Columnists

Time is not on the Board's side

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 22, 2015

The recent contest for the presidency of the Board of Deputies struck me as one of the most civilised and enlightened in the Board's history. The hustings were well conducted and threw up some fundamental issues that affect the Board itself as well as the wider and pressing concerns of British Jewry. Chief among these was the problem of communal leadership.

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Labour's Israel question

By Daniel Finkelstein, May 21, 2015

Leaving a Minister's office in March, I was taken down in the lift by one of the messengers. We had met many times over the past five years and with the election coming up, I said to him: "Well, this might be the last time you take me downstairs like this. In a month, you may have a new government and a different minister."

He looked at me, shook his head slowly and said: "Naah".

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An Orthodox crisis of legitimacy

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 14, 2015

On March 20, I devoted this column to a consideration of shifting allegiances within the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, and the effect these might have on other Orthodox groupings, such as the United Synagogue, the Federation of Synagogues, and the Union itself beyond its Stamford Hill redoubt.

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Damned by his own words

By Jonathan Freedland, May 14, 2015

Twice in 10 years, the British people have had the chance to elect a Jewish prime minister - and twice they've said no. Michael Howard took on Tony Blair in 2005 and failed. And, last week, Ed Miliband followed Howard into the pantheon of electoral losers.

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Finally, our vote's come of age

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 7, 2015

By the time you read this, the General Election will be over, bar the shouting, of which there will be more than usual. While we wait for that to begin, let me draw your attention to one of the most remarkable features of the election - remarkable because the media has taken it for granted: the Jewish Vote has come of age.

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A silence that imperils us

By Melanie Phillips, May 7, 2015

There has just been a general election on planet Mars. It might as well have taken place there, for all the attention paid in Britain during the past few weeks to the most urgent issue facing our world. This is that the President of the United States is poised to surrender the security of the west to its mortal enemy, Iran.

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Too cross with making a cross

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 3, 2015

Weary of the current political mud-slinging and descent into personal invective, I have been searching for some light electoral relief - and I may have found it.

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Will we ever see the light?

By Miriam Shaviv, April 30, 2015

Will Shabbat ever be the same? Over the past few days, the Orthodox internet has been furiously debating KosherSwitch, a device which allows electric lights to be switched on and off on Shabbat, without - its creators claim - violating halachah. KosherSwitch has endorsements from Charedi rabbis, although some have partially recanted.

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Clubs with different rules

By David Aaronovitch, April 25, 2015

On the plane back from Miami last Sunday night, I tuned into a podcast of Melvyn Bragg and a panel of academics discussing the 16th-century missionary Matteo Ricci. As one does. And I wanted to share with JC readers a thought that occurred to me as the experts cast their pod 35,000 feet above Bermuda.

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The obscenity of extravagance

By Geoffrey Alderman, April 23, 2015

First, the bad news. I have to tell you that the quote of £55,000 obtained by the JC for a slap-up kosher wedding amounts to a considerable underestimate of the probable true cost.

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