The Diary

Martial tips for cabbies

By Simon Rocker, December 29, 2010

The Israeli self-defence technique, krav maga, has found a new group of adepts - London cabbies.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association has started to teach courses to its members in order to fend off attacks from abusive passengers and robbers on the streets.

More..

Sunny despite the snow

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Heathrow chaplain Rabbi Hershi Vogel was a busy man this week, as you might imagine, answering pleas for help from passengers stranded at the snowbound airport

Except that Rabbi Vogel himself was a victim of the weather: he, wife Zelda and their youngest child, nine-week-old Elisheva, were marooned for more than a day at Amsterdam airport trying to get home.

Still, he took calls on his mobile from people in London looking for "places to stay, food and if I could help with tickets!"

More..

How Isadore became trendy

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Laura Ashley has a new designer tile out which goes by the name of "Isadore". Is this the start of some retro-Jewish name trend. John Galliano's Morrie range perhaps or Irving by Chanel.

More..

Mick and Ron still friends

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Mick Davis and Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor remain on good terms, despite the contretemps over the UJIA chairman's outspoken remarks on Israel and the envoy's public rebuke of him. The pair were spotted out on a stroll the other day - in perfect amity, according to the reader who recognised them.

More..

Justice for twelth Lord

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

There has been much murmuring among legal folk about Sir John Dyson being the only Supreme Court judge not to be called Lord (or Lady): he was appointed after the court replaced the Law Lords. Now the Queen has intervened and Sir John will be known as Lord Dyson, after all.

More..

Mel Gibson's dodgy jibe

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Mel Gibson is never going to win that Anti-Defamation League man of the year award. The Australian actor notoriously ranted against Jews in a outburst after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2006.

Now actress Winona Ryder - who lost relatives in the Holocaust - has revealed an encounter she had with him at a Hollywood party some 15 years ago.

"Somehow, it came up that I was Jewish," she recalled in an interview with GQ magazine. "He said something about 'oven dodgers' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before."

More..

Why Bibi was in the soup

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

Tony Blair revealed one reason why he admires Israel at the Board of Deputies dinner on Tuesday. Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, he was dining with Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

More..

A peaceful piece of fashion

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

After the Cohen coat a few months ago, here comes the Shalom top.

According to designers Matches Fashion: "Our team give each piece girls' names each season and this piece was named Shalom."

And before you rush to point out that Shalom is usually a boy's name, there's a model called Shalom Harlow.

More..

Mazeltov, your maj

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

When Board of Deputies leaders popped in to see the Queen at Windsor Castle leader, they asked chief exec Jon Benjamin to get a large card in Hebrew to wish her mazeltov on grandson William's engagement.

But the card he bought was in Yiddish rather than Hebrew and so thought unsuitable to present. Perhaps they should have sent it to her machetunim, the Middletons.

More..

Maureen sees green

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

The big names turned up for Mitzvah Day's main event at a Nature Reserve in King's Cross including Lord Sacks, Rabbi Tony Bayfield and Sir Trevor Chinn all wearing matching Mitzvah Day bright green t-shirts. A flustered Maureen Lipman arrived late as the rain started. Lord Sacks greeted her with: "Ah Maureen, you look rather fetching."

"Fetching?" she replied in shock. "Don't you mean kvetching?"

More..