The Diary

Yenta keeps it old school

August 28, 2014

Couples today tend to lock eyes online, rather than across a crowded synagogue.

So the Jewish dating scene has adapted, with websites and apps like JDate and JCrush connecting singletons.

But one New York matriarch, Tova Weinberg, is keeping it traditional – and has now successfully set up 250 couples. Her recipe for the perfect shidduch? Be less picky.

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Keep cool in and out of shul

August 28, 2014

Speaking of practical clothing, there is a new product for all those sartorially conscious gents who like to kick their heels up at a simcha.

The SmartWeave tuxedo shirt promises to put an end to the "sweaty scenes that take place after a large amount of Israeli dancing" - with cotton that draws perspiration from the skin and across the inner lining of the shirt.

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Rabbis take the icy plunge

August 28, 2014

The ice bucket challenge has become inescapable, invading almost every Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed in the world.

Now the stunt has spread to shul too, with countless rabbis lining up to have cold water poured over them.

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Hard-nosed hack goes green

August 28, 2014

Toughened by his northern roots and Westminster wrangles, the JC's political correspondent Marcus Dysch surprised us when he headed into the woods for Limmud.

But swapping politics for poetry held its own surprises for this no-nonsense hack, who left the "Movement in Prayer" session with chakras aligned and aura glowing.

So far, so Zen in the office – but we do go to press on a Wednesday.

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Showtime for shabbat

August 28, 2014

Family broiges at dinner time is universal.

No surprises, then, that the British show Friday Night Dinner – about the traditionally dysfunctional Goodman family and their weekly Shabbat meet-ups – hit a nerve with US network CBS.

They plan to give the sitcom an American facelift.

No word yet whether the US version will feature a Jewish clan.

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Snub for Raymond's sideburns

August 7, 2014

The Beard Liberation Front has published its shortlist for its annual Sideburns of the Year contest which includes one Jewish representative out of six, the novelist Will Self.

But there is a conspicuous omission among the chosen streak-cheeked, JW3 chief executive Raymond Simonson. The beardies should be bearded until they proffer an explanation.

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Champion kneidls and dreidels

August 7, 2014

Guinness World Records will be celebrating its 60th birthday next year.

So there is still time for would-be Jewish world-beaters to make the jubilee edition.

The largest certified matzah ball was made by Noah's Ark Original Deli in New York in 2009, which weighed in at 267lbs. The monster kneidl required 1,000 eggs, 80lb of margarine, 20lbs of chicken base and 200lb of matzah meal.

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Shared lament at the Abbey

August 7, 2014

The remembrance service at Westminster Abbey on Monday for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One included a passage from Jeremiah's Lamentations - the same book that was read in synagogues up and down the country that very night to mark the fast of Tishah b'Av.

An abbey spokesman told me the choice was coincidental and they were unaware of the link with the Jewish calendar.

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The legendary batmitzvah

August 7, 2014

R 'n' B singer John Legend's video of his new single You & I, which celebrates a diversity of women, includes this image of a batmitzvah girl.

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Lucas aid for empty Israel

August 7, 2014

Moved by reports of deserting tourists, American Jewish filmmaker Michael Lucas has flown to Israel to show his solidarity.

But his work is unlikely to feature at the UK Jewish Film Festival (wherever it is held). His company Lucas Entertainment makes what you'd call adult pics for the gay market.

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