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Jew Year honours

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2005-12-31

Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker

A number of members of the British Jewish community have been recognised in the Queen's annual New Year Honours.

Property developer John Ritblat, 70 becomes Sir John with a Knighthood for his services to the arts. He is chairman of the trustees of London-based arts gallery the Wallace Collection and a major benefactor to the British Library. In business, Sir John is also chair of property company British Land.

Leading playwright Arnold Wesker, 73, who has put Jewish themes throughout his work for over 50 years also becomes a Sir with his knighthood. Among his work of over 40 plays is Chicken Soup with Barley, Roots, I'm Talking about Jerusalem, Shylock and Blood Libel. Wesker has an active involvement with the Jewish community and in the 1950s wrote a musical - Life Is Where You Live for Primrose Jewish Youth Club.

History professor and adviser to Holocaust Memorial Day, David Cesarani gets an OBE for his work in holocaust education.