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Mira Hamermesh, pioneering film director

By Jeremy Isaacs, February 28, 2014

If I had to name the one element most sadly lacking in television schedules today, I would say at once, “the single documentary”. This is the film that tells you not what, as part of a series, you saw last week, the same subject in the same format, but the very opposite, a “one-off”, unlike anything you ever saw before.

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Lust is kosher, believe me

By Shmuley Boteach, February 27, 2014

When I was a young rabbi, sent by the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe to Oxford, I used to spend many a Shabbat speaking at Woodside Park and it’s an absolute delight to be invited back, especially to deliver the world premiere of my book Kosher Lust.

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Hooray for hi-tech in our schools

By Robert Leach, February 21, 2014

I remember struggling for hours with a BBC microcomputer 30 years ago to get a block glyph to turn 90 degrees left — as I recall I was pretty unsuccessful. That was a classic case of paying lip-service to using technology in classrooms. It was pointless and frustrating and no help to me in my life subsequently (Tetris and Nokia Snake aside).

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Six hundred and not a X-word

By Bob Gregory, February 21, 2014

Last year celebrated 100 years since the first crossword appeared in the USA and today sees the publication of my Jewish crossword number 600 in the JC.

I was invited to start a Jewish-themed crossword feature for the JC back in 2002 and Number One was published on September 13 of that year. There’s been a JC crossword every week since.

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A reminder, not a debasement

By Nigel Lithman, February 21, 2014

Prior to appearing on the front page of the JC last week, I had only appeared in it once before. There had been a photo of me inelegantly lying spread-eagled, hurtling towards the Earth and what I had begun to assume was my inevitable death.

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Secret of a full-house synagogue

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, February 21, 2014

I recently went back to the theatre to see a show not once, but twice. Yes, I loved it that much.

A British theatre company called Punch Drunk has created a spectacular piece of theatre that originally opened in a disused building near Paddington Station for a few months and has now extended its booking period into a year. How have they achieved what other companies can only dream about?

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Time for some media balance

By Yiftach Curiel, February 21, 2014

Israel’s a great place”, a young man selling bread tells us over the weekend at London’s Borough Market after recognising some Hebrew exchanges between us and the girls. He volunteered at a kibbutz in the south, he explains.

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A chilling logic and an ill wind

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 21, 2014

As we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In the past week, two stories broke which, I fear, may reinforce the depressing truth of this axiom. But my purpose in retelling them is not to indulge in intellectual banter or philosophical argument. It is, rather, to issue a warning.

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Poland was not perfect, but no antisemitic state

By Witold Sobków, February 20, 2014

I was appalled by two statements in an article by Geoffrey Alderman on the First World War (January 10).

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Youth Aliyah is still needed today

By Melvin Robinson, February 15, 2014

On Monday January 30, 1933, a cold winter’s day in Berlin, the same day that Adolf Hitler took power, Youth Aliyah was founded by a unrelenting woman in her early 40s, Recha Freier, who recognised the need to act in order to save young German Jews from the abuse and hatred of Nazi Germany.

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