The Diary

Happy ending for west london

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2015

A feature of Adon Olam, which wraps up the Shabbat morning service, is its adaptability - you can sing it to all sorts of tunes. Greensleeves and Scarborough Fair were two we used at school.

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The poem going down a storm

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2015

A rainy day some years ago has turned out bright for Bushey's Jonathan Goldman as it's earned a poem of his a place in a book. JGthepoet, as he's known, who is 71 and Nottingham-born, began writing poetry 15 years ago after being diagnosed with a rare skeletal muscle disease.

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Definitely not a dog's dinner

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2015

Children's food writer Annabel Karmel is an avid dog-lover who once had to hire a driver to take her pet home from a family skiing holiday when the airline barred it. She recently hosted a fundraiser for The Dogs Trust, whereshe cooked for two-legged guests and
"a company made all the dog food," she told the Sunday Times. "But the dog food looked so good I was worried the adults would eat it."

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Gazza's Least Favoured Strip

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2015

It wasn't only British Jews who became worried when the news starting being about Gaza. So did former England footballer Paul Gascoigne.

Gazza, as he's known, was often pilloried in the press for his off-field excesses. "The news would come on 'And the Gazza...' and I'd be like 'What's that?'" he revealed in a new film about his life shown this week. "And I realised it was the Gaza Strip.

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Newborn That's Made a Name

By Simon Rocker, June 11, 2015

You may have noticed a birth announcement in last week's JC for Eden Layla Keidstein.

Her parents, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld are pursuing a legal case for the right to unite in a commitment ceremony - which is currently restricted to same-sex couples - rather than have a traditional marriage.

Their egalitarianism is reflected in the names they have given to their daughter, as they

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Millionaire's great giveaway

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

Harold Grinspoon, the American philanthropist behind PJ Library, has joined the elite Giving Pledge group, who have pledged to give at least half their wealth away. Parents of young children in a number of countries, including the UK, can receive a free Jewish book from PJ every month.

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Commons or garden yiddish

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who likes nothing better than skewering Tories, had his chance the other day when he rose to correct Leader of the House Chris Grayling, who had pronounced chutzpah with a "ch" as in "church". Mind you, Mr Skinner's correction sounded closer to "h" as in "hat" rather than "ch" as in loch. Just as well he represents Bolsover rather than Llanelli.

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Mason's fishy tale

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

You might think that Jackie Mason would stick to chopped herring but the New York comedian is a sushi-lover, having first sampled it in Tokyo. "I was convinced it would never catch on," he told the Sunday Times. "It's lucky I'm not in the restaurant business."

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Rabbi's good vibrations

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

Israeli Orthodox Rabbi Natan Alexander has been attracting attention with his new website, Better2gether, which sells sex toys for religious couples. But no room in its vibrator range for the model featured in the JC a couple of years ago - the "rampant rabbi".

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Corden's kosher steak-out

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

James Corden, the British host of The Late, Late Show on American TV (centre), did a kosher turn this week, with a sketch serving behind the counter of a Jewish butcher. Wishing customers "Good Shabbos" behind a poster for the Great Cholent Cookoff and "kvelling" at the prospect of Friday-night dinner, he seemed to enjoy his outing. Next: Graham Norton at the Kosher Deli?

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