Weidenfeld: A master of shmooze

By Gerald Jacobs, January 21, 2016

Like many Yiddish words, shmooze has an elastic quality that renders precise translation difficult. Its meaning ranges from “charm” or “flattery”, through “persuasion” or “cajoling”, to “chattering” or “networking”. And George Weidenfeld operated along the entire spectrum.


Weidenfeld's year with Weizmann

By Natan Aridan, January 21, 2016

George Weidenfeld once remarked to me: “While a Zionist has a built-in pride of where he belongs, he doesn’t mind if he doesn’t belong elsewhere. A non-Zionist feels that doors are locked to him because of his origins.”

He was more than qualified to pronounce on the subject. In 1949, he took a sabbatical to work as Chaim Weizmann’s chief of cabinet.


A marvellous conversationalist who befriended them all

By Tom Gross, January 20, 2016

George Weidenfeld was still so intellectually sharp and insightful at the age of 96 that we all thought he’d live for ever.


A mentor, example, hero, and friend

By Michael Gove, January 20, 2016

George Weidenfeld was one of the men of the century.

In his life and work the tumult and triumphs of the last hundred years found their witness and their shaper. It has been one of the privileges of my life to have been able to call him a friend. But he was much more — a mentor, an example, a hero.


Confession of an Israel first-timer

By Rosa Doherty, January 13, 2016

"Do you know any Arabs?" the El AL immigration officer at Heathrow asked me.

I had been warned about the security checks. They will question you for ages, friends had said. But this was my first trip to Israel and I had done my homework. I was ready with my answer.

"Does my friend Sandy count?" I said. "She's an Iraqi Jew - she's an Arab."


We should be free to ban haters like Trump

By Tulip Siddiq, January 7, 2016

I feel lucky to live in a country where the right to speak one's mind is valued highly. Our vibrant media is relentless in promoting the range of views that British society has to offer. The result is a healthy, if heated, debate over where we draw the line between what is free speech and what is hate speech.


Limmud has something for everyone (but me)

By Sandy Rashty, January 7, 2016

When the assignment was first handed over, I kicked my desk and unleashed a torrent of expletives. It was my turn to cover the annual Limmud conference - and no tantrum would get me out of it.

Nor would a family wedding in Tel Aviv or an offer to holiday at a penthouse in New York over the New Year.


Orthodox participation at Limmud? Don't just count the rabbis

By Raphael Zarum, January 7, 2016

I've been going to Limmud for over 20 years. My first time was a bit of a shock - such a range of people and sessions, such a passion for learning, such a joy at "doing Jewish". I was hooked.

Limmud is a novel take on the Yarchei Kallah, an ancient Jewish institution. It was a bi-annual study convention for Jewish scholars in Babylon. In various forms it has continued to the present day.


Grisly days for city that knows normality

By Noga Godein, January 7, 2016

On sunny Fridays, Dizengoff Street, the heart of Tel Aviv's proudly scruffy strip of cafés and saloons, hosts long afternoons of coffee and light drinks that gently carry its patrons towards a night of partying.

Last Friday, the languor was interrupted by the rat-a-tat of a semi-automatic weapon that left two people dead and the city on edge.


It’s older than the US itself — New York’s go-to shul

By Zaki Cooper, January 6, 2016

Of the many beautiful shuls around the world, there are not many that house communities older than the countries they are in.

But that anomaly applies to the ornate Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.