Jenni Frazer

Brits expand Hong Kong’s Carmel school

By Jenni Frazer, April 7, 2009

It might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of Jewish education. But 460 Shau Kei Wan Road is a pivotal address for pupils at Hong Kong’s only Jewish school, Carmel School.

Two hundred and sixty children, aged up to 14, currently attend Carmel, four of whose hard-working executive board are British ex-pats. Now, steered by its newly-appointed British head teacher, Rachel Friedmann, formerly deputy head of Hasmonean in London, Carmel, founded in 1991, has big plans for expansion.


Not a pin-up

By Jenni Frazer, April 2, 2009

I see that actperson Liz Hurley is diversifying and opening a beachwear boutique in Bicester Village, the thinking person's discount outlet of choice on the road to Oxford.

In a breathlessly self-referential interview Hurley confides that she herself plans to work behind the till of this emporium, based on the skills honed when as a teenager she had a Saturday job.


Hell, what's in a name?

By Jenni Frazer, April 1, 2009

Flicking through the newly reincarnated London Evening Standard, with former Tatler editor Geordie Greig at the helm, my eye is caught by the by-line of its fairly well-known housing and architecture writer, Mira Bar-Hillel.


Review: The Samaritan’s Secret

By Jenni Frazer, March 26, 2009

By Matt Rees
Atlantic Books, £11.99

There is something slightly unsavoury about reading Matt Rees’s latest Palestinian thriller in the wake of the Gaza conflict. It is the third outing for his rather unappealing hero, Omar Yussef, whose base as a history teacher in Bethlehem is not what you might think of as the ideal background for a dogged detective.


Cambridge blues

By Jenni Frazer, March 24, 2009

Yesterday I was the guest of an Anglican ministry in Cambridge which invited me to participate in their programme of Lent lectures.

I was asked to speak on the, these days touchy, subject of Judaism and Israel in the media. My kind hosts were somewhat anxious that I was going to be given a hard time, though in fact, as it turned out, I probably got an easier ride than I might have done because term was effectively over and there were no Palestinian Soc students knocking around to harass and yell.


Iran uses fake CIA report to 'kill off' Israel

By Jenni Frazer, March 19, 2009

A claim that a secret CIA document exists that forecasts Israel would not survive for more than 20 years has been denounced as "a ludicrous hoax".

The report was broadcast by the Iranian-backed Press TV station last week and has subsequently been cited as fact on many websites and blogs. Press TV - a propaganda vehicle for the Iranian government - has been attacked for "disinformation".


Laugh-out-loud? Not.

By Jenni Frazer, March 17, 2009

Jackie Mason, according to reports, went on stage last Thursday night in New York and during his act described President Obama as a "schvartzer". His defence, according to the JTA, was that he was "an old Jew who was raised in a Jewish family where the word was used. I don't have to defend myself."

Apparently, however, in 1991, Mason apologised for calling the then New York mayoral candidate David Dinkins "a fancy schvartze with a mustache."


We too belong to Glasgow

By Jenni Frazer, March 12, 2009

It will come as a surprise to most Glaswegian Jews that they are “epiphytic”. Not being familiar with the term, I discovered it refers to air plants, or parasites: that which has no discernible means of support, but lives off other entities.

I rather hope this is not what Piers Dudgeon had in mind when he gave his attention to the Jews of Glasgow in his enjoyable social history, Our Glasgow, Memories of Life in Disappearing Britain (Headline, £12.99).


Abraham Foxman: The man the Jew haters really hate

By Jenni Frazer, March 12, 2009

If ever a man had the ability to polarise opinion in the Jewish world, it is Abraham Foxman, the instantly identifiable and famously histrionic director of the Anti-Defamation League in New York, who has a justifiably fiery reputation. There is only one Foxman. Those who know him, even only slightly, nod knowingly when they hear I am to speak to him.


Ex-Israeli president faces rape charges

By Jenni Frazer, March 9, 2009

Israel's former president, Moshe Katzav, will be charged with a variety of serious sexual offences, including rape, it was announced yesterday.

Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz's decision brings a new phase to the situation which led to the forced resignation of Mr Katzav, who first faced investigation in the summer of 2006.


Antisemitism key to UK exclusion policy

By Jenni Frazer, March 5, 2009

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said this week that the government is still considering evidence relating to the possible exclusion from Britain of Ibrahim Mousawi, the Hizbollah-linked journalist.

He has been invited to take part in a conference on Islam at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies on March 25.

If admitted from his home base of Beirut, it would be the fourth time that Mr Mousawi, formerly with the Shi’ite TV station Al-Manar, has entered Britain, having previously been invited by the Stop the War Coalition.


We may control the world after all

By Jenni Frazer, March 3, 2009

It is, of course, a nice Jewish girl who is responsible for the big hit look of the new First Lady, Michelle Obama. Israeli-born Ikram Goldman moved to Chicago as a teenager when her mother required medical treatment but for the last several years her eponymous boutique has been the go-to place for Mrs O, whose pared-down image has wowed the fashionistas.


Cheap and nasty

By Jenni Frazer, March 2, 2009

Casually skimming Saturday's letters page in the Guardian I saw that there were two letters relating to the death of David Cameron's son, Ivan. I suppose that I thought that they would relate both to the tragedy itself and more general points about the way in which we treat disability in this country.

Instead, I saw this:

"Gordon Brown is right when he says that the death of a child was an unbearable sorrow that no parent should ever have to endure." So far, so unexceptional.


Seems we don't control the world

By Jenni Frazer, February 27, 2009

Listening to John Prescott this morning speak in his unique brand of Foglish (the meaning is somewhere there but you have to feel your way to it) I could only thank the Deity that - as far as I can establish - Sir Fred the Shred Goodwin, he of the £700,000 a year pension, is not one of the tribe. I can't say Sir Victor Blank, over at Lloyds TSB, is making much of a fist of things, but at least he's not taking £700,000 a year off the taxpayer and thinking that this is not a problem.


Rudolf Kasztner: The hated Shoah hero

By Jenni Frazer, February 26, 2009

The film director and producer Gaylen Ross was working on the film Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold, when she first met a Holocaust survivor who said she had been on the Kasztner train. “I had no idea what she was talking about,” says Ross, “but I was fascinated and started to pursue the story.”


Turkey: Enjoy a bazaar experience

By Jenni Frazer, February 18, 2009

How far would you go for a bath? A Turkish bath, that is. If you’re John Travolta, the answer is pretty far. The Hollywood A-lister flew all the way to Istanbul for the opportunity of a shvitz in the Galatasaray Hamam, the city’s oldest Turkish bath, dating from 1481.