Rob Rinder and his mum Angela Cohen are among a host of communal personalities recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In the wider sphere, former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips becomes a Dame for services to dance and charity and campaigning vet Marc Abraham is made an OBE.
Mr Rinder, 43, receives an MBE, an honour “made even richer” as it is same awarded to his mother, who chairs the 45 Aid Society.
They had both travelled to Treblinka to record a BBC One documentary, My Family, the Holocaust and Me.
Mrs Cohen burst into tears when she first learnt of her son’s honour.
“Well you know, the Jewish mother; oh my god, I cried,” she told the JC. “My husband came in; he cried with me. I was so proud. It was coming out of my ears.”
At the time, she was unaware that she would also receive the honour. When she found out, she “had to sit down. [I] could not get my head around it.”
Her late father, survivor Morris Malenicky, would have felt “like a man of six foot five because he so loved the Royal family and he loved the UK.
“He and all the boys loved their adoptive country and always wanted to give back.”
Mr Rinder complimented his mum on her “tireless work in Holocaust education - and most especially in reaching out to communities across our nation with the message that we are doomed to repeat the horrors of the past if we ignore our history”.
Businessman and philanthropist David Dangoor was “surprised and humbled” to become a CBE.
“I grew up in Baghdad and our lives were completely disrupted,” he recalled. “My father had to come to this country with his family. I was nearly 12.
“And this is a country where we could rebuild our lives so to have later on the privilege of being able to do something back, make a contribution. It’s a great honour,” he said.
Budapest-born survivor Paul Sved becomes a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for his services to Holocaust education and awareness.
He went into hiding in 1944 with forged papers, coming to the UK after the war.
He said he wished to share the “unexpected honour” with the Holocaust Educational Trust, through which he has been sharing his testimony with hundreds of young people. He has continued to do so virtually during the pandemic.
Another survivor, Edith Jayne, who has addressed students across the North of England, receives an MBE for her services to Holocaust education and awareness.
Born in Vienna to a Jewish father and Catholic mother, she fled to Portugal in 1938 and later to the US.
Brian White, former chairman and vice-president of the Nicky Alliance Community Centre in Manchester, is made an MBE for services to the Jewish community, as is former Community Trust staff member Michael Blond, recognising a 40-year contribution. He taught Krav Maga to thousands of young Jews as part of the Streetwise programme run with Maccabi GB.
He retired two months ago and is also be celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary this weekend.
“I have a gathering of my children tomorrow. It’s all been so confidential and I’m going to be telling them,” he said. “It’s going to be great, just great.”
Kosher caterer Philip Small is made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire, having donated thousands of meals to those in need during the pandemic.
“Back in April/May when the pandemic started, we had a lot of events booked that we couldn’t do because of lockdown so we had a lot of food in our freezers that we needed to deal with,” Mr Small recalled.
“We ended up creating five and a half thousand meals over three months which I handed out, donated and delivered to Jewish and non-Jewish people throughout London.”
Other communal recipients included Association of Jewish Refugees chief executive Michael Newman and Anne Frank Trust UK chair Daniel Mendoza (both OBE)
Gift founding director Michelle Barnett and March of the Living UK founder and chairman Scott Saunders were among the MBEs and Dr Martin Aaron of mental health charity Jami becomes a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire.
In a statement to the JC, Arlene Phillips said she was “thrilled and honoured” to have been made a Dame in recognition of her work in dance and for charity.
"It means the world to me because it takes a lot of drive and continued work to achieve dreams and this is truly the highest recognition I could ever have dreamed of. I’m so grateful to have come from a Jewish family who were inspired by music and the arts."
She added: "I have to thank everyone who has helped me in every way in my life, from my family and friends, to the wonderful people I have worked with, for being allowed to be someone that has been trusted to create for films, theatre, television, to bring enjoyment to people’s lives and to use my profile to help others in need."
Marc Abraham - also known as Marc the Vet – said the news of his honour had been “the hardest secret to keep.”
Mr Abraham, who helped find a rescue dog for Boris Johnson, campaigned for a ban on third-party puppy dealers, which came into law last year.
He was “surprised, overwhelmed, delighted, blown away” by his OBE, adding that he would celebrate with family in Brighton.
“We’ll be having a nice lunch on the beach with a few bubbles.”