Lifestyle features

If you build schools, will they come?

By Jessica Elgot, January 19, 2012

In the playground of Ilford Jewish Primary School, Chinese pupils race with boys in kippot. At King David in Birmingham, the Ivrit prize in assembly could go to Shimon or Shabina.

For the schools which must accept non-Jewish pupils, the atmosphere is harmonious, albeit after considerable challenges. But it is a challenge which north-west London schools could yet face.


Enter the pop-up shuls and made-to-measure minyans

By Simon Rocker, January 12, 2012

At Kol Nidre this year, a visitor would have been able to walk into Hendon United Synagogue in north-west London and comfortably find a seat. Twenty years ago, for one of the 25 biggest congregations in the country not to have been full would have been inconceivable.


Interview: Yair Lapid

By Jenni Frazer, January 12, 2012

Imagine a cross between Jeremy Paxman and Jonathan Ross, with a twist of Daniel Craig-style good looks and a soupçon of Ian McEwan, and you are on the way to de-coding Yair Lapid.


Some communities struggle, others are rapidly expanding

By Marcus Dysch, January 5, 2012

Britain's Jewish communities are changing.

Spread the length and breadth of the nation, from Aberdeen to Exeter, they range from small shtibl-style gatherings to 2,000-member synagogues.


He wants to unite Jerusalem. And you thought your job was hard

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 5, 2012

I first met Mark Sofer in a humid Mumbai car-park in November 2008. The multiple terror attacks on the city - which included an assault on a Chabad centre - were still in progress, Israeli security teams were scouring mortuaries to discover how many of the country's nationals had been killed, and the Israeli ambassador had agreed to give an impromptu briefing to reporters outside the consulate.


When footballers first ruled the world

December 30, 2011

I was looking at a photograph of George Best when I had my eureka moment.

It was 1968 and, as a young entrepreneur in my 20s, I was running a company called Star Posters, which had just launched a series of products aimed at the new, affluent youth market - Frank Zappa sitting on a lavatory seat, Jimi Hendrix "making love" to his guitar.


Interview: David Gerbi

By Jeremy Josephs, December 29, 2011

It's official - Dr David Gerbi still has his sense of humour. And given what happened to the 56-year-old psychiatrist earlier this year, that is quite surprising.

Two days after Yom Kippur, Gerbi had to leave Libya in a hurry after hundreds of protesters called for his deportation. He even received death threats. His crime? Defiling an "archaeological site".


Welcome to Poland - it's where my family were killed

By Richard Zimler, December 22, 2011

My mother's father, Itzhak Gutkind, grew up in a three-storey townhouse in Brzeziny, a small but bustling city at the heart of Poland's textile industry.


Interview: Theodore Zeldin

By Anthea Gerrie, December 16, 2011

Theodore Zeldin believes conversation has the power to change the world. Not a chance remark, and certainly not small talk, but the kind of meaningful exchange of ideas we tend deliberately to avoid in social situations.

Now the celebrated philosopher and historian is travelling the world holding talk-fests where people begin to discuss a topic with a complete stranger,


Interview: Prince Hassan of Jordan

By Adam Lebor, December 15, 2011

It is a rare Arab leader who says the Arab world can learn from Israel. But Hassan bin Talal, Prince of Jordan, is a realist, a pragmatist and one of the most outspoken reformers in the Middle East.

He praises Israel's "tenacity of purpose - to draw your line in the sand and say, here I will stand, to promote a shared public interest, in which all my population can participate.