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.


Being defensive no longer works

By Tony Bayfield, September 2, 2010

I went to a reception for a departing Israeli diplomat. She told me with passion and conviction that Britain was terrible for its pro-Arab attitudes and deep-rooted antisemitism. She couldn't understand how Jews could live here.

President Shimon Peres talked recently about pro-Arab, anti-Israel sentiments in our establishment. He described Britain as Israel's next big problem. Many American Jews say that Britain is a place where even the universities are infected by blatant antisemitism masquerading as a boycott of Israeli academics.


Happy New Year. Pass the tequila

By Venetia Thompson, August 26, 2010

I think it's time to take a collective deep breath: we're about to hit holiday season - Rosh Hashanah will immediately morph into Yom Kippur, and then before we've evenhad time to make New Year's resolutions, it'll be Chrismucah. I know that for some of you this will be your favourite time of year, but I'm currently embracing that feeling of impending doom that will stay with me until January 2nd.


You know Prague but what about Plymouth?

By Valerie Bello, August 26, 2010

When we choose to visit European cities that have a significant Jewish history, such as Prague or Amsterdam, for many of us, the first port of call is the area where Jews once lived and thrived. We identify enthusiastically with our heritage and culture in other countries. By contrast, we fail entirely to acknowledge it on our own doorstep.


Israel's sad slide from democracy

By Hagai El-Ad, August 26, 2010

In June, Israeli MK Miri Regev (Likud) shouted, in Arabic, at her fellow MK, Haneen Zoabi (Balad): "Go back to Gaza, traitor!" as Zoabi tried in vain to address the Knesset on her return from her participation in the "Free Gaza" flotilla.

In July, the Knesset decided by a 34-16 vote to strip Zoabi of her parliamentary benefits.

In August, the release of a heavily edited video clip by the army led to renewed calls in the Knesset to revoke her citizenship.