The Diary

It could have been Queen Babs

April 21, 2016

Prince Charles was apparently so struck by Barbra Streisand that she might actually have found herself Queen Bee, a new book has suggested.

After they met on the set of her 1970s film Funny Girl, the singer joked: "Who knows, if I'd been nicer to him, I might have ended up as the first real Jewish princess."

As a Cambridge student, the prince kept a picture of her on his wall, according to C

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Obama's late, late seder

April 21, 2016

American President Barack Obama will not be holding a Seder tomorrow night - unless he has persuaded Prime Minister David Cameron secretly to share some maror and matzah during his British visit.

The annual White House Seder will nevertheless be taking place, if a little later, after the President's return from his foreign travels. In fact, there is a biblical precedent for a delayed Passover.

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Rosa wraps it up

April 21, 2016

JC reporter Rosa Doherty goes in for some intriguing trans-faith fashion on a break in Dubai

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Back to the East End

April 14, 2016

The BBC's next trip down memory lane will feature families reliving the East End of London in Victorian times. The programme, I understand, will include at least one Jewish family. I imagine that they may have to pickle a gherkin or two but will they have to shecht their own chickens?

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No dinner date with Labour

April 14, 2016

"It gives me great pleasure to once again send a message of support," wrote Prime Minister David Cameron in the brochure for the Board of Deputies dinner this week. But there was no similar greeting from the Labour leader. Perhaps Board officials worried a mug-shot of Mr Corbyn might have had some diners spluttering over the seared tuna.

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Tricky step on the stairway

April 14, 2016

Next month the ears of a Californian jury will settle a long-running debate among rock fans: were the opening bars of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven lifted from an instrumental composed by American Jewish guitarist Randy California?

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Odd man or woman out

April 14, 2016

As we report this week, the S & P Sephardi Community has voted to allocate half the seats on its board to women. The new board will have nine seats but no one has explained what half means. Will there be four for each gender and the ninth for a hermaphrodite?

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Darren's impressive debut

April 14, 2016

Darren Altman, who sailed through the opening round of ITV's Britain's Got Talent with his celebrity impressions, said: "It's the first time I've done something like that - I'm not an entertainer."

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Lydia on song for The Voice

April 7, 2016

Lydia Lucy is priming her vocal chords for Saturday night when she bids to become The Voice of 2016 in the final of BBC1's song contest.

Though not Jewish, she can be considered an associate member of the tribe as a singer with top simchah band Totem.

"I can't wait," she said ahead of the climax to the competition which will feature her duetting with her coach will.i.am.

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Nothing weird about a beard

April 7, 2016

The eye-catching cover of this week's New Yorker magazine highlights the fondness for facial hair shared by contrasting residents of Brooklyn, Chasids and hipsters. Tomer Hanuka, the Israeli artist who drew it, commented, "I think superbeards can add gravitas to any face."

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