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23 FEBRUARY 2018


Jewish News 23 February 2018

Jewish News Night of Heroes



t was, for all intents and purposes, the night of the Jewish Oscars, bang in the middle of the awards season – and a triumphant occasion when the Jewish community got to celebrate its own winners, writes Jenni Frazer. Jewish News’ “Night of Heroes”, in partnership with technology company LABS, more than two years in the planning, attracted 500 people from across the community and beyond. It was a unique occasion for, as editor Richard Ferrer put it in his opening remarks, telling stories, the DNA of every newspaper. On this night, however, the stories were not always the headline-makers, but the stories of ordinary men and women – and children – who had somehow become extraordinary, who had risen above difficulties placed in their paths and done the impossible. It was a night of eye-popping surprise – former prime minister Tony Blair turning up to make an emotional speech honouring Lifetime Achievement winner Rabbi Lord Sacks – and full-blown fan worship, as boys,

big and little, got to see international Israeli footballer Tomer Hemed. A total of nine awards were handed out on the night, including Community Ally, given to Maajid Nawaz for his work challenging antiSemitism, and Special Recognition, handed to broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, for her work recording testimony from Holocaust survivors. Big names from British public life lined up in film to praise some of the award-winners, from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. For the winner of the Israeli hero category, cardiac surgeon Dr Lior Sasson, there was the extra fillip of a smiling video message from Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin. Undoubtedly, however, the stories which were most affecting were those relating to children, either the charities set up to work in their names, or the children themselves who had overcome grief and hardship. At almost every table, as the children were

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Natasha Kaplinsky accepts the Special Recognition award for her work with Shoah survivors

honoured, tears rolled down people’s faces and compere for the night, David Walliams, himself a renowned children’s author, admitted he had not been far from tears all evening. So the gesture of Community Hero Norman Rosenbaum, an 83-year-old retired surgeon, in handing over his award to the parents of Gavriel Rosenfeld, Kerry and Doron, made almost everyone in the room cry. “I am old,” said Mr Rosenbaum, who has raised money for 11 Magen David Adom ambulances in Israel and is about to donate a twelfth. “But Gavriel, we hope, has his whole life ahead of him”. Gavriel suffers from Duchenne disease and in 2007 his parents set up the Duchenne Research Fund which has so far raised more than £7 million to support medical research into Duchenne, a form of muscular dystrophy. Could he hand over his award, Mr Rosenbaum asked, gently? Was it permitted in the rules? No question. He was cheered to the rafters and Kerry Rosenfeld admitted that she had been “blown away” by his action. She was not alone. And, despite the individual awards, it must be admitted that on a damp and rainy night in central London, pretty much everyone was a winner. After a hard few years politically and socially, the Anglo-Jewish community was more than ready to be caring and sharing. As Bowie famously put it, we can be heroes – just for one day. Teddy Sagi, whose LABS company was the night’s headline partner, said: “The inaugural Night of Heroes was a one-stop showcase of all that makes the Jewish community so generous, so innovative and such a wonderful contributor to Britain. “It was fitting that it also served to benefited a host of good causes. It was a true honour to help bring Jewish News’ vision to reality and we hope this will be the first of

many such events.” Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, the event’s communal partner, said: “Night of Heroes was an enjoyable, warm and joyful celebration of our community. We were delighted to have been part of an evening which showcased the very best of our community. “The production was of the highest standard, which was reflected by quite how many people broke their usual habit and stayed until the end of the evening.” Ilia Salita, of Genesis Philanthropy Group, the video partner for the awards, said: “This night was an excellent platform for what British Jewish community has to offer – with innovation, charity, compassion and wisdom, all on display and all in the same room. “For Genesis Philanthropy Group, a foundation whose work is only starting in the UK, it was thrilling to be a part of this remarkable evening and to recognise and celebrate Jewish leaders of today and tomorrow”.

Community Hero Norman Rosenbaum receives his award alongside wife Eve

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As a foundation committed to strengthening Jewish communities in the UK and worldwide, we applaud THE NIGHT OF HEROES on celebrating leadership, volunteering and innovation.



Jewish News 23 February 2018

Jewish News Night of Heroes



ight Of Heroes, a celebration of the community’s outstanding achievers held by Jewish News on

Monday night, was inspired by a remarkable man

who my team and I simply call ‘our hero’. On Wednesday, 1 July 2015, we were set to send another issue of this newspaper to the printers when news broke that Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from the Holocaust, had died, at the grand old age of 106. We spent the night rewriting the edition and ran those two simple words on the front page: ‘Our hero’. In the days that followed, we considered Sir Nicky’s life and legacy. How he had let light into the darkest days; how his heroism was eclipsed only by the parents who put their children on his Kindertransport trains. And we wondered: what did the word ‘hero’ stand for then, what does it stand for now, and in whom is it found? The answers, according to news editor Justin Cohen (something of a hero himself ), would be found by holding a grand celebration honouring today’s greatest role models. Thanks to Justin’s supreme efforts, 500 people gathered at the Marriott Hotel in central London on Monday to honour our outstanding achievers. These days we’re so celebrity-obsessed that a goal-scoring sportsman or trend-setting singer is hailed a hero – for 15 minutes at least. Unless you’re a surgeon or soldier, being good at your job doesn’t tend to make you heroic. Showing empathy and humility – shining bright when life is tough – does. Modern role models are in all walks of life and come in all shapes and sizes. A boy’s first hero is his father. Mine was born weeks before war, missed school with polio and dragged himself up by his boot straps from office boy in a Stepney tower block to company director. He and mum raised three happy children in a Wembley semi-detached who wanted for nothing. One day I’ll be half the man Alan Ferrer is. Next came the teacher who set my imagination free. At the Michael

Sobell Sinai School in 1981, the aptly named Mr Leader coaxed a shy 10-year-old out of his shell, sparked his love of reading and made him captain of the cricket team. For reasons that baffle me still, he never wavered in his belief in my ability to spell long words and slog-sweep over square leg. You don’t have to meet your heroes to be moved by them. My formative years were shaped by The Famous Five tomboy George, the Young Ones’ anarchist Rick, Press Gang’s formidable editor Lynda Day, intrepid Kate Adie, Joey Lawrence (a phase) and John Lennon. A mixed bag, but each offered something to strive for. Heroes become less mythical as we grow more cynical. They become more carers than cape wearers. They put others first and act without reward. They rise to the occasion. They do not possess powers beyond ordinary folk and are all the more magnificent for it. We all have the hero gene. We can all be more generous with our time. We can all emulate those we honoured on Monday night. We can all be a mensch. We can all heed the words of ‘our hero’: “Don’t be content to do no wrong. Be prepared every day to do some good.” Richard Ferrer

Jewish News, Editor

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Message from Teddy Sagi, Israeli entrepreneur and businessman

I would like to extend my warmest greetings to everyone at Night of Heroes - an extraordinary celebration of achievement and strength. The UK Jewish community is made up of so many exceptional people - some of whose inspirational work here and in Israel this dinner will shine a light on - and we are delighted to have this opportunity to show our support. I am inspired on a daily basis by the selfless acts of the heroes in our midst so it is wonderful to see so many of them getting the recognition they deserve before this distinguished audience. I look forward to raising a l’chaim to them and the hundreds of other deserving nominees whose work should be celebrated at every opportunity. I am delighted that this event will also help raise funds for a wide variety of good causes. Thank you to the Jewish News for making tonight possible and congratulations to all everyone involved!

My best wishes,

Teddy Sagi



Jewish News 23 February 2018

Jewish News Night of Heroes



I want to send my very best wishes to everyone involved in this inaugural Night of Heroes. Our Jewish community makes an immeasurable contribution to our country and it is absolutely fitting that this should be recognised in such a special way. From young hero to lifetime achievement, from community hero to interfaith leadership, tonight is not just a celebration of the best of our Jewish community, it is a celebration of the best of Britain. So on behalf of the whole country, thank you for all that you do – and thank you to the Jewish News for making this evening possible. I wish you all a very special night.

19 February 2018

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners at this evening’s Night of Heroes awards. From young heroes and terrific volunteers to those who have brought communities of different faiths together or demonstrated incredible acts of bravery, tonight’s awards celebrate the huge contribution of people from across the Jewish community in London and the whole of the UK. Everyone honoured at tonight’s awards has an inspiring story to tell. I am glad that Jewish News has been able to put on this fantastic event, shining a light on great people, who have all acted selflessly for the benefit of others. Thanks also to the sponsors of tonight’s awards for their invaluable support. I hope, as I am sure you will agree, that tonight’s Night of Heroes Awards will be the first of many.

Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

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Message from the Chief Rabbi on the occasion of ‘Night of Heroes’. This evening’s award ceremony is a wonderful example of the Jewish community at its finest. I often speak about the Jewish idea of ‘Achrayut’ – responsibility. In every aspect of our lives, we hear the call of Jewish responsibility to God, our families, our communities, Israel and to all of humanity. It is not always easy to rise to these responsibilities, particularly in a world where there is a trend for placing more emphasis on what is owed to us, rather than what we can offer others. However, the individuals and groups being honoured tonight have been at the forefront of bucking that trend. I am delighted to congratulate all the nominees this evening, who have given so generously of their time, energy and talent for the sake of others. Every one of you serves as a source of great inspiration to the Jewish community and all within our society. I would like to thank everyone at the Jewish News who has helped to make this evening’s event possible. And, of course, I extend a warm Mazaltov to the winners of tonight’s awards. With all good wishes Company Limited by Guarantee Company Number: 07431950

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From our earliest prophets to the outstanding individuals we celebrate this evening, Judaism has an exceptional array of heroes. Some of them, such as prophets chosen by God, took on their role with enthusiasm, others reluctance, but what unites them all is that they inspire us. Often heroism takes us by surprise. Moses was called through the burning bush, stumbled upon in the wilderness. He was reluctant to take on the mantel of leadership but ultimately achieved greatness. How does God speak to us today? Is it with signs and wonders, or is it through the faces of our fellow human beings? None of us know how we would respond to the opportunity or rise to the challenge that invites heroism. Tonight, we are inspired by the Jewish News and this wonderful line-up of contemporary heroes. Our tradition teaches us that we all have the ability to become heroes and leaders and this can take many forms. I hope our entire community will be inspired by the heroism on display this evening and perhaps realise their own heroic potential. I thank the Jewish News for shining the spotlight on these incredible individuals whose contributions are rightly celebrated. And most of all I thank them, our community heroes, for the light that they project into the world, joining together in the sacred work of tikkun olam, repairing the world.

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism



Chair Geoffrey Marx Vice-Chair Jonathan Oppenheimer Treasurer Paul Winter Honorary Secretary Sue Pearlman Chair - Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors UK Rabbi Josh Levy President Sir Trevor Chinn, CVO Vice-Presidents Neil Benson OBE Leslie Bergman Harvey Cohen John Cohen Ruth Cohen Dame Vivien Duffield DBE Andrew Gilbert Michael Grabiner CBE Miriam Kramer Peter Levy OBE Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet Pete Martin Rabbi Maurice Michaels Dr Dolf A Mogendorff JP Stephen Moss CBE Jenny Pizer Jeffery Rose R. Stephen Rubin OBE Cliff Siegel Gordon Smith Judy Smith Dr Lisa Stock Lord Stone of Blackheath Dr Richard Stone OBE David Tilles David Walsh

Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner

Member of European Union for Progressive Judaism Patrons: Tobe and Nicholas Aleksander | Elizabeth and Mark Astaire | Jill and Michael Barrington | Ann and Neil Benson OBE Dee and Leslie Bergman | Caroline and Alan Brill | Virginia and Eric Campus | Angela and Alex Chesterman OBE Sir Trevor Chinn CVO and Lady Chinn CBE | Ruth and Harvey Cohen | Simone and Simon Collins | Beverley and Jonathan Feuer Gail and Michael Flesch QC | Jane and Mike Grabiner CBE | Jo and Ric Haller | Margaret and Paul Harris | Ann and Charles Kessler Jane and James Kessler | Miriam Kramer | Lewis Family Charitable Trust | Gary Lubner | Rhona and Ronnie Lubner Joy Moss MBE and Stephen Moss CBE | Jeffery Rose | Rubin Foundation Charitable Trust | Cliff Siegel | Philippa and Graham Wainer Lana Young | and our fourteen anonymous patrons

Jewish Legacy

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Jewish News 23 February 2018

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Luciana is Labour and Co-operative Party MP for Liverpool Wavertree and Parliamentary Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement. She was the first shadow minister for mental health.


Zaki works in philanthropy and communications. He has worked in the Chief Rabbi’s office and at Buckingham Palace. He is active in interfaith and a Trustee of CCJ.


Ivor is a scriptwriter for television shows such as The X Factor and radio. He is also the author of fourteen books for both children and adults.


Libby is operations director for education charity Now Teach, and a sponsor governor at Westminster Academy. She has worked in the social sector for six years.


Hilary is an experienced event specialist and fundraiser. A former senior manager at Norwood, she has worked with numerous charities in-house and as a consultant.



Nick is the multiaward-winning host of Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC. He is also a television panellist and contributor on other programmes. He also writes a Sunday Express column.


Richard has become a leading voice on communal issues since taking the role of Jewish News editor in 2009, regularly appearing on TV and radio. He is a columnist for various publications.


Ido is group CEO of Crossrider, a cyber security company traded on the London Stock Exchange. A chartered accountant, he has an MBA from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.


Emma is the youngest person to have floated a company on the Stock Exchange and co-leads global software company Enterprise Alumni. Handed an MBE for services to entrepreneurship, she is also a commentator.


Hayley has been involved in teaching for over 20 years. Part of the executive team and advocate for special needs primary school Gesher, she is also a trustee of the Gerald Ronson Family Foundation.


Jonathan is chair and founder of ROAR Group, an independent talent management company. A creative industries leader, he influences all aspects of the entertainment business.


Paul is an experienced national newspaper journalist. He has worked at the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Telegraph and is currently deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph’s Saturday Magazine.


Leah is mayoral director for external and international affairs at City Hall and close adviser to the mayor. Previously at UNICEF UK, she led advocacy campaigns for Save the Children and ONE.


Hilda is co-chair of Jewish Women’s Aid and a trustee of other communal organisations. Married with four children, she is a magistrate on both the adult and family bench.

Ben is a charity fundraising consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in charity and leadership. In 2007 he co-created the Community Fun Run, which has raised more than £1.5m.






Jewish News 23 February 2018

Jewish News Night of Heroes




icking up the award for Communal Initiative with a huge smile across her face, Apples and Honey co-founder Judith IshHorowicz said: “I feel incredibly proud and honoured to pick up this award on behalf of all those who participate in this special community project.” The Wimbledon-based Jewish nursery has received widespread praise for fusing society’s oldest and youngest members. In association with Nightingale Hammerson, children and care home residents engage with and learn from one another on a daily basis. “Many residents don’t have children of their own or their own children live quite far away,” explains fellow co-founder Ali Somers. “Often residents don’t feel part of the world when they go into a home, especially if they lack mobility, but here they have the opportunity to give their total,

undivided attention to the children, who in turn mature and feel part of the circle of life. “It is such a benefit for both generations — they learn from each other, practise model behaviour and feel a strong sense of community responsibility,” she adds. “The residents feel we have given them their humanity back.” Judith came up with the initiative after regularly bringing her pupils to visit Nightingale House care home and being inspired by the ethos of l’dor va-dor — continuity from generation to generation. The children are nurtured to respect those around them and challenge stereotypes. Shared activities encompass Jewish values and practices, and the teachers and staff co-operate to run meaningful and enriching Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah ceremonies. “In future we would like to see more care Judith Ish-Horowicz and Ali Somers receive their award from Alex Brummer and Charlotte Harris from award sponsors Harris & Trotter LLP . Bottom: Ali Durban

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homes across the country having nurseries inside them,” says Judith. “It is inexpensive and easy for everyone to do – the sky is the limit!” Gesher Primary School in Willesden, founded by Sarah Sultman and Ali Durban, was another finalist in the Community Initiative category. As parents to sons with special education needs, the pair quickly realised there was no provision for this cohort of children in the community’s existing educational framework. Consequently, after spending four years researching and planning with world-renowned experts in the field of special needs education, Gesher opened for children with language and communication difficulties, and has a specialism in autistic spectrum challenges. The school has proved so successful that next year’s intake is already oversubscribed. Sultman and Durban were praised for their exemplary tirelessness and

altruism in realising their vision of a better future for these children. The third finalist was GENEius, an education and screening programme targeting teenagers and young adults who may be carriers of at least one of nine severe recessive Jewish genetic disorders (JGDs). GENEius’s aim is to ensure that young Jewish couples can be offered affordable and accessible carrier screening to minimise the risk of passing on life-threatening hereditary conditions. The programme has transformed the process into an easily comprehensible norm among young adults. Widespread recruitment drives and consistent output across social media culminated in an impressive 1,000 sixth-formers being reached in the first year, with additional support for students on campus.

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aediatric cardiac surgeon Dr Lior Sasson is driven by a simple, yet powerful, belief: “The most important thing for people is the health of their children. In achieving this shared mission people are brought together and any existing hostility melts away.” Dr Sasson has devoted his entire career to making advances in treating children with severe heart conditions in developing countries. He is the chief surgeon of Save a Child’s Heart, which provides life-saving surgery for children in need, and trains local specialists to ensure global sustainability. “I am really excited to receive this award, which is not only for me but the entire team who make a real difference across the world,” he says. “We are driven by the joy you see when you save a child’s life, and the delight on the face of their parents. The feeling of helping a child and enabling them to live a happy life like other children is an incredible moment- a special feeling I cannot describe in words.” Save a Child’s Heart has trained more than 100 doctors over the past 20 years, saving the lives of thousands of children. The organisation’s medical efforts are based out of the Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon, and Save a Child’s Heart has gained special recognition from the United Nations for its successes in breaking down cultural barriers, as well as treating every child as equal, regardless of ethnicity. “We regularly work with the Palestinian

Left: Paedriatric heart surgeon Dr Lior Sasson receives his award Below: Finalists Dr Ofer Merin, a cardiothoracic surgeon in Israel, and Ori and Mika Banki, who set up an NGO following the fatal stabbing of their daughter

Authority,” adds Lior. “When parents come from Gaza with their child they are initially anxious, but once they come to Israel and see that their child is treated fair and square like any Israeli child that hostility melts away. By the time they go home there is a real bond between us and them.” Sasson himself was named by the Jerusalem Post as one of the world’s ‘50 most influential Jews’, being described as “the epitome of what a doctor should be”. Israeli cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Ofer Merin was also a finalist in the category. He serves as deputy director of the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, and also heads the medical centre’s trauma unit. In this capacity, Ofer and his team, which consists of Jews, Christians and Muslims, are the first on the scene to save lives following terror attacks in the city. As a reserve commander in the IDF’s field hospital, Ofer has also acquired expertise in international crisis management, flying around the world to administer emergency surgery in the aftermath of natural disasters or in warzones. The third finalists were Ori and Mika Banki, the parents of 16-year old Shira Banki who was fatally stabbed while demonstrating LGBT+ solidarity during Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade in 2015. The incident led her parents to establish an NGO, Shira Banki’s Way, as a means of offering education and promoting tolerance in the public sphere. Their determination to transform Israel into a fairer society, based on the values of acceptance and unity, has seen them become influential and inspirational public activists.

CLC World wishes mazel tov to all the finalists and winners of the Night of Heroes 2018 awards.


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When I began developing the idea of a event inspired by Pride Of Britain, I hoped it could create a unique moment of communal pride and togetherness, writes Justin Cohen. I certainly didn’t envisage #nightofheroes would trend on Twitter at number one in London ahead of that evening’s big FA Cup tie. Or news lines would be picked up by The Sun, The Times, Evening Standard and Huffington Post. We had come along way from seeds of an idea to the 500-strong gathering of celebrities, politicians, Jewish leaders and community members that gathered at the Marriott Grosvenor Square. Indeed, I spent well over a year looking for a headline sponsor before being introduced by Teddy Sagi’s representatives. Much changed during the years of planning; the headline acts; the realisation that short videos would play such a central role on the night; the mechanism through which the evening would support charities. But in essence the remained the same. An opportunity to honour the many heroes in our midst in a setting befitting their inspirational actions, dedication and bravery achievements. No appeal, no raffle, just a celebration of our community as givers, within and beyond. The charity set-up enabled many of the staff that make the charities in our community tick to sit back and take their places at the dinner – something they don’t always have the chance to do at their own. Uniquely, there was a Jewish Care table alongside a Nightingale table alongside a Work Avenue table. Even the cynics in the room couldn’t help but be inspired. Thank you to everyone who helped bring this event to life, particularly Energise Squared and Ben Morrison.



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eceiving a standing ovation for their tireless work in protecting and defending British Jews, Community Security Trust (CST) volunteers were praised by the organisation’s chief executive David Delew on accepting the award on their behalf. “It is absolutely fantastic for the volunteers to be recognised for the hard work and dedication they give to the security of the community,” he said. “The last year has been incredibly difficult with the rise of attacks in the UK, yet they truly went above and beyond.” The heroism and bravery of CST volunteers regularly makes headlines.

Last summer, members patrolling outside Hendon’s Toras Chaim Synagogue spotted a man running towards them brandishing two large knives. Upon spotting the danger, two volunteers chased the man into a laundrette, where he was subsequently detained. The pair were praised for exhibiting calmness under pressure. “I’ve done this job for 28 years, and a lot of the volunteers are the same,” adds David. “It’s that passion to protect our community which drives us. We are absolutely determined to ensure we can carry on living as Jews in this country in a normal capacity.” Since being founded as a charity in 1994, the CST has become a ubiquitous presence at Jewish schools, synagogues, community Above: David Walliams, Jonathan Goldstein, David Delew and Nick Ferrari. Below: Jonathan congratulates David, also pictured inset left, on his award


author of 11 books, including the #1 BESTSELLER Wrong Place Wrong Time which is currently a book to movie project with Golden Mile Productions, would like to wish Mazeltov to the finalists and winners of the 2018 Night Of Heroes awards!

centres and communal events. The CST’s 2,000 volunteers enable it to take leadership roles at largescale events such as Chanukah in the Square, pro-Israel demonstrations and the AJEX Remembrance Day Parade. Volunteers can be found at 1,000 public events a year. Becoming a CST volunteer requires significant commitment in terms of time and energy. The organisation’s training process lasts several months and potential volunteers are required to attend weekly sessions that encompass physical and theoretical preparation. “Without a doubt, we are facing an increase in anti-Semitism and the big threat we face is from terrorism,” notes David. “However, we are not stretched and are able to complete the work we need to do. Of course, we could always do with more volunteers to help share the workload, but we are securing our community successfully.” CST recorded 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide in 2017 – surpassing the previous high of 1,309 incidents in 2016. This equates to an attack nearly four times a day last year. Of notable concern was the CST’s finding that the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults increased by more than a third from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017. Three-quarters of all anti-Semitic incidents occurred in Greater London and

Greater Manchester, where the country’s two largest Jewish communities are located. “It’s my absolute dream that CST won’t be needed in the future, but realistically I can’t see that in my lifetime or any time in the future, because the threat is here and is likely to stay for the foreseeable future,” adds David. “I very much doubt we have reached the peak for how bad things are going to get. However, we should take heart from the fact the community is doing well in protecting itself and is working effectively with the police.”

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’m genuinely humbled to win,” said Maajid Nawaz on being presented with the Community Ally award. As the host of a popular LBC call-in programme, Maajid has become one of the Jewish community’s most outspoken allies, often in direct conflict with parts of his own community. “What drives me on the show is that I am intimately familiar with extremism and the path towards it,” he explains. At the age of 16, he joined an extremist Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir. “In my mind when I am challenging a bigoted caller, I am often challenging my former self, which makes it quite effective and why I feel so passionate about doing my job.” Maajid has received praise for his ability to systematically dismantle the arguments of those attacking or singling out Israel. “I’m not so much a defender of Israel, as a defender of truth,” he continues. “I genuinely am flummoxed that there were more UN resolutions last year against Israel than [against] Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and ISIS put together. When presented with those facts, it is common sense to be defending Israel. “To focus on Israel above and beyond all other ills can only be a form of antiSemitism,” he adds. “The only state that some people are driven to delegitimise is the singular Jewish state.” A strong voice against anti-Semitism, Maajid is the founding chairman of the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam and a Jewish News columnist. Looking to the future of Muslim-Jewish relations, he sees “progress every day”, but says: “Unfortunately the wider political debate is becoming more polarised.” In particular, Maajid expresses his

concern with the rise of populism in Europe and Britain. “There’s a lot more work to do be done,” he adds. “We must not take anything for granted.” Alongside Maajid, five current and former politicians were also finalists. These included John Mann, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism and famously confronted Ken Livingstone publicly in the hours after his comments on Hitler and Zionism, and Mike Freer who, in representing the constituency with the largest Jewish population, was instrumental in securing an increase in government funding for communal security in 2015. Other MPs shortlisted were Joan Ryan, who chairs Labour Friends of Israel and developed the first project at the Imperial War Museum to record the testimony of concentration camp survivors, and Ian Austin, a consistent advocator for Israel who campaigned for a statue of Holocaust hero Frank Foley. Sir Eric Pickles, the former Conservative Friends of Israel chair who played an important role in developing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, was also a finalist. Alongside these politicians, the other finalists were Dilwar Hussein, trustee of the Three Faiths Forum and vice-chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Dr Nicola Wetherall MBE, a champion of Holocaust education, Patrick Moriarty, headteacher of JCoSS and honorary secretary of the Council of Christians and Jews, and Fiyaz Mughal OBE, founder of the interfaith organisation Faith Matters and the Muslim hate crime reporting body, Tell Mama.

Above: Maajid Nawaz enjoys the night’s entertainment. Below: Receiving his award flanked by David Walliams, actress Laura Pradelska, left, and Nicole Ronson, right

Bloom Hearing wishes Mazel tov to all the finalists and winners of the Night of Heroes 2018 Awards. Ewa Kozlowska and Adam Chrysanthou, your local hearing specialists in Pinner, are pleased to be supporting all those making our community so special. They are also here to help everyone hear well again so they can enjoy living life to the full again. As well as providing friendly, helpful hearing advice, we also offer free hearing tests, free home visits, a 60 day money back guarantee and bloomFinance plans including 0% options. For more information and a free hearing test call us on 020 8869 9999, quoting BL JN 02.

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The Clore Duffield Foundation congratulates all the Night of Heroes award nominees and recipients.

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Former Prime Minister Tony Blair congratulates his friend Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

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or the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award, sponsored by the Clore Duffield Foundation, there could only be one presenter. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Britain from the Middle East on Monday morning, and that evening, he and the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, fell into heartfelt familiarity that clearly struck a chord with everyone present at the Night of Heroes. The tone was struck by compère David Walliams, who announced that “the leader of the Labour Party” was going to present the award to Lord Sacks, before winking and declaring, to laughter, that it was a Labour leader with different dates from the present incumbent. And Tony Blair himself seemed slightly taken aback by the warm reception he received, admitting that “I don’t often get that kind of reaction these days”. In remarks that spoke of the long friendship between the two men, Mr Blair recalled his first days in No 10 and telling the then Chief Rabbi that he envied him. “Here am I, Jonathan, I have a whole country to manage. You’ve only got to manage the Jewish community.” Lord Sacks duly replied: “I feel your envy is somewhat misplaced.” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ greatest achievement, said Mr Blair, was the ability to teach “without making you feel stupid”, explaining: “It was he who inspired me to reread the Torah, what we call the Old Testament, and rediscover its power and its wisdom. His mission has never been to dazzle, but to educate.” Britain’s Jewish community, he said, “embodies the best of Jewish values the world over; ambition, creativity, compassion. And Jonathan in his time as Chief Rabbi explained it, represented it, celebrated it and, where necessary, defended it.” In pointed comments, Mr Blair declared: “I do not want to see antiSemitism rear its ugly head ever in this nation. Not in this country, not in our time, not in any space in our national life, and certainly not in any political party.” The former premier, who had just returned from his 190th visit to Israel, said

Lord Sacks was the first to explain to him that the country was “not just a state, but an idea, and not only a nation, but the homeland of the people”. Speaking after the presentation to Jewish News news editor Justin Cohen, Mr Blair said: “It’s a fantastic initiative by Jewish News to celebrate its community at its best, and those outside the community, and it was a great privilege for me to be part of the event.” Lord Sacks, he said, was “one of the most brilliant people of his generation, so for him to get this recognition was very special and deserved, and [the award] says a lot about the way people feel about him”. In a film accompanying the presentation, tributes were paid to Lord Sacks by Gordon Brown, Mr Blair’s successor as prime minister, who described him not only as “a hero for our times but one of the greatest global citizens”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “It’s very easy to see why he has stood out as a religious thinker – he simply has five times more brain power than anyone else around! He has read and thought and reflected throughout his life at a profound level, and you get the benefit. He does that without ceasing to be someone to whom you can relate.” For his part, Lord Sacks said he was accepting his award on behalf of the Jewish community that he had served, and thanked Mr Blair as a steadfast friend of the community and of Israel. To great amusement, he revealed that the best thing he had ever heard from Mr Blair was the comment, “I agree with Rabbi Sacks about everything – that proves I’m not Jewish!” The message of Night of Heroes, Lord Sacks said, “is that we can all be heroes, doesn’t matter if it’s on a big scale or a small scale. What matters is that we give to others.” He celebrates his 70th birthday next week but shows no sign of slowing down, taking as his inspiration the late Lord Weidenfeld, who maintained a hectic schedule at 92. “Work hard for the sake of others,” Lord Sacks advised. “It will keep you young.”

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RIO WOOLF, LUCY RONSON ALLALOUF AND ZAK COHEN illnesses so that they can preserve their memories for the future. Zak has been ferociously fundraising. So far, he has staged Pawfect in the Park, a charity fun run in Chigwell Park, where everyone was encouraged to bring their dogs, and he has also sold homemade cupcakes – although he admitted he hadn’t made them himself. Still, he said cheerfully, they had been made in someone’s home, hadn’t they? To date, Zak, who is an ambassador for the grief counselling service Grief Encounter, has raised £2,500 in memory of his mother, whose 40th birthday would have been this week. As for his ambition, he made that clear in his accompanying film for the night – “Zak Cohen, future prime minister”. Rio Woolf is also nine and he – quite literally – had a different hurdle to overcome. He was born with a rare bone deficiency in his right leg, which meant it had to be amputated. But the sports-mad Bushey school student

has worn a series of increasingly sophisticated prostheses, including a junior blade of the type worn by his own hero, the Paralympic athlete and Strictly Come Dancing competitor, Jonnie Peacock. The two met as the athlete triumphed at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and now Rio wants to emulate his Paralympic gold medal mentor, who has no doubt that Rio can do it. “He’s really sporty and I always tell him just to enjoy it,” he says. As for Rio, he says: “I have lots of dreams. I want to be a Paralympian like Jonnie. My dreams can come true.” Stacey Solomon, the TV personality and presenter for the award, had to hold back tears after the stories of the three finalists were recounted. But the room erupted in cheers when she announced that all three were winners and would receive prizes. Lucy, Zak and Rio were surrounded by their families and applauded to the rafters – a fitting conclusion for three small heroes.

Dermot O’ Leary with young heroes Rio Woolf, Zak Cohen and Lucy Ronson Allalouf, Stacey Solomon and David Walliams


Camp Simcha, which she sells o many of the to raise money for disabled emotional highs children. Each canvas contains of the Night of an encouraging word such Heroes were as “bravery, strength, and about children. But the hope”, says Lucy, who sells category of Young Hero the paintings to help Great Award melted hearts Ormond Street Hospital everywhere, as stories buy equipment so that other of triumph over adversity children can receive the same were played out to an auditreatment as her. ence for which tears and happiAnd she sings in the Rays of ness were the order of the day. Rio Woolf Sunshine children’s choir, made up of The three finalists chosen for the youngsters with a range of disabling condiYoung Hero Award, sponsored by tions. “When I sing, I can forget the Genesis Philanthropy Group, about my seizures, [forget] about are aged 11, nine and nine respecwhen I’m in hospital. I love it,” tively. But young as they are, she says. they have overcome huge If Spencer Cohen’s smile difficulties in their lives and on Night of Heroes had proved an inspiration for the been any wider, it would adults in the room. have meant a redefinition of Most striking was the the word kvell. Spencer was instinct of all the finalists to rightly bursting with pride at think of other people, despite the nomination of his son, Zak, their own problems – sweetly now nine, whose mother Kay illustrated by Rio Woolf, aged nine, who used his winner’s Lucy Ronson Allalouf died of cancer two years ago and in whose name he has raised podium moment to congratulate money to help cancer research. his fellow finalists. Zak, who attends Wohl Ilford Lucy Ronson Allalouf was born Jewish Primary School, first with a rare brain tumour and has learned his mother was ill undergone numerous lifewhen he was only five. threatening operations in The family (Zak has a her 11 short years. But she sister, Mia), took every opporhas the sunniest of dispositunity to capture on video tions and, despite seizures, and stills Kay’s last years, and endocrine imbalance, daily this has been the inspiration medication and too much for Zak’s next project, a charity time spent in hospitals, Lucy he wants to call Kay’s Memory manages to be positive. Album. It aims to help children The Immanuel College with parents who have terminal pupil paints giant canvases for Zak Cohen


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n a night dedicated to heroes, those who survived the Holocaust could not be forgotten. But the Night of Heroes’ Special Recognition Award went not to a survivor, but to someone who had made it her business to keep the voices of survivors alive – the broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, who was honoured for her work in interviewing 112 Holocaust survivors and liberators, so their testimonies could be preserved. Natasha was awarded an OBE for her services to Holocaust commemoration, but her story began over a decade ago with the rediscovery of the fate of her own greatgrandparents, Raphael and Melka, in the Belarussian town of Slonim, where 2,524 Jews were massacred. She learned of her family’s involvement during the making of the BBC TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? Her response was to throw herself into Holocaust education, working with David Cameron’s government-backed Holocaust

Commission and strongly supporting the endeavour of launching a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre next to Parliament. Natasha’s award, sponsored by Barbara and Mick Davis, was presented by two of the survivors to whom she has become close since the beginning of the testimony project – Peter Lantos and Hedi Frankl. And, paying tribute on film to her work, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “Natasha Kaplinsky manages to establish a deep personal bond with everyone she interviews. She really cares, not just because of her own history, but because she is so sensitive to their concerns, not just their suffering but also their bravery.” For Peter Lantos, the interview made him feel “that I was talking to a friend I have known for a long time – but in fact I hadn’t”. The testimonies include evidence of a wide range of Nazi persecution, from camp survivors, refugees, and children who came on the Kindertransport to Britain on the eve of the outbreak of war. British soldiers who helped to liberate Belsen were also interviewed. All the interviews will find a permanent home in the new Learning Centre next to the National Holocaust Memorial. Responding to her award, Kaplinsky said she was “truly honoured and humbled” to receive it. She had been told by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis that what she was doing was “a sacred task” and she said she genuinely felt this to be the case, describing it as her “highest privilege and very great honour to meet the survivors and their families”.

Natasha Kaplinsky said interviewing survivors and refugees was the ‘highest privilege’

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isa-Nashim, whose name means ‘women’ in Arabic and Hebrew, is a unique interfaith group which brings Jewish and Muslim communities closer together through their female members. Accepting the award, co-founder Julie Siddiqi humbly said: “I genuinely believe this award is for all the women doing this work, some of whom are incredibly brave in the face of those in their community who don’t want them to engage in interfaith dialogue.” The forum was launched in 2015 and is now the largest MuslimJewish project in Europe, with 29 local groups around the country ranging in size from 10 to 70 women. “The success of these groups is based on one word – friendship,” explains fellow co-founder Laura Marks. “Many interfaith groups struggle as they fail to recognise you must build friendships to succeed. It isn’t enough to have a shared agenda and be in agreement that antiSemitism and anti-Muslim hatred must be countered. “Ultimately when the chips go down, which they do, you have to be at end of the phone to support each other. That’s a very different model from the traditional interfaith way of doing things.” Each group is co-chaired by one Muslim

Interfaith activist Herschel Gluck with his son

and one Jewish woman, 90 percent of whom don’t know each other prior to being introduced, despite often living in very close proximity. “Women from a local area develop friendships and go out to do good work together- social action, feeding the homeless and helping the elderly for example,” explains Julie. On a political level, Nisa–Nashim has liaised with the police, the Home Office and the Mayor of London to share expertise in tackling hate crime. “We aren’t just trying to preach to the Jewish and Muslim world,” adds Laura. “We are trying to show wider society that Jews and Muslims can get on, and that people’s misconceptions are just that – misconceptions.” On the finalist shortlist was also the veteran interfaith activist Rabbi Herschel Gluck who, in 2000, established what is believed the first ever Muslim–Jewish Forum in Britain to advocate for issues of common concern to both communities. Rabbi Gluck’s work in the UK, as well as his participation in conflict mediation efforts across the globe, led to the awarding of an OBE in 2013. Two years later, he became president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, and in this capacity was one of the first faith leaders to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of the Finsbury Park mosque terror attack last June. Countless examples of interfaith projects from throughout Gluck’s career solidify his reputation as a leading practitioner in his field. Also making the shortlist was JW3’s Open Door Project. Its pilot intake brought together 18 teenage girls of different religious backgrounds, from Jewish, Muslim and non-denominational schools. The youngsters took part in a series of workshops, lectures and cultural activities aimed at transcending boundaries and appreciating differences. Participants’ testimonies reveal the transformative impact of the programme, which for many of the girls represented a first opportunity to make friends of different religions and to identify cultural similarities. Plans to open a group for teenage boys are already under way

From left: Vanessa Feltz (centre) with award-winners Laura Marks (left) and Julie Siddiqi

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n the face of it, the five nominees for the title of Community Hero had little in common. But in fact, the award, sponsored by city company Investec, brought together five candidates who have saved, or are saving, lives. Some, such as Ashley White, a PE teacher at the cross-denominational school, JCoSS, have demonstrated this in the most tangible way. He saved the life of one of the school’s pupils, Noah Baron-Cohen, in 2016, when Noah, then 16, collapsed during a routine school rugby practice. Ashley’s first-aid training kicked in and he began to perform emergency CPR on Noah, working on the teenager for an exhausting 15 minutes before the paramedics arrived. “It was only after they took over that the emotions began,” Ashley confessed. As for Noah, waking up in hospital and finding out what Ashley had done for him made him feel

“lucky to be alive”. Sam and Lee Bladon were nominated for the service they launched late last year in memory of their daughter, Evie. Their little girl was born with severe brain damage, and, although she survived until she was three, the multitude of health issues from which she suffered meant she required considerable overnight care. No one knew better than the Bladons how

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Above: Investec’s Doug Krikler congratulates Norman Rosenbaum on his award, which he passed on to Kerry Rosenfeld, below. Left: Norman and wife Eve with family

exhausting, both physically and emotionally, it could be to deal with a child in these circumstances. Wanting to do something in her name, they worked with Camp Simcha and established Evie’s Night Owls, an at-home overnight respite service designed to help parents. Gina Greenwood, a single mother of three, is one of the beneficiaries of the service. She says the Night Owls’ help with her ill son, Jake, has transformed her life. And for the Bladons, continuing to provide respite for exhausted parents will become “Evie’s legacy”. George Gabriel, chief executive of the Safe Passage campaign, a UK project to bring child refugees to Britain, is in no doubt about the contribution of Jude Williams to his work. “Jude saved the day,” he says, speaking of the huge problems faced in trying to bring children from the so-called Calais “jungle” in northern France. Working with Nic Schlagman, whose mother came to Britain on the Kindertransport, Jude, whose father was caught up in the Holocaust and came to Britain as a refugee in 1945, raised a staggering £200,000 in just three weeks. “They brought a huge amount of energy and public attention to the issue at the critical moment,” explains George. Just over 1,000 children arrived with Safe Passage’s help, courtesy of Jude’s hands-on initiative. And the last two nominees for the Community Hero award crossed paths in a way never envisaged by those who named

them as finalists – Norman Rosenbaum and Kerry Rosenfeld. Norman, a scarcely believable 83 and a retired surgeon, has saved thousands of lives in Israel through his fundraising for Magen David Adom ambulances. To date, he has raised money for 11 ambulances, and, despite fighting his own health problems, is now trying for a 12th vehicle. It was, he said halfjokingly, his wife Eve, who had pushed him into starting his fundraising work. “Don’t just sit there eating salmon sandwiches,” she admonished him. “Do something!” So Norman did, and now his whole family is involved. Meanwhile Kerry Rosenfeld, together with her husband Doron, was a nominee for the launch of the vitally important Duchenne Research Fund, after they heard the heartbreaking news that their son Gavriel Meir had been diagnosed with the condition. So far, they have raised more than £7 million in their bid to find a cure for the otherwise fatal condition. Each one of these stories was touching in itself but when Norman was announced as the winner – a hugely popular choice – he stunned the organisers, including presenter and TV host Dermot O’Leary, when he asked if he could present his award to Kerry, in Gavriel’s name. It was a moment that illustrated, if it were needed, quite why Norman is a community hero and how all the nominees deserve recognition and support.

23 February 2018 Jewish News

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STORY TIME C ool, calm and clean – you’d expect the latter in a description of a catering kitchen, but most likely neither of the former. Yet when I went behind the scenes at Food Story, where preparations were underway for the Night of Heroes dinner, I was surprised by the serenity of the scene, writes Louisa Walters. The Food Story kitchen is a large, open space, with gleaming work surfaces and kitchen staff in neatly pressed aprons, music playing gently in the background. Executive chef David Swann is relaxed and jovial, calmly lifting lids on pans, opening and closing fridge doors and proffering me Tupperware tubs of things to smell and taste, all the while feeding me expert information about the dos and don’ts of running a kosher kitchen. No matter that you might have been running one for 30 years or so – this man can most definitely teach you a thing or three. Yet this is no standard kosher kitchen. This is the Food Story kosher kitchen and that means things are taken to a whole new level. This is a place where those canapés that upwards of 400 people gaily popped into their mouth on Monday night may have comprised up to 20 ingredients and five cooking stages.


This is a place on whose behalf more than 20 new ingredients have been passed by the Beth Din in the past year alone. This is a place where dairy-free desserts are not a challenge – they are artistic masterpieces, an invasion of the senses and something that will be remembered long after the event has passed. When the lid was lifted on a stunning glass challice on Monday night and a sublime passion fruit and chocolate confection within was revealed, no one for one moment thought ‘how did they make something parev taste so good?’ They just remarked on what an amazing dessert it was, for this is indeed amazing food (that just happens to be kosher). I chatted to Hungarianborn Dora Baracskai, the creative genius behind the desserts, who earned her stripes at the Savoy before joining David’s team. Like her cartoon namesake, she thinks nothing of going on a mission of exploration, whether that be to find the finest kosher Belgian chocolate or the best freeze-dried passion fruit crunch. While we are marvelling at the sunny dessert she created for Monday’s dinner, she is already thinking ahead to winter menus and hoping to use some of the skills she picked up at a recent chocolate course. Meanwhile, hundreds of pineapples were being sliced into carpaccio, beef bones were

David Walliams

Citrus salmon ce viche, pineapple and lem ongrass

Lamb, amba pickle

d cabbage, pomme puree, gre en beans

Passion fruit and

being immersed in water to be boiled into stock for gravy, large sides of salmon were being cured in salt and sugar, and tender cuts of meat were being dry aged in special refrigerators to improve the quality, texture and flavour. Thick-cut chips were bubbling away – triple cooked means just that and this was round two. This was the prep kitchen – the actual cooking and assembling of the dishes is always done at the venue. Pasted to the wall were photos of Monday night’s dishes with a list of elements that needed to be taken to the Marriott Hotel to put the dishes together. It’s a feat of organisation, carried out with military precision under the careful direction of Rebecca Belson, Food Story’s senior event planner. And it doesn’t stop at the food – the linens, cutlery, crockery and glassware are carefully selected to work with the menu. The wines are chosen to complement the food, and even the tea and coffee brands are researched. Night of Heroes was an incredible event, rewarding people behind truly awe-inspiring stories of humility and passion. But when it came to the food, the Food Story team were the heroes.


Dining illustrate d by Food Story under the superv ision of KLBD


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What a wonderful event celebrating some of the heroes of our community. I was so honoured to be part of the panel and learn about the heroic work of everyone nominated. HAVE A WONDERFUL EVENING. Emma Sinclair MBE,

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I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively. — Golda Meir

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23 February 2018 Jewish News


NOH56 Jewish News

23 February 2018




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