One busy day the phone rang and I was asked to help with a film about a musician named Branislaw Huberman. I was too busy to help. That is,until I was told his story. And that was my entrance into the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra world and why I agreed to lead the British Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...
If you believe Nicolas Anelka, his use of the 'quenelle' was a conscious and deliberate "up yours" to the French establishment in support of friend Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala. But, for many in this country, the 'quenelle' was almost unheard of, and many still argue that it is an apolitical rejection of the state and Zionism. However, it is a ghastly reminder of modern anti-Semitism.
This Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport, a rescue mission that helped save nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi Germany bringing them to the safety of Britain before the outbreak of WWII... I would like to take the opportunity to commemorate the people whose experiences still inspire the work we do today, helping communities around the world in need survive and revitalise with dignity and pride.
For the next few months, The Jewish Thing is my life. I'm the co-writer (with the play's director, Matthew Lloyd) of a new verbatim play for London's re-branded Jewish Community Centre, JW3. I will also be one of its four actors (others include Peep Show's Isy Suttie). The project has involved extensive interviews with dozens of Jewish Londoners about their families.
The Y-word debate is once more encompassing the footballing community. To opponents of its usage, it is an abhorrent term that never should have found its way into match-day vocabulary. Contrastingly, advocates of the term contend that language is understood in context, not just one word. As such, chanting 'yid army' does not equate to condoning anti-Semitism.
From my discussions with Jewish friends who support Tottenham Hotspur, whose fans are known as the 'Yid Army' and Arsenal who probably boast more Jewish supporters than Tottenham do, most of them never shout the word 'Yid'. They don't join in with the chants because the word is still repulsive to many of them. Listening to it is still uncomfortable.
As a young Jewish man, I take issue with the meddling, match making elders in my community. There comes a time in every Jew's life, where a compulsion to play cupid takes hold. I have been subject to its viceroy grip. Aunties and uncles orchestrate awkward family get-togethers, disguised under the pretence of a religious evening.