The Diary

A punch above his weight

January 29, 2015

Remember Alex Reid, that brawny bloke who won Celebrity Big Brother three years ago? He has withstood some woes - not least, during his early years as a cage-fighter, followed by his brief marriage to glamour model Katie Price. But things are looking up for Reid (or Roxanne, his cross-dressing alter ego). He'll say "I do" to ex-JFS girl, and former JC employee, Nikki Manashe later this year.

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I'll have what Obama had

January 29, 2015

You'll never go hungry at a Jew-do. But supporters of Manna Meir Panim will have an extra treat in store when they attend the charity's gala dinner on March 12. The event will be catered by Shalom Kadosh, the only Israeli member of the exclusive "Club des Chefs des Chefs", who has previously cooked for Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.

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An El-Al-ternative for reading

January 29, 2015

It looks like Reading-dwellers have a new commute to hand. At least, that is what one tourist assumed when he spotted this bus sign in Israel.

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First bets for the Board race

By Simon Rocker, January 22, 2015

There are still four months to go but an online book has already been opened on the Board of Deputies' presidential election.

Paddy Power's early favourite is Daily Mail journalist Alex Brummer, one of the Board's three vice-presidents, at 3 to 2 on.

Senior vice-president Laura Marks is at 11/8, with the third VP Jonathan Arkush at 7/1.

So far Mr Brummer is the only one to have announced

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Put the britin Britain

January 22, 2015

An RE teacher revealed on social media having a job interview in Watford, where she was asked to do a sample lesson on "how Britain would be a different country if it were Jewish". Imagine: smoked salmon would be subsidised, the Queen Vic and Rover's Return would be coffee shops and the Queen would finally visit Israel.

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$1 million for Douglas

January 22, 2015

Oscar-winning Michael Douglas has picked up a new award, but not for his feats in film. He has won the $1 million Genesis Prize, a kind of Jewish Nobel. The judges who include Lord Sacks saluted his passion for Israel and his Jewish heritage. Last year he and wife Catherine Zeta Jones celebrated son Dylan's barmitzvah in Israel.

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Tapping into Gogglebox

January 22, 2015

The Tappers of Edgware have become one of the best-known families in the land through Gogglebox, Channel 4's uber-reality show which features people watching and talking about TV.

They were given the honour on Wednesday of announcing one of this year's National Television Awards, screened live by ITV, from their home.

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Beefed-up Blooms Viennas

January 8, 2015

It was a bold change to one of British Jewry's most iconic items, the Blooms Vienna.

Gilberts Kosher Meats, which manufactures the Blooms brand, had been lobbied by requests for a lighter product.

A year or so ago, the company acceded - and added some turkey to the sausage mix. But others had the beef with the mixed blend.

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Lord's nearly lost honour

January 8, 2015

Lord Young, the government's enterprise adviser, who was made a Companion of Honour last week, almost missed out on his New Year's gong.

The letter inviting him to accept the award was delayed.

"They sent it to the wrong address," he explained, "to the temporary office address.

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Merron's merry dance

January 8, 2015

As well as political nous, Board of Deputies' CEO Gillian Merron has nimble feet. She was runner-up in last month's Strictly Limmud Dancing contest, winning the judges' (if not audience) vote with a graceful Israeli folk number. Being at the Board, she must have seen her fair share of horas.

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