Jenni Frazer

How Britain is transforming the Galilee

By Jenni Frazer, February 21, 2013

If there is one word which is used repeatedly in the Galilee, it is “vision.” Sometimes, looking around the northern region of Israel and realising the range of the challenges, vision is about all there is: a vision of the future of the country which, little by little, is changing for the better with British input.

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Chief Rabbi defends Rupert Murdoch during Israel tour

By Jenni Frazer, February 14, 2013

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks made an unexpectedly robust defence of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch this week, declaring that Israel did not have “a better or more significant friend in the world” than Mr Murdoch.

Lord Sacks spoke during his last official visit to Israel as chief rabbi, in a mission to the northern projects of the UJIA.

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Sunday Times editor unreservedly apologises for Netanyahu cartoon

By Jenni Frazer, January 29, 2013

Martin Ivens, acting editor of the Sunday Times, has apologised "unreservedly" for the publication of Gerald Scarfe's cartoon of Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend.

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Inquiring minds

By Jenni Frazer, January 29, 2013

Let us unpick the events of the week so far. On Sunday, it was Holocaust Memorial Day: a yearly event initiated by the British government to mark, in line with many other countries, the attempted complete annihilation of a people. It is right and proper that HMD is used as an educational tool to mark other genocides.

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Murdoch apology over Sunday Times Scarfe Israel cartoon

By Jenni Frazer, January 29, 2013

Rupert Murdoch, whose company owns the Sunday Times, has apologised over the Gerald Scarfe cartoon which appeared in the paper at the weekend, calling it "grotesque."

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My Jewish identity

By Jenni Frazer, January 17, 2013

I have been thinking recently about the question of Jewish identity, a matter sparked by our current joint project with JW3, the Jewish Community Centre for London. We set people the task of trying to define their Jewishness in an unenviable 50 words, which is a lot harder than it sounds.

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Britain's anger with Israel over 1982 Lebanon War

By Jenni Frazer, December 28, 2012

Despite expressions of concern about the "brutal attack " on Israel's ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov, Margaret Thatcher's government in 1982 had very little time for Israel and its invasion of southern Lebanon.

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Swift defeat sees Nazis in London

By Jenni Frazer, December 21, 2012

Recent literature has been full of “what-iffery” writing about the possible dystopian results of a German victory in the Second World War. From Martin Amis to Robert Harris, this is a well-trodden path, and, it has to be conceded, not one that wins universal applause.

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Kinloss shul is proud but sad to see its rabbi leave

By Jenni Frazer, December 20, 2012

He is known throughout his congregation as “Super Rabbi” and the gentle joke is that, under the dynamic Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s pristine white shirt, there is a large letter R for rabbi, or S for super, or even Spurs, his favourite team.

But, this week, members of Finchley Synagogue — or Kinloss, as it is widely known —were in a bitter-sweet mood.

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The people’s chief: Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis appointed as Sacks's successor

By Jenni Frazer, December 20, 2012

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who on Monday night was chosen as the successor to Lord Sacks, has said he wants to be an accessible chief rabbi and to have “warm… constructive” relations with “sister Jewish movements”.

He will use his office to act as “a catalyst for deepening commitment to Jewish identity, values and learning.”

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Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to be next UK chief rabbi

By Jenni Frazer, December 17, 2012

Britain's chief rabbi-designate is to be Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of Finchley Synagogue, the United Synagogue has announced.

He will be Anglo-Jewry's 11th chief rabbi. And, like most of his predecessors, Rabbi Mirvis is not British-born.

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Irish eyes unsmiling

By Jenni Frazer, December 14, 2012

During the Second World War, Ireland was officially neutral. But, shockingly, its proximity to the British mainland had made it an attractive pre-war base for Nazi Party officials, some of whom found a ready ear for hatred of the Jews among the priestocracy of the Irish Free State.

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The foreign correspondent who survived war, sexism and hate in Iraq

By Jenni Frazer, December 6, 2012

Ilene Prusher has come up with an interesting description of what it means to be a woman foreign correspondent, particularly in a war zone. They are, she offers, “a third gender”, not male, certainly not subservient female, and often regarded with exasperation and suspicion by male interviewees, particularly in the Arab world.

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Doom with a view

By Jenni Frazer, November 23, 2012

I imagine most Leonard Cohen devotees will approach this book with an equal mix of fear and loathing. I know I did. Or perhaps that should be fear and loving.

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High-flying ambassador who was our man in Israel... and Saudi Arabia

By Jenni Frazer, November 22, 2012

It may go down in diplomatic history as one of the swiftest love affairs on record. Sherard Cowper-Coles was Britain’s ambassador to Israel for just 22 months before he was whipped off to the most improbable successor appointment — as the UK’s man in Saudi Arabia.

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His People

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2012

Edward Sloman's delicious 1925 morality tale, made for Universal Studios, is a silent movie of the kind that must have launched the phrase "they don't make them like that any more." Rudolph Schildkraut, a renowned actor who had his own Jewish theatre in the Bronx, plays David Cominsky, a Jewish pedlar with a reverence for learning and not much ability to make money.

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Off White Lies

By Jenni Frazer, November 16, 2012

Maya Kenig's scratchy father and daughter comedy (and that's a bit of a push) is set in the opening days of the Lebanon war of 2006 and features a feckless Shaul, played with disturbing accuracy by Gur Bentvich, and his confused 13-year-old daughter Libby, played by Elya Inbar.

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British envoy warns that Hamas rockets have to stop

By Jenni Frazer, November 15, 2012

Britain's ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, returned today from a spontaneous visit to Kiryat Malachi, where three Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, pledging solidarity with the people of southern Israel.

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Polished black Polish

By Jenni Frazer, November 9, 2012

After Scandinavian noir and Finnish noir, we now have Polish noir. Or, should I say, Polish-Jewish noir.
For Zygmunt Miloszewski’s terrific A Grain of Truth (Bitter Lemon Press, £8.99) examines the fraught relations between Poles and Jews, 70 years after the country’s Jews were destroyed by the Holocaust.

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Zaytoun

By Jenni Frazer, November 5, 2012

So, finally, the first fruit of the long-awaited Israel-British film co-production treaty has reached the UK. Zaytoun, a kind of improbable step-bromance-cum-road movie, between a shot-down Israeli air force pilot and a Palestinian child refugee, was one of the opening gala films at this year's UKJFF and received a rapturous audience reception.

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