The Diary

BBC's Chanucah thought for the day

November 24, 2013

Rabbis Lionel Blue and Lord Sacks have been two of the most popular presenters of Radio 4’s Thought for the Day but there has been no Jewish voice since September, complained one of our readers.

So I am happy to tell you that Ed Kessler, executive director of Cambridge’s Woolf Institute, will be at the mic next Wednesday for an eve-of-Chanucah broadcast.

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How now, red cow

November 21, 2013

The Temple Mount has been hotting up with demands by Jewish activists for more regular prayer rights despite opposition from the Islamic authorities.

Some observers fear the possible outbreak of a third intifada.

So let us retreat from gloomy reality into fantasising how peace might finally break out in the Middle East, courtesy of satirical cartoon South Park.

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Runaway kippah tracked down

November 17, 2013

Kindly doff your kippot in salute to the London Transport worker who came to the aid of United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs.

He was waiting to catch a tube at St John’s Wood station when the gust from an incoming train lifted the kippah from his head and deposited it on the track.

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A shoe to shine on Chanucah

November 17, 2013

This high-heeled Chanucah greeting is on sale from NobleWorks Cards and was designed by Californian cartoonist Michael Capozzola.

He has been creating his own light-hearted cards for over a decade — “I am Jewish despite the Italian last name," he told me.

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My grouse with stuffed mouse

November 17, 2013

I was intending to bring you a report of one of the more unusual activities which took place in downtown Anglo-Jewry on Sunday — dressing up dead mice.

A class in “anthropomorphic mouse taxidermy” featured on the programme at London’s new JW3 centre.

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Turning Japanese

November 15, 2013

How many generations will it take before sushi comes to enjoy the same hallowed status as chicken soup?

If you wanted proof of its popularity, you need have looked no further than this week’s Norwood dinner, where a staggering 5,200 pieces of the fish roll were served.

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El Al comes down with a bang

November 10, 2013

When an El Al plane comes roaring into Heathrow, residents might wish it roared a little less loudly.

Israel’s national carrier has just been ranked the second noisiest airline flying into London in a survey of Heathrow’s top 50 airlines: only Poland’s LOT made more of a racket, according to the airport authorities.

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The sweet scent of Friday night

November 10, 2013

Jo Malone, eponymous founder of the perfume brand, told the Times interview she wished she’d been Jewish. “I love Friday night dinner with my family — cooking roast chicken, talking, children running around.” She’s known for her exotic blends but somehow I doubt that chicken soup and kneidlach would make it into a bottle.

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Quizzed by John Barrowman

November 10, 2013

Here is Danny Stone (pictured, centre), director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, in lighter mode — as a contestant on a daytime game show.

He and a team of old university friends competed in the BBC1 quiz Pressure Pad hosted by John Barrowman on Monday.

They narrowly missed out on a £2,000 prize.

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It's so cool to eat kosher

November 10, 2013

Hake burger with harissa aioli and rugelach bread-and-butter pud… Observer food critic Jay seemed hardly able to believe his taste-buds in a rave review over two pages of Zest, the kosher restaurant at London’s new JW3 centre.

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