Holocaust Commission measures - they're the right thing to do

January 29, 2015

In a normal week the announcement of a new national Holocaust memorial, a £50million spending commitment and a raft of measures aimed at extending Shoah education would have been huge news.


After Paris: normality and fear

January 21, 2015

For those who doubt the existence of antisemitism in Britain, the hate-crime figures from the Metropolitan Police this week should be a bracing corrective. The number of such crimes against Jews more than doubled last year. There were 299 in London between April and the end of December — a 128 per cent increase on the same period in 2013.


Paris attack wasn't about Israel. It was about Jews, as Jews

January 14, 2015

Philippe Braham, Yoann Cohen, Yoav Hattab and Francois-Michel Saada. Four people murdered for no reason other than going about their daily business as Jews.


We too are Charlie

January 7, 2015

In the immediate hours after Wednesday’s Islamist murders in Paris, a hashtag appeared on Twitter: #JeSuisCharlie. On one level, it was nothing more than an expression of support for the victims which all decent people would share.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.