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LIFE

Jewish News

April 2021

ISSUE NO.5

Magazine

Fiddler at 50!

Film and cast exclusive PLUS Home cooking goes global New names for your wardrobe & Shtisel’s secret love

THE JEWISH THRILLER Harlan Coben talks unlikely heroes and football fanatics


Who will be there to free the most vulnerable members of our community from loneliness this Pesach? JEWISH CARE WILL, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP Loneliness doesn’t go away, the forced isolation that Covid-19 has caused has made it so much worse. Myrtle is just just one of over 1,200 people our Social Work and Community Support Team care for every week, a service which is completely reliant on the generosity of our community. So please make a gift to ensure we can free more people from loneliness this Pesach and beyond.

To make your gift, please call 020 8922 2600, or visit jewishcare.org/donate

“I’m so grateful to the Social Work Team for connecting mum with the tea parties over Zoom. It’s the highlight of her month, her face lights up when she sees her friends online”. Laurence, Myrtle’s son and her full-time carer

Charity Reg No. 802559

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08/03/2021 16:07


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17

A DIPLOMAT IN WAITING

FIDDLER GOES GOLD

FASHIONABLY GREAT

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30

23

READ BETWEEN THE LAUGHS

‘I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR BLACK PEOPLE’

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HOME BUT AWAY

INSIDE

APRIL 2021

Editor’s letter IT WASN’T MEANT TO BE LIKE THIS. Not again. As a gregarious, hospitable community, being told to sequester from parents and pals for a second Passover is aggravating. We know why it’s necessary, but there is a hollowness to the question ‘Why is this night different from all others?’ when the meagre guest list is the same as last year. But things aren’t the same. Many have had the vaccine and we’re on our way to getting ‘out out’ for a healthy spring (pah pah pah). I can’t decide whether this period of global crises is moving agonisingly slowly or that time is trapped in a hypersonic jet. It definitely felt like the latter

when I realised that Fiddler on the Roof, the movie, was marking its 50th anniversary. Chaim Topol was only 35 when the film went into production and I was seven but, ever since my mother took me to see the film, I’ve been devoted. Catch it by chance mid-way and you’re hooked until the end. Listen to the stirring chords of Sunrise, Sunset and you’re in tears. Now I’m older, all of it makes me cry, especially Topol, who for many remains the Tevye, just as the other cast members will always be the Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava and Perchik. What a joy it is to have the actors who played those parts share their stories in Life magazine and you’ll be able to see them face to face along with Topol’s family from 11 April in the Fiddler reunion at www.jw3.org.uk.

The presence of these wonderful people makes this a very special celebratory issue, which is further enhanced by interviews with authors Harlan Coben, Rebecca Walker and Ivor Baddiel. Inside, you will find walls of urban art, wardrobe-wise fashion, globe-trotting dinners and a new love for that other favourite, Shtisel. This issue of Life really is a cornucopia of cultural fun and I hope the Fiddler feature is as emotional to read as it was to write. You see, I played Hodel in a charity production directed by my marvellous mum in memory of my father more than 30 years ago. That’s time for you. Be sure to toast to life (l’chayim) this Passover.

Brigit

Editor Brigit Grant brigit@jewishnews.co.uk Art Director Diane Spender diane@jewishnews.co.uk

Louisa Walters Sandy Rashty Designers Daniel Elias John Nicholls

Advertising Sales Jewish News Editor Marc Jacobs Richard Ferrer sales@jewishnews.co.uk richard@jewishnews.co.uk 020 8142 8611 Contributors Francine Wolfisz Alex Galbinski

FRONT COVER A scene from the film Fiddler On The Roof, 1971


Demand for mental health services is greater than ever. This Pesach we need your help to ensure everyone living with mental illness in our community can get support when they need it.

Donate today at jamiuk.org/pesach

Miriam was vulnerable and isolated but thanks to Jami, she was never alone

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is here for us all “Exactly one year ago, our world came crashing down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Five days later the UK went into lockdown. I was not yet ‘in the system’ and when my GP surgery closed, we had no idea what to do next. But somehow, we knew to call Chai. They have been a constant source of strength to me and all my family – unwavering at each stage and through every challenge.” Alexia

Together we can cope. Together we will care.

For more information on Chai’s specialised services please call 0208 202 2211 or our Freephone Helpline on 0808 808 4567 or visit chaicancercare.org Registered Charity No. 1078956


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

IT’S ALL NEW COMING TO YOU STILL FEELING LIKE WINNIE-THE-POOH STUCK IN A RABBIT HOLE? THIS WILL KEEP YOU GOING UNTIL WE GET ‘OUT OUT’ INTO THE LIGHT As editor and assistant director to one of Denmark’s most lionised film-makers, it should have been easy for Anders Refn to get a film green-lit. Yet Anders, who shared Lars Von Trier’s Palme d’Or at Cannes for Dancer in the Dark , struggled to get support for his twopart film, Into the Darkness, which focuses on a Danish industrialist profiting from the German occupation of Denmark. “There have been many films about the rescuing of the Jews, but very little about Danish collaboration, which is a taboo subject few are willing to discuss,” says Anders, who felt the opening of archives in his homeland made such a production timely. “Our films are about the brave Danish heroes from the last part of the war when people fought against the Germans once they knew they would lose. In the beginning it was much more complicated, and my film shows how the Danish police chased the resistance fighters and sent some Jewish refugees back to Germany. “There were also Danes who joined the SS with the approval of the government to satisfy Hitler. This is fascinating and it’s never been told on screen before in Denmark.” Into the Darkness is available at www.ukjewishfilm.org/ondemand

Humming Diana Jeanna de Waal wanted Princes William and Harry to see Diana: A True Musical Story in which she plays the title role. Sadly, theatres remaining closed is not the only reason this won’t happen, but they will be able to see it on Netflix ahead of it opening on Broadway in May. Created by Bon Jovi’s Jewish keyboard player David Bryan and his Memphis musical collaborator Joe DiPietro,

Perfect Threesome?

Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman and Bob Dylan have yet to star in anything together, but uniting all three in a play is the aim of the protagonist in Jared M Feldschreiber’s debut novella, Reckless Abandon. “There is some cosmic thing going on that almost unites them, but the force of their distinct natures has kept them apart,” suggests Feldschreiber, an Allen devotee who has hung around film sets hoping to meet his hero. The book’s hero sets about his challenge in 1980s New York, surrounded by the arts, entertainment and sport of the time, as well as meeting such characters as Irving Mitchell Felt, the Jewish businessman who constructed the new Madison Square Garden. At the book’s core is the writer’s belief that the director, actor and musician belong together. “I’ve often marvelled that all three were often ever so close to working together and even reference each other, such as in Annie Hall when Allen’s character, Alvy Singer, looks annoyed when his date (Shelley Duvall) describes a Dylan show as ‘transcendent’. But I’m most interested in these men because they are shapeshifters, and their theatrical expressions have helped to reflect our world in the past 60 years.” All three have been sent the novella, so it could still happen. Reckless Abandon is available at amazon.com

there are songs with such catchy titles as Here Comes James Hewitt. No doubt a certain couple will enjoy a rendition of Only The Monarchy is on the Line once they know the words.

Open on Closed Strictly-Orthodox Jews living in Israel are ordered not to even look at Independence Day fireworks. How they respond to this and to other anti-Zionist mandates that prevent them from participating fully in the country where they live is revealed in Haredim, a fascinating threepart documentary series directed by Ron Ofer and Dr Yohai Hakak. From mass anti-Israel demonstrations to the struggle faced by Charedi women raising large families in poverty while their husbands study Torah, this is an eye-opening study of a closed community. Haredim is available on www.streamisrael.tv LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 5


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Curtain Up With fingers crossed and touching wood, 17 May will hopefully see the opening of many theatres across the country. Our good wishes for curtain up go to producers Kenny Wax, Nica Burns, Sonia Friedman and Nicholas Hytner, along with all

Nica Burns

those on stage and behind the scenes. Book your Kenny Wax

tickets and support the industry by getting a ticket for The Show Must Go On! concerts (2-6 June) at the Palace Theatre as all profits go to Acting For Others and The Fleabag Support Fund. Shows involved in the concert are likely to include Dear Evan Hansen, Tina, The Prince of Egypt, Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. And if you can’t go, buy a mask. Sonia Friedman

Nicholas Hytner

Comer Again After Killing Eve, Jodie Comer just had to wait for American film offers to roll in, first from JJ Abrams, who cast her as Rey’s mother in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and now as Molotov Girl in the May release Free Guy directed by Canada’s Shawn Levy. Expect good things from this Netflix sci-fi as Levy exec produced and directed Stranger Things and the cast includes Maori/Jewish talent Taika Waititi (aka Taika Cohen) who dared to make Hitler hilarious in his own film, JoJo Rabbit.

www.theatresupportfund.co.uk

Wear to Watch In a previous issue of Life, readers were asked to share stories about memorable clothing still in their closets. Across the pond author Emily Spivack had been doing the same since 2010 and the tales of togs belonging to artists, Holocaust survivors, writers, hip-hop legends and fashion designers appeared in her New York Times bestseller Worn Stories and its follow-up Worn in New York. “We all have a memoir in miniature living in a garment we’ve worn,” says Emily, which is now the sell line for the Netflix eight-part series inspired by her book that starts on 1 April. Funny, tragic, poignant and celebratory, each episode is a mix of interviews, animation and archive footage, which brings to life the stories about humans and the stuff they wear.

BRIDGERTON TOO FAR Just the sight of Regé-Jean Page in a cutaway coat and breeches induces a collective sigh. As Bridgerton’s Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, the actor set hearts aflutter across the globe in the Netflix series based on the books by Jewish author Julia Quinn. With 63 million households tuning in, the producers didn’t hit pause before embarking on a second season but, with four more books in the Bridgerton boxset, why wait? There are no Jewish characters in the Gossip Girl-styled Regency drama or actors, despite Queen Charlotte being played by Golda Rosheuvel. This is not an issue as Jews were in short supply in Regency London, but that didn’t stop Soviet-Jewish author Alina Adams from writing The Fictitious Marquis some 25 years ago and centring it around Lady Julia Highsmith, a woman of high birth who hides a secret about her mother’s religious background. Set around 1811, the story that sees her save a criminal from the gallows and pass him off as her husband is perfect post-Bridgerton material for TV and it’s high time Jewish period romances were part of the mainstream, even when fictitious. The Fictitious Marquis is available on Amazon.

Fully Framed

Following a career in design, Barbara J Lewis went to live in Florence for five years to study fine art full time. Returning to her Belsize Park home, Barbara continued creating still life, portraits and copies of Masters as a full-time pursuit, but then lockdown struck and took away her life models. Rather than let her paints dry, she has created new celebrity canvases every week through Sky Art Portrait of the Week and now, as the climate improves, is ready to take commissions from those who wish to be immortalised by an artist who trained in the same city as da Vinci and Michelangelo. Now that’s a reference! Barbarajolewisart

Dennis Duhaney – Exercise Guru

6 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk Still Life


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INTERVIEW

e m y Rh

FOR A REASON

CELEBRITY AUTHORS ABOUND BUT NATALIE PORTMAN HAS WRITTEN A BOOK WITH A PURPOSE

P

ity the authors who have dedicated their lives to writing childrens’ books, as they have been usurped by A-listers with a taste for the genre. Inspired by the arrival of a grandchild (Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards) or the

urge to write a letter to one’s daughters (Barak Obama), publishers’ demands for celeb-penned children’s stories has never been greater. For some, it’s a one trick tale; for others, including Jamie Lee Curtis who has delivered 13, it’s a production line. And now Oscar winner Natalie Portman has taken her place on the shelves of showbiz scribes with her modern retelling in poetry of three classic fables. That The Black Swan star has ventured into literature – albeit tot fiction – is no surprise as she is a Harvard graduate who performed Chekhov between semesters and missed the premiere of her first Star Wars film because it clashed with exams. With such devotion to academia, one might have expected the actress, born Natalie Hershlag, to reimagine Tolstoy’s War and Peace rather than The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare and Country Mouse and City Mouse. But Natalie, 35, an activist and vocal supporter

of the #MeToo campaign, has brought her political head to her reimagining of the fables and regendered them to reflect contemporary society. “I found myself changing the pronouns in many of the books I read to my children,” says the mother of Aleph, nine, and Amalia, four, who is also producing a new Apple TV series in which she plays Maddie Schwartz, a Jewish housewife turned murder investigator. “So many had overwhelmingly male characters, which is disproportionate to reality. And so I started changing the pronouns and then realised, there should be something available to read to them without giving them a skewed perspective of the world.” Receiving books as gifts for her children also shaped her view. “When my son was born, he was given books that didn’t feel particularly gendered except for a few about cars and trucks. With my daughter, we started getting feminist baby books, which not only felt premature, but don’t boys need this more than the girls? They should be seeing women as protagonists in their own lives and not just as heroic or

So many of them had overwhelmingly male characters, which is disproportionate to reality

When mommy pig saw that her kids were all grown She told them: ‘It’s time to move out on your own.’ So Norm and Melinda and Georgie said byes And left their dear Mamas to build their own sties.

accomplished characters. They can be the pig or the wolf.” Even the non-binary have a home in this book, which Natalie hopes will be a first step towards children not having expectations based on gender. Born in Jerusalem but raised on New York’s Long Island, Natalie is yet another Israeli to have superhero status, but in the Marvel Universe where she appears as Dr Jane Foster/Lady Thor, who will return in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Clad in armour and wielding Thor’s hammer, the attire is perfect for an author challenging gender stereotypes. Perhaps Natalie could borrow it for book signings. Natalie Portman’s Fables is published by Feiwel and Friends

But Wolf was not there to be scary or mean, She just came to say: ‘Even pigs should keep clean!’

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 9


Photo by An Le

INTERVIEW

THE JEW, THE WASP the Long Arm of the Law

&

Jenni Frazer gets to the heart of Harlan Coben’s writing success and familial love of Fulham FC

H

arlan Coben says he only has two main interests – “writing and family”. The multi-awardwinning novelist – with a staggering 75 million books in print worldwide – is very clear. “I think it’s tough to be a writer with a hobby. Part of writing is guilt: so every time I would want to do something more enjoyable – or classically more enjoyable, I don’t know, collect vases or whatever people do – I think, nah, you should be writing. “I feel like that most of the time. If I’m doing the car pool, or taking a hike in the woods, there’s always a part of me that says I should be writing. There’s a lot of guilt involved in doing what I do. I don’t relax well, so if I go on a family vacation, I always write in the morning, because otherwise I’m not balanced. I’m not good with downtime.” Coben’s devotion to his craft has paid off handsomely. He began writing while still working in the family travel firm run by his mother and grandfather, and, in 1990, when he was just 26, his first thriller, Play Dead, was published, followed by Miracle Cure in 1991. But Coben really hit pay dirt in 1995 with Deal Breaker, the first in his series of Myron Bolitar novels, which attracted a huge audience of fans as the series built.

10 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

The Bolitar books, of which there are 11 to date, feature the eponymous Myron, a former star basketball player who has been forced into other work – a sports agent with a law degree – after an on-court injury terminates his career. Like Coben, Myron is Jewish, with a warm, loving family. Unlike Coben, however, Myron gets into some terrible, and frequently violent, situations, from which he is often rescued by his long-time best friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, fabulously rich and the Waspiest of Wasps (white Anglo-Saxon

Harlan Coben is the author of 32 books

Protestants). There is a long-standing cast of characters in the Bolitar books, who crop up not only in the series, but occasionally in Coben’s equally popular stand-alone novels, several of which have become TV or feature films. And the hard-working Coben has also written three young adult novels featuring Myron’s nephew, Mickey Bolitar. He’s even published a book for children, The Magical Fantastical Fridge. But now Windsor Horne Lockwood III, frequently introduced to readers by his trademark way of answering the phone – “Articulate”, he commands his caller – gets a book all of his own, the perfectly-titled Win, Coben’s newest novel. It is, as fans have come to expect, an exciting thriller, full of twists and turns. Coben leaves the reader guessing until the very last page. It has to be said that Win is an unlikely hero – he’s more of a sociopathic anti-hero, really, with a worrying fondness for over-the-top

violence and equally over-the-top sex. But the genial Coben, who couldn’t be less like Win if he tried, reveals that the character is actually based on his real-life best friend and former room-mate at Amherst College, the prestigious university the pair attended in the mid-80s. “Yeah, the Jew and the Wasp”, laughs Coben. He knows they couldn’t be more different, and yet his unnamed template – who, apparently, has just such an aristocratic, upper-class lineage – remains his best friend to this day. And, Coben thinks, his friend enjoys the preposterous situations with which his fictional counterpart has to deal. “I always loved the idea of a sidekick,” he says, citing Holmes and Watson and Batman and Robin. So that’s why he created Win for Myron. “I took my college roommate, who has an equally obnoxious sort of name, and built on that.” Coben – whose family name was Cohen before he was born, but changed by his lawyer father Carl when he

“I ALWAYS

LOVED THE IDEA OF A

SIDEKICK”


Photo by An Le

Safe stars: Marc Warren, Amanda Abbington, Harlan Coben, Michael C Hall and Hannah Jane Arterton

Amanda Abbington in Netflix drama Safe, which is set in Britain

married Coben’s mother Corky in the early 1950s – is the middle son of three brothers. He is named Harlan, or Chaim, for his paternal grandfather, who died before he was born. He has early memories, as a little boy, of huge Passover events with more than 100 people, made up of the “patriarchs” – a group of five or six close friends of his maternal grandfather and their extended families. The “giant” seder used to take place at Goldman’s Hotel in New Jersey, now a very fancy and spacious establishment called the Wilshire. From the way he tells it, almost everyone in his family either studied law or became lawyers. Both his older and younger brothers attended Harvard Law School, although they became successful businessmen, and law was his original destiny, too. “I had applied to, and was accepted by, Chicago University Law School. But my grandfather said he needed someone to help him in the travel business, and he knew I wanted to write, so he said: ‘Why don’t you defer your place for a year?’” The year became two years and

first time – with that other dedicated Fulham fan, Pointless presenter (and now novelist) Richard Osman. The three had a great time, not least because Fulham, unusually, won that day by 5–0, prompting Coben to suggest the club should pay to have him flown over more often if his presence resulted in that kind of score. “I’ve never seen two guys so happy, they were kid-like in their joy,” notes Coben. He speaks of himself as “a very practical person” building his dream of writing in small, but realisable, steps. At first, he says, he wanted to get published. Having done that, he tried to get another published. “I never dreamed that you could make a living as a novelist” – though, with 32 books under his belt, including Win, he surely has little left to prove. “I would achieve an ambition in small ways. Could I be on the bestseller list? Could I be number one on the bestseller list? My goals were always incremental, enjoying the moment I was at.” His writing routine, he says, “is not to have a routine. Before Covid, I would

eventually Coben stayed for eight years in the family business, never went to law school, but had a good time travelling the world on behalf of Club ABC Tours, setting up specialised trips for the company’s clients. Among the places Coben travelled was the UK, for which he plainly has a particular affection: at least one of his books has a London setting and he also speaks fondly of Manchester, where filming is currently taking place for the Netflix version of his book Stay Close, whose starry cast includes Eddie Izzard, Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt and Sarah Parish. If not for Covid, he says, he would have been in Manchester during the filming; as it is, he has to content himself with viewing the rushes remotely. He has another reason for his Anglophilia: his younger brother, Craig, has lived in London for 20 years and is a fanatical Fulham football fan. Coben last spent serious time with him four years ago to celebrate Craig’s 50th birthday. The pair marked the occasion with a birthday visit to a home match at Craven Cottage, together – for the

Richard Armitage as Adam Price in The Stranger is approached by a woman (Hannah John-Kamen)

leave the house a lot, and go to a coffee shop to write, or the library, or even the back of an Uber. These days, I have to go to different rooms in my house”. But he has a new writing colleague, one of his four children, Charlotte, who has written episodes of The Stranger for the Netflix series based on his novel, and who, he says, is “very funny”. His other adult children are “more science-y”, perhaps taking after their mother, who is a paediatrician. Future Coben plans include a companion to his stand-alone novel, The Boy From The Woods, a book in which he deliberately left unexplored the wild child origins of his main protagonist. And we may even, he says, see a televised version of Myron Bolitar – though nothing is set in stone. If that happens, however, casting for Windsor Horne Lockwood III, the quintessential patrician Yankee, is going to be fun. I’m thinking Eddie Redmayne with a New England drawl. Harlan Coben – the man behind Safe, The Stranger, The Woods and The Five – is back with a new mystery series. The Innocent premieres on 30 April

Siobhan Finneran, Dervla Kirwan, Harlan Coben, Hannah John-Kamen and Jennifer Saunders LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 11


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DISCUSSION

‘I’m worried about the writing on the wall for black people’ Writer and activist Rebecca Walker thinks white-passing Jews need to stop talking and just listen. By Alex Galbinski

A

s the daughter of two prominent civil rights activists, and an activist and writer herself, Rebecca Walker is more than qualified to talk about race and identity. Her mother is the renowned African-American poet and author Alice Walker, and her father is the attorney Melvyn Leventhal who, in the 1960s, formed the first interracial law partnership in Mississippi. Now divorced, the couple were the state’s first legally married interracial couple. So when Rebecca says she is worried that she might one day need to pack her bags and flee the States, we should listen. And by we, she means we Jews. Or, more specifically, those of us Jews who are white-passing. During a talk moderated by award-winning film-maker, storyteller and activist Lacey Schwartz Delgado for New York’s Temple Emanu-El, Rebecca said her parents had “heeded the call of Dr [Martin Luther] King, of Marian Wright Edelman” and wrote their own stories. While Rebecca was considered to embody “this sort of post-racial future”, her parents’ divorce in 1976 “splintered [this amazing future] into a million pieces” for her. “I grew up moving back and forth between their two homes and their two worlds; my mother’s kind of Afro-bohemian world in San Francisco, and my dad’s sort of middle/ upper middle-class Westchester, New York, Jewish white community on the east coast.” These experiences informed her 2000 memoir, Black, White and Jewish. “I really needed to write that book to give myself a psychological cohesion. I felt I had to do a lot of performing in both worlds in order to be accepted,” she explains. “And I have been looking for myself in books my whole life and not finding myself.” Rebecca recalled her difficulty in growing up as the daughter of a writer, and specifically as Alice’s daughter. “[Alice] was very much about prioritising her work. She really missed some of the wounds I was carrying, and the ways in which I needed to be supported.” After an intense period of estrangement, the pair are now reconciled and, as a mother and an author herself, Rebecca now understands “the alchemy of making art”, which she says is embedded in her own DNA. While she has found her “spiritual home” within Buddhism, Rebecca emphasises she feels “culturally Jewish”. “I feel a very strong connection to Jewish people and specifically I would say to Ashkenazi Jews in America, but also in Europe. There’s a kind of language we speak, mannerisms we share, a sense of what in the very best Jews I relate to a sense of justice, commitment to truth, a sense

Left: Rebecca Walker and, above, with her mother, the author Alice Walker, and her father, lawyer Melvyn Leventhal. The pair were active in the American civil rights movement

of respect for the book. It’s about the way people treat each other, about our history, about understanding how to transform pain, brutality and the history we have had to share into something powerful, dynamic, and to keep pushing to stand in solidarity with other people.” This is why she is hurt and disappointed in her “Jewish brothers and sisters” when they don’t share what she describes as the understanding of the persecution of people, and specifically that of “African-Americans in this country”. She refers to a row she had with her father over text, during which she argued: “Black people, at some point, we just need to leave this country, you know, possibly because there’s such a sense of fear; the rise of white supremacy at this point, the mass incarceration. I have a six foot two African-American son [who is] brown; I’m afraid for him to leave the house. At some point, the question is: do we stay here, what is here for us? And is there a moment in which we need to escape, is the writing on the wall, and I think a lot about Jews in the 1930s.” But her father does not have the same projection, and she is saddened when she feels Jews want to rank suffering, with the Holocaust at the top, and to deny that similar could happen to black people in the US. “It’s already happening in this country. And what I hope for as I navigate both of these worlds, is for Jews to stand up for us, for the young African-American boys and girls and human beings in this country who are terrified every day. The anxiety that I carry as a mother is devastating,

and it is not dissimilar to what I’m sure was the fear so many Jewish mothers felt in Europe in the 1920, 30s and 40s. My hope is to wake people up and say, ‘Look, it’s not about whose suffering is worse or better, but we are all suffering. And we all need to stand up for each other.’” She feels “deeply and profoundly” culturally black and wants people to recognise that despite some black people being at the top of their game, this is not the whole story. “Part of the problem is that instinct to say, ‘But black people are doing this, but there are so many, but what about black people who are antisemitic, but…’. Don’t do that! Just be present with what I’m saying. [People] don’t need to be told that their struggle is not real, that they’re doing just great when the majority of them are not.” Her latest book, What’s Your Story?, co-written with her former student Lily Diamond, stems from her masterclass, The Art of Memoir. The reader is prompted through the workbook to consider topics, including their relationship with their mind and body, with their family, technology, work, their own mortality, their community – and interrogates them as to whether these ideas are theirs or inherited. “Because often we’re holding so much trauma or so much confusion, or we’re just habituated to acting in certain ways. And we don’t really understand that we can rewrite the story and have a different outcome; we can have a better life.” And who better to help others become more empowered than someone who practises what they preach?

Rebecca Walker, right, and her former student Lily Diamond co-authored What’s Your Story? LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 13


14 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk


INTERVIEW

SecretsShared

Shtisel

Israel’s hit TV drama has an audience that hates plot reveals but still wants to know everything. So what should Brigit Grant ask the newest member of the cast?

T

here’s no easy way to say this but if you’re a fan of Shtisel and hate spoilers turn the page now. On the other hand, to pass up the opportunity to meet and learn about the newest star of the popular Israeli drama would be foolhardy, because Daniella Kertesz is an astute and prepossessing performer with the tranquil beauty of a classical artist’s muse. Poised and balletic, her contemplative countenance belongs on a canvas, which couldn’t be more perfect as her role in Shtisel is that of art dealer Racheli Warburg. This is no big reveal, as Daniella gave a fulsome description of the character in Yes TV promos, but it was in Ivrit, so non-Hebrew speakers were left in the dark – which is how Shtisel purists prefer it. But things are different now. Perfectly timed to coincide with Passover, season 3 has at last appeared in the way prophet Elijah never has, and is available to view (from tonight) on Netflix. Excited enough to message me: “Can you believe the timing!” – Daniella is ready to talk about a new woman in Akiva’s life. But is it her? “I can tell you the costume ladies were so excited to have a new Shtisel character. They told me: ‘We can put you in so many colours to make you stand out,’ and this helped to shape Racheli visually.” Daniella didn’t hesitate when she got the call for Shtisel as she already knew its creators, Ori Elon and Yehonatan Indursky, from starring in their mini–

Daniella (second left) in Autonomies

series, Autonomies. “I know how they write so precisely and sensitively and how that translates into an experience for a performer,” says Daniella, who was cast as the dystopian drama’s sexy jazz saxophonist seduced by Assi Cohen’s strictly-Orthodox smuggler. As the definitive example of socially-distanced entertainment, Shtisel doesn’t do love scenes, as touching is not allowed. But turning the heads of fictitious Chasidim appears to be a pattern for this Jerusalem-born actor. “I can control it though,” insists Daniella, who is of Belgian and Hungarian origin. “I did call my girlfriends when I was cast opposite Assi Cohen because we used to watch him as teenagers in the Israeli TV series Love Hurts. He was our dream guy and I think I told him as I said it was so good to meet him.” She was equally glad to meet the fans’ favourite Michael Aloni over Zoom. “He’s charming, but it was weird, because I was in Los Angeles and he was in Israel, but we had to act as if we were in the same room as we normally would have been. So I said: ‘Here’s my pen’ and on screen he pretended to take it and said: ‘Thank you.’” Daniella always considered LA a clichéd destination for an actor – “very against my character”, but with a resumé that includes fighting postapocalyptic zombies with Brad Pitt in World War Z, she is a name, and her role in Yaron Zilberman’s Incitement took her to the City of Angels to promote it. “My boyfriend, who is a video artist,

Daniella Kertesz with Brad Pitt in World War Z and with Michael Aloni in Shtisel. Is she the one for Akiva?

was also studying at UCLA, so I did some auditions and learnt about behind the scenes of the art world. I believe roles catch you when you’re ready for them, so my head was in the right place to play an art dealer.” In Shtisel, Racheli is quick to spot the talent in self-effacing artist Akiva, but researching the role was disquieting for Daniella. “My character buys art for the family estate and is religious. Women in the religious communities have babies, run the home and might even teach art, but they usually deal in art behind the scenes because it’s ‘men’s work’. Racheli is also single at the age of 30, which is really rare in their community and this raises questions.” Daniella really doesn’t want to give too much away, but Shtisel season three is more resolute than before as it introduces plotlines around infertility and, in the case of Racheli, mental health, which is a contentious theme for a drama set in Mea She’arim. “Researching this role for a secular show would have been easier because everyone’s seeing a shrink and taking antidepressants,” says Daniella. “But I couldn’t find many religious people to talk to me about mental illness because it’s such a secret. “When I posed a question to a religious girl about the fate of someone with such issues, she told me she would not be friends with them and they would not find a shidduch. It would be a big stain on the family. Then I asked her what help was available and she said there are no therapists and no one talks about it.”

Of course, any subject is up for debate on social media, and Daniella’s opinion on bipolar disorder in the Orthodox world met with robust denials. “Some said they didn’t agree that mental health within Orthodoxy is so taboo. Now I understand why people are protective, but I did my research and that’s what I found.I also built this character from a very specific point of view and didn’t want to make her a victim. I want the audience to find the empathy I did to play her and love her as I do. ” Daniella isn’t a fan of social media, doesn’t take selfies and was pushed reluctantly on to Instagram by her friends. This may change now she’s in Shtisel as it provokes endless character discussions on Facebook and, through lockdown, fans continued to surmise about Akiva Shtisel’s future and posted amazing portraits of him. So will they soon be sketching Racheli by his side? “She is there from episode two until the end and I can’t say more than that. Really I can’t. I will say working with Ori and Yehonatan again was like playing the music of a composer you know and thinking: ‘I’m this music, I can play this part.’” Whether she is the ‘one’ you can discover from tonight but don’t tell anyone. Shtisel season 3 is available to watch from tonight Akiva by fan Teresa Valero on Netflix LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 15


What is Beit Halochem? A second home for the 51,000 wounded IDF veterans and victims of terror living in Israel.

How do we support our members? Our four unique rehabilitation, sport and recreation centres look after our members and their families for the rest of their lives. These are just a few of the services we offer: physiotherapy – hydrotherapy – alternative therapies – competitive adaptive sports – wheelchair dancing – respite – trips – young members club – academic scholarships – creative activities – family support.

The Veteran Games The inaugural Veteran Games & Conference in 2019 brought together over one hundred wounded armed forces veterans from Israel and the UK, to celebrate the roles of sport and family in physical and emotional rehabilitation. The five-day sporting competition and conference took place at the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Beit Halochem centres. Joined by their families, British veterans spent the duration of the five-day visit competing in a variety of sports and taking in the wonders of Israel’s rich culture while learning how their respective countries provide care for those injured in combat. The Games hosted the first conference on veteran PTSD, mental health and recovery. The programme was deemed so successful that it will be repeated again in October 2021.

Few things are more inspiring in life than to watch someone in private pain visibly change in front of your eyes Andrew Wolfson – Chairman of Beit Halochem UK Thank you for helping to change the lives of our members who have sacrificed so much

To donate, visit: www.bhuk.org/pages/donate or call: 020 8458 2455


INTERVIEW

A Diplomat in Waiting ISRAEL’S AMBASSADOR TO THE UK TELLS SANDY RASHTY ABOUT HER EAGERNESS TO RESUME FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS

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zipi Hotovely starts every day with an Arabic coffee and a smoothie. As Israel’s ambassador to the UK, every day is a big day – and she needs to start it right. “We have a smoothie with all the greens, from spinach to parsley. It’s something we started when we moved to London.” A politician in diplomatic clothing, Hotovely was appointed to the role of ambassador in August 2020. As Likud’s former settlements minister, this is her first position as a diplomat. It is also the first time that she, with her family, has lived abroad. “I like to work, so I work a lot,” she says. “We want to meet people, engage and experience London.” When she took on the job, she was excited. She was looking forward to meeting key figures to further bilateral relations between the UK and Israel. With her family, she hoped to visit places with “significant meaning”, from Westminster Hall to the Churchill War Rooms. As an Orthodox woman, she also intended to immerse herself in Jewish studies and attend services at a variety of synagogues to connect to the British Jewish community. She even enrolled her three daughters in a Jewish school. But life in the UK is not what she expected. As an ambassador under lockdown, most of her pre-arranged meetings with communal leaders, fellow diplomats and politicians have turned into online calls over Zoom. While she has met foreign secretary Dominic Raab, she is yet to meet Boris Johnson or the Queen for the traditional ceremonial welcome. She has taken part in online events, from Chanukah lightings to round-table talks on health policies, including areas of collaboration between the UK and Israel on vaccinations. But it cannot compare with in-person meetings, she says. “Not meeting people has been a dramatic change. You cannot do the work you need to do online. Diplomacy needs a personal connection, real interaction. The real work will start when the world opens.” For now, she is doing her best. “We connect by saying we ‘hate Zoom’,” she laughs. “After we say this, we become best friends.” In Israel, Ambassador Hotovely had a fast-paced lifestyle. But now she has also taken the time to listen to music, watch series such as The Crown and read. “I was never at home,” says the former chair of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. “I used to live in the Knesset. I was always at work. As a politician,

I used to come home to sleep. The only real time I spent at home was during Shabbat.” Now, the pandemic has forced the ambitious ambassador to slow down. Since moving to London, she has spent more time with her husband, a media executive, and their three daughters, aged seven, four and two. “Now we have more quality family time. We have a family dinner every evening. The girls have also got into cooking, becoming sous chefs.” As Israel’s first Orthodox female minister, Hotovely was committed to sending her children to a Jewish school when they moved to London. She says: “There were no other options. I wanted my girls to be at a Jewish school, we are an Orthodox family. I am so happy with the education they are receiving, it really gets the spirit of Israel and it has a lot of Hebrew.” But there have been challenging moments. In Israel, the children had friends and were familiar with her work. “I used to take them to see the prime minister,” she laughs. “They had a very high-level life.” In the UK, they have been able to go to school as Hotovely is classified as a key worker but they have had limited interaction with other children. Describing the girls as “born and bred sabras,” she says: “Their English is very basic, but they are still young, they will learn.” She adds: “School has been empty so they have not got many friends and have lost interest. Children are quick to learn but it is the social part we miss.” For now, they have each other as a family. Hotovely has made the ambassadorial residence feel more like their “home” by playing music. She used to play the piano, but now enjoys listening to classical music and Israeli artist Amir Dadon. Meanwhile, her husband plays the piano and guitar and enjoys listening to jazz. “We really hope music will come to our lives again,” she says. They both share a passion for reading and have filled the residence with books – some bought, some gifted. “The thing that makes us feel at home is our books,” she says. “We love reading.” Hotovely has recently finished the biography of US

Above: Tzipi Hotovely in London with her family Left: with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

vice-president Kamala Harris. “She sounds wonderful, I like her a lot,” she says. “She is a real inspiration for women and a great role model. She has a fascinating life story.” She adds: “I read a lot. I like to read things about British politics, I find it fascinating. I find the leaders interesting.” One such former leader is Margaret Thatcher. Hotovely even empathises with the late prime minister’s passion for politics. “Even though she was criticised for many things, Margaret Thatcher was a leader, she had an ideology. This is something we need to see more of in politics. She was an ideological player in world politics, she created a global role for Britain. She did a good job in making Britain a historic bridge between Europe and the USA.” She asks if I have watched The Crown. “There is a great scene where Gillian Anderson, playing Margaret Thatcher, is filmed leaving Downing Street. The Queen looks at her and says she should have some hobbies – but she tells her politics is her passion.” At this, Hotovely lights up. “Any politician will say politics is their hobby,” she continues. “My hobbies are politics, diplomacy and Israel. Israel is my real passion. I represent an amazing miracle. I am so fortunate that my job fills me with enthusiasm.” Aged 42, she is not yet eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine under UK government rules. As a result, in February, she travelled to Israel with her husband to take her first jab at a hub set up in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. “It was the biggest moment that lasted a few seconds,” she says. She is preparing herself for the next jab. In her suitcase, she has packed a copy of Steve Richards’ The Prime Ministers: reflections on leadership from Wilson to Johnson. Soon, she hopes the community will also be able to also travel to Israel. “As soon as possible, I hope the skies will open,” she says. “I hope people can spend their summer vacations in Israel.” LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 17


INTERVIEW American rapper Nissim Black tells Alex Galbinski why he’s not bitter about facing racism in Israel and why he wants his music to heal

A

s a black gangster rapper from the tough streets of Seattle, Nissim Black knows what it’s like to be doubted, but his focus now is speaking from the heart as a Chasidic and Breslov Jew. Actually, he’s rapping his message and sharing it globally. We are speaking after the release of his single, The Hava Song, and he is quite clear in the lyrics about his purpose in life. “Dance homey, G-d’s only, G-d’s man how they know me…” In the heady days when we were able to attend celebrations, chances are you would have heard at least one of his songs. But Black has had to slow down over the past year – not least because he caught Covid-19 last July, was hospitalised for six days and put on oxygen. Although he usually spends a lot of time on the road, Black has now been making music at home, as well as bringing out his Hava brand of blackened whisky. “Professionally, it’s killed a good amount of parnasseh (livelihood), but it’s also been beautiful because I spent more time around my family. I was here for all the holidays, which is the first time in maybe five years. Then, aside from that, you’re ready to pull your hair out.” The Hava Song, a reimagining of Hava Nagilah, came about after a producer sent him beats via WhatsApp. “I started writing to it, recorded it, grabbed my two little boys, and brought them into the studio for the first time. I had them singing the Hava Nagilah part. “It’s probably the biggest traditional Jewish medley, so it was awesome to

Nissim with his new Hava whisky

18 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

HE’S

GOD’S MAN AND HE HAS A PLAN

be able to do it, touch a few points on antisemitism. It’s just a song about pride and happiness, that’s really my sort of thing.” His musical ideas vary with each song, but overall he says about his message that: “It’s okay to expect positive things and be happy. People are just sort of down and tend to listen to music that gives a soundtrack to what they’re already feeling. I want my music to heal wounds.” Indeed, Black had his own wounds to heal. His parents were part of the early hip-hop scene in Seattle. They divorced when he was two and life growing up with his mum and stepfather was chaotic as they were both drug dealers. “It was full of trafficking, people coming in and out of the house, and drug abuse,” he recalls. Black was eight when the FBI raided his house and arrested his mother. A year later, he was smoking weed and dealing it by 12. When he was 19, his mother – to whom he was very close – died of an overdose aged 37. By then, Black – who was known at the time as Damian – had become interested in music. His influences were Jay Z, Biggie Smalls and, as time went on, “Kanye West became the man for me”.

Musically, he was going places. But after a friend shot a rival rapper who had been disrespecting Black, he shut himself away to reflect on his life and he prayed. And prayed. Black had grown up as a Muslim, having been taken to the mosque by his devout grandfather (who ended up in prison) and then, after joining a youth group, converted to Christianity. But he only found what he was looking for within Judaism. Black converted in 2012 at a Sephardic synagogue with his wife Nissim Black used to live in Mea She’arim Adina, and they re-married in a traditional ceremony along with Adina’s experience by men who are in other sister and husband, Bradley (now Yosef), respects very learned. who is also his producer. His background gives him licence to The two couples made aliyah in 2016, reach out, not only with his music but also initially living in Mea She’arim, but some of in his personal life. People, including some Black’s children – he has six – faced racial of the many yeshiva boys he and his wife prejudice so they moved to Beit Shemesh. host for meals, take their concerns to him Comparing his children’s home life to his because they say he will listen without own, he says: “They also have a full house – prejudice. it’s full of other Jews of every different type “They tell me, ‘If we go to a rabbi, and colour and background.” they’re going to judge us, but with you I’m Black stands up for all the facets of his comfortable, because I know you’re not identity in his music as referenced by his going to judge me as you are open about lyrics: “We gon’ sing it out loud, Black where you came from.’” Jewish and I’m proud.” Black says he takes the very things that He shrugs when I ask whether he is bitter have made his life difficult and makes them about the discrimination he has faced and work for him. says people staring at him was hard to “Everything that’s ‘wrong’ for me – I've adjust to. had all these problems, I’m a ger (convert), “You know, I don’t think it’s always a bad I come from the worst of the worst, my thing in terms of what they may be thinking, parents sold drugs – I’m taking them, and that somebody where I came from decided I’m going to make them my greatness.” to become Jewish.” Part of that greatness is his talent for He believes there would be more music, something he sees as his calling. understanding between the Jewish and the “I feel like the only way I can do this is if African-American communities if they I know 100 percent that this is God’s knew more about each other’s struggles. mission for me,” he tells me. “I can’t go out He says he knew nothing at all about and fight about a political candidate, but the Holocaust until he was 20 and starting I can go and fight about God.” to learn about Judaism and, conversely, he has been asked about the black www.nissimofficial.com All photos by Tziporah Litman


Return to Israel in 2021 with Magen David Adom UK

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20 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk


INTERVIEW

ANOTHER TRICK

on the Wall

The ‘Jewish Banksy’ who founded MurWalls is anything but elusive, discovers Naomi Frankel

M

arc Silver’s passion for art goes back to his childhood. “I could never get my head around people using spray cans and air brushes to create wonderful masterpieces.” It was graffiti in city spaces that initially grabbed Marc’s attention, and he evolved from pencil artist to graphic designer before deciding to follow the street art movement in 2019. He then founded his own company, MurWalls, which brings the art he embraces to the public as well as within people’s homes using some of the finest urban artists in the UK. In his role as CEO, Essex-born Marc designs the murals, selects the street artists and project manages to ensure ultimate client satisfaction every time. “When it comes to our clients, they usually have an idea of what they’re after, but don’t always know exactly what they want,” says Marc. “We advise them and sometimes we just create something we envision would work.” Away from suburban residencies, it’s the sports world that has raced to snap up Marc’s work, with MurWalls becoming the first street art brand to have an official licence with Liverpool Football Club, BBC Sport, England Rugby and West Ham United. This ever-growing client base will soon include Watford FC, Wycombe Wanderers and Brighton and Hove Albion, but it was MurWalls’ tribute to the Liverpool goalkeeping legend Ray Clemence that holds a place in Marc’s heart. “It was painted next to Anfield stadium on the side of an end of terrace house,” he explains. “We built a wonderful relationship with the Clemence family and especially loved having Ray involved in choosing the image. We were so proud when he told us how much he loved it, but sadly his poor health didn’t allow him

to make the journey to Liverpool to see it, as he lost his battle with cancer a few weeks after it was finished.” Other favourite projects include a large Beatles mural in their home city of Liverpool on the side of the Phoenix Hotel to mark the group’s 60th anniversary and another was creating the opening to the first episode of the 2020/21 season of Match of the Day for BBC Sport. “What an honour,” coos Marc. “It was something I would have paid them to let us do!” As an admirer of surrealist master Salvador Dali – “He was my inspiration growing up and his unique style can lend itself to any art form” – Marc enjoys seeing his artists create pieces for themselves driven by a love of something or a tribute to someone who made an impact on their lives, but they are equally content creating home murals for children, as MurWalls also holds official licences with Hasbro, Monopoly, Transformers and Care Bears among many others. “We are about to create something huge for England Rugby at Twickenham stadium,” says Marc. “To be doing something so vast at an iconic stadium will surely be our greatest achievement to date.” And with all these epic projects, Marc is in a comfortable position to offer tips to other hopeful young street artists in the community. “Keep practising as much as you can,” he says. “To be able to get that piece on to a wall using a can is a whole new skill, so it’s about getting used to holding one as you would a pencil or brush. “Watch tutorials on YouTube and even find a local workshop if you can. Get a large piece of MDF (medium density fibreboard) to work with in your garden and give it a base coat of paint… then it’s ready for you to try your hand with a can. Don’t worry about going wrong, as there is no such thing.” Follow @murwalls and @murwallsart on Instagram

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 21


The British Friends of ADI of empowers hundreds of ADI empowers hundreds Israeli children Israeli children andwith young adults with and young adults disabilities at disabilities at ADI Jerusalem and ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran ADI Jerusalem and ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran (formerly ALEH Jerusalem and ALEH NegevNahalat Eran) to achieve their greatest potentials potentials and live happy, dignified and even during lives a pandemic. meaningful - even during a pandemic.

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INTERVIEW

Read between the LAUGHS

L

Francine Wolfisz speaks to TV writer Ivor Baddiel about his comedy whodunnit novel for children

ong before scriptwriter Ivor Baddiel was lending his comedic flair to reality shows such as The Voice, I’m A Celebrity and X Factor, he spent years inspiring young minds as a primary school teacher. Now his passion for cracking jokes, talent shows and seeing children delight in reading have neatly aligned for Ivor’s latest book – a hilarious whodunnit about two youngsters who must save the country’s favourite TV show from a mysterious saboteur. Britain’s Biggest Star... is Dad? revolves around twins Harry and Abby, who are recruited by the secret service for this all-important mission. Their ticket backstage is their father, washed-up comedian Gus, who believes the contest might just reignite his career. With a long line of suspects to investigate, will the twins find the culprit before disaster strikes the show? With a mix of scintillating silliness and a suspenseful plotline, the book makes for an entertaining read for parents to enjoy with their children. Ivor – the older brother of comedian and author David Baddiel – has penned more than 14 books aimed at teenagers and football fans, as well as Cock-ADoodle Quack! Quack! for the youngest among his readers. The latter, he says, elicited “a just beautiful” response from his audience and explains why the 58-year-old especially loves writing for children. “Before lockdown, I went into schools and read it to the kids,” explains Ivor. “What’s amazing is in this age of gadgets and technology, just a simple story can affect them like this. They were enraptured.” Seeing those young beaming faces reminded Ivor why he became a teacher some years ago, before

a full-time writing career beckoned. He recalls: “I taught in Seven Sisters, where some of the kids had a rough upbringing. It was incredibly hard work, but I loved it. I remember one child who suddenly had a breakthrough with their reading. Something just clicked and they started reading. All those months of exhaustion were washed away in a moment of elation and made it all worthwhile.” For young readers just starting out, there’s also no substitution for parents becoming more involved, as well as nurturing “that sense of connection”. “My kids are older now – my daughter is 20, my son is 16 – and I miss them being little,” says Ivor nostalgically. “It’s fantastic that they get older and hopefully turn into reasonably well-adjusted human beings. That’s great, normal and natural, but reading to kids is such a lovely thing.” He adds: “With some of the parents of children I taught, you would have thought that it was second nature to read to their child, but many times I had to suggest it and stress just how important it can be. Reading with your child is precious.” Britain’s Biggest Star... is Dad? is geared towards doing just that, with a smattering of humour that will appeal to parents and kids alike. Given that Ivor has drawn on his years of experience on TV talent shows for the mystery novel’s setting, I ask if he also based any of the protagonists on real-life figures. Ivor begins to chuckle, but doesn’t give much away. “Well, I’ve worked with a lot of comedians and judges over the years, so let’s just say they are an amalgam of people from those types of shows.” As for scripting his first thriller for children, he quips that the storyline is “maybe not quite as intricate as Line of Duty”,

Photos by Thomas Skovsende; illustrations by James Lancett

but still an involved process. “It’s not easy,” laughs Ivor. “You have to write out the plotline for each character and see how they merge. They need all these red herrings and at the same time you have to hide the real culprit. It’s tough, but good tough. I like my brain to be challenged in that way.” For all the sweat, tears and planting of bluffs, Ivor is pleased with the end result. So, too, is brother David, who describes it as “annoyingly good” in a quote on the front cover. There’s no sense of rivalry, more camaraderie between the siblings, explains Ivor, adding: “If this book does half as well as any of his books, then I’ll be very happy.” The Baddiel brothers seemingly have much in common – particularly a love for comedy. That, says Ivor, is something they both inherited from their father, Colin, to whom his book is lovingly dedicated. “My father is a very funny man with all sorts of odd Baddielisms,” he says of Colin, who featured in a Channel 4 documentary with his sons in 2017 after he was diagnosed with Pick’s, a rare type of dementia that causes speech and behaviour problems. “Even though he has dementia now, still to this day he’ll make jokes.

“Whenever I see him and then leave, I’ll say, ‘Colin, I’m off’, and he’ll say, ‘Off? You’ve been off for years.” He’s been making that joke for 50 years now, but when he says it, it makes my heart leap a bit because it means he’s still in there.” Ivor adds: “After I’ve been, he’s got no memory of my visit, but it’s been proven that it does have an emotional effect on his being. “It makes him happier even if he doesn’t remember why. It just shows that at any age, whether reading to your child or visiting your parent, there’s nothing better than that human connection.” Britain’s Biggest Star... is Dad? by Ivor Baddiel is published by Scholastic priced £6.99 (paperback). Available from 1 April

Xxxx

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 23


PASSOVER PRESENTS

GIFTS TO Alex Galbinski looks for ideas to inspire creativity this Pesach

Mortar supply Make your own charoset set, £10, from Kisharon www.equal.kisharon.org.uk

e s a e l P Online hopping Wooden Tic-Tac-Toad game, £15, www.contemporaryjudaica.co.uk

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The Instant Pot® Kosher Cookbook by Paula Shoyer, £18.99. Available to buy from 6 April online and from all good bookshops

Moses Could Have Been Selfish book by MJ Wexler, £8.56, www.amazon.co.uk

Word play Selection of witty Pesach cards (along with personalised Judaica gifts), from £2.50, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Once UponATeaCup

Gilt feelings Ceramic seder plate with 24-carat gold by Mi Polin, £195, www.contemporaryjudaica.co.uk 24 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

Big sweep Bedikat chametz set, £4, www.equal.kisharon.org.uk

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30 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk


INTERVIEW

FIDDLER goes GOLD FILM & CAST EXCLUSIVE

TO CELEBRATE THE FILM’S HALF-CENTURY, BRIGIT GRANT ASKS SURVIVING CAST MEMBERS AND TOPOL’S FAMILY ABOUT ITS UNIQUE JOURNEY – AND THEIR OWN

“A fiddler on the roof sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof.” Screenplay by Joseph Stein

W

hen the film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof opened, revered critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars and said director Norman Jewison “has made as good a film as can be made from the material”. Ebert, now deceased, thought the storyline was “quite simply boring”, which decried the work of its original author, Sholem Aleichem, and raised doubts about Ebert’s Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. With global acclaim from all other reviewers, three Oscars, multiple nominations (including Best Actor for Chaim Topol) and a cumulative $83.3 million at the box office, the enduring appeal of this movie is irrefutable. From the first sunlit sighting of the fiddler (Tutte Lemkow) to Reb Tevye’s last look in the frozen finale, the audience is transported to the Russia of the Czars and a people under siege. Theatres, of course, always want a revival of composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick’s celebratory tragedy but, on stage, the

shtetl is just scenery. In the film, it has a beating heart. And now, as this magical movie reaches its 50th anniversary, there is news of a remake. With MGM’s funding, Hamilton director Thomas Kail is fulfilling a lifelong dream and revisiting Anatevka. Although plans for his Fiddler screen revamp are yet to be revealed, the social media tag ‘Leave #FiddlerOnTheRoof alone!’ comes from devotees who believe the 1971 film is sacred. It certainly is for the cast, many of whom were making their first film when they arrived in London on 18 May 1970 to begin rehearsals. Jewison’s transatlantic search for suitable Hodels, Motels and Shprintzes was over and his chosen cast were sleeping off jet lag at the Mayfair Hotel. Interestingly, Jewison’s own suitability for the job was his biggest worry, as the president of United Artists, Arthur Krim, had made the wrong assumption about his name. As Jewison recalls telling him: “There is one enormous problem with me directing the film. What would you say if I told you I was a goy?” The room fell silent, but with such credits as In the Heat of the Night and The Cincinnati Kid, a difference of faith did not deter Krim, who replied: “Why do you think we asked you to make the film?” Asserting his authority, Jewison, who is now 94, resisted casting Broadway favourite Zero Mostel as Tevye and instead chose Tel Aviv-born Chaim Topol. “He was closer to the reality of the character,” says Jewison, appearing as his younger self in Max Lewkowicz’s unmissable documentary, Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, now on Sky.

The 1971 film is just part of Lewkowicz’s vibrant history of the creation and cultural significance of the 1964 musical but, as a fan of the movie, he returns repeatedly to Topol’s iconic interpretation. “My father says he based Tevye’s inner strength and straight talking on his own father,” says Topol’s oldest daughter, Anat, who lives in LA. “But it was Shmuel Rodensky, Israel’s Laurence Olivier and a veteran Tevye, who taught him the most, as he told dad not to play the comedy too strongly in the first act as December 1971: Director Norman Jewison, you lose the drama in the second act.” Norma Crane, who played Golda, and Topol Originally divided by an interval, the at the London premiere at the Dominion second act brings only tragedy for Tevye, who faces the loss of his home to tsarist persecution and his two daughters to a new world. Indeed, it is Hodel’s farewell to Far from the Home I Love that moved Topol most. “She doesn't speak, she just sings the song, and he understands every single feeling that she has. And he knows he won’t see her anymore.” As the film’s emotional fulcrum, Topol’s portrayal of the pious milkman has led people to ask about his real persona. “He doesn’t act, but lives the Topol on the beach in Tel Aviv last month part and you can actually see his heart with his son, Omer, who is seen below in the breaking,” says his youngest daughter, film: he was one of Yente’s suitors Adi, who played Chava with him at the Palladium in 1994. “In the show, he shouted at me every night because of my marriage to Fyedka and, every night, I cried. I then had to run around the back of the stage and reappear to do the cute little bird dance. I was still crying. It wasn’t a fun scene and he always hugged me afterwards. He needed that hug just as much as me. So when people ask if there’s a lot of Tevye in my father, we tell them it’s Tevye who has my father in him.” LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 31


INTERVIEW

Rosalind Harris

Tzeitel’s Tale Rosalind Harris has Bette Midler to thank for landing the role of Tzeitel. The Divine Miss M still yet to emerge, was playing the oldest sister in the 1967 Broadway production and Roz was her reluctant understudy. “She would kid with me and say ‘I think I’m gonna miss a show’, which I didn’t want as I was scared.” Self-conscious about her Semitic nose until Streisand gave it charm, Roz got her turn when Bette took a break and her Tzeitel was an obvious choice for the film. Except she couldn’t get an audition. Every Jewish girl who could hold a note knew Jewison was in New York for castings and Roz wasn’t pushy. “I was also wary of stepping on Bette’s toes until she approached me backstage to ask if I’d auditioned and when I told her ‘No’, she didn’t hesitate. ‘Roz, they don't want me. Get your ass down there.’” At the age of 75, the story still tickles Roz, who took her advice and blew away casting director Lynn Stalmaster with an audition that had him calling for Jewison. “’Get him here now,’ he shouted’ and I was soon running around the room singing all three parts of Matchmaker

for him.” Roz remembers everything, even being naked in her kitchen when Stalmaster called to offer her the part. “My sister came over and we screamed and hugged for half an hour before I left for the theatre with laryngitis.” Emotions were still running high when the 24-year-old screen newbie arrived at the film’s location in Zagreb with a broken heart. “The love of my life had left me,” she says and although grief infused her performance, it did not spoil the fun with her co-stars. “Michele, Neva and I decided to experience being European and go natural as in not shave. It was 1970 and we wanted to try it, but Fiddler is set at the turn of the century, so when we threw up our arms during Matchmaker, Norman stopped the cameras. ‘What the hell is that forest under your arms? Get back to the hotel and shave your pits.’” Tevye’s daughters were also too fond of the cafeteria doughnuts, with Roz always head of the queue filling her apron pockets. “Until Norman stopped us and said we were a bunch of porkers, then shut down filming for a week and put us on a diet.”

Roz’s many tales include an instant connection with screen spouse Motel (Oscar winner Leonard Frey), who was “just my type, but gay”, but the real corker is that her actress sister Lenore married the butcher Lazar Wolf in real life. “Yes, Paul Mann was my late brother-in-law and he was a tremendous

actor who also taught drama. Sidney Poitier was his student as well as me and my sister. I persuaded him to let me take photos at their wedding because he didn’t want any,” says Roz, who still loves the pics and would have ‘married’ him too, had it not been for Grandma Tzeitel dropping by in Tevye’s dream.

Above: The late Paul Mann as Lazar Wolf

32 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk


‘Far From Home’ Hodel

Michele Marsh

In the garage of her home in Idyllwild, California, Michele Marsh has a box marked ‘evacuation’. There is nothing unusual about this, as residents are prepared for wildfires hitting the region. Few, however, would consider a box of 1971 film memorabilia a rescue priority. Not Fiddler fans. They would be fascinated by Michele’s collection of reviews, cuttings, photos and call sheets from her first film – and she’s not leaving without them. Years before she was cast as Hodel, Michele appeared as Beilke, one of the younger daughters in Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye, at a theatre in Carmel. “When I heard the play had been turned into a musical, I was horrified,” she says, not realising she would one day star in it with her future husband. “That was Joel Rudnick, the nice Jewish boy I met when I was in San Francisco studying at the American Conservatory Theatre. We’d broken up by the time I got a part in Oh! Calcutta! in LA, but he still drove me there to live with his aunt.” It was the aunt who advised Michele to sneak into Samuel Goldwyn Studios and deliver her resume to Norman Jewison’s office to secure an audition. “But when they asked me to prepare two songs for the next day, I had to run and buy the album as I’d never seen the show.”

Looking back, she still can’t believe that John Williams, the film’s musical director, was on piano at her audition or that being in the racy revue Oh! Calcutta! didn’t stop her from being cast as an Orthodox farm girl. “Plus I’m not Jewish, so when I got the part I was so afraid they were going to change their mind I bought books on Jewish mysticism and tried to educate myself.” By then reunited with Joel, he joined her in Zagreb, where it was filmed, and got a part in the movie. “I asked if he could be in it and they said he could if he grew a beard and got a tan. You can spot him with the rabbi in the synagogue and holding the chuppah at the wedding.” After shooting interiors at Pinewood Studios, only Michele, Topol, Norma Crane (Golda) and Jewison returned to Zagreb to film Hodel’s snowy exit. “They were having an Indian summer, so we waited 10 days before shipping in marble dust to pass as snow. They blocked out the sun with the steam train that takes Hodel away.” Michele’s hoard of nostalgia is a physical reminder of that and so many other scenes performed by departed cast members, such as Leonard Frey (Motel) Ray Lovelock (Fyedka) and Norma Crane. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer weeks before filming, but we didn’t know. When we had days off, Joel and I went with her to Venice, which was lovely, and after the film I visited her at home. She was 44 when she died, two years after Fiddler’s release, but when we finished filming she sent me this note: ‘I may have played your mother, but you are my dear friend. We’ll be friends forever.’”

Left: Norma Crane

Right: Topol’s most meaningful scene, ‘Far from the home I love’

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 33


INTERVIEW

Neva Small

Little Chava Neva Small was always going to be a performer. What else could she be,living a stone’s throw from Broadway with a mother who played harp in an all-female orchestra and Leonard Bernstein in the guest room? “He was the son of my dad’s best friend,” she explains. “What can I say? It’s an interesting family and, once they discovered I could sing, I was auditioning for jobs and playing the daughter of the star soprano at New York City Opera by the age of 10.” Starting young meant Neva had already worked with the Fiddler casting director, but there was no fast track past the five auditions and screen tests. “I guess my singing was special enough that John Williams noticed. And then to work with Norman Jewison, who

34 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

directed TV specials with Doris Day and Andy Williams.” Clearly in awe of the head honcho, Neva was young enough to play ‘everybody’s favourite child’ Chava, and turned 18 on location. “At the hotel, my neighbours were Molly Picon (Yente) and her wonderful husband Jacob, who was also in the film. Molly was a child star in Yiddish theatre, so it was special to be next door to them for so many months.” Describing the crew as icons, Neva mentions cinematographer Oswald Morris and production designer Robert Boyle, who scoured Eastern Europe with a tape recorder playing Fiddler tunes in remote villages to gauge their suitability. “In the end, they built the shtetl in

Zagreb according to Oswald’s plans and he won the Oscar,” informs Neva, who is always a guest star at Fiddler events and recently joined Rosalind Harris on the album for Joel Grey’s Yiddish production. “We sang To Marry for Love, which was cut from the original show and

replaced with Matchmaker, which was better.” That’s the sort of trivia fans like at the singalong screenings, where they share stories about seeing the film with their grandmother or the character they played in high school. “I just stand there and kvell.”


Paul Michael Glaser

Perchik’s Purpose Two years after Perchik left Anatevka, the actor who portrayed Hodel’s social activist fiancé was driving a Ford Gran Torino in a chunky knit as Detective David Starsky. To this day, Paul Michael Glaser believes the flashy white loafers he bought in New York before his Fiddler screen test were the omen for what was to come. “Before that, my actor friends and I dismissed the idea of living in Hollywood. How could a serious artist move there?” says the Venice Beach resident. “But I was flown in and put up at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where a pool boy asked: ‘Sir, can I get you something to eat?’ while I was in the water. And I said to myself: ‘This is the life.’” Glaser was in a soap and a Broadway show when Norman Jewison spotted his easy manner and good looks although, to play Perchik, he was asked to wear brown contacts over his blue eyes. Evidently, Norman didn’t think Jews had blue eyes. “Fiddler was my first film and a very interesting experience, but it was a journey because the studio kept everyone in Zagreb, even though I only worked about

Left: Glaser’s sought-after art, from the top – Rose Lady; Honeymoon Breakfast and Swordsman’s Tango

25 days of the year’s shoot .The rest of the time, I was taking tennis lessons and watching Sergio Leone films at a makeshift movie theatre.” When filming stopped, Glaser, who already had a master’s in directing, went to Rome to write his own western. “Because in all honesty, Fiddler put me off doing movies. When you’re an actor starting out, there's not a lot of inclusion. It wasn’t like I could sit with Norman and say: ‘Hey, what are you thinking about now?’ He had his hands full doing his job.” Although grateful for Starsky and Hutch, his own dream of being an auteur dissolved when his wife, Elizabeth, and first child, Ariel, contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. Glaser became a jobbing director out of necessity and, after their passing, dedicated himself to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation set up by his late wife. Living in LA, he accepts roles when offered but is now a children’s author and illustrator, and his work as an artist is much sought after. “I still have my ghosts and my

demons,” he says. “I just don’t take them too seriously.” Until 2013, Perchik was history, but an offer to play Tevye in the UK resurrected the past. “As I started rehearsals, I knew I was born to play the role and also realised Tevye is really Perchik grown up. Now I’ve played both. As the Good Book says: ‘If you wait long enough, You don’t have to wait any longer.’ I came up with that one.” www.pmglaserart.com

Above: The Sabbath prayer with Norma Crane as Golda and Glaser as Perchik. Right: Glaser as Tevye in the UK

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 35


INTERVIEW

n

Being Bielke 2 August ‘My heart was beating away at the thought of going away to make a film. I had auditioned for the role of the youngest sister and after two months, I was told I’d got the part. My mother was coming with me which was nice. Now we are off to sunny Yugoslavia.’ Candy Bonstein was 10 when she wrote this entry in her diary. Now the

36 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

blue-lined exercise book she was given 50 years ago is a collectible piece of the movie’s history. “It was just my homework in 1970, ” says Candy, then one of many students at the Corona Stage School getting regular TV and theatre work. “But Fiddler was different, as there were loads of auditions and when this Jewish girl from north London got the part, well you can imagine how my grandparents reacted. Everyone was excited and I was too young to realise what Fiddler meant to the community.” With parents and grandparents alternating as her Zagreb chaperones, Candy also had matchmaker Yente looking out for her. “Molly Picon was like a second grandma who took a real shine to me, though the name Michael (Paul Michael Glaser) also comes up a lot in my diary and the cafeteria. Scenes took forever to shoot and I was always hungry.” Hot wax dripping on to her hands from the candles she held in the wedding scene gets a mention, although not her scenes as Bielke, which got cut when the unedited film ran to four hours.

Candy with Rosalind (Tzeitel) and Elaine Edwards (Shprintze). Left: with fiddler Tutte Lemkow

Candy went on to be a professional dancer and is now a pilates teacher living in Bushey who rarely talks about Fiddler. But then she got a ticket to see the Chocolate Menier production of the musical. “A friend took me and I was asked to hang back after the performance and suddenly the entire cast came out to meet me. “They made such a fuss of me, it was unbelievable and I burst into tears.”


Fruma Sarah Rises

Ruth as the happy camper Gladys Pugh, a far cry from Fruma Sarah in a harness

Forever dressed in yellow as Hi-de-Hi’s Gladys Pugh, it was in the soil-stained gown of Lazar Wolf’s dead wife that Ruth Madoc made her screen debut. That no one ever guesses is a mark of her versatility, but it was her willingness to be suspended 15ft in a harness over a graveyard that Jewison loved. “Today, a performance like that by an unknown would lead to more work, but I disappeared into oblivion,” she sighs. When she spotted the advert ‘seeking a soprano for Fiddler on the Roof’ in The Stage newspaper, Ruth had already starred in the West End’s Man of La Mancha, and didn’t know it was for a movie. “At the audition, there were 500 girls in my group alone, but they whittled it down until there were two of us.” Norman Jewison was swung by Ruth’s interpretation. “I was quite poor in those days and couldn’t afford to see the West

End production, so I did my own version, which was camp and full of chutzpah.” Shot at Pinewood, the dream sequence required a white-faced Ruth in long pearls to fly out of a grave. “The harness was hugely uncomfortable and I was up there for 10 days of filming with a guy

called Inky on the pulley. One day, after he had a few at lunch, he almost dropped me, but I had no nerves in those days. I don't know if I’d like to do it now at 78.” Jewison declared it a star performance, as did Topol, “who was absolutely lovely to me and thought I was Jewish because of the name Ruth”, she says. “When I told him I was Welsh, he said he knew Wales as he’d taken an Israeli choir to the international Eisteddfod just after the war. Then he patted me on the shoulder and said I was an adopted Jew. I thanked him and said I couldn’t be more proud of such an honour. You see my father and my mother, who was a hospital matron after the war, helped settle Jewish refugee children, so I knew about the suffering. “Then, when I was at RADA in ’58, there were waiters at the local cafes in Gower Street who were camp survivors. One of them insisted on taking me to see Mein Kampf. When it finished, I cried my eyes out.”

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 37


INTERVIEW Tevye’s Real Children In 1967, Anat Topol-Barzilai, then nine, took her four-year-old brother, Omer, to see Fiddler on the Roof at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London every Saturday afternoon. “We certainly knew it word for word,” says Anat, who has lived in America for 35 years. “We sat on our own for three hours, had an ice cream during intermission and, at the end, went backstage to see Dad.” Chaim Topol was only 30 when producer Hal Prince spotted him in the Israeli film Sallah Shabati and thought he was perfect to play the mature milkman in the London production. Younger than expected and not yet fluent in English when he arrived, the father of three told Prince that “a good actor can play an old man, a sad face, a happy man. Make-up is not an obstacle,” and went on to get rave reviews as Topol, the new star. “The English producers could not pronounce the consonant ‘chet’ at the beginning of his first name [Chaim], so they stuck with his last,” explains younger daughter Adi, who was 18 months old when the family relocated to the UK. “I was at home with mum (Galia Finkelstein, whom he married in 1956) while Anat and Omer were on the underground alone.” “We didn’t go on the Tube, but we were independent,” corrects Anat, formerly an actress best known for the Israeli film Banot (Girls), but now a nurse in a veteran’s hospital. “While I was studying, another student nurse from Nigeria went crazy when she discovered my dad was Topol. Fiddler was her mum’s favourite and she grew up on the film. “When I went for a blood test, the Brazilian nurse spotted the surname and said: ‘Topol? Like the guy in the movie? I’m so into that culture,’ which made me laugh as I never think of it that way.” During the London run, Topol was called

up for reserve duty in the Six-Day War in Israel, but returned for more performances before Norman Jewison offered him the role that Rod Steiger, Danny Kaye, Walter Matthau and even Frank Sinatra wanted. “But he got it and we all went to Yugoslavia to live in a gorgeous house and, for the entire school summer break, pretty much lived on the set,” recalls Anat, who, along with Omer appear in the film as Yente’s future shidduchs. “I fell in love with the farmyard animals – a goat I think,” chuckles Adi, who runs Overtone UK recording studios in London with her musician husband, Dror Margalith. “When my father met Dror, he looked at him then looked at me and said: ‘But he's normal!’ He had low expectations.” Anat laughs: “Yes, but when I took my Irish Catholic boyfriend to Fiddler rehearsals in London, Dad did the ‘fish may love a bird’ speech straight to us, which wasn’t subtle. But he is direct, and when Omer finished the army and wanted to study medicine to become an underwater paramedic, my father said: ‘But what are we going to talk about?’” Memories of the Zagreb set include hanging out with Norman Jewison’s kids and sitting on the back of the milk cart with the cameraman while Topol pulled it along. “It was great fun for six months until winter and then they relocated to Pinewood where we visited less, but I was there when they shot the dream sequence, which terrified me,” says Adi. “But we were always well-behaved,” adds Anat. “Our parents made sure of it, so we didn’t get in the way and as we grew up they were very hands off about our decisions in life. My eldest son recently described our father as the ultimate dad because of Tevye.” Adi smiles. “And I know exactly what he means.”

FIDDLER AT 50: A REUNION CELEBRATION OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, IS ON AT JW3 ON 11 APRIL AT 7.30PM. WWW.JW3.ORG.UK

38 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk


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Chag sameach from everyone at Candlewood House! Situated on the doorstep of Golders Green, Hampstead, Belsize Park, St Johns Wood and Maida Vale, our care home is thoughtfully and tastefully furnished and styled to provide an exceptionally high standard of living teamed with outstanding residential, nursing and dementia care. Life at Candlewood House offers stimulating pastimes and fulfilling interactions in the comfort of a safe and luxurious environment.

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FOOTBALL

Seder der PLATE Plate THE PREMIER SEDER AR… LEAGUE SO FAR… FOOTBALL FAN ANDREW GOLD’S PESACH PERSPECTIVE ON AN UNUSUAL SEASON Road, they’re greeted by a defence that parts like the Red Sea, and few teams have conceded more goals. That said, with the man myth of Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, there’s no doubt they’re performing miracles, as one of the league’s top scorers. He knows a thing or two about Pesach miracles too, having hidden his staff in a burning bush to spy on Lampard’s Derby last year. The freshness in Leeds is Dayenu – not a new striker, but an understated Hebrew saying for: ‘enough for us’.

SPURS – Maror (bitter herb) Just a few months ago, Tottenham surprised everyone by taking their seat at the top of the table. ‘Dark horses,’ claimed the others but, in an effort to manage expectations (the last bit of real managing he’d be doing this year), José Mourinho insisted his team were simply ‘ponies’. Having dried their tears after a Champions League final defeat and the loss of dear pharaoh Pochettino, things were looking good. Cue some of the worst performances in Premier League history, a barrage of defeats against lower opposition and a return to midtable mediocrity. A bitter herb to swallow.

LEICESTER – Charoset (clay) Speaking of miracles, Leicester are the team that get to indulge in the charoset, a sweet salad containing apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon to represent the mortar used by Hebrew slaves to make bricks. Not sure why that should be so sweet, but hey, it’s tradition. Performing the greatest feat in sports history a few years ago when they won the league a season after narrowly surviving relegation, they again find themselves sitting near the top end of the table. The Champions League beckons for a team that has moved up the league brick by brick, and totally transformed as a club. They are a swirl of sweetness surrounded by salty and bitter rivals.

CHELSEA – Zeroah (shank bone) An argument could be made for Chelsea being the Ma Nishtana, with the youngest person at the seder being manager Frank Lampard: among his four questions to ask were: Why did we lose five from our past eight league games? Why couldn’t Abraham (Tammy) call on divine intervention? And why does owner Roman Abramovich keep firing and bringing in new managers? One imagines the answer might lie in the success of temporary manager Roberto di Matteo, who won the Champions League in a stint in charge shorter than the briefest of Haggadah ceremonies. Unfortunately, we never got to hear little Frank’s fourth question: he was duly sacrificed like the poor lamb on the night the ancient Hebrews fled Egypt.

MAN CITY – Salt water

ARSENAL – The Afikomen Filled with such star talent as Aubameyang, Pépé and Saka, Arsenal should be challenging at the top of the table. But, much like the Afikomen, their best players appear to have gone into hiding. The mercurial Matzah Özil was so well hidden there are rumours you’ll have to go as far as Turkey to find him. At one point during the season, it looked as though the real Arsenal had been found: they beat Chelsea 3-1, followed by a string of promising results. It seemed as though the bread might just leaven, before it dramatically fell flat and crumbled: they were thrown unceremoniously to the Wolves and the Villains.

WEST HAM – Beitzah (roasted egg) Like the Israelites, West Ham have been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years… and around 300 days. They last won a trophy in 1980, defeating Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final. Forced to play football at the Olympic Stadium, they also find themselves without a spiritual home, with Upton Park and its bouncy atmosphere a distant memory, like bubbles lost in the wind. Yet, out of the dark

winter, David Moyes’ men have risen from the ashes and climbed as high as vertigo-inducing fourth place: something of a Promised Land by recent standards. The roasted egg (no, that’s not a new nickname for Moyes) symbolises springtime and renewal, so West Ham fans will be feeling optimistic. The wait for a trophy, however, goes on, and that’s no yolk.

LIVERPOOL – Chazeret (other bitter herbs) ‘Nobody is happy with being fourth and only having 40 points and being level on points with Everton,’ said resident second herb of the evening Jurgen ‘chazeret’ Klopp, just before playing bitter rivals Everton…and losing. Having won the league at a canter last season, all eyes were on Klopp’s world beaters. They started well, and were a class apart at the top of the league, laying rule over their rivals. Then, like the Ancient Egyptians, they were

beset by a heap of plagues. Central defender Gomez was slain for months, while his heroic partner Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for the entire season. (It should be noted their only actual Egyptian, Mo Salah, stayed fit… but has suffered a goal drought.) As they continue to struggle, and the manager keeps picking fights with rival managers and pundits, Klopp’s Hollywood smile is starting to look like he’s been bingeing on chazeret.

LEEDS – Karpas (vegetable) This strange green vegetable (celery/parsley) is said to represent the freshness of spring, and it’s hard to remember a promoted team having such positive effect on the league as a whole than Leeds. The Yorkshire side have been a breath of fresh karpas, scoring and conceding more goals each game than there are plagues. When teams arrive at Elland

Salt water symbolises a few things. It calls to mind the sea, at which Man City were out in the early months of the season. It makes us think of the tears and sweat of enslavement, and Pep shed a tear or two after losing 2-0 to Spurs. But it also speaks of springtime and purity and, since their slump, City have been the one side to consistently play pure football as they break away at the top of the table. Guardiola has set his people free, with help from plagues that afflicted their rivals of recent years, Liverpool. Yet this time, it’s not Moses but (Gabriel) Jesus that is leading the charge.

MAN UTD – Wine (or grape juice) While other teams seem to suffer with injuries, internal politics and patchy form, Solskjaer’s Man Utd appear drunk and heady, reclining as one should at Pesach. The wine represents promises of redemption, and Solskjaer’s is fighting back in a biblical way. They looked down and out early on, but recovered a confident swagger that only cups of seder wine can induce. A coy smile and something of a Pogba strut, they’re quietly going about their business and even reached the heights of the top of the table for the first time in years. They know they probably can’t catch Man City, but can at least get close enough to yell drunken insults at their noisy neighbours. LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 41


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FASHION AS SANDY RASHTY MEETS STYLE-SHAPER LAURA KLEIN NAOMI FRANKEL FINDS EXCITING NEW NAMES FOR YOUR WARDROBE Although last Passover seems to literally have ‘passed us over’, the fashion world is still whirring. And not just whirring but booming, despite the seasonal runways being relegated to online only. Style forecasters are also reporting an acceleration in clothing trends, with some brands seeing an increase in retail sales. Jewish brands are, obviously, part of the mix and are providing clothes we love to buy and wear for Pesach and beyond LAURA KLEIN

@lauraelizabethklein

Now living in Dulwich, she says Ganni sets her apart from other influencers on social media, by wearing clothes that are “playful, colourful and trendsetting.” Even when she was working at ASOS, she would use her bonus to buy a £400 dress from Ganni. Today, she predominantly wears luxury brands – with some high-street items from ASOS and Zara. “All my bags and shoes are designer, they last forever.” Since lockdown started, Laura has increased her following.

Laura Klein

FASHIONABLY

L

aura Elizabeth Klein once considered following her friends to university. But on the advice of her father Marc Klein, she decided to pursue another path. She worked her way up through the Arcadia Group, from initially organising hangers at her local Miss Selfridge shop in Brighton to leading a team at the Topshop store in Knightsbridge. There, she would call Sir Philip Green every day with the latest sale figures. She describes the group’s collapse over the pandemic as “an end of an era”. She was right to follow her father’s advice, she now recognises. “My dad put me off university. He told me it was a lot of money and I should not just follow the crowd. He told me I could always go back in five years if I wanted to. “He used to always say: ‘Marcy knows’. He was right.” Since then, she has gone onto work as a stylist at eco-friendly luxury Danish brand Ganni. Often spotted wearing its bright prints,

Posting pictures (that are sometimes taken by her mum), she says people will start to ditch loungewear and again enjoy fashion after lockdown restrictions lift. “I think we have seen the back of tracksuits now. People will want to dress up again.” Describing herself as irreligious, Laura was born to her Catholic mother Nikki and Jewish father Marc, a former JFS student who grew up in Stamford Hill. She was close to her paternal grandmother Irene, who used to dish up latkes from her home in Stanmore. “I like kosher food because I grew up around it. Salt beef and latkes.” On her forearm, she has a tribute to her family name with a “Mishpachat Klein” (“Family Klein”) tattoo written in Hebrew. “My nan hated it!” While she plans to one day travel to Tel Aviv, for now she is focused on making her dad proud. He died after a sudden heart attack in May. “He was the smartest man I have ever met in my life,” she says. “It has been a rough year. “When someone so close to you dies, you can either wallow in self-pity and never do anything again, or you can try to make them proud. “That is what I am going to do.”

GREAT

exaggerated collars and playful dresses with a pair of chunky loafers, she has developed a loyal social media network with more than 10,000 followers on Instagram. But she does not overthink what she wears. She often puts on “what’s cool”. An influencer in her own right, she receives complimentary products or is paid by a brand to wear their latest line – a job description once reserved for models. “I am never going to look like Gigi Hadid, I am not a 6ft tall model who wears a size 4. I am more relatable,” says the 27-year-old. “I don’t take offence to the term ‘influencer’, but the word is oversaturated. I offer something that other influencers don’t.”

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 43


FASHION HOUSE OF LANCRY “Fast forward to spring 2019; we opened our first concept store in Brookyn, New York, followed by a popup store in Miami and finally our HOL headquarters/store in London.” House of Lancry is named after Hannah’s family, who were immigrants from Morocco and Brazil. “My heritage and Judaism has a

With a showroom based in Hendon, House of Lancry was started by Hannah Sufrin, a Chabad Lubavitch mother of three who has a background in interior design and a long-standing love for fashion, in particular modest attire. It was only when a good friend of Hannah’s asked for her help designing dresses for her son’s barmitzvah that she realised there was a yawning gap in the market for modest, contemporary clothing. “I quit my interior design job, took out a small loan of £2,000 and, in early 2016, my modest fashion dream was born.

deep impact on my lifestyle, the way I dress and how I conduct myself with a strong infusion of Jewish values. I believe House of Lancry is a place where women can feel and dress beautifully, according to the guidelines of modesty.” With loungewear the go-to garb during lockdowns, one wonders how this translates to the modest arena. “House of Lancry has created an ode to ‘Stay at Home’, where comfort and design meet. We have been spending lots of time at home and tracksuits and hoodies are just so 2020. “I felt it was time to elevate basics, so we have created a beautiful line of dresses that you can dress up and down with flats or heels and feel beautiful whichever way you decide to go.” Dresses that sound perfect for another scaled-down Pesach on home turf? “I never thought I would be spending another Covid Pesach at home” Hannah ruefully admits. “Our family enjoys travelling, and I love experiencing and showing different cultures to our children. Pesach specifically is a time my husband and I look forward to with no work and as an opportunity to travel to new places across the world and spend quality family time with our children.” So how is this Jewfluencer celebrating in style at home? “My Amazon shopping basket was full

WE ARE TWINSET Another power duo, but you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re seeing double with these fab fashionistas. ‘WAT THE BRAND’ is the vision of ‘We Are Twinset’ Instagram influencers, Sarah Ellis and Philippa Ross. A glance through the glossy Instagram feed of ‘We Are Twinset’ showcases the kind of signature style that is the epitome of effortless cool. “Using ourselves as the muse behind WAT, we have designed refined classics with a twist, wanting each style to have a unique voice,” they explain. With an emphasis on creating garments that will be go-to pieces season after season, the range consists of 12 core items in womenswear and two mini-me sets in a colour palette of earthy tones and vintage washes, styled by their own bubbelehs. Inspired by the confidence these London ladies found through clothes, their ambition 44 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

for the label is to make women feel happy, fearless, empowered and unapologetic whenever they wear the brand. This is reflected in the inspiring messages intricately woven into the pieces. Should you forget, just look at the sleeves. @wearetwinset @watthebrand www.watthebrand.com

up with beautiful table settings as it gives me so much joy creating beautiful tablescapes, flower arrangements and filling my home with the holiday spirit.” House of Lancry remains available online and hopes to reopen its Hendon shop in June. @houseoflancry @HOL_london www.houseoflancry.com


ALSO LOOK OUT FOR … GEM LONDON again and what better way to do that than with a new outfit?” We agree on that, but what about Passover? “Pesach this year will be a celebration. We always go to town with the

Founded by Gabby Lyons and Emma Samuels, GEM London consists of limited edition prints and unique garments – that, once purchased ‘become treasured gems’. Both fashionistas boast an impressive portfolio. Gabby's previous brand, Studd, was featured on the cover of Vogue, with designs worn by some of the world's biggest celebrities including Madonna, the Spice Girls and Britney Spears. Mum of three Emma has achieved success as a stylist, journalist and frequent speaker on fashion panels. Emma reveals that during the pandemic, GEM has been working behind the scenes with a completely different outlook. “We are very conscious that people’s situations may have changed, but, equally, if the vaccine roll-out is successful, as we are all hoping it will be, our customers will want to enjoy going out and socialising once

Gabby adds: “Judaism has definitely had an impact in our designs. We are both traditional and we try to create pieces that are modest and elegant to mirror the way we dress.” “Inspiration is all around us,” Emma notes. “But the best inspiration is always from vintage fashion designs. We have just finished watching The Serpent and loved all the Seventies’ fashion and prints.” Pesach-worthy pieces from GEM’s S/S collection include easy to wear dresses and jumpsuits (pictured).. “We love bold colour and prints, which will feature a lot in our new collection,” says Emma. “We love a transitional outfit that can be worn from day to night."

Featured in Harper’s Bazaar Vogue, Belgian-born and British Vogue Chana is a Charedi designer based in Tel Aviv, who appeals to the secular community and even Muslim brides seeking a more modest, but still romantic bridal gown.

@gemlondonofficial www.gem-london.com

LEE PETRA GREBENAU

decorations and make it as special as we can for our children,” says Emma. “We will obviously miss our extended families, but are optimistic we’re nearing the end of the pandemic and will all be together soon. We both are very traditional and seder night is very important to us, as is passing down our traditions to our children.”

With an enormous following in her native Israel, Lee’s designs are always on a red carpet somewhere. With her husband Omer Dankner as CEO, the designer has a flagship store in NYC and her intricate embroidery on exquisite bridal creations will be sought by brides who put their weddings on hold and are now ready to plan.

UNKOSHER MARKET Say lehitraot to boring with Unkosher Market, an over-the-pond brand that offers a fresh, funny take on celebrating your Jewish identity. As founder Shiran Teitelbaum puts it: “We’re proud of our Jewish identities and we want to big that up in a way that’s bold and fashionable.” Featured in publications such as The Guardian and millennial favourite Pop Sugar, Unkosher Market’s jewellery and range of

CHANA MARELUS

chutzpahdik slogan apparel for men(sch), women and babies, plus homewear and accessories are clearly a hit with everyone. Get seder ready for the future with its new Passover collection, which includes cheeky captioned tops for adults as well as Matzah Bows clips made with matzah-inspired fabric – ‘unleavened’ dreams come true! Give the Lil’ Matzah Ball in your life something to drool over

IRINA SHABAYEVA

with a babygro, or perhaps some ‘hugs and knishes’. After the plague of chaos we’ve had, the ‘Oy Vey’ statement 18k gold plated hoop earrings are perfect. The collection is mishpacha-approved; Shiran’s Bubbie Roslyn ships all products from her Vegas home and Unkosher Market is running a Passover sale with 15% off – use code MATZAH at the checkout. www.unkoshermarket.com

Georgian-American designer Irina dresses such starry names as Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Branching out into lingerie while continuing with a ready to wear and couture collection, Irina is also the artistic director of women’s fashion for the opulent creations at MJZ International. LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 45


FASHION

You can’t do Passover

s a m a j y in P

Brigit Grant puts fashion on a plate to perk up your style After living in lounge wear and watching simchas on Zoom for a year, our post-lockdown wardrobe will be OTT dresses in vibrant colours and feel-good prints. At least that’s what designers are hoping, as even Victoria Beckham spent 2020 in vintage jeans, while we shlumped in a nightie over joggers. But our second seder in seclusion is not an excuse to read the Haggadah in a housecoat. Instead, put the fun into fashion by teaming the colour palette of your plate with your outfit. You’ll be the hostess with the mostess no matter how small the gathering.

Sonder Studio zebra midi shirt dress £59, mandco.com

Blue Skies Cloudless on a sunny day and acceptable in any shade or print Rosie Daisy patchwork blouse £42.50, fatface.com

Monochrome Anything black or white is a good investment as you’ll always wear it.

Embroidered peacock bag £47, joebrowns.co.uk

Think Pink Choose the colour of optimism for spring, from watermelon to fuchsia

Contrast knit sweater £19.99, zara.com Black ditsy double-frill miniskirt £25, asos.com

Apple green trousers £29.99, zara.com Scooby trouser In black poppy £200, phoebegrace.com

Washed linen-mix sage jumpsuit £85, oliverbonas.com

Apple green shirt £29.99, zara.com

Flowing print shirt £29.99, zara.com

Green Scene

46 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

Mint, avocado, pistachio, seafoam, moss... whatever shade you choose it will signal nature

Gucci striped trousers £870, net-a-porter.com

Kassidy dress £59, dancingleopard.co.uk


Pesach is a time for questions

‫בם״ד‬

Why are Chana’s services so different from all others? If you are wondering why you should come to Chana for help... We are the leading UK fertility support organisation for the Jewish community and with Chana, no-one faces infertility alone. Here is what makes our services so different... For over 27 years we’ve been helping Jewish couples on their complex paths to parenthood. Since we began, we’ve broadened our services to help clients facing a wide range of reproductive health issues including; primary and secondary infertility, male infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth, fertility preservation, intimacy issues, fertility treatment to avoid genetic disorders and early pregnancy concerns. We offer clients a bespoke package of care, tailored to their individual needs, utilising an enormous amount of expertise and resources to support them, whatever their reason for coming to us for help. We are privileged to have two Doctors within our team and our expertise and professionalism are trusted throughout the community. Dr Romy Shulman, our Clinical Lead has an Msc in Psychological Counselling and a doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Dr Veronique Berman, our In-house Scientific Advisor and Community Development Manager has a BSC in Biochemistry and a PHD in Medical Molecular Endocrinology. Both having published thesis and research articles on infertility, they bring a wealth of knowledge to their work for Chana. Our counselling provision is multifaceted... whether clients need individual or couples counselling, or a mixture of the two, we have built a professional team of 14 male and female therapists. Led by Dr Romy Shulman, they possess complimentary skill sets, including specialisms in Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, for clients who’ve experienced a traumatic birth, or expertise in grief counselling for those who have been through miscarriage and loss. All couples have an initial meeting and chat so they are allocated the most appropriate

therapist - this therapist then becomes their support worker throughout their fertility journey, adding on layers of additional support wherever necessary. Be that practical help to navigate which treatment is best for them, emotional, medical, halachic or financial assistance.

We are so proud of the innovative service, support and reassurance we offer our clients. Carolyn Cohen Chana’s Honorary Executive Director

Our relationship with our Medical Advisory Panel, 27 of the UK’s leading specialists in reproductive health, puts Chana in a unique position to ensure clients are accessing the best possible course of treatment. As Chair of the panel, Dr Veronique Berman meets regularly with this multi-disciplinary team, sensitive to the centrality of Jewish Law in treatment choices. They discuss Chana’s client cases in the strictest of confidence, poring over a client’s medical history anonymously, to ensure no piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missed. Due to our close connections with other charities, Chana is able to step in (or handover) wherever appropriate so no fertility opportunity is overlooked and no unnecessary overlap in services takes place. For example, our relationships with Jnetics, Chai Cancer Care and Camp Simcha means we can:- offer advice to someone dealing with a cancer diagnosis to ensure their fertility is preserved prior to them starting chemotherapy; we can guide a couple through specialist IVF treatment so they can go on to have a healthy baby

and hold a couple, if during pregnancy they find out they are carrying a baby with an unexpected illness or life-limiting condition. Thanks to our links with professional bodies such as the Human Fertilisation & Embryo Authority HFEA, the Alliance of Fertility Partnership Organisation and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. We are in a unique position to ensure our clients are at the forefront of any new development in fertility treatments; most recently this has been hugely beneficial regarding Covid-19 and updates on clinic closures, and any vaccine research which we can immediately pass onto our clients. Our services ensure we are strategic in determining the best way for couples to move forward at every step of their fertility journey and B’H has led to over 800 babies being born.

My husband and I went to Chana for counselling to help us talk and understand each other when faced with my fertility issues. The professionalism and kindness of our counsellor was amazing. With her help we came together to face our situation and I cannot speak highly enough about the wonderful service Chana provides for so many! Marissa Chana client

ChanaUK @ChanaCharity chana_uk

chana.org.uk 020 8203 8455 Chana Charity Ltd


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You’ve got it in you to find the career that you are searching for but if you need support and guidance in getting there, Resource is here to help you be successful in your job search. As the community’s go-to resource, we provide expert tailored advice, mentoring, networking and training — empowering people of all ages to win the right job. Take the first steps in getting back to work. Call Resource now to book a chat with an Advisor.

Petermans Estate Agents wish all their clients past, present and future, a Happy Passover. Celebrating 20 years of looking after your property interests in Edgware since 1999.

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BEAUTY

ALL

THE BEAUTY OF IT

Brigit Grant has lots of scents and some valuable suggestions for teens and their skin. TEEN SKIN THEY MAY HAVE GONE BACK TO SCHOOL, but their bedrooms are still messy and it only took two days for them to run out of socks and lose their lanyards. That’s teens for you; a torrent of confusion, contention and cuddles when required, but we love them and want them to feel good. Looking good is part of that, sadly, as the pressure to be selfie-perfect has superseded the need to be a perfect self. It’s sad, but that’s the reality for Generation Z, a group that includes the one in six adolescents aged between 10 and 19 suffering from a mental health condition. “Teenage girls and boys have spent so much time alone, starved of the company of friends and peers that while going back to school will provide much-needed variety and social interaction, it will also come with such challenges as feelings of insecurity due to friendship bonds becoming distanced and many will need to be reconnected.”

These are the words of Sarah Goldstone, founder of Smudge Salon, which she describes as a “social holy grail, a place where teenagers want to hang out, and their parents are happy for them to do so”. In other words, Smudge is the welcome antithesis to those nasty social media apps where hate comments disappear in minutes. What it is instead is a community support platform, offering expert-led masterclasses, to guide and inspire teenagers in wellbeing, mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, make-up, skincare and more. “SMUDGE is a place where teenagers are given the confidence to embrace who they are on the outside, as well as the inside,” says Sarah, an experienced makeup artist who has worked predominantly in north London with 95 percent Jewish clients, thus most of her database are Jewish girls. Knowing them as she does means that Sarah’s masterclasses in wellness and beauty are not a waste of time but needed now more than ever. www.smudgesalon.com

AMONG THE OTHER TRIED AND TESTED PRODUCTS ARE We absolutely love the organic Green People range because it just feels healthy and, as apples feature in Passover charoset, it seems right to recommend its Nordic Roots Apple Complex Moisturiser (£25), which is a scent-free skincalming face cream that hydrates, protects, balances and boosts elasticity. This makes it a shared product because older folk will feel the benefits, as they will from the Coconut Charcoal Purifying Face Mask (£22), which is pore-purifying and gives the skin a serious glow. It also controls oil production and mattifies the skin while reducing the pores. And coconuts are Pesach-friendly too, as you’ll know from those macaroons, so it’s a win win. www.greenpeople.co.uk and selected Waitrose stores

Nuture Facial Treatment Serum (£15.99), which contains bakuchiol (a gentle alternative to retinol) and its waterbased formulation helps to reduce post-blemish marks and scarring. It also evens out skin tone. www.Nutureskin.com and Boots

SKINS Among the age group Smudge wants to help are young people dealing with skin problems exacerbated by the wearing of masks. Only a few years ago, these same kids were wearing masks as dress up for Purim, but the mandatory kind are now giving them spots or serving as cover for breakouts. Regardless of whether it’s a few spots or full-blown acne, the sufferer will feel insecure and want immediate to long term help. As well as Smudge, there may be conversations to be had with doctors who can determine whether oral medication is required, although It was a beautician I’ve known for years who recommended to me Skin Accumax™, which is a supplement containing Diindolylmethane, an active nutrient compound identified in broccoli. We have yet to see the full results about which other users are overjoyed, but patience is essential, which is news to teens. The same beautician – Face IT – in Whetstone has decades of experience in the physiology of skin and introduced us to the benefits of Dermaviduals Enzyme Skin Renewal (£14.50), which is not a speedy process, but instead gently sloughs off dead cells as Mother Nature intended. www.skinrepair. uk.com

The Organic Pharmacy may be familiar to you, so you might already know about their Peppermint Facial Wash (£35 ), which is non-stripping with the antibacterial properties of organic peppermint oil, tea tree and eucalyptus which is a brilliant formula for acne. They also do a Blemish Gel (£22), which is targeted to deal with flare-ups as it is infused with organic nasturtium, which disinfects, and echinacea, which decreases inflammation. Did you put on perfume every day during lockdown or simply spritz body spray so as not to waste your favourite scent on the home tribe? As some couldn’t even be bothered with deodorant and wafted a bit of Febreze, the arrival of alternative fragrances will be welcomed by all indoors. The new La Feuille Eau de Parfum (£160) from Miller Harris Private Collection is more than just the ticket because, since I started using Wander Through The MANE ATTRACTION Parks Eau de Parfum (£140), my husband keeps saying: “That’s a nice smell.” And though his olfactory senses have been invaded by a year of Zoflora, Somewhere back in time, my hair was stranded between Samson and Rapunzel. In other words, it grew back quickly there’s no mistaking how delicious is this sparkling green scent. Fresh nettles after a bad haircut and, though I never used it as a rope ladder, length was never an issue. Alas age, hot tools and aggro picked before flowering, pine grapefruit and mandarin are the root of the have turned my lustrous locks into the tendrils of a neglected Barbie and only my hairdresser can give it body. As scent, which is unisex, though I’ve yet to share that information. Hopefully I haven’t seen her in a while, I got my hair boost for Zoom appearances from Mane (from £18). Billed as the ‘original he’ll buy the Tea Tonique Eau de Parfum (£110), which is root concealer and backstage tool of superstar hairstylist Sam Mcknight’, Mane is the hair in a bottle that is missing from all about Italian bergamot, floral earl your head. It’s a Hair Thickening Spray & Root Concealer that was originally used as aftergrey, smokey birch and nutmeg, which care for the brave recipients of hair transplants, but is now seen as the must-have spray I quite fancy, and the Rose Silence Eau de Parfum (£110), which is for anyone who doesn’t want to look like they’re thinning on top. Or dealing with alopecia gaps. Or grey roots. Or simply losing their bounce. Available in 11 different shades, it’s blackcurrant, sandalwood and musk. It might be a bit possible to blend colours to match your own and the tech of the product is that it bonds to the hair and emulates hair fibres to give more thickness. Unlike other full of promise girlie for Neil, which can only products, Mane can’t guarantee there won’t be any more bad days – but that won’t be be good news for me. because of your hair. www.millerharris.com www.maneuk.com That make-up is required goes without saying but The Organic Pharmacy knows it should be kind to skin, so the formulas for foundations which are £45, so pricey but infused with plantderived Hyaluronic Acid to plump the skin and vitamins to nourish it. The same care is taken with the entire range for lips, eyes etc, which also suits all ages and takes us back to sharing or at least borrowing, which is another valuable lesson for the teens we love. www.theorganicpharmacy.com

50 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

Spritzing


ai161607774911_Bha_AdvertJN-Mar2021.pdf

1

18/03/2021

14:29

Browse our menu online www.bhageecha.co.uk

M O D E R N IND IA N D INING & B A R

@bhageecha @bhageecha_dining

N EW I N DI AN RESTAURANT NOW OPEN FOR TAKEAWAY & FROM 14TH APRIL OUTDOOR DINING ON OUR HEATED TERRACE TO ORDER Call 020 8159 8159 Collection or delivery B H AG E E C H A (Formerly The Fishery) WAT FO R D R OA D E LST R E E , B O R E H A M WO O D HERTS WD6 3BE

An extensive menu with delicious vegetarian & vegan dishes all made from the freshest ingredients.

TO ORDER Call 020 8159 8159 Collection or delivery

Wishing all our customers a happy Passover

The Bhageecha team TUES–FRI 5pm–9.30pm SAT 12 noon–9.30pm SUN 12 noon–9.00pm


FOOD

Travelling the world –

without leaving home

During a year in which many of us have travelled no further than from La Rotonda de Sofa to Costa del Balconia, Alex Galbinski finds that others have widened their horizons – and their palates

MICHELLE JANES Michelle Janes is one such adventurer, having picked up utensils from Las Kitchenas to shake up the monotony of lockdown. As the co-CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, she doesn’t have much time to spend it labouring in the kitchen, but cooking cuisines from around the world has helped Michelle tap into her creativity and regain her love of the culinary art. It started last March, when her youngest daughter, in Year 4, was given a school activity to create a menu from around the world. “She chose Israel and made a menu and an activity sheet,” explains Michelle, who has two primary school age daughters with husband Neil Janes, South Bucks Jewish Community’s rabbi. “We played music from Israel and talked about things from there. It was a real boost to our week because it had been a tough one. I really like cooking and we spent the Friday thinking about what we would make. “It was a lovely experience as a family; it gave us a weekly focal point, so we decided to do it for a couple more weeks and it snowballed from there.” Since then, Michelle has put food on the table from, among other countries and regions, the UK, Israel, France, 52 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

Argentina, Mexico, North Africa and the Middle and Far East. The family members took it in turns to choose their destination and the girls enjoyed talking about the various countries, whether they could visit them after lockdown and the sort of attractions they might see. Michelle, 41, would spend a couple of evenings researching recipes and use one as a basis for foods she didn’t know how to cook. In the early days of lockdown, she might have to improvise if couldn’t find all the ingredients in the supermarket. She tells me that she can’t pick just one favourite cuisine, but says: “Chinese chicken balls were surprisingly easy and delicious, while alfajores [cookies resembling shortbread] were a lot of work but absolutely delicious. The Spanish chicken was really yummy, but the churros were a faff. “The most difficult menu was French, with so much time reducing flavours and a lot of garlic! The labour-intensive things were generally when I made pastries or stuffed foods, while desserts were a great addition and always took more time than anticipated.” She shared the posts on Facebook, describing the culinary adventures with titles such as ‘Saturday night travels’, ‘global lockdown dinner party’ and ‘lockdown travels’. Her friends and contacts often asked whether the Janes were going to make a cookbook of their ‘travels’ or if they would be going into catering, and envied their children for their adventurous tastes. “We don’t always eat like this,” laughs Michelle, whose family has Iraq and Egyptian roots. “Sometimes dinner is just a tuna sandwich, pizza or pesto pasta,” although she is grateful her daughters are not generally picky eaters. “This has encouraged different conversations about geography, politics and global issues, which has been a learning experience for us all.”


Photo by Marc Gerstein for Judi Rose Cookery Studio 2021

Judi Rose’s Mirkatan: Armenian-Jewish Passover Fruit Compote Serves: 6-8, Keeps: 1 week in the fridge, Per serving: 235 cals, 37g carbs

CATHERINE CHARLES Another culinary adventurer who has made more of dinnertimes is Catherine Charles. Along with her flatmate Jess Tray, Catherine, a project co-ordinator for a Jewish charity, has implemented ‘International Night’, cooking weekly meals from Greece, Honduras, Korea, Vietnam and Ethiopia. “Jess misses travelling, and I enjoy experimenting with food,” explains Catherine. “We generate a new letter during International Night for the next week or fortnight and choose a country starting with that letter. “We have had some busy work weeks, so some meals were quite lazy, but as we get into the spirit, we are becoming more adventurous and dedicating more time to our meals. We are excited to attempt desserts next.” The Finchley-based duo implemented a rating system based on how easy the meal was to make and the skill level, having factored in that Catherine, 26, is vegan and Jess is pescatarian. “Nothing has been too challenging so far, but we look at the cuisine from the different countries then whittle

them down to what’s vegan-friendly,” says Catherine. “We enjoyed Korean and Vietnamese the most because they were the most technical and tasted great, and Honduran the least because we weren’t very creative with it – most recipes are quite meat-heavy.” While obviously only able to cook for themselves throughout lockdown, the pair want to continue exploring the world through food and will review their meal ratings to share their best efforts with friends. “We often make Greek salad and Korean ramen for lunch and are planning on making fresh spring rolls with friends when restrictions ease. “International Night is a fun way to try new recipes from different countries – it’s nice to eat things that you wouldn’t usually make and we get to spend time together.”

Catherine and Jess’s ratings: KOREAN – Ramen and Gyoza TASTE: 8.5/10 SKILL LEVEL: 4/10 RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND: GREEK – Greek salad, tzatziki, Greek kebab, pitta, hummus, halloumi TASTE: 7/10 SKILL LEVEL: 3/10 RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND: HONDURAN (ish) – Tortillas with refried beans, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, cheese, peppers and onions TASTE: 6/10 SKILL LEVEL: 3/10 RECOMMEND TO A FRIEND: but good party snack

This ancient dish of plump and juicy dried fruits mixed with walnuts and fresh oranges in a light cinnamon syrup was traditionally served as a pick-me-up to weary visitors. It makes a delicious, lighter, healthier end to a Pesach meal, or as part of a Passover breakfast or brunch. Dried fruits are high in fibre and the element boron, good for digestive health and helping prevent osteoporosis, while tea is a good source of antioxidants. Ingredients 680g (1½ lb) dried fruit salad, or 225g (8oz) each of pitted prunes, dried apricots and dried peaches, apples or pears 125g (4oz) raisins or sultanas Small pot of freshly brewed tea 75g (3oz) walnut halves 150ml (5fl oz) dry red wine or low-sugar red grape juice 3 strips of orange peel 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice To serve 4-5 tbsp yoghurt, Greek-style if possible 1 tbsp chopped pistachios

• The day before, put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour the strained tea over it. Cover and leave overnight.

• The next day, strain the fruit into a bowl, reserving the liquid, and insert

a walnut half into each prune – this helps the prunes hold their shape after poaching. • Make up the reserved tea with water, if needed, so you have 225ml (8 fl oz) of liquid. Put the tea in a wide pan with the wine or juice, orange peel and cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for three minutes. • Add the dried fruit, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the fruit is tender and the syrup has thickened slightly. Stir in the lemon juice. • Remove the strip of orange peel before serving the compote warm or at room temperature with the Greek yoghurt flavoured with rosewater and sprinkled with pistachios. Adapted from To Life! Healthy Jewish Food by Judi Rose & Dr Jackie Rose, published by YouCaxton, £30. Available now at www.youcaxton.co.uk

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 53


RESTAURANTS

&

IN

OUT

While we wait for indoor dining to reopen in May there’s a tempting array of places to book into – or rather, out to – in April, while homebirds craving Israeli food can get it delivered, writes Louisa Walters

T

he Waterway in Maida Vale is opening up its famously fabulous terrace for gastropub-style casual dining while, a few doors up, you can book canalside tables at fish lovers’ favourite The Summerhouse. You wouldn’t know it from driving past, but Terra Terra on the Finchley Road has a large, well-heated and well-covered terrace on which to enjoy delicious authentic Italian food. You can also get Italian dishes, including the signature duck egg ravioli, at the new branch of Morso in Kensal Rise. The other branch is in St John’s Wood but doesn’t have outdoor seating; however, Café Med and Drunch in the Wood both have great outdoor spaces, dishing up Mediterranean grills and brunch dishes (such as avo on toast) respectively.

Terra Terra has a large terrace

In Elstree, Bhageecha is a new Indian restaurant (on the site of The Fishery) and is opening its terrace in April before unveiling its glamorous interior in May. If the reviews of 54 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

Bhageecha’s takeaway are anything to go by, this is going to be a hot ticket. The team at West Lodge Park in Hadley Wood has installed three large oak gazebos on the terrace with heating and lighting, meaning that you can have lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in style and comfort come rain or shine. If you’ve had enough of staying local and want to head into London, the courtyard at Ham Yard will be much in demand for afternoon tea, as will the divinely pretty Dalloway Terrace in Bloomsbury. Hush in Mayfair’s flowerfestooned large, sheltered terrace has long been a place to see and be seen, but you may not know that the American Bar at The Stafford Hotel in Piccadilly also has a wonderful outdoor space for dining and drinks, as does the new Nobu Hotel in Portman Square. The pretty Covent Garden courtyard that houses Petersham Nurseries and La Giocca is the perfect spot to enjoy dishes from both and the Richmond branch of Petersham also has a lovely outdoor dining area. West Lodge Park in Hadley Wood

On my many lockdown walks to Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross, I’ve gazed wistfully at Spanish ‘cook your own’ restaurant Parillan, Parillan an exclusively outdoor venue that was clearly ahead of the game. The heaters are hot, the concept is cool and the meat, fish and veg are marvellous.

Hush Mayfair’s flower-festooned, sheltered terrace

Sadly, we still can’t get to Tel Aviv, but there’s plenty of Israeli food to be had here. Israeli-inspired menus can be enjoyed al fresco at Bala Baya in Southwark on the new covered and heated terrace. Heritage tomatoes, nectarine, thyme and goat’s cheese; raspberry vinegar cured sardines with oregano, lemon, watermelon and almond crumb; apricot and shawarma lamb chops with pistachio, lemon,


From far left: Bala Baya in Southwark, the American Bar at The Stafford Hotel, and the outdoor terrace at The Waterway

Ham Yard will be in demand for afternoon tea

thyme and za’atar baby gem are just a few of the tasters on offer. At the weekend, tuck into the ultimate Israeli-style brunch with a never-ending supply of pita to mop up all the dips. Meanwhile, if you’ve picked up Israelistyle takeaway from Roni’s in Hampstead or Highgate on your lockdown walks, you’ll be pleased to learn that there is plenty of outdoor seating at the Highgate branch. You can also get your Israeli fix delivered to your door. Chocolate, cinnamon or pecan babka and salt beef, pastrami or salmon bagel boxes are available from the Good Egg, while Borough Market’s Shuk (Hebrew for street market) has some great DIY pita kits with fillings such as brisket and smoky mayo and sabich (roasted aubergine, chopped egg, mint and tahini). The team at the much-loved Honey & Co has been sending out falafel kits and shakshuka kits and whipping up stunning meals for pick-up and delivery. There’s something different every day – I’ve had my eye on duck pastilla, chicken roasted in spice and plums, blood orange and pistachio cake – plus I can never get enough of their hummus and labneh. Chef Aviv Lavi is delivering Israeli-style Shabbat dinner all over London every week, with dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke and truffle soup, meatballs (pictured, above left), cholent with confit dough balls and the very best baba ganoush I have ever had. We won’t go hungry as we spring towards freedom. LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 55


KIDS

No Adults Allowed Plenty of ideas for the Ma Nishtana readers and treats to tempt the tail wagger too!

Chocolate Vegan Shortbread Biscuits

One does not need an excuse to enjoy these very ‘more– ish’ biscuits, says Denise Phillips. Made with storecupboard ingredients, the recipe works well if doubled or tripled. The biscuits tick all the allergy boxes as they are dairy-free and suitable for vegetarian and vegans. PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes plus 1 hour to rest COOKING TIME: 20 - 25 minutes MAKES: Approximately 20 biscuits Ingredients 200g non-dairy margarine 100g icing sugar 25g good-quality cocoa powder Small pinch of salt 200g cake meal or fine matzah meal 100g ground almonds Water – to bind (approximately 2 tablespoons)

Pup along As everyone now has a cavapoo or at the very least something small and furry with its own named bowl in the kitchen, the time has come to go further than the local park. So how about heading to the New Forest on 5/6 June for Dogstival, a festival at Burley Park for dogs and dog lovers, where they can meet hundreds of four-legged friends, watch displays, get involved with

agility and scent training or even try out dog diving in the swimming pools. If your family are water lovers, why not try Stand Up Paddle boarding with your hound, although a Jewish dog is more likely to be found in the giant pampering, grooming and chill out den. And if your French Bulldog shows interest in a fluffly Shih Tzu, the shidduch can be formalised at

the Doggy Chapel for impromptu weddings. That such a union could lead to a new breed of puppy is a reason to go surely, but the Dog House Pub is another. beyonk.com/uk/abk1krg1/ dogstival-2021-e-ticketweekendtickets

Note to all owners: log on to israelguidedog.org.uk to see the online events being hosted with experts who will guide new puppy parents through the perils of raising a little one. For face to paw instruction and doggy day care, visit www. waggingtons.co.uk to book in for daily walks in country fields, plenty of guided play, rest and constant love and attention where a precious pooch can thrive under expert care.

Method 1. Line a rectangular baking tray. 2. Cream together the margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder, salt and matzah meal and ground almonds and beat together. Add a little water until it binds together into a dough. 3. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour. 4. Preheat the oven to 300ºF / 150ºC / Gas mark 3. 5. Roll out the dough on a work surface lightly dusted with matzah meal or sandwich between some cling film. Using a cutter of your choice, cut as many biscuits as you can from the mixture. Re-roll out until all the mixture is used. 6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until the mixture has started to crisp on the top and edges and resists a little to a light touch. 7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 8. Store in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze.

WHAT YOUNG SAVERS NEED TO KNOW You might not like maths but you probably like money – so read this

H

ave you ever received pound coins as pocket money? Would you think it old-fashioned if you did? You are growing up in a cashless society, so to even see coins is unusual, as parents normally take them for parking machines, athough even they require cards now. You certainly won’t have received coins as a bar/batmitzvah gift, and with so many simchas happening online, just receiving a gift is worth celebrating. Pocket money is your first lesson in money management and if you want to learn how to save for later in life, it is a good place to start.

56 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

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Parenting expert and childcare author Sarah Ockwell-Smith is sensible and says: “I believe pocket money is important to allow children the freedom and control to be able to buy what they want, and teaches them economics from a very early age. “This is so important considering that finance management is not on the school curriculum (why?!). It can teach children about saving and donating, about foreign currency exchange and the value of buying good-quality products.” There are several ways parents can manage your pocket money. App-based accounts such as Go Henry give you a pre-paid debit card. Usually it’s only the account owner, your parents, who can do this. There’s sometimes a subscription fee with these accounts but, in return, you get more digital features and

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Passover Blueberry Muffins

You’ll love these blueberry muffins for breakfast on the run, a lunch box snack or treat when needed! They freeze, too, so make them in advance. PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes COOKING TIME: 30 minutes MAKES: 16 Ingredients 150g cake meal 100g ground almonds 2 teaspoons Passover baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 110g butter 200g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 100ml milk 225g fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, defrost and drain any excess liquid before cooking) Method 1. Preheat oven to 160ºC / Gas mark 3. 2. Line a muffin tin with paper cases. 3. Mix cake meal, ground almonds, baking powder and salt together and set aside. 4. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. 5. Add eggs and beat well. Add milk and cake meal mixture. Beat until combined. Stir in blueberries. 6. Fill muffin cases so they are two-thirds full. 7. Bake muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until just golden.

HOGWARTS AT YOUR TABLE There’s an odd trend emerging on TikTok. People, many of them young, have been taking photos of Harry Potter cast members to the films’ best known locations and photographing them (see picture, right). So that’s a photo of a photo in a... well you get the idea, and if you take a walk in Bourne Woods, between Farnham and Tilford, you might see the Potter enthusiasts there with a pic of Harry, Hermione and Ron as this is where the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 chase scene was shot. Others include the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, Scotland, seen so often from afar as the train heads to Hogwarts and Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House, which was Professor McGonagall’s place of teaching. Closer to home, which is what we are restricted to these days, is Bull’s Head Passage in Leadenhall Market, home to The Leaky Cauldron, the wizard’s favourite watering hole. There is a link to Harry Potter and Pesach, which will keep you busy at your seder table, but before hitting Moshe Rosenberg’s Unofficial Hogwarts Haggadah (Amazon) why not chat about JK Rowling’s

Jewish characters such as Anthony Goldstein. Though he wasn’t at the heart of the action, half-blood wizard Goldstein first appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Made a prefect in year five, he then joined Dumbledore’s Army as a Ravenclaw and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts in the Second Wizarding War. Goldstein’s fate is unconfirmed(Potter buffs might know more) but his distant relatives Porpentina (Tina) and Queenie Goldstein are the star turns in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Demoted from the Magical Congress of the United States to the wand registry department, Tina Scamander (née Goldstein) married hero Magizoologist Newt, the author of Fantastic Beasts, while mind-reader Queenie joined evil Grindelwald’s army.

Oy Boy’s Seder Plate

by Mason

This all makes for involving table talk before reading Rosenberg’s Haggadah, which he compiled after spotting the similarities between Hogwarts and Pesach. It’s the concepts of slavery, a focus on education and the number four, which are key to both evidently. It’s certainly a complex book, so if you prefer simple, try Michelle Slade’s Haggadah Good Feeling About This (Amazon). Exhausted by Haggadahs that go off on tangents, Slade wanted one that signposts “when they’re doing this and why” to keep you in the loop. Aimed at all ages, with Goldstein Funko Pops on the table you can merge both.

Jacobs

OY BOY’S Mum was getting ready for Passover when OY BOY realised he had to eat the things he didn’t like on the seder plate. OY BOY had an idea, I’m gonna have the best seder night tonight once I change the things I don’t like to eat on the seder plate. OY BOY’S seder plate consists of six of his favourite things he likes to eat. Which includes changing the parsley to cucumber, burnt bone to steak, maror to chips, charoset to cake, egg to cookies and, lastly, the salt water to lemonade. Then OY BOY sat down at the table and from the kitchen all you can hear is “WHO CHANGED THE ITEMS ON THE SEDER PLATE?!” Besides that he had an amazing seder night.

£

interesting ways to manage the account through the app (including parental controls and digital notifications) than you would with a traditional children’s bank account, which runs in a similar way to a regular account. There’s usually no fee for having the account and you can use the accompanying debit card to make purchases and cash withdrawals. Obviously children – that’s you – will need money in their bank account in order to do this, and parents can add funds or have family members pay in money gifts. Though you won’t like this, when choosing what is best, your parents might want a card that puts a cap on daily spending, so you don’t use it all up at once. As well as encouraging you to save some of your pocket money, so you can save up for something you really want, a recent poll by

Nationwide Building Society reveals that eight in 10 parents put an average of £33.72 into their children’s savings accounts each month. You should ask about that. The aim is that by the time children are 18, the accumulated nest egg can be used to help you get a home, buy a car or fund university. This all sounds grown-up, but you’ll be amazed how quickly it comes along. Unfortunately, one in four parents have never discussed with their kids the benefits of saving. Tom Riley is Nationwide’s director of savings and wisely says: “Parents always want the best for their children, so many will put money away on a regular basis, but raising a family is an expensive business, so it’s not always easy to put money aside. A third of parents have confessed that they sometimes

£

need to dip into their children’s savings in an emergency, so it’s important to have the reassurance of access to their account.” Lockdown kept you out of school, but it has done wonders for savings, as research reveals that putting money away regularly might be one of the few good things to come out of the pandemic. Since last March, nearly four in 10 Brits have been able to save more, squirrelling away an average of just over £1,000. The pandemic also forced everyone to postpone or cancel their plans and many placed the money they had put aside into their savings. However, there are people who continue to struggle to save, particularly those on lower incomes, and more than 11 million people across the UK have less than £100 in savings. The Money and Pensions Service recently

launched a financial well-being strategy to get more people saving and there are savings accounts that incentivise people. Nationwide’s new ‘prize draw’ savings account motivates adults to save regularly by offering them the chance to win £100 through prize draws. The chances of winning depend on how well they save, and the more they do, the bigger the prize fund and prizes on offer. Understanding interest rates is difficult, but all you need to know is that they are currently low and prize draws are an attractive way to reward good savings habits. Financial worries due to Covid-19 have made people think more about saving and how important it is to have a financial buffer in place. Young people like you feel this even more keenly, so those piggy bank pennies may count for something after all.

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 57


INTERIORS

PLANNING YOUR HOME TO PERFECTION BY LOUISA WALTERS

W

hen Yuri Gutfreund was travelling through Singapore on his way to Australia in February last year, he noticed that wearing a facemask was something the natives chose to do. Little did he know that, just a few months later, everyone in the UK would be doing the same. The mask-wearing trend was not the only notable thing about the trip; while Yuri was in Australia, he discovered a unique design concept that inspired him so much that he gave up his job in finance to launch it in London. It has long been the case when building, renovating or extending your home or commercial space that you see floor plans on paper or on a screen and have to use the power of imagination to visualise how the plans will translate to real size. Precise Plans’ state-of-the-art technology allows you to walk through your floor plans in real life on a 1:1 life-size scale, accurately experiencing the size and feel of each room in a tangible way with 20:20 vision from a foresight vantage point. You can, quite literally, stand in a life-size floor model of your rooms and make changes – moving walls, doors, windows, units, sanitaryware and even plug sockets. You can also see the layout of each room filled with real furniture so you can make informed decisions before even one tool has been lifted. Precise Plans operates out of a 600sq m

industrial space in north London – bigger than the size of one floor level of an average house. Working with architects, interior designers, builders, developers and homeowners, Yuri and his Australian-born business partner Brendan Stern – a property professional himself – take the plans, upload them to their system and project them onto the floor in real size. During a consultation session, you can make as many changes as you want and see them take shape there and then. “When architects and builders talk in meterage, it means nothing to most people,” says Yuri. “It’s impossible to visualise what a 3m x 5m room feels like from a computer screen or a paper drawing. Once the building frame has gone up, it’s too late to make changes without incurring enormous costs. Working with us is an unparalleled investment, massively reducing the chance of making regrettable and avoidable mistakes in your build.” When Yuri was looking into the concept in Australia, he learned of a hospital that was under construction and the architects decided to capitalise on this technology. With the help of the revolutionary system, they were able to see that the proposed lift shaft was not wide enough to fit a hospital bed, and a seriously costly mistake was thankfully avoided. Elisha and Yaron Hazan are having a side and rear extension built at their home in north London. They were struggling to visualise how the space would work and the best way to utilise it. A friend recommended Precise Plans. “We sent our floor plans from the planning application to the Precise Plans team and, when we arrived for our consultation, the space was all laid out for us on the floor,” says Yaron. “In the space of 10 minutes, everything fell into place – it was as if our extension had been brought to life. The furniture on wheels is so clever as you can move everything around to see how it fits. I cannot recommend this service highly enough.” “We are laser focused on streamlining and simplifying the planning process for our clients,” says Brandon. “We want to rid them of agonising deliberations and sleepless nights of uncertainty, giving them instead the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their plans are perfect… and precise.” www.preciseplans.co.uk

58 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

White £39.99


INTERIOR STYLE Tasteful furnishings don’t need to be boring as these bright and quirky pieces demonstrate beautifully

Reversible pom pom throw £95, www.thestripescompany.com

Miriam’s Table Cookbook £20, www.thebukhariancookbook.com

White Faced Vase £39.99

Ram skull with flowers £34.99, www.bentleyshouseofgifts.co.uk

Black and white vase £44.99, www.bentleyshouseofgifts.co.uk

BUKHARIAN BID

Bronze climbing men trio £61.45, www.bentleyshouseofgifts.co.uk Annie lamp £159.99, www.bentleyshouseofgifts.co.uk

There is a community of Bukharian Jews in London – among them Lilian Cordell, author of Miriam’s Table cookbook, which is full of delicious Bukharian recipes. Lilian, her sister Gloria and other relatives will be interested in the Islamic arts and manuscripts sale at Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers on Wednesday, 31 March, because, among the beautiful items, is a 19th-century gilded silver and gem-set Torah holder made in Uzbekistan for the Jewish community of Bukhara. The community left there and Central Asia for the United States from the 1970s onwards but remain tied to their history. Roseberys is closed to the public currently but is operating online with sales taking place regularly of jewellery, furniture, old masters and, of course, Judaica. www.roseberys.co.uk

LOVE YOUR KITCHEN

Planning the room that is most-used requires experts, says Louisa Walters THE KITCHEN IS THE HEART OF THE HOME, so when it comes to choosing one you need to be guided by someone you can trust. Shanti Panchani at The Kitchen Consultancy says the process should be based around service, not price, and this is what he is good at. He asks clients for their budget up front and works towards it rather than designing a dream kitchen they can’t afford. “You can have ‘a’ kitchen… or you can have YOUR kitchen,” he says. The biggest change in kitchen design in recent times has been a full-circle shift to handleless design. First seen in the 1970s, this streamlined look is stylish, functional and modern. Those wanting more detail might go for handles on some units

and, if you want a traditional look, you will choose handles across the entire run. Shanti says that most people only have three kitchens in their lifetime. “People buying their first home are usually on a tight budget and will typically spend £6,000-£7,000. In their second home, they will have started a family and need something that’s going to stand the test of kids! The spend will be £15,000- £20,000. By the third house, the kids are older and this is the ‘forever’ kitchen – the spend is typically £20,000-£25,000; the cabinets and worktops will be better quality and there will be as much – if not more focus on aesthetics as practicality. At this stage of life, it’s not a kitchen, it’s a lifestyle.” The Kitchen Consultancy works with European manufacturers, mainly in the UK, Germany and Holland. More than 400 doors are on offer in a variety of materials, including laminate, acrylic, glass, high-gloss lacquer, wood and supermatte finishes. White high gloss is still extremely popular,

especially for the second kitchen, and the past few years have seen 50 shades (and more) of grey. Colour appears in glass splashbacks, which can easily be changed if you want to update the look. Worktops are most often in composite stone (quartz), which comes in a big range of colours with features. “Gadgets come and go, but the biggest innovations over the past few years have been the steam oven and the hot water tap,” says Shanti, and explains that if you’re a tea drinker, you must choose a hot tap that boils the water for correct brewing. An initial consultation will take around two hours and Shanti will generally have a plan and a price for you within 48 hours. “Once we have designed your kitchen, we will give information to your builder that will be critical, so it’s important not to see us too late in the process.” LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 59


Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Islamic Arts & Manuscripts Auction Wednesday 31 March, 12 noon A gilded silver and gem-set torah holder, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 19th century, 31.5cm high, weight 2.83kilos £6,000-£8,000*

View the fully illustrated catalogue on the website: www.roseberys.co.uk 70/76 Knights Hill, London SE27 0JD | islamic@roseberys.co.uk | +44 (0) 20 8761 2522 *Plus Buyer’s Premium +VAT (30% inclusive of VAT)T)

Design and supplying Kitchens for over 15 years


TRAVEL

ARE WE THERE YET? Six Senses Shaharut

A YEAR OF WAITING FOR THE STARTER’S ORDERS HAS LEFT US DESPERATE TO KNOW WHEN WE CAN JET OFF

R

emember when going on holiday was just a travel agent’s call away? When a fortnight in the sun was about luggage, a book and double checking the house is locked? Well, not anymore. Now a journey beyond the garden gate requires intense study of a government website in whichever country you’re heading and currently that’s not very far. As we went to press non-essential travel was banned, and will be for some weeks to come, so if you thought jumping the vaccine queue guaranteed a sunbed at the pool in April, you were mistaken. Hope hovers however like a microlight over Andalucia and we can only hope the Global Travel Task Force has good news around 12 April. Until 17 May (the likeliest start date for some international travel) conditions of entry Soho House TLV

Brown 42°

Dan Eilat

and with Turkey happy to host Brits, you’ll feel safe with Hillside’s zero-touch services via an app which enables guests to beach order make reservations and be waited on. A 30-day Home at Paradise stay starts from £5,500 for two people in a room with terrace, with all package inclusions. But you can just go for a fortnight. www.hillsidebeachclub.com

PROTECTED IN PORTUGAL The Contessina Suites and Spa

will be up to Boris and the host country’s discretion. Spanish tourism minister Maria Reyes Marato spelled it out for those with second homes in Majorca and Ibiza when she announced Spain would pioneer vaccine passports. Greece isn’t asking for them, but aims to reopen for whoever can visit from 14 May when a Covid vaccine certificate, proof of antibodies or a negative test will be needed. Within Greece the government has prioritised vaccines for the smaller islands and larger ones like Mykonos and Corfu are next. And then there is Israel, the country many would have visited at Passover but can’t. 4.55 million tourists flocked to the Holy Land in 2019 and more were expected in 2020, but it was not to be and now we’ll have to wait until non-citizens are allowed in. When they do throw down the welcome mat there are lots of new properties worth looking at including: Soho House TLV in a renovated former convent in Jaffa for members and maybe nuns. The Deborah Brown, just minutes from the beach and Ben Yehuda street which has 90 luxury rooms and suites as well as a magnificent ballroom. There’s also Isrotel’s Port Tower in the heart of northern Tel Aviv and the Negev’s Six Senses Shaharut which sleeps seven in the largest suite and offers spas, pools and yoga for December hols. Brown 42°, a mix of luxury apartments and hotels is the first high-end green project in Eilat which deserves our attention, as there’s also the Royal ShangriLa which opened in 2019 and the reassuringly

familiar Dan group of properties by the Red Sea coral reefs where they are offering discounts for Chanukah/Christmas. We will definitely be in Israel by then!

HELLENIC HOLS With Greece ready to receive, we need recommendations. The Contessina Suites and Spa on Tsilivi Beach on Zakynthos was the first to be mentioned because the 5* adults-only 64-suite property is a design statement waiting to be discovered without children. Just look at the place.

TURKEY WORK Often during lockdown we thought, anywhere but here. So if you aren’t going back to the office an invitation to work and live remotely at the Hillside Beach Club in Turkey is one to think about. The five-star resort in Fethiye is already known to have the best facilities for holidays, but with additional office amenities and such added benefits as a complimentary spa treatment, personal training and an outdoor activity each week as well as daily yoga, it’s easy to why they call it “Home at Paradise”. With complimentary stays for one child under 11 and a second under five swapping school for Hillside’s green pine forests and turquoise Aegean won’t be difficult Casa De Mondo pool

To feel safe is what we all want this summer and that is easier in a small property, particularly one where the host is always cleaning. Not in an obtrusive way, but in the way your mother appreciates so everything is pristine and sanitised at Casa De Mondo in the Algarve. Situated in the hills of Bouliqueme, a mere ten minutes from beaches, Casa De Mondo blends rustic and eclectic with spotless comfort and the three private cottages – each with its own bathroom and kitchen – allow for self-catering. Famous for their cookery and art classes as well as pampering sessions, the hosts arrange any activity including horse riding and boat trips. Woken by goat bells, followed by a dip in the pool and breakfast on the terrace, the world we all need a rest from won’t trouble you under the pines. Happy to host guests with wine and chat, the first holiday you take after lockdown should be here. www.casademondo.com +44790 3525941 Hillside Beach Club

Casa De Mondo dining

LIFE jewishnews.co.uk 61


TRAVEL

HOME BUT AWAY Linthwaite House has views across Windermere

BOOKING A BREAK IN THE UK LOOKS LIKE A PRETTY SAFE BET AND THE ONLY REAL ISSUE WILL BE DECIDING WHERE TO STAY. LOUISA WALTERS ROUNDS UP A FEW OPTIONS BATH: The new Hotel Indigo in Bath, which opened last September for just a few weeks before lockdown is looking forward to welcoming back guests. Set in a beautiful honey coloured 18th-century Georgian terrace, the Grade 1-Listed building has 166 rooms. It is home to The Elder restaurant from restaurateur Mike Robinson, co-owner of the only Michelin-starred London pub, the Harwood Arms in Fulham. The hotel has lots of quirky design touches such as ‘literary hideaway’ bedrooms with walls covered in a montage of novels by many of Bath’s authors, and desks which are traditional writer’s bureaus. From £177 B&B

Hotel Indigo

CITY BY THE SEA: Southampton is a city by the sea with lots to offer and the launch of traffic-free alfresco dining hubs, complete with artistic installations and live music performances, will bring a real café culture vibe to the city this spring. Take a selfguided walk along Southampton’s two-mile long medieval wall, then stroll the historic waterfront area for a sense of the city’s rich history. Stay at The Pig, tucked away in the medieval walls with 12 gorgeous bedrooms and a relaxed deli-style dining concept. From £149 room only. Or check into the uber-cool contemporary Harbour Hotel set The Pig in Southampton

62 LIFE jewishnews.co.uk

on a small, private marina with a striking ’super yacht’ style design. From £215 room only.

CORNWALL: Cornwall is pretty much booked up but there is intermittent availability at the St Moritz Hotel in Trebetherick, which is the culinary triangle between Padstow, Rock and Port Isaac. It has a mixture of hotel rooms, apartments, suites and villas. Overlooking the Camel Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean, the views are astonishing and the self-catering apartments (available from 12 April) have patios or balconies, state-of-theart kitchens, large sofas, kingsize beds, sumptuous bedding, and all the accessories you would expect to find in a boutique hotel. Best of all, there’s a Cowshed spa on site plus indoor and outdoor pools and a gym. From £1,450 for one week sleeping six. COTSWOLDS: Every time I think I know all the hotels in the Cotswolds I discover another one. Burleigh Court is a 200-year old 18-room dog-friendly romantic Grade II listed manor near Stroud. You can expect traditional interiors, a splash of luxury, a superb restaurant and three acres of lush gardens with panoramic views across Gloucestershire’s Golden Valley. From £179 B&B . If you can’t wait for Cotswold hotels to open, go self-catering. Luxury Cotswold Rentals has tons of stunning properties such as Dover’s Hill House - a luxurious five-bedroom country house set in eight acres, close to Chipping Campden. There’s a spacious family kitchen with an Aga and plenty of reception rooms. The grounds St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall

Dover’s Hill House

have an 80m long swimming and fishing lake with a rowing boat to use, a pool room, a ping-pong table and a two-hole golf area. Lower Farm in Great Wolford, which has an outdoor pool and a tennis court, is another option and you can take your pooch to both properties. From £10,000 for a week.

NORFOLK: If, like me, you tried and failed to get a booking in Norfolk last summer, you might be pleased to hear that there’s a new hotel there. The Harper will open its doors on 18 May, offering a contemporary country escape with modern-style four posters and a cosy spa. From £175 B&B

ISLE OF WIGHT: Across the water on the Isle, The Haven Hotel has a mix of bedrooms and self-catering apartments. Owners Arielle and David Barratt are very much involved in running the hotel, housed in a beautiful old Arts & Crafts Country House which Alan Titchmarsh has awarded ‘The Best Hotel Garden on the Isle of Wight’ three years running. Inside, antiques mix with comfy super-king beds with air-con. From £450 per night B&B. LUXURY: Heckfield Place in Hampshire has become the first UK hotel with a farm certified 100% biodynamic. ‘Home Farm’ is very much part of the guest experience – with tours led around it and the produce used at the hotel’s restaurants. Some of the well-established luxury hotels are finding clever ways to open before May 17. Chewton Glen’s treehouses (which sleep between two and 12) each come with their own hot tub on the elevated roof terrace, along with a woodburning stove and underfloor heating inside. Back on the ground, the hotel is serving wood-fired pizzas in the garden and staff deliver meals to your treetop door. Thyme Cotswolds, Lime Wood Hampshire and Gara Roc Devon all have self-catering options that are available from 12 April.

Norfolk

LAKE DISTRICT: For unrivalled views across Lake Windermere check into newly refurbished Linthwaite House, which has a spectacular terrace and a restaurant run by Simon Rogan of l’Enclume fame (from £240 B&B). Heckfield Place Gardens

Heckfield Place in Hampshire


Patron Her Majesty The Queen Reg Charity No. 1059050

TH WI RIV NO TH ING RW OO D

With Norwood by your side, no one has to cope alone. We’re not only here for the person who needs us most – whether due to a learning disability, wellbeing or mental health issue – we are here for everyone whose life is impacted by the situation.

Through our specialist educational support, therapeutic sessions, counselling service, support groups and more, we ensure that every member of the family receives the right support at the right time, giving everyone the best possible chance of a better, brighter future.

For more information or to make a donation please visit norwood.org.uk or call 020 8809 8809


Profile for Jewish News

Life Mag - 2021  

Life Mag - 2021