LIFE magazine - 4th July 2024

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Editor’s letter

It’s a colourful Life –though we had no idea this issue would coincide with an election. Or that there would still be hostages in Gaza.

In this Life, JN editor

Richard Ferrer travels to Kibbutz Kfar Aza to write about the terrifying October 7 experience of photographer Batia

Holin and US activist Lizzy Savetsky talks about the hate to which she is subjected online and on the street. I speak to Gloria Abramoff who, many



moons ago, hired me as BBC radio show host and she has now produced the gripping Holocaust documentary The Commandant’s Shadow, which should win an Oscar if the Academy stays true to its’ ‘representation and inclusion” commitment.

There is lots of serious stuff, but I’m delighted

Michael Ben-Baruch, director of the Israel Government Tourism Office, agreed to reveal his hotspots in the Holy Land while stressing the importance of visiting Israel.


On the fun front, Vanessa Feltz gets out her dresses and Kenny Wax waxes lyrical about his new show Why Am I So Single? created by clever-clog Six composers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.

As I said, it’s a ‘colourful Life’, as exemplified by our cover girls in technicolour dream clothes. They make the world a brighter place, and so did my friend the late Martin Segal of the Israel Guide Dogs Centre. We are thrilled to support a community fundraiser that will pay for the raising and training of guide dog Teddy, who is named in Martin’s honour.

Enjoy your summer!

Hear up-to-date briefings on the current situation from high profile speakers. Enjoy tea with the new British Ambassador at his residence.

Visit tech start ups and meet the entrepreneurs. Private tour by Uri Geller of his extraordinary museum.

Visit unknown museums and hear their extraordinary stories.

Join a private tour of the Technion in Haifa when you hear about the ground breaking innovations. Spend half a day with the IDF. Meet Israel Defence experts and a former Mossad director.

Meet soldiers who bravely fought in the Iron Swords War, and meet the inventors of some of the equipment that the IDF were able to use.

Share meals with lone soldiers and British students

Plus SO much more.




Chicago feminist rocks Edgware rabbi

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith is so keen on artist Judy Chicago he drops her into his sermons. “I first became aware of Judy Chicago through a passage in her writings, The Merger Poem. Written in 1979, it was o en used in creative Jewish services, in place of or alongside the al keyn n’kaveh prayer. It is now in our 2008 Reform Judaism Siddur and this is an extract:

And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old And then all will nourish the young And then all will cherish life’s creatures And then all will live in harmony with one another and the Earth And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

Researching the prayer’s author, I discovered Judy Chicago, the extraordinarily accomplished American feminist artist, who was born Judy Cohen in Chicago, 1939. She changed her last name to her hometown in 1970 to free herself from living under the name of her male forebears and, in that year, also founded the first Feminist Art Programme at Fresno’s California State University.

From now until 1 September, Hyde Park’s Serpentine North Gallery is exhibiting a comprehensive, stimulating and fascinating retrospective of Judy Chicago’s six decades of art. Were it not an entirely inappropriate term, this free-to-enter exhibition, titled Revelations, would be called a ‘masterclass’, such is the scope of feminist art. I have grown up with strong female role models, who have taught me that we live culturally with a great deficit of women’s art, literature and creativity because male-dominated structures tend to fail to foster and indeed erase women’s work. Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah and Rabbi Marcia Plumb, with collaborators, helped to educate our community about this loss when they organised the Half-Empty Bookcase conference in the early 1990s and a great part of our work when creating the new Reform Judaism Machzor for the High Holy Days was to ensure it was su used with women’s voices as least as much as men’s. Judy Chicago’s exhibition helps us to learn the same lessons through art.


Her most famous piece The have world. and

Dinner Party was created from 1974-1979 with 400 participants who made elaborate place settings for prominent women through history, along with recording the names of 999 women who have made a di erence to the world. It is now permanently displayed in Brooklyn but at the Serpentine, Judy narrates a film on its making with many sketches and interviews chronicling its development. She says that it is as if Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper were made by the people who have done the cooking throughout history.

Fittingly in this colourful issue, we can announce a new book by the dame of vivid dressing. On 18 July, Dame Zandra Rhodes, now 83, who describes herself as “ intensely Jewish – I know all the Passover songs!” – launches Iconic: My Life in Fashion in 50 Objects. Tracking her history through personal mementos collected over years, the book is filled with rock stars, royalty and poignant reflections on her personal triumphs and the sacrifices and pressures that come with being era-defining.

A er of nature chapters

The Dinner Party we move to her Atmosphere installations and then her series, a striking commentary on the destruction of nature and violence against women and the earth. These pieces certainly gave me, as a man, pause for thought as to our patterns of behaviour. The final chapter is the Birth Project framed as a revelation, much as the early chapters of Genesis in the Torah are a narrative of the formation of the universe.

ends with a 2022 piece in which Judy encourages collaboration in a booth where you can record your answer to the question: ‘What if women ruled the world?’

Revelations a record the women

This exhibition is a must-see for anyone wanting to rethink art from a feminist perspective, just as Judy’s Merger Poem is a manifesto that sets out a repaired world that would be wonderful to live in. The Revelation is that tikkun olam (the repair of the world) is possible.

perspective, just as Judy’s that would be wonderful to live in. The Revelation is that of the world) is possible.

Revelations runs at Serpentine North until 1 September 2024. Mark Goldsmith is Senior Rabbi at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue and chair of the MRJ Machzor Editorial Committee




Mazeltov if there is still a ticket le for Fiddler On The Roof at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre as the community is heading to the park. Meanwhile on stage, the welcome Jewish ensemble directed by Jordan Fein includes US star Adam Dannheisser as Tevye, dance legend Greg Bernstein as Mendel the rabbi’s son and, in what can only be the best bit of casting news for the summer, Darya Topol Margalith as youngest sister Schprintze. No one would have been prouder than the late Chaim Topol to see his granddaughter in the show that made him a star – as proud as he was when Adi, Darya’s mother, played Chava beside his Tevye at the Palladium. You will need a box of tissues.

Suzie Depreli, a classically-trained musician and songwriter, brings her heritage and talent to the stage with Rules Schmules – How To Be Jew-ISH. This hour-long live show features 10 original songs exploring the rules Suzie navigates as a modern Jewish woman. Highlights include JMS (Jewish Mummy Syndrome), a ballad about mothers expressing love through food; Nice Jewish Boy, a tango about the pressures of marrying within the faith; and Oingeschlepdekrenk, an Irish jig humorously mocking long-winded storytellers. Projections and photographs enhance the performance, and Suzie does not shy away from di icult discussions, proudly wearing her heart and her culture on her sleeve. Currently touring the UK, the show underscores its relevance amid global political tensions, promoting a message of love and light.

Rules Schmules is at Manchester Fringe from 21–23 July, Camden Fringe from 7–10 August and Edinburgh Fringe from 20 – 25 August

Portman’s place

How we love Natalie Portman, who is now playing a Jewish investigative journalist in Apple+ Lady in the Lake Based on the novel of the same name by Laura Lippman, the story was inspired by two real-life crimes that took place in 1969. Lippman, then a child, witnessed the impact on the Jewish community of the abduction and murder of 11-yearold Esther Lebowitz and, in the same year, the mysterious death of Shirley Lee Widgeon Parker, a young African-American woman occurred with no attention. Lippman only heard of Parker’s story years later, and in her book delved into the Baltimore crimes, the racism and sexism. This adaptation also stars Moses Ingram of The Queen’s Gambit and Mikey Madison (oldest daughter in Better Things). Apple TV+ 19 July

Get into The Grove

When you book the caterer, the venue and the band for your function, factor in a spa day as the perfect start to your simcha With just a week to go to my daughter’s wedding, the lack of sleep, the dieting and the last-minute arrangements had caught up with us, and all she and I could think about was having some me-time. Solution – a motherand-daughter day at Sequoia Spa at The Grove, where we were greeted at reception with a full itinerary and given a guided tour of this beautiful, peaceful space. Next was co ee, and then we got changed into the flu iest dressing gowns (which helped us to feel more comfortable and relaxed).

We were there on a Thursday, and the place was full, but didn’t feel it as there were no queues or sharing in the jacuzzi, sauna or steam room. The place is immaculate, the sta are divine and, wherever we were, there were plenty of clean towels.

From the small but perfectly-formed lunch menu we both choose the Sake Bowl – a fusion of salmon, avocado, edamame beans and mango – and lunch included a glass of Prosecco. Had this been post-wedding, I would’ve had the low-sugar beetroot brownie, plant-based vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, but we stuck to the fresh fruit platter. An additional note – my daughter has a few allergies and the chef was very accommodating. .

Once fed, we grazed by the pool, closed our eyes and then it was time for an 80-minute C+C Mediterranean massage, which released all my knots. My daughter’s knots were removed with the more powerful De-Stress massage. Neither of us wanted to get up, but we were shown to a relaxation room with large comfortable beds surrounded by privacy curtains. That may have been when we fell asleep. Beverley Sanford

Director Jordan Fein Greg Bernstein
Adam Dannheisser
Darya with her grandfather Chaim Topol


When asked by his fans: “Where are you most excited to play?” singer Robbie Williams always said Israel. In June 2023, he was targeted with antisemitic abuse before his appearance at Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park. But he went regardless, as he “love[s] the unspoken energy coming from the place”; is married to Turkish-Jewish Ayda Field and declares his five children “Jewish” with pride. There are reasons to appreciate Robbie other than his willingness to defy boycott calls, as he delivers live shows with the energy of his Take That youth. He is at BST Hyde Park on 6 July, so if you’re going, remember what he did.

Sisters doing it for themselves

Mazz and Gina Murray are the starry West End siblings who are always on stage somewhere. As Mamma Mia!’s long-standing Donna, Mazz has been at the Novello on the Aldwych since 2015 but, in November, she will be at the Adelphi Theatre in The Music of Dusty Springfield, belting out Son of a Preacher Man as the iconic 60s singer. Gina, meanwhile, is in the UK tour of Hairspray, playing bitchy beauty Velma Von Tussle. In whatever gap the Murrays had, Gina penned the song Dead Inside, recorded it with Mazz and the single is out on all platforms.

Talk’in bout a revolution

Hopefully our fabulous cover shot by Adam Soller will tempt you to visit Spitalfields Market. Once there, be sure to seek out playful Israeli designer Linor Kahlani, founder of Revolution Clothing. The firm is described as an “upcycled sustainable unique brand born in East London” and Linor is all about creating new fashion from old, with every piece being handstitched from vintage clothing and fabrics for a unique one-of-a-kind look – particularly outdoor wear.

Sticky situation

It’s hard to picture ITV’s political editor Robert Peston not sitting behind a desk twirling a pen, but his son Max only thinks of him as standing at the back of a venue trying to get the best vantage point to watch The New Sticky. Max is The New Sticky frontman and a veteran, as he has been in a band since he was 11 and at Alexandra Palace School.

Unlike his father, post-school, Max chose to stay with music and his group, formerly known as Sticky, borrow from 80s bands that dressed up and had a quirky character in the mix. Think Devo with their energy domes, and that’s Max and his crew, who dress up as sailors as part of an aquatic theme with a character called Dr Squid.

“All the stu we were implementing felt really easy and obvious,” says Max. “If you do that, it immediately makes you better than every other band on the bill because no one else is doing it. It’s about creating a visual spectacle as much as a musical one.”

The New Sticky started out with costumes à la Kid Creole and the Coconuts, but have since adopted various states of dress and undress. Max, 27, remains serious about his music and the skills each band member brings. “I love collaborating with those guys.”

Sticky did quite well with their first A-side/B-side but, let down by their first label, have released their debut album, Feel, under their own steam. “It’s a good, straightforwardly fun record that you’d have to be really morose not to get some pleasure from. It might not be to someone’s taste, but it’s going to make them smile.”

It made Robert smile, much to Max’s delight. “When he listened to it, he said, ‘It’s brilliant’, and nothing critical whatsoever. I think it’s because it reminds him of records from when he was a kid.”

Max and his band are doing cabaret shows over the summer, blending the musical styles of George Gershwin and George Clinton, both of whom Max admires, along with Mel Brooks. “I love him for subverting norms and being totally anarchic in his approach to stage work. Everything’s a big joke, and if it’s not, then you’re doing it wrong.”

says helpful Linor, who looks

“We believe every person has their own style, and we can help you express it,” says helpful Linor, who looks enviably good in her own jackets.

or also on numerous times a er

Max hopes to do it right, especially if dad is there. “He is incredibly supportive and has attended 70 percent of my shows [over] the past four years. He’s come and then gone to prep for his show the next day or also on numerous times a er the news at 10pm. He’s usually the first person I talk to when I get o stage and I love him coming down.”



Beach in the city

From now until 1 September, you can pretend you’re on holiday on the Finchley Road, as JW3 has thrown down the sand under the new weatherproof Dorfman Piazza and is conjuring up a mix of Marbs and Margate, with kosher food pop-ups, cocktails and mega outdoor screening of the UEFA, the Olympics, the Paralympics, and Wimbledon. Later in August, there are also new summer camps for teens, with workshops in visual arts, pottery, jewellery design and textiles and others for creative writing, film and photography.

The great outdoors

The classic picture books by Israeli children’s author Primo Rinat can be found in most homes in Israel, and her latest, Dandelion Snow, is a sweet, important tale about working together to solve a problem and overcome disappointment. Full of pictures of nature scenes and school that will feel familiar to young children, it has been beautifully illustrated by Maya Ish-Shalom. Published by Green Bean Books, £10.99.

What a dolly



Scott and

Many moons ago, we introduced you to the Dumpling Dolls, a ectionately known as the Kichel Kids. Resembling baked biscuits, these adorable dolls that warm up mantles are the work of Gill and Scott Harris, who have been a staple at Covent Garden’s weekend Arts and Cra s Market since 1981. Their family has grown and now includes not just little ones but also bubbes or grandparents if you prefer. Providing a touch of nostalgia and familial love, they are really

suitable for all ages.

A stronger tomorrow

Two years ago, as a response to rising antisemitism, a group of young Jewish volunteers formed The Warehouse, a project o ering subsidised self-defence and mental wellbeing programmes for children and young people in London. There are more than 80 selfdefence groups and private sessions weekly, catering for more than 1,500 students each month. Students range from age six upwards and participate in a variety of martial arts disciplines and levels. The mental health programme fulfils the need of an early support hub for the community and a variety of programmes, focus groups, talks and events are focused on raising awareness and de-stigmatising mental health to ensure our community is resilient to handle life’s challenges.

Wheels of woe

Over the horizon come two Holocaust road trip movies that are unexpected but appreciated . Girls’ Lena Dunham is the producer of Treasure, an adaptation of Lily Brett’s 1999 autobiographical novel Too Many Men, which is pared down for this father-daughter Auschwitz road-trip. In the film – directed by Julia von Heinz –Dunham plays New York journalist Ruth Rothwax, with Stephen Fry as her father Edek, a survivor about to return to his birthplace, Łódź. As both actors are Jewish and Fry’s maternal grandparents perished in the Riga ghetto, their recognition will make for intense viewing. Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg’s A Real Pain, starring Kieran Culkin, was covered by Jared Feldschreiber in April’s Life. It looks at the troubling elements of the Holocaust as a heritage tour and has had a positive reception at Sundance. Eisenberg has applied for Polish citizenship.

Btw: There is a new edition of Jared Feldschreiber’s novel Reckless Abandon, which is about an up-and-coming playwright trying to assemble his dream project that involves the co-operation of Bob Dylan, Woody Allen and Dustin Hoffman in the New York summer of 1984. Original and a must for Big Apple buffs, it’s available on Amazon.

Barbra’s boy done good

As the son of actor Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand, it must have been hard for Jason Gould not to wish to be more like mum at singing. She joins him on a rendition of Irving Berlin’s How Deep Is the Ocean on his new EP, Sacred Days. Spirituality is part of Jason’s life and part of the eclectic songs, which range from Laws of Desire, which has a futuristic video Gould helped create, to the dance track Run. With title song Sacred Days and his angry rant about the state of the things in World Gone Crazy, Barbra’s adored boy shows which parent he is most like – and you should take a listen.

Unforgettable hero

This September, Islington will host the première of a powerful new play based on the life of Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal, who dedicated his life to bringing Nazi war criminals to justice. Wiesenthal promises to be a heartfelt and humorous tribute to this extraordinary man and the play is set in 2003 on his final day in his Vienna o ice as he reflects on his incredible journey. Christopher C. Gibbs (pictured), portraying Wiesenthal, shares his deep connection with the role: “Every time I perform, I am struck by the resonance of these words with today’s world. It has been an honour to work on Tom Dugan’s moving play, and I’m thrilled to bring it to London.”

Director Mark Liebert leads this family e ort production, with his wife Judi as stage manager, son Josh as sound designer, and other son Ben providing media support. Mark emphasises the play’s timely relevance: “In a world where hate and intolerance are on the rise, Wiesenthal serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of awareness and education. We bring this play to London to continue spreading the message: Never Forget.” Kings Head Theatre, Islington, 2-15 September,

Work and study

Choosing where to do a BA is a daunting task. A er school, Sara studied for a year in seminary and wanted to go on become a teacher, but it was only when she saw the part-time LSJS BA (Hons) Jewish Education course advertised that she took the plunge, as it allowed her to work and study at the same time.

“LSJS helped me to get a job as a teaching assistant in a Jewish primary school, and every Monday I le school at 2pm to study at LSJS. The BA programme put the teaching into perspective and was such a help with my classroom practice. I learnt the theory of how children learn and the next day practised what I’d learned.”

Claire had worked as a teaching assistant for more than 10 years and, when her children started to leave home, began to think about her own career path. “LSJS allows me to [get a degree] in a way that fits in with my life. I couldn’t study full-time with my three at uni to support, but the BA (Hons) Jewish Education course means I can keep my job and study.”

LSJS has allowed both Sara and Claire to study at a friendly, supportive north-west London campus. The faculty sta are patient, knowledgeable, approachable and available to guide students every step of the way.

Puppets with purpose

Small bathroom? No problem!

Ripples London in Belsize Park has great tips for maximising space in a small bathroom or cloakroom.

1. Choose-wall-hung sanitaryware to open up floor space

A wall-hung toilet with a slim concealed cistern reduces the need for clunky boxing and gives a sleek, minimalist look. Wall-mounted basin taps not only look sleek, but are also space-savers on the basin.

2. Get savvy with storage

A small wall-hung vanity unit with deep drawers provides a stowaway space for towels and bathroom products. Shelves above the toilet utilise unused space and use niches in shower areas or by baths to store shampoo and shower gel.

3. Keep it pale

Consider using lightly-coloured, reflective tiles to help bounce light and light paint colours to make a space feel bigger than it is.

The Train Theatre, Israel’s premier puppet company, has always generated smiles, but their skills as entertainers have been under pressure since October 7 and activities significantly changed. With the theatre closed, the company hit the road, performing puppet shows at hotels where Israeli evacuees are sheltered. Their expertise in drama therapy through puppetry is helping traumatised children with processing their experiences and helping them to heal. And now the company is in the UK for just six performances of its show, Once Upon a World, which is about a small, brave, mischievous penguin travelling the world on his journey home to Antarctica. The performance features two dancers who embody various animal puppets designed by awardwinning puppet maker Michael Horovitz. 11, 12, 14 July at


4. Get the lighting right

Lighting is key in small rooms, especially where there’s a lack of natural light. Try combining ceiling lights with indirect lighting in recesses and at floor level to make the room feel as bright as possible.

As a crescent moon should, the company with that name brings so lighting and so much more to weddings and events. Renowned for creating stunning interiors at The Albert Hall, Burlington Arcade and The Excel Centre, in the past few years Crescent Moon has gone big on the lights, supplying giant chandeliers to Shepperton and Warner Brothers Studios for the films Cruella and Mission Impossible and to TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice.

With a full delivery and installation service, Crescent Moon o ers a wonderful array of lanterns and chandeliers for hire, from epic three and a half-metre empire chandeliers and magnificent three-metre ornate Marie Therese chandeliers to stunning vintage French crystal Empires.

The company has a large collection of chandelier stands and arches, so these show-pieces can hang at outdoor events or in tricky listed buildings. Le exposed, the elegant arching lines of the caste metal stand creates an architectural, almost industrial feel or, when used along walkways for weddings or over long tables, freestanding chandeliers look like they are literally floating on a stand concealed by foliage.



“When Labour look at the books, they are going to have to face the realities: that tax burdens are already at historic highs, the budget deficit is so high and private

and public investment is so low. It’s a very sticky problem for them.

It’s going to be tough. We will see an increase in taxes and not just the windfall taxes on oil and gas and VAT on private schools. They have said they won’t increase corporation tax, income tax or national insurance, but they are probably going to have to reverse on that so we have a big problem.We will see a wealth tax and inheritance tax and this will lead to an exodus of wealthier people from the country. The realities of the power are going to make it quite difficult

To deal with that, they will have to do one of two things, or both: raise taxes and/or redefine the way they look at government finances and what public debt is, but they will have very little wiggle room. for them. have problems and the same thing will happen.”

I think Labour will be in for 10 years, but after two terms governments usually have problems and the same thing

“The next government must work to capture the economic gains artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies can offer. AI is front and centre in every boardroom discussion right now, but so far (at the time of writing) it’s been largely absent from the election campaign. There needs to be a deliberate effort to unlock the potential


AI and new technologies can offer. Part of that means having the people who can create, build on and use these new technologies. The incoming government must look seriously at structured, ongoing and widespread reskilling to enable people to keep up.”

(published by Yale)

“In spite of frantic Labour claims of business support, Britain’s top FTSE

100 companies remain wary of Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves. Starmer is seen as having scant knowledge of entrepreneurship and enterprise. Reeves, a former Bank of England official, is viewed as competent. But most of Labour’s tax policies, such as closing loopholes for overseas investors, ending tax reliefs in the North Sea and toughening the tax rules for private equity, could drive investment overseas. There is also widespread concern about Angela Rayner’s new deal for workers, which seeks to sweep into the ocean Thatcher-era labour market reforms. Nevertheless, there is broad acceptance that the Tories lost their reputation for economic competence with frequent changes of prime minister and wild swings in policy from Liz Truss’ tax-cutting to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Treasury orthodoxy.

Martin Sorrell

The larger British corporations want to see a period of stability that allows them to focus on IT investment, AI and the other innovative technologies in which the UK excels. Investment in new infrastructure from world-class phone masts to better transport connections and grid coverage are seen as essential for boosting productivity, output and prosperity. So far, as the June 2024 campaigns have unfolded, there has been a remarkable lack of what the Americans call ‘the vision thing’.”


BBC’s The Apprentice interviewer, founder of Linda Plant Business Academy and founder of knitwear brand Honeysuckle

“From the next government, I would look for more money being spent on the NHS and education and also more being invested into solar energies and renewable energies. Also importantly, we need tax-free shopping to encourage people to come to shop here. Tourists used to get tax-free shopping but it was stopped, so people will go to other European countries and elsewhere to shop .

I would like to see visas based on people’s academic and professional abilities – if someone is really talented at something, they should be given an academic or job-worthy visa so that we are attracting the best brains to come to the UK.

Finally, we need to do more to attract investment. As a sovereign country, we should be doing all we can to attract wealthy investment and make this nation rich.”

Global communications partner at OurCrowd, Israel’s most active venture investor

“The UK’s business ties with Israel are based on many decades of friendship and close co-operation. Annual trade reached £6.1billion at the end of 2023. In recent years, the UK has used Israel’s high-tech ‘Start-up Nation’ model as an inspiration to develop its own flourishing high-tech sector, establishing London as one of the

tech capitals of the world.

Israeli and UK tech firms have established close co-operation in multiple areas, including digital health, renewable energy and cyber security. An upgraded free trade agreement between Britain and Israel, which is currently being negotiated, will create even more growth and help unlock British and Israel trade for services and digital technology. The removal of red tape will enable Israeli businesses to reach a wider market in Europe, while Israel can act as a gateway for UK firms to reach

the Middle East and Asia. We hope a stable, business-friendly government with a healthy working majority will be able to conclude the new free trade agreement, while continuing to provide incentives that foster investment and entrepreneurship.”


Personal finance educator with more than 1.5m followers across social media

“It’s time to formally introduce financial education into the curriculum and, by finally, I mean long overdue. The current state of personal finances in the UK is shocking. One third of people have less than £1,000 saved and 40 percent of adults don’t feel confident managing their money. Whether it’s primary, secondary or even higher education, teaching basic principles, such as saving, budgeting, mortgages and tax, is the least the next government could introduce. The education system helps people to make money, so let’s teach them how to look after it as well.”

growth and the environment for business success. An important challenge will be to boost sustainable investment, especially in infrastructure, promising small businesses and housing measures to attract more investors into UK firms and markets, such as cutting stamp duty on share trading. I hope and expect more emphasis on using pension assets to invest in Britain and to revive our domestic institutional asset base. UK stock market weakness has hit our entrepreneurs, especially following the dislocations of Brexit, Covid and the energy crisis. Restoring confidence in our country will help make the most of our strengths.”

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

government will have to focus on improving long-term in

“Interestingly, the general election doesn’t appear to have had a major influence on sentiment in the housing market. Labour’s focus on making the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme permanent and the Conservative proposal to do the same for the (current temporary) stamp duty break will simply enshrine what is already in place.

In terms of new supply, Labour is putting a lot of its emphasis on planning reform, but this could prove challenging to put into practice given the difficulties Boris Johnson encountered when he tried a broadly similar approach.

Finally, as far as the rental market is concerned, I don’t sense very much relief in store for landlords from the next government.”

Gabriel Nussbaum wants children to learn about finance at school


Once a beauty queen, Lizzy Savetsky is now the Israel activist building bridges with petals, writes Brigit Grant

Afew weeks ago, Lizzy Savetsky was giving out poppies on the street in New York. Just single blooms on a stem, but city folk are wary of strangers offering anything for free because there is always a catch. And there was. Lizzy’s flower came with a plea to be heard. Just a few precious minutes in which she could talk about the hostages in Gaza and provide some facts abouts Israel that have been drowned out by protests.

Like so many initiatives by the longtime Israel activist, this too went viral. A masterstroke by a woman who has been desperate to bring clarity to the plight of Israelis stolen since October 7, with the hope of adjusting the balance of support.

“There were several people who rejected my flower once they heard the word ‘hostages’,” says Lizzy. “They would not even engage. I started to question the purpose of the experiment. But a conversation with a random passer-by changed me.”

The embrace with that passer-by is available to view on @lizzysavetsky. “It’s what happens when we’re willing to let down our guards and open our hearts and minds.”

On October 7, Lizzy and her family were in a bomb shelter at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. They had evacuated to the basement but, as Orthodox Jews, their phones were off for Shabbat, so they gathered unaware of what had occurred.

“There was talk of a soldier being killed and we were distraught at that, so imagine the reaction when newly-arrived guests were hurried into the shelter and told us about the attacks. By the time Shabbat ended we knew that at least 200 had been killed, a tonne kidnapped

and we were starting to see videos from the Hamas body cams. It only got worse.”

Describing the eerie emptiness of the streets as she and her family left for the airport on October 8, the severity of the situation they were escaping was brought home when the pilot switched off all the lights. Firing over the airport meant taking a covert route to safety. “We were on the last plane to leave Tel Aviv and it flew like a ghost all the way up north past Haifa,” Lizzy recalls. “It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.”

Those who have seen the petite brunette in a ‘Bring Them Home’ tracksuit addressing pro-Israel rallies will have clocked she is not one to cower in fear. Lizzy was prepared for the onslaught of hate that would come at Israel after its citizens were raped, murdered and kidnapped by terrorist neighbours.

“When Gaza launched 850 rockets into Israel in May 2021, I saw, first-hand, how quickly the world turned against it and how antisemitism surged,” explains Lizzy. “I knew any sympathy would be very short-lived. I knew as I was sitting with my husband in the bomb shelter that I needed to find every ounce of strength to speak up for Israel.”

Lizzy grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, where

she was once better known as a pageant beauty queen and the Jewish population, although small, shaped her identity. “It made me feel unique and people always came to me with their questions about Judaism,” she remembers.

This early experience of being an informal educator prepared her for the advocacy work she does today, which was enhanced by the Jewish outreach organisation she was part of while studying at NYU.

“I told my parents I was moving to Israel for a year to go to a seminary,” she recalls. “They would have been much happier had I just got a job or gone to grad school.” Having been raised secular, the move to Israel solidified Lizzy’s desire to lead an

observant Jewish life. “There’s something about being surrounded by your people that I never had growing up,” she explains.

But her love for Israel could not compete with the love she found with plastic surgeon Ira, whom she married 14 years ago when he encouraged her to move to New York’s Upper East Side. It was there that she built a profile as a beauty and fashion influencer and blogger and set up on Instagram, but with Jewish education and activism added to the mix. In time, a significant following was interrupted by the typical online hate and tropes aimed at Jews.

Lizzy warned the Bravo channel of this when it invited her to join the new cast of Real Housewives of New York, but her inclusion resulted in an immediate and fierce backlash. “The amount of antisemitism coming from every direction is f***ing alarming,” tweeted author Andy Cohen in response to the hate she received. Her outspoken support for Israel had made her a target and she knew insidious antisemitism would be part of her RHONY experience, so it didn’t happen.

She now receives death threats, which is why Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, recently suggested she should wear a bulletproof vest.

“Antisemitism isn’t just a Jewish issue, it’s a human rights issue,” sighs Lizzy, who insists that education remains a cornerstone of her activism.

“It’s the place where I feel most purposeful,” she explains. “I need to get back to making my videos that break down the complexities into simple terms. They help people to know what to say in difficult one-to-one conversations.”

The sense of belonging and purpose that Israel gives Lizzy and Ira remains a powerful draw. “It’s a fantasy I have,” she muses. “Just leaving with nothing and moving to Israel.”

Lizzy knows real change and tolerance requires more than just flowers – but it’s a start.

Lizzy Savetsky with her three children
Lizzy speaks up for Israel

Israel’s Olympian Challenge

The 2024 Olympic Games start in Paris in 24 days. Despite the Gaza conflict, Israel will be there at full strength. By Arthur Weiss

Israel is sending 78 athletes to the Paris Olympics. Only the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had a larger team. The Israeli Olympic Committee (OCI) medal hopes include gymnastics, sailing, judo, Taekwondo, the marathon and fencing. The challenge for these gi ed sportsmen and women is performing at the top of their game at Games fraught with di iculty. A concern is that the Eurovision Song

Contest hate-fest will be repeated. Unlike Stockholm, where Eden Golan was confined to her hotel except when singing, the athletes will be based in the Olympic Village – housing 14,250. With 15 million visitors expected, things won’t be easy –especially as France has experienced terror attacks with Jews a primary target. A total of 30,000 police, 20,000 soldiers, plus private and other national security personnel will hopefully ensure participant safety.

Threats include hard-to-prevent lonewolf attacks and disinformation. Israel is fully aware of issues – including proPalestinian displays, competitors refusing to compete or the burning of its flag.

fully aware of issues – including proacross

The opening ceremony, near the Ei el Tower, is a key challenge – the first time this will be held outside a stadium. The Israeli Olympic football team’s safety is another worry. Games will take place across France – and so outside the Olympic Village security cordons – with little to prevent spectator heckling during matches, and risks

won Israel’s first Olympic

involved in reaching them. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has noted Israel’s safety needs: “Since the heinous attack on the Israeli team [during the 1972 Munich Olympics], there were always special measures being taken with Israeli athletes.” Yael Arad, who won Israel’s first Olympic Medal, for Judo, in 1992, is now OCI president. She drew a parallel to Hamas’ 7 October attack, pointing out that the 1972 athletes were “dragged out of bed, unawares, at the biggest sporting event of brotherhood and friendship, and

Clockwise from top le : Maor Tiyouri; Anat Lelior; Gashau Ayale; Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, Sharon Kantor; Girmaw Amare and Avishag Semberg are all competing in the Olympic Games in Paris. They feel strongly that Israel should be allowed to compete and many of them are dedicating their e orts to the victims of the October 7 attacks
Yael Arad

murdered in cold blood... It seems nothing has changed in 52 years, considering what happened to us in the south. We are carrying this torch from generation to generation.”

The bloody history of Israel’s Olympic past was already a subliminal burden for the young athletes. Now, haunted by the horror of October 7, they have a bigger weight to carry when they compete.

Paris 2024 will be the third Olympics for long distance runner Maor Tiyouri, who is from Kfar Saba. She ran the 10K Berlin race a week a er October 7, commenting: “The whole last week since the terrible Saturday has been really di icult emotionally, mentally and physically in light of the horrors we experienced. It directly puts sports in perspective… a er several conversations, I decided that I should compete because this is my way to represent the Israeli people, to be an ambassador and to contribute to the overall e ort. To show everyone that we are strong and not going anywhere.”

Tiyouri’s coach, Dan Salpeter, is married to another runner, Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who was born in Kenya. She came to Israel in 2008, having never le her village, to work as a nanny for Kenya’s ambassador, who helped her gain Israeli citizenship saying Kenya had plenty of runners. “Kenya and Israel are good friends. We cannot hand you the medal, but we can give you somebody who can bring the medal.”

The athletics team also includes marathon runners Gashau Ayale, Maru Teferi and Girmaw Amare, who were all born in Ethiopia. Their intention is to win in their categories but, like so many others on the team, they show the diversity of Israel’s population.

Born in Haifa, Anastasia Gorbenko is considered Israel’s all-time greatest swimmer. She competed in the 2020 Olympics and has won world and European championships. At February’s world aquatics championships, she won silver and dedicated the medal to school friend Matan Angrest, who remains

a Gaza hostage. Booed on the winner’s podium, she remarked: “I’m here to represent my country… And I’m doing this with the Israeli flag and I’m proud of that. And whoever doesn’t like it, it’s just not my problem. There was no way I was going to miss the podium, just because some little kids are going to do whatever they want to… But it does a ect me emotionally.”

Avishag Semberg won Taekwondo bronze at the 2020 Olympics and gold at February’s Austrian Open Competition and dedicated her medal to Irish-Israeli Kim Damti, hostage Omer Wenkert and to all the Israel Defence Forces soldiers.

“My friend Kim was murdered at the Nova party. Omer, who for years sat next to me in class, was kidnapped in Gaza. It’s hard for me to think about it. For weeks I sat at home and asked myself, ‘What’s relevant now?’ I was afraid. I stayed home and didn’t go out, not even for training.

“On October 7, we were at a competition in China, sitting in the dining room in shock, and saw the Jordanian team walking past

and laughing. This is inhumane behaviour. The world does not understand what is happening in Israel.”

Artem Dolgopyat won Israel’s second ever gold medal at the 2020 Olympics and gold in the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championship. On October 7 he woke to the news but, despite worries, decided to continue. “It was very di icult for me to disconnect. When I got to the arena, I told myself that I have to be in the competition and that’s it.” He put black ribbons on the Israeli flag to mourn the victims, saying: “I finished the day as the world champion but my mind and my heart are at home.”

Dolgopyat is auctioning his prize to raise funds for the impacted communities. “What is the status of a world champion worth if my country hurts? The state of Israel comes first for me.”

non-political but, as the 1936 Berlin Games demonstrated, this is a falsehood. The details of Hitler’s Games are told in the recently-published book Played: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Glenn Allen and Richard Kaufman, who vividly describe how Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, convinced his leader of their propaganda value. The non-German Jewish athletes who competed won 14 medals, among them Austrian Robert Fein, who won gold for weightli ing. Although there was a ban on Jews, Roma and Sinti, who had been successful in German sports before 1933, those considered ‘half-Jewish’ according to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were allowed to take part to temper international opinion. One such ‘halfJew’ was fencer Helene Mayer, who had a Lutheran mother and Jewish father. At the medal ceremony she gave the Nazi salute –to protect her Jewish family.

Others in Israel’s Olympic team have all qualified as potential worldbeaters and include Inbar Lanir, Judo world champion in the 78kg category; Sharon Kantor, the 2024 IQFOiL Windsurfing Champion; fencer Yuval Freilich, who won gold at the 2024 Epée Grand Prix and surfer Anat Lelior, who competed in the 2020 Olympics and won gold at the 2022 Maccabiah Games. Anat was also honoured as a “Global Barbie role model”, resulting in a Barbie doll in her image.

The Olympics are supposed to be

Ignoring the demands that Israel should be banned from Paris 2024 has led to accusations of double standards as following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the IOC banned Russian and Belarusian sports federations. Their athletes can only compete as neutrals. Anti-Jewish boycotts have tainted Olympic history for 88 years. Now, post-October 7, calling for the victim –Israel – to be barred merely echoes that bloody past.

The IOC should be commended for withstanding anti-Israel pressure.

From le : Anastasia Gorbenko, Yuval Frelich, Mahru Teferi, Inbar Lanir and Artem Dolgopyat will be participating in the Paris Olympics. Below: Israel’s national football team. There has been discussion about the possibility of barring Israel from competing in the Games, but this has been rejected
Top: A poster recalls Israel’s victims of the 172 Olympics. Above: Helene Mayer makes the Nazi salute in Berlin




Eight months before Machmud arrived at Batia Holin’s home to kill her, the two had jointly launched an exhibition aimed at promoting peace and unity between Israelis and Palestinians.

A er connecting through a Facebook group for residents on the Israel-Gaza border, the pair spent months sharing pictures on WhatsApp of daily life from both sides of the fence. This seemingly heartfelt exchange blossomed into a poignant exhibition entitled Between Us, dedicated to bridging the divide. Due to the dire risks involved, they never spoke directly. ‘Normalisation’ (interacting with Jews) is the most serious crime a Gazan can commit.

“We didn’t discuss politics,” Batia tells me as we walk along the Gaza barrier fence on the outskirts of Kibbutz Kfar

Aza, where Machmud – who told her he was a 28-year-old photographer from the Gazan town of Shuja’iyya – was one of 300 Hamas terrorists who breached the border on the morning of October 7.

The 71-year-old, who has lived on the kibbutz for more than 50 years, has dedicated her life to coexistence. The idea of collaborating with a Palestinian across the border, someone who experienced the same sights and sounds yet lived a vastly di erent reality, deeply resonated with her sense of purpose.

“Machmud and I wanted to show the world that, despite the circumstances in which we live, we share the same hope for a brighter future. That despite the obstacles, most people on both sides of the fence just want to live in peace.”

Their exhibition opened in Israel on 4 February 2023 in nearby Kibbutz Nahal

seven abducted), with plans for it to same beach border from opposite

Oz (where 14 people were killed and seven abducted), with plans for it to tour the United States. One of its most striking exhibits was photographs of the Mediterranean Sea, showing the same beach border from opposite perspectives: one looking north, the other south.

Machmud was, of course, unable to be there in person, so he wrote Batia a touching email: “I hope this project will influence and improve understanding, quality of life and security on both sides of the fence. I hope that with the help of my photos, Israeli society and the whole world

Machmud was, of course, unable to wrote influence photos, Israeli society and the whole world

Batia at the exhibition in Nahal Oz in 2023
An Israeli couple walk at dawn along the fence on the outskirts of the kibbutz
The emai letter from Machmud

will know that the Gaza Strip is not only a place of rockets and missiles but a place worth living in. I hope that with the help of my photos, Israeli society will see that in Gaza the people are simple, love life and are not fighters and terrorists. This exhibition, for me, is hope for a peaceful life.”

Today, in the wake of such unimaginable brutality, Batia’s dreams seem heartbreakingly naïve. Her faith has been so profoundly shattered that she fears there may not be a single adult in Gaza who shares her vision of peace.

“The hardest feeling is the sense of total betrayal,” she tells me. “The sense that everyone in Gaza was involved, even those who claim to oppose Hamas. I realise how awful that sounds. It truly is awful. But I cannot think anything else today. The past 17 years since Hamas took over Gaza have been di icult and it’s got worse over time. Before the attack, people called life here 90 percent heaven, 10 percent hell. Now it just feels like hell.”

Batia heard Machmud’s voice for the very first time at 10am on October 7 when she received a phone call from an Israeli number she did not recognise. He told her he was inside the kibbutz and asked if Israeli soldiers were nearby.

“I was so confused,” recalls Batia with a shudder. “At first, I thought Machmud must have heard about the attack and was calling out of concern. It didn’t take long to realise he had a di erent reason. He wanted to cause me harm. I didn’t speak to him. I just hung up. I didn’t have time to think about the call until two days later. Terrorists were everywhere. My husband and I were just trying to survive. Later, I gave all the details I had about Machmud to the army. His phone number, personal information he’d shared, screenshots of our chats. I have no idea what happened to him.”

Three hours before that chilling phone call, Batia and her husband Nahum awoke to the sound of rockets. Living mere metres from the border fence, Kfar Aza residents could gauge where Hamas missiles from Gaza were aimed based on the intensity of the launch.

“The first round sounded like a jet plane, so I knew they were heading for Tel Aviv,” Batia says. “I usually don’t run to the bomb shelter because those rockets pass over us. This time the number was so great we had

to run for the safety of our bomb shelter.

“On the way, I saw through my open kitchen window three people standing in our front garden, dressed in black with white bands around their heads, speaking Arabic. We quickly locked ourselves in the shelter, turned on the TV and saw terrorists in the town of Sderot, dressed exactly like the ones we’d just seen in our garden. If they had stood at a di erent angle they would have seen me in the kitchen and it would have ended di erently.

“Hour a er hour, messages flashed up on my phone from across the kibbutz. ‘Save us!’ ‘There are terrorists!’ ‘Where are the soldiers?’ There was no response. Nothing. We were alone.” The army eventually reached the scene of death and devastation 10 hours later, at 4.30pm.

Batia and Nahum remained in their shelter without food or water for 26 hours, watching the attack on their street unfold on Batia’s phone via her car’s security camera. “We saw five terrorists on our roof and heard the endless sound of screams, gunshots and explosions. They went butchering from house to house.”

The couple were eventually evacuated to safety the next morning, but Batia’s nightmare was far from over as her daughter Rotem, son-in-law Assaf and two grandchildren also live on the kibbutz, in a house right next to the border fence where the terrorists invaded. Assaf was in hospital recovering from an accident that weekend, so Rotem and the children were home alone.

“We didn’t know what had happened to Rotem and the kids until we saw each other the next day. They survived being held

captive in their house. Rotem pleaded with the terrorists. She said, ‘I am alone here with two kids’. They stayed a long time, eating, drinking, making a mess. They took Rotem’s phone and posted a picture of her and the children on social media.

“Then they found a picture of Assaf and asked where he was. Rotem told them the truth, that he was in hospital, but they didn’t believe her and tore the house apart again looking for him. They took Rotem and the children to the family car to drive them into Gaza, but it had been badly damaged by bullet holes so didn’t start. Eventually they le without them. It wasn’t until around noon the next day that the army rescued them. Twenty of my daughter’s neighbours were murdered. Only one other family survived. Who knows why they didn’t kill my daughter and her children too.”

In a tragic twist of fate, a recent spate of gun the s had led the kibbutz to store all personal weapons in a secure safe house, accessible only to the seven members of the community’s civil guard. All seven were shot dead as they tried to access the weapons to launch a counterattack.

Sporadic fighting continued in Kfar Arza for the next four days, with the Israeli army going house to house and room by room until the last terrorist had been captured or killed. Then it was time to count the cost. In total, 64 residents had been slaughtered and 19 kidnapped and taken hostage.

Paint is daubed on the doors of every house that was attacked, a red number indicating how many bodies were found inside and a date in black marking when the property was cleared of human remains.

The Jewish festival of Succot ended the day before the attack. Kfar Aza’s succah, a temporary hut built for the week-long celebration, still stands beneath a giant sycamore tree. A doll’s house and a children’s slide sit on the grass nearby.

Five residents are still among 116 hostages held in Gaza: twin brothers Ziv and Gali Berman, 26; Doron Steinbrecher, 30; Keith Siegel, 64; and Emily Damari, 27, a British-Israeli dual citizen. Their pictures are lovingly displayed across the kibbutz.

On 3 February 2024, exactly one year a er Batia and Machmud’s exhibition, Batia, who is staying with family in Kibbutz Shefayim near Tel Aviv with fellow survivors from Kfar Aza, opened a second photography exhibition called The Dream And Its Break. It is in four parts, entitled The blackened present, Shattered dream, Garden of remembrance and Hope, let it be “It tells the story of how my 50-year dream of peace was broken in a single day,” Batia says, her voice heavy with sorrow.

I ask if she will ever return. “I don’t know,” Batia sighs. “If my daughter doesn’t come back, I won’t. But there’s still time before we face these questions. First, we must see what happens with the hostages and what happens in Gaza. No one can live here until Hamas is gone. Before she was released, Hamas told one of the hostages taken from Kfar Aza, ‘Don’t go back because we will return.’ I believe them.”

• Richard visited Kfar Aza courtesy of the Jerusalem Press Club.


Screengrab of the moment Hamas terrorists broke into the kibbutz
A succah erected one week before the attack still stands beneath a giant sycamore tree
A house in Kfar Aza reduced to little more than rubble
Batia Holin in front a banner displaying pictures of hostages from Kibbutz Kfar Aza who remain in captivity

Crescent Moon offer a wonderful array of chandeliers and lanterns for hire for weddings, parties and events- bringing the light to your occasion.


Solidarity and support are the only routes to recovery, says the new director of the UK’s Israel Government Tourist Office

Arriving in London last August, Michael Ben-Baruch is the director of the UK & Ireland branch of Israel Government Tourist Office. As the Holy Land’s official ‘promoter’ in residence, Michael has to be informed and enthusiastic in order to be able to ‘sell’ Israel. To paint a mental picture of the diverse culture – and this has never been more necessary than now.

When Michael arrived In London, he had big plans and high hopes. “I was full of confidence,” he recalls. “The first two months were very exciting; we built plans for 2024, and I was positive we would achieve great things .”

The devastating events of October 7 had a profound impact on him. Experiencing such turmoil from abroad, Michael felt a deep sense of guilt. “It’s very strange and difficult to experience something like this from outside the country while Israel is going through such a terrible time.”

Shortly after October 7, his wife Yael, a cardiology specialist, travelled back to serve in the reserves as a doctor, which strangely helped him cope with his own feelings of helplessness.

“It improved my feelings, knowing our family unit was mobilised and actively participating in the national effort,” he reflects. “In difficult times, Israeli society knows how to unite, and it was amazing to see the attempts of every citizen to help to ease the burden on others. It took a while for me to realise that I also have an important role in this long struggle when our brave soldiers are sacrificing their lives.”

Recognising the importance of his role in the grand scheme of Israel’s recovery, Michael embraced the responsibility. “The tourism industry supports many people in Israel, directly and indirectly, and as my job is to promote tourism to Israel, it is more important than ever.”

Michael was raised in the southern city of Dimona by his Moroccan father, who immigrated in the 1960s, and Israeli mother with Moroccan roots. His upbringing in that city shaped his identity. “It’s a cliché, but especially true for my city, as you can take a person out of Dimona, but you can’t take Dimona out of the person. There is no doubt Dimona’s residents and landscape made me who I am.”

Like all young Israelis, Michael was in the army, “a significant part of my life that taught me the importance of resilience, teamwork, and dedication – qualities essential in promoting and supporting Israel in challenging times”.

After a law internship at the criminal prosecutor’s office, then a stint as a lawyer in a private firm, in 2020 Michael joined the Cadets for Civil Service, which identifies and trains future public sector

leaders. “I always wanted to do things that have a positive impact on people and realised that working in the government, despite the many challenges, is a great opportunity to impact on many.”

In light of that, two years ago, Michael was hired as a project manager in the overseas department of the Ministry of Tourism and moved with his family from Kibbutz Kramim to London.

“I was thrilled to be chosen,” he says. “How could I not be? I love football, good music, culture, art and parks. And Indian food. So of course London is perfect. Well, almost perfect – it has some work to do regarding the weather.”

His family has adapted well, with his two sons, Yehonatan and Naveh, quickly picking up English and his wife studying for further medical exams to get a license to practice in the UK. Their favourite place is Greenwich for the park and food markets and they have found a sense of community within the Israeli and Jewish population.

After October 7, Michael had some deeply unpleasant encounters, such as when he was out walking with his children and saw a pro-Palestinian activist angrily tearing down posters of the hostages. “I couldn’t remain indifferent to this,” he says almost apologetically, “even though these conversations usually lead to greater frustration when you attempt to make the uninformed person in front of you realise his inhuman act. It almost escalated into violence from his side. It’s not pleasant, especially with the kids but, overall, the feeling in London is generally very pleasant.”

Michael would sooner talk about more joyful meetings, like the one he had a few months ago with community leaders and a group of pastors in Northern Ireland.

“Over the years, they have brought hundreds of groups to Israel. We spoke about the situation with Israeli society – their strength and resilience and the collective desire to help and do better. The group shared their plans to return as soon as possible and bring many members of their communities with them. They even prayed for Israel’s wellbeing. It was a very exciting moment that filled me with great hope for the current times, but also the days after, which will hopefully come soon.”

Michael deeply misses Israel, but is working tirelessly to rally the community and Israel’s supporters to drive home a simple message. “The best way to show solidarity and support is to visit. This simple act of travelling to Israel is much more significant than people realise. Those who visit today are active partners in its recovery, in improving its image, in supporting its people. Every tourist seen in Israel fills people’s hearts with hope and it’s not taken for granted. It is greatly appreciated by the people.”

Michael is also intent on changing and building on a typical Israel trip. “This is an opportunity to experience it from a slightly different angle. To visit the less touristy places – the Negev desert, the wonderful Galilee region, the Judean area... to experience Israel in a slightly different way. And to meet the people during this difficult time, to draw inspiration from them, because today every

citizen in Israel is a huge inspiration for resilience, cohesion and adding goodness to the world.”

Underscoring the value of each tourist, he was heartened to learn that tens of thousands entered Israel from the UK since the beginning of the year and 10,000 in May alone.

Michael knows recovery and a better future is foremost in the minds of all Israelis, and hopes it is the same for Jews in the diaspora. “When Israel can thrive again as a destination offering a unique, multisensory experience that generates strong emotions and leaves a lasting impression, I will know I have done my job,” he says.

Michael wants to thank everyone for their support and to remind them that most of Israel is still safe for tourists. “Visiting makes a powerful statement and I welcome all collaborations to spread this message and remain open to meeting with anyone interested in supporting this cause.”

LIFE asked Michael to name five places in Israel special to him:

Eilat’s beaches – “Israel prides itself on having four seas (yes, I’m aware the Kinneret is a lake, but it’s called the Sea of Galilee). Each has its own charm, but the Red Sea is special. Eilat’s beaches give me a different feeling, with the mountainous view and stunning underwater world making it one of my favourites.

The Negev – “I know it’s too large an area to choose as a favourite place, but it’s the landscape of my childhood as Dimona is in the heart of the desert. There’s a magic that can’t be explained but has to be experienced. I recommend a trip to Ein Akev, but there are so many wonderful places and great trails in nature.

Old Acre (Akko) – “The old city of Acre has a special atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere. Acre was the main port city for several millennia and It offers a variety of experiences and flavours and thousands of years of fascinating history. I love wandering through the alleys and the market, another of Israel’s culinary must-sees.”

Dor-Habonim Beach Reserve – A nature reserve that, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful coastal strips, owing to its picturesque bays, easy and beautiful hiking trail, spring blooms and archaeological remains of an ancient port city.

Haifa – This is a special city, perhaps the best example of coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel. In December, there’s a festival called the Holiday of Holidays, which expresses Haifa’s unique character and is where people of all religions live and celebrate Chanukah, Christmas and Ramadan together.

I recommend visiting during this time.”

• Michael Ben Baruch spoke to Brigit Grant

Jewish Values or Outstanding Education? Your Child Deserves Both

PARENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY often face an uncomfortable choice. Should they send their child to an outstanding childcare provider or to a Jewish nursery?

“When my Josh turned two, I wanted to find the best nursery for him,” says Rachel, a Hampstead mum and successful estate agent. “Of course, I wanted him to receive a Jewish education. But it seemed that the options available would mean compromising on the quality of Josh’s early years education, and I wasn’t willing to do that.”

Rachel’s story is all too familiar. Yes, we understand the importance of a Jewish education. Especially during those early years, we need to impart our values and build a strong foundation. But choosing Jewish education shouldn’t mean sacrificing quality.

In 2022, the Werton Group was born.

Founded by Jamie Peston and Lipi Werjuka, two longtime educational experts, their mission was simple: To deliver outstanding Jewish education and ensure premier quality early-years learning.

“The nursery years are the foundation for a child’s future,” explains Lipi, “It’s a huge opportunity to provide the values and skills for your child’s success in life.”

Just two years after its founding, the Werton Group is already running 8 popular, successful, Jewish nurseries across London. Impressing parents and Ofsted alike, they are rapidly earning their place amongst the UK’s top providers. With professional staff and expert leadership, Werton nurseries offer the highest standards, combining Jewish and secular early education. From being taught about Shabbat and the Chagim, to developing motor and literacy skills, children are provided with

a comprehensive early years educational experience that enriches the entire family.

To anyone facing the same dilemma as Rachel, the Werton Group is here to help you.

Visit and find out more about the organisation that’s revolutionising Jewish early-years education.

Since its founding in 2004, Masa has served more than 200,000 young professionals from over 60 countries, and its network continues to grow.

Make this year stand out and see where your Masa can take you.

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Speaking to Dr Sara Glass now, it is hard to believe she is the same person as the one at the start of her memoir, Kissing Girls on Shabbat. That Chasidic girl, and she was only a girl, was enduring her wedding night with a strictly-Orthodox man she barely knew. She was young, frightened and seemingly broken. Today, Sara is engaged and open, with long, sweeping blonde hair and tattoos.

The way she got to this point is a di icult read, a tale of deep love and profound loss, but Sara “wanted to tell this story because I know that this is still happening”.

By “this” she means arranged marriages and young people hiding their sexuality and abuse.

still in my bones. And a part of me still thinks that when I say this extra detail, that’s when everything will come crashing down.”

Losing her relationship with her sisters seems to be what she finds most upsetting. The book reveals that “those were the people who raised me”, but they “live in a world where it’s not safe for them to have a queer sibling”. Sara confides: “I really do miss them.

A part of me still hopes they’ll read the book and that maybe they’ll call me or something and just say ‘we support you’.”

to read the section of her book dealing with Shani’s death when recording her audiobook. She checks in periodically to see if anyone has been born or died and does have some contact with her father.

to still having nerves about how a Chasidic woman came Despite this

Indeed, even the now out and proud qualified psychotherapist confesses to still having nerves about sharing her story detailing how a Chasidic woman came to terms with being gay and le her community and her family.

“For my entire life, any time I tried to be a version of myself that was more true, I lost people. I lost relationships,” she explains. “Now, I’m out of the closet, I live in Manhattan. Everyone knows I’m a lesbian. But the fear is

Despite this loss, Sara confirms that she doesn’t feel “torn” about her decision. “I feel sad, I feel mournful, but I wouldn’t do it any di erently.” It’s a striking sentiment and clearly it is has taken a long time to get to this stage.

Most tragic of all, one of her sisters, Shani, su ered from bipolar disorder – “a brutal disease” – and took her own life. It was this experience, alongside her mother’s struggles with mental health, that inspired her future career even while she was still in her old life. (She had to negotiate continuing her studies with her husband, who says he may not have married her had she told him her plans.)

Sara is still in touch with her brother-inlaw and his children, but says she struggled

There will always be holdouts in the most religious communities, but is there any hope for the future that more gay girls and boys growing up in some Orthodox communities will not have to go through what she did? “I do see some movement in the Orthodox community, especially in Modern Orthodoxy,” says the self-described optimist. She also outlines that the Conservative (similar to Masorti in the UK) and Reform branches of Judaism are “already inviting me to lecture at their temples” about her book and says: “They’re so queer-friendly and inclusive.”

She rejects the idea that progress and acceptance is simply people going woke. “Sometimes when people are afraid of change, they’ll throw change under a label like woke and call that label bad. And that’s just a manifestation of fear.”

Sara is trying to put her experience to practical use. She serves as the clinical supervisor for Jewish Queer Youth, an organisation that has drop-in centres where those going through some of the issues she did can come to enjoy kosher pizza with

others like them. Technology

others like them. Technology is changing things, too.

Sara herself did not watch television until she was 24, but believes the greater access to the internet that is possible today can help those in even the most closed-o communities.

but believes the greater is possible today can help closed-o communities.

underneath their mattress on

“The world can be underneath their mattress on a tiny, tiny screen connected to the neighbour’s Wi-Fi.”

Religious teachings on homosexuality have not changed, though, and Sara believes that even if this pushes some out of the community the strictly-Orthodox “can survive because they procreate at such an astonishing rate”. However, she hopes “they will be compelled to shi their views”.

Despite her traumatic younger experiences, Sara has not renounced her Judaism. Her children go to what she describes as a “pluralistic” Jewish school and she still has Shabbat dinner in her home.

Speaking to the 2024 version of Dr Sara Glass, it is hard not to be moved by both what she has lost and what she has gained. Most of all, though, you can’t help but worry how many versions of the girl in the opening chapter are still out there.

• Kissing Girls on Shabbat is published by Atria/One Signal (£20, hardback), on 18 July

Sara on her wedding day

The Dane’s Debut

Borgen’s Thomas Levin tells Francine Wolfisz about his move from screen to the London stage

He famously played a conniving journalist in Danish political hit drama Borgen, and a Russian contract killer with a conscience in Amazon Prime’s Alex Rider. Now, actor Thomas Levin is adding to his repertoire of complex characters by starring as a Jewish writer grappling with an obsessive lover, in the UK stage première of Visit From An Unknown Woman

Opening next week at the Hampstead Theatre, playwright Sir Christopher Hampton has adapted his latest work from a short story by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig.

The play, which is directed by Chelsea Walker and also stars Natalie Simpson, forms the third of Hampton’s trilogy of plays set in the

woman now turning up in person instead of writing a letter and there are elements where the playwright has “borrowed” from Zweig’s reallife experiences.

Nazi era. Hampton has previously staged Youth Without God, adapted from Odon von Horvath’s 1937 novel, about a teacher who finds himself in trouble with the Nazis after reprimanding a student for a racist remark.

This was followed by A German Life, taken from the memories of a 102-year-old woman called Brunhilde Pomsel, who served as one of Goebbels’ secretaries.

Hampton’s latest play is inspired by Zweig’s novella, Letter From An Unknown Woman, which was published in 1922 after Germany’s defeat in the First World War.

The playwright has shuffled events forward by a decade to set it during the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, at a time when Zweig himself had already left his native homeland for England.

Zweig came to understand that being neither a proud Austrian nor a prominent writer would protect him against Nazi persecution, regardless of the fact he considered himself an atheist.

In his bestselling novella, Zweig writes about a famous married author who receives a letter from a woman obsessed with him and who, unknowingly, has fathered a child with her. However, the author cannot remember her at all.

“But it is important to say this is not a biographical play,” explains Danish-born actor Levin. The 45-year-old actor is speaking to me fresh out of rehearsals at the Hampstead Theatre, ahead of what will be his stage debut in London.

“Hampton has ‘borrowed’ character traits or circumstances in the life of Stefan Zweig and lent them to the character I am playing.

“What Zweig and Hampton’s character do have in common is their ambiguity around their Jewishness. In real life, Zweig was very confident in how he identified himself. He was a humanist and considered himself Viennese first, and then Jewish.

“All of a sudden, it was very much the other way around, and he was being defined by other people, with malicious intentions. I think he wanted to be the one to decide whether or not his Jewishness should be what defined him.”

It’s a sentiment that chimes with the Copenhagen-born actor on a personal level, having always felt ‘deeply’ about his own Jewishness, he reveals.

The premise in Hampton’s version is the same, albeit with the

Given that the original story was written more than 100 years ago, it has an exceptionally modern feel to it, dealing with unrequited love, adultery and memory.

“There’s something very universal about it, and then Christopher’s adaptation and his choice of placing it under

those disastrous historical circumstances gives it a very contemporary feeling,” agrees Levin. “It’s a story about obsession, memory, different realities and the feeling of nightmare becoming real, set in much bigger historical circumstances.

“That’s something that resonates with me – and I hope will also for the audience.”

Levin, who has two children with his actress wife Laura Christensen, is no stranger to the stage. He has written several plays and was the artistic director of a renowned theatre in Copenhagen for almost 10 years, while working as an actor in Denmark.

But he is perhaps best known for his roles in TV, especially as ambitious journalist Ulrik Mørch in international hit show Borgen, which the BBC describes as “the best political drama ever”.

The third series wrapped more than 10 years ago, but fans still recognise him from the show.

“I don’t think any of us understood that it would become this huge international success.

We had no idea at all,” he smiles.

“But I do remember it was joyful. People come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I loved Borgen’. That’s always going to make you happy, being part of something that people liked.”

He’s equally recognised these days by fans of spy thriller Alex Rider, based on the books by Anthony Horowitz, the third and final series of which was released on Amazon Prime in April.

Levin stars as Russian assassin Yassen Gregorovitch, opposite Otto Farrant as the teenage hero.

Although an assassin and, by his own admission, “a very, very dangerous man”, Levin makes pains

to tell me that Gregorovitch is not quite as malicious as he seems.

“He’s an atagonist with a heart,” he laughs. “Gregorovitch is just trying to protect Alex Rider; he cares deeply about him – even though he is also a complete menace to his life.”

For now, Levin is more than happy to be stepping away from the small screen and onto the stage, admitting he had “missed doing theatre”. “ I trained as an actor in New York, but started working on the stage in Denmark and from the get-go I always dreamed about doing theatre in what I consider the two most important theatre capitals – London and New York.

“So it feels very special to be finally performing here in a new play by one of our most important and gifted living playwrights. Its a dream come true.”

• Visit From An Unknown Woman runs at Hampstead Theatre until 27 July.

With Natalie Simpson in An Unknown Woman
Above and below: Thomas Levin as Russian assassin Yassen Gregorovitch in Alex Rider

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From to Single

Kenny Wax is still producer, but the composers who jazzed up Henry VIII’s dating life have a new musical

“The second I hit the floor Everything from before fades away cos I’m dancing from my window to the wall. Who cares about the guy, who left me high and dry It’s no big deal and won’t affect my self-esteem at all”

If you live with a Gen Z remember these lyrics. They are from the song Eight Dates and, from 27 August, will be memorised by the first to see Why Am I So Single?, the new musical by Six creators Toby Moss and Lucy Marlow.

For these gifted composers whose names could soon be spoken in the same breath as Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice, the pressure was on to deliver a sophomore effort as impressive as their debut. Kenny Wax believes they have succeeded. That should read Kenny Wax MBE, as the day before we spoke, the West End producer and former president of SOWET (Society of West End Theatre) received a letter informing him that his significant contributions to London theatre had been noticed. Not just for producing acclaimed shows but also for fostering theatrical growth and accessibility, as Kenny has maintained affordable ticket prices.

“I do believe tickets for Six average at £49 – so it’s a great show and at a great price.” Kenny still loves Six and remembers his reaction to the show penned by then Cambridge students, Toby and Lucy.

“It was fresh and innovative with incredible energy and I got the same reaction to Why Am I So Single as I did all those years ago.”

In place of Henry VIII’s dates, this show is about modern dating told from the perspective of two writers composing a West End musical, who are not Toby and Lucy. Kenny elaborates: “It’s genuinely not their life stories, but they have certainly drawn from, let’s say, experiences or friends’ experiences, to write it.”

22, was there and also with me when I first saw Six. This time what she was seeing on stage is very much a reflection of her life.”

Kenny refers to the hurdles of Hinge, the torture of Tinder and all other dating and communication apps that lead the young to love. Or not.

Toby – who is Jewish – and Lucy both identify as non-binary and the cast, a gifted gender collective, have already captured the Gen Z demographic through social media posts. “But we workshopped the show to a diverse audience,” says Kenny, 64. “We had friends in their 50s, office staff in their 20s, and my daughter Jemima, who is

“Waiting for the person to message back; why have they ghosted me? And what does two ticks mean?” says Kenny. “We don’t have to worry about that, but we’ve all been on dates in our lives. And if we’re happily married or coupled up, then the likelihood is that we’ve got friends who are still on the dating scene for one reason or another. The universal theme of dating, with all its complexities and humour, is something audiences of all ages can connect with.”

Kenny has certainly connected with Toby and Lucy, whom he contracted when he signed them for Six and likes to think they work so well together they would have come back to him anyway. He has also learnt a lot from “our brilliant young authors”.

He continues: “Well, they say if you’re a white male of a certain age, you’ve got to stay very much down with the kids or get kids involved. I am part of the generation that still loves Les Mis and those great shows of the 1980s, but I didn’t produce them as I was too young. Six and Why Am I So Single? are not book-based, but they are cutting-edge and unusual and on other productions I’m working with co-producers from different backgrounds who are much younger than me. You can’t keep doing it your way because things change.”

In contrast to those who flounder when describing a woman, Kenny has chosen to celebrate women with his new show, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, which highlights the stories of remarkable women from history and their achievements. Jane Austen, Rosa Parks and Anne Frank are among

the achievers in this adaptation of the Kate Pankhurst children’s book, which opens at The Other Palace on 20 July.

With his other successful productions, like The Play That Goes Wrong and Six at Nimax theatres, Kenny chose to partner with owner Nica Burns and her offer of an open-ended run through to February 2025 for Why Am I So Single? as he knows it is crucial for a show of this scale to establish itself financially and build a loyal audience.

Not that anyone would doubt the loyalty of Toby and Lucy’s thousands of fans, who have been dressing up as the Six queens for years and singing

“But just for you tonight We’re divorced, beheaded LIVE!”

to parents who will soon be singing Why am I so single?

Ameena Hamid, Lucy Moss, Toby Marlow and Kenny Wax
Toby and Lucy with the Six cast

The Real Zone of Interest


Thirty years ago, Steven Spielberg won an Oscar for directing Schindler’s List. After the thanks in his acceptance speech, he dedicated his award to “the six million who can’t be among the one billion watching this tonight”.

For those who wept throughout his Holocaust epic, the acknowledgement mattered and could not have been more different to the speech Jonathan Glazer made at the Oscars in March. Winning for The Zone of Interest, his subtle Holocaust drama, the director said: “We stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October 7 or the ongoing attack on Gaza.”

There was more, but the elation for this ‘Jewish win’ turned to deflation, with analysis of what he really meant going viral. Daniela Völker’s documentary, The Commandant’s Shadow, counters that noise as it shows the real ‘zone of interest’ in a way few could imagine and Glazer avoided. With the words of Rudolph Höss, the SS officer who implemented and ran the

concentration camp, and an extraordinary meeting between his son and an Auschwitz survivor, this edifying and courageous film goes behind the wall that hid the horror in Glazer’s lauded production.

The Commandant’s Shadow is the result of a fortuitous lunch in Soho. Literary agent and philanthropist Neil Blair had been searching for a Shoah project to honour his late father, Dennis. “My father had been deeply fascinated, almost obsessed, with the history of the Holocaust, especially in later years,”explains Neil. “Grappling with the pervasive denial and ignorance surrounding it, his interest was personal; he often spoke about his father’s brother, who perished in those dark times. This loss, coupled with his patriotic ties to Britain through his service in the RAF, fuelled his commitment to understanding and preserving the memory of those lost.”

At the lunch, Neil met with Gloria Abramoff and Wendy Robbins of Creative Inc, renowned for their expertise and producers of such Jewish-themed films as The Rabbi Sacks Legacy and another about Barbra Streisand’s philanthropy.

Gloria felt she had “done her bit” for the Jewish community, but they took on Neil’s request and, after dismissing most ideas, were about to give up, when Wendy got a call from Daniela Völker, whom she had last seen 25 years ago when they were making a film in India.

“She was crying because she had run out of money, ideas and steam and had all this footage. She remembered me because of a funny story I told her about my Jewish

relatives and thought, ‘I know it’s weird and desperate, but I’m going to reach out to her. She might know Jewish people who could help.’”

On seeing Daniela’s footage, Wendy knew she could indeed help. “She showed me these incredibly powerful interviews with survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and then Höss’s son, Hans Jürgen, talking about his father. It was raw and heartbreaking. I had that goosebump moment where I felt this was very unique, this was special.”

Daniela also mentioned Höss’s autobiography, written before, during and after his trial. “I’d never heard of it,” says Wendy, who ordered the book. “I stayed up all night reading it. It was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever read.” In time, Wendy would see the original manuscript in the Auschwitz archives. Written in Höss’ hand, untouched for more than 80 years and “filled with the chilling words of the man who orchestrated such unspeakable horrors”, she says, adding: “Holding it, I felt as if the weight of all those lost lives rested in those pages.”

Convinced of the film’s potential, Wendy arranged a meeting with Neil just before Christmas 2022 and pitched the idea so passionately she burst into tears.

“He gave me a tissue and quietly said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to help you fund this.’” With Neil’s substantial investment, the determined producers raised the rest of the money at speed because of the advancing age of the key participants. It would be an all-female production team that brought the film to fruition.

“We were able to support each other emotionally and creatively in ways that might not have been possible otherwise,” said Gloria, highlighting the difficulties of the subject that had them filming in Höss’ real house (Glazer did not) and working from an office at Auschwitz.

“Right outside the window, you could see the Arbeit Macht Frei sign and, inside, someone was boiling the kettle for tea,” says Wendy, describing the surreal experience and then the initial hostility she had towards Höss’ son who had never publicly acknowledged his father’s atrocities.

“I just thought, ‘What have you done with your life? Your father killed over a million of my people; what have you done to counter your father’s darkness?’ But Daniela explained that he was part of a generation of German men who dealt

Wendy Robbins, Daniela Völker & Gloria Abramoff with the Yad Vashem award
SS Commandant Rudolph Höss
Rudolf Hoss
Middle and right: Survivor Anita LaskerWallfisch, daughter Maya with Kai and Hans-Jürgen Höss

with it by being very small, anonymous and quiet. I now see him as someone who stood up to be counted.”

In addition to Neil and his brother Jonathan Blair, the other executive producers were Matti Leshem, Joel Greenberg, Len Blavatnik, Sajan Raj Kurup, Jani Gues, Jamie Jessop and Danny Cohen, who was also executive producer on Glazer’s Zone of Interest, which was being made at the same time. “It felt serendipitous,” says Neil. “I see them as complementary rather than competitive, and our documentary offers audiences a broader understanding of the Holocaust.”

The significance of the film reached another level after the Hamas attacks on October 7. Grappling with the shock and then the hate towards Israel, Gloria and Wendy considered the need for additional filming to address the heightened relevance. “Should we do a bit more about antisemitism, about Holocaust denial? We went through the rushes again and realised a lot of material we had was as relevant today as it was a year ago.”

For Gloria, whose mother was born in Israel – “My family were early Zionists” – the film is essential. “If I hadn’t been involved in this what would I, as a Jew, have done to raise our profile and campaign against antisemitism? Gone on marches, written letters, seen senior editorial figures at the BBC? I’m doing that anyway. But what would have been my contribution? What do I tell my grandchildren? The fact we’ve been making this film at this time has been such a gift, it’s an honour I feel personally.”

The Commandant’s Shadow is now in Warner Bros’ stable, where it feels personal

to CEO David Zaslav, the child of two Holocaust survivors. There were emotive discussions after the premières in New York and Berlin. “The film is really about conversation,” says Wendy. “Connecting with people across the divide can lead to the situation in our film, where a 98-yearold woman invites the son of the man who killed over a million Jews into her living room.”

There has already been Oscar talk, but no accolade will compare to the Yad Vashem award. “To be in Israel and receive this prize was special,” says Gloria. “We have so much respect for the work Yad Vashem has done as the world’s leading Holocaust education institution.”

But the film is about more than trophies. The team is working with Holocaust educators to develop an educational legacy campaign in partnership with schools and universities. “We are also planning screenings and discussions in the Gulf states and the UAE,” says Neil. “The aim is to foster understanding in regions where Holocaust education is less prevalent. With more engaging social media, we want to reach the younger generation – those who might be unaware of or deny the Holocaust.”

From a desire to honour his own father, Blair has honoured victims of the Shoah with a documentary that shows the hate but also the hope. So would Dennis like it? “He would be immensely proud,” says Neil. “He would have seen it as an essential tool in fighting denial and ignorance.”

‘Zone of Interest’ was how Rudolph Höss referred to Auschwitz, where he lived behind the wall this film dares to climb.

• The Commandant’s Shadow is released in cinemas on 12 July

Etan Smallman speaks to the director of The Commandant’s Shadow

DANIELA VÖLKER was wandering through Auschwitz with a pastor from Stuttgart as they tried to get their heads around how someone could have imagined the blueprint for the largest documented mass murder site in human history.

“We were walking around and Kai Höss said to me, ‘Oh my God, this is unbelievable; who came up with this?’” recalls Daniela. “And I go, ‘Erm, well... your grandfather, actually.’”

Kai is the grandson of Rudolf Höss, the brains behind the camp where more than a million Jews were gassed and incinerated. In her film, Daniela captures the moment when he visited Auschwitz with his father – Höss’ son, Hans Jürgen – to try to come to terms with what Kai calls their generational curse”.

But, in many ways, the emotional heart of the film is the two people at the other side of the equation: cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, almost 99, who survived Auschwitz by playing in the camp orchestra, and her daughter Maya, a psychotherapist so haunted by her history that she has moved to Germany “trying to reclaim stolen lives, but also my unlived life”.

“I was surprised by the parallels between their stories,” says Daniela of the two families. “This corrosive silence, lasting decades, the fact that the past had such a powerful effect on people in the present.” Anita describes Auschwitz as “hell on earth”. Hans Jürgen nostalgically remembers his “really lovely and idyllic childhood” overlooking the crematoria that could burn up to 10,000 people per day.

Just days into the shoot, the director had Hans Jürgen reading for the first time the memoir his father wrote before he was hanged, in Auschwitz, for his crimes. He talked of donning a gas mask to witness the genocide for himself, and how, on seeing women herded to their deaths with their children: “I often thought of my own family.”

I ask London-based Daniela, the daughter of a German father and Argentine mother, why Hans Jürgen was keen to dredge up such traumatic personal history in his late 80s.

“I think I came along at the right time,” she says. “He told me every day [that] the past would come bubbling up. I think he felt deep down that he had to close the circle somehow

but hadn’t really ever known how to do it.”

The more unnerving character is his sister, Brigitte, a former Balenciaga model. Reunited after 55 years, both immediately regress to childhood role play, but she takes the siblings’ suppression of their knowledge of their “beautiful” father’s crimes to the edge of denial.

“Look at all the people who said, ‘They died in the camp.’ But all the survivors – why didn’t they die? They get money now from Germany. So, just, whatever you want to believe, you do. All that’s history,” she shrugs. “What can I do?” It almost feels like a deathbed confession as she reclines on her leopard-print sofa. Indeed, Daniela, 52, had secured the interview in the nick of time. Brigitte died shortly afterwards, in October last year, aged 90.

The rough cut of the film was submitted in the week of October 7. It made the film-maker marvel at the prescience of Anita’s warning about antisemitism. In the film, the survivor talks of all that “was destroyed for no reason, other than stupidity”, adding: “But, alas, the stupidity seems to be perpetuating. That’s the Jewish fate, you don’t belong anywhere. And where you should belong, you’ve got the biggest problem.”

While Maya joins Kai and Hans Jürgen for their pilgrimage, Anita stays in London, saying the memories are still too raw. “Your Auschwitz is not my Auschwitz.” But she does extend a surprising invitation. “What, Kaffee und Kuchen [coffee and cake] in your house?” replies her amazed daughter. “Yes, why not? If he brings the Kuchen.” The film ends with their meeting, over a Linzer Torte.

“I’d never seen a perpetrator’s descendants coming to the house of a survivor, surrounded by photos of her dead,” says Daniela. “That all came from Anita.” She adds that Hans Jürgen “confronted his past, very publicly, very bravely. I guess it’s his way of putting some light into the world.”

Neil Blair with his late father Dennis, mother Cynthia and brother, producer Jonathan
Daniela Völker

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Anne Shaw learns the long-life secrets of Star Trek’s captain in a new documentary

It’s hard not to double take when first setting eyes on William Shatner. His cherubic complexion is not that of a man of 93, but then he is not like other men.

While most nonagenarians feel fortunate to take a trip into town, Shatner went to space. “To boldly go” may have been the mantra of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, the role Shatner played for nearly four decades, but it also belonged to the Canadian-Jewish actor, who fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2021 when Amazon owner

Je Bezos o ered him a seat on his Blue Origin rocket, sending him to the stars. For Trekkies to see the man from the bridge of the USS Enterprise rolling about, weightless, on a real ship was sci-fi come to life and the impressive event features in Shatner’s new documentary, You Can Call Me Bill, on Amazon Prime.

miss out on what his great grandchildren become in the future.

He feels much the same about dogs. “I love them. Dogs speak to you,” he says, and he feels the same about horses, which he still rides. Cue more tinkling music, then the details of his early life in Canada. In his book, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, published last year, he writes about the importance of Jewish values in his life: “Judaism is not just a religion; it’s a way of life that teaches perseverance and the importance of community.”

His first performance as a child playing a Jewish child in a traumatic part of a play was a portrayal that let him know he wanted to act. “It was the audience’s reaction, and I saw how moved they were... to be able to do that...”

Shatner talks about summers at Jewish camps and how much he adored his father, who died of a heart attack while the actor was on set in Star Trek, and just managed to complete the scene.

“I loved my father deeply,” he says. “But I would hear those kids, those people, who said ‘mom’ with so much a ection. I did not have that with my ‘mother’ as that is what I called her.”

As the only Jew in his Toronto neighbourhood, Shatner was o en bullied and beaten. It was the hell of antisemitism that he had in common with the late Leonard Nimoy, his space wingman Dr Spock, who derived his Vulcan greeting from the Torah.

Before there was Kirk, there were cowboys for Shatner and featured roles in Twilight Zone episodes and other movies. More recently, starring with James Spader, he

abridged telling of Shatner’s storied life,

easily. Trees are the biggest trigger, as he

The tinkling and lyrical score is the perfect accompaniment to the whimsical and abridged telling of Shatner’s storied life, broken into labelled chapters commencing with a ‘Prologue’ about ‘The Miracle’– which, in Shatner’s mind, is earth and all its nature that mankind is slowly eradicating. A deeply emotional fellow, he wells up easily. Trees are the biggest trigger, as he plans to become one when the time comes. But not yet, as he is so physically unweathered he is more seedling than old oak, but he still regrets he will

was irrepressible eccentric lawyer Denny Crane in Boston Legal, which earned him two Emmy Awards and why he won is evident in the clips of David E Kelley’s sassy legal dramedy series. Comedy may have become the cornerstone of his career, but he is underrated as the straight man.

has defied gravity – space pun intended. What does he eat? What face creams does he apply? Is he the living embodiment of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Benjamin Button, the character who aged in reverse? No big revelations there, as he explains: “ A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, avoid excessive sugar and processed foods, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.”

A proponent of regular physical activity, but it is just walking and swimming; it is the stimulating of his mind on which he relies and the practice of mindfulness that puts him bang on trend. But young as he looks, Shatner is acutely aware the clock is ticking, and so the final chapter on death comes too soon for the audience, especially when the actor says: “I don’t want to go, I’ve still got so much I want to do.” L’chayim to that.

tensions and prejudice as themes that Shatner remains a radical, especially is followed for his sharp wit and wisdom

One of his earliest and most provocative roles was as a radical preacher in the 1962 film The Intruder, which tackled racial tensions and prejudice as themes that remain strikingly relevant today. Shatner remains a radical, especially on X (Twitter), where he is political and is followed for his sharp wit and wisdom and it has led to spirited exchanges with fellow thesps. “Hey @WilliamShatner, did you bring your lightsaber?” piped Star Mark Hamill, to which Shatner replied: “Sorry, Mark. I le it on the Enterprise.” But back to that face, which

fellow thesps. “Hey @WilliamShatner, did Wars’

But back to that face, which

Actor William Shatner aged 93
As a radical preacher in The Intruder, 1962
Shatner as a child with his sister Joy, father Joe and mother Anne
Shatner as Denny Crane in Boston Legal with James Spader
Above: With bestie Dr Spock aka Leonard Nimoy and, below, in Star Trek

wrote the musical we can’t resist

and he couldn’t surpass. Biographer
Caroline Sta ord shares composer Lionel Bart’s story ahead of a show about his life

There was a time, in the early Sixties, when to be Lionel Bart was to be just about the coolest person on the planet. Everybody loved Lionel. Noel Coward said once that he would “rather spend five minutes in a four-ale bar with Lionel Bart than a year’s yachting cruise with the Oxford Debating Society”. House & Garden did a feature on his house in Seymour Walk, Chelsea. The 1966 England squad spent the night of their victory at a party at Lionel’s. He was rumoured to be engaged to Alma Coogan. Lionel owned a Facel Vega – then the fastest four-seater coupé in the world. Picasso had one. Tony Curtis had one. The King of Morocco had one and Albert Camus died in one in the South of France.

Lionel was born in 1930 in Mother Levy’s Jewish Maternity Hospital in the East End to Yetta and Morris Begleiter. He was, as he charmingly put it, “the last shake of the bag”. Lionel was, in every

sense, the baby of the family, indulged by his mother and spoiled by his sisters. At home, his glorious self-belief was allowed to flourish unchallenged. When asked to describe his childhood, he said: “Very noisy, it was. My house was like a Marx Brothers movie.”

The East End, or at least Lionel’s bit of

it, provided an impressive backdrop to melodrama, comic opera and broad farce. The headmistress of his school in Dempsey Street told Yetta the thing every mother longs to hear: “Your son is an artistic genius whose talent must be nurtured.” Although she didn’t specify in what sphere Lionel’s genius lay, Lionel himself thought it was in thinking up smutty lyrics to popular songs to impress his classmates. “Every audience for one of my shows represents to me an extension of that gang of kids in the East End of London. Every laugh means a free turn on someone’s roller skates, and every first night is like a kerbside debut performance of a brand new naughty song.”

A scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art was followed by national service. When he came back to London, Lionel’s big sister Renee took him o to the Unity Theatre in St Pancras. Unity grew out of the Worker’s Theatre Movement, an organisation that during 1930 staged street plays in support of strikes, anti-

fascist demonstrations and the like. It had a profound e ect on Lionel. “Things le -wing were interesting to me. I was interested in theatre as well and thought I’d better get serious.”

By Christmas 1953, Lionel, along with Jack Grossman, had written all the lyrics and music for a le y reworking of Cinderella. When he sold his first song, Oh, For a Cup of Tea, to Billy Cotton for 25 guineas, he blew the lot on a big party. Lionel loved to party. He loved the Soho Scene, mohair sweaters, co ee bars and ski le groups, and it wasn’t long before he formed one with merchant seaman Tommy Steele and Mike Pratt called The Cavemen.

Tommy’s career started to really take o , and Lionel and Mike wrote a dozen songs for his 1956 film The Tommy Steele Story and won their first Ivor Novello Award. Lionel was firing on all cylinders when he first went to see Joan Littlewood at the Theatre Royal with a clutch of songs. Joan was one of nature’s subversives, never happier

Harry Secombe who plays Mr Bumble, Shani Wallis who plays Nancy, the writer Lionel Bart, Ron Moody who plays Fagin and Jack Wild as The Artful Dodger
Lionel Bart with Barbara Windsor

than when she was tearing things apart. She wasn’t interested in the songs but instead asked him to work on a script by ex-jailbird Frank Norman called Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, a heartwarming tale of pimps and gangsters.

Lionel ran with it. It was a roaring success, although the Lord Chamberlain was less enamoured. The success of Fings helped to pave the way for Donald Albery, owner of four West End theatres, to back Lionel’s new vision, a musical based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver. The songs are his finest. The Fagin songs are, for obvious reasons, the most self-consciously Jewish. Ron Moody, who played Fagin, detected hints of My Yiddish Momma in Reviewing the Situation. The musicologist Jack Gottlieb finds the same song has roots in Havadalah

On the opening night, Lionel was

The initial run was for a respectable 18 months. Then Lionel moved on to what he called “a folk opera set in Liverpool”.

“A er doing some research, I found that most of Liverpool’s folk music had Irish Celtic roots. Now it’s common knowledge, or should be, that the Irish are actually the lost tribe of Israel, so it’s a good job I remembered my bar mitzvah music.”

Lionel’s date for the opening night of Maggie May in Manchester was Judy Garland. “Everything I do must be bigger and better than anything I’ve done before. That’s my kick, mate.”

Twang!! was to be a rollicking romp through Sherwood Forest, combining the bawdy laughs of a Carry On film with the spontaneity of Fings. The cast was stellar – at di erent times featuring Alfie Bass, James Booth, Barbara Windsor, Ronnie Corbett and Bernard Bresslaw. The

beside himself with nerves. He had insisted on an aisle seat and, not long a er curtain up, he escaped the theatre to wander around Trafalgar Square and then slip into the Garrick Theatre, where Fings had transferred, to see his mate Barbara Windsor in the interval. She tried to reassure him and sent him back to the theatre, where he was met by the sounds of what he took to be an angry mob. He thought that the audience was baying “Awful, awful!” In fact, they were calling “Author, Author!”, having already had 17 curtain calls. The house lights were up, the audience were on their feet refusing to go home. “I don’t remember too much more about that night,” said Lionel, “because it was just loads of faces – joyous faces is all I can remember.”

Blitz! was Lionel’s next production – Noel Coward noted it was “twice as long and twice as loud as the real thing”. Princess Margaret disagreed: “I thought it was wonderful. I enjoyed every minute of it.”

rehearsals stretched over four months, with the script being improvised and changed constantly.

Windsor could see it wasn’t going well. In the middle of a blazing row with Littlewood, she remembered Joan screaming at Lionel: “It’s that f****** LSD, isn’t it?” Barbara was puzzled. “The only LSD I knew about came in my wage packet. I thought it wasn’t fair. We’re all in it for the money, aren’t we?” Sadly, drugs and booze were taking their toll on Lionel’s health and talent.

The full story of Twang!!’s descent into chaos resulted in a 15-year hiatus in Lionel’s career that he filled mainly with alcohol and drugs. Lionel knew he needed help when, one morning, he “woke up and felt something falling on my face”. He recalled: “I realised I was lying in the passage behind the front door. The postman had come. The letters were falling on my face. It was then I realised that I had to stop. I’d become my own audience. Nobody else was watching.”

He collaborated in a number of shows over this period – Hunchback, La Strada, a musical about Golda Meir, one about Winston Churchill – and some of them were really interesting. Lionel never really wrote anything as good as Oliver! again, but then… neither did anyone else.

To clear his debts, in 1970 Lionel made his worst ever financial decision when he sold the rights to his published music for the next six years, and the stage and film rights to Oliver! – for £300,000. A few years later they were worth £2 million, but when Cameron Mackintosh, who owned half the rights, revived the musical at the London Palladium in 1994, he kindly gave Lionel a deserving share of the production royalties.

Oliver! still has the power in a frozen school hall smelling of Dettol to generate an unnerving camaraderie. When a cast of uncoordinated Year 9 and 10s come out for their curtain call and tunelessly mumble Consider Yourself one more time, the most churlish and curmudgeonly audience members find themselves mysteriously compelled to rise to their feet, clap in time, smile and sing along. And this miracle is repeated somewhere in the world every year.

Fings Ain’t Wot They Used To Be: The Lionel Bart Story by David and Caroline Sta ord, is published by Omnibus Press, £10

Celebrating Lionel Bart is on at JW3 on 7 July 2024. Oliver!, directed by Matthew Bourne, is on at Chichester Festival Theatre until 7 Sept, and at the Gielgud Theatre from 14 December 2024 until 6 April 2025

Michael Pratt (le ), Tommy Steele and Lionel Bart (1957)


Acclaimed at Cannes, The Goldman Case is a drama about Jewish activist Pierre Goldman, who defended himself against charges of robbery, murder and persecution as a Jew. Etan Smallman spoke to the film’s director, Cédric Kahn

The Goldman Case has a solid case to be the most Jewish film of the year – yet there is not a kippah, challah or klezmer tune in sight.

The movie about the prosecution of French armed robber and darling of the intellectual left, Pierre Goldman, dissects Jewishness in virtually every scene, ruminating on subjects ranging from early Zionism to the socialist Bund. It is as much a Talmudic exegesis of what it is to be a Jew in the decades after the Shoah as an examination of the French justice system and of a sensational legal drama dubbed “the trial of the century”.

In a Paris courtroom in 1976, Goldman is being retried for four armed robberies, one of which left two women dead. He

readily admits theft, but denies murder – seeing the charge as “a curse linked to his people’s fate”. As the death penalty would not be abolished in France for another six years, he faces the guillotine.

Goldman, by turn charismatic, cocksure and vulnerable, makes fiery declarations from the witness box – which threaten to capsize his own lawyer’s defence, but are met with incessant whoops by his radical supporters in the public gallery. He had acquired the adulation of everyone from philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to actress Simone Signoret, thanks to his memoir, Dim Memories of a Polish Jew Born in France, published from prison.

The documentary-style film is a twodecade labour of love for Cédric Kahn,

French-Jewish director and co-writer (with Nathalie Hertzberg). Kahn was hooked as soon as he read the book “because I thought the character was incredible”, the 58-year-old tells me, via an interpreter, on a video call from his home in Paris. “I thought he was so complex, his violence, his intellectualism, his politics –but it took me 20 years to mull over what form the film would take.”

In it, he explores the dichotomy between Goldman and his defence attorney, Georges Kiejman. Both the “exceptionally tormented” character of Goldman and the tension between the “Israélite” pair are set out in the opening scene, the only one not set in the court, when a letter written by Goldman from his cell is read out. He wants to sack Kiejman because he “can’t stand the guy’s irony, frivolity and armchair Jew’s pettiness”.

Jewish French-born Belgian actor Arieh Worthalter (top right) plays the protagonist, while Arthur Harari – the Jewish Frenchman who won an Oscar in March for Anatomy of a Fall, the screenplay he wrote with his partner, Justine Triet – plays his lawyer.

Goldman was born in France in 1944 to far-left parents. His father had fled the pogroms of his shtetl to become a hero of the Resistance. Post-liberation, his mother returned to Poland, but her husband “literally kidnapped” their young son to block him from joining her in a country that had witnessed the massacre of millions of his people.

Goldman would go on to join a guerrilla group in Venezuela. In 1979, he

would be assassinated at point-blank range, aged 35 – by killers still unknown. Fifteen thousand people would attend his funeral.

In court, the accused is racked with guilt “for not hunting down Nazis” and for not emulating his father’s heroism, instead becoming a drunken thug. “I wanted to be a Jewish warrior too,” he says to the jury, “to free myself of the stigma of being a Jew”. Kahn says Goldman and Kiejman,

French-Jewish director Cédric Kahn
The real Pierre Goldman, escorted by police

his “frère juif”, embody “the two facets” of what it was to be Jewish during this period. While the lawyer boasted a post-Holocaust resilience, Goldman was “essentially made psychologically fragile by it”, says Kahn. “He is convinced his destiny can only be tragic.”

The director says he shares with Kiejman – whom he interviewed during his research – an ambiguity in his response to Goldman: “A kind of fascination that was also a repulsion. And so the film is this idea of a lawyer with an uncontrollable client.”

When I ask about parallels with Captain Alfred Dreyfus – the victim of the notorious turn-of-the-20th-century antisemitic miscarriage of justice –Kahn laughs before the question is even translated. “It was like a shadow that was over the whole trial because, definitely, society didn’t want another Dreyfus Affair.”

But what is fascinating is that Goldman – the half-brother of pop star JeanJacques Goldman – set out to put his Jewishness at the heart of his defence.

“Goldman is saying, ‘I am a child of the Shoah and I’m Jewish and I’m being accused because of that, not because I’ve killed two women’. That was his strategy – and it worked.”

Kahn pauses. “He would definitely take a different strategy today. Because the time between the Shoah and today is much bigger. And because of everything that is happening today in Israel, they are less seen as victims.”

The film came out in France two weeks before 7 October, but is bound to be seen in an altered light when it is released in the UK. (Kahn, Worthalter and Harari

have all publicly called for an immediate ceasefire and the release of the hostages.)

An unpublished letter from 1974 came to light last year in which Goldman meditated on “the Jewish Question”.

“I wonder if I shouldn’t have gone to Israel in 1966 and lived there among Jews in a Jewish country,” he said. “In any case, I’ll go there. I also think a new period of antisemitism is coming. I can feel it.”

Kahn himself comes from a JewishGerman family on his father’s side and Jewish-French on his mother’s, and says he has never experienced any antisemitism in the film industry.

I mention how refreshing it is to see a film that wears its Yiddishkeit so proudly, in contrast to the likes of Oppenheimer and Maestro, in which the ethnicity of its central characters – both played by nonJews – was so swiftly glossed over.

“It’s obvious the perception of Jewish people has changed,” replies Kahn.

“Because, now, to be Jewish is to be linked to Israel, and that shouldn’t be the case.”

That said, the identity of his two leading men “wasn’t my main concern”, he says.

“I find it interesting if an actor can bring himself into the role. But if there had been an amazing actor who wasn’t Jewish,

I would have also considered him.”

Goldman – whose girlfriend and best friends were black – accuses the entire French justice system of being racist, much to the chagrin of his legal team. “I’m a Negro, too,” he declares. “Jewish and black is the same.” I ask Kahn what the film has to say about antisemitism and anti-black racism in modern French society and institutions.

“It’s an old story,” he says with a Gallic shrug. “It’s never going to go away. That’s the story of humanity.”

• The Goldman Case is in cinemas from 20 September

Arieh Worthalter as the accused in The Goldman Case
Squires Estates in north London has 20 years’ experience and so much to offer

Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, Squires Estates, which was founded by Adam Redhouse and Edward Kay, is proud – and rightly so. Because the average price it has achieved compared to the asking price is above the average for local estate agents. There is also an entire o ce dedicated to lettings, and branches in Finchley, Hendon and Mill Hill. If you’re selling or renting out a property in north-west London you really need look no further. Branch manager Yitzchok Julius Nussbaum tells us more

What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced over two decades?

giving them honest answers every step of the way.

What are your top tips for vendors getting a house ready to sell? Declutter and freshen it up where possible.

What should buyers take note of when looking round a house?

In the early days, Squires Estates had to fight for everything but now instructions come to us, although growth has really stagnated since 2016. We’ve kept up well with all the new technology that is available for the industry, and the availability of data for buyers and sellers is one of the biggest advancements of all. We still have to battle with slow solicitors though!

What price range is the most buoyant now in sales? £600,000 to £700,000.

How do you help first-time buyers? It’s about helping them to understand the process and


aren’t quite right for you? What do

Can you see yourself living there? Can you make it work if there are things that aren’t quite right for you? What do the neighbours’ houses look like?

What does ‘mortgage in principle’ mean?

Based on your deposit and what you earn, plus various other factors, a lender will be willing to lend you, in principle, a certain amount of money. You can get this in writing through the lender or a mortgage broker and this is called an agreement in principle, or AIP.

What does your management service offer for landlords?

We have three full-time property managers. Full management includes various costs that are extra when using our let-only service. We carry out inspections of all managed properties.

How important is the front door when selling a home?

First impressions count for everything, but front doors aren’t cheap, so consider whether your money can be better spent elsewhere.

Squires Estates is a firm that is highly trusted by customers. It has grown to three branches, with an entire o ice dedicated to lettings and management administration, and it is at the heart of the community
Yitzchok Julius Nussbaum

LIFE Colourful


When Iris Apfel died in March aged 102, the world lost one of its brightest colours. Honing a feel for fashion as she watched her Russian-born mother run a New York clothes boutique, Iris was only 11 when she started building her collection of vintage bags and costume jewellery bought in flea markets that was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005.

One of the first women to wear jeans, at 28 Iris married Carl, together launching Old World Weavers, a textiles business producing replicas of antique fabric. Already a celebrity in New York it, was Albert Maysle’s documentary, Iris, that made her a star, and appearing as Vogue’s cover girl aged 96 made her an icon.

Never afraid to flex her colour muscles, Iris li ed the blinds on grey senior dressing by wearing canary yellow and poppy red. With her passing, mature women felt the loss of the influencer who proved that big flowers and huge frills are not age prohibitive.

Thankfully the philosophy of Iris Apfel – “I like big and bold and a lot of pizzazz” – lives on with the dressers on the Colour Walk at London’s Spitalfields Market on the third Thursday of each month.



New York Philharmonic as a child oboist, Sue’s penchant for colour meant their black attire was never for her.

Sue Kreitzman, a rainbow in human form, founded The Colour Walk 20 years ago and has become a local celebrity in Mile End, overshadowing plaques for Samuel Pepys and Captain Cook. Her Cleopatrastyle necklace, emblazoned with ‘Founder’, symbolises her love for colour, a passion shared by her vibrant followers who resemble tropical birds posing for tourists and film crews.

Sue’s striking presence at Spitalfields

Sue’s striking presence at Spitalfields Market inspired like-minded dressers to gather, first informally, then o icially when

Sue describes her age as “somewhere

moved to the UK in 1986, transitioning from food writer, authoring 27

An American Jewish woman, Sue leads with a quiet command, always complimenting fellow dressers, including other Jewish women. They’ve embraced fearless, colourful attire over conventional fashion, forming a unique bond. Married for 62 years with a son, Sue describes her age as “somewhere between my mid-80s and eternity”. She moved to the UK in 1986, transitioning from inner-city schoolteacher to food writer, authoring 27 cookbooks, running a cooking school and cooking on TV until an epiphany at 58 redirected her to art.

Now, Sue creates memory jugs and neck shrines and mentors young artists. “I was born with a rainbow in my head,” she giggles. “Always a colourful dresser, always odd jewellery, always strutting my stu .” Mentored by the

The Colour Walk celebrates camaraderie, creativity and supporting market traders, from whom they buy outfit materials. Sue designs her own clothes, stitched by a local tailor.

materials. Sue designs stitched by a local tailor.

feet are terrible,” so she sports

As for shoes, she says: “My feet are terrible,” so she sports colourful Crocs decorated with Native American beadwork and

Native American beadwork and Mexican folk art.

Living in vibrant colour, Sue, a ectionately known as the ‘Colourful Lady’ by her Mile End neighbours, says: “The East End is full of characters. I am just one more happy weirdo.”

Living in vibrant colour, Sue, ‘Colourful Lady’ by her Mile End is full of characters. I am just one

her friend Florent Bidois formalised the meets.
Photos by Adam Soller Photography

“I’m 65 and don’t believe I’ve ever felt as comfortable with the way I look as I do now,” says Sandra Phillips, who uses her body as a canvas and clothes as the paint, always standing out on Colour Walk, which she joined post-pandemic in June 2021.

“I found people who, like me, dress this way every day. I had found my tribe and felt a sense of community that I had never felt anywhere else.”

A er 23 moves, Sandra is now back in Mile End, the homestead of her Jewish family, who had clothing factories in Spitalfields and Shoreditch. Living near friend Sue Kreitzman and the familiar faces of Roman Road Market, Sandra has truly returned to her roots.

Her wardrobe, meticulously arranged by colour and category, includes everything from authentic vintage to charity shop finds and designer bargains. “I could probably open a shop, but I love all clobber I own and I wear everything,” shares Sandra, whose mother was involved in Carnaby Street in the 60s.

Sandra’s career highlight

in the Atlantic. However the loss of her husband in 2016 was a turning point.

Sandra’s fashion philosophy is simple: wear what makes you happy. “I love colourblocking, monochrome, black and white, clashing colours; I’m not afraid of colour and I’ll wear it if I like it and I think it suits me,” she declares, proving it’s never too late to embrace who you truly are. “If Rob hadn’t died, I would not be what I am today. That is his gi to me. I am free to be me without the label or baggage of being Rob’s wife, Rob’s carer, Rob’s widow. I am Sandra!”


Transorm Your Clothes, which got her on TV and the business thrives to this day.

WIN a day with Sandra Phillips in London. She will take you shopping for second-hand clothes and accessories, creating a new outfit and look for you. The day will end with photos that she will send to you, along with an illustration of you in your new outfit. To enter, visit

was working for Miles Copeland, manager of The Police in the 80s. Later, she and her husband Rob worked as chef and housekeeper on a private estate before starting their own computer business.

Sandra also qualified as a helicopter ground crew member, flying to lighthouses

a sketchbook she selfies, I do a quick

therapy and self-

“For quite some time, I had been his carer and kind of lost myself,” she says, blinking behind huge frames. Encouraged by her daughter, Sandra rediscovered her love of drawing. She documents her outfits daily in a sketchbook she shares. “Instead of selfies, I do a quick illustration of what I’m wearing. It’s become a form of therapy and selfexpression.”

Michelle, 65, is also the creative director of Harif, a charity promoting the history and culture of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East. She owns a spino company, Harif Henna Events, which handles decor and production for Sephardi weddings.

Michelle’s home, which she describes as an Aladdin’s cave of Middle Eastern artifacts, reflects her interests. “Numerous holidays in Morocco have had me schlepping back Berber headdresses, textiles and, once, even a door!” she laughs. “I’ve always had Moroccan-style parties with tents made out of my sequinned hamsas.”

As Colour Walk’s dynamic duo, Michelle Huberman and Annalie Huberman-Hertz bring a mother-daughter bond to a group that feels like family. The monthly Thursday event is more than just a gathering for them; it’s a wellspring of inspiration.

Unsurprisingly, Michelle has significantly influenced Annalie. “I can’t escape it. I’ve grown up in a colourful home. My mum has always made me colourful outfits and headwear for Colour Walk. She dresses the dogs, too, when they come along! The rest of the time, I wear normal stu .”

Annalie, 32, born with Down Syndrome, leads a full and active life, juggling two jobs and voluntary work. “I got my job with YO!

Sushi a er being on the TV series

techniques used, and how we’ve put it

fashion. “My family on both sides were

“We talk about what we’ve made, the techniques used, and how we’ve put it together. I always come back buzzing with ideas for the next meet-up,” says Michelle. Her life has always been steeped in fashion. “My family on both sides were in the business (Aubrey Segal Ltd) and, from the age of eight, I spent school holidays helping in the factory in Little Portland Street, doing things like making swatch books and sorting trimmings. When they had fashion shows, I dressed and styled the models.”

from the age of eight, I spent school Little Portland Street, doing things sorting trimmings. When they and styled the models.”

Kitchen Impossible with Michel Roux Jr, who taught me the hospitality trade.”

She then impressively and opened factories in London and Paris. During

– Fun Ways to

As a teenager, Michelle made her own “crazy clothes”, leading to people asking where she had bought them. She then impressively created her collections and opened factories in London and Paris. During the 80s, she also launched her book, Fashion Magic

Fashion Magic

Recently, Annalie joined Drag Syndrome, the world’s first drag troupe featuring drag queens and kings with Down Syndrome, and she is touring with them. A new interest in belly dancing was sparked by her mum always playing Middle Eastern music. “When I was small, she had belly dancers at her parties. I wanted to be one too, so now I go to classes and think I’m very good at it!”

Michelle had heard about the Walk, but a chance meeting with Sandra confirmed she would love it and she went with Annalie, who admits: “I didn’t want to go at first, but now I love it as the people are lovely and always interested in what I do.”

Michelle’s clothes for the events are from markets and charity shops, restyled and embellished. “I can’t resist trimmings and exotic fabrics, which I’ve collected from all over the world,” she says, while Annalie takes a more pragmatic approach to her Colour Walk clothes. “My mum buys them for me.”

Of all the many artists at Colour Walk, Michelle Baharier has had the most recognition.

An award-winning graduate of the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, Michelle has made a name for herself, notably through her work addressing disability discrimination and prejudice.

Michelle’s style was further shaped by her punk rock phase and DIY take on fashion, which played a crucial role in her acceptance to art school. “Due to my dyslexia, I did not have the required A-levels to go. But they were impressed by my leg-of-lamb sleeves in corduroy with a high neck and let me into the Slade.”

Her family’s Sephardic-Portuguese heritage has a significant influence on her life and work. They moved to Camberwell Green from Brick Lane in 1919, following her great-grandfather’s tram-driving job. Michelle’s great-aunt Ettie, who was the oldest Jewish woman in the UK at 111 when she died, was a seamstress who cra ed clothes for the family. “She was disabled from birth, but became a seamstress and made many of the family’s clothes, including my brothers’ barmitzvah suits,” says Michelle, who still lives in Camberwell Green.

Her ties to Israel run deep, with immediate family, including brother Daniel Baharier, a prominent sculptor, residing in Tel Aviv. Michelle spent time on Kibbutz Netzer Sereni and collaborated with Daniel on an installation titled Lennon’s On Sale Again at Ye et 28 Ja o. “I love Israel – it’s a place of many memories and deep connections for me,” she says.

Michelle’s work is widely showcased, including on five billboards in Croydon. As a member of multiple artist collectives and an ambassador for Outside-In, she remains a staunch advocate for disability arts and inclusion. Her involvement with Colour Walk has been particularly enriching, fostering friendships and providing platforms to exhibit her art.

“A friend dragged me along, but did not like it. However, I was interested as I looked like many of the other people there.

“I have built up many friendships and even had help to show my art. The variety of people is amazing, so there is something to learn from everyone.”

her great-grandfather’s tram-driving was the oldest Jewish woman was a seamstress who cra ed disabled from birth, but became of the family’s clothes, including suits,” says Michelle, and it informs her art;

Rosie Sandler refused to leave Mish Amino lingering on the sidelines of the Colour Walk because she wanted her to experience the atmosphere from

She is deeply rooted in her Jewish heritage and it informs her art;

disability discrimination and prejudice. Her solo exhibition, You Feel?,

How Do I Make at The Foundry Gallery in London last year, was critically acclaimed and she has received the Glaxo Smith Kline Impact Award.

acclaimed and she has received the At 61, Michelle’s colourful and eclectic mother, stall five days a week, fashion

At 61, Michelle’s colourful and eclectic style is deeply rooted in her upbringing. Her mother, who ran a toy stall five days a week, also worked for a German fashion designer. “From the cabbage [le over fabric] she taught me how to make clothes and made them for us. I had wet-look purple hotpants, as well as a reversible cloak. She always made sure we looked unique.”

Rosie Sandler refused to leave sidelines of the Colour Walk the inside. Walk journey began in October 2021, and she hasn’t missed

in a show themed inspired experiences, especially

last year she participated in a show themed around ‘Carnival’ and created a painting titled We are all Queen Esther, inspired by Purim and reflecting contemporary Jewish experiences, especially in light of recent antisemitism since October 7.

Rosie’s own Colour Walk journey began in October 2021, and she hasn’t missed a month since. An avid seamstress, she makes many of her own clothes that are so distinct they spark conversations with strangers.

she makes many of her own clothes that are so distinct they spark conversations with strangers.

Married to Andrew for 34 years, they have two children, one of whom still lives at

Married to years, they children, one

sure we looked unique.” still lives at

home. “Our household is characterised by neurodiversity, so it’s been a journey to get to a calmer, happier place for all of us.”

A er many years as a sub-editor for consumer magazines, Rosie transitioned into full-time writing and is now the author of The Gardener Mysteries, a cosy crime series about the adventures of a gardener and her dog, Mouse.

Growing up in Manchester, Rosie went through a ‘gothish’ phase, enjoying bands such as The Cult. “I’d dress as a goth for one club night, then wear bright leggings and a giant T-shirt for another. Whatever I wore, it always had to allow me to cut loose on the dance floor.”

The author was pretty much always a colourful dresser. “I used to cut up clothes from my grandmother’s wardrobe – with her permission! – and adapt them to suit my style. I now regret how many lovely dresses I destroyed with my eager scissors!”

For Rosie, the Colour Walk is a sanctuary for artists, designers and enthusiasts. “In a world that feels increasingly damaged and frightening, it is wonderful to be around kind, accepting, non-judgmental people.

“It’s important for creatives to come together, to inspire one another, and there is also so much laughter and smiling it sets me up for the month ahead.”

The Gardener Mysteries (available on

As a multidisciplinary artist and photographer whose favourite accessories are a roomy Japanese hat and fuchsia flip-flop earrings, Mish Amino found her natural place on Colour Walk.

Mish always has her camera on the walk, but she blends her photography with material from old family albums that dances

beside blogs on her website, which may be intentional as Mish is a mover who does salsa and sings with Nossa Voz, a Londonbased Brazilian vocal group.

A mother of two and married to Stephen, Mish, 66, lives in a flat in a converted church in Kentish Town with a mezuzah on the door. Fashion has always been her passion, with a wardrobe of black accented with colour. Although she usually wears practical shoes – trainers or Birkenstocks – she has special occasion shoes from Souliers Sylvia in Paris, known for retro-inspired Mary Janes, and dresses by British designer Katya Wildman, who uses Liberty prints.

As a teen, Mish shopped at Biba and, at 16, was inspired by activist Angela Davis’ natural Afro, leading her to cut her long frizzy hair at Vidal Sassoon. “It didn’t go down too well until a friend at Biba told me to take that silly hat o ! That resolve to embrace authenticity and free myself from high maintenance is still very much alive.”

Since April 2022, Mish has been a Colour Walk regular, first as a photographer, then

where gender, race and age are celebrated rather than judged,” explains Mish.

“The community, with individuals who have overcome adversity and bereavement, also contradicts the invisibility many experience as they age, which I have personally felt. It’s nice to be so bright and colourful that people notice you, smile, and appreciate the positivity. I regularly have people of all ages come up to me and say they love my outfit, and I enjoy that spontaneous interaction. Colours are powerful!”

as a participant a er Rosie Sandler invited her to join the group photo. “It’s a very accepting space, mishamino .com


A rug looks good, absorbs noise and fills a home with colour, says designer Sonya Winner. By Louisa Walters

Picture a little girl sitting by the river with her father and his easel and paint box. That was Sonya Winner, who grew up to become a rug designer. Her father was a creative thinker in the world of marketing and an artist, her grandmother had an art gallery and her grandfather was a pioneer in colour printing technology and printed the cigarette cards people used to collect.

“I always loved art, but felt I didn’t necessarily have something to paint about,” says Sonya, who lives in north London. “However, I love design and solving problems through visual communication. Design is like a jigsaw puzzle, communicating and making something beautiful that people want to look at. I was always attracted by interesting furniture, design, interiors and packaging.”

After school, Sonya did a foundation course at Chelsea Art School, “which was a real eyeopener, because you get a taste of all forms of art and design. This is when I really began to flourish as a person”.

Then followed a degree in graphic design and, during her studies, she won lots of awards, which garnered her some recognition and people started to offer her freelance work.

Her big break came when a friend’s father, who ran a furniture store in Covent Garden, was celebrating 40 years in business and asked a selection of artists – and Sonya – to design a rug. The shop had them all manufactured and Sonya’s appeared on the front cover of an interiors magazine and was shortlisted for Elle Decoration. Enquiries started to come in from people asking her to design a rug for them.

“After the exhibition I put it in my entrance hall and was shocked at how transformative it was,” says Sonya. “A rug is the biggest item you are going to put in a room so if it’s saturated with colour the whole room changes up.”

“I had been helping people with their own businesses, doing brochures, logos, packaging, so I thought it’d be really nice to have my own product rather than selling my services. I was in a dark place having just recovered from a nasty accident where I fell off a horse, going through a divorce and struggling to bring my two kids up alone; working with colour lifted my spirits.

“I had the idea that if 0.01 percent of the population in the world who are buying a rug buy from me, I can make a business. I had savings from my grandmother and I decided to take the risk, make a small collection and exhibit at the London Design Festival.”

It was too expensive to manufacture in the UK, so Sonya contacted weavers in India and went out to meet them. “The rugs weren’t finished in the way I wanted or in the quality I was looking for and they found it quite hard to take instruction from a woman. Then I found an intermediary who sorted it all out for me.”

The rugs are made using extremely high quality New Zealand wool. “The longer the length of the fibre, the higher the quality because shorter fibres can miss being stitched in and can shed. The wool has had a lot of the yellow lanolin stripped out because if you start from a very white base, the colours are really vibrant. And on top of that, I’ve developed a unique specification, where the wool is twisted in a way that makes the yarn reflect the light to make the colours more vibrant.”

The rugs are densely tufted so they absorb noise. “Modern interiors can be very echoey, which isn’t inviting but because the rugs are densely tufted they soak up sound,” she says.

When the first rugs were produced, Sonya was overwhelmed by how the weavers “could turn something that’s designed on an A4 piece of paper into something so gorgeous. Being handmade, they add their own level of creativity. I don’t negotiate with them on price –I only negotiate with them on quality.”

Sonya was one of the first designers to create rugs in unusual shapes. “ When I started, the weavers were saying, ‘Why would you ever want to do a rug in this strange shape or this

strange outline?’ And I felt – why not? Nobody was making rugs in nice shapes.”

In India, the caste system is still prevalent but “if you have a phone and you can speak English, you can run a business,” she says. “People who make rugs have contacted me, and because of the work I’ve given them, they’ve been able to get married, start families, make new buildings. A lot of the weaving is done in rural villages, with no running water and limited electricity. So it’s very exciting to see how you can change people’s lives.”

Rugs are available in a variety of sizes and Sonya also offers a bespoke service. “A lot of people have very neutral interiors, which can be a bit bland. By putting down a rug, you can completely change the feel of the room. We often suggest buying scatter cushions to link with the colours of the rug, and incorporating other textures like velvet and linen.”

The Sonya Winner Rug Studio in Kentish Town is a modern, intimate space with several rugs on display plus art, jewellery and ceramics. “Customers send us a photograph of their room and we will send them a digital visual with a shortlist of rugs so they can see how they look in all different colourways, sizes and shapes. And if they are local, we invite them to come in – we offer a really personal service.”

Sonya is influenced by artists such as Matisse and Kandinsky and, this year, she is celebrating 15 years of her business with the Sonia and Sonya rug, inspired by Jewish-Ukrainian artist, textile, fashion and theatre designer Sonia Delone, who was bold and dynamic with her colour. Sonya is also inspired by her travels. It appears that, with a rug, you can bring not only a world of colour into your home but also the world itself.

After Matisse is a contemporary colourful rug
Rugs need not be only in neutral colours
Sonya Winner
Sonya also offers rugs in a variety of shapes

“On retiring I wanted to help in the community and heard about JVN. I applied to help in a JBD home for their cinema afternoon, it really appealed, and I knew I could do that. Applying was all very smooth and quick. After some form-ffilling and DBS, I’m now volunteering. It is a lovely event which everybody enjoys, including me.”

LW, volunteer at Jewish, Blind & Disabled

“I signed up with JVN for adhoc volunteering so that when my time allowed I could use it to help others. So far I have volunteered at 3 different charities. This is a long way from my usual day job but I really enjoy giving back when I can. It also means I get to meet new people and pick up new skills along the way so it’s a win win situation for everyone”

A, ad-hoc volunteer

I spent the past 20 years focusing on my career and found myself wanting to contribute my time to help others in the community. I was afraid that it may be too demanding to juggle with my work load and family obligations. I found JVN. It is an amazing gateway to all sorts of roles, allowing you to choose a cause that is close to your heart and volunteer at your pace.”

GB, Volunteer

The country house that has much to offer, whether for a day trip or a stay

The Grove is the ultimate country retreat where you can combine your stay with a host of dining options and a range of activities. A resort destination with a difference, the buzzy atmosphere pervades as soon as you walk through the door but, at the same time, it doubles up as a quiet rural retreat. And, best of all, it’s just 18 miles from central London.

There is much to enjoy across the 300-acre site this summer, from the spa and the championship golf course to activities for all ages,

including archery, axe-throwing and tree-climbing, woodland trails, mini 4x4s for children to whizz around in, plus an outdoor Everyman cinema, hotair balloon rides and sporting camps with ex-Premier League players and current rugby players.

The Walled Garden is home to a heated outdoor pool and beach, and there are lunchtime barbecues, dining experiences such as the immersive Feast on Cloud 9, a pop-up by Turkish restaurant Skewd in the Potting Shed, a limited-

time woodland dining experience, the iconic Glasshouse bu et, The Stables and Madhu’s, a destination for authentic Indian cuisine inspired by Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi.

A recent hotel-wide refurbishment extends from the bedrooms to several of the restaurants and also the Sequoia Spa. Bespoke treatments by Bamford take place in this haven, which features an iconic black mosaic-tiled pool, new steam rooms, saunas and a wellness pool. There is a new pre-treatment lounge area and Sequoia Kitchen – a tranquil dining space for hotel residents, spa members and spa day guests.

The Grove is the ideal summer destination for families and couples alike – there really is something for everyone there.

Le : The swimming pool. Right (from top): Ralph’s Beach; Feast on Cloud 9; the pool. Inset: A view of the grounds
Everyman Cinema at The Grove


the dresser

Vanessa Feltz loves dresses and has launched her own collection line that celebrates colour, comfort and femininity

She’s the bubbly blonde broadcaster we see all over Instagram and TikTok, yet Vanessa Feltz didn’t even have a smartphone before the pandemic. “I had no computer, no tablet or anything whatsoever. I had a Nokia, so I wasn’t on social media. But my children spent lockdown in Ireland, so I had to get online to FaceTime my grandbabies. That’s the only thing I was interested in.”

But then Vanessa found she was being asked to post and tag by her employers “and when I charmingly and alluringly said ‘I haven’t got a smartphone’, instead of looking enchanted and bewitched by my old-fashioned eccentricity, they just looked horrified”.

(“I still do actually pay my bills with a cheque in an envelope with a stamp and all that,” she confides.)

In January 2022, with “colossal reluctance”, Vanessa set up an Instagram account. “I took to it with tremendous alacrity, and I found I really enjoyed it.” She also realised that she had a flair for it and the biggest revelation of all was the interest people were showing in her clothes. “They were saying ’I love your dress’ and ‘where did you get your dress?’ and I was absolutely amazed at the sheer volume of interest.”

After a year of noting the dresses that got the biggest response, Vanessa had an idea. The result is her very own clothing line of feminine, colourful and affordable frocks that are stylish and, considerately, many of them have pockets. Newly-single Vanessa also insisted on no fastenings. “We all know

what a struggle it is to get a zip done up when we are home alone and trying to rush out the door.”

Vanessa’s father had been in the underwear business and she had other family members in the rag trade. “I got thinking that if I could develop a range I would know what to do with it. I have a particular look that I like, and key to it is colour.”

say, ‘You don’t wear a black

Vanessa will wear a black dress – ”but I’d rather not”, she says, adding: “My grandpa would say, ‘You don’t wear a black dress until you’re 80 and even then why would you want to?’

“I remember when my daughters were young, seeing parents sending their 12-year-old girls to batmitzvahs dressed in black and thinking, ‘What a shame.’”

Vanessa thinks there is too much

in life to celebrate for us to wear black. “Jewish people don’t even wear black to the grounds. We’ve absorbed the idea, after living here for however many centuries, so we feel that it would be unsuitable to arrive at a funeral in blue, green or red. I know the little black dress is considered classic and

aspirational, but I don’t really want to wear it.”

Vanessa’s dresses are “stand up and count me dresses – not ones where you blend into the curtains”. She’s certainly not doing that; she has taken on a new role hosting the Saturday afternoon show on LBC, and is delighted that many of her listeners from the BBC Radio 2 show that she hosted from 2011 to 2022 have followed her there. Last month, she announced the launch of her YouTube channel and has been seen broadcasting live from a Buckingham Palace garden party and Taste London food festival. Naturally, she’s in a different dress each time, but her range also includes tops and trousers.

“I’ve been delighted to wear them everywhere I go,” she says. “It’s about celebrating life and colour, dressing to make yourself feel good and to make other people say, ‘That’s a pretty dress.’”

Vanessa has always been a flamboyant dresser, but it was after losing a lot of weight and appearing on Dating in September 2023 that we started to see a new style emerge.

and asymmetrical hem, it

The classic dress, the one that Vanessa says “really, really works, people love it” is the Barbara dress. Gently waisted with a V-neck and asymmetrical hem, it shows a little bit of skin at the

chest, but not too much, and has arm coverage. “It’s a really good dress. So we have it in lots of colourways and patterns and fabrics and the price is £79. Not too cheap that it looks like it’s cheap, but below the £100 mark.”

“I think most people like something vibrant and colourful and celebratory. It doesn’t have to be a loud, clashing print – it can be gentle and subtle, like the Tilly Vintage Cream Rose dress that I wore to go to the Chelsea Flower Show, which is a very pretty rose print (left Vanessa approached her friend Katrina Shalit, who has a background in manufacturing and design, and together they approached businesswoman Linda Plant, who co-founded knitwear brand Honeysuckle.

They called the brand 4Love and launched it online on 4 December just in time for Christmas. It sold out so fast that they had to shoot a whole new range a week later. The AW2024 range will include wraps, jackets, faux-fur gilets and sparkly pieces. Dresses are generally available in sizes 8 – 20 with some going up to a 24.

Every Thursday, Linda goes to Vanessa’s home and they do an Instagram live where they show the dresses and talk about what it’s really like wearing them and answer questions. Vanessa says: “ Your choice of dress depends on your lifestyle or how you feel. But I know that for special occasions, formal occasions, informal occasions or even just going out for lunch or whatever you’re doing, putting on a lovely dress is a good feeling.” and spending

“I knew exactly the shape and the fabric and the way I wanted the range to look and also the price point because I didn’t want it to be too expensive – I want women who have to consider what they are spending to be able to buy the dresses.”

We have a Barbara dress worth £79 in a stunning leopard print to give away to one lucky reader

THIS GORGEOUS CHIFFON DRESS combines timeless charm with contemporary flair. The luxurious fabric drapes gracefully, flattering all body types. The V-neck adds allure, and the mixed-level hemline ensures you stand out at any event. Whether you’re at a glamorous cocktail party or a laid-back brunch, the Barbara is your go-to for making a stylish statement. To enter, visit

Vanessa models the Barbara chain V-neck chi on dress (£79) In the wrap-e ect calf-length Jasmine fuschia dress (£79) And in the Barbara Rose Bud dress (£79)


The FOOD Scene

Louisa Walters rounds up the new restaurants to dine at this summer – plus an old favourite

The new Gilgamesh on St Martin’s Lane is spread over three floors, meaning it’s an altogether more intimate experience than the cavernous space in Camden that was home to the OG. This is a very much place for cocktails – try the Shamash, a lychee and champagne combination, or the whisky-based Shuruppak. The menu is on the small side for Asian fusion and I love that it’s not overwhelming. We devoured edamame with truffle (a divinely delicious revelation), Wagyu tacos with pineapple salsa that were melt-in-the-mouth meaty with a sweet and sharp hit in every bite, and duck and watermelon salad because how can you not? From the ‘baskets’ section, chicken siu mai is a triumph of flavour and texture, and don’t miss out on tuna tartare with crispy rice bites. Shaking beef, which is like a much-elevated teriyaki-style dish, is wondrously tender. The must-have dessert is a banana caramel crumble with soft, gooey chunks of fruit, a rich caramel sauce and the chunkiest, crunchiest crumble topping. It comes with vanilla ice cream with teriyaki sauce. Yes really – and yes it does work.

The outdoor terrace is one of the biggest attractions at Josh Katz’s Fitzrovia branch of Carmel, where the famous flatbreads take centre stage alongside a metamorphosis of flavour-busting dishes. If you’re in the mood for a carb fest, order the grilled challah with green chilli labneh to dip into butterbean hummus or blackened aubergine with tahini. Then I recommend the gravadlax, the Roscoff onions, and the lamb tepsi flatbread, which is sweetened with pomegranate molasses and sharpened with pickled onion. Of course there’s grilled

hispi cabbage, and of course it’s a must, and nicely accompanies miso harissa grilled chicken or grilled seabream with chilli honey and saffron aioli. Plus there’s cheesecake –and it’s one of the best in town.

rocket salad and excellent fried courgettes. And every dish was delicious. And authentic. And piping hot (except the salad). There are three of these restaurants – the others are in Hendon and Golders Green. Chef/owner Shani (who trained at L’Artista) and his two brothers run them, their children work in them and you really do get the feel of a family passion project. They do a roaring trade in takeaway too. Shani took the opportunity during lockdown to build a stunning bar, and this, coupled with film posters and portraits of Hollywood icons, gives the place a teeny touch of New York vibes.

Talking of New York-style Italian restaurants, The Dover on Dover Street is a super-swanky cocoon of a restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling wood panelling, white tablecloths, low seating and sexy lighting and young friendly waiting staff get down on their haunches to take your order. For

Reuben’s has opened a kosher milky café almost opposite the iconic salt beef restaurant on Baker Street. There’s a full Israeli breakfast with bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon and all the trimmings plus shakshuka, pasta, pizza salads and a fullblown afternoon tea. Everything is baked in-house and the interior is a confection of bright sunny pastels.

Can’t be bothered to go out after a lazy day in the garden? Smkd is a delicious new American smokehouse offering that comes to you via Deliveroo. The menu includes beef brisket croquettes, jumbo sticky chicken wings and burgers, plus herbrubbed smoked chicken and an 18-hour smoked beef brisket bao bun.

The old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ comes into play when talking about Arlington, the reincarnation of Le Caprice in St James’s, on the same site. If it wasn’t for the new name on the

door, you’d think you were in the original restaurant with décor, menu and clientele fully representing those of yesteryear. My choices were a beautiful walnut, Gorgonzola and chicory salad prefacing a delicious, tender calves’ liver with roasted carrots and broccoli with capers and mint. Desserts are old-school with a twist –cappuccino crème brûlée, tarte tatin with cinnamon ice cream, hokey cokey coupé. Worth getting dressed up for.

Amaretto is an authentic little family-run Italian trattoria, with all the classics and none of the frills, at reasonable prices with friendly service. I enjoyed nicely spicy chicken wings and lovely fat whitebait to start. And then a classic lasagne that was easily enough for two, perfectly textured, zesty scaloppine limone,

all its high end-ness, the food is refreshingly casual, but really, really good. The classic zucchini fritti has been given an upgrade with the addition of sweet potato, there’s chopped salad, a stunning burger, pasta dishes and, of course, a Dover sole.

Old but new... Who remembers Julie’s in Holland Park? After closing in 2015 for a refurb that took four years (!) it then closed again in 2022 but has now been taken over by a Cordon Bleu-trained chef (and former Julie’s regular) and she’s brought in a chef from the popular Notting Hill pub The Pelican. French brasserie classics are on the menu. Talking of The Pelican, the team has taken over The Hero of Maida Vale, about which Giles Coren said ‘magnificent place, very good food’ in his recent column.

The Dover

Sababa Restaurant

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Antiques Buyers

Wanted all Antiques & furniture including Lounge Dining and Bedroom Suites. Chests of drawers. Display and Cocktail Cabinets. Furniture by Hille. Epstein. Archie shine. G plan etc in Walnut. Mahogany. Teak and Rosewood.

We also buy Diamonds & Jewellery. Gold. Silverware. Paintings. Glass. Porcelain. Bronzes etc.

All Antiques considered. Full house clearances organised. Very high prices paid, free home visits.

Check our website for more details


Please call Sue Davis on Freephone: 08008402035 WhatsApp Mobile: 07956268290

Portobello Rd London. By appointments only.

Please note rather than acting as agents for other organisations and charging you commission. Please be assured that in dealing with Antiques Buyers we deal directly with our clients and pay in full at the time of the transaction.






On the underground in Helsinki, there is a signpost of dos and don’ts. It’s polite, but the one saying ‘Please Don’t Wear Strong Perfume’ is a problem for Dan Rothschild. “Someone sent me the poster and I thought, ‘Oh f*** that. I’ll wear whatever perfume wherever I want.’”

Dan is not in Helsinki but Manchester, where he has a lot of perfumes. An avid to the point of obsessive collector, he has in the region of 300 bottles. Many were sent for review on his Instagram @fragrance_ weirdo, where he has 47.5K followers and others were purchased, including “a firstedition bottle of Sybaris for quite a lot of money as it’s beautiful and I sort of love it.”

Dan got his first whiff of Sybaris when an uncle who owned a pharmacy gave him a bottle for his barmitzvah. “He also gave me a bottle of Quorum and I committed the smells to memory. I knew then that I always wanted to smell good.”

But it was when he saw the 1990 advert for Chanel’s Égoïste, in which gorgeous women close shutters shrieking égoïste that he connected the idea of smelling good to an art form.

Then Dan was truly

hooked.There is something incongruous about this married 48-year-old father of two exalting scent and collecting it for decades as he works in odourless IT security. But that’s the half of it, as Dan is also the creative director of his own perfume brand Soma

Determined to find others who shared his olfactory passion, about 10 years ago, Daniel explored social media and discovered an entire subculture of enthusiasts. “And I felt, wow, I’ve found my people,” he says from behind 30 perfume bottles on his desk.

“Through Instagram, I met Dave Wrench [now his business partner] and we started talking, meeting for coffee, trying perfumes and realised we should start something of our own.”

For the record, the formulation of Soma, which currently includes a range of nine fragrances, began and continues with a vivid brief from Dan that is sent to the grandson of iconic French perfumer Jean Carles in Grasse. Then, Cyrille Carles starts extracting oils, blending, ageing... Almost like a fine wine? “Exactly,” confirms Dan, who can talk about top notes of cinnamon and tobacco in perfume as wine writer Jancis Robinson would a Pinot Noir.

The resulting smell of, say, Soma Halcyon is best summed up by a fan on the fragrance fanatic site fragrantica. com: “It opens with an intensely sweet toffee, vanilla and honey combination with an addictive spicy cinnamon in the background. From here the sweetness is perfectly balanced with a strong boozy

rum note and smoky tobacco, with hints of a fizzy benzoin and soft orchid. A truly edible fragrance for a great price.”

“When I give the brief, I tend to think in terms of little movie vignettes,” says Dan. “Capturing moments that feel cinematic, like memories you can almost see. They’re the starting point for creating something that’s more than just a fragrance – it’s an experience.”

The name Soma is Dan’s choice. “It is Greek for ‘body’, but it’s also the name of a drug in Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World that is given to the masses to keep them calm and happy. Despite the slightly sinister overtone, I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

There is much more to learn about the world of eau de parfum than a spritz. Each year in Milan, buyers, reviewers, enthusiasts and manufacturers converge at Esxence, a prestigious perfume convention where Dan hopes to exhibit next year. With so much scent wafting under one roof, it must be a sensory overload. “You can’t smell different fragrance because there’s so much going on,” agrees Dan. “People often carry little bags of coffee beans as one sniff helps reset your nose.” A useful tip for your next perfume hall visit, where Soma should be on sale in time.

“It’s very hard to get into big stores because they tend to work with distributors,” says Dan, likening the dominance of premier brands such as Gucci and Chanel to Marvel and Disney at the multiplexes. Soma has a dedicated

following, he says, “but we’re not Marvel. We do okay selling direct on the internet, but one of the headaches is the cost of manufacturing official samples, like you get from Dior or Chanel.”

Dan plans to introduce a selection box of 10ml bottles so customers can try the different Somas without committing to a full bottle, but admits: “That needs a bit of investment and a bit of time and love.”

And talking of love, Dan’s wife Lisa, who “considers my perfume collection excessive”, wears Soma Serene and daughters Anna, 17, and Kate, 14, appreciate the unique world he has created and would like to inhabit it fulltime eventually. But as fond as he is of fragrance, dog perfume is not on the cards.

“One of the weird things about being into perfume is you pay more attention to smell, and I absolutely love the natural smell of my dog, Eddie. Not if he’s rolled in mud, but when he’s reasonably clean and lying there snoring, I often stick my face into his fur and breathe deeply.”

Dan’s definitive connection to fragrance, however, is rooted in his family memories. “I lost my dad last year, and his signature scent was Kouros. One of the reasons I love perfume so much is because it has such a memorytriggering effect, so if I smell Kouros, I’m immediately back in my bedroom as a kid waiting for mum and dad to go out.”

His mother wore Opium then but Dan has introduced her to Ormonde Jayne by renowned Jewish perfumer Linda Pilkington, which she likes. “She did wear Soma Halcyon for a while,” Dan mentions, then laughs. “I think that was just politeness, although she’s very proud of me.” Obviously!

Dan Rothschild

Dior Forever Cushion Powder in Blooming Boudoir £54

Flower Knows Midsummer Perfume £39

Flower Knows Midsummer Fairytales Five-Colour make-up palette £27

aromatherapy benefits, it is with antiseptic and antioxidant

has won or been shortlisted for multiple beauty awards, and Rose Otto is the essential ingredient in its Hydrating Beauty Essence, which is known as the Queen of Oils and it takes 2,000 petals to produce one drop of oil. An impressive product with aromatherapy benefits, it is also a powerful moisturiser with antiseptic and antioxidant properties and rejuvenates tired and dull skin. (£58,


Dear Gentle Reader

With regret I must inform you that the Bridgertons have le the Ton and will not return to Netflix until 2025. This is an age for Queen Charlotte to be deprived of idle gossip and their departure comes too soon a er Colin wed Penelope, who is the real Lady Whistledown. But there is joy! Jewish author Julia Quinn (Julie Pottinger’s quill name) wrote a novel for each of the eight alphabetically named Bridgerton siblings and second-oldest Benedict will take the lead in series four. But how we fill the empty hours with no balls? Tapestry? Piano? Perhaps a leaf from the book of Ms Quinn, who says: “I know how to make matzo ball soup”. We suggest face-painting, gentle reader, as Shondaland and Pat McGrath Labs have a Bridgerton make-up range with Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington) as the brand’s face. Used on set by hair and make-up artist Erika Ökvist, such is the desire to be a Bridgerton that others are selling Regency-era dewy lipsticks and Whistledown blush. O to Ton we go!

Wonderland Peony

flower is blended with blackcurrant, pink pepper, Sicilian lemon

Neroli & Rose Damask Hand & Body Cream More rose in this very lush deeply moisturising hand and body cream. Neroli is a balancing and restoring ingredient that replenishes skin and calms the mind. Gorgeous smell, but if you like more zing there is a grapefruit and mandarin version. (£22,

Vegan fragrances? Floral Street makes them from sustainably sourced eco-friendly raw ingredients. Floral Street Wonderland Peony Eau De Parfum is a bestseller, and the flower is blended with blackcurrant, pink pepper, Sicilian lemon and candyfloss – delish. The company also uses world-first ‘pulp’ packaging made from upcycled co ee cups. Bravo! (£29 for 10ml, Marks & Spencer)

Newly-launched Sanctuary Spa Lily & Rose Natural Oils Melting Pearls Body is a Damask Rose, White Lily and Palmarosa combo with a sweet, lingering scent. The rich body butter is studded with tiny pearls of argan oil that burst when rubbed onto skin giving seven days of moisture a er one use. (£16,

Elie Saab Girl of Now Rose Petal eau de parfum has the feminine floral fragrance of Sichuan pepper and pink peach at its heart and a bouquet of magnolia and rose emit a harmonious floral fusion. (£46,


Cetuem has expertise in cosmetic science, naturopathy, osteopathy and cosmetology and a thorough understanding of skin. SCR Gold Serum is packed with pure marine extracts, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and natural UV protection. Delaying the ageing process, the product restores elasticity and protects from further damage ( Get the best facial in town at Southgate HQ. Tel: 020 8368 0008

the word

Helping the families of seriously ill children is Camp Simcha’s primary concern. The charity knows how gruelling life can be and Camp Simcha Mums’ Spa Day is designed to give mothers precious time to breathe – away from medical care and hospital appointments.

There were 86 mothers at the recent spa days in London and Manchester hosted in the homes of two generous Camp Simcha supporters, where pampering treatments such as facials, manicures and reiki were provided by volunteer therapists.

One London mother, Rachel, described it as a “godsend”. “Spa Day gave me back that feeling of mattering, of just being, being pampered along with a bunch of people who ‘got it’.”

Beauty therapist Michal Segal of The Skincare Spa Manchester, who volunteered, said it was a privilege to be part of the day. “Listening to mums’ stories and hearing their strength, hope and resilience as they battle day to day with their loved ones, gave me a new appreciation of life...”

Kiko Milano Bridgerton lip balm £18.99
Pat McGrath Labs – Bridgerton II Velvet Kohl £27
Pat Mcgrath Labs Divine Blush + Glow Cheek Palette £51
Kiko Milano Bridgerton Gilded Glaze Cream eyeshadow £18.99
Skynest Flower Jelly Lipstick £9.99

Sinai Jewish Primary School

Open Events

Booking is essential

Open EveningWednesday 12th November @ 7.30pm

Open MorningThursday 13th November @ 9.30am

please contact one of our friendly team – or call 020 8204 1550

Wrap around care 7.50am – 5.30pm

Exceptional leadership and teachers

School buses

Large outdoor spaces

Extra-curricular clubs


Many puppies are born at the Israel Guide Dog Centre (IGDC), but Teddy is di erent. The yellow Labrador, who arrived on 29 April to mum Fonda and dad Gus, is named in memory of Martin Segal MBE, the executive director of the UK arm of the charity who died in January at the age of 58. Known for his extraordinary ability to fundraise, Martin was interested in everything charity, but his focus was always the IGDC in Beit Oved, where guide dogs are raised and trained to change lives. To change the lives of the blind and visually impaired, who get to be mobile, independent and confident again with a dog by their side. To change the lives of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, who escape their emotional trauma through a dog’s reassurance, and the lives of children on the autism spectrum and those a ected by October 7, who will heal with a dog as a companion.

For all these reasons, Martin Segal, former IDF soldier and recipient of a posthumous MBE, was committed to the charity and even more so a er the attack on Israel, when he was seriously ill. At his funeral, Noach Braun, founder of the charity, described Martin as

Marching Molly

Among the stoic and committed who have gone on every pro-Israel march, there is Molly. The sleek German Shepherd, who is five in December, has been to every counterprotest and every march wearing her ‘Bring Them Home’ vest, and is a reassuring presence for those prepared to walk the extra mile in support of Israel.

Accompanied by her owner, Ginger, Molly was at the Phoenix cinema with hundreds of others to support the Seret Film Festival’s screening of Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre a er pro-Palestine vandals gra itied the building. Rarely on a lead, Molly impresses the police with her obedience, as taught by Ginger, who is proud, especially as she almost lost her leg. “When she was one and a half, she jumped a metal gate, misjudged it and had a nasty break when she hit the ground. It cost £10,000 to fix!” We think it was money well spent!

many things: “The Zionist, the Jew wearing his Judaism proudly, the soldier in and out of uniform defending Israel”, but also “the voice of the Israel Guide Dog Centre”.

Teddy has been named in honour of Martin, whose middle name was Edward – Teddy for short – and Jewish News is launching a community campaign to support this pup who, in time, will change a life. Soon

to be fostered by a volunteer puppy raiser, donations for Teddy will cover the food, medicines, vaccinations, toys and equipment he needs for the next 14 months until he starts training.

to be fostered by a volunteer puppy raiser, vaccinations, equipment he needs for the next

Teddy’s ‘grandmother’ Rena, who house, told us: “He is very boisterous,

Martin’s widow Rebecca saw this for

always have a very special place in

Teddy’s ‘grandmother’ Rena, who fosters Fonda and volunteers in the puppy house, told us: “He is very boisterous, playful and lively” – which is just as Martin would have hoped and Martin’s widow Rebecca saw this for herself when she went to Israel to meet him. “All puppies are adorable, but Teddy is extra adorable and will always have a very special place in my heart as he is named a er my darling Martin,” she said.

“My husband and his name will now live on and on. He is simply a legend!”

progress and journey for all of you,

To support Teddy the community dog, visit: teddy or scan the code

We will be reporting on Teddy’s progress and journey for all of you, so watch this space.

Larry’s Lament

Chief Mouser of the cabinet cohabits with PM. Several mice stayed longer than one or two of them. I started out at Battersea then moved to Number 10.

Pushing for Buck House, should I have to move again. Not been told to pack up yet as PM need a charmer, and look at how I took the lead – dazzling Obama. I’m no fan of elections or standing in the rain. Use the brolly in the hallway? But no we go again. Whoever moves in next will get the sternest note –just dogs at polling stations? It’s time cats got to vote.

Martin Segal
Photo of Teddy by Eli Ben Boher
Making the most of


Geography has never been my strongest suit and I rely on the mnemonic ‘never eat shredded wheat’ to remember compass points. This doesn’t justify but might explain why I didn’t know where Montenegro was when a dear friend suggested it for a holiday. On name alone, it sounds like a Caribbean Island – think Martinique, Mustique, Antigua. It turns out Montenegro is much closer to home – a little gem nestled in the Balkans connected by road to Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. But it feels like an island because of the narrow coastline surrounded by rugged mountains in a dramatic fashion.

Talking of fashion, we spent our first night in the uber fashionable La Fleur Boutique Hotel in Tivat. Anyone in Montenegro for business will appreciate the efficiency of this smartly furnished boutique townhouse with spacious suites, indoor pool and one of the most covetable hall carpets I’ve ever seen. I even took a photo of it. The hotel’s restaurant is known for its ‘gastronomic journey’ menu, but I can only vouch for the tasty breakfast. The hotel is minutes away from Porto

Once she found out where it was, Brigit Grant discovered history, great hotels and a kosher community

Montenegro marina. Shiny and new luxury yachts moor up for people to buy a little something from Gucci, Dior, Prada, Chanel or Rolex on a stretch to rival Bond Street.

For a weekend of upscale shopping and café life by the sea, Porto Montenegro does it well and La Fleur is the place to stay.

But we were off. Off to find a Yiddishkeit connection for the job as Jewish history in Montenegro runs deep. To the early 4th century, in fact, as archaeologists confirmed when they uncovered a Jewish grave engraved with a menorah and Star of David. In the Middle Ages, Sephardim fled from persecution to Montenegro but, in 1943 under German occupation, the small number of Jews there were identified. Suppressed

religious practice and mixed marriages under the postwar communist regime, makes it difficult to determine the number of Jews in Montenegro today.

But Neil Emilfarb is one of them; he proudly identifies and is one of the country’s most prominent businessman. Originally from Uzbekistan (when it was part of the USSR), Neil went to America, became an entrepreneur, then moved to Montenegro, where he has made significant investments and boosted its profile as a must-visit destination. He is a man with vision and, when we meet, it’s on one of three private beaches at The Dukley Gardens, his prestigious resort. Behind him, the Dukley apartments and penthouses are staggered down the hill,

draped in lush greenery with panoramic views and for three nights one of them is mine.

As good on the inside is as it looks from the beach, ‘my’ apartment is as swish as any on TV’s Selling Sunset – huge and open-plan, with a roll-top bath in the master suite and a jacuzzi on the terrace. Add the cross-trainer, flat screens in every room and art you would buy for yourself, and the only reason to venture out is for lunch at the Japanese fusion restaurant or a swim in the infinity pool on top of the fitness centre, close to the spa.

Pathways in landscaped gardens get you to the beach for a private speedboat ride to the buzzy bit of Budva across the bay. At the 18+ beach there had been a wedding and guests seemed reluctant to leave. Some never do, as The Dukley flats and villas are available to buy and, for permanent residents, there is a school, doctor, dentist, theatre workshops and the Open HeART Studio for craft.

Honestly, the place is a lush village and in the spirit of his heritage, Neil has opened a Jewish Community Centre with a synagogue and Shalom, Montenegro’s first kosher restaurant, supervised by the Chief Rabbi of Montenegro Ari Edelkopf. Based in the

Heritage Grand Perast by Rixos
The Dukley Gardens
La Fleur Boutique

capital Podgorica, Rabbi Edelkopf opened the country’s first synagogue in more than a century when the government gave the community land with a lease. As the new Chief Rabbi, American-born Ari could not have been more excited, as he has found his place since being forced out of Russia, where he was Chief Rabbi of Sochi. “My permit was revoked as I ‘represented a threat to Russia’s security,’” he tells me, but prefers to chat about the Shabbat-friendly Hotel Harmonia by Dukley next to the centre, which offers check-ins timed around Shabbat and kosher room service.

Neil, together with the Chief Rabbi and Rabbi Leizer Ehrenfeld from Israel, have transformed a country once devoid of Jewish life. With around 400 to 500 members, Montenegro has one of the world’s youngest

Jewish communities and through the centre engages with non-Jews, fostering a deeper understanding.

“The country is enviable for its interreligious harmony”, Rabbi Ehrenfeld told me. “There have been no public manifestations of antisemitism or negative attitudes towards Israel.”

After October 7, Neil flew Israeli soldiers to Montenegro for recuperation and conversations with Chabad before returning to their duties.

Everything happens at the centre, which operates seamlessly beside the uber stylish Dukley Gardens, and secular Neil lives between both. He often attends services where the plaque on the wall reminds him why. Montenegro’s first Jewish centre honours Ciliu and Pitera Emilfarb, his parents.

The Dukley resort is offering a special discount to Life readers. Just use the promo code WELCOMEUK at the checkout. This will provide a discount for room rates as well as a 30 percent discount at the bar daily.

La Fleur in Tivat:

Picture Book Perast

As a child, I was always swept up when the car flew in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Up and over the kingdom of Baron Bomburst – the castle so cake-like, the sea so blue – and I vowed to visit such a place when I grew up. And did, when I got to Perast.

Perast is in the Bay of Kotor, which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site with ‘outstanding universal value’.

The town, with medieval architecture set beside the sea, is a film set and the 18thcentury Heritage Grand Perast by Rixos is far grander than Bombast’s palace; thanks to renovation it is holding its looks. Note that the impressive antique book collection in reception is behind glass for a reason.

Once upon a time, the Heritage Grand Perast by Rixos really was a palace and this is reflected in the size and Baroque furnishings of our family suite. The large windows in our room are everywhere so guests can always gasp at the bay and at the island, Our Lady of the Rocks, which can be reached by

boat (the speed one is fun!). With so much light streaming in the windows, one rises early, and gets the best table (but they’re all good) at the Riva seafront restaurant. The magnificent vista goes well with eggs sunny side up, artisan bread and the best iced coffee – one of those moments on a holiday when you know you chose well –and there were lots of moments. By the pool on a pontoon in the Adriatic, so it feels like swimming in the sea; eating again at the Riva but this time for dinner (delicious) and enjoying the envy of tourists just in for the day as attentive staff fell over themselves to be of assistance. The hotel has as many corridors as it does windows but I found a route to the indoor pool and there’s a spa. Beauty treatments are always part of my plan, but I got distracted in the picture-book perfect Heritage Grand Perast by Rixos and kept looking for the flying car.

A seven-night stay starts from £2,100 for two with breakfast included.

Neil Emilfarb and rabbis

Same time, Next year

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but not when it comes to holidays. Debbie Collins spoke to families who found a destination that keeps them coming back

Kim and James Swead

Elizabeth Court flats, East Cli , Bournemouth

“My grandparents bought it in 1982 – the balcony has the most amazing view and the perfect spot to people-watch from. We would always go for two weeks in August and you would see the same people in the restaurants, including the ‘Bournemouth Mafia’ who would sit in the same beach spot every year. We’d take our windbreaker, deck chairs and cool box and pitch down on the beach

just across from our flat, hanging out, playing cricket, relaxing with friends we would see every year who had also bought there. The street lamps have different designs like a rocket or a star, which look

so pretty along the promenade at night. Ours was a butterfly. If we ever got lost – and it happened to everyone! – we would make our way back to the butterfly marker.

“My boys are teenagers now and often moan about going, but once they’re there, they love it and head off to the amusement arcade just like my brother and I used to.

“My parents use the flat yearround but even if we don’t go in the summer, I’m using it a lot for girlie trips or if a sunny weekend comes along, we can do a spur-ofthe-moment trip and be there in two hours if we drive late at night.

“The beach is so gorgeous – no stones, pure sandy beach – but we never sit by the pier as you’re squashed in like sardines. Where we are is further along and it’s not cramped; you could be in the south of France.”

Debbie and Jon Cohen

Hotel Palace Bonanza Playa, Mallorca

“We’ve been going for so many years and always in August. You get that same special feeling when you return, as it’s the same staff and diners in the restaurants. There’s a little beach alcove straight into the sea and it feels very safe round the complex and we request the same bedrooms every year. The kids are getting older, so it starts to get a bit boring for them as they don’t want the kids’ club although there is a PlayStation now so my son is happy! My kids have picked up Spanish, which is lovely because mine is terrible but I can at least order a café con leche! We always say “let’s go somewhere else” and end up booking it again – we’ll be back this summer.”

Louisa and Simon Walters

Mare e Pineta, Milano Marittima, Italy

“You know how everyone knows where they were when Elvis Presley died on 16 August 1977? I was at the Mare e Pineta, where we used to go for two weeks every summer and every year we would see the same families there. We had a routine – beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon, dinner in the restaurant in the evening, same table every year and I always had consommé to start. Saturday nights were very exciting because there was a buffet. My dad used to get up early to get the custard doughnuts

Kim and James Swead love visiting the family flat in Bournemouth
Debbie Cohen with her children in Mallorca, where they love to visit
Le : The extended family. Above: The Swead boys and, below, recently with Kim
Hotel Palace Bonanza Playa, Mallorca


for breakfast before they ran out, and in the afternoons they would wheel a tea trolley around the pool with delicious little Italian sponge cakes with crystallised sugar on the top. I can still taste them now. After dinner, we would hire a special bike, which had seats for four, and my parents would pedal us around the town. There was a toy shop right next to the hotel, from which we were allowed to choose something. I could never decide, so we had to go in every night for me to consider my options. If I close my eyes, I can still smell that place now and feel the anticipation.

“Twenty years later, when my own children were small, we took them to the Mare e Pineta and my parents joined us. The memories came flooding back as soon as we walked in. It was as if time had stood still.”

Lara and Marc Perilly Coral Beach apartments, Marbella

“We were originally roadside, but it was Mum’s dream to be beachside with more space. Dad bought the apartment in the mid-1980s – it was built by a French Lebanese

man so we’ve grown up with so many Lebanese friends. When October 7 happened, they all got in touch – there’s 40 years of history and friendship there.

“We would always go in July and August, and dad would fly back and forth. We return to the same restaurants and even though I’m married, I still book under ‘Familie Green’ – it’s how they know us.

“My Spanish has improved over the years and I even got married there – I met my husband in the port at 14! We’re going back this summer for three weeks and there’s always crossover with my sisters so lots of spare beds squeezed in – we pack ’em all in! It’s so special to be together as a family.”

Gemma Swead and Rich Cohen

Le Roi Soleil apartments, Antibes, France

“My family has been going every summer for 45 years – some friends had places on the complex when they bought and my mum’s best friend was next door, plus locals who live there full-time, so we grew up with them, all different

ages playing in the pool together.

At the end of the summer, all the kids would write each other ‘plane letters’ and I was in awe of a couple of older French girls with whom my brothers were friendly – so fabulous and exotic!

“I studied French at school and then practised over the summer, booking the restaurants and ordering food for the table. I remember being 11 and allowed to go to the boulangerie round the corner to order fresh pastries for breakfast. I still do it.

“We’re going back again this year. Now my brothers and I are all married with our own kids, so we have to take it in turns, but we make it work because we all love it there so much.”

Myra and Jacob Confino Ikos Aria Resort, Greece

“We’ve been going for quite a few years now, sometimes with my whole family – there are a lot of us! It’s lovely to be together and because it’s so well set up for babies, it makes life simpler when you don’t need to bring any baby stuff with you.

“We barely leave the resort because there’s nightly entertainment, loads of restaurant options and even an app to book everything. You always see the same faces each year, plus the weather is guaranteed. It’s the easiest holiday and we are going back this summer.”

An extended Perilly family dinner at the Coral Beach apartments, Marbella
Myra Confino and children in Greece
Le : The Perilly family enjoy the beachside view. They previously only had Marbella’s roadside view
Louisa Walters and her parents at the Mare e Pineta in 1977
Gemma Swead and Rich Cohen visit Antibes regularly
Coral Beach Apartments, Marbella
Le Roi Soleil apartments, Antibes
Gemma and Rich with family in the Roi Soleil complex’s pool

An overnight stay with dinner at Hotel AMANO


o ers a perfect blend of contemporary comfort and vibrant city life. With 141 stylish rooms, a restaurant, and a stunning roo op bar, this is AMANO’s first property outside of Germany, bringing its renowned hospitality to London, infusing the cool and carefree spirit of Berlin into the capital.

Guests can enjoy unique culinary o erings at Penelope’s, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, where Spanish-Israeli fusion cuisine takes centre stage. The weekly ISRAMANI party is the ultimate dining experience combining food and cocktails with dance-on-the-table vibes just like it’s done in Tel Aviv.

One lucky winner will enjoy an overnight stay at Hotel AMANO Covent Garden, complete with a dinner for two at Penelope’s, including a bottle of wine and breakfast the next morning.

StandWithUs UK is a non-partisan, Israel education organisation. We empower and energise students and communities with leadership training and educational programmes, challenge misinformation and fight antisemitism.

Struggling to hear the TV? Missing out on family phone chats?

Hearing just not what it used to be?

Jewish Deaf Association

Summer of support

School’s out and the holidays are here, but our community charities are working harder than ever. By Louisa Walters


Summer at Camp Simcha is all about ensuring children the charity supports can access holiday happiness while bringing much-needed respite to parents. A big family residential retreat in June, a fun-packed summer day scheme in July and August and Camp USA ensure there is something for everyone.

Camp Simcha chief executive Daniel Gillis says: “At the retreat, families spend three wonderful days away, enjoying a range of activities, such as helicopter rides, outings, themed activities and dinner for two for parents. There is a doctor and carers on-site, and each child has a trained ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Big Sister’ volunteer who looks after them, while their parents relax and recharge with

Many families are unable to go away due to treatments and hospital appointments, so the summer day scheme offers accessible outings with medical support. This gives an emotional boost and a chance to make happy memories as a family –shifting the focus to today’s treat rather than tomorrow’s treatment.

Pippa Buck, who was supported by Camp Simcha following a diagnosis of leukaemia when she was 11, attended last year’s family retreat and Camp USA – run by the charity’s sister organisation in America. She was 14 at the time and says: “Both trips were such a great distraction from everything that was happening medically. It was a real relief and a break from what I had been going through. I came back mentally stronger,

others who understand their daily which really helped me through my last couple of months of treatment.”


This summer, the people Norwood supports will be enjoying the great outdoors. Many of the adult accommodations for people with learning disabilities and autism have bespoke gardens. At the home in Hertfordshire, where residents Stephanie, Melanie, Joe and Baruch regularly host their family and friends, there is a sensory garden, where they pick their own herbs.

children and a bungee jump and inflatable, carousel and ride-on toys, a sensory area, fairground stalls, arts and crafts, music, activities and kosher food stands.


others in the community who do not want to live with JBD but would benefit from support. The launch of our sight loss support groups follows the growth of our Independent Living Advisory Service.

Elsewhere, James indulges his passion for plants by working in a garden centre, which gives him vital social interaction. The short breaks holiday scheme Unity will be running during the school holidays to enable children and young people with a range of learning and physical disabilities to enjoy camp activities and day trips, explore new opportunities and have fun while broadening their social networks and gaining independence.

“With medical advances and an ageing society, we are seeing people with complex disabilities living independently for longer. We are listening and seeking to develop services to provide support to ensure people are safe in their home and connected to the community.’


With more than 75 years of experience working in the Jewish community and beyond, JNF

learning and physical disabilities independence.

Jewish Blind and Disabled (JBD) transforms the lives of Jewish adults who have a physical disability, and/or vision impairment, through independent living and support. This is provided through speciallyadapted mobility apartments or within someone’s own home in the wider community through the Independent Living Advisory Service. There is also communitybased support and two new monthly support groups have been launched for Jewish people with sight loss in London and Hertfordshire. These will be running throughout the summer.

Sunday 7 July in Borehamwood

The Norwood Carnival on Sunday 7 July in Borehamwood has a sponsored bike ride for

Lisa Wimborne, JBD’s chief executive, says: “We have a waiting list for our housing and we also recognise that there are

Children and young people supported by Norwood will be able to enjoy camp activities and day trips
JBD provides adapted accommodation
Camp Simcha o ers a volunteer system to support children


UK legacy department, KKL Executor & Trustee Co, is known for providing will services and estate administration help. It also provides pastoral services, visiting clients in their home or in hospital and keeping in regular contact.

This summer, KKL clients will be going on an outing to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, the former home of the Rothschild family, who were strong supporters of Zionism. Their large donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the state of Israel.

Over the summer, communities around the country will hear from Carolyn Addleman and David Goodman, representatives of JNF UK, about the vital work the charity is doing to support the people of the Negev in helping to rebuild following the October 7 attacks and transform the lives of those living in peripheral towns.


This summer, unpaid family carers can have a break by taking advantage of the respite care on offer at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff residential care home for people living with dementia.

“Taking a break to have some relief from the responsibility of caring can allow you to catch up on your personal life, on lost sleep and also to recharge to bring back a positive outlook,” says Kemi Ariba, Jewish Care registered care home manager at Otto Schiff.

“It provides the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and many people tell us it makes it possible to spend invaluable time with grandchildren who are living abroad.”

Kemi continues: “A respite stay at our Otto Schiff care home offers a stimulating, friendly and sociable Jewish environment. Our ethos is to ensure that residents lead meaningful lives and stay as active

and independent as possible, while being supported by caring and dedicated staff delivering high quality care.”

There are spacious ensuite bedrooms and a communal kitchen serving kosher meals. Activities include weekly visits from nursery schools, therapeutic music, reminiscence groups and flower-arranging, Shabbat services and time in the beautiful courtyard of the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus, with a sensory garden to enjoy.


“Summer can be particularly difficult for carers of children with mental health issues, because holidays from school and university can disrupt their usual routine and cause distress and anxiety,” explains Jess Green, one of Jami’s carer peer support workers.

Jami’s autism/ADHD carers’ group for parents of children aged 11 and over – one of 10 carers’ groups run by the mental health service for the Jewish community – can be invaluable. Held on Zoom on the first Tuesday of every month, it is a great opportunity for parents to share advice and information.

Jess says: “Parents feel less isolated when they realise others are going through the same situation. It’s a confidential space to speak, so they feel safe to talk and there’s no judgement.”

Jami also offers a men’s-only carers’ group, a young adult sibling carers’ group, two older carers’ groups, two groups for carers of those with addictions, and an eating disorder support group.

“The challenges faced by carers are expansive,” says Jess. “They often don’t have family support and can’t always talk to a friend. These groups provide a chance to socialise and can also be very empowering.”


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Jewish Women’s Aid (JWA). In the 1980s, around a humble kitchen table in Leeds, Elaine Grazin and the late Sheila Saunders took a bold step. With a mere £5 grant from Leeds Council for an answerphone, they set out to create a lifeline for women in dangerous and abusive relationships. At that time, domestic abuse

was a deeply taboo subject, particularly within certain communities. The dedication of the founders and their successors has brought this issue into the light and, today, domestic abuse and sexual violence are increasingly recognised and addressed within our community.

In recent years, JWA’s services have been in greater demand than ever before. The dual crises of the pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living pressures have left many women and children in precarious situations. The horrific events of October 7 have reignited past traumas for many, while rising societal tensions have added to their burdens.


StandWithUs UK’s adaptability, innovative programmes and unwavering commitment have made it an indispensable ally in the fight against antisemitism and the dissemination of misinformation about Israel. Since October 7, the organisation

has expanded its outreach through a series of programmes tailored to meet the evolving needs in the community. It quickly understood that we can empower through education and has since reached more than 11,000 people across the UK.

It has printed and distributed thousands of resources on the

war, Israel and other geopolitical issues, visited communities across the UK, led online workshops and webinars and visited schools, youth groups and universities to ensure everyone is confidently equipped with the tools to support Israel and engage in difficult but important conversations.

TeachWithUs magazine for educators in secondary schools supports their efforts when educating students on Israel, Zionism and antisemitism, with a focus on how to answer tough questions.

StandWithUs has held intimate round-table briefings at Parliament as well as at the Israeli embassy to place pressure on those able to hold universities to account. Digital strategies have leveraged the power of social media to combat hate and spread factual information, reaching more than 11 million people in the UK and more than a billion globally.

StandWithUs has projects to combat hate and spread accurate information
Staff at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff care home can provide respite, which is a welcome break for carers
Alongside helping adults, Jami also supports children and their parents
KKL clients will be visiting Waddesdon Manor

Raymond’s stroke had a devastating effect on his and Pamela’s life until they moved in to their Jewish Blind & Disabled apartment. Now they enjoy the best of both worlds –independence with a social life on their doorstep.

Raymond & Pamela moved into their state-of-the-art mobility apartment in 2019.

Many victims of the Holocaust were young children under the age of 12 and 13 who did not live to celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

You can make sure their names are never forgotten.

Complete the on-line Twinning Form to make your day even more special by sharing it with a child Holocaust victim who was denied a future, and become a link in the chain of the wonderful miracle of Jewish History. A Yad Vashem researcher will find a twin from the vast records whose life matches yours as closely as possible.

The Twinning Pack consists of:

• A Page of Testimony with details of your chosen twin

• A Study Guide

• A certificate

• A letter from a Holocaust survivor

• A Yad Vashem lapel pin

• Memorial and Shabbat candles

• An invitation to become a Guardian of the memory

46 Albert Road

London NW4 2SG

Charity No. 1099659

Phone: 020 8187 9881


@yadvashemukfoundation @yadvashemUK @yadvashemukfoundation



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