The Diary

Jimmy Carr's kibbutznik past

November 6, 2014

Add comedian Jimmy Carr to the list of showbiz kibbutzniks. He spent two months communing with Israel in his 20s, he told the Magen David Adom dinner this week. Some of his jokes were so blue they had the audience blushing redder than the charity's logo but he helped raise a record sum.

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Rap with strings attached

November 6, 2014

Israeli hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari has enjoyed collaborations with some of the top rappers, winning a Grammy award in 2005 for co-writing Kanya West's Jesus Talks.

Now she appears on three tracks of Theophilus London's new album Vibes, released this week, which West has produced.

The classically-trained violinist is the founder of a charity, Gedenk, "Remember" in Yiddish, which uses cult

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What's nu for Scottish TV

November 6, 2014

BBC Scotland's Gaelic current affairs programme, Alba Eorpa, is considering doing an item on the Stamford Hill Shomrim. A TV producer who called us said that they had heard that US Secretary of State John Kerry had praised the work of the volunteer security group and asked if we knew of a Yiddish-speaking "fixer" who could put them in touch with Shomrim.

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Laura joins United Synagogue

November 6, 2014

Board of Deputies senior vice-president, Laura Marks, who represents the Movement for Reform Judaism, has joined the United Synagogue.

Ms Marks, who has become an associate member of Highgate Synagogue while retaining links with the Reform Alyth, said, "Lots of people are members of more than one synagogue.

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She'll be back behind the bar

October 30, 2014

Maria Friedman (below), one of the country's leading lights in musical theatre, turned up recently in a more unexpected place: Eastenders.

She played Elaine Peacock, mother of Queen Vic landlady, Linda Carter, in the BBC soap.

While she's out of the picture for the time being, the BBC confirmed we haven't seen the last of her.

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Lipman: Ed Miliband has lost my vote

October 30, 2014

Labour leader Ed Miliband's stance on the Middle East has cost the party one prominent supporter - Maureen Lipman.

The actress said that for the first time in five decades she would not be voting Labour in the next election, in an article for the magazine Standpoint.

When she bumped into Mr Miliband recently, she had asked him to Friday night dinner, she said.

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Foreign climb for Hasmo boy

October 30, 2014

Former Hasmonean pupil Jeremy Issacharoff, 59, who made aliyah from London when he was 22, has crowned a distinguished career in Israel by being named principal director general of its Foreign Ministry - in effect, its number two diplomat.

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Israel is the taste of Soho

October 30, 2014

Since it opened in Soho earlier this year, the Israeli restaurant Palomar has quickly made friends. The Sunday Times has listed it as one of the country's top restaurants for £20 a head, describing it as one of the West End's "must-visit" places.

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Chelsea girl is in the swim

October 30, 2014

All those days sunbathing have paid off for Natalie Joel, former star of Channel 4 reality show, Made in Chelsea (right). The 23-year-old model has just brought out her own range of swimwear.

Raised partly in Israel, she said that the items reflect "a delicate mix of my heritage - the quality of a British product with the exotic designs of Israel.

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The wizard of Wall Street

October 23, 2014

Michael Milken was a Wall Street hero until falling from grace in 1990 when he went to jail for 22 months for breaking stock-market rules.

But the junk bond maestro has since restored his reputation not only as a trader but also as a philanthropist supporting education, medical research and Jewish music.

He is speaking here at JW3 next week, in conversation with film director (Trading Places

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