Thanks for saving our lifeline
There are some things without which the Jewish community would not be quite the same – noisy kosher restaurants with awful service, chatting to friends during the Haftorah and double parking in Golders Green.
We’ve lost the restaurants and chatting in shul and, two weeks ago, I read we were about to lose two more of these defining elements – Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle. One week later, full of trepidation, I went to the Jewish News’ website for a last heart-breaking glance at the final edition, only to find that, as Mark Twain might have put it: “Reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated”. Moreover, the JC has been saved too. It just goes to prove that you shouldn’t believe everything you read!
With this deadly plague causing us to remain isolated indoors, the one comfort we have is being able to communicate with each other.
Our newspapers are just as vital a lifeline to the outside world and are needed now more than ever.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Leo Noé for giving Jewish News a lifeline. A merger with the JC would have been as unthinkable as a hybrid between a Porsche and a Rolls-Royce – both suited to their different purposes. I look forward to a huge commemorative edition to mark JN’s 25th anniversary in two years’ time!
Herbert Goldberg, Pinner
Memorial should be abandoned
The government’s planning inspectorate has announced it has postponed indefinitely its inquiry into the application to erect a gigantic Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens.
This memorial is not needed. The argument it would act as an antidote to antisemitism always struck me – along with a great many other British Jews – as preposterous. Of its total cost, some three-quarters (£75 million) was to have been borne by the British taxpayer. This outlay was difficult to defend even at the best of times.
Now, as the nation faces the challenge of rebuilding its economy, it is beyond any justification. Let us hope promoters of this ill-judged proposal will now abandon it, in the national interest.
Prof Geoffrey Alderman, University of Buckingham
Both newspapers are precious
When I heard the JC and JN would cease publication I was saddened, then realised how vital, important and enjoyable both publication were for me as a Jewish reader. I realised how long I had taken for granted both publications, how they contributed to providing communal communication and information.
The community needs, deserves and should have these precious newspapers.
Stanford Myer-O’Reilly, Croydon
Bring out the report
Do we have any clear idea when are we to can expect the long-awaited report from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission into the Labour Party?
Surely by now it has amassed enough evidence against Jeremy Corbyn
and his cronies to issue their report.
I wait with bated breath to see this rotten individual and his mateys get their just deserts. It is unthinkable that Corbyn and his circle failed to ban antisemitic members, even when arrested for inciting racial hatred. The Commission must hold him to account. It is imperative for the well-being of Jewish people that this is not swept under the carpet.
S Weinberg, By email
Choir created real beauty
Yom HaShoah is the most sombre of days, and commemorating it in lockdown was not easy. But the young people from JLGB who sang Never Again at the UK online event, stlll available on YouTube, took our communal pain of the memory of the Holocaust and turned it into something truly beautiful.
Jews – in common with much of humanity – seem to have a knack of singing whatever our circumstances or our suffering.
Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson and Delilah opens with a moving chorus by the Hebrew slaves begging the God of Israel to release them from their bondage to the Philistines. In Belshazzar’s Feast, William Walton set Psalm 137 to a beautiful melody, a communal lament about exile in Babylon and a yearning for Jerusalem, as later did the pop group Boney M. And in Nabucco, Verdi took recollection of the period of Babylonian captivity as the theme for his Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, Va Pensiero.
What a wonderful musical heritage this choir, and the accompanying instrumentalists, were part of. Thank you for the music, and for expressing the pain of Yom Ha-Shoah during the inconvenience of lockdown in such a beautiful way.
Natalie Alper, Stoke Newington