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Hail to American Hustle's Mel Weinberg, and all the other wild, wild Jews

By Josh Glancy, January 24, 2014

You might have seen the film American Hustle, or at least seen advertisements for it featuring a permed Bradley Cooper, a shady Christian Bale and a dappy Jennifer Lawrence. Based on Robert W Greene’s book The Sting Man: inside ABSCAM, it tells a dark but funny story of power, the mob and political corruption. At its heart, though, it is the story of Mel Weinberg.

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Reading, writhing, arguing...

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, January 23, 2014

I’m one of the guests on A Good Read this week. It’s one of BBC Radio 4’s longest-running programmes. Two guests join the presenter to discuss their favourite book. It’s a great show as the reviews are conflictingly honest and it usually ends with a bit of argy-bargy when one participant forcefully justifies their choice of book to the others.

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The sky's the limit for our girls

By Norma Brier, January 18, 2014

Recently, we celebrated the birth of Iris, my second baby grand-daughter. Of course, there were the usual jokes about saving for the wedding. There were also more serious musings about her future: her education; what career she might choose as an adult. Our elder grand-daughter, Dora, is 18 months old and is obsessed with her favourite toy, a large digger truck.

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What caused Noah's flood? Vegetarianism

By David Robson, January 17, 2014

My friend Ian Jack is a brilliant writer who performs in the Guardian newspaper every Saturday. A fortnight ago he announced his New Year’s intention to help save the planet by going vegetarian. Cows were a disaster — too hungry, he said, and too gassy; environmentally pigs were far more righteous. I pointed out that this was not good for the Jews.

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At the checkout, it's simple to strike a balance: we can do it

By Nathan Jeffay, January 17, 2014

Judging by the angry reaction, it would be easy to presume that Muslims have shut down all of Britain's pubs and breweries, and turned the best Scottish distilleries in to mosques. Not that a shopper was delayed when buying some champagne.

The row over alcohol sales seems funny observed from Israel.

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How to escape from the ghetto

By Ben Rich, January 17, 2014

It's four months since I moved out of the north-west London ghetto and headed to the fine and ancient city of York. There is "outside the ghetto" and "beyond the pale" and York is very much the latter.

I am not saying that York is wholly homogenous, but when a firework goes off round here, you can bet it's Bonfire Night, not Diwali.

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The season of love and rejoicing

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, January 17, 2014

So every woman and her dog are going to be writing about Christmas and the like this week.

I promised myself that I would not fall into this trap. I'd offer up something ribald and mirthful on a completely different topic. Such as house plants. Or the halachic meaning of forgetting to complete one's tax return.

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Israel needs to find a proper solution for the Bedouin

By Sylvia Rothschild, January 17, 2014

The Hebrew Bible speaks many times of the importance of how we treat others, speaking of equality under a shared law, of the humanity of all peoples. Leviticus tells us "If a stranger sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. They shall be to you as the home-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

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Rekindling the Jewish flame

By Naftali Schiff, January 17, 2014

I often marvel at the extent to which the simplest objects can mean so much - a gift from a loved one, a personal letter, etc. The best, almost universal example is a candle. For millennia, the small flame of a candle has held enormous significance for countless cultures and civilisations – none more so than the Jews.

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Hungary and France, maybe, but why do Brits feel so hated?

By Josh Glancy, January 17, 2014

So, antisemitism is on the march again. Or so it seems according to a recent survey conducted for the EU by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. A fifth of respondents to their survey, which was carried out in nine EU countries, said they had experienced an antisemitic incident in the past year.

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