Features

Good journalists are endlessly curious and should be endlessly enthusiastic. My features run the gamut from politics to travel writing. They all have one thing in common – to transmit that enthusiasm to the reader.


I just want a friend — Renia Spiegel’s plea

Renia’s Diary for JC Sept 2019 by Jenni Frazer January 31 1939 sounds like an auspicious date for a dreamy teenager to begin her diary. And so it was for Renia Spiegel, a Polish Jewish girl living with her sister and grandparents in Przemysl. “I just want a friend”, she says in her opening entry, […]

  • 17 September, 2019

Turning the Jewish world upside down

For the JC September 2019 by Jenni Frazer Circus woman for JC Sep 2019 by Jenni Frazer The improbable combination of Jews and circuses turns out to be not just probable, but rooted in historical fact — from Jewish clowns and acrobats to Jewish-owned circuses and even dynasties of Jewish circus performers. In the 19th […]

  • 17 September, 2019

Why the Allies didn’t bomb Auschwitz

For the JC by Jenni Frazer It is a question asked repeatedly about the horrors of the Nazi genocide against the Jews: why, once the details had become known to the Allies, did they not destroy the railway lines and then bomb Auschwitz? In a remarkable and painful programme to be screened on BBC2 on […]

  • 17 September, 2019

Blow up

For the JC August 29 2019 I’m in a members’ club in Soho and the staff are behaving in a way I have rarely seen in such spaces, running up and downstairs, cooing and making happy little faces. The object of this behaviour is not an animal or a pretty baby, but a petite woman […]

  • 22 August, 2019

Nothing like a nice cuppa

For the JC August 23 2019 About four years ago the writer Thomas Harding and his daughter Sam were walking around central London. Harding pointed out building after building — landmarks such as the Trocadero, hotels such as the Cumberland and the Strand Palace — which had once belonged to his family company, J Lyons […]

  • 22 August, 2019

My tribute to the late, great, Geoffrey Paul

For the JC August 5 2019 This is the story I hoped never to have to write, an appreciation — in every sense of the word — of my dearest late boss, Geoffrey Paul. GDP, as he was known throughout the Furnival Street headquarters of the Jewish Chronicle, was one of the kindest men I […]

  • 5 August, 2019

And here’s a geshrei

For the Times of Israel sent June 4 2019 With the air of a triumphant conjurer, Benjamin Dreyer, the copy editors’ copy editor — he is the veteran copy chief of Random House publishers — says that in his new book, “Dreyer’s English”, there are two important Yiddish words. “There’s a ‘geshrei’ and there’s an […]

  • 21 June, 2019

The word from the word rabbi

For the JC June 6 2019 Benjamin Dreyer for JC by Jenni Frazer June 3 2019 On a hot summer morning by the edge of the Thames, the doyen of American English, Benjamin Dreyer, leans forward and confesses that he really wanted to be a rabbi. Instead, he agrees, he has partially achieved his ambition […]

  • 21 June, 2019

It’s good to be the King

For the Jewish News magazine May 2019 There is a chilling, but prescient, moment in a unique BBC film made in the early 90s when the Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara invited the TV cameras into their home. Their children, toddlers Yair and Avner, are running around until Yair decides to play […]

  • 26 May, 2019

My name is Cohen: the life story of the Tesco supermarket Slasher

Tesco Cohen for the JC May 10 2019 At the end of his long life, it was difficult to get a sense of the hard-nosed and ruthless businessman “Tesco Cohen” must once have been in his heyday. When I interviewed him for the JC back in 1978 on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Sir […]

  • 13 May, 2019