The Diary

A very merry Chrismukkah

December 10, 2015

Every year, Sharmini Selvarajah brings out the mince pies and latkes for a "Chrismukkah" party for family and friends.

From a British-Asian background, she grew up with Diwali and Christmas but after marrying her American Jewish husband, festivals like Pesach also entered the mix.

On Sunday week, she looked at the experience of mixed-faith celebrations in a Radio 4 programme, Chrismukkah and

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Israelis are in with a shout

December 10, 2015

If you're doing business with Israelis, you'd better learn how to shout and wave your arms.

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Break point

December 10, 2015

Our wishes for a speedy recovery to developer of the Shard, Irvine Sellar, who was due to attend a World Jewish Relief business breakfast but had to pull out after a mishap at tennis - he broke his nose when he ran into a wall.

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Pears picked

December 10, 2015

One of the top family trusts, the Pears Foundation, which donates £13 million a year, received the Directory of Social Change's Great Giver's award this year for its support of the Step Up To Serve campaign for youth social action.

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Pickling Nigella's fancy

December 10, 2015

Nigella Lawson may not be known for her traditional Jewish cuisine - her beer-braised pork knuckles spring to mind. But at JW3 on Monday night she revealed a "love for pickling" that attested to strong Ashkenazi roots. The cookery writer said her hobby for pickling veg had become so extreme that a Greek friend recently labelled her a "torsimaniac".

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Tranvested interest in Tel Aviv

December 10, 2015

London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith found this to admire about Israel, as he recalled at a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch this week.

Staying once at a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, he said: "When I arrived, I felt I was the only man in the room - it certainly felt like women's night.

"Then it dawned on me after a few moments, that it wasn't women's night.

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Get rocking for chanucah

December 3, 2015

It may be a far cry from harps and timbrels but the Friday Night Rock Service has been ramping up synagogue music with performances in Reform communities in the UK over the past two years.

Now the band has released its first single, Light a Candle for Chanucah, based on a tune by the late American singer Debbie Friedman.

It's been rerecorded in the style of "Status Quo meets The Darkness,"

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Blue's best for kosher nosh

December 3, 2015

Kosher shoppers will have noticed that one of their staple items, Tomor margarine, has undergone a packaging makeover, shedding its old green jacket for a smart new blue.

Produced by Rakusen's, it matches the colour of the company's most famous product, matzah, which recently came out in a new box.

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Shul gardeners bloom on radio

December 3, 2015

Members of the New North London Synagogue impressed with their horticultural achievements in an edition of Gardeners' Question Time which was recorded there on Monday.

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Corbyn utters the I-word

November 26, 2015

Almost three months into his reign as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has finally uttered the word "Israel".

Having got through an address at a September Labour Friends of Israel reception without it passing his lips, it did, at last, on Wednesday.

But don't expect a major change of position - the "Israel" in question was not the Jewish state, but an intern at a housing project in east London w

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