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.

Of mud, marble, and Africa

For the JC October 1 2020 When a world traveller such as Sir Michael Palin says that “there’s hardly a corner of the planet untrod by Kaplan’s boots”, you know you’re in for a treat and a roller-coaster ride around the globe. And Marion Kaplan’s big book of photo-journalism provides just that — hundreds of […]

  • 16 October, 2020

Telling children about the Shoah

For the JC Sep 3 2020 A long time ago, there was a little wooden house by a lake”. So begins Thomas Harding’s magical re-telling of his 2015 adult non-fiction book, The House By The Lake, which was shortlisted for the Costa Prize. With exquisite illustrations by the renowned children’s artist Britta Teckentrup, this is […]

  • 16 October, 2020

Cohen’s War: or how I beat Covid-19

For the JC October 16 2020 The writer, film-maker and psychologist David Cohen is about to send out copies of his latest book to “Boris, Bibi, Trump and the lunatic in Brazil [Bolsonaro]”. It’s not such a fanciful idea. Each man presides over a country in which the ability to cope with coronavirus appears to […]

  • 16 October, 2020

Mazal tov at 91

For the JC August 2020 When David Marks and Kathy Peck thought they might have to change their wedding arrangements because their rabbi would not be available, they suggested asking World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder to perform the ceremony. That is because David and Kathy are not just any engaged couple. He has just […]

  • 14 August, 2020

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade

For the JC July 2020 The late boxing promoter, Jimmy O’Pharrow, founded and ran a legendary gym in New York, Starrett City Boxing Club. It was almost entirely a gym for African-Americans, but he had one outstanding white protegé — Dmitriy Salita. O’Pharrow, who died in 2011, summed up Salita like this: “My gym’s like […]

  • 31 July, 2020

Why Black Jewish lives matter

For the Times of Israel July 20 2020 Britain’s Jewish community has become the first in the world to set up a Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the wake of the George Floyd murder in America. And the man in charge, journalist Stephen Bush, says he is now considering finding a synagogue for himself and […]

  • 20 July, 2020

What’s required of a woman

Mrs America for JC by Jenni Frazer July 2020 There is a scene in the compelling TV series, Mrs America, in which several women are gathered in Bella Abzug’s home in New York and — not being Jewish — are shaking their heads with bemusement at the buffet food she has prepared. It’s every kind […]

  • 20 July, 2020

When Zest goes out of the building

For the JC July 13 2020 by Sarah Harris (JF) “Predicting anything at the moment feels like a mug’s game” — the speaker is Raymond Simonson, chief executive of JW3, the Jewish community centre for London. He may be right: except that the closure of JW3’s flagship restaurant and café, Zest, has led to a […]

  • 17 July, 2020

Minkie Spiro’s sharply critical eye

For the JC June 26 2020 “There’s a lot of hate out there — and he knows how to use it”. Such words could easily be applied to today’s America, but in fact they are the key to an extraordinary TV series, The Plot Against America, based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel. Plot 2020-style has […]

  • 30 June, 2020

Identifying the six million

Yad Vashem lecture for JN June 2020 In 1953, when Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance centre, opened, there was already an ambitious, if impossible-sounding, plan in place — to collect and document the names of every one of the six million Jews murdered during the Shoah. The recording of the names, as Yad Vashem’s head […]

  • 22 June, 2020