The Diary

That really takes the biscuit

February 5, 2015

My colleague Marcus Dysch keeps getting texted by the assistant of a shadow cabinet minister unaware he has the wrong number. The minion's latest message this week announced his master was hungry and wanted some biscuits.

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Wanted, a kosher ghostbuster

February 5, 2015

Rebbetzin Ilana Freedman is shortly to move with her young family into their new home by London's New West End Synagogue.
But she may have a problem; their flat could already be occupied - by a ghost.

The daughter of a former chazan told Mrs Freedman that she had once seen "a young girl in a white dress with a bow walking past a bedroom door".

Although there have been no sightings reported

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There's no biz like snow biz

February 5, 2015

Stacey Solomon had to endure close encounters with some distinctly unpleasant critters to win I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. But she says her stint in the jungle was less scary than her latest TV challenge, participating in The Jump, Channel 4's winter sports contest.

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No hamming it up for Christina

February 5, 2015

The latest reality TV series to rival the Kardashians on entertainment channel E!

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Call me Mavis

January 29, 2015

It is easy for anyone to get tongue-tied in the illustrious presence of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. So spare a thought for one Year 10 pupil at La Sainte Union in north London, who was selected to introduce the Chief Rabbi to her assembled cohorts during his visit on Tuesday. The 15-year-old stood on the podium and boldly declared: "Please welcome Mr Mavis."

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Words on another Abraham

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2015

It seems the Board of Deputies was well-versed in the art of diplomatic correspondence long before the days of Twitter. Take this 150-year-old artefact, recently received by board president Vivian Wineman: a letter of condolence sent to the United States from past-president Sir Moses Montefiore following Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

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A punch above his weight

January 29, 2015

Remember Alex Reid, that brawny bloke who won Celebrity Big Brother three years ago? He has withstood some woes - not least, during his early years as a cage-fighter, followed by his brief marriage to glamour model Katie Price. But things are looking up for Reid (or Roxanne, his cross-dressing alter ego). He'll say "I do" to ex-JFS girl, and former JC employee, Nikki Manashe later this year.

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I'll have what Obama had

January 29, 2015

You'll never go hungry at a Jew-do. But supporters of Manna Meir Panim will have an extra treat in store when they attend the charity's gala dinner on March 12. The event will be catered by Shalom Kadosh, the only Israeli member of the exclusive "Club des Chefs des Chefs", who has previously cooked for Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.

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An El-Al-ternative for reading

January 29, 2015

It looks like Reading-dwellers have a new commute to hand. At least, that is what one tourist assumed when he spotted this bus sign in Israel.

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First bets for the Board race

By Simon Rocker, January 22, 2015

There are still four months to go but an online book has already been opened on the Board of Deputies' presidential election.

Paddy Power's early favourite is Daily Mail journalist Alex Brummer, one of the Board's three vice-presidents, at 3 to 2 on.

Senior vice-president Laura Marks is at 11/8, with the third VP Jonathan Arkush at 7/1.

So far Mr Brummer is the only one to have announced

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