Law exists to stop the bigots

By Winston Pickett, January 31, 2011

Reports of antisemitism in the UK are reminiscent of a certain vertigo that used to throw Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign into a state of heightened anticipation. Betsy Wright, Clinton's acerbic adviser and veteran lobbyist, dubbed it waiting for the next "bimbo eruption".


JLC’s ideas above its station

By Lord Levy, January 31, 2011

Last week's JC front page was most disturbing. We are an active community, with excellent organisations and vibrant Jewish life; yet we prompted the headline, What a State. Are we in a state? The biggest disconnect is between our grass roots of caring, committed Jews and our leadership. We have so many excellent, dedicated people - our major funders, our activists, our Rabbis, our teachers, our professionals - yet it is so difficult for them to work together and progress in the same direction. But it is vital and necessary.


This express threatens the Orient

By Bernard Josephs, January 31, 2011

It is crisis time at Leyton Orient FC (the Os). Chairman Barry Hearn has spelt it out. If West Ham or Tottenham Hotspur take over the Olympic Stadium in Stratford - situated barely a training run from the Os' Brisbane Road ground - grave times lie ahead. His remarks bring back memories of the 1950s and '60s, when the club was forced to beg fans to throw loose change into buckets so that the players could be paid.


Charedi dependency that brews resentment

By Mordechai Beck, January 27, 2011

Shoshana Chen is a charedi grandmother, living in Israel. She recently wrote an open letter to her grandchildren in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper. In it, she expressed her difficulty in understanding why these grandchildren were the subject of such hatred by much of the Israeli population, "not only because you were born Jewish, but also because you were born charedim". What is really surprising about this is that Mrs Chen was surprised.


Tunisia, and our black and white mentality

By Nick Cohen, January 21, 2011

Every morning I read The Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Financial Times and the Independent. I stay with the Today programme until Radio 4 drives me away by insulting my intelligence with Thought for the Day and look at the Economist and the New York Times if I have a moment. But I knew nothing about Tunisia.


Organ donation in Jewish law

By Lord Jonathan Sacks, January 20, 2011

The controversy over organ donations may have left some people confused, so I want to set out the position.

First, are organ donations a good thing, and does Judaism approve? The answer in general is yes. Saving a life is a fundamental imperative in Judaism and, if we can do so without endangering our own lives, we should.


A cruel cut below the rest

By Norma Brier, January 20, 2011

Jenny lives in a Norwood residential home at Ravenswood Village, in Berkshire. She loves to visit her relatives, some 70 miles away, by travelling regularly in an adapted wheelchair. During the week, she attends college locally and in the evenings goes to the cinema or to friends. All these activities and her summer holidays are possible only with specialised transportation.


Heads in the sand can't work

By Norman Lebrecht, January 20, 2011

Last Saturday, the Guardian devoted a two-page spread to Linda Grant and her new novel, We Had It So Good, which is drawing the kind of praise most writers don't see before their obits. Grant has been involved with the paper for much of her adult life and the article was generally affectionate - until the interviewer hit upon her late-onset love for Israel, at which point the narrative went into an extraordinary contortion to explain that she was still a good person, really.


Bless you, thank you, goodbye

By Peter Rosengard, January 17, 2011

Last Tuesday morning I went to get a tube of toothpaste from my chemist, off Bond Street. A handwritten sign in the wood-framed olde worlde shop window read: 'We wish to thank all our loyal customers…' They'd closed down. Unbelievable! They'd been there forever. I was last there on Christmas Eve.

"Yoshi," I'd said to the man behind the counter. "Which is the Colgate toothpaste? The one without the red or the blue stripe in the middle - the pure white one?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know? You've been selling toothpaste since you were a teenager."


Perils of in-flight hechshers

By Michael Freedland, January 17, 2011

These days, when air fares are going up with every yard that a plane rises into the deep blue yonder, there is one boast that the airlines still love to make: "If you have a dietary requirement, we'll meet it. Vegetarian? We'll get it. Gluten? Of course. Halal? Salaam, if not salami. Kosher? Absolutely."

That is, they'll absolutely put it down in their records. But actually getting a piece of kosher meat on a tray is a matter frequently laden with difficulty.