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Lord David Young, British-Jewish politician and favorite fixer for Margaret Thatcher, dies at 90



(JTA) — Lord David Young, a British-Jewish member of the House of Lords who advised Conservative governments in the United Kingdom from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron died on Thursday at the age of 90. 

Young also worked as a businessman and ran Jewish charities before and after becoming a favorite fixer for Thatcher in government.

Thatcher, who appointed Young to his first political post, as an advisor in charge of privatization, has famously been quoted saying of him: “Other people bring me problems. David brings me solutions.”

According to Tom Gross, a British journalist and international affairs expert, during his many years in politics, Young also used his position to advance the needs of British Jewry and push for stronger British-Israeli relations.   

David Young did a tremendous amount not just for Britain, but for British Jews and was a significant influence on both Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron in forming their more favorable impressions of Israel,” Gross told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 

The grandson of Jewish immigrants from the Russian empire, Young was born in 1932 and grew up in North London’s working class Jewish community. His father Joseph was a flour importer who eventually went into the garment industry. 

Young was educated in public schools but dropped out early to become clerk and ultimately a solicitor. Still, he quickly followed his father into the business realm, only practicing law for one year. 

In the 1960s he established a group of companies that dealt in everything from industrial real estate to construction. As a successful businessman, he was also heavily involved in Jewish philanthropy. 

“Lord Young was always proud of his Jewish heritage, and widely regarded for many years as the leader of the Jewish lay community,” Lord Leigh of Hurley, a longtime senior treasurer of the British Conservative party, told the Telegraph.

By the mid-1970s, he was the chairman of the British arm of ORT, a Jewish charity which promotes education and vocational training around the world. Young was also at various points the president of the Chai Cancer Care organization and the chairman of the Jewish museum of London. 

It was his work with ORT, alongside his business career, that put him into the eyes of Thatcher’s government, who appointed him as an advisor in her efforts to further privatize the British economy. 

“David Young did not claim to understand politics, but he understood how to make things happen,” Thatcher once said. 

By 1981, he was moved from privatization to the organization of the British workforce under the manpower services committee, and by 1984 became a minister without a portfolio, floating from topic to topic to assist the Thatcher cabinet. 

According to the Guardian, Thatcher had considered him for the role of chief of staff but ultimately decided he could better serve her with more freedom. 

In 1984, Young was also made a “life peer” of the British parliament, styled Baron Young of Graffham, a village an hour south of London where he owned a home. The title gave him a permanent seat in the House of Lords.

After the end of Thatcher’s premiership in 1990, Young took a break from politics and returned to the business realm where he led Cable & Wireless, the first business to seriously challenge British Telecom — today BT Group — as a provider of telephone services.  

Young ultimately returned to politics in 2010, after the election of Conservative leader David Cameron. Cameron first appointed Young an advisor on health and safety and later gave him the role of enterprise advisor, tasking him to examine the government’s relationship with small businesses. 

Though he long worked for the Conservative party, in his later years, he had no qualms about criticizing their politicians. 

According to the Guardian, he called Boris Johnson “very clever, very able but very lazy” and the antithesis of Thatcher. He also said that Cameron lacked “seichel” — a Hebrew word for intelligence — due to his handling of Brexit. 

He is survived by his wife, lita and daughter Karen and Judith.

The post Lord David Young, British-Jewish politician and favorite fixer for Margaret Thatcher, dies at 90 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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