Comment

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.

More..

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".

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

Judaism - the French connection

By Michael Goldfarb, September 21, 2010

It is the season of memory and rededication. No day in the calendar focuses Jews on the fact of their Jewishness like Yom Kippur. Even those who regard the day like any other and neither pray nor fast will, last weekend, have felt the Jewish part of themselves more keenly and meditated on what Jewishness means.

More..

How a no-ball can snowball into a scandal

By Nissan Wilson, September 16, 2010

How important are games? After all, they exist in a little bubble that is divorced from real life. And those who have never entered the bubble that is cricket may struggle to understand the current outrage over the incorrect foot placement of young, professional Pakistani cricketers for a mere three of the 1,255 balls bowled in the course of one test match. They may ask whether it really matters.

More..

Justice is the right response to evil

By Eve Garrard, September 16, 2010

When Gordon Wilson's daughter died in the rubble at Enniskillen, he forgave the terrorists who had murdered her. But the mother of Lesley Ann Downey, the child tortured and murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, never forgave her killers. Eric Lomax survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp; after many decades, one of his torturers contacted him in profound remorse. Eventually, Lomax forgave him. Simon Wiesenthal, imprisoned in a concentration camp, was asked for forgiveness by a dying Nazi who had burned 300 Jews alive. Wiesenthal withheld forgiveness.

More..

The two New Years are miles apart

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, September 16, 2010

Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

I hope it was a good one with mountains of honey cake and not too many family broiguses.

Yes, it's that time of "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" again.

More..

Observing in our own ways

By Stephen Pollard, September 16, 2010

Can I be honest? It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not the Chief Rabbi.

There. I've said it. There are, one might have thought, few reasons to think I am in fact, the Chief Rabbi - I don't have a beard, for starters - but, believe me, there are people out there who think otherwise.

It didn't take me long to realise that the post of editor of the JC comes with what one might call extra-curricular duties.

More..