Lifestyle features

Hidden cost behind the growth of Charedim

By Simon Rocker, February 9, 2012

Halls Green, outside Sevenoaks in Kent, was once a woodland activities centre for children, run by a Christian charity. But the newest residents will not be spending their days abseiling or shooting arrows.

The teenage boys of what is now the Yeshivah Gedolah Torah Veyirah will study in the garden of England, a world away from the inner-city streets of London's Stamford Hill.


Interview: Julia Hobsbawm

By Lynne Franks, February 9, 2012

Lynne Franks: Tell me about your background.
Julia Hobsbawm: My mother was a refugee from Vienna and came to the UK just after the Anschluss in 1938, to Manchester, and spent the first three years here trying to get as many relatives out as possible. My father [the historian Eric Hobsbawm] was originally from Berlin.


Keeping the faith - or a marriage of convenience?

By Jessica Elgot, February 2, 2012

In Rabbi Jonathan Romain's conversion class, there have been couples converting together, religious Christians, an ex-Muslim convert, policemen, soldiers and housewives.

But although converts come to him from all walks of life, as the Movement for Reform Judaism's conversion expert Rabbi Romain has identified some key trends.


My life's routine. So I tried being a stand-up

January 27, 2012

For a man approaching 50, 2011 turned out to be a year of personal growth and discovery when I might have assumed I knew all there was to know about myself. Never particularly ambitious and more interested in knowing a little about a lot than being a specialist (and therefore not a bad person to have on your table at a supper quiz), I have tended not to wander far from my area of comfort.


The age-gap peril we'll all have to face

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2012

In Nightingale's South London care home, you'll see Singer sewing machines, old family photographs and other trinkets associated with the past.

With about two-thirds of Nightingale's 200 residents suffering from dementia, the intention is to trigger memories, acknowledging that the needs of today's elderly people are different from their predecessors'.


Successful parenting? She's discovered le secret

By Simon Round, January 20, 2012

Anyone who has ever attempted to dine out with a toddler in tow will know that it can be a stressful experience. Small children have a tendency to shout loudly, to refuse to eat unfamiliar foods, and occasionally to jettison unwanted items on the laps of people at neighbouring tables.


The man still seeking justice a century after the Dreyfus Affair

By Gerald Jacobs, January 20, 2012

Writer, composer, art expert, educationist - George Whyte modestly concedes, when it is put to him, that he is a man of many parts, and adds: "All of them Jewish".


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.