The Beth Din spoiled my wedding

By Matt Getz, August 13, 2009

I have led a thoroughly Jewish life. I went to a Jewish day school, sang my barmitzvah portion with gusto, was a member of my synagogue choir and Bible team. My forebears were all born and grew up observant Jews in the shtetlach of Latvia and Lithuania. Jewish weddings, funerals, even brisses, have been a part of my life for as long as I remember.

So when the time came for me to get married, there was no question: we were going to have a Jewish wedding — chuppah, odd Aramaic incantations, breaking glass, even Israeli relatives dancing the hora.


Our family broiges — at least we’re talking

By NWJew, August 13, 2009

A wonderful thing happened. I recently re-established contact with a part of my family generations after a disputed will split three siblings forever. One went to Israel, another to America, and the third remained in the East End of London.


Getting property returned still uphill task

By David Peleg, August 13, 2009

It is just over a month since representatives of 46 countries gathered in Prague for the Holocaust Era Assets Conference; possibly the last chance, as US Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat described it, to see that justice prevails.


Supporting Fairtrade is a Jewish thing to do

By Gareth Thomas, August 6, 2009

Over the past two years, the world has moved from a food crisis to a fuel crisis to a global financial crisis. People across Britain and around the world are feeling the effects of the economic downturn. But it is the poorest who are most vulnerable. Fairtrade can help.


US and JFS Orthodoxy is inclusive

By Simon Hochhauser, August 6, 2009

Britain’s Jewish community is proud to have moved in a single generation from a situation in which 25 per cent of Jewish children attended Jewish day schools to one in which 60 per cent do so. No other diaspora Jewish community has been so dramatically transformed. This is in the spirit of the command of the Shema, Veshinantam levanekha: “you shall teach your children”, understood by the sages as an imperative to give all Jewish children a Jewish education. And we in the United Synagogue are justifiably proud of our role in building great Jewish schools.


Critics should save their vitriol for Israel’s enemies

By Vivian Wineman, August 6, 2009

Amid all the arguments about antisemitism in the UK, two things are clear. First, that antisemitism has been increasing. The figures produced by the Community Security Trust (CST) show antisemitic incidents in the first six months of 2009 at their highest since records began in 1984.

Second, that increase is connected with events in the Middle East. There was a spike in the number of incidents at the time of the Gaza war. Since then the level has gone down, but is still slightly higher than normal.


Try making your name more Jewish

By Peter Rosengard, August 6, 2009

Last Thursday night I was at Harry Morgan’s having my weekly dinner with my friend Arnold.

“I went to see a client in the City today, and the receptionist asked me my name. I told her it was Peter Rosengard.”

“She picked up a phone and said to me: ‘What’s your name?’”

“‘Still Rosengard,’ I told her.

“‘I’ve got a Mr Rosenberg here for you,’ she told my client.

“Arnold, it happens all the time. Rosenthal… Rosenberg… Rosenkrantz… Rosengarten. And you know what the really crazy thing is?”


Israeli press not free? They’re joking. A biased report by an inexperienced researcher has led to absurd allegations

By Adi Schwartz, August 6, 2009

Freedom House, an international NGO conducting research into democracy, political freedom and human rights, has declared in its press freedom index that Israel is no longer a “free” country. It is now only “partially free”.

Odd. If anything, the Israeli press is over-aggressive, with little respect for privacy and a tendency towards sensationalism. More so than many other Western media, the Israeli press is robust and boisterous.


Board chief handed a PR gift to Israel’s enemies

By Robin Shepherd, July 30, 2009

All is fair in love and war, or so they say. In the world of political commentary, however, there is little fairness, less love and often the kind of intensity that could lead some to believe that a war was precisely what one was engaged in. But if you can’t take the punches, don’t get involved.

I have taken a few punches in the past for my calls for a more reasoned approach to Israel’s predicament in the Middle East.


Holiday snaps: say cheese and tomato

By Joe Joseph, July 30, 2009

It’s holiday time, the season when traditionally we activate the “out of office” response on our email and jet off to spend a fortnight dressed only in a pair of Speedos the size of a postage stamp — on account of our budget airline wanting to charge us £983 at check-in on top of the price of the £17 plane ticket if we turn out to be the sort of crazy travellers who might want to take any actual luggage on holiday with us.