Lifestyle features

Interivew: Peter Beinart

By Oliver Kamm, November 22, 2010

Peter Beinart is an articulate and important liberal voice on American foreign policy. Now a professor of journalism at the City University of New York, he became editor of The New Republic in 1999, at the age of 28, and held the post for seven years. A few months ago he published in the New York Review of Books an essay arguing that Israel needs to be saved from itself and from the American Jewish establishment, whom he charged with promoting "an uncritical brand of Zionism".

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Interview: Walt Odets

November 12, 2010

There are two plays by two of America's finest dramatists currently being staged in London. One of them, Arthur Miller's Broken Glass (at the Tricycle Theatre), is a very Jewish play by a writer whose work was not considered to be very Jewish at all. The other, Clifford Odets's The Country Girl, is a non-Jewish play by a writer whose work is generally thought to be very Jewish indeed. In either case, Jewishness, by its presence or its absence, defines them.

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Revealed: Al Qaeda's link to the killing of Meir Kahane

By Paul Berger, November 11, 2010

Rabbi Meir Kahane had just finished addressing a crowd of supporters at the Marriott East Side Hotel in New York on November 5, 1990, when a man, of Middle Eastern appearance and wearing a kippah, fired a shot at close range. The controversial 58-year-old founder of the ultra right-wing Jewish Defence League fell to the floor, blood gushing from a wound to his neck.

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Interview: Maureen Lipman

By John Nathan, November 4, 2010

Maureen Lipman is going to need a longer hallway.

The thoroughfare that winds from the front door of her Paddington apartment is also a gallery of posters and pictures from a life of theatre, film and family. It is hard to see where she will fit the poster for her latest appearance in the West End.

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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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