Lifestyle features

The Social Network: How Jewish is Facebook?

By Jennifer Lipman, October 14, 2010

Early on in the film, The Social Network, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg goes to a party organised by Harvard's Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. It is a Caribbean-themed bash, complete with half-hearted tropical decorations and students mingling with colourful cups of punch in their hands. One or two make a desultory effort to dance.

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Crimefighter whose only weapon is a keyboard

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 14, 2010

In the scorching Jerusalem summer heat, armed Israeli police raid an apartment searching for a child missing since 2008. Ten-year-old Michael Bitton is thought to have been abducted in one of Israel's highest-profile international custody battles. Among those helping the police in their hunt is former joint-head of the Manchester Community Security Trust, Joel Tobias.

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Rabbis on a wing and a prayer

By Rob Boffard, October 14, 2010

In August 2006, British police arrested several men for allegedly planning to blow up several passenger jets travelling from Britain. Immediately after the arrests, intense security measures were put in place at airports around the country. It was then that Rabbi Hershi Vogel realised he had a problem. Vogel, the Jewish chaplain at Heathrow, was receiving calls from passengers who were being forced to check their tefilin in as hold baggage. One of these was a South African rabbi who had arrived at the airport en route to New York.

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My father, the radio rabbi, master of the 'God slot'

September 28, 2010

My father, Hugo, was a guest on Desert Island Discs in 1994. The producer was unable to find in the BBC collection a recording of one of his requested tracks, Kol Ha'Olam (The Whole World) played by klezmer clarinettist Israel Zohar. My father remembered that I had said I had a copy and called me from the studio. I jumped on my bicycle with the quarter-inch tape, joined him at Broadcasting House in Portland Place and sat with the sound engineer while the presenter, Sue Lawley, and my father recorded the rest of the show.

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Helping friends to get reunited

September 21, 2010

Since 1999 I've been writing the Daily Mail's weekly Missing and Found column, something of a trailblazer in the burgeoning "reunion industry". The column has reunited countless long-lost friends, colleagues and relatives, while providing evocative glimpses into the past. And it will not surprise JC readers to learn that many of its reunion stories have involved Jewish people.

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Hope for Beirut's Jews as a synagogue is reborn

September 16, 2010

All the other buildings in the block have been torn down, scheduled to be rebuilt as luxury apartments. Only one building remains standing - the last edifice of a once-thriving Jewish neighbourhood.

Rising out of a sea of rubble, its newly-painted white and gold facade gleaming in the harsh Beirut sun, the Maghen Abraham Synagogue is a powerful symbol of a community that refuses to be defeated.

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Why we think it's grim down south

By Jessica Elgot, September 7, 2010

James Blakey
A 24-year-old who is training to be a theatre director. Originally from Gatley, south Manchester, he has been living in Finsbury Park for a year, but will shortly be returning to the north to do a six-month placement in Leeds.

"Before I moved to London it seemed like such a glamorous place. My sister is 10 years older than me and I used to go and stay with her in London as a teenager.

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Why you should settle for Mr Real

By Robyn Rosen, September 2, 2010

When 43-year-old single mother Lori Gottlieb published her book Mr Good Enough: The Case for Choosing a Real Man over Holding out for Mr Perfect, earlier this year, a media storm ensued.

Now, the book is to be made into a film. No doubt, another storm is on the horizon.

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Interview: Grant Shapps

By Christopher Richards, September 2, 2010

Grant Shapps's rise to the front bench of the Conservative Party has been little short of meteoric - after all, he has only been an MP since 2005.

Many political commentators believe he is destined for big things; but what part does his faith play in his burgeoning career? The housing and local government minister is certainly in touch with communal life: he belongs to the Potters Bar and Brookmans Park Synagogue. However, he has an unconventional approach to religion.

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He put a mezuzah in space

By Paul Berger, August 19, 2010

On May 14, Garrett Reisman got out of bed, brushed his teeth and got into an old Airstream motorhome that took him, along with five other astronauts, to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida. At about 10.30am, standing in the shadow of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, he and pilot Dominic "Tony" Antonelli joked about how stupid they would look if they messed up their forthcoming 12-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

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