Limmud, the Board and Naftali Bennett

Thousands of eager participants are returning from the UK Limmud Festival, whose message of openness in Jewish life has proved a challenge to conformists within the Jewish world and spawned more than 80 Limmud communities across the world – from Beijing to Jerusalem and from New Zealand to New York, run by the brightest and best of … Read more

On the Iranian Revolution

Forty years ago, the Iranian revolution was reaching its zenith. 1978 had been marked by demonstrations and a massacre of protesters in Tehran’s Jaleh Square in September. By mid-January 1979, the Shah had gone into exile and the Queen’s visit to Iran in the royal yacht, Britannia, had been abruptly cancelled. On 1 February, the Ayatollah … Read more

The First Jewish Australians

TWO HUNDRED and thirty years ago a small wooden flotilla sailed into Sydney Cove. This First Fleet of 1788 consisted of two warships and three store vessels which contained sheep, cattle and horses plus enough provisions for two years. Its most important cargo was contained in six transportation ships — 789 convicts from Britain accompanied … Read more

The Board, Corbyn and Chanukah

There has been much criticism over the Board of Deputies’ invitation to the Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, to represent the Labour party at a Chanukah service in the House of Lords. Such opprobrium omits any recognition that political differences exist between Jeremy Corbyn and many on his front bench. Ms Rayner, who has voiced … Read more

The Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Eighty years ago, synagogues in Germany burned. It was Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass — a turning point in National Socialism’s war on the Jews, when Hitler ordered a state-sponsored assault on its Jewish minority, the first step on the road to Auschwitz. A powerful JC editorial commented: “It is the culmination of a process which … Read more

Interview with Plus61J

IT WILL TAKE A NEW generation, and a change of leadership, on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict for there to be a real possibility of progress towards peace, one of the world’s leading scholars on Israel believes. Professor Colin Shindler, a visiting British academic who will deliver the first of three lectures at the University … Read more

Saving Denmark’s Jews: Seventy Five Years On

75 years ago, Hitler sent a message to his representative in Copenhagen instructing him to rid Denmark of its 8,000-strong Jewish community. “The Jewish Campaign” was scheduled to begin on Rosh Hashanah 5704 — 1 October 1943. Danish Jews would be rounded up, incarcerated and “deported to the East”. Danish resistance to the German occupation … Read more

Jeremy Corbyn as Peacemaker between Israel and Palestine

As the British Labour party conference opens Sunday in Liverpool, the charge of anti-Semitism is the elephant in the debating chamber. Many in the leadership simply want the problem to go away, so that they can prepare for government as the ruling Conservative party ritually performs hari-kari over Brexit. Whereas Jeremy Corbyn is seen by … Read more