Jenni Frazer

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.


Interview: Pinchas Zukerman

By Jenni Frazer, January 29, 2009

He may have just turned 60, but not very far below the surface, the international musician Pinchas Zukerman is still the firebrand enthusiast audiences all over the world have grown to know and admire since his 1961 debut as a prodigy violinist.


Burns Night hots up

By Jenni Frazer, January 29, 2009

Few people could fairly be claimed as a favourite by both Abraham Lincoln and Bob Dylan. And yet 250 years after his birth in rural Ayrshire, the power of the poet Robert Burns still resonates, making him the ideal fund-raising vehicle for Glasgow’s Jewish expatriates.

The self-explanatory charity committee, Glasgow Girls in London, got together two years ago to raise money for education and welfare charities in their home city.


Inauguration Day

By Jenni Frazer, January 20, 2009

I am sitting here listening to Barack Obama's inauguration speech. My colleagues, as doubtless in other offices around the country, are glued to the screen. If oratory and rhetoric could be bottled, and help to relaunch the economy and even bring peace to the Middle East, then surely this man has the capacity to do it. Very few people have the ability to inspire; for once, let us cast aside cynicism, and pray that President Obama can do the job. We will all benefit if that hope comes true.


The performing art

By Jenni Frazer, January 15, 2009

An extraordinary exchange this morning on Radio 4's Today programme between Israel government spokesman Mark Regev and the programme's resident rottweiler, John Humphrys. The latter, in full attack-dog mode, launched proceedings with a terse "Good morning to you!" and it was all downhill from thereon in.


We're so even-handed

By Jenni Frazer, January 12, 2009

The police have had a rough time of it over the last couple of weeks as they attempt - often at considerable personal risk - to maintain public order at the increasingly violent anti-Israel demonstrations in the capital.

However, according to the Evening Standard, Met Police Commander Bob Broadhurst is planning "discussions with both sets of protestors this week to prevent any more violence." He said, again according to the paper, "We will need to sit down and talk to organisers and say 'enough's enough.'"


More unanswered questions

By Jenni Frazer, January 9, 2009

I see from the BBC website that Jeremy Bowen, its Middle East editor, has an online diary which he has called "Unanswered Questions", such as how long the conflict is going to last and why it is that he doesn't know the names of dead Palestinians while simultaneously attending the funeral of an Israeli soldier, Natei Stern.


A doctor's life

By Jenni Frazer, January 6, 2009

It's always interesting to see how long it takes Mahmoud Zahar to pop up as the bloodthirsty voice of Hamas whenever there is a conflict with Israel.

Yesterday, according to The Times, in "a televised broadcast recorded at a secret location" (wonder why?) Zahar was at it again, promising that Hamas would kill Jews abroad in revenge for the attacks on Gaza.


Murder most Freudian

By Jenni Frazer, December 30, 2008

I think of my books as Trojan horses,” says Frank Tallis. “They are detective novels, and they are meant to be entertainment — but I like to drop some nuggets in which ought to leave the reader feeling enriched.”

Indeed, so enriching are Tallis’s books that reading them is almost like taking a university refresher course — on turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna. The four titles he has so far produced, forming the crime series, The Liebermann Papers, relate the adventures of Max Liebermann, a young Jewish psychologist, and his pastry-loving detective friend.


Analysis: It affects us, too

By Jenni Frazer, December 18, 2008

The more the news filters through from America as to the extent of the alleged Madoff swindle, the louder the sighs of unashamed relief from this side of the pond.

Phew, goes the thinking; thank heavens we're not affected. Thank goodness we haven’t entrusted our family foundation funds to the wily Mr Madoff, a man of such moral rectitude that even his own sons, poor dupes, refused to counter-sign his conditions of bail.


Review: Lyrics 1964-2008

By Jenni Frazer, December 4, 2008

By Paul Simon
Simon & Schuster, £20

For more than 40 years, a short, Jewish New Yorker has been steadily turning out some of the greatest lyrics and music of our age, painting sharp and pithy word-pictures in that most ephemeral of things, the perfect pop song.


Interview: Simon Astaire

By Jenni Frazer, November 20, 2008

You are a celebrity agent and media adviser. You spend most of your waking moments in the company of the kind of models, actresses and starlets at home in the pages of Hello! magazine. You have a string of glamorous girlfriends, from society girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson to television presenter Ulrika Jonsson. You fly first class between London and Los Angeles every month, and your clients include Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz and the Queen's cousin Lady Gabriella Windsor. You were best man at Sting's wedding to Trudi Styler.


Camp survivor is unsung hero

By Jenni Frazer, November 13, 2008

An elderly woman reduced an audience of business leaders to near tears on Monday as she accepted Jewish Care's Unsung Hero award.

Now living in Manchester, Eva Neumann, nee Birenbaum, was 15 when she was deported from Hungary to Auschwitz in 1944 with her parents, grandmother and two younger brothers. The following year, as news came of the Russian advance, the SS marched 1,000 prisoners out of the camp. Eva was one of only 13 survivors.


Sketch: The PM as ‘mensch’

By Jenni Frazer, October 10, 2008

Gordon Brown's long-dormant oratory skills certainly galvanised his UJIA audience at London's Hilton Hotel on Monday night.

He made them laugh: "I'm the man who had to tell Nelson Mandela who Amy Winehouse was," capping this with the possibly apocryphal story that Ms Winehouse sang "Free Blakey, he's my fella" to the tune of "Free Nelson Mandela" at the great man's 90th birthday concert this summer.


Jewish values will help us through crisis, says Brown

By Jenni Frazer, October 10, 2008

Gordon Brown told an 800-strong audience on Monday night that the Jewish community's ethic of "goodwill and moral purpose" and its "investment in hope" had a resonant message for getting through the financial crisis.

The Prime Minister told UJIA's annual dinner that "successful market economics need trust, which can only be built through shared values".