There were laughs galore from the performance of Jimmy Carr at Monday's Magen David Adom UK dinner at the Rosewood Hotel, Holborn, which raised a record £1.9 million. The serious side to the evening was the speech from Israeli Yaron Shor, whose 21-year-old son, Barkai, was killed on IDF duty during the Gaza conflict.
Historian Simon Schama defended Israel's military operation in Gaza when he addressed the 1,000 guests at UJIA's annual dinner in central London, the charity's largest in 15 years. He said he was proud to call himself a Zionist, even though he had criticised settlement expansion and the annexation of West Bank territory.
Chief Whip Michael Gove was the guest speaker at the Holocaust Educational Trust’s dinner at London's Guildhall. Addressing the 450 guests, he compared the campaign to boycott Israeli goods to the first stages of the Nazis' anti-Jewish activities in the 1930s. HET young ambassadors from its Lessons from Auschwitz programme also played a key role in the proceedings.
Lyricist Don Black and actor Stephen Greif were among 180 guests at the Jewish Music Institute’s 30th anniversary gala, held at JW3 in London’s Finchley Road. The showpiece was a multi-media performance of the JMI-commissioned Drawing Life, created by award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook. The work was inspired by the poems and drawings of children in Terezin concentration camp.
Ruby Wax was the guest speaker at Leeds Jewish Welfare Board’s gala dinner, which raised £100,000 for its Neshama project, helping those with mental health problems to retake control of their lives. Ms Wax — whose Sane New World show is based on her book on neuroscience — said that society needed to end the stigma of mental health.
The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened Jewish Blind and Disabled’s £10 million development in Bushey, Cecil Rosen Court, meeting tenants of the state-of-the-art building and JBD staff and donors. The duchess recalled that she opened the charity’s original Cecil Rosen Court in Wembley 20 years ago.
Trade relations were celebrated at the British Israeli Business Awards dinner, held at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair and attended by over 250 guests. The awards recognise significant transactions or investments between the two countries. Lord Young of Graffham was presented with a lifetime achievement award and Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog was the keynote speaker.
Broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky was the guest speaker at Stanmore Wizo’s summer lunch, held at Stanmore Synagogue and attended by 200 supporters. Ms Kaplinsky discussed her career and her involvement in the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission.The lunch raised over £6,000 for Wizo projects in Israel.