The Diary

A Jewish state of mind?

December 18, 2014

He is one of the world's best-known rappers, producers and businessmen - and Mr Beyoncé.

But while the cameras mainly focused on Jay Z meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a basketball game in New York last week, the attention of some eagle-eyed viewers was drawn to his bling.

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The only Jew at Hogwarts

December 18, 2014

One of Harry Potter's schoolmates was Jewish, JK Rowling has revealed.

Responding to a fan on Twitter who asked if it was true Hogwarts had no Jewish pupils, the author responded: "Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard." He had fought alongside Harry at the climactic Battle of Hogwarts as the series ended.

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No kippers for lunch?

December 18, 2014

Richard Desmond's reported £300,000 donation to Ukip did not stop him enjoying Tuesday's Conservative Friends of Israel lunch.

Is his rumoured-to-be-impending peerage from Nigel Farage's party on hold, or did he just want to hear more from David Cameron, who praised him at last month's Norwood dinner?

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Have nu got the X Factor?

December 18, 2014

TV producer Ben Winston posted this picture on Twitter, after last weekend's X Factor final, of the show's behind-the-scenes Jewish staff.

He was joined by choreographer Brian Friedman, scriptwriter Ivor Baddiel and the show's floor manager, Marc Baker to make up what Winston called "the Yiddish judges".

A step towards a modern-day Sanhedrin?

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Limmud prays for pants

December 4, 2014

If you're going to the Limmud conference at Warwick University this month, make sure you bring an extra set of new underwear. That is to donate to local charity, Grub 'n' Gab, which provides underwear and other essentials to young homeless people. A Limmud source said, "Our pants will be the answer to their prayers."

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Schneider's hairy secret

By Simon Rocker, December 4, 2014

David Schneider was one of the celebrities who joined Prince Harry's "feel no shame" campaign in support of Worlds Aid Day by recording a video revealing a secret. So what did the comedian bring out of his closet: the single hair that grows out of the top of his nose - "the rhinoceros hair", as he dubbed it.

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Strictly Come Palestine

December 4, 2014

Has Strictly Come Dancing pre-empted the United Nations? Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas no doubt would have done a one-man dabke if he had seen last week's "Around the World" episode where his country's flag was displayed. It upset at least one of our readers but the flag of Israel was visible, too.

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Moses back on the big screen

December 4, 2014

In less than a month we will know the answer: will Christian Bale make a better Moses than Charlton Heston?

The Batman star plays the biblical hero in Ridley Scott's epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, due to be released here on Boxing Day.

Bale has already courted controversy by suggesting that Moses was "most likey schizophrenic and was one of the most barbarous individuals that I ever read about

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Festive cheer with beer

December 4, 2014

What better way to celebrate the penultimate night of Chanucah than pop down to the King's Head theatre pub in London where a quartet of Jewish comics are putting on "Rabbi Santa's Comedy Night"? It's been organised by Bennett Arron, who will be joined on December 22 by Mark Maier, Sol Bernstein and Joe Bor.

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Apprentice not for crossing

November 27, 2014

We have had one or two anxious inquiries about the ritual performed by the Apprentice's Daniel Lassman before his boardroom ordeals. Surely the great Jewish hope could not be crossing himself?

No, he is not, you will be relieved to know.

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