Lifestyle features

He could have been the first Jewish President

By Tom Seymour, March 4, 2011

Instead of Barack Obama, it could have been Eliot Spitzer sitting in the Oval Office right now.

As Attorney General of New York state and then as Governor, Spitzer declared a crackdown on the very bankers who were the cause of the global recession, targeting their bonus culture, and proclaiming himself the "Sheriff of Wall Street".

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The peace will hold, says Anwar Sadat's widow

By Brigit Grant, March 3, 2011

It is the photograph that means more to Anwar Sadat's widow than any other. A family portrait taken on the eve of the former Egyptian president's departure to Israel to address the Knesset on November 19 1977. A landmark moment for the Middle East, and for his wife who was convinced she would never see him again.

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The British soldiers who helped Israel win in '67

By Duff Hart-Davis, February 25, 2011

In June 1967, Israel crushed Egypt in the Six Day War. However, what is less known was the part played by British mercenaries and Israelis who helped the Royalist forces confront the Egyptian-backed rebels in the civil conflict which ravaged the Yemen from 1962 to 1968.

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Secret that saved my life

By Nathan Jeffay, February 18, 2011

For years, Avraham Carmi felt a debt of gratitude to the Pole who saved his life. Like an angel the kind man swooped into his life, helped him in his hour of need and disappeared without revealing anything about himself.

Then one day - years later - Carmi found out his saviour's name, where to find him and the man's staggering secret.

Three days before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, 10-year-old Carmi, or Abrash Stohlbach-Weinberger as he was called back then, went with his mother from their home town of Krzeszowice to nearby Warsaw, which she thought was safer.

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How to kosher an ogre

By Katie Taylor, February 11, 2011

Shrek, star of four hit animated movies, has been called quite a few things since he first appeared on the big screen in 2001. "Green", obviously; "loveable", certainly; "ugly", cruelly. But Jewish?

Well, yes. Hollywood screenwriter David Weiss has revealed that, while working on the movie Shrek 2, he turned for inspiration to the words of his rabbi and in the process koshered the ogre.

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Why Ruby Wax wants to be your therapist

By John Nathan, February 10, 2011

How did we get to this point? Is life a crap shoot? Who is in charge? Do we get any smarter as we get older? Does anyone know what they are doing?

Ruby Wax is addressing some serious questions in her new show, Losing It. An odd move, possibly, for someone best known as a wise-cracking comedian, but these days Wax is more interested in serious matters, particularly concerning mental health, than easy laughs.

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The people who suffer their own 'King's Speech' moments

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2011

There is a moment in The King's Speech, the multi-Oscar-nominated British film, when Queen Elizabeth, played by an icy Helena Bonham Carter, meets speech therapist Lionel Logue for the first time to discuss her husband's chronic stammer - before Logue realises his future patient is a royal. She explains: "My husband's job requires a lot of public speaking." Geoffrey Rush's Logue retorts: "Then he should change job."

But the future King George VI, played by Colin Firth, cannot change job. His job is to be the voice of the nation on the eve of the Second World War.

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'I have never experienced a disaster like this one'

By Dan Goldberg, January 20, 2011

Esther Oliver's house backs on to a creek in Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city and the capital of the beleaguered state of Queensland. Last Wednesday, Ms Oliver, a former teacher at a Jewish school in Melbourne who sits on the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, looked on anxiously as the flood waters began inching towards her house. When it started flooding her garden, she began to panic.

"I was watching it coming. It was seeping. I fully expected it to flood the house. I expected snakes. I was scared."

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One's Jewish, the other isn't - but it works for them

By Robyn Rosen, January 14, 2011

Alexandra Domingue & Adam Payne, married for two years

Since ALexandra Domingue met her husband, Adam Payne, eight years ago, she has studied Judaism, learnt Hebrew, and attended synagogue in an effort to understand his Jewish roots and share his religion. But, as a church-going Presbyterian, there is a line she will not cross.

"Conversion," she says, "it's not for me."

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Interview: Dan Halutz

By Jenni Frazer, January 13, 2011

Pilots, they say in the Israel Defence Forces, are the most cautious of men. They will check something repeatedly, and then go back to check it again.

So it is not really a surprise to find the ex-fighter pilot and former head of Israel's military, Dan Halutz, is treating his first foreign media interview since entering politics with the utmost care.

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