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Playwright knighted in Honours List

    A playwright, an educational philanthropist and a nursery headteacher are among those recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

    South African-born screenwriter Ronald Harwood is knighted for services to drama. In 2003, he won an Oscar for his work on the Holocaust-themed film, The Pianist. The 75-year-old, previously nominated for his play The Dresser, which was later filmed, was born in Cape Town and came to London in 1951 to pursue a career in theatre, changing his name from Horwitz to Harwood.

    Sir Ronald said the honour was the "crowning glory" of his career. "I had to keep quiet about it for six weeks or so. I'm glad it's out in the open now. I've had about 150 emails from all over the world, it's lovely. This is bigger than an Oscar.

    "A man came to the door with some flowers and said, 'Are you Sir Ronald?' and I said, 'Well yes, I suppose I am.' One of the great things is that my wife will get a title also."

    Professor Marc Feldmann, an expert in cellular immunology at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, is knighted for services to medicine.

    He discovered anti-TNF therapy, a revolutionary treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Harold Tillman is appointed CBE for his services to the fashion industry. The chairman of Jaeger and the British Fashion Council is a member of St John's Wood Synagogue.

    Also appointed CBE is Professor David Latchman, master of Birkbeck College. The Golders Green Synagogue member was honoured for services to higher education.

    Benjamin Perl is appointed MBE for services to Jewish education in the London borough of Barnet. Mr Perl, a millionaire philanthropist, has founded and provided funding for more than 20 Jewish schools through his Huntingdon Foundation.

    He said: "I started establishing schools in Barnet 40 years ago. They are all doing well and the honour is in appreciation of the council's work. If the MBE helps me open more schools then I'm delighted."

    David Maurice, chairman of governors at Kenmore Park First and Middle schools in Harrow, London, is made MBE for voluntary service to education.

    Mr Maurice, a post-polio syndrome sufferer who does much of his work in a wheelchair, said: "I have a chronic kidney condition and I'm about to start dialysis, so this is very nice. It's marvellous for the schools and it's a big pat on the back for
    every school governor up and down the country."

    Also appointed MBE is Judith Ish-Horowicz, headteacher of the nursery school at Wimbledon and District Synagogue. Ms Ish-Horowicz, a Limmud speaker who studies early childhood and the teaching of Jewish learning and values, is recognised for services to early years education.

    Karen Mattison, founder of the Women Like Us employment company, is appointed MBE. The East Finchley mother-of-three set up the company five years ago to help pair working mothers with suitable employers, and now has 17,000 women registered.

    Dr Richard Stone, president of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and a patron of the Woolf Institute for Jewish Muslim Relations, is made OBE for public and voluntary service. Also appointed OBE is Jacqueline Ann Robinson, president of England Squash, for services to sport. On the diplomatic list, outgoing British ambassador to Israel, Tom Phillips, is appointed KCMG.

    Johannesburg-born tycoon Sol Kerzner, founder of Sun City, is knighted for services to the Bahamas. Born into a Lithuanian Jewish family, he was a teen boxing champion who became one of the world's most successful hoteliers.

    Oscar-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo, star of Hotel Rwanda has received an OBE for service to drama.

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