycott. The UK, the US, Canada, Australia and France are among some of the key nations skipping this year’s meeting. Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement denouncing the conference as the commemoration began. “The original Durban Conference, a UNhosted event, became the worst international
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Kofi Annan at the 2001 Durban Conference
manifestation of antisemitism since WWII,” it said. “Inflammatory speeches, discriminatory texts and a pro-Hitler march that took place outside the halls were only part of the ugliness displayed in 2001. Twenty years later, some of the same organisations have waged a [boycott, divestment and sanctions] campaign against the only democracy in the Middle East, but they have failed.”
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A former headteacher must stand trial on 70 charges of child sex abuse at a strictlyOrthodox Jewish school where she worked in Australia, a Melbourne court has ordered. Malka Leifer, a dual IsraeliAustralian citizen who was extradited to Australia in January, denied dozens of charges, including rape, indecent assault and child sexual abuse. The crimes allegedly took place between 2004 and 2008,
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS
Starmer winning the battle for party’s soul Yesterday, as Keir Starmer wrapped up his first full conference at the helm, he welcomed an emotional Louise Ellman back to a party she was forced out of two years earlier over the previous leadership’s wilful failure to tackle racism. That warmest of embraces – both from him and delegates – couldn’t have been in starker contrast to the experiences of fellow Jewish politician, Luciana Berger, who was given extra security just to walk around conference in 2018 when the then leader struggled even to feign concern. Two Labour conferences – 2018 and 2021 – that sum up how far the party has come since Starmer took office. One where vacuous words about “kinder, gentler” politics were merely uttered and one where they were put into practise. For those still harbouring doubts about Starmer’s determination to end the hostile environment for Jewish members, this was surely the week they were, if not washed away, then seriously eroded. The passing of rule changes to ensure an independent process for tackling anti-Jewish racism was the first significant moment. This was the crux of what community leaders had been asking for for the best part of four years. Elsewhere, the buzz that had been lacking from recent Labour Friends of Israel fringe events was back, with demand so high that some would-be attendees had to be turned away. Anger or defiance were replaced by joy and relief as Louise Ellman told the packed room that the bigots who suggested there was no room for LFI had been defeated. But just as this conference underlined the new leadership’s intent on welcoming back Jews, so too it showed, in neon lights, that the grassroots are not wholly on the same page. Many remained fixated on Israel and defied the leadership to pass a strikingly imbalanced Palestine motion. A quarter of a conference-goers voted against the EHRC rule changes – despite the fact the party was legally mandated to act by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Yet, as Starmer was heckled in the main hall yesterday, it felt increasingly like they were harmless crank voices shouting from the fringes. If this new Labour Party develops in the image of its leader, the signs are certainly promising.
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Ellman’s Labour return I can’t imagine what Dame Louise Ellman went through emotionally when she felt forced to leave her political home, the Labour Party. The fact she has rejoined it gives those of us former Labour voters hope that change really is possible and that the leadership – as well as those in the rank and file of the party – are now taking seriously our concerns and, more importantly, taking action on them. Elaine Silver, By email
Sketches & kvetches
Dame Louise Ellman has made a big mistake in rejoining Labour. Far from “closing the door to antisemitism” as Keir Starmer claimed, the anti-Israel motion that passed by two to one contained 15 lies, including the antisemitic desire to terminate Israel as a Jewish state by allowing the “right of return”. Dame Louise’s return will be used as evidence that the fight against antisemitism has been successful. But there is still a long long way to go. What a shame. Jonathan Hoffman, N20
MERKEL’S MANY MERITS The end of the Angela Merkel era is something that I, as a Jew born in Germany, feel merits special mention on your letters pages. Mrs Merkel has been the country’s greatest post-war leader: a European, a unifier and someone who saved the lives of countless refugees by allowing them to settle in Germany. She has also been a true friend of its slowly growing Jewish community, notably taking a stand when circumcision was targeted by the judiciary. She famously said at the time: “I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world where Jews cannot practise their rituals. I hope Mrs Merkel’s probable successor, Olaf Scholz, walks in her giant footsteps. Oliver Meyer, By email
MY SOCIAL HIGHLIGHT “For this year’s appeal, we’re collecting for the CO2 shortage. Everybody blow into a balloon!”
Last weekend I attended my first shul barmitzvah since the pandemic. After so many Zoom services it was a delight to pray in person, albeit while seated apart at a safe distance. The Kiddush, held in the car park, was the social highlight of my year! Mr M Malman, By email
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
Editorial comment and letters
HONEY BY POST WE ALL WANT AN WASTES MONEY ISRAEL AT PEACE We’ve just marked the season when assorted charities send out small amounts of honey to donors and volunteers. Without wanting to seem ungracious, I would be obliged if they would send their gifts in time to arrive before Rosh Hashanah, properly packed, and with the correct postage, so we don’t have to go to the sorting office to pay the difference, as I have done twice now. Better still, save your money and refrain from sending this tat. John de Lange, By email
D Rosenthal’s letter, “All right, Israel…let’s talk” is part of the conversation that has been ongoing and doubtless will be in the future (Jewish News, 23 September). Any conversation is better than military action. Jews are known for disagreeing with each other but I believe we’d all like to see the continued existence of Israel, one with which her neighbours are at peace. For that to happen, elected Palestinian politicians need to be in place who accept Israel’s right to exist. JD Milaric, By email
Root them out
‘Kapo’ use wrong
Service led by Rabbi Yossi Fachler
It’s all well and good for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour to say that the bad old days of Corbynism are over and the party is once again a safe space for Jews. But until it removes the delegates who opposed the rule changes to its complaints process at this week’s conference, it will remain what it was under the former leadership: a party unfit for politics, let alone power. Simeon Gatlin, By email
Your letter correspondent, Nick Pitch, writes correctly that he is a former deputy (Jewish News, 23 September 2021). What he doesn’t say, however, is why he is a former deputy. He allegedly called a fellow deputy a “kapo” and a “Nazi youth”. Jews who use Nazi terminology such as the above are deserving only of our contempt and derision – and, probably, a little pity. Michael Gurevich, By email
Tony Page Kiddush lunch following the service
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
Joyous spirit of Simchat Torah is being dampened ALEX BRUMMER
CITY EDITOR, THE DAILY MAIL
s the familiar klezmer sounds rung out from a busker’s accordion on the streets of Kensington last week, I was reminded of the exuberant joy of past celebrations of Simchat Torah. The holiday and its mysteries, without doubt, made it my favourite festival in a different era. Time caught up with it for me some time ago as shuls emptied out over the decades and the self-protection zealots damped down on the unruly ebullience. In the past couple of years, it became yet another masked and sanitised event. Before health and safety came to rule our lives, the tradition of children parading around the bimah with flags, apples and lit candles always seemed very exciting. I always found it intriguing how the elders of the Eastern European Hove community, where I spent much of my early life, would disappear upstairs to the boardroom as the festival began. There, the Johnnie Walker would be passed around and, slowly but surely, the low gravelly voices would be lifted and raucous
singing would start up. It was the great boozy warm-up for the Hakafot, the parading of the Sifrei Torah that would follow. The young people – yes, there used to be some of those in traditional shuls – would hang around the sides of the synagogue, tallit in hand, hoping the warden doing the calling up would utter their name. The chances were slim; the big machers went first. Women were bystanders to all the effervescence. Occasionally, one of the Hakafot lottery winners would struggle with the weight and pass on the Sefer to a younger person as the wild dancing and discordant singing reached its peak. The highlight of the evening would be the ritual distribution of sweets to the children. In Washington some years later, where I worked for a decade, the practice at Kesher Israel – the Shul of the Senators – in Georgetown was rather different. The US is known as the home of capitalism red in tooth and claw and so it was on Simchat Torah. There were bids from the local real estate moguls for the privilege of leading the first Hakafot or securing an early round. Tens of thousands of dollars would notionally change hands. How quickly would they forget the traditional reading from King Solomon’s Ecclesiastes, read on the inter-
THE TRADITION OF CHILDREN PARADING AROUND THE BIMAH ALWAYS SEEMED VERY EXCITING
mediate Shabbat of just past Succot, when the great monarch describes his palaces, riches and harems as no more than ‘vanities of vanities’. Certainly, in pre-9/11 days there was another tradition. ‘N’ Street in Georgetown would be sealed from through traffic by police barriers. And the buyers of the Hakofat would stream onto the streets of Georgetown, Sifrei Torah on arm. The street was given over to boisterous dancing, nothing to worry Strictly contestants, as non-Jewish neighbours poured onto their porches or stoops or hung out of their windows to enjoy the action. Doubtless on the streets of Stamford Hill such glorious public rituals are still as vibrant as ever. But we live in a different age. The big, fulfilled, hope in Hove was that the Chabad rabbis turn up accompanied by children and grandchildren so there are people present below pensioner age. Of more concern in smaller synagogues
is whether there is going to be a minyan on Simchat Torah morning. How humiliating for the Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereshit if there is no community there to honour them. The rituals of calling everyone up to the law and gathering the children under the biggest tallit simply lack the customers and the exaltation of the past. In Israel and the Reform communities, Simchat Torah, as a separate festival no longer exists. It is simply grafted onto the eighth day of Succot or Shemini Atzeret. The extra days is a diaspora vanity all the less observed when it occurs midweek after a run of midweek holidays that can rip out the heart of the normal working week. Somehow between secular rules, health and safety and self-administered restrictions and orthodoxies a rumbustious festival has been becalmed. It has been left much less widely celebrated.
Afghanistan provides fertile ground for al-Qaeda to grow WASIQ WASIQ
ACADEMIC AND TRUSTEE, MUSLIMS AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
t’s been four weeks since the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. As much as that exit was botched, the Taliban’s re-entry into leadership positions in the region was not. Indeed, the takeover shows how organised and determined the Taliban was to pick up where it left off. But it isn’t only the Taliban seeking to do this. Islamist terrorists also hope to re-establish themselves in a region famous for the beginnings of transnational jihad. During the 1980s, when the Soviets mounted their offensive in Afghanistan, it was Abdullah Azzam – the charismatic Palestinian Islamist – who inspired and mobilised Arabs to come to Afghanistan to fight. The battle against the Soviets wasn’t just a resistance against a hostile power, it was also an opportunity to establish an Islamist force ready and prepared to fight for Muslims and Islam; this conflict exacerbated an already dichotomous relationship between western values and Islamic cultures in the east. Famed among Islamist jihadists for having
ITS ENVIRONMENT IS SUITED TO THE LIKES OF AL-QAEDA, WHICH SEES THIS AS A WAY TO CONTINUE ITS PLOTS
travelled to Afghanistan was Osama bin Laden, the man behind the 9/11 attacks on America. Hailing from a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden saw Afghanistan as his calling, a place where he could establish himself as part of the resistance against the Soviets. Bankrolling the mujahideen offensive, bin Laden quickly made a name for himself and thus formed the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. Later in the 1990s, the Taliban came into existence. They promised to restore peace and security in the mainly Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, this was not their only purpose. The Taliban also sought to enforce their own interpretation of Sharia law as a way to govern and rule the region. The Taliban and al-Qaeda had shared interests and
goals in this sense, so it is not surprising that this marriage of convenience quickly flourished. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are both driven by a narrow interpretation of Islam, inspired by Salafi jihadism. This provided them both with the underpinnings to determine who was and who wasn’t an enemy of Islam and Muslims. Strategically it meant that dedicating time, resources and personnel was more effective because they could streamline their attacks. But it wasn’t just the ideology that helped them to grow from strength to strength; there were other factors too. Afghanistan has a history of poor state governance, that is not solely because of successive governments, but rather because it is embedded in the fabric of the society there. Unlike many western countries, Afghanistan has an endemic culture of patronage politics, bribery and corruption that not only does an obvious disservice to its law-abiding citizens, but also to the longevity of stable and well thought-out policies. This turbulent environment is suited to the likes of al-Qaeda, which sees this as a way to continue its terrorist plots unchecked and unchallenged. This environment provides fertile ground for organisations such as al-Qaeda to plant themselves in the region and grow. However, it
is not only they who see this area as the perfect place to lay down their roots: others such as IS-K – the regional affiliate Islamic State Khorasan Province – see the benefits and are trying to do the same. Why will Islamist terrorism thrive in Afghanistan? The answer is simple. The region is suited to it. It is a place where dark money can be pumped in to prop up the Taliban and the Haqanni network. Terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda have shared values and interests with the ruling Taliban. Islamist ideology is as strong as ever. But the most important reason why Afghanistan will remain a hotspot for Islamist terrorism is because the west is no longer there. Embarrassingly, after withdrawing from the region, the US are now seeking to set up bases in neighbouring countries. Not only is this strategically difficult, given that Russia will block this at every opportunity, but it is demonstrates the failure and lack of commitment the west had for the innocent people of Afghanistan caught up in the Islamist experiment spearheaded by al-Qaeda and supported by the Taliban. Until the west takes a more long-term view with regard to dealing with transnational jihad, we can be sure that Afghanistan will remain a hotspot for Islamist terrorism.
30 September 2021 Jewish News
Move beyond ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ Israel camps for real change DANIELLE BETT
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, YACHAD
t’s time we looked past empty statements on Israel, selecting “pro” and “anti” camps as if the Middle East was a board game – not a real place with people desperate for real change. Last week at the Liberal Democrat conference, a motion was adopted that signalled a new direction on the party’s approach to IsraelPalestine. It called for increased trade with both nations, supported an international peace fund and, perhaps most crucially, called on the UK government to distinguish between settlements and Israel proper and, as such, to ban UK trade with the illegal Israeli settlements. Layla Moran, the only member of Parliament of Palestinian heritage, has eloquently spoken of the need for change, challenging the perception that one must choose a side in this protracted conflict. To be a supporter of Israel does not translate into absolute and unwavering support of Israeli government policy – certainly not policies that damage peace. By the
same token, supporting Palestine doesn’t mean showing uncritical support for every action of the Palestinian leadership. The Lib Dem motion demonstrates it is possible to support UK-Israel relations and oppose occupation. The Lib Dem motion received support from an array of Israeli progressives, including Members of Knesset – notably, Mossi Raz, a member of the Israeli government, and Ayman Odeh MK, a member of the opposition. So much of the “pro-Israel” camp has become accustomed to defending the actions of Netanyahu’s governments, of explaining away occupation and settlement expansion that they’ve forgotten what life is like for the average Israeli beyond the realm of conflict. Supporters of Israel will often support or excuse settlement expansion, while apparently forgetting that the average Israeli isn’t living in settlements. In the past few weeks, there have been multiple headlines about residential buildings in central Israel collapsing. Much of the area is literally crumbling, while money is poured into settlements, which are often advertised as affordable high-quality housing. Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, the standard of living is increasingly
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atrocious – to the extent young people are being driven out. The same Tel Aviv so many people like to celebrate as Israel’s capital of culture and liberalism doesn’t benefit from any affordable housing projects, often funded from abroad. Even if you can afford to rent in Tel Aviv, you’re often settling for rats, sewage and crime. Many of those who justify settlement expansion also like to talk about just how dangerous are Palestinian people. Palestinians being labelled dangerous excuses occupation – multiple checkpoints and restrictions on freedom of movement are explained by this. So which is it? Can Palestinian people be both dangerous and worthy neighbours for settlers? Too often, these fervent “pro-Israel” debates have very little to do with the welfare of Israelis or a desire for peace. A better Israel is one that isn’t ruling by occupation, an Israel that doesn’t prioritise settlements over people. It’s time to accept the dream of a two-state solution will only come to fruition if we are able to utter the name of the second state – Palestine – and with that recognise the suffering of Palestinians. Most crucially, it’s time to accept that criticism of Israel’s settlements and policy
DREAM OF A TWO-STATE SOLUTION WILL ONLY COME IF WE RECOGNISE PALESTINIAN SUFFERING of occupation is not anti-Israel. Listening to Palestinian grievances does not mean you are choosing one over the other. It’s time to rethink what being a supporter of Israel means. There are very few states we talk of in terms of “pro” and “anti”. Speaking in these terms is polarising, divisive and it’s holding us back. Progress requires critical thinking because change doesn’t happen in echo chambers. Criticism of governments is a pillar of democracy. People like Layla Moran prove you can consistently criticise Israeli government policies, not from a place of hatred, but a desire for peace. As an Israeli, I applaud everything she stands for and I applaud the Liberal Democrats for calling for real change.
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
Weekend / Television
‘Young people need to kn Eddie Marsan and Tracy-Ann Oberman lead the cast in BBC One’s new anti-fascist drama, Ridley Road
t’s the Swinging Sixties in London’s East End, and far-right fascism is on the rise. Enter Vivien Epstein, a young Jewish hairdresser from Manchester who finds herself embroiled in an undercover movement against racism, after following her lover, Jack Morris, to the capital. This sets the scene for a new four-part BBC thriller called Ridley Road, written by Sarah Solemani and based on the book of the same name by British author Jo Bloom. It’s a vivid, romantic, and inspiring series, which marks rising star Aggi O’Casey’s first television role (she plays Vivien) and also features Rory Kinnear, Eddie Marsan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Tom Varey. The thrilling drama is inspired by real events; Jack (played by Varey) is a member of
the 62 Group – a militant coalition of Jewish men formed in 1962, largely in response to the National Socialist Movement established by Colin Jordan (played by Kinnear). Londoner Marsan, 53, plays cab driver Soly, the leader of the 62 Group. The Ray Donovan star says he watched documentaries and read books ahead of taking up his latest role, but he also already had a deeper understanding of the drama’s context from his childhood. “My father was raised on Cable Street and I come from the East End of London,” he says. “So, I am very aware of the history of normal people taking on fascists in the East End. It’s the proudest part of our history, I think.” He continues: “I grew up with men like Soly; tough, Jewish, working-class men. “It’s a very important story to tell, because
Rory Kinnear, centre, plays Colin Jordan, the founder of the National Socialist Movement
Eddie Marsan as taxi driver Soly Malinovsky, left, who leads the anti-fascist 62 Group
of the rise of antisemitism on both the left and the right, and I think young people need to know what antisemitism is. “It’s very insidious, and I know it’s a strange word, but it’s almost a ‘seductive’ racism. It’s sold as egalitarianism. People can make you feel like you’re trying to create an equal world. “I was brought up in Tower Hamlets, which is the most multiracial borough in the country. I’m not religious in any sense – the only value I can pass on to my children are the values of the celebration of diversity that I was blessed to be raised with. And so, it’s very personal for me to do something like this.” Marsan also revealed that he was inspired to take on the role after seeing the effects of antisemitism first-hand in recent years. He says: “I was involved in the People’s Vote Campaign in Britain to have a second EU referendum. Being involved in that I got to know a Jewish female MP, who became a friend of mine, and I became more aware of the antisemitism she was suffering and the antisemitism that was coming to the fore in the UK. “We used to argue against it on her social media, but I thought that there was something more constructive I could do. So, when [Solemani] approached me about doing this project, I thought I always wanted to put my talent and my crafts to good use, especially fighting racism.” He adds that the story is in many respects an “inspirational” one in the way it shows “working-class Jewish people taking a stand”. Marsan says: “I mean it was only 20 years after the end of the Second World War. These characters have uncles, aunts and parents who died in the Holocaust. So, they’re also dealing with generational trauma. I found the story inspirational because it showed that if ordinary people take a stand against racism, then they can make a difference.” Playing Soly’s wife Nancy is 55-year-old Oberman. Having grown up in a Jewish family in Stanmore, north London, the former EastEnders and Friday Night Dinner star could also draw on her own experiences for the part. She says Nancy reminds her of her greatgrandmothers and great aunts from the East End “who had come off the immigrant boat with nothing and whose sheer determination, grit, toughness, love of fashion got them through it”. She recalls: “One of my great-grandmothers was called Sarah Portugal; she lived in the East End, she smoked a pipe, but she wore a slash of red lipstick no matter what was going on. “These women were very fashion-con-
Aggi as Vivien Epstein, a young Jewish hairdresser from Manchester who comes to London
30 September 2021 Jewish News
Television / Weekend
now what antisemitism is’ WRITER SARAH SOLEMANI: JUST WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL DRAWN TO THE FAR-RIGHT? What is Ridley Road is about? Ridley Road is inspired by the true story of a revival of fascism and neo-Nazism in 1962 and a group of Jewish men and women who club together to form the 62 Group, which was an anti-fascist resistance movement. They tried to beat the fascists off the street and push them to the fringes of British politics, which they were successful in doing. Our show centres on a fictional character, Vivien, who gets roped into this underworld and goes on this crazy, mad and brave adventure.
Rory Kinnear and Aggi O’Casey star in the new series Ridley Road
Inset top: Aggi wth Tracy-Ann Oberman, who plays Nancy. Right: Tom Varey as Jack
scious, and I like to think Nancy had a bit of that as well. She worked in a fabric emporium, and she marries a man like Soly; she’s his right-hand woman and I love their relationship, the equality. He’s the brawns and she’s his hands in the back and the brains.” Over the past four years, Oberman has been standing up to what she sees as a “huge rise of antisemitism on social media”. And she hopes that Ridley Road will remind people of the anti-Jewish hatred in British history, which has “been forgotten in the annals of time”. “When people talk about Jews as if they’re all rich and controlling, they have to remember that the Jewish socialist background came from the East End, from these working-class boys like Eddie represents, like Nancy represents,” she explains. “These working-class Jews came over as immigrants, mainly in 1905-7, fleeing the pogroms [in Eastern Europe]. They came to Britain thinking it was a beacon and a haven of tolerance, were treated like complete outsiders; ‘no blacks, no Jews, no dogs’ was on the list of all boarding houses and hostels. “Jews have always been ‘othered’. And we have very conveniently forgotten this little piece of history that Ridley Road is going to tell so beautifully, and that fascism is there lurking under the surface, and that the Jews had to look after themselves because the authorities weren’t helping them. “I’m hoping there won’t be a backlash on Twitter to this because this tells the true story.” Ridley Road starts on BBC One on Sunday, 3 October, 9pm
Why do you think this story is an important one to tell? The dilemma of 1962 is still one that we’re grappling with now, which is why are people drawn to the far-right? What is it about that ideology and rhetoric that is still appealing so many years on, not just in England, but in America, Eastern Europe, India, Brazil...? It’s something that has had a surge of popularity. It isn’t enough to identify these people as monsters or stupid. We have to work a bit harder in understanding the logic behind this world view. One of my guiding principles with the show was how to tell a story about how good people are convinced of bad ideas. Or how good people can come to bad conclusions, which is pointing at the other and blaming them for everything that’s wrong with your way of life. Clinging onto this nostalgic view of how things were, the culture that has been lost, an identity that has been robbed. Once we can really get into that psyche then I think we’ll understand things much better. The 62 Group in the series is based on the real group. Do you feel like they are the mirror image of the National Socialist Movement? There was a lot of controversy at the time about the tactics of the 62 Group because they were not afraid to use violence. They would go to these meetings and marches and punch, fight and cause destruction. A lot of them were ex-servicemen who had fought in the war, but when they came home, there were swastikas on the street because of freedom of speech laws. This was before the hate speech or race relations action, which slightly changed how you could spout off certain views. But back then, fascists were deliberately marching in Jewish areas, they had swastikas on Trafalgar Square and the police had to protect them. It was actually the anti-fascists who got arrested, which we depict in our show. The logic of the 62 Group was, ‘Well if the law isn’t on our side and we’re getting beaten while fascists are calling for our demise and destruction, then we have to physically protect ourselves and scare them away.’ This tactic caused controversy within the Jewish community as well, especially among the elders who argued: “You’re going to their level, this is not who we are, you’re dragging us through the mud, you’re sullying our reputation.” It’s like the conversation you have in America with Trump supporters: “They go low, we go high.” It’s an existential question: At what point do you pick up your sword and defend your life? These are the stakes the 62 Group were dealing with.
Jewish News 30 September 2021
Weekend / Entertainment
Louis Theroux: Forbidden America
Israeli-Arab actor Salim Dau has joined the cast of the hotlyanticipated fifth series of Netflix hit drama The Crown. Dau, best known for his roles in the Bartlett Sher-directed political thriller Oslo and Israeli hit drama series Fauda, will star as Mohamed Al-Fayed, billionaire businessman and father of Dodi Al-Fayed, who was killed alongside Diana, Princess of Wales, following a car crash in Paris in 1997. The Kite Runner actor Khalid Abdalla has been cast as Dodi, while Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki will portray Diana. Their romantic involvement lasted just a few weeks before the fatal accident occurred in the early hours of 31 August 1997 at the Pont de
Film-maker Louis Theroux will tackle far-right antisemitic extremists in a new three-part documentary series. Louis Theroux: Forbidden America will explore the impact of the internet and social media on people with dangerous, extreme or morally questionable lifestyles. In the first film, Theroux meets young and highly inflammatory figures from the farright, including those involved recently in the notorious Capitol Hill riots. A community primarily made up of men, its leaders stream shows and build solidarity through online networks. Their followers are a growing army of similar-minded activists who hang on their every word, breeding a fastgrowing ‘dissident’ nationalist movement that shares deeply antisemitic, racist, homophobic and misogynistic views. Theroux also immerses himself in the new
l’Alma underpass in the French Salim Dau capital. The new season of The Crown – which will air next year – also features Dominic West as Prince Charles, Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret and Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major.
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jewishnews.co.uk Closing date 21 October 2021
Bolan died in a car crash on 16 September 1977. At his funeral at Golders Green Crematorium, which was attended by David Bowie, Rod Steward, Tony Visconti and Steve Harley, a swan-shaped floral tribute was displayed in recognition of his breakthrough hit, Ride A White Swan. The beloved musician was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.
IN THE PIPELINE
The Comeback Girl Transparent actress Kathryn Hahn is set to play late Jewish comedy legend Joan Rivers. Hahn, the non-Jewish star known for playing a rabbi on the popular Amazon Prime Video series among other Jewish roles, will portray Rivers, who died aged 81 following complications from a surgery in 2014. Showtime’s limited series The Comeback Girl will focus on the years in the 1980s, after Rivers dealt with a string of professional defeats and
world of rap and hip-hop in America’s southern states and explores the porn industry as it grapples with its own #MeToo movement. Theroux says the films highlight “the dangers of the technotopia we all now inhabit, where extremist content can be piped directly into the phones and laptops of millions of children”. He adds: “But they also illustrate some of the positive opportunities the new world has created by disrupting old hierarchies of power.”
Marc Bolan A blue plaque in honour of late T Rex frontman Marc Bolan has been unveiled in Summerstown, south-west London, where he lived as a teenager during the 1960s. The Jewish glam rock pioneer, who was born Mark Feld and died just two weeks before his 30th birthday in 1977, is best remembered for such hits as Get It On, Hot Love, I Love To Boogie and Children Of The Revolution. Following a crowdfunding campaign led by Geoff Simmons and Jack Hardman, which raised more than £800, a blue plaque has now been placed outside the site of the Prince of Wales pub where Bolan used to busk. Speaking earlier this year to South West Londoner, Simmons said: “This is the place that made him; first jobs, final days of school, where he changed from Mark Feld to Marc Bolan. This is where it happened and that’s why it’s an important place.”
contemplated suicide. Rivers often referenced her Joan Rivers Jewishness in her stand-up comedy and left donations to Jewish institutions in her will. Hahn, who grew up Catholic but is married to Jewish actor Ethan Sandler, will also soon appear in The Shrink Next Door on Apple TV+, an adaptation of a 2019 reported podcast about a Jewish psychiatrist on the Upper West Side of Manhattan who takes control of the life of one of his Jewish patients. Speaking about her research for the role of Rabbi Raquel on Transparent, Hahn told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2016: “Playing a rabbi on this show has changed me in so many ways I can’t articulate. It’s perfect timing for me in my life as a mum with two kids and wandering spirituality.”
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
Book / Weekend
‘I grew up steeped in Jewishness’ “
Being Jewish, I’ve been lucky enough to have two distinct linguistic influences in my life – English, obviously, because I was born and brought up in Britain, but the cadences of Yiddish are also deliciously familiar. As a little girl, I was always hearing the sounds of people whose first language was not English. As the only Yiddish-speaking GP in Oxford, the many refugees from London and abroad who found my father did so with relief. For many, German was their mother tongue, but they didn’t want to speak that language anymore; it reminded them of the Nazis and how they had suffered at their hands. They preferred to speak English, albeit brokenly, with the German Jewish accent which, whenever I hear it, brings back a vanished milieu. My father’s patients would try hard to be English and would say things like, ‘How are you? Very nice to meet.’ When we brought Gertrude Stein and a companion to the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1985, I heard those same accents in the theatre foyer and all over Swiss Cottage. Death has silenced those voices now but I remember them and love to imitate them so they live again. Mummy and Daddy did talk about the
In her searingly candid memoir, This Much Is True, actress Miriam Margolyes covers the whole gambit of her extraordinary life, from being known as the naughtiest girl Oxford High School ever had, to kissing Bob Monkhouse and being told off by the Queen. She has rubbed shoulders with everyone from Scorsese to Streisand and portrayed every role from Cadbury’s Caramel Rabbit to Professor Sprout. Here she recalls embracing a strong sense of Jewishness right from an early age…
We corresponded war – not in huge for some years. She detail, but as a lived in South Wales, child you somehow in a little town called glean things when Tonypandy. There something serious is was once a flourishing going on. There were Jewish community ration books and in South Wales. lines of POWs [prisMerthyr Tydfil oners of war] in blue has one of the loveuniforms marching liest synagogues in down Cornmarket, but I didn’t really Miriam as Mrs Mingott in The Age of Innocence Britain, now disused, but do visit if you can; know what had sheep graze nearby high up, overlooking the happened until much later on. town. Whenever I can, I visit synagogues; as Once I was old enough to understand, religion dwindles and congregations age, the it cast a shadow from which I have never synagogues close. escaped. Obviously my parents’ friends and I want to keep alive the past and support father’s patients weren’t all Jewish but, parish churches in the same way. Religion nonetheless, I was steeped in Jewishness. isn’t important to me, but I want to acknowlEvery time somebody came on television, edge the people who took on the challenge of Mummy would say, ‘He’s Jewish.’ We were continuing their heritage in a strange land. thrilled when Frankie Vaughan got to number When I started at Oxford High School, one in the hit parade. He was called Vaughan Mummy went to see Miss Stack and because his grandmother said to him, in her announced: ‘We have our own religion and thick Yiddish accent: ‘Frankie you are my I don’t want Miriam to attend lessons about number vone [Vaughan] grandson.’ I still the New Testament.’ Now I regret that I’m look at every cast list at the end of television ignorant of Book Two. I could have read it programmes to see who’s Jewish. for myself – I never did. I even had a Jewish penfriend, through During assembly, which was Christian the Jewish Chronicle’s Children’s Page.
Miriam, left, as Aunt Sponge with Joanna Lumley as Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach
where hymns were sung, or during choir practice, the few atheists and Jews at the school used to go to another classroom. We read poems, which the teachers thought was a punishment, but actually it was a pleasure. We were always very aware of being Jewish, and I never let anyone forget it. That’s still true. When I was in the First Form, one of the other children said to me, ‘You killed Christ.’ I said indignantly, ‘I didn’t.’ And she said, ‘Yes, you did! You’re a Jew and you killed Christ.’ I was upset and I went back home and told Mummy. Straight away, without a second’s pause, she said, ‘Right, I’m going to the headmistress.’ She always confronted things head on. She arrived at the school and marched right up to the office. I don’t know what she said to Miss Stack. It wasn’t the child’s fault, after all, she’d just heard it from her parents, but she never said anything like that again.
This Much Is True by Miriam Margolyes is published by John Murray Press, priced £20. Available now
Miriam, second left, as Professor Pomona Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Jewish News 30 September 2021
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30 September 2021 Jewish News
Cable Street Anniversary / Weekend
The battle for Britain
On the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, Robert Philpot reflects on the tenacious Jewish resistance to British post-war fascism
ix months after the end of the oppose and expose fascist and antiSecond World War, Britain’s semitic groups, and unite the public fascist leader, Sir Oswald against them. It would have no other Mosley, attended a Christmas political agenda and it would be open party. He was given a rapturous to those who were neither Jewish nor reception by 1,000 stalwart former soldiers. supporters – complete with raisedMosley’s new Union Movement – arm salutes. Despite the defeat of the named as a nod to his belief in a united Third Reich that he had so admired, Europe – was harassed by the 43 Group Mosley remained convinced that at every turn. They left his supporters Britain’s fascist moment was still bruised and bloodied after a May Day to come. march in east London and routed them But the former head of the British at what became known as the Battle of Union of Fascists would also face a the Level in Brighton a month later. group of equally committed opponents And one blue-eyed, blond-haired – mainly Jewish ex-servicemen – who young Jew, today only identified as fought, spied upon and, ultimately, “Ben,” managed to charm his way into helped to defeat Mosley’s much hopedMosley’s inner circle and become part for return to the political stage. of his security detail. Ben fed back As Daniel Sonabend brilliantly capdaily reports and helped the group tures in his recent book, We Fight Fasto burgle documents from Mosley’s cists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten country estate. Battle for Post-war Britain, this was a This was, though, highly dangerous A demonstrator is taken away by police in October 1936, to stop fighting between anti-fascists tale of often bloody, and occasionally work. Group members were trailed and in London’s East End and Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts terrifying “organised chaos”. assaulted by fascists who armed themIn the aftermath of the Allied victory, selves with brass knuckles and razor Mosley initially ordered most of his supencountered Hamm addressing a small were not prepared to take the kind of robust blades. One had an incendiary device pushed porters to keep their heads down. In a bid crowd at Whitestone Pond in Hampstead, action they thought necessary against fascist through his letterbox. for respectability, and to help maintain and north London. They rushed the small platactivists. A Cabinet committee on fascism, Within a year, the Union Movement had grow fascist networks, he urged them to form form from which he was speaking, tangling for instance, had decided that there was fizzled into insignificance. Having waited for local book clubs and cultural societies. On no with the stewards who were guarding it, “no immediate threat” of a fascist movement so long, Mosley had missed his moment: ausaccount were they to mention the Jews. and beat Hamm. gaining ground. The Labour home secreterity and rationing began to ease and living Many, though, were unable to contain When the four men recounted their tary, James Chuter Ede, recommended that standards improved, while the withdrawal their enthusiasm for their lost cause. With actions back at Maccabi House, a Jewish the fascists instead be left “to the sense of of British troops from Palestine meant that the lifting of various wartime regulations, sports club in West Hampstead, they received humour of the British people”. the antisemitism the Union Movement had a plethora of fascist organisations – deeply a warm response. As Sonabend writes: At the same time, the conservativehoped to exploit swiftly subsided. antagonistic towards one another but united “Over the next few months these young minded Board was determined that any Disenchanted and prone to infighting, in their hatred of Jews – began to spring up. Jewish ex-servicemen saw the Whitestone action taken to counter the fascists be lawMosley further demoralised his supporters One to which Mosley gave his private Pond attack not as a one-off but as the abiding, uncontroversial and not draw negaby telling them to switch their attacks from approval was led by Jeffrey Hamm. A Nazi template for an anti-fascist organisation.” tive attention to the Jewish community. Jews to communists. For many, this simply enthusiast and virulent antisemite, Hamm It was already becoming evident to the That attitude, though, was not one shared didn’t have the same appeal, and the fascist had, like the former British Union of Fascists men that both the government and Jewish by many young Jews. They had fought for leader once again returned to his sly attacks leader, been interned during the war. communal groups, such as the Board of their country to defeat fascism overseas, on “international financiers”. The Union In May 1946, four Jewish former soldiers Deputies and its Jewish Defence Committee, were scarred by the images of the camps Movement’s performance in 1949’s local (which some had personally witnessed and elections proved so dire that the party in which others had lost relatives), and had chose not to contest the following year’s memories of how Mosley’s Blackshirts had general election. terrorised Jews in the 1930s. In December 1949, the last issue of Many Jews were, moreover, appalled by 43 Group’s newspaper, On Guard, appeared. the sight of Royal Navy ships in the MediterThe group itself was disbanded soon afterranean attempting to prevent Holocaust wards as a bored Mosley prepared to leave survivors from reaching Palestine. “We felt the UK for France. useless,” recalled Morris Beckman, who had Although the competition is not great, participated in roughing up Hamm. Mosley is the most popular fascist politiFrom frustration, anger and a determinacian Britain has ever seen, albeit one with a tion that never again should Jews be stalked distinctly limited appeal. It was in no small by fascists on the streets of London, the 43 part thanks to the 43 Group that his hopes Group was born in the last months of 1946. of returning to the fray after the war were While the origins of its name are disputed scuppered. – the official account is that it stemmed But that, as Sonabend demonstrates, from the number of people attending its first was by no means its only legacy. meeting – its aims were not. “If it achieved nothing else,” one veteran “The battle against fascism,” its founding later recalled, “it gave Jewish ex-servicemen members wrote in an early letter to The the sense of pride that we are a people, that Jewish Chronicle, “must go on… We must we can defend ourselves and we’re not The Cable Street Mural on Stepney Town Hall, Shadwell, was painted between 1979 and kill it, and kill it now!” just running away. If it did nothing else. 1983 by Dave Binnington, Paul Butler, Ray Walker and Desmond Rochfort The group, its members decided, would But I’m sure it did do more than that.”
Jewish News 30 September 2021
Business / Supply disruption
With Candice Krieger
T-OY VEY! COULD SHORTAGES THREATEN CHANUKAH? The boss of a toy company tells Candice Krieger that rising shipping costs and Covid-related supply shortages are causing havoc for his business
time it should. “The first reason is hile Chanukah the lack of shipping containers and Christmas coming out of China – a won’t, we knock-on effect of the ports hope, be being closed during the cancelled height of the pandemic,” this year, says Berkowitz, 26, whose the holiday season could company makes soft toys be more expensive than with licences for Transport for ever as the price of toys is London (TfL) London Underset to soar owing to rising ground, Harry Potter, Thundershipping costs and supply birds, JCB and the RAF. shortages, says the boss of Joel Berkowitz “The second is the lack of space The London Toy Company. and availability on the vessels coming over. Joel Berkowitz, whose business supplies And lastly, the most significant issue, is having Amazon, Harrods and TK Maxx among others, trucks from the port deliver straight to us. warns that ongoing disruption in the shipping There are delays at every stage.” industry will leave shoppers paying the price The ongoing disruption of the shortage of as rising costs are passed on to them. HGV drivers , which has caused problems for “Toys this year will be the most expensive a range of industries in recent months, most they’ve ever been,” says Berkowitz. “We weathered the pandemic and now we are dealing with recently fuel deliveries with lengthy queues at petrol stations piling up across the UK, has no astronomical shipping costs and delays.” doubt exacerbated the issue. Additionally, there Shipping toys is currently taking twice the
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is the huge increase in container rates. “Before all these issues came about we were paying $900 [£650] for a 20ft container. We are now paying upwards of $8,800 [£6,400].” Consumers also need to prepare themselves that their favourite toys might not be in stock. “We had a big order from Amazon recently that we couldn’t fulfil. “At the moment, we are well stocked, but can’t rule out that we won’t have shortages due to supply chain issues when our peak period starts at the end of October.” Some toys are expected to experience month-long delays. “Even once we have a container and we ship, we are not allowed to pre-book a lorry to bring it from the port to warehouse. You can only book when it’s landed and then there’s a three week wait and we have to pay daily charges for the wait. “We are forking out about £40,000 a month on these charges. Saying this out loud to you is pulling at my heartstrings.” Berkowitz is passionate about his work. As a child, he lived close to Hendon Underground Station and would travel a lot on the Tube with his dad. “I loved hearing and seeing the trains and was always playing with model trains and other vehicles,” he recalls. His entrepreneurial journey started through his long-standing involvement with Limmud. “I became involved with the tuck shop and took it over, implementing a barcode system and then helped with managing transport and logistics for their events. All this gave me a massive perspective on business operations. It was very hard and challenging as I was given a lot of responsibility from a young age and that really pushed me forward.” But it wasn’t until the former JFS alumnus studied transport and automotive design at Coventry University, where he was
president of the Jewish Society, that the idea for The London Toy Company came about. “Getting to design boats, trains, cars, lorries etc was a life-long dream. I was in my element.” The ‘light-bulb’ moment came in his second year. “In my nine-square-metre dorm room, I had a shelf with model toy buses and trains – in particular, a London Underground train. There I was, at two in the morning, looking at this toy, looking at the sausage pillow on my bed, and the idea was born of the Tube-train carriage cushion.” Berkowitz proved his concept to the university’s Enterprise Hub, securing £2,000, which enabled him to go to China with his dad, source a factory and have some samples made. “We visited the Chabad in Shanghai. I came back and launched at the Spring Fair at the NEC [event venue in Birmingham] in 2016.” It was there Berkowitz met his business partnerto-be, Darren Rickless from Manchester, and the company really took off. After becoming the youngest licencee for TfL, Berkowitz had a big first order from a US client. “It was super daunting as I’d never manufactured or shipped a product before. We were also approached by Harrods, Merlin and John Lewis. Subsequently, ITV also approached us. We went on to work under licence on the Thunderbirds Are Go soft toy range. From there, retailers grew, new licences were obtained in deals with JCB and the RAF – and the ranges continued to expand.” Originally a manufacturer of soft toys, the company now also makes electric train sets, models, stress toys, and a variety of “merch” such as bottles and umbrellas. Its bestselling products are the RAF Spitfire, Harry Potter Hogwarts Express and The Knight Bus soft toys and the London Underground electric train set. Shoppers with any of these on their children’s wish list would do well to buy sooner rather than later. www. thelondon toy company. co.uk
30 September 2021 Jewish News
SEDRA Bereshit BY RABBI ALEX CHAPPER The story is one we all learnt about as children – God created the world in seven days. But what they did not teach us is that before God created this world, He created a thousand hidden worlds, all of them swept away in the blink of an eye until He created this one and declared: “This one pleases me, those did not.” It is perhaps little wonder we were not taught this particular story, as it is a tradition contained in the mystical teachings of the Zohar. To even attempt to understand the depths of this idea, we first have to remember the Midrashic statement that there are 70 facets to the Torah, which highlights that there are multiple ways in which the Torah may be interpreted. Coupled with the fact that there are more than 200 major commentaries on just the first word of the Torah alone, we realise that it would take us a lifetime
to know them all. However, what emerges is a greater appreciation of the complexity of the world and an acknowledgement of the different levels of design and incredible beauty that surrounds us. Like the thousand hidden worlds, we may not be able to see them all, but we sense that there is so much more to the universe than meets the eye. The Torah is the blueprint of the world. As another Midrash teaches: “God looked into the Torah and created the world.”. The more we study it, the more we discover the layers of meaning it contains and the greater understanding we have of our world and its creator. Star Trek’s Captain Kirk may have said that space is the final frontier, but certainly knowledge is the key to reaching the divine.
◆ Rabbi Alex Chapper serves Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue
Torah For Today What does the Torah say about: The Battle of Cable Street BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL Next week marks the 85th anniversary since the Battle of Cable Street on 4 October 1936, when riots erupted between anti-Fascists and Blackshirts. What does the Torah have to say about the passing of 75 years and fighting fascism? Abraham, our ancestor, was a subject of Nimrod, a cruel despot who threw whomsoever he disliked into the flames of his furnaces. According to legend, Abraham survived such an attempt on his life. At 75 years old, Abraham experienced a calling to leave his homeland and set up for a future destiny elsewhere. Much later, Daniel and his friends were cast into a furnace by another power-crazed king, Nebuchadnezzar, the inspiration many centuries later of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Daniel and his friends survived, too, unlike so many others who
perished at the hands of the Inquisitors and fascists of the Third Reich. Prior to the march of 4 October 1936, residents of the area petitioned government to ban the march. However, it went ahead with 20,000 of Oswald Mosley’s fascists, 2,000 of whom were allowed to approach the demonstrators, who comprised trade unionists, communists, anarchists, British Jews, Irish dockers and socialist groups. Demonstrators saw off the fascists with anything that came to hand, and women emptied chamber pots on their heads.
This scene is reminiscent of another fascist threat, this time against the Jews of Persia. But in this case their chief, Haman, was humiliated first by leading Mordechai along the streets to honour him and then, according to legend by his own daughter, who emptied a chamber pot over her father’s head. When she realised who Haman was, she took her own life. The face-off between Nazi and Jew, fascists and proponents of freedom, is at the very core of Judaism, a religion cognisant of existentialism. The need to exist physically sets aside almost all other considerations, and the most compelling, shortest and obligatory Torah reading of the year – Nitzavim – is the one that warns us to “stand guard” and cry out: “No pasarán!” ◆ Rabbi Ariel Abel is based in Liverpool
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
The Bible Says What? Study Torah... but not too much
We never look back at Simchat Torah, only forwards to the new year…
BY RABBI DR DEBORAH KAHN-HARRIS Among the final verses of Ecclesiastes, we find these surprising words: “Much study is a wearying of the flesh.” We all know the centrality of education and study to the Jewish tradition, so how could Ecclesiastes disparage it in such a manner? To complicate matters further, modern scholarship asks if Ecclesiastes 12: 12-14 is even part of the original text suggesting it is a later addition, not the words of Ecclesiastes at all. Even more challenging, two of the central words in the phrase – the Hebrew words lahag and y’giat – are both known as hapax legomenon, words that only appear once in the Hebrew Bible, making translation notoriously difficult. But putting aside textual integrity and semantics, if this part of the verse does condemn study as physically wearisome, what are we to make of it? The first part of the verse is far
better known – ‘the making of many books is without limit’. Perhaps meaning that knowledge is endless. Whatever we have read, studied or learned will soon be added to by a new opinion or ideas. However much we know, we will never be finished. It is tiring just to think about it. But the Targum, the ancient Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, was so vexed by this verse that it changed its meaning altogether. The Targum renders it as “be careful to make books of wisdom without end but occupy yourself much with words of Torah and become wise with weariness of flesh”. In other words, be so studious that you exhaust yourself. Be a relentless student. Now there’s the message that perhaps we did expect to hear! As we read Ecclesiastes on Succot, perhaps this verse will have at least offered pause for thought.
◆ Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris is principal at Leo Baeck College
BY RABBI DR RENÉ PFERTZEL The festival of Simchat Torah emerged in the Middle Ages, somewhere between the 9th and the 12th century CE. It is attached to the end of Succot, Shemini Atzeret. Progressive Jews throughout the world follow the custom of Eretz Israel and mark both festivals on the same day. There is indeed something exhilarating in celebrating a new beginning. We completed a whole cycle of Torah and we are immediately embarking on a new one, reading the last verses of Deuteronomy and the first of Genesis, almost in one breath. The last letter of Torah is lamed (Israel), and the first is bet (Bereshit). Together, lamed and bet make up the word lev, heart. Torah is at the heart of Israel, and Israel commits to Torah with all its heart. The end of the book of Deuteronomy, a Torah portion called V’zot HaBerachah, is read only on Simchat Torah. The Torah ends with these words:
“Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Eternal singled out, face to face, for the various signs and wonders the Eternal performed in Egypt, and for the great and awesome power Moses displayed before all Israel.” The death of a hero begs the question: How did we get to this point, when the last word of our most sacred text is Israel, our people, and what is the purpose of this sacred history? It is also an invitation to revisit the origins. Bereshit bara Elohim et ha-shamayim v’et ha-aretz has the first of many riddles of Torah: How
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can we translate Bereshit? The traditional translation says, “in the beginning” but it is not what the vocalised Hebrew says. The Masoretic text says very clearly, “in a beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. There is no indication of what happened before. We start our foundational texts with God’s creative power: God has created a universe that holds the capacity to renew and reproduce itself, that will host human beings endowed with free will. It is as if Torah wanted to tell us: Do not look backwards, but only forwards. In the beginning the future is created, not with certainty, but with a question: Where do we come from and where do we want to go? Each beginning of the cycle invites us to ask these questions and to offer answers, new and yet eternal. ◆ Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel is co-chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors
which builds trust and confidence across the school and the wider community. This is an excellent opportunity for an outstanding candidate who is aspirational and ambitious. The successful candidate will bring a proven track record of leadership and management experience. A commitment to the values and mission of the College and a collaborative and enabling style of leadership will be key elements. The next Head of Immanuel College is not required to be a member of the Jewish community although will need to work closely within it in alignment with the school’s values and future ambitions. Further information on Immanuel College can be found at www.immanuelcollege.co.uk A candidate brief can be downloaded from www.odgers.com/83541 Letters of applications and CV’s should be sent by 17.00 GMT on Monday 11 October to Peter Lawrence at Odgers Berndtson quoting reference PWL/83541. Head Master: Mr Gary Griffin BA (Soc) Hons Elstree Road, Bushey, Herts, WD23 4EB Tel: 020 8950 0604
Immanuel College is a thriving and successful HMC co-educational Jewish day school for children aged 4 to 18. We welcome, on an equal basis, all applications regardless of faith. Immanuel College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Applicants must be willing to undergo screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the DBS.
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
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THE JEWISH NEWS CROSSWORD 1
8 9 10 13 17 18 19 20
Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 9 so that each row, column and 3x3 block contains the numbers 1 to 9.
Blade fitted to a gun muzzle (7) Prohibit (3) Maximum legal velocity for traffic (5,5) Airless and stifling (10) Short-winged coastal bird (3) Sweet and sickly (7) Manage museum collections (6) Repair (4)
2 9 5 9 1 6 3 4 8 3 7 9 1 8 1 5 6 5
DOWN 1 Money owing (4) 2 Forget lines when acting (3,2) 4 Up to now (3) 5 Book of photographs (5) 6 Elaborately adorned (6) 7 Additional part of a building (6) 11 Session of teaching (6) 12 Picture made from fragments (6) 14 ___ Face, Lady Gaga hit (5) 15 Power of speech (5) 16 Matured (4) 18 Child’s bed (3)
ACROSS 1 Extinct bird of Mauritius (4) 3 Power generator (6)
SUGURU Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.
The words relating to Thai food 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.
L K E P Y
J O N C G R L
S E L D O O N R E E K M
Q F M O Y E E C N L E X M N R H O X G H E L A M L N B G V
R R R E
D M M J
L G T U S K K C F
A N V B A
D N Q O F I
E W E S
Z S P C S F Z D F W T T
CHILLI COCONUT MILK CURRY FISH SAUCE FRAGRANT
GINGER GREEN JASMINE LEMONGRASS LIME
Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Meter 4 Delta 7 PVC 8 Nuclear 9 Diva 10 Chip 13 Lap 15 Edgy 16 Lean 19 Scraper 21 Tug 22 Rayon 23 Lundy DOWN: 1 Mope 2 Ticking 3 Rental 4 Duct 5 Lie 6 Abrupt 11 Hearten 12 Teaser 14 Plural 17 Spin 18 Ugly 20 Ray
14 26 10
9 6 4 1 3 7 2 5 8
7 3 9 5 4 1 8 6 2
8 4 1 3 2 6 5 9 7
See next issue for puzzle solutions.
Suguru 6 2 5 7 9 8 1 4 3
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Sudoku 5 1 2 9 8 4 3 7 6
NOODLES PAD THAI RED RICE TEMPURA
3 7 8 2 6 5 9 1 4
A H T D A P R M T P J
Y R M U
S H S A U C E
C X Q U T G B
T C U R R Y D H S P O V
G R G L N U R R A W A N E H A
4 2 3 8 2 4 6 7 3
1 9 3 6 7 2 4 8 5
4 5 7 8 1 3 6 2 9
2 8 6 4 5 9 7 3 1
1 2 1 3 5 1
3 4 5 4 2 4
2 1 3 1 5 1
All puzzles © Puzzler Media Ltd - www.puzzler.com
Wordsearch 3 4 5 2 3 4
1 2 1 4 1 5
3 4 5 2 3 2
4 2 1 2 4 3
1 3 4 3 1 2
5 2 1 2 5 4
3 4 3 4 3 1
2 1 2 5 2 4
3 5 4 1 3 1
U N N E I E G S I E A P K
W S L L E N A W S A Y A E
Z I S T N C M O E R N R W
N P H A R A O H A R E T H
O O E R I D I M A O L X N
T T O H S R I K L C G N Y
C E D U O D D T H D N I U
Codeword O C E A S C L N U R M H E
T D S Z A C N U A T S P C
U R E I T L A R X X K S D
I I R G Y R E M N O E I L
E O T E G Y P T E I R L S
G S E L P M E T S L O A A
C SO M GA L AG Z I N E RA V J I D
L A Y A B U D A D R E E K B E P T S S T W I V E T A
CQU E E N L L I E L T OME D O U A T H E T T L O T S I A NDBA K L S S E L
R V I R I D S F A A NCU T HUM A L A G X A K I S S
S N O T A B L Y N
I H K J N S U M W O G 30/09 Z P RCB E V D Y T F Q L X A
Jewish News 30 September 2021
Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44
The Jewish News 22 September 2016
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Jewish News 30 September 2021
2021 From Ladino love songs to Klezmer blues, children’s musicals to modern jazz, Israeli theatre to cockney Yiddish music hall, stand-up comedy to the Jewish answer to Halloween, there is something for everyone at TSITSIT – the world’s ﬁrst Jewish themed Fringe. TSITSIT LONDON PROGRAMME OCTOBER 3 • Comedy@ NW7 Kugelroni | comedy with Mike Capozzola | The NW7 Hub NW7 2HX | 7.30pm OCTOBER 5 • The Bu-Jew | comedy with Aaron Levene | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre NW11 7HY | 7.00pm • Pray it Forward | new comedy with Rachel Creeger | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 8.30pm OCTOBER 6 • Kugelroni | comedy with Mike Capozzolaa | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm • Jew-O Rama | new Jewish comedy showcase | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 8.30pm OCTOBER 10 • Buenos Klezmer / Jews in Jazz | a double bill of klezmer and jazz | Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club SE11 4RN | 7.30pm • ‘If it’s Jewish Enough for You ‘ Cabaret | comedy and music featuring The Comic Bard of Anglo Jewry | Soho Theatre | 7.30pm OCTOBER 14 • A Dylan a Day | Jonny Brick is a songwriter who attempts to weave Dylan’s life and work into an hour of song | NW7 Hub | 7.00pm OCTOBER 16 • Demons of Jerusalem | a tale of political intrigue in 1920s Jerusalem – world premiere | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 8.30pm OCTOBER 17 • The Minyannaires | poetry with six fabulous female poets | Temple of Art and Music | 4.00pm • She Seeks Out Wool | spoken word and knitting tell the stories of women from Vitebsk to Liverpool | Jewish Museum | 6.00pm • Songs of Emily Rose | new songs to make you laugh and cry a little | Jewish Museum | 7.00 • After the Unthinkable | a staged reading of a new play on the impact of war and the Holocaust | Jewish Museum | 6.00pm • The Stove | a shared story, with food , of journeys to the old country and back again | Jewish Museum | 6.00pm / 8.00pm • The Drowning Shore | an evening of new music by Alastair White, with mezzo soprano Clara Kanter | JW3 | 7.30pm • The Life of the Great Don Quixote as Written by the Jew Antonio Jose da Silva | world premiere | Jewish Museum | 8.00pm • Sephardic songs with Monica Acosta / Tarsus play global traditional music | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm / 8.30pm • The Bu-Jew | a second chance to catch Aaron Levene’s work in progress | Etectera Theatre Camden Town | 6.00pm
3pm as it should be
OCTOBER 18 • Pineapple and Crust | a theatre double bill | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.30pm OCTOBER 19 • Pineapple and Crust | a theatre double bill | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.30pm OCTOBER 20 • The Life of the Great Don Quixote as Written by the Jew Antonio Jose da Silva | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm • Comedy@NW7 | Philip Simon Work in Progress | 7.30pm • Comedy@ NW7 | Joe Bor The Story of Walter & Herbert | 8.30pm • Letters from the Affair: Pissarro, Degas and the Dreyfus Affair | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 9.00 OCTOBER 21 • Surfing the Holyland | An American moves to Tel Aviv, how does she survive? She learns to surf | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.30pm • Letters from the Affair: Pissarro, Degas and the Dreyfus Affair | streamed performance | 7.00pm OCTOBER 23 • The Rosen One | stand up comedy with Hannah Rosen | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 8.00pm • Daphna Baram Unmuted | more stand up fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 9.00pm
OCTOBER 27 • Meet at The Ark At Eight | King Alfred Phoenix | 11.00am / 2.00pm • The Rubber Merchants | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm • Comedy @ NW7 | Donna Landy and Katie Price | NW7 Hub | 7.30pm • Comedy @ NW7 | Rachel Creeger – Ultimate Jewish Mother (with special guest, Pauline Eyre) | NW7 Hub | 8.30pm OCTOBER 28 • The Rubber Merchants | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm • Whistle | a powerful show about the pain of second generation memory | Yavneh College Theatre | 8.00pm OCTOBER 30 • Keep Kalm and Kvetch | affectionate musical comedy on the world’s longest serving monarch | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 8.00pm • Passion Killer | a stand up cabaret on women’s power from Genesis to the present day, with international star Hadar Galron | 9. 30pm OCTOBER 31 • Sitra Achra Night: the Jewish answer to Halloween | Dance, music, comedy and Yiddish Punch & Judy | The Jewish Museum | 7.30pm
OCTOBER 24 • Life Traveller | an interactive dance performance on migration and memory Millennium Bridge | 11.30 onwards • Cockney Yiddish Music Hall | an engaging mix of edgy, cheeky, and hilarious London songs | Jewish Museum Camden Town | 7.30pm • The Wolf of Baghdad | an animated film journey through a Jewish family’s memories of their lost Iraqi homeland, with live music from 3yin | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.30pm • Blokes of a Feather | an evening with comedy scriptwriting giants Marks and Gran | Lovegrove Theatre E18 2RB | 7.30pm OCTOBER 25 • The Rubber Merchants | a revival of Hanoch Levin’s comedy of hope and risk-taking | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm • Meet at The Ark At Eight | King Alfred Phoenix | 11.00am / 2.00pm OCTOBER 26 • Meet at The Ark At Eight | King Alfred Phoenix | 11.00am / 2.00pm • The Rubber Merchants | King Alfred Phoenix Theatre | 7.00pm
JEWS AND BRITISH THEATRE: A SERIES OF ONLINE CONVERSATIONS October 4th October 6th October 7th October 12th
1 | Henry Bial and Ben Naylor 2 | Nathan Abrams 3 | Amy Rosenthal and Rob Messik 4 | Patrick Marber
WATCH OUT FOR OUR HALF-TERM PROGRAMME WITH PJ LIBRARY. Venues in London and across the country.
For full details and to book all tickets go to www.tsitsitfringe.org