1362 - 11th April 2024

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daughter was killed – now we live for her son’

Parents of young mum murdered by Hamas at music festival tell Jewish News their grandson gives them reason to go on

The parents of a 26-year-old mum who was murdered alongside her partner by Hamas terrorists on 7 October at the Nova music festival have shared with Jewish News their daily struggle to cope with the grief, saying they carry on ‘only for the sake of our grandson”, writes Michelle Rosenberg in Tel Aviv.

Julio and Gloria Vargas’s daughter Yvonne was gunned down as she hid in a roadside shelter on that fateful Shabbat morning. Julio recalls speaking with Yvonne at 7.15am, while she was still at the Nova party.

She told him, “Daddy, we’re at war. I’m running to a bunker.” He advised her to “go quickly and find shelter”. That was their last exchange.

Gloria sobbed in fear as Julio sent further messages, begging Yvonne to

“let us know where you are”. There was no reply.

Julio then called the police, who told him her last known position which was, as he’d suggested to his daughter earlier, close to a roadside shelter. He called Yvonne’s partner but there was no answer.

It was days before soldiers arrived to tell them that Yvonne and 28-year-old Antonio Macias, both from Colombian families but born in Israel, had been murdered, leaving behind Antonio’s six-yearold daughter Manuela and Yvonne’s four-and-a-half-year-old son, Aviel.

Julio said: “Since 7 October we have had no life. It’s very hard for us to live without our daughter. We carry on only for the sake of our grandson.

Watching the news about the soldiers and the hostages breaks our hearts.”

Recalling to a Colombian newspaper the poignant farewell shared with Antonio and Yvonne before they left for the Nova party, Antonio’s mother Claudia said: “We hugged and he said, ‘Mum, thank you for taking care of my kids, I love you’.”

Yvonne also expressed deep gratitude to Claudia, who she “considered like a second mother, entrusting her with the care of their children”.

Like so many families broken by the events of 7/10, the Vargas family is being supported by the National Organisation for Victims of Terror. Based in Tel Aviv, NOVT, which is supported by UJIA here in the UK, assists victims of terror and their families, helping them to start healing and put their lives back together.

Aviel, who was with Julio and Gloria Continued on page 3

11 April 2024 • 2 Nisan 5784 • Issue No.1362 • @JewishNewsUK PROUD VOICE OF OUR COMMUNITY
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Julio and Gloria Vargas, with their National Organisation for Victims of Terror case-worker Shirel and four-year-old grandson Aviel


Netanyahu: date set for Rafah ground invasion

Benjamin Netanyahu this week insisted a date has been set for a ground invasion of Rafah in Gaza but was he immediately contradicted by both the US and his own defence minister.

“We are working constantly to attain our objectives, first and foremost the release of all of our hostages and the achieving of total victory over Hamas,” the Israeli prime minister announced. “This victory requires entering Rafah and eliminating the terrorist battalions there. This will happen. There is a date.”

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “If he has a date, he hasn’t shared it with us,” adding that Netanyahu makes public statements but “also talks to us in private about aspects of operations and their thinking with Rafah in some considerable detail”.

Israeli media reported that Gallant told US defence secretary Lloyd Austin that no date had been set, causing speculation that Netanyahu was simply trying to appease far-right ministers in his government who have been critical of the decision to pull troops from southern Gaza.

Israel has insisted for months that the IDF needs to enter Rafah to destroy the remaining four Hamas battalions as well as to attempt to free the hostages believed to be held there. But the US has pushed back on the plans, demanding Israel present a viable plan to evacuate the 1.4 million civilian Palestinians from the city.

The public rift between Netanyahu and President Biden continued this week, when Biden told a US Spanish-language TV network that he believed Netanyahu was making “a mistake” in his handling of Gaza.

“I don’t agree with his approach,” Biden said, also commenting on the humanitarian situation in Gaza: “There’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now.”

Israel significantly increased aid into Gaza this week, following last week’s tense phone call between Biden and Netanyahu. On Tuesday, 468 aid trucks were inspected and transferred to Gaza, the highest number that have entered the enclave since 7 October; the figure is nearly double of what entered Gaza daily just last week.

Israel has also agreed to open the Erez border crossing to northern Gaza, to increase the amount of aid reaching the war zone, where distribution has been particularly di cult.

“Close to 17 million pounds of food entered Gaza [on Monday] alone,” the co-ordinator of the government activities in the territories (COGAT) said.

As Israel pulled out all troops from southern Gaza on Sunday, rockets were fired at Israel from the area of Khan Younis where soldiers had been stationed. While the IDF said the withdrawal did not mean that the war was over, speculation mounted in Israel about the timing as ceasefire talks with Hamas continued in Cairo.

Hamas on Monday turned down yet another ceasefire proposal mediated by Egypt that would have led to a temporary truce and the


More than 300 Jews, Christians and Muslims staged a counter-protest last Friday during a notorious anti-Israel march.

The group, called Al Quds Unmasked, gathered to counter the International Al Quds Day event which took place outside the Home O ce in Westminster on 5 April.

Police estimated that 1,000 people demonstrated in support of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) said two men were “arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after an Israeli flag was burned near the stage in Richmond Terrace”.

A total of 10 arrests were made. Protesters carried banners saying ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’, ‘boycott apartheid’ and ‘resistance by any means necessary’.

Al Quds Unmasked organiser Itai Galmudy told Jewish News: “The atmosphere was tense but also positive and empowering.”

He added: “These hate marches are fuelled with lies and misinformation which is being

used on purpose to stir more hate.

“But the bigger problem in our opinion is the total disregard to the rule of law and the fear of the police to confront these people”.

In a statement on X the following day, Campaign Against Antisemitism called London on Al Quds Day “a tale of two cities. One was full of hostility. The other called for the release of hostages being held captive by a terrorist organisation.”

release of some 40 hostages and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Hamas stuck to its demands; a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a permanent ceasefire, something Netanyahu has dismissed as “delusional” in the past.

Israel’s security cabinet met on Tuesday to discuss the ceasefire negotiations following a request from finance minister Betzalel Smotrich. Several ministers have expressed opposition to the talks with Hamas, claiming that only military pressure will release the hostages.

The families of the hostages, meanwhile, continued to protest across Israel, calling for a hostage deal as well as new elections.

Yifat Kalderon, cousin of Ofer Kalderon who is held in Gaza, was among those voicing anger and disappointment with the government.

He protested outside Likud’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, with a sign saying: “Right now, the Israeli government is sabotaging a deal and sacrificing the hostages. Stop the war!”

While the international community continued to criticise Israel for its handling of the war, specifically the humanitarian situation, US secretary of state Antony Blinken called on the world to remember 7 October.

“It’s is astounding to me that the world is almost deafeningly silent when it comes to Hamas,” he said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today had Hamas not chosen to engage in one of the most horrific acts of terrorism on 7 October and had they not refused this many months to stop hiding behind civilians, put down their arms, release hostages and surrender. Where is the outrage there?”

UK arms export licences to Israel are ‘unchanged’

Foreign secretary Lord Cameron has confirmed the UK government’s position on arms export licences to Israel is “unchanged” following an assessment of the latest advice. At a press conference in Washington DC, he said: “On Israel and international humanitarian law, as required by the UK’s robust arms export control regime, I have now reviewed the most recent advice about the situation in Gaza and Israeli conduct of their military campaign.

“The latest assessment leaves our position on export licences unchanged. This is consistent with the advice that I and other ministers have received and as ever we

will keep the position under review.

“Let me be clear though, we continue to have grave concerns around the humanitarian access issue in Gaza, both for the period that was assessed and subsequently.”

Amid pressure to publish the legal advice it has received as to whether Israel has acted in accordance with international humanitarian law, Cameron added: “We don’t publish legal advice, we don’t comment on legal advice but we act in a way that’s consistent with it. We’re government under the law and that’s as it should be.”

Speaking later on LBC radio Rishi Sunak also said the UK has a “long-established

process” relating to the arms export regime and “we review these things regularly”.

The prime minister said the government has a “strict set of criteria” and an “obligation to act in accordance” with legal assessments when it comes to arms exports, and dismissed suggestions that civil servants might refuse to process licences. He suggested o cials would not be stopping work relating to the sale of arms.

“That’s not something I’m familiar with, I don’t think that would be appropriate.”

Sunak described the deaths of humanitarian aid workers caused by multiple Israeli airstrikes on their convoy as a “shocking tragedy”

2 Jewish News 11 April 2024
Residents of Gaza walk through bombed-out buildings in Rafah this week An IDF soldier patrols Rafah ‘A tale of two cities’: London last Friday

Tears for the hostages at Downing Street vigil

As an emotional Jewish community rally marking six months since the 7 October massacres drew to a close, a lone cyclist rode down Whitehall and screamed “Free Palestine” at the crowd, writes Jenni Frazer.

As one, more than 1,500 people responded in a spontaneous cry of “Bring Them Home Now”. It was a fitting reply – and the only one those present could have given after a passionate hour listening to the families of Israeli hostages still languishing in Gaza.

At the event, opposite Downing Street, there was heartbreaking and unvarnished testimony not only from the families of the hostages but from Ophir Tor, a Magen David Adom first responder on 7 October, who told the crowd that “we are colour and religion blind. We help everyone. And yet 27 of us are dead, and there is no outside voice saying that it’s wrong”.

He exhorted those present not to stay silent, but to continue pressing wherever and whenever possible for the return of the hostages.

The event, staged by UJIA, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Hostage Families Forum, Magen David Adom and the Israeli embassy, was hosted by UJIA chief


Software giant Apple is being accused of “double standards” following an upgrade which automatically brings up the Palestinian flag when searching for the word ‘Jerusalem’.

executive Mandie Winston and bookended by contributions from rabbis across the denominations: Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis and Rabbi Joseph Dweck, representing central Orthodox and Sephardi movements; Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg from the Masorti congregations, and Progressive rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky.

But the core presentations came from those directly connected to the hostages: Stephen Brisley, brother-in-law of the kidnapped Eli Sharabi; Ayala Harel, whose uncle Michel Nisenbaum remains in Gaza, and Michael Marlow, father of Jake, who was among the many murdered at the Nova festival. Brisley reduced many in the crowd to tears

Users upgrading their software to version iOS 17.4.1 are presented with the Palestinian flag emoji when typing in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

Taking to social media platform Twitter/X, broadcaster Rachel Riley called out Apple CEO Tim Cook, writing: “This didn’t occur on my phone immediately before this update. Below is a (nonexhaustive) list of capital cities that do not offer their nation’s flags, let alone the wrong one.

“Showing double standards with respect to Israel is a form of antisemitism, which is itself a form of racism against Jewish people. Please explain whether this is an intentional act by your company, or whether you have no control over rogue programmers. Sincerely, a Jewish woman concerned about the global rise in antisemitism.”

as he openly declared he was neither Israeli nor Jewish but felt as one with the Jewish community. He spoke of how his elder sister Lianne, from Bristol, had fallen in love in 1995. “We are not here today to talk about religion or borders or politics”, he said. “We are here to talk about people, family, loved ones”.

Brisley painted a picture of a warm and loving British-Israeli family, strengthened by regular visits between Kibbutz Be’eri and Britain, in which the Israelis regarded Britain as their second home and vice versa.

“Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were murdered in their home on 7 October and Eli was taken hostage to Gaza,” Brisley said. For his British family, he added, “he is us, and we are him”.

Rabbi regrets inconvenience to charities and returns £2m

A retired rabbi has said he “regrets the inconvenience caused” to two charities, after he agreed to return £2.35 million to them following a National Crime Agency inquiry.

Details of a case involving Rabbi Barry Marcus, the South African-born former rabbi of London’s Central Synagogue, emerged this week after a January appearance at Westminster Magistrates in which Rabbi Marcus said he would return money, which had been in his personal accounts, to two charities: Dalaid, which aims to relieve poverty and advance Jewish education, and the Schwarzschild Foundation, which offers education and relief from poverty for Orthodox Jewish women and girls.

the two charities in October 2022, when it became aware that the rabbi, who received an MBE in 2015 for his work in Holocaust education, had received £1 million between January and September of that year, into his personal accounts. He could not provide “a legitimate explanation”, said the NCA, for the money being in his UK and overseas bank accounts. Between November 2022 and March 2023, the NCA successfully applied for four freezing orders on the rabbi’s accounts, for money totalling £1,183,072.

Harel, whose uncle Michel Nisenbaum was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kissufim, has herself been displaced by the events of 7 October, evacuated first to Eilat and then to Tel Aviv. Nisenbaum spent that day – “Black Sabbath” – trying to save his granddaughter, she said. He su ered from Crohn’s disease and has not been treated for the past six months. He and the other hostages, she said, were “pawns in the cruel game which Hamas is playing”.

Marlowe, whose son Jake was one of the victims at the Nova festival, spoke of his campaign to highlight the case of Jake’s kidnapped friend Shlomo Ziv, who was part of the security team at the music event.

The vigil ended with the reading of the names of hostages believed still to be in Gaza. Among them were those known to be dead, such as Shani Louk and Judy Weinstein Haggai, but their names will remain on the tragic list until their bodies can be retrieved. As the names and ages were recited — ranging from a one-yearold to a hostage of 86 — the crowd wept.

 ‘It’s hell’ say hostage families, page 6


Cont from page 1

during their time with Jewish News, is a beautiful little boy, a ball of energy who remains completely unaware of the waves of rising emotion welling around him. He sits on his grandfather’s knee, eating, playing, oblivious to the shock in the room.

Rabbi Marcus is now 74 and retired from Central Synagogue in 2018. His lawyer, David Sonn, says he has “su ered from serious ill-health in the last three years”.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) began its investigation into funds earmarked for

Reports say that the rabbi had told NCA investigators that he had distributed some of the money in line with the charities’ aims, but could not provide satisfactory evidence of such distribution. A parallel investigation into the money is being carried out by the Charities Commission.

Instead, his lawyer David Sonn said: “Rabbi Marcus co-operated with the NCA’s

UJIA Israel director Emily Pater said that the partnership with NOVT is “helping to ease the pain and burden that thousands of families are having to contend with in the aftermath of the terrorist atrocities.

“Their model ensures that in addition to getting the financial assistance they require to meet new needs, they also have a professional by their side who can help them get quick access to support tailored to their situation.

“Thanks to NOVT, children have a chance of a brighter future than could have been envisioned six months ago.”

Jewish News 3 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
Relatives of hostages in similar clothes to the ones their loved ones wore on 7 October Antonio Macías Montaño and Yvonne Rubio Vargas Part of the huge audience at the Downing Street Street vigil on Tuesday afternoon
Placards make the point ‘Jerusalem’ search result Barry Marcus

‘So many people around me are experiencing unbelievable pain’

In advance of a special meeting of the World Uyghur Congress next week, UK representative Rahima Mahmut tells Lana Krine about their ongoing campaign

Even though they don’t see the bombings, they don’t see the killings, there are people dying. Millions are imprisoned unfairly, forced to work as slaves in the 21st century.”

Rahima Mahmut is talking about China’s persecution of her people, the Uyghur. Born in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, north-west China, she has lived in exile for more than 20 years. As UK director of the World Uyghur Congress, and head of Stop Uyghur Genocide, Rahima campaigns tirelessly for the protection of the Muslim minority ethnic group.

China’s brutal treatment of the Uyghur dates at least to 2014 but concern internationally took o in 2022, when pictures emerged of concentration camps and other serious rights abuses. The Jewish community, especially in the UK, has supported Uyghur activism and Jewish News has been keen to report and support.

As Rahima made clear last week as she continues to press international organisations to lobby the Chinese government, whose treatment of the Uyghurs is seen as genocide, she is particularly grateful for the Jewish community’s backing.

“We have really strong Jewish support in this and we’ve been seeing the results,” she says.

Mia Hasenson-Gross, leader of UK Jewish human rights group René Cassin, has worked hard to spread the word about what is happening and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has written in the national press of feeling “compelled to speak about” on behalf of the Uyghurs.

advocacy; we are very outnumbered. You cannot imagine, we are only maybe a dozen.”

Among the weapons the Chinese government uses against the Uyghur people are heavy surveillance and disinformation. “We normally can’t get updates, because of the complete blockage of communication, except for important leaks from the inside,” Rahima says. “The last leak was the 2022 Xinjiang Police File, which revealed over 2,000 photographs of the detainees. Once you are in prison in China, you are a slave labourer. The youngest was 15 years old and the oldest was 78. For people over 70, it’s basically a death sentence.

“It’s obvious that the Chinese government is providing narratives and forcing the Uyghurs inside to ‘tell the Xinjiang story well’. They have witnessed deaths and disappearances of family members, relatives or work colleagues. So people are absolutely terrified, to the extent that they say whatever they are told.”

The Uyghurs are also prevented from fasting at Ramadan. “Neighbourhood o cials were recruited specifically for controlling and monitoring Ramadan, to prevent anyone from praying or practising,” Rahima says. “Religious practice was supposed to be a very basic right for Uyghur people, but this has been completely taken away.

most painful thing. So many people around me are experiencing unbelievable pain.”

working toward a formal recognition of the genocide.”

She is grateful for the support of a huge number of MPs. The House of Commons in 2021 declared for the first time that genocide was taking place against Uyghurs and others in north-west China. The motion approved by MPs does not compel the UK to take action but is a sign of growing discontent in parliament towards the Chinese government.

cent of the world’s polysilicon being produced in the Uyghur region.

She is aware that the Jewish community’s involvement is due in part to its understanding of the horror of concentration camps. “It reminds people of the Holocaust, and [there is] the similarity of how Uyghurs are being criminalised and demoralised.

“The term ‘never again’ is so significant – but history is repeating itself right now, as we speak,” she says.

In the US, organisations such as Jewish Watch and the Holocaust Museum are leading supporters. And next week the Elie Wiesel Foundation – named in honour of the Holocaust survivor and political activist – is co-organising a two-day interfaith conference in New York, titled ‘Disrupting Uyghur Genocide’.

next week the Elie taken away.

“The forced sterilisation and birth control is also ongoing.

Everything that they are doing is genocidal. It is not only a cultural genocide, but also a physical genocide.”

“But we need many more other organisations,” Rahima says. “Just imagine if other communities also supported in such a way. We are a very small number, the Uyghur activists who are working full-time on

tainty brings. “Even in

She highlights the pain such uncertainty brings. “Even in war-torn countries, people can at least phone to see what happened, or know if a relative is dead or is alive, but with us, we are just completely kept in the dark.

“It’s a unique situation that we’ve been experiencing. We have this internet world, and the smartphone, and it’s so easy to be able to communicate, but we can’t, and that’s the

While international press has played a key role highlighting the Uyghurs’ plight, Rahima adds: “Two or three years ago, we could see a lot more information from inside, either from leaked documents or from the journalists who went there and visited there.” The BBC journalist John Sudworth, who did much work on the subject, was expelled in 2021. Rahima pays tribute, though, to the German anthropologist Dr Adrian Zenz and Professor Laura Murphy of She eld Hallam University who have been monitoring forced labour.

She says countries need to legislate on products of slave labour. “Sadly we are not getting as much traction from governments around the world – apart from the US government, which has passed legislation and seized products created by Uyghur slave labour. At Stop Uyghur Genocide, we are focusing on introducing proper legislation, and

Now she is focusing on how to secure more commitment from politicians. “As it’s election year [in the UK], we need to work very hard to make sure that whoever is going to be in government includes us in their manifesto. We are campaigning that trade shouldn’t be as normal, there should be more sanctions.”


She says about 900,000 children have been taken from their families and put in orphanages, or ‘boarding schools’ as the Chinese government calls them.

Recently, she has collaborated with the World Uyghur Congress and the End Uyghur Forced Labour Coalition on a project aimed at tackling what is being termed solar slavery.

The solar panel industry is heavily complicit in Uyghur slave labour, with 90 percent of solar panels being made from polysilicon, and 40 per-

The Pears Foundation, founded by the Pears family, has given seed funds to Stop Uyghur Genocide to enable Rahima to employ a campaign o cer and an advocacy o cer. Additionally, World Jewish Relief has approached her o ering humanitarian support.

On a concluding note, I asked Rahima if enough global attention has been drawn to what is happening to the Uyghurs. “How can we measure ‘enough’? she replies.

“We are not seeing real actions. We need stronger actions and legislative changes. We need accountability for the ongoing horrors that haven’t stopped. This message has to be very, very clear. We need other communities to really, consistently support us. That’s why we still have a long way to go.”

4 Jewish News Special Report / Uyghurs 11 April 2024
Rahima with the East Turkestan flag, used as the Uyghur ethnic flag Outside the Chinese embassy in London Rahima Mahmut meets King Charles
5 www.jewishnews.co.uk Jewish News 11 April 2024

Hostage families’ six months of hell

Families of hostages held by Hamas joined a rally in London to call for their release, saying the six months after the 7 October attacks have been “hell”.

Actress Dame Maureen Lipman and influencer Oli London joined the event attended by hundreds of people at St Johns Wood United Synagogue on Sunday.

The gathering was held six months to the day since the Hamas terror raids on Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw the attackers seize about 250 hostages.

Israel’s retaliatory strikes on Gaza have left more than 30,000 Palestinians dead, according to the terrorist-run Gaza health ministry.

Attendees on Sunday afternoon raised photos of the hostages and waved Israeli flags during the event.

something is happening if he’s not picking up the phone.

“She was trying to call him again and again. Fifteen minutes later, Hamas pick up his phone and just shout on the phone, ‘Hamas, Hamas, we’re here, we came from Gaza to Israel’.


Sir Alan Duncan is being investigated by the Tory Party after he called for two peers to be removed from the Lords over claims they were “exercising the interests” of Israel.

In an LBC radio interview, the veteran Tory said there were “extremists” at the top of government “doing the bidding of Netanyahu” and “exercising undue influence at the top of government.”

Duncan added: “Let’s start with the head of CFI –or had been for many years – Lord Polak. In my view, I think he should be removed from the Lords because he is exercising the interests of another country, not that of the parliament in which he sits, joined by Lord Pickles.

The party later said following the comments Sir Alan Duncan had been told he was “under investigation”.

The CFI pointed out it was not affiliated to any party in Israel and: “We enjoy cordial relations across the political spectrum in Israel [and] support the Conservative government in its aim of a two-state solution and a peaceful resolution in the conflict.”

Michel Nisenbaum was taken on his way to pick up his granddaughter to take her to her mother. The 59-year-old’s daughter tried calling when she saw videos of Hamas in Sderot, where he was, and Hamas answered his phone.

That was the last time his family heard from him, his niece, Ayala Harel, said.

She added: “He went out, and about five minutes later his daughter saw the video showing the terrorists inside Sderot. So she was trying to call Michel and he didn’t answer the phone.

And then she realised that


The co-founder of controversial “anti-occupation” group Na’amod has revealed its main focus is to “de-centre Israel from Judaism”.

Speaking to supporters at a film screening in east London, Emily Hilton said her upbringing in Zionist youth movements had left her unaware of the “horror and injustice” committed by Israel on the Palestinians.

The left-wing activist said: “I think a lot of the work we are doing now via Na’amod and broader is about how do you de-centre Israel from Judaism.

“How do we stop ourselves from being complicit and caught up in a project that has caused so much harm to so many people in so many communities?”

Hilton described how she had become involved with Palestinian activism through a visit to the South Hebron hills on the West Bank.

This had “exposed” her to the “horror and injustice”

that was “incompatible with the stories about Israel I’d been told growing up”.

Hilton said she drew inspiration from “other Jewish people who wanted to build Jewishness beyond Israel”.

Hilton appeared on a panel in front of an audience of 500 chaired by The Guardian commentator and former Labour activist Owen Jones.

It followed a screening of the American-made film Israelism, which sets out to heavily condemn pro-Israel organisations such as Birthright and AIPAC over claims they brainwash young Jews into taking right-wing and pro-Zionist positions.

Also on the panel at the Genesis Cinema in Mile End was Simone Zimmerman, co-founder of the US Jewish organisation If Not Now.

This has also successfully sought to secure the support of young Jews who have become deeply critical of Israel over the Palestinian issue.

The main speakers were

joined by Erin Axelman, the codirector of the film, and Ahmed Alnaouq, a Palestinian activist who founded the group We Are Not Numbers.

At one stage Guardian columnist Jones suggested Israel was currently complicit in carrying out one of the “worst atrocities of the 21st century” through its actions in Gaza.

He claimed those who were “apologists” for Israel would “often” accuse those who opposed what was happening in Gaza as “being antisemitic”.

“They were calling back his daughter and said, ‘We took him, we took him, this is Hamas here’ and his daughter was panicking and she hung up the phone.

“And that was the last time that we heard something.”

“They’re the sort of Laurel and Hardy who should be pushed out together.”

The remarks drew immediate complaints from the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies.

In the LBC interview, Sir Alan also called for arms sales to Israel to be stopped, adding: “There are a lot of people at the top of our own politics who refuse to condemn settlements and therefore are not supporters of national law.

“I think the time has come to flush out those extremists in our own parliamentary politics and around it.”

The JLC, which confirmed it had raised the matter with the Conservative Party, said: “Calling into question the loyalty of a Jewish peer was just one example of the antisemitic tropes shared by Sir Alan Duncan this morning on LBC.”

Students are referred to anti- terror scheme

Pupils who wear pro-Palestinian badges and stickers are being referred to the government’s counter-terror programme, a teaching union has said, writes Joy Falk.

The number of referrals for pupils “showing solidarity with Palestine” to Prevent – a scheme to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism – has risen, the National Education Union (NEU) suggested.

Delegates at the union’s annual conference in Bournemouth spoke of “troubling developments” around pupils wanting to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people and discussions being shut down.

A motion, which was passed, called on the NEU to publish educational resources to “increase understanding of Palestine and Israel” and reaffirm its support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The motion accused Israel’s government of being “racist” and the “main driver” of the conflict, violence and war.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan criticised the motion as “wholly inappropriate” and warned it would cause “significant hurt to members of the Jewish community”, but delegates hit back during a heated debate.

Motion proposer Debs Gwynn said: “This union is appalled that this government seeks to criminalise people speaking out against the injustices of Palestine by dragging them through the racist Prevent programme.”

“This union will take no lectures from Gillian Keegan and this racist government on what is and what is not appropriate.”

Ahead of the motion, Palestinian ambassador to the UK Dr Husam Zomlot addressed delegates about the situation in Gaza and received a standing ovation. Some delegates chanted “free, free Palestine” and waved Palestinian flags.

The motion noted a rise in the number of Prevent referrals for pupils showing solidarity with Palestine for wearing Palestinian Solidarity Campaign badges and stickers.

Among those opposing the motion, Peter Block from Barnet was heckled after he likened the conference to “an anti-Zionist rally”, but hit back, accusing delegates of uncritically jumping on the anti-Israel bandwagon and “a glorification of Hamas”.

6 Jewish News News / Hostage rally / Na’amod focus / Duncan inquiry / Student backlash 11 April 2024
Families at the gathering with posters of the hostages Lipman offers support Hilton: ‘Horror and injustice’ on a visit to South Hebron Alan Duncan Students at a pro-Palestine rally
Jewish News 7 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024

Sadiq Khan has repeated his call for Hamas to release immediately the 134 hostages still being held, adding: “We know the anguish this is causing”, writes Lee Harpin.

Speaking to Jewish News at an Open Iftar Ramadan event in Trafalgar Square, the London mayor said: “One of the things I have always sought to do is to remind everyone that there are still 134 hostages taken by Hamas. They need to be released immediately.

“I was so pleased when some were released a few months ago when there was a temporary ceasefire in Gaza.

Khan stressed that in his view the call for the hostages to be released and for an end to the loss of innocent lives in Gaza “isn’t simply an issue for Muslims, or Jewish people, this is not an issue just of the Middle East, it’s a question of humanity”.

He continued: “What’s important is that we lobby respective governments to make sure they do more to make sure they end the heartbreak, anguish and concern of those families whose loved ones are still held by Hamas.”

“We know the pain and the anguish this is causing. We know there are 1,200 families grieving. While at the same time we know there are families also grieving over the terrible loss of life in Gaza.”

Despite the rainy weather, around 2,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square for the open iftar, or fast-breaking meal, including Jewish community members.

Rabbi Josh Levy, Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Olivia MarksWoldman and Laura Marks were among the communal leaders to attend the event, a flagship project of the Ramadan Tent Project, which has run since 2013, hosting iftars at some of Britain’s most iconic cultural spaces.

Asked by one media organisation what he had most enjoyed at the ifar, the mayor responded: “Seeing two rabbis and others from the Jewish community here tonight.”


A student union women’s officer accused of expressing support for Hamas just a day after the terror group murdered 1,200 Israelis has appeared in court.

Hanin Barghouthi, 22, is accused of a single count of expressing an “opinion or belief” in support of the banned organisation on 8 October under the Terrorism Act.

Appearing before Kingston Crown Court wearing a white blouse and black dress, Barghouthi spoke only to confirm her name and reply “not guilty your honour” when the charge was put to her during the brief hearing.

The alleged offence relates to a fourminute speech that was allegedly “supportive of the actions of Hamas that had taken place in Israel the day before”, a previous hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Police became aware of it after a video began circulating on MailOnline on 11 October and later made enquiries with the website.

Richmond Upon Thames recorder Judge Peter Lodder KC granted Barghouthi conditional bail until her trial begins on 10 June. London’s mayor has called for the government to hold Israel “to account” by “pausing all sales of weapons”.

Sadiq Khan cast doubt on Rishi Sunak’s claims of a special relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu, adding: “Where is the evidence that we’re using that influence to put pressure on the Israeli government? Every hour this war goes on, more innocent people are dying.”

Sunak has faced increasing pressure with the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party and a former UK national security adviser also calling for sales to be suspended now.

Officials in the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) have also raised concerns with senior civil servants they may be liable if it is deemed Israel has broken international law.

On what he said was a “targeted” Israeli

strike on a marked aid convoy run by the food charity World Central Kitchen, which killed seven people including three Britons, Khan told the Politics Joe website: “In my view, the fact the government is not publishing the legal advice, one can only draw one conclusion.

“I think the government should be pausing all sales of weapons to Israel. I think we should be holding to account the Israeli government.”

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Hamas backer
Sadiq repeats hostage plea
Hanin Barghouthi, 22, was bailed Khan at the Ramadan event

12 arrested over Labour HQ protest

Twelve people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after activists calling for an arms embargo on Israel sprayed the Labour Party’s headquarters with red paint.

Demonstrators from the Youth Demand group insisted both the government and opposition should commit to preventing the supply of weapons to the country as they targeted the party’s offices in central London.

Labour has said arms exports to Israel should be suspended if ministers have received legal advice that Israel has breached international law, but has resisted backing an embargo without seeing the guidance.

The government has come under increased pressure in recent days to publish the advice it has been given following an attack which killed seven aid workers in Gaza, including three Britons.


Rising community star Jack Lubner has been elected national chair of the youth section of the Labour Party.

Lubner, 22, the Jewish Labour Movement’s southern organiser, secured 2,397 votes – more than double the number of his Socialist Futurebacked rival Alex Charilaou (1,135).

The ex-president of Cambridge University’s Jewish Society was one of the triumphant candidates on the Organise slate, backed by pro-Keir Starmer campaign group Labour to Win.

Only three out of 45 positions remained under the control of noncentre-left candidates as the results were announced.

Alyth Synagogue member Lubner, also the choice of the Open Labour group, told Jewish News: “This shows how much the party has changed.

“It is now a safe place where Jews can run and engage without being labelled ‘the Jewish candidate’.”

The results represented one of the most resounding defeats for the hardleft in years in Labour, in sections of the party it previously managed to control.

Youth Demand, which is calling for an arms embargo as well as an end to oil and gas drilling in the North Sea, said in a statement three of its supporters had sprayed the outside of Labour’s head office while another painted the lobby.

were called to an incident in Rushworth Street at 2.18pm and arrived within two minutes, arresting 12 people on suspicion of criminal damage.

Scotland Yard said officers

The Labour Party declined to comment on the incident.


More than 700 people gathered in Efrat, Gush Etzion, on Sunday to hear British-born Rabbi Leo Dee honour the memory of his wife Lucy and daughters Maia and Rina. The women were killed by terrorists on 7 April last year as they travelled to Tiberias

Jewish News 9 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024 Labour protest/ Lubner elected/ Rabbi’s tribute / News Nadav was severely injured in Gaza. Please support him and others like him in their rehabilitation. We are helping our graduates and students to recover physically and emotionally. Step up for our children as they have stepped up for Israel. Donate at www.youthaliyah.org.uk or call 020 8371 1580 | info@youthaliyah.org.uk We’re a little different from other Estate Agents… Do you have a property to sell or let? List it with us and we will take the stress out of finding a buyer or tenant Why choose Squires? Established in 2004, we advertise on all the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla and have 3 linked branches within North-West London. Why choose me? With 15 years experience I have a deep understanding of the local property market and living in Hendon means I have a wealth of useful contacts. Finchley Tel 020 8343 2111 Hendon Tel 020 8202 0808 Mill Hill Tel 020 8349 3030 www.squiresestates.co.uk Julius Nussbaum - Branch Manager 020 8202 0808 or 07956 251 111
The Labour Party headquarters in central London after the attack

IDF mistake has damaged the ethical doctrine it values

Yes, mistakes happen all the time in war. In that sense, the IDF is no di erent from any other modern army – except in the IDF’s case its latest mistake has done serious damage to the ethical doctrine it values most.

That doctrine is called ‘Purity of arms’ and it is embodied in what the Israel Defence Forces call “The spirit of the IDF”. It obliges the IDF to “do everything in its power to prevent harm” to the lives of both “civilians and prisoners… their lives, bodies, dignity and property”.

Indeed, this code has been repeatedly invoked by Israel in its response to allegations that it is indi erent to scale of civilian deaths in its war against Hamas.

The IDF’s investigation into the mistaken targeting of three World Central Kitchen (WCK) vehicles killing seven aid workers last Monday near Deir al-Balah has been commendably swift. But it has also opened a new pandora’s box for Israel: 196 aid workers – mostly Palestinian – have also died in this conflict. UN Secretary General António Guterres now demands Israel explains “why each of them was killed”.

He has a point. The IDF investigation shows the authorisation to fire anti-personnel missiles at three WCK vehicles from a drone was based not on hard evidence but a series of assumptions that its passengers included at least one gunman. A reserve lieutenant colonel and major at the command centre of the Nahal Brigade who authorised the firing have been dismissed. The brigade commander, the divisional commander and the head of Southern Command Major General Yaron Finkelman have all been reprimanded.

Still, it is worth teasing out the details because they vividly illustrate how fatal mistakes are made in the fog of war.

The drone unit’s perilous assumptions have their origin 23 minutes prior to the first strike when a drone operator spotted a gunman atop an aid lorry en route to a warehouse to unload its cargo. He is seen opening fire, it’s thought to keep a crowd back.

A second gunman is also seen joining the lorry as it entered the warehouse. One vehicle is later seen leaving the warehouse heading north to a second warehouse where four people exit carrying what the IDF say looked like weapons. Three vehicles are seen leaving the warehouse and heading south.

The IDF says that no one in the drone unit was aware that those three vehicles were WCK. That’s because it was night and the drone cameras didn’t pick out the WCK logos on the vehicles’ roofs. And, crucially, the drone unit had not been given the details of the WCK vehicles or their movements by those in the IDF with whom this information had been registered – and moreover, registered by WCK precisely in order to prevent the tragedy that was about to unfold.

The IDF says these vital details “stopped somewhere” in the communication chain… “We don’t know where”. Nor do we yet know why the IDF didn’t know where in the chain that vital information was lost.

What is indisputable is that without the drone unit knowing all three vehicles were WCK, they became targets in their eyes. It might be argued that this was a reasonable assumption: they’d seen two gunmen on the aid lorry as it entered the warehouse; a single vehicle was then seen leaving the warehouse heading north with four people exiting that vehicle a short distance away with what looked like guns; three more vehicles then emerged heading south and neither the drone operators nor their senior o cers, apparently, had any idea they were with the WCK. To the drone unit and their commanding o cers, these events must have looked as if this was another case of Hamas appropriating aid intended for civilians.

Yet no one had seen anyone with a confirmed weapon getting into any of the WCK vehicles, just one individual carrying what looked as if it might be a gun, although there couldn’t have been any certainty about that because the images picked up by the drone’s camera were grainy. The IDF now thinks a “bag or something similar” was mistaken for a gun but admit it “doesn’t know” that.

In any case, the drone operators and the two senior o cers who authorised the attack appear to have made a further series of assumptions: that the “gunman” had survived the first strike because people were seen running from the stricken vehicle to the second vehicle, so a second strike was authorised on that vehicle.

When survivors were again seen escaping from the second vehicle, a third strike was ordered on the third vehicle, again on the assumption that the gunman had survived both the first and second strikes. Authorising the second and third strikes on the basis of these untested assumptions was “against standard operational procedures” says the IDF.

There is no evidence, however, that the drone unit fired “knowing that it was our teams moving on that road” as WCK’s

founder Jose Andres precipitously alleged after the incident. Reporters who were shown the drone footage late on Thursday night have independently confirmed that the WCK logos on the three vehicles were not visible.

It would have been a simple matter for the WCK to have used lettering that would have illuminated their logo to the drone’s camera – standard procedure for news crews in their vehicles in war zones, but this did not happen. The IDF also insist that the drone unit had not been notified of WCK movements by those in the IDF responsible for deconflicting military and aid operations.

None of these facts appear to have prevented an Al Jazeera TV podcast called “The Take” from its portentous assertion that its own “investigation” had “found that the Israeli military intentionally targeted” the WCK convoy without actually providing any credible evidence that the IDF knew the convoy was WCK. But that’s agenda journalism for you.

Nevertheless, the lethal assumptions made about the series of known unknowns about the WCK convoy raise a bigger question that goes back to statements made by the Israeli defence minister Yoaz Gallant three days after the 7 October pogrom.

As the IDF mobilised for a “full o ensive” against the Gaza Strip, Gallant announced “I have released all the restraints.”

John Spencer, an ex-infantry soldier and widely considered to be a leading expert on urban warfare at the US Military Academy at West Point, powerfully argues that the Israel Hamas war is without precedent. In terms of the battle space, I know what he means.

When I was in Israel last November, the IDF showed me table sized aerial maps with colour coded dots indicating Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad rocket launch positions as of the evening 7 October, by which time Israel and Hamas were o cially at war.

Other maps pinpointed weapons storage centres, anti-tank firing positions, and communications centres. Gaza was literally a mass of many thousands of dots – and these were only the targets that were known. Under the laws of

armed conflict each dot represented potentially a legitimate military target.

In the Strip’s most densely populated cities, there were often mere metres between these targets and non- combatants in apartment blocks, mosques, schools, o ces, clinics, etc. So how to achieve Israel’s war aims of degrading Hamas to the point where it no longer poses a threat to the everyday lives of citizens in southern Israel? Particularly given Hamas’s vow to repeat 7 October.

Israel says it has made literally tens of millions of calls, texts, voice messages and airdropped leaflets in its attempt to move Gazan civilians out of harm’s way as it worked its way through destroying the multitude of military targets. Mostly – but not always – it has used precision-guided weapons to minimise civilian deaths.

Sometimes these warnings have been inaccurate, sometimes too late, sometimes they don’t appear to have been given at all, and the hardship for Gazans who have so far survived this war from being frequently on the move, has been greater than many of us could bear. But Israel bent on the genocidal destruction of the Palestinian people? The evidence for the opposite seems to me to be so blindingly obvious you have to wonder at the ability to reason of those who insist otherwise.

Has Israel lived up to the noble standard its sets for its armed forces in its ‘Purity of arms’ doctrine – to do everything in its “power to prevent harm to civilians and prisoners…. their lives, bodies dignity and property”.

It seems to me that Israel too often has fallen well short of that.

In the initial phase of ‘Swords of Iron’, the “restraints” to which defence minister Gallant referred, appear to have been partially lifted and that overall, the IDF has also been prepared to tolerate a higher civilian death toll in pursuit of the war cabinet’s goals of e ectively destroying Hamas’ war machine, than in previous rounds of Israel’s conflict with Hamas.

Israel’s closest allies want it to fight more like the Americans and British did in Iraq, but given Israel’s history and especially Hamas’s authentic genocidal intent, Israel views its war as existential – a “society-wide struggle more akin to World War II than the Iraq War, which was a war of choice” as Cohen puts it. The IDF is also a mix of elite professionalism, less professional reservists and young conscripts. Perhaps we are merely witnessing the perils of a citizen army.

But whatever the explanation, too many soldiers in all ranks seem serenely oblivious to the fact that IDF has a higher duty to the Jewish state’s moral reputation than to their own sense of vengeance – however understandable post 7 October that may be. Or, as one veteran warrior put it “succumbing to the weakness of killing just because you can. If you lose your humanity, you are useless as a soldier.”

The IDF High Command still has a job of work to do to put into practice the values its estimable ethical code so correctly preaches –across all ranks.

Jewish News 10 www.jewishnews.co.uk Opinion 11 April 2024
The World Central Kitchen workers killed by IDF strikes in Gaza (clockwise from top left): Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, Laizawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom, Damian Soból, James Kirby, James ‘Jim’ Henderson, John Chapman and Jacob Flinkinger

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‘46% of British Muslims back Hamas’ survey is questioned

A poll commissioned by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) about the attitudes of British Muslims towards Hamas and Israel has been criticised as “misleading” and “a fishing expedition” by the director of the influential British Future think tank, Sunder Katwala.

The poll, released last weekend, was conducted for the HJS by JL Partners over one month between 14 February and 12 March.

One thousand British Muslims were asked to take part in the project, which, it was claimed, showed “only one in four British Muslims believe Hamas committed murder and rape in Israel on 7 October”, and “almost half of British Muslims say Jews have too much power over UK government policy”.

But Katwala, in a series of tweets and in an article for Eastern Eye, disagreed with the poll findings, taking issue with the wording of some of the questions and saying it was unfair to make a binary choice between Israel and Hamas rather than asking respondents to express support for Israel or Palestine.

In his Eastern Eye column, Katwala wrote: “A recent headline-grabbing opinion poll, conducted by JL Partners for the Henry Jackson Society, contained worrying findings.

“Four out of ten Muslim respondents said they did not believe Hamas committed atrocities on 7 October. Just three percent of Muslim respondents sympathised with ISIS but attitudes to Hamas were more ambivalent. Over a quarter (29 percent) expressed sympathy.

“Yet, having uncovered genuinely troubling levels of sympathy and fence-sitting, this survey appeared designed to spin-up support for Hamas as high as it could.

“Asking respondents to choose between Hamas and Israel – mirroring the framing a pro-Islamist propagandist would choose –doubled general public support for Hamas, to generate sensationalised headlines claiming that almost half of British Muslims, rather than a quarter, sympathise with Hamas.”

Speaking to Jewish News, Katwala said he was unsurprised by some of the HJS findings but “the 29 percent finding was worrying enough without making up a fake 45 percent headline by HJS pro-Hamas sleight of hand”.

Writing on social media, Katwala said “the proper way” to ask this was to make the “sym-

pathy question Israel and Palestine”, rather than Israel and Hamas, and to test for moderate or extreme views “within” those sympathy groups.

He noted, however, that “the finding that too large a minority of Muslim respondents are open to casual anti-Jewish prejudice is credible. This reflects research from highly trusted sources, like CST”.

He added: “I can’t see how a sincere attempt to do this survey properly would omit [whether

respondents] support/oppose a two-state solution as one question”. He warned that it was vital to separate Palestine from Hamas, and to have legitimate criticism of Israel while challenging prejudice and extremism.

The HJS survey claims “only 24 percent of British Muslims believe Hamas committed murder and rape in Israel on 7 October. Thirtynine per cent say Hamas did not, and 38 percent say they are unsure”. This compares, says the poll, to 62 percent of the wider population who say Hamas did commit such atrocities.

Other responses showed only one in four British Muslims (24 percent) believe Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish homeland, while half (49 percent) say it does not. British Muslims, says the poll, are more likely to have a positive than a negative view of Hamas; 29 percent have a positive view and only 24 percent have a negative view of the group; and 52 percent of British Muslims “believe the BBC is biased towards Israel, more than double the proportion of the public who say so (23 percent)”.

Kutwala wrote: “If the full poll script reads like a long fishing trip to exaggerate di erences between Muslims and their fellow citizens, sometimes bordering on trolling, it frequently failed to land what it was casting its net for.”

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Jewish News 11 April 2024 Survey challenged / News
Muslim women in Shepherd’s Bush Market
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Trailblazing journalist Hella Pick dies at 94

Heartfelt tributes are being paid to Holocaust survivor and renowned journalist Hella Pick, who died on 4 April aged 94, writes Beatrice Sayers.

Born in Vienna in 1929, Pick was put on a Kindertransport by her mother after Germany annexed Austria in 1938.

She went to school in the Lake District, and her mother joined her months later. After the London School of Economics, Pick became a journalist, spending more than three decades with The Guardian

One of the only female journalists in what was then a largely maledominated career, Pick travelled the world.

She covered everything from the Watergate scandal and Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, to the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. She was appointed CBE in 2000.

In its obituary, The Guardian aid tribute to what is described as the “formidable foreign correspondent for The Guardian who covered major global events from the 1960s

to the 1990s, and commanded great respect from world leaders”. Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) chief executive o cer Michael Newman said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of her passing. Hella was indefatigable and a pioneering journalist of great repute. We feel fortunate to have worked with her on a number of occasions, including most recently to mark the 85th anniversary of the Kindertrans-

port. Hella was one of the kinder who met the King at our commemoration last November and participated in events in both Vienna and the UK.

“She was dedicated to raising awareness of the Holocaust and sharing her story. We feel privileged to have captured her testimony as part of our Refugee Voices archive. We send our heart-felt condolences to all those mourning her.”

Holocaust Educational Trust


The long-standing reform rabbi at Maidenhead is stepping down after more than four decades in the role, writes Michelle Rosenberg. Appointed as head of the Reform movement’s Beth Din in November 2023, Rabbi Jonathan Romain takes up his new post in July, replacing Rabbi Jackie Tabick, who retired after 11 years.

Social campaigner and self-confessed “long-su ering Reading FC fan”, Romain and his wife, Rabbi Sybil Sheridan are both past chairs of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors.

to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of dying on their own terms.

chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Hella was a very special woman who inspired everyone. We will miss her greatly, and her legacy will certainly live on.”

The Guardian journalist and thriller writer Jonathan Freedland, writing on Twitter/X, said: “Hella was a pioneer and a Guardian legend. Last summer I sat down to record a long interview with her. She had to break o twice, to take calls from editors about two separate pieces she had in the works.”

Last month, as reported by Jewish News, Pick attended a commemorative plaque unveiling at the British embassy in Vienna.

The plaque was dedicated to, and in memory of, consular o cials and clergy who courageously helped many thousands of Jews escape Austria following the anschluss (annexation) of March 1938.

Pick said it was “deeply moving” to be “standing here at the British Embassy, in Vienna, 85 years since the Nazis tore my world apart”.


The UK Jewish community’s response to the climate crisis, EcoJudaism, has appointed its first executive director.

Naomi Verber, currently head of environmental policy for the United Synagogue, will take up the position next month. She has worked as a management consultant for 15 years, specialising in business change and development.

EcoJudaism works across the entire Jewish community to empower synagogues and congregations of all denominations to combat the climate crisis and provide them with the tools they need to make changes.


Etz Chaim Jewish primary school in Mill Hill has been rated as ‘Good’ across the board, following its most recent Ofsted inspection carried out in February.

The one-form entry, single academy trust school was recognised for having “high ambitions for pupils’ achievements”, as being a place where “pupils enjoy coming”, and where parents “commented on the warm, nurturing and supportive atmosphere”.

Inspectors found pupils understood they lived in a diverse society and embraced each other’s di erent beliefs and values.

In 2003, he was awarded an MBE for his mixed-faith work and, in 2014, set up Interfaith leaders for Dignity in Dying (IFDiD), an group of clergy calling for a change in the law

assisted dying; good attendance and

On 9 April, he posted on social media platform Twitter/X: “Had the first ever open meeting in Maidenhead on Sunday on assisted dying; good attendance and discussion, virtually everyone in favour. General view was: once it’s legalised, we’ll look back and ask “Why did it take so long? What a shame so many had to die in pain beforehand”.

A prolific author, broadcaster and newspaper contributor, Rabbi Romain’s books include A Guide to Reform Judaism Today, God, Doubt and Dawkins and Confessions of a Rabbi. Rabbi Rene Pfertzel will take over the role of rabbi at Maidenhead in the autumn.

We are a growing community of Jewish people in Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City and surrounding areas. We are social, we support each other, and we celebrate our Judaism together supported by the United Synagogue.

Come and join us for a Pesach picnic on Sunday 28 April. We’re less than 15 minutes away from Borehamwood.

Email hatfieldinfo@theus.org.uk to book.

15 www.jewishnews.co.uk
Jewish News 11 April 2024
Hella Pick / Rabbi leaving / EcoJudaism
Rabbi Romain



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Lyn Julius author of the critically acclaimed book Uprooted will talk on the uprooting of almost a million Jews from the Arab and Muslim world and why the Hamas massacre of October 7th makes the story of the ethnic cleansing of the MENA Jews more relevant than ever



Scan here to visit our website

Lyn Julius will present her book UPROOTED: How 3,000 years of Jewish civilisation in the Arab world vanished overnight’ (Vallentine Mitchell). She will explain how the 7 October Hamas massacre has to be seen in the context of decades of antisemitism in the Muslim world.

20th May 2024, 7:30 PM MAIDA VALE VENUE


PLEASE EMAIL MICHAEL MARKS AT michael@yadsarah.org.uk

- light refreshments - no ticket price but there will be an appeal at the event

Lyn Julius

The British-born daughter of Iraqi - Jewish refugees, Lyn Julius is a journalist, speaker, blogger and

Her work has appeared in JNS News, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel,


etc. Her book Uprooted: How 3,000 Years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab world vanished overnight was published in 2018 (Vallentine Mitchell) and has been translated into Norwegian, Portuguese and Arabic. Hebrew translation is in progress.

Jewish News 16 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
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founder of Harif, the U.K. association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa.
Jewish Chronicle,
The Article, The Guardian,

A new Jewish sheriff in town

The first Jew to hold office as High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire has been installed in a ceremony at Nottingham Liberal Synagogue (NLS).

Nick Rubins, one of the synagogue’s most valued members, takes on a role created 900 years ago and the oldest secular office under the Crown.

Among the 150 guests at the ceremony were Nottinghamshire’s Lord Lieutenant Veronica Pickering, Dean of Southwell Nicola Sullivan and Progressive Judaism’s co-lead Rabbi Charley Baginsky.

They were joined by many members of the synagogue including its

chair, Paula Scott, to witness Rubins sign his Declaration of Office. NLS Rabbi Gili Zidkiyahu gave the priestly blessing, wishing Rubins every success in all his undertakings in the coming year.

There were also presentations by representatives of the charities Rubins will be supporting during his tenure, and music from Jeremy Sassoon.

Rabbi Baginsky said: “I was honoured to join Nick, Gili and all at Nottingham Liberal Synagogue for this amazing and historic moment – as a Progressive Jew has become the first ever Jewish High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.”

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century after Sassoon speech

The London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), formerly known as Jews’ College, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of a historic speech by Flora Sassoon, the first woman to address graduating rabbis at the institution.

Describing herself as “the first lady chairman” of the annual Speech Day, Sassoon’s talk on 13 April 1924 was replete with Talmudic insights.

Described as “one of the world’s most learned women”, Sassoon was a Torah scholar who studied with rabbinic tutors, wrote articles on Rashi and debated Jewish matters with the men of her generation.

Born in Baghdad to the well-known Sassoon family, she was a successful businesswoman, philanthropist and an esteemed hostess. She was also known to recite the Book of Psalms each morning and was multilingual, speaking Hebrew, Aramaic, Hindustani, English, French and German.

LSJS chief executive Joanne Greenaway said: “Upon Flora’s move to England and subsequent rise to prominence, she viewed Jews’ College as the central place to spread Torah throughout the British Empire and create future Talmidei Chachamim.

“At her annual Speech Day lecture, she stressed the importance of Jewish education and the Torah as the chief source which has kept Jews alive and sustained us. She believed that as long as we were learning, no one could destroy us.”

Hebrew University senior researcher Prof. Shalva Weil will be exploring Sassoon’s fascinating life story at a centenary lecture on Monday, 15 April, charting the colourful life of the orthodox Jewess who always travelled with her own prayer quorum of ten Jewish males and personal ritual slaughterer.


Board of Deputies presidential candidates Amanda Bowman and Phil Rosenberg released their manifestos this week.

Bowman has vowed to make the organisation more “transparent and accountable” if she wins the contest.

In broad pledges published on her campaign website the Hampstead Synagogue deputy promises to introduce a “respect and civility code” to the communal organisation.

“I won’t tolerate attempts to exclude people just because others disagree with them,” she says.

Meanwhile, Rosenberg set his

stall out at a launch event on Sunday, where he said he was “bidding to win the battle of ideas”, includimg within his programme a call for Jewish schools to join the Board and inspire a “young leadership pipeline”.

Rosenberg also promised a “Jewish Experience Week” to enable wider understanding of the community.

Brondesbury Park Synagogue deputy Rosenberg, 38, would become the youngest president in the Board’s 250-year history if elected. He is also being challenged for the role by Sheila Gewolb and Michael Ziff.

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Book chain denies anti-Israel claims

A Waterstones flagship store has been openly promoting books by controversial anti-Zionist authors Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky as being “nuanced” and “eloquently” written while o ering no recommended alternatives setting out Israel’s case, writes Lee Harpin.

The Gower Street branch in London, claimed as “the largest new and second-hand bookshop in Europe” has an extensive display on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

But those eager to buy at the weekend were left with a clear indication of which side of the debate Waterstone employees believed they should be on.

Of the four books with handwritten recommendations, Israelborn historian Pappé’s name appeared on three, one written in collaboration with US academic Chomsky, who has a record suggesting antisemitism claims are used to stifle criticism of Israel.

The only other recommended book in the Israel/Palestine section was Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore, a purely-historical

account of the city from pre-biblical times to the present.

One shopper seeking to buy “balanced” material on the conflict told Jewish News the recommendations were “a bit of a disgrace”.

The shopper added: “One look at the shelves and the recommendations, the clear implication is Ilan Pappé and Noam Chomsky are the only voices worth reading.”

Waterstones said the recommendations “do not represent the views of the company” and books “with a Zionist stance” had been promoted previously.

Pappé sparked widespread criticism after the 7 October Hamas terror attack as he called for a “dezionised, liberated and democratic Palestine from the river to the sea”.

Promoting Pappé’s much-criticised book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Waterstones labelled it as “eloquently presenting the case” through “vivid exploitation of historic archives”.

What the Gower Street store’s written promotion of the book did not note was the criticism by his-

torian Adam Raz who said Pappé was a historian whose work “su ers from negligence, manipulations and mistakes galore”. There was similarly high praise from Waterstones sta for Pappé’s Ten Myths About Israel book, suggesting the author had succeeded in “eloquently discussing the truth about the contemporary state of Israel against the backdrop of Palestinian liberation” .

Pappé himself begins the book writing: “This is not a balanced book; it is yet another attempt to redress the balance of power on behalf of the colonised, occupied and oppressed Palestinians in the land of Israel and Palestine.”

A long-time backer of Jeremy Corbyn, Chomsky has faced claims of supporting terrorism, especially when perpetrated against Israel, claiming it is justified by “various grievances.”

He has also repeatedly questioned the use of the word “terrorist” in the past and also faced claims he had referred to Palestinians as “indigenous people”.


The UK a liate of Israel Emunah has named Julia Kay as its new chief executive. She has nearly two decades’ experience in the Jewish charitable sector, most recently as philanthropy manager at Jami UK. British Emunah supports more than 200 projects in Israel for at-risk and vulnerable families in care and touches the lives of over 10,000 individuals. Kay said: “I am excited to be working with trustees and sta to ensure support for as many of Israel’s citizens as possible following the atrocities of 7 October.”


Top Jewish educational charity Aish UK connected 150 international young professionals during an inspiring trip to New York. The weekend was filled with Jewish experiences and fun activities including bike riding in Central Park and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Accompanied by Rabbi Yoni Abadi, the 10-strong group also met young professionals from Olami, a worldwide community of Jewish outreach organisations o ering educational programmes for university students and young professionals.

18 Jewish News News / Waterstones furore / Emunah post / NY jaunt 11 April 2024
Written recommendations on view at Waterstones Gower Street for controversial anti-Zionist books written by Ilan Pappé
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From the conflict to the chuppah

“It’s in difficult moments like this you realise what’s most important in life,” Lior Badani says while recalling why he proposed to his girlfriend so soon after being badly wounded in Gaza, writes Jotam Confino.

Badani, 25, was among some 30,000 Israeli soldiers sent to fight Hamas in Gaza following 7 October. But in the weeks leading to the massacre, he and his girlfriend Adi went through a rough time, not knowing if they would stay together.

The events of 7 October put things in perspective for both. That morning, they reached out to each other to check if they were safe. Badani was called up by the IDF shortly after, given just a few hours to pack before joining the combat engineer corps.

He decided to surprise Adi at her home beforehand, something in hindsight he says he can see was a sign any doubts about their relationship had already vanished.

In Gaza, Badani and unit had

one of the most difficult and important tasks, clearing roads of bombs and explosives and finding and destroying tunnels and buildings.

Just two weeks after he arrived in Gaza, Badani was badly wounded

near Jabalya, a hotbed for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, when an anti-tank missile hit his armoured vehicle. “I remember a massive explosion. When I tried to reach my unit on the walkie talkie, I realised the connection had been cut,” he says.

He reached a rescue point, only to find he had been hit with shrapnel from the missile. “I had a weird feeling in my body, Badani recalls. “A friend lifted up my shirt and I saw I was bleeding a lot.”

He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Israel and spent the next two weeks in recovery. Adi came to the hospital to take care of him, and it was then they realised they wanted to spend their life together.

Badani proposed a year after they met, on 17 March. “I proposed to her at a beautiful lookout, overseeing the valleys of Jerusalem,” he says.

“We are right for each other, sometimes it just takes a catastrophe to realise it,” he adds.

The couple will marry on 14 July.


More than two years after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky wrote its first letter, his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog has inked the final letters of a Torah scroll dedicated to peace in their countries.

The Torah was initiated in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion and completed last week in Israel. Along the way, letters were written by Jews serving in the Ukrainian army, members of the Jewish community in Kyiv, families of Israeli fallen soldiers and relatives of Israelis kidnapped in Gaza, among others.

The writing of the Torah, which will be returned to Ukraine and placed in Kyiv’s Great Synagogue, was an initiative of the city’s chief rabbi Yonatan Markowitz.

Zelensky and Herzog are the world’s only Jewish heads of state.

Zelensky wrote the first letter “in his office in the presidential bunker in Kyiv” and Herzog wrote the final one at his residence in Jerusalem.

“The integration of forces between the Jews of Israel and the Jewish community in Ukraine constitutes a powerful force multiplier for the survival and continuity of the Jewish people,” Herzog said during the event. “There is nothing more

moving than being part of writing a Sefer Torah that symbolises this special unity, especially now.”

The ceremony was attended by relatives of Zina Beylin, 60, an Israeli woman of Ukrainian origin murdered on 7 October in Sderot, plus a dozen other senior citizens while on a bus trip she had organised to the Dead Sea. Images of their bodies were some of the first to show the carnage from the Hamas atrocities

Markowitz spoke of “Jewish heroism and resilience” shared by “the Jews of Israel and Ukraine” and thanked Jews worldwide for their assistance to Ukrainian Jews.

“When we began writing the Sefer Torah, we did not think we would reach a situation where our brothers, the people of Israel in the Holy Land, would also be under the threat of a cruel war,” Markowitz added.

22 Jewish News World News / Happy ending / Ukraine Torah 11 April 2024
Lior Badani at Beilinson Hospital with his fiancée Adi Herzog at the inking ceremony
Jewish News 23 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024

Britain used to be a country of free speech. This has taken on an entirely new meaning since 7/10 when Hamas committed genocide, spiking the largest escalation of Jew hatred in the world, including relentless marches every Saturday in London where jihad chanting can be heard together with other hate rhetoric which keeps Jewish people away, too frightened to venture anywhere close to these vile gatherings. Nobody is punished for these hate crimes That’s life today in the UK, where we get no support, feel unprotected and have few friends. It can only get worse with the establishment petrified of radical Islam which envelops Britain more or less unchallenged.

Philip Crawford, By email


This current conflict is unique in the history of warfare. The attack by one group, Hamas, against another, was a warlike act which entitles the attacked party to retaliate strongly, whether by an individual or the country. This principle has never been rejected. Why should Israel be any different?

The death of the seven aid workers has to be considered in the context of individuals who have put themselves voluntarily on the scene. The remainder of us do not have to be responsible for the consequences of their actions. All we can do is to convey our genuine sympathy to their families and friends.


I sent the following email to 74 Glasgow councillors. One reply so far: Dear councillor

Stop this frum bashing

Her latest offering is a full-blown attack on the Charedi education system: ‘Another generation of boys has progressed through a system that leaves them innumerate and functionally illiterate’. How does she know this? Many Charedi boys emerge with incredible numeracy, organisational and entrepreneurial skills. Some start businesses, take up accountancy or computer programming.

There is an enormous amount of mathematics in the Gemara and other texts. Sometimes the only inner city areas where English can be heard are Charedi areas.

Now let’s have a look at the outside world of education and what is the outcome of the golden ticket of secular qualifications. The Dept of Education is very concerned about low pupil

attendance in schools. Coupled with school holidays, which seem to get longer and longer, there is a whole generation growing up with no routine and poor education; many schools now have mental health officers.


I read Glasgow City Council has approved the Palestinian flag to fly alongside the Scottish flag on 29 November in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Will you propose the Israeli flag to fly alongside the Scottish flag on 7 October in solidarity with the 1,400 innocents raped, beheaded, mutilated, murdered and tortured and the 132 hostages (dead or alive) still held?

Lounging around the house eating junk food and watching Netflix is not going to achieve much. The ones who are lucky enough to gain employment often end up with jobs for which they are over-qualified. Just one example, private primary schools are huge employers of top-grade university graduates. Check out their staff profiles. Reception and year-one teaching assistants carry Oxbridge honours degrees.

All that effort, pomp and ceremony really paid off. Maybe Ms Sacks can channel her energy into something other than slandering the Charedi community. Frum bashing has a long history. It is nothing more than in-house antisemitism.


You recently published my letter that regretted the seeming lack of sympathy from your correspondents for the thousands of civilian deaths in Gaza. Last week we mourned the accidental deaths of aid workers, including three British volunteers, killed by the IDF.

Given the reason for them being in Gaza was to help feed civilians, which is the result of Israel’s blockade, these letter writers might now rethink their attitudes, not just for the sake of the victims but for the sake of Israel’s reputation which surely can sink no lower.

Mr D Lister, By email

It’s imperative for Israel to receive unwavering support from its allies. We have heard rumours of wavering in the cabinet and shadow cabinet, though yet to be reflected in public or on the front benches in Parliament. I am confident Rishi Sunak’s government will continue to stand completely united with Israel on its stance regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. The implications of this conflict stretch way beyond the Middle East. Israel simply must triumph if the western world is to uphold the principles of security and democracy.

Majid Sharma, By email

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It’s disappointing to see former judges and senior members of the legal profession persuaded to sign a letter which is sloppy, inaccurate and wrong.

The letter calls for the UK government to suspend arms sales to Israel on the basis that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has “concluded that there was a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza”.

The ICJ has drawn no such conclusion. It has made no findings as to the risk of genocide in Gaza.

The ICJ in fact stated: “At the present stage of the proceedings, the court is not required to ascertain whether any violations of Israel’s obligations under the genocide convention have occurred. Such a finding could be made by the court only at the stage of the examination of the merits of the present case.”

Trevor Asserson, Tel Aviv

Jewish News www.jewishnews.co.uk 24 11 April 2024
BLINDBRITAIN’SSPOT We’ve never been so focused on fighting racism, so why the deafening silence as antisemitism spirals out of control? ANTI-JEWISH RACISM THE MADNESS SPREADS: Pages 6, 7, 8, 23 Hospital probes ‘cutthroat gesture’ to Jewish patient Driver with Israeli flag attacked in Golders Green • Crucifixion banner at huge pro-Palestinian demo BBC journalist’s #Hitlerwasright tweet revealed Nearly 300 antisemitic incidents in under weeks ONLINE ORTUK.ORG/BOOKS ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ BOOK DRIVE Journey’s end FREE COMMUNITY Freddie’s century! birthday Landmark review of racism in the Jewish community calls for: Time to end the divide End racial communalprofievents Synagogues to create ‘welcoming‘Shvartzer’committees’ be understood as a slur Sephardi, Mizrahi and Yemenite songs in Ashkenazi synagogues Schools colonialismincreaseblack history ...and Facebook group Jewish Britain is and shamed REPORT ANALYSIS PAGES committees’ Magazine Jewish News LIFE DRESSING WITH HAART: Inside unorthodox wardrobe Pink Rabbit turns 50 New Beginnings YIZKOR–Livingwithloss THE JACOB FOUNDATION Jewish News is owned by The Jacob Foundation, a registered UK charity promoting cohesion and common ground across the UK Jewish community and between British Jews and wider society. Jewish News promotes these aims by delivering dependable and balanced news reporting and analysis and celebrating the achievements of its vibrant and varied readership. Through the Jacob Foundation, Jewish News acts as a reliable and independent advocate for British Jews and a crucial communication vehicle for other communal charities. Letters to the editor THIS WEEKEND'S SHABBAT TIMES... Shabbat comes in Friday night 7.38pm Shabbat goes out Saturday night 8.43pm Sedra: Tazria LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send us your comments PO Box 815, Edgware, HA8 4SX | letters@jewishnews.co.uk
News readers are probably familiar with columnist Eve Sacks as a ‘good samaritan’ who seems to be on a permanent crusade against the strictly-Orthodox community.
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Now is the time to unite against the extremists

The su ering we have witnessed these past six months is devastating. As a Jew, as a rabbi and as director of HIAS+JCORE – the UK Jewish voice on refugees and racial justice – I mourn the loss of innocent Palestinian lives alongside those of the Israelis killed in the heinous 7 October attacks and pray for an end to the violence so people can live in dignity and peace.

At the same time, I’m deeply troubled by the growing antisemitism and Islamophobia in the UK, and working closely with other faith leaders to ensure the strong inter-communal relations we have built over decades do not become yet another victim of this conflict.

Taking this approach, I am guided by our Jewish teachings. The famous Jewish scholar Rabbi Akiva said ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Leviticus / Vayikra 19:18) is the core principle at the heart of the Torah.

His colleague, Rabbi Ben Azzai, disagreed, claiming ‘These are the generations of Adam’ (Genesis/Bereshit 5:1) was more important.

In other words, Ben Azzai was reminding us our tradition’s most significant teaching is we are all descendants of Adam, and therefore all humanity is connected. So while we may love our families and our communities, we must never forget our wider human family.

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality, JCORE, was founded in 1976 to end racism in all forms in the UK, grounded in the Jewish values. In the last several years, as we have developed our relationship with the global Jewish humanitarian organisation HIAS and become HIAS+JCORE, we have deepened our connection to the global displacement crisis and the lifesaving work of providing humanitarian aid to all who need it, regardless of race, religion or background – not because they are Jewish, but because we are Jewish.

It is because of these Jewish values of compassion and solidarity the ongoing conflict in Gaza is so painful for us, and why, as we mark six months since the horrendous attacks of 7 October, we must speak out to demand an


end to the su ering of all those caught up in this present crisis.

For two million Palestinians in Gaza, however, the situation could not be more di erent. Children wake up in tents that o er little protection from the elements as their parents struggle to provide them with the most fundamental necessities of life: nutritious food to eat and clean water to drink. As blockages on aid continue to be imposed and aid workers are killed, the most vulnerable are already falling victim to starvation.

HIAS+JCORE is not a political organisation. But as humanitarians and advocates for human rights and justice, we believe some principles are above politics. Among them: it is unconscionable in 2024, in a world of plenty, for a single person to starve to death. Indeed, our Jewish values demand we not be silent in the face of famine.

We will be reminded of this principle soon, as Jews across the UK and around the world gather with loved ones to celebrate Passover, opening their seders with the ancient words, “Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichol”: All who are hungry, let them come and eat. That is why we

are adding our voices to the call for an immediate political process to stop the conflict, ensure the release of hostages and avert a famine by enabling a massive surge in humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in need.

In this moment, Jews and Muslims must try harder than ever before to understand each other’s narratives and how the other is feeling: Jewish people will feel trauma and anger at the Hamas attacks of 7 October and the resulting spike in antisemitism. Muslims will feel anger at Israel’s military response and the increase in UK Islamophobia.

The question is, can we hear each other?

If we can’t, we retreat into our own silos, and the only winners will be the extremists who hate us both, who will use any excuse to divide us and try to stop us from uniting against our common enemies of xenophobia, racism and hate-mongering. We cannot let them succeed.

The UK’s strength lies in its diversity. We must commit to protecting this diversity by speaking out against inflammatory rhetoric, including by politicians who seek to use it to their own political advantage, at the expense of our communities.

Jewish News 26 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
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IRevisiting our Jewish values, six months on

n October last year, together with other communal leaders, we produced a set of principles about how to respond to the crisis in Israel and Gaza. It was called Our Jewish Values and spoke for many in our communities who were searching for the words to respond, evidenced by thousands of people from across the community, including more than 100 rabbis who added their names to the document.

Six months on, revisiting the words, they still resonate. More powerful is the heartbreaking realisation that so many of the challenges it articulates are unresolved.

We began with our clear commitment to Israel and Zionism. As time has passed, not only has this commitment been rea rmed, it has been strengthened. We mourn those lost

on 7 October, we grieve for families displaced, fear for those sheltering from rockets and call for the immediate release of hostages. We have witnessed the depth of loss that Israelis have experienced, and know how connected to this pain and fear many Jews in the UK are, too. We recognise the existential threat Hamas poses – as well as Hezbollah, the Houthis and others – and that Israel has a right to defend itself.

Nor have these six months lessened our belief in Palestinian self-determination.

We refuse to give up on the idea of a twostate solution, which is the only possible pathway to an enduring peace.

In that document six months ago, we together expressed a fear not only about what was happening but about what was to come: the humanitarian situation that was unfolding and the loss of life of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. This has only grown more troubling. A war can be just and yet carried out in ways that go beyond what is acceptable, in international and Jewish law. The shocking number of non-combatant civilian deaths, together with the starvation and disease, demands our response – as does the violence

in the West Bank that has been allowed, even encouraged, to grow.

The Zionism we aspire to is a religious Zionism, coming from within our religious worldview. It is not just about Israel’s borders but behaviours. Israel, a Jewish state, reflects on all the world’s Jews and Judaism itself, so must seek to be a Kiddush HaShem, to sanctify the name of God, aspire to be ‘a light unto the nations’, even though in so doing it might feel we are asking it to live up to higher standards than other countries. We must acknowledge Israel under its current leadership has failed to live up to these obligations.

Over the past six months, the impact on society has stretched far beyond Israel and Palestine. In Israel, there has been a big impact on the work of rights and coexistence organisations. Our Zionism is strengthened by the knowledge so many of our colleagues are, even now, directly involved in protest and action to work for a better Israel, campaigning for a new government and a di erent way forward.

Here, there has been a huge rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia, challenging the quantity and nature of interfaith work, and

making it harder for diverse groups to speak to each other. Yet, to live together, we must step into the pain of the other, to see and hear them. There is no hierarchy of su ering, nor is this a zero-sum game which prevents us holding our own pain and su ering and give voice to another’s. It is not only about Jews and Muslims: the Israel and Palestine crisis is polarising and being used by those with malignant agendas to divide and stir up fear.

For the past six months we have tried to speak with nuance. We have sat in di cult spaces and listened to uncomfortable words. We have added layers to conversations that required our voice and refused to speak in slogans or make declarations that might comfort us but would not make a tangible di erence. We have sought to repair where we can and to avoid fracturing further, to seek dialogue and allyship, not enmity.

Our relationships in this country require us all to make this commitment.

It is six months on. It is devastating that the principles found in Our Jewish Values are now even more needed than before. We call on the Jewish world and beyond to revisit them.

Jewish News 27 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024 Opinion
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Israel’s war is our war against the evil of Iran

The rogue Israeli targeting of the World Central Kitchens (WCG) aid convoy in Gaza, in which three UK citizens died, is viewed as a seminal event of the IDF’s six-month retaliation against Hamas, seized upon by Jerusalem’s many critics as a symbol of Israel’s brutish behaviour toward Gaza, its deep suspicions of aid organisations and UN o shoots in particular.

As someone who has been critical from a comfortable distance of Israel’s siege tactics in Gaza, with cut o water and electricity contributing to an alleged famine, it is hard not to be horrified at the WCG event. It will have left many in the diaspora and doubtless many Israelis sick to the stomach.

Yet the way the event has been seized upon by enemies and friends alike to deprecate Israel and label it as some kind of pariah state is utterly wrong. The precision of the IDF’s targeting and the manner in which

the convoy was systematically destroyed is disturbing. It is also true that in war zones friendly fire, collateral damage and the death of wedding parties and aid workers – in the wrong place at the wrong time – happens.

Calls for independent inquiries continue but the speed with which Israel investigated the drone strikes, fired two senior o cers and demoted others is remarkable. Claims of war crimes by British soldiers in Iraq were left festering for decades and some are still unresolved.

Israel’s critics, having failed to secure the ceasefire they have demanded from the earliest days of the war, are now demanding an end to arms sales. A British arms embargo would be a psychological blow but unlikely to halt IDF operations. An American cut-o , as some Democrats are demanding in this fevered US election year, would be devastating and fly in the face of its vital interests in a volatile region.

Admittedly, as we have learned during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the oil and energy weapon is no longer as e ective as it once was. US self-su ciency through

fracking, abundant natural gas supplies in Africa and the march of green technologies means Middle Eastern potentates can no longer dictate or blockade as they have done in previous regional conflicts.

More important, as Boris Johnson reminded us in the Daily Mail, it would be ‘insane’ for Britain, the US or anyone else to suspend arms sales to Israel.

It would immediately put at risk the lives of the surviving Israeli hostages held against their will for six months – and which is a genuine war crime.

How quickly the world has forgotten the plunder, sexual crime and brutal murders of 1,200 innocents on 7 October which provoked matters in the first place.

The war against Hamas has proved unlike any other because of the 500 miles of tunnels, many of them deeply buried, crisscrossing a 25-mile stretch of territory.

Having to flush out Hamas fighters from this kind of refuge is a new kind of warfare which has tested a military well-equipped with tanks, advanced fighters and the tools of electronic conflict.

It is easy to forget Israel’s war is the West’s war against an arc of radicalism funded by Iraq. The Jew-hating Houthi militias in Yemen have been able to disrupt Asian and Western shipping with Iranian funding and rockets and because of lost patience with Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Houthi targets, incidentally a campaign conducted with British-built fighter planes and ordnance.

As for the broader strategic picture, the more important regional action was Israel’s successful assault on an Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus, home to the globallytoxic Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran through Hezbollah is also pulling the strings on Israel’s northern border and is an embittered enemy of the US.

In the greater scheme of things, the unprovoked attack on an aid convoy must be regarded as a terrible tragedy. But it is as nothing unless Western public opinion realises the next front for Iranian-sponsored terrorism could be the cities of Europe and North America. Never forget the horrors of the Bataclan attack in Paris, the Manchester arena bombing and 9/11.

Take a risk and challenge these anti-Israel slanders

In my professional career, the most important judgment I need to consider is the risks I am taking with investments whether for myself or for clients. There is an old saying about “no risk, no reward” but in general, if you are trying to do something that matters, there is always some risk it might not work out.

We all make those decisions every day, from how to allocate our time to how to drive. There is always a risk from every decision. For anybody living in Israel, life changed on 7 October but what might have surprised many is how much life has been changing for Jewish families or Israel supporters across the world.

Given the sheer horror and brutality of the attack, many believed Israel’s fighting for its protection – and doing it with a moral compass that guides them against an enemy such as Hamas, which is evil – would have the support or at least understanding of the general public.

In the immediate aftermath maybe, but we have all seen how over the past few months (and in some cases right away) that support was diluted and a strong anti-movement

gained strength, making life for many in the diaspora somewhat uncomfortable.

It is a tough situation. Many feel the injustice of the accusations levelled against Israel, which are then translated to all Jews and which seem to allow intimidation, exclusion, harassment and in many cases actual physical violence to be rationalised and encouraged. Within our community, reaction to the implications and impacts of the war by many has been extraordinary. Israelis first have stepped up in a magnificent example of love for their country.

Many have left everything to risk their lives to protect the country and then there has been an outpouring of assistance and help to all the civilians impacted by the tragedy.

Worldwide, people have expressed support, provided financial and emotional support, visited and shown incredible creativity and ingenuity to be able to make a di erence and support Israel and their communities.

But I am afraid if you look at what is happening in public opinion, government reaction and intimidation and pressure on our communities, we have to realise we need to do more. The issues Israel faces in Gaza and potentially in the north, and those surrounding how long it might take to achieve a peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians

are complex and di cult ones. We might hope that one change might alter everything, but the fact is there is no magic solution.

This means even in the most optimistic of cases, pressure on Israel and consequently on Jews globally will remain very strong and as we know the numbers are not our friends.

Across the board, there is no choice for us all but to recognise to protect our country and our way of life across the world we might need to take more risk than we could have imagined in our lifetime. We need to recognise people are already doing extraordinary work but we all need to take a little more risk in our lives if we want to win this battle.

Taking more risk can take many forms. For many Israelis it means leaving their business and families to literally risk their lives every day. That is not a reasonable standard to measure, inspiring as it is.

People have many di erent pressures in their lives and this is a time to show empathy and support as well as encouragement, not a time to be judgmental. So, my suggestion is simple. Whatever you are doing to help your community, your country or Israel to deal with the current waves of antisemitism, consider doing something more that involves taking some risk.

Actions can range from very simple to

complex and can be achieved with limited or unlimited resources. They might include forwarding explanatory messages or articles to longer lists of friends that now will know where you stand; helping people who are taking more risks so they get more support, and participating publicly in shows of support and be willing to involve more and more people in them.

It includes being willing to be public in your criticism of certain actions even if it makes you unpopular in certain circles, including social media. Stop funding places you believe are not acting appropriately and use the money to support places that are.

If you have influence, use it, and not always behind closed doors. Be willing to lose some business or status because of your views. Find opportunities to express yourself.

This is not meant to be exhaustive. I am sure there are many more ways for people to take a little more risk. If we all do it, the impact will be material. People round the world are already doing this, but we clearly need more. Realise the world changed for us on 7 October and the new one requires more risk.

One thing is clear. With all of us taking a little more risk however way we can, I have no doubts on the outcome.

Let’s get on with it.

Jewish News 28 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
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Redbridge Jewish Care won Division 1 of the Maccabi Southern League and have been promoted to the Premier League for next season. Manager Kane Hopps and the senior players led by Brad Gayer and Scott Oldstein are undefeated since the beginning of the year, and after a 6-3 away win against Boca Chillers have cemented their title win with a game to spare. A brilliant campaign and end to the season.


Kol Hakovod to the amazing runners who supported Chana at this year’s London Landmarks Half Marathon. They raised essential funds that will go directly to helping couples struggling with infertility to achieve their dream of having a baby. Pictured: Ricki Stone and runners Sam Simon, Menachem Breindel and Mendel Bensusan.



Last Friday the events team at Loughton Synagogue held its annual Shabbat Loughton dinner for 100 guests. The event is always a sell-out – and this year was no exception. A cocktails and canapé reception was followed by the Kabbalat Shabbat service held by Rabbi Yanky Abrams, accompanied by the beautiful singing of Chazan Anton Eriera. The women were all invited to light Shabbat candles after which a delicious Friday night dinner was served. From left: Pauline Witzenfeld, Deborah Shulton and Lesley Adams.


A cohort of 20 young British Jews from Diller Teen Fellows has raised £5,319 for Community Security Trust. The group from across London, Essex, Manchester, and Leeds took part in the Diller Teen Fellows UK CST Run, to support CST’s work in combating antisemitism and protecting Jewish communities across the UK. They divided the number of miles equal to the days that the 7 October hostages have been in captivity between them.


Rabbi Odom Brandman of Chabad Buckhurst Hill ran a men’s challah bake and cholent evening last week with the help of his wife Henny. To make it special, the team at Chabad prepared three different cholents, two different yapchiks (potato kugel with meat) and two different kugels, to be served with cold beers and soft drinks. Can we expect to see a challah bake-off soon?


A leading organisation providing emotional support to Jewish teens hosted the launch event for its groundbreaking book Mastering Your Mind: 10 Proven Life Hacks for Teenage Happiness and Success by Yaakov Barr, psychotherapist and JTeen CEO. In attendance were family, friends and members of the JTeen community. The book offers insights, practical strategies and cognitive behaviour techniques to equip adolescents with the tools they need to thrive emotionally and has endorsements from leading therapists and experts.

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The struggle for freedom

Tal-Sunderland Cohen picks Pesach wines with a heavy heart

It will be a sad and restrained Passover this year. As long as hostages are unable to take part in the meal, soldiers and other workers cannot return home and the wounded are still to recover, the festival will be different. As we raise our four cups of wine, our thoughts turn to the wineries that are caught up in the conflict: all the wineries in the Galilee, Negev and Gaza Envelope regions have experienced fatal incidents since October and the Avivim winery in the Galilee was destroyed by rocket fire.

The first cup, the Kiddush, sanctifies the holiday. It is a call to honour the hand of God in the journey from slavery to statehood. This year we will be thinking of those who cannot raise their glass in peace, and of the families torn apart by war. The sanctity of the moment is intertwined with a silent prayer for safety and reunion, for the sanctity of life itself.

The second cup relates to the tale of the Exodus, a story of miraculous plagues and the eventual escape from tyranny. This glass symbolises hope and the indomitable spirit of a people yearning for freedom. However, as we recite the plagues of Egypt, we cannot help drawing parallels to the plagues of today: hatred, violence, and extremism.

The third cup is the birkat hamazon, the blessing after the meal: a gesture of gratitude for food and divine providence. In the shadow of conflict, this gratitude is mingled with grief. This glass is raised not only in thanks but also in memory of those who have fallen, in recognition of the bitter cost of enduring strife and division. It is a reminder that our freedom and security are bound up with the fates of our neighbours.

The fourth and final cup is drunk after recitation of the hallel – songs of praise that conclude the Seder.

Traditionally, this cup symbolises the fulfilment of the promise of redemption. But this year, it feels premature to speak of redemption. As we drink, we acknowledge that our celebration is incomplete.

In this context, the four cups of wine on seder night are not just markers on a historical journey, but symbols of our yearning for freedom, peace, and unity. They remind us that the story of Exodus is a living narrative that continues to unfold in the complex reality of our world. The Seder night becomes a powerful expression of resilience and a testament to the enduring hope that freedom will prevail, and tyranny and oppression will be overcome.

This year, let the wines of this Pesach be a reflection of our collective spirit: nuanced, complex, and striving towards harmony.


Each of these wines reflects the distinct character and spirit of its region, from the lush landscapes of the Upper Galilee to the stark beauty of the Negev desert. Israeli winemakers have skilfully harnessed these varied terroirs, producing kosher wines that stand tall on the global stage. Whether you prefer the elegance of a Viognier or the complexity of a Cabernet Sauvignon, these selections offer a glimpse into the rich heritage and innovative future of Israeli winemaking.

Upper Galilee Wines

Galil Mountain Viognier

An aromatic white, with a bouquet of peach and floral hints, apricot, ripe nectarine and invigorating perfume, with fresh herbal aromas and a delicate background of oak. Medium-bodied, with a silky texture; long, balanced finish. £14.50

Dalton Family Collection

Cabernet Sauvignon

The nose carries an intricate bouquet of aromas - dark cherries and ripe blackberries blend harmoniously with subtle undertones of vanilla and cedar, a nod to its careful aging in quality oak barrels. £29

Adir winery Kerem Ben Zimra Shiraz

A seductive bouquet of dark cherries and blackberries, interwoven with hints of earthy spices and the subtle smokiness of oak aging. Layers of complexity, showcasing a harmonious balance between ripe, dark fruit flavours and a refreshing acidity that enlivens the senses. £28

Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve

Ripe blackberries and cherries are at the forefront, elegantly intertwined with subtle notes of fresh herbs, Mediterranean scrub and a hint of oak, derived from meticulous aging in French barrels. £29.95

Tabor Adama Syrah

A deep, ruby-red hue promises a sensory journey of complexity and

elegance with a bouquet of dark fruits, notably blackberries and plums, interwoven with subtle hints of black pepper and the faintest whisper of smoked meat, a nod to the varietal’s Rhône Valley heritage yet distinctly influenced by the terroir of the Galilee. £18.99

Negev Wines

Yatir Har Amasa

The wild landscape, mountains and vegetation of Mount Amasa with the Yatir forest and the vineyards are the backdrop for this blend of Viognier, Rosanne, Claret Blanche, and Chenin Blanc. This wine was fermented and aged for about seven months in a combination of concrete amphorae, a wooden tank and large wooden barrels. £55

Midbar Winery Chardonnay

Hailing from Israel’s arid Negev desert, this wine presents a fascinating study in the adaptability of vines and the ingenuity of viticulture in extreme conditions. It stands out for its crisp freshness and nuanced complexity with lush fruit flavours - ripe peaches and crisp green apples - and a subtle, underlying minerality. The wine’s elegant oak integration, achieved through meticulous aging, lends a soft touch of vanilla and a creamy texture without overpowering the vibrant fruit character. £19.95

Pinto Winery Holot Red David Pinto was called to the reserves on the first day of the war, and a long time passed before he could return home to the winery. This blend of Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon presents a rich tapestry of blackberries and plums with subtle hints of oak and spice that add depth and complexity. Smooth tannins and a finish that lingers. £48.50

Ramat Negev Kadesh Barnea Cabernet Sauvignon

This winery lost a container of new bottles because of Hamas shelling. Its Cab Sav is a striking exemplar of how Israel’s desert terroirs can produce wines of profound character and distinction. A deep ruby colour and an aromatic bouquet brimming with ripe blackberry, cassis and a hint of spice. On the palate, it unfolds layers of lush dark fruit, complemented by velvety tannins and a subtle oak influence, leading to a finish that is both elegant and enduring. £20

l Buy kosher wines at your local kosher supermarket. Prices indicated are approximate and are subject to change

11 April 2024 Jewish News 33 www.jewishnews.co.uk Pesach treats!
Female change makers
Inside A
Dessert is often a challenge at Pesach but Joanna Nissim finds inspiration in Middle Eastern traditions

Malabi with roasted strawberries, sumac and sesame brittle

Serves 6 generously

Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 5/6 hours

This beautiful dessert is said to originate in Persian Iran in the late 7th century and has spread in both distance and popularity, now making it a favourite across the Middle East. Over the past few years, it has become a staple in every Israeli restaurant and is the perfect end to a heavy meal with its light and creamy texture. It lends itself to many flavours, but I have teamed it with some roasted strawberries and sesame brittle which serves as a scoop and gives a lovely crunch. The setting agent is usually cornflour but for Pesach I have substituted it with potato starch.


1 litre almond milk

5 tbsp potato starch

5 tbsp sugar

1 heaped teaspoon group cardamom

(or 4 pods lightly crushed)


1 tsp vanilla paste

3 tbsp rosewater

Roasted strawberries:

400g fresh strawberries

1 tbsp honey or agave

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

1 Malabi: Measure out the potato starch into a small bowl, add 4-5 tbsp of the almond milk and whisk to make a thick paste, ensuring no lumps. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, just below boiling point.

2 Turn the heat down and add the sugar, cardamom, vanilla and rose, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

3 Once the sugar has dissolved in the milk, add the potato starch mixture, and keep whisking until it thickens. If it is taking some time, turn the heat up a little.

4 Once you have the consistency of treacle, pour into six individual dishes.

5 Leave to cool, and then put in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours or until ready to serve.

6 Roasted strawberries: pre-heat the oven to 185 degrees. Wash the strawberries and slice off the green tops. Slice some into slices and others in halves or quarters so that you have a lovely mixture.

7 Place in an ovenproof dish and drizzle on the honey, and then sprinkle on the sumac and the cinnamon. Toss gently so that everything is covered but being careful not to break them up.

1 tsp sumac

Sesame brittle

250g sugar

250g sesame seeds

Rocket (optional, for serving)

8 Place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they begin to soften but are still holding their shape. Take them out and leave to cool.

9 Sesame brittle: Put the sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat and wait for it to melt into a caramel. Be patient as it takes some time but do not leave as it will catch in a second! NB do NOT stir this, occasionally swirl the pan if needed.

10 Whilst the sugar is melting, lay a sheet of baking paper on the work surface and have another one at the ready with a rolling pin.

11 When the sugar has become a dark caramel (but not burnt!) add the sesame seeds and mix quickly. Be careful at this point as the sugar is burning hot! Tip out onto the baking sheet (you need to do this quickly as it hardens quickly) and cover with the other baking sheet.

12 Using the rolling pin, roll out the sesame mixture as thin as possible and let cool.

13 Once cooled, peel back the baking paper and break the brittle into shards.

14 Serve the strawberries and shards of brittle on top of the set malabi.

Moroccan Charoset Balls

Makes 30 | Prep time: 30 mins

These wonderfully sticky little charoset truffles are traditionally served squished between two matzahs at Seder to signify the cement used when the Jews were slaves in Egypt. They freeze beautifully and so can be made well in advance, only needing to come out an hour or two before guests arrive. They can be enjoyed all year around as a healthy protein snack or even served as a petit four after your meal. The mixture is super sticky so make sure to oil or wet hands whilst making them to avoid having ‘cement’ stuck to your hands.


1 cup ground walnuts

½ cup ground almonds

12 large pitted medjool dates

1 cup raisins

orange zest (optional)

3-4 tbsp kiddush wine

3-4 tbsp ground cinnamon (for dusting the outside)

30g honey

juice of half a lemon juice of a clementine


1 Place all the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until they come together and form a dough.

2 Sieve the ground cinnamon onto a plate, covering the base.

3 Wet or oil your hands and take a teaspoon of the truffle mixture and roll into a small ball approximately the size of a walnut. NB these are very rich so don’t make them too big.

4 Drop the truffle onto the plate of cinnamon and roll around, ensuring that the outside is completely covered. Dust off any excess and place them stacked up on a serving plate or store in Tupperware.

5 They can be frozen at this stage or will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days. Serve at room temperature.

34 www.jewishnews.co.uk Jewish News 11 April 2024 JN LIFE

Tezpishti De Nuezes

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

This Turkish walnut cake with cinnamon and a lemon and honey syrup reflects the relationship between Jews and walnuts, which is referenced throughout the Bible with theories of how the nuts are not only physically beneficial but have spiritual meaning too. It is said that it is particularly auspicious to eat walnuts on Seder night and this rich cake is a wonderful way to enjoy them. The syrup keeps the cake wonderfully moist and so it will keep in an airtight container for a few days (if there is any left!) to serve any guests with a cup of hot mint tea.


For the cake:

375g ground walnuts

62.5g dark brown sugar

62.5g cake meal

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1 large egg, plus an extra yolk

1 cup water

Whole walnuts for garnish

For the syrup:

6 tbsp water

60g sugar

30g honey

juice of half a lemon juice of a clementine

1 Pre-heat the oven to 185 degrees. Combine all the cake ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you have a thick batter.

2 Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake tin and grease the sides. Pour in the thick batter, smoothing down the top and bake at 185 degrees for 45 minutes.

3 While it is cooking, prepare the syrup by heating all the ingredients in a saucepan on a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened.

4 Remove the cake from the oven and test with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

5 While still warm, prick the cake all over and pour over the syrup.

6 Leave to soak for at least 45 minutes and decorate with the walnut halves or, alternatively, sprinkle over some ground walnuts for decoration.

Serve at room temperature with a cup of tea or strong Turkish coffee.

Jewish News 35 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024 JN LIFE
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Two women who have proved they can steer organisations along new paths are making sure others in their field are recognised and valued

n the ever-changing world of work, a new wave of entrepreneurs is cropping up to transform businesses – aka change makers.

ITaking creative action to drive and lead positive change in an organ isation, change makers play a crucial role in shaping the future and success of businesses, often with a social purpose. While not a new phenomenon, change makers have grown in popularity in recent years owing to a combination of global challenges, technological advances and cultural shifts that have propelled them into the spotlight, making them influential and sought-after figures in various industries.

female change makers – a growing demographic.

Launched last year, Women in Change is a private members network connecting and amplifying professional women working in change and transformation. They run regular networking events and an annual summit, bringing together more than 100 change makers from a range of industries.

Sarah, 54, and Louise, 56, have been working in change long before it became fashionable. Sarah is a consultant at PA management consultancy, specialising in people and change, while Louise spent 25 years at the BBC – working in change since 2015 – most recently as lead change manager.

So much so that Jewish entrepreneurs

Sarah Bar-Lev and Louise Robey set up an organisation, alongside their high-profile jobs, dedicated to fostering the development of

Louise tells Jewish News: “We are going through an industrial revolution: technological advances, global challenges, an ageing population, people are working later – we are

going to have to rethink everything. Businesses know this and will need to take the role of change makers very seriously, putting it at the heart of their business projects.”

Sarah adds: “Many millennials and Gen Zs, known for their values-driven approach to work and life, are seeking careers that align with this and enable them to make a positive impact, contributing to the rise of change makers who are passionate about driving social and environmental change.” The term has also been popularised by media outlets and influencers, championing those who make a positive impact.

“The convergence of these factors has contributed to a surge in change makers in recent years, each driven by a shared vision of creating a better future through innovation, advocacy and action.”

She adds: “‘Change maker’ has become a buzzword in recent years, as it encapsulates the values of social impact, innovation and leadership, which are highly valued in today’s society. It serves as a rallying cry for individuals and organisations committed to making the world a better place.”

In June, Women in Change, which has attracted members from leading companies including Next Beauty, Twinings, Lloyds Banking Group and the Ministry of Defence, will hold its inaugural Women in Change awards. Sponsored by Diageo, the awards will showcase women who are not just participating in change but actively driving it.

Louise has more than 16 years’ experience leading change programmes in business. At the BBC, she was head of change for the major new build of Broadcasting House, which won an APM Project Management Award in 2013. She was also one of the founding governors of JCoSS. Louise left the BBC last month to start a portfolio career. A majority of her time will be dedicated to building on the success of Women in Change.

Sarah was senior business change manager for the Ministry of Defence, and head of change, strategic command, before joining PA Consulting.

It was Sarah, who lives in Oxfordshire, who founded Women in Change. “I designed it as a way to widen my network but was really taken by the number of women wanting to connect.” London-based Louise got in touch with Sarah and joined as a director, alongside Rebecca Moore, who previously drove organisational change, culture and leadership transformation at BP.

Sarah built the business as a testament to both her mother, who died in 2022, and her son Joshua, who died aged seven from cancer, 25 years ago. “Both these experiences had a massive impact on how I look at life and my mum dying was a big eye opener for me to use what years I have left effectively.”

Today, WIC has about 200 members.

Sarah and Louise note that women make particularly effective change makers. “I would say that at least 80 percent of people doing this role are women,” notes Louise. “Maybe women have more empathy, or are used to juggling, or perhaps are just more interested.”

She says that while people are realising the importance of female change makers, their status is still undervalued. “They are generally brought in to businesses when it’s all going wrong but they should be there from the start.

“Change makers often focus on longterm, intangible goals such as social impact, which may not always be fully captured by traditional business metrics like revenue and profit,” adds Sarah. “So their contributions may be overlooked by stakeholders prioritising short-term gains. Some people are resistant to change, which can hinder a change maker’s efforts, and change makers who are women, or members of marginalised groups, may face additional barriers.

“Women in Change are standing up to these, and other challenges that change makers face, to elevate their status and create an environment where their contributions are recognised and rewarded, and help ensure that change makers are valued and empowered to continue making a difference in the world.”

• The next Women in Change Summit takes place on 14 November 2024

Jewish News 36 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
/ Women in change
Sarah Bar-Lev Sarah Bar-Lev and Louise Robey (centre) at their networking summit last year


In our thought-provoking series, rabbis and educators relate the week’s parsha to the way we live today

Careless talk costs lives

Careless talk costs lives. Loose lips sink ships. These statements were the mantras of Britain during the Second World War. The Torah has always warned us against evil speech, lashon hara, but even innocent gossip can lead to devastating consequences. Our sages compare speaking lashon hara to murder, and I think we have seen evidence for this on personal and national levels.

Words can ruin lives, whether directly or indirectly. And it’s not just talking: it’s texting, tweeting and tiktokking.

This week’s parasha, Tazria, talks

in depth about the consequences of lashon hara and the process of redeeming oneself. In last week’s parsha, we read about kosher and non-kosher animals. When listing some examples of non-kosher animals, the Torah always mentions the positive, kosher sign first: “And the pig, because it has a cloven hoof that is completely split, but will not regurgitate its cud; it is unclean for you” (Vayikra 11:7).

The Torah here is setting us up with a great plan for avoiding lashon hara. If we look for the positive in someone or something, we may be less likely to say something bad. Lashon hara specifically refers to things that are actually true (falsehoods are for a whole other article).

I am sure I am not the only person who is finding the news coming out

of Israel upsetting and damaging. A notable example of the detrimental effects of speech we have seen was not long after the 7 October attacks. Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza was bombed and some 500 people were killed. As we watched news outlets around the world blame Israel, we held our breath, hoping it wasn’t true.

When it was proven to be a false claim, we were then hit with the revelation that the damage had already been done.

As Jewish News reported on 20 October: “The foreign secretary has called on broadcasters to go for ‘accuracy rather than pace because their words have impact here in the UK and around the world’.” Later on Charlotte Henry wrote: “Sunak also noted the terrible effect the initial reporting had. The misreporting of

that incident had a negative effect in the region, including on a vital US diplomatic effort, and on communal tensions here at home” (26 October 2023, Jewish News). This is clear recognition that words have indeed stoked the fire of this conflict.

Whether we’re disparaging an individual, group or country, or reading about it or listening to other

people’s opinions, it is important to remind ourselves to look for the inherent good in humanity.

I end with a beautiful quote from the late Rabbi Lord Sacks: “The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognise God’s image in someone who is not in my image; whose language, faith and ideal are different from mine?”

Jewish News 37 www.jewishnews.co.uk
11 April 2024 Orthodox Judaism
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News outlets blamed Israel for the bombing of Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza

Progressive Judaism


Voting is an obligation

If you want to vote in the forthcoming local elections on Thursday 2 May, and are not already on the electoral roll, you will need to register by Tuesday 16 April. If you don’t have an accepted form of voter ID you will now need a Voter Authority Certificate, available from the gov.uk website. Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday 24 April.

You may ask why I, as a rabbi, feel the need to share this information. Why would I want to include this information in a column dedicated to religious life?

Our early texts come from a period when political democracy was definitely not the norm. Nonetheless, there is a compelling case

that our tradition considers exercising our vote a modern Jewish obligation.

A number of authorities, including the American Orthodox Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in a famous responsum from the mid-1980s, associate voting with the Jewish ideal of hakarat hatov. As Jews, we are obliged to recognise and be grateful for that which is good in our lives. We benefit from being part of a society that provides us with safety and freedom, so we express our appreciation for this by exercising the right to vote.

Similarly, there are some Jews who choose to recite a blessing of gratitude before voting, often one with particular resonance for an election soon after Pesach: “Blessed are You, Eternal God, Ruler of the Universe, who has made me free.”

As Jews, we are also obliged to engage with the world around

us. We are bound by the laws of the country in which we live. The Talmud tells us that “the law of the land is the law”, so we should play our part in shaping this.

We are also asked to pay broader attention to the way that the society in which we live is governed.

In the sixth century BCE, the prophet Jeremiah instructed the exiles to Babylon: “Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you.”

Seven hundred years later, the first century CE sage, Rabbi Hanina, who was deputy high priest, echoed Jeremiah when he instructed: “Pray for the welfare of the government.”

The midrash Tanchuma expresses this idea more clearly than perhaps any other text.

It states: “If a person secludes themselves in the corner of their home, declaring, ‘What concern are the problems of the community

A stimulating series where progressive rabbis consider how to navigate Judaism in the face of 21st-century issues

We must recognise and be grateful for that which is good in our lives

to me? What do their laws mean to me? Why should I hear their voices? I will be well without them,’ this one destroys the world.”

In the modern world, one of the ways in which we express our obligation to recognise what is good in our lives is by the use of our vote.

Jewish News www.jewishnews.co.uk 38 11 April 2024

Ask our

Our trusty team of advisers answers your questions about everything from law and finance to dating and dentistry. This week: Sta bonuses and the law, making aliya, and coping with fluctuating gold, silver and diamond prices

Dear Donna

We’re giving our staff a one-off noncontractual bonus for Pesach. We have one employee we are in discussions with about a settlement agreement. Do I need to give them the bonus as well?


Dear Ruth

It depends on how far through the settlement process you are.

As it is a one-o bonus and non-contractual, you do have a bit more flexibility. If it were tied to company performance and the




Dear Stephen

I’m making aliyah later this year so would appreciate some advice as to what items I should buy in the UK and ship with my other stuff to Israel when I move. Ruth

Dear Ruth

Since you are making aliyah and qualify, among other things, for three tax free shipments within three years of making the move, you should think this through and consider what you will need. First, are you moving into rented accommodation or are purchasing your new home?

Clearly, rented accommodation often has most of the appliances and furniture that you will need. Do check. If it does not, or you are purchasing a new and empty home, then I can recommend UK suppliers who will advise and sell you the items that will be cheaper (even when shipped) and perhaps of a better quality that might be available in Israel.

employee was there for the whole year, then it probably should be paid.

However, if you are at the point of signing or in proper negotiations with their solicitor, then yes, you can exclude them, but it may get negotiated into their agreement and you will need to make a commercial decision on that at the time. The easiest thing to do would be to indicate that the ex-gratia payment includes any bonus due.

If they are still thinking about whether to accept, you have more of an issue, as any settlement agreement discussion is without prejudice and there is no guarantee it will go through. If for any reason it doesn’t go through, not giving the bonus could be seen as discriminatory and used against you in a future claim such as at an employment tribunal.

Second, you don’t have to purchase and ship immediately. How long, for example do you see yourself remaining in rented accommodation? You could send a small shipment of essential and sentimental items immediately and then a larger shipment when you have spent time in Israel and know what you really need.

If you know what you require in Israel and intend to ship now, say, your white goods that you already have, then just look at the age of them. Will they work in a hot climate? How much life do they have left in them? Do check.

Feel free to call me (020 8832 2222) if you have any questions about your move –I am here to help




Dear Jonathan

I have been monitoring the gold price since you started advertising in Jewish News back in 2009. I am looking today at the price and cannot believe it is approximately £1,850 per oz. I think back in 2009 it was about £800 an ounce. Is now a good time to sell or do you think it will go higher? I also do not understand why

the price of silver is so low, compared to the gold price. Maybe you can tell me why? Finally, what is the market like for selling diamonds at the moment?

If you could answer my queries above, I would be most appreciative.

Kind regards


Dear Cynthia

Some good observations above. I will try and answer them for you.

I have been following the gold price since 1980 where it briefly peaked at one stage at £800 an ounce, then drifted back to as low as £200 an ounce, then in 2008-2009 back to £800 and hitting £1,000.

Now in 2024, we are

at £1,850. So the price is governed by global economics, politics, wars and instability, hence the massive hike in price this year.

Will it go higher? I do not know. But it’s a great time to look at what you have and maybe cash it in, enjoy this price and buy something nice with the proceeds.

As the saying goes: “What goes up, must go down.”

Re the silver price, because there is so much in the world, its price movement is very limited, although this year it has moved up 10 percent.

And finally, re diamonds, because of the strong demand for lab-created diamonds, there has been a 20-30 percent drop in prices in the last year, but they will come back within a year or two.

Jewish News 39 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024 Professional advice from our panel / Ask Our Experts
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Jewish News 40 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024



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Sweet & Sour Chicken + Side + Drink

Schnitzel + Side + Drink

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Jewish News 41 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
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Fun, games and prizes



1 Being sold at a 50% discount (4-5)

8 Create, build (4)

9 Take to your heels (3,3,3)





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

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



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.

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.

with brass bands can all be found in the forwards or backwards, in a horizontal, direction, but always in a straight, unbroken line.

The listed words to do with chickens and roosters 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.

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.

See next issue for puzzle solutions.

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

See next issue for puzzle solutions.

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

Last issue’s solutions

11 April 2024 Jewish News 43 www.jewishnews.co.uk
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
ABC DEFGHIJKLMNO PQR STUVWXYZ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 C 9 10 11 12 O 13 14 15 16 R 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 15 9 7 21 9 26 5 17 16 11 21 6 11 21 3 5 12 15 10 8 12 14 21 8 C 19 13 10 23 23 9 23 1 15 7 11 8 12 9 8 16 12 25 10 9 19 13 2 14 6 12 23 9 9 5 14 12 11 6 9 23 14 11 4 6 10 14 15 23 9 15 10 8 11 7 26 15 7 11 18 21 6 4 22 14 16 15 6 23 4 9 24 11 5 21 24 9 23 20 9 7 7 9 6 11 23 12 11 9 16 R 9 19 12 O 16 19 11 6 4 7 9 16 5 3 2 1 4 5 2 1 2 6 4 9 8 3 1 7 6 8 1 4 2 7 2 5 3 8 6 6 9 5 3 4 1 3 5 1 7 DM NY KF TE NS T AW GE DC GR FN A SI GO KA UL TE R IN EC MC OD RI B AGB UL CI OEG N H SLE KU OH MN S AP OT AS CP CI E TD R KT KAK IW N CSC EEYE LL OW HE RL LI RH SR O PTA BC LA W RCU 10 Headland (4) 13 Puss in ___, pantomime (5) 16 Prepare to pray (5) 17 Straight odds (5) 18 Disconnect (5) 19 Aquatic bird (5) 20 Move aimlessly (5) 21 Fundamental principle (5) 24 Skirt edges (4) 27 Partnership based on true affection (4,5) 28 Abstain from food (4) 29 Branches (9) DOWN 2 Border on (4) 3 Air-defence artillery (4) 4 Contest for cowboys (5) 5 Condiment set (5) 6 First-aider (9) 7 Prerequisite (9) 11 Lopsided (4-5) 12 (If) unavoidable (5,4) 13 Book’s advertising copy (5) 14 Sworn statements (5) 15 Grains, pips (5) 22 Reserved, haughty (5) 23 Objects (5) 25 Milk-based pudding (4) 26 Caledonian (4) Sudoku Suguru Wordsearch Codeword Crossword ACROSS: 1 Ensign 4 Pities 9 Chateau 10 Style 11 Soles 12 Cat flap 13 Lends 15 Brock 20 Proverb 22 Pesto 24 Cliff 25 On leave 26 Edging 27 Lead on. DOWN: 1 Excise 2 Snarl 3 Greased 5 Inset 6 Idyllic 7 Steeps 8 Punch 14 Evoking 16 Repulse 17 Apache 18 E-book 19 Come-on 21 Elfin 23 Shard. N DI HSH OW ERS C OWO BN IA RUR RIN GW D EMS ET AES ELA DL FA M TVF OM IV RGU S EI GF LO AE RN S LO TA EC NT BPA PL H UTC CER IB OE NI S ET AHA L R TOT PYY ECPU DND SL RA IN YE S O L E M N A D J O I N A I A C O N U L E G G Y O P O S S U M I H O U R E B V E T E R A N M E T R E A E T A R G R I E F S T O R K C X S E G R E C A P M A C A Q U E E H L A A U E C H A M O I S S W I Z Z H N D H T R E E I T H E R M E T E O R 1 6 3 4 7 9 8 2 5 7 8 5 6 2 3 9 4 1 4 9 2 1 8 5 3 7 6 9 1 8 2 5 7 4 6 3 3 4 7 8 1 6 2 5 9 5 2 6 3 9 4 7 1 8 8 5 1 7 3 2 6 9 4 6 7 9 5 4 8 1 3 2 2 3 4 9 6 1 5 8 7 3 24141 5 1 3 2 5 2 3 2414 3 5 1 5 2 5 1 42 3 14 3 3 14 5 21 1 5124 2 3 2435 1 4 1514 2 2 3423 1 1 5154 2 3 2431 3
3 4 5 6 9 10 11 13 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 25 (5,6) animals (5)
N N I I S S 19 22 84413231924172313 10 11 23 17 16 10 8 6101815112423 4811232410 23 15 21 17 1 24 23 11 18 22 10 26 19 17 15 6 10 19 17 19 24 23 19 14 8251011 25111113 18 6334724 22 5101012 583 10 45 23 17 17 419 19 22 23 4101 10 19 19 11 10 19 19 24 24 23 10 10 11 1 10 910182419201010241 10 12345678910111213 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 4 5 3 3 5 314 2 5 4 3 9 7 2 6 2 3 8 1 4 4 5 5 2 3 7 3 9 4 7 8 3 4 9 6 5 2 LL IE RY G KLA N TST D IOI AR UM BB POE RB U MA DHR SI EAEAA CI N GM S ELS O ATS DN AB H SH IR EAP OM P ETE U ATE PM UR TE 11 Female rabbit (3) 12 Morally proper (7) 13 Blue Shoes, Presley song (5) 14 Culinary pulveriser (6) 16 Plus (2,4) 19 Farmland units (5) 21 Make more secure (7) 23 Try to win the affection of (3) 24 Sudden thrust (5) 25 Take away (7) 26 Tending flocks (11) DOWN 2 Dog’s restraining chain (5) 3 Appendix to a will (7) 4 Wax light with a wick (6) 5 ___ basket, wickerwork carrycot (5) 6 Bishop’s area (7) 7 Signal to take action (4-2,4) 10 Of clothes, reaching the middle of the leg (4-6) 15 Squash (7) 17 With vision (7) 18 Heavy uninteresting food (6) 20 Lottery (5) 22 Practise for a feat of endurance (5) COMPETE CORNET DURHAM ENSEMBLE EUPHONIUM PIT SCHOOL TREDEGAR Sudoku Suguru Wordsearch Codeword Mildly 9 Theatre Pencil 15 Fewer Hills 22 Aquaria Hints 3 Umber Matriarchs 8 World-weary Contract 15 Flushed Link. EO CC O BRAUA K MN BO DH PF HSR Y AN EOAOE WU A GC RECK AT ID K RL IH YT IL JE A EOE PWE LN TMT EVSAS IH T GUO NI VL HGN CM SA RE KCAR CER IF T DI NSD EESS L T BJ AL APE NOR DWA RF HO WL S RS I GLO OH L AL TE RI AR OM A ME STXL C AURA ARC NEC K N SME AR O C HEAP NI CER U GLO OM G ST AR EVE QU IP AM JE RNU BRA VO RA LI EN RZ EA TE NT C EN EMY TE ET H Z D H B M E J U P A O F Q R T V G S Y X N K I C L W 4 6 3 8 2 9 5 7 1 8 9 1 5 3 7 2 4 6 2 7 5 1 4 6 8 3 9 1 5 9 4 6 3 7 8 2 3 8 6 7 1 2 9 5 4 7 2 4 9 8 5 1 6 3 6 1 8 2 7 4 3 9 5 5 4 2 3 9 8 6 1 7 9 3 7 6 5 1 4 2 8 1 3 5 214 4214 3 5 3 5 3 5 21 1421 3 4 2 3 5 421 4121 3 5 3 4154 1 1 2323 2 3 5414 5 2 1232 1 3 4514 3 1 2325 1 solutions TROMBONE TRUMPET TUBA YORKSHIRE



Jewish News 44 www.jewishnews.co.uk 11 April 2024
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