Lifestyle features

My child likes to be seen and heard

By Cari Rosen, July 30, 2009

Although, until a year or so ago, my hands-on experience of babies could be neatly summarised as “very little”, I figured I had them sussed. Sleep, poo, cry, food, gurgle, sleep, poo and so on and so forth.
Some time later, there is the odd smile, a bit of cooing and an occasional “mama” or “dada”. And after that I admit to being a bit hazy until the bit where they go trotting off to the infants’ class, tripping over their uniform (“room to grow”) and lugging a satchel that is bigger than they are.


Sorry ladies, there really is a science to pulling

By Paul Lester, July 30, 2009

Five guys walk into a bar — an Englishman, an Irishman, an Asian, a West Indian and a Jew. No, it’s not the first line of a joke, it’s what happened the other week when I, plus several other blokes of varying races and creeds, went to a nightclub to try and meet women after learning how to score on a course run by an organisation called Love Systems.

As Samir, one of the students on the three-day “boot camp” held in London, put it: “If you feel ill, you call a doctor, so why not have someone you can go to when you’re having trouble getting a girlfriend?”


The black vegan cult finally loved by Israel

By John Torode, July 23, 2009

Dimona, deep in the Negev desert, is the inaccessible little town used by Israel to park its unacknowledged nuclear weapons. It was also used, almost 40 years ago, to park an unacknowledged — and equally embarrassing — group of illegal immigrants. Thirty nine deeply religious “Black Hebrews” sought entry under the Law of Return, while insisting they were not Jews. They were rejected, so they bluffed their way in, determined to re-create the Kingdom of Yah in what they insisted was their lost homeland.


This year in Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 16, 2009

The 52 new Israeli immigrants who arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday night began their journey to Zion in typical fashion, with an 80-minute delay on the runway at Heathrow. They took it in their stride, some even clapping when the plane finally landed in Tel Aviv though, on the whole, they were remarkably sober and quiet throughout the flight and immigration process.


Welcome to the ultimate blended Jewish family

By Simon Rocker, July 8, 2009

Shaking our shakers and jingling our bells, we try to keep up with the rhythm of our session leader. Sitting in a candle-lit circle, we are learning how to be “drummers of Zion” with Akiva the Believer, the soulful percussionist whose musical companions have ranged from the singing rabbi, Shlomo Carlebach, to Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary.


Interview: David Ariel

By Simon Rocker, July 2, 2009

Oxford University is probably the last place you would go to hear about old wives’ tales or, in that splendid Yiddish word for them, bubbemeises. But among the eight million volumes that make up the Bodleian Library’s vast reserves of knowledge sits a copy of the very first bubbemeise.


The biggest sins of spin

By Alex Kasriel, July 2, 2009

When it comes to political spin, the Israelis have a lot to learn from the Palestinians.

This is the view of marketing expert Jonathan Gabay, who has spent 30 years in advertising and whose new book, Soul Traders, looks at the impact of propaganda on popular culture.


Is this the real-life Jewish pirate who inspired Johnny Depp?

By Simon Round, June 25, 2009

If the key to getting attention for a new book relies to an extent on the title, Edward Kritzler has cracked it.

His new book is called Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, which summons up visions of Yiddishe buccaneers, cutlass in one hand, tallit bag in the other, wreaking havoc on the high seas. It could almost be the title of a Mel Brooks movie.

But while there were indeed real Jewish pirates in the Caribbean, Kritzler, visiting London from his home in Jamaica, concedes the title of the book was “a commercial decision”.


I'm a man. And I’ve had breast cancer, honestly

By Gideon Schneider, June 17, 2009

I didn’t think a man could get breast cancer.” That was how most people reacted when Michael Rubenstein told them about his illness. Not that their surprise was the first thing on his mind. “I was too worried about having cancer to care too much about the fact that, usually, my illness only affects women,” he says.

The 59-year-old father of two from Enfield, north London was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. Male breast cancer is rare — there are only 300 new cases a year in the UK, compared to over 45,500 female cases.


A Shoah hero in the dock

By Leon Symons, June 17, 2009

Rudolf Kasztner is one of the most controversial figures of the Holocaust. To some, he is the hero who saved over 1,600 Hungarian Jews from the gas chambers; to others, a Nazi collaborator who bears responsibility for the death of hundreds of thousands at Auschwitz.

Since the end of the war, a debate has raged over the role of this Hungarian-Zionist leader in the tragic fate of his country’s Jewish community. Kasztner himself fell victim to the dispute when he was assasinated by a Holocaust survivor in Israel in 1957.