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In memory of Miriam Feingold
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

As Holocaust Memorial Day approaches, Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, our Director of Public Affairs, writes movingly about her mother in law Mera Feingold, a Survivor, who died just over a year ago. Read More

Israel under attack - No one should learn to live like this
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

As the first Hamas missile reached Tel Aviv last night, Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko thinks back to her own experience of being under missile fire in Israel. Read More

All’s well that ends well
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko reflects on a job well done as a two year campaign culminates in the European Parliament passing legislation which will mean more affordable Israeli medicines for European citizens. Read More

The Olympic Games – A Model of Co-existence
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Interfaith and Social Action

Public Affairs and Policy Director, Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, is inspired by the co-existence demonstrated in the story of Chariots of Fire and the 2012 Olympic Games. Read More

Measure for Measure: Respect works both ways
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

The Board’s Public Affairs and Policy Director, Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, reflects on the irony that as Habima’s performance in London is disrupted by protesters, a Palestinian theatre company based in Haifa, and directed by an Arab citizen of Israel known for his radical position against the legitimacy of the State of Israel, stages a play at the Bush Theatre but does not suffer the same lack of respect. Read More

You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

How ironic - yesterday was Shavuot when we celebrated the story of Ruth - a woman who was a poor stranger in a strange land, who belonged to a people in conflict with the Jewish people, and yet was embraced by her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi, married Boaz and received one of the greatest honours ever bestowed upon a gentile in Jewish history - she became the great grandmother of King David! How different to the way in which we witnessed ‘strangers’ living in the modern State of Israel being targeted only a couple of nights ago on the streets of Tel Aviv. Read More

Yom HaShoah 2012: Alfred’s Memories
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in General Interest

I’ve recently returned from a trip to Israel with my husband, Andrew. One of the main purposes of the trip was to visit one of my husband’s few surviving relatives on his mother’s side, since almost the entire family was wiped out in Poland during the Holocaust. His mother, also a survivor, recently died, making the trip particularly poignant. We wanted to find out as much as possible about her early life in Poland. Read More

Leading the Revolution: Bedouin Women’s Empowerment
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

If the Board of Deputies ever wants a lesson on women’s empowerment and how to rise above a patriarchal system they need look no further than the women of SIDREH, a non-profit organization established to improve the socio-economic situation of Bedouin women in the Negev Region. As an Executive member of the UK Task Force Delegation on Issues Relating to Arab Citizens of Israel, I travelled to the Negev with other members of the Board’s leadership and Task Force participants (comprised of a cross communal group of its membership organizations) to learn about the Bedouin community and its specific challenges. Read More

The Night I Will Never Forget
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

On Tuesday evening, 9 September 2003, a Palestinian suicide bomber approached Café Hillel coffee shop in the German Colony neighborhood of Jerusalem. Security guard Alon Mizrahi attempted to prevent the bomber from entering when he blew himself up. At 11:20 pm the suicide bomber detonated the explosive device he carried on his body. Just another bombing in what had become a common place occurrence in the lives of Jerusalemites that year... Except for me this was deeply personal. Read More

Every man has a name: HMD 2012
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in General Interest

One of the saddest days in the Israeli Calendar is Yom Hashoah. Every year when the siren went off I would feel my heart miss a beat and tears well up in my eyes. The siren was so evocative and the two minute silence that followed spoke more of grief than I ever could. At that moment I always had the same thought – thank God the Jewish people now have a home…that ensures that such a tragedy can never happen again. Read More

Perspectives on Limmud: Part Two
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Community

I’m feeling inspired and energized after only a few days at Limmud over the festive break. Limmud really is one of the most remarkable achievements, not only for UK Jewry but for Diaspora Jewry as a whole. It is a truly democratic learning environment where teachers learn and students teach and where every opinion along the Jewish spectrum is respected. Read More

Durban Revisited: The Theatre of the Absurd
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

Its Durban again! But this time we are proud to say that our Government, for the first time, did not take part in the proceedings. For the uninitiated, yesterday marked the 10 year commemoration of the notorious Durban World Conference Against Racism held in 2001 that became synonymous with displays of antisemitism and extreme anti-Zionism. Read More

The Day After
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

So here we are nearly two decades after the Oslo accords were signed, witnessing yet another milestone in Palestinian-Israeli relations. I refer of course to the presentation by President Mahmoud Abbas of a resolution to the United Nations this week requesting the international community to endorse Palestinian statehood through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Read More

Back to the Future or From London to Jerusalem and Back
by Elizabeth Harris-Sawzcenko posted in Israel and Abroad

Reflections on my life in Israel; on being back in the Diaspora, and working at the Board of Deputies. Read More