Interview: Chloe Aridjis

By Gerald Jacobs, July 23, 2009

One day in 1986, Chloe Aridjis was wandering through the food section of the grand KaDeWe department store in Berlin when she was overcome by a wave of disgust. “There were huge fish and lobster tanks; all kinds of meats and animal parts dangling from the walls,” the writer now recalls. “The previous year in Seville my sister and I passed a restaurant with a suckling pig in the window, an apple in its mouth. My sister became a vegetarian that night. I’m ashamed to say it took me a year to follow.”


Hebrew U scholar gets Oxford chair

July 9, 2009

A scholar of international renown has been appointed to a new chair at Oxford University for the study of Abrahamic religions.

Guy Stroumsa, the Martin Buber professor of comparative religion at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, takes up the post in October and will be a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall.

Professor Stroumsa stresses the importance of the comparative study of religions, “and in particular of the monotheistic religions, as contemporary problems demand intellectual attention on the religious and historical roots of our current predicaments.”


Tributes to Sir Isaiah

By Alison Ryde, Oxford, June 18, 2009

Oxford’s Jewish Heritage Committee was instrumental in securing blue plaque status for Headington House, Sir Isaiah Berlin’s home for many years, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.


Pears school partnership

By Candice Krieger, June 11, 2009

The Pears Foundation has teamed up with the UK’s top business schools to promote philanthropy among the business leaders of the future through a series of lectures by leading business figures. The schools involved are Cranfield School of Management; Saïd Business School, Oxford; and the London Business School. Trevor Pears, executive chair of The Pears Foundation, said: “We are pleased to be working with such dedicated colleges in pursuit of our shared aim to grow the culture of philanthropy.”


New think-tank for Institute for Jewish Policy Research

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research has announced a change of direction with a key new appointment.

David Graham, who has worked on demographic surveys for the Board of Deputies, will be the new director of social and demographic research. He will be supported by a new advisory board, chaired by Professor Steve Miller, an expert on research into Jewish communities.

The changes mark a return to a more local agenda for the think-tank, which, under its former executive director Tony Lerman, who stepped down last year, had shifted its focus from domestic social research to Europe.


Oxford blocks Neturei talk

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2009

A lecture by the leader of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect was relocated after Oxford University’s largest graduate college refused to let him speak on campus.

Ahron Cohen was the guest speaker at the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford’s (MECO) monthly forum on Thursday last week.

The event had been due to take place at Wolfson College but was relocated to a private venue after the college cancelled the booking.


Oxford students defeat anti-Israel campaign

By Marcus Dysch, February 12, 2009

An anti-Israel motion has been rejected by Oxford University Student Union after Jewish students persuaded members of every college to vote against it.

The motion called for the university to condemn Israel’s action in Gaza and the “hideous toll” on Palestinians.

The vote had been delayed to give students extra time to debate its contents. Last Friday, the union rejected the motion by 40 votes to 21.

Jewish academics at the university had earlier expressed concern over last month’s library sit-in by anti-Israel protestors.


'Toxic atmosphere' at Oxford University

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Jewish students at Oxford University have accused it of appearing to “appease” organisers of a sit-in at the university library last month in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The incident is also said to have disturbed some Jewish academics. One University Reader reportedly told a meeting that “within five years, Oxford will be a Jew-free zone”.

In an official reaction to the protest, the Senior Proctor of the university, Professor Donald Fraser, who oversees disciplinary matters, recommended “a relatively lenient course of action” against the demonstrators.


Life lesson for ‘fit Jew’ students

By Marcus Dysch, December 18, 2008

Oxford students will attend a cultural diversity course as punishment for their “bring a fit Jew” party.

Members of the under-21 rugby team will take part in the special seminar in January, but university proctors have refused to reveal details.

It has been organised after an investigation into last month’s party at which players were invited to find “fit” female students as dates and “dress as Jews”.

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students, but some team members went ahead as planned.


Oxford student Jew jibe sparks anger

By Marcus Dysch, November 27, 2008

An Oxford University newspaper has published a front-page apology after an article advising students how to save money was headlined "Jewish Economic Policy".

Editors of The Newt, run by students at New College, claimed the piece "was intended to be satirical", but apologised for causing offence

following complaints from readers. A fortnight ago, players from the university's under-21 rugby team carried moneybags and wore fake sidelocks) as part of a "bring a fit Jew" party.