The Diary

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."

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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.

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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.

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Israel shows good taste

April 30, 2015

The taste of Israel is now toast of London. The Palomar, which opened last summer, won restaurant of the year in GQ magazine's inaugural food awards.

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Covering up for Galliano

By Simon Rocker, April 30, 2015

A Jewish educational event featuring John Galliano In London next month, has prompted complaints - but not because of the fashion designer's controversial past. Objectors thought the model on the original advert for the occasion (right) was a little underdressed; a more suitably attired replacement has been found (left).

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Perfect for poll dancing

April 30, 2015

There will be a lot of Jews dancing next Thursday - and nothing to do with the anticipated outcome of the General Election. It's Lag Ba'Omer, the festival which marks a break in the semi-mourning period of the Omer and a day on which weddings are traditionally held.

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Seeing red over Sarah

April 30, 2015

The dress code may not have said "blue and white" but Finchley and Golders Green Labour candidate Sarah Sackman's red cardigan prompted a glare or two at Finchley Synagogue's Israel Independence Day service - in contrast to the royally blue Conservative peer-to-be Ros Altmann.

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Borscht for Borchester?

April 30, 2015

Now Tom Archer in The Archers has been heard to say "shlepping", what next? They'll soon be kibitzing and kvelling in Ambridge.

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Highly anxious, if satisfied

April 23, 2015

Some of us become grumpy old men barely out of nappies; kvetching is a national sport. But we may be not quite as discontent as we think.

According to the Office of National Statistics, Jews are reasonably satisfied with their lives - less so than Christians or Hindus but more than Sikhs, Buddhists and Muslims.

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The Shabbat-friendly interview

April 23, 2015

When the Conservatives announced on Saturday that pensions expert Ros Altmann would be going to the House of Lords - and taking up a ministerial post if they were elected - she was unavailable for interview or photo ops with the PM.

The Finchley Synagogue member was out of media action because she keeps Shabbat.

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