Relive the past week on jewishnews.co.uk with our top-seven must-read stories from the past seven days…
Scroll down through this week’s stories, which include Chanukah in the Square, a controversial peer taking her place in the House of Lords, the Jewish News-WIZOUK young writers competition, and a strong warning about hate from the world’s top director, Steven Spielberg.
1) Chanukah lights up Trafalgar Square
Thousands braved the cold and rain to celebrate Chanukah at one of London’s most iconic landmarks on Wednesday evening. The sound of Maoz Tsur and the Akiva School choir filled Trafalgar Square as Chanukah in the Square – the community’s flagship festive party – returned to the heart of the capital. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and free doughnuts aplenty were among the familiar sights at the event, organised by Chabad, the Jewish Leadership Council and London Jewish Forum and supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group.
2) Cache of 900-year-old gold coins found in Israeli city of Caesarea
A hoard of 24 gold coins and a gold earring hidden away more than 900 years ago have been found in the Israeli port city of Caesarea, kick-starting a guessing game as to whose they were and why they were never retrieved. “The cache is a silent testimony to one of the most dramatic events in the history of Caesarea,” said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists Peter Gendelman and Mohammed Hatar, who are leading the dig.
3) Jewish war veteran, 98, dies after being injured in violent robbery at his home
A Jewish Second World War veteran, Peter Gouldstone, died after being seriously injured in a violent robbery in his home. Detective Inspector Paul Ridley said: “We are all shocked and saddened by the news of Peter’s death. It is the worst news for his family and for all those who cared for and knew him.” Mr Gouldstone had lived in his terraced house for more than 60 years. His son, former civil servant Simon Gouldstone, 67, said following the attack and before his father’s death that he had been left “shocked”. He said: “As a member of the family I’m shocked, as a member of the human race I’m lost for words at man’s inhumanity to man, I’m afraid.”
4) Pupils put pen to paper to improve world with WIZO’s young writers competition
Jewish News teamed up with WIZO UK, now in its centenary year, and asked budding authors to pen their thoughts on making the world a better place. Jamie Copeland, 16, from The Cherwell School, Oxford, won first place in the secondary school category for his poignant poem, If I Could, I Would!, with Joshua Cohen, 12, from Immanuel College, Bushey, named as runner-up for his short essay on discrimination.
5) Peer who supported activists suspended over antisemitism takes Lords seat
A controversial campaigner, Baroness Osamor, who supported activists suspended from Labour over alleged antisemitism has taken her seat in the House of Lords. Her nomination by Jeremy Corbyn angered Jewish groups, who said it was a “two-fingered salute” to the community. The civil rights campaigner signed a letter protesting over the suspensions of party members for alleged anti-Semitism, including Ken Livingstone, who was suspended over claims that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s.
6) Robert Rinder to present BBC series on the Holocaust
Robert Rinder is to front a series of BBC programmes on the Holocaust following the success of his appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? The TV barrister revealed during this week’s JW3 dinner that he has been asked to present three new programmes. Rinder, who also discussed his time on Strictly Come Dancing, described the opportunity as “the first” among many privileges he has been afforded since entering the public eye.
7) Steven Spielberg: Genocide as possible today as it was during Holocaust
Steven Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director of the Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” has a warning: The possibility of hate leading to genocide is as possible today as it was during the Holocaust. Spielberg in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt specifically identified the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue building in Pittsburgh as a signal of the rise in hateful ideologies. “When collective hate organises and gets industrialised, then genocide follows,” Spielberg said in the interview aired Wednesday. “We have to take it more seriously today than I think we have had to take it in a generation.”