Columnists

Unity is Chief Rabbi Mirvis's toughest challenge

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 13, 2013

I believe that the unity of the Jewish people is fundamental to our survival. I believe that many, if not all, of the disasters that have overtaken us throughout history have been due, in part at least, to our disunity. I believe that Jewish self-hatred is wicked and that it is contrary to the Divine Will. These beliefs go to the core of my existence.

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Rabin, Arafat and a handshake of hope

By Jonathan Freedland, September 13, 2013

It was twenty years ago today. On September 13 1993, in bright sunshine and nudged together by Bill Clinton – younger than the others, but playing the father figure – Yitzhak Rabin extended a reluctant hand to a smiling Yasser Arafat before an audience on the White House lawn.

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Some answers from on High

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 4, 2013

Next week, Marion and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. As wedding anniversaries go these days, this is no big deal.

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Stop this barmitzvah madness

By Miriam Shaviv, September 3, 2013

It’s time to do away with barmitzvah parties.

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Guidance on those EU guidelines

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 30, 2013

I make no apology for drawing your attention once more to the small matter of the “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.”

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G K Chesterton: a writer unfit to be a saint

By Oliver Kamm, August 29, 2013

G K Chesterton is a minor writer in vogue.This has less to do with his literary merits than with his religious apologetics. A Catholic convert, Chesterton wrote exhaustively on the virtues of faith. The Bishop of Northampton has appointed a priest to make initial inquiries whether Chesterton should be canonised.

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The history behind the histories

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 23, 2013

I have just finished the final draft of my next book. With numerous appendices, voluminous footnotes and an index (which, unlike most authors, I am insisting on compiling myself), not to mention the introduction, it will run to around 200,000 words. It is a new history, British Jewry Since Emancipation, to be published by the University of Buckingham Press.

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A politically sophisticated community? Come off it

By Stephen Pollard, August 22, 2013

When you’re editing a newspaper, one of the most frequent questions you ask is: what’s the peg?
I play a little game with myself, constructing tenuous pegs for stories with no apparent link to the JC, just to see if I can find a way, in theory, of getting them in to the paper.

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Learning Hebrew - just a minor lamentation

By David Aaronovitch, August 16, 2013

I was sailing away from Odessa when Jonathan Freedland’s column on learning Hebrew was published in the JC, so I only got round to reading it this week.

Readers may recall that Mr F, one of my favourite scribbling Jews in a crowded field, gave himself up to a minor lamentation (wringing but no rending) on the inability of a sufficient number of British Jews to speak Hebrew.

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A person of no importance?

By Geoffrey Alderman, August 16, 2013

So tell me, just how important do you think you are? And – scarcely less significant but frightfully important nonetheless — just how important do you think you ought to be?

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