Jennifer Lipman


Jennifer Lipman
Registered: 18 May 2010
Location: Stanmore
Comment Editor for




Missing long summer Shabbats

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2016

As a perpetual sun worshipper, I'm always saddened by the end of the summer. Still, there is plenty to love about autumn. Apples gleaming on the trees, just waiting to be made into crumbles for Rosh Hashanah. The landscape becoming a kaleidoscope of reds and oranges. Swapping nude tights for thick, snug black ones, and feeling justified in purchasing yet another scarf.


I prefer to keep simchas personal

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2016

It was mid-morning on the day after my return from a 10-month gap year, and I was on the plush carpet of a bridal-wear shop, the assistant wielding a measuring tape and a worried look. In less than 12 hours, I'd gone from flip-flops and patterned trousers to high heels and a full-length evening dress.


Bali: Eat, pray, relax

By Jennifer Lipman, August 12, 2016

It's with some irony that the check-in desk for Qatar Airways at Heathrow is just round the corner from the one for El Al. Given that the Emirates don't recognise Israel, and given that we were connecting to our second flight in Doha, I had fretted that my regular visits to Tel Aviv would set off alarm bells somewhere.

I needn't have worried.


Why should I belong to a shul?

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2016

I am a lapsed Jew. I haven't taken to pork, or started partying on Friday nights. But right now, I'm not a synagogue member. Having joined as required when I married, our membership expired in the spring and since then we've ignored the entreaties to return to the fold.


The unspoken Holocaust

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2016

On Yom Hashoah, Yossi Sucary watched with pride as two Libyan Holocaust survivors joined the ceremony at the Israeli presidential complex. It was a marked change from his childhood, when teachers would tell him he'd "made up" his Benghazi-born mother's experiences at the hands of the Nazis.


Moving east from the East End

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2016

Each of the guests made the same comment, one by one. "You bought herring?" we asked our hostess, as nonplussed as if there had been a bacon butty or prawn cocktail beside the bagels.

Herring is one of the foods young British Jews just don't embrace.


Raw, crude, moving - So Sad Today, by Melissa Broder

By Jennifer Lipman, May 20, 2016

A collection of essays by the American Jewish poet Melissa Broder, delving into her lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression - So Sad Today (Scribe, £12.99) - is at times hard to stomach. She writes graphically about her sex life and fantasies - in one essay, revealing a string of breathtakingly explicit "sexts" - and seems to delight in unsettling her readers.


Wartime letters of testimony

By Jennifer Lipman, May 19, 2016

"#Refugees Welcome," reads the sign as you enter New North London Synagogue. Far from being a meaningless slogan, it's a core philosophy for Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, who has led the UK's leading Masorti community for nearly 30 years and is at the forefront of those calling for Britain and Europe to do more to help people fleeing Syria.


This paranoid stereotype is no joke

By Jennifer Lipman, April 14, 2016

Blame Woody Allen. Blame Sholem Aleichem. Blame Roth or Sorkin, or Seinfeld, or Larry David. Blame BT for Beattie. Blame them for sustaining the popular image of the Jew as someone who is neurotic, obsessive, a tad narcissistic. Someone who in the real world might well be grappling with a fairly serious mental health issue.


Giving wise advice: our new agony aunt

By Jennifer Lipman, April 7, 2016

I'm terrified at the thought of it," admits Hilary Freeman. "I'm sure every parent is. She's barely been out of my sight so far." Freeman, a journalist and the author of seven young adult novels, is discussing how she will handle it when her nine-month-old daughter becomes a teenager and faces the requisite pressures of that stage.


Pioneering and pain

By Jennifer Lipman, February 18, 2016

The girl in Roger Cohen's The Girl from Human Street (Vintage, £9.99) is his charming, intelligent mother June, a South African Jew who emigrated to England as a young wife and never quite came to terms with her adoptive homeland.


Why must this year’s Yomtov be different from all other years?

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2016

Pesach is late this year. It will still creep up on us, reducing us to panic-buying ground almonds and sleepless nights counting just how many hard-boiled eggs are needed for Seder, but it falls late in the calendar year, ending on the May Bank Holiday weekend.


Papers from the National Archives: UK concerned over US-Israel Beirut strike

By Jennifer Lipman, January 1, 2016

Margaret Thatcher believed a joint US-Israeli response to the Beirut barrack bombings during the Lebanon Civil War could be “very damaging”.


Three unlikeable characters, many irresistible twists

By Jennifer Lipman, January 1, 2016

The Age of ReinventionBy Karine Tuil
Scribner, £12.99

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. Karine Tuil's new novel is so deliciously chock full of implausible twists and turns but I still should have anticipated where the story was headed.


Papers from the National Archives: Forty years on and the Germans were feeling ‘less guilty’ about the Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, January 1, 2016

The Holocaust was “no longer painful to contemplate” for the Germans a mere four decades later, observed the British ambassador to Germany in a letter to the Foreign Office in October 1984.