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Family matters The judge Women whose lives were transformed by adoption

in Jordan Robert Rinder’s MDA diary P27


15 Cheshvan 5782

Issue No.1233


Page 31

Winds of change

£70,000 interfaith fund launched as Jewish News hosts young Christians, Muslims and Jews at Windsor Castle

a geologist turned entrepreneur and one of the Dragons supporting the project. “But also, I think we all realise by Joshua Salisbury mental health is a real issue that needs josh@jewishnews.co.uk to be tackled. The concept is great.” @josh_salisbury Khodabocus said: “It’s been amazing. They understood the urgency of it, it’s A staggering £70,000 was pledged a no-brainer as a need for the comto support innovative interfaith munity.” Team member Davidoff said: projects in a Dragons’ Den style two“I was thrilled to receive day event at Windsor so much funding, and Castle last week, held it was just uplifting and by Jewish News. inspiring to know there’s The funding for the a need and individuals to projects comes after a fund such a cause.” collaboration, initiated A second project also by this newspaper with funded at the event, British Muslim TV, the called Hope Heroes, was Church Times and Coexist aimed at challenging House, named 21 people harmful media steunder 40 as young faith reotypes with a series leaders of the future in the of 21 children’s books first interfaith media colabout pioneering people laboration of its kind. of faith and diverse backWith the backing grounds. of interfaith body Inspired by similar Kaiciid (King Abdullah Participants during the historic two-day event at Windsor Castle popular books that bin Abdulaziz InternaThe bid wowed the entrepreneurs challenge sexist stereotypes, the team tional Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue), which spon- after its proposers Josephine Davidoff pitched the books for youngsters sored the event, the group stayed and Ryad Khodabocus were able to aged seven to 11 to counter negative overnight at the Duke of Edinburgh- point to an already successful pilot of stories with positive ones. “It has fantastic potential to help founded St George’s House in the the initiative that had been featured on highlight contributions of people of grounds of Windsor Castle and pitched BBC News. “If they get it right, it will make a faith to the community,” said Ahmed, projects to three generous dragons who were ready to spend £10,000 of their real difference to the communities who leads Unitas Communications. they have identified,” said Harbury, own money to bring the projects to life. Continued on page 6


But in the end, £70,000 in cash and in-kind marketing support was pledged. Among the projects supported by the dragons – Muddassar Ahmed, Dr Neil Harbury, and Christopher Kenna, – was a project to train 40 young people and 20 faith leaders in mental health first aid in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Birmingham and the south Midlands.

‘A REAL MENSCH’ Southend’s Jewish community paid tribute this week to Sir David Amess after he was killed during a surgery in his constituency. Sir David is pictured above at Southend & District Reform Synagogue in 2018 with the shul’s late chair, Della Carr. See p2&3


An international “megachurch” that counts pop superstar Justin Bieber

(pictured. left, with wife Hailey Baldwin) among its former members has unexpectedly bought the former Hippodrome building in Golders Green – just weeks after approval for an Islamic religious centre

on the site was controversially halted. Hillsong Church, which describes itself as a “on a mission to see God’s kingdom across the earth”, was founded in Australia in 1983 and runs churches in 28 countries,

including 12 in the UK. It has now stepped in to purchase the iconic Golders Green site from the Markaz El Tathgheef el-Eslami Shia Iraqi community, which has failed for four years to secure the space as an Islamic religious centre.

Barnet’s strategic planning committee recently deferred its final verdict on the Markaz application. Jewish News understands contracts have been exchanged with completion expected in the new year.

Continued on page 5



Jewish News 21 October 2021

News / Amess tributes

‘Time to toughen online bill’ by Lee Harpin lee@jewishnews.co.uk @lmharpin

The Conservative MP Mark Francois fought back tears this week as he delivered an emotional tribute in the House of Commons to Sir David Amess – his “best and oldest friend in politics” – and used part of his speech to urge the government to “toughen up” proposals to counter online hate. In a speech immediately after ones from Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer, Francois cited ongoing scrutiny of the Online Safety Bill – and called for a “David’s Law” to ensure Amess, who died after being stabbed last Friday, did not “die in vain”. As a packed Commons chamber listened in silence to his every word on Monday, Francois revealed that Amess had become increasingly concerned about the “vile misogynistic abuse” female MPs had to endure online. Calling for cross-party support for laws to punish the social media platforms that fail to counter online hatred, Francois said: “We may disagree sometimes passionately about how best to help people. But surely we can agree that we came here to try, for which we are now vilified, day to day. And I say simply enough is enough, for we all have at least one thing in common: we are legislators. So I humbly suggest we get on and do some legislation.” The Rayleigh and Wickford MP, who spoke


A tribute to MP Sir David Amess, who died after being stabbed. Inset: Suspect Ali Harbi Ali

next to the empty Commons seat normally reserved for Amess, called for Online Safety proposals to be “toughened up” ahead of them becoming law next year. He also called for the possible banning of anonymous troll accounts
















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– a move encouraged by some MPs, including Dame Margaret Hodge. Many campaign groups against antisemitism will welcome the wider call for tougher regulations on online hate, as called for by Francois. There has been concern among groups such as the Antisemitism Policy Trust, as well as Labour’s shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens, that the current proposals do not go far enough in punishing social media platforms that fail to clamp down on those spreading online hate, including anti-Jewish racism. Using tough language, Francois told parliamentarians that he wanted to prevent MPs, GPs and others or their families being subjected to “the most horrendous abuse, especially from

people who hide behind a cloak of anonymity”. He said he was “minded to drag Mark Zuckerberg [CEO of Facebook] and Jack Dorsey [CEO of Twitter] to the bar of the house … if necessary kicking and screaming so they can look us all in the eye and account for their actions or rather their inactions that make them even richer than they already are”. MPs had gathered in the Commons to observe a minute silence for the Southend West MP at 2.30pm, following his stabbing during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Prime minister Johnson was cheered loudly as he revealed the Queen had given approval for Southend to be granted city status, about which Amess had been a vocal supporter. He also said that while Amess’ death “leaves a vacuum that will not and can never be filled, we will cherish his memory, we will celebrate his legacy and we will never allow those who commit acts of evil to triumph over the democracy and parliament that Sir David Amess loved so much”. Johnson added: “This House has lost a steadfast servant, we’ve lost a dear friend and colleague, and Julia and her children have lost a loving husband and devoted father. “Nothing I or anyone else can say will lessen the pain, the grief, the anger they must feel at this darkest of times. We hold them in our hearts today, we mourn with them and we grieve alongside them.” Former prime minister Theresa May said: “Sir David was a patriot who believed passionately in this country, in its people, in its future. He was also one of the nicest, kindest, most gentle individuals ever to grace these benches.” Starmer said Amess was “a dedicated parliamentarian and his loss is felt profoundly across this house”. He added: “We are united in our grief at this terrible time... Sir David was a man we can all learn so much from in that he held his beliefs passionately but gently.”

Board of Deputies’ senior VP facing calls to resign Board of Deputies senior vice-president Gary president Marie van der Zyl into taking action Mond is being accused of bringing the com- against Mond. One deputy said: “By seeking to link the heinous murder of David Amess munal organisation “into disrepute” to the deputy leader of the Labour with a social media post that Party, Gary Mond has brought the linked Labour's deputy leader to Board of Deputies into disrepute. the death of the Conservative How can the Board expect to MP Sir David Amess, writes have a productive working relaLee Harpin. tionship with the Labour Party Chipping Barnet MP when its senior vice-president Theresa Villiers had posted a makes comments like this?” tribute to the Southend West Another deputy said there was MP following his “absolutely “palpable anger” among the group of horrifying” death last Friday. She about 40 deputies. “This is not the wrote that he been a “kind friend”. Gary Mond first time there have been issues But in a follow-up posting on Villiers' public Facebook page, Mond, who is with Gary Mond’s inflammatory conduct.” Despite Mond issuing a lengthy apology, also the Board's JNF representative, wrote: “Meanwhile, Angela Rayner has still not in which he said he had “no intention, even apologised for her Tory scum remarks. It is indirectly, to link Angela Rayner’s ‘Tory scum’ comments like that which help provoke these comments with the horrific death of Sir David Amess”, the 40 deputies will now urge van der heinous crimes.” Mond’s posts immediately sparked an ugly Zyl to address the matter in her statement dispute involving the deputy Joseph Millis, ahead of the next plenary. Several are openly calling for Mond, who who condemned it. Jewish News has learned that a group of chairs the Board’s communities and education around 40 deputies are to going to press Board division, to resign.

21 October 2021 Jewish News



Amess tributes / News

Hodge was told not to walk alone at party conference by Lee Harpin lee@jewishnews.co.uk @lmharpin

Dame Margaret Hodge has revealed that she was told not to walk around unaccompanied at last month’s Labour Party conference in Brighton because of fears around her safety. Speaking after the death of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess, the Jewish Labour Movement’s parliamentary chair said political life for her had “completely changed” since she became an elected representative five decades ago. The MP for Barking said: “I think of the Labour Party conference this year where I was advised, before I went, that I should not go unaccompanied. And that I should perhaps not use the front door as an entry to the conference centre. “That was unthinkable 10 years ago.” Hodge said she was left “totally shocked” by the death of Amess and added that she Margaret wished to express Hodge

“empathy” with his family at a time of terrible grief. The MP also used the interview with Sky News political presenter Adam Boulton to stress how she felt it was “important” that MPs remained “strongly connected” with their constituents. But following last Friday’s fatal stabbing of Amess, 69, at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in his Southend West seat, Hodge suggested MPs consider other ways of staying connected with constituents. She revealed she has “a few years ago” decided to stop hosting open surgeries in her east London seat – not owing to safety fears, of which she had several, but because she did not believe it to be the best way to reach a range of local voters. “When I did hold constituency surgeries, which I did for years and years, I had worrying incidents,” she said. “I had to change the layout of the room, I had to get a panic

button. All of those things we did to try to enhance our security. But we can’t totally protect ourselves.” Hodge then revealed she did not stop doing regular surgeries “because of fear” but because “other ways of working help me connect with more people”. The outspoken campaigner against antisemitism in Labour under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, said that she now preferred to send invitations to 1,000 constituents at a time to meet her at events. During sessions lasting up to three hours, Hodge said she could then get to meet more people than the few who would come to open MP surgeries. It would also often be the same people coming to surgeries, while the larger invitation system enabled her to meet more people. Asked about the impact of social media on political discourse, Hodge – who revealed that she was the subject of 90,000 posts during a two-month period at the height of the antisemitism crisis under Corbyn – said she feared online culture had “stifled democracy” rather than enhancing it. She also called for a return to “high-calibre” debate in the Commons.

Starmer backs Board Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has highlighted concerns made by the Board of Deputies and the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate about extremist online material as he called for the government to crack down harder on the directors of companies that allow it to circulate. During Prime Ministers Question Time in the House of Commons yesterday, Starmer referred to the two organisations’ Sir Keir Starmer worries about the Telegram platform, which he said had come to be known as “the app of choice for terrorists”. He said: “Hope not Hate and the Board of Deputies have said that Telegram has, in their words, facilitated and nurtured a sub-culture that cheerleads for terrorists. “Tough sanctions are clearly needed, yet under the government's current proposals, directors of platforms failing to crack down on extremism would still not face criminal sanctions. Why is that?” Responding, Boris Johnson said: “It is this government that brought forward the Online Harms Bill.” The prime minister also pledged that pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill would be completed before the end of the year – meaning the second reading of the proposals could then go ahead. Responding to Starmer’s call for criminal sanctions of social media firms that fail to stop extremist content, Johnson said: “We will have criminal sanctions with tough sentences.” The exchange came after last week's death of the MP Sir David Amess, and claims the suspected attacker had been radicalised by online content.

SOUTHEND RABBI: AMESS WAS A ‘REAL MENSCH’ The rabbi of Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation has paid tribute to Sir David Amess as “a real mensch” following the MP’s death on Friday. Rabbi Geoffrey Hyman recalled the Essex MP's support for his community, Israel and Holocaust education. “We are absolutely devastated by the death of Sir David Amess, our local MP,” he said. “He had a very close relationship with our Jewish community here in Westcliff [and was] always supportive and sympathetic to our members and causes. “On a personal note, he

Sir David with ex-envoy Mark Regev and MP James Duddridge

warmly welcomed me into this area and kept in touch.” Following his killing, tributes poured in from across the Jewish community. Conservative Sir David,

69, who had been an MP since 1983, was meeting constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, on Friday when he was stabbed multiple times.

Sir David’s Jewish support Sir David Amess’ support for his local Jewish community was noted as recently as January, when he spoke of how proud he would have been to be born Jewish. The Southend West MP made the remark during a Commons debate to mark this year's Holocaust Memorial Day. Amess died in a knife attack

during a constituency surgery on Friday. During the debate in parliament, he had said: “Although I myself am not a Jew but a Catholic, there is Jewish blood in each and every one of us. “I would certainly have been proud to have been born a Jew, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with our local Jewish community.”

He continued: “I simply do not understand and have never understood antisemitism. “The most important lesson from the Holocaust is that although we cannot police the world, it is simply not acceptable to stand by and do and say nothing when genocide happens. For evil to prevail, all it needs is for good people to remain silent.”

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

News / Antisemitism support / Iran warning / Peace process 100th fatal attack among Israel’s Arabs

A rise in fatal shootings in Israel’s Arab community claimed its 100th victim in 2021 when 44-year-Salim Hasarma was killed last weekend. Local media reported that the victim had no criminal background but that his family was in a dispute with another in the northern village of Baana. Israel’s cabinet has voted to expand police powers to fight the spate of attacks in the Arab community after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned they were at risk of “losing the state”.

Truss and Lapid have ‘friendly conversation’

Israel’s foreign affairs minister Yair Lapid has hailed a “warm and friendly conversation” with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss. In a tweet he said he had congratulated her on her new role and offered condolences on the death of Sir David Amess. Lapid added:”We discussed how we can continue to strengthen our bilateral ties, especially in science, technology, and commerce.” In a speech earlier this month, Truss spoke of her desire to build “deeper relations” with the Jewish state.

JVL people ‘appeared to see Jew-hate as fantasy’ I was on the JVL committee and we had decided that one committee should have the job of supporting those who have been unfairly accused of antisemitism. “I supported this, but then ventured the idea that there should also be support for people who had themselves faced antisemitism within the Labour Party. “People looked at me askance, as though I was asking for an officer to support people who had been attacked by leprechauns. “Nobody argued against such a move but I had a feeling that I was bringing up an irrelevant debating point. “As far as I know my suggest was not acted upon.” Saville revealed that, in another incident, he found himself arguing with a poster on his J4J Facebook page after he removed a comment that “alleged the Holocaust was a fantasy”. He writes: “The individual, who

by Lee Harpin lee@jewishnews.co.uk @lmharpin

A founding member of Jewish Voice for Labour has claimed that when he suggested to a JVL committee that the group provide support for victims of antisemitism within the party, committee members “looked at me askance”. Ian Saville, a self-declared “socialist magician” and founder of the Jews For Jeremy (J4J) Facebook group, shed light on his involvement with JVL in an online article which assesses failures among left-wing groups over antisemitism. The Brent Central Labour activist wrote in the post that as a result of what he said was a “relentless right-wing onslaught” over allegations of anti-Jewish racism, some left-wing groups treated all claims on the issue as “bogus”. Saville writes on the Labour Hub website: “It came home to me when

27 May 2020


16 Sivan 5781

Issue No.1212



We’ve never been so focuse d on fighting racism, so wh y the deafen ing silence as antisemitism spirals out of control? Hosp • ital probes ‘cutt

• Driver with Israeli hroat gesture’ to Jewish patient attacked in Golders Gree • Crucifixion banner flaghuge n pro-Palestini • BBC journalist’s #Hitatlerw an demo • Nearly 300 antisemitic asright tweet revealed incidents in unde

r 3 weeks H RACISM – THE MADN ESS SPREADS: Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 20, 22 & 23 E

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Landmark revi ew of racism in the Jewish community calls for: • End to racial profi at communal

JVL founding member Ian Saville

“This stream of work developed after Ian had left the committee so he is perhaps not aware of the energy and resources we have devoted to it.”

Iran nukes ‘advanced’

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came from a Jewish background, nevertheless thought that Jews had somehow contrived to bring about the Russian Revolution and the Second World War in order to bolster their banking empire.” Saville said this person was “frantic in his eagerness to persuade me of his truth” and added: “Alarmingly he also supported Jeremy Corbyn.” Saville also concedes that within the left “there were an abundance of conspiracy theorists… who were constantly posting tales about the Rothschilds’ control of the economy, or Israel running all of the media”. JVL’s co-chair, Jenny Manson, told Jewish News: “For us it is not whether to address antisemitism in the Labour Party but how to do it. Our response is an educational one, not a training or punitive one. “We have been active in trying to improve both understanding and behaviour.

ling events

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create ‘welcoming committees ’ ’ to be understood as a racial slur songs in Ashk hi and Yemenite enazi synag ogues • Schools to incre ase focus colonialism and black histoon ry • ...and Facebook Britain is name group Jewish Jewish Newsd and sham ed

• Word ‘Shvartzer

Middle East minister James Cleverly has warned MPs that Iran’s nuclear programme is “sadly, more advanced and worrying than it has perhaps ever been”, writes Lee Harpin. Speaking at a Westiminster Hall debate, secured by MP Stephen Crabb, the minister outlined why the government is “so focused” on negotiating a deal that returns Iran to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Cleverly said it was “impossible to overstate the severity

of Iran’s actions” over the past two years, as it ignored commitments to the plan. “Between 2015 and 2019, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action demonstrated it could deliver results,” he said. “For the UK and the international community, it restricted Iran’s nuclear programme to civilian use and supported the global nonproliferation system. For Iran, phased sanctions relief offered a more prosperous future for its people.” But now, warned Cleverly,

Iran continues to ignore its commitments and “continues to upgrade its nuclear capability, permanently and irreversibly”. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, had, he said, verified Iran’s actions and had concluded that its nuclear programme is more advanced and worrying than ever before. Cleverly added: “There has never been a clearer imperative to halt the nuclear escalation and for Iran to return to the JCPOA commitments.”

• Sephardi, Mizra





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Envoy’s peace warning The Middle East peace process continues to impact negatively on the lives of everyday Israelis and Palestinians, and the conflict is in need of a just and lasting resolution, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN has warned. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told a Security Council briefing on the Middle East peace process on Tuesday that the UK welcomed “the increased calm in Gaza, and recent steps taken by Israel to reduce constraints on access

for goods and people into and out of the Strip”. But then, listing what she said were “negative trends”, Woodward said “rates of demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes have continued to rise, and this year may see the worst rate of demolitions in five years”. She added: “We urge the government of Israel to ensure Palestinian families living in the Occupied Territories can remain safely in their homes.” The ex-British Ambassador to China also spoke

of a rise in violence in the West Bank, “including settler attacks against Palestinian people and property” referencing the recent “shocking attack” on the village of Umm Mufaqarah, in the South Hebron Hills, which resulted in a three-year-old child being hospitalised. “We call on Israel to provide appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, to ensure all such incidents are investigated thoroughly, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.”


21 October 2021 Jewish News


ULEZ extension / Hippodrome purchase / News

Communal concern over pollution zone extension by Jack Mendel jack@jewishnews.co.uk @mendelpol

The extension of an anti-pollution zone into north London has been welcomed by Jewish organisations as a way to reduce emissions but has led to conKinloss Synagogue cerns among motorists with older vehicles. After the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) comes into effect on Monday, Kosher Paradise 25 October, any drivers using more polluting Kosher Deli Daniels Bakery vehicles will need to pay a £12.50 fee for each journey. The zone, which used to cover only central London, is being enlarged by 18 times to reach the North Circular Road, Alyth Synagogue or A406, which separates Hendon Kosher Kingdom and Brent Cross from Temple Fortune and Golders Green. For diesel cars to avoid the charge, they must Pita have been first registered after September 2015 Pizaza Menorah Primary Soyo and, for most petrol models, from 2005. Some 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries could Map shows how the extended emissions zone will impact “potentially be affected” by the new rules every synagogue said: “As a community, we recognise the day, according to estimates by Transport for London (TfL). It said more than 80 percent of vehicles need for measures to improve air quality in London and in the extended zone will not be charged as they will be throughout the UK” but one member of the community, who lives in Reading and asked not to be named, called ULEZ-compliant. A spokesperson for Alyth (North Western Reform) the charge a “tax on the less well off ”.


A spokesperson for the church told Jewish News: “We aim to be a positive influence in the area. “We recognise the significance of the building to the community and look forward to playing our part by adding to the work of local churches and charities through our social action programmes.” Hillsong intends to invest in the century-old building’s structure and use it as its north London hub with services held on Sunday mornings. Alan Jacobs, spokesman for local residents’ group GGREG, which led the campaign against the application to establish a mosque on the site, told Jewish News: “Hillsong Church is a progressive, diverse and inclusive organisation that recognises the value of working with local communities. “Their services are popular across the globe and we look forward to welcoming them to Golders Green. “The Hippodrome has suffered from underinvestment for many years and we are delighted to hear that Hillsong recognises the

The iconic Hippodrome building

site’s historic importance and they have plans to invest in the fabric of the building.” Jacobs added: “The previous owners failed in their attempts to get planning permission to use the Hippodrome as a mosque because of the daily traffic and parking problems that would have resulted in. “Church use generally takes place on a Sunday, which Golders Green will be better able to cope with.” Singer Justin Bieber was a Hillsong member until earlier this year when he had a public falling out with one of the church’s pastors.

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

News / Councillor ‘targeted’ / Inquiry conclusions / Interfaith project

Police failed Janner ‘abuse’ accusers Children who reported being sexually abused by the late Labour grandee Lord Janner were “let down by institutional failings”, a damning inquiry into police, prosecution and social services responses to their allegations has concluded. Leicestershire Police officers investigating decades of abuse claims against Janner often “did not look beyond the often troubled backgrounds” of the alleged victims, who said they were abused in children’s homes in the county between the early 1960s and the late 1980s. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) accused Detective Superintendent Christopher Thomas, who led Operation Dauntless, the third police inquiry into Janner, of being “uninterested” in the allegations, while colleagues were “quick to dismiss” some testimonies. Janner, a Labour MP from 1970 until 1997 when he was made a peer, was charged in 2015 with 22 counts of child sexual abuse offences, relating to nine boys. He died with advanced dementia later that year while awaiting trial. His family has always strenuously denied the allegations. The final IICSA report, taking in all 19 strands of the inquiry, is expected to be laid before Parliament next year.

Labour activist given warning after ‘obscene slur’ allegation Merseyside Police have confirmed that they have issued a warning to a hard-left activist after he allegedly threatened a Labour councillor and directed obscene antisemitic slurs at him, writes Lee Harpin. Nick Small claims that he was approached aggressively by suspended Liverpool Riverside Labour Party activist Terry Clarke last Wednesday on a bridge near the Liverpool Arena and called a “Zionist c**t” with “blood on his hands”. The councillor claims that he was targeted over his support for Dame Louise Ellman, the former MP for Liverpool Riverside who rejoined Labour earlier this month after quitting over antisemitism under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn. Police had been called to the scene by another person in the area at the time.

Councillor Nick Small, left, and Terry Clarke

Chief Superintendent Paul Court told Jewish News: “Everyone has the right to go about their business without being subjected to abuse of this nature, and I am glad our officers were

£70,000 LEAP OF FAITH AT WINDSOR CASTLE Continued from page 1

“The more we can highlight the positive impact people of our faith and other faiths have had on society, the better it is for everyone.” The team behind the bid, which included Katharine Crew, Dr Kevin Shang and Hashim Bhatti among others, said: “This was a fantastic experience. We look forward to working with the Dragons on next steps.”

A third project, presented by Lauren Keiles and Sharon Booth, was praised by the dragons, who pledged to use their networks to help, but did not raise enough funding this time around. It aimed to bring together a scheme of antiracism work in Year 9 lessons to tackle the rise in anti-Jewish racism and Islamophobia. The teams were then advised on how they could take their projects further in a session

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able to intervene to put a stop to this incident. I would appeal to anyone who is targeted with verbal or physical abuse simply because of their religious beliefs to contact police so that we can take action.” Police added: “It was reported a man in his 70s threatened another man and directed antisemitic slurs at him on the bridge near the M&S Bank arena. Officers... approached the man and warned him about his behaviour.” Small, who has been a local councillor for 17 years, has submitted a complaint to the Labour Party about Clarke’s conduct, which it confirms is now investigating. Merseyside Police has appealed for anyone with information about this or similar incidents to contact Merseyside Police or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

Special Report / Language lessons

Oxford keeps Jewish heritage alive University is now offering courses in 12 rare Jewish languages, writes Michelle Krasovitski Earlier this year, the language-learning app Duolingo added its 40th language to its program arsenal: Yiddish. A couple of decades ago, it would have been unthinkable for a mainstream non-Jewish language program to offer an expansive, comprehensive course in Yiddish. But Duolingo’s Yiddish addition only serves to reflect the increased global interest in learning a language that once had as many as 12 million speakers. Ladino, a Romance language of Sephardic Jews still spoken by hundreds of thousands worldwide, has also garnered much interest in recent years. Ladino classes, both online and in-person, are widely available to prospective learners. But while those two Jewish languages are enjoying a cultural renaissance, many others – ones spoken in Crimea, Baghdad, Baku and beyond, which have both miraculously survived and succumbed to tumultuous periods in world history – have remained largely inaccessible to interested learners. This month, that’s changing. The Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages (OSRJL) in the UK has launched its inaugural semester of

courses in 12 Jewish languages, belonging to the Aramaic, Arabic and Turkic language families. They range in number of speakers from millions to none. The courses, which began this week, run for an hour a week online and are free for all students. “There are currently many brilliant research projects and online platforms concerning Jewish languages,” said Professor Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, president of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (OCHJS) and the creator of the new programme. “What is missing is the possibility for the growing number of interested students to learn these languages, even less in an academic setting.” This is why she sees the OSRJL’s free and online format as significant: it ensures classes are accessible to an international student pool. Yiddish is one of the 12 Jewish languages offered by the OSRJL — and with roughly 1.5 million speakers worldwide, it is the only language offered by the programme that is not endangered or extinct. In fact, Yiddish is growing in its number of speakers. “People outside of the Yiddish-speaking world have this distorted notion that Yiddish

The Oxford centre has launched its inaugural semester of courses in 12 Jewish languages

is disappearing,” explained Kalman Weiser, a Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at York University, in Toronto. “It’s not. It’s only growing. Judeo-Greek, on the other hand, is a language that is going to disappear.” Weiser’s mother speaks Judeo-Greek, but this tongue, which originated in the Macedonian Empire, is expected to die out with this generation without serious intervention. Most of the languages offered by the OSRJL face a similar fate. Several – including Judeo-French, Classical Judeo-Arabic and Classical JudeoPersian – are already considered extinct.

The latter is a language Daniel Amir, a doctoral researcher of Iranian Jewish history at the University of Oxford, aims to study at the OSRJL. He plans to take courses in Judeo-NeoAramaic, which has an estimated 60 speakers. “Getting to learn and improve together with other people is exciting and motivating,” he said. Studying any Jewish language, whether it is of heritage or not, opens up a window into the diverse history of world Jewry, Weiser noted. “Any Jewish language becomes a vital part of Jewishness,” Weiser said. “You start off at one place, then you begin to see the bigger picture.”

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

News / Online attack / Assisted dying

‘Hack by Isis posts led Facebook to ban me’





A Jewish man was banned from Facebook after an “antisemitic” troll hacked his account to post pro-Islamic State (Isis) propaganda, writes Joshua Salisbury. Three albums of Isis content were posted on Joel Seshold’s account on Monday, with some of the images showing the Israeli flag in place of the black flag of the terror group. Despite the Borehamwood resident deleting the photos within minutes, and reporting the hack immediately to Facebook, the social media giant barred his account for breaking standards on “dangerous individuals and communities”. It also barred him from accessing his Instagram page for a DIY assembly business, from which he receives the majority of his clients – and rejected his appeal saying it “cannot be reversed”. Seshold said: “I’d just pulled up in Hendon to donate my time to a charity, and I got a phone call from my wife saying, ‘what have you been doing on Facebook, get on there now’. “And I looked at my Facebook profile and thought ‘What the f**k’. I would class it as an antisemitic content, because of the stuff they posted. “The fact they have removed the Isis flag and replaced it with the Israeli flag, and posting it to someone who’s Jewish and very much involved in their community,

Some of the images posted on Joel Seshold’s Facebook page

that’s an antisemitic attack. “I’m so annoyed that someone has hacked me, and Facebook hasn’t even looked at it. “There’s pictures on Facebook of relatives who are now dead and I can’t access them any other way. “But to disable and delete the business profile that wasn’t linked in any way, I think it’s wholly unfair. Most of my work is word of mouth, and now I can’t get any of that.” Among the images posted by the hacker are fighters

with the terrorist group apparently in Iraq, and other masked extremists in the group holding guns. After Jewish News contacted Facebook, Seshold’s Instagram access was restored, with an email reading: “It looks like your account was disabled by mistake.” The handyman was also handed back his Facebook profile – but was still given a ban on liking, posting or commenting for 29 days. Jewish News has contacted Facebook for comment.

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The Chief Rabbi has joined with faith leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury to warn of the risk of allowing assisted suicide. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, alongside Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, spoke of their “profound disquiet” about the Assisted Dying Bill. The legislation tabled by Baroness Meacher would, if successful, allow assisted suicide for terminally ill people with under six months to live. The faith leaders say it would put “very many vulnerable people in more vulnerable positions”. They write in a letter to peers: “We acknowledge that Baroness Meacher is seeking the alleviation of suffering. This motivation we share wholeheartedly, but we disagree on the means advanced to address this very real concern. “In particular, we are conscious of the... ‘reallife’ practical inadequacies of the proposed safe-

‘Every life is a precious gift,’ the letter says

guards. By the faiths we profess, we hold every human life to be a precious gift of the Creator, to be upheld and protected.” They call for “high-quality palliative care” to be available to all at the end of their lives. Liberal Judaism has previously backed calls to change the law. The Private Member’s Bill is to have its second reading in the Lords tomorrow (Friday).


21 October 2021 Jewish News




Jewish News 21 October 2021

Helpline 0330 174 4300 info@paperweight.org.uk Shelly’s husband was one of the first front line workers to lose his life through COVID-19. This was whilst nursing COVID patients. In fact, his photo was one of those used in the publicity for the Government decision to award a grant of £60,000 to families of key workers who lost their lives to COVID. Shelly approached us three months after her husband’s death when she was grappling with the bureaucracy of obtaining the grant.

In those three months, Shelly had spiralled into depression. She was trying to cope with the financial strains of suddenly becoming a widow, administering what little estate her husband had, with no Will having been written, alongside her natural grief at losing her husband so unexpectedly.

To get her justice, we battled for Shelly through a cruel bureaucratic maze. Design: hope.agency

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21 October 2021 Jewish News


The outcome appeared to be a success.

Things couldn’t get much worse. Shelly had managed to begin the application for the compensation grant herself but hit a wall of bureaucracy, as her husband had not left a Will. The authorities were demanding Letters of Administration for an estate which did not require probate as it had virtually no value. She was lost in the legal world of the forms required for obtaining such permission to access the grant. Her caseworker made sure she quickly had an appointment with the HR Team at the hospital where her husband was employed, and was a guide and advocate for her at that meeting.

Shelly’s husband lost his life to COVID, while saving others. Then red tape stopped her getting the compensation she was due...

Our caseworker contacted the Trust solicitor. The solicitor thanked us for drawing attention to the onerous conditions for applying for the grant in situations such as Shelly’s where there was no need for probate. As a result of our intervention, he was going to submit a request for a review of the process. He also said that he would complete the required forms on Shelly’s behalf. It seemed that the grant would be paid without any further requirements.

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

News / Alta Fixsler / Sacks event / Swastikas daubed / Salty photoshoot

Alta, 2, dies after legal battle fails A two-year-old Jewish girl born with severe brain damage has died after she was taken off life support despite her parents’ objections, writes Jack Mendel. Alta Fixsler from Manchester had serious natal complications that made her dependent on life support from birth. Following the court decision, there was anger from sections of the Charedi community who had been campaigning for her to be transferred to the United States or Israel for further medical care. One rabbi accused the UK of having “enacted a death penalty couched in fancy legalese”. When medical authorities at the Manchester

University NHS Foundation Trust, where she was treated, wanted to take Alta off life support, her parents, who are Charedi, sued the medical authorities, claiming that such action would violate their religious principles. Chaya and Abraham Fixsler said their Jewish faith commanded the preservation of human life and generally forbids actions to end it. Some rabbis, including Orthodox ones, have divergent opinions on removing patients with incurable ailments off life support. The High Court ruled in May that ending Alta’s life would be in her best interest, as medical experts said she felt discomfort but could not recover or feel pleasure.

A judge rejected a petition by her parents to have her moved to a hospital in Jerusalem. Attempts to make Alta a US citizen did not succeed in time to prevent her death. Her parents also lost a court battle to have her taken home to end her life. Sky News quoted a spokesperson for the family who announced Alta’s death Monday evening: “Sad news, little Alta Fixsler’s life support was turned off this afternoon and she died Two-year-old Alta Fixsler died in a hospice on Monday at the hospice with her parents Calling the decision an “utter travesty”, he by her side.” Rabbi Moshe Dovid Niederman of the UJO said the UK was a “country that supposedly of Williamsburg, New York, told the Hamodia doesn’t have capital punishment, today enacted newspaper that it was “especially devastating a death penalty couched in fancy legalese”. Board of Deputies president Marie van der that the UK rejected the pleas from both the US. and Israel… to allow Alta to be sent to one of Zyl said: “We mourn the tragic loss of Alta Fixthose countries, which were willing to provided sler. We wish her parents Chayim Aruchim – a her care. Why was this chance for the child to long life – and that they should know no more sorrow in the years ahead.” live denied?”

ABCC8-RELATED HYPERINSULINISM BARDET-BIEDL SYNDROME BLOOM SYNDROME CANAVAN DISEASE CARNITINE PALMITOYLTRANSFERASE II DEFICIENCY CONGENITAL AMEGAKARYOCYTIC THROMBOCYTOPENIA CONGENITAL DISORDER OF GLYCOSYLATION IA CYSTIC FIBROSIS DIHYDROLIPAMIDE DEHYDROGENASE DEFICIENCY FAMILIAL DYSAUTONOMIA FANCONI ANAEMIA C FUMARASE DEFICIENCY GALACTOSEMIA GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE 1A GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE TYPE VII JOUBERT SYNDROME 2 MAPLE SYRUP URINE DISEASE TYPE 1B MUCOLIPIDOSIS IV NEMALINE MYOPATHY 2 NIEMANN PICK DISEASE POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE, AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE CILIARY DYSKINESIA worked with Rabbi Sacks for 24 years and now More than 100 internationalPRIMARY Jewish groups will join a day of learning to mark a year since the runs the trust, is coordinating the initiative, and SMITH-LEMLI-OPITZ SYNDROME TRYOSINEMIA TYPE 1 USHER SYNDROME TYPE IF USHER said the response to it had been “phenomenal”. death of Rabbi Lord Sacks. “It is wonderful to see people come together The ‘Communities in Conversation’ initiaSYNDROME TYPE IIIA WALKER-WARBURG SYNDROME ZELLWEGER SYNDROME SPECTRUM tive will include hundreds of people across 14 in this way, and immensely comforting to see (PEX2-RELATED) GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASEcountries, TYPErecalling II/POMPE DISEASE MUSCULAR how Rabbi Sacks’ legacy continues to inspire the former chief rabbi’s SPINAL and inform so many, and truly reflects the teachings and continued impact on the world. ATROPHY TAY SACHS DISEASE USHER SYNDROME TYPE 2 FRAGILE X SYNDROME ACUTE Taking place on 25-26 October, it will focus global impact he had.” INFANTILE LIVER FAILURE ASPARAGINE SYNTHETASE DEFICIENCY COSTEFF OPTIC ATROPHY Rabbi Michael Laitner, director of Living on five key themes: religion and science, family, Israel, community and Jewish identity. To and Learning at the United Synagogue, said SYNDROME CYSTINOSIS FANCONI ANEMIA, COMPLEMENTATION GROUP A GLYCOGEN the initiative was “a wonderful opportunity for guide participants through the initiative, the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust ATROPHY has launched a MEGALENCEPHALIC the United Synagogue Rabbinate and our STORAGE DISEASE TYPE III INFANTILE CEREBRAL CEREBELLAR series of videos of the former chief rabbi, communities to learn from and continue LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY WITH SUBCORTICALdiscussion CYSTS METACHROMATIC LEUKODYSTROPHY questions and teachings. It to be inspired by the teachings of our follows the first Sacks Conversation last Chief Rabbi and to honour his MITOCHONDRIAL COMPLEX I DEFICIENCY OMENN SYNDROME PROGRESSIVEformer CEREBELLOweek, featuring former prime minister memory”. Tony Blair.  All resources for the initiative CEREBRAL ATROPHY 1 PROGRESSIVE CEREBELLO-CEREBREAL ATROPHY 2 WOLMAN DISEASE/ Rabbi Lord Sacks died in November are available for free: https:// CHOLESTERYL ESTER STORAGE DISEASE ZELLWEGER SPECTRUM (PEX6-RELATED) 2020 agedSYNDROME 72. RabbiSacks.org/Communities Registered Charity No. 1134935


exp an


Learning day for Sacks



Joanna Benarroch, who



NEED A PILLAR OF SALT? WE’VE A JOB LOT Hundreds of people took part in a nude photoshoot by US artist Spencer Tunick in southern Israel last Sunday to highlight the Dead Sea’s deteroration. Their white body paint emulated salt pillars, referencing its natural springs and the Biblical account of Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt.

Two swastikas daubed in front of a bus stop in Mill Hill have been reported to the local council. A photo of the Nazi symbols was posted on Twitter by Danny Cohen, president of Access Entertainment and former BBC head of television. He wrote: “Antisemitic graffiti in Mill Hill East, London, this week.” The Community Security Trust confirmed that the offensive symbols were found on a pavemaent on Frith Lane, opposite the entrance to Abercorn Road, where the 221 bus departs. Anne Clarke, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, condemned the daubing, saying: “Mill Hill East is home to a large Jewish community, and daubing swastikas can only have been done to provoke fear and upset. I am

appalled that it has happened, and my office have been in touch with TfL and Barnet Council to ensure it is cleaned up immediately. There is no place for hate and bigotry here or anywhere.” Senior rabbi of Mill Hill United Synagogue Yitzchak Schochet said: “It beggars belief that antisemitism is still so rife in our community in the 21st century... it is prevalent on university campuses, to some extent in the workplace and, as is evident, it spills over on to the street – quite literally. “No Jew should have to feel frightened walking the streets of Mill Hill or anywhere else for that matter. This gross ignorance and intolerance needs to be addressed once and for all in every sphere of society.” Barnet Council said the graffiti had been cleared and it was looking at

The photo posted on Twitter

whether the perpetrators were caught on CCTV. The Metropolitan Police has been asked for a statement.


21 October 2021 Jewish News


Boycott poster / Actor abuse / Baking challenge / News

TfL crackdown on ‘vandal’ posters Transport for London (TfL) has said it will remove any ‘boycott Israel’ posters found on its network immediately after reports of pro-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement posters found at bus stops, writes Joshua Salisbury. The reported images show Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel Normal People mocked up to read: ‘Normal People Boycott Israel’, with one appearing to be placed at a bus stop in Vauxhall. Originally, the advertising agency, JCDeacaux, responsible for the billboard at the bus stop, suggested on Twitter in a nowdeleted post that the posters could have been altered using Photoshop software. However,

in its latest statements, the agency said that workers had checked a site where the posters had been reported and that the frame was empty. A TfL spokesperson said the company had ordered any instances of boycott Israel posters found at bus stops to be taken down “immediately”. “These adverts are not authorised by TfL or our advertising partner JCDecaux,” the spokesperson said. “It is flyposting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. We have instructed our contractors to remove any of these posters found on our network immediately.”

Rooney last week issued a statement saying that she was refusing to allow her new novel to be translated into Hebrew by an Israeli company. The Irish author confirmed that she had declined an offer from Israeli publishing company Modan to translate her latest book Beautiful World, Where Are You into Hebrew – labelling Israel an apartheid state based on a “system of racial domination”. Israel’s diaspora minister Nachman Shai was among those condemning Rooney’s actions saying: “The cultural boycott of Israel, antisemitism in a new guise, is a certificate of poor conduct for her and others who behave like her.”

The image of the poster was circulated online


“When I first CYSTIC FIBROSIS DIHYDROLIPAMIDE DEHYDROGENASE DEFICIENCY FAMILIAL DYSAUTONOMIA arrived, I was surFANCONI ANAEMIA DEFICIENCY GALACTOSEMIA GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE prised C to FUMARASE see it wasn’t already in is now offering testing 1A GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE TYPE VII JOUBERT SYNDROME 2Jnetics MAPLE SYRUP URINE place – I’m not the for 47 genetic disorders. Jewish1B MPMUCOLIPIDOSIS IV NEMALINE MYOPATHY 2 NIEMANN PICK DISEASE DISEASEfirst TYPE in the situation,” POLYCYSTIC DISEASE, AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE PRIMARY CILIARY DYSKINESIA For more information about the NicholsKIDNEY said. The MP was joined by the newly-elected SMITH-LEMLI-OPITZ SYNDROME TRYOSINEMIA TYPE 1 USHER SYNDROME TYPE IFprogramme USHER enhanced screening Muslim MP Zarah Sultana in pushing for kosher andIIIA halal provisions after their election visit jnetics.org/screening SYNDROME TYPE WALKER-WARBURG SYNDROME ZELLWEGER SYNDROME SPECTRUM in 2019. They had been helped by the efforts of (PEX2-RELATED) GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE TYPE II/POMPE DISEASE SPINAL MUSCULAR others, including Jay Stoll, MP Tulip Siddiq’s ex-parliamentary ATROPHY TAY SACHSstaffer. DISEASE USHER SYNDROME TYPE 2 FRAGILE X SYNDROME ACUTE INFANTILE LIVER FAILURE ASPARAGINE SYNTHETASE DEFICIENCY COSTEFF OPTIC ATROPHY SYNDROME CYSTINOSIS FANCONI ANEMIA, COMPLEMENTATION GROUP A GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE TYPE III INFANTILE CEREBRAL CEREBELLAR ATROPHY MEGALENCEPHALIC LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY WITH SUBCORTICAL CYSTS METACHROMATIC LEUKODYSTROPHY MITOCHONDRIAL COMPLEX I DEFICIENCY OMENN SYNDROME PROGRESSIVE CEREBELLOCEREBRAL ATROPHY 1 PROGRESSIVE CEREBELLO-CEREBREAL ATROPHY 2 WOLMAN DISEASE/ Actor Eddie Marsan has been ESTER STORAGE DISEASE ZELLWEGER SYNDROME SPECTRUM (PEX6-RELATED) Registered Charity No. 1134935 hit by “relentless”CHOLESTERYL abuse for The MP responsible for ensuring kosher food is now being served in Parliament has said she was shocked to find out the provision was not already in place when she came to Westminster. Charlotte Nichols, Labour MP for Warrington North in Cheshire, spoke of her “delight” on Tuesday at being able to choose from a five option kosher and halal menu after it was launched on the parliamentary estate. Under the initiative, approved in March 2020 prior to lockdown, food from kosher caterers 1070 Kitchen has been made available to all MPs, as well as the 11,000 staff who work at Westminster.

Ridley Road actor’s ‘relentless abuse’

playing a Jewish character on BBC’s new series Ridley Road, writes Joshua Salisbury. Marsan, who is not Jewish, plays Soly Malinovsky, the head of the anti-fascist 62 Group, in the four-part drama of the community’s battle against the British far right in post-war London. But since landing the role, the 52-year-old actor has been subject to abuse referencing Israel and Palestine, among others, which he has called out. “This is my culture. I’m not Jewish, I’m not religious in any sense. But what I am, the thing that made me curious and open-minded, comes from the diversity I was raised in,” said Marsan, who grew up in London’s East End. “So I am sticking up for my culture, because my culture is diversity.” Among examples Marsan highlighted include one social media user saying they could

JÜRGEN’S PESACH PUD WOWS BAKE OFF TEAM Ridley Road’s Eddie Marsan plays Soly Malinovsky, with Agnes O’Casey playing Vivien Epstein and Dannt Sykes portraying and Ronnie Malinovsky. Credit: Ben Blackall

not watch the show because of “your Apartheid loving bake in it”, and others accusing him of “gaslighting” for speaking out against antisemitism. “It didn’t surprise me, to be honest,” he told Jewish News. “If you make a film about racists, you’re going to upset a lot of racists, and they’ll come after you. “All I can do is shine a spotlight and expose them.”

He stressed that colleagues of his who are Jewish, including co-star Tracy-Ann Oberman, were often subjected to worse abuse. “There’s lots of Jewish actors who get this all the time,” he said. Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holiocaust Educational Trust, said of Marsan: “It’s shocking, disgusting, exhausting all at once. You’re a hero.”

Jürgen Krauss, the “basically a Jewish dad” on the latest series of The Great British Bake Off, lived up to his reputation during Desserts Week when he produced a Passoverinspired pavlova – complete with a traditional charoset topping. Krauss, who is from the Black Forest region of Germany, is married to a British Jew, and their family belongs to a Reform synagogue in Brighton. In the first episode of this season, a Passover seder plate is visible behind him in a scene introducing viewers to his home and family. That proved a prescient symbol in this week’s episode, when judges charged the contestants with producing a flavourful pavlova, a delicate dessert made with just whipped egg whites and sugar. Krauss designed a version inspired by Passover with a Sephardi charoset topping

Jürgen Krauss, left, with the Bake Off judges

made with dates, oranges and cardamom and pyramids of chocolate-covered matzah. After judge Prue Leith wondered whether the topping would be too sweet against the pavlova, Krauss explained the symbolism of charoset. “It’s carrying a lot, this little pavlova,” Leith responded, smiling.



Jewish News 21 October 2021

World News / Space trip / Holocaust views

Cpt Kirk is moved to see the final frontier

Holocaust ‘balance’ is needed, teachers told

Star Trek’s William Shatner described becoming the oldest person in space as “the Teachers at a Texas school have been advised a most profound experience new law requiring them to present multiple perI can imagine” after blasting spectives about “currently controversial” issues off from the Texas desert in means they need to make “opposing” views on a rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ the Holocaust available to students. company. Discussing how to work under the new law, The 90-year-old known as House Bill 3979, Carroll Independent Jewish actor reached School District’s executive director of curthe final frontier tude of roughly riculum and instruction Gina Peddy is filmed last week, delighting 350,000ft and a saying: “Make sure that if, if you have a book the millions of sci-fi velocity of about on the Holocaust that you have one that has an fans who know him as 2,000mph. opposing – that has other perspectives.” Captain James The actor Gasps and sounds of nervous laughter can be T Kirk of the USS Shatner as Captain Kirk and those on heard on the recording, obtained by NBC News, Enterprise. board experias one teacher asks aloud: “How do you oppose Billionaire Amazon enced weightlessness as they the Holocaust?” Peddy responds: “Believe me. founder Bezos was behind reached the fringes of space. That’s come up.” Shatner’s trip to the stars After a trip lasting about A Texas lawmaker who drafted a new version through his Blue Origin space 10 minutes, the capsule fell of the bill told NBC News that matters of “good travel company. back to Earth with the aid of and evil” are not subject to the education legisShatner and three other a parachute. lation. But the possibility that the wave of conpassengers lifted off in the Shatner was the second servative education legislation could get in the fully automated, 60ft tall New passenger to step out of the way of Holocaust education crossed the minds Shepard rocket from Van capsule and was embraced by of education observers in at least some places Horn, west Texas, slightly later a delighted Bezos. over the past year. than planned in order to give The actor said he was “Under this law, it would be impossible to experts more time to monitor shocked and moved by the teach that Nazi Germany was inherently antiwinds in the area. difference in the blue sky of semitic, or that the Third Reich oppressed Jews Shatner and his fellow Earth and the vast blackness simply because they were Jews, because that passengers of space. HALF PAGEreached ADVERTan JANalti2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page 1identify Nazis as inherently biased and Jews as

Gina Peddy advised staff on ‘perspectives’

inherently and systemically oppressed,” Russel Neiss, a Jewish educator in St Louis, wrote in the St Louis Jewish Light in May about legislation that had been proposed in Missouri. Lawmakers there are continuing to push for anticritical race theory rules for schools. In Texas, the recording suggests Peddy does not necessarily support the new law but does anticipate conflicts over its enforcement. Four days before the training, the Carroll school board had overturned a district ruling and formally reprimanded a teacher who drew a parent complaint for keeping an anti-racism book in her classroom.

‘The happiest man on earth’ has died

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, who published a bestselling memoir last year in Australia aged 100 titled The Happiest Man on Earth, has died. He had suffered a heart attack a few months earlier. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, whose Jewish mother survived the Holocaust in Hungary, said in a statement: “Australia has lost a giant. Scarred by the past, he only looked forward. May his story be told for generations to come.”

Death row inmate granted new trial

A Jewish man has been granted a new trial on the grounds that the judge who sentenced him to death was antisemitic. Randy Halprin, 44, was originally set to be executed on 10 October 2019 but won a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after he alleged that the judge who presided over his 2003 murder trial was biased against Jews and referred to him using antisemitic slurs.

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21 October 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 21 October 2021

World News / Archaeological find / Oman links / Last Jew / Colin Powell

Crusader’s sword is found by amateur diver off Haifa A Crusader’s sword has been found in the sea off the coast of Haifa. The weapon was recovered from the Mediterranean seabed thanks to a sharp-eyed amateur diver. The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday that although it was encrusted with marine organisms, the metre-long blade, hilt and handle were still distinctive to the eye. It appears that it was spotted after undercurrents shifted sands on the seabed that were concealing it. The location, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, suggests that it had served as a shelter for seafarers, said

The 900-year-old object is encrusted with organisms

Yaakov Sharvit, director of the authority’s marine archaeology unit. “Actually it’s heavy,” Sharvit said as he

Oman likely to join Abraham Accords A top Israeli foreign ministry official has suggested Oman is likely to be the next country to join the Abraham Accords, leading to full normalisation between the countries. Eliav Benjamin, head of the ministry’s bureau of the Middle East and Peace Process Division, spoke with reporters on Tuesday to discuss the status of the accords reached last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. Asked which country might be next, Benjamin singled out Oman as a country that Israel

held the sword and spoke about the Crusader knight who had probably fought with it. “I’m trying to imagine him on the field with all the armour on him and the sword and fighting with it. “He should really be in good fitness, maybe they were bigger than us today but definitely stronger. And it’s amazing.” The sword, believed to be some 900 years old, will be put on display after it is cleaned and restored, the authority said. JN video report at jewishnews.co.uk


Zebulan Simanatov

Afghanistan’s last Jew is now in Turkey and plans to travel on to Israel to see relatives there. Zebulan Simantov, who left Kabul last month as the Taliban took over and travelled by land into Pakistan, hopes to arrive in Israel as early as next week. He had lived in Afghanistan under the previous Taliban regime between 1996 and

2001, when Islamic officials were aware of his religious identity. But this time Simantov, 62, was advised that his life was under threat. He was flown to Istanbul with the help of businessman Moti Kahana and the nonprofit Tzedek Association. Simantov applied to the Israeli consulate in Istanbul

after agreeing to grant a get to his wife. He has five siblings and two daughters in Israel. It is unclear how long it will be until Simantov can enter Israel: Turkey is on Israel’s red list for Covid restrictions. JN video report at jewishnews.co.uk

has sustained low-level relations with since 1991. “With Oman, we have ongoing cooperation and plans,” he said, noting that it was one of a handful of Arab countries to allow Israel to establish an interests office after the 1993 Israel-Palestinian Oslo agreement. Those offices shut after the launch of the Second Intifada in 2000. Despite that setback, Israel remains involved in a freshwater research facility established in Oman in 1996, Benjamin said. “So we already have the relations with Oman.

Colin Powell dies, aged 84 Colin Powell will be remembered as the first black military chief of staff, the first black secretary of state and the first military chief to speak Yiddish as a second language – and he loved surprising Jews with his skill. Powell, who brokered the ‘road map’ to a two-state peace deal that still informs much of US policy in the region, died on Monday aged 84. He died of Covid-19, his family said. He was fully vaccinated. Powell, the child of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in the Bronx, worked as a Shabbos goy, turning on the electricity for Orthodox families on the Sabbath, and picked up the language.

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21 October 2021 Jewish News



Film prize / Talmud translation / Limmud Ukraine / Diaspora News

Windermere Children film wins Moscow award A moving new film about how 300 Jewish refugee children who lost their families in the Holocaust found new lives in England’s Lake District has won a special prize at the Moscow Jewish Film Festival (MJFF). The Windermere Children, which premiered last year, tells the little-known stories of the children and scooped the prize for the film with the most educational potential at the seventh annual event in the Russian capital last week. While Moscow is struggling with high levels of Covid-19 transmission, organisers were still able to host the MJFF event safely and in-person, with the jury allocating awards for best film, best documentary, and best narrative short, among others. A special award, established A scene from The Windermere Children, which tells the stories of Holocaust survivors by Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) for the Film with the Greatest Educational Potential, to choose a winner for a special community award to “the most went to Michael Samuels’ 2020 film about the child refugees who cinematically-active Jewish community in Europe”. More than 50 works from around the world were selected for later became some of Britain’s most famous Holocaust survivors, the festival, with offerings from the UK, US, Latvia, Italy, Argenincluding Arek Hersh and Sir Ben Helfgott. A GPG spokesperson said Samuels “covered a wide range of tina, Germany, Poland, France, Portugal and Israel. Several preimportant themes, from the history of the catastrophe to the life miered at the event. Alexander Boroda, the president of the Federation of Jewish that followed, from overcoming trauma to growing up, from being able or unable to understand another person to the discovering of Communities in Russia, said a highlight was Sergei Loznitsa’s new film about the Babyn Yar massacre, which happened 80 who you are, in the search for self-identity”. The event has evolved in recent years, recognising new years ago, during which 33,771 Jews were shot by SS officers near technology such as virtual reality, with this year’s jury also asked Kyiv in just two days.

TV series to tell story of Ottoman Jews Producers of an American TV show are filming in Turkey for a series that will tell the little-known story of Ottoman Jews from the time of the Spanish Inquisition in 1492 to the present. Air Land & Sea will chart the lives of the Jewish families who settled in Turkey at the invitation of Sultan Bayezid II after Jews who refused to convert to

Christianity were expelled from Spain. Filming, which is being done with the support of Turkey’s government, has so far included Istanbul and the province of Edirne in the north-west, which was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The show’s host, Brad Pomerance, saw the historic and recently refurbished Great Synagogue of Edirne – the third largest synagogue in Europe. “It just goes to show you how Turkey continues to be a tolerant country that welcomes people of all faiths,” he said. Noting the country’s population is 99 percent Muslim, he added: “I have felt incredibly welcomed as a Jewish American documenting the story of Jews in Turkey.”

Some of the 350 participants in Lviv

last 50 years of his life in France. Other sessions included Yiddish, Hebrew music and Israel. It proved a welcome tonic for the sombre mood in the capital Kyiv a day

Your weekly digest of stories from the international press SWEDEN

Representatives of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance met in the city of Malmö to pledge action to address the ‘worrying’ increase in Holocaust distortion, particularly online. Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven said he intended to keep a promise to survivors to do ‘whatever I can’.


Spain is trying to find relatives of Hungarian Jews saved from the Nazis by a Spanish diplomat who created and issued fake Spanish passports to more than 5,200 Jews in 1944, saving them from deportation to Auschwitz. Ángel Sanz Briz, nicknamed ‘the Spanish Schindler’, was 32 and stationed in Budapest when he disobeyed orders.


New York Governor Kathy Hochul has pledged £18m to boost security at NGOs threatened by hate crimes. Speaking at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan, where a Confederate flag was recently tied to the doors, she said: ‘You continue to wear that yarmulke every single day. I will protect you.’


A Rome mayoral candidate last week apologised to Italian Jews over an article he penned last year in which he suggested that victims of mass murders get less attention than Holocaust victims because they ‘don’t own banks’. Enrico Michetti, a right-wing radio host from the Brothers of Italy party, lost the election on Monday.


Jewish groups have welcomed the European Commission’s first EU strategy to counter antisemitism, which includes increased security funding and a major push on Holocaust remembrance across the continent. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc was “committing to fostering Jewish life in Europe in all its diversity [and] to seeing Jewish life thriving again in the heart of our communities”. She added the strategy marked “a step change in how we respond to antisemitism”. Roughly 90 percent of Europe’s Jews feel antisemitism has increased in their country. The Commission said it would “take measures to safeguard Jewish heritage”, with £20 million of new funding for the protection of synagogues and communal buildings, better training for justice and law enforcement, and a European research hub on antisemitism and Jewish life and culture. “This is an unprecedented and vital document that will act as a roadmap to significantly reduce antisemitism in Europe and beyond,” said European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor.

Talmud translation now available online

Jews in the Ottoman Empire

Limmud Ukraine celebrates Jewish life More than 350 participants put the Covid-19 pandemic to one side for a day this week to celebrate Jewish life in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Limmud Ukraine continued its tradition as an uplifting festival featuring singing and dancing as Jews from across the former Soviet Union gathered at the medieval city near the border with Poland to explore their roots. Attendees learned about Ukraine’s post-Holocaust history, social media marketing in the Jewish world, and the work of artist Marc Chagall, who was born into a Chasidic Jewish family in present-day Belarus but spent the


earlier, when the Ukrainian and Israeli presidents paid tribute to the victims of the Babyn Yar massacre. “The fact we opened Limmud Ukraine 2021 the day after the Babyn Yar [80year anniversary] ceremony ended was very symbolic, from death to life,” said Chaim Chesler, who founded Limmud FSU, which is for Russian-speaking Jews. “We focus on the future, but we don’t forget the past.” Limmud FSU chair Matthew Bronfman said: “We were delighted to return to Ukraine’s historic capital, Lviv, for a fifth time to celebrate our cautious return to ‘normal’ programming.”

A German translation of the Talmud, which took 40 years to translate, has been made available and interactive online, something rabbinical students dubbed “a milestone”. Lazarus Goldschmidt finished his lifelong project in 1935, shortly after Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party had gripped his homeland, and now the Sefaria website, which hosts Jewish texts, has added the 9,434 page translation to its library. Igor Itkin, a German student training to be a rabbi. said: “Making [this document] available online not only preserves that legacy, but introduces it to future generations.” Katharina Hadassah Wendl, an Austrian student at

Effort: Lazarus Goldschmidt

the London School of Jewish Studies who assisted with the project, told JTA the German translation of the Talmud will help those beginning their learning. The translation took centre stage at the recent Festival of Resilience in Berlin.



Jewish News 21 October 2021

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.




Dragons’ castle

Send us your comments PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@jewishnews.co.uk

Interfaith activity, designed to bridge gaps and boost understanding of ‘the other’, can itself be a thorny topic. Who are acceptable partners for dialogue? What if a potential partner was once linked to someone whose views many would find abhorrent? And, at the same time, what is going to be achieved by focusing only on partners with whom you largely agree? Then there is the issue of how deep and fast you go once you are around the table. Cynical observers refer to some interfaith activity as ‘tea and samosas’, suggesting that unless you get into the trickier topics then it is not doing what it needs to long-term. However, much good work is going on in this country, particularly around social action. Jewish News has long championed interfaith interaction at all levels, believing in helping to fill the vacuum in which misconceptions take hold. That was why this paper brought together the Church Times, British Muslim TV and Coexist House to identify and celebrate 21 young interfaith leaders in Britain today. Last week, at Windsor Castle, the project moved way beyond these pages. The ideas proposed by our 21 leaders – from mental health first aid to greater joined-up thinking in schools on Israel-Palestine to a book to shatter stereotypes – are important and practical. Our generous dragons, Muddassar Ahmed, Christopher Kenna and Dr Neil Hanbury, pledged more than we dreamed of to make a real difference. We give huge thanks to them, to sponsor Kaiciid and to Michael Wakelin for leading this part of the project, along with Rabbi Alex Goldberg and Andrew Gilbert. Just as our community is strongest when we act with one voice, so too are faith communities strongest when they come together to help each other and to help wider society. Now onto the next project...

Claustrophobic ignorance No sooner had the euphoria of 1948 and all that calmed down than the fledgling state of Israel was at war with the Arab world, hell-bent on wiping it from the map. No doubt Israel knew this would be the price for its very existence. Whether or not the likes of Sally Rooney deny that they are antisemites (Jewish News, 14 October 2021), the fact remains that she is vehemently prejudiced against the only Jewish state on earth (Israeli policies notwithstanding), which alone, unquestionably defines her and her ilk, antisemites. She is but an author, nothing more than that, who proudly, in her claustrophobic ignorance,

Sketches & kvetches


“It made a nice change. Usually being strapped into my seat, followed by a fiveminute ascent, takes place on a stairlift!”

Further to letter writer Richard Martyn (Jewish News, 7 October 2021) allow me to highlight another grossly misleading headline from your paper. The previous week there was an article with the headline “Complaints process endorsed”, which proudly reported that “nearly three-quarters of delegates at the [Labour party] conference endorsed a new independent complaints process”. Buried in the article it was reported that 26 percent of delegates opposed. The Labour Party was required to adopt the changes by the Equality and Human Right Commission and one would expect any party claiming to be anti-racist would readily introduce changes to complaints processes to remove political interference. The fact over a quarter of delegates opposed suggests the Labour Party may still be full of racists or those with their own prejudiced political agendas. Responsible reporting would have headlined the significant minority opposition to the mandated changes. Daniel Shear, By email

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21 October 2021 Jewish News


Editorial comment and letters


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A TRANSWOMAN WE ARE FEEDING IS NOT A WOMAN THE ANTISEMITES I object to your inaccurate report, ‘Transgender woman makes up a minyan’. The use of the term “woman” in the context of this article is inaccurate. A transwoman is, by definition, a male who chooses to present and live as what he perceives to be a (usually stereotypically conceived) woman. He cannot be a woman as he is not an adult human female. This is reporting without integrity, taking on board an agenda that is detrimental to actual women. Name withheld on request, By email

Alex Brummer says “the UK’s Jewish minority has reason not to see antisemitism under every rock as we sometimes do”. In the same issue you report “Web hate out of control”. The Jewish press contains pages of stories about antisemitism. The conclusion is that the Jewish press and well motivated campaigners against antisemitism are advertising the work of the online hate mongers, who may judge their effectiveness by related column inches. Harvey Kass, By email

Sir David’s Jewish ancestry The loss of Sir David Amess to the constituents of Southend and the wider community is tragic. Although a staunch Catholic, he was a descendant of Sephardic families through his mother, Maud, who died in 2016, aged 104. A dressmaker, she had a Catholic mother; her father was David Joseph Martin, a descendant of the Spanish Nunez Martines family, who married in London in 1736. Maud’s paternal great-grandmother was

Frances Gomes da Costa, a descendant of Abraham and Abigail Gomes da Costa, who had arrived from Portugal as New Christians and whose remarriage in 1728 in London was under the auspices of Bevis Marks. It is, therefore, not surprising that Sir David was honorary secretary of Conservative Friends of Israel. It is some consolation to know he was aware of his Jewish roots. Doreen Berger, The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, Finchley

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The one time I hope that antisemitism did happen JENNI FRAZER


omething very odd is going on in Germany, as reports indicated on Sunday. Older Jewish News readers will recognise the surname ‘Ofarim’ as belonging to the 1960s singing duo, husband-andwife Esther and Abi. Israeli-born and raised and then resident in Germany, the couple enjoyed brief worldwide success before fading into obscurity, to do whatever it is retired rock stars do after their moment in the sun. Well, Abi, who died in 2018 (Esther is still going strong) got divorced and remarried (twice). And Gil Ofarim is the product of Abi’s third marriage, to Sandra: and Gil, following in the family footsteps, became an actor and musician. He is 39, so not a kid. Gil Ofarim’s career in Germany has had its highs and lows: he won the German version of Strictly Come Dancing, he was revealed as the Grasshopper in Germany’s The Masked Singer. He is also said to have appeared in some widely criticised films. So far, so mediocre: he is probably a decent enough dancer and a not wildly impressive actor. But that need not trouble us here.

Earlier this month, however, Gil rose to international notice with a video he posted of himself sitting on the pavement outside the Westin Hotel in Leipzig. He is wearing a very large and prominent Star of David on a long silver chain, and if you didn’t have any idea who he was, that is likely to be the first thing by which you would identify him. And what he claims in this video is really shocking, given that this is Germany: he says he was standing in the hotel queue waiting to check in when he realised that people behind him were being beckoned forward to the reception desk. He then says that, when he protested, he was told by a Leipzig Westin receptionist that if he put away his Star of David, he would be attended to. Although there was no one from the rest of the check-in queue backing the claim, there was an outcry. The Westin management said it was taking his complaint very seriously and an investigation would begin. Police were informed. The Central Council for Jews in Germany weighed in and a group of Westin employees staged a solidarity with Gil protest outside the hotel, complete with stars of David and Islamic red crescents. There was condemnation from world Jewish bodies and Gil gave media interviews to express his disgust.


But… the hotel employee accused of discrimination against Gil has strenuously denied the singer’s version of events. Not only that, but he has now filed a defamation suit against him. On Sunday, CCTV footage emerged of Gil leaving his parked car at the Westin in order to check in at the hotel. He is clearly wearing the same clothes as he is in his viral video… and there is no sign whatsoever of the Star of David. Which means, I suppose, that he was either wearing it under his clothes and pugnaciously took it out while he stood in the check-in queue – or that he was not wearing it at all, and had a spat, for different reasons, with the Westin staff. Obviously I have no means of knowing, at this distance, what really happened. But I sincerely hope that Gil has a very good explanation and that his story stands up, one of the very few occasions on which I find myself

Gil Ofarim’s claim led to an outcry

hoping that the antisemitism that he claims is actually correct. He has already been quoted in one German paper as saying he now “can’t remember” whether he was actually wearing his Star of David or not. Things are febrile enough in Germany without manufactured crises. And we all need to be super-careful about claiming antisemitism – unless we are 100 percent sure – and there are witnesses.



Jewish News 21 October 2021


Rabbi Sacks lived as he taught – we should too RABBI DR RAPHAEL ZARUM DEAN, LONDON SCHOOL OF JEWISH STUDIES (LSJS)


abbi Lord Sacks cared more for the honour of Torah than of his own. And his optimism and humour always shone through. It is almost a year since his passing and his loss is still very raw. Standing by Rabbi Sacks’ final resting place and reading the majestic and moving headstone, the first one you come across at Bushey New Cemetery, brought home to me the finality of his death. And yet, as a famous Jedi master once said to his sister: “No one’s ever really gone.” Rabbi Sacks’ books adorn our shelves, his words are spoken at our Shabbat tables, and his ideas are conveyed by leaders, both Jewish and not, across the world. And in the age of the internet, we can still watch him on our phones and computer screens as he teaches us. For me, this is a call to action. When I think of my teacher I don’t look back, I look forward. I feel the drive in his voice: “What next?” he asks.

As a leader, he taught me to look beyond the petty spats of the moment and to keep an eye on the destination. The outpouring of love and global honour after he was laid to rest is testimony to the vision of the man. He reminded us of the grandeur of our history and the privilege of passing on God’s gift to the world. That is why, since January, we at LSJS, his alma mater and first academic home, have held a regular course about his thought, in partnership with Jewish News. It has been taught by some of Rabbi Sacks’ most talented students, all accomplished teachers and thinkers in their own right. Dr Erica Brown, Rabbi Joe Wolfson and Professor Daniel Rynhold from the US, Rabbi Alex Israel, Tanya White, Dr Sam Lebens, Rabbi Johnny Solomon, Dr Daniel Rose and Rabbi Gideon Sylvester from Israel, and the UK's Joanne Greenaway and Rabbi Dr Michael Harris. Each has explained and analysed an aspect of Rabbi Sacks’ teachings and their continued significance for Jewish life today. To mark the first Yahrzeit, the anniversary of his passing, LSJS is partnering with the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust to host the flagship event of the ‘Communities in Conversation’ initiative, a worldwide day of learning in his memory.


On Monday night, 25 October, we will hear from S&P Senior Sephardi Rabbi Joseph Dweck and Rabbi Daniel Epstein of Marble Arch Synagogue, which is hosting the event. Both rabbis are students of Rabbi Sacks, both personally encouraged by him. This online and in-person event, begins the final term of the LSJS course. It continues until 6 December, when I will be in conversation with Gila Sacks, Rabbi Sacks’ youngest daughter, a highly accomplished civil servant who spoke so eloquently at his funeral. Rabbi Sacks wrote confidently of the future of the Jewish people. We have been here for millennia, and the covenant forged with our Creator continues to stimulate us to live lives of righteousness and justice. He taught of

Mordechai’s message to Esther in response to Haman’s plot to wipe out our people two and a half thousand years ago. “If you remain silent, relief and rescue will come to the Jews elsewhere… but who knows whether for just such a time like this you attained royalty?”. We do not need to embrace our Judaism out of a sense of guilt or fear of letting down our ancestors, but as an opportunity to take part in the greatest story of all time, one that has inspired all of humanity. This is our time in the sun, our chance to share in the Torah’s vision. In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Sacks wrote: “We are God’s ambassadors on earth. The way we live affects how others see him. God needs us.... If we live well, becoming a blessing to others, we become witnesses to the transformative power of the divine presence." Rabbi Sacks lived as he taught, with a profound commitment to human dignity and a deep love for our people. He was unique, but he would remind us that so are we all. “For each of us God may have a task. Discerning that task, hearing God’s call, is what gives life meaning and purpose.” If we share their vision and live their values, no one is ever really gone.

Comforting so many wish to preserve his fine legacy JOANNA BENARROCH



hat is a legacy, and how do you make it not only last, but inspire? This was the sad challenge – and huge responsibility – members of the Sacks family, the small team of professionals and trustees of The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust, faced when Rabbi Sacks passed away so suddenly almost a year ago. He was an irreplaceable leader, someone whose voice carried weight across the Jewish world and within wider society. He was someone whose voice, I, and many others, still yearn for today, and needs to be heard by generations to come. But how could we do this? At his core, Rabbi Sacks was a teacher of Torah. He taught Torah to Jews and non-Jews alike, with passion and insight, and with equal success. He wanted Jews to live, as he called it, “a Judaism engaged with the world”, one that showed us and the world the integral contribution our faith had to make. He, more than any recent Jewish leader, taught us how to live

Jewish values, and how to share them with the world. This aspect of his work, therefore, had to form a core component of his legacy. One of the main initiatives we have launched is the ‘Communities in Conversation’: A Day of Worldwide Learning taking place on Monday, 25, and Tuesday, 26 October, to coincide with Rabbi Sacks’ first yahrzeit. The idea was to invite individuals, families, schools, communities and organisations to come together and learn his Torah, remember his life and be inspired to carry forward his words. As part of this, based on feedback from educators and community rabbis, we developed resources in five areas: community, family, Jewish identity, Israel and religion and science, which are all downloadable for free via www. rabbisacks.org/communitiesinconversation. The response has been quite overwhelming. More than 100 schools, communities and

organisations from 15 countries around the world will participate in the first year of this project. Many of the communities Rabbi Sacks and Elaine visited during the Chief Rabbinate will be taking part, including as far away as New Zealand. This breadth of engagement and response to the ‘Communities in Conversation’ initiative is a testament to the impact Rabbi Sacks had during his lifetime as an individual. But, more importantly, it demonstrates the continuing impact of his teachings, which will inspire, inform and help our and future generations make sense of an increasingly confusing world. In his book, Future Tense, Rabbi Sacks wrote: “Judaism is the ongoing conversation of the Jewish people with itself, with heaven and with the world. It is a conversation scored for many voices.” For Rabbi Sacks, conversation with others was a central part of the learning process. He learnt from other people, from their


ideas, from his conversations, from everywhere. He undertook active listening and, in doing so, became one of the world’s great educators. I learned a great deal from him. For 23 years, I had the privilege of working with him and sharing countless conversations on a range of topics. The phone call that turned into an impromptu shiur. The journey to the BBC Radio studios for Thought for the Day very early in the morning. The times when he called to share music he had discovered, or a new idea he had read. The calls when he showed how much he cared about me, my life and my family. All those conversations were the moments I cherished the most of my time with him. We continue to grapple with how best to preserve his legacy. But knowing how many people want to do likewise is comforting as well as hugely inspiring. While this year has been a wonderful start, in the years to come I hope the ‘Communities in Conversation’ Global Day of Learning continues to grow. It is an idea bringing together two of the things Rabbi Sacks valued most during his lifetime: community and education. I hope we can all do him proud and together continue the conversations he started.


21 October 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 21 October 2021


The conspiratorial slip road into antisemitism WASIQ WASIQ



ntisemitism remains an important issue for Jewish communities, the government and policymakers alike. Indeed, such is the severity that Labour – the official party of opposition – was found to have been institutionally antisemitic. At the Labour Party conference, delegates voted overwhelming to implement the Equality and Human Rights Commission's recommendations to root out and tackle antisemitism within the party. This is a positive step forward in tackling a scourge that has plagued the party for quite some time. While significant amounts of attention have been rightfully placed on the relationship between antisemitism and the left, indicators of antisemitism on the far-right must also be taken as seriously. Antisemitism on the far-right is not an issue that suffers from a lack of research and academic debate. It is in fact – among the far left and the Islamist threat – a key area that requires constant attention. Part of this is

understanding the profiles of those people and the risk they pose to Jewish communities. Ideologically, those on the far-right are drawn to conspiracy theories such as white genocide: the belief that white populations in the west are at risk of extinction owing to a growing number of Jews and Muslims. This is advanced by the claim that population growth is engineered by the all-powerful Jews. Antisemitic conspiracy theories further rupture sensitive relations between communities and risk creating tensions where there should be none. But for those on the far-right, blaming Jews for perceived grievances seems standard practice. There are deadly consequences to this conspiracy theory. In 2019 far-right gunman Stephan Balliet attempted to kill Jews at a synagogue in the German city of Halle. At the time, there were 52 worshippers marking Yom Kippur. What stood between Balliet and the worshippers was a heavy bolted door. Balliet instead shot and killed a female passer-by and a man at a nearby kebab shop. While conspiracy theories offer a slip road to antisemitism, a hatred of women driven by misogyny and anti-feminism provides a path towards the same destination. In a recent


report by Hope Not Hate titled Antisemitism & Misogyny Overlap and Interplay, the antiracism group found that the far right is using its own misogyny and anti-feminist views to target Jews. For example, the report asserts that farright ideologies are predicated on the politics of grievance, that it is white men who are the real victims in a globalised world. The blame is not only placed on ethnic minorities – such as Jews – but women themselves. It therefore sees anti-feminism as a way to counter that. The report cites two case studies as examples of anti-feminism and misogyny as an indicator of antisemitism from far-right figures. The first is CatboyKami, an Australian internet troll who has used social networking chatrooms to spew his antisemitic, racist and misogynistic

bile. On the popular chat site Omegle, Kami had been found to have dressed in blackface, mocking the death of George Floyd. The second case study of particular prominence is Daryush Valizadeh, known as Roosh V. During 2015, Roosh V had written a ‘glowing review’ of The Culture of Critique by Kevin McDonald – a pseudo-scientific book arguing Judaism should be understood as a ‘group evolutionary strategy’. Roosh V also appears to claim that feminism developed as an ideology because it had disproportionate Jewish support. What is clear when it comes to antisemitism is that conspiracy theories remain a key threat to Jewish communities around the world. However, in regards to the far-right, antifeminism and misogyny also play a role in these conspiracy theories. Instead of allowing slip-roads to antisemitism to form, government and policymakers must take a stronger stand by tightening legislation to tackle conspiracies, misogyny and racism to prevent them from gaining traction online. Without this approach, instances like these will continue to be common. Attacking Jews never ends with Jews. Everyone is at risk from the far-right threat.

Not enough found guilty and too few do the time EFRAIM ZUROFF



hat does it take to ensure a Nazi criminal convicted in Germany will be sent to prison? This is a question that has bothered me for about a decade, ever since Ivan Demjanjuk, who was convicted for “accessory to murder”, in Munich in 2011, for his service in the Sobibor death camp, and was sentenced to five years in jail, was allowed to remain free until his appeal against the verdict was decided. Thus, Demjanjuk was allowed to live in an old age home in Bad Feilnbach, awaiting the court’s decision. He died on 17 March 2012, before his appeal was reviewed. He did not serve a single day of his sentence from the German court. (At least, he was incarcerated for more than seven years in Ramle Prison, and was also in prison in the US on several occasions and in Germany pending his Munich trial.) The Demjanjuk trial was of unique legal significance in Germany, because it paved the way for several subsequent trials of Nazi perpetrators, two of which were supposed to have

begun during the last two weeks. For several decades prior to the Demjanjuk case, in order to prosecute a Nazi war criminal, the prosecution had to present proof that the suspect had committed a specific crime, against a specific victim (preferably identified by name), and had done so motivated by “racial hatred”. Naturally, these requirements severely limited the number of cases prior to 2008, when Thomas Walther and Kirsten Goetze, prosecutors at the Central Office for the Clarification of Nazi Crimes in Ludwigsburg, convinced their superiors to apply a precedent used to convict the plotters of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York of “accessory to murder” rather than murder. This change meant any person who served in a Nazi death camp, or in the Einsatzgruppen (mobile murder squads, which murdered approximately a million and a half Jews by shooting in the areas of the Soviet Union) could be convicted on the same charge and sentenced to five to 15 years

in prison based on service alone, which could be verified by documents, and did not require witness testimony regarding specific crimes. Following Demjanjuk’s conviction, the German authorities began searching for such individuals and have been able to convict two men who served in Auschwitz and one who served in Stutthof. (The trial of another guard from Stutthof was halted due to medical issues.) All the defendants in the trials completed were convicted, but those who served in Auschwitz appealed the verdict and died before being required to serve their sentences, while the guard from Stutthof was given a suspended sentence because of his young age at the time of the crime. As a person who believes punishment, in these cases incarceration, is an important component of justice, my assessment of these results was somewhat ambivalent. A measure of justice is obviously far superior to no justice, but the lack of punishment diminishes the impact and significance of the trials.


Sometimes, however, there are surprises. On 30 September, the trial of Irmgard Furchner, the secretary of the commandant Paul-Werner Hoffe of the Stutthof concentration camp was scheduled to open. She served in the camp from June 1943 until April 1945, during which time there were numerous executions in the gas chamber and as well as in gas vans and by shooting. She was charged with complicity in the deaths of more than 11,000 inmates. Several weeks before the trial's opening date, however, Furchner wrote to the court, claiming to be ill and expressing her refusal to participate in the proceedings in order to not make herself “the mockery of humanity”. I guessed Furchner would not appear at the court but on that day, Furchner chose to run away from her home, which, given her age of 96 and supposed infirmities, was absolutely shocking. She was caught the same day in Hamburg and thrown into jail, the first of the defendants of the cases of “belated justice” to be punished by incarceration. Released one week later, her trial commenced on 19 October and, given the fact she will be tried in a juvenile court, it is likely the seven days she spent in jail will be the only ones she will have to endure.

21 October 2021 Jewish News



Community / Scene & Be Seen


Jewish veterans’ charity AJEX played a prominent part in a ceremony held by Barnet War Memorials Association to dedicate a new memorial in the grounds of Finchley Memorial Hospital. The memorial commemorates the 1,307 men and women from Finchley and Whetstone killed on active service in the two world wars. The consecration ceremony was led by the Bishop of London assisted by Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch of Woodside Park Synagogue, while the memorial was unveiled by General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

And be seen!

The latest news, pictures and social events from across the community


At its annual distribution event last Sunday, the north-west London Chomesh L’Chinuch community initiative gave out its highest amount of £384,650 to 30 local Jewish schools. The packed event was held at the Soro Felsenstein Hall in Golders Green and was attended by rabbis and representatives of the bodies that have adopted Chomesh L’Chinuch: Golders Green Beth Hamedrash, Hendon Adath, Beis Yisroel, Beis Shmuel, Edgware Adath and Beith Yisochor Dov. Also present were the governors, menahalim, and delegates of the local Jewish schools.

Email us at community@jewishnews.co.uk


Frankie Gruzd, Adela Kobic, Avi Marco and Oren Giorno graduated with an MA in Jewish educational leadership at Leo Baeck College’s first in-person ceremony for more than two years. After last week’s ceremony, a planting service took place in the Biblical Garden in the college’s grounds. Dr Jo-Ann Myers, director of Jewish education at Leo Baeck College, said: “This graduation ceremony has been a long time coming, but the wait was certainly worth it.”




Football mad JFS pupil Itai Lichtenstein has donated several hundred pounds to Kisharon to mark his barmitzvah. The teenager earned the money by running a children’s summer and half-term football skills camp over several years. Itai, who plays for Wingate and Finchley FC, runs the camp with family friend and fellow JFS pupil Jesse Cooper, 17, who also donated. To check out Itai’s skills, visit @the_real_itai



ampus compass Sixty students from Jewish societies nationwide ate together and socialised at Leeds JSoc hosted a freshers’ BBQ to welcome all new a Union of Jewish Students’ Pizza in the Park event and returning students

UJS sabbatical officer, Daniel, and UJS shaliach, Dovi, at the JSoc stall at Cambridge University Freshers’ Fair


UJS sabbatical officer, Shayna at the JSoc stall at the Lancaster University Freshers’ Fair

Meet and Greet at Imperial JSoc with Daniel, UJS sabbatical officer

UJS head of campaigns, Amanda, and UJS shlicha, Adi at Oxford JSoc for Friday night dinner

Edinburgh JSoc held its first Friday night dinner of the academic year



Jewish News 21 October 2021

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21 October 2021 Jewish News


Trek mates / Weekend

Judge in Jordan Francine Wolfisz speaks to Robert Rinder about joining Magen David Adom UK’s fundraising trek to learn how Israel and her neighbour are helping to save lives Above: Participants in the Jordan 360 trek make their way through the desert. Below: The trekkers in front of the desert castle Qasr Kharanah

A look



obert Rinder has praised Israel’s national medical emergency and blood service as “a powerful example of what Israel is and can be at its very best”. The TV personality and barrister spent four days last week on Magen David Adom UK’s (MDA UK) fundraising Jordan 360 Trek, which gave participants a chance to appreciate the nation’s top sightseeing destinations, including Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba and the Dead Sea, as well as gain an understanding of how Israel and her neighbour are working together to help save lives. Rinder saw first-hand the close collaboration of the Jordanian National Red Crescent Society (JNRCS) and MDA, which operates 180 stations across Israel and more than 2,000 lifesaving vehicles,

including ambulances, mobile intensive care units and medicycles. The charity is Israel’s largest volunteer-run organisation, with 23,800 volunteers. As part of his visit, Rinder met Dr Mohammed Al-Hadid, president of the JNRCS, whom he described as “a genuinely, unusually inspirational person in the truest sense”. After hearing how Al-Hadid helped to bring the two charities closer together to share knowledge, expertise and innovative medical technology, Rinder said it showed how regional politics can be put aside for the sake of helping others. “Where you have people of goodwill and where you can share a mission that at its heart is fundamentally about not just humanity, but also saving lives, then there is a limitless capacity for people to work together – and to do so even in a

Above: Robert with Dr Al-Hadid and Daniel Burger, chief executive of Magen David Adom UK. Left: Robert with Daniel during the walk

region where so much of the rest of the conversation is impossible,” he said. Rinder said he was also impressed by MDA’s mission to “ensure the protection and dignity of human life wherever it is and from whatever background people are from”. He said of the charity: “MDA isn’t just a service for Israelis; it reaches into and beyond its own borders in precisely the way we would all hope an ambulance service would. “Israel doesn’t always make the best case for itself, but MDA is a powerful example of what Israel is and can be at its very best.” The trip, which ran from 3 October to 10 October, has so far raised £30,000, which will be donated towards rebuilding the MDA ambulance station in Rahat, southern Israel.

Competition: Win West End tickets to Magic Goes Wrong!

Real life: Three women whose lives were forever changed by adoption

Revealed: The murderers of Babyn Yar are finally named



Jewish News 21 October 2021

Weekend / Entertainment



The Lost Daughter

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, is set to premiere on 31 December on Netflix. The film, which picked up the Best Screenplay award for Gyllenhaal at this year’s Venice Film Festival, will also be shown in select cinemas both in the UK and US from 17 December.

Rachel Weisz is set to star in an adaptation of Mark McShane’s 1961 suspense novel, Séance On A Wet Afternoon. The 51-year-old actress will also produce the project, with Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) in the director’s chair. Previously adapted as a thriller in 1964 starring Richard Attenborough and Kim Stanley, the story follows a selfproclaimed psychic medium who convinces her husband to kidnap a child so she can help

Olivia Colman

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Adapted from the eponymous 2006 novel by author Elena Ferrante, the gripping drama follows a single mother named Leda (played by Olivia Colman) whose beach holiday takes a dark turn when she begins to confront the troubles of her past. Gyllenhaal stars alongside Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard and Paul Mescal. Rounding out the cast are Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ed Harris and Dagmara Domińczyk. The film was shot last year in Greece.


History of the World, Part II Could Jews in Space make a return? Forty years after it first hit the cinemas, Mel Brooks (pictured) is making a sequel to his classic comedy, History of the World, Part I. The eight-episode series has been ordered by Hulu and will begin production next spring, Variety revealed this week. Brooks’ original 1981 film starred the veteran actor alongside Spike Milligan, Sid Caesar, Gregory Hines and Shecky Greene among others, with cameo appearances from Beatrice Arthur, Nigel Hawthorne, Jackie Mason and even Hugh Hefner. The film parodied major historical events

from the Stone Age, through to the Old Testament (including an appearance by Brooks as Moses), the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition and finally the French Revolution. While the content of the new series has not been revealed, a mock teaser trailer at the end of the original promises Hitler On Ice, a Viking funeral and even Jews in Space, a parody of Star Wars and The Muppet Show, for its next installment. Brooks will write and produce alongside Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter.


The Great British-Jewish actor Adam Godley will don his archbishop costume once more for the hotly-anticipate return of satirical comedy The Great. In the second season of the critically-acclaimed show from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, Godley returns as The Great Archie, a Rasputin-like spiritual adviser, (played by Anderson). She will also battle her alongside special guest star Gillian own heart as she continues to navigate her Anderson. relationship with Peter (Hoult). Airing exclusively on Starzplay from Ultimately, Catherine will learn that to 5 December, the new series is set just after change a country, you must let it change Catherine finally takes the Russian throne you, that there is a fine line between idealism for her own – but she will quickly learn and delusion, and that becoming ‘Great’ that dethroning her husband was just will ask more of her than she could have the beginning. imagined. Catherine must now face the realities of The Great also stars Phoebe Fox, Gwilym ‘liberating’ a country that doesn’t want to Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, be free. Her fight to bring enlightenment to Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Russia will mean battling her own court and Belinda Bromilow. those closest to her, including her own mother

the police solve the crime and achieve renown for her abilities. When her true intentions come to light, however, her husband realises the plan threatens to consume them both. Weisz has a number of projects coming up, including portraying Elizabeth Taylor in the biographical drama, A Special Relationship and is set to co-star with Colin Farrell in Love Child, directed by Todd Solondz.

Rachel Weisz

COMPETITION Win tickets to see Magic Goes Wrong in the West End!


jewishnews.co.uk Closing date 4 November 2021

Jewish News has teamed up with Mischief, the team behind BBC series The Goes Wrong Show and The Play That Goes Wrong, to offer three lucky readers a pair of tickets to see Mischief’s latest spectacle, Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre in London! The critically-acclaimed show opens tonight (Thursday) at the Apollo Theatre and is currently touring the UK. Join a hapless gang of moderately skilled and accident-prone magicians presenting a charity fundraiser. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target. Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, this evening of grand illusion with breathtaking tricks and typical Mischief comedy will tickle your funny bones and fill you with wonder. Magic Goes Wrong opened to critical acclaim and was nominated for Best


Entertainment or Comedy at the 2020 Olivier Awards. Be astounded and surprised by a magic show like no other. Now playing at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue until 27 February 2022. To book your tickets (from £27.50), visit magicgoeswrong.com The show is also currently on a UK tour. For your chance to win answer the following question: Magic Goes Wrong has been created with which talented duo: A. Ant and Dec B. Penn and Teller C. French and Saunders

Three winners will receive a pair of tickets to see Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, valid for Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday performances from 2 January to 3 February 2022, subject to availability. No cash alternative. Travel and accommodation not included. Prize is as stated, not transferable, not refundable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or exchanged in whole or in part for cash. By supplying your email address, you agree to receive marketing information from the JN Media Group or any of its affiliates and carefully selected third parties. The promotion excludes employees of Jewish News and the promoter, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the relevant promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see www.jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 4 November 2021


21 October 2021 Jewish News


31 OCTOBER - 1 NOVEMBER 2021 in memory of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z’l. An avid supporter of British Emunah who with his family, set up music therapy programmes in our centres

Not all injuries can be seen. Psychological damage may be invisible but it’s very real. Each year, across Israel, thousands of children and families suffer from devastating socio-economic problems and many are at-risk and vulnerable. Though most of us never see this first-hand, Emunah absolutely sees the need every day, responding and acting to improve lives wherever and whenever it can. By supporting our crowdfunding campaign on Sunday 31st October and 1st November, you can ensure that every child and family that need help will be seen and supported. Donate at emunah.org.uk/crowdfunder or call 020 8203 6066

emunah.org.uk • British Emunah on Registered charity no. 215398




Jewish News 21 October 2021


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21 October 2021 Jewish News



Adoption / Weekend

‘When I adopted him, everything fell into place’ During National Adoption Week, Alex Galbinski speaks to three Jewish women about their emotional experiences


adopted two sisters, aged four and six, who had had a chaotic start in life with alcohol abuse and domestic violence in the household. It was a neglectful environment for them. On the first night with us one of them asked, ‘Will I be in the same bed tomorrow night?’ ” Katie (whose real name has been changed for this article) remembers the moment she and her husband adopted siblings from the UK. It was heartbreaking for her to witness the fallout from the instability the girls had so far experienced in their young lives and the fact they now took nothing for granted. “That sense of not knowing whether they are coming or going, literally – it’s such a big thing.” With 2,100 children in England waiting to be matched with a family and 2,160 approved

her story is a particularly difficult one to hear. Her mother gave birth to her aged just 12 after a violent assault and Sarah was adopted into a loving family at two days old. “My mum was sent to a kind of Jewish home, where she hid for a while, and then stayed with a cousin so no one knew she was pregnant. She had me, I was whipped away, and she went straight back to boarding school,” she tells me. “I was adopted by a wonderful couple, who already had two children. My (adoptive) mum wanted another child, but felt there were lots who needed a home, so she said ‘let’s adopt one’. The only prerequisite was that I was Jewish.” Sarah always knew she was adopted – it was one of her bedtime stories. “They used to tell me a story about how they picked me because of my eyelashes and that I was more special, because they chose me rather than just had me.” She is very grateful to her adoptive family and feels they were always there for her, even if she did start to feel different to them as she got older. “People can have horrific experiences, being adopted by people who are horrible to them,” explains Jacqui. “I’ve been very lucky. I was adopted into the most amazing family, who never made me feel any different – that was in my head. I had the most fantastic upbringing and education.” Jennifer (who also chose not People have misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt to reveal her real name) was 35 when she started the adoption adopters waiting to be matched, National process. She had wanted children and, having Adoption Week, which runs this week, aims to come out of a difficult relationship, decided to encourage more people to consider adopting. have one of her own. But, after gruelling rounds Its research shows that people continue to have misconceptions about who is eligible to adopt, despite the fact most people are. Some children, who are considered harder to place, wait the longest to be matched, including children aged four or older, those from sibling groups, ethnic minorities or those with disabilities. At the end of last year, Adoption UK, the charity that provides support, community and advocacy for people supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents, warned that more children could spend their childhood in the care system owing to a falling rate in adoptions. Last year’s figures decreased by more than of IVF and various egg donations, she was told a third compared to five years ago (3,440 adopshe would never have her own children so tions in the year leading up to the end of March decided to adopt. As she was single, the rules at 2020, compared with 5,360 in 2015). that time dictated she was not eligible to do so Jacqui (not her real name), now 48 and from in the UK – so she had to look overseas. Oxford, was one of probably very few children It took her five years to adopt a 14-monthwho did not spend any time in care, although old boy from Russia. He was left in an

Some children, including siblings, wait the longest before being placed with families

orphanage and while she doesn’t think he was intentionally mistreated, there were 30 children being looked after by two carers. “They had one nappy change a day and one toy each and that’s it,” she recalls. “They had never been outside and had been given drugs so they stayed asleep. He had never eaten solid food in 14 months – I had to train him to eat. Everything fell out of his mouth. Having to teach him all of that was strange.” The adoption process was hard. She had to undergo therapy to ensure she would be able to cope with the challenges of child-rearing. And there certainly have been testing times.

They used to tell me a story about how I was more special because they chose me rather than just had me “There were times when he just stared at me. His neural pathways weren’t formed properly. And it’s the weirdest thing, because you don’t give birth [to your adopted child] and then love them from the minute you meet them; it has to grow over time. You’re his everything and he’s your everything, but

you don’t know each other.” Having since had her own birth child with her now husband whom she married one-anda-half years after the adoption – she appreciates the progress he has made. “He didn’t cry for a year because in the orphanage they taught him not to – and crying didn’t achieve anything – so when he finally did, I was so excited. “He has an art therapist and it was only after a year that he asked her to help him so obviously he had learned to trust her. And my friend said she noticed he now makes eye contact.” Jennifer advises prospective parents to take the adoption course and training seriously. “It’s more about whether you can handle it, because it’s really tough. Adoption is not an easy route and not everyone can adopt; not everybody can love a child who isn’t theirs.” But for Jennifer, her son completed her. “The minute I got him, everything changed. I felt like everything fell into place.” Katie, who grew up in a Reform-Jewish home, echoes this sentiment. “It’s brought us family,” she says. “You’re making an impact because, for us, these two children who were in the care of a local authority have become not just numbers in the lists of social services; they have been given a whole new opportunity. “[As their adoptive parent], you have changed their destiny forever. You have opened a door for them, given them hope and a way of escaping a cycle of abuse and neglect. To know you’ve done that is a very rewarding feeling.”  For more information and support, visit www.youcanadopt.co.uk/NAW



Jewish News 21 October 2021

Weekend / History

Death squad: Kurt Eberhard, Bernhard Grafhorst, Hans von Obstfelder, Walter von Reichenau and Friedrich Zickwolff

Named at last: Mass murderers of Babyn Yar

The Babyn Yar ravine was the site of one of the largest massacres of Jews in German-occupied Europe

More than 30,000 Jews were killed in just two days during a Nazi massacre at Babyn Yar in 1941. Now, 80 years later, a list reveals the names of those responsible, writes Michael Havis


Nazi executioner who murdered 250 Jews in a single day is among 160 named and shamed on a list compiled 80 years after the infamous Babyn Yar massacre. Tragically, 33,771 Jews were shot dead at

Babyn Yar, a ravine on the edge of the Ukrainian capital, Kyev, during two fateful days in September 1941 in a mass killing dubbed the “Holocaust of bullets”. But the Nazi atrocity has gone largely unpunished, with only 10 of the estimated

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700 people who took part ever being convicted of a crime. Now, 80 years later, the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) has identified an initial 160 people it considers guilty of the killings. Along with their names, new information about the killers – including biographies and testimony – has been made public. One participant, Viktor Trill, described how he leapt down into the pits to kill any people who survived the initial shooting. He recalled: “I then saw a gigantic ditch that looked like a dried-out riverbed. In it were lying several layers of corpses. “The Jews had to lay down on the corpses and were then shot in the back of the neck. More Jews were continually brought to be shot. “The shooters came out of the ravine and then another group of security policemen, including myself, had to go down. “I myself then had to work as a shooter for about 10 minutes and in this time I personally shot about 30 to 50 Jews.” He continued: “During the shooting on this day I had to act as a shooter five or six times, each time for 10 minutes. “It is possible that on this day I shot between around 150 and 250 Jews. The whole shooting went off without incident. The Jews were resigned to their fate like lambs.” The Czech-born truck driver described men and women of various ages among the victims. And while he did not recall whether children were shot, he accepted that some mothers may have held their children in their arms. Trill went to court over the killings in 1967 but was acquitted as no “base motive” could be proven for his participation. Obersturmführer August Hefner, who controlled the executions on both days, was sentenced to several years in prison for his role. He told the court: “The SS troops had a section approximately 30 metres in length. [Bernhard] Grafhorst told me that the Jews should lie down close to each other. “So, they lay down until the entire bottom was filled. Then the same thing started again. Others had to lie on the already-dead Jews. “Within two days, six or seven layers could

have formed. At first, the SS troops carried out the execution with two firing squads.” Others admitted only a less direct role in the killings. Edgar Lind, an ethnic German from south-western Ukraine, near Odessa, said he told the Jews to undress. He said: “I stood at this place and saw how the luggage and clothing was piled up in heaps. In addition, I had to tell them to take off their outer clothing and then go on to the ravine. I could hear shooting but could not see into the ravine.” Georg Leuchtmann, a policeman, said he did not know who fired the shots. “I walked in the direction of the shooting site,” he said. “I came within about 80 metres of it and stood on the edge of the ravine. In the ravine, I saw a mass of people. The dead were lying in rows next to each other. I don’t know who was shooting.” Those named so far are only the first, with more expected to follow. Father Patrick Desbois, head of the academic council at BYHMC, said all of the people identified were guilty. He explained: “Some were shooters, others extracted the Jews from their homes, others took their belongings and their luggage. Others armed the weapons while others were serving sandwiches, tea and vodka to the shooters. “All of them are guilty. In a mass crime, anyone who was involved in any way, directly or indirectly, must be considered guilty.” BYHMC board member Ruslan Kavatsyuk said it was important to identify not only the victims, but also the killers. “Babyn Yar became not just a terrible symbol of the Holocaust in eastern Europe, it became a symbol of the Holocaust by bullets,” he said. “Only a few killers were judged after the Second World War. Mostly some officers were punished.” He continued: “We renew the full history of this tragedy. We collect the names of all the victims of Babyn Yar and their life stories. But we also have to tell about those people who were responsible for the massacre, about anyone who was involved in this crime in some way, directly or indirectly.”


21 October 2021 Jewish News

We ensure that all people with hearing loss get the very best out of life

When I started to lose my hearing, even my closest family became intolerant and snapped at me in frustration. I withdrew and missed out on so many family moments.

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Jewish News 21 October 2021


Central London celebration for JLE’s young professionals


wo hundred young professionals gathered together on Sunday night at central London’s Grand Ballroom for a sold-out gala celebration. The evening was dedicated to JLE CEO Rabbi Benjy Morgan and his wife Goldie on the 10-year anniversary of their arrival in London and the beginning of their stewardship of the JLE Young Professional Department. During an emotional night of tributes, young professionals from all over the UK and Europe came together to show their gratitude to the Morgan family and the JLE and all that it has given them. “The best part of the evening was that it really felt like a family reunion,” said Rabbi Dov Cowan, who helped co-ordinate the event. “It was so special to look around the room and see hundreds of young professionals from all different countries and backgrounds who have come through our programmes and trips over the past 10 years but who feel bonded together through their connection with the JLE.”

The feelings of gratitude were echoed by many of the attendees who felt the importance of saying thank you for all they have received from the JLE’s programmes and social events over the years. Guest speaker Igor Catran, who flew over from Zurich for the event, shared why he felt such a personal imperative to be there at the gala. “Growing up in Portugal, I knew I was a Jew but not much more than that. At the JLE, in a non-judgemental and pressurefree atmosphere, I was given the opportunity to learn about what it meant to live as a Jew and have the door opened to a meaningful Jewish existence. “And, to top it all off, it was at one of the JLE’s wonderful Friday night dinners that I met my wife of three years. It would be an understatement to say the JLE’s Young Professional programme changed my life.” The evening, which was also a chance for young professionals to get together again after the restrictions of Covid, was crowned

Young professionals from across the UK and Europe attended the JLE gala celebration

by a moving video containing tributes to Rabbi Benjy and Goldie from fellow educators and alumni throughout the world. “It is truly humbling to have been in the room with so many young Jews who want to show their gratitude and support for what the JLE has done for them.” said Rabbi Morgan as he reflected on the gala. “The event was a sign of how much the

JLE has impacted the Jewish community and we will not rest on our laurels. “With the opening of new JLE centres in Borehamwood and Maida Vale to service the burgeoning communities of JLE alumni and present students, the JLE is looking to build back post-Covid even bigger and better than before.”

Antiques Buyers Cheder Head Teacher The Cheder Committee and Trustees are seeking to appoint a well qualified dynamic and passionate Headteacher to lead Sha’are Tikva from January 2022.


Sha’are Tikva – The Gates of Hope School of the S&P Sephardi Community – has been educating the youth of our historic community since the 17th Century, making it the oldest and longest running institution of Jewish learning in the UK. Sha’are Tikva is an integral part of our community. It is where we engage our youngest all the way through to post Bar/Bat Mitzvah, educating them in the values of Judaism and the traditions of the Sephardic community. The Cheder is based at Lauderdale Road Synagogue, Maida Vale and is open for all Jewish children aged 3 – 14. Classes meet on most Sunday mornings from September to July. The S&P Sephardi Synagogue is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff to share this commitment. This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check. To request a full job description or to send your CV & cover letter please contact: recruitment@sephardi.org.uk Closing date for applications: Monday 1st November 2021

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21 October 2021 Jewish News



Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA Vayera

What the Torah says about: William Shatner’s trip to space

BY REBBETZIN RACHIE LISTER God remembered Avraham and He sent Lot out when He overturned the cities in which Lot lived. (Genesis 19:29) The verse refers to Sodom and Gomorrah. But we know Lot only settled in Sodom and he could not have lived in two cities at the same time. How do we make sense of it? Commentator Abraham Ibn Ezra says Lot lived in just one of the cities, but the Midrash says it was as if he lived in all the cities because his righteousness made a difference to them all. All of them were privileged and blessed because Lot lived in their region. Ramban writes that Lot only became good because he associated with his uncle Abraham. He had chosen to reside among a sinful and immoral nation. This teaches us about the power of goodness. Abraham was so great he drew Lot after him even after they had parted ways and Lot had chosen to reside

Torah For Today

among people with low moral standards. Lot became so great that he later left his mark on thousands of people across five cities. As spiritual descendants of Abraham, we have inherited the power of infectious goodness. We are described as ohr l’amim, “a light unto the nations”. We are also all responsible for each other’s actions, meaning our good actions can affect another. We should treasure our ability to do good, not just because it makes us better, but because it can improve those around us and those improved by us can, in turn, spread goodness further. We try wherever possible to spread our good characteristics as an example to others and to keep good company so righteous people can have an everlasting influence over us. ◆ Rachie Lister is Senior Rebbetzin at Edgware United Synagogue

BY RABBI ARIEL ABEL William Shatner, 90, last week became the oldest man to ever go into space. So, what does the Torah say about taking on new challenges in later life? The father and mother of our nation started out their journey into the unchartered unknown aged 75 and 65, respectively. The Abrahams took up a Bedouin cause at an uninsurable age. Who could underwrite a successful mission to an unnamed Promised Land? There were too many unknowns. And yet, we’re all here, we all exist, because of their intrepidity. The individuality required in an Abraham is the quality rewarded on prophetic scripture with the title “inheritor”. “Abraham was unique, and [so] he inherited the land,” Ezekiel exclaimed. Alone, a household from ancient Ur, laid a claim to what is now Israel; for that matter, both

Jews and Arabs trace their claims to the Holy Land via a biological line to the same man, Abraham. Shatner went out to conquer not land, but to attain a view of earth and the cosmos from space; an uninterrupted view of the Creator’s immeasurable handiwork. Abraham was envisioned with the stars of the greater universe too, impressing him with the achievable at the advanced age of 85 at the ‘Covenant of the Pieces’. This occurred shortly after Abraham made his own Herculean effort to rescue his nephew Lot

from captivity, which ended in incredible success. Like Abraham, Shatner acted out his journey before making it. As an actor, Shatner was best known as Captain Kirk in the popular television series Star Trek. Abraham foretold his own future as a journeyman and risktaker, challenging the idolatrous status quo and discovering the Creator his own way, by logic and scientific observation. ◆ Rabbi Ariel Abel is based in Liverpool



Jewish News 21 October 2021

Progressive Judaism

Progressively Speaking

The Bible Says What? We brought the flood upon ourselves!

A transwoman joined a minyan – but it had the potential to cause great pain

BY RABBI YUVAL KEREN The Eternal said: “I will blot out from the earth the men whom I created…” (Genesis 6:5-7) There is little doubt that the epic tale of Noah and his Ark is one of the most approachable stories in the Torah. This is especially true for children. The animals march two by two, and Noah and his family take care of them until the flood subsides. There are so many toys and activities for Noah’s Ark – puppets, puzzles, children’s books, balloons and more – that my online search returned more than 4,000 results. Yet the Biblical narrative is far from being a cute children’s story. Every living person and creature, bar those on the Ark, is drowned. Why? The entire generation of Noah seems to be corrupt, but we are left to guess the nature of its corruption. Some commentators connect it to the previous section in the Torah. There we read that b’nei ha-elohim (the sons of gods) “took [human] wives from among those that pleased them”.

The implication here is that human sin was connected to sexual immorality. Perhaps at that generation they started worshipping idols. Yet many of the classic commentators blame their sins not on their relation with God, but on bein adam la-chavero (hurting one another). The Midrash tells us the people’s verdict was not sealed until they started stealing. So the source of all trouble for the generation of the flood was their excessive pursuing of material benefits at the expense of others. We live in a world in where there is more and more pursuit of the material and individual at the expense of the communal and spiritual. We spend more time shopping, watching TV and looking at our phones. We spend less time talking to each other. Worst of all, we pollute the air, sea and land with our machines and chemicals. By doing so, we cause climate change and as a result bring ‘the flood’ upon ourselves.

◆ Rabbi Yuval Keren serves Southgate Progressive Synagogue

BY RABBI RODERICK YOUNG At Liverpool’s Princes Road Synagogue, the rabbi recently asked a transgender woman if she would consent to be counted as the 10th man in a minyan. The rabbi is quoted as saying: “We took into account her sensitivities. I asked her permission so as not to offend her. She was fine with it.” But, however sensitive the rabbi was, he misgendered this woman, potentially causing great pain. My Hungarian husband has Jewish antecedents on both sides of his family. He was told of their Jewish origin shortly after the fall of communism and he has lived a Jewish life ever since. He is not Jewish under Orthodox halachah. Some years ago, we spent Succot with a group of Orthodox, Masorti and Reform Jews, some of them rabbis. By consensus, all public spaces operated under Orthodox halachah.

Jewish Women’s Aid is the only charity in the UK working with Jewish women and their children affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. We are a growing charity and our fundraising team is expanding to support our vital work. We are currently looking for a: Fundraising Assistant 21 hours per week – salary £25,000 pro rata Based in North London, you will be assisting the fundraiser. As a charity fundraiser, you will increase the contributions of individuals and groups by building relationships and exploring new fundraising opportunities. This is an important and varied role supporting all aspects of the fundraising department to help deliver targets alongside excellent supporter care, and day to day running of the department. You’ll have strong interpersonal skills, an understanding of confidentiality, be proactive, enthusiastic, flexible, highly computer literate, proficient in office and database systems and a passion for fundraising for our work. Please go to www.jwa.org.uk/vacancies for more information on this position and apply by sending your CV and covering letter to Suzi Epstein info@jwa.org.uk Closing date: Monday 8th November, 9am Interviews: w/c 15th November This post is open to women only. (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1) Registered charity number: 1047045

After the festival started, it was discovered the oven had been switched off. My husband was approached by a rabbi who asked if he would be comfortable turning it on. The request was done extremely sensitively. It was made clear everyone would understand if he declined and that he should feel no pressure. My husband is a lovely, accommodating and quiet man and he understood that a switched off oven was a disaster, so he turned it on. I can imagine some would cast this as a triumph of inter-move-

ment cooperation and the rabbi as a caring soul for the way the request was made. However, later that night my husband talked to me about his sense of hurt at the negation of his Jewishness. I do wonder how those closest to this transgender woman heard about the experience from her lips. Maybe she really was fine with it, but many other transgender folks would not have been. What would happen if the same rabbi discovered a man with a big beard, who has just made the minyan, was born female? Will this man be sensitively humiliated as the Torah is speedily returned to the ark and the mourners told to cease their Kaddish? For that is surely what would need to happen by the same logic that allowed the rabbi to count a transgender woman in his male minyan. ◆ Roderick Young is a freelance rabbi living in Norfolk


21 October 2021 Jewish News

Ask our

Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Office telephones for hybrid working, in-person lipreading classes and recording SEISS grants on tax return phone to their mobiles, desktop computers, laptops and tablets. This means your BENJAMIN ALBERT TELECOMS SPECIALIST employees will have access to their office teleADW CONNECT phone line and numbers regardless of whether they are working from the office or home. Dear Benjamin For incoming calls, the office phone along We’re reopening for business again soon with the softphone application can ring, and, initially, want to do some hybrid meaning if the employee is at home they can working, whereby employees will spend still answer the call on the softphone, ensuring around half the week in the office and no calls will be missed. For outgoing calls, your the other work from home. What’s the employees will be able to make calls from the best way for us to be set up for this from a softphone, which will not only ring out from telephone perspective? their office number, but will also be charged Beverley directly to the company account (meaning employees’ personal tariffs aren’t affected). Dear Beverley Other benefits offered by the solution that We have helped many companies set themmaximise efficiency when working from home selves up for hybrid working over the past 18 are: the ability to transfer calls internally, the months. The general recommendation we’ve ability to see who is on the phone or available, made is to implement our softphone solution. instant messaging chat with colleagues and This allows employees to connect their office many more.


JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION Dear Sue Since I started losing my hearing, I’ve found socialising really difficult and have the confidence I used to take for granted. I feel isolated, even when I’m around others. My brother told me a friend of his goes to a lipreading class and that they not only teach about different lip shapes, but are also fun and

supportive. That sounds like just what I need! It would be so good to learn to lipread and meet people who truly understand what this is like. I heard that you ran excellent online classes during lockdown, and all credit to you for keeping them going – but now we’ve emerged, are you holding live classes again? I feel like I’ve already spent too much time behind a screen. Aaron Dear Aaron You are absolutely right. Lipreading classes provide an opportunity for you to meet people in similar situations and develop new ways to cope socially in a fun, lively and stimulating


class. You also get to improve your communication skills, discuss common issues and access lots of useful information. Our Zoom class has proved so popular that it’s continuing on Monday afternoons as a permanent option. The great news is that our Monday morning class is back at the JDA! For those who prefer the social interaction of meeting up in person and, as you say, have had enough of screens, it’s ideal and we would love to welcome you. If you would like to come and observe a class, or for more information on the course, please contact Gabrielle at JDA on 020 8446 0214 or gabrielle@jdeaf.org.uk. I hope to see you soon at JDA.


SOBELL RHODES LLP Dear Adam I’m a self-employed musician and a significant period has passed since the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) was launched in May 2020 following the pandemic. What are the key aspects to be aware of in my 2020/21 income tax return? Dahlia Dear Dahlia

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The first taxable grant, worth up to £7,500 in total, was paid out in August 2020. That was followed by a second grant of up to a total of £6,570 and a third grant, worth up to £7,500 in total. Most self-employed individuals or business partners who met the SEISS’ eligibility criteria could have claimed up to £21,570 in total from these grants claimed during 2020/21. Any of the three emergency support grants you received via the SEISS between 6 April 2020 and 5 April 2021 are taxable. The

time will shortly be upon us to report all of your taxable income from the 2020/21 tax year, prior to the next self-assessment deadline for online tax returns due on or before midnight on 31 January 2022. For many self-employed individuals, a large portion of their taxable income for 2020/21 will have come via the SEISS grants because many businesses were forced to close due to lockdown restrictions, or simply struggled to do business. Having records of your income and expenses relating to the previous tax year is vital when it comes to filing your tax return, and that includes any records of the three SEISS grants this time around.



Jewish News 21 October 2021

Ask Our Experts / Professional advice from our panel

Our Experts Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SPECIALIST



TREVOR GEE Qualifications: • Managing Director, consultant specialists in affordable family health insurance. • Advising on maximising cover, lower premiums, pre-existing conditions. • Excellent knowledge of health insurers, cover levels and hospital lists. • LLB solicitors finals. • Member of Chartered Insurance Institute.

SIMON MARSH Qualifications: • Consultant General Surgeon with specialist interest in dealing with both breast cancer and non-cancer breast conditions. • Surgical Director of the Gilmore Groin and Hernia Clinic experienced in hernia surgery, including “non-mesh” hernia repair and Sportsman’s Hernia. • Local anaesthetic surgery including lipomas, cysts and skin cancers.

EMMA GROSS Qualifications: • Specialist in claims of unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination. • Negotiate out-of-court settlements and handle complex tribunal cases. • HR services including drafting contracts and policies, advising on disciplinaries, grievances and providing staff training. • Contributor to The Times, HR Magazine and other titles.

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21 October 2021 Jewish News



Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




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

SHANTI PANCHANI Qualifications: • Experienced designer with 25+ years’ experience in German and English kitchens. • We provide a full-circle approach: from designing and supplying to installing your new kitchen including appliances and speciality worktops. • Our suppliers are flexible in design, ensuring the customer remains the priority. • We have been supplying kosher-friendly kitchens for over 15 years.

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21 October 2021


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21 October 2021 Jewish News


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7 8












ACROSS 1 Tall tree (6) 4 Numbered musical piece (4)

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

Greatly fear (5) Span (5) Pull out (hairs) (5) Absolute (5) Foul, nasty (7) Off the ___, ready-to-wear (3) Sector, zone (4) Attribute (6)

6 9 2

DOWN 1 Covered with flat stones for easier walking (5) 2 Level place (7) 3 Alter (5) 5 Benchmark golf score (3) 6 View, vista (5) 7 At a great distance (4) 12 Memo book (7) 13 Staple Italian dish (5) 14 Metric prefix for a thousand (4) 15 Mammary gland of a cow (5) 16 ___ Said Fred, humorous Bernard Cribbins song (5) 18 Application (3)




8 Latin word meaning ‘by way of’ (3) 9 Put into effect (7)
























Last issue’s solutions Crossword ACROSS: 1 Spite 4 Tacit 7 Non-drip 8 Age 9 Ilk 11 Eureka 14 Anyone 17 Eau 19 Oar 20 Supreme 22 Dodos 23 Yarns DOWN: 1 Sunlit 2 Ion 3 Eerie 4 Taper 5 Crackle 6 Then 10 Kindred 12 Urn 13 Queens 15 Oasis 16 Empty 18 Ford 21 Err

7 8 5 9 6 2 4 3 1

5 2 1 8 7 9 3 4 6




1 2














5 1












4 3 7 6 2 1 5 9 8

6 5 9 1 4 3 7 8 2

4 3 2

1 6 5

2 8 9

2 1 4 3

19 23


























8 1





21 1





5 2



11 23



See next issue for puzzle solutions.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1




























Suguru 8 9 6 5 3 4 2 1 7

3 9 7





8 4


5 12










Sudoku 1 6 3 4 5 7 8 2 9






9 4 2 3 1 8 6 7 5




1 1






22 7



13 14











24 17





5 2 6


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.


5 2 1

Each cell in an outlined block must contain a digit: a two-cell block contains the digits 1 and 2, a three-cell block contains the digits 1, 2 and 3; and so on. The same digit must not appear in neighbouring cells, not even diagonally.

The listed words relating to a desert 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.


7 3 8




4 7 9

7 8 4

1 4 6


8 6 5

2 1 4 7 8 6 9 5 3

3 7 8 2 9 5 1 6 4

1 2 1 2 3 2

3 4 5 4 5 1

1 2 1 3 2 4

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

Wordsearch 5 3 4 5 1 3

2 1 2 3 4 5

4 3 5 1 2 1

1 4 1 2 1 4

3 2 3 4 3 2

1 4 5 1 5 1

2 3 2 3 2 3

1 5 4 1 4 5

4 2 3 2 3 1








Codeword X V S D T A B O D G R P P











X P OWS T Y V N Z D M A 21/10 GK I J F R CQU B E H L


Jewish News 21 October 2021


Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016

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21 October 2021 Jewish News



Business Services Directory SILVER



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Jewish News 21 October 2021