The Diary

X Factor in the jungle

By Simon Rocker, October 22, 2015

We might well have a Jewish jungler in the new series of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

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Trying times for Chief Rabbi

By Simon Rocker, October 22, 2015

After this weekend's Shabbat UK, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis deserves a good rest - and where better to take a break from his communal duties than at the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup on Sunday.

The Chief, whose support of Spurs is well-known, is also an avid rugby follower and impressed the audience at a Jewish leadership event last week with a detailed explanation of the game's scoring sys

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No denying Rachel's talent

October 15, 2015

Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz is to play historian Deborah Lipstadt in a film of her epic legal clash with the Hitler apologist David Irving.

Irving unsuccessfully sued the American academic for libel in the High Court for calling him a Holocaust denier in 2000, when his reputation was shredded in a damning judgment.

Shooting for Denial, which is based on a script by leading playwright

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Rabbi who made the Pope laugh

October 15, 2015

Rabbi Bob Alper describes himself as "the world's only practising clergyman doing stand-up comedy...

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Fed in the clouds

October 15, 2015

Federation of Synagogue's president Andrew Cohen, writing in its magazine Hamoar, said that it was "hoping to introduce a new platform that will transition cemetery management away from the current system… to a new cloud-based platform." A stairway to heaven?

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No ravs, just revs please

October 15, 2015

Does the taxman have something against rabbis? When Richard Canin of Solihull Hebrew Congregation was registering Gift Aid donations, he wanted to record one that came from a rabbi. But the HMRC's website refused to recognised the title - he had to enter "reverend" instead.

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Getting a Zerdin edgeways

October 15, 2015

British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, who won America's Got Talent, is a man of mystery, as far as his religious origins go. When we approached him, he responded: "the name Zerdin's Jewish but I'm not".

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Kol b'seder, Prime Minister?

October 8, 2015

David Cameron's reference to "yeshivahs" in his Tory conference speech is surely the first Prime Ministerial use of the word. It follows his mention of a "balagan" when speaking to the Knesset last year. Perhaps the government is making the most of Skills Minister Nick Boles's infamous Hebrew lessons - claimed on expenses in 2012.

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Celebrity chef roasts women

October 8, 2015

She has made millions from her wholesome, family image as a working mother - and even employs the moniker "Mumpreneur" - yet Annabel Karmel believes that being a woman is an obstacle to success.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival this week, the best-selling author told her audience that women are unable to do some jobs as well as men owing to their "sensitive nature", desire to be lik

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And now...a commercial break

October 8, 2015

Good news for fans of TV journalist Robert Peston: the famously verbose presenter has just jumped ship from the BBC to ITV, where he will be political editor. The big difference? Ad breaks - something that can only accentuate his rambling, drawn-out delivery. My advice? Record and fast-forward.

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