The Diary

Justice for toenails

August 6, 2015

No, this is not urban legend. A north-west London nail bar was raided by police looking for illegal immigrants the other day. A Jewish client who was having a pedicure cried: "Officer, they've only done one foot. Can't you let them finish the other?" And the kindly policeman duly waited until the matriarch's feet were complete.

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It's weird to show a beard

August 6, 2015

Sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris's new Tumblr blog is all about hats – but it's nothing to do with fashion. All Jews Wear Black Hats and Have Beards documents widespread media use of pictures of the strictly Orthodox to illustrate general stories about Jews, even when Charedim are irrelevant to the content.

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Reaching a peak for Shabbat UK

August 6, 2015

The Chief Rabbi's second Shabbat UK in October will be reaching far and wide – in fact, all the way up to Mount Kilimanjaro.

A group of charity climbers are planning to lug grape juice and challahs in their backpacks in order to celebrate it on the mountainside.

The group of Brits and British olim, who are raising money for the Shalva Centre for disabled children in Jerusalem, will stop on

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No crumb of comfort for gulls

July 30, 2015

A flurry of stories appeared last week about a North Welsh council, Conwy, supposedly shelving plans to fine people who feed seagulls in Llandudno because religious groups might be upset.

One newspaper even referred to a Jewish custom of feeding birds on Shabbat Shirah.

There's a tiny Jewish population still left in Llandudno and it does attract holidaying Chasidim from Manchester.

But an

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Never too young to complain

July 30, 2015

It is reassuring to know that the art of kvetching is safe in the hands of a new generation. The Manchester Evening News hailed the protest prowess of Broughton Jewish Primary pupil Eli Rose, who complained to Bury Council over a bungled attempt to fix the potholes in his road. "For a nine-year-old child to have to write this is a disgrace," harrumphed the forthright young man.

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Chronicles of Corbyn

July 30, 2015

Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, who has been setting the pace in the Labour leadership contest, has been sporting a badge with the initials "JC". You can take it from me that he is not being endorsed by a certain newspaper - and the same is true vice versa.

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Fiddler on the radio

July 30, 2015

The shtetl returned to the West End at the weekend when the Grange Park Opera production of Fiddler on the Roof, starring Bryn Terfel as Tevye, came to the BBC Proms. Pity it was on Saturday evening and still Shabbat - not quite "Tradition".

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The melancholy motorist

July 30, 2015

My thanks to Adrian Brodkin who spotted this number plate in Rhos-on-Sea near Colwyn Bay.

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Alliss is openly a fan of the JC

July 23, 2015

It is not often the JC gets name-checked at major sporting events.

But when golfer, Zach Johnson (above) posed with his newly won Open trophy on Monday, veteran BBC commentator Peter Alliss remarked of the surrounding journalistic throng: "All the cameras. Dozens of them.

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Potted fishstory

July 23, 2015

A new type of fish is available, according to this tweeted picture from media doctor Ellie Cannon.

An obvious companion to that variety of smoked herring - the kippah.

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