Singer Craig David and cellist Natalie Clein are recognised in the New Year Honours List alongside former CST chief executive David Delew and the co-founder of JAMI Alan Lazarus.
There is also a knighthood for Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, cousin of the actor Sacha Baron-Cohen, who is director of the Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre and a Fellow of Trinity College. He has led much of the groundbreaking research into autism in Britain.
Delew, who is awarded an OBE, said: “I was both shocked and proud to receive notification that I was to be awarded the honour. It not only recognises my 30 years of communal service, but also the tireless and dedicated work of the incredible volunteers and professional team at CST.
“It was a true honour and privilege to lead CST for nearly seven years and to
further develop CST’s capabilities, shaping the organisation to better protect the Jewish community from the current threats of terrorism and antisemitism”.
In the Lazarus home in London, there is a double celebration as Alan Lazarus, co-founder of the mental health charity, JAMI, (Jewish Association for Mental Illness), has been made an MBE. “It was extremely surprising”, he said, “because my wife, Marilyn, received the same award for the same thing about five years ago”.
The couple founded the charity at the end of the 1980s with the aim of establishing a residential home, a day centre and a befriending service. All have been achieved, Mr Lazarus said, “but today our services have expanded and changed, particularly now because of Covid.”
The parliamentary lawyer Daniel Greenberg has been named Companion of the Order of the Bath, or CB, an award reserved for those in public service. Mr Greenberg, who lives in Hendon, is the Counsel for Domestic Legislation in the House of Commons.
He and his wife Julia are members of the Ner Yisroel and Magen Avot communities, and he said: “My grandparents came to this country [from Ukraine] because of the great admiration they had for what the rule of law and parliament represents. So it is emotional for me to receive this honour in light of that”.
The cellist Natalie Clein has been made OBE. Speaking from Slovenia, home of her husband’s family, she said she was “really honoured and glowing inside” to receive the award, but that she was waiting to catch up on a year’s worth of celebrations — including family anniversaries — when she returns to Britain in the New Year.
She has been a professional cellist for more than 25 years and her children play piano and violin; her sister is the actress Louisa Clein, and both women took part in TV programmes earlier this year in which they discovered the fate of their great-aunt, a dancer who was deported to the camps from Holland.
Antony Spiro, president of the Wiener Library, and a trustee of the Association of Jewish Refugees, has received an OBE for services to Holocaust Remembrance. He said: “I am enormously honoured to receive this award, which I dedicate to the memory of my parents, Anna and Ludwig Spiro, who fled Germany to make a new life in the United Kingdom. They took an active role as volunteers at the Wiener Library and the Association of Jewish Refugees. I am proud to have followed their example”.
Another AJR honouree is Carol Hart, the charity’s head of volunteer and community services, who has received an MBE. She has worked for AJR for 15 years and her citation particularly recognises the work she has done in lockdown, running new services for AJR members including regular phone calls, letter-writing, socially-distanced garden visits and online support groups for carers.
She said: “After the shock of hearing about the honour, my feeling is of immense gratitude that I have the opportunity to work for a superb charity which supports inspirational members alongside a team of dedicated staff, volunteers and trustees.”
Linda Diamond, a JLGB adult volunteer for 35 years, has been awarded an MBE for services to young people. She has run the JLGB band in Redbridge every week for over 30 years. Her three children also played in the band and are now themselves adult volunteers for JLGB groups around the country.
She said: “I feel very humbled and overwhelmed. I have never wanted recognition but wanted to give young people the opportunity to be involved in an amazing organisation that gave me so much during my teenage years, and to ensure my own kids had the same experiences. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing young people have fun, build friendships, develop their skills and confidence, and grow into the next generation of leaders. I work with some amazing, dedicated volunteers without whom I could not have continued for so long and who also deserve thanks.”
Singer Craig David received his MBE for services to music — he is a record producer, songwriter as well as his flourishing solo performance career during which he has secured 16 top 10 singles. He was recognised alongside his long-time manager and JEM Artists founder Colin Lester, who picks up an OBE for services to the music industry and to charity. Lester is the son of Holocaust survivor Harry Balsam.
“I am so proud to accept this Award from the amazing country that took him and 733 other survivors in and gave them a place to settle down and start a new life. Although we are living in hard times, we must never lose sight that out of bad comes good, we just need to look for the signs. When circumstances allow, I am looking forward to celebrating with my family and friends alongside all the amazing and talented people I’ve met and worked with, who are jointly responsible for my achievements. But first, I’m going to take my wife Amanda out and spoil her rotten because behind every moaning Jewish husband is an incredible wife.”
At the age of 96, historian Dr Edgar Feuchtwanger, who lives in Winchester, has been made OBE for services to Anglo-German understanding and history. Dr Feuchtwanger was born in Munich and has lived in Britain since he was 14, having arrived here with his parents on what was known as a “capitalist visa”, in which their presence was guaranteed by a sponsor pledging a large sum of money.
In Munich the family had the misfortune to live on the same street as Hitler and next to a photographer who employed Eva Braun. The young Feuchtwanger often encountered Hitler: “Even aged eight, I knew he was a very bad man”.
Michael Tobias, who lives in Glasgow, has also been made OBE in recognition of his genealogical and Holocaust work. He said: “I took up genealogy in 1994 after my grandmother died and realised there was so much I didn’t know about our family and had never asked her”. He was an actuary in Glasgow but gradually took on more and more projects to do with genealogy, becoming a paid staffer for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York and overseeing some emotional Holocaust reunions between family members who each thought the other had died.
Mr Tobias has also been the Jewish input on many of the BBC Who Do You Think You Are programmes, and is presently a vice-president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.
Arthur Harverd, from East Finchley, has been made MBE in recognition of his work as chair of the Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel. This scheme was set up in 1999 at the initiative of Tony Blair, who asked the former solicitor-general, Lord Archer of Sandwell, to create a compensation scheme for those who had lodged money in the UK before the war and had been unable to get it back after 1945. Many of these, Mr Harverd said, were Jewish.
Mr Harverd said it was “a very great honour” to receive the award and praised his fellow panel members who have administered the compensation scheme, which is still running. He said it was “a liberal, generous scheme” which had been kept in place by successive governments and now often gives funds to the grandchildren of those who had originally put their money into the UK. “Someone from Germany who had deposited £1000 in 1939 would probably receive about £52,000 today”, Mr Harverd said, adding that the panel was keen to encourage new applicants.
In Belfast, Michael Black has been awarded the BEM for his work with the Northern Ireland Jewish community. In fact, as he made clear to the JN, “the award came as a total shock”. Belfast-born Mr Black is now one of the people keeping the tiny 70 strong Jewish community together, after he retired from his family retail business.
He helps to arrange cultural events for Belfast Jews and runs a weekly Wednesday social club in the city.
Artist Michael Landy, a member of the Royal Academy, is best known for an installation known as BreakDown in which he destroyed all his personal possessions. He receives a CBE for his services to art. And another familiar name on the list is Felicity Waley-Cohen, (mother of jockey Sam Waley-Cohen), who is made OBE for her services to children’s medicine through the Robert and Felicity Wale-Cohen Charitable Trust.
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