The Diary

Mason's fishy tale

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

You might think that Jackie Mason would stick to chopped herring but the New York comedian is a sushi-lover, having first sampled it in Tokyo. "I was convinced it would never catch on," he told the Sunday Times. "It's lucky I'm not in the restaurant business."

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Rabbi's good vibrations

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

Israeli Orthodox Rabbi Natan Alexander has been attracting attention with his new website, Better2gether, which sells sex toys for religious couples. But no room in its vibrator range for the model featured in the JC a couple of years ago - the "rampant rabbi".

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Corden's kosher steak-out

By Simon Rocker, June 4, 2015

James Corden, the British host of The Late, Late Show on American TV (centre), did a kosher turn this week, with a sketch serving behind the counter of a Jewish butcher. Wishing customers "Good Shabbos" behind a poster for the Great Cholent Cookoff and "kvelling" at the prospect of Friday-night dinner, he seemed to enjoy his outing. Next: Graham Norton at the Kosher Deli?

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Comic who's going places

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

Self-deprecation is a key skill in the arsenal of any self-respecting Jew. Just ask stand-up comic Philip Simon, who was recently named Lastminute Comedy/Kill for a Seat's Comedian of the Year.

The 36-year-old, from Borehamwood, beat off stiff competition from 300 other acts to claim the title, after entertaining the crowd with the foibles of his Jewish life.

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Kuwait Airways' Mystery Read

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

When Andrew Feldman recently travelled to the States from London with Kuwait Airways, he found a "massive batch of JCs" being handed out as he boarded the plane. "It was extremely bizarre," he revealed. "In general, the entertainment left a lot to be desired, but I was pleasantly surprised to pick up my free copy." The question is: how did they get there?

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Bucks Fizz for regal bagel

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

What greater proof could you have that the bagel has become part of British culture than that it is served in the very highest of high society - Buckingham Palace?

Along with such traditional fare as cucumber sandwiches, scones and Victoria sponge, smoked salmon bagel was on the menu this year for the Queen's Garden Party.

There's hope for shmaltz herring crackers yet.

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Souper Choice for TV Chef

By Simon Rocker, May 28, 2015

Regina Waldman received an MBE for her charity work four years ago.

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Why bad jews are good news

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

It seems we can't get enough of Bad Jews. Josh Harmon's new comedy about an American Jewish family has proved so popular that London's Arts Theatre is extending its run for six weeks until July 11.

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This label's no fable

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

Maybe Jamie Oliver ought to be sent in to revamp kosher airline meals. You wouldn't want to add up the additives in this barbeque chicken served on a BA flight to London from New York. "By the time I had read the label, I was ready to land," said passenger Michael Fishberg.

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High fives for happy halfon

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2015

New Conservative Party deputy chairman Robert Halfon described his swearing-in as a Privy Counsellor at Buckingham Palace as a "very special moment". A highlight was the small copy of the Five Books of Moses he was presented with.

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