lady painting


Extracts from the Dec 2007 Journal

The British and the Mandate

Ninety years ago this month, in December 1917, British forces took control of Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. So began the period of the British Mandate, which ended with the War of Independence and the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. Some Jewish commentators portray the years of the Mandate as a heroic era of struggle against the British, out of which the Jewish state was born. But was it quite like that? Did the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, throw off the yoke of British colonialism as, say, the American colonists did in the late eighteenth century? [more...]

Danger! Enemy Alien!

By the beginning of 1940, English women began to join the Armed Forces, and vacancies arose in factories and offices. Consequently, the Home Office relaxed the stringent conditions of employment under which we were allowed to remain in England, and I got myself a job as an invoice typist with a firm of printers in Exeter. [more...]

A small cemetery in Bohemia

My grandparents lived in a small town in central Bohemia – Hostomice, some 35 km from Prague – where my grandfather had a small draper’s shop. My grandmother died before I was born and my grandfather married again; my step-grandmother was always ‘my grandmother’ to me. My grandfather was a member and one-time head of the Jewish community, which included all the neighbouring villages. He was not particularly orthodox and was well respected in the wider community, playing chess with the local priest as one of his pastimes. [more...]

Bending the rules: The unsung hero Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld

Reading the review by Andrew Levy of Chanan Tomlin’s book on Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld (September) brought back many memories. I was on his first postwar transport from Poland. To corroborate what Andrew Levy had to say about this formidable rabbi’s disregard for the ‘rules of the game’, may I bring up a typical example? [more...]

Theatre of despair (theatre review)

by Peter Weiss
conceived and directed by Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx
produced by Urwintore
Young Vic, London [more...]

Letter from Israel

Oasis of serenity
Israelis like spending Saturdays in the open air. The working week begins on Sunday and Friday tends to be a day for running errands, so that the weekend is all too brief. Thus Saturday is the only day many families can spend time together, as is evinced by the clogged state of the roads. Of course, those who consider Shabbat a day on which to pray and rest are not part of this equation, but they are a minority. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Holocaust insurance claims
Under the terms of the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act, insurance companies which operate in the United States now have to disclose the names of all Holocaust-era policy-holders and create a registry of those lists for survivors and their heirs. The Act also provides funds to the US Secretary of State to work with European countries in order to make information on the policies more publicly available. [more...]

Letters to the Editor

[more ...]