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Birthdays? I'd prefer a batmitzvah

By Bryony Gordon, July 1, 2010

I don't like to boast - oh goodness, I have already lied in the first five words of this column - but I have been to a lot of parties in my life. This is because my existence is essentially empty and hollow and I have no hobbies or interests other than drinking and smoking and trying to find a boyfriend.

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Generous he may be but this Perl lacks wisdom

By Keren David, July 1, 2010

Money talks. And in the case of Benjamin Perl, businessman and philanthropist, interviewed in the JC last week about his generous endowment of new Jewish schools, money says some ugly things.

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How science and religion are one

By Steve Fuller, July 1, 2010

Today, relatively few scientists - or even scientifically minded people - are inclined to cite a religious basis for their views. Yet the modern world's commitment to science has its roots in the Bible and specifically in the story of Abraham.

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The World Cup? I just don't get it

By Peter Rosengard, June 24, 2010

With the World Cup looming, I decided not to be taken by surprise. Despite never having had any interest in football since April 2007, I've been pretending to be a football fan because I bought two season tickets at Arsenal. Here's my progress to date:

Me: "What's happening!? What's happening?"

Steve: "It's a penalty, Peter."

Me: "A penalty to who? Is that good? Is it Arsenal's?"

Steve: "No Pete, it's to the other side; it's not good."

Me: "What's he doing? Why is he putting the ball there?"

Steve: "That's the penalty spot, Peter."

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Alderman should face facts

By Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, June 24, 2010

I was surprised to learn in last week's JC that I had managed to shock Professor Geoffrey Alderman with my comments on the Jewish Policy Research (JPR) report 'Synagogue membership in the UK in 2010'. The learned professor was concerned that I misunderstood the numbers involved and, in fact, phoned me to discuss the article so I could furnish him with the evidence on which my comments are based.

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Why it is crucial to fight the language of hate

By Rabbi Barry Marcus, June 24, 2010

I cannot imagine any JC reader for whom the words "Holocaust" and "Nazi" do not resonate. These are words with terrible connotations that speak of the darkest night we have ever endured. We do not use them lightly. When we hear them used in inappropriate or even trivial contexts, we feel wounded.

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The Iranian uprising is not over

By Azadeh Moaveni, June 24, 2010

Last summer, for the first time, the world was able to see that Iran's clerical leaders do not enjoy the support of the country's population. The widespread protests that swept Iran in the aftermath of its dubious presidential election dominated the global media cycle for days.

But did it make any difference? One year later, Iran seems very much unchanged. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his radical cronies retain their control over government and their brutal crackdown on dissent has virtually snuffed out the opposition force that came to be called the Green movement.

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Defending Israel in the diaspora

By Mick Davis, June 17, 2010

Since Ahad Ha'am and Theodor Herzl clashed at the World Zionist Congress, diaspora Jews' relationship with Israel has been a constant theme in the Jewish world. But the issue is more acute now than for some time.

Mainstream Jews are often defined by how they relate to Israel. There are vocal supporters - bold and upfront Zionists. Then there are those, privately critical of Israeli government policy, who are considered to be timid. Finally, those who love Israel but are publicly critical, who are sometimes accused of being "self-haters".

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Don't give antisemites the last say

By Venetia Thompson, June 17, 2010

When the IDF commandos boarded the 'freedom flotilla' a couple of weeks ago, and images of the incident suddenly popped up on the large screens at the bar we were propping up in the north of Corfu, I was immediately hit by a familiar feeling of impending doom, and no, it wasn't four days of ouzo consumption catching up with me. It's what I have dubbed The Israel Effect: when an otherwise perfectly rational and well-educated friend embarks on a vitriolic anti-Israel rant in the middle of a holiday/dinner/drinks/engagement/wedding party and ruins my evening.

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Charities face a budgetary double whammy

By Barry Frankfurt, June 17, 2010

Next Tuesday, George Osborne will deliver his first budget - an emergency one - as Chancellor. His speech will offer the first big clue as to how the age of austerity will take shape. It will also provide the economic blueprint for David Cameron's "Big Society". The Prime Minister has defined government's role in this initiative as one that "will actively agitate for social renewal and community action". Certainly in the Jewish community, such action is delivered predominantly through the not-for-profit sector.

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