The Diary

Bernie the menorah lighter

By Simon Rocker, February 18, 2016

The most striking aspect of the Jewishness of Democratic presidential challenger Bernie Sanders is how little comment it has drawn.

But while the self-declared socialist may be no shul-goer, he is certainly not a shrinking Israelite.

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Soulful Ronaldo's a hot item

By chris, February 11, 2016

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has netted a role in an Israeli TV ad (above).

The Real Madrid striker alerted Twitter fans by announcing "There are rumours that I'm going to be a star in Israel".

He appears in a commercial for leading telecommunications company HOT.

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Israel gift for oscar hopefuls

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2016

Israel can expect a gust of celebrities after the Oscars at the end of the month.

Nominees up for the main Academy Awards will receive a goody bag worth around £140,000.

The most valuable item is a 10-day, first-class trip to Israel worth £40,000, while other gifts include a walking tour of Japan, laser skin therapy and, for women contenders, an erotic toy.

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Stiller's cymbalic barmitzvah

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2016

Zoolander 2 star Ben Stiller certainly made sure his barmitzvah went with a bang - he played drums in his own band at the party. Its name was Capital Punishment and was an "avant garde, post-punk" outfit influenced by Eno and Bowie, he told The Graham Norton show on the BBC at the weekend. They even made an unreleased album called Roadkill.

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It's not quite cricket

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2016

Boys at Talmud Torah Kerem Shlomo in Salford, taking a closer look at a specimen of the eighth plague, were probably glad it didn't end up in their school dinner. But locusts are kosher.

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Hypnotic attraction on itv

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2016

Seeking romance on ITV's Saturday night dating show Take Me Out is ex-JCom (Jewish radio) presenter Ben Dali aka Ben Phillips.

The London-based hypnotist and magician's trip to the show's Tenerife date spot with Lotte from Stoke Newington will be shown this week.

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Labour’s turn with Mrs T

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2016

The Jewish Labour Movement elected its new guard on Tuesday with former Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Jeremy Newmark as chairman. Elections took place in Parliament's Portcullis House, though you might have thought they'd book a venue other than the Thatcher Room.

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Oscar Wilde refreshed

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2016

The interval was almost as good as Immanuel College's new production of The Importance of Being Earnest. The audience, fittingly for Oscar Wilde's classic English comedy, was treated to a full cream tea with cucumber sandwiches and chocolate eclairs. Lady Bracknell would have approved.

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Clubbable brit is dating hit

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2016

A Brit is one of the two most popular men on Jewish dating app JCrush.

Adam Paulden, 28, from London, was one of the "most crushed" bachelors on the app, the company announced this week.

The theatre and television producer, who identifies as "Jewish by culture," says that "a sense of humour is a must; usually a dark one. Intelligent. Good moral values. Someone quite active."

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Wogan, priests and rabbis

By Simon Rocker, February 4, 2016

Sir Terry Wogan was warmly recalled by one rabbi who worked with him. Maidenhead Synagogue's Rabbi Jonathan Romain regularly did the "Pause for Thought" religion slot on the broadcaster's daily Radio 2 show.

"All the good things said about him are true," said Rabbi Romain. "He was as affable and full of bonhomie off air as he was on it."

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