The Diary

Oil's well that ends well

April 7, 2016

Russian billionaire Mikhail Frydman, who sold his stake in an energy company just before oil prices collapsed, told the Financial Times he didn't really understand oil markets. To succeed in business, "you don't have to be smart, but you do have to be lucky", he said, claiming also to lack the "talent to spend money beautifully". Mr Frydman, let me help you...

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The minister for mitzvot

April 7, 2016

The annual Orthodox Jewish All Stars Premiere Party in New York honours high fliers who have not lost their religion on the road to success. This year's award-winners included our own Baroness Altmann. "I have found that being frum doesn't mean that you cannot achieve in the secular world," the Pensions Minister said: "You just have to believe it."

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First dates' kosher clash

April 7, 2016

You wouldn't expect a conversation on the ethics of shechita on Channel 4's First Dates, which films couples who have never met having dinner together. But when biologist Jemma revealed last week to non-Jewish Dan that she kept kosher, her potential paramour responded: "That is reportedly very cruel".

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A plug for meaty books

March 31, 2016

The Radio Times ran an article about books on the radio or in the news which was entitled "Bringing Home the Bacon". Rather ironically, all the books referred to were by Jewish authors: Deborah Levy, Alexei Sayle, Marceline Loridan-Ivens and Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Perhaps they meant "Bringing Home the Bagels".

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Barmitzvah boy's warring dad

March 31, 2016

The new production of Bar Mitzvah Boy, the musical of Jack Rosenthal's celebrated play, featuring Adam Bregman in the title role, is drawing the crowds to the Gatehouse in Highgate. Many performances are sold out - except Fridays! Adam, 13, is the son of King's College London's Professor of War Studies and JC book reviewer, Ahron Bregman.

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End of road for Chief's home

March 31, 2016

A piece of Anglo-Jewish history fell to the bulldozers last week.

Home to three Chief Rabbis for nearly 70 years, 85 Hamilton Terrace in St Johns' Wood, is undergoing redevelopment.

In fact, Chief Rabbis had lived in the street for more than a century until Rabbi Mirvis was settled in Hendon.

The United Synagogue bagged a welcome £10 million or so from the sale of the white-stucco reside

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This restaurant's only a shell

March 31, 2016

When Dov Hamburger from Manchester spotted this "kosher food" sign on a recent trip to Shanghai, he was intrigued. But he was even more intrigued to see what was below it - the image of a crab advertising "fresh seafood".

Had the ingenious Chinese come up with a truly novel menu with rabbinically approved shellfish? It seems not.

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Pearl of a short story

March 31, 2016

The Sunday Times Short Story Prize is said to be the world's richest for the genre at £30,000. This year's six short-listed authors include Jonathan Tel and Esther Pearlman - whose tale of a mismatched couple, Unbeschert, could hardly be more Jewish. You can catch a reading of it at Foyles bookshop in London later this month.

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Shul music comes to sark

March 23, 2016

There may be no Jewish community on Sark but the smallest Channel Isle could enjoy possibly its first experience of chazanut at a concert on Monday night. It is being given by the visiting chazan of the S and P Sephardi Community, Eliot Alderman.

Making arrangements for a holiday there, he learned of a local music society.

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Cutting edge

March 23, 2016

BrisDoc are a group of GPs who practise in Bristol offering "quality care where and when the patient needs it". But they haven't quite grasped the connotations of the Twitter hashtag for their out-of-hours service - BrisDocOOH.

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