Rabbi Eli's Blog

Current issues, sermons and university news

Oxford Jewish alumni celebrate engagement & wedding at Chanukah party in Mayfair

Alex & Emma.jpgOver 60 Oxford alumni and friends attended Friends of Oxford Chabad Society’s annual Chanukah party in Mayfair last night hosted by Oxford alumnus Alexander Telford and family.


The event took place for the third year running in high-end venue Nove Bar, on Sackville Street, round the corner from Piccadilly Circus, with a Kosher Sushi bar and drinks, as well as traditional Chanukah delacacies, kindly sponsored by Parkway Kosher Patisserie.


The highlight of the gathering, in addition to meeting up with old friends, was the celebration of the recent engagement of Alex Telford (St Peters) to Emma Zimmerman and the recent marriage of Jonny Hyam (Wolfson) to Natasha Shina. They both led the kindling of the Menorah for t… Read More »

Oxford celebrates Jewish festival of Chanukah with Lighting of Giant Candelabra on Broad Street

MenorahHappyChanukah.jpgOver 150 people celebrated the beginning of the Jewish Festival of Chanukah with the lighting of the giant menorah candelabra on Broad Street, Oxford, this past Tuesday, 20 Dec, with the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Cllr Elise Benjamin, organised by Chabad of Oxford.


Oxford Rabbi Eli Brackman, director of Chabad of Oxford, addressed the theme of the festival that dates back to 2nd century BCE when the Jews in the Holy Land were under threat of Helenization by the Seleucid Greeks and were successful in maintaining their heritage and traditions against all odds. Rabbi Brackman said that the holiday is relevant to today’s time promoting the values of freedom of expression and religion and the triumph of light over darkness.


MenorahlightingwithLordMayor&Rabbi1.jpgTh… Read More »

Giant menorah wrecked and rebuilt - just in time

Volunteers rebuilt a 15ft menorah in less than six hours after vandals destroyed Scotland's biggest public chanuciah in an antisemitic attack.

Edinburgh Chabad constructed and installed the new menorah in time for Tuesday night's first candle-lighting - describing the feat as a modern-day Chanucah miracle.

The original menorah - erected in the city's St Andrew's Square - was found destroyed earlier the same day. Its broken pieces were recovered close to tents set up in the square by the Occupy Edinburgh movement.

Rabbi Pinny Weinman said: "We put up the menorah on Monday afternoon and it was all wired up ready for lighting. At midday on Tuesday I got a call saying the menorah had been totally destroyed.

"We did not can… Read More »

New Israeli Ambassador to the UK honoured at Oxford University Chabad Society reception

IMG_5528.JPGThe Oxford University Chabad Society honoured the new Oxford educated Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Court of St James, His Excellency Mr. Daniel Taub, with an exclusive buffet reception just a week after he submitted his credentials to HM the Queen.


Close to a hundred students and community members attended the reception, which took place at the Oxford Jewish Centre, and was preceded by a lecture organised by the Oxford Jewish Congregation.


The president of the Oxford University Chabad Society, Oleg Giberstein of St Antony’s college, welcomed the Ambassador on behalf of the Oxford University Chabad Society and the Jewish students at the university and wished him well on his ambition to reach out directly t… Read More »

Thanksgiving Shabbat dinner with lecture by Oxford Professor of American Literature Ron Bush

On November 25th the Oxford University Chabad Society held its annual Thanksgiving Shabbat Dinner at the Slager Jewish student centre. Guest of honour was Drue Heinz Professor of American Literature Ron Bush who has been teaching at St John’s College, Oxford for the last 14 years.


The topic of Professor Bush’s talk was ‘Ezra Pound and the Jews’ and the Professor was explaining to about 50 guests who were attending the dinner his fascination with the classic anti-Semite yet great poet, Ezra Pound.


Professor Bush made a connection between Pound and other famous literary minds with anti-Semitic tendencies, for example Henry James or Hemingway, and spoke of the deeply ambivalent attraction of modernist… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.