The Diary

According to leeks...

August 27, 2015

Ydych chi' n siarad Cymraeg? The Board of Deputies is after a Welsh speaker to help write a Jewish manifesto for next year's National Assembly elections. It did have a member of staff fluent in Welsh, Tori Joseph, who ran its small communities project, but she has left to do a medical degree.

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Jane Seymour's Polish return

August 20, 2015

She was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg in Uxbridge but you'll know her as Jane Seymour.

The award-winning actress, who starred in the Bond film Live and Let Die, explored her father's Jewish roots in yesterday's edition of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC1.

Her paternal grandfather, Leon, was a hairdresser in the East End of London.

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Some of his best friends are...

August 20, 2015

Riding to the defence of Jeremy Corbyn this week was Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai Brown, who denounced attacks made on him by "hard Zionists". Some of his friends, she pointed out, were "conscientious and ethical British Jews" such as the late cricket writer Mike Marqusee and Ken Loach (both strong critics of Israel).

Ken Loach Jewish? Only on Planet Alibhai Brown.

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Plato bythe poolside

August 20, 2015

If you've ever doubted the value of lounging by the pool for a week, don't. According to philosopher Alain de Botton, in the Sunday Times, sun-seeking is a necessary corrective to overwork and disconnection from our bodies. "It is a deeply noble search for wisdom and balance," he declared.

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Why David is king no more

August 20, 2015

Biblical names are falling out of fashion, according to the latest trends. There was just one in the top 10 boys' names for England and Wales last year - Jacob (fourth), with none among the girls. Noah (11th ) and Joshua (13th) were bubbling under. But Londoners were more traditional with Daniel fourth and Joshua fifth.

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Mystery over wild gull chase

August 20, 2015

UKIP-supporting ex-councillor Jeremy Zeid is not a man to mince his words - or actions. He recently recalled on a radio phone-in how he had dealt with a seagull menace some years ago.

Some birds had been terrorising local cats, until he took a potshot with his airgun. "I didn't kill anything," he told me, "I couldn't hit a barn door." But they got the message.

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No need for a long face here

August 13, 2015

If a dog is a man’s best friend, then a horse is his business partner. Just ask Jewish-Egyptian businessman Ahmed Zayat, whose prized steed, American Pharaoh, has earned him £3.5 million. The horse has won legions of fans in the US after becoming the first racer in 37 years to win the three contests that make up the Triple Crown.

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A peculiar discount

August 13, 2015

Poundland may be renowned for cutting prices, but it seems to have overdone its discount promise. Why else would the superstore’s Ponders End branch be stocking world globes that show no trace of Israel on their maps? It certainly is one way to promise one per cent off.

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Cars driven down memory lane

August 13, 2015

Shul-member Melvyn Gordon took congregants at New Essex Masorti Synagogue down memory lane on Saturday when he led Adon Olam to the tune of 1960s police series Z Cars. Mr Gordon said he chose the jingle because “we used to sing it at children’s services at Ilford’s Beehive Lane shul”.

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How the tables have turned

August 13, 2015

Those days of begging your children to eat their veggies are long gone, according to Annabel Karmel. The celebrity chef has found that children are now telling their parents off for dishing up unhealthy meals, as a result of better food education in schools.

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