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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 11 June 2007

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Chicken soup and scouse is finally cooked!

AN epic 5-year project documenting the life of Liverpool’s Jewish community has been completed.  'Chicken Soup and Scouse’ is a lavishly illustrated 75-minute film portraying the role of the city’s Jewish population from the 1700s to the present day.

The documentary examines how and why Jews came to Liverpool, and how the community became one of the most successful and influential in the United Kingdom. It has been produced by local filmmaker Michael Swerdlow and his brother-in-law Arnold Lewis, with financial assistance from the Liverpool Culture Company’s Creative Communities fund.  Michael said:- “We wanted to ensure the result was an informative and entertaining film as well as being a useful historic reference resource for future generations.  And although we couldn’t fit everyone into the story, those personalities we did highlight and the number of interesting stories and anecdotes we tell, give an insight to the valuable contribution members of our community have made to the culture and success of the city.”

The film features several famous Liverpool Jewish people including:-

* Sidney Silverman MP – campaigner for the abolition of the death penalty

* Lord Cohen of Birkenhead – a founder of the NHS and one of the Queen’s doctors

* Doctor Simon Fishel – a leading authority on embryology.

* Ian Broudie – singer-songwriter of the Lightning Seeds.

* Jason Isaacs – film and television actor

* David Lewis – founder of Lewis’s departmental store in the mid-1800s

* Frankie Vaughan – entertainer

* Lord Peter Goldsmith – the Attorney General

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool city council, said:- “Liverpool is a city famed for its religious and ethnic diversity, and it is important that we recognise the role that our many communities have played in shaping the vibrant and cosmopolitan Liverpool that we see today.”

Chicken Soup and Scouse is available from June 12 at the 08 Place in Whitechapel, priced at £10 (VHS or DVD). The film also has its own website


BT has become an official partner of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture 2008 to help promote the city’s worldwide showcase.  The leading provider of communications solutions is the 10th official partner to sign up with the Liverpool Culture Company.

The deal follows a 5-year extension to the joint venture partnership with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Direct Ltd (LDL), signed last December.

The extension will save the city around £48m, and £8m of that is being ploughed back into supporting activities such as Capital of Culture, the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre and the 2007 birthday celebrations.

Chris Sayers, director, local government, BT, said:- "2008 will be a fantastic opportunity for Liverpool to showcase itself to the world.

BT’s partnership with the Council over the past few years has achieved some tremendous success, and this is an opportunity to widen our involvement to involve the community and the people of the North West.”

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:- “The joint venture with BT has helped transform this council and I’m sure their expertise will have a similar impact on making 2008 a success. 

The quality of information and communication we provide to the public is critical to 2008, with millions of people wanting to know where to go and what to do.

I'm delighted that BT are on board to help spread the word about 2008.’’

Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company, said:- ''This BT deal is fantastic news for 2008. A key role will be promoting and communicating our major events. BT’s expertise will enable us to take the 08 message to a huge audience.''

Merseyside is a key region for BT. It supports 25,000 jobs in the North West and last year generated £875 million for the area.

Since Liverpool Direct Limited was set up in 2001, BT has invested £53m in new technology to improve and modernise Liverpool City Council services and are also investing a further £41m as part of the extension to the contract to 2017.

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