'Pay for me and I'll pray for you'

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

'Children are pure-hearted; they haven't sinned; their prayers are unlike yours or mine", declares the Orthodox author Tziporah Heller in a video for an extremely troubling Jewish fundraising campaign.

Here is the deal: go on to the website of the Israeli charity, Yad Ezra V'Shulamit, input the name of a person in need of divine assistance, make a donation by credit card, and the impoverished children for whom it provides hot meals will intercede with God from the Western Wall on your behalf.


Fussy ... but not that kind of fussy

By Simon Round, October 7, 2010

The term fussy eater could have been invented for my daughter Lucy. At five weeks she refused her first ever bottle of formula milk and she has been turning down food ever since.


Israel's crude and cruel immigration policy

By Dan Kosky, October 7, 2010

Shamefully, the spectre of deportation currently hangs over 400 Israeli-born children of foreign workers. Israel's cabinet decided this summer that, although the children attend Israeli schools and speak Hebrew, because their parents' visas have expired, the children must go.


Where is the Jewish Pavarotti?

By Daniel Snowman, October 7, 2010

When I was a child, shortly after the war, I remember asking why so many famous violinists were Jewish and being told that Jews had often been on the run and that you could always take your fiddle with you. There was some truth to this. The Yidl Mitn Fidl, like the fiddler on the roof, was the stuff of Jewish legend, and it became reality when (for example) three of the future members of the Amadeus Quartet fetched up in London from Nazi Vienna with no special aptitude other than the ability to play the violin.


It's fun as an undercover Catholic

By Peter Rosengard, September 28, 2010

On Yom Kippur, while I was coming out of the synagogue, across the street I saw two young girls holding up a banner saying: "We love the Pope more than beans on toast".

Being a life-long lover of beans on toast, naturally I was curious. "Really!?" I asked.

"We're off to see the Pope in Hyde Park," they said. "Want to come?" Immediately I decided to go for the best double whammy in town, the Chief Rabbi and the Pope.

"Can you get me in?" I asked Father Paul, a young Irishman from West Sussex.

"How much is a ticket?"

"Oh don't you worry about that," he said.


Action, not talk, brings peace

By Stephen Pollard, September 28, 2010

Many moons ago, before I entered the sordid world of journalism, I worked in the sordid world of politics. I was secretary to a Labour Party committee which had been charged with drafting a new constitution for the party, including - how last weekend's events brought the horrors back! - an electoral college.

After weeks of negotiations between representatives of the different wings of the party, it was, I decided, hopeless. The preconditions laid down were irreconcilable. We were doomed to failure.


Shouldn't rabbis be serious, for Pete's sake?

By Gerald Jacobs, September 28, 2010

The late, great comedy partners Peter Cook and Dudley Moore once performed a sketch on BBC TV in which the letter R had fallen off a sign, causing Cook in his "Pete" persona to remark on how very unfortunate it is if you "let your Rs fall off".


Culture city's very partial culture

By Steven Jaffe, September 28, 2010

Last year, 1,400 Palestinian flags flew here in solidarity with Gaza. This city has a policy of boycotting everything Israeli. A week before my visit, Hamas representatives received rapturous applause via a live internet link between Gaza and the city's Guildhall.


New year brings new opportunities for UJS

By Alex Dwek, September 21, 2010

The New Year provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months while ensuring we look forward to challenges which lie ahead.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) is no different.

As the competition for university places becomes increasingly tough, Jewish students are missing out on their first choice universities – often those with large Jewish student populations.

As a result, we expect to see an increasing number of students choosing universities with a small or medium-sized Jewish Society or perhaps one with just a handful of Jewish students.


Massive donors should curb their enthusiasm

By Barry Frankfurt, September 21, 2010

The period of the High Holy Days is often regarded as the time to do three things: repent, pray and give to charity.

The last of these is the one that prompts virtually all of our communal organisations to appeal for support and facilitate our New Year "obligation" to give tzedakah. As UK charities continue to look for new ways to remind us that, as Jews, we have an obligation to give away 10 per cent of our wealth, a recently launched initiative in America has taken philanthropy to a new level.