The Diary

Not Miserable now

June 30, 2016

Morrissey is to return to Israel to perform two concerts this summer.

The 57-year-old former lead singer of The Smiths will appear in Tel Aviv and then Caesarea on August 22nd, 23rd and 24th.

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Dancing in honour of a Jewish PM

June 30, 2016

One of the last things you'd expect at the United Synagogue's Willesden Cemetery, or any cemetery for that matter, is a Maori war dance.

But you would have seen a haka performed in its prayer hall on Monday by the London Maori Club. It was part of an event to honour the memory of Sir Julius Vogel, the first practising Jewish Prime Minister of New Zealand, who is buried there.

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Keeping a watch over Europe

June 30, 2016

The watch worn by Lord Clinton-Davis signals his view of Brexit: it sports the flags of the 13 member- states of the then European Community which he served as British commissioner from 1985 to 1989. The Labour peer, 87, admits that when he set out to Brussels, he was ambivalent about membership of the body, fearing disregard of British concerns.

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Silence for the Fuhrer in court

June 30, 2016

You may remember The Boys from Brazil, the 1970s film starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier, about a plot to clone Hitler. Could that have something to do with a case which was scheduled to be heard in the Commercial and Admiralty Court in London this week, "Fuhrer v Fuhrer and another"?

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Contest over Manchester kit

June 30, 2016

Well, now we know the answer to an important question about Manchester Jewry: which of the city's football teams enjoys greater popularity. At a local dinner in aid of cancer charity, Chai, a signed Manchester City team shirt went for £300 at an auction, but its United equivalent fetched four times as much, £1,200.

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Helping hand for the homeless

June 30, 2016

Athol Halle, chief executive of award-winning charity Groundswell, puts his choice of vocation partly down to his Jewish youth group experience. He recently collected a £40,000 GSK Impact prize from the King's Fund on behalf of Groundswell, which helps homeless people access medical services.

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Singing Selena prized by Norwood

June 23, 2016

American singer Selena Gomez was nearly top of the pops at Norwood business lunch when a box for 17 people at her London concert in November went for £5,000 in a prize auction.

Nearly, because the most valued item was a signed book by football legend Pele which fetched the charity £6,000.

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Blitz boy's belated barmitzvah

June 23, 2016

Samuel Lyons has finally celebrated his barmitzvah - at the age of 85.

The then JFS pupil had been preparing for his induction into adulthood before the Second World War in London's East End, but when the Blitz closed the school, he was evacuated to the country. Although he returned to the capital and had lessons with a tutor known as Rabbi Scratchy, the barmitzvah fell by the way.

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Hodgson's cunning Shabbat plan

June 23, 2016

If you are an England football fan, don't be disappointed that the team only finished second in its Euro 2016 group. The fixture list now means that England won't have to play any of its remaining games on Shabbat - which surely manager Roy Hodgson must have realised all along.

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The day Tesco went crackers

June 23, 2016

It was matzot on the house at Tesco's Poole Road branch in Bournemouth which decided to give away its remaining Pesach crackers this month. "We had a lot of stock left over," explained a duty manager. "We reduced prices but people were not buying them, so we offered them for free." But too late now for a quick trip south for a matzah metziah, the boxes have all been snapped up.

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