h a k u Chan www.jewishnews.co.uk
12 DECEMBER 2019
YOUR ULTIMATE gift guide !
The other Mrs Maisel and a Chanukah prayer
Edited by Brigit Grant
Jewish News 12 December 2019
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12 December 2019
Story time / Chanukah
TALES for engagement It can be hard to keep young people and pre-teens engaged in synagogue. But writer and marketing executive Emma Parlons and Rabbi Jeremy Gordon of New London Synagogue have teamed up to write a book of around 60 stories with the aim of ‘revolutionising’ children’s connection to the Torah. Each engaging story in the beautifully-illustrated An Angel Called Truth relates to the weekly sedra, the Midrash or the festivals, and is written from the perspective of a young person aged 10 to 13. They are followed by ‘life questions’ to make them relevant and relatable and promote empathy, thought and some personal soul-searching. Key philosophical themes such as morality, self-importance, belief, disagreement and ethical knowledge are drawn out of these stories. For this not-for-profit project, Parlons, who attends the Masorti synagogue in St John’s Wood, and Rabbi Gordon brought on board illustrator Pete Williamson of Stitch Head and Skeleton Keys fame, among many others. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign, which is supported in the UK as well as overseas. Funding pledges start from £20 for a paperback book and the hope is that schools and synagogues will order bulk copies. Once the funds are raised the book will be printed and sent out as soon as possible. www.anangelcalledtruth.com
artsdepot in association with The New Wolsey Theatre presents
‘WE WILL BURN WHAT WE HAVE’
round 2,200 years ago the King of the Seleucids, Antiochus, began to persecute the Jews. He ordered a statue of the Greek god, Zeus, to be placed in the Temple, and that pigs should be offered as sacrifices on the altar (both of which were completely forbidden to the Jews). The king’s behaviour resulted in a revolt against the Seleucids, led by Judah the Maccabee. The Maccabees won. And so began a process of cleaning up the Temple, making it ready to be dedicated again (the Hebrew word Chanukah means ‘dedication’). We have imagined a tale told by a young boy who has been working with his father on the clean-up project. “Silence please! Please do sit down. We’ll begin in a few moments.” Dad’s trying to get the crowd to settle, so we can start the dedication ceremony. But everyone wants to congratulate him, and he can’t help being the chattiest person around. “Oh yes! It does look good doesn’t it? Thank you, thank you. It was a team effort really. My boy, yes that’s him over there, very helpful!” He nods in my direction. I swell with pride. “It was a mess, filthy; pigs roaming around, idols everywhere. I wasn’t sure we’d ever get it back to where it is today. Yes, yes, oh, do please settle down, settle down.” The past two months have been amazing. My back hurts from hauling away rubble. My arms hurt from scrubbing. My legs hurt from all the ladder-climbing. But it’s been great fun and the temple looks amazing; everything is shining, there’s not an idol to be seen. Today is going to be great. Dad has been in charge of lighting the Ner Tamid, the everlasting light. He deserves it; he’s worked harder than everyone. He looks so proud as a hush settles over the crowd. “Bring forth the sacred oil,” Dad calls out. Nobody moves. We all wait. “Who has the oil?” He calls out again, this time starting to sound a little anxious. Still silence. Then I realise that no one has remembered to get hold of new oil. We are all in big trouble. No oil, no everlasting light, no dedication. And the press was a four-day donkey ride away – four days there, four days back. Then I remember I have seen a tiny flask of oil, with the sacred seal still attached. Everything else has been thrown out. I push through the crowd to get to the store cupboard and scramble through everyone back to the front of the crowd as quickly as I can. “Dad, we’ve got this,” I say, opening my hand and showing him the tiny vial of oil. Dad looks unimpressed. “It’s not enough son – there’s no point.” I refuse to give up. “Go on Dad,” I say. I’m out of breath and embarrassed, but after everything we’ve been through, I’ve got to believe it’s worth a try. “Let’s burn what we have, don’t quit now.” And, somehow, it is enough.
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Marvellous Maisel
Mrs Maisel Brigit Grant spends time with the star of Amazon’s hit show and learns a new prayer
ast Friday was special. Not in the way this Friday might be, but it was thrilling for the fans of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel as Midge returned. That they chose the Sabbath –noch – to premiere season three of the fabulously flamboyant series about a 1950s New York Jewish housewife-turned-comedian is chutzpah – but they’ve earned it! With enough awards to fill Sophie Lennon’s town house (fan joke), the show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, has swathed funny in fuschia across the TV landscape and laden it with references to kishkas , kugel and even the Mi Sheberach prayer. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is a very, very Jewish show and it makes no apology for the excess of yiddishkeit. Passover, Yom Kippur and even Tisha B’Av have all featured, and Chanukah has also got a mention, notably in the Catskills (during a game of ‘Simon Says’, when the directive “spin like a dreidel” was heard. But for genuine Festival of Lights insight from the Maisel camp, you need the other Mrs Maisel. I’m talking about Shirley, mother of Joel Maisel, Midge’s estranged husband. “Yes, I’m Mrs Maisel, too, just not the marvellous one in the title,” jokes Caroline Aaron, who plays the brazen balaboosta and Mahjong maven devoted to her grandchildren. Shirley is the sort of woman who brings her own chicken soup to Friday night dinner and wears a mink coat and sun hat while spieling. But Shirley is marvellous because she has has been brought to life by an actress who has headlined on Broadway and made more than 100 films, five of which were with Woody Allen. Cast as Woody’s sister in Crimes and Misdemeanors and Deconstructing Harry, Caroline’s resume presents a dilemma for an Allen admirer and Maisel enthusiast with lots of questions. But we start with Chanukah. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, it’s hard to imagine a less likely starting point for the woman who now embodies Shirley Maisel, as there were few Jews in the capital of the Confederacy. With a Jewish mother
Caroline Aaron, right, as a child in Virginia
With Woody Allen in Deconstructing Harry
With screen husband Kevin Polak and son Michael Zegen
Yom Kippur service for Maisel cast with Caroline
from Selma, Alabama, and a Lebanese Jewish father, Caroline’s family was part of a group that were forbidden to live in the best residential neighbourhoods or join country clubs. As she recalls: “When I got married in 1980, my mother had to ask a friend to pick up our wedding cake. She had ordered it from the best pastry chef in Richmond, who happened to work at The Country Club of Virginia. The club was restricted. No Jews or blacks could enter the property.” But there are kinder memories about Chanukah. “Because there was no Jewish community, my mother wisely allowed us to celebrate Christmas as well, which she made an American holiday. She didn’t want us to hate being Jewish when all the other kids were getting presents. We had no Chanukah presents, but we didn’t mind, as lighting the candles was the focus.” Caroline still has a printout of the Chanukah prayer from her childhood synagogue. “I saved it and have not seen anything like it since,” she says. “Each candle on the menorah symbolises something different .The first night the prayer is for one God, the second for family and the third for faith. I don’t remember the others, but there’s a great prayer for the shamesh – ‘One candle may kindle many others, and yet lose none of its own light, so Judaism has kindled the light of truth in many lands and still shines brightly through the ages.’ Isn’t that a great prayer? You can light candles without losing your own light. What a powerful metaphor.” Caroline delivers the prayer with the gravitas of a veteran performer and it’s a voice you would recognise, were she to say: “We’ve been talking to – well,let’s just call him Sleepless in Seattle, and we’ll be right back after this break with listener response…” Just the thought of Dr Marcia Fieldstone broadcasting live from Chicago while chatting to widower Sam (Tom Hanks) in Nora Ephron’s Sleepless classic makes one weepy. “Yes, I’m Dr Fieldstone,” says Caroline. “I actually got an email a few months back from the Golden Globes. They’re giving a Lifetime Achievement award to Tom Hanks in January and asked permission to use my voice.” Of course she said yes and might even be there with The Marvellous Mrs Maisel crew, who are now regulars at award ceremonies. “You should only see all of the foundation garments and uncomfortable shoes I have to wear for these award nights,” sighs Caroline, a sprightly 67. “But what a wonderful problem to have.” Equally wonderful are the clothes costume designer Donna Zakowska creates for Shirley and co. “They are phenomenal aren’t they? Not only is Donna brilliant, but she is an artist in her own right. Everything she makes is so unbelievably authentic and she gets inspiration from books on flowers. If it exists in nature, she will put Midge in a chartreuse coat and bright pink undergarments. Sounds crazy, but then you see it and it is spectacular.” So isn’t it tempting to go home still dressed in head to toe Fifties floral?. “Yes,” says Caroline, “But they’d go crazy if I did. Everything about the clothes actually makes me miss my mother. Twice a year my mother would get out her winter or summer clothes collection. She even changed the upholstery. Everyone was a fancy dresser then. People even dressed up to go on planes.” As season three of Mrs Maisel has only just begun, it feels wrong to ask about a fourth, however… “It’s not yet officially confirmed, but yes,” says Caroline, who reveals London as a
12 December 2019 Jewish News
Marvellous Maisel / Chanukah
mooted next location. “It may just be a rumour,” she adds, but I’m already picturing Midge in Marble Arch. On to Woody Allen, with whom Caroline also starred in the Broadway comedy Honeymoon Hotel and in Husbands and Wives, a memorable scene with director Jerry Zaks, Sydney Pollack and Nora Ephron. “That was exciting, to be in a room acting with all of them. I’ve worked with Woody a lot. He tends to use the same people because once you have his language in your heart, you don’t forget it. He is also incredibly shy, which is the reason he doesn’t do award shows. He is also bewildered by the idea of comparing films that are so different. Just doesn’t understand it.” The backlash against Woody in a Hollywood now entrenched in MeToo politics upsets Caroline. “As I said, I’ve worked with him a lot. He is really kind and I adore him, just adore him. I wrote him a letter
when all the trouble started recently. I just wish I were more famous, so I could make a public statement of support, but I’m telling you, I have supreme confidence in his creativity and his character. Caroline celebrated her 39th wedding anniversary this year to husband James Foreman. “He’s in real estate, but we were both actors when we met. I decided one of us had to have a sensible job.” As Shirley Maisel, Caroline gets a second family: husband Moishe (Kevin Pollak) and son, Joel (Michael Zegen), grandkids, and mad Midge. “I’ve worked with Kevin before and, although I have a son, Ben, and a daughter, Sydney, Michael now also feels like my son.” Ben got married this year to Amanda. “This will be her first Chanukah with us and I do love the candle lighting. A menorah is my go-to wedding present, as I never use a list. And if you don’t light it, you still have
Chanukah Maiselisms AT THE COMEDY CLUB Midge: Me, personally, I was never great at gift-giving. Maybe it’s because I never got to celebrate Christmas. I got Chanukah. Doesn’t exactly prepare you the same way. For Christmas, a gentile would get a bike as a reminder that their parents love them. For Chanukah, we would get socks as a reminder that we were persecuted. August in the Catskills Abe Weissman has discovered Midge is a comedian and she wants to break the news to her mother. Midge: I'd like to tell her when we get back to the city. Abe: No, when we get back, we unpack. Midge: We'll unpack either way. Abe: No, if everyone gets distracted, we won't unpack, and suitcases and boxes will be crowding the place for weeks! I can't live like that. Midge: Fine, then after we unpack. Abe: And get past Chanukah. Midge: Chanukah? That's months away! Abe: You want to spoil your mother's Chanukah by telling her you're pursuing a life as a foul-mouthed comic?
The Marvelous Maisel women with Caroline, third left, and writer Amy in hat
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / School special
HEAD & Heart Leading a Jewish school and a church on weekends gives Patrick Moriarty a unique perspective on the Chanukah/Christmas clash. Here he addresses both and looks at JCoSS successes in 2019 and its future
here’s never a dull week as a headteacher...and especially when you lead a Jewish school during the week and a Christian community on Sundays. In my Church life it’s the middle of Advent - a season of waiting in the midst of darkness, with themes of hope and judgment. At school, meanwhile, Chanukah approaches with its themes of standing against oppression and assimilation, and we’re in the middle of the month of Kislev - a word connected on the one hand to hope and on the other hand to foolishness. All in all, then, a perfect time for a general election. There’s plenty to be hopeful about at JCoSS. As we approach our tenth birthday it’s good to look back over the history of a project that some called pure foolishness. Fears in some quarters that we would damage the Jewish community and undermine its schools now look exaggerated (to say the least). We are proud to have joined those schools in friendship and mutual support, to have expanded the offer of Jewish secondary education and to have taken our place with them in the top echelons of league tables.
Our most recent accolade as Sunday Times Greater London State Secondary School of the Year gives us all the more pride given the range of our intake. We have a higher proportion of students with significant special needs than any Barnet school, and take many times more than our fair share compared to other Jewish schools even before factoring in our autism provision. Yet our results and Oxbridge successes - as well as the quality and range of all our students’ destinations - are proof that excellence and inclusion go hand in hand, rather than pulling against each other. There’s hope there for all. Nothing expresses hope more than a commitment to expand, and this week we are submitting exciting plans for a new building so that we can do just that. Nine extra classrooms will allow to us to offer 30 more places each year - making permanent the ‘bulge’ classes we already have in two year groups. The numbers wanting Jewish schools continues to rise and we are well placed to be a key part of the long term solution. Our waiting lists certainly prove there
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Patrick Moriarty at JCoSS
is more than enough demand for JCoSS to justify the expansion. But growing a school, like everything else, is harder when there’s uncertainty. Will there be additional funding, making good the decline over the last 10 years? There are grounds for scepticism as well as optimism. How might the outcome of the election affect demand for Jewish places? It could go up or down, and not necessarily evenly across the community. The status of faith schools and of private schools, the future of Ofsted, the personality and policies of ministers, even the Brexit outcome all make a difference. JCoSS has a pioneering spirit: our commitment to open hearts and minds has hope at its core. But that does not make us immune to the darkness. The last few weeks have been difficult for leaders in all walks of public life, and our pluralist Judaism does not make it any easier. We thrive on honest debate, but the complexities and competing narratives of political life are putting the whole of society on edge and I see the effect visibly in students, colleagues and
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parents. So I confess to experiencing some relief when Archbishop Justin lent support to the recent statement on antiSemitism from Chief Rabbi Mirvis. With a foot in two camps as I have, it helped to have the values we have in common underlined, even while there is sincere dissent within both communities. Perhaps the key common value is shared humanity - or as we say at JCoSS, being a Mensch. Looking at what humanity is capable of there’s both hope and foolishness in that; but holding together things that pull apart...well, it’s what JCoSS does!
12 December 2019
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Showstopper menorahs
Alex Galbinski takes a look at some of the more interesting chanukiahs on sale – and decides they’d all make wonderful gifts AT A CRAFT FAIR in Somerset, Judy Weisz saw a particular candlestick that made her stop in her tracks. She took a second – and then a third – look. It was made of upcycled motorbike and car parts and was really rather striking. What a wonderful idea, she thought, and had a lengthy chat with the talented craftsman. To cut a long story short, Judy, who owns Hendon Judaica in Bell Lane, is now selling eight specially-designed menorahs – others can be commissioned – just in time for Chanukah! “I’m always looking at ways to be creative,” explains Judy, who adds that making the Judaica is quite a process. “The designer doesn’t use anything new, and he has to clean the old parts and spray them. It’s a labour of love.” Each piece is hand-made and unique and quite heavy, with quirky features. “The cogs and wheels on the later menorahs move,” says Judy. “I appreciate the upcycling, and he even recycles the oil that comes out of them,” she adds, admiringly. “These types of menorahs have never been seen before – they’re so 21st century. They are something new yet also traditional. People are really excited about them – as am I.”
The menorahs come in two sizes, priced at £400 for the smaller versions and £500 for the larger ones. To view the menorahs, visit www.distinctivejudaica.com
Maccabee Menorah, £500
Dan Menorah, £400
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NEED FOR BEAD These African fair trade chanukiah are certainly unusual and are made from wire craft, an original African art form. Choose from four animal designs, including rhino. www.shop.jewishmuseum. org.uk, £55 OIL CHANGE It’s not just the candles that can provide the colour. The Apeloig Collection of translucent acrylic oil chanukiahs come in five shades to suit your decor. www.contemporaryjudaica. co.uk, £245
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DON’T BE SQUARE! Either link the square jigsaw puzzle pieces together to form a straight line chanukiah or try to get the Square Puzzle Piece Chanukiah by Dabbah back to its original square form. www.contemporaryjudaica.co.uk, £145
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DAPPER DOG The Daschund Menorah is the bee’s knees www.uk.jonathan adler.com, £128
EGG-STATIC DESIGN This handmade ceramic menorah by ClaybyDannah has nine tiny egg-shaped bowls for placing candles in them. Tel-Aviv based Dannah Levy is inspired by nature. www.etsy.com/uk, £97.56
12 December 2019 Jewish News
Showstopper menorahs / Chanukah
UNLIMITED UPCYCLING This chanukiah was bought from an All Aboard charity shop by Suzi Philip and lovingly upcycled with Fimo decorations as a gift for a rabbi friend. We’re inspired but Suzi is happy to take on commissions. Email her at: email@example.com
FAIRYTALE DREAMS This whimiscal laser cut colourfully hand-painted Fairytale Wonderland chanukiah by Yair Emanuel certainly makes us feel happy. www.judaicawebstore. co.uk, £58.46
TRAVELLING LIGHT Perfect for travel, each piece of this chanukiah is separate and stacks on top of the other. Also doubles up as Shabbat candlesticks. www.contemporaryjudaica. co.uk, £89
PUZZLE PERFECT Margaret’s Menorahs has passed the test with this hand-crafted design for young children. Fit the shapes in the wooden base and then light it up. www.etsy.com/uk, £29.01
FULL HOUSE The wonderful handmade ceramic chanukiah by Sergio Faingold comprises nine parts that can be placed in any order. On each part, there is a small house. www.etsy.com/uk, £107.
CERAMIC FAN-TASTIC We are certainly fans of this white ceramic geometric menorah by Tel Aviv-based artistic team Studio Armadillo. Inspired by Origami art, it is perfect for the design-led home. www.etsy.com/uk £149.90
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
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12 December 2019 Jewish News
Gifts / Chanukah
MATCHING PAIRS Keep an eye on the cards and race to grab the corresponding doughnut if you see a match in this bakery-themed Dough Nab game. For three to six players, ages 8+. Amazon, £19.99
Alex Galbinski picks some fun and quirky presents to make everyone smile this Chanukah – while remembering to think about those in need STACK ’EM UP Keep your desserts in order with this cute Ginger Ray three-dowel doughnut stacker. Paperchase, £13
EYE CANDY These doughnut-shaped glittery glass decorations can be hung on your Chanukah bush (for those of you who do). Paperchase, £6
SUGAR RUSH If you’re still craving sugar, this certified kosher Donut Shoppe mix by Jelly Belly is perfect. Coming in a variety of packages, including this 28g tin, there are five favourite traditional American flavours inspired by bakery classics. www.jellybelly.co.uk, £3.20 for the tin (bags are £2.50)
SNAP HAPPY Having been sent a camera to test, I can safely say most teenage girls and older will love this Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay. Much fun was had with the lightweight hybrid instant camera, taking selfies – with and without filters and embedded audio message – and they were printed out straight away. Most large retailers, including John Lewis and Selfridges, £149.99
PRONOUNCING POTTERHEADS The award-winning game of observation has taken a journey to the wizard world for a special edition game. For ages 6+. Amazon, £14.99
BATHTIME FUN This Winter In Venice doughnut bath bomb set comes in nine ‘flavours’ including butter pecan, raspberry sorbet, honey mandarin and chocolate, orange and vanilla. Yum! Amazon, £22.98
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SWEET SCENT This reed diffuser, which is infused with salted caramel, coffee and whipped cream, will surely make your home smell amazing for the festive season. Comes in a crackerstyled box. Marks and Spencer, £6
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CARD APPEAL These clever 3D pop-up cards featuring a Star of David and chanukiah will surely delight recipients of all ages. Cardology, £7.50
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Gifts
HOLE IN ONE We love love love this gold-coloured bagel charm necklace, which you can choose to have on a chain (two types are available) or a keyring. Etsy, £11.86
LIGHT UP! They look tasty, but doughnut eat these! Switch them on instead while waiting to light your chanukiahs. Requires 2 x AA batteries. Paperchase, £10
QUICK THINKER Can you easily name three things that, for example, you find down the back of your sofa in just five seconds? This 5 Second Rule Game is available in different versions, including an adult uncensored one. www.interplayuk.com, from £7.99
A WHISKY TASTING EXPERIENCE IN A BOX! The Really Good Whisky Company has created an outstanding range of whisky tasting experiences all neatly packaged in gift boxes that make perfect Chanukah gifts. Prices start from £15 and each whisky comes with tasting notes, interesting facts about the distillery and instructions on how to best enjoy and appreciate your whisky. Jewish News readers can enjoy free next day UK delivery by using the code ‘JNEWS’ at the checkout. www.reallygoodwhisky.com
SOUND BOX Grab a Tonie, pop it on the Toniebox and listen to childhood classics such as The Snowman and Zog, learn about secrets of the deep sea, or record your own stories narrated by family members with the creative figure included. From all good retailers, including John Lewis, from £69.95
THIS CHANUKAH THERE’S ONLY ONE TARGET THAT THE PEOPLE OF SDEROT WANT TO SEE HIT Right now, just as people in Sderot are starting to think about celebrating Chanukah, Emunah is on the frontline providing therapy and counselling for traumatised at-risk children and families experiencing a constant threat to life from attacks. Our Sarah Ronson therapy centre provides a 24 hour hotline and desperately needed support, but we urgently need to move to larger premises to meet the growing service demand.
We are £70,000 short of reaching our target, but you can help us meet the shortfall by calling 020 8203 6066 or by donating online at emunah.org.uk/donate www.emunah.org.uk British Emunah on
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12 December 2019 Jewish News
Gifts / Chanukah ANIMAL MAGIC Scamper, Ranger and Rumble of Coding Critters teach preschool children the fundamentals of coding and STEM without a screen. Ages 4+. Amazon, £40
Helping a stranger...
CHECK MATE The British Library’s London skyline-themed chess set with a difference includes Big Ben, the London Eye, the Gherkin, the Shard and Canary Wharf. A great gift for lovers of the game as well as of design. www.shop.bl.uk, £95
SPACE AGE Let their dreams take them far and wide with this reversible 100 percent cotton space bedding set with glow in the dark technology. Marks and Spencer, from £29.50
FAMILY VALUES Relative Insanity is a hilarious game created by American comic Jeff Foxworthy that tasks players to give their funniest responses to scenarios. For ages 14+ www.interplayuk.com, £19.99 SKY HIGH Launch your dog’s favourite fetching tennis ball more than 50ft in the air with the Nerf tennis ball blaster. When your pooch brings it back, stay in the game by placing the barrel on the tennis ball and picking it up “hands-free”. Argos, £14.99
Each Menorah is a unique masterpiece lovingly handmade from up cycled motorbike and car parts. www.distinctivejudaica.com or call 07977 522 071 for more information or to view.
SHUTTER SPEED Watch and record images from this camera drone controlled from your smartphone. You can manoeuvre it in any direction to a height of around 35 metres and with 25 minutes’ flight time. Marks and Spencer, £32.50
While you’re buying gifts for those around you, spare a thought for those less fortunate who would really appreciate your help. Consider joining the hundreds of families across the community who put aside material gifts for one night of Chanukah and instead donate a charitable gift in their loved ones’ names for the MyChanukahGift campaign. Myisrael, which works with under-the-radar charities in the state, will then send their loved ones a personalised card explaining their gift so they know whose life they’ve helped light up this Chanukah. And there’ll be a surprise included in the card for them too. New gifts for this year’s campaign include warm clothing for teenagers living on the streets in Israel, a theatre trip for a mother and child-at-risk and board games and sports accessories for families living in poverty,
Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Solo Sabbath
In India, Len Williams met a man with the single-minded dedication to run his shul alone
Elias Josephai at the Kochi synagogue in Kerala which he runs all alone
“Every day I come here to pray,” says Elias Josephai, trustee of the Kadavum Bagam Synagogue in Kochi, India. That would not be such a striking statement were if not for the fact that he’s been doing so virtually alone, for the past four decades. Babu, as Mr Josephai is known, is one of just 19 Jews still living in Kochi, a port city in southern Kerala. The community was once several-thousand strong and is believed to have been in the region for some 2,000 years. However, with the creation of Israel, most of Kochi’s Jews emigrated, leaving just a handful behind. “Most Shabbat it is just me and my wife worshipping; it gives a deep pain in my heart,” he says. Nevertheless, Babu has energetically maintained and improved the synagogue singlehandedly over the past few decades. How does he keep going alone? In 1978, the year Babu began managing the building ,it was burgled and most of its valuables stolen. But, over the years he has painstakingly restored the synagogue which was first built around 1200 AD. The successful restoration is testament to India’s interreligious tolerance. “Those chandeliers were donated by the Hindus” he explains, pointing at colourful lamps hanging from the ceiling. New windows were given by local Muslims, while a Christian organisation helped restore the bimah. The interior of the synagogue includes many local touches – the cabinet around the ark is decorated with tropical fruit, while the floor tiles were designed by artisans from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
As a young man, Babu wanted to head to Israel too, but family circumstances prevented him. Since then he has gone on to build a successful aquarium business which is housed in the entry hall of the synagogue. Now he has no interest in going to Israel: “what would I do there? It is a country for young people”. And is he proud of his achievements? “It is HaShem who did it” he replies modestly. There is also a back story which may partially explain Babu’s efforts. Journalist Edna Fernandes’ book The Last Jews of Kerala traces the unique history of Kochi’s Jews. Although Jews have probably been living in India for 2,000 years, a second wave arrived in the 16th century. The new group came from Europe and were known as the white Jews, their older counterparts as black Jews. Over time, white Jews claimed greater legitimacy than older inhabitants and received patronage from local royalty and the colonial powers who later arrived in India. As a consequence, the story of Kerala’s white Jews became the ‘official’ version – while the older black Jewish community were written out of history (for example, you won’t find Babu’s synagogue in guidebooks, while the white Jews’ building is a top attraction in the Lonely Planet). Could his dedication to the synagogue be an attempt to reclaim that past? Babu reports he is “only 60 percent done” with his works. There are plenty of upgrades still to be made and he plans a small museum too. “I wish this synagogue to remain until the sun and moon stop shining” he says. And once he’s gone? “HaShem will take care”.
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Chandeliers and windows donated by Hindus and Christians at Kadavum Bagam Synagogue
Chag Chanukah Same’ach!
Rabbi Lisa Barrett, Honorary Ofﬁcers, Council and staff of SWESRS would like to wish the entire Jewish community a very Happy Chanukah. Throughout the year our doors are always open, ready to welcome you to our range of wonderful Shabbat morning services, including choral, family and Neshamah meditation services, along with our weekly Tuesday Lunch Club, Sunday@SWESRS Adult Education programme, and our varied and engaging Social and Community events.
Stay connected email@example.com · www.ajr.org.uk · 020 8385 3070 AssociationofJewishRefugees
We would be delighted to see you at any time of the year…. Why not take a look at our website for further details? www.swesrs.org.uk
12 December 2019
LOUIS MANN & SON LIMITED
Under the supervision of the London Board for Shechita
We are now taking orders for your Chanukah and festive season turkeys, boned and cut turkey portions, ducks, geese, chickens and poussins as well as a plentiful supply of ﬁnest aged beef and tender & juicy lamb. We always have a full range of our oven-ready signature spatchcock chickens, Lazy Lamb, glazed ribs & wings, KFC (Kosher Fried Chicken) and delicious deli meats. please place your order by phone or email or pop in to see us at our ﬂagship store in Edgware or one of our counters at Panzer St Johns Wood and Noshers of Pinner.
21-23 Edgwarebury Lane Edgware HA8 8LL • 020 8958 4910/5945 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.louismann.co.uk
We never compromise on quality; neither should you
Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Eating nu!
KOSHER FESTIVITIES Denise Phillips cashes in on an alternative festive menu
STICKY FIGGY PUDDING PREPARATION TIME 25 minutes plus soaking fruit overnight COOKING TIME 2 hours SERVES 10-15 people
This is a delicious warming winter pudding. It does have quite of list of ingredients but is well worth the extra effort putting them together. For the best flavour, I like to soak the dried fruit in whisky overnight. Enjoy hot cold or warm. Ingredients 300g dried figs – stalk removed and finely chopped 250g dried mixed fruit 50g dried cranberries or dried cherries Zest of 1 orange Juice of 2 oranges 100ml whisky, brandy or orange juice 150g plain wholemeal flour 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 200g desiccated coconut 150g ground almonds 125g non-dairy margarine 150g dark brown sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 180g brown breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons clear honey
Sticky figgy pudding
Perfect gift for Chanukah, a ‘Whisky Tasting’ experience in a box.
1 Grease 15 mini pudding moulds or one large one and set aside. 2 In a medium bowl, combine figs, dried fruit, and dried cranberries with the orange zest, orange juice, and whisky; set aside or leave covered overnight. 3 In a small bowl, stir together flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, desiccated coconut and ground almonds; set aside. 4 Whisk margarine and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and combine well. Stir in breadcrumbs and fruit mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pudding mould; cover tightly with greased foil. 5 Place pudding mould on a roasting tray filled with boiling water to a depth of about 4cm (a bain marie) in the oven at 160ºC for about two hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean. Add more boiling water if necessary. Alternatively, use a steam oven – 100% steam for 1½ hours. 6 Remove pudding and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Loosen edge of pudding from sides of mould; invert pudding onto a serving plate. Brush with honey. Serve with custard or ice cream.
Order on 0203 872 7767 or online at
Stuffed turkey escalope with apricot and pecans
12 December 2019 Jewish News
Eating nu! / Chanukah
NUTTY BAKED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH POMEGRANATES PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 40 minutes SERVES 4 people
Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds make a beautiful festive side dish. Bright red pomegranate seeds make these delicious, crispy caramelised brussels sprouts pop with festive flair. Ingredients 450g brussels sprouts – trimmed and halved 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 50g hazelnuts – roasted and roughly chopped 100g skinned chestnuts – roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste 1 pomegranate – deseeded Dressing 2 tablespoons date honey (silan) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
Method 1 Preheat oven to 180ºC (or 180ºC with 60% steam). Line one large baking tray with baking parchment. 2 In a medium bowl, add brussels sprouts and toss with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil and salt. 3 Transfer brussels sprouts to the baking tray, in a single layer, cut halves facing down. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and browned. 4 In the meantime, toast hazelnuts by placing them on another oven tray and roast for 10 minutes. 5 Toss brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and chestnuts and season with salt and pepper to taste. 6 Mix all the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the finished dish.
Nutty baked brussel sprouts with pomegranates
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STUFFED TURKEY ESCALOPE WITH APRICOT AND PECANS PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 40 minutes SERVES 6 people
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This is a tasty colourful dish that looks more complicated than it is – and there’s a wow factor when you serve it sliced to reveal its amazing filling. I like to serve this with crispy potatoes on a bed of curly kale or spinach. Ingredients 75g dried apricots 110g baby spinach leaves 110g pecan nuts 2 cloves garlic - peeled roughly chopped 1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons ground almonds 6 turkey escalopes/uncoated turkey schnitzel Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon vegetable oil – for frying 100ml chicken stock 100ml white wine
For more recipes with Denise Phillips, visit: www.jewishcookery.com denises_kitchen
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1 Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas mark 4. 2 Place the apricots, baby spinach leaves, pecans, garlic and paprika into the food processor. Whizz until roughly chopped and there is some texture. 3 Remove from the food processor and transfer to a mixing dish. Stir in the ground almonds and season well. 4 Place the turkey onto a chopping board covered with baking parchment. Using a rolling pin, flatten the meat so it is evenly thinn. Then using a knife, spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling over the turkey. 5 Roll up tightly from the shorter side to form a ‘swiss roll’. Secure with white string. 6 Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Sauté the turkey roll on both sides until slightly golden. 7 Transfer to an ovenware dish and pour over the chicken stock and wine. Cook covered for about 30 minutes. 8 When cooked, remove the string and cut into slices. Serve on a bed of curly kale with crispy potatoes and use the cooking liquid as gravy.
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Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Eating Out
The BEST of the REST (aurants) BEST NEW OPENING: Norma, Fitzrovia
Housed in a really pretty townhouse on Charlotte Street, Ben Tish’s newest restaurant offers up Sicilian-inspired antipasti, pasta, grilled fish and meat, with Moorish influences. All the little snack dishes are delicious - our favourite was pumpkin pizzette with sweet onions and taleggio – and other amazing dishes include a highly unusual aubergine parmigiana. It’s intimate and beautifully decorated with hints of ‘Orient Express’ art deco glamour. Don’t leave without trying the deserts.
BEST STREET FOOD: Nana Fanny’s, Borough Market Kitchen Twenty food traders have taken up residence at this great new space at Borough Market, open every lunchtime. Each trader cooks uses seasonal produce from the market
The Restaurant Club founder Louisa Walters has more than 22,000 members with informed opinions on eateries around the globe. Here she lists the best of 2019
and there are long tables to sit at and enjoy your wares. Wrap up warm and pop along to enjoy piled high salt beef sandwiches and fluffy, crispy latkes from Nana Fanny’s. Ivan runs the business with his two sons and salt beef has been in his blood for decades. You’ll also find Nana Fanny’s at Broadway Market.
BEST FINE DINING: Dinner by Heston, Mandarin Oriental I’ve waited a long, long time to visit this legendary restaurant and not only is it worth the wait, it’s worth the price too if you go for lunch and stick to the three-course set menu at £48 per head (main courses on the a ala carte will set you back nearly that). I knew I was in for an exemplary experience when I sneezed and a box of tissues was thrust at me by the waiter. Past and present blend beautifully together with historical dishes such as Quaking Pudding served in a contemporary
interior with wall sconces in the shape of jelly moulds and magnificent views across Hyde Park (Henry VIII’s hunting grounds).
MOST TALKED-ABOUT NEW OPENING IN NORTH LONDON: Odos, Barnet Louis from the Carob Tree has come up trumps with a new opening in Barnet on the former Prezzo site. This large, bright and buzzy venue has a similar offering to his former restaurant with freshly grilled fish and meat plus salads, with generous portions and reasonable prices.
BEST NEW SHARING PLATES: Arabica, Kings Cross Arabica at Borough Market was one of the original ‘new wave’ Middle Eastern restaurants. Now there’s a new branch at King’s Cross. I love the thick-cut creamy halloumi with poached quince, and the winter squash freekeh loaded with sultanas, crispy onions, nuts and clementines. The berbere spiced cauliflower from the charcoal grill is burnt and crispy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside, covered with nuts, pomegranate, tahini yogurt and rose petals. Desserts are good too. Bright and buzzy with friendly service, this is a really exciting new opening.
BEST DISH OUTSIDE LONDON L’Enclume, Cumbria A trip to the Lake District earlier this year was an opportunity to visit L’Enclume in the picturesque village of Cartmel. A stunning nine-course lunch menu featured ‘hen of the woods’, a rich, intensely flavoured ‘meaty’ mushroom, which has become an iconic feature of Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Definitely the best thing I’ve eaten this year.
BEST FESTIVE DECORATIONS: 34 Mayfair This has long been my favourite restaurant and now it has surpassed even itself with ‘Miracle at 34 Mayfair’, a festive installation of 14,000 decorations covering the restaurant walls and ceiling, including more than 8,000 baubles. To add extra sparkle there are champagne cocktails and delicious festive desserts plus an indulgent white truffle tagliatelle.
BEST NEW KOSHER CONCEPT; Hot Cut, Golders Green I love the new Hot Cut concept in Golders Green. Choose your meaty filling (turkey – honey glazed/turkey pastrami/smoked turkey brisket or beef – salt beef brisket/beef pastrami luncheon salami) and your bread (white/granary/rye) and then spice it up with a choice of seven sauces. The sandwich is rolled up and popped on the hotplate to warm it up. The Hot Cut sandwich is a piled-high mixture of everything. It’s a funky, colourful place with a decidedly ‘young’ vibe – but that doesn’t stop me from popping in on my way back from town for a satisfying meaty bite.
BEST DECOR: Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia I asked LBBOI interiors experts Elisa Dell and Gemma Epstein to nominate this one! The rainforestesque foliage greets you outside as does the long queue! Inside, alabaster stone walls are filled with an abundance of paintings, flowers, posters, and a multitude of spirit bottles lining the shelves. The ceiling is a combination of hanging wisteria plants intertwined with festoon lighting, and the furnishings are a mixture of wood & wicker, prettily enhanced by candlelight. Together with the buzzy atmosphere and delicious food, expect to see Elisa or Gemma.
Look Out For Our Great ‘8-For-8’ Offers Running Only Through Chanukah!
12 December 2019
Jewish News 12 December 2019
Chanukah / Hole in one
DOH DOH! In search of the sweet treat that turns the festival of lights into a feast, Alex Galbinski found the best doughnut recipes from Molly Yeh of Food Network’s series, Girl Meets Farm, and Junior Bake Off star Maddie Noah ... Dohlicious!
ROSE JAM SUFGANIYOT WITH VANILLA GLAZE AND PISTACHIOS MAKES 18
INGREDIENTS 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast ½ c (120g) warm milk, 105º-110º F ¼ c warm water, 105º - 110ºF ¼ c (50g) + 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tsp kosher salt 3 ½ c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting ¼ tsp cardamom ¼ tsp cinnamon zest of ½ an orange 1 large egg + 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten 1 tsp vanilla 6 tb (85g) unsalted butter, softened canola or vegetable, plus more for frying
Filling 1 c (304g) raspberry jam 1 tb rosewater
rise for another hour, until doubled. In a large heavy pot fitted with a thermometer, heat 3-4” oil to 350º F. Fry the doughnuts in batches of three or four, for 1 ½ minutes on each side. transfer to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the jam and rosewater. taste and adjust as desired. Fill a squeeze bottle or piping bag with the jam. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth. It should be the consistency of a slightly thicker glue, if it’s too thick add a little more milk, and if it’s too thin add a little more powdered sugar. Dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze and let any excess drip off (if the glaze has a hard time sticking to the doughnuts, that means it’s too thick and you should add more milk). Stick the squeeze bottle straight down into the centre of the doughnut, wiggle it around to make space, and fill it up with jam. Top with a sprinkle of pistachios and rose petals and enjoy!
Photo by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen
In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, water, and one teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about five minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flour, cardamom, cinnamon, orange zest, and remaining ¼ cup sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and yeast mixture and mix to form a very, very stiff dough. It will seem like the dry ingredients aren’t all going to get incorporated but try as best you can. Knead for a few minutes and then, with the mixer on, begin gradually adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon. This, too, will seem like it isn’t going to incorporated, but keep on mixing for about 8-10 minutes, scraping down the dough hook occasionally, until your dough is smooth and slightly sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature (or in the fridge) until it has doubled in size, about two hours. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll it out to 1/2” thickness. Cut out 2 1/2” circles and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment. When re-rolling scraps, first press them together and then allow the dough to sit for about 10 minutes before proceeding. Cover the circles with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let
Happy Chanukah from all at
A charity in action reviving Jewish life in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Glaze 1 ½ c (180g) powdered sugar 2 tb whole milk 1 tsp vanilla a pinch of kosher salt Topping crushed roasted pistachios dried rose petals
Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh from mynameisyeh.com. Molly is hosting Food Network’s first Hanukkah special – Ultimate Hanukkah Challenge – which airs on Saturday, 21 December. Her cookbook, Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm, is published by Rodale Books
• Building a Jewish heritage trail through Belarus • Sending humanitarian aid • Engaging young adults • Empowering communities
Be part of it www.thetogetherplan.com email@example.com 0203 375 0656 Registered charity number 1154167
Photo by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen
• Developing resources in Russian
12 December 2019 Jewish News
Hole in one / Chanukah
MADDIE’S MINI CHANUKAH DOUGHNUTS SERVES 20
INGREDIENTS 500g strong white flour 50g caster sugar 40g butter 2 eggs 2 x 7g instant yeast
METHOD Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl with ¾ of the water. Use your hands to bring the dough together or use a stand mixer. Gradually add the remaining water while kneading or using a dough hook. Tip out onto a surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until it is soft and smooth. Place the dough back in your bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling film for an hour. Once it has risen well, tip it onto a floured surface and knock it back. Divide the balls into 20 – you can make ring or plain balls. The ring ones are formed by making a ball and pushing your finger into the centre and spinning it on the worktop to your desired size. Place the shaped doughnuts onto a floured tray and allow to rise for one hour covered. Prepare a deep fat fryer or deep saucepan
10g salt 150ml warm full fat milk 130ml water 2l sunflower oil jam/chocolate spread flling icing sugar/caster sugar/spinkles to roll
filled with sunflower oil to 180 degrees. Lower each doughnut in to the hot oil with a slotted spoon and cook on each side for 3-4 mins or until golden brown. Remove rom the oil and roll straight away on caster sugar – set aside and leave to cool. You can either fill them with a syringe, piping bag or leave plain. Eat straight away! Although these are quite time-consuming, you can wrap Chanukah presents while they are proving. Star of Junior Bake Off, Maddie Noah is Inspired by her Jewish and French heritage, and loves to make a weekly challah.
CH22 Jewish News
12 December 2019
Need to talk? We’re here to listen. If you’re feeling alone, anxious or in need of someone to talk to, we are here to support you. If there is something troubling you, we will listen without judgement – there is no issue too big or small. You can call us in difficult times. Our trained volunteers will be a listening ear for anyone.
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Call our confidential helpline:
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Freephone: 0800 652 9249 Landline: 020 3096 2875
12 December 2019
Say it with a
SWEATER Miranda Levy warms up to wool wisdom
WE DID NOT START IT, but, inevitably, FOMO (fear of missing out) got the better of us. I’m talking silly festive jumpers, which have been a mainstay of the Christmas experience and now the Chanukah sweater is established as the annual attire for celebrating the Feast of Lights. Who could resist a jumper emblazoned with the legend ‘Oy To The World’? Or perhaps you have your eye on a ‘Chai Maintenance’ for your entitled teenage daughter? Like many Jewish-forward things, the Chanukah jumper originated in America. Cynthia Edwards is a Detroit-based designer who has been running her clothing company Born Kosher since 2012. “I wanted to buy a Chanukah jumper for myself, but didn’t see one I liked,” she says. “So my partner and I sat down and knocked out our first design.” The original was a blue sweatshirt that merely said: ‘Happy Hanukkah’, with dreidel and menorah illustrations. Now Born Kosher design and sell about 3000 units a year. “In the past seven years, we have seen great growth despite new competition and market saturation,” says Cynthia. “We’re planning to have a full catalogue of Jewish-themed clothing – not just around Chanukah – from newborn to bubbas.” Cynthia’s best-selling (and her personal
favourite) is ‘Happy Happy Chanukah Ya Filthy Schmuck’.. But she also has a soft spot for gangsta-pastiche ‘Jew Chainz’.’. “That’s a really fun one that works pretty much all year round,” she says. “We got an awesome wholesale order for ‘Jew Chainz’ when someone bought a few hundred as party gifts for their bar mitzvah guests.” Ted Baker’s Christmas windows with nodding dogs by firesides and authentic snowfall are unforgettable due to the inspiration of the company’s founder Ray Kelvin. The polar bear jumper is a discreet nod to the season. And so to the jumper with the most limited shelf life…the Brexit. Created by NotJust there are – Leave and Remain – options so the choice is yours. Depending on who wins tomorrow, one might be a safer option than the other as a Chanukah sweater.
This holiday season, help Leket Israel provide Vitamin C for the needy With your support, we can supply quality rescued citrus fruits to those who need it most
£36 = 450 lbs. of citrus fruit for 45 families for a week To learn more or to donate visit: RALPH LAUREN POLO BEAR
His real name – Ralph Lifshitz – is better suited to Chanukah jumpers, but as Ralph Lauren he is responsible for designing the classic Christmas polo bear sweaters that are a genuine investment as they never lose their value. Gather the family together after menorah lighting and watch Sky Atlantic’s documentary Very Ralph which tells the rags to riches story of the man behind one of the most successful fashion brands in history. Now 80, Lauren started making ties in 1967 and within seven years was dressing Robert Redford and the cast of the film The Great Gatsby – a festive TV must!
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CH24 Jewish News
12 December 2019
Hanukkah 22 - 30 DECE MBE R Celebrate the festival of lights the traditional way with fresh potatoes and onions from M&S Select Farms, perfect for making your own latkes. Or enjoy our selection of Hanukkah treats, from delicious jam doughnuts to creamy chocolate coins.
Discover the range in these M&S Food stores: LONDON
MANCHESTER Altrincham Cheetham Hill Hale Manchester City Centre Prestwich Trafford Centre