The Diary

Mr Hague clears his diary

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

I was about to tell you of frustration within the Board of Deputies that it still had not been granted a meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague two months after making the request for one.

The Board had become worried about British policy after the UK's UN envoy voiced hopes of seeing a Palestinian state by September.

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Where Israel shines on TV

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

A round of applause, please, for one television station that has been quietly showing Israel in a positive light.

Take a bow, shopping channel QVC. Whenever my wife switches it on - which is frequently - there seems to be an Israeli jewellery designer promoting their wares.

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Pesach in Corrie St

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

Reader Geoff Levene believes that we were right (and thus Howard Jacobson wrong) in thinking there have been no Jewish characters in Coronation Street. But he recalled that Reg Holdsworth and Curly Watts were once shown in the local store in front of a display of matzot.

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Celebrity shopping

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

Spotted among shoppers filling their unleavened trolleys at Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green last week was none other than master spoonbender Uri Geller.

I shouldn't be surprised if one or two of the horseradishes were left with strange curvatures.

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Shooting the royal couple

By Simon Rocker, April 21, 2011

When Kate Middleton walks down the aisle next week, David Coleman will be watching more intently than most. He will be in charge of directing live TV coverage of the ceremony for ITV and Sky News from the time guests file into the abbey.

A few days later the Stanmore Synagogue member will be on communal duty when he films the Chief Rabbi's Yom Hashoah service in Ilford.

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Oxford's first Israel chair

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

Oxford University, I hear, is on the verge of appointing its first Professor of Israeli Studies - worthy of note because there is only one other chair in the subject in Britain and its incumbent is retiring in autumn.

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Netanyahu's golden feast

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

I can't say whether Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Prague last week was a diplomatic success, but at least he and his entourage dined well at a kosher banquet hosted by his Czech counterpart Petr Necas in the Golden Hall of the Lichtenstein Palace.

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Miliband's little cut?

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

Is Labour leader Ed Miliband, product of a strictly secular upbringing, starting to get religious? A Times picture caption said that he and his partner Justine Thornton had decided that they would not get married until after the "brith" of their second son Samuel. The nuptials are set for May. Better book them a chupah.

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Strictly simchah

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

BBC2's forthcoming documentary on marriage and matchmaking in Stamford Hill had the working title of My Big Hasidic Wedding. Not a title likely to appeal to local rabbinate who have been trying to encourage their flock to cut down on simchah expenses. My Little Hasidic Wedding, perhaps?

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Museum's saturday opening

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

London's Jewish Museum is making a pitch for more punters - by opening on Saturdays from the end of May. Director Rickie Burman believes the move will improve its outreach to the wider world. "If we are not open on Saturdays, a lot of people who could benefit from learning about Jewish life will not be able to visit us," she said.

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