Jenni Frazer

Warning that Israel risks 'secular flight'

By Jenni Frazer, September 8, 2008

An Israeli academic and former politician predicted this week that the twin demographic rises of the Muslim and Haredi communities in Israel "could lead to a secular flight from the country".

Professor Amnon Rubinstein, a former minister of education and of communications, and a professor of constitutional law, described himself as "full of anxieties" about the future of the Jewish state.


Kestenbaum: I’m not going with Miliband

By Jenni Frazer, September 4, 2008

A senior figure in business innovation has dismissed reports that he is to become Foreign Secretary David Miliband's chief of staff in a future leadership challenge.

Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, said the story in PR Week was "complete fabrication".

The magazine reported that Mr Miliband would find a place "for Jonathan Kestenbaum, the well-connected chief executive of Nesta. Kestenbaum is said to have told friends he would take [the job of] chief of staff."


Interview: Esther Woolfson

By Jenni Frazer, August 22, 2008

We meet the Chinese-speaking author who writes brilliantly about her close - feathered - friends

‘On Friday evenings, she recognises... the sound of Kiddush, the lighting of candles, the recitation of blessings (my one enduring nod towards the life spiritual)... and will express eager, vocal anticipation of the coming of Shabbat... or the cutting of the challah... Such frummers! Who'd have imagined!"


Review: The Final Reckoning

By Jenni Frazer, August 8, 2008

By Sam Bourne
HarperCollins, £6.99

I wonder whether journalist Jonathan Freedland, in his alternative persona of thriller-writer Sam Bourne, winces when the Daily Mirror seeks to shower praise on him by calling him "the biggest challenger to Dan Brown's crown". It is a barbed compliment. Freedland, after all, can write, while the jury is still out as to whether Dan Brown has yet to acquire such a skill.


Review: Under The Blue Sky

By Jenni Frazer, August 1, 2008

Duke of York's Theatre, London WC2

More than 100 years ago, Arthur Schnitzler's play La Ronde explored the idea of interlinking the love lives of several couples in a series of connecting scenes.

Now David Eldridge has taken Schnitzler's format and brought it into the present day with Under the Blue Sky, in which we learn about new loves, no loves, and old loves, rather improbably linked together by the fact that the three couples involved are all teachers.


Miliband tells UJIA that Britain ‘won’t duck’ Iran’s nuclear threat

By Jenni Frazer, July 18, 2008

Foreign Secretary David Miliband paid a warm and emotional tribute to the Anglo-Jewish community on Wednesday, along with a trenchant warning that Iran’s nuclear ambitions were “a challenge that Britain will not duck” for the sake of stability for Israel and the whole of the Middle East.

The Foreign Secretary was the guest of honour at UJIA’s annual patrons’ dinner, held in the Foreign Office’s Locarno Rooms, where, he reminded guests, the seven Locarno Treaties had been signed in December 1925.


Review: The Saladin Murders

By Jenni Frazer, June 13, 2008

By Matt Rees
Atlantic, £11.99

Morse, Rebus... and now Yussef,” raved The Observer in its assessment of Matt Rees’s first foray into fiction, The Bethlehem Murders (now available as a £6.99 paperback). I can’t say I agreed with The Observer then, but on the basis of his second novel, The Saladin Murders, Rees’s hero, Omar Yussef, is becoming more and more likeable — even if no better as a detective.


Review: Idan Raichel Project / Noa

By Jenni Frazer, May 30, 2008

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE1 

There are not many acts, one imagines, which can bring Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor to his feet, swaying, clapping and dancing with the crowd. But the Idan Raichel Project managed just that on Monday night at the South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, when the ambassador joined a capacity audience for a feelgood show of Israeli world music, brought to London by the Jewish Community Centre for London and programmed by YaD Arts.


Lord Levy: Honours even

By Jenni Frazer, May 16, 2008

He stared ruin in the face over cash-for-peerages. Now, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser is speaking out — about the Jews who failed him, and how close he came to a Middle East peace deal

Michael Levy is tired. He has spent the entire day answering questions in 16 back-to-back interviews, inspired by the publication of his book, A Question of Honour — Inside New Labour and the True Story of the Cash for Peerages Scandal. It is, he notes drily, hard work writing a book, and even harder work promoting it.


Lord Levy: how I survived

By Jenni Frazer, May 16, 2008

Lord Levy, the man at the heart of the cash-for-peerages investigation, and who is said to have saved Tony Blair from being in hock to the trades union movement, finally told his story this week, after nearly two years of silence.


Review: History lesson: A Race Odyssey

By Jenni Frazer, April 25, 2008

A new book reveals what happened when a female Jewish student asked a male black professor an innocent question

By Mary Lefkowitz
Yale University Press, £18

However malevolent or misguided those British proponents of an academic boycott of Israel might have been in recent years, they rarely reached the nadir of American academic politics.


Gaza-trip MPs face Kassam attack

By Jenni Frazer, April 18, 2008

In a week of renewed violence between Israel and Hamas that claimed the lives of three IDF soldiers and reportedly around 20 Gazans, British MPs saw Palestinian rocket fire at first-hand as Kassams were launched from a village near the Gaza Strip.

The MPs — three from the Labour Party and one Liberal Democrat — were on a fact-finding mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories, organised by Caabu, the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.


The Caribbean: So glad I pushed the boat out

By Jenni Frazer, January 31, 2008

I am having breakfast and the flying fish are having a leaping competition in the seemingly endless stretch of water in my eye-line. Once again, the sky and the sea are that exact shade of brilliant blue that you see in the brochures but never quite believe you will see for yourself. It is a view you can never tire of and for 10 perfect days, it was mine — well, mine and 3,020 others’.


Neil Sedaka, the kosher Carol singer

By Jenni Frazer, March 23, 2006

One of popular music’s greatest singer-songwriters, Neil Sedaka's many enduring hits include a serenade to a famous girlfriend and fellow musician, and who is about to tour the UK

Neil Sedaka’s new album improbably offers the opportunity to make some of his best-known songs into a ringtone for your mobile phone. On purchase of “The Show Goes On,” fans will be able to download “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” or “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen.”


Understanding silent bystanders

By Jenni Frazer, April 24, 1998

Laurence Olivier said that he went into his characters from the feet up. Fellow actors, he advised, should look at feet and shoes to understand how someone lived.