The Diary

Methodists and Jews unite over kiddush wine

By Robyn Rosen, August 6, 2010

Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton has married Jewish investment banker Mark Mezvinsky under rather unusual circumstances.

The £2million nuptials, which took place on Saturday, were presided over by a Methodist minister and rabbi under a chuppah.

The groom wore a tallit and kippah and family and friends recited the Shevah Brachot.

Let’s hope the discussion of boycotting Israeli goods doesn’t come up anytime soon — or Mr and Mrs Mezvinsky’s honeymoon may be short lived.


Uncircumcised Eastenders

By Simon Rocker, July 29, 2010

I thought my colleagues were kidding when they revealed the new Jewish plotline in EastEnders.

But, alas, they were not. Teens Jodie Gold and Darren Miller were about to consummate their relationship when – in probably the most ridiculous British soap scene ever – she ran screaming out of the room at the sight of his unclothed body.

On Monday we found out why, when Jodie confided that Darren’s generative organ (not the term she used) was “just not Jewish enough”.


Lineker's kosher craving

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Returning from presenting World Cup coverage in South Africa, television pundit Gary Lineker was straight back to work this week filminga new advert for Walkers crisps.

He was spotted along with pop star Lionel Richie in Vivian Avenue, Hendon.

Perhaps they were shooting for one of the new exotic World Cup crisp flavours including Yorkshire Pudding and Dutch Edam.

If Mr Lineker is longing for some South African cuisine as inspiration, he could always pop into the Kosher Delicatessen in Brent Street where they now stock beef boerewors.


My Big Fat Jewish Birthday

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Yet another Jewish family has had their five minutes of fame. This time it is the Colemans from Chigwell, the stars of BBC documentary, My Child's Big Fat Birthday Party, which aired on Monday.

The narrator informed us that 13-year-old Guy's barmitzvah celebrations are "a culmination of 18 months of almost military planning by his parents" and will include a caricaturist, magician, break dancer and singer.

Rabbi Larry Becker's sentiment that he is "very uncomfortable with the large modern extravaganza" is soon forgotten by Guy, who enters his party arm-in-arm with two sparkly dancers.


Tony and two Jonathans

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Today presenter Evan Davis got into a tangle presenting an item on last week's JPR report on Israel-diaspora relations.

He introduced Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield not once but twice as "Rabbi Jonathan Bayfield".

"My mother would be very upset," the Reform leader responded.

Davis explained that they had "Rabbi Jonathan Sacks" on so often that the name just tripped off the tongue.

Which did nothing to console Rabbi Bayfield, who retorted: "I don't think it's improved the situation."


Double trouble

By Simon Rocker, July 22, 2010

Lord Levy must be having a poor grass-court season.

A fortnight ago he found the Shabbat sermon of Rabbi Julian Shindler – standing in for Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet at Mill Hill – was not to his liking.

Rabbi Shindler kicked off by discussing how "all men have sexual fantasies".

For Lord Levy it was all too much - amid much tut-tutting, he upped and left.

The former Labour Party fundraiser followed it up last Shabbat by abandoning a lunch at Woodside Park Synagogue.


It's a rich man's world

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Super-rich Sheldon Adelson, who reportedly lost $36 billion during the credit crunch, has bounced back with his latest grand scheme, a hotel and casino complex in Singapore.


Why this bagel is barred

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

If you were a cow, you'd have every reason to bless Tzedek, the international development aid charity. It's cut its carbon footprint by 15 per cent with a series of environmentally-friendly measures – one of which is to insist on vegetarian catering at its events.

Director Dan Berelowitz has risked accusations of sacrilege by declaring "Smoked salmon bagels are off the menu." Supporters will have to make do with grilled halloumi, instead.


Never the twain...

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Two demos took place outside the Israeli Embassy in London this week, both of them Jewish. Hundreds of charedim rallied on Tuesday against the disturbance of ancient graves in Israel.

The previous day Liberal women held a vigil in support of Anat Hoffman, arrested for praying at the Western Wall. Pity the poor police had the two events clashed.


Tomb Raider Torah

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie says she wants her six children to have knowledge of all faiths so they can make their own choice when they grow up. The heroine of Tomb Raider revealed that she even has a Torah in the house.

Jolie, by the way, is daughter of actor Jon Voight, who although non-Jewish, is a prominent supporter of Lubavitch.