The Diary

Singing a Peres song for peace

November 10, 2013

Seven years ago Shimon Peres gave one of his poems, Ray of Hope, to an online group called Songweavers, impressed with their efforts to promote peace through music.

Since then, they have put out four CDs, featuring some of the 100 versions of the Israeli president’s poem recorded by songwriters from Iran to Vietnam.

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Horse sense of star pundit

November 4, 2013

Paul Jacobs, racing tipster for the Daily Star Sunday, can certainly pick a winner.

He has just become champion tipster in a competition run by the Racing Post.

Mr Jacobs — who got the betting bug from his late grandfather Jack Davies, a warden of Liverpool’s Princes Road shul — won the contest for flat race naps. He has won it for jump racing three times before.

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Toilet humour

November 4, 2013

From Ivor Sorokin from Hove, whose wife bought a new brand of toilet tissue called Cashmere: “This puts a new slant on the old Yiddish saying ‘cashmere im tuches’.”

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Peer pleasure for new lords

November 4, 2013

Lord Finkelstein was introduced to the Lords by sponsors Lords Coe and Owen. Put the two together, said Lord Beecham, and what do you get? Lord Cohen.

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Israelis taste sweet success in food awards

October 27, 2013

No longer do the words “Israeli” and “cuisine” seem worlds apart.

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Capping it for Mitzvah Day

October 27, 2013

Long-distance runner Richard Jones was on a training run in the Welsh mountains on a cold autumn day. “The ground was frozen, as were my joints, bones and fingers,” he recalled.

Eight miles from home, he spotted an object lying on the snowy ground: a cap. “I already had one on my head,” he said, “but my hand was frozen, so I wrapped my hand in it and finished the run.”

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Israeli singer sizzles in Big Mac contest

October 21, 2013

Oneg Israel, a final year high-school student in Ashkelon, works part-time in McDonald’s. But her spell at the grill could help her fulfil the dream of a singing career.

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The last word on Schama

October 21, 2013

You wouldn’t believe it, but Simon Schama’s series The Story of the Jews has attracted a complaint of antisemitism. Or rather not the programme, but the blurb to its Swedish version.

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Chinese on Hasmonean menu

October 21, 2013

London Mayor Boris Johnson urged British schools this week to start teaching Mandarin. So let’s hear it for the Hasmonean High School in London, where optional courses include not only Yiddish but an introduction to “Chinese culture and Mandarin”.

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Vanessa puts her foot in it

October 20, 2013

Jewish Mum of the Year Sandi Firth has a bone to pick with Vanessa Feltz.

The radio presenter, ousted from Strictly Come Dancing said that “most Jewish people can’t dance”. A remark to which the Leeds mum took exception in a Times letter — citing in refutation Leeds’s popular Dancing Strictly event, at which she and her partner won the public vote last year .

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