The Diary

Bunfight over Board election

May 14, 2015

Now the Board of Deputies election has really begun to hot up - over an invitation to coffee and cake.

Presidential contender Laura Marks has asked all deputies to a Q &A reception in a hotel on Sunday morning immediately before the Board meeting to choose its next leader

More..

Unfortunate auto-suggestion

May 14, 2015

This car was parked in Manchester would you believe, outside a Council of Christians and Jews meeting on Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (the Vatican declaration that paved the way for Jewish-Christian reconciliation). A combination numberplate censors ought to withdraw from circulation perhaps.

More..

Net gain for German diplomacy

May 14, 2015

The London embassies of Israel and Germany celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries by holding a soccer match.

More..

Why Leeds lost Sammy Davis

May 14, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the organiser of a street party who turned down an offer to play free from Phil Collins.

Which prompted this story from Michael Woolf of Leeds: "My cousin and his wife were on a cruise in the 1960s when they met Sammy Davis Jnr and his manager and became friendly," he recalled.

More..

Playing Mo's better blues

May 7, 2015

Ten years ago Mo Nazam (left) hit on a different way to encourage interfaith harmony. The Muslim guitarist from London formed a band, Berakah, which draws on the musical traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths; its Jewish violinist is Serena Leader. Now, ahead of its forthcoming anniversary tour of the UK, he has added a multifaith youth ensemble, but it needs one thing more - a Jewish member.

More..

Screen grab for votes

May 7, 2015

One election down, one more to go. The campaign to be next president of the Board of Deputies is being taken so seriously that one candidate, Alex Brummer, has even made an election video, complete with uplifting backing track- possibly the first in the Board's history.

More..

Not quite Kiddush

May 7, 2015

Someone at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs must have been drinking from the wrong cup. The guidance on VAT produced by the tax authorities lists among zero-rated items unfermented grape juice for use at the "Jewish seder or kaddish".

More..

Shopper who dreamt of chupah

May 7, 2015

The final encounter in the latest series of Channel 4's First Date series introduced shopping-hater Joe to personal shopper Nicole (below).

The stylist, who bragged about the number of times she's been proposed to, confided to her blind date, "I don't know why but I've always fancied it - I would have loved to be Jewish."

More..

More about the woman in gold

May 7, 2015

Some critics may have been cold but Rabbi Stuart Altshuler had no hesitation recommending Woman in Gold to his Belsize Square flock this week.

The film is based on the story of Maria Altmann (played by Helen Mirren, below) who fought to reclaim from the Austrian government several paintings the Nazis took from her family.

More..

Mum turned down Phil Collins

April 30, 2015

New North London Synagogue treasurer Tony Bogod can smile, as a survivor of Graham Norton's big red chair.

At the end of his BBC chat show, Norton invites members of the public to tell a story. But most never reach the end, because if the presenter starts to get bored, he pulls a lever and dumps them unceremoniously out of the chair.

More..