The Diary

Old bill's new year clash

September 11, 2014

Despite Jews being Barnet's biggest ethnic minority, local police have scheduled an "unprecedented" crime prevention campaign for September 25 - first day Rosh Hashanah. Police are aware of the festival and have promised to "connect" with Jewish residents that day. Should we watch out for officers bearing honey cake?

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New home for old Deputies

September 8, 2014

Limmud in the Woods campers may have rolled up their tents but they may need to get them out again - to lend to the Board of Deputies, which could be a homeless in a few weeks after the sale of its Bloomsbury headquarters.

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Few gripes with Gyllenhaal

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2014

Here's a surprise statistic: BBC2's eight-week drama on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Honourable Woman, which ended last month, provoked just two complaints. Given the heat usually generated by anything about the Middle East on TV and its coincidence with the Israel-Hamas war, that is an extraordinarily low grumble rate.

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Ripped-off antisemitism

September 4, 2014

The graffiti scrawled recently on the wall outside the kosher Bevis Marks the Restaurant in London's East End reads, "The Jewes [sic] are the men who will not be blamed for nothing". Rings a bell? The same words were found in the same street 120 years ago when someone tried to hint that Jack the Ripper could be Jacob the Ripper.

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Sri Lanka's two in a million

September 4, 2014

As they disembarked from their 11-hour flight to Sri Lanka last week, Joshua Gladstein, 24, and Sophie Nathan, 23, expected long immigration queues and lengthy waits at baggage reclaim. Instead they were welcomed with books, flowers, hotel upgrades - and a ceremonial dance display. The occasion?

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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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