The Diary

Cricket test from down under

December 13, 2013

Whispers around town suggest that Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence of the Great Synagogue in Sydney could be in the frame to succeed Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at London’s Finchley Synagogue. The UK-born rabbi was formerly national director of the Association of Jewish Sixth-formers. But what we want to know is: which team is he supporting during the Ashes?

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Mr Speaker not short on words

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2013

Guest of honour John Bercow’s florid style had one guest at the Jami dinner on Monday noting down words to look up in the dictionary afterwards.

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Hot turkey at Thanskgivukkah

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2013

Here’s one London family who marked Thanksgivukkah, last Thursday’s rare coincidence of Thanksgiving and Chanucah. Lighting their special turkey-shaped “menurkey” (from left) are Eden, Ava and Lulu Cohen, daughters of Shimon Cohen, of the PR Office, and his New Yorker wife Jessica.

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Recycled jokes for politicians

By Simon Rocker, December 2, 2013

The coalition parties might not always see eye to eye but at least their leaders like the same Chanucah joke.
At the Downing Street Chanucah do last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said that when he told his cabinet colleagues about one day’s oil lasting eight nights and their ears pricked up, he had to remind them it was a miracle, not an energy policy.

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Rappy chappy not so happy

December 1, 2013

One man you don’t want to invite to sing at your simchah is Kanye West. The American rapper complained this week that he was being marginalised by “people at the top” who, rather than sharing his ambition for a fashion career, were more interested in trying to get him to perform at their sons’ barmitzvah.

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Paul Kaye's ripping yarn

December 1, 2013

Look out for Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr in Game of Thrones) who appears in Monday’s episode of Ripper Street, the BBC1 crime series set in late Victorian Whitechapel. Religious peace in the East End is threatened when occultists try to usher in the end of days by burning down synagogues and churches.

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A light on the ocean waves

December 1, 2013

The menorah was out early in this lighting, which took place a couple of days before Chanucah.
Pictured (here) with Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub is Koji Sekimuzu, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation. It’s a UN-linked body and Israel is bidding for election to its council.

The menorah, placed in windows, was “the Jewish lighthouse”, the ambassador explained.

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Baddiel on the ball in Brussels

November 24, 2013

David Baddiel will probably keeping a lid on the humour when he appears in Brussels on Tuesday.

The comedian and author, who has led the campaign to stop use of the word “Yid”, is to speak on football racism at a special session on antisemitism at the European Parliament.

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First doughnuts of Chanucah

November 24, 2013

Early seasonal doughnuts could be spotted on Monday following a lecture on Chanucah by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. The first in a planned series of classes by the chief rabbi to take place before festivals, it drew a large audience of 400 people to Hendon United Synagogue.

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Join the simchah scrum

November 24, 2013

Allianz Park, the new home of leading London rugby club Saracens in Hendon, has been quickly welcomed into the bosom of the local Jewish community. I hear it has already staged a Jewish wedding or two since its February opening, including one this week.

Could this be the start of a historic shift and the oval ball replace the round ball in our affections?

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