3 December 2020 • ISSUE NO.4
THEATRE DREAM: Claude Michel Schoenberg, Nica Burns and Kenny Fox
PLUS In To The Woods: Chanucah miracle fashion, Shtisel surprise, Festive food
Valley Of Tears: Inside Israel’s epic new series AMY WINEHOUSE: Her father’s story
WAITING IN THE WINGS
INTO THE WOODS
CATERING TO YOUR FESTIVE NEEDS
WAITING TO PARTY !
A FATHER’S STORY
Editor’s letter IN PAST ISSUES of Life magazine, it was always easy to write this letter. Good things to look back on and potential in the months ahead. This year is different because ‘life’ has changed exponentially. Social distancing has emotionally distanced us from family, friends and colleagues, with many experiencing tragedy without traditional support. And, with there being no time limit to the grieving of a human heart, Mitch Winehouse describes on
page 8 how loss has preoccupied his mind in lockdown. Our community, which once sparkled with simchas, has been robbed of celebrations and those who help create them robbed of their income. On page 21, you will spot familiar faces and companies waiting to help you plan your events when they can happen – and they will. Theatres will reopen with performers treading the boards, and producers who have fought to save them join composer Claude-Michel Schönberg (pictured above with his RA students) to share their stage passions on page 16.
For all the unbearable sadness – and the dread of carrying it into 2021 – there are still things to be happy about and look forward to in a greener environment. Our children may not have come of age in the way we had hoped, but they are wearing their party clothes in a flourishing forest for our Chanukah cover. Children, nature and health – all the miracles we need for the Festival of Lights. Chag Urim Sameach!
Editor Brigit Grant email@example.com Art Director Diane Spender firstname.lastname@example.org Jewish News Editor Richard Ferrer email@example.com Contributors Francine Wolfisz Alex Galbinski Louisa Walters
Designers Jodie Goldfinger Daniel Elias John Nicholls Advertising Sales Beverly Sanford Marc Jacobs firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7692 6929 FRONT COVER Fashion woodland photographs by Adam Soller. Party dresses Rebecca Rinder
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
IT’S ALL NEW COMING TO YOU
WHY DWELL ON WHAT WE’VE MISSED, WHEN THE CALENDAR FOR 2021 IS FULL OF THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO. INDEED SOME ARE ALREADY HERE
ICE ICE BABY
Expert ice skater and choreographer Robert Burgerman (@ice_burg) had his work cut out for him creating O2’s first ever Christmas advert. Chigwell born Robert, who has been skating since he was six, not only had to plan every move for 10-year-old skater Darcy Murdoch, but gliding across the ice with Bubl, O2’s CGI mascot robot, was a challenge as she couldn’t see it. Robert also organised the building of a rink in a Farnham forest as there wasn’t one. His next frozen mission will be as the masked coach for Dancing on Ice 2021’s contestants Rufus Hound, Rebekah Vardy, Jason Donovan, Denise Van Outen and others. The show starts in January, so that’s good news if your rink isn’t open.
Putting the names Rachel Brosnahan and Jordan Horowitz together could only mean one thing. Mrs Maisel, the musical! Wrong. The La La Land producer has co-written I’m Your Woman with his wife, Julia Hart, which stars Brosnahan reinvented as a blonde called Jean. Forced to go on the run with her baby because of her husband’s crimes, the Amazon Prime film is set in the Seventies, which is a departure from the Upper West Side of the 1950s for the hilarious housewife. But production for season 4’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is shuffling rather than steaming ahead, so this is the most we’ll get of Midge for a while and it’s available on 11 December.
There aren’t many Chanukah presents that are good for the whole family, so until a Friday Night Dinner version of Monopoly is available, get your gang to put on aprons for a round of Meshuggah Food Faces. Available on Amazon (but with $8.95 US postage), this book permits playing with your food and eating Albert Einstein. The Jewish genius is just one of many food faces husband-and-wife team Bill and Claire Wurtzel have created as moveable feast recipes. Banana Streisand is a favourite, with Sigmund Fruit a close second, but retired musician Bill and his teacher wife leave no bagel unturned in their mission to meshuggah up food. Smoked salmon, hummus and gefilte fish all get a mention, so do something different with a doughnut and send pics to Brigit@jewishnews.co.uk
It’s that time of year when everyone from Dolly Parton to Meghan Trainor (she married Jewish) brings out a festive collection. Even football pundit Chris Kamara has got in on the act – spurring my husband to ask: “Do you get a free lift with that album?” But there is joy among the releases, and even of the Chanukah kind, as Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. (that’s Aaron Burr, sir!) has recorded the smoothest version of Ma’oz Tzur on his The Christmas Album. Yes, it stands out like a matzo ball at a hog roast, but Odom Jr duets here with Jewish wife, the Broadway actor Nicolette Robinson.
The arrival of an East Asian Mandarin duck on Central Park’s pond in New York was the inspiration for Bette Midler’s upcoming children’s book, The Tale of the Mandarin Duck. For US bird watchers, it was a moment of national joy, but for Bette it sparked the idea for a book about the odd ducks in NYC – with and without plumes. Nicknamed Mandarin Patinkin Patinkin, the book is illustrated with photos by Bette’s pal, New York Times’ literary critic, Michiko Kakutani, and will be published by Random House in February. LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 5
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Cool Crimbo Fresh from winning best supporting actor/writer/director at the 2020 Emmy Awards for the final season of Schitt’s Creek (all seasons available on Amazon), Daniel Levy is going lesbian festive in Happiest Season. Canadian-born Dan plays John, the gay best pal of Harper (Mackenzie Davis), a lesbian set to propose to girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart) over the holiday. This LGBTQ proud production is Hulu’s way of sharing the seasonal love.
Youtopia! Gotta Have Friends
Almost as elusive as Wonder Woman, the Friends cast have been dangling their reunion carrot since the The One Where They Say Goodbye episode in 2004. But the wait is over, almost, as the pandemic put a spanner in the works at Stage 24 (the original soundstage) on the Warner Bros lot in March, where Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross) were due to film. Aniston has shared clues that it’s still happening, but – and it’s a big but – “the cast will be appearing as themselves, not
Robbed of their essential gala dinner Jami, the Jewish community’s mental health charity, is holding a virtual event, Youtopia, on 21 January. Hosted by Rachel Riley, the streamed occasion will explore how Covid-19 has affected everyone’s mental health. Owing to the importance of Jami’s work, many high-profile people have agreed to contribute videos that will reveal how they have coped and, more importantly perhaps, what utopia looks like for them now. A meal with friends? Getting back on stage? Contributions are still welcome and faith or the lack of it is not an issue. So ask your famous friends to start thinking and contact Liz.Jessel@jamiuk.org
All By Myself
Coming up with a new word is always thrilling, so Francesca Specter is making the most of ‘Alonement’ – a word she coined after realising there was no opposite word for loneliness in the English language. “Because if alone isn’t always lonely – what is it?,” queries Spectar, a self-confessed “extreme extrovert” who has learnt to cherish alone time pre- and during lockdown. If you haven’t achieved this yet yourself, her book, Alonement: How to be alone and absolutely own it is out on 4 March, with the promise of teaching you to hone your solitude skills and negotiate alone time within a relationship or shared space.
as their beloved characters”. The Late Late Show’s writer/director Ben
Some Kind of Wonderful
Winston (son of Sir Robert) will direct and executive produce with Friends creator Marta Kauffman. Rejecting the option to reunite virtually – as they wanted a live raucous audience – there was reassurance that this is not just a fantasy from Schwimmer when he said: “There’s no question we want to do it and it’s going to happen. It’s just really a question of when will be the safest time to do it.” Seems like a good time to mention Schwimmer’s 2021 return as an arrogant NSA agent in a second series of Sky1’s MI5 comedy,
No promises, but Wonder Woman 1984 is still technically slated to hit cinemas on Christmas Day. Of course, we’ve been here before, but as the film is expected to make around $1 billion at the box office, you can see why Warner Bros are edging on the side of caution. While the studio decides whether to debut at whatever cinemas are open before sending the film to HBO Max streaming service, here is Moses Pini Siluk’s photo of Gal Gadot, which was taken seven years before the Israeli star was cast as a superhero. The photographer has psychic powers, but even he can’t confirm Wonder Woman’s arrival.
Intelligence. Not that it’s in the can just yet.
CHIVALRY’S NOT DEAD
You will go to the ball
6 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
Yet another retelling of Disney’s Cinderella featuring Wicked’s Idina Menzel – who is reportedly anything but wicked in director Kay Cannon’s musical. Latin pop songstress Camila Cabello is Cinders and Menzel is the “NOT evil stepmother” as she says: “There are no villains in this movie” that is produced by, among others, James Corden, who also plays a mouse turned footman.
Romance in the post #MeToo era is the theme of Sarah Solemani’s new Channel 4 comedy drama series Chivalry. Written by and starring Solemani, the Him & Her actress plays a woke writer/director and mother of one with a dodgy visa who couples up with a cynical film producer (Steve Coogan). Skewering and satirising sexual politics while romancing a successful ‘ladies’ man’ who makes sexist movies will be a lesson to us all – or just those who have sat on a casting couch.
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She was a supreme talent who died too young. He is her adoring dad. Mitch Winehouse shares memories and movie plans with Brigit Grant on a walk in Amy’s manor
EN YEARS.” Mitch Winehouse tenses at the number, but a father who has been grieving for his daughter since 23 July 2011 doesn’t need reminding about the anniversary of her death. Mitch knows her devoted fans will have the date marked in their 2021 diaries and that radio stations will play her songs on a loop, as they did when Amy died of alcohol poisoning, aged 27, in her Camden home on a summer afternoon. Camden was always her stomping ground and got a shout-out – “Camden Town ain’t burning down”– when she won a record five Grammys for her album Back To Black in 2008. It’s a golden memory for Mitch, who celebrated with Amy then and now stands beside her, immortalised in bronze, a Magen David around her neck. Loss has been cruel for the bereaved during lockdown and continues to be, with people sitting streamed shivas alone. This was not the case when Amy died as distraught family and close friends stayed together for a month – “Mark Ronson never left our side,” says Mitch of her music producer. But the isolation of lockdown, with too many empty hours to think, has also been hard for those who loved and lost years ago. “In those first two weeks of March, I nearly lost my mind,” admits Mitch. “I was going out driving at 3am. I was just shattered by it. One day I walked from Camden to the City, but saw no one. It was dreadful, like the aftermath of an atomic bomb.” The bomb-ridden streets of the East End were Mitch’s playground growing up after the war, and he regaled Amy and her brother, Alex, with his tales. “Kids finding detonator caps and jumping off collapsed buildings – not that it was all fun, as some were killed. If you went out to play, your mum and dad didn’t know if you’d come home at night.” In later years, when Mitch became a cabbie, he often took his children to the East End – “Amy loved it” – and so does
Story Photographs by Adam Soller
he, as the area was once filled with uncles, aunts and his dad at work in the barber shop on Commercial Street. Mitch still has affection for Camden too, occasionally staying at Amy’s old flat and always energised by the place where reminiscing is his only option. “She lived upstairs there,” he says, stopping in front of the shop, Blue Skin. “She worked downstairs, where they sold fetish wear, but whenever I dropped by, she was asleep in the store room.” A few yards on, and Mitch points at a paving stone inset with a dedicated plaque. “Quite an honour,” he mumbles, moving on to find the Amy murals created in 2017 for the Jewish Museum’s exhibition. Sadly, Camden’s eclecticism – which Amy adored – also explains the repainting of the most beautiful murals with second-rate graffiti. But Mitch, undettered, locates the remaining few, lingering in front of the shutters in silence. “Amy wasn’t a lockdown kind of girl,” says Mitch. “She would have been out feeding the homeless. People really didn’t know the kind of girl she was or that she constantly helped people. She even made sandwiches for the paparazzi standing outside her house.” A Jewish Care lanyard inside Mitch’s jacket reveals from where her good nature stemmed, as he has been delivering meals for the charity since March. “The NHS never called back when I offered, so I went to Jewish Care and, honestly, the volunteering helps me more than it helps them. I don’t know how I would have survived lockdown without it.” That morning he had been on his Chigwell run (he has a home there) dropping food to “lovely old girls”. Some of them remember his late mother, Cynthia, who was honoured as a pin-up girl tattoo on Amy’s right shoulder. Cynthia died in 2006, but still appears in Mitch’s dreams, as has Amy, scolding him for pretending to like her new hair colour. “Remember when she dyed it LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 9
yellow? She knew I hated it,” says Mitch, who hoped she would tell him what happened on the the day she died. Even in sleep that question plagues him and his belief in spiritualism has him seeking answers there. Cynthia held séances, so he knows the score but mediums have brought no solace. “I lost my father when I was 16,” he says. “It feels like I’ve been sitting shiva all my life.” And for all the anguish over Amy’s death, nothing prepared him for the impact of Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary, Amy, which accused him of bad parenting and exploiting his daughter. Mitch refutes it all, insisting: “No one exploited her, not me and not her record company. Amy wiped the floor with them and didn’t care about turning up five hours late for a meeting with Universal Music’s chairman, Lucian Grainge. She knew what she was doing and also insisted she could handle the packed tour dates.” 10 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
That Amy could be a diva was part of her appeal, but shaking off the film’s claims against him is hard. A few weeks ago on American TV he was asked about his role in sending Amy to rehab. “I was there to talk about the [Amy Winehouse] Foundation’s alliance with Sno Babies, a film about opioid addiction, and the second question was about letting down Amy. How many times do I have to say I sent her there? Not just once, six or seven times. She wouldn’t stay. Amy wasn’t a child and it never occurs to people I’m a grieving father. That horrible film is not true.” Mitch plans to be vindicated in a biopic about Amy slated for release in 2022. The script has been written with input from Mitch, but the real challenge will be finding an actor to play Amy among thousands desperate for the role. Mitch believes the part will go to an unknown who will be catapulted to stardom. But tiny as Amy was in ballet pumps, her’s are big boots to fill and the expressive contralto voice is only the start. “She learnt to read music in three days, play the trumpet in a week and designed six seasons of her Fred Perry collection in one sitting.” Mitch reels off her talents, but is honest about her real interests. “I don’t want to name drop, but I was talking to Carole King, who still does six hours on the piano every day. “Amy wouldn’t have done that in a million years. The first thing she’d do was see what her friends were doing and then whatever boy she was seeing. Music was important to her, but not as much as friends and family, which may come as a bit of a blow to her fans, but ultimately that shows how brilliant she was. She never worked on it – if she had, she would have been like George Gershwin.” Of course, Mitch is a singer, too, but not on the back of Amy’s success, as some suggest, since he was performing years before he started a doubleglazing business and did The Knowledge. The pandemic put pay to the release of his new album, but there are gigs
Iconic: Amy in her heyday, modelling her Fred Perry collection
Mitch, Janis and Tony Bennett
lined up in the big music halls of Austria, Germany and Switzerland when he can get there. He is also focused on the Foundation’s work supporting thousands of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the UK, St Lucia and Jamaica. The charity has been receiving more donations since the virus outbreak. “Amy started the Foundation without even knowing it,” says Mitch who, in normal times, regularly visits its Teen Jazz Programme in Brooklyn, where Amy’s mother Janis was born. Janis is also committed to the project, alongside Tony Bennett and his son Danny, whom the family met when Amy recorded the duet, Body And Soul with the veteran singer. A year after she died, the song won a Grammy and it remains one of Bennett’s favourites.
With the tragic 10th anniversary looming, all recollections and keepsakes now have even greater significance: An 11-year-old Amy missing the high notes in her stage school’s production of Annie. The letter from Sylvia Young’s offering her a full scholarship. “She applied without my consent,” says Mitch. “I refused to let her apply because she was too naughty.” And then there’s the footage of Amy shouting: “I’m just glad my mum and dad are here,” at the Grammys, which should influence Mitch’s detractors, but he isn’t convinced. “What’s the best story? That Amy had a loving family who nurtured her. Or that everyone deserted her? That’s a much better story.” Camden Town will have a starring role in the biopic, but it probably won’t feature the grieving father who regularly sits outside the house where his daughter died. That is Mitch’s story.
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A man for all
SEASONS IT’S FITTING THAT THE STAR OF MAGIC MEN DID A DISAPPEARANCE ACT IN SHTISEL. ZOHAR STRAUSS ZOOMS IN WITH BRIGIT GRANT
s one of Israel’s most coveted actors, Zohar Strauss can afford to be picky about roles. The former law student (he went to Leicester Uni!) considers a character’s journey before accepting a part and his plaudits for playing the hard-bitten mission commander in Lebanon; Eyes Wide Open’s confused Orthodox butcher and the estranged son in Magic Men are a testament to his talent and smart choices. Which brings us to Lippe Weiss. As fans of Israel’s treasured family drama know, Shulem Shtisel’s son-in-law, Lippe, is notable only for his absence in season one. So did this discerning actor think twice before signing up to play a character who gets banished to Argentina in the first 45 minutes, only to reappear in the penultimate episode? “Yes, I did,” says Zohar, on cue. “Initially I thought, ‘I’m not gonna do it’, but then the writers, Ori Elon and Yehonatan Indursky promised me Lippe would evolve in season two and that resolved it. Taking the lead in scenes is more important than having a leading role, and Lippe, though not a main
character, has a unique story and his exit paves the way for his family’s journey in the drama.” The challenge when interviewing a star from a (my) favourite show is avoiding the minutiae for fear of boring non-Shtiselites. Of course we talked about Lippe’s opportunism and the naming of baby Zelig for cash in season two, but the burning question has always been South America, as whatever happened to Lippe in Argentina has stayed there. Until now. “Lippe loves his wife Gitti [played by Neta Riskin] and cares about his family,” says Zohar, who has teenage children with Effie, his teacher wife whom he met at drama school. “For my part, I believe he seriously loves Gitti and there was no other woman in Argentina. He is not that guy.” A conversation over Zoom presents its own challenges – frozen screens/poor sound quality – but could this really be true? “If Lippe did have someone else, it was one night when he was drunk and out of his head. He wasn’t running away from Israel, he was running from his life because he couldn't handle it. But he did not find a new world in this different place. So he came back.” Zohar Strauss as Lippe Weiss
Understanding human psychology beyond Shtisel not only informs his acting, but provided Zohar with the foundation for his other business. Born out of a late-night drink-imbued exchange with his brother-in-law, the actor offered to help with a business pitch to a big client. “He was worried he would blow it because of stage fright Zohar Strauss in Lebanon and that and performing to opposite forces. So I am a little bit large audiences is what childish; before the director says action I do every day. So I offered to help.” as in life when you try to be serious, From this and 15 years’ experience something messes it up.” teaching drama at his alma mater – Tel Zohar takes the fifth on Shtisel season Aviv’s Yoram Loewenstein studio – Zohar three, but confirms Lippe is ring-fenced launched the Aman-da Method, which for the fourth. His faltering fathering of provides the corporate world with tools daughter Ruchami (Shira Haas) continues in presentation and communication. The to be a compelling strand in the story and, company has been a blessing in lockdown in part, reflects his own parenting style as he was able to transfer his on-camera with 17-year-old daughter, Or. skills to Zoom, coaching teachers and As he explains: “Lippe listens and companies as, like all actors, his other relates to Ruchami, but not just as a father. work was cancelled until further notice. The farce about Israeli intelligence I’ve never been scared of my children’s has been “put in the closet”, and it’s the thoughts and feelings, but I understand same for the repertory production, Angina Lippe because I did not erase my character Pectoris, which has been running for four in order to be a great father. years. “I play a liberal American doctor “When I supported myself as a waiter treating the prime minister who needs after graduating from acting school, I a heart transplant, but his own new law carried a tray on my left hand and managed stops him from taking an Arab’s heart,” everything else with my right. I always say Zohar explains. that I grabbed my daughter with my left That the role of PM belongs to Dov hand, but still lived with my right. If I’m Glickman the life-giver to Shtisel’s patriarch content in my career and success, that’s the Shulem illustrates the close ties between best example I can give my children.” Israel’s top talent. More like the gathering Like most of Zohar’s performances, it’s of gifted brethren than a cast assuming a summation worthy of an Ophir award. roles, Zohar’s Instagram posts on set reveal Zohar Strauss stars in the film him as the joker in the pack. Magic Men available exclusively “To be authentic in the role, I use on the Izzy Stream – see page 14 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 13
GET BUSY WITH An invitation to view the Israeli shows you never thought you’d see
IZZY co-founder Josh Hoffman
14 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
OREIGN SHOWS with unknown stars and subtitles were long considered the preserve of intellectuals – or so we thought, until Nordic noir came along and suddenly everyone could speak Danish. Of course we can’t, just as we can’t speak Korean, German or Ivrit, but that didn’t stop us watching Parasite, Das Boot or Fauda. Turns out programmes made in languages we don’t understand are often quite brilliant and none more so than the productions made in Israel. The quality and originality of the films, documentaries and drama series created in the Holy Land are lauded across the globe and, luckily, speaking Ivrit isn’t necessary to enjoy them. Of course, the more we see of Israeli productions, the more we want, but most of it isn’t available on the obvious streaming platforms. There’s nowhere to see the short films, the biographies or the videos of Israeli life that give you the inside story on the country, and you certainly couldn’t just watch Street Justice an action crime series about a hot-headed police detective. Well, you can now, as Jewish News is partnering with IZZY, a streaming service that gives you a front-row seat to Israel from anywhere in the world. IZZY’s mission is to help the global masses better understand and experience all there is to appreciate about Israel and Israeli culture, and no one wants that more than us. With IZZY, you get 200+
Israeli movies, shows and documentaries on demand, which is an offer you can’t refuse. Certainly not after meeting the platform’s co-founder Josh Hoffman. Born and raised reform in Los Angeles, Josh has a Hungarian father and American mother who kept nagging him to go on the Birthright tour, which he did in 2013. In hindsight, his mum probably wishes she’d suggested work experience in Disneyland, because he fell in love with Israel and stayed there. But staying wasn’t enough. “I want the rest of the world to see Israel the way I do,” says Josh, 30, and his experience as a social media and online marketing entrepreneur with a journalism background gives him the skill set to promote more than
Allenby, a psychological drama starring Aviv Alush
just the homeZohar Shtrauss in Magic Men grown oranges. “I felt there was a need for a media platform showing everything that’s happening in Israel, from the movies to dedicated content about the technology and culture. Everyone knows Fauda, but there are other great shows the world needs to see.” And they will see it, as few start-ups have the big ambitions of IZZY, as Josh wants the platform to be Israel’s answer to Netflix and show original content made by other Israelis and eventually produc them. For now, IZZY offers unique access to historical, army and faith-based documentaries as well as the remarkable docu-series Transkids,an eyeopening education in the agony and joy of raising a trans child in Israel. In drama, IZZY has Allenby, a psychological thriller series created by Gadi Taub. Starring heart throb Aviv Alush, it is about a stripper in Tel Aviv who falls victim to an assault and the series Red Lines follows an up-and-coming attorney uncovering a huge conspiracy. IZZY’s content grows daily and offers subscribers an entry to film festivals with its programme of shorts which rarely get seen outside the competitions.
In order to get all this excellent programming for just £4.50 per month or £45.08 a year, all you have to do is go to www.streamisrael.tv/?campaign=jewishnews to get your membership and you can start viewing today.
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IN THE Miss Saigon
THEATRE SHUTDOWNS AFFECT US ALL, BUT THEY’VE DEVASTATED THOSE WHO WORK IN THE BUSINESS. WE ASK THREE OF THE INDUSTRY’S MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT THEY MISS MOST ABOUT LIVE PERFORMANCE In March, French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg was due to appear for the first time at JW3. That the event was a sell-out is no surprise, as the creator of the musicals Les Misérables and Miss Saigon has millions of fans worldwide. Since then, he been teaching his Royal Academy of Music students online. First theatre memory? “It was in my home town of Brittany, where a local company used to play the repertoire. I did not miss one show from Calderón to Beckett, the French authors and Shakespeare.”
anywhere during the crisis and I miss it a lot. Most of all, I miss direct contact with people. I’ve been doing a lot of Q&As and masterclasses on Zoom, but the lack of proximity, of communion, human warmth, of sharing together is crucial for me and no technical alternative can replace it.”
Fell in love with musical theatre? “When I was five and my parents took me to see Madam Butterfly and Carmen at the Paris Opera. I decided then, that I wanted to be an opera composer.” Favourite musical? “Show Boat. The innovation of the subject in those days (1924); the style of the music, the perfection of Ol’ Man River has not been topped since.” Moments of theatrical pride? “The achievement of the Les Mis Concert in 2019 at the Gielgud was one of the proudest moments in my life as we did not know if a concert in such a traditional theatre was workable. And the reaction of the audience was incredible at each performance by our dream team.” What have you missed most about theatre? “As every venue is closed, I’ve not been 16 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
The cast of Les Misérables 2019
What is your first recollection of Herbert Kretzmer (Les Mis EnglishJewish lyricist who died in October) “The first time I met Herbie was in [theatre producer] Cameron [Mackintosh]’s first little office. It was a surprise because we were then looking for a Jean Valjean and he entered the room. I thought: ‘Here he is!’ Herbie looked the part.”
Claude-Michel, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer
What do you enjoy about teaching at the Royal Academy? “I try to help [students] find their own way. It’s a wonderful moment when somebody enters the room and you know you see before you a person with great potential talent. I give to them, but I take their youth, their enthusiasm and freshness. I feel it is not the end, but passing the baton to another generation.” Describe your perfect West End theatre night “I enjoy attending and afterwards to be able
to have dinner with the actors, singers or musicians and talk about the experience of the evening. Not only congratulations, but constructive criticism and more general speaking about the arts with somebody who understands the job.” Where will you go first when theatre resumes? “When this weird period is over, I shall probably go to the opening night of the reprise of Les Mis, but there are so many shows I would like to see live and not streamed on a TV screen. My priority will be a night at the Royal Opera House.”
“I was about six when my mother took me to the Royal Opera House to see a matinee of The Nutcracker. I fell in love with ballet, classical music and creating new worlds. This beautiful, grand special building had magic that started my lifelong love affair with everything to do with theatre. I was so enthralle,d my mother took me to the stage door to watch the ballet dancers come out. To me, they were fairy creatures and I wanted to be a person who could walk through that door into an inside that held so many possibilities.” To produce a play, do you have to love it at first sight? “Yes. Sometimes I might read a play that I think is really good, but I can’t see a production in my head. I then pass it on to a producer colleague who I think will be the best person to guide it to production.” Moments of theatrical pride? “To this day, I’m still proud of my very first production. As a young actress, I had read a short novel called Dulcima by HE Bates. I thought it would be great as a play and to play her. So I sent it to Colin Watkeys whose leading lady I had been at university, and asked if he’d work on it. We wrote it together – he directed and I starred – and took it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I put up my life savings at the time, which was £600, and learned everything about producing. We had a fantastic review in The Scotsman on day three, meaning we sold out, making £48, which Colin and I split. I’ve never forgotten that £24 profit share or the thrill of waiting to go on stage for the first performance. Knowing I’d made it happen was exhilarating and I’m so proud of taking the initiative that kickstarted my career as an entrepreneur. From little acorns…” Did you go into theatres during lockdown? Obviously my six – the Palace, Lyric, Garrick, Vaudeville, Apollo and Duchess. But on 14 August, I went to Regent’s Park to see the first performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. I was so excited to be back seeing live theatre again. The atmosphere in the
auditorium was visceral – the entire audience was thrilled to be there. I remember thinking how fitting it was that the first performance post-Covid was by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has been such an inspiring leader during lockdown.” What smells conjure up theatre? “For me, my response is emotional first. The buzz before the curtain up. Laughter. The moment everyone’s emotion creates utter silence, the charisma of an individual performance. Smell is too far down the list!” Are your dreams peppered with productions? “Yes, I’m developing a number of new productions and dream about them. I have a subconscious that mulls things through as I sleep. I often wake up going: ‘That’s the way to do it.’”
Nica with Gemma Arterton
The first dress is today (3 December) at the Garrick for Deathdrop, which is absolutely hilarious and a piece of fun for Christmas. Tomorrow, it’s the dress rehearsal for the fantastic musical Six (Kenny Wax is producer) and, that same afternoon, I’ll see the dress for Potted Panto playing daytimes at the Garrick for family audiences. And thereafter, I will be visiting daily and seeing shows. Of course I have to put in a plug for the musical I produced at the Apollo, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which reopens 12 December.
When theatre resumes, where will you spend opening night?
What new shows are coming?
“We are reopening all six theatres sequentially from tomorrow (4 December) and I’ll be going to all the dress rehearsals.
“Ah, that would be telling! I am working on some exciting new productions, but we are not ready to share at this stage.”
Nica with Samantha Spiro and Shobna Gulati
Nica at the second birthday of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, with star Layton Williams, director Jonathan Butterell and composer Dan Gillespie Sells
Photography by Justin Griffiths-Williams and Dan Wooller
First theatre memory?
Photo by Danny Kaan
Nica Burns OBE, has more than 30 years’ experience in the theatre and is a multi award-winning producer of more than 100 productions. From acting to becoming the Donmar’s artistic director, she founded Nimax Theatres in 2005 with her business partner, Max Weitzenhoffer, and now owns six theatres, including a new one being built on Charing Cross Road. With Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and 2019’s multi Olivier award winning Emilia among her productions, Nica has been both a spokesperson and generally battling to save the desperate theatrical community.
LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 17
What is your first memory of theatre? “My Auntie Pat took me to see Gypsy at the Wythenshawe Forum in Manchester (now closed down). I was smitten with the art form. I saw Imelda Staunton play the title role at the Savoy a couple of years ago. It’s still a bittersweet classic musical. Growing up in Manchester, I enjoyed wonderful productions at the Royal Exchange and have very fond memories of Leaping Ginger and The Three Musketeers, both starring Robert Lindsay.” Do you have to love a play from the first reading?
Photo by Johan Persson
“Yes, there has to be some spark of magic. When I first saw SIX, I absolutely loved the freshness and originality of the writing. I hoped we could develop it from a student production into a fully-fledged commercial musical and we have. Despite the running time being only 80 mins, I’ve never heard anyone leave the theatre saying they hadn’t had value for money.”
Photo by Johan Persson
When lockdown started, theatre producer Kenny Wax was braced for the opening night of his show SIX on Broadway. He is the force behind the Mischief Theatre plays, many great family shows such as The Tiger Who Came To Tea and a plethora of others, including producing the world-premiere of Top Hat. As the president of the Society of London theatre, he continues to fight for the survival of the industry. Proudest theatre moment(s)? “Olivier Award Henry VIII’s wives as a girl band in SIX the musical, which reopens this month wins in the Best Musical category for Top Hat and Once On This Island some shortly too) then I should be able years earlier are high on the list. But getting to safeguard the workforce. I also five nominations for SIX is right up there, have 250-300 people working on our alongside opening SIX on Broadway. We’ve productions. When we open, it will be also had great success with the Mischief Theatre / Goes Wrong shows and built an incredible brand with productions, which have been enjoyed on every continent on the planet. And we have a new Goes Wrong TV series we’ve just started shooting, with all the Covid regulations. It will be broadcast next spring.” Did you enter many theatres during lockdown?
book, which became two very popular Disney movies called The Parent Trap. It was meant to open in Nottingham last summer, and we’re hoping to open next summer. We have to cast four pairs of identical twins for the show. Girls should be about 10 years old, in case anyone can help. We’re also planning to bring a hilarious new comedy over from France that sold out at the Edinburgh Festival last year. I’ve commissioned a historical play (which sounds very dry, but it is based on a true story) and will in fact be a great piece of family entertainment. I’ve also commissioned a brilliant new kids’ show called Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World based on a picture book by Kate Pankhurst. And if the surname is familiar, it’s because Kate is a distant relative of Emmeline. The songs are being composed by one of the UK’s most successful female pop song writers.”
“I was interviewed for the reopening of SIX in the Lyric Theatre, which is currently in the middle of a major refurbishment programme When theatre fully resumes, where will so I was able you spend opening night? to access the “I think it will be a very emotional evening newly-painted The Play That Goes Wrong for everyone. Most will not have performed ceiling while for eight months! A couple of weeks later, the scaffolding with social distancing throughout the the touring production of SIX is scheduled was in place. The auditorium, so even sell-out performances to open at the Lowry in Manchester unless Lyric’s owner, will make very slim margins. But at least we Salford City Council closes us down. Most Nica Burns, has get everyone back to work.” recently, I was at the first night of Adam done an amazing Kay’s diary recollections, This Is Going To job restoring this What feeling conjures up Hurt, at the Apollo, which was great fun theatre at such theatre for you? and very moving at the end.” a challenging time.” “The moment when the house How has the absence lights dim and the orchestra of theatre affected you? strikes up. That split second of anticipation is one of the most “My priority is protecting magical in theatre.” my workforce. I have 20 staff in the office. Do you dream about At the time of writing, productions? we haven’t made anyone redundant. “I try not to take work thoughts If we get the shows to bed, but I’m very excited up and running about a handful of new shows in November and we are planning to produce December (The Play next year, including two major that Goes Wrong and musicals. One of the shows, The Tiger Who Came To Tea Magic Goes Wrong will reopen Identical, is based on the
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Wishing our customers a very Happy Chanukah Thank you for all your support. See you again soon!
Check out our website for up-to-date opening details.
View our menu
A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE FROM
020 8248 8472 Head Room CafĂŠ 89 Golders Green Road London NW11 8EN
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Light at the end of the tunnel? Although it may seem that an end to the pandemic is finally in sight, the children in our youth villages continue to struggle with the physical and emotional impact of the virus. They carried the trauma of their challenging backgrounds even before coronavirus shook their foundations. Now, more than ever, they are relying on us to provide the support they need to go from survival to leadership. Chanukah is a time associated with giving gifts to our children, so please consider making a gift to Youth Aliyah Child Rescue to help support the thousands of children that rely on us each and every day.
You can give your gift at youthaliyah.org.uk or call 020 8371 1580 Charity No. 1077913
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… And here are the people ready TO ADAM SOLLER PHOTOGRAPHY
Adam Soller is a London-based photographer specialising in events, corporate and family photography. He also creates websites and runs tours of London incorporating photohoots. www.adamsoller.com, T: 07412 953953
ANOUSHKA G. LONDON
Anoushka wishes you a very happy Chanukah! We look forward to seeing you in store to explore our newest collection of eveningwear and bridal, offering exclusivity and a bespoke service catering to all your needs. 31 Temple Fortune Parade NW11 0QN, T: 020 8458 1029, @anoushkaglondon
BEN TENENBLAT LTD
Ben Tenenblat has redefined luxury kosher cuisine and due to Covid has produced a high-end online site, offering customers the option to have his delights in the comfort of their own home. www.ben-tenenblat.com, T: 020 8205 0463
BLAKE EZRA PHOTOGRAPHY
I am still photographing wherever possible, but this year has been an opportunity to further my love for writing, which I’ve been doing regularly for myself as well as for other people and businesses. I’ve set up a small photography studio for portraits and creative projects, while continuing to teach photography workshops, and look forward to my next one-man show, Human, in January. www.blakeezraphotography.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Kelaty and the team at Blend Video wish everyone a joyful Chanukah. Do remember we do digital video, photography and licensed drone filming. Adrian Kelaty is currently producing a Holocaust drama that he co-wrote, starring Keir Dullea due for release late 2021/early 2022. Adrian Kelaty, T: 07985 647982
BOOK THIS MAGICIAN
It's been a funny old year for us performers. In the summer, I created a touring 45-minute family friendly magic and mind-reading show for in people's gardens. Up until the second lockdown, I was resident magician at new Mill Hill restaurant Bank Food & Drink. I’m currently practicing new material and hope to be back on the simcha circuit in spring. www.bookthismagician.co.uk, T: 07814 722502
CACAO CATERING & EVENTS
Chef Kushan Marthelis, his Michelin trained chefs and hospitality staff manage events and provide professional catering services across London and the UK. During this uncertain period, we’ve been providing the finest meals, sushi and BBQs for home delivery and now offer a fabulous multicourse seasonal menu. T: 07981 992717 Email: email@example.com
Adaptability and flexibility are key components of running your own business. Like everyone else in industry, I lost all my bookings, but a friend asked me to help with his son’s Zoom barmitzvah and from that moment on, the phone started to ring. If EventCapsule are doing live streaming, we have to do it incredibly well. So we invested in some new tech and now offer a multi-camera setup with live editing. It’s so cool, just like watching TV. www.eventcapsule.it, T: 020 7157 9705
EAT ME EVENTS
Established caterers Eat Me Events turned their business around in weeks when the pandemic hit and, in a collaboration, HelloKosher was born. HelloKosher offers weekly menus cooked fresh and delivered on a Friday for Shabbat and the weekend. With lockdown lifted, Eat Me catered
22 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
intimate, show-stopping events, designed within Covid regulations. Bespoke menus can be delivered to multiple houses for Zoom celebrations and they have launched 'The KiddushBox by Eat Me’ – a fully customisable Kiddush box for takeaway and pre-delivered to homes. www.eatmeevents.com, T: 020 3772 0810
EVENTS BY KNIGHT
Events by Knight (Kwamé Knight) plan, produce and manage all aspects of events. We specialise in creating a unique experience especially for you. From concept to completion, we are with you every step of the way. For all your event and entertainment requirements, get in touch. www.eventsbyknight.co.uk, T: 07956 104086 / 020 3130 4040
Wishing us all Happy Chanukah and hoping 2021 will be a year of good health and many smachot. To my clients, thank you all for letting me be a part of your special moments and here’s to the future ones. www.ejacobsphotography.com, T: 07807 850281
At Freedman Photography, we are still able to capture your special memories from a distance, using long lenses and following government guidelines. Photography with imagination and modern ideas to produce an album for you and your family to cherish for future generations. Please feel free to contact me, Jeremy Freedman, at www.freedmanphotography.co.uk
THE FUNCTION BAND
Wishing all our clients, friends and family a happy Chanukah. We have beautiful dresses to wear to any occasion, bringing sparkle to Zoomitzvahs and smaller events. We still need to celebrate these special times! For your personal appointment, call Rebecca Rinder on 07887 603921 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LEIVI SALTMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Due to the situation everyone is in, I've taken a detour from the events industry and moved towards more commercial-based photography, such as products and buildings. I've learnt a whole new sector of photography and I will use the different techniques in the future when events are back to normal. I hope everyone is staying safe and I cannot wait to make memories for you to cherish again very soon. T: 07784 018 496, www.leivisaltmanphotography.com
Impeccable wishes all our customers happy holidays. We’re a long established family business famous for super clothes and outstanding service. We hire and sell suits for all occasions. Let’s have fun making you look great and feel great in better times. www.impeccablewear.co.uk, T:020 8421 1111
JACKIE ASH CATERING
Jackie Ash Catering is now providing food hampers, individual food boxes and finish and serve dinners. These are delicious ways to celebrate at home! E: email@example.com, Instagram: jackieashcatering
From all of us at The Function Band, we say happy Chanukah and can’t wait to celebrate in person with you all very soon. We are still taking bookings, so keep up with throwbacks on our Instagram @thefunctionband. Stay safe, stay well and see you all soon for celebrating! www.thefunction. band T: 020 3971 0222
GrahamsImages (Graham Chweidan) missed “clicking with people” at all the amazing parties and celebrations and hope to be able to be back partying with you again soon. Your memories are safe in our lens. www.grahamsimages.com, T: 07770 677508
THE GILEV SHOWBAND
While we’re sadly restricted from doing what we do best on stage, we’ve been super productive backstage– styling a new collection of costume additions, as well as rehearsing some incredible new music arrangements and choreography we can’t wait to share. We are still open for bookings, so call Jonni Gilbert on 07956 875284, www.thegilevshowband.com
GLAM IT UP
We are known for our face, body and hair art. We add the sparkle and glam to all events, big or small, providing bespoke tattoos, hair graffiti festival face neon/UV and so much more. Over lockdown, we created ‘My Glam box’ full of glitter and bespoke personalised beauty goodies, started glitter workshops and spa days at home for children aged six upwards. www.glamitup.net, 07946 499533
GREAT SPEECH WRITING
With so many speeches (and speakers) in lockdown, we've been busy building our copywriting arm. We've been helping businesses build their communications strategies, write web copy and develop blogs, articles and pitches. We'd love to chat about supporting your business. www.greatspeechwriting.com; T: 020 7118 1600 / 020 3778 0976
The year 2020 will be remembered for the magical moments we created for our clients, transforming their dreams into intimate events. James Zimmer and his team wish you a happy and healthy 2021. Our team is ready to take your call. www.jameszimmer.co.uk, T: 020 8830 8330 Wishing you all a marvelous Chanukah from the ultimate surprise entertainment group that creates specially tailor-made Jewish simchas, with the UK’s finest surprise singing waiters and chefs. Here’s to partying with you again soon. www.jewishencore.co.uk, www.encoreentertainment. co.uk, T: 020 7993 2874 / 07961 350751
JP Toastmaster wishes everyone a happy Chanukah and sending positivity to all after a tough year! Please get in touch for your future simcha. www.jptoastmaster.com, T: 07947 305355
KP EVENTS LTD
Wishing you all happy Chanukah. We’re still here... organising weddings and bar/batmitzvahs! If you’re looking for a venue, caterer, DJ, band, photographer, florist etc, KP can help. www.kpevents.co.uk, T:020 8883 7411
MILL HILL UNITED SYNAGOGUE
Mill Hill United Synagogue wishes the entire Jewish community a happy Chanukah. We look forward to returning to celebrating simchas in the Annie and Samuel Levy Hall. www.nerorre.co.uk, office@millhillsynagogue. co.uk, T: 020 8959 1137
Novelties Direct missed seeing you this year, but we are busy preparing for when functions resume. We now have a huge range of personalised items to choose from and we’re still printing T-shirts, hoodies and caps and all your favourite fun novelties to make your party a special one. www.novelties-direct.co.uk
PARTY! PAUL LANG PHOTOGRAPHY
Wishing all my family, friends, clients and colleagues a happy Chanukah and all the best for 2021 to everyone in the simcha world itching to get back to work. www.paullangphotography.co.uk, T: 07711 096939
Pop Fusion Events specialise in cosmetic entertainment. To adapt our service to current restrictions, we’ve launched Bling in a Box – a selection of glitter /metallic tattoos , embellishments and a stunning semi-precious stone bracelet designed by studio@13 to compliment our body art. Our embellished visors can also be designed to match your outfit to keep you safe and feeling stylish. firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 07815 110880, @popfusionevents
TOBY LEVY CATERING
Famed for her delicious food, Toby Levy Catering does everything for events from house floristry service to designer wedding cakes. Whatever you are thinking about for your party, once we can celebrate again, Toby Levy can make it happen. www.tobylevy.com T: 020 8505 2725 / 07910 285115
SUITS 4 U
Suits 4 U has been working to ensure the continued safety of customers and their families. After a phone consultation, suitable clothing options are delivered to your door to be tried on at your convenience and then any unsuitable items are collected upon request. Until measures are further lifted, this noncontact service is the best way to make sure you can still prepare for future functions or kit you out for Zoom simchas! T: Ray, 07767 222922
WOW BESPOKE GIFTS
WOW Bespoke Gifts have been busy continuing to support our wonderful customers with gifting requirements and creating new gifts for occasions that have been postponed, cancelled or celebrated in different ways, such as bespoke frames, personalised pamper kits and many other things to make them smile. Contact us now to enquire. www.wowbespokegifts.co.uk, T: 07886 567657
We want to wish everyone a really healthy and happy 2021 and to remind you our event and marquee services can cater to any event. No matter how big or small, we can make it special and unique. Just call us for a quote. www.wacarrandson.co.uk, T: 01923 773611
Entertainment – Events – Production Let’s upstage 2020 together with a 2021 to remember. At UPSTAGE, we are ready to help you achieve your event to remember and make any new “scenario” the best possible event. Chag sameach! www.upstagecreative.co.uk, T: 07807 234435
Uptown Events would like to wish all our clients happy Chanucah. We would be delighted to help you with your Zoomitzvahs, virtual charity events and socially distanced parties. www.uptownevents.co.uk, T: 020 8358 7320
WACKYBOOTH EVENTS LTD
Wackybooth Events Ltd would like to wish everyone a happy Chanucah. We have a fabulous range of new products available and are currently taking bookings for 2021/2022. www.wackybooth.co.uk, T: 020 8502 7232
020 8090 3455 israelguidedog.org.uk
Registered charity no: 1027996
Lead a blind Israeli out of the darkness and into the light this Chanukah
Our virtual event series
You are invited to meet
Minister for Economic Affairs at the Israeli Embassy to the UK
As we look ahead to Chanukah, our Holidays of Lights,
Q&A event with candle lighting on the first night of Chanukah
Thur 10 Dec. 2020 6:30 PM (UK time)
wishes you a Holiday Season filled with light, love, peace and good health
Joe Ozer: 020 3936 2712 email@example.com
Development Company for Israel (International) Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Photo used with permission of speaker, depositphotos.com
November 2020 E/OE
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Francine Wolfisz speaks to the creators of Israel’s biggest ever TV drama, Valley of Tears “He told them: ‘We have made so many mistakes and we were so blind to many things, but one thing I can assure you is that after Ron Leshem this war we’re going to be a better country, better people and a better society.’ “We wanted to check if we are fulfilling this thing we promised ourselves back in 1973.” Among the ‘mistakes’ Leshem refers to were the higher-ranking officers who dismissed intelligence warnings that war was imminent and the “arrogance” of Israeli leaders who believed, having led the country to jubilance in the Six-Day War, that victory was again well within their grasp. In fact, the Yom Kippur War would prove a very different experience, with more than triple the deaths and more than double the casualties suffered in 1967. Deaths and casualties that could have been fewer, had analysts such as Cohen’s father – or the Valley of Tears character he inspired, Avinoam (played by Shahar Taboch) – been listened to. “In fact, there were a few Avinoams who were trying to say we are blind, we are wrong, a disaster is coming, but no one heard them,” adds Cohen, who co-created Israeli thriller series, False Flag. “You can relate the same situation today for climate change or the collapse of democracy, warning signs that are there, but instead you choose to blindly trust your leaders. And yet you are wrong.” Speaking of ‘Avinoams’, it was while serving as wire tappers in the 8200 Intelligence Unit where Cohen and Leshem met 25 years ago – an experience he credits with sparking his love for writing. “It was here that we learnt to create drama and dig into people’s lives,” smiles Leshem. “When you tap into the phone lines, you hear what a person says to others, but also what others are saying about him behind his back. You learn more about the person than he knows himself.” Having honed their craft together over many
years, Leshem and Cohen joined forces for Valley of Tears, a project that proved to be epic in many ways – and not just in its significant budget, which reportedly stretched to an eye-watering $1million per episode. It was an entire decade in the making, required meticulous research – “we knew everything that happened minute by minute, every general’s position, every movement made by the other side” – and became the first Israeli drama to employ CGI and visual effects to create the realistic scenescape of war. There were also the epic challenges. One was having to cease filming for three weeks while on location close to the Syrian border in the Golan Heights “because missiles and rockets were being shot at our crews”. The other was sourcing authentic tanks used in the Yom Kippur War – and while they successfully found American collectors willing to sell them for $120,000, as Leshem discovered, “it wasn’t possible, because legally you are not allowed to bring a tank into Israel”. A solution to their problem was finally found when they “just took a handful of tanks from the museums and built engines into them,” while the rest of the fleet were created by some clever computer-generated graphics. After airing in Israel and the US, the drama has garnered a wealth of positive reviews and high viewing figures, but Cohen and Leshem’s real sense of achievement comes from the healing impact that Valley of Tears has made on its audience. Leshem, whose accountant father had never held a gun before being sent to the artillery corps during the Yom Kippur War, smiles as he tells me: “The show broke all rating records for a public broadcaster, but what made us really proud was the reaction on social media and young people describing how, for the first time, they’re seeing their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents cry and telling their stories for the first time.” Cohen adds: “Every year there are new documentaries about the Yom Kippur War, but nothing has had the impact this show has had on Israeli society.”
N 6 OCTOBER 1973, one young Israeli intelligence analyst sprinted hastily towards his bunker to raise the alarm that war was coming – but no one in his troop would believe him. Amit Cohen “They told him it might seem like it, but war wasn’t going to happen – and it was at that exact moment Egyptian fighter jets starting bombing,” recalls screenwriter Amit Cohen of his father’s harrowing experience in the Sinai Peninsula during the Yom Kippur War. “His friend was sleeping outside that night and was killed. This is how the war began.” Nearly 50 years on, Cohen and co-writer Ron Leshem have drawn on this and similarly painful memories of war that left Israel scarred and traumatised in their epic 10-part drama, Valley of Tears. Billed as Israel’s biggest budget television production, the series has been making waves after premiering on the country’s KAN channel last month, as well as in the US on HBO Max, with hopes a global distribution deal will eventually bring it over to the UK. Directed by Yaron Zilberman, Valley of Tears is inspired by the real-life events of the three-week battle, when Egyptian and Syrian forces coordinated a surprise attack on Israel starting on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The heavyweight cast includes Foxtrot actor Lior Ashkenazi as a famous bohemian television star searching for his estranged son on the frontline, as well as Beauty and the Baker’s Aviv Alush and Shtisel star Maor Schwitzer as members of a beleaguered tank unit. Speaking during a joint Zoom chat with Cohen from his Los Angeles home, Leshem – the co-creator of HBO series Euphoria and also a bestselling author – explains why the pair chose now to drama-tise the events of a war from almost five decades ago. “This was a moment when Israel not only faced destruction, but was also when the first Israel died and a new Israel was born,” he tells me. “One of the testimonies we read was of a young officer who was talking to his platoon after the most horrific battle.
NEW LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 25
‘We need to get more ambitious on climate change ’ DEFRA BOSS TAMARA FINKELSTEIN IS HELPING PAVE THE WAY FOR A MUCH GREENER FUTURE, HEARS FRANCINE WOLFISZ
EMEMBER THE HEADY DAYS – almost Halcyon by comparison – when the country spent its time fretting only about Brexit, rather than a pandemic? Well Tamara Finkelstein does. Just over a year ago, she was appointed permanent secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the European Union and the UK’s divorce from it were firmly on her mind. Having previously served as director general for EU exit delivery, Finkelstein – sister to journalist and politician Daniel Finkelstein – knew well that Brexit would mean a wodge of new laws for farming and fisheries, waste management, protecting wildlife and helping the UK meet its net zero emissions target by 2050. All areas that fell under Defra’s auspices. But then along came the coronavirus. “We were already expecting a very busy year, both domestically and internationally – but Covid was an additional pressure,” smiles Finkelstein from her north London home during a chat over Zoom. “It’s certainly been challenging. We have had huge amounts to prepare for the transition and to engage in negotiations and Covid had a large impact on the way in which people could work. But everyone is very committed and passionate about what they do and they have found extraordinary ways to manage through it.” While the pandemic threw up unexpected obstacles, there were also some welcome surprises for Defra, namely the effect of lockdown on the environment and the climate. A cull on globetrotting meant air and water systems were cleaner than they had been in decades. Venice’s usually murky waters became so clear that fish and other marine life could be seen, while in the UK, carbon emissions from the electricity system plunged by more than a third. Lockdown also opened up people’s eyes to local parks, green spaces and woodlands that pre-pandemic had been simply overlooked. “We really noticed how much people increased their connection with the local environment and saw people who don’t usually access those spaces now using them,” enthuses Finkelstein, who has worked nearly 30 years in the civil service after graduating from Oxford, including
Tamara Finkelstein is passionate about making a difference
been this massive shift “ There’s in how people appreciate green
spaces and its effect on mental health, something we saw even before the pandemic…
a stint as private secretary while Gordon Brown served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. “Natural England, which is sponsored by Defra, found in a survey that there has been this massive shift in how people appreciate green spaces and the effect it has on our mental well-being. We were beginning to see that even before the pandemic.” The former Haberdashers’ Aske’s student herself admits these past few months have been spent going on more walks and exploring her local area, as well as taking more interest in gardening. “I’ve been growing raspberries and tomatoes – working from home has meant I’m actually around to water things properly!” she laughs. Curating green fingers aside, this year was also supposed to be the UK’s turn to host COP26, a global United Nations summit on climate change.
Now moved to next November in Glasgow, Defra is taking advantage of the additional months it has to prepare for “the biggest and most important conference” since 2015, when the landmark Paris Agreement was signed. “The big thing will be getting people to up their ambition on climate change,” explains the dedicated 53-yearold civil servant. “We’ll be taking stock of goals set around reducing carbon emissions in Paris, as well as looking to secure commitment on protecting nature and improving biodiversity. We’ll also discuss adapting to the consequences of climate change, such as building flood defences.” Hosting COP26 is a way of “recognising the UK’s commitment” and follows on from a raft of measures unveiled just this month under the government’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. They include banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, investment in green spaces, as well as pledges to quadruple offshore wind power and boost nuclear and hydrogen power. The married mother-of-three is optimistic it can all be achieved and is proud of playing a role in what promises to be a much greener future. “One of the drivers of my career has also been about what are the things you can do to make some of the biggest differences to people,” she tells me, adding that such an impulse stems partly from her strong sense of Jewishness (she is a co-sponsor of the Civil Service Jewish Network), as well as growing up as the daughter of Holocaust survivors Ludwik and Mirjam Finkelstein. “Both my parents came here as refugees with challenging war experiences and felt this country gave them a home, freedom and opportunities, which they very much appreciated. It’s something that definitely underpins my commitment to public service and helping to drive real outcomes.” Such large changes inevitably start with even just small steps. “Over the next few years, new legislation will start going through that will improve our water quality, air quality, biodiversity, farming subsidies and our use of resources. We are committed to net zero and planting trees. All those things together really could start to make a very big difference.” LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 27
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Design and supplying Kitchens for over 15 years
Go down to the woods today you won’t believe your eyes. Sparkling children in the trees are waiting to ‘surprise!’ It’s isn’t quite the party planned or intended celebration. But changes to the world we knew revised the invitation. It meddled with our table plans, RSVPs received. That all would come to nothing, who would have believed? Wedding toasts and mazeltovs, barmitzvah shoulder high. The mapping out of memories, we saved for, gone awry. But still the children sparkle in nature rude with health, and earth’s resuscitation is a different kind of wealth. Just as lighting of the candles and miracles they mark, remind us of survival and a way out of the dark. There will be other invites, other dresses, other dances. Life’s a measure of all things, including second chances. Verse by Brigit Grant. Thanks to models Annie, Aaron, Aidan, Isabelle, Joshua, Lily, Madison, Ruby, Tamara and Zack and dogs Luna and Dumbledore. White varsity cardigan by Urban Outfitters £45; Wonderful wool pattern lined zip front jacket by Joe Browns £90; Tie dye cashmere jumper £230 by Harpers in Edgware.
WOODS Photography by Adam Soller
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Top left : All party dresses and separates by Rebecca Rinder at Hadley Brides (07887 603921). All knitwear adult size: Stevie Maxi Cardigan by Cara & The Sky £68; Furry hood cardigan by Joe Browns £45; Chunky Stripe cardigan by Cara & The Sky £65, Bottom: Zebra Intarsia wrap by Cara & The Sky, £45 black hat with pearls by Tango £15; Multi-Colour wool wrap by Joe Browns £45; Mustard Varsity cardigan by Urban Outfitters £46; Lollie Beanie pom pom hat by Cara & The Sky £25
30 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
a& Sky £25
Clockwise from top: Dress by Rebecca Rinder; Stevie cardigan by Cara & The Sky; Light blue cardigan by Nasty Gal £18; Adult star jumper by Love From Betty £35; Foxy jumper by Joe Browns £35; Candy/pastel jumper by Tango £40; Men’s In the Mix hooded knit by Joe Browns £45; Vertical stripe knit zip polo by Next from £17; Grey dog stripe jumper by Next from £15; Dog star jumpers, by LoveFromBetty.co.uk £29
LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 31
Cardigan and wrap as before. Right: Cable knit cardigan, £15, Next. Below right: Varsity cardi, £46, Urban Outfitters
32 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
Above: Blue animal embroidered jumper, from £13, Next; jumpers for adults, kids and dogs as before
FATHOMING THE FASHION
IF YOU ARE MYSTIFIED BY YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD’S WARDROBE, MADISON GRANT-GOLD CAN CLUE YOU UP ON WHAT THEY WANT FOR CHANUKAH... AND DROPS HINTS OF HER OWN
HE EVOLUTION OF STYLE for teens is forever changing, so understanding why they dress the way they do can be challenging... and annoying if they’re wearing crop tops. There are so many new names you have to learn, as models you once recognised (Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell) have been replaced by Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber. Then there’s Charli D’Amelio, Avani, Amelie Zilber and multiple TikTokers your child wants to copy. So if your teens are currently wearing Argyl prints, tennis skirts, tie dye or anything you wore years ago, I’m here to help you identify the influencers and brands you need to know in order to prove you are still in touch with the times. Be sure to drop the name Saffron Barker (@saffronbarker), as the 20-year-old YouTuber and influencer has inspired loads of girls to get into fashion, and her edit for www.inthestyle.com over the summer led to many items (tie-dye sweatshirts) selling out. Brittany Xavier (@Brittanyxavier), a 33-year-old American mum has a massive 3.1 million TikTok followers and, although her outfit choices are a bit on the pricier side, she can still teach you a thing or two as she styles really cool statement looks alongside her 13-year-old daughter, Jayden (@Jaydenxavier). French-Lebanese Jewish Tik Toker Amelie Zilber (@Ameliezilber), is 18 and mostly known for her very popular boyfriend Blake Gray. But Zilber, who is also a political activist and has 5.1 million followers, has a lot of style herself, particularly with jeans and tops. Now, you need to know where your teens go to shop for clothing: Weekday (www.weekday.com, @weekdayofficial) is best for basic statement pieces and the brand rose to popularity this year when popular YouTuber Olivia Neill (@olivianeill) mentioned it. Subdued (www.subdued.com, @subdued), the edgier version of Brandy Melville rose to fame as multiple
fashion TikTokers around Europe started to mention the cool brand. Last, but definitely not least, is Jaded London (www.jadedldn.com). Well known on instagram (@jadedldn), the brand was started by siblings Jade and Grant Goulden from north-west London, and I was fortunate to talk to Jade about all things Jaded. The brand was launched in 2013 when I was just seven and Jade was a buyer for Asos , while her brother Grant was at university. As their parents were in clothing – “We had history”, explains Jade, who was uninspired by her largely admin job – she decided to try her hand at developing her own range, with her sibling as partner. “We took our first idea for modern streetwear to some of the UK’s biggest high street moguls,” said Jade, naming Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Selfridges and River Island. “And they all loved it,” she says. Jaded’s first collection was sweatshirts and joggers made from scuba material but, more importantly, Jade wanted to head a streetwear brand with a high street price point. “When we started, we had two months to get an entire collection ready that normally takes six to nine months to create a mass collection release,” says Jade. That was seven years ago, but she still remembers the “blood, sweat and tears” of travelling to Leicester and managing the production by herself. As the CEO of a big Insta brand, she knows it was worth it. Jaded’s popularity with celebrities and social media stars has certainly helped, and she counts Paris Hilton, Little Mix and even Beyoncé as fans. Jade knows how lucky she and Grant were to have so much support from parents John and Karen. This year, Jaded resurrected the 90s trend of patchwork originally started by Marc Jacobs, and the brand’s signature patchwork jeans have been a bestseller, with 30,000 pairs sold in spite of lockdown. Jade gets her inspiration from the 90s television celebs she watched as a teen, but Sister, Sister, now on Netflix, is a new interest. The show is on my list and, mum, so are those patchwork jeans. 33
EXTRAS More dressing to know about
Gee, what a jumper!
For men with sartorial seykhel, Cecil Gee was always the store to visit. From its East End beginnings in 1929, Cecil Gee revealed himself as the country’s most innovative men’s clothing specialist and, by the 1950s, was bringing exclusive brand names into the UK, including Brioni, who made James Bond’s suit. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, as the Gee offspring followed suit – pun intended – and now son Nigel Gee has started Linea Azzurro. The company was launched after Gee and his business partner Russell discovered an Italian manufacturer producing great quality 100% cashmere knitwear that is spun, dyed and knitted at one location. Only available online, Linea Azzurro is the site where it’s possible to buy a cashmere jumper for £79 that would ordinarily sell in a designer store for £800. The secret of Cecil Gee’s success was always sourcing clothing from manufacturers who were passionate about fashion, and Linea Azzurro is continuing the principle, with knitwear for men and women, including a collection of co-ordinating scarves, beanie hats and wraps that are as soft as butter. www.lineaazzurro.com
Most of us don’t get to announce a pregnancy on the digital cover of Vogue or in a short film by Girls’ Lena Dunham. But we’re not Emily Ratajkowski, the London-born Jewish model now showing mothersto-be how to make the most of maternity curves fashionably. Emily was the head-turner in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video, after which she got leading roles in Gone Girl as Ben Affleck’s mistress and as Zac Efron’s love interest in We Are Your Friends. Now Emily has been spotted in New York wearing a daring cutout dress for mums-to-be by label Aya Muse. The dress is part of a capsule autumn collection with Jewish celebrity stylist Dani Michelle who works with Kim Kardashian, so she knows how to work with bumps on the rear as well as upfront. If you are feeling bold – be it with or without child – Aya Muse is available at www.selfridges.com
Whatever happens over the winter, you will definitely need a dressing gown – ideally to be worn before going out, but should staying in be mandatory, think of your new purchase as your Netflix robe.
Right Cashmere robe, £240, Figleaves
Above Soho house child’s robe, £35, www.sohohome.com Above Barocco Robe, £355, Versace Home Left Foxy dressing gown £45, Joe Browns 34 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
Left Luxury robe, £35, Matalan
LOOK ME IN THE
ZOOM FACE Brie Bailey advises on screen improvement purchases
MY MOTHER CAN’T SEE MY BATHROOM. Compulsively tidy with a damp cloth permanently poised, my wonderful mother would have a fit if she saw the over-spill of bottles and jars in the en-suite now. But I couldn’t help it. Lockdown has been a testing time in more ways than one, but Zoom shone a high definition blue light on the lines, wrinkles and sag. I’m now at that life point where Shakespeare might have said “age will not wither her” – but it has, so I need these extra Zoom improvers.
ZOOM FACE Another menopausal skin discovery is Emepelle, which alters the slow down in cell renewal which changes your appearance. Its’ new ingredient - MEP Technology® rebalances with retinol and hyaluronic acid and acts as a collagen booster. Visit www.emepelle.co.uk for a limited time offer of a FREE Emepelle Serum (worth £135) with every product purchased.
The Age Defy+ range by Charlotte Vøhtz, pioneer of organic beauty and founder of Green People, is for women over 40 who look less zappy on Zoom because of hot flushes and hormone imbalances. The ones who need Age Defy+, which contains no drying alcohol, parabens or artificial fragrance and in its range has Line Eraser Serum (£23) that, used regularly, builds up elastin and sees off age spots (owing to overproduction of melanin). There’s also Brightening Moisturiser (£37) with cucumber seeds, mulberry bark and hibiscus flowers to restrict the enzyme tyrosinase, which transfers melanin into cells. See the range at www.greenpeople.co.uk and Holland & Barrett
As it’s not all about me, for all ages there is Forever Living’s Hydrating Serum (£34) with hyaluronic for brightening, firming and smoothing (www.foreverliving.com). There’s also much-needed Alteya’s Organic Iridescent Light Serum Rose & Mullein (£19) for dull, tired skin that needs moisturising and plumping as the ‘Rose Otto’ has a toning effect and softens lines and wrinkles (www.alteya.co.uk).
ZOOM CHIN ZOOM EYE
I know I bang on about it but, since March, the Israeli invented NEWA skin tightening device (£349) has become family. I use it watching the news – morning or evening –and no matter how bad things are, my chin gets tighter and my brow doesn’t furrow. The 3DEEP radio frequency technology clearly works and Jewish News can offer a 15% discount with this link: www.newabeauty. co.uk/#BRIGITGRANT
Early Zooms are a killer for eyes, so try a dab of Monat’s 30 Second Miracle™ Instant Eye Perfector (£85) as a temporary quick fix that instantly tightens and smooths fine lines, puffiness and wrinkles for a day’s worth of calls. www.monatglobal.com
ZOOM MOUTH It’s only indoors on a call sans mask that mouths matter now and I’ve been really pleased with Rhug Wild’s Moisturising Lip Treatment with Beeswax and honey (£32) because, for the first time, those tiny fraying mouth lines have faded, so when I do get to wear lipstick, there’s no bleed. www.rhugwildbeauty.com For a bit less spend, So...? Sorry Not Sorry Say No More Pout Scrub (£4), which is enriched with jojoba seed oil gently exfoliates lips, but I borrowed that one from my daughter, too. www.superdrug.com 36 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
No time for mascara means improving on what you have lash and brow-wise with the RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum (£39.99). I use it and agree with the 88% who have noticed fuller lashes and brows in as little as eight weeks. www.boots.com / www.lookfantastic.com
Using the same products as your teen happens when you can’t find your own, hence my enthusiasm for Florence by Mills – the make-up collection by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, aka Eleven. The pastel colours are pretty and the lengthening mascara has a really thick brush, so there are no flakes or smudges, and there are some great lip gels not usually available for my age. www.lookfantastic.com
DON’T JUST SIT THERE Don’t miss the chance to improve your fitness and state of mind with personal trainer Rachelle Goodwin. Zooming with enthusiastic clients in areas she never imagined reaching, Rachelle offers variety as she is experienced in the heavy duty exercise arena of bootcamps and weights, but also offers high intensity training, boxing, pilates, postural assessment and training for those with back problems, diabetes and arthritis. She can train with children and will even accommodate musical choices. We all need to move and this is the woman to help you start. Gymrachelle1@gmail.com, 07906907087
Artistry Studio’s NYC 3-in-1 lash boosting mascara won last year’s Pure Beauty Awards in the best new eye product category and, with the adjustable wand for lengthening and thickening, you’ll see why. www.amway.co.uk
A £200 voucher for The Diamond Store!
If you haven’t shopped with The Diamond Store yet, at www.thediamondstore.co.uk, winning a £200 voucher to spend on anything you like is a reason to go straight to their fabulous e-store full of beautiful gifts and statement pieces starting from just £99. It’s interesting to know that despite the fact there haven’t been many weddings, proposals have been on the rise and orders for engagement rings have been flying out since March. As the name suggests, diamonds are a speciality and they feature in rings, bracelets, necklaces at earrings at a range of prices. The diamond heart bracelets make wonderful presents and notably as a special gift for a batmitzvah deprived of a party and having a Zoom service instead. Think of a stone and it will be available in some combination or solo setting, but the emerald and diamond yellow gold Alegria bracelet will linger in the mind. To be in with a chance of winning a £200 voucher for The Diamond Store, answer the following question:
The largest diamond in the world is what carat weight? A. 509 carats B. 3106 carats C. 617 carats Terms and Conditions: One winner will receive a £200 from The London Diamond Store to spend on a single item or as part payment for another. Prize is as stated, not transferable, not refundable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or exchanged in whole or in part for cash. By supplying your email address, you agree to receive marketing information from the JN Media Group or any of its affiliates and carefully selected third parties. The promotion excludes employees of Jewish News and the promoter, their immediate families, their agents or anyone professionally connected to the relevant promotion. Proof of eligibility must be provided on request. For full Ts and Cs, see jewishnews.co.uk. Closing date: 11 January 2021
CHANUKAH IS COMING!
For orders and to get more details Please contact Jonathan on 07476 217 948 or jonathan@jasmine–events.co.uk For orders and to get more detailsdelivery available Nationwide Please contact Jonathan on 07476 217 948 or jonathan@jasmine–events.co.uk Nationwide delivery available
ADVERTO R IAL
Toasting to good times 10% oﬀ fabulous Kosher mixed case
reat yourself to something special over the festive period with 10% off awardwinning Wine Club Honest Grapes’ Hannukah Mixed Case, cutting the price from £180.40 to £162.30. The headline acts here are the Falesco Marciliano and Montiano 2014s, Cabernet- and Merlot-based beauties with 93-points from the Wine Doctor that truly capture the muscular, fruity and full-bodied style of Umbria. From organic kosher producers Botteotto come four gorgeous drinking wines, including a 90-point Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, that Falesco Marciliano will take any festive feasting to the next level. Kosher, 2014: To order this lovely mixed case with fast ”A blend of 70% Cabernet and free delivery and see the full range of Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc that matures in barriques stunning kosher wines, head over to for 18 months. The wine has a honestgrapes.co.uk/KosherJN dark, garnet color and a wrapping bouquet of fruit, blueberry and blackberry, vanilla and kirsch.”
93/100, Doctor Wine
Valle Reale Botteotto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Kosher, 2018: “This has a very intense nose of primary fruit, including brambleberry and dark-cherry compote and raspberry coulis. Shows good composure and density on the palate with mediumchewy tannins and a tangy finish.” 90/100, James Suckling
Falesco Montiano Kosher, 2014: “A lively and intense ruby color and a bouquet with notes of raspberry and framboise liqueur along with light scents of cacao, vanilla and Virginia tobacco.” 93/100, Doctor Wine
Hanukkah Mixed Case
The headline acts here are the Falesco Marciliano and Montiano 2014s but to this group from organic kosher producers Botteotto come four gorgeous drinking wines, including a 90-point Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, that will take any festive feasting to the next level.
WE ALL NEED This Chanukah, even if we have to celebrate on Zoom let’s make some treats to remember
Spiced Chanukah Apple Doughnuts by Maddie Noah Ingredients
4 eating apples Oil for frying 225g plain flour ¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp caster sugar 250ml buttermilk or a milk substitute 1 large egg FOR THE COATING ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
Bimuelos (Cardamom-Sugar Fritters) On Chanukah, Sephardi Jews celebrate not with latkes, but with doughnuts, specifically these small, rustic fritters that are served either dusted with sugar or drizzled with honey. Bimuelos is a catchall term that can refer to a variety of small fried foods, both sweet and savoury. But on Chanukah, it’s all about the doughnuts. This version adds cinnamon and cardamom to the traditional sugar topping, lending a hint of zest and spice to the sweet fritters.
2¼ tsp active dry yeast ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 tsp sugar ¾ cup (180ml) warm water (about 110°F) 3 to 4 cups (420g to 560g) plain flour ½ tsp ground cardamom ½ tsp kosher salt 2 large egg yolks
¼ cup (60ml) milk or almond milk ½ tsp vanilla extract Vegetable oil for frying CARDAMOM SUGAR 1 cup (200g) sugar 1½ tsp ground cardamom 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Make the bimuelos: Stir together the yeast, 1 tsp of the sugar, and the warm water in a large bowl, and let sit until bubbling and frothy, five to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together 3 cups (420g) of the flour, the remaining ¼ cup (50g) sugar, the cardamom and salt in a separate bowl. Stir the egg yolks, milk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture in two additions, stirring until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding up to 1 cup (140g) of flour, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and supple, five to 10 minutes. (You may not need all of the flour.) The kneading can also be done in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for five to seven minutes. Rub about 1 tsp of vegetable oil around the large bowl; place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours. Line a large plate with paper towels. Add oil to a medium saucepan until it’s about 1½ inches [4cm] deep and set the pan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 365°F (185°C) on a candy or deep-frying thermometer. Working in batches of five or six, pinch off walnut-size pieces of dough, roll each into a ball shape and drop in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until puffed, golden, and cooked through, two to four minutes total. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate to drain. Make the cardamom sugar: Stir together the sugar, cardamom and cinnamon in a large bowl. Working in batches, add the warm bimuelos to the mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Reprinted from Little Book of Jewish Sweets by Leah Koenig with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019 (RRP £12.99)
Preheat a large shallow pan with 3 to 4 inches of oil. In a medium bowl, mix together your batter ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar). In a jug, combine buttermilk and egg. In a shallow plate, mix your coating of sugar and cinnamon. Peel, core and slice your apples (each apple should make five slices). Using a cookie cutter, cut a slightly bigger inside hole (the mini holes can be fried too!). When your oil is hot, dip the apple ring into the batter, let excess drip off and lie it into the oil. Cook roughly for a minute on each side until golden brown. Place it on kitchen roll to drain. When they are all cooked, dip into your cinnamon sugar and enjoy!
Serve plain with a small pot of chocolate spread or drizzle over some maple syrup
Potato Bhaji Latkes Ingredients
600 g (1lb 5oz) desiree (or frying) potatoes 2 tablespoons oil, plus extra to fry the latkes 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 onion, halved and finely sliced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 tablespoons ground coriander ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour TO SERVE 1 long red chilli, chopped ½ bunch coriander, chopped lemon wedges Serves about four
Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes. Place in a colander for 15 minutes to drain. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir for three minutes. Take care, as the mustard seeds will pop. Add the onion and sauté gently for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt, and sauté for a further three minutes, stirring. Remove from the pan and Photo by Alan Benson set aside. Squeeze the grated potato with your hands to remove any liquid and tip into a large bowl. Add the egg, flour and fried onion mixture and taste for seasoning. If necessary, add salt and pepper. Mix well. Add enough extra oil to the frying pan to reach a depth of about 1 cm. When the oil is hot, carefully add a tablespoon of the potato mixture to make round potato cakes. Flatten slightly and fry over medium heat for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped chilli, fresh coriander leaves and a wedge of lemon. Reprinted from Now for Something Sweet by Monday Morning Cooking Club with NEW YEAR jewishnews.co.uk 39 permission by HarperCollins (RRP £25)
CATERING TO YOUR
s d e e n e v i t s e F Jewish princesses used to make reservations for dinner. Now they order in, says Louisa Walters Finish off with Kushan’s champagne chocolate truffles. From £60. www.cacaocaterings.com
The Artisan Cookery
ATING AT HOME doesn’t need to end in tiers. Many caterers have diverted their decimated events businesses into thriving home delivery services and, from meals delivered ready to heat up and add the finishing touches at home, to those beautifully presented in a box with a ribbon, each one is imaginative, appealing and a real treat. With the festive season upon us, the options are limitless and very, very tasty. “Nothing beats a plate of hot salt beef, latkes and a jam doughnut or mince pie, washed down with a lovely single malt,” says Jonathan Robinson of Jasmine Catering (kosher). On the menu are doughnuts with chocolate orange, mincemeat and Cointreau, cookies and cream and salted caramel fillings, as well as traditional jam and also iced ring doughnuts. The home delivery menu includes salt beef, latkes (plain, beetroot and sweet potato), plus there’s a range of Chanukah gift hampers. From £7 for six doughnuts and £9 for main courses. www.jasmine-catering.co.uk Charlotte Singer is busy cooking timeless festive recipes. “Having my kitchen smell of latkes and doughnuts or comforting mulled wine and gingerbread spiced cookies can’t be beaten,” she says. Charlotte’s Chanukah boxes are filled with cupcakes, mini doughnuts, hand-decorated chocolates, iced biscuits, macarons, marshmallows and
Chanukah gelt. The Christmas Boxes have gingerbread cupcakes with salted caramel frosting, wreath brownies, mince pies, reindeer rocky road, iced biscuit, macarons, sweets and chocolates. From £35. www. charlottesinger.com Stav Gal at The Artisan Cookery has diversified from creating stunning grazing tables to making artistic, colourful brunch and tea grazing boxes, plus dinner bundles (from £22.50) and a range of holidaythemed hampers (from £45). Check out the Christmas dinner bundle (from £37), the Chrismukah Hamper and the Ultimate Chanukah Hamper. She especially loves sufganiyot (doughnuts). “I wait for them each year and I simply can’t think of anything better (or more comforting) than snuggling up with a freshly-made jam doughnut,” she says. www.theartisancookery.co.uk Hannah Glass Private Dining is providing bespoke private dining over the festive season. With a superb reputation for tailored celebration meals with exquisite personal finishing touches, brunch hampers and afternoon teas, Hannah has made many lockdown celebrations truly special, and her Saturday night Dine In menu has become quite a thing. The festive Dine In meal delivery on Saturday, 19 December, has a whole range of festive treats. Hannah’s favourites are honey-roasted parsnips and sautéed brussels with chestnuts so you can no doubt expect to see those on the menu. Bespoke menus from £50/Dine In £30. www.hannahglass.co.uk Kushan Marthelis at Cacao Catering has two superb festive menus with dishes such as beef Wellington or turkey with a whole host of festive trimmings, including wild rice with chestnuts and apricot stuffing. Canapés, fish and vegan options are available. Callebaut Gold toffee chocolate mousse and white chocolate and cranberry brioche butter pudding are for dessert.
Blue Goose Catering, which specialises in modern (unsupervised kosher) restaurantstyle food with a personal touch has two festive menus (traditional and alternative). Highlights include beef carpaccio, Moroccan slow-roasted lamb, sesame crusted tuna, turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas pudding and salted caramel chocolate tart. From £60. www.bluegoose.london With Selfridges closed and, with it, Blondie’s Kitchen, what’s a cookie lover to do? This much-loved brand launched Ready-to-Bake Cookie Dough Roll during lockdown and ramped up online delivery. Christmas treats include a Christmas Bundle Box, Stuff It Yo’Self DIY Kit and Mince Pie Cookie Cups. From £12. www.blondieskitchen.co.uk Jackie Ash’s Chanukah and Christmas boxes and hampers have a selection of home-made biscuits, chocolates and fudge, while her seasonal tea boxes have been designed for office workers and families to have Zoom tea together. From £15 for a box of 12 doughnuts. www.jackieash.co.uk Jake Finn claims that his booba makes the best Christmas pudding and this year, with her permission, he is making them. Dried fruit, pecan nuts, carrots, apple and plenty of brandy, sherry and Cointreau (booba likes a drink!) make this pudding absolutely delicious. It is beautifully wrapped in golden silk so makes a fabulous gift. Cost is £15 for a pudding that feeds four, with larger ones available on request. www.chefjakefinn.com Peggy Porschen
It’s not only caterers who have got their act together over lockdown. The magic of shopping from small businesses has been kept alive by Instagram lives and home delivery. I love the idea of ordering on Cosaporto, an Italian digital marketplace that has just launched here, offering sameday delivery of speciality food, wine and gifts from a multitude of artisans. You can order gift bundles from different places such as iconic bakery Peggy Porschen, chocolatier Maison Samadi and specialist gelateria Unico Gelato. There is also a collection of the finest artisan panettone from Italy. www.cosaporto.it
Two of my favourite restaurants are doing gourmet boxes for two – perfect for date night at home. Norma’s The Feasting Box by has a selection of antipasti and a classic Norma main course with two sides, finished off with tiramisu and seasonal cannoli. There’s even a Norma negroni, a bottle of Italian red, some home-made limoncello and a copy of Ben Tish’s Moorish cookbook. The Classic Dining Box from The Game Bird contains smoked salmon, beef Wellington with sprouting broccoli and pomme purée, followed by syrup sponge pudding with custard and a bottle of red. Each box is £100 for two people; nationwide delivery. www.normalondon.com, www.thestaffordlondon.com
INDEPENDENCE. DIGNITY. CHOICE.
“My diagnosis of MS was like a hammer blow but I am happier now living here than I’ve ever been. Especially in current times, there is nowhere else I would want to be.” Neil, Jewish Blind & Disabled tenant
ENABLED If you or anyone you know could benefit from living in a JBD apartment or to support us, visit www.jbd.org or call 020 8371 6611 Registered Charity No. 259480
Eight beautifully-decorated handmade vegetarian biscuits posted direct to their door for the eight days of Chanukah – if they last that long. £28, www.bakedbysteph.co.uk
Cool dessert With parties off the agenda at least for now, teens can perfect the art of rolling ice cream for themselves with these DIY kits. There is a vegan pack on sale (£59.95), as well as just the plate (£39.95). www.pan-n-ice.co.uk
Food for thought Peas, Love and Carrots, the debut cookbook by popular blogger Danielle Renov (published by ArtScoll) that is inspired by her Ashkephardic roots, features more than 250 recipes and has been getting rave reviews. £34.75, available from various bookshops as well as www.lehmanns.co.uk
Holey moley! Socks are underrated – surprise him with these super-soft bamboo and organic cotton socks for one of the special nights. £7.95, www.wearethought.com
Charitable gifting Say Chanukah sameach with this set, which includes a box of candles and matches that can be personalised and a laminated Bracha card. £7.50, https://equal.kisharon. org.uk A children’s set is also available online for £10 and the NW11 shop is stocked with many Chanukah gifts.
TO LOCK DOWN WITH
While Chanukah does look different this year, Alex Galbinski finds heartfelt presents to let your loved ones know you care
This beautiful hardwood marble-effect dessert board with the words ‘chocolate makes me happy’ would certainly make me happy. £18, www. dankejudaica.com
As the boss of a doughnut thief gang, you must help them snatch the cream of the crop from the Holesome Indoughstries factory while avoiding rivas. Doughnut Dash is suitable for two to four players, ages 8+. £34.99, www.thedarkimp.com
Now your pooch can get into the festive spirit too – or at least wear this machine washable Doughnuts are Life bandana. £5.99, www.petpoochboutique.com
A Few Wise Words, edited and compiled by Peter Mukherjee (Amersham Publishing), features stories of success and inspirational advice from 22 extraordinary people, including the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Stephen Fry, Sir Clive Woodward and Joanna Lumley. £20, www.waterstones.co.uk
Wired up This vintage-themed DIY project by Haynes contains everything you need to build your own working AM/FM radio. £19.99, www.firebox.com LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 43
Star quality HOME HAS BECOME OUR HAVEN, BUT BEING SNUG AS A BUG IS BETTER WITH STYLE, GOOD SCENTS AND SERENITY
With summer lavender notably absent, Naturally European has the perfect substitute lavender candle with a 40-hour burning time (£12.95, plus a 50% discount until the end of the year). www.beautynaturals.com
Launched during lockdown, Echor’s End-of-Day candle (£24.99) is luxury aromotherapy within a blend of 100% pure essential oils – ylang ylang, lavender, geranium and sweet orange, which lowers blood pressure and induces sleep. The soy wax is also 100% vegan and burns for 60 hours. www.echor.co
You’ve got to love a Jewish woman with silver reindeer and Swarovski luxury crackers on her interiors website www.qubeluxe.com, and that is Manchester-based Debbie Marks. She has everything you need for a seasonal table , including the year-round gold partridge candle holders (£49.99). at Groucho’s seen above.
Keeping the scent going is rare in a hand sanitiser, but lavender, watermelon and peach are present in the melange (£7.99/three for £19.99), from www.letssanitise.com. With moisturising glycerol and soothing aloe vera, cleaning and protecting is more pleasure than chore.
Maison de Fleurs worked with France’s finest perfumers to create its candles – No.80 (Bergamot, amber, cedar and sandalwood, and No.81 (freesia, jasmine and English tea). At £85, they are a pricey way to scent your crib, but very Hollywood. www.maisondefleurs.co.uk Your candles and blankets are in place, so breakout The Serenity Box (£64.99 his and hers) which has all you require to relax as every product (including the chocolate) contains ethically-produced CBD. Facial and body oils, Ambience lip balm and a jotter spelling out the benefits of CBD. www.serenityboxco.com
Lemongrass, bergamot and cedarwood is the zesty mix with a seasonal core of frankincense. in the plant-based soy and rapeseed wax candle Uplifting (£45.50) by JOGBLiving GOJO. It smells a bit like a lemon sherbet, and provides 50 hours of A list scent a la citron. www.jogbliving.com
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Lily & Loaf’s grapefruit and mimosa candle (£13.71) oozes succulent tangy grapefruit softened by blackcurrant and apple. Like a delicious fruit bowl floating through the air, it conjures up the Med we missed this summer.
Vivid pom pom throws (£95) by www.thestripescompany.com provide pizazz with the dramatic mix of stripes and luscious cotton velvet fabric. Cheers up beds and sofas, from where you can peruse the company’s online store - a haberdasher’s paradise for fabric, buttons and accessories.
CHANUKAH PRESENTS Expertly handmade British Hats & Caps by Denton Hats
aren’t just for children!
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£7.19 EACH +P&P Quote JN5 at checkout to claim your 20% discount.
your first order with code: SAVE10 www.thehatoutlet.com @thehatoutlet
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www.hermieshop.co.uk Quote JN5 at checkout to claim your 20% discount. 20% discount applies to mugs only. Oﬀer ends at 11.59pm on 31st December 2020.
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MAKING THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS IS WHEN WE ALL HOPE FOR MIRACLES. THIS YEAR THE CHARITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY NEED THEM MORE THAN EVER
BRITISH FRIENDS OF ISRAEL GUIDE DOGS
My first hope, no, my first prayer is that a successful vaccine is found and deployed for the world to use against the Covid-19 virus and that our lives can return to some sort of normality! My second hope and prayer is that the Israel Guide Dog Centre will have the resources, people and funds to continue to provide trained guide and service dogs to our blind and disabled clients. Our clients rely on their guide and service dogs for independence. We will NOT let them down!
CHANA Our Chanukah Chanakah miracle is about spreading awareness, so that every Jewish couple in need of our help knows we are here and they don’t feel alone. This year has been difficult for everyone and Chana wants to reassure couples dealing with infertility that we are doing everything possible to ensure that miracles can, and are still happening. More than 780 babies have been born with Chana’s support, and it is our hope that in the coming year we help many more couples to start, or complete, their family and have the miracle baby they long for. Call Chana’s free, confidential helpline on 020 8201 5774 or visit www.chana.org.uk for more information.
CAMP SIMCHA Having a seriously ill child is a huge struggle at any time; in a pandemic, it feels unbearable. Camp Simcha’s services team has been constantly innovating when it comes to ensuring we are as present as ever for seriously ill children and their families. However, nothing beats being there in person. Our hope for 2021 is that we can do this once again: that our family liaison officers will be able to hug the mums they support; that our therapists can counsel face to face; that our volunteers can once again physically visit children at home and in hospital, bringing respite and their unique brand of joy.
JEWISH BLIND & DISABLED Jewish Blind & Disabled is the only Jewish charity providing mobility apartments enabling people with physical disabilities or impaired vision to live independently. Demand for our unique offering has significantly increased since the outbreak of this pandemic and we expect this will continue for many years to come. These are challenging times. With your help, we can continue to protect and support our vulnerable tenants and build to meet increased demand from across the community. If you or anyone you know could benefit from living in a JBD apartment, or to support us, please visit www.jbd.org or call 020 8371 6611.
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JAMI Jami’s Chanukah miracle would be for our whole community to accept, acknowledge and understand mental illness. To have a community in which symptoms of mental illness are as recognisable as a heart attack and trigger an equally appropriate First Aid response. A community in which parity of esteem – where mental and physical health are treated equally – is a reality and we live in an environment that helps, not hinders, recovery. Owing to the impact of Covid-19, people are recognising that mental health is as important as physical health. We hope this continues long after the pandemic is over. JEWISH CARE Jewish Care’s hope for a miracle in 2021 is to see our care home residents be able to once again hug the ones they love. While we’ve been able to make sure they can receive limited visits from loved ones, we hope this can happen more often in person, without the separation of windows or Perspex screens. We know this year has been incredibly difficult for all of our residents, tenants and members who are unable to meet together in person. While we have forged a strong online community and are able to reach those who need us, there is nothing quite like being able to hug loved ones and see them regularly in person.
LANIADO Laniado’s General Intensive Care Unit is already a place of miracles, giving hope and light for the future. It cares for critical patients suffering from multiple life-threatening conditions requiring urgent ongoing medical treatment and continuous nursing care. Currently, the unit is just 250 square metres, only supporting six patients at any one time and 200 annually. Our wish for a Chanukah miracle this year is to quadruple the size to 1,000 sq m, with 24 patient beds. During the festival of Chanukah, LaniadoInternational is aiming to match the $1million donation from our benefactor with an additional $1m raised over the Chanukah period. The UK branch has committed to raising £200,000 towards this goal. Shine a light, save a life, help make our wish come true.
SHALVA This Chanukah, we hope for health and Shalva, meaning ‘peace of mind’ in Hebrew, for individuals with disabilities and their families. The Covid-19 pandemic has surfaced many unprecedented challenges for families coping with disability, yet also highlighted remarkable resilience and fortitude against all odds. Through country-wide lockdowns and quarantines, Shalva has been a lifeline for individuals with disabilities and their families; providing essential support services as well as Covid-safe therapy and educational frameworks. May 2021 be a year of healing, not helplessness; rehabilitation, not regression; social inclusion, not social distancing.
RESOURCE Victoria Sterman, CEO of Resource, the Jewish community’s employment support charity said: “With vaccines on the horizon, the miracle we look forward to is a beginning of the return to some sort of normality for employment. We want to see less of the fear and anxiety that come with job loss and the struggle to make ends meet, and for employment levels to turn the corner and rise again. This year has seen an unprecedented 300 percent increase in demand for our services and a consequent hit on our finances.” For further information, visit www.resource-centre.org or call 020 8346 4000.
MIRACLES UNIVERSITY JEWISH CHAPLAINCY University Jewish Chaplaincy chaplains have been a light in the dark for Jewish students up and down the UK, offering much-needed pastoral care during a difficult and lonely time. Navigating ever-changing restrictions and regulations, chaplains have changed the way they work and reached out to Jewish students in new and innovative ways. Students receive Shabbat meal packs and treats to keep their spirits up, while social activities and learning opportunities have moved online. And, as always, when students need a listening ear, chaplains are there. UJC works miracles on campus – before, during and after the pandemic.
WORK AVENUE The miracle that Work Avenue is most hoping for in 2021 is, like everyone, an end to this pandemic, good health and a return to normality. Coronavirus has had an impact on all of our lives, and this is especially true in the employment and business world. Industries have collapsed overnight, people have lost jobs and even whole careers, and many have struggled financially. We have seen first-hand the impact this is having on people’s lives, mental health and family well-being. The miracle of a vaccine, which will let life return to normal, so people can once again earn a living with dignity and respect, is our biggest hope. WORLD JEWISH RELIEF World Jewish Relief hopes that after an exceedingly challenging year, 2021 is characterised by a change in fortune for the communities we support worldwide. We hope that in Eastern Europe, our elderly Jewish clients rediscover our Jewish community centres that have been closed for too long and left them lonely and isolated. We hope for an improved job market to enable our younger clients to find employment. In Rwanda, we hope good harvests will increase resilience for the young farmers emerging from poverty. Here in the UK, we hope the country will continue to welcome refugees seeking safe passage and resettling here. And we hope, perhaps, for a year without a single international disaster.
JNETICS As we celebrate Chanukah this year, Jnetics, together with the wider community prays for a miracle that no more babies will be born into our community with life-shortening or threatening Jewish genetic disorders. No young parent should ever have to endure the tragedy of giving birth to a seriously ill child. This is wholly preventable if we ensure that every young Jewish adult in the UK takes part in carrier screening. Help us bring light and positivity in 2021, by spreading the word about Jnetics and encouraging all young adults to sign up to our screening clinic. www.jnetics.org/screening Together, we can achieve this miracle.
EMUNAH There haven’t been too many reasons to celebrate in 2020, but one light throughout the pandemic has been how the charity British Emunah has continued to support the miracles that are its 10,000 at-risk and vulnerable children in Israel. This Chanukah, on Monday, 14 December, it will be hosting a fundraising gala. During an evening of inspiration and entertainment, TV presenter Samantha Simmonds will interview two of the country’s leading journalists – Kevin Maguire ((Daily Mirror) and Andrew Pierce (Daily Mail). British Emunah director Sharon Dewinter said: “Please join us as we strive to make more miracles happen. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.” To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
MAGEN DAVID ADOM UK Magen David Adom UK wishes all its friends and supporters a very happy Chanukah. Since the beginning of the year, our incredible teams in Israel have been on the frontline working tirelessly to keep everyone safe and healthy. Next year, we are all hoping for ‘normal’ times to return. Magen David Adom’s lifesaving work is perpetual. The new National Blood & Logistics Centre in Ramla is set to open mid-2021. This will revolutionise how Israel collects, stores and distributes its blood supply, while simultaneously improving everyday emergency response times. We could not have got this far without our generous donors, our lifesavers. Thank you and happy Chanukah! YOUTH ALIYAH CHILD RESCUE At Youth Aliyah Child Rescue, we hope our community is able to truly embrace the silver linings that have come with this pandemic. We have seen communities step up to support their most vulnerable members, and we have been able to recognise that the difficulties we have faced ourselves are the same difficulties faced by people from vastly different backgrounds. Our hope is that more people will recognise there is more that unites us than divides us, and that children who have suffered from trauma also deserve the chance to shine brightly and become leaders in their communities. NORWOOD Social isolation is not the ‘new normal’ for people with learning disabilities ... it’s just normal. So my wish for Norwood and the wider community is that in 2021, the rollout of a vaccination against Covid will enable a rich life of physical connection to resume. Friendships, socialising and having a job are important to all of us, so my hope is that, when lockdown and the restrictions are lifted and the doors to society are open once more, this will be for everyone… equally.
GIFT GIFT inspired and galvanised more than 1,000 volunteers during the pandemic who helped with shopping, virtual tutoring, card making, befriending and packing food parcels. In 2021, GIFT’s plan is to continue enthusing and engaging people to get stimulated and involved in the wider community and make giving the new normal. Both through education in school and through projects out of school, GIFT plans to continue getting the public to work their giving muscle by constantly creating more opportunities to give while, in turn, supporting those who need it the most. Next year will be about rebuilding the community and building the community into givers. AJEX The AJEX Campaign of Remembrance, Shabbat and Ceremony took remembrance to a new level this year, despite Covid-19. In 2021, AJEX plans to build on the success of 2020, pass the legacy onto the next generation and increase our outreach work on education and remembrance for the community and beyond. We will also be concentrating on welfare, supporting lonely and isolated veterans and providing financial support where needed. Our project to record stories of ex-Jewish servicemen and women along with our Roll of Honour initiative will also take centre stage. To support us, please visit www.ajex.org.uk or email email@example.com JEWISH DEAF ASSOCIATION JDA’s aim is to ensure all deaf and deafblind people can get the very best out of life. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people with hearing loss have become more isolated and lonely than ever. Older people are disconnected and distressed. Care home residents are declining – missing family, visitors and mental stimulation. JDA’s vision for 2021 is that we’ll be allowed to reunite – and help older people with hearing loss to reconnect with their loved ones, join in activities, be a part of the community in which they live, lead a full and meaningful life and feel happy and alive again! LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 47
In a world of uncertainty In a confusion world of uncertainty and and confusion
UNIVERSITY JEWISH CHAPLAINCY CHAPLAINCY UNIVERSITY JEWISH will be there for Jewish will be there for Jewish students on campus.
students on campus Jewish students are returning, so are we. University Chaplaincy Help makeJewish it happen! 305 Ballards Lane London N12 8GB
University Jewish Chaplaincy 305 Ballards Lane London 8GB 5678 T: 020N12 8343
firstname.lastname@example.org T:E:020 8343 5678 www.mychaplaincy.co.uk E:W: office@myChaplaincy.co.uk W: www.myChaplaincy.co.uk Registered Charity No: 1126031 Registered Charity No: 1126031
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C A RE
SHINE A LIGHT, SAVE A LIFE CHANUKAH CAMPAIGN B E C O M E
1 0 - 1 8
POSITIVE PATIENT OUTCOMES ARE A PRIORITY
A M B A S S A D O R D E C E M B E R
CAPACITY IS AT ITS PEAK
PRESSURE ON THE MEDICAL STAFF IS AT BREAKING POINT
This Chanukah, we urgently need your help, become an Ambassador and enable us to expand the GICU by four times its size â€“ creating more miracles and saving more lives. Find out more and sign-up at laniado.co.uk/gicu
(Charity Reg: 1126356)
A TRAVEL TASTER
ABROAD IS STILL THE STUFF OF DREAMS, ISRAEL EVEN MORE SO
EXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM had a deeper resonance when uttered this Passover since we were in lockdown, separated from family and the Holy Land was off the map for the forseeable. Not much has changed since March with Israel’s mandatory quarantine on arrival, so we have experienced it vicariously through Fauda season four and Shtisel repeats. But it’s always in our heads and in the news, so it’s nice to think about that first visit in this new world. Many assume they’ve done Israel after floating in the Dead Sea, eating a falafel and leaving a note at the Kotel, but have you stayed on a kibbutz or even visited one? If you never did the rite of passage Israel tour, then maybe not – and it’s time you did, if only to discredit the recent inflammatory claims of Yair Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s son, as they are amazing places to visit and stay. The kibbutz concept (collective farms) started in 1905 and are still responsible for 30 percent of Israel’s agricultural output, but they have also diversified to focus on everything from art, technology and tourism, with many offering stays in small guest houses or full-service hotels, such as the Nir David Country Lodge in Beit She’an along the Asi river, which has rustic wood cabins with hydromassage baths. So forget about the PM’s son and see the
affordable options at www.booking-kibbutz. com. The other option is a Zimmer – not as in frame, but a self-service chalet in the grounds of a family home somewhere beautiful, like Hotel Hapina-Shel-Michal, which is a 15-minute drive from Ben Gurion. www. goisrael.com/en/ zimmers There are so many places you won’t have seen in Israel, and you can even relax by way of a new adventure at somewhere like the Ghattas Turkish Baths in the multifaith city of Akko/Acre. Housed in the original Ottoman building now restored, the baths offer traditional Turkish massages, skin treatments and relaxation therapies, but if you want the raw relax, head to Hamat Gader under the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) and eastwards of the Jordan River to submerge in gushing springs of hot thermal water (600 cubic meters per hour at 42ºC) renowned for their therapeutic benefits. Nir David Country Lodge in Beit She’an along the Asi river Picturing yourself there is just the start.
Hapina Shel Michal
Ghattas Turkish Bath
Nir David Lodge
Against the odds, Louisa Walters did get away… Covid measures have been carefully CYPRUS has never been on my wishlist. planned at the Annabelle, with breakfast But as a holiday-less summer drew to served outdoors, hot dishes brought to your a close, I became fixated on the travel table; deckbeds well spaced around the corridors and, by October, it was one of (several) pools and tables equally so in all the few places you could travel for sun restaurants. The gym was open, but needed without having to quarantine on return. to be prebooked. We enjoyed lazy days by the A glowing review on a Facebook travel pool, long walks on the promenade, delicious, group alerted me to the Annabelle hotel The pool at the Annabelle hotel inexpensive dinners in the hotel’s charming in Paphos, a quick search on the British Mediterranean trattoria, the next-door sister hotel’s fabulous Airways Holidays website threw up a deal too good to ignore Asian fusion restaurant and authentic Greek taverna and various and before I could say pandemic, flight, hotel and mandatory other eateries a short walk away in the bustling harbour or the Covid test were booked.
The view across Paphos
Annabelle hotel is just 20 minutes by taxi from the airport, and although it was already dark when we arrived, so couldn’t see the magnificent view of the pool area or the sea beyond, but I loved the place the moment I walked in. The warm, friendly (always masked) staff, the spacious, comfortable bedroom decorated in calming blue hues, the well-lit marble bathroom, the large balcony with cushioned chairs, the peace, the velvety warm night… After the stress of 2020, this is the ultimate ‘…and breathe’ destination.
town. Notable was a family-run Cypriot taverna with no menu, just non-stop meze until you beg them to stop (£50 for two including wine), and a charming old-school (tablecloths and all) Italian in town. There are family rooms and children’s activities, as well as private suites hidden in the lushly lansdscaped grounds and live music at the rooftop bar at weekend. This charming retreat is the perfect mid- or post-pandemic paradise holiday for families and couples alike. I’ll be heading back as soon as I can. www.annabelle.com.cy
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You achieve immortality not by building pyramids or statues, but by engraving your values on the hearts of your children, and they on theirs, so that our ancestors live on in us and we in our children, and so on until the end of time. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks 8 March 1948 – 7 November 2020
50 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk
Janette is afraid. Sheâ€™s afraid of what will happen to her this winter. Sheâ€™s afraid of the cold. It creeps into her tiny house, through the hard concrete floors and the gaps in the thin walls. Her breath freezes in the air. Water freezes in the pipes, so she cannot wash.
Will you keep her warm this winter?
wwww.worldjewishrelief.org/winter 020 8736 1250
LIG LIV HT I E NO S NG RW WIT UP OO H D With you at Norwoodâ€™s side, together we can achieve so much more.
So if your family wants to enjoy a very special online Chanukah celebration with Captain Calamity, arts and crafts, candle lighting plus a fun activity pack, join us for The Norwood Night on Sunday 13 December and light up the lives of children at our Buckets and Spades short breaks service too.
To book your place for The Norwood Night, visit norwood.org.uk/norwoodnight
Patron Her Majesty The Queen Reg Charity No. 1059050