Gardener, activist, ex-adman honoured
A GARDENER, an equality campaigner and a former JC staffer are among those honoured in this year’s New Year Honours list.
Solicitor Geoffrey Bindman was knighted for his services to human rights. Sir Geoffrey, who founded Bindman and Partners in 1974, is chairman of the British Institute of Human Rights and president of the Discrimination Law Association. In 1988 he was part of a UK mission monitoring the Chilean constitutional referendum.
He told the JC: “I think my Jewish background has been quite relevant to the way my career has developed, because I have always had a strong identification with people who have been subjected to discrimination and oppression.”
Ron Shelley received an MBE for services to the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, and to the London Jewish community.
The former Ajex national chairman described the organisation as “the life force of Anglo-Jewry, although that mantle has now been passed to CST”. He added that his Jewish identity inspired his commitment to fight antisemitism and fascism.
Political activist Linda Bellos, founder of Diversity Solutions, credited her OBE for services to diversity to “being an effective troublemaker.
“Twenty years ago I was doing things that were condemned by the Daily Mail and Evening Standard as being ‘loony left,’ and now they are part of law.”
Professor Jonathan Drori, former director of Culture Online with the Department for Culture, Media and
Honoured: from left, Ron Shelley, Peter Rhodes, Linda Bellos and Professor Stephen Miller Sport, received a CBE, as did David Simons, chairman of Littlewoods, for services to retail.
“I can’t think of any other industry that gives you quite the same buzz, the sense of immediacy and competition,” Mr Simons told the JC.
Dr David Hessayon, bestselling author of the “Expert” gardening series, now given an OBE for services to gardening and charity, said: “One’s garden is the only piece of land one really owns, and you can, within reason, do what you like with it.”
The former vice-chancellor of City University, Professor Stephen Miller, was given an OBE for services to higher education and for his Olive Tree Project, which gives scholarships to young Israelis and Palestinians to study at the university.
“Education is a vehicle for understanding in both a cognitive and emotional sense,” he said.
Patent and trademarks lawyer Tibor Gold declared himself “chuffed to bits” to receive an MBE for services to intellectual property just before he retires.
Optometrist Ivor Lask, awarded an MBE for services to the NHS, started a programme for optometrists which helps them screen their patients for diabetes. His wife and daughter nominated him without his knowledge.
Mr Lask, a vice-president of Bromley Reform Synagogue, told the JC: “I feel I am unworthy of this award, and I was gobsmacked.”
Bob Rothenberg, now an MBE for services to business and the community in London, is director of Think London, an investment agency bringing business to Britain.
He said his Jewish upbringing had guided his “moral way of life”, adding that the award was “all a bit humbling”.
Kay Hurwitz, the non-Jewish wife of the late violinist Emanuel, also received an MBE for services to music.
On the diplomatic service and over- seas list, former JC employee Peter Rhodes received an OBE for services to British business interests in France.
Mr Rhodes worked in the JC advertising department in the early stages of his career and is now managing director of Reed Midem, which organises various trade fairs in Cannes.
He said: “My time at the JC gave me a lot of options I couldn’t get anywhere else — I started dealing with big clients quite quickly. The JC launched me into hyperspace.”
Also on the list was Jonathan Hershl Cohen, now awarded an OBE for services to conflict resolution in the Caucasus.