How chained women can be freed

By Bernard Jackson, July 30, 2009

Over the past five years, my team at Manchester University has been working towards a “roadmap” that could resolve the 2,000-year-old problems endured by Orthodox Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a get — a religious divorce. The plight of “chained wives” — in Hebrew, agunot (singular agunah) — causes much suffering to a very substantial number of Jewish women across the world.


Jewish boycotters should stop sneering and get reel

By Katie Green, July 23, 2009

On July 8, at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival, American-Jewish filmmakers Jacques Servin and Igor Vermos withdrew their documentary film, The Yes Men Fix the World, to protest at Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. This is my letter to them:

Dear Messrs Servin and Vermos, I have been reading in the Jerusalem Post about your decision as Jewish film-makers to pull your documentary film from the Jerusalem Film Festival, “in hopes of making the Israeli public think critically about state policies towards the Palestinians”.


Touchy, me? Come outside and say that

By Simon Round, July 23, 2009

Look, we’re going to have to face it — there are people out there who just don’t like Jews.

Unfortunately for us, they don’t leave it at that. Rather than just say “Jews – nah not for me”, they tend to invent lots of nasty things about us to rationalise their dislike. We are responsible for the collapse of international finance; the global spread of communism; Aids; 9/11; milk going off before its sell by date; the rising/falling price of petrol and the current spell of bad weather.


The government’s care policy is full of holes

By Leon Smith, July 23, 2009

Early in the life of the new Labour government in 1997, it set up a Royal Commission to study the future of long-term funding of older people. Now, 12 years later and after months of delays, the government has finally unveiled the Department of Health Green Paper on the reform of adult care and support in England.


Communal life after the recession

By Jonathan Sarna, July 23, 2009

In today’s Jewish communal life, as individual needs rise and communal means fall, different sectors of the Jewish community are busy lobbying for their particular areas: human services; education; youth tours etc.


She’s twigged: Macca has a thing for Jews

By Julie Burchill, July 23, 2009

So Heather Mills has claimed that “some of my best friends are Jewish”.

You want to believe her, don’t you? If ever anyone could benefit from the warm hearts and cool judgement of my favourite ethnic stereotypes, it’s poor old Heather, who makes the Whore of Babylon look like Aung San Suu Kyi when it comes to securing a place in public esteem.

The problem is, this claim is on the same level of credibility as it might be if she had stated: “I taught Susan Boyle how to sing” or “I invented toast.”


Arlene sacked? Time to step up Ruby, Zoe and Vanessa

By Keren David, July 16, 2009

To the picket lines, Maureen Lipman! Placard at the ready Esther Rantzen! Zoe Wanamaker, Ruby Wax, pick up your megaphones! You are who we need at this time of crisis. I’m proposing a new union, Older Jewish Entertaining Women (O JEW) to take on the bumbling bosses of the BBC.
We muttered about Wossy and Sachsgate. We grumbled over the Blue Peter cat row. We rolled our eyes at executives’ vast expenses claims.
But this is a step too far. Arlene Phillips has been booted off the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel.


A brief belay while I hit a peak of fitness

By Peter Rosengard, July 16, 2009

Last Friday, my friend Arnold asked me what I was doing for the weekend.
“I’m going climbing,” I said.
“Climbing. The only climbing you’ve ever done is of the social variety!”
“I happen to come from a long line of Jewish mountaineers; my uncle, Sherpa Rosengard was obscured on Everest by Tenzing.”
“Sure,” Arnold said. “What kind of climbing?”
“I’m becoming a belayer.”
“Is that like being an Amish?”


Let’s use the law to halt these Nazi slurs

By Winston Pickett, July 16, 2009

In assessing the consequences of antisemitic discourse, are some characterisations worse than others? Are some epithets more offensive due to the depth of the insult, the affront to memory or the power to malign the Jewish collective? If so, how should they be treated?


Who is a – musical – Jew?

By Norman Lebrecht, July 16, 2009

Do we really need to know if a public figure is Jewish? Perhaps, in the case of a politician who can affect the state of nations, or a billionaire who can be tapped by communal charities. In other cases, the interest is either prurient or possessive, a kvell of collective pride signifying nothing.