The Diary

Travelling in distinction

April 27, 2013

Her Majesty’s representatives liked to travel in style, as newly released National Archive documents show: they include a note from British officials departing Palestine in 1948 about their Rolls Royces and Daimlers.

A contrast with modern thrift: when Communities Minister Don Foster went to Warsaw last week to lay a wreath at the Ghetto Uprising memorial, he flew by Ryanair.

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MPs' prayer for Thatcher

April 27, 2013

Word has been going round that on the eve of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, a group of Jewish Tory MPs had visited the crypt under the Commons where her body lay and said Kaddish.

In fact, Kaddish was not recited: a memorial prayer in English was read along with the opening of the Shema.

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Tilly's sew good on telly

April 27, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee is the BBC’s latest tele-contest after Masterchef and The Great British Bake-Off.

Our golden needle goes to Tilly Walnes (below), who was among the handful from 1,500 applicants chosen to go on the series, which ended this week.

Tilly, who is the daughter of Anne Frank Trust director Gillian Walnes, has been sewing for only two years.

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Jill takes on the Naked Chef

April 22, 2013

Films Without Borders teaches film making to Palestinian, Israeli and Rwandan youths. Jamie Oliver chastises parents of obese kids. Now they’re duking it out for the BritWeek UKTI business innovation award in philanthropy. Before they both fly out to California, FWB founder Jill Samuels muses on who would win in a fight. “Me,” she said. “I think we should eat him for breakfast.”

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Hot gossip on Iceberg street

April 13, 2013

More speculation this week that the United Synagogue hopes to cash in on a sale of the Chief Rabbi’s residence in Hamilton Terrace.

I am told that the latest valuation has put the St Johns’ Wood premises at £10 million, while that figure could leap if planning permission were obtained for residential development.

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Strictly for Essex grills

April 13, 2013

Not a mix and match the Bible would dream of. You could understand why this Basildon market stall might want to sell off its matzot post-Pesach.

But perhaps could it be pioneering a slimline, unleavened version of that old British favourite, the bacon sarnie

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Baroness Thatcher, for queen and country

April 13, 2013

When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made a trip Israel in 1986, she was asked by David Landau, the then diplomatic editor of the Jerusalem Post, why the Queen didn’t visit. “But I'm here," was the priceless retort.

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The wedding of the year?

April 13, 2013

Let me tell you of a promising courtship, although it may be premature to talk of marriage.

The partners may not be the most glamorous couple in town and their union would not command a spread in Hello.
But talks are said to be progressing for a closer relationship between the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council.

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Sacks ends on full house

April 8, 2013

The United Synagogue has had no trouble selling its tribute event to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, an interview with him before an audience conducted by Sir David Frost in May. All 2,000 tickets were snapped up in three days.

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Post-pesach pizza for Styles

April 8, 2013

Harry Styles, whose penchant for kosher Chinese has been noted here before, was seen eating again in Golders Green this week. On Tuesday night, he joined the crowd eager for their first taste of post-Pesach chametz at supervised pizzeria, Pizaza. At this rate, he will be getting a column in the Really Jewish Food Guide.

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