Israel advocacy requires a firm grip on reality

By Robin Shepherd, June 10, 2011

There are few clichés about the work of the professional psychologist more widely quoted than this: In order to deal with a problem you first have to acknowledge its existence.

Following the REUT report late last year describing London as a global hub for the deligitimisation of Israel, the debate among the pro-Israel community about whether there really is a fundamental problem for the Jewish


Goofy was on the take so I hit him

By Peter Rosengard, June 6, 2011

Last weekend my friend Charles took his family to Disneyland Paris.

When Lily was four we'd taken her there and stayed in one of the hotels. Just as we'd checked in, Lily said hello to Minnie Mouse who just happened to be strolling by.

The next morning I saw a sign advertising an autograph session.

"Daddy! Please can you get me Goofy's?", Lily asked.


Stop picking on the Chasids

By Chas Newkey-Burden, June 6, 2011

The Chasidim might not be much interested in the mainstream media but that does not stop the mainstream media from being fascinated with the Chasidim. The BBC's Stamford Hill documentary Wonderland: A Hasidic Guide to Love, Marriage and Finding a Bride has ignited new, negative headlines about the community.


Love involves challenges too

By Daniel Reisel, June 6, 2011

I love Israel with all my heart and soul. My family's connection to Israel goes back to my great-grandfather's grandfather Mordechai Zvi, who, together with his wife Rachel, travelled from the depths of the diaspora to Ottoman Palestine. Rachel and Mordechai Zvi were part of the first aliyah of the 1880s and among the founders of Rishon LeZion.


Don't let antisemitism take over our narrative

By Jonathan Wittenberg, June 2, 2011

Every person and every community, whether or not they want to, tells the story of itself. How we tell it both describes and defines our values, exemplifies and determines who we are morally and spiritually.

Judaism has always taken seriously the way we tell our story. That's why, even in this assimilated age, Seder night, the night of the story, remains Judaism's best kept ritual.


Farhud: a slaughter in Iraq

By Lyn Julius, May 31, 2011

There was a frenzied banging on the front door. When my mother answered it, she recognised her aunt's Jewish cook, ashen-faced, pleading to be let in: "I was on a bus, and the Muslims were pulling the Jewish passengers out and killing them. I said I was a Christian." A month earlier, pro-Nazi officers led by Rashid Ali al-Ghailani, had staged a successful coup in Iraq.


Helen Shapiro and me

By David Robson, May 31, 2011

As an event in Jewish history, it doesn't quite rank with the crossing of the Red Sea, and maybe not even with the triumph of the Maccabees, but it was one of the very few occasions when we are all summoned to share in a moment of ethnic glory. I was at my Jewish boarding school and, wonder of wonders, Helen Shapiro, a 14-year-old girl from Bethnal Green, had a record in the "hit parade".


Truly, the only way is ethics

By Lorraine Spector, May 31, 2011

How do you set moral standards without being judgmental? The findings of a survey of the ethical values and attitudes of 10,000 teenagers across England and Wales makes sobering reading. A quarter of those questioned in the Should Ethics Be Taught? survey thought it was acceptable to cheat in exams or dodge fares; one in nine believe that there is nothing wrong with shoplifting.


Conquest of our despair over Israel is now vital

By Adam Ognall, May 26, 2011

Three weeks after Israel's 63rd birthday celebrations, it is becoming clear that this year is likely to be as significant as any in the country's history.

The challenges and uncertainties thrown up by the upheavals across the region, on its borders and within Israel itself, present a complex, frustrating picture.


Signs and wonders on the M1

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, May 20, 2011

I am currently appearing in a play out of town. This is something I have not felt able to do since the birth of the beloved daughter as, like Chicken Likken, fearing the sky will cave in at any moment, I have fretted that taking a prolonged working leave of absence from Maison Oberman will result in untold catastrophes.