Does anyone still actually make challah? Frankly, this tradition is rather time-consuming. All that proving and kneading takes a lot of work. And it is so much easier to part with around £1.60 at the local Jewish bakery for a loaf of the doughy stuff.
Shop challahs are often tastier and lighter — but they have been prepared under highly controlled conditions. The ovens are at the right temperature and the kneading machines do all the work. Meanwhile, the professional bakers have an agent in their flour to make it just the right consistency.
They were ordinary English women who had never met a Jew, let alone risked their lives for anyone; but with their courage and sense of justice, Ida and Louise Cook ended up rescuing dozens of would-be victims of Hitler’s death camps.
The die-hard opera fans would travel to Germany posing as tourists willing to go anywhere to hear their favourite singers. Then they would smuggle back diamonds and furs belonging to Jews to give them financial security when they arrived on British soil.
In many parts of the world, when couples choose to have a family there is a strong preference for a boy. Not among secular Jewish couples, though. Reform rabbi Jonathan Romain has noticed the opposite preference — they nearly always hope for a girl. It is not that this section of the community has anything against baby boys, but rather that having a girl frees them from the responsibility of worrying about circumcision.
When Joel Leyden speaks about Israel, 89,000 people listen. His name may not be familiar, but if you have ever used Google to look up anything on the Middle East, then you have probably had your search results influenced by him. And if you are one of the 150 million users of the social networking website Facebook, then it is likely that you have read something written by him. You might even be one of the almost 100,000 members of his group called “I support the Israel Defence Forces in Preventing Terror Attacks from Gaza.”
What are the essentials for seducing a man? A splash of expensive perfume, perhaps? A little black dress? Seductive body language? Well, according to author Penny Lewis, it is none of the above. What you need is a nice piece of steak, a tomato and a spud.
Lewis, with co-writer Sarah Lockett, has written The Dish, which is intended to show women how to incorporate food in a strategy to win men over. You should cook for your date, she feels, but don’t go making elaborate soufflés or that perfect sauce hollandaise — because the key to success is simplicity.
‘You put your left foot in, your left foot out; in out, in out, shake it all about.” The words may be familiar, but for many Catholics, the Hokey Cokey is reviled as an anti-Papist song written by Puritans in the 18th century which has been an expression of sectarian hatred ever since.
The song was the subject of a controversy as recently as last month when the Protestant fans of Glasgow Rangers football club were banned from singing it at Celtic Park, the home ground of their bitter Catholic rivals, Celtic.
The idea of doing the dusting while listening to newspaper podcasts in order to spend time more productively might seem like multi-tasking gone mad. But that is what self-confessed serial networker and public relations supremo Julia Hobsbawm recommends in her new book, The See Saw: 100 Ideas for Work-Life Balance.
The vicar of Putney has an uncomfortable feeling that his son should have had a bris.
The Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought For The Day, has two girls and a boy with his Scandinavian wife, Sally. So far, so normal, except for the fact that his father is Jewish and he himself was circumcised.
One of the scariest statistics for restaurateurs over the past few weeks must have been the rise in the sales of televisions. People hit by the recession are planning to stay in a lot more in 2009, and are sorting out their domestic entertainment accordingly. When finances are tight, people start to cut back on going out - and that includes visiting restaurants. So is the kosher dining industry, which has always struggled with high costs and consequently higher prices, about to feel the chill of the economic downturn?