The Jewish Chronicle
Mrs T, the coffin mixup, a charity cleans up
l Shortly before leaving Moscow on Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, sent the following exclusive statement to the “Jewish Chronicle”: ‘The plight of the Jewish people has never been far from my thoughts during this remarkable visit to Moscow. I have welcomed the steps which the Soviet authorities have taken to release those imprisoned for their beliefs and to allow those who wish to leave the country to do so.” Mrs Thatcher took the extraordinary step of instructing her officials to telephone the “Jewish Chronicle” from Moscow with her statement because of the refusal of the Soviet authorities to grant a visa to the Foreign Editor, Mr Joseph Finklestone, so as to report on her visit. The Russians refused despite strenuous efforts by 10 Downing Street and Foreign Office officials to persuade them to issue the visa.
Clamp-down after coffin mix up
l Airport procedures for coffins are being tightened in Israel, following an incident in which Chasidim almost buried a Christian Arab woman instead of a Jewish male philanthropist from the United States. The incident occurred when a Jerusalem burial society driver arrived at Ben-Gurion airport with an order to pick up two coffins which had been sent from the US for burial in Israel. According to Nahman Kleiman, an El Al spokesman, burial officials are allowed to board aircraft and take the coffins, in order to ease the procedure for members of the bereaved family. Unfortunately, the driver did not realise that one of the two coffins he saw was not of the type used by religious Jews. Nor did he notice a third coffin nearby.
Put your bib and tucker away
l Do fund-raising dinners have a future? Not if others follow the enterprising path taken by Marion Davis in her campaign to raise £10,000 for equipment for the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Two months ago, she wrote to 300 potential guests promising not to invite them to any dinners this year if they sent her a donation. The chance to avoid yet another dose of salmon en croute and treasurers’ reports proved irresistible. The cheques flooded in. One man who sent £2,000 said he was “absolutely delighted” that all his money would be going to the hospital instead of to fancy caterers and plush hotels.