In a short week due to the Jewish New Year, I worked on a story about education at Scotland’s only Jewish school; Calderwood Lodge. I also followed up on the results of a survey conducted by YouGov for the Extremis Project, a new group dedicating to highlighting and discussing the causes and consequences of extremism in Europe and beyond. It was interesting to see evidence of “sharp generational differences” in attitudes toward the potential platforms or far-right groups; younger voters expressed hostility to anti-immigrant or anti-Islam groups.
Another story that took up a fair bit of time was a look at The medieval Jewish poet who preceded Chaucer – a chance to delve through a fascinating and oft-forgotten era in British history, including the fact that the first recorded blood libel took place in Norwich.
I also followed a story of a disabled girl facing the possibility of having to leave her school because of a problem with council funding. Thankfully, by the time of going to press and with the help of the intervention of the school’s headmaster, an interim arrangement had been made so that she could continue her studies.
Elsewhere, I reported on an Israeli series that could be the new Homeland if its US remake goes well. In Comment, David Aaronovitch addressed the dangerous blame game in an analysis of the riots over the Mohammed film trailer, while Anne Sebba painted a portrait of heroism and personal achievement in her Essay – a pleasure to feature; not least because it was the first piece for the Jewish Chronicle I’ve ever edited to reference the Mitford sisters.
Away from the JC, my piece on a book compiling letters between a soldier and his wife at home during the Second World War was published in Optima magazine. The book, published by the History Press, is well worth a read for insight into everyday life – and the life of the everyday soldier – during a time of great turmoil.