Leader

Fanny is peerless

December 18, 2014

To describe Dame Fanny Waterman as a force of nature barely comes close.

The chairwoman and artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition has been with us for 94 years but is, in spirit, ageless. She has more energy and verve than most 20 year olds. Dame Fanny is a jewel not just in our community's crown but in that of the nation itself.

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Not disasters at all

December 17, 2014

Two headlines prompted a wave of angst this week.

On Wednesday morning the news was that the EU was “removing Hamas from its terror list”; later in the day, it was that the European Parliament had “voted to recognise a Palestinian state”.

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Here comes fun

December 11, 2014

It wasn't that long ago that most gentiles had never heard of Channukah. Now it's almost mainstream with Channukah parties at non-Jewish schools, an annual reception at 10 Downing Street, the Trafalgar Square party and regular references on radio and TV.

And, as many of us like to say, how much better to have eight special days rather than the measly one of Christmas.

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Model community

December 11, 2014

With the doom and gloom that sometimes envelopes discussions about demographics and the long-term future of our community, more positive angles are often ignored.

Take Liverpool, a city which has gone from a Jewish population of almost 10,000 in the 1930s to just 2000 today. It is easy to see this as a story of decline and collapse.

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Disproportionate

December 4, 2014

Debates in Westminster Hall usually attract only a handful of MPs. Last week, by contrast, more than 30 queued up to make a series of powerful speeches lasting over four hours. You might wonder about the topic of this debate, one that was so important that MPs changed their diaries to attend.

The cost of living? The threat posed by radical Islam to the West? No. It was - of course - Palestine.

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Here we go again

December 4, 2014

It is a wonder that Israel ever manages to get anything done - let alone to power ahead as the so-called Start Up Nation - with its sclerotic, chaotic, neurotic political system. In reality, its citizens achieve results despite, not because of, the Israeli government.

Now we have the prospect of another set of elections next March.

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Onwards and up

November 27, 2014

We make no apology for returning to the UK Jewish Film Festival in this column. The Tricycle might have tried its best to ruin the party but not only has the festival survived its attack, ticket sales were up seven per cent on last year. The message is clear: the festival is bigger than any of its venues — especially the Tricycle.

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Sense of proportion

November 27, 2014

Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman, is clearly not the brightest spark in the firmament. His remark that "Jewish people chase money more than everybody else" is a classic antisemitic trope.

And his defence that some of his best friends are Jews is simply classic.

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Thanks to all givers

November 20, 2014

After the unspeakably awful murders in Jerusalem this week, it is all the more important to remind ourselves that this is not the unremittingly bleak world it sometimes seems.

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The need for failure

November 20, 2014

This week Annabel Karmel writes about the importance of failure. It's a point that needs to be made. Too often the response to failure in any walk of life is knee-jerk criticism.

And yet innovation and progress only happens when we risk failure. Ms Karmel focuses on business, but the need to be able to fail is equally critical for children – and adults – to learn and grow.

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