All articles

A chronological archive of everything I’ve published…


When schmeiss is the spice of life

For the JC March 10 2017 An historic spa has been targeted for redevelopment — and that may mean the end to the nearly century-old practice of schmeissing, introduced by Jewish immigrants to London. Literally, the word “schmeiss” means “whip” — but today it involves naked men beating each other with a raffia brush, in […]

  • 13 March, 2017

British Jewish couple making legal history

For the Times of Israel posted March 7 2017 LONDON — Seven years ago, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld met at a lecture at the London School of Economics. “Actually, it was about Gaza,” they smile. Today, the two are making English legal history as they seek to change the law on civil partnership. They […]

  • 7 March, 2017

Campus cut-ups

Column for Jewish News March 10 2017 It would take a heart of stone, Oscar Wilde once perceptively wrote, not to laugh at the death of Little Nell. And indeed Dickens’ mawkish description can only evoke hilarity these days as the inevitable shuffles into meltdown. So it is with part of the boycott student movement, […]

  • 7 March, 2017

IDF gives hope to autistic young people

For the Jewish News published March 10 2017 “He will never be a soldier” is a phrase to chill the blood of many Israeli parents, when the army tells them that for physical or mental reasons, their child won’t make it into the Israel Defence Forces. Not being in the army can have a catastrophic […]

  • 6 March, 2017

Amber Rudd speaks out

For the Times of Israel posted March 2 2017 Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd pledged to continue government funding for security at Jewish schools and communal institutions on Wednesday, promising to protect the Jewish community from antisemitism amid a sharp increase in antisemitic incidents recorded in the UK. “We are doing what we can to […]

  • 3 March, 2017

We kids were there too

LONDON — It was just a routine follow-up call to 120 British synagogues — but in one of those calls, a charity found buried treasure. The long-dormant lives of London Jews during World War I are hardly on the radar of the majority of Britons. But “London Jews in the First World War,” funded by […]

  • 3 March, 2017

Twin stories of refugees, 80 years apart

For the Times of Israel posted February 16 2017 Heinz Hirschberg was 13 years old when he made the first of two escapes from the Nazis. And the Syrian-born Ahmed, whose surname we do not know, was around 10 or 11 when he fled his native land. Eighty years separate the terrible experiences of the […]

  • 16 February, 2017

Antisemitism is in the air we breathe

Andrew Hussey for JC by Jenni Frazer Feb 2017 A leading British academic based in France says the subject of antisemitism has become almost “taboo” and that its various strands — from right and left — are coalescing to form a toxic threat to Jews in the country. Professor Andrew Hussey, director of the Centre […]

  • 16 February, 2017

The contacts man

For the Jewish News February 15 2017 Malcolm Hoenlein’s business card must have words falling off the edges, given his title and the organisation he represents. As executive vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, Hoenlein is arguably the world’s most powerful official Jew. He travels from the US three weeks […]

  • 16 February, 2017

The Russians aren’t just coming, they’re here

For the Jewish News Feb 11 2017 Ekaterina Braun, who was born and brought up in Russia, has lived in Germany since 2006. She works as a translator and in her small Jewish community she was the organiser of the family club. But in the last decade, even in Germany, she has never known an […]

  • 12 February, 2017