Comment

Do our schools make us better Jews?

By Simon Rocker, April 22, 2010

Whatever the pros and cons of school league tables, they have probably done wonders for Jewish day schools. The proven academic track record of Jewish schools year in, year out, must be one reason why parents have been turning to them in ever-increasing numbers to the point that six out of every 10 Jewish children in the UK currently attend one.

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Lib Dems are only on one side: the side of peace

By Lynne Featherstone, April 22, 2010

In Hornsey & Wood Green in North London, there is a strong pro-Israel lobby and a strong pro-Palestinian lobby. When Jenny Tonge made her disgraceful and ignorant comments in the JC, calling for an inquiry into Israel taking organs in Haiti, I got emails from the pro-Israel lobby saying that the Liberal Democrats were pro-Palestinian.

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Security comes before press freedom

By David Hazony, April 15, 2010

There is nothing more basic to the adult Israeli experience than taking your kid to his first day in the IDF. For his whole life you’ve preached about how important it is to serve. National pride, security, the Zionist mission, becoming an adult — all these are wrapped up together. And then, that fateful morning, you discover you are exactly like those other wimpy parents who seem to care more about their children’s welfare than that of the state. National security and Zionism be damned; just make sure my kid comes home safe.

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David Miliband is my political porn star

By Bryony Gordon, April 15, 2010

I have a confession to make. What I am about to tell you I have kept to myself for a very long time - I have thought very long and hard indeed about whether to reveal it to you. But I cannot keep this secret for much longer. It has become a burden that is almost too much to bear. And so, taking the deepest of breaths - several deep breaths, in fact - I am ready, finally, to say it.

Brace yourselves. Find, perhaps, a chair on which to sit.

OK, here goes.

I have fallen head over heels for David Miliband.

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Politicians alone cannot save the planet

By Mayer Hillman, April 15, 2010

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when? (Pirkei Avot)

The accelerating impact of climate change indicates that we risk leaving an appalling legacy for the future - the planet in a deteriorating condition; widespread extinction of species and genetic variability; extensive water and food shortages; consequently huge, migratory, demographic pressures; and wars of survival and catastrophic losses of life.

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I'm into Reform, not retirement

By Tony Bayfield, April 15, 2010

Retiring? Me? "It's not a characteristic I associate with you", someone said. And I'm not. Not only do I still have 15 months to go but, in July 2011, I start the next chapter of my career.

The Reform movement has come a long way over the 37 years since I first became a congregational rabbi in Weybridge, Surrey. Back then, the UK's Jewish community was very different both in demography and composition. It had barely started to face up to the challenges presented by being a tiny minority in an aggressively secular society and by the sheer diversity of needs.

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Jews are the Marmite of the world

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, April 8, 2010

Mr O and I have a regular tussle over the condiments that appear on the breakfast table. Stifle your yawn, reader, this is going somewhere. He cannot think of a morning piece of toast without thinly spreading a layer of butter and a layer of Marmite. For him this is breakfast heaven. It is my idea of breakfast hell. And don't even get my three-year-old on the subject. "Yuk, mummy. It's horrid and sticky and black."

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Jesus and the importance of being Jewish

By Rebecca Abrams, April 8, 2010

The day before Passover, under the gorgeously painted ceiling of a packed Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, the novelist Philip Pullman spoke for an hour about his new book, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ. Despite the fact that this is about one of the most famous Jews of all time, the words "Jew" and "Jewish" were not mentioned once, either by Pullman or anyone in the audience. The omission was both striking and revealing.

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Yom Hashoah: hope out of grief

By Lord Jonathan Sacks, April 8, 2010

The echoing irony of the Holocaust is that we have still not found an adequate way of giving its remembrance religious expression, in the way we do for the exodus on Pesach, or the destruction of the Temples on Tisha b'Av.

Almost everything else that can be said or done, has been said or done. There are Holocaust histories, conferences, seminars, university courses, exhibitions, museums, memorials, documentaries and films. There was a time in the 1980s when one out of every four books published on a Jewish theme was about the Holocaust. Yet this one lacuna remains.

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The Yiddle in the middle

By Simon Rocker, April 1, 2010

As the cricket season approaches, it is time to tell of a little-known episode of Ashes history - the encounter between the demon bowler and the Jewish knight.

In 1932, England went out to Australia and regained the Ashes with a thumping 4-1 win against a team that included the incomparable Sir Donald Bradman. The English triumph resulted partly from a new tactic, short fast-pitched bowling aimed at the batsman's body - hence the name, the Bodyline Series, by which it became known.

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