Lifestyle features

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


I said kaddish for Elvis

By Jonathan Wingate, August 19, 2010

George Klein is probably in a better position than anyone to talk about Elvis Presley - he first met the singing legend in 1948 when they were classmates at Humes High School in Memphis.


The Israeli keeping a watch over the settlers

By Ben Lynfield, August 12, 2010

If the Palestinians ever achieve a viable state, a young Israeli activist will be able to claim to have played her part. Hagit Ofran, a former student of Jewish history, spends her working day driving around the West Bank, monitoring the growth of Jewish settlements. Sometimes her findings translate into pressure on the Israeli government from abroad to stop the construction of further outposts. Ofran's official title is director of the settlement watch team of the dovish Peace Now organisation. Her job is to gather and collate information on how much building is going on.


Why it's rough times for the Jewish golf club

By Angela Epstein, August 12, 2010

Stand on the club house terrace overlooking 100 undulating acres of tree-lined greenery and the view is, quite simply, breath-taking. Even the non-players who visit Manchester's Whitefield Golf Club - one of the country's oldest Jewish clubs - never fail to be impressed by the beauty of the course.

"Magnificent, isn't it ?" murmurs Anthony Harris, the club's current president and a member for over 45 years. "As a golfer it's perfect and as a Jew it represents an important part of our heritage. That's why we need it to survive for generations to come."