The Diary

Finding rhythm in algorithm

May 4, 2014

If you wonder where poetry is going in the 21st century, head up to the Bury Text Festival. Its line-up includes Eran Hadas — “the most prominent poet in the Israeli internet poetry scene”, says festival director Tony Trehy.

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West London wedding belles

May 2, 2014

West London Synagogue will be open for more wedding business after securing a licence to perform civil marriages in its Stern Hall.

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Ant & Dec's Tel Aviv Takeaway

May 2, 2014

There was great excitement among some post-Pesach travellers on the tarmac of Ben Gurion Airport last Thursday.

When they saw the Monarch aircraft to take them to Luton, it sported the logo Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

The aircraft was the one used to transport competition winners on the ITV show to a prize holiday in Florida. So what it was doing in Israel?

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Still keeping it up at 90

April 27, 2014

Unflagging is a word that you might well use for scientist Carl Djerassi, famed for his pioneering work on the contraceptive pill. The 90-year old Jewish polymath is also a playwright, whose latest work premieres next week at the Kings Head Theatre in London.

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Last goodbye to Carmel

April 27, 2014

Former students of Carmel College will have a final chance to say farewell to their alma mater. The college, whose alumni include tycoon Sir Philip Green and film director Roland Joffe, closed in 1997. But one last on-site reunion is planned for October before the buildings are torn down by developers.

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Upper crust Pesach shoppers

April 27, 2014

While many of us had to make do with matzah, Jews in Edgware, north-west London, it seems, were able to enjoy this exclusive new range of Pesach products, courtesy of a local Sainsbury’s. Uncovered by 14-year-old Ameleah Press.

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Eggs-tra rabbinical duties

April 27, 2014

Few rabbis’ early morning duties include collecting newly laid eggs from the hens or milking the goats.

But Rabbi Marc Soloway, of the Conservative Bonai Shalom in Boulder, Colorado, has been learning the agricultural ropes.

The local Jewish community has set up a co-op to encourage the eating of organic produce in partnership with local farmers.

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Goals which are net gain for neighbours

April 20, 2014

Bushey Synagogue member Jonathan Cowan may have just the answer to a familiar problem, when your neighbours’ children boot their football over the fence into your tulip beds. His Opengoaaal! invention surrounds the practice goal with a larger protective net, to intercept over-hit balls.

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Alderman on air

April 20, 2014

Further confirmation that novelist Naomi Alderman’s is a name to be reckoned with: she has been chosen to guest-present an edition of Radio 4’s Women’s Hour on April 30. She will be taking a look at women in science and technology and why men dominate public speaking.

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Muslim saute to synagogues

April 20, 2014

Joining Mo Farah as a recipient this year of a Muslim News Award for Excellence was Charlotte Fischer, Jewish organiser for activists group London Citizens. After arsonists wrecked a Somali Bravanese community centre last year, she raised support for them from local synagogues and a Jewish school.

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