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Hearts of green! Honouring his legacy

Thousands spread the magic of Mitzvah Day P26-27

Rabbi Sacks given posthumous prize Page 8


21 Kislev 5782

Issue No.1238


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Hearts of green! Honouring his legacy

Thousands spread the magic of Mitzvah Day P26-27

Rabbi Sacks given posthumous prize Page 8


21 Kislev 5782

Issue No.1238


Covid forced Keir to halt Israel trip Visit with Lisa Nandy set for next year JEWISH NEWS EXCLUSIVE by Lee Harpin lee@jewishnews.co.uk @lmharpin

Sir Keir Starmer was forced to postpone his first trip to Israel as Labour leader after testing positive for Covid last month, Jewish News can reveal. Starmer was due to travel with shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy to honour pledges made during the party’s leadership contest to visit the Jewish state at the earliest opportunity. But it has emerged Starmer had contracted Covid on 27 October, days before he and Nandy were due to fly to Israel for the trip that would have included a visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Speaking exclusively to Jewish News, Nandy confirmed: “We had scheduled that trip for a couple of weeks ago, then Keir got Covid. We were all set. We had been working with the embassy and consulate to get plans in place. I was particularly keen to visit Yad Vashem. I’ve been to Israel before but never to Yad Vashem. “Keir was also really keen to make the visit to Israel as well. One of the other things we have planned to do was to meet with young Israelis and Palestinians. That generation, I think, often gets drowned out in the debate.” The Labour frontbencher confirmed plans were now in place to reschedule the trip for 2022, at which she and the leader were also scheduled to hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian political heads. In a revealing interview, Nandy, 42, spoke out about why the Labour Party had immediately backed Home Secretary Priti Patel’s move to proscribe Hamas in full in the House of Commons yesterday. She also explained why she was so quick to condemn protesters who tried to threaten

and intimidate Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely when she spoke this month at the London School of Economics. Despite her support for the ambassador’s right to speak without intimidation, Nandy revealed that she and Hotovely have had “robust and frank disagreements on most things”. After expressing her “heartbreak” over the murder of 26-year-old Eliyahu Kay in Jerusalem on Sunday, Nandy said she wished to make it “absolutely clear” that Labour under Starmer and herself had “no time for Hamas”. She confirmed that Labour was in favour of recognition of a Palestinian state as a means of sparking dialogue to work towards an eventual two-state solution in the Middle East. And in a swipe at Boris Johnson’s Tory government, Nandy also claimed that her party was best placed to tackle big global issues such as the ongoing crisis with Iran and with regards to pressuring the Chinese government over allegations of genocide against the Uyghurs. If Jeremy Corbyn had infuriated the community with his reference to his “friends” in Hamas, there was no room for pleasantries towards the Islamic terror group under the new Labour leadership. As the home secretary urged the support of “all in this House” for the proscription of the political, as well as the military wing of Hamas, Nandy confirmed ahead of the debate on the motion that Labour was giving the move its support. From her Westminster office she told Jewish News: “We think this is absolutely the right thing to do.” It was not the first move by Nandy to win the approval of many in the community. This month she had been quick out of the blocks to condemn the group of hardcore antiIsrael activists who had tried to stop the Israeli ambassador from taking part in a debate on the LSE campus. “I had seen the messages circulating on social media that were designed to frighten and intimidate her from being able to speak,” said the Wigan MP of her decision to issue a Continued on page 7

STRONGER THAN EVER A portrait of Sir Ben Helfgott, the Holocaust survivor turned Olympic weightlifter, was unveiled at Stamford Bridge this week to mark his 92nd birthday Full story, page 6


Mourners at Eliyahu’s funeral this week

Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of Eliyahu Kay, the grandson of South Hampstead synagogue’s senior rabbi, who was killed in a Hamas terror attack on Sunday. The 26-year-old sustained a head injury and died in hos-

pital after 42-year-old Fadi Abu Shkhaidem opened fire on civilians near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, injuring four others. The killer was shot dead by police. Eliyahu had recently moved to Israel from South Africa. Monday’s funeral at Har Hame-

nuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem was attended by diaspora affairs minister Nachman Shai, culture minister Chili Tropper and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau. Shai told mourners: “Eli’s story is the story of Israel at its best. Israel thanks you today. We

promise to grow… to flourish, so that this place will always be a home for the people of Israel.” Eliyahu’s brother Kasriel Kay said he wouldn’t eulogise his brother, as per his Chasidic tradition. Instead he urged mourners to change Continued on page 2



Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / Terror attack / Newspaper apology / Hamas banned / Labour expulsion

UK rabbi’s grandson murdered in Israel Continued from page 1 their lives for the better in his memory. “There’s no reason to be sad for him… He will be at peace,” Kasriel said and recalled that his brother had survived combat in the Gaza Strip. “When the Holy One wants a person, he takes him. Eli would have [chosen] no other way [to die], either this or in the middle of the war. My great-grandfather Eliyahu is waiting for him [in heaven], King David is waiting for him, and they’ll take care of him,” he said, invoking his brother’s namesakes. South Hampstead Synagogue members were told of Elijah’s murder on Sunday evening. One message read: “Eli was the nephew of Baruch and Kezi. I’m sure you’ll all join with me in wishing long life to Baruch, Kezi, Meir, Akiva, Shneur, Dovi, Shua, Yossi and Racheli as well as to grandparents Rabbi Shlomo and Rebetzen Lynndy, Baruch’s sister Devorah, husband Avi, siblings Kasriel, Chanani, Na’ama and the extended Levin and Kay families. The arms of our community are wrapped tightly around them and we wish them good strength and only happy times going forward.” In the aftermath of the attack, home secretary Priti Patel called for “all members of

PAPER SORRY FOR HEADLINE How the newspaper reported the attack

Eliyahu Kay, 26, died in hospital in Jerusalem. Inset: The Hamas terrorist who was killed by police

this House” to support moves to proscribe the Hamas organisation in full in a vote scheduled for yesterday evening. In the Commons on Monday, Patel responded to a question put to her by Tory colleague Christian Wakeford. The MP for Bury South said he “strongly welcomed” the decision to ban the political wing of Hamas and asked whether “anyone spreading” the

Proposal to outlaw support for Hamas receives MPs’ backing

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MPs last night backed plans to proscribe Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation. Security minister Damian Hinds said any distinction between the Palestinian Islamist group’s political wing and military wing is now considered “artificial”. The proposed ban will cover the political wing of Hamas and means anyone who expresses support for the organisation, which controls the Gaza Strip, will be in breach of the Terrorism Act 2000 and could face up to 14 years in prison. Actions expected to be outlawed from 26 November would include arranging meetings for the group, flying their flag or wearing clothing that is seen to support them. Labour also backed the regulations, which will be considered by the House of Lords on

Thursday. Israel has thanked the UK Government for taking such action. Speaking in the Commons, Hinds said: “Groups like Hamas train members in terrorism as well as preparing and committing terrible acts of violence against innocent members of the public. We have a duty to our allies as well as to our own people to tackle groups that inspire or coordinate terror on the international stage.” Hinds said Hamas’s so-called military and political wings have “grown closer together, with any distinction artificial”. He went on: “The home secretary has a reasonable belief that Hamas in its entirety is concerned in terrorism. He highlighted “indiscriminate” rocket attacks against Israeli targets as “key examples” of Hamas “committing this terrorism”.



YIZKOR – Living with

ideology of the Islamic group in the UK, including waving flags, would “feel the full force of the law”. Patel confirmed a ban on the organisation would come forward this week for debate”. She said: “When this comes to the House this week for the debate, I hope all members will support this. Clearly inciting and supporting terrorist activity is clearly wrong.”

The Manchester Evening News (MEN) has “apologised unreservedly” for headlining a report on Eliyahu Kaye’s murder: “Palestinian shot dead after holy site killing.” Following calls to apologise by local Jewish groups, MEN tweeted: “In today’s print MEN we carried a headline on the international page following a deadly attack in Jerusalem. We recognise the headline did not reflect the story in an accurate and balanced way. We apologise unreservedly for any upset caused.” Sharing a clipping of the piece, The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region said it was “appalled by the headline in the MEN following the deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem at the weekend”, adding: “The framing of the headline and the subsequent article recklessly fails to reflect the tragic incident. We have written to the editor to request an urgent meeting.” Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “The incident saw a Hamas terrorist kill one Israeli civilian and wound four others, before being neutralised by Israeli police. “The Manchester Evening News headline is a highly misleading inversion of what took place and we hope a prominent correction will be published.”

‘Jew process’ claim councillor is expelled from Labour Party A Labour councillor who told activists that antisemitism claims were given a “privileged” status over other racism claims has been expelled from the party for supporting a banned organisation. Jo Bird, an elected representative on the Wirral, Merseyside, confirmed in a social media post that she had been expelled from Labour. The Jewish Voice for Labour member had been charged in August with speaking at events organised by Labour Against The Witch-hunt (LATW), which was proscribed by the party the previous month, in an attempt to tackle the denial and downplaying of anti-Jewish racism.

Notified of her auto-exclusion from Labour last week, Bird tweeted she was “delighted” to have been expelled. “I feel free, I’m free from this ridiculous oppressive regime that the Labour Party has become,” she said. Since joining Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, Bird had given speeches in which she suggested the party was taking claims of antisemitism more seriously than other forms of racism. She attacked the expulsion of the activist Marc Wadsworth and said “due process” should be known as “Jew process”.

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Chanukah prize / Racism lessons / Convoy case / News

London Eye to rotate into giant chanukiah If you thought the traditional Trafalgar Square chanukiah was London’s most visible celebration of Chanukah, think again as the London Eye is set to join the party for the first time next month. The 32 pods on the 400ft tall wheel will be lit on 5 December to symbolise a menorah as they spin after an initiative by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), in partnership with Jewish News. The lastminute.com London Eye is visited by more than three million people annually and seen by more millions more, making it London’s most popular tourist attraction. Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes, co-CEOs of the JLC, said: “We are thrilled that we are able to bring even more light to Chanukah this year together with Jewish News through our partnership with the


Eighth night of Chanukah: London Eye will be lit on 5 December

lastminute.com London Eye. This iconic landmark will join our Trafalgar Square menorah in lighting up our capital city along with many others around the county. “We hope that this marking can become a regular event to mark Chanukah and celebrate the richness

of cultural diversity in the UK.” Jewish News co-publisher Justin Cohen said: “This will surely be one of the most visible celebrations of Chanukah in the world. Huge thanks go to the bosses of the London Eye and JLC for bringing this vision to reality.”

Langdon, together with their Members, wish the community a Happy Chanukah

langdonuk.org • 020 8951 3942 Registered Charity no. 1142742

The Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish News is running a prize draw with the chance to win a London Eye pod experience for up to 16 people worth £450. To enter, take a photograph of lighting Chanukah candles or at a public Chanukah lighting and tag the JLC and Jewish News on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) with #ShareTheLight. The competition will close on the last night of Chanukah and winners will be informed after the festival ends.  For terms and conditions visit www. thejlc.org/chanukah competition21

Spurs to educate fans Tottenham Hotspur is poised to put further pressure on supporters to stop proudly chanting the race hate slur “Yid”. According to a report in online sports magazine, The Athletic, the club is looking for an in-depth discussion about the use of the word. The decision to talk directly to fans comes after a 2019 consultation with 23,000 supporters, and further work with focus groups in 2020. The Athletic says Spurs are about to launch a campaign next year “to try to provide fans with more information about the slur and its origins,

as well as historical context as to why it is so harmful”. It added: “This will be of particular benefit to some younger fans who, Spurs’ research shows, are less aware of the word’s origins and more likely to sing it. “It’s understood that Tottenham want the re-evaluation of the use of the word to be a collaborative process with supporters”. The Y-word is not permitted on any Spurs merchandise or in club outlets. Jewish News understands the club has no issues with The Athletic’s report.

CONVOY SUSPECTS PLEA Four men charged with yelling antisemitic rape threats from a car during a ‘Convoy for Palestine’ entered not guilty pleas at a hearing this week. Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27, Jawaad Hussain, 24, Asif Ali, 25 and Adil Mota, 26, all from Blackburn, Lancashire, were said to be part of a convoy travelling through St John’s Wood earlier this year and are accused of engaging in

racist abuse. They appeared for a plea and trial preparation hearing at Wood Green Crown Court yesterday, where they denied the charges. The four are all charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or behaviour, with intent, likely to stir up racial hatred on 16 May. The next hearing will be on 11 February 2022 and they are not required to attend.



Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / Presidential visit

Herzog thanks Britain for its ‘moral clarity’ on Israel It may have been his first major visit overseas as president, but this trip was always going to be something of a homecoming too, writes Michael Daventry. After all, the Israeli head of state’s family history is woven into the story of 20th century Britain – and Isaac Herzog made sure everyone he met knew it. “As you know, my family history goes back in this land for well over a century,” he told Boris Johnson on Tuesday, “and we’re very honoured to have this unique relation with the United Kingdom.” For many British Jews, it was a sign of a refreshing change. All too often it is American Jewry that seems to dominate the relationship between Israel and the diaspora, but Herzog’s three-day visit took great strides towards countering that notion. It began last Sunday with a reception hosted by fellow Israeli citizen Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC, where Herzog and his wife Michal celebrated the 92nd birthday of the Holocaust survivor and former British Olympian Sir Ben Helfgott. It was also an opportunity to view part of Chelsea’s 49 Flames exhibition, a collection of paintings of Jewish athletes murdered in the Shoah by British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza. But for Herzog, whose family is sometimes described as the closest thing Israel has to royalty, it could be said the visit began in earnest when he met the heir to the British throne. Prince Charles was overheard apologising to the Israeli president as he welcomed him on a bright and autumnal Monday morning – at the end of a two-hour drive to his residence, Highgrove. “It’s an honour for me,” Herzog replied. The two discussed the challenges of climate change, a topic in which both men have taken a personal interest, with the president thanking the prince for his many decades of activism on the issue. Herzog also acknowledged Charles’ visit to Israel to join the Fifth World Holocaust

Isaac Herzog met politicial and communal figures during his threeday visit, including Prince Charles, leaders of the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies, James Cleverly, Boris Johnson and, below, Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge

Forum in Jerusalem in January last year, just before the pandemic took hold. And appropriately enough for a visit in which the theme of family ran strong, the Israeli president had an announcement that sounded like a personal gift: a new scholarship at Hebrew University to be established in the name of Princess Alice of Battenberg, paternal grandmother to the Prince of Wales. After Highgrove, the next big engagement

for the Herzogs was with representatives of Britain’s Jewish community. Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with Boris Johnson was an opportunity to reinforce the many issues on which these days Britain and Israel agree. Herzog thanked the British prime minister “for your moral clarity when it comes to the state of Israel and the Jewish people and fighting antisemitism”. He added: “Thank you

for your resolution on proscribing Hamas. This is a very important message to terror organisations and global radicals trying to undermine the situation in the Middle East.” The president had a message on Iran too, just before Britain joins the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council in a possible return to talks on a Tehran nuclear deal. “We are looking forward for our allies to be as tough as possible because we do not believe that they are operating in a bona fide manner, and only if all options are on the table may things move in the right direction,” he said. Johnson responded that the point about Iran was “well-made”, adding: “ We see a situation in which the world doesn’t have much time.” The two then met behind closed doors before Herzog left Downing Street for his flight back home. It was a whirlwind of a visit and unlikely to be his last.

JN video report at jewishnews.co.uk


In its first in-person fundraising event in two years, ORT UK has celebrated its centenary by raising £350,000 for its work, writes Jenni Frazer. A total of 175 guests attended last week’s dinner at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. The focus of the event was ORT UK’s There Then, Here Now campaign, exploring the history of the charity and highlighting current projects. As an example of how ORT was

“there, then” when it was needed, mother and daughter Jo and Belle Davison spoke about their grandfather and great-grandfather, Sydney Sadler, who was one of 106 boys rescued from Nazi-occupied Berlin by British ORT in 1939. A temporary ORT technical school in Leeds was opened to offer training to the boys, and Sydney, now 101, remains in Leeds and grateful to ORT. Today, as part of the ‘Here, Now’

work, ORT JUMP participants Amit Kalley (deputy head at Lammas School and sixth-form), mentor Sonia London, former mentee Zack Isaacs and mentee turned mentor Bethany Ross, spoke about their involvement and the benefits of the ORT JUMP mentoring programme. ORT JUMP has received its biggest intake this year, with over 500 students across 14 schools keen to explore future careers. It has expanded

nationally, with partnerships with JW3 Gateways and Langdon. The dinner celebrated Simon and Julia Alberga’s contribution to ORT UK since 2009. Simon was ORT UK chair 2009-2021. He is now deputy president of World ORT and remains an ORT UK trustee. Julia created the ORT JUMP mentoring programme in 2009, which has been a huge success from the start. She is now PaJeS Schools’ well-being project manager.

Trustee Mark Mishon paid tribute to the couple and there were video messages from community leaders including Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Lord Young. Charity chair Annette Kurer said: “Together with the next generation, we will continue to support ORT’s education network, providing 21st century workplace skills to enable students to have meaningful and selfsufficient lives.”


25 November 2021 Jewish News





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Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / Chelsea celebration / Award withdrawn / Rooney boycott / Board claim

President toasts Sir Ben at 92nd birthday bash by Justin Cohen Justin@jewishnews.co.uk @CohenJust

If there was one person by whom Israeli president Isaac Herzog would not have minded being upstaged on the first day of his UK visit it was surely Sir Ben Helfgott. The Holocaust survivor, who competed at the Olympics within a decade of his liberation from the camps, was among guests at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium on Monday to welcome Herzog at what was the first public engagement of a three-day trip. And the club surprised the muchloved educator with a cake – and a chorus of ‘happy birthday’ – ahead of his 92nd birthday on Tuesday. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, visiting the UK from his home in Israel, was among the 50 guests enthusiastically clapping along. Abramovich had earlier paid an emotional two-hour visit to the Imperial War Museum’s new

Sir Ben Helfgott with the Herzogs and, above left, with Roman Abramovich

Holocaust galleries, for which he was a major funder. At Chelsea, Herzog and First Lady Michal viewed part of the club’s 49 Flames exhibition, a collection of paintings of Jewish athletes murdered in the Shoah by British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza. The project, for which Jewish News was a media partner, was launched in January to mark the 75th

anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and included a giant mural at Stamford Bridge. Herzog admired Souza’s latest painting of a young Helfgott competing in 1956 and 1960, when he captained the British weightlifting team. He hailed Helfgott’s work in keeping alive the memory of the Shoah before praising Chelsea and Abramovich for their four-year ‘Say

No To Antisemitism’ campaign. While acknowledging that sporting arenas can host overt racism including antisemitic chanting, Herzog said sport at its best “puts competitors on an equal playing field and allows for positive negotiations between neighbourhoods and nations”. Helfgott’s son, Michael, and grandson, Sam, read an extract from an article by the survivor, who founded the ’45 Aid Society to support fellow survivors and has spent his life teaching about the importance of tolerance and challenging hate. Helfgott, somewhat frail, poignantly

suggested this may be the last time he wears the 1956 British team blazer. Through Michael, Helfgott thanked the “Chelsea family”, adding: “You have made, and will continue to make, a great impact in combating antisemitism, promoting tolerance and, in doing so, improving the lives of many people round the world.” Herzog referred to his father Chaim, who served as president of Israel and who enrolled in the British army. He was among the liberators of Bergen-Belsen, where Helfgott’s sister, Mala, had been incarcerated. • Editorial comment, page 20

Hope Not Hate rescinds award The anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate has withdrawn an award it gave to a singer after it emerged that he appeared to deny claims of antisemitism in Labour and had been pictured with former MP Chris Williamson. The charity said last week that Joe Solo had won its and Community Union's ‘Hope Hero' award for a project aimed at tackling poverty. The artist was one of three to land an award in a public vote, but it emerged that Solo was responsible for a series of social media posts

– including one showing him with the then MP. He wrote on the February 2019 post: “Solidarity with Chris Williamson tonight.” He shared a similar message in September 2018. At the time, Williamson was suspended by Labour for saying the party was “too apologetic” over antisemitism. There were also other tweets from Solo on antisemitism. In a joint statement, the charity and union said they had decided to withdraw the award from the singer.



Seventy writers and publishers including Rachel Kushner, Francisco Goldman and Eileen Myles have signed a letter supporting Irish novelist Sally Rooney in her refusal to have her third novel translated into Hebrew by an Israeli publisher. The letter calls Rooney’s boycott of Israeli publishers

‫חנוכה שמח‬

“an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians”. Rooney published Beautiful World, Where Are You in September but declined an offer to sell translation rights to Modan, the Israeli publisher responsible for putting out her first two novels in Israel. She said she was refusing

further business with Modan out of support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The letter says: “Like Sally Rooney, we will continue to respond to the Palestinian call for effective solidarity. We will continue to support the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”




A Board deputy who questioned whether the murder of George Floyd by an American policeman was “racist” is a victim of cancel culture, a colleague at the communal body has claimed, writes Lee Harpin. Raymond Solomon was dismissed by the Manchester Jewish Rep Council last week as their deputy after Jewish

News revealed that he asked Board president Marie van der Zyl to justify a decision to call Floyd’s murder racist in blog published last month. But in an email to fellow Deputies following Sunday’s Board plenary meeting, Portsmouth and Southsea Orthodox synagogue rep Ric Cooper wrote: "To cancel culture we

should give no sanction, no assistance. We are poorer without Raymond Solomon.” Cooper added that he wished to convey his “dismay” at the decision taken by the Manchester Jewish Rep Council’s chief executive Marc Levy to state that Solomon was no longer the group’s representative.

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Nandy interview / News briefs / News

Nandy discloses ‘robust’ exchanges with Hotovely Continued from page 1 statement on Twitter condemning the actions of the protesters. “I’d also seen the images of her being chased to her car by a small number of people on the demo, with security having to act. “This is not the way to treat diplomats in this country. I thought it was unacceptable and that needed to be said by the official opposition party. ” When it comes to discussion about political issues, however, Nandy says “it won’t come as any surprise to anyone” to learn that she has “significant disagreements” with the Israeli envoy. “But I’ve always been of the view that the right way to approach politics, if you are interested in politics and not just protest, is to have debate, have discussion, and make those views known.” Nandy, who was handed her current role after Starmer became leader, revealed that she had met with Hotovely more than once and they had engaged in a “fairly robust and frank exchange of views about most things”. While Labour had on one occasion

Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer

raised concerns about the supply of Covid vaccines into Gaza, Hotovely had “raised some concerns about Labour’s recent past”. Nandy stresses her belief in the role of dialogue to resolve problems. “I was really struck by the criticism I got from some after I said what had happened to the ambassador was unacceptable,” she says. “Some people were suggesting this

was Labour’s frontbench saying people did not have the right to protest. It couldn’t be further from the truth. “People have every right to protest peacefully, but [Hotovely] also has the right to speak without fearing violence or intimidation.” Last week, with Nandy in attendance, the Labour leader delivered a generally well-received speech to a packed hall

in Westminster at the Labour Friends of Israel lunch. Starmer had offered a damning critique of “anti-Zionist antisemitism”, his first in-person speech to many in the room since becoming leader. Nandy says she “didn’t disagree with a word” Starmer said. She said the leader was well aware that in the room at the LFI event were individuals who had experienced “the worst” of antisemitism from within the Labour Party itself. But the Labour frontbencher says she is aware that some in the Jewish community, while encouraged by the changes in the party, are not yet ready to vote Labour in an election. “It takes time to rebuild trust, we knew that,” she says. “I think Keir has shown, especially with his work around antisemitism, and with the rule changes at conference that he is serious. We have come a long way in a short time.” She adds that “with no disrespect to Ed Miliband, for the first time in decades we have a candidate people can imagine being PM.” • Full interview at jewishnews.co.uk

Rabbi Liss to head excellence centre

Highgate Synagogue’s Rabbi Nicky Liss has been named as the first director of the United Synagogue’s new Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE). The centre is aimed at moulding exceptional rabbis and rebbetzens by providing ongoing professional development opportunities. He will be joined by Hendon’s senior rabbi, Mordechai Ginsbury, who will become associate director and Judy Markovic, who will be programme manager.

New public affairs director for BoD

Daniel Sugarman has been named as the Board of Deputies’ new public affairs director. The former journalist, who has been the Board’s public affairs officer since 2019, takes over from Phil Rosenberg. He said: “I look forward to working with the organisation’s incredible team of honorary officers, staff and excellent deputies. We’ll go from strength to strength.”

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Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / Rabbi Sacks honoured

Sacks wins posthumous award at emotional Genesis Prize dinner by Justin Cohen Justin@jewishnews.co.uk @CohenJust

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been honoured with The Genesis Prize Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a London dinner attended by Israeli president Isaac Herzog, former British prime minister Theresa May and Pfizer chief Albert Bourla – on the night a powerful tribute film premiered. The former Chief Rabbi, who becomes the first person to be posthumously recognised by the prestigious body, died last November after being diagnosed with cancer, prompting tributes from leading royal, religious and political leaders. Perhaps the best-known and most globally respected rabbinic figure in the world in recent decades, Sacks’ writings, speeches and broadcasts inspired Jews and non-Jews alike, with Tony Blair describing him as “my rabbi”. The Genesis Prize Foundation said the lifetime achievement award “recognises Lord Sacks for his extraordinary role in inspiring the next generation of Jews, and his illustrious lifelong work as a teacher of Jewish values and an advocate of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue”. After presenting the award to Sacks’ wife, Lady Elaine Sacks, Herzog suggested his “deep sense of affinity” with Sacks emanated from his resemblance to his own grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Herzog, the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland. “Like my grandfather, Rabbi Sacks was a traditional inclusivist, fearlessly loyal to Orthodox Judaism, while finding the

Lady Elaine with Theresa May, Albert Bourla and Isaac Herzog. Inset: Rabbi Sacks with Tony Blair

halachic strategy to include everyone,” he said. “Both were men of Torah and science, brilliant Torah scholars who mastered rabbinic literature while excelling in secular academia, balancing the theory of evolution with the seven days of creation. “Both identified as proud Jews, devoted Zionists, faithful protectors of Israel. Their very being stemmed from the unique characteristics of British Judaism: moderate, receptive, inclusive, adaptive yiddishkeit.” Joined on stage by May and Genesis Prize co-founder Stan

Polovets, Herzog presented a specially created sculpture of a shofar and blue Torah scroll – a reflection of his love of Israel. He recalled his decision to remain in Israel in the days after the Gulf War began despite the threat of scud attacks. Such was his commitment, the president went on to joke, that the former chief rabbi cut off his beard in response to instructions from the home front command designed to ensure people could use face masks comfortably – only he later describe himself as a “shlemiel” when he realised he was the only one to do so. In a pre-recorded message for the event at Banqueting House in Whitehall, Prince Charles, who had been a friend of the late Chief Rabbi, said Sacks “combined the sacred and the secular, rooted to his particular faith yet remaining open to the universal wisdom of humankind”. The prince added: “He was a global ambassador par excellence for the Jewish people and moral values. He personified and lived, as he described, ‘a Judaism engaged with the world’.” Lady Elaine told the 150-strong audience of community luminaries that she felt “overwhelmed” by the evening and the tributes she had heard. “It means a lot to me to know the high regard you had for my husband’s teachings and writings. I’ve been blown away by the anecdotes I’ve heard tonight and hope many more will be inspired in years to come.” • The powerful new film about the life and legacy of Rabbi Sacks can be viewed at www.jewishnews.co.uk



25 November 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / Mercy Mission

Kim’s unlikely teammates in rescue of Afghan footballers The strictly-Orthodox community reflected this week on the role it and, remarkably, social media star Kim Kardashian played in the dramatic rescue of Afghan girl footballers as they were flown to safety in the UK, writes Stephen Oryszczuk. The daring mission involved flying 130 people, including 30 teenage players, from Afghanistan first to Pakistan and then on to London’s Stansted Airport, where they were greeted by members of Stamford Hill’s Charedi community. In New York, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten had orchestrated proceedings with the help of social media megastar Kardashian, with whom he had earlier worked on US prison reform. Kardashian had heard about the girls’ plight and agreed to charter the flight. The owner of The teenage Afghan footballers were flown to safety in the UK by social media Leeds United Football Club, Andrea Radriz- personality Kim Kardashian, inset, with help from British Charedim and a US rabbi zani, agreed to sponsor their new life in England after Islamic fundamentalists from the Taliban sible. It was an incredible mission. unaccompanied minors.” overran the country’s fleeing army in August. “Moshe worked to get them to safety and On the Charedi community’s “Credit to my friend Moshe Margaretten reached out to us in the UK to help. If they’d cooperation with Kardashian, who and my new friend Kim Kardashian,” said Levi stayed in Afghanistan, it’s likely they’d have shot to fame in 2007 on the back of a sex Schapiro, head of the Stamford Hill-based been killed by the Taliban. We worked with tape, he said: “It may sound a little strange for Jewish Community Council (JCC), who worked the Home Office, organising hotels, and the strictly-Orthodox Jews to be working with her, with the UK’s Home Office to ensure the girls’ government was brilliant. They’re already but she’s a life saver. She financed the whole safe passage. “They made impossible pos- in the process HALF PAGE ADVERT JAN the 2020:Layout 1 09/01/2020 16:04 Page of 1 rehousing them. Some are thing.”

Overnight, women playing sports in Afghanistan were in a precarious situation as the ruling Taliban sees such things as political acts of defiance. Hundreds of female athletes have left the country in recent weeks. “They’re an amazing group,” Schapiro said of the girls and their families. “They were in hiding for 10 weeks. Some are little children. Many lost parents in the fighting. They were underweight and not in a good state. We gave them food and looked after them like they were our own. “Them getting to a new country where there’s hope – where there’s milk and honey, as we say in the Torah – it reminded me of how Jews escaped the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s.” Asked if the group wondered why Orthodox Jews were looking after them, Schapiro said: “Through their interpreter, that’s what they asked. We explained we knew what it was like to have to escape a brutal regime. We’ve been there.”

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25 November 2021 Jewish News




Jewish News 25 November 2021

Interview / Azeem Rafiq

‘I deserve the flack, I am so very sorry’ INTERVIEW by Jack Mendel jack@jewishnews.co.uk @mendelpol

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq says he does not expect to secure the forgiveness of British Jews “quickly” but has vowed to do all he can to educate himself and others about antisemitism. In his first interview since revelations emerged about hateful comments he made on social media a decade ago, the former Yorkshire spin-bowler told Jewish News he had had little contact with Jewish people as a youngster and promised to now use his platform to try to be a bridge between Jews and Muslims. Following harrowing testimony in Parliament this week, Rafiq, who says racism robbed him of his career, was revealed to have used derogatory comments about Jews on a Facebook post in 2011. Last Thursday, The Times revealed an exchange between Rafiq and the former Warwickshire player Ateeq Javid, in which he says another colleague is “a Jew” because they were reluctant to spend money. In another comment Rafiq claimed he will “probs go after my 2nds again ha . . . Only Jews do that sort of sh**”.

The Board of Deputies and Community Security Trust (CST) welcomed his total apology, in which he said he was “deeply ashamed” of his comments, and it is understood he is meeting with both the CST and the government’s antisemitism envoy, Lord John Mann. Speaking to Jewish News, Rafiq revealed a lack of contact with the Jewish community may be at the root of his racist comments. “I haven’t integrated much with the Jewish community. I’ve been around cricket all my life. I don’t recall having a Jewish team mate.” He continued: “I’ve never spent in front of round Jewish people. I don’t think for any other reason, but the fact that all I’ve done is play cricket all my life. I wouldn’t even say I’ve spent that much time around my own community. Because all I’ve done from a young age when we moved from Pakistan is just play cricket.” Saying he “felt sick to my stomach” and “very angry with myself” over the revelations, Rafiq said it was “completely up to the community” as to whether to forgive him. “I just hope they can see I am genuinely sorry. And about the comments and the hurt it caused.” He echoed comments made during a hearing of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, saying: “I’ve always said that if you apologise,


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you should get a second chance. But, obviously, I think in all cases it is for the victims do decide that. I don’t think I’m in any position to be asking the Jewish community on how they feel. All I can do is do my best to show them I am sorry.” Asked whether the remarks were widespread in the Muslim community in which he grew up, Rafiq said: “I don’t feel it [antisemitism] is that common. But again, as I said, sometimes when things affect you, you remember it a lot more clearly than when it doesn’t. And clearly I was off completely out of order. I deserve all the flak.” He Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq added: “It’s something I’m get on the not really that aware of, if I’m table being perfectly honest. I don’t really know. same work I don’t want to go into details I’m not that and I aware of. I made a mistake. And I don’t I together, really want to make any excuses around that. really think I want to front up, apologise and hopefully we can match the cause.” spend some time with the Jewish community.” Reflecting Earlier this month former England captain Michael Vaughan categorically denied claims on the perhe used a racist term, despite corroboration sonal impact from two former team mates. Asked whether of the incihe some players might not remember comments dent, they have previously made, Rafiq said: “I’ve said he was Historic messages Rafiq sent said that from the offset. And he [Vaughan] “really angry probably doesn’t remember it. It was a long at myself” adding his comment was “not the view time ago, and it doesn’t affect him directly. I have”. He said that in the past 18 months, “the main All I can do is talk about myself and from the minute I was made aware, I wanted to apolo- thing I’ve said is how I’ve been left on my own gise. I don’t expect it to be quick, but in time by my own community, and that we should be using the Jewish community as an example to [hope] the Jewish community can forgive me.” On whether he could use this experience to how they stick together. So it’s yeah, it’s disapchange attitudes within the Muslim commu- pointing. I’m angry with myself.” Questioned on whether he remembered nity, he said: “I hope so. I don’t think I should be the one deciding what happens. It’s up to the writing his comments and his thought process at the time, Rafiq said: “I genuinely don’t recall Jewish community. “I see it as an opportunity for all minorities. it. But that doesn’t mean anything, that is not an We could all unite together, sit on one table and excuse. That’s just me being really honest. “But... I don’t want any sort of excuses for actually fight for the cause that I’m fighting for. Hopefully, it doesn’t derail the cause. Because what I’ve done. It’s wrong in every way, shape or whatever sort of happens to me in a personal form. I’m incredibly sorry. And I just hope that, capacity is not that important. The cause is over time, people can forgive me for the the hurt bigger. And I’m hoping that, with the Jewish I’ve definitely caused. Especially when I’ve had so much support from the Jewish community.” community on board, these things change.” Asked whether he was conHe added: “I am different to others I hope, in cerned his comments might that I’m owning [my mistake], there’s no getting round it. My actions over the weeks and months damage the cause of tackling racism and discredit coming will prove that that I’m really sorry for his work, he said: “I think every bit of hurt.” He added that he’s “reached people discredit me. I out to a few people” in the Jewish community “and hopefully, that’s going to happen in prithink it could affect me. But I don’t think vate, very quickly”. Reiterating his apology, it should affect the Azeem added that he wants to appeal “not cause. If anything, I only to the leaders [of the community] but the normal man off the street”.and said he was think it keeps the conversation right “grateful they see [my apology] is sincere, at the forefront of and I want to make sure I do that in person everyone’s minds. as well”. “And if we can get together and Rafiq playing for Yorkshire

Listen to the full interview at jewishnews.co.uk

25 November 2021 Jewish News



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Jewish News 25 November 2021

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25 November 2021 Jewish News



Theatre talks / News

Oberman meets theatre over blind spot EXCLUSIVE by Lee Harpin lee@jewishnews.co.uk @lmharpin

Acclaimed Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman has held a “constructive” meeting with the artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre in an attempt to tackle long-running concerns over the radical venue’s blind spot to antisemitism allegations. Jewish News understands that the Royal Shakespeare Company-trained actress met with the Royal Court’s artistic director, Vicki Featherstone, on Tuesday for talks aimed at calming anger over the naming of a silicon billionaire character in a new production Hershel Fink. Playwright Al Smith’s production Rare Earth Mettle sparked angry complaints about Jewish stereotyping. The Royal Court apologised earlier this month for “unconscious bias” and agreed to change the character’s name – but stressed that Fink was not meant to be Jewish. Ridley Road drama actress Oberman confirmed her meeting with Featherstone, which she said was just the start of a conservation that needed to be had with theatre. “What has happened with

Tracy-Ann Oberman, left, met with Vicki Featherstone of the Royal Court

Hershel Fink – this conversation has been growing like a boil for years,” Oberman told Jewish News. “I said to Vicki yesterday that had I called her two years ago to raise concerns about allegations of antisemitic tropes she would not have taken my call. “The fact is she has taken my call, listened to what I have to say, and taken it seriously.”

Oberman says she is in the early stage of discussions about a possible future project at the famous Royal Court, to counter a track record of problematic plays that had been staged there – including the infamous Perdition, which was directed by Ken Loach in 1987. Loach blamed the “Zionist lobby” for the cancellation of the play, which built on allegations of collaboration

with the Nazis by a Hungarian Jewish leader. Oberman said she hoped Featherstone’s apparently sincere wish to understand communal concerns over the way Jews are portrayed and treated by the theatre might reach outside what she described as the institution’s “echo chamber” and to “trickle down to other artistic representations of Jewish experience”.

She called for wider use of Jewish characters in screenplays and revealed one famous writer, who she did not want to name, had been stunned to learn security was needed at Jewish schools and synagogues. Oberman hit out at Equity Union over claims “Jewish members tell them how hurt they feel, but they are frequently told what they are alleging is not true, which is gaslighting.” Speaking of the controversy of casting non-Jewish actors as Jewish characters, the ex-EastEnders actress said: “Actors should be able to play anything. But in a world where there is incredible sensitivity and the opportunities for minorities to play the minorities they come from – this same opportunity must be given to the Jewish community in all its guises.” An investigation by The Sunday Times last weekend claimed directors at the Royal Court were warned earlier this year by Jewish directors that the name Hershel Fink could offend. However, the name of the billionaire character was not changed until nearly two months later, after it gained attention on social media.

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Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / AJEX event

100th anniversary of AJEX: We will never forget sacrifice Photo by David Lake

Jewish men and women who fought and gave their lives for this country were honoured at the 100th anniversary of the annual Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX – the Jewish Military Association UK) parade at the Cenotaph last Sunday. The landmark event took place one century on from the laying of the first Star of David wreath in 1921 by a group of Jewish ex-soldiers from the Judeans – the 38th, 39th, and 40th battalions of the Royal Fusiliers. AJEX chief executive Fiona Palmer said the organisation was “proud” of the “service, strength and resilience” of the “men and women of our community who fought to protect our country and stood up against antisemitism”. Serving Jewish armed forces personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force were among those to parade with veterans and their families and friends at the ceremony. AJEX’s chief executive added: “We are proud of their service, strength and resilience – which resonates after 18 months of the Covid pandemic.” The organisation’s national chairman, Mike Bluestone, said: “It is with immense pride that we came together at this event in such huge numbers to remember. We will never forget the The Chief Rabbi addresses crowd. Left: Marching in memory and Mike Bluestone lays wreath



BE INSPIRED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Members of the AJEX parade, which promoted a message of education and remembrance



sacrifice made by so many and we could not enjoy the very freedom that we and our entire community enjoy today without their actions and dedication.” The parade, which also promoted a message of education for future generations, was commanded by AJEX vice-president Ron Shelley MBE, and supported by Lieutenant Colonel Simon Soskin as his second in command. Among those to take part in the parade was 99-year-old Second World War veteran Arthur Lawson MBE, father of Evelyn Yedd, of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council. The communal youth organisation JLGB and the JFS Combined Cadet Force were also involved in the event, along with contingents from other schools and youth groups. The veterans had gathered at Horse Guards

Parade before marching down Whitehall led by the Band of the Scots Guard. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Royal Marines Band performed Adon Olam. Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl was among those in attendance, with a wreath laid at the Cenotaph to honour all those members of the communal organisation who had served in both world wars. In a statement, the Board said: “A moving tribute this afternoon, 100 years since the first Jewish veterans laid a wreath at the Cenotaph. “Today we honour the thousands of Jewish servicemen and servicewomen who have fought and served our country.” Mark Gardner, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, later tweeted: “Privileged to be there.”


25 November 2021 Jewish News

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Jewish News 25 November 2021

News / School role / Speaker fear / Gig cancelled

JFS appoints new head after ‘rigorous process’ BU ILD FUT ING UR ES With Norwood by your side, no-one has to feel alone. But we can’t do it without your support. By leaving a gift in your Will to Norwood, you will be helping to build a better future for the children, families and individuals in your community, enabling them to live their best life and help us take on life together. To find out how a gift in your Will to Norwood would make a difference, please email info@norwood.org.uk

JFS has appointed its eighth headteacher in six years, writes Jack Mendel. Europe’s largest Jewish secondary school this week disclosed that Dr David Moody will take on the job permanently next week following a “rigorous” recruitment process. Writing to parents, the school said it was “deeply impressed” with Moody’s “knowledge and expertise relating to the welfare and personal development of students”, as he was unanimously backed for the role by the governors. The letter said it had “every confidence that the school will go from strength to strength under [Moody’s] leadership”, and added that he was “hugely excited” to start in the role. It said: “The governing board are aware of the significant difficulties and turmoil this year. We are hugely proud of our enormously committed staff team for all that they have done for our school and young people.” JFS, which is attended by more than 2,000 students, confirmed last week that it was awaiting the results of an Ofsted inspection by the end of the year. The Kenton-based school will be judged by

the education inspectorate on its progress, after it was placed in special measures and downgraded to inadequate earlier in the year. During the last inspection, concerns were raised about safeguarding and bullying at the school, which led to the departure of former headteacher Rachel Fink. She was succeeded by temporary headteachers Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector for Ofsted, then Martin Tissot, and incumbent co-heads Paul Ramsey and Anna Joseph. Moody, who will join the school on 1 December, was head of Harris Battersea for five years and a regional director overseeing 10 secondary schools for the Academies Enterprise Trust. During his time at the Harris Battersea, he transformed it from being in ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’, and it became one of the top 10 performing schools in the country. JFS revealed earlier in the year that it plans to become an academy, through the United Synagogue-JCAT (Jewish Community Academy Trust). Advisers from the US and JCAT and Brent Local Authority supported Moody’s appointment.

ISRAELI PULLS OUT OF UNI SHABBAT An Israeli speaker who was due to attend a Shabbat dinner event last Friday organised by Warwick University’s Jewish Society pulled out over fears for her safety. Jewish News understands that the decision was taken to cancel the female guest’s appearance after three student groups, including Warwick Action For Palestine, planned a protest over claims she had worked for Israel’s Minister of Affairs recruiting young people into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Friday Night JSoc event was organised by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), Jewish Agency For Israel and the StandWith Us organisation and timed

to coincide with Mizrahi Remembrance month. But there were fears antiIsrael campaigners would mount protests outside the Friday night event. Student protest groups – which also included the Warwick Anti-Racism Society and the Anti-Sexism Society – wrote to the JSoc expressing “sheer disappointment and anger” that the event was taking part in collaboration with StandWithUs. The letter branded the campaign group “Islamophobic” and “far-right” and asked that the JSoc withdraw the invitation to the speaker and cancel StandWithUs’ sponsorship of the event. A statement on the War-

wick Action For Palestine Facebook page said: “We are outraged and disgusted that StandWithUs has been invited to sponsor an event taking place on campus, as well as a speaker who boasts of working extensively for the Israeli Occupation Forces.” But last Thursday, UJS issued a statement confirming that the appearance by the speaker “is not now possible”. The statement said the UJS team member “has been publicly attacked simply because of Israeli identity”. It called it “unacceptable” that she had been targeted and said universities should be tolerant places welcoming students of “varying ethnicities, backgrounds and opinions”.

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Popular Jewish singer Ishay Ribo has cancelled his planned concert at the 02 in London next month amid concerns about rising Covid cases and calls from some strictlyOrthodox rabbis and schools for community members not to attend. Ribo, who has played to sell-out audiences in Israel and the US, had been set to become the first Israeli performer to headline at the iconic venue. The event was being organised by construction entrepreneur and philanthropist Ari Feferkorn and would have raised money for kosher meals in hospitals as part of his Bedside Kosher initiative. Despite this, the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) last week told followers such concerts were

“forbidden” as they featured mixed male and female seating. Two small sections had been reserved by organisers for segregated seating. Pardes House Grammar and Beis Yaakov Grammar had subsequently told their pupils they should not attend. Jewish News understands that more than 2,500 tickets had already been sold – making it the biggest in-person communal event for more than two years – but that numbers of new sales slowed significantly after the UOHC intervention. Feferkorn said: “This concert was designed to bring the community together in celebration of Chanukah while raising much-needed funds for kosher meals for those in hospital. “Plans are already under way to bring Ishay to play to his British fans next year.”

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Covid vaccine / European survey / News briefs / World News Children's author accused of abuse The celebrated Charedi children’s author Chaim Walder is taking a break from public life saying he wants to clear his name after being accused of the serious sexual abuse of teenage girls who had approached him for counselling. Walder, who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, allegedly used his popularity and status to commit the acts. The strictly Orthodox newspaper Yated Ne’eman, where Walder is employed as a writer, reportedly told him that if he did not take a leave of absence he would be sacked.

Israeli and Emirati firms' defence deals Israeli and Emirati defence firms have signed two deals to work together to develop remotecontrolled and autonomous vehicles and to maintain and sell advanced cameras for military and commercial purposes. These are the latest defence deals signed between the two countries during this month’s Dubai Air Show, a weapons exhibition in the Emirati city. Last Thursday, Israel Aerospace Industries and EDGE Group – both state-owned – signed the memoranda of understanding.

Israel starts jabs for under-11s by Michael Daventry mike@jewishnews.co.uk @michaeldaventry

Clowns, jesters and balloons were on display in Israel on Monday night as young children became some of the first to be inoculated against the coronavirus, writes Michael Daventry. Authorities began rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to children aged between five and 11 as it emerged that they accounted for a third of all new infections so far in November. The proportion of young children infected has risen to nearly half in recent days, officials said. Israel’s 'R' rate – which measures

the reproduction rate of the virus – rose above one this month, meaning it has begun to spread faster, Scientists and officials in Israel have been doubtful the country can reach herd immunity unless children are vaccinated. But policy makers also say the vaccination of younger children is meant primarily to protect their individual health and not just to stop transmission of the virus. The nationwide campaign to vaccinate younger children began on Tuesday, but one vaccination centre began offering jabs on Monday night. Lyn Sonod was among the first mothers to arrive at a vaccination centre in Tel Aviv, bring her two

youngest children. “I came here to have my two youngest children vaccinated. I’ve already had my oldest children vaccinated,” she said. “I think it is very important. I do believe in the vaccination. We need to think of the public in general." Israel’s 9.4 million population is relatively young, with about 1.2 million aged between five and 11. By November, that group comprised more than a third of new cases, according to health ministry data. Israel has recorded 1.3 million confirmed cases and more than 8,000 dead since the start of the pandemic. Some 57% of Israel’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the ministry.

A youngster gets his first Covid jab Video report at jewishnews.co.uk


Emigration to Israel has increased sharply from some parts of Europe

In a survey of 1,054 Jewish community leaders in Europe, 23 percent said they were considering emigrating. The survey, published last Thursday by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, or JDC, did not ask respondents their reasons for contemplating emigrating. Only three percent said they had made active preparations and 67 percent said they had not considered emigrating. Eight percent did not answer

the question. A similar survey in 2018 found that 22 percent of respondents said they had considered emigrating. Aliyah has increased sharply in recent years from some European countries, including France, from where more than 40,000 left in the past ten years. Of the Jewish community leaders who said they had considering leaving, roughly two thirds said they were planning to emigrate to Israel. Other parts of the survey suggested

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that leaders on the continent were increasingly afraid of antisemitism and attempts to limit freedom of worship. Concern has risen in recent years about antisemitism as a real threat for European Jews, “which leads to an erosion of respondents’ feeling of safety in their cities”, the authors of a report based on the survey wrote. Poverty in the community has grown from 10 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2021, the authors wrote.



Jewish News 25 November 2021

Editorial comment and letters ISSUE NO.



Herzog at home As British Jews, the idea of one of Israel’s most high-profile political figures coming over here and not just heaping praise on the community but holding us up as an “exemplar” is rather alien. So how refreshing it has been this week to follow the visit of Isaac Herzog, who has paraded his British roots with pride at every opportunity during his three-day official visit, his first major tour abroad since becoming president. He took the time to write for this newspaper before arriving, while the trip itself afforded the opportunity to honour two great British Jews – Rabbi Lord Sacks and Sir Ben Helfgott – and meet community and student leaders who are on the frontline, working to deflect attempts to delegitimise Israel. Herzog made no secret, too, of the importance he continues to place on the Israel-Diaspora relationship, as PM Naftali Bennett did during his visit here two weeks ago. Indeed, his family tree is the living embodiment of the special relationship between the UK and Israel. We hope this week’s will be the first of many visits made during his seven years of presidency.

A positive spin From the classic ‘sorry if I caused offence’ to the Corbynesque ‘and all other forms of racism’, the non-apology apology has become an art form. So it’s important to note that Azeem Rafiq’s does not appear, at least on the surface, to be one. The former Yorkshire cricketer, who blew the whistle on racist attitudes at the club, was found to have called a teammate a ‘Jew’ because he was apparently reluctant to spend money. It’s of course problematic when a whistleblower is found to have hypocritically committed the very crime they’re highlighting, but Rafiq’s reaction to being exposed has been telling. In an interview with this newspaper, published this week, he offers not one excuse. He simply says: “I’m ashamed. I’m sorry.” It’s painful to acknowledge but sections of the UK Muslim community are blighted by anti-Jewish prejudice. Rafiq, like Labour MP Naz Shah before him, now has a platform to turn a pitiful episode into a positive – one that can help to exorcise the demon and to build common ground.


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

Evidence that we don’t count There is daily evidence of racism in all spheres of life. Sometimes perpetrators are outed and brought to account. Yet one form of racism seems to go unnoticed or ignored and appears not to be of importance. Jewish students at universities, especially Bristol and Warwick, are subjected to vile insults. One was told to “gas herself”, while another received death threats. Where is the outrage of the other students and university authorities to call out those who seem intent on making Jewish students’

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ISRAEL BEING ATTACKED AS THE COLLECTIVE JEW Alex Brummer spins the discredited narrative that it is Israel’s fault it is “the pariah state at the UN”, and that Human Rights Watch’s apartheid and persecution charge for its treatment of Palestinians was “a wounding blow” (Jewish News, 11 November). In fact, it’s consistent with the animosity towards Israel of both organisations over many years. The victim-blaming that antisemites have used for 2,000 years against the individual Jew is now lobbed at Israel, the collective Jew. D Rosenthal, Hendon

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lives unbearable on campus? Where is the desire to deal with this? Earlier this year, how was a convoy of cars allowed to come from outside London to roam areas with a large Jewish communities, screaming through loudspeakers: “Kill the Jews... we will rape your daughters!”? How were these people not stopped for hours by police? Because, as we now all too sadly have come to realise, Jews don’t count. Eric Silver, Edgware

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First Alex Brummer accused the Israeli ambassador of ‘denying the Naqba’ (see my blog dated 27 December 2020). Now he accuses Israel of causing the May Gaza conflagration, referring to “the clumsy handling of a damaging property dispute in East Jerusalem”. No. Hamas caused the escalation by firing rockets into Israel, together with incitement by Muslim extremists in the form of false accusations that Israel intended to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque, after the security services were forced to enter it to arrest suspects. Jonathan Hoffman, By email

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25 November 2021 Jewish News


Editorial comment and letters

Impressionist & Modern Art Wednesday 1 December, 10am

PENITENCE CAN COP LETTER WAS BE A PARADIGM WASTE OF CASH How refreshing it was to read the article by Shabina Qayyum, “Labour suspension led to path of self-reflection,” (Jewish News, 18 November). Kol hakavod to her for being so penitent, and taking the time to understand where she went wrong and seeking to do better in future. Significantly for me is that she has apologised and articulated her behaviour so well, via a Jewish newspaper. She sets a fine example to others in her party who have behaved in an antisemitic manner and, in some cases, are still at it. I wonder if her words of contrition will find their way to those in Labour who most need to hear them. JD Milaric, By email

What purpose did the president of the Board of Deputies and the EcoSynagogue rabbinic team think they were serving by taking a full page ad in your newspaper to write “An open letter to world leaders at the start of COP 26”, exhorting them not to “fail the future”? Why do these letter writers think that world leaders came to Glasgow, for whether they care or not, being seen to fail isn’t in their interests? This hyperbolic letter is a waste of money, a new low in the competitive virtue signalling that has come to characterise what today passes for communal leadership. Walter S Grossman, Gants Hill

Behaviour is mere pretext

Camille Pissarro, French 1830-1903

Contrary to SM Halpern’s view, antisemitism does not appear to be a function of the Jews’ behaviour but of their existence; behaviour is a mere pretext (Jewish News, 11 November 2021). The historian Paul Johnson said: “The Jews are the conscience of the world” and people are rarely given to ‘examining their kidneys’. The rebirth of the Jewish nation in the ancient land of Israel poses a serious threat to Islam’s ideology. No amount of territory ceded will alleviate this perceived threat; only the Jewish state’s total annihilation. Eda Spinka, NW4

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Jewish News 25 November 2021


Azeem Rafiq’s past attitude towards Jews is no surprise ALEX BRUMMER



ricket has been part of my life since I was a boy. The Sussex County Ground at Hove was in touching distance of the family home and long summer days were spent watching the game and collecting autographs. The sport has been ideal as a way of connecting with my grandchildren as they grow up. We go together to cricket specialist A J Fordham Sports in Kingston, owned and run by a family from the sub-continent, who meticulously help to kit them out with bats and pads. I occasionally watch them play as members of the North Middlesex Cricket Club, with teams made up with children from all ethnic backgrounds. The skills of children of South Asian background with bat and ball and the enthusiasm of their parents is uplifting. It is disturbing to think that so few of these precociously talented youngsters will make it through the system into the professional game. That is among the reasons why Azeem Rafiq’s testimony about racism at Yorkshire

Cricket Club and throughout the country game is so devastating. What makes it even more shocking is that some of the best cricket in the world is played in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There ought to be admiration in English cricket, not neglect and contempt, for the generations of Anglo-Asian cricketers wanting to progress through the game’s hierarchy. Nevertheless, it is deeply concerning the person blowing the whistle on English cricket has an unfortunate history. There is a strand of embedded racism against Jews in parts of the South Asian community in the UK too easily shrugged off as the exuberance of youth. In his interview with Jewish News, Mr Rafiq makes all the right noises about wanting the forgiveness of British Jews and educating himself and others about antisemitism. Doubtless he is sincere in his intentions. What is more concerning is that much of the country seems to think antisemitic tropes are somehow more acceptable than those used against the country’s large Asian minority. Unfortunately antisemitism in sport is only too common. Chelsea Football Club is running a sustained ‘No to antisemitism’ campaign and I have

THE AZEEM RAFIQ AFFAIR SHOWS THERE ARE STILL DEEP-SEATED ANTISEMITIC PREJUDICES attended and taken part in several events at the ground. Yet at a recent Carabao Cup game, the ritual ‘If You Hate Tottenham Stand Up’ cry rang around the ground (even though the opposition was Burnley) and my son and I sat it out. In front of us a young man, his face creased with hatred, pointed his arm at us and screamed “Yiddo, yiddo”. It was an uncomfortable moment and a product of a routine antisemitism. Mr Rafiq’s past attitude towards Jews shouldn’t be a surprise. My ceremony to receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Bradford in his native Yorkshire in 2014 was delayed by an anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian student demonstration. At the end of last year’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Leicester, players unfurled a pro-Palestinian banner on the pitch. In 2014, England exonerated British-Asian cricketer Moeen Ali for wearing wristbands

displaying ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ in spite of International Cricket Council’s ban on political slogans. Pro-Palestinian campaigners are not necessarily antisemitic. But hostility to Israel often leads those expressing such attitudes to adopt antisemitic tropes, as has been seen on the left of the Labour Party. The aspirations of the South Asian communities in Britain are very similar to those of the Jewish community. This was on display earlier this month at an Asian-Jewish Business Network event paradoxically held at Lord's cricket ground. In commerce and society in general Asians and Jews have huge amounts in common and work together harmoniously. The Azeem Rafiq affair shows that amid the harmony there are still deep-seated antisemitic prejudices in British sport and society. They must be challenged.

Hamas is the root cause of hopelessness and misery MICHAEL MCCANN ISRAEL BRITAIN ALLIANCE


he Israel Britain Alliance, its partners and supporters in every part of the UK campaigned hard for the full proscription of the Iranianbacked terror group Hamas, and our efforts were rewarded on Wednesday evening with its banning in our country. Hamas is an organisation that seeks the destruction of Israel, it seeks to turn the war cry, ‘from the river to sea Palestine will be free’, into reality. But that is not the only reason we threw the kitchen sink at this campaign, including an extensive advertisement campaign in Jewish News in July and August this year. We did so because Hamas is the root cause of the heartbreak, hopelessness and depression that lies across the whole Israel/Palestinian conflict. Hamas brutally oppresses the people it purports to represent. It is misogynistic, homophobic and genocidal. So, many may ask, with justification, why did it take the government so long to act? But as anyone with a working knowledge of

the UK civil service will know, it is the obstacles created by civil servants who govern, without election, that are sometimes the toughest to navigate. I have no doubt that Priti Patel will have raised this matter many times with her officials before they conceded the territory. So I salute her for delivering a long overdue decision; it will not have been easy. One presumes that the next step will be a draft order laid in parliament that will proscribe Hamas in its entirety, and this is where it will get interesting. Readers may recall that during Jeremy Corbyn’s time as Labour leader, the government fully proscribed Hezbollah.


At that time Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow home office minister, did not oppose the proscription in parliament but neither did he support it. I see virtually every MP’s response to the campaign letters our supporters send. On the subject of banning Hamas, many Conservative MPs have unequivocally supported our campaign and have expressed that view to the government, others have stuck with the official line that the government does not discuss security matters. But what about Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs – how did they respond? Would it surprise you to learn that none of them stated that the non-proscription of Hamas was wrong, and that nearly all of them attributed blame to Israel for exercising its right to defend its borders? Since its rise to ascendancy in 2006, Hamas has pressed the start button on every conflict with Israel with this bloody cycle: it fires Iranian supplied rockets from civilian areas in Gaza into civilian areas in Israel, Israel is forced to retaliate, the world’s press then leads with Israel’s defensive actions, which culminates with the charge that Israel acts in a disproportionate manner, and in parliaments like our

own, opposition parties call for debates, not to chastise Hamas but to chastise Israel. Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Emperor’s New Clothes in 1837. It has become an idiom about logical fallacies. But even he, were he alive today, would be gobsmacked by this farce. The reasons why politicians and political parties willingly absorb the deceitful, violent and deadly Hamas narrative cannot be diagnosed as collective stupidity. Be assured there are sinister, dark and dangerous political calculations taking place. And if light and transparency are the disinfectant, the home secretary’s decision to proscribe Hamas fully will serve at least three purposes. It will rightly categorise Hamas as a terrorist organisation, without caveat. It will force UK media outlets to properly record its designation as a terrorist organisation when it starts the next conflict – and it will. But, most significantly, it delayers the argument that our politicians use to pull their punches on Hamas’ activities, justify its actions and unjustly criticise the noble state of Israel. I will raise a glass tonight to our success. L’chaim.

25 November 2021 Jewish News


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Jewish News 25 November 2021


Amos Oz’s challenge to Israeli left yet to be met ❝


In the current issue of The Jewish Quarterly, Israeli journalist and political commentator Anshel Pfeffer examines the demise of Israel’s left and its future in the postNetanyahu era. His essay, ‘The Strange Death and Curious Rebirth of the Israeli Left’, explores the left’s failure to articulate a persuasive vision of Israel’s national identity. In this extract, Pfeffer looks at Labour’s hopes for revival under its current leader, Merav Michaeli.



uring the lead-up to Israel’s election in March, few predicted that both Labour and Meretz would make it into the next Knesset, let alone into government. Labour leader Merav Michaeli breathed some life back into Labour; then it was Meretz’s turn to plunge in the polls towards oblivion. Not for the first time, the party launched a “gevalt! campaign” to “save Meretz!” – hoping to shame recalcitrant leftists into turning out to vote for it. Yet both parties exceeded expectations, easily crossing the threshold of 3.25 percent of the vote. Two months later, they joined the Bennett–Lapid coalition and helped unseat Binyamin Netanyahu, who had been in power for 12 long years. After being written off as

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dead, the Israeli left had been miraculously reborn. But it’s a tenuous rebirth. Labour and Meretz celebrated their gains, but the election result remains a far cry from their past glories. Especially for Labour, the party that founded the state of Israel and ruled for half its history. The last time the parties of the left, Labour and Meretz, together with Arab parties, won a majority in the Knesset was in 1992. Labour and Meretz together won 56 seats in that election. Now they have 13. But Michaeli is convinced that, having “brought Labour back from the dead”, she can again make it a party of power. Michaeli is different from previous Labour leaders. It’s not just her biography – Tel Aviv glamour girl transformed into radical feminist activist and now into mainstream politician, determined to return Labour to its heyday as the party of power. Michaeli is also much more clear-eyed than her predecessors on where Labour went wrong and the size of the mountain her party needs to climb to again challenge for power. Privately, she admits that it will take longer than just a couple of election cycles. Unlike her predecessors, who tried to rebrand Labour as centrist, she doesn’t shy away from the “leftist” label. Until 1977, Labour’s narrative was clear. It was the only party to be trusted with sailing the ship of Israel, navigating it through the treacherous shoals of the Middle East. Even after losing elections twice, in 1977 and 1981, Labour tried to use the disastrous war in Lebanon and the near-meltdown of Israel’s economy in the early 1980s as proof Likud could not be trusted with power. But that message was only persuasive enough to gain a draw in 1984, after which Labour spent the next six years in unity governments with Likud, effectively conceding that they could indeed be trusted. Then came the 1990s, during which Labour finally won two elections, spending half the decade in power, this time as “the peace camp” with the Oslo Accords. But the collapse of the Oslo process in 2000, after the failed Camp David summit between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat and the outbreak of the bloody Second Intifada, destroyed Israelis’ belief in peace with the Palestinians. “It’s clear that, since 1977, we’ve lost our narrative and Barak finished off the peace narrative,” Michaeli says, referring to Barak’s comment after Camp David that “Israel doesn’t have a Palestinian partner for peace”. “I don’t have a clear answer on what the narrative is yet,” she admits disarmingly. For such a forthcoming interviewee, Michaeli is unusually reticent on two issues.

Labour leader Merav Michaeli

She isn’t very interested in talking about where the party stands on the occupation and the Israel–Palestine conflict more generally. The party’s official policy is still to support the two-state solution, but it doesn’t feature prominently in any of its leader’s speeches. Michaeli repeatedly calls Labour “the party of Yitzhak Rabin” but, when asked which parts of Rabin’s legacy she values the most, she highlights the social reforms his governments carried out, rather than Oslo. And then there’s the issue of the party to the right of Labour, the one that now occupies the centre ground – once Labour’s natural habitat. Since its foundation in 2013, Yair Lapid’s ultra-centrist Yes Atid (“There Is a Future”) party has steadily eaten away at the urban middle-class base that was once Labour’s core constituency. At first, Yesh Atid looked like just another centrist party, a breed that has never lasted long in Israeli politics before losing favour with the voters and splitting up. But Lapid has defied expectations, not only by keeping his party together for six elections, but also by evolving as a politician, becoming the architect of the government that has finally toppled Netanyahu. Taking Likud down was supposed to be Labour’s job; now Lapid has taken that away as well. If the new government stays together, Lapid will replace Bennett as prime minister in August 2023, further boosting his chances of increasing Yesh Atid’s hold on the middle ground and cementing Labour’s relegation to small-party status. Now that the goal of ending Netanyahu’s reign has been realised, Michaeli has to contend with the fact that it was achieved by a centrist–right-wing alliance, the left-wing playing only a minor part in the denouement. The question of whether Labour still has a role, perched uneasily between Yesh Atid and Meretz, remains open. In 2008, Amos Oz announced: “Labour has come to the end of its historic path. It no longer presents a national agenda and joins every coalition.” Thirteen years later, Labour is still around, thanks largely to Michaeli’s efforts. But she is yet to answer Oz’s challenge and come up with a new agenda for the party. This is an extract of Anshel’s essay The Strange Death and Curious Rebirth of the Israeli Left in the current issue of The Jewish Quarterly, out now

25 November 2021 Jewish News




This awareness month isn’t for every Muslim WASIQ WASIQ



e’re reaching the end of Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) – an opportunity to deconstruct and challenge negative stereotypes. But dig deeper and you find that unless you’re the right Muslim, this isn’t a month for you. IAM, which was set up in 2012, works with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC), local councils, parliament and educational bodies to raise the issue of Islamophobia and challenge it. The aim is to ensure no sector of society is excluded from doing something about negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims. A noble cause – until you find out who set it up. One of the co-founding organisations is the controversial Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND). It boasts that it “helps empower and encourage British Muslims within local communities to be more actively involved in British media and politics”. But this seems as if it couldn’t be further from the truth.

In a report from the Commission for Countering Extremism, it was found that MEND staff attacked and were hostile to liberall minded Muslims on social media, accusing them of being “government stooges” and “Uncle Toms”. The latter is a racially motivated term that seeks to caricature an individual as betraying his/her own ‘kind’ by going against a perceived position to which they should be adhering. It also promotes the idea that if you go against “normative Islam” then you are a traitor. But MEND is not the only problematic organisation supporting this initiative. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has also embraced the month. This is the same organisation that sought to defend its position for not identifying Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah as a Muslim – when he was murdered for being the wrong kind of Muslim. That they seem to believe their right to deny someone’s religious identity is more important than the murder itself for being the wrong kind of Muslim, seems to suggest that their support for IAM is only for those they think are deserving of

A REPORT FOUND MEND STAFF WERE HOSTILE TO LIBERAL MUSLIMS it. If Ahmadis are not Muslims, then IAM is surely not a month for them? As a trustee of Muslims Against Antisemitism (MAAS) I, too, have found it standard practice to be attacked for supporting Jews against antisemitism. Only recently, Miqdaad Versi, the spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain, seems to have taken issue with me retweeting an Independent Press Standards Organisation ruling on a personal complaint he had made against Telegraph columnist Nick Timothy for a piece headlined: ‘We’re not drifting into segregation, we’re hurtling perilously towards it’. Timothy referenced a letter from the former education secretary Gavin Williamson

in which he states: “While pupils are allowed to express political views, antisemitic language and threats must not be tolerated.” Timothy then went on to raise his concerns that Versi seems to be accusing the government of being “one-sided” on racism. In fact, the letter was not about Israel, rather the harassment of British Jews. The regulator ruled in favour of Timothy and the Telegraph and threw out the complaint. That Versi thought it was a good idea to take issue with a trustee of an organisation run by Muslims and dedicated to the purpose of tackling antisemitism seems to show a lack of insight. Real anti-Muslim bigotry and hate exists. Dedicating a month to challenging negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims may seem a well-intentioned idea, but not when it is co-founded by an organisation that attacks fellow Muslims or supported by another that refuses to call the Ahmadis Muslim community real Muslims. Unless you’re the right kind of Muslim, this isn’t your month. You’re excluded because of who you are. This seems a form of anti-Muslim bigotry to me.

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Jewish News 25 November 2021

Mitzvah Day 2021

A good day in deed!

Photos by John Tom Pullen

More than 25,000 volunteers across the UK and thousands more worldwide took part in this year’s Mitzvah Day. Sunday’s day of social action included events with Jews, Muslims, Christians and those of all faiths and none who came together to help others and build stronger communities. This year’s theme was Together This Mitzvah Day – with many coming together for the first time after almost two years of lockdowns and restrictions. Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer joined the South Hampstead Synagogue community for a litter pick and a collection of non-perishable food and toiletries for

Camden’s homeless, while people of all faiths joined events up and down the country. Starmer said: “It is a pleasure to participate and support the incredible work of Mitzvah Day. I’ve been working with South Hampstead Synagogue in my constituency for several years and am building up quite a collection of the iconic green T-shirts! “Mitzvah Day is special for many reasons, but I am always struck by the way it brings together people from different faith communities to give their time to help others.” The MP for Holborn and St Pancras was joined in South Hampstead by Mitzvah Day chief executive Georgina Bye, who said:

“It has been truly special to see people from all faiths and backgrounds come together around shared goals and values this Mitzvah Day – including being with Sir Keir Starmer at this social action project making a real difference in South Hampstead.” The synagogue was just one of 500 places of worship, schools, offices and other organisations taking part in Mitzvah Day up and down the country. Major activities took place in London, Manchester, Leeds, Coventry, Glasgow, Birmingham and Brighton. More than 30 countries also took part this year. Prime minister Boris Johnson, another long-term Mitzvah Day supporter, hailed

the day as “a wonderful tradition that I am once again proud to be able to support”. He added: “I am filled with so much pride to see the thousands of volunteers who every year donate their time to do something positive for their communities.” One of the biggest events happened across Bradford and Leeds, where faiths united to collect items for domestic abuse charities Staying Put and Leeds Women’s Aid. Those taking part included Humayun Islam, chief executive officer at BEAP Community Partnership, Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth, Reverend Jenny Ramsden and Jewish MP Alex Sobel.

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Mitzvah Day 2021 resa Villers, and taking part in Woodside Park Synagogue’s collection for Chipping Barnet Food Bank and clothes for St John’s Hospice. The 20th Finchley Jewish scout group painted the fence at The Kisharon partnership library in Child’s Hill for Mitzvah Day. Cub member Jonah said: “I enjoyed helping plant with my brother and the Scouts group. I hope everyone at Kisharon and the library users enjoy the garden when the flowers bloom.” Camp Simcha, which supports seriously ill children, held a blood drive with its Joel Bear Appeal at Edgware Blood Centre. Food parcels for the donors were packed in advance by members of Jewish Care’s Michael Sobell JCC and the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. Norwood held a range of activities including a virtual cooking session over Zoom, raising money for Children In Need and making Jewish-festival themed murals. Young Norwood Connect Committee also entertained people with football, tennis and music sessions.

serious illnesses are more isolated than ever. “Most playrooms in hospitals have been temporarily closed and some young patients are unable to access the few that have remained open due to the risk of infection. “Playing is so important for all children, but is especially essential for those who are seriously ill as it can improve their well-being and reduce the anxiety, fear and stress that comes with being in hospital.” Laura Marks, founder of the Jewish-led day of social action, said: “Mitzvah Day this year seems to have been a resounding success particularly given the challenges of last year. I put it down to the inherent good in people, who have worked out how to come together safely when it really matters. “Caring for our neighbours, supporting local charities and meeting people who we sometimes see as different all really matter and that is why, I believe, this year has brought people out in numbers comparable to 2019.”

Volunteers from Kenton Synagogue delivered afternoon tea to some adult residential services, which they enjoyed while participating in a Zoom concert led by Norwood’s Jewish cultural adviser Dov. Around 150 ImpACT volunteers got busy for a range of initiatives, including a Bar Bat Mitzvah ImpACT programme visiting The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR). They made 100 personalised care packages and Chanukah cards for AJR members, while another team volunteered their time to teach English to Israeli youngsters online. Another group wrapped hundreds of gifts for seriously-ill children in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital, Camp Simcha and Noah’s Ark Hospice, before hearing from inspiring guest speakers. More than 150 volunteers took part in Project Impact’s activities. Programme co-ordinator Orit Kropp said: “This has become even more important since Covid, as children with

Photo by Yakir Zur

Ramsden said: “People from the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities donated goods and helped at our Mitzvah Day event. This showed interfaith at its best.” Those taking part for the first time included the Coptic Church, who joined with Alyth Synagogue for a collection for a food bank. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis highlighted how many communities focused on the environment this year, as he joined Bushey United Synagogue to tidy the gardens of the Watford Peace Hospice. He said: “It is wonderful to be taking part once again. I am particularly enthused by the variety of environmental activities bringing people together this year.” Kisharon joined forces with the 20th Finchley Jewish Scout group and Alei Tzion Synagogue for a range of activities, including planting bulbs donated by the Rotary in the Kisharon Garden in Childs Hill, at Jewish Care’s Asher Loftus Way together with MP The-


Jewish News 25 November 2021



n her book When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, the late author Judith Kerr shed poetic light on the impact of leaving her beloved toy behind when her family (pictured, right) were forced to leave Berlin in 1933. Although far greater tragedies were witnessed and experienced by children, among the many deliberate crimes committed by Nazis was the confiscating of playthings. Of those children who did survive the war, by using false identities or hiding, a few still possessed a treasured toy. These had become ‘security blankets’, surrogate friends and escape mechanisms into imaginary worlds, free from fear. Now housed in many Jewish museums across the world, these toys are preserved to remind us all that there was a time when Chanukah, and indeed all Jewish festivals, looked very different.

Edith Rothschild’s doll

Consider Edith Rothschild’s doll. She lives not in a pretty house nor in Edith’s bedroom, but in a glass case at the Jewish Museum London. A childless toy can be an emotive sight – one glimpse of a rain-soaked teddy draped over a railing and it’s hard not to dwell on how upset the child must feel. Imagine, then, the feelings on seeing Edith’s doll and learning that she’s there because she was the young girl’s constant companion throughout the Holocaust. The doll, wearing remnants of a knitted outfit, tells one of many moving stories about the importance of toys in the lives of Jewish children during the Nazi regime. Edith, from Frankfurt, travelled to Britain in May 1939 on the Kindertransport. She Edith had to smuggle her precious Rothschild’s doll ‘baby’ in her luggage, since her mother told her she was too old for dolls. On arrival, Edith was fostered by a family in Cambridge and it wasn’t until 1943 that she was reunited with her father; her mother didn’t survive the war. Edith kept her doll all her life and then it was donated to the museum.


Inside A look

Who, what & where Foster carers Lipsmacking latkes!

Chanukah and toys go together like doughnuts and jam, but there are some dolls and teddies that have a greater significance, writes Lorraine Gibson


Betty Waterman’s dog

Betty Waterman was born in 1940. When she was just two, her parents sent her to a Christian children’s home in Utrecht, wrapped in a blanket with a name tag and clutching a toy dog. Later, Betty was smuggled from the home to stay with the Tinholts, members of the Dutch underground, where she hid until the war ended. Her parents managed to survive the war, located the Tinholts and were reunited with their daughter and her toy dog. The dog is housed in Yad Vashem. Betty Waterman’s dog

Fred Lessing’s bear

Fred Lessing’s teddy, known as the ‘Mona Lisa’ of Yad Vashem, as it stops visitors in their tracks at first sight, was given to him by his mother when she hid him with friends. When she next visited, he was upset that the family’s dog had pulled off the bear’s head. She hurriedly fashioned a replacement out of a patch from her little boy’s jacket. He kept the teddy safe the rest of his life and donated it to Yad Vashem.

Daisy Leier’s Tonicska

Daisy Leier was born into a wealthy Slovakian family who had a non-Jewish maid whom

Daisy Leier and Tonicska

Daisy called Tonka. When she was two, Tonka gave her a doll dressed in traditional Slovakian clothes she’d made by hand. Daisy named her ‘Tonicska’. In 1943, her parents hid her at Tonka’s family home and Daisy, the doll and Tonka all stayed safe. After liberation, Daisy, then seven, learned that her parents had been deported to Auschwitz and murdered. Daisy treasured her doll, especially when she had to leave Tonka to live with relatives. She emigrated to Canada, married and had two children. She donated Tonicska to the Montreal Holocaust Museum, where she can still be seen today.

had since outgrown. Lore emigrated to Israel and donated Inge – in her pyjamas – to Yad Vashem.

• On 1 December, the Jewish Museum is doing a livestreamed Chanukah candle lighting at 4pm and a virtual tour showcasing rare Chanukah lamps from 6pm to 7pm. More information can be found at jewishmuseum.org.uk/events

Lore Stern’s pyjama girl

Lore Stern was a year old when Kristallnacht occurred and her father Markus was arrested and sent to Buchenwald. Neighbours hid Lore, already in her pyjamas, and her mother. Markus was released on the condition he leave Germany immediately, so he went to the US and managed to get visas for his family. Lore took Inge, a doll her grandmother gave her, on the voyage to New York. Inge wore the pyjamas that Lore had worn on Kristallnacht but

Lore Stern and doll Inge, which is now at Yad Vashem

25 November 2021 Jewish News





er Jewish innovators are among the world’s most influential people in the toy industry, creating some of the most-loved toys and toy shops. German-born Frederick August Otto Schwarz founded FAO Schwarz in 1862. Frederick’s original shop was in Baltimore, but the New York branch opened in 1869. The first store to have a ‘live’ Santa, it’s seared into the American psyche. It has been likened to The Nutcracker in shop form and stands, proud as a wooden soldier, in Rockefeller Plaza today. It was immortalised in the film Big, when Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia performed a duet scene on its giant floor piano. Schwarz’s genius lay in understanding the magic of Christmas and recognising that folk would pay more for unique gifts. His toys were top quality, ergo expensive, yet their tags bore no prices, just a mysterious code called Borgenicht – German for ‘never borrow’ – and known only to its employees. This meant that shoppers had to enquire as to the price or simply hand over their cash.


Bertha ‘Beatrice’ Alexander Behrman, daughter of a Russian émigré, was a pioneering doll-maker in the maledominated toy industry. Having helped in her family’s Manhattan doll hospital in the early 1900s, she decided that dolls should be played with and loved without fear of them breaking. She began designing soft, tactile ‘Red Cross Nurse’ rag dolls and, by 1923, had founded the Madame Alexander Doll Co, making dolls that would last, unlike the fragile porcelain ones she’d once helped to mend. Her famous dolls have been part of American life for generations ever since.

Bertha ‘Beatrice’ Alexander Behrman

Barbie creator Ruth Handler with her husband and the doll for all time

Barbie was founded in 1959 by Ruth Handler, a visionary entrepreneur, inspired by watching her daughter project her dreams and aspirations onto paper dolls. Spotting a gap in the market, which was then only producing baby dolls for girls to play with, Ruth invented a fashion doll called Barbie that they could use to envisage their future selves. Ruth’s philosophy was that her doll should be empowering, allowing girls to be anything they wanted to be. Over time, Barbie has moved on from the original hourglassfigured, swimsuited princess of 1959. Ruth would be gratified to see her ‘girls can be anything’ ethos writ large on Jewish Barbie, complete with tefillin and Torah accessories, and loads of Pinterest followers. Ditto Music Producer Barbie and Arctic Explorer Barbie.



Jewish News 25 November 2021




Band Together

‘Transforming lives through Jewish music’ is a lyrical pitch worth accepting from the Jewish Music Institute’s Youth Big Band. Having produced four albums in the five years they have been a collective, musical director Sam Eastmond is now taking the band to JW3 for a concert on 19 December. They will perform their fourth new album, Bet – We Are Here, and share the bill with NYJO - National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy Big Band, an ensemble of highly-talented young musicians who play and celebrate the music of such Jazz giants as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and others.


Winter Wives

It may not be everyone’s glass of kogel mogel (that’s Yiddish eggnogg), Kyle Richar ds and Betsy Brandt but ratings alone confirm the huge interest in The Real Housewives franchise. Hence the December release of The Real Housewives of the North Pole (streaming on HayU from 9 December), which stars Kyle Richards of the Beverley Hills cast in a film about two Vermont-based besties who hold the record for seasonal house decorating. No prizes for spotting the svelte plot, but Jewish viewers are partial to Kyle, who converted when she married Mexican Jewish husband Mauricio Umansky and posts pics of her menorahs beside huge Christmas trees and loves a competitive game of spin the dreidel. “We play with chocolate gelt, but it’s as if we’re in Vegas or something – so much at stake!” says Kyle, whose co-star in the movie is Breaking Bad’s Betsy Brandt, who in real life also straddles both holidays, admitting: “At least half of our friends and family who celebrate Christmas with us are Jewish, so we always serve matzo ball soup—we like to be all-inclusive.”


Tickets priced £15 are available from www.jw3.org.uk/whats-on/youth-big -band-extravaganza


Nothing Beige About Him

Our big community across the pond has a plethora of Chrismukah shenanigans and menorahs in every shop window. The Jewish effect is less apparent here, but we do have home-grown talent Lenny Beige (portrayed by comic Steve Furst) who brings the essence of The Rat Pack in a gaudy tuxedo to his cabaret shows. Releasing ditties such as Jewish For Christmas is also part of his annual shtick,, and this year’s is a light-hearted song about “those Jews who enjoy dipping their toes into gaudy Christmas celebrations”, says Beige, who belts out, accompanied by jingling bells: “As As the year draws to a conclusion, Jews don’t want no exclusion,” followed by “Chanukah has served me fine, but it ain’t no mistletoe and wine.”

Beige performs at Lennie’s Regency Rooms Xmas Extravaganza at The Camden Powerhaus on 15 December 15. For tickets, visit powerhauscamden.com

This Month In Jewish History... By Jewish News historian, Derek Taylor

Adam have you heard? Back in 2019 when life was, well, less gruelling, Adam Sandler put out a call for gifted Jewish musicians to write a new song for Chanukah. His own festival hit, The Chanukah Song, released in 1994 was, he felt, past its sell-by date. Enter stage left, Canadian singersongwriter Haley K Turner with guitar, magical string orchestra and her Chanukah song, Intangible Things (A Hanukkah Song). Turner hoped to get

Sandler’s attention and even wrote Intangible Things Parody (The Other Hanukkah song) with the lyrics: It’s about time We had a new song Something Adam Sandler Has no involvement on The Maccabees would be disappointed If another 20 years went by And no one was brave enough to try? The Zohan star has yet to RSVP, but Turner is counting the nights until he does.

Chief Rabbi Aaron Hart died on 21 November 1756, having served the Jewish community for 51 years. Born in 1670, he was appointed minister of the Great Synagogue in the City in 1705 after it had been built and paid for by his brother, Moses Hart. As a Jew, Moses had been expelled from Breslau, but made a fortune as a London merchant. Rabbis were in short supply in Britain at the time and Aaron Hart was consulted on many occasions by provincial communities. He effectively became the first British Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. Unlike David Nieto and Joseph Herman Hertz, he didn’t write very much and is mostly remembered because we say a blessing on Yom Kippur for previous Chief Rabbis. Problems he had to tackle included incurring fines for not burying people in wooden shrouds and resisting a prominent conversionist, remarking that he politely declined apostasy as Judaism was good enough for his father and grandfather.

25 November 2021 Jewish News



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Jewish News 25 November 2021

Legacies change lives forever

“To our young deaf children - who previously would have struggled through every single school day to hear their teacher and keep up with their hearing classmates - I leave acoutically treated classrooms and the hope that no Jewish children will be limited in any way by their deafness. This is my will.”

Please leave JDA a gift in your Will and help us to give our children the bright future they deserve.

020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1105845 Company Limited by Guarantee 4983830


25 November 2021 Jewish News



The care factor

There are more than 65,000 children living with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK, and 328 of those children are in Barnet. Louisa Walters spoke to two Barnet foster families

Welcoming a child into your home as a foster carer can be a rewarding experience (pictures posed by models)


uki and Danny’s children get very excited when a new child comes to live with them for a while. “Imagine having a playdate who doesn’t leave!” says Suki. The couple have been foster carers for six years, since their own children were three and six. Suki has a background in the care sector and, when he was young, Danny’s family used to offer respite to disabled children, so they were both minded to care for others in need. “If you can open your heart and your home, this is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things you can do,” says Suki. That’s not to say that it presents without difficulties. “The children who have come into our home – whether it’s for a few weeks or a year – have come from troubled backgrounds and have to relearn how to attach and engage. We are very specific on what we can offer in terms of logistical and emotional needs and we only take one child at a time – we have to think about what will work for us as a family.” Suki and Danny have taken in both Jewish and non-Jewish children and welcome the opportunity to share traditions with them and to learn about theirs. “It’s sad when the children leave and we always have a break before taking in a new child, so that we can readjust and have time together as a family,” says Suki. Karen, Steve and their three children (24, 21 and 17) welcomed two boys aged three and five into their home in January 2020, just two months before lockdown. “People say to me all the time: ‘You’re amazing

– I could never do it!’” says Karen. “But I believe that anyone could be a foster carer.” Despite having three children and running a parttime business from home, Karen didn’t feel fulfilled. “There was a child at our kids’ school who lived with his grandparents, and I started to think that maybe we could offer a home to a child like that,” she explains. Luckily, Steve was on board. Their youngest son was worried about how they would feel when the children have to leave, but the placement has worked so well that it has developed into long-term foster care, meaning that the boys will stay with the family until they are 18. “We decided as a family to help these children thrive and to give them a happy childhood – something every child deserves,” says Karen. “They had lived between the family home and the grandparents for a year when they came to us. They had no boundaries, no discipline and behavioural difficulties. “It is challenging but the most meaningful and fulfilling thing I have ever done. When I pick up the boys from school and they run into my arms, I know I’ve done the right thing.” Both families have amazing support and ongoing training from the Barnet team and work closely with a social worker. “If I drop down dead tomorrow, at least I know I’ve done something with my life,” says Karen. For details on fostering in Barnet, visit www.barnet.gov.uk/fostering, email fostering@barnet.gov.uk or call 020 8359 6274

HOW IT WORKS The assessment process takes around six months. You will be supported throughout, and partnered with an experienced foster carer. Stage 1: The team will visit you and your family at home to talk about becoming a foster carer. Stage 2: You’ll complete a fostering application form and attend a local three-day Skills to Foster training course, where you’ll meet experienced foster carers and a former fostered young person. Stage 3: There will be regular meetings with your assessing social worker, who will get to know you and your family and write a report, which will be presented to a panel. Stage 4: You will attend a meeting with the panel, who will consider your application to become a foster carer.



Jewish News 25 November 2021

JN LIFE / Pet corner

Happy Chanukah

DON’T JUDGE ME With TV’s favourite legal eagle Robert Rinder as his owner, French Bulldog Rocco is ready to unleash... The boss has been so busy with his judicial duties and hosting Good Morning Britain that he left it to me to sort out the Chanukah presents. Hopefully he’s found time to look at my list and will save the Versace dog bowl for the eighth night. Of course, I’ll settle for a chew and a bandana midweek because, for me, it’s more about the giving, as illustrated by the custom collar I got for Schnitzel, whose human is the judge’s friend, actress Louisa Clein (aka Emmerdale’s Maya Stepney). Louisa is Jewish, so I knew a cheap Chanukah chachka wasn’t right, but it was for Schnitzel as Cavapoochons are easily pleased. Buying for Susanna Reid was more tricky as the Good Morning Britain host was reluctant to snuggle with me when we appeared together on Gogglebox. But I’m not bitter (she’s a cat lover!) so I bought her a face mask embossed with self-portrait. Of me. Well, what did you expect? The next gift was for Benedict, who is a mate of the judge’s from his Manchester Uni days. But what does one buy dogless acting royalty? Yes, not even Covid could tempt Cumberbatch to purchase a pup, so I got him a pint glass (engraved with my likeness) to remind him that ‘walking the dog’ is the best excuse to go to the pub. Now you’re all wondering what I’ve bought for Rinder? Well, I’m not saying because yuchnas can’t keep secrets! Happy Chanukah! Love

Rocco Rinder

We asked you to send in pics of your animals in Jewish poses. Here is FERGIE SALISBURY, a dog from Manchester who can’t wait for the lighting of the Shabbat candles.

EEP Please K pics g n i d n e s pet to of your . shnews jewi co.uk


DOG Debut We knew Channing Tatum was a good guy. Why else would the man who put the Magic into Mike make his directorial debut with a buddy movie about a man and his dog? In Dog, which opens in February 2022, Army Ranger Briggs (Tatum) and his dog Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in the hope of making it on time to a fellow soldier’s funeral. Sounds dark? Not with a dog in the driving seat!


25 November 2021 Jewish News


Pet corner / JN LIFE

Food for dogs

Over to the vet If you don’t like leaving your cat, dog or ferret alone during the festive season, and plan to travel abroad, Two By Two Veterinary Centre in Finchley can help you fathom the changes to pet travel. Now that we’ve left the European Union, GB-issued pet passports are no longer valid and you will need an Animal Health Certificate. Dr Andrew Monchar can sort this 10 days before travel and for each trip you take. He’ll know your pet has met the correct health and identification requirements before you head off, as his practice has ‘official veterinarian’ status from the Animal and Plant Health Agency and is able to issue the correct certificates. And don’t think you can sneak that iguana into Northern Ireland without a microchip implant and a valid rabies vaccination because you can’t. Just ask Dr Monchar – or, better still, pay him a visit.

Jewish pet owners might have been serving their dogs pork for their entire lives – without knowing. That’s the revelation from the scientists and entrepreneurs behind Omni, a vegan pet food business that plans to revolutionise the way we feed our dogs. Omni co-founder Guy Sandelowsky says: “Pet food label ingredients often say ‘meat and animal derivatives’ rather than listing the individual ingredients of animal origin. So dog food labelled as chicken, beef or lamb might actually also contain pork.” As this is the dog’s dinner and not your own, you might not be fazed, but Omni cares and especially if you want to know what exactly is in your pet’s food. Time then to try Guy’s 100 percent meat-free canine chow, which contains no pork, additives or fillers, but is full of sweet potato, lentils, brown rice and pumpkin. Ask your dog if you can try it.

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Jewish News 25 November 2021


Healthy CHANUKAH LATKES Head to Reubens in Baker Street for the best traditional latkes but, for an alternative version to try at home, check out this one from Lisa Roukin’s book, My Relationship with Food, filled with 100 delicious, nutritious and healthy recipes. While this is a complete dish, consider serving the latkes alongside a hearty beef stew.

Sweet Potato Latke with Poached Eggs (makes: 10 latkes)


½ tsp baking powder 500ml sunflower oil

675g Maris Piper potatoes (approx three 3 large), grated 250g sweet potato, grated 1 white onion, grated 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk only sea salt and white pepper 60g fine cornmeal flour, sifted

Garnish 4 tbsp crème fraiche 225g smoked salmon 4 large eggs 2 tsp vinegar handful chives, chopped sprig of dill

Preparation time 60 mins

Cooking time 20 mins

Directions Grate the potatoes using the coarse side of the grater or a food processor. Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then place the potato in a bowl (you want your moisture from other ingredients, not the potato). Grate the sweet potato and onion and place in the same bowl as the white potato. In a separate bowl, beat the whole egg and egg yolk. Season generously with sea salt and white pepper and mix well with potato mixture. Add the sifted cornmeal flour, baking powder and mix well. Using a 2.5cm round cutter, place a large tablespoon of filling into it, with a chopping board underneath, squeeze the filling until level, lift off the cutter and repeat with the remaining mixture. Place a large frying pan on the stove, add the oil on a medium/ high

heat. Using a spatula, carefully slide off the latkes into the hot oil, fry over moderate heat until brown on the underside (approx. 3-4 min), then flip over until crisp and golden (approx. 3-4 mins). Remove from the pan, drain on paper towel and serve hot. Keep a lined tray ready for the latkes to keep warm in the oven as you make more batches (they’ll also cook through a little more). Don’t stack! You can’t leave the latkes in the frying pan too long because the natural sugar content of the sweet potato it will blacken easily (this is why it’s important you don’t have your stovetop heat on too high). Poach the eggs in simmering water with a little vinegar for 3-4 mins, then dry on paper towels. Stack two potato pancakes per person with the egg on top. Add a spoon of crème fraiche, with a sprig of dill and a smoked salmon flower (roll the salmon and crunch together by the sides), and sprinkle with the chives.

SPECIAL OFFER – £7 OFF! Packed with 100 delicious, nutritious, recipes that are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar but packed with taste and flavour, My Relationship with Food by Lisa Roukin will help you explore a different sort of relationship with food and makes a perfect gift for Chanukah or Christmas! You can get your hands on a copy of the book for the special price of £9.99 (usually £16.99) plus delivery. Use code DECEMBER when checking out on www.myrelationshipwithfood.com. Offer ends 31 December 2021.

LATKES WITH HERITAGE We agree — there’s nothing like a homemade latke. So if you’re buying them this year for yourself, your family, your Chanukah get-together, choose the one with heart. HAPPY CHANUKAH LOV E , R E U B E N S


25 November 2021 Jewish News




Jewish News 25 November 2021

Our little baby Elia was born deaf and we’re so lucky

“ We wept together when we found out our baby Elia was deaf. What parents wouldn’t? But when we called JDA, Jody took us under her wing immediately.

With JDA guiding us and honestly feeling at times like family, we were able to adjust and move optimistically towards Elia’s successful cochlear implant surgery. Elia has just celebrated her first birthday and she’s a confident and inquisitive little bundle of joy. We want to make sure every Jewish family facing these challenges in the future has JDA's personal support.

Your donation will help Elia and all deaf children to get the very best out of life.

020 8446 0502 www.jdeaf.org.uk w.jdeaf.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1105845 Company Limited by Guarantee 4983830

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Orthodox Judaism

SEDRA Vayeishev

Torah For Today What the Torah says about: Unvaccinated medical staff

BY RABBI BORUCH M BOUDILOVSKY A particularly painful time in Jewish history began in 1827, when conscription to Russian military service was enforced on underage Jewish children, as well as other minorities. These children, or cantonists, were drafted aged of 12 to begin their six-year military education. After completing their studies at 18, they had to serve in the Imperial Russian army for 25 years. The cantonists experienced unimaginable cruelty. They were underfed, beaten mercilessly, verbally abused and poorly dressed in the harsh winter. Many simply died. Jewish communities had to decide who would be sent as cantonists. Although some implemented a fair process, most didn’t. They first enlisted the children from the weakest and poorest families, such as orphans. To stop children from fleeing and hiding, they employed informers and kidnappers, who kept the boys until they were conscripted. Yiddish newspaper Der Yiddishe

Shtral published an article by a former cantonist who was taken, aged nine, from his widowed mother. After conscription, he and other children arrived in Lyutzin (Ludza). They were met by Rabbi Naftali Tziyuni and members of the Jewish community, who arranged for them to be fed and hosted. The rabbi taught them Torah, especially about figures who remained loyal to their faith despite unimaginable torture, including biblical Joseph, who was sold to slavery by his brothers after they almost killed him. Joseph remained loyal to his family’s values and would forever be known as ‘Joseph the righteous’. On the morning of their departure, the rabbi told them they were embarking on a long, hard journey with many tests and told them to remember they were Jews and should recall ‘Joseph the righteous’.

◆ Boruch M Boudilovsky is Rabbi of Young Israel of North Netanya and Dean of Pe’er Hatorah

BY RABBI GARRY WAYLAND It’s almost a year since the first Covid vaccine was administered. While we have a long way to go before Covid is not a force that will affect our daily lives, many of us, thankfully, are very much removed from the danger that this virus can present. The vaccine is a modern miracle. It works better than Shoah survivor Eve Kugler is vaccinated anticipated and, although it is less effective against the variants, issues surrounding autonomy, free it still offers remarkable protection choice vs risk to others, and the against infection and the very worst right for governments to mandate medical treatments. What does effects of the virus. Of course, no vaccine is 100 Judaism say about not allowing percent effective, and governments unvaccinated staff to work in the across the world have made laws medical profession? The role of the doctor in Judaism mandating vaccines in various settings to protect the most vulner- is paradoxical: involved in the holy able from an increased risk of expo- duty of preservation of life yet, at sure. Thus care workers in the UK the risk of ‘playing God’, overstepnow have to be vaccinated or face ping boundaries of the normadismissal; this will soon be true tive role of humanity. The Talmud for medical staff. The surrounding acknowledges that ‘permission has arguments strike at the heart of been given to heal’, but this comes

with caveats – the awesome sense of responsibility of both the meticulous attention to detail required as well as regular checking of ethical, legal and halachic guidelines. Therefore one cannot simply walk into caring for others without a sense that you are filling a vital role in God’s creation. Healing requires a divine permission and so one’s autonomy is limited to the conditions in which this permission is given. We are eternally grateful to those who choose to volunteer their lives for the sake of healing and, while it is painful to lose the support of those who care for others because they are unvaccinated, if they are not following the medical guidelines then this ‘permission to heal’ may simply not be there. ◆ Rabbi Garry Wayland is a teacher and educator for US Living and Learning

Training grants to help develop your career


hen a health condition flared up that put Breindy Gold’s work as a fitness trainer into jeopardy she felt lost. Not only did it impact the way she could function on a daily basis, the health concerns also threatened her livelihood and the ability to “put food on the table” for her family. She knew that she now needed to develop her skillset in order to continue with her business, Breindy Gold Fitness, but couldn’t afford the steep cost of the training. Then a conversation with a friend pointed her towards the Richard Mintz Bursary Fund – which makes grants to members of the Jewish community looking to undertake vocational training courses to expand their career and business opportunities. Briendy said: “I have been involved in the health and fitness sector for around 10 years. It’s my joy and passion to support people realise the many benefits of moving and making healthy choices. My client base is loyal, solid and it is my privilege to work with amazing people.

“Everything was running smoothly but then this condition flared up. As a single mother, the onus is on me to put food on the table and to have that responsibility challenged by health issues was frightening. “My friends were fantastic and rallied round, and it was through a conversation with one of them that Work Avenue and the Richard Mintz Bursary Fund popped up.” The Fund, which is administered by Work Avenue, is exactly for people like Briendy – those who want to undertake vocational training but are prevented from doing so due to the expense. Work Avenue’s team of expert of advisors work with the client to ensure the course they wish to take is aligned to the needs of their developing career or business. They also handhold the applicant through the application process and throughout their study to ensure the best outcomes from the training. The fund then covers the majority of the cost. For Briendy, it is giving her hope and options through the challenges that she faces. She said: “The Fund’s financial support meant I could learn new skills that would facilitate my work, with a new, specialised slant in a way that my new circumstances would allow. “I am in the middle of my wonderful

course. It teaches me how to evaluate physical imbalances in a client. With that information, I then tailor any exercises to address and improve such issues. Consequently, I help people to move better. “I already see the benefits of enrolling on the course. After completion, I will be certified as a Professional Safer Trainer. This will present so many new opportunities – and also means that my insurance costs will go down! “Plus, new opportunities are emerging for me. For example, my rowing club has approached me to work with junior rowers so that certain issues can be addressed, potentially removing the need for a physiotherapist in future.” The Richard Mintz Bursary Fund, combined with the advice and support of Work Avenue, can help long-term too.

As Briendy concludes: “I have dreams and ambitions to build a new style of fitness, incorporating an expanded diagnostic approach. I will have a more defined niche offering, and with that I am already thinking about how to build up my business; I know I can call on Work Avenue again for help with that. “The Fund has given me a chance to adjust how I earn my livelihood at a time when my health could have derailed that and has enabled me to broaden my horizons in an area I love. “It has given me the gift of hope!” To get in touch with Breindy Gold Fitness please email breindygoldfitness@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/breindy.gold.37 To find out more about the Richard Mintz Bursary Fund, and start the application process, please visit www.theworkavenue.org.uk/rmbf

40 Jewish News


25 November 2021

Progressive Judaism

Progressively Speaking

The Bible Says What? ‘We weren’t the only slaves in Egypt’

Mitzvah Day makes the world a better place in a humble way

BY RABBI DEBBIE YOUNG-SOMERS One of the reasons we turn to the same texts of Torah year after year is that there is always something new to be found, something we’ve missed, or a new way to understand the texts, refracted through our own lived experience. But a couple of years ago, I discovered I’d missed a whopper. I was reading with a vicar friend, undertaking a weekly chavruta (text study in pairs), and we were learning from each other’s insights. In Genesis 47, we read the story of how Joseph helped the inhabitants of Egypt through the years of famine. I always understood it was through Joseph’s installation of careful organisation that Egypt navigated the tricky years of famine – but me and my study partner noticed this wasn’t the whole story. Joseph organised a system through which the people initially sold their cattle, then their land, then themselves to Pharoah, in

return for seeds and food. We think of ourselves as the slaves in Egypt, but Joseph is part of a system that enslaves the entire population of Egypt (apart from the priests) to Pharoah. They may have chosen this as the better option over starvation, but this continues to be an impossible choice faced around the world today. Slavery has been illegal in every country since 2007, but debt bondage, domestic servitude and indentured labour are still a problem. The UK is not immune and, in a post-Brexit market, we need to ensure that people facing desperate poverty aren’t forced into desperate sacrifices of their own freedoms; as we see in the Torah, this might have short-term benefits, but in the long term leads to fear, othering and more slavery.

◆ Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers serves Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue

BY RABBI DR RENÉ PFERTZEL We are all familiar with the double meaning of the word mitzvah. It is an act that we accomplish to answer our God who metzaveh, a God who gave us mitzvot by which to live as a reminder of our commitment to the Jewish tradition. Each time we perform a mitzvah, whether it be lighting the Shabbat candles or eating matzah on Pesach, we say a blessing telling us that even mundane acts can bear a profound spiritual meaning and bring holiness into this world. By extension, because we want to ‘do the right thing’, a mitzvah is also a good deed – as we saw last weekend on Mitzvah Day. All those selfless acts we perform are mitzvot, or good deeds. These can be as varied as reaching out to those in need, working at making the world a better place for us and those who come after us, protecting the environment and contributing to make our society a fairer space.

They are rooted in three foundational Jewish values: tikkun olam, gemilut chasadim and tzedakah. Our tradition teaches us that we are God’s partners in repairing the world (letakken et ha-olam). All things change constantly, and our mission is to ensure that these changes are made for the betterment of our world. The countless acts of lovingkindness (gemilut chasadim) that are performed every day link human beings together for better relationships. Righteousness and justice, the meaning of the Hebrew word

tzedakah, give us the framework for our engagements with the world. If a deed is not ethical, it does not contribute to the welfare of our fellow human beings and our planet. In my community, we met with our friends from the Muslim community on Mitzvah Day. We devised three simple activities for the local community and members from both groups came together for a common project. We made ‘fat balls’ for birds, we cleared the local Jewish cemetery, and we cleaned the streets around the synagogue by picking up litter. These simple gestures improve the world in a very humble way, but the repetition of acts like these, all across the Jewish world, brought about something better. We finished with tea, coffee and cakes… because a good Jewish moment always comes with food! ◆ Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel serves Kingston Liberal Synagogue

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25 November 2021 Jewish News

Ask our


Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts

Save money on transfers to and from Israel Whether you’re buying foreign property or moving money home, you can benefit from: Excellent exchange rates

Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Alternatives to hearing aids, accessing digital assets in connection with a will and refreshing tired jewellery

No transfer fees Personal Support

Find out more



Dear Sue My mum is 90 and keeps losing her hearing aids. It’s such a faff to get her to the hospital for new ones, and appointment waiting times can be ages. She also finds her hearing aids awkward to handle and put in her ears as they are so small and fiddly. I can’t always visit every morning to help her. Is there anything she can use instead of her hearing aids … or while we’re waiting for replacements? Caroline Dear Caroline Lots of older people find it hard to handle


KKL EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE COMPANY Dear Carolyn I have recently rewritten my will and appointed new executors. I am concerned about how they will access my digital assets. Please can you advise? Jeremy Dear Jeremy You have raised an important issue and are right to highlight digital assets.

At KKL, we advise clients to make a list of their assets and any debts, and to consider either sharing it with their executors or at least telling them where the list is kept. Understandably, you may have concerns about confidentiality and safeguarding this sensitive information. You could leave it in a sealed envelope marked ‘to be opened after my death’, especially if your will is deposited with a professional organisation. It is important to review and update the list regularly. In this digital age, people have an increasing number of online accounts, not just for banking and investments, but also on sites such as eBay and Amazon or funds in a

their hearing aids themselves. Perhaps your mum would like to try a personal listener. This is a small amplifier, about the size of a large matchbox. It can be used with headphones or a neck loop, whichever your mum prefers. These can be put on and taken off easily. Your mum can use this easy piece of equipment to chat with you, to watch TV without having to turn up the volume too high, or to listen to the radio. It would also help her at medical and other appointments. At JDA, we can show you a range of personal listeners. If you’d like to bring your mum to visit us, she can try them to see which suits her best. If she can’t travel to us, we will come to her. Our services are free, so please call Gabrielle on 020 8446 0214 to make an appointment.

PayPal account. Consider including password and account details in your list if you are satisfied with secure storage arrangements for the list and remember to update it. When the inevitable happens, your executors need to be able to access all your assets and liabilities – both hard copy and, more importantly, digital. Postal redirection helps with the former and this is something KKL always does. It helps to ‘capture’ any missing assets, although it won’t solve the digital tracking issue. This will need forward thinking on your part by putting digital access in place now for your executors to use only after your death.

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JEWELLERY CAVE LTD Dear Jonathan I always look forward to reading your Q&As in Jewish News. I don’t have any jewellery to sell, but I would like to give the jewellery I do have a refresh as it looks very tired and outdated. I have seen what you do on Instagram on @jewellerycave and I like your styles very much. Would you be able

to help me to find what I’m after please? Tanya Dear Tanya Look no further! If you would like to make an appointment and come to our Hendon Lane showroom, bringing all your items with you, we can see

what you have and show you ideas. Then we can create some computer-assisted designs, so you know what you will be getting before we produce it. I think you will be happy with the end result. Feel free to phone us on 020 8446 8538 to make an appointment.



Jewish News 25 November 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.

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• •

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Got a question for a member of our team? Email: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk


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Computer problems solved

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts




JACOB BERNSTEIN Qualifications: • A member of the APCC, specialising in financial services compliance for: • Mortgage, protection and general insurance intermediaries; • Lenders, credit brokers, debt counsellors and debt managers; • Alternative Investment Fund managers; • E-Money, payment services, PISP, AISP and grant-making charities.

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

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If you would like to advertise your services here email: sales@ jewishnews.co.uk



Jewish News 25 November 2021

Come and join our Springdene family Premier care homes in North London


ooking for a care home for yourself or a loved one? Then you could do no better than to join us as part of our Springdene family. Unlike other care homes, which are often part of large corporations, we are a family business. And we’re still run by the same family that founded it more than 50 years ago.






New residents at Springdene can be sure of a warm reception. All our homes – Spring Grove in Hampstead, Spring Lane in Muswell Hill and Springview in Enfield – are rated as good by the Care Quality Commission. Residents enjoy hotel-style luxury, with their own spacious room, complete with full en-suite facilities, personal telephone and wi-fi. There are three delicious meals a day, with a varied choice of menus. And there are lots of regular activities, including quizzes, short stories, art competitions and poetry readings, livestreamed concerts and film-showings on a big screen, as well as walks in delightful gardens. We’ve a great team, offering wonderful care and everyone is brilliantly looked after. As our motto says: ‘Life is for living!’

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One of the finest and best-appointed homes for older people in North London, Spring Lane is just a short distance from Muswell Hill Broadway and is ideally located in a residential area close to local shops and public transport. With 63 spacious residential rooms, it offers a happy and stimulating home environment in a luxury setting.

The ultimate in comfort, Spring Grove was purpose built in 1992 to luxury hotel standards. With 40 single and three double rooms, it is situated on the Finchley Road near to Swiss Cottage and is close to local shops, cultural facilities and a tube station. It has large terraces and attractive, well-planted gardens.

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Where life is for living 15/10/2021 10:38

25 November 2021 Jewish News



Fun, games and prizes










Family ___, genealogy chart (4) Gives permission to (4) Pen part (3) Cameo agate (4) Porridge cereal (4) Day after the eleventh (7) Chinese zodiac animal (3) Monkey-like mammal native to Madagascar (5) 23 Monarch (5)










ACROSS 1 Advantageous possession (5)


DOWN 1 Upper limbs (4) 2 Joint work, co-operative action (7) 3 Large soup dish (6) 4 Large group (of similar things) (4) 5 Hassle (3) 6 Yearning (6) 11 Captivate (7) 12 Architectural feature enclosing a door (6) 14 Pester, irritate (6) 17 A great distance (4) 18 Film ___, famous actor (4) 20 Species affected by ‘Dutch’ disease (3)

16 17

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

9 10 13 15 16 19 21 22





4 Blow your own trumpet (5) 7 Blokes (3) 8 Italian meat-filled dish (7)



The words related to tools can all be found in the grid. Words may run either forwards or backwards, in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction, but always in a straight, unbroken line.

In this finished crossword, every letter of the alphabet appears as a code number. All you have to do is crack the code and fill in the grid. Replacing the decoded numbers with their letters in the grid will help you to guess the identity of other letters.































Last issue’s solutions


Crossword ACROSS: 1 Schism 4 Harm 8 ATM 9 Inwards 10 Dwell 11 Yours 13 Offer 15 Reset 17 Husband 19 Ivy 20 Roar 21 Goggle DOWN: 1 Stand 2 Himself 3 Skill 5 Air 6 Muses 7 Awry 12 Upswing 13 Other 14 Road 15 Rodeo 16 Thyme 18 Sea

5 7 2 3 9 1 8 4 6

3 1 8 5 6 4 7 2 9

2 3 5 4 1 9 6 7 8


















3 23

21 13




























8 4 9 6 3 7 2 5 1

7 2 3 1 8 5 9 6 4

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.

2 4 1 5 2 3 3





4 3 1

16 22

26 4


4 4 2


4 1 2 3

5 21








26 23



16 6

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 1 6 7 8 5 2 4 9 3




25 21






4 7 5 8 3 5 8 4 3 8 6 9 5 1 6 7 3









11 23







Sudoku 6 9 4 2 7 8 3 1 5















19 23













3 9 5 2 1 6 4 9 5 3 2 7 2 6 1 8

9 5 6 7 4 3 1 8 2

4 8 1 9 2 6 5 3 7

1 3 1 4 1 2

2 4 2 5 3 5

1 3 1 4 2 1

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


Wordsearch 2 4 5 3 5 3

5 1 2 1 4 2

2 3 4 5 3 1

1 4 1 4 2 3

5 2 3 5 1 4

3 1 4 2 3 2

2 5 3 1 5 1

1 4 2 4 2 3

2 3 1 3 1 4








Codeword K G O S I E F M O O B U T











Jewish News 25 November 2021


Business Services Directory ANTIQUES 44

The Jewish News 22 September 2016

Stirling BUSINESS SERVICES DIRECTORY Antique – Reproduction – Retro Furniture Top prices paid (any condition)

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