Jewish Affairs - Chanukah 2018

In this issue, the distinguished journalist, author and editor Jeremy Gordin provides a perspective on the significance and continued relevance of the Rambam/Maimonides from both a personal and academic perspective. This is followed by the latest in veteran contributor Bernard Katz’s “A Brief Journey Through…” series looking at some of the main centres of Jewish life in Europe and the Near East from the earliest times until today. This time he focuses on the Jewish presence in Hungary over the centuries. For his part, regular contributor David Sher has focused on various aspects of the Anglo-Jewish heritage over the years. In this issue, he looks at the Jewish community in South Manchester.

The darker side of Jewish life in Europe features in Part IV of Don Krausz’s Holocaust memoir ‘Child of the Concentration Camp’, covering his incarceration in Sachsenhausen and the Death March that he and his fellow survivors were forced to undertake in the dying months of the war.

In ‘The Battle over Velvel’s Velvet  (Keidan, 1816)’ tireless Gwynne Schrire produces a skilfully fictionalised account of an intra-communal clash that actually occurred in early 19th Century Keidan, Lithuania. It can be read in tandem with Sorrel Kerbel’s review of ‘The Keidan Memorial (Book) – A New Translation’, the latest in a growing body of reprints and compilations of records, memoirs and translations relating to Lithuanian and South African Jewish history to be brought out by David Solly Sandler. Related to the theme of translations into English, Egonne Kirsh assesses the Jewish-themed poetry of Olga Kirsh, who uniquely wrote her poetry almost exclusively in Afrikaans even after she had made aliyah.  

Under ‘Fiction’, Charlotte Cohen’s ‘The Grandmaster (All In The Game)’ uses Chess as a metaphor for how to approach life, through a touchingly-portrayed relationship between a boy and his grandfather. Elsewhere in the issue, we have new poetry by Bernard Levinson and Charlotte Cohen and a review by Milton Shain of a new book on the 1903 Kishinev Pogrom by Steven J Zipperstein.

On behalf of the Editorial Board, I wish everyone a Chanukah Sameach and a safe and restful end-of-year break.

Read the  publication here.

Recent Articles

Yanir Grindler writes for the Daily Maverick "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex enough without the shouting."

Equating Zionism with racism is far too easy a way out of proper debate around the roots of the conflict in the Middle East, and Israel Apartheid Week serves to exacerbate rather than defuse the tensions. The time has come for rational debate in an attempt to find common ground between the two opposing sides, rather than slogan-shouting.

The Great Debate #MakeUsCount

Join in this year’s Great Debate and engage with leaders from five political parties as they discuss issues pertinent to the community.  Make your voice heard by sending your questions to or tweet your questions using #MakeUsCount. 

ANC TODAY Human Rights Day column

This year, Human Rights Day coincides with the Jewish festival of Purim. While the two events appear to have little in common, in actuality, there are numerous interesting parallels between them. The Purim narrative, based on events recorded in the Book of Esther, abounds with human rights themes.