All articles

A chronological archive of everything I’ve published…


The ventriloquist for the dead

For the JC published October 4 2017 It’s not often that the academic and historian Simon Schama is lost for words, but it happened almost literally to him when embarking on the second volume of his mammoth work, The Story of The Jews. Volume One, published to rapturous acclaim in 2013, took our story from […]

  • 4 October, 2017

Sins of the son, not the father

Column for Jewish News September 19 2017 We are widely instructed not to visit the sins of the father upon the son, and, largely, most of us manage to obey that stricture. But how about the other way round, when the “sins” of the son reflect badly on the father or mother? I had cause […]

  • 19 September, 2017

The soldiers from over here serving over there

For the Jewish News published Sept 14 2017 Maor Shevah, Stephen Epstein and Oren Ivgi were once all pupils at Hasmonean Boys School in north London, racing for the school bus in their blazers, ties flying, and just about keeping their kippot on their heads. These days, however, the three former school friends are wearing […]

  • 16 September, 2017

A degree of art history

For the Jewish Chronicle Sept 7 2017 Balfour painting for JC by Jenni Frazer August 2017 In a pretty north London mews, which is home to flower trenchers and sunbathing cats, sits the studio of the artist Beverley-Jane Stewart. And inside there is an Anglo-Jewish treasure — Stewart’s extraordinary painting of the story of the […]

  • 7 September, 2017

Oslo remembered, and the gentle art of diplomacy

Feature for the Jewish News September 1 2017 It is often said that art imitates life and nowhere is that truer than on the stage of the National Theatre, where smash-hit political thriller, Oslo, opens next week. Oslo’s writer, playwright JT Rogers, has spent the summer in London with a new cast after winning seven […]

  • 1 September, 2017

All of a sudden…

Column for the Jewish News September 8 2017 Long ago I tried to get press tickets for Billy Joel in London, only to be told by a truculent press officer that Joel wasn’t Jewish. Imagine, then, my amusement — combined with horror — that the singer had appeared on stage in New York last week […]

  • 1 September, 2017

Diana, 20 years on

For the JC August 2017 Just when you might think everything that could be said about the late Princess Diana, has been said, something will emerge to debunk that theory. Apart from the Daily Express, which is in a category of its own where the former Princess of Wales is concerned, the 20th anniversary of […]

  • 24 August, 2017

A lost world and a lost identity

For the Jewish Chronicle August 19 2017 “I must move on now, Mother. You and most of the family went to the gas chambers, without my knowing”. “Dear Miss Bechhofer, are you our cousin? If so, are you not one of twins?” Nearly 40 years separate these two letters, the first a product of imagination, […]

  • 21 August, 2017

The professors’ professor

For The Times of Israel posted August 7 2017 To spend even a short time in Professor Jonathan Gershuny’s company is to be treated to a very superior sort of whirlwind university lecture — but tailored especially for an audience of one. He is by turns funny, informative, and endlessly interesting. The professor, who last […]

  • 7 August, 2017

Anything is possible

Saed Sarsur for the JC July 31 2017 If it comes as a surprise to see the Israeli and British flags on display in Saed Sarsur’s Mayfair offices, a conversation with this Israeli-Arab businessman will persuade anyone that they should not raise an eyebrow. Mr Sarsur is a proud and fiercely passionate Israeli, who, together […]

  • 31 July, 2017