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A for­mer shul chair­man and lead­ing phi­lan­thropist are among those hon­oured

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

A FLURRY of Jewish names have been recog­nised in the Queen’s Birth­day Hon­our’s list, with Ben Helf­gott, the Holo­caust sur­vivor, ed­u­ca­tor and Bri­tish Olympian, lead­ing the way along­side celebrity names from arts, academia and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Sir Ben, who was knighted for ser­vices to Holo­caust re­mem­brance and education, told the JC he “never thought to re­ceive such an hon­our,” adding that he felt “hum­bled”.

“What I did was be­cause I felt com­pelled to talk about the Holo­caust. Noone will ever un­der­stand the hor­ror and enor­mity of it,” he said.

“My mother, fa­ther and sis­ter per­ished. In my class of 43 only two of us sur­vived. I wanted to tell peo­ple about the Holo­caust and for the six mil­lion who per­ished to be re­mem­bered, and to cre­ate a more tol­er­ant so­ci­ety.”

Sir Ben lost all his im­me­di­ate fam­ily in the Shoah apart from one sis­ter, Mala.

He came to Bri­tain in 1945 with 700 other sur­vivors, who would be­come known as “The Boys”.

He went on to be a Bri­tish weightlift­ing cham­pion, cap­tain­ing Bri­tain’s team at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.

He is chair­man of the 45 Aid So­ci­ety, es­tab­lished in 1963 by The Boys to raise money for char­i­ta­ble causes. He also chairs the Holo­caust Memo­rial Day Trust.

Sir Si­mon Schama, who was knighted for ser­vices to his­tory, said his hon­our would spur him on to fin­ish the third book of his se­ries The His­tory of the Jews.

He told the JC: “Our Jewish com­mu­nity is feel­ing a lit­tle be­lea­guered, if not alarmed by the rise of an­ti­semitism.

“In spread­ing our story lies the power of de­fy­ing and de­feat­ing stereo­types, dis­tor­tions and de­hu­man­i­sa­tions, as well as cel­e­brat­ing the pas­sions, wis­dom and beauty of our own her­itage. This is not a time for slack­ing off.”

Sir Si­mon said his first thought on hear­ing of his hon­our was what his par­ents would have made of it.

“Prob­a­bly some­thing along the lines of ‘so they couldn’t do it while we were still alive?’,” he re­marked.

Louise Ell­man, Labour MP for Liver­pool River­side, told the JC she was “de­lighted” to be made a dame for par­lia­men­tary ser­vices, adding the hon­our had come “as a great sur­prise”.

The vet­eran MP is hon­orary pres­i­dent of the Jewish Labour Move­ment and was first elected to the Com­mons in 1997.

She has been the tar­get of an­tisemitic abuse, in­clud­ing within her own con­stituency party, partly as a re­sult of her long-stand­ing sup­port for Is­rael.

Lloyd Dorf­man, the founder of the Trav­elex Group, was knighted for ser­vices to phi­lan­thropy and the arts.

He said: “Through all my phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­ity I have tried to give time as well as money.

“Whether in the Jewish com­mu­nity, the arts, education or wel­fare, the goal is to en­able peo­ple to ful­fil their po­ten­tial, ex­press their cre­ativ­ity and help the vul­ner­a­ble. It con­tin­ues to be a priv­i­lege and a plea­sure.”

Sir Lloyd is chair­man of the Prince’s Trust and has held se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions on a se­ries of arts and Jewish char­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Royal Opera House and JW3, and is cur­rently the deputy chair of the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust.

Opera singer Si­mon Keenly­side was knighted for ser­vices to mu­sic. In a 2008 in­ter­view in the JC he ex­plained how he had never pub­li­cised his Jewish back­ground.

He added: “But my Jewish­ness is very, very im­por­tant to me, and the rea­son I keep quiet about it is be­cause I don’t like peo­ple one-up­ping me.

“I don’t like some of my dear friends say­ing: ‘Well, you don’t speak Yid­dish, you don’t know any­thing about any of the fes­ti­vals, your fa­ther isn’t Jewish’.”

Jonathan Haskel, the newlyap­pointed mem­ber of the Bank of Eng­land Mone­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, was made a CBE for ser­vices to eco­nomics.

Prof Haskel last year shared the in­au­gu­ral In­digo Prize for eco­nomics, worth £125,000, af­ter de­sign­ing a bet­ter way to mea­sure na­tional wealth than the ex­ist­ing Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct fig­ure.

Deb­bie Wise­man, com­poser and con­duc­tor, re­ceived an OBE for ser­vices to mu­sic.

“I’m hugely hon­oured and over­whelmed to re­ceive the OBE,” she said.

“It’s won­der­ful to be able to share the hon­our with all the ta­lented mu­si­cians that bring my mu­sic to life, all the bril­liant di­rec­tors and pro­duc­ers that have given me the op­por­tu­nity to com­pose mu­sic for their film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions.”

Fenella Field­ing re­ceived an OBE for ser­vices to drama and char­ity.

The ac­tress, best known for her appearances in Carry On films, was born Fenella Mar­ion Feld­man, to Jewish im­mi­grant par­ents.

The 90-year old called her hon­our “a huge sur­prise. I’m ter­ri­bly moved. It’s lovely to have my work ac­knowl­edged in a se­ri­ous way. It would never have oc­curred to me that this might hap­pen”.

Roger Kline, head of strat­egy and de­liv­ery at the NHS, was made an OBE for his ser­vices to equal­ity in the health ser­vice.

He said: “Be­ing from a Jewish back­ground has cer­tainly been an in­flu­ence on my at­ti­tudes to dis­crim­i­na­tion of all sorts and so has in­flu­enced my writ­ing and in­ter­ven­tions.”

Ju­dith Bern­stein was made an OBE for pub­lic ser­vice. She is the joint head of coro­ners, buri­als and cre­ma­tion and the in­quiries pol­icy team at the Min­istry of Jus­tice.

She has been a mag­is­trate since 1993, pro­vided ad­vice to min­is­ters and was a for­mer gov­er­nor of JFS. She is a mem­ber of New North Lon­don Sy­n­a­gogue.

Colonel Martin New­man, chair­man of the Jewish Com­mit­tee for HM Forces, was made an MBE for vol­un­tary ser­vice to armed forces per­son­nel.

The 70-year-old, from Manch­ester, joined the com­mit­tee in 2004, be­com­ing chair­man three years later.

“His ap­proach epit­o­mises the best of self­less com­mit­ment, ap­ply­ing quiet diplo­macy, plu­ral­ism in­clu­sion and wise prag­ma­tism in the na­tional in­ter­est,” the hon­ours com­mit­tee said.

I felt com­pelled to talk about the Holo­caust’ I have tried to give time, as well as money’ Aside from my fam­ily, it’s the most im­por­tant thing’


Jonathan Haskel


Si­mon Schama


Ben Helf­gott

Louise Ell­man

Martin New­man

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