The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

Jes­sica Duchen’s in­ter­est­ing fea­ture on the pi­anist Danny Driver ( JC, Au­gust 12) makes ref­er­ence to the Hoff­nung Fes­ti­val in 1956, which first of­fered ‘com­edy in mu­sic’. In fact, it was Vic­tor Borge who coined that phrase three years ear­lier when he opened on Broad­way, pur­vey­ing an in­no­va­tory blend of clas­si­cal mu­sic in­ter­leaved with re­lated com­edy rou­tines. This broke all records for a one-man show, run­ning to 849 per­for­mances — yet an­other Jewish en­ter­tainer for us to claim and one with whom I’m sure Danny Driver is fa­mil­iar. Barry Bor­man Edg­ware­bury Lane Edg­ware Mid­dle­sex

FROM TIME to time I’m ac­cused of ig­nor­ing ‘good news.’ ‘ You’re pre­oc­cu­pied with dirty linen,’ a caller re­cently bawled at me down the tele­phone line. ‘There’s so much that’s good about Bri­tish Jewry; but all you’re in­ter­ested in are its short­com­ings.’ Well, it so hap­pens that over the past fort­night a num­ber of good news sto­ries have come my way. I pro­pose now to share three of them with you. The first con­cerns the part played by Bri­tish Jews in the ri­ot­ing, loot­ing and ar­son to which English cities were sub­jected at the be­gin­ning of the month.

The good news? As per­pe­tra­tors, Jews played vir­tu­ally no part at all. No doubt if one searched hard enough one might come across one or two of the thou­sands of ar­son­ists, ri­ot­ers and loot­ers who turn out to be ha­lachi­cally Jewish. The fact is — as one cor­re­spon­dent (Mr Stephen HughJones) was gen­er­ous enough to point out in The Times on 13 Au­gust — that the Jewish con­tri­bu­tion to the may­hem was prac­ti­cally non-ex­is­tent.

For once I have to agree with the com­ments of chief rabbi Lord Sacks (writ­ing also in The Times, 12 Au­gust) that what the coun­try needs is a ‘re­moral­i­sa­tion,’ to counter es­pe­cially the

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