Jenni Frazer

Plan for Israel-style 'volunteer villages' in UK

By Jenni Frazer, May 26, 2011

Students are to be offered help with housing costs in return for devoting some of their free time to voluntary service.

It is part of an ambitious UJIA project embracing both the Jewish and the wider community, one in which organisers hope will help "work towards a society of engaged citizens".


Interview: Ron Prosor

By Jenni Frazer, May 26, 2011

It is probably safe to say that no Israeli diplomat has ever used a farewell interview to sing of his regrets at leaving the country where he has served.

But it is equally safe to say that Ron Prosor, Israel's outgoing ambassador to the UK, is no ordinary diplomat. A career high-flyer with Israel's Foreign Ministry, Prosor may well be the best-known foreign envoy in Britain.


We believe in Israel: A new beginning

By Jenni Frazer, May 19, 2011

It was, declared Lord Kestenbaum, opening the We Believe in Israel conference on Sunday, the largest single gathering in Britain on behalf of Israel.

It encompassed all shades of political and religious opinion, all ages - with a healthy 20 per cent of student age - and included both Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel, particularly from churches, trade unions, and political parties.


Truly, madly, deeply

By Jenni Frazer, May 12, 2011

I have just had a hilarious discussion with a good friend, apropos the great Hillary Clinton airbrushing by not just one but two strictly Orthodox newspapers in New York.
My friend's partner was once employed at a now defunct Charedi newspaper in Israel. The editor, described as very observant but aware of the world, slightly despaired of his readers.


Only in America?

By Jenni Frazer, May 8, 2011

A newspaper based in Brooklyn, Di Tzeitung, has done the most extraordinary thing. It has taken the by now iconic photo of the White House situation room in which President Obama and members of his administration watch the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden - and Photoshopped Hillary Clinton out of the picture.


The JCC finally gets the builders in

By Jenni Frazer, April 21, 2011

It has taken a little longer than anticipated but Dame Vivien Duffield's ambitious plans for a Jewish Community Centre in London, first mooted in October 2003, are finally taking physical shape. The old Mercedes showroom in north-west London's Finchley Road has been razed and construction is likely to begin in late summer or early September.


Not big, clever or funny

By Jenni Frazer, April 12, 2011

The whole of Israel now knows exactly where Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was when he was speaking on the radio yesterday. That's right, Mr Exquisite Manners was using the facilities in his bathroom. We know this because immediately after he finished speaking, a lavatory flush was heard.


Idly musing

By Jenni Frazer, April 8, 2011

Among the endless predictions of how we function in the 21st century is the all-too frequent potential death of newspapers. Of course, I am partial on the newspaper issue but I wonder if thought is being given to the actual tactile, physical product, as much as the content.


Laura, I wish you good luck

By Jenni Frazer, April 1, 2011

Just over 20 years ago - in March 1990 - the JC recorded the death of Beatrice J Barwell, or Trixie, as she was apparently affectionately known.


The Bell Hotel

By Jenni Frazer, April 1, 2011

The taxi driver, dropping me late at night at Tel Aviv's Bell Inn, on the corner of Allenby and Hayarkon Streets, was a bit dubious.

"Do you want me to come in with you?" he said.

But his anxieties (the hotel is located at the quieter end of this otherwise vibrant area) were misplaced.


Pro-Israel protester attacked at SOAS

By Jenni Frazer, March 20, 2011

A pro-Israel protester has been taken to hospital after being bitten on the cheek outside SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies, today. Police arrested two men on suspicion of affray. They have been bailed without charges for dates in April.


Cynara part 2

By Jenni Frazer, March 7, 2011

Last night was the last night of Jewish Book Week, billed as "The Last Word," a discussion between Jonathan Freedland and Howard Jacobson.


Secret summer sojourn in a Swiss ski resort

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2011

Sometimes the incongruous and the unexpected provide the happiest of marriages. As with Christmas in July, so with Switzerland in high summer.

There is still, for romantics, a bit of snow, right up at the top of the mountains. But everywhere else is like something from a child's colouring book: the greenest of green trees, the bluest of blue lakes and skies.


I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion...

By Jenni Frazer, March 3, 2011

Well, boker tov al Yisrael. Antisemitism is officially a Bad Thing.
How do we know?
Because the Guardian has dedicated the cover story of G2 to a three page dissection of it by Jonathan Freedland.


Cameron: Israel 'within its rights' to search Gaza ships

By Jenni Frazer, March 3, 2011

David Cameron gave a ringing message of support for Israel this week, telling the community's biggest charity dinner that after more than 100 rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza in one year, the country had been "within its rights to search vessels bringing cargo into Gaza".


Under the duvet

By Jenni Frazer, February 28, 2011

You know those weekends when you feel that you should just have pulled the duvet up over you on Friday night and not emerged until Monday morning?

This was just such a weekend.


Review: The Human Resources Manager

By Jenni Frazer, February 22, 2011

The Human Resources Manager has had a truly terrible day – and it is about to get worse.

Mark Ivanir’s wonderfully woeful hangdog features find the zenith of their expression in Eran Riklis’s latest film, screened in preview by the UK Jewish Film Festival at London’s Tricycle Cinema last weekend.

Based on AB Yehoshua’s novella, A Woman in Jerusalem, Riklis’s film is warm, funny, and ultimately uplifting.



By Jenni Frazer, February 7, 2011

So a high-ranking foreign diplomat comes to speak at a university campus. First the society which is hosting him backs down from the invitation: perhaps the society leadership has got wind of what is about to transpire.

Instead another student society offers to host the event. A lecture theatre is booked. The speaker stands on the rostrum, but within minutes the entire event is effectively suspended as a shouting, chanting mob breaks up the meeting. Security men surround the speaker whose ability to argue is taken away, literally, when one of the protesters snatches away his microphone.


It's tiring when you're faced with divisions - on both sides

By Jenni Frazer, January 27, 2011

Avigdor "Yvet" Lieberman had plainly had a hard day when he appeared at the JNF's reception on Monday night. Indeed, he made no secret of it; neither did Israel's UK envoy, Ron Prosor, who said feelingly that it had been a long day for them both.

But Mr Lieberman was among friends in a largely right-wing audience which greeted JNF chairman Samuel Hayek's pledge of "unconditional support for Israel" with the biggest applause of the night.


How we know the Queen isn't Jewish

By Jenni Frazer, January 24, 2011

Front page of the Sunday Times yesterday and me and mine are rolling on the floor laughing.
The story? That despite it's being less than 100 days until (gasp!) the Royal Wedding, neither the Queen nor Prince Philip has yet found it necessary to meet Kate Middleton's parents.
You couldn't make it up, really. I mean, I know they're the grandparents rather than the parents, but after all, William and Waitey Katie have been an item for eight years, and in all that time Mrs Windsor hasn't managed to blink a tiara in Carol Middleton's direction. Extraordinary.