For people who have been lied to about their true identity and who then find out they are in fact Jewish, the revelation has a unique and powerful effect.
Crime writer and film producer Peter James was raised by a quintessentially English father and a supposedly Catholic mother. It was only when he began facing daily taunts of “Jew! Jew! Jew!” from a group of his fellow schoolboys, who singled him out because of his physical characteristics, that he first suspected he was Jewish.
Anyone visiting Manchester in recent years will testify as to how the once-tired industrial city has undergone a massive facelift. The streets are alive with energy thanks to the bars, restaurants, designer shops and hotels that have sprung up all over its centre.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the ship. It was a luxury liner and we were kids, thrilled to see there were cinemas, comfortable cabins and a swimming pool. It was such a contrast to the misery of our life in Berlin.
You have heard of the life coach, the business coach and the football coach — now meet the parenting coach.
Bebe Jacobs is not some New Age guru or tough-talking television nanny, but a Jewish mother with 25 years of experience as a child psychologist and educator. Her job, she says, is to help end the sleepless nights of parents driven to distraction by the behavioural problems thrown up by babies, toddlers and pre-adolescents — with an emphasis on the little ones.
During boxing’s golden years, almost a century ago, about one-third of professional fighters were Jewish. But when Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita steps into the ring in Newcastle on December 5 to face Britain’s Amir Khan he will be an anomaly — an Orthodox Jew who has used brawn, as well as no small amount of brains, to get to the top of his field. Salita, 27, lacks the hard-scrabble upbringing of some of his Jewish predecessors, such as Benny Leonard, Barney Ross, and Ted “Kid” Lewis, who were raised in the ghettoes of respectively New York, Chicago and London.
John Sergeant and I have two things in common. Both of us are journalists, and both of us — how can I put this? — have known tsouris on the dance floor. Sergeant is just one of the many celebrities to attract criticism for their performances on the BBC’s reality show Strictly Come Dancing — famously he was dubbed a “dancing pig in Cuban heels” by judge Arlene Phillips.
I have never, ever been likened to a dancing pig, but at a recent simchah I did think I caught the words “three left feet” as I skipped off the floor after a waltz.
Rush hour in Rehovot, Israel. Stopped in traffic, a driver leans out and calls: “Where’s the Laromme Hall?” Responds the driver alongside: “Hey, we must be cousins, that’s where we’re going. Follow me!”
By plane, car, bus, mini-van and even on foot, over 200 members of the same family converged in a once-in-a-lifetime gathering, many meeting their relatives for the first time.
To the outside world, Sarah and her family were a typical middle-class Jewish family. But after his business started to fail, Sarah’s husband began to control and humiliate her. He stopped her contacting friends and colleagues, tried to dictate what she wore and forced her into a purely domestic role. He became aggressive with their two children. Eventually she sought help through the charity Jewish Women’s Aid and won a restraining order against him.
My friends and family think I’m bonkers. Despite being eight months’ pregnant, I’m still doing regular exercise classes at the gym. For one thing, I don’t want to let myself go. My stomach’s circumference might rival that of one of those new planets they have just discovered, but I still want to show off toned arms and legs next to my cumbersome torso. And I spent too much of my youth being out of shape to want to scupper all my good work now.
So throughout pregnancy I have been attending aerobics and Body Pump classes at my local Virgin Active gym in Holloway, north London.