Jenni Frazer

Comic Relief donation makes Rwandans smile

By Jenni Frazer, September 4, 2014

World Jewish Relief has been given a substantial donation by Comic Relief.

WJR received £365,994 in support of its pilot programme in Rwanda, called the Livelihood Development Programme. The project is aimed at improving the lives of nearly 9,000 Rwandans over the next three years.

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Letter From Tel Aviv: Embracing a very French revolution

By Jenni Frazer, August 29, 2014

"What IS she wearing?" Two Israeli girls, mouths open, heads craned, are sitting by the side of a deluxe swimming pool in Tel Aviv. The woman in question knows perfectly well that she is the subject of discussion. She smiles sleekly and preens herself. Her bikini is top-notch, her kaftan throw even notchier, and she sports the highest of heels.

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TV review: The Honourable Woman

By Jenni Frazer, August 28, 2014

The irony of watching a high quality drama about the Israel-Palestine conflict while the real life conflict flared into agonising images on every news broadcast cannot have been lost on many viewers.

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From Kenton to eye of the storm

By Jenni Frazer, August 22, 2014

Slightly to his surprise, one suspects, British-born Peter Lerner has become the face of Israel in this latest conflict, an improbable blue-eyed blond who is the antithesis of the usual sabra stereotype.

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The price of joining polite society

By Jenni Frazer, August 21, 2014

I have had enough. I am sick of being told by people who haven’t the faintest idea of my beliefs and circumstances what I ought to think or feel. And that especially goes for the people who’ve never been closer to Israel than a packet of dates in Waitrose.

I am sick of being told by the bien-pensants in Britain’s society what antisemitism is, could be, or is not.

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Interview: Claire Hajaj

By Jenni Frazer, July 31, 2014

It is a fair bet that Claire Hajaj could have done without the violent political and military situation that has accompanied the publication of her first novel, Ishmael's Oranges.

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'Prickly' Gordimer, anti-apartheid star

By Jenni Frazer, July 17, 2014

Finding Nadine Gordimer's Johannesburg home in 1998 was not as easy as she had firmly insisted on the telephone.

The new ANC-dominated government, in a burst of enthusiasm to rid itself of all Afrikaaner references, had announced a renaming of streets, so that the central Jan Smuts Boulevard, off which Gordimer lived, no longer appeared on maps under that name.

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Sorry Naftali, we're not your footsoldiers in the media war

By Jenni Frazer, July 6, 2014

It was not, perhaps, quite what the Foreign Ministry had bargained for when, after a decade-long gap, the idea of reviving a Jewish journalists' conference in Jerusalem was mooted.

Unlike previous events, this one was run by the Foreign Ministry in conjunction with the Government Press Office and - for the first time - the newly designated Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

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Britons invest in Rawabi, Palestinian city of dreams

By Jenni Frazer, July 4, 2014

Bashar Masri is like few Palestinians in the raucous, tough world of the Middle East.

Urbane and softly spoken, he is the entrepreneur behind one of the Arab community's most ambitious projects - the new city of Rawabi, 15 km from Ramallah.

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Irina Nevzlin Kogan: the oligarch's daughter who charmed Shimon Peres

By Jenni Frazer, May 27, 2014

Fundraisers, I am willing to bet, don’t get much more disarming than Irina Nevzlin Kogan. Alabaster of skin and sporting no jewellery except the most discreet of wedding bands, Kogan, 36, excuses herself before we even start to talk. She needs to call her babysitter back in Israel to make sure her two small children, aged five and three, are OK.

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‘When Eichmann opened his mouth, I saw the gates of the crematorium’

By Jenni Frazer, May 12, 2014

In the late 1950s and early 60s, the teenage Tami Hausner was aware that some of her schoolmates were the sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors. But she today admits: “We did not treat them very nicely.” Their parents had arrived in post-war Israel in shock and trauma, only rarely speaking about their Shoah experiences because they were afraid their new families would not believe them.

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Avraham Stern's violent life and death

By Jenni Frazer, April 25, 2014

Most people with a passing knowledge of the history of the dying days of the British Mandate in Palestine will have heard of the Stern Gang, or Stern Group as it became more formally known.

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Liad Shoham: The polite lawyer who enjoys his thrilling alter ego

By Jenni Frazer, April 25, 2014

Somewhere at the back of my mind, I am rather hoping that Liad Shoham is an international spy with a murderous CV to draw upon as he writes his best-selling thrillers. But unless Shoham is a very good actor — and it’s hard to tell on the phone — I am stuck with the conclusion that he is what says he is, a self-confessed geek.

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Norman Lebrecht: Musical history is a voyage of discovery

By Jenni Frazer, March 6, 2014

The BBC gave me one piece of advice,” reveals writer and broadcaster Norman Lebrecht, laughing. “They said: ‘We aren’t going to do this again for a generation. So make it comprehensive.’” For the next three Sundays on Radio 3, Lebrecht is fronting a series on Music and the Jews.

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Book week: brain food… and food

By Jenni Frazer, February 27, 2014

Jewish Book Week opened with a bang on Sunday. Well, actually, with a flash.

At the instigation of Gefiltefest founder Michael Leventhal, JBW saw its first flashmob — 40 participants took to the stairs and balconies of Kings Place, the venue for the nine-day events, to sing and play spontaneous music from Fiddler on the Roof, to the delight of Sunday’s crowds.

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Man who diagnosed the Israeli condition

By Jenni Frazer, February 27, 2014

He is a man of contradictions, Ari Shavit. A veteran of the peace camp in Israel who sees huge deficiencies in the Oslo Accords and who wholeheartedly endorses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni in their insistence that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

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Now for the real news on Israeli TV station i24News...

By Jenni Frazer, February 20, 2014

Frank Melloul is a dapper Frenchman who oozes affability, as befits his former role as a diplomat, advising presidents and prime ministers.

Lucy Aharish is model-thin, with chocolate-brown eyes and artfully disarranged hair, a persuasive manner and machine-gun speed conversation.

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Ambassador to mark anniversary of scroll rescue

By Jenni Frazer, February 6, 2014

The Czech ambassador to the UK Michael Zantovsky will join senior rabbis from the Reform and Masorti movements at a ceremony this weekend commemorating the 50th anniversary of the arrival of hundreds of Holocaust-era Czech Sifrei Torah to Britain.

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Arik, the fruit and vegetable market and the sheepskin coat

By Jenni Frazer, January 16, 2014

It was January 1980 and Ariel Sharon was Israel’s agriculture minister, making a flying visit to the UK to meet some of his adoring supporters in British Herut.

But Sharon’s keynote event was a prolonged tour around the New Covent Garden fruit and vegetables market, stopping to speak to stallholder after stallholder who were stocking Israeli produce.

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Making a worldwide drama out of Israel TV

By Jenni Frazer, January 16, 2014

It is just over 20 years since, armed with a degree in film and television studies from Tel Aviv University, a fresh-faced Alon Aranya landed in California, determined to make his mark. Many other young Israelis followed the same path, but for Aranya it really paid off.

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