The Diary

Mazeltov, Luciana

July 31, 2014

Here endeth the dream of many a Jewish bachelor: rising Labour star Luciana Berger is engaged. The Shadow Minister for Public Health has previously been linked to fellow politician Chuka Ummuna but her name appears in the S&P column in this week's JC affianced to Alistair Goldsmith.

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MP's personal tour de France

July 24, 2014

Unlike last month, it will probably not have the crowds lining the streets.

But a worthy bike event will be beginning in Leeds today.

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Sound offer

July 24, 2014

You have to admire the resilience of Israelis in the face of danger. One Tel Aviv restaurant, in order to encourage people not to stay at home because of the threat of Hamas rockets, announced a 50 per cent discount to anyone who came to eat on the day of a siren warning.

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A cover-up in Stamford Hill

July 24, 2014

The women of Stamford Hill are generally pretty soberly dressed so I wondered what lay behind a call from the local rabbinate this week to improve the "dress code" there.

Sellers of shoes, hats and sheitels along with beauticians were "earnestly requested" in an official notice to attend a series of special meetings this week.

Perhaps the hot weather had caused one or two female folk to shed

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Sweet trip

July 24, 2014

Invitations went out from the Israeli Government Press Office today to journalists wanting to go to Gaza. The cost of a day trip was around £10 each way. But the name of the company operating the bus hardly chimed with the destination: Sweety Tours.

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Wrapping up the joy of oy

July 24, 2014

When Martin Baker of Liverpool was about to wrap a gift in this paper, his wife berated him for its "festive" flavour.

But turn the paper upside down and it is suitable for any Yiddish occasion. Though I can't tell you if the exclamation refers to the cost of the gift or anticipates the recipient's disappointment.

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Drinking cure for Israelis

July 17, 2014

If you want to give more than moral support to Israeli friends and relatives sheltering from Hamas rockets, then a flask of scotch might be just the thing.

Apparently, a study into the state of mind of Israelis during a previous round of hostilities with Gaza showed that those who enjoyed a drink or two were more likely to resist depression than those who were teetotal.

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Rihanna beats Tweet retreat

July 17, 2014

Pop star Rihanna is more known for provocative attire than politics. But she stumbled into hot water this week after a tweet went out from her official site which read #freepalestine.

A source denied this revealed the singer's Mid-East sympathies and said she had accidentally sent out the hashtag after reading about the latest conflict. The tweet was removed shortly after its appearance.

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Friday dinner still a winner?

July 17, 2014

Our reviewer may have hated it but the third series of Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper's Jewish family sitcom, has enjoyed decent ratings.

The first two episodes, which attracted audiences of around one-and-a-half million, were comfortably in Channel 4's top 10 programmes.

But the third slipped to number 11, drawing just under 1.2 million viewers.

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The Chief Rabbi's relocation

July 17, 2014

Nearly a year after taking office, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has at last moved into his new home in Hendon.

He upped sticks from nearby Finchley after the builders put the finishing touches to the house, whose address I shall not reveal in order to spare the Community Security Trust a collective coronary.

There are still some people who are yet to be reconciled to the idea that, after more

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