Justice is the right response to evil

By Eve Garrard, September 16, 2010

When Gordon Wilson's daughter died in the rubble at Enniskillen, he forgave the terrorists who had murdered her. But the mother of Lesley Ann Downey, the child tortured and murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, never forgave her killers. Eric Lomax survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp; after many decades, one of his torturers contacted him in profound remorse. Eventually, Lomax forgave him. Simon Wiesenthal, imprisoned in a concentration camp, was asked for forgiveness by a dying Nazi who had burned 300 Jews alive. Wiesenthal withheld forgiveness.


The two New Years are miles apart

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, September 16, 2010

Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

I hope it was a good one with mountains of honey cake and not too many family broiguses.

Yes, it's that time of "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" again.


Observing in our own ways

By Stephen Pollard, September 16, 2010

Can I be honest? It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not the Chief Rabbi.

There. I've said it. There are, one might have thought, few reasons to think I am in fact, the Chief Rabbi - I don't have a beard, for starters - but, believe me, there are people out there who think otherwise.

It didn't take me long to realise that the post of editor of the JC comes with what one might call extra-curricular duties.


Comment: Why should I pay for the Pope?

By Peter Tatchell, September 7, 2010

I was born in 1952, seven years after the end of the Second World War.

My awareness of the Holocaust is one of the factors that spurred me to work for human rights, to ensure that such monstrous crimes never happen again.


Fatherhood is a vital part of new family life

By Deborah Levy, September 7, 2010

So often when I attend court on residence or contact (formerly known as custody and access) disputes, the court welfare officer, who sits with the district judge to give impartial guidance, emphasises the importance of fathers in children's lives.


Jewish education needs no chains

By Stephen Games, September 7, 2010

In 1994, when asking the single most important question of his period as Chief Rabbi - "Will we have Jewish grandchildren?"- Jonathan Sacks suggested that Jewish education provided the best hope of ensuring continuity. Was he right?

In our family, we spent the first part of this year deciding which primary school to send our daughter to. We ended up opting for the local state school, because we objected to Jewish schools draining mainstream education of a Jewish presence.


Repent. Oh, and enjoy the party

By Simon Round, September 7, 2010

BarnsleyBob: "I've recently moved down to London and am now living in quite a Jewish area of North London. I hear that the Jewish New Year is coming up and I was wondering whether anyone could recommend any good parties.

KeepitKosher: Hi BarnsleyBob. You're right, the Jewish New Year is coming up soon but it's not really a party thing. This is the time of year that we have the family over and eat dinner. It lasts for two days.


Please help, my brain's got a plug-in

By Peter Rosengard, September 2, 2010

I read last week that people are spending seven hours a day on their mobile phones and the internet.

"What's the matter with them!?" I thought. "Why are they wasting the other 17 hours?"

BlackBerries are definitely a danger to people's health.

I was walking along Oxford Street checking my emails the other day when someone shouted: "Look out! Duck!"

So I ducked, and narrowly avoided being decapitated by the open door of a huge truck.


Yad Vashem's big British error

By Martin Bright, September 2, 2010

I recently lost my rag at Yad Vashem.  I didn't shout and stamp my feet. I'm not that crass. Being British, I just quietly fumed and grumbled to a friend who was with me. But I was properly angry, not just on my own behalf but that of my whole country.  Why? Because my guide, a senior curator at the museum, had chosen to lump Britain in as part of her sweeping picture of European capitulation in the face of the Wehrmacht.

"Look how they all surrendered," she said, pointing with a series of thrusts of her finger at the map of Europe with a look of  disgust.


Tough times lie ahead for all our charities

By Leon Smith, September 2, 2010

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are traditionally a period when most of us are mindful of the need and obligation of tzedakah.

It may be that many of us who do not give throughout the year are moved to do so in the lead up to the Yomim Noraim but, as someone who runs a major charitable organisation, I can see only too clearly the need to focus on charitable giving throughout the year.