MEMO 356

June 16, 2013

MEMO 356 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.



Mon, 06/17/2013 - 17:48

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last sunday, 9.05-10.00am, and 10.05-11.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710):
Daniel Libeskind - Ground Zero (part of Dream Builders)

Daniel Libeskind’s first building was the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Shortly after it was opened he won a fierce competition to rebuild the most valuable and most politically charged piece of real estate in the world: Ground Zero in New York.
It propelled him into the architectural stratosphere and was an experience that changed him utterly. He tells Razia Iqbal and an audience at the Royal Institute of British Architects of the twists and turns in an extraordinary tale.

(if you missed it, available at
for review, see

Dream Builders covers his childhood in communist Poland, where the Holocaust was “visceral, you could see it in the absence of people on the streets” …


this evening (monday), 10.00-11.30pm, on bbc4 tv (freeview channel 9):
Storyville: The Law in These Parts by israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

Documentary looking at justice in the land inhabited by Palestinians and captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
The occupation began with the idea that Israel's presence would be temporary. Israelis dispensed justice through military courts, but these still exist.
The film explores the challenges of administering this military justice system as seen through the eyes of those responsible for doing so.
Do Palestinians receive the same level of justice that they would if they were Israeli citizens? Are these military courts adequate? Israeli authorities have always insisted that they are.
Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz interrogates Israeli judges and officials in a haunting and factual film about the quality of justice under the occupation of the West Bank.

(if you miss it, available at


Thu, 06/20/2013 - 15:24

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this evening (thursday), 9.00-10.00pm, on channel 5:
The Girl With 7 Mums

Documentary about the family life of 10-year-old Ellie Sharp, whose father Philip is a Messianic Jew and heads Britain's only openly polygamous family.

(if you miss it, available at

Chaim Pesach

Thu, 12/05/2013 - 17:43

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Perhaps Hilary Rifkind needs to be told about the games Ephraim Borowski (aka happygoldfish) is playing and soiling ScoJec's good name.

Chaim Pesach

Thu, 12/05/2013 - 17:45

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How can anyone who hides behind a pseudonym be believed? Email Hilary Rifkind, the chair of ScoJec to protest against this Neddy Numpty

Chaim Pesach

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:03

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Point fingers as much as you like Mchappygoldfish. You are a coward.


Wed, 12/11/2013 - 14:38

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(continued from MEMO 357)

Chaim Pesach: … Ephraim Borowski (aka happygoldfish) …

chaim pesach, please stop lying about me

i'm not ephraim borowski (director of scojec, see … though i wouldn't mind being!)

"As its Convener of the grandly-titled Standing Committee of Scottish Jewry at the time of Devolution, Ephraim led its transformation into SCoJeC, a democratic representative body with the authority to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish Community of Scotland.
Before his early retirement from Glasgow University, Ephraim was head of the Philosophy Department, a member of Court, and President of AUT.
He is the joint author of the Collins Dictionary of Mathematics, and has been President of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, a Governor of Hutchesons' Educational Trust, Vice-President of Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, and Chairman of Giffnock Synagogue. He currently chairs the Regional Deputies of the Board of Deputies, is Convener of BEMIS, and a Lay Member of GTC(S). Ephraim was awarded an MBE for services on behalf of the Jewish Community, and was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philosophical Society - only the third since Einstein!"
For SCoJeC
December 2, 2013
MEMO 375 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


this evening (thursday 5th), 8.50-9.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
from our own correspondent includes …

"Malmo, a city in the far south of Sweden, has been making headlines for the wrong reasons at times - including with incidents of anti-Semitism, like the bombing of the Jewish cultural centre.
So when a Jewish reader asked Malmo-based journalist Patrick Reilly how safe it would be to visit for someone who puts his religion on display, Patrick decided to find out.
He borrowed a kippah, the traditional Jewish skull-cap, and full of trepidation, went to spend the day out and about in Malmo. Did he live to tell the tale? "

(if you miss it, available at


tonight (thursday 5th), 11.06-11.20pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
outlook: domestic violence

"As a child Joshua Safran travelled to the US with his mother in search of her anti-capitalist utopia. But she met and married an abusive man, and Joshua found a way to escape - by becoming a corporate lawyer and campaigning on behalf of domestic violence victims."
"Part of it is just the rebellion of youth … so if your mother brings you up without running water electricity or formal education you decide 'I'm going to identify as an orthodox Jew and become a lawyer'."

(see also
(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow evening (friday 6th), 7.25-8.15pm, on bbc 3 tv (freeview channel 7)
Doctor Who: "Let's kill Hitler" (repeated from 16th february)

"The search for Melody Pond sees the TARDIS crash-landing in 1930s Berlin. The Doctor comes face-to-face with the greatest war criminal in the universe." (repeat) (not historical!)

(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow night (friday 6th), 11.15pm-12.15, on channel 5
Nazi Temple of Doom: Revealed (a national geographic programme of 2012)

"Find out how a group of experts pieced together the complex history of a priceless gold Celtic cauldron found at the bottom of a lake in Bavaria, and its connections with a number of notorious historical figures.
They examine why it may be linked to Adolf Hitler's search for the Holy Grail and Heinrich Himmler's shrine to the SS as well as the Mafia and an international fraud trial where millions of dollars are at stake."

(see also
(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow morning (saturday 7th), 10.00-10.30am, on channel 4 tv
frasier: star mitzvah

"Frasier wants to impress everyone by giving his sons Barmitzvah blessing in Hebrew. He recruits his co-worker Noel to teach it to him, but in exchange Noel asks Frasier to get an autograph for him at a Star Trek convention. When Frasier fails to do so, Noel teaches him the blessing in Klingon to get revenge."

(not available online)

For SCoJeC
December 9, 2013
MEMO 376 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


yesterday evening (tuesday 10th), 8.50-9.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
from our own correspondent: in holy footsteps

"In Jerusalem, Jake Wallis Simons visits the site of Temple Mount, sacred to both Judaism and Islam, with a controversial rabbi who would like to build a 'Third Temple' there.
This is a spot with history - perhaps too much of it, not just religious (it is also the third holiest site in Islam) but also political (when recent visits by Jewish hardliners sparked a violent Palestinian backlash).
At the moment, even Jewish prayer is banned from the site - but the rabbi's 'Temple Institute' has other plans for the future.
In eastern Turkey there is less human conflict, but rather more physical challenge, as Bob Walker treks the gruelling St Paul trail which follows in the apostle's footsteps from Perga to Antioch. He survives the wolves (and the sheepdogs), glories in the hospitality, but finds that few Turks remember or even recognise the name of St Paul today."

(if you missed it, available at


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 16:43

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Tonight on BBC-J-TV at 8 PM, be sure to tune in and watch the ground-breaking premier of its special 2 hour documentary film about the first Jewish family to buy a home in Golder's Green North London titled "Rosen in the Sun".

Chaim Pesach

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 19:21

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Tonight on JTV Channel Four OD at 9 PM, already so soon, be sure to watch the ground-breaking premier of its programme about ScoJeC and Scottish Jews. "Do They All Think They Live In An Aquarium?" followed by a panel debate with Ned Nupty and assorted other Jock McLoons.
And on Channel 5ish, a heated debate on Jewish Schools (of gefilte fish)

Chaim Pesach

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:33

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On BBC Radio Jew tonight, a discussion about how the leadership of Scottish Jewry is being let down by a wild-haired Ned Numpty. Panel discussion led by Ben Dover and Phil McCafferty.

Chaim Pesach

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:36

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On Dave Gold(stein) tonight and ad infinitum, a repeat of the Pope's address to the Jews = Gut Yomtiff from the Pontiff.


Thu, 12/19/2013 - 09:15

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last friday evening (13th december), 10.45-11.00pm, on bbc radio 3
wagner and adorno (episode 5 of 5, of wagner's philosophers)

"Professor John Deathridge explores the posthumous reputation of Wagner in the 20th Century as seen through the lens of the philosopher Theodor Adorno who had pertinent things to say about Wagner's appropriation by the fascists, his infamous anti-semitism, and the related issues of German culture post-World War 2, the culture industry and mass culture in general."

(if you missed it, available at

For SCoJeC
December 16, 2013
MEMO 377 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


this afternoon (tuesday 17th), 4.30-5.00pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated 11.00pm friday 20th)
great lives: allen ginsberg

"Matthew Parris is joined by Michael Horovitz who nominates fellow poet and founder of the Beat generation Allen Ginsberg as his Great Life.
Ginsberg's friend and biographer Barry Miles provides biographical detail of this colourful and controversial writer, who through his battle for free expression inspired American counter culture."
(if you miss it, available at


this evening (tuesday 17th), 9.00-10.00pm, on bbc 2
pilgrimage with simon reeve (episode 3 of 3)

"Simon Reeve follows in the footsteps of travellers who made long, arduous and dangerous journeys to reach Jerusalem.
He begins in Istanbul, Turkey, a busy medieval staging post for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Before falling to the Ottoman empire, it was the centre of Roman Christianity under Emperor Constantine. His mother Helena, arguably the first pilgrim to the Holy Land, brought back relics from Jerusalem to fill the city's churches, which made it a major destination for pilgrimage in its own right for centuries to come. Simon visits the magnificent Hagia Sophia and a traditional Turkish bath, discovering that pilgrims brought public bathing back with them to Europe, showing how pilgrimage spread practical ideas as well as religious ones.
Simon travels on to the Holy Land, following in the footsteps of Victorian travellers who used the definitive guide book of the period, published in 1876 by Thomas Cook, whose grand excursions to the Holy Land pioneered the modern package holiday.
He drives into the West Bank and on to Bethlehem.
Despite not being religious, he is moved to tears by the memory of family Christmases when he sees the spot where Christ is said to have been born inside the Church of the Nativity. He then visits the isolated 6th century monastery of Mar Saba, a place few outsiders are permitted to enter today.
Simon camps in the desert and goes fishing in the Sea of Galilee.
He also meets David, a reformed drug addict who lives in a village inside the ancient town of Nazareth where people dress, live and work as if they are characters from the Bible.
In Jerusalem, Simon meets a doctor who treats visitors who become so overwhelmed that they become convinced they personally are the Messiah.
Several million people a year from all three major religions come to visit or worship in one of the most highly-contested square miles on the planet. Simon visits the Israeli CCTV command centre where everyone is kept under constant surveillance.
Finally, Simon joins in the ancient ritual of walking the Via Dolorosa, the route taken by Jesus as he carried his cross to the site of his crucifixion, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
At journey's end, he reflects on what pilgrimage can offer for a non-believer, bringing a sense of achievement and a chance to learn more about the history and culture that shapes our lives to this day."
(if you miss it, available at
this bbc film spends over a minute (from 17:15 to 18:38) out of the six and a half minutes spent in bethlehem showing and commenting on the wall (a kilometre from manger square, and a few hundred metres long): "more than 800 kilometres are planned when it's finished … it's bigger than the wall of berlin", but none showing or commenting on the mosque of omar in manger square
(for maps see and )


this morning (tuesday 17th), 9.00-9.45am, on bbc radio 4 (repeated in a shortened version this evening at 9.30-10.00pm)
the making of the modern arab world (episode 2 of 4)
starts by focusing on the 1948 war against israel (including a contribution from professor itamar rabinovich), and the consequent overthrow of the egyptian monarchy by nasser, who later dominated syria in the united arab republic, and saw israel as a strategic threat

"Egyptian author Tarek Osman traces the ideas that have shaped the modern Arab world, focussing on Egypt and Syria.
Today, he explores the rise and fall of Arab nationalism."

(if you missed it, available at


this morning (wednesday 18th), 8.32-8.37am, on bbc radio 4
today reports on retired people helping older retired people, including an interview with monica gubbay (74) who runs a weekly friendship club at the maida vale synagogue
(if you missed it, available at

Chaim Pesach

Mon, 12/23/2013 - 17:20

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On BBC Radio Jew tonight, While Shepherds Washed Their Socks By Night - A look at the role of socks in Jewish life.

Chaim Pesach

Mon, 12/23/2013 - 17:22

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On Channel 5, tomorrow, A Chief Rabbit recalls his days on Watership Down

Chaim Pesach

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 12:14

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MEMO 857 - On the History Channel at 1914. This Is Your Life, Already, So Soon, with Yerachmiel Zerubabel Katznellebogen, Bar Mitzvah Boy of the Year 1903. His mother Rivka Leah recalls the kerfuffle

Chaim Pesach

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 12:15

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MEMO IG7 - Tonight, Thursday 2 January, on ITV1 at 8:30, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about Jewish life in Chigwell, Birds of a Feather. Dorien (Foxy Cohen), Sharon and Tracey buy a bagel


Thu, 01/02/2014 - 14:48

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This is hilarious. Must spread around my Chigwell friends


Thu, 01/02/2014 - 14:50

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Surely Bar Mitzvah Boy of the Year 1903 was Menachem Mendel Zilbershpitz.


Mon, 01/06/2014 - 10:21

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this evening (monday 23rd), 9.45-10.00pm, on bbc radio 3
Belief: Lord Woolf

"Joan Bakewell talks to former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf about his life and career in the law as reformer and judge and how they have been influenced by his beliefs and philosophy.
He reflects on how his upbringing as a Jew set a pattern for his thinking and how his beliefs have changed and developed through his life."

(if you miss it, available at

For SCoJeC
December 23, 2013
MEMO 378 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


tomorrow night (early wednesday 25th), 1.05-2.05am, on bbc4 tv (freeview channel 9)
Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities (episode 3 of 3, the islamic city) includes the arrival of sephardi jews in istanbul, the great synagogue, ladino, and the story of joseph nasi duke of naxos

"Simon Sebag Montefiore discovers surprises in Istanbul as it rose to become the imperial capital and Islam's most powerful city. Visiting the great mosques and palaces built by the Ottoman emperors, he tells the stories behind them - of royal concubines, murderous bodyguards and sultans both the powerful and the depraved.
He shows how the Christians, Muslims and Jews of the city once co-existed before the waves of nationalist rebellions brought the Ottoman empire to its knees.
In the 20th century the ancient capital was once more transformed by the new secular vision of Ataturk."

(already available at


yesterday morning (sunday 29th), 9.23-9.32am, on bbc radio 4
broadcasting house includes bbc washington correspondent jonny dymond reporting from vicksburg and greenville on the last jews of the mississippi delta
an extended transcript, with photos, plus a 90-second slideshow with commentary, can be seen at
(see also
(if you missed it, available from 0:23:10 at


tonight (thursday 2nd), 11.45pm-12.15-12.45, on bbc 4 tv (freeview channel 9):
Old Jews Telling Jokes (two episodes, repeated from nov 2011 dec 2012 and oct 2013):

"In the fine tradition of American Jewish humour, a group of pensioners from all walks of life gather together to tell their favourite jokes.
Remember, laugh loud - they don't hear so good!
Contains some strong language."

(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow afternoon (friday 3rd), 1.45-2.00pm, on bbc radio 4
across the board with natan sharansky

"Dominic Lawson conducts a series of interviews over a game of chess.
In this episode he plays the former Soviet dissident and Israeli politician Natan Sharansky."

(if you miss it, available at


sunday/monday night (early monday 6th), 12.50-2.20am, on channel 4 tv
waltz with bashir

"This award-winning animation tracks an Israeli man's efforts to find old friends and comrades from the first Lebanon War, and learn the truth about that time.
Sexual scenes/violence."
"One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari Folman about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts.
The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early 80s. Ari is surprised that he can no longer remember a thing about that period of his life.
Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself.
As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images...
Folman's animated film won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar."



this afternoon (monday 6th), 2.15-3.00pm, on bbc radio 4
joan and the baron with eleanor bron and michael jayston, by mark burgess

"Bordeaux, late 1970's: a Frenchman in his seventies; an Englishwoman in her sixties.
He is a poet, a translator of Elizabethan verse, a racing driver, yachtsman, wine maker, theatre and film producer and, at one time, the most notorious womaniser in Paris. He is Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
She is from Stockwell in London, born to an unmarried mother who disapproved of books and reading. But after a convent school education as a scholarship girl and another scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art she became one of the most influential directors of the twentieth century, creating the Theatre Workshop in Stratford East and earning the sobriquet 'the Mother of Modern Theatre'. She is Joan Littlewood.
Following the recent deaths of their respective partners, Baron Philippe seems to be moving on with his life while Joan declares she has no wish to. She shut-down emotionally at the point of her beloved Gerry Raffles' death and has no desire to return to her famous theatre in Stratford East or ever to direct again. The Baron extends an invitation to his Mouton estate.
Joan and the Baron explores the growth of friendship between this unlikely pair, after a chance meeting in Vienna."

(if you miss it, available at


Fri, 01/17/2014 - 10:19

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last saturday afternoon (11th january), 1.06-1.59pm, on bbc world service radio
newshour: ariel sharon dies presented by lyse doucet, with mike wooldridge, mustafa barghouti, zalman shoval, kevin connolly, dennis ross, karim gohary, jeremy bowen, david horowitz, and ghassan khatib
(if you missed it, available from 00:00-37:00 and 49:00-53:00 at


last saturday evening (11th january), 9.32-9.44pm, on bbc world service radio
newshour presented by lyse doucet, with jim muir interviewing abu mujahid, rami houri, and martin indyk
(if you missed it, available from 0:26:30 to 0:38:20 at


online only, at (7 minutes)
life and legacy of ariel sharon, presented by paul adams, with several contributions from avi dichter, yisrael medad, rashid khalili, and avi shlaim
(part of a written bbc obituary)
(for "a life in pictures" see


yesterday morning (sunday 12th), 9.30-9.37am, on bbc radio 4
broadcasting house: jeremy bowen summarises the life of ariel sharon, followed by a review of sunday newspaper reports by richard dannatt
(if you missed it, available at


yesterday afternoon (sunday 12th), 1.06-1.36pm, on bbc radio 4
newshour: ariel sharon lying in state presented by julian marshall with eliyav eviram, uri dromi, and faisal abbas
(if you missed it, available from 0:01:00-0:14:00 and 0:26:30-0:31:00 at


yesterday afternoon (sunday 12th), 1.46-1.54pm, on bbc radio 4
newshour: james kumaraswamy interviews russian-american comedian gary shteyngart

"I wanted a title that celebrates my quiet brilliance. I was thinking: 'Portrait of the artist as a young mensch', or 'A heartbreaking work of staggering Jewness'."

(if you missed it, available from 0:40:30-0:48:00 at


yesterday evening (sunday 12th), 9.30-10.00pm, on bbc radio 4
ariel sharon: israel's warrior politician

"In a special programme marking his death, Richard Miron presents a profile of the former Israeli prime minister."

includes interviews with uzi benziman, dan meridor, jibril rajoub, yael dayan, amnon reshev, , ze'ev schiff, geulah cohen, lior chorev, sherard cowper-coles, and arnon perlman
(if you missed it, available at

For SCoJeC
January 13, 2014
MEMO 379 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


this afternoon (monday 13th), 2.15-3.00pm, on bbc radio 4
the brick by selma dabbagh with nina wadia, anton lesser, and peter polycarpou

"Rasha Khory is a Palestinian woman on her way to Jerusalem to run some errands for her mother, but she also has her own secret mission, visceral to her sense of identity.
All too swiftly Rasha finds herself thwarted, injured and discovering some unwelcome home truths about her beloved father. What choices will she make? A compelling portrait of Palestinian life by Selma Dabbagh.
Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian writer based in London. Her first novel, 'Out of It', was published by Bloomsbury to widespread critical acclaim from The Sunday Telegraph to The Morning Star. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published by Granta, International PEN and the British Council. This is Selma's first play for radio. She is currently working on a second novel."

(if you miss it, available at


yesterday evening (monday 13th), 10.37-10.44pm, on bbc radio 4
the world tonight: ariel sharon's legacy
ritula shah interviews anshel pfeffer and nabil shaath
(if you missed it, available from 0:37:30 to 0:44:00 at


this afternoon (friday 16th), 4.00-4.30pm (repeated sunday 8.30-9.00pm), on bbc radio 4
obituary programme last word 17/1/2014 features actor (with viennese jewish mother) roger lloyd pack (and will presumably also include ariel sharon)
(if you miss it, available at


Fri, 01/24/2014 - 14:15

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this afternoon (monday 20th), 4.30-5.00pm, on bbc radio 4
beyond belief: eve

"Joining Ernie Rea to discuss the Biblical figure Eve, and what has been made of her down the centuries are Katie Edwards, lecturer in Biblical Studies at Sheffield University; Amy Orr Ewing, Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics; and Maureen Kendler, head of Educational Programming at the London School of Jewish Studies."

(if you miss it, available at

For SCoJeC
January 20, 2014
MEMO 380 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.


january 2nd and 3rd , 9.00-10.00pm, on bbc 1
silent witness: commodity (2 episodes)
from the jc diary

"There was a strong Jewish angle to the opening episode of the new series of BBC1’s Silent Witness; about the only thing missing was a shot of the JC on the lounge table.
The pathologists’ drama — a showcase for the props department with its grisly representations of scarred, scorched, mutilated and dismembered corpses — featured not one, but two Jewish families.
In case you are still to catch it on iPlayer, I shall not divulge the plot. Only to say it involved an affluent Jewish businessman, donations to Israel, hate crime, home-grown jihadis and those stock dramatic figures, a pair of gun-slinging Mossad agents.
And perhaps stretching credulity a tad too far, the central character was a Francophone Premier League footballer called Isaac Dreyfus."

(if you missed it, stlll available at and


Tue, 01/28/2014 - 15:23

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yesterday afternoon (thursday 23rd), 2.50-4.40pm, on bbc parliament tv (freeview channel 81)
holocaust memorial day debate
(if you missed it, available from 3:34:40 to 5:24:00 at


tomorrow afternoon (saturday 25th), 12.30-1.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
(repeated sunday 9.30am and monday 3.30pm)
generation unexpected: poland's jewish renaissance (in the heart and soul series)

"Over the past decade Poland has been experiencing what many are calling a Jewish Renaissance - fuelled by a new unexpected generation of young Poles intent on discovering their Jewish roots.
Nowhere is this more evident in Kazimierz, Krakow's old Jewish Quarter. This once derelict neighbourhood is now home to one of Europe's most vibrant and trendiest cafe and bar scenes. Restaurants boasting "kosher" menus and with their names spelt out in Hebrew lettering are filled with both tourists and locals. And every summer tens of thousands more come for the city's annual festival of Jewish music, theatre and film. But what role, if any, has the Jewish faith played in this revival?
Krakow's Jewish Community Centre (JCC) was opened in 2008 and offers a popular mix of Hebrew and Yiddish language lessons and introductory religious courses as well as yoga, a choir and even a social club for 30-somethings to the local community - both Jews and Gentiles alike.
Jonathan Ornstein, the centre's director, encourages this mix. He believes that since the fall of communism in the 1990s, Poles have become more open and ready to embrace cultural and religious difference.
Rabbi Avi Baumol tells Heart and Soul a similar story. Since he arrived in Krakow he has met dozens of people who only recently discovered they had Jewish ancestry. Many of those have come to him and to the JCC in the hope of finding a sense of identity and of community.
For those like Swavek and Isa practising their Jewish faith has played a crucial role in their journey. Others, like Ishbel, after experimenting with orthodoxy, decide to adopt a more secular lifestyle while still very much considering themselves Jewish.
As Anna McNamee discovers as she travels to Poland, regardless of their optimism there remains a question of how sustainable the Jewish Renaissance will be. Jewish life was all but extinguished by the Nazis during World War Two. What remained was driven underground under communism.
In 2011, only 7,508 Poles identified themselves as Jews. And, last November, Poland's Independence Day was marked by far-right demonstrations in both Warsaw and Krakow - an uncomfortable reminder for many of Poland's turbulent past.
Can the enthusiasm and energy of young Poles ensure that the Jewish Renaissance is more than just a historical blip?"

(if you miss it, available at


last saturday (january 25th), 11.38-11.43am, on bbc radio 4
from our own correspondent includes …

"Josh Spero in Jerusalem asks how best to teach Israeli children about the Holocaust without traumatising them."

(if you missed it, available from 0:07:50 at


this sunday (january 26th), 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: a reflection for holocaust memorial day: along paths of memory

"a reflection for Holocaust Memorial Day with the Rev'd Ruth Scott who explores how the memories of survivors and their experience draw us into a complex and sometimes disturbing understanding of what it is to be truly human."

(if you miss it, available at

JBBC MEMO 228/13

sunday 27th january, 2013, 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: holocaust memorial day

"A service exploring the Psalms as a pattern for prayer from The Metropolitan Cathedral of St David in Cardiff, led by Canon Peter Collins.
'Today is Holocaust Memorial Day…'"

(not available online)

JBBC MEMO 228/12

sunday 29th january, 2012, 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: holocaust memorial - speak up, speak out - lighthouse christian centre

"'Speak Up, Speak Out' is a theme being taken by many communities across the UK during this Holocaust Memorial season.
Live from The Lighthouse Christian Centre, a multi cultural community church near Media City in Salford. Leader, Pastor Alex Robertson, Preacher Pastor Paul Hallam."

(not available online)

JBBC MEMO 228/10

sunday 31st january, 2010, 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: holocaust memorial day
Standing in Auschwitz: Ed Kessler
Auschwitz January 2010: Kevin Franz

"On 27th January 1945, the Red Army liberated the biggest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz.
Marking this 65th anniversary, Dr Kevin Franz and Dr Ed Kessler share a first visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, a visit they had both avoided in the past."

(not available online)

JBBC MEMO 228/09

sunday 25th january, 2009, 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: stand up to hatred

"A service for Holocaust Memorial Sunday on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, from St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, led by Rev Nicholas Holtam with Rabbi Lionel Blue."

(not available online)

JBBC MEMO 228/08

sunday 27th january, 2008, 8.10-8.50am, on bbc radio 4
sunday worship: remember, reflect, react

"Remember, Reflect, React: At the beginning of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture, the deans of the city's two cathedrals mark Holocaust Memorial Day."

(not available online)
transcript: not available

For SCoJeC
January 27, 2014
MEMO 381 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


monday to friday (january 27th to 31st), 5.43-5.45am, on bbc radio 4
prayer for the day with rabbi y y rubinstein
(if you miss it, available at


this morning (january 27th), 8.50-9.00am, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
WW2, the holocaust and rome (in the witness series)
includes an interview with piero terracina

"In 1943, Rome's Jewish citizens were promised that if they gave gold to the Nazis, they could escape the death camps.
Despite handing over more than 50kg of gold - most were deported and killed.
Alan Johnston has been speaking to two survivors of those deportations."
"Of 1700 jews, 100 survived."

(if you missed it, available at


this morning (january 27th), 8.55-8.58am, on bbc radio 4
today interviews world-renowned neuropathologist peter lantos, author of "parallel lines", deported at age 5 from hungary, staying 2 months in austria, and arriving at bergen-belsen in december 1944, where he lost his father, and his elder brother who went to hard labour
the americans liberated his mother and him, but handed them to the russians, who were not very well organised, so they escaped from them, through prague, and returned to hungary
recently he traced the american tank commander who liberated his train on 5/4/1945: george gross, retired professor of english at the university of california, san diego
(if you missed it, available from 2:56:00 at


monday to friday (january 27th to 31st), 10.45-11.00am (repeated 7.45-8.00pm), on bbc radio 4
the dock, nuremberg with diana quick, by amanda whittington, part of writing the century, an "an ongoing series of dramas reflecting on the 20th Century through diaries and letters" (5 episodes)

"In January 1946, at the age of sixty-eight, renowned artist Dame Laura Knight takes a life-changing commission as war artist to the Nuremberg Trials.
Dame Laura meets Major Peter Casson, Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General of the British War Crimes Executive, who is charged with smoothing her path through bureaucracy. He helps her to settle into her suite in the Grand Hotel (originally built for Hitler); to deal with the international social whirl that attends the trials and to cope with coming face-to-face with Hitler's henchmen for the first time in court.
This serial is based on the diaries of Dame Laura Knight, whose painting 'The Dock' has become a classic image of the Nazi War Crime Trials."

(if you miss it, available at


this evening (monday 27th), 10.00-11.20pm, on bbc 4 tv (freeview channel 9) (repeated wednesday 11.00pm)
Remembering the Holocaust: Defiant Requiem
How a choir of Jewish prisoners defiantly performed Verdi's Requiem in front of the Nazis.

"In 1944, at the Nazi concentration camp of Terezin, the imprisoned Czech conductor Rafael Schachter formed a choir of 150 of his fellow Jewish prisoners to brazenly perform Verdi's Requiem before the very Nazis who had condemned them to death.
Transcending the horrors around them, night after night they rehearsed in a dark, mouldy and suffocating cellar, with a broken piano. In a calm message of defiance, each time a choir member was murdered by the SS, a new singer would replace them. The final performance took place in front of the camp's Nazi brass, visiting high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and gullible Red Cross inspectors brought in to verify that the prisoners were being well treated.
This film features surviving Nazi propaganda footage of Terezin as it was perversely stage-managed during a Red Cross inspection visit to appear like an attractive Jewish commune. Shortly after the performance, both Schachter and most of his choir would be sent to Auschwitz. But through the transformation of Verdi's music into a proclamation of their unbroken spirit and warning of God's coming wrath against their captors, the prisoners had been able to sing to their captors what they dared not say.
For over ten years, distinguished American conductor Murry Sidlin, who found out about the choir in the 1990s, dreamed of bringing the Requiem back to Terezin. Now, through soaring concert footage, powerful survivor recollections, cinematic dramatizations and evocative animation, their heartbreaking story is brought to life."

(if you miss it, available at


this evening (tuesday 28th), 11.05-11.17pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
Outlook includes …

"rose fostanes, the winner of israeli x factor and a filipina care worker, speaks to matthew bannister. "

(already available at


Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:01

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this morning (wednesday 29th), 10.15-10.24am, on bbc radio 4
midweek includes …

"Steven Isserlis is the renowned cellist, writer and teacher who performs with orchestras around the world. Steven and his sisters have released Julius Isserlis: Piano Music featuring newly discovered work by their Russian Jewish grandfather - pianist and composer Julius Isserlis.
Julius, who was a contemporary of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, fled Communist Russia in 1922 and in 1938 escaped from Vienna which was in the grip of the Nazis."

(if you missed it, available from 0:15:00 at


tomorrow afternoon (thursday 30th), 1.45-2.00pm, on bbc radio 4
wisdom (episode 2 of the ideas that make us)

"Bettany Hughes enquires into changing ideas of wisdom by watching a football match and going to a synagogue to hear the Song of Deborah being sung.
The Ideas That Make Us is a Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.
In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have shaped the human experience.
… with … Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner."

(if you missed it, available at


tomorrow evening (thursday 30th), 8.00-8.30pm, on bbc radio 4
dieudonné: france's most dangerous comedian? (part of the the report series)

"Dieudonné has divided France with his controversial comedy.
His shows are sold out, his videos get millions of hits online, and people around the world from firefighters to famous footballers have been photographed doing the 'quenelle', a gesture he popularised.
Many fans see Dieudonne and the quenelle as expressing their anger and disillusionment with 'the system'.
But the French government has banned his shows and his opponents say Dieudonne is a dangerous anti-Semite who is popularising the ideas of the extreme-right.
Helen Grady investigates why Dieudonne has become so popular, and whether his critics are right to claim he's become a 'recruiting sergeant' for the French National Front."

(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow night (thursday 30th), 11.35pm-12.30, on itv
strictly kosher: episode 2 (of season 2)

"Conclusion. Bernette Clarke talks about the Jewish mourning period following the death of her mother-in-law, explaining why her husband Michael will not be able to take part in any festivals or enjoy himself for a year.
Joel Lever takes a trip to Paris to stock up on the latest fashions for his boutique, while Rabbi Zevi Saunders visits a wedding fair in preparation for his big day.
Jack Aizenberg explores the site of the concentration camp in which he was held, before returning to Manchester for a moving bar mitzvah with his family"

(if you miss it, available at


Thu, 01/30/2014 - 15:50

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I'm glad she quit Oxfam. It serves them right. Maybe they can get Roger Waters as a replacement.


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 14:51

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this morning (friday 31st), 8.43-8.48am, on bbc radio 4
today includes kevin connolly interviewing sodastream manager daniel birnbaum, palestinian foreman nabeel besharat, and amena saleem of the psc (palestine solidarity campaign)

"We are giving livelihood to 500 Palestinians who feed 5,000 people and who will have no other jobs. Throwing them into unemployment is not what's going to bring peace to this area, that's for sure. …
Scarlett Johansson, she's not only a superhero in her movies, she's a superhero in real life … As an individual I am not waiting anymore for politicians to make peace. I have been waiting for 45 years and look where we are today.
What we have decided at SodaStream is to start making peace on our own, and let the politicians do what they do when they get around to it."
"We have to ensure our good income … it's an excellent place to work, we have health insurance, they treat us good, they give us good opportunities … "

(if you missed it, available from 2:43:00 at
see also the bbc news article at
and a video at

interestingly, although the bbc have INCLUDED the clearly audible "1 2 3 4, OCCUPATION NO MORE, 5 6 7 8, ISRAEL IS A TERROR STATE" chanted over six times as a 50-second-long background (from 2:44:30 to 2:45:20) to a psc demonstration, they have CUT the chant "FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE SHALL BE FREE"

the full version of this chanting can be heard at the bbc's own webpage
presumably the "today" producers did not want listeners to know that the psc wants the destruction of israel, that this censored chant calls for?


Wed, 02/05/2014 - 14:54

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Thia afternoon on BBC 4 radio, you'll hear a premier of enactments of interactions between Moses and Egyptian pharaohs when he interpreted their dreams. Moses kept records and archives were recently discovered.

A sample:

"Moses. Last night I dreamt I looked at my mother and she had your face. I woke right up, gulped down a goblet of wine, and came right over here to see you."

Moses responded, "A goblet of wine. You call that a breakfast".


Wed, 02/05/2014 - 16:48

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Very good, Steven. Tomorrow, in Part 2, in a programme entitled the Protocols of Sinai, Moses is advised to "keep taking the Tablets".


Fri, 02/07/2014 - 14:39

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Saturday night on BBC Radio 4, they're broadcasting Al Jolson's number 1 song in Japan, "Climb upon my Knee, SONY Boy" for the first time ever.


Fri, 02/07/2014 - 14:41

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That's a good one. They should ask Mel Brooks to be Moses.


Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:02

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Who else?


Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:02

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And on BBC Radio 3, Handel's (He's Not) The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) - incidental music about the Lubavitch Rebbe.


Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:31

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yesterday morning (sunday 2nd), 9.27-9.30am, on bbc radio 4
broadcasting house includes hugh sykes looking at french and german poetry from world war 1, and interviewing professor peter applebaum, author of "war poetry and stories: the great war, a jewish lost generation" and "loyalty betrayed: jewish chaplains in the german army during the first world war"

"12,000 german jewish soldiers died in the first world war"

(if you missed it, available from 0:27:40 at
see also

For SCoJeC
February 3, 2014
MEMO 382 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress

this afternoon (monday 3rd), 4.30-5.00pm, on bbc radio 4
beyond belief: the ahmedi community presented by ernie rea, with imam ataul rashed (of the ahmedi london mosque), sahib bleher (founder of the islamic party of britain), and simon valentine (author of "islam and the ahmaddiya jama'at")

"A Christian cannot be the president of the state of Israel …"

how kind of the bbc to insert important information about israel into the apparently irrelevant topic of ahmedi islam!
hmm … i wonder why they didn't mention that a black person can't be president of the usa?
(if you missed it, available from 0:22:30 at
see also


tonight (wednesday 5th), 11.06-11.19pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
who killed my friend daniel pearl? (in the outlook series)

"Asra Nomani was a friend and colleague of Daniel Pearl.
After he was beheaded by militants she was determined to use her skills as a reporter to track down all those involved - she tells Matthew Bannister how she came face to face with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who claimed responsibility for the killing. "

(already available at

(see also


last saturday morning (februrary 8th), 11.30am-12.00 on bbc radio 4
from our own correspondent includes …

"What do Judaism and Confucianism have in common?
Quite a lot apparently, as Michael Goldfarb's been discovering in the Chinese city of Jinan."

(if you missed it, available from 0:18:00 at


yesterday evening (sunday 9th), 8.00-9.00pm on bbc 1
call the midwife includes a story-line about a jewish holocaust survivor (beverley klein) who cannot leave the house, but whose family (orion ben and ilan goodman) want to "get out of the east end" and move to golders green
(series 3 episode 4)

"Jenny's life is turned upside down when Alec has a terrible accident.
Sister Winifred helps a holocaust survivor bury the past and Shelagh decides to join the local choir."

(if you missed it, available at

For SCoJeC
February 10, 2014
MEMO 383 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


this morning (monday 10th), 9.00-10.00am on bbc radio 4 (repeated this evening, 9.30pm)
start the week headlines with irving finkel (author of "the ark before noah") on his deciphiring of the babylonian "ark tablet"

"The curator Irving Finkel decodes the symbols on a 4,000 year old clay tablet and discovers the instructions for the building of an ark."

(if you miss it, available at
see also and


this afternoon (monday 10th), 3.30-4.00pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated from yesterday afternoon 12.30-1.00pm)
claudia roden: a life through food (in the food programme series)

"Claudia Roden talks about her life, cooking and Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food."

with several contributions from simon schama
(already available at


yesterday evening (monday 10th), 7.15-7.45pm, on bbc radio 4
front row includes …

"John Wilson talks to the cellist Raphael Wallfisch about his new CD of Jewish music, including Schelomo by Bloch.
Raphael has dedicated to his grandparents, who died in the Holocaust, and to his mother Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who survived Auschwitz by playing the cello in the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra."

(if you missed it, available from 0:20:00 at


this afternoon (wednesday 12th), 2.15-3.00pm on bbc radio 4:
the gestapo minutes by adam ganz (author of listening to the generals), with ed stoppard and julian rhind-tutt, and featuring robin lustig (repeated from july 2013)

Under the Nazis, Michel Oppenheim, lawyer, patriot and porcelain collector is made head of the jewish community in Mainz [in Germany].
The minutes of his regular meetings with Gestapo functionary Schwoerer survive.
Civilly, they discuss the pettiest details of Nazi terror, and arrangements for the deportations east. Thanks to his non-Jewish wife Oppenheim survives.
Once the war ends the tables are turned. Schwoerer begs Oppenheim for a testimonial, which could save him from US war crimes trial and execution. Oppenheimer must decide whether to help the man who sat across the table during the past six years of horror and humiliation.

(if you miss it, available at
see also


this morning (thursday 13th), 11.00-11.30am on bbc radio 4:
from our own correspondent includes simon cox visiting gaza city on a british council radio training project, and sampling the food and entertainment
(if you missed it, available from 0:22:50 at


yesterday morning (sunday 16th), 9.00-10.00am on bbc radio 4:
broadcasting house includes kevin connolly at a sturgeon farm in the river dan on kibbutz dan on the lebanese border, where endoscopic examination under clove oil anaesthetic identifies the females whose caviar is sold four years later at $400 for 50 grams (and yigal ben-zvi singing a slightly rude song about how cold the river is)
(if you missed it, available from 0:51:20 at
(see also and


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 15:55

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Suppose instead of Three Wise Men visiting Bethlehem, there were Three Wise Jewish Women.

Tonight on BBC 4 radio we're enacting gossip amongst those women such as:

"Did you see that schmatta Mary was wearing? And what's with those sandals? I heard that Joseph doesn't have a job."

As a special bonus, we'll close with Jewish country and western songs:

1) Honky Tonk Nights on the Golan Heights

2) I Balanced your Books but you Broke my Heart


Mon, 02/24/2014 - 09:33

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this afternoon (monday 17th), 1.45-2.00pm on bbc radio 4:
hungary's crusading conductor (episode 1 of 5 of europe's trouble-makers)

"In Hungary, Lucy Ash meets Ivan Fischer - the conductor and composer who is holding up a mirror to Hungarian society and using culture to expose growing racial intolerance.
The success of the extreme right wing party Jobbik in the 2010 elections prompted him to write an opera denouncing anti-Semitism.
Fischer's opera, The Red Heifer draws on an incident 130 years ago when a young girl went missing in a village in North East Hungary.
Local Jews were accused of murdering the 14 year old and were eventually acquitted but blood libel stories such as these still resonate more than a century later.
But some have accused Fischer of cultural politicking and say he is in danger of besmirching the country's image abroad.
Lucy catches up with the composer as he rehearses for his next performance."

(if you miss it, available at
(see also and

For SCoJeC
February 17, 2014
MEMO 384 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


yesterday morning (wednesday 19th), 12.30-1.00am on bbc news tv:
stephen sackur interviews veteran palestinian negotiator saeb erekat (in the hardtalk series)

"What must it be like to have been at the centre of the seemingly endless and fruitless quest for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal for more than two decades? And is there any reason for expectations to rise as US Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to publish his own outline for a deal?
Are we approaching a defining moment or a dead end?"

includes (09:25) saeb erekat's extraordinary claim that palestinians are descended from the canaanites and the *natufians (and not from the ishmaelites) …

"My narrative is that I'm the son of Jericho, I'm the proud son of Jericho: my home town this year is ten thousand years old.
The *Natufians built this town, I'm their ancestor [descendant], I'm their grandchild. I'm the grandchild of the Canaanites, it's my narrative, it's my story, it's my history, it's my religion.
I was here thousands of year before Joshua ben Nun came and burnt my home town town Jericho. So why should I say Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people?"

(if you missed it, available at
(* wikipedia: "The Natufian culture was an Epipaleolithic culture that existed from 13,000 to 9,800 B.C. in the Levant, a region in the Eastern Mediterranean.")


tomorrow morning (saturday 21st), 9.00-10.00am on bbc radio 4:
saturday live includes studio guests yotam ottolenghi and eva schloss

"Yotam Ottolenghi is a cook and writer.
Brought up in Jerusalem he now runs a successful restaurant and deli business in London.
He has also presented a cookery series on Ch4: Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast."
"Auschwitz survivor, Eva Schloss, a childhood friend of Anne Frank, shares her Inheritance Tracks this week.
Eva inherits the Trout Quintet by Schubert and passes on ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ by Louis Armstrong
Her latest book is called ‘After Auschwitz’."

(if you miss it, available at


last friday evening (21st february), 7.32-7.45pm on bbc radio 4:
front row includes tom sutcliffe interviewing award winning writer david grossman about falling out of time.

"Combining drama, prose and poetry, the book tells the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children.
David Grossman, whose own son died in 2006, discusses the art of writing about loss and grief."

(if you missed it, available from 0:16:25 at


Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:08

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last tuesday evening (18th february), 7.00pm channel 4 news on channel 4:
propaganda piece presented as news, by award-winning channel 4 journalist jonathan miller: abdel karim - the boy from gaza who never smiles:
jonathan miller was sent to investigate the poor state of the gaza health service, and the thousands of gazan children being treated free in israeli hospitals,
but somehow managed only to report that one boy's free treatment was delayed (without apparent harm to him) because the unreasonable israelis objected to him being accompanied by suspected terrorists

(jonathan miller of course also makes unsubstantiated uninvestigated claims: of other similar cases, and of import of medical radioactive source material being forbidden by the israelis)
(if you missed it, available at

this is the same award-winning jonathan miller who, the day before, felt it appropriate to present a report entitled Gaza’s paralysis: the story of Arab Dola whose sole purpose was to compare gaza under israel with a quadraplegic who could not move below the neck, and needed everything to be done for him, including even "toilet" functions

(05:58) "Gaza's quadraplegic 'Bruce Lee' lies rasping for breath, a metaphor for his crippled unrecognised nation."

(if you missed it, available at
for israeli medical assistance to gaza see also and and generally
(to be updated on future important pieces by jonathan miller, bookmark

a comprehensive review of erekat's "palestinian narrative" can be read at, including …

The imaginary link between the Canaanites and the Palestinians as supposed proof of a stronger, more legitimate Palestinian claim to the land has been inculcated in classrooms by way of PA-issued textbooks. Ido Mizrahi, a government official in the Strategic Affairs Ministry who has investigated Palestinian incitement, found that children from second grade until high school in the West Bank and Gaza are taught that the Canaanites were Arabs.
"The Canaanite Arabs were the first to live in Palestine," reads a second-grade textbook in the Palestinian school system. The goal of the lesson is clearly stated. "It is for the student to create a linkage between the land of Palestine and the Canaanite people that lived there."
In an educational textbook used by seventh grade students, children are taught that "the Canaanite Palestinians are those who invented the ancient alphabet".


Fri, 02/28/2014 - 14:54

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yesterday evening (tuesday 25th), 7.15-7.22pm on bbc radio 4:
front row includes novelist Meg Rosoff reviewing the film of the book thief

"Based on the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak, the film of The Book Thief - starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson - tells the story of a spirited young girl Liesel in World War II Germany.
Liesel finds solace from the war by stealing books and sharing them with others."

(if you missed it, available from 00:00:55 at

For SCoJeC
February 24, 2014
MEMO 385 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


this evening (wednesday 26th) 10.45-11.00pm on bbc radio 3:
julia neuberger on forgiveness (episode 3 of 5, monday to friday, in the essay series: this week's other essayists on forgiveness are monday: madeleine bunting, tuesday: mark vernon, thursday: david starkey, and friday: michael symmons roberts

"Five people on what Forgiveness is, what it isn't, and how you do it.
Baroness Julia Neuberger: 'It's not a case of Jews equal stern justice, Christians gentle love. We just don't see how vicarious forgiveness makes sense.'."

(if you miss it, available at


last monday evening (24th february), 10.00-11.00pm on bbc radio 2:
barbara windsor's east end men: marty feldman (episode 2 of 3)

"This week, Barbara celebrates one of the unsung greats of British comedy whose unique gift for satire and slapstick fuelled the careers of many national treasures, Marty Feldman.
With new interviews from Mel Brooks, Michael York, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Robert Ross (Marty's biographer), Geoffrey Robertson QC, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais."

(if you missed it, available at


last tuesday midday (25th february), 12.30-12.55pm on bbc radio 2:
vanessa feltz (standing in for jeremy vine) on denmark's ban of halal and kosher meat, including a report by malcolm brabant and interviews with brent holst of the danish animal ethics council and kamran iqbal of the danish halal federation
(if you missed it, available from 0:32:55 at


tomorrow evening (saturday 1st), 7.15-7.45pm on bbc radio 4:
saturday review chaired by tom sutcliffe includes discussion of the book thief
(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow night (saturday 1st), 10.30pm-12.35 on bbc 2:
the producers (2005 remake)


Fri, 03/07/2014 - 14:36

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last friday afternoon (28th february), 4.00-4.30pm on bbc radio 4:
last word includes alice herz-sommer

"Aasmah Mir speaks to her friend and neighbour, filmmaker Christopher Nupen.
Born 26 November 1903; died 23 February 2014 aged 110."

(if you missed it, available from 0:05:20 to 0:13:50 at

For SCoJeC
March 3, 2014
MEMO 386 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


monday to friday afternoon (3rd to 7th and 10th to 14th), 2.30-2.45pm on bbc radio 4extra (freeview channel 708):
disobedience by naomi alderman (10 episodes)

"4 Extra Debut. Ronit Krushka is in America. When her father, an eminent rabbi, dies she is obliged to return home to Hendon.
Read by Sara Kestelman and Tracy-Ann Oberman."

(if you miss it, available at


this evening (monday 3rd), 8.00-8.30pm on channel 4:
hate on the terraces (in the dispatches – undercover series) includes …

"Anti-Semitic Abuse
Channel 4 Dispatches attended two West Ham games away against Tottenham and filmed several examples of anti-Semitic abuse on the way to the ground both outside and inside the stadium, in front of both police and stewards. There is currently no FA or Police investigation into West Ham.
During a match last September, we also filmed some Chelsea fans mocking the home club’s Jewish links – by mimicking the sound of Nazi gas chambers.
After the game, our undercover reporter informed Tottenham’s stewards about the anti-Semitic incident but was fobbed off by disinterested staff.
The governing body has been criticized for not enforcing stricter punishments on clubs, whose fans are repeatedly racist.
Piara Powar from the FIFA Anti-Discrimination Taskforce says: “The problem is that the Premier League clubs and the Football League clubs have a significant voice within the FA. They may be the ones who are stopping reform of the FA’s rules because they fear that it will have a negative impact on them.”
FA Director of Governance and Regulation, Darren Bailey says: “I don't think we’re influenced by them but I think the way in which the sport’s governance now operate is a much more nuanced style, it’s not the clinking fist coming down from above...
it’s important that you don't create the impression that the clubs are not concerned about these things coming to light, they do want them to be dealt with....and that sends a very powerful signal.”
“They [the football clubs] understand that this affects their business, they understand that it affects their brand, they understand it affects their club and they want to do something about it.”
Jewish Tottenham fan Raymond Simonson believes that more than two people should have been punished for anti-Semitic chanting at last year’s West Ham v Tottenham match.
“Nowhere near enough when there were tens maybe even hundreds of fans that were saying it. If the reason that we don’t arrest people for committing a crime is because there is too many of them to arrest, we’ve got to start thinking about the systems. Because if there were a hundred people committing a robbery on that bank... we wouldn’t say oh there is too many to arrest, we’ll do a token arrest of one”, he says.
In response to our investigation the Premier League says:
“The Premier League and our member clubs are committed to eradicating discriminatory behaviour at our football matches.
Steward training focuses on dealing with discriminatory abuse and improved reporting procedures have been introduced, including guidance on how to report at the match or later on.
The new Kick It Out reporting app makes reporting issues more accessible and discreet.
Stewarding is backed up by improved CCTV in grounds and by the use of sanctions against offenders, including expulsion from the ground, suspension of season tickets, and banning from future matches.
“Most of the alleged offences identified by Dispatches took place outside grounds and beyond the control of football clubs, however The Premier League and our clubs have always worked closely with the Police …. to ensure that if criminality is involved then robust action is taken, ….we have always argued for the strongest possible action where the evidence merits it.”"

(if you miss it, available at
see also


this morning (tuesday 4th), 9.30-9.45am on bbc radio 4 (repeated friday evening 9.45-10.00pm) (first of 2 episodes)
one to one: emma barnett

"Emma Barnett is 29 and Women's Editor of the Daily Telegraph. She regards herself as a feminist, she demands equality in the workplace and in all aspects of her secular life. But she has a secret: as an orthodox Jew, when attending synagogue, she is happy to sit separately from the men, not to take part in the service and finds it hard to embrace the concept of women rabbis.
For the next two weeks in One to One, Emma tries to get to resolve this contradiction by talking to women who also wrestle with this dilemma; when the values you hold in secular life are not the same as those in your religious life, those you hold in your public life may not be the same as those in your private life.
Emma says; 'This is an uncomfortable position, I want to rid my brain of these views, which don't make sense to me in my daily life. I would like unpack this double standard and get rid of this illogical hypocrisy.'
This week she talks to a highly successful barrister, feminist and orthodox jew who explains how she relieves the tensions raised by her contradictory life."

(if you miss it, available at


this evening (wednesday 5th), 10.30-11.00pm on bbc radio 3
free thinking includes …

"The pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who gave concerts while she was incarcerated in Terezín, was the oldest known holocaust survivor until her death last week at the age of 110.
Michael Goldfarb considers her life.
Michael Goldfarb's new book is called Emancipation, How Liberating Europe's Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance."

(if you miss it, available at


tomorrow afternoon (thursday 6th), 3.30-4.00pm on bbc radio 4
bookclub: disobedience - naomi alderman, with james naughtie

"Naomi Alderman, listed as one of Granta's Best Young Novelists 2013, responds to readers' questions about her first novel Disobedience.
Alderman, herself a product of London's Jewish community, tells the story of Ronit, a young woman who's escaped her Orthodox upbringing for independence in New York. Ronit is forced to face her past when she returns home after her father, a pre-eminent Rabbi, dies.
Disobedience won the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers."

(already available at


yesterday evening (wednesday 5th), 11.18-11.28pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
outlook with jo fidgeon includes …

"American writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus remembers the day his rabbi father came out.
His book is called A Sense of Direction."

(if you missed it, available from 0:12:15 at


tomorrow night (friday 7th), 11.05pm-12.35, on bbc 2
the best of men with eddie marsan rob brydon richard mccabe and tracy-ann oberman

"Entertaining drama about the birth of the Paralympics in 1948.
The remarkable Dr Guttmann comes to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and begins to transform the lives of his patients.
They are paralysed soldiers, written off and facing death from neglect. Their big breakthrough comes when Guttmann introduces sport into their rehabilitation."

(if you miss it, available at


sunday afternoon (9th march), 4.00-4.30pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated next thursday afternoon, 3.30-4.00pm)
open book: readers' guide to stefan zweig

"With the release of Wes Anderson's film The Grand Budapest Hotel, we explore the life and works of the writer who inspired it - Stefan Zweig.
Tobias Hill talks to Mariella Frostrup about his latest novel What was Promised, set initially in 1948 in the war torn streets of the East End of London.

(if you miss it, available at


Wed, 03/12/2014 - 16:01

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Have any Laborites come out as strongly as David Cameron on these issues? Just wondering.

["On Israel's relationships, imagine, as John Kerry put it: 'Mutual recognition of the nation state of the Palestinian people and the nation state of the Jewish people'. Let's be clear what that means.]

What John Kerry said here is fine. What him and President Obama have been saying to Bibi to pressure him to make concessions before Hamas has agreed to accept Israel as a Jewish state is not so fine. The two of them have been playing a good cop / bad cop routine. First John Kerry proclaims Israel will suffer from boycotts if it doesn't make a deal. Then to top it off, while Kerry flies to the Mideast, Obama undercuts his initiatives by making similar comments in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic Magazine.


Fri, 03/14/2014 - 15:09

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this morning (monday 10th), 9.00-9.45am, on bbc radio 4 (shortened repeat this evening, 9.30-10.00pm)
start the week: the legacy of france's arab empire includes brief discussions on dieudonné and anti-semitism in algeria, and on relations between israelis and palestinians

gabrielle rifkind: (a practising psychotherapist and group analyst, who works in conflict resolution in the middle east):
"People are very trapped in their own history, their own experiences."

"… collective trauma … when you've been traumatised yourself, the last thing you want to do is to get into the mind of the other."

(if you missed it, available at


monday to friday mornings (10th to 14th march), 9.45-10.00am, on bbc radio 4 (repeated after midnight, 12.30-12.45am)
a sense of direction by gideon lewis-kraus (5 episodes, in the book of the week series)

"The author Gideon Lewis-Kraus describes leaving America for life in Berlin, to ease the sadness after his father abandoned the family home.
But Berlin isn't enough and only embarking on a series of world-wide pilgrimages will help him. The journeys turn out both amusing and moving, and are abridged in five episodes by Katrin Williams."
"1. It's on a trip to Tallin that that Gideon agrees with his friend Tom to walk the Camino in Spain.
Later, reality bites!"
"2. Travel on the Camino continues. There are hardships, but also rewarding friendships with Roman and David, and the lovely Nora and Alina.."
"3. The next adventure is Shikoku, Japan. It's a temple pilgrimage that goes round and round, and in the wettest of weather.."
"4. Grandfather Max has gone back to America, so the author proceeds alone on his circular Temple trail.."
"5. It's to Uman in Ukraine to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with brother Micah - and their elusive father!"

(if you miss it, available at


monday to friday evenings (10th to 14th march), 6.30-7.30pm, on bbc radio 3
composer of the week: felix mendelssohn (1809-1847)

"Donald Macleod marvels over the scale of the Mendelssohn family's music-making.
Felix Mendelssohn had a remarkable, if brief career, cut short at the age of just 38 in 1847.
He was born into an exceptional family. His grandfather Moses was a much respected Jewish philosopher, while his father Abraham, a wealthy Jewish banker and his mother Lea, a cultivated, musical woman had the standing and means to provide their four children with every opportunity Berlin society could offer.
Only a handful of composers can match Mendelssohn's precocious talent. A child prodigy, famously likened by his friend Robert Schumann to Mozart, Felix's public career began at the age of 9. Between the ages of 11 and 15, he wrote 13 strings symphonies, 5 concertos, 4 operas, chamber music, piano and organ pieces, solo songs and choral pieces.
Across the week Donald explores the musical treasures inspired by these formative years."
1. "Few composers can have received a warmer welcome in Britain than Felix Mendelssohn.
He owes one of his biggest successes, "Elijah" to the warm reception it received from the British public.
He arrived for what would be the first of many visits in 1829. After a very rough crossing during which he endured terrible sea-sickness, his first destination was London, where he put up in rented rooms at 103 Great Portland Street, just around the corner from the BBC's Broadcasting House.
Armed with a set of visiting cards to which the English "Mr." had been added, he cut an elegant figure in London society, enjoying great success as a conductor, pianist and composer. Having charmed the English, Mendelssohn travelled to Scotland, where a trip to the Hebridean island of Staffa inspired one of his best loved overtures."
2. "Today, Donald Macleod examines the rich cultural surroundings in which Felix Mendelssohn grew up. Beginning around 1821, the family mounted "Sunday musicales" in their substantial home. At these concerts, Felix and elder sister Fanny were able to present their latest compositions to the movers and shakers of Berlin society."
3. "Today Donald Macleod looks at Mendelssohn's early training.
Mendelssohn's education was nothing if not thorough. From the age of nine, a long list of tutors arrived at the family home to teach a comprehensive list of subjects ranging from Latin to geography but perhaps the man was to have the most profound influence over him in his early years was Carl Zelter, the director of Singakademie."
4. "Growing up in the nineteenth century, part of a young man's experience was an extensive period of travel. Having won over the great man of letters, Goethe, a few years earlier, armed with a reputation that ensured a warm welcome wherever he went, in 1829 Mendelssohn left his teenage years well and truly behind him.
He spread his wings on a trip that would occupy him for the best part of three years. Wherever he went he collected impressions, among them the material for his so-called "Italian" symphony, which he said was going to be, "the jolliest piece I have ever done"!"
5. "Donald Macleod looks at the rather bumpier ride Mendelssohn's reputation was given in the years after his death, before the reassessment he's enjoying in our own century."

(if you miss it, available at

For SCoJeC
March 10, 2014
MEMO 387 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


tonight (monday 10th), 11.35pm-12.35, on bbc1 northern ireland
the last minyan (episode 5 of series 2 of true north)

"The Last Minyan tells the story of the disappearing world of the Belfast Jewish community, as seen from the inside.
Film-maker Aaron Black observes the ageing community as it struggles to gather the ten men or Minyan needed for a prayer service.
The film explores the reasons why keeping the synagogue open and the community going is so important to those who remain.
Small Jewish communities are dying all over the UK, this is the story of one of them."

(if you miss it, available at
for story, see


tomororow afternoon (tuesday 11th), 1.45-2.00pm, on bbc radio 4
victor gollancz (episode 2 of 5 in the publishing lives series)

"Victor Gollancz was a giant of 20th century British publishing.
The firm he founded published works by Ford Madox Ford, George Orwell, Elizabeth Bowen, Daphne du Maurier, Franz Kafka, Kingsley Amis and John le Carre.
Gollancz used the profits from these bestselling authors to fund his political mission. He created the pioneering Left Book Club to campaign against the rise of fascism in Europe. It gained 45,000 members in its first year and, at its peak, was distributing nearly 60,000 books a month. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell was its most famous title.
Victor Gollancz was a rare breed - a publisher with a social conscience. He was a great literary man who devoted his life to contemporary causes. In the process, he helped to change the world.
The Observer's Robert McCrum talks to publishing insiders including bestselling author, John le Carré, and Victor Gollancz's daughter Livia Gollancz."

(if you miss it, available at


tomororow evening (tuesday 11th), 10.00-10.45pm, on bbc radio 3
free thinking: david grossman

"David Grossman's new book Falling Out of Time mixes poetry, drama and fiction to explore the emotion of grief and loss. His own son died in 2006.
He is also the author of non fiction books including Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement. When he was in London for Jewish Book Week, Free Thinking invited him to join Matthew Sweet in the studio to discuss his new book, its place in his work as a whole and the part he hopes it can play in the discourse about Israel today."

(if you miss it, available at


tomororow evening (thursday 13th), 10.00-10.45pm, on bbc radio 3
free thinking: gary shteyngart and jonathan lethem

"American authors Jonathan Lethem and Gary Shteyngart discuss radicalism, belonging and the difference between memoirs and novels with Samira Ahmed.
Gary Shteyngart is the author of Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook.
Born in Leningrad, he moved to America in the '70s.
His new memoir is called Little Failure."
"Jonathan Lethem's books include The Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn and Chronic City.
His new novel Dissident Gardens draws on his upbringing in hippie New York and explores radicalism from American communism and folk music to the Occupy movement."

(if you miss it, available at


this morning (friday 14th), 3.42-3.50am, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
edmund de waal (in the outlook series)

"Edmund De Waal is a writer and a potter. He is best known for large scale displays, made from lots and lots of simple porcelain pots.
He told Nicki Paxman about his precious collection of 17th Century Japanese Netsuke carvings, which has been in his family for generations.
.Edmund de Waal: Atmosphere opens at Turner Contemporary in the UK on 29 March 2014 and runs until 8 February 2015."

(if you missed it, available from 0:36:25 at


Tue, 03/18/2014 - 15:05

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this evening (monday 17th), 8.00-8.30pm, on bbc radio 4
the roots of extremism

"What drives people to exterminate others? The historian Daniel Pick reveals the story of an extraordinary project which aimed to unearth persecution's roots, from witch-hunts to the Holocaust and beyond.
In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief organisers of the Holocaust, was tried in Jerusalem. Among those deeply troubled by his apparent ordinariness was David Astor, the editor of the Observer.
Astor was also an enthusiastic champion of psychoanalysis, and made a speech declaring that the 'political psychopathology' of Nazism - and other examples of persecution and extermination - should be investigated. And he had the money to make this happen.
The historian Norman Cohn contacted Astor and offered to help. Cohn was the author of The Pursuit of the Millennium, a pioneering study of the ways medieval utopian visions led to 'purifying' massacres.
With Astor's support, Cohn set up the Columbus Centre, a team of historians, sociologists and other scholars who set about investigating the psychological roots of the Nazi mass killings of Jews and Gypsies, and much earlier examples such as the witch-hunts across Europe in the Middle Ages.
One member of the team, psychiatrist Dr Henry Dicks, even visited West German prisons to interview convicted SS killers and concentration camp guards face to face.
In this programme, Daniel Pick investigates the story of the Columbus Centre, drawing on exclusive access to private recordings of the Centre's meetings.
And he explores the impact of the project today, from terrorism studies to the Tribunal that tried the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide.
With: Jeremy Lewis, Lucy Astor, Adrian Dicks, Marina Voikhanskaya, Steven Reicher, John Horgan, Frank Chalk, Albie Sachs."

(if you miss it, available at


tonight (early tuesday morning 18th), 1.50-2.20am, on bbc 4 tv (freeview channel 9):
more old jews telling jokes (1st of 2 episodes, repeated from nov 2012):

"They're back! More old Jews tell their favourite jokes. Old, new, clean and not so clean, the evergreen pensioners provide the laughs in this fresh batch of funnies."

(if you miss it, available at

For SCoJeC
March 18, 2014
MEMO 388 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:44

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this morning (thursday 6th), 8.03-8.05am on bbc radio 4
today with mishal husain includes statements by john blackwell (president-elect of the british veterinary association) …

"We're looking for a collective sort of meeting of minds, to review the evidence base that shows quite clearly that slaughtering animals without stunning compromises welfare.
If that can't happen, and we respect the beliefs of the religious sects, then we would like to see labelling at the point of sale to give the consumer informed choice, and unfortunately if that's not possible then we would be looking for a ban."

and jonathan arkush (vice-president of the jewish board of deputies) …

"Animals that are killed for the Jewish and Moslem markets do not bleed to death. Animals that are killed for the general market and the Jewish and Moslem markets are killed in exactly the same way. A large animal has its throat cut, and that renders the animal insensible to pain and unconscious."

(if you missed it, available from 2:03:45 to 2:05:00 at

the above 8.03am broadcast presented a very shortened version of jonathan arkush's interview, in the original broadcast at 7.18-7.25am …

"I really regret John Blackwell's remarks, which are completely misleading to your listeners.
Animals that are killed for the Jewish and Moslem markets do not bleed to death.
Animals that are killed for the general market and the Jewish and Moslem markets are killed in exactly the same way. A large animal has its throat cut, and that renders the animal insensible to pain and unconscious.
The Jewish method is designed to bring that process about instantly, and using tendentious language really is unhelpful.
The Jewish religion focuses on the most humane way of bring an animal's death about. If you eat meat you have to accept that an animal that is live is then killed and the most important thing to do is to do it humanely.
… [halal meat] …
Animal welfare organisations have shown that pre-stunning fails to stun in between 9 and 31 per cent of cases, depending on which animal welfare charity you go to. The RSPCA figure I think is about 9%. When an animal is mis-stunned it suffers enormous pain and distress.
When you eat your chicken from the supermarket you need to know that it's been carried by an industral conveyor belt and dumped in a bath of electrocuted water. We don't do that, we wouldn't do that.

Let's avoid the pejorative phrase 'ritual stunning'. There's no ritual in slaughter of food for animals for the kosher market. On the contrary it's a humane act designed to bring about the animal's end very quickly.
If you take the lower end of 9% of animals mis-stunned, the total number of animals who suffer that pain and distress vastly exceeds the whole kosher market by a factor of about 10.
… In Denmark what you had was a political act designed for populist reasons because of prejudice against Muslims. My worry is that Mr Blackwell is going down that road, of speaking in ways that inflame prejudice and ignoring the very real animal welfare issues that cover all the market."

(if you missed it, available from 1:18:00 to 1:25:00 at

the BVA has never issued statements saying that kosher slaughter causes animal suffering … it always uses the meaningless phrase "compromises animal welfare"
its publicly-available documents, eg, produce no argument or facts against kosher slaughter other than the words: "Scientific evidence demonstrates that slaughter without pre-stunning compromises animal welfare."

for Shechita UK's position, see, particularly "What is so wrong with stunning?" on page 8


friday evening (7th march), 8.00-8.50pm on bbc radio 4
any questions with jonathan dimbleby, danny alexander mp, stephen dorrell mp, caroline flint mp, and louise bours includes "should religious views override animal welfare?

Louise Bours (UKIP): "To eat meat, we have to kill livestock, they have to be killed in as humane a way as possibly can be, do we want to stun an animal before we kill the animal, or do we go with the moslem and jewish communities who believe that ritual slaughter is actually the most humane way?
I don't think it's something we can really legislate either for or against at all …
So what I would like to see is a choice for people: if we label things correctly, maybe then people can choose how their meat was dealt with when it was slaughtered, halal or non-halal: i think that is the way to go."

(if you missed it, available from 0:40:40 at


friday 17th january 2014, 1.05-6.00am, on bbc parliament tv (freeview channel 81)
question for short debate:
"To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the ethical, legal and religious factors that influence the way in which some animals are slaughtered in the United Kingdom."
full transcript available at

Lord Trees (Crossbench) opened the debate by recounting an (apparently non-shechita) slaughter without stunning …

"… in my 45 years as a veterinary surgeon … when I first witnessed slaughter without stunning it was profoundly disturbing. The animal staggered from its killing crate, blood gushing from the neck wound, and it did not collapse into unconsciousness for some considerable time. It is that experience and others since that have caused me to bring this debate."

he then quoted from an unnamed alleged jewish vet who gave no details whatever other than a series of adjectives …

"…horrific … That horror lives fresh in my mind … this barbaric practice… unnecessary and brutal suffering …”

and quoted from the 2003 FASWC report which concluded that …

“such a massive injury would result in very significant pain and distress in the period before insensibility supervenes”.

however he made it clear that he was against a ban on shechita (and dhabihah), but called on jewish and muslim authorities to reconsider their practices
Lord Winston (Lab):

"… the notion of animal protection is stronger in Judaism than in any other world religion.
I want to speak purely as a scientist. We have heard a number of assertions here which are not scientific. With all due respect to the noble Lord, Lord Trees, death is not caused by exsanguination; it is due to interruption of the blood supply to the brain, which is immediate and has been measured. The problem with EEG measurements—electrode recording—is that they have been shown to be unsound. Indeed, the only way that you could detect pain would be by positron emission scanning of the brain, which clearly does not show any activity at all within two seconds once the blood supply has been cut. I would also argue that shechita is a much more humane method than stunning. Contrary to what some have said, it is a better method of killing animals because there is less suffering. Animals have to be calm and they are not manhandled roughly."
"I emphasise that what has been said about pain is another assumption. Of course animals may move after the brain is severed but the brain itself does not perceive pain if it is damaged and, in fact, none of the organs below the skin has pain fibres. You have some pain fibres in your trachea but they are very small. The evidence that animals suffer severe pain after one cut with an extremely sharp knife is extremely arguable. The truth is that, once you are unconscious, nobody knows what the perception of death or pain is."

Lord Palmer of Childs Hill (LD) suggested that meat should be labelled for all methods of slaughter …

"… shooting, mostly of hunting and game birds; a captive bolt gun to the skull for cows and sheep; chickens shackled by their ankles and dipped in a water bath that has an electric current running through it; herding pigs into a room and gassing them; and trapping and clubbing, which are mostly used in hunting."

he then quoted the EFSA report on the suffering caused by failed stunning …

"It is important to be honest about the incidents of mis-stunning that are recorded. The European Food Safety Authority’s report, Welfare Aspects of Animal Stunning and Killing Methods, found that the failure rate for penetrating captive bolt stunning in the non-kosher slaughter of cattle may be as high as 6.6%—the noble Lord, Lord Winston, says it is 8%—and that, for non-penetrating captive bolt stunning and electric stunning, it can rise to as high as 31%. The percentages of mis-stuns far exceed the total quantity of animals slaughtered for the Jewish community. Every year, millions of animals across Europe are mis-stunned and left in great distress. I say: label all this meat …
… A new European Commission report published on 19 December 2013 on the various stunning methods for poultry concludes that, although there are serious animal welfare concerns about the water-bath stunning of poultry, more humane methods are not “economically viable”."

Baroness Deech (CB):

" I wish to dwell on the selectivity in the Question as regards “some” animals. Ethical, religious and legal factors should be universally applied and not selective. This is a country in which fishing is a national pastime. Fish die from being left to suffocate and being gutted, which takes quite a while. We shoot foxes and trap them. We cull badgers by shooting and perhaps gassing them. We shoot stags and pheasants. We decapitate rabbits. Millions of lobsters have their claws bound and are thrown into boiling water where they thrash for a long time. Chickens and turkeys are swept through an electrically charged water bath and then are immersed in scalding water but it frequently goes wrong. It has been found that 26% of turkeys and one-third of chickens probably enter the scalding water while still alive and sensible.
Stunning cattle is vaunted as superior to Jewish slaughter, but it frequently goes wrong.
The Jewish method ensures immediate cerebral perfusion and is irreversible. No electric prods are used and one animal is not killed in the presence of another. I am not religious in my attitude to food but I greatly respect the attitude of those who are orthodox and their religious slaughtermen, who regard the killing of animals as an act that should be not only humane but infused with respect and reverence, remembering at all times the gravity of what they do and never becoming slapdash or hardened. This attitude should be more widespread, so that we do not see newspaper reports of deliberate mistreatment of animals in abattoirs for fun.
The European Food Safety Authority found that about 12 million cows suffer from failed stunning. That greatly exceeds the entire annual quantity of cattle slaughtered for the Jewish religious community, which is a few thousand. There should be more focus on what goes wrong in stunning and the cruelty inflicted on other animals, and less pointing the finger at the Jewish few thousand if we are to be fair and ethical in our worries."

Lord Gold (Con) quoted the definition of "stunning" in the european council regulations …

"The definition is,
any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain, including any process resulting in instantaneous death”.
I understand that, properly undertaken, that is exactly what Jewish religious slaughter seeks to achieve."

Lord Sacks (CB) (see also

"… for us animal welfare is a matter of high religious principle, which we take with the utmost seriousness. This is why we insist on long years of training, spiritual as well as practical, before anyone can be qualified to kill animals. In Britain, every shochet is licensed, every licence needs annual renewal, and their work is regularly supervised and reviewed.
Shechita itself, the act of animal killing, is designed to minimise animal pain. The animal must be killed by a single cut with an instrument of surgical sharpness, and in the absence of anything that might impede its smooth and swift motion. The cut achieves three things: it stuns, kills and exsanguinates in a single act. We believe that this is the most humane, or a most humane method of animal slaughter.
Quite apart from the fact that other methods are not permitted by Jewish law, we have doubts about their effectiveness. Pre-stunning by captive bolt, as your Lordships have heard, often fails at the first attempt. According to the European Food Safety Authority’s report in 2004, the failure of penetrating and non-penetrating captive bolts affects around 10 million animals, causing the animal grave distress.
In Britain, some 3 million cows annually are affected by these failures, compared to the 20,000 cows killed annually by shechita. The pain caused to animals by the use of pre-stunning methods vastly outweighs that caused by shechita, even were it the case that shechita did cause extra moments of pain. However, we are not convinced that such is the case. The failure rates of pre-stunning, and the inconclusive and highly challenged nature of some of the experimental studies done in this field, should give us pause.
Therefore, if a case is made for labelling meat to indicate how the animal was killed, this must apply to all methods of slaughter, not just to some. I hope therefore that the Jewish community will continue to work with the Government to ensure that shechita continues to the highest standards of concern for the welfare of animals, which should rightly be the concern of us all."

(formerly, but no longer, available at


last sunday morning (16th march), 8.30-9.30am, on bbc 2 (repeated from bbc 1 on 9th march, 7.00-8.00pm)
countryfile includes tom heap investigating kosher and halal slaughter, including a visit to a halal slaughterhouse that uses electric pre-stunning, interviews with john blackwell of the BVA starting with what appears to be a complete lie, that there is no scientific evidence that shechita is painless (where do the BVA get these people from? ) …

(12:45) "All the evidence shows that animals that aren't stunned prior to slaughter don't immediately lose consciousness, so therefore they're sensible, they can feel pain, they can feel stimulation, and that process goes on for anything, 5 or 6 seconds before they actually lose consciousness. There's some research come out in New Zealand where they've anaesthetised animals and checked their brain activity by electroencephalograms – what we use in human medicine to show brain death – and this quite clearly shows that there is increased electrical activity within the brain before that period of unconsciousness comes."

and interviews with shimon cohen, campaign director of shechita uk …

(15:30) "The whole process of slaughtering animals within the Jewish tradition begins well before the last two seconds of the animal's life. This begins at birth, on the farm. We are biblically commanded to be good to animals, they're God's creatures, we have to look after them, we have to be concerned about the way they're brought up on the farm, we have to be very concerned about their transportation, we have to be concerned about the whole life of the animal, not just the last two seconds of the animal's life. The mechanical stunning methods, so well loved by the animal welfare lobby, actually go wrong very very many times, and the European Food Standards Agency is very troubled with the mechanical stunning methods. There's very little that can go wrong in the shechita method, when you have a highly trained slaughterman, a very sharp blade, and an animal."
(27:30) "We believe that labelling is hugely important, to give customers information. We believe the British people, in fact European people, should be aware whether their meat was gassed, they should be aware whether their chickens were electrocuted, they should be aware whether their cows were shot, possibly even how many times the cow was shot with a captive bolt before the stun took, and yes indeed we believe that things should indeed be labelled kosher so that British people know exactly where to buy their product. The consumer must have the right to know, It seems pretty incongruous to presuppose that you have the right to know how I kill my meat, but I don't have the right to know how you kill yours."

(if you missed it, available at 08:00-17:00 and at 22:20-29:00 at
see also


Wed, 04/02/2014 - 16:13

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"Minsky argued that in the good times the seeds of the next crisis are sown as the financial sector engages in riskier and riskier lending in pursuit of profit."

In the US, it was certainly true as it was incentivized by federal banking policy.


Thu, 04/03/2014 - 16:18

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Doesn't this remind you of the craft guilds in medieval Europe? They excluded Jews. Now they're more sophisticated. They just ban Israelis.

How history repeats itself.


Fri, 04/04/2014 - 11:06

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yesterday evening (sunday 23rd), 7.30-8.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
the last jews of kolkata (in the outlook series)

"For over two hundred years the Indian city of Kolkata had a thriving Jewish community. The Jews founded schools and printed newspapers, but now their numbers are dwindling.
The BBC's Rahul Tandon interviewed Flower Silliman, 83."

(if you missed it, available from 0:24:00 to 0:26:00 at
see also and,7340,L-4426932,00.html

For SCoJeC
March 24, 2014
MEMO 389 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


this evening (monday 24th), 8.30-9.00pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated 9.30pm next sunday)
why minsky matters (in the analysis series)

"American economist Hyman Minsky died in 1996, but his theories offer one of the most compelling explanations of the 2008 financial crisis.
His key idea is simple enough to be a t-shirt slogan: "Stability is destabilising".
But TUC senior economist Duncan Weldon argues it's a radical challenge to mainstream economic theory. While the mainstream view has been that markets tend towards equilibrium and the role of banks and finance can largely be ignored, Minsky argued that in the good times the seeds of the next crisis are sown as the financial sector engages in riskier and riskier lending in pursuit of profit.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, this might seem obvious - so why did Minsky die an outsider? What do his ideas say about the response to the 2008 crisis and current policies like Help to Buy? And has mainstream economics done enough to respond to its own failure to predict the crisis and the challenge posed by Minsky's ideas?"

(if you missed it, available at
see also


last friday to this thursday afternoon (21st to 27th march), 2.40-3.30pm, on channel 4 tv
countdown with maureen lipman
(if you miss it, available at


the last three sunday evenings (9th 16th and 23rd march), 6.45-7.30pm, on bbc radio 3
music and the jews:
1. i've heard there was a secret chord
2. there's a place for us (women)
3. it ain't necessarily so

Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman Lebrecht uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history."
1. "The acclaimed Ladino singer Yasmin Levy explains why music and memory became so intertwined when the Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century, rabbi Shlomo Levin tells the amazing story of how a marching tune sung by Napoleon and his troops in 1812 became an integral part of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, and the musicologist Gila Flam has some surprising revelations about the music sung by the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps.
With contributions from rabbi Yehoshua Engelman, the composer Steve Reich, Professor Edwin Seroussi from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the musicologist and and founder of the Boston Camerata Joel Cohen, the violinist Eyal Shiloach, rabbi Shlomo Levin, and Dr Gila Flam, Head of the Music Department at the National Library in Jerusalem."
2. "Women, in the Jewish religion, are not meant to sing, and yet Jewish women have shrugged off that inhibition to become some of the most powerful figures in the popular imagination.
We hear from some of the most successful women singing in Israel - and indeed on the world stage - today, including the eighth-generation Yiddish singer Myriam Fuks and Achinoam Nini, the latest in a long line of iconic Jewish women of Yemenite origin. Michael Grade remembers his grandmother's passion for Sophie Tucker, and the promoter Harvey Goldsmith explains why Jewish women have had such a huge impact on music over the past half century. We also hear from Dr Tova Gamliel about the extraordinarily powerful role of women in the religious practices of Yemen.
With contributions also from Rabbi Shlomo Levin, the Yiddish singer Myriam Fuks, Ladino singers Kohava and Yasmin Levy, and the Yemenite singer Achinoam Nini."
3. "Taking as his starting point the moment at which the Jews were finally able to enter the Western classical music tradition in a professional capacity, in today's programme Norman Lebrecht investigates the idea of a "Jewish thumbprint" in the music of Mendelssohn and others.
Leading Israeli composer Noam Sheriff and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas talk about why Mahler's Jewishness speaks so strongly to them through his symphonies, and Michael Grade explains how the Jewish art of being one step ahead impacted so strongly on the entertainment industry in the twentieth century.
With contributions also from the musicologist and founder of the Boston Camerata, Joel Cohen, the writer David Conway, the composers Robert Saxton, and Gideon Lewensohn, and Professor Susan Wollenberg of Oxford University."

(if you missed them, available at 1. 2. not available 3.


last sunday evening (23rd march), 7.45-8.00pm, and the next three sundays, on bbc radio 4extra (freeview channel 708) (repeated from december 2008 and january 2010)
a box of wittgensteins (4 episodes)

"The great-niece of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, Margaret Stonborough, talks to the artist and historian Michael Huey as she delves into six boxes of newly-inherited family archives.
As she digs deeper into the talented but tortured lives of the Wittgensteins she finds her cramped London house becoming ever more crowded with her larger-than-life forbears.
The first object out of the box takes Margaret back to a soiree in Vienna in 1895 at the palatial house of an Austrian steel magnate, Karl Wittgenstein. He was the father of eight children including Ludwig the philosopher, Paul the left-handed pianist and Margaret's own grandmother, who was painted by Gustav Klimt. As the family gathered for the evening, records show that the composer Johannes Brahms arrived at the Palais Wittgenstein."
"It made an enormous difference in Vienna. There was no way that anyone of Jewish stock could become part of the first society, part of the aristocracy. They simply created their own second society."

(if you missed it, available at


yesterday evening (thursday 27th), 11.32-11.42pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
women at the wall (in the outlook series)

"Israeli activist Anat Hoffman has fought for Jewish women to be permitted to pray aloud at Jerusalem's Western Wall.
Interviewed by Camilla Schick."

(if you missed it, available from 0:26:45 at


tomorrow evening (saturday 29th), 7.00-7.30pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated sunday 5.40pm)
noah with mark coles (in the profile series)

"As a new Hollywood movie opens starring Russell Crowe, and as part of a day-long celebration of fictional characters born on BBC radio and elsewhere, we attempt to describe what sort of man he was."

(if you miss it, available at

For SCoJeC
March 31, 2014
MEMO 390 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


this evening (tuesday 1st), 9.30-10.00pm, on bbc radio 4 (repeated from this morning, 9.00am)
veronica van heyningen interviewed by jim al khalili (in the life scientific series)

"Charles Darwin described the eye as an 'organ of extreme perfection and complication'. How this engineering marvel of nature forms out of a few cells in the developing embryo has been the big question for Veronica van Heyningen, emeritus professor at the MRC's Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
Veronica is a world lead in the genetics of the development of the eye.
She tells Jim Al Khalili about her part in the discovery of a gene called Pax-6 which turned to be a master builder gene for the eye, in all animals which have eyes - from humans to fruit flies.
As she explains, further research on this gene may eventually help people with the genetic vision impairment, Aniridia. It was Veronica's research on patients with this condition which led to the gene's final discovery.
She tells Jim about why it's important for scientists to engage in public discussion on the ethical implications of their work.
Veronica also talks about her arrival in Britain in 1958 as an 11 year old, after experiencing anti-semitism in communist Hungary. Her Jewish parents met after surviving Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Mauthausen."

(already available at


last sunday morning (30th march), 7.44-7.53am, on bbc radio 4
chief rabbi ephraim mirvis visits a school, and is interviewed about same-sex marriage, charedi participation, female participation, and shechita (in the sunday religious programme)

"The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has been visiting Manchester - he is six months into the job and talks to Edward Stourton about his aims and the challenges ahead."

(if you missed it, available at


Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:42

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tomorrow night, (thursday 10th), 9.00-10.30pm, on bbc 2 (repeated from last february 2013 on bbc 4): The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008, based on the book by John Boyne), starring David Thewlis, Sheila Hancock, and Rupert Friend

"The tale of an unlikely friendship between Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant, and Shmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp.
Contains some upsetting scenes."

(not available online)

For SCoJeC
April 7, 2014
MEMO 391 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


last saturday morning (12th april), 11.30am-12.00, on bbc radio 4
from our own correspondent includes yolande nell reporting from gaza …

"… life gets harder in the Gaza Strip as the interim government in neighbouring Egypt cranks up the pressure on Hamas …"

(if you missed it, available from 0:12:20 at


last saturday afternoon (12th april), 12.15-13.00pm, on bbc radio 3
music matters includes …

"Taking the performance and reception of Arnold Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” – for narrator, men’s chorus and orchestra written in 1947 – musicologist Joy H. Calico examines the cultural history of postwar Europe in her new book.
Schoenberg’s short composition was written as a tribute to the Holocaust victims of the German Third Reich.
Calico looks at the meanings attached to the work as it circulated through Europe during the early Cold War, focusing on West and East Germany, Austria, Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Tom Service spoke to Joy H. Calico and to the musicologist Paul Griffiths about the book and how the reception to the work across Europe gives us an insight into the different cultural attitudes towards the legacy of the Second World War and to the new music of the time."

(if you missed it, available from 0:15:00 at
(see also

For SCoJeC
April 14, 2014
MEMO 392 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.
includes the complete text of all uk parliamentary questions on: immigration and asylum / equality / racism, religious hatred and discrimination
and links to uk parliamentary debates and uk bills in progress


last friday (11th april), on london live tv news (freeview channel 8)
marc edwards talks to rabbi mendy korer about passover
(if you missed it, available at


last friday (11th april), 7.00-8.00pm, on london live tv (freeview channel 8)
not the one show includes …

"Louise Scodie introduces Passover to the gentile members of our panel - but how do they feel about matzah?!"

(if you missed it, available at


this afternoon (monday 14th), 5.00-6.00pm, on bbc radio 4
pm includes a report on anti-semitism in france and unprecedented jewish emigration to israel

"17,000 people marched, 'Jews get out of France' they shout."

(if you missed it, available from 0:29:00 at


wednesday afternoon (16th april), 5.30-6.00pm, on bbc radio 4extra (freeview channel 708), repeated 5.30am on thursday:
The Attractive Young Rabbi: The Eager Young Student (episode 1 of 3rd series, 2002)

"Young Mikhail discovers that it's not easy being a Jew.
With Tracy-Ann Oberman and David De Keyser "

(if you miss it, available at


last sunday morning (13th april), 7.10-7.55am, on bbc radio 4
sunday includes …

"Following the reversal of a bid to give women a greater role during services in a Synagogue, Ed Stourton debates gender, faith and Orthodox Judaism with Dina Brawer and Rabbi Alan Plancey."

(if you missed it, available from 0:38:45 at


saturday evening (19th april), 9.00-11.25pm, on bbc 4 tv (freeview channel 9)
downfall (2004, directed by oliver hirschbiegel)

"April, 1945 and it's the last days of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The Battle of Berlin rages and the Russians move unstoppably towards the centre of the city and the bunker from which Hitler (played by Bruno Ganz) and his inner circle are attempting to direct the German forces.
As defeat looms, the increasingly unhinged Hitler readies himself for the end and makes his final declarations to a dwindling crowd of loyalists. His decline is seen through the eyes of Traudl Junge, his innocent and deluded young secretary."

(if you miss it, available at


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