Without Woody Allen, Sophie Lellouche’s life would have been very different. She might never have discovered literature, music or philosophy, and she would definitely not be attending the London gala premiere of her movie Paris-Manhattan, which opens this year’s UK Jewish Film Festival — a debut rom-com which features a cameo appearance by Allen himself.
When Yasmin Levy was signed up by her manager Paul Burger more than a decade ago, he joked that she would be unlikely to sell more than 128 records. You could understand why. After all, here was an unknown vocalist who specialised in singing half-forgotten songs in the language of Ladino — the Judeo-Spanish of the Sephardi world which is spoken by fewer than 150,000 people.
Mark Glanville is nothing if not eclectic. There cannot be many who have sung a Yiddish song cycle at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and written a first-hand account of what it was like to be a football hooligan with Manchester United’s notorious Cockney reds.
Michael Chabon was brought up in a place called Columbia, Maryland. It was what was known in America as a planned community — a 1970s concept of a racially integrated, egalitarian, ecumenical community.
Yom Kippur is always a big deal for money-saving guru Martin Lewis, but this year it will be even more so. While he is at synagogue, fasting and generally attempting to ignore the outside world, his new prime-time show will be debuting on ITV.
Every weekend, a bunch of people get together in their free-time to fly in helicopters around the country. Tony Bleetman is one of them and he loves it. “You couldn’t pay to have that much fun,” he says.
Things have changed dramatically in South Africa over the past couple of decades. Ivor Ichikowitz discovered just how much a few years ago when his son asked him for help with a school project. “He said to me: ‘Dad, we’re learning about apartheid at school; can you explain it to me’. My first reaction was anger.