When background is a barrier

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 29, 2011

I have just finished updating my history of Hackney Downs school, first published 40 years ago. Founded by the Grocers' Company in 1876 it was, in its heyday, one of the finest boys' secondary schools in the land. In 1995, dubbed by the tabloids as the "worst" school in England, it was shut down.


Europe's Jews need this union

By Jonathan Freedland, December 15, 2011

There's one number you won't find in the torrent of opinion polls unleashed by David Cameron's European summit veto.


Are US's leaders fit for offce?

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 15, 2011

Last week the United Synagogue made a particularly nasty attack on this newspaper. I have read more or less every edition of every Anglo-Jewish broadsheet since the beginning of time. But I have never before read an attack of such viciousness on any such newspaper, and I would never have expected such a mindset to be projected from within the portals of the US.


Tis not our season to be jolly

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 8, 2011

An Open Letter to Lord Sacks of Aldgate
Dear Jonathan

I feel compelled to write to you, both as a Jew and as a Jewish husband and father, to express to you the deep unease that I felt on reading press reports of your homily delivered at the Scottish Parliament at the end of last month.

I refer in particular to certain declarations that you reportedly made during the course of your re


Man who put tragedy into words

By Oliver Kamm, December 8, 2011

WG "Max" Sebald, the novelist, was killed in a car crash near his home in Norfolk ten years ago this week. He was 57 and at the peak of his creative powers. He was posthumously awarded the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for his novel Austerlitz, of which a tenth anniversary edition has just been published.


The future of Hebron's Jewish past

By Melanie Phillips, December 1, 2011

Until recently, I had never been to Hebron. In the past three months, however, I have twice boarded an armoured bus to make the journey. The first time was with a private, non-political group to visit Hebron's Jewish area and the Cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and the patriarchs and matriarchs are said to be buried.

It was a shock.


Let us play Jewish guessing game

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 1, 2011

Last week, I was privileged to give a public address in Tredegar in south Wales as part of the commemorations there of the anti-Jewish riots that swept through the Western Valleys in August 1911. The audience was composed almost entirely of non-Jews.


Conspiracy of nonsense on Libya

By Daniel Finkelstein, November 28, 2011

I had just finished reading a book by the sociologist Duncan Watts when I heard over the weekend that Saif Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader, had been captured and arrested. The book was called Everything Is Obvious When You Know the Answer.


Peace of mind over loose talk

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 24, 2011

Have you been following the twists and turns of the crisis-laden fallout that has followed the revelation that Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy recently regaled each other with disparaging remarks about Bibi Netanyahu? Do you think Netanyahu was right to demand a public apology, failing which he would withdraw Israel's ambassadors from France and the USA?

You haven't?


Ambassador, how you spoil us

By Nick Cohen, November 23, 2011

I struggle to believe that Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, does not know that Marine Le Pen is the leader of the French National Front. He struck me as a boorish man when I met him last year, but I did not take him to be that great a fool.