Leader

2015: Election year of flux

January 2, 2015

Anyone who proclaims with certainty that they know what 2015 holds is either a fool or a liar. But one thing we do know is that there will be new governments in both Israel and the UK. As for the results, however… your guess is as good as anyone’s.

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Limmud is a jewel

December 23, 2014

In a few days’ time, two-and-a-half-thousand of us will gather for this year’s Limmud. It bears repeating that this is one of the jewels in our community’s crown — a diverse, thoughtprovoking, welcoming, warm and edgy triumph of mind, soul and matters deeply practical. It is one of the few genuine innovations that the rest of the world now copies.

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Cohen speaks out

December 23, 2014

The concern expressed by Danny Cohen over the future for Jews in UK is all the more powerful for coming from a man who is not known for expressing his views on anything except culture, and who rarely makes public reference to his Judaism. Mr Cohen referred in his remarks in Jerusalem to the litany of antisemitic attacks and incidents over the past year with which we are all too familiar.

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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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