Geoffrey Alderman

Good but misguided intentions

By Geoffrey Alderman, January 4, 2016

When, last year, it emerged that, in the wake of the "Trojan Horse" scandal, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan was minded to compel teenagers taking GCSE Religious Studies to study at least one religious faith other than their own, there was a sharp difference of opinion within Anglo-Jewish clergy.

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A Bixenspanner in the works

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 23, 2015

'Subject to contract," Shloime Yitzchok Bixenspanner will next year succeed Pinchas Roberts as rabbi of the Hendon Adass Yisroel synagogue. Unlike the very English sounding "Roberts," "Bixenspanner" does not trip easily off the tongue. But that should be the least of Bixenspanner's worries.

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Just what will be his legacy?

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 23, 2015

Greville Janner was one of the most flamboyant but at the same time one of the most flawed of the communal politicians who walked upon the Anglo-Jewish stage in the second half of the 20th century. Adored - worshipped almost - but reviled by others, there can be no denying that he made a mark and left a legacy.

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Stop moaning and start doing

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 17, 2015

Isi Leibler, the much-respected Australian-Israeli communal elder statesman, is well known for his plain-spoken but closely reasoned analyses of the situations in which Jews find themselves. A veteran worker on behalf of Soviet Jewry, a decade ago he turned his attention to suspected financial irregularities in the World Jewish Congress (in which he had occupied a number of senior roles).

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Is it really a sin to be his son?

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 10, 2015

On Thursday December 3, Mr Justice Ouseley, sitting in the High Court in London, delivered a ground-breaking judgment in a case brought against Home Secretary Theresa May by the wife of Egyptian-born Hany Youssef and their two children.

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Why I have faith in this Pope

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 3, 2015

Like any aspiring Jewish journalist, I keep up with what other faith-based newspapers are saying about the Jews. Online publication of these news-sheets makes this task much easier than hitherto. For the most part, what internet searches for them throw up are mundane reports of a vaguely "interfaith" and frankly inconsequential nature.

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Are we really still polls apart?

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 26, 2015

Yachad was established four years ago to advance views of British Jews who believe that for peace to break out between Israel and its Arab neighbours there needs to be a negotiated settlement involving: (a) the return of Israel to its 1949 armistice lines, with minor land swaps; (b) the repartitioning of Jerusalem; and (c) an offer of compensation - in lieu of "the right of return" - to Arabs al

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A man who deserves banning

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 19, 2015

Earlier this month, the London Beth Din took the unprecedented step of placing an advertisement in this newspaper publicising the fact that it had banned from entering any constituent synagogue of the United Synagogue one John Abayahoudayan, who has apparently for the past 15 years refused to issue a get to his wife Rivkah. The couple were divorced civilly in 2002.

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In danger of conning ourselves

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 12, 2015

The story of fraudster Dan Jacobs is a miserable tale, made worse by the knowledge that his victims included his wife's parents and an elderly grandmother. Appearing at Harrow Crown Court two weeks ago, Jacobs admitted five counts of fraud, totalling £120, 573.

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Netanyahu's burden of blame

By Geoffrey Alderman, November 5, 2015

Last month, eleven Israeli Jews were killed and more than 100 injured in an epidemic of brutal attacks upon Jews throughout Israel. While there is no comfort to be gleaned from these outrages, they do send some clear messages that we ignore at our peril.

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Orthodoxy grows complacent

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 29, 2015

This month, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research published the findings of its inquiries into the demography of Britain's Charedi communities.

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A lecturer’s unqualified bias

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 26, 2015

Gresham College was the brainchild of Sir Thomas Gresham, a 16th-century merchant and financier who left a fund to be jointly administered by the Corporation of London and the Mercers' Company for the purpose of instituting a programme of free public lectures by Gresham "professors". The College was established in 1597 and has been fulfilling this promise ever since.

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Roots of defection, routes of departure

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 21, 2015

Why do Jews turn their backs on their religious and communal heritage and, in extreme cases, convert to other religions? Professor Todd Endelman sets out to answer these questions but - as he admits - the research is hampered both by the anecdotal, frequently suspect and inherently biased nature of some of the biographical evidence and by the lack of systematic quantitative data.

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Khan: a friend and boycotter

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 16, 2015

Seasoned addicts of this column will, I hope, agree that I've never used it to advocate voting for a particular political party or a political person. I myself have never belonged to any political party, and I regard myself as a detached academic observer, grown ever more cynical as one birthday has followed another.

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Corbyn and the racist mob

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 8, 2015

At the end of July I devoted this column to the candidature of Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party. I concluded thus: "Corbyn… has a problem with Jews… This fear - of imagined Jewish power - has haunted the Labour Party from the moment of its foundation. A Corbyn victory would at last bring this apparition into the open, where it desperately needs to be."

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A high degree of foolishness

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 1, 2015

Over this coming weekend a conference will take place at the University of Exeter on the theme "Settler Colonialism in Palestine".

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Not lies but damned statistics

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 24, 2015

Here's an anniversary no one appears to be celebrating: 50 years ago, the Board of Deputies established a "Statistical and Demographic Research Unit." You've never heard of it? That's hardly surprising, because it no longer exists.

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Sinister truth of a terrorist myth

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 17, 2015

Would you like to hear some good news that should be welcomed by all genuine peace lovers?

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Why join a House of Disgrace?

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 11, 2015

Stuart Polak, director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, has just been elevated to the peerage. This would appear to be good news, both for Mr Polak himself and for British Jewry. But I'm unable to join in the celebrations.

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Beware of the hot-air fascists

By Geoffrey Alderman, September 3, 2015

Next month, the Board of Deputies will host a forum on climate change. The event is the brainchild of the Board's "social-action group", and will allow participants to "share perspectives" as a prelude to a United Nations conference on climate change planned for the end of the year.

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