The Diary

Don't speak German in the toilets

September 1, 2016

A large proportion of the annual reports produced by charities must end up in the bin unread.

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Invitation to a TV chupah

September 1, 2016

Everyone loves a Jewish wedding, especially TV producers who want a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the happy day. Crackit Productions in London would like to hear from marrying couples willing to reveal all those inter-family negotiations for a Channel Five Star series.

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Shabbat impossible

September 1, 2016

The actor Steven Hill, who died recently aged 94, starred in the first series of Mission Impossible on TV. But Solomon Krakovsky, as he was born, left only after a year owing to various difficulties which reportedly included his reluctance to work late on Fridays because of Shabbat.

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Well-heeled Zio in Helsinki

September 1, 2016

The term "Zio", a derogatory abbreviation of "Zionist", is beyond the pale, according to the Labour party's recent inquiry into antisemitism. But they'll think you're talking cobblers if you object to it in Finland because there it happens to be the name of a fancy shoes and handbag boutique.

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Chief Rabbi's day trip to Australia

September 1, 2016

You don't often speak of "whirlwind visits" and "Australia" in the same breath.

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When it's hard on the haunches

August 25, 2016

The pews of Long Itchington Church in Warwickshire are a sore point among congregants. They believe padded chairs would be a far more comfortable proposition than their old-fashioned benches.

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He's definitely not lost for words

August 25, 2016

In all the Olympic euphoria, let us not overlook one record nearly broken elsewhere.

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Paid to pray in mountain minyans

August 25, 2016

When Laurence Brass, former treasurer of the Board of Deputies, visited Azerbaijan on behalf of the organisation Faith Matters, he was intrigued to find two functioning shuls among the Mountain Jews of Oghuz.

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Applause rings for Bing

August 25, 2016

The audience at Glyndebourne Opera was clapping last week even before the curtain rose on Le Nozze di Figaro.

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There's no zed in Streisand

August 25, 2016

Apple is to fix a problem with Siri, its voice-activated assistant, which has been mispronouncing the name of Barbra Streisand. The second syllable of her surname is said with s for sand, not z for Zanzibar. The star has been told she'll be correctly sounded next month.

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