The Diary

Keeping faith with felafel

By Simon Rocker, May 31, 2012

Nice touch from the caterers at the Central London Mosque: at the launch of a new interfaith schools programme, the felafel came in the shape of six-pointed stars and crescents.

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Chess man’s gallant fight

May 31, 2012

Israeli Boris Gelfand, took reigning World Chess Champ Vishwanathan Anand of India close in their contest in Moscow. Level-pegging after 12 games, Gelfand finally lost in a tie-break.

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Zuckerberg’s kosher bite

May 31, 2012

While investors have been seething over the slide in Facebook shares, Mark Zuckerberg has been honeymooning in Rome, where his itinerary included lunch at kosher restaurant Nonna Betta. He and his bride Priscilla Chan enjoyed local delicacies fried artichoke and pumpkin flowers, followed by ravioli with artichoke and sea bass.

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White house laurels for Bob Dylan

May 31, 2012

“There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” said Barack Obama, when he presented the presidential Medal of Freedom to Bob Dylan this week.

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Kicked out because of a Kindle

May 31, 2012

Habima can be well satisfied with their appearance at the Globe’s Shakespeare festival this week.
The cabal of luvvies such as Richard Wilson and Emma Thompson who wanted the Israeli company barred clearly got nowhere with their boycott call. (Incidentally, none of them was spotted among the ranks of pro-Palestinian protesters outside the Globe).

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Sweet shopping for the rabbi

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

Rabbi David Hulbert's daughter Lianna recently moved to Brixton in south London. When the minister of Bet Tikvah Progressive Synagogue in Ilford went to visit, he popped into the sweet shop next door, to re-appear with this snack tailor-made for him: a packet of Rabbi Coconut Candy balls.

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Naomi Campbell is the model guest at King David, Israel

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

Staying at the King David in Jerusalem this week was supermodel Naomi Campbell, who arrived for her 42nd birthday.

After visiting the Old City, she went to Bethlehem, where she was quoted as saying: "Weapons and war, greed and oil… I hope it all stops". Don't we all (except for the oil, of course).

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Avram Grant at Auschwitz

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

The England team's run-up to the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine will include a talk next week from two Holocaust survivors.

Meanwhile, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant was at Auschwitz this week, recording a Radio Five Live programme which goes out on Tuesday.

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A Streisand who wears tefillin

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

Barbra Streisand's cousin, Dale, has turned to Israel's Supreme Court to help him make aliyah. Last year his application to settle in Israel with his Philippines-born wife and daughter was rejected, reportedly because his Facebook page had a link to a Christian messianic group.

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New Statesman goes to the shtetl

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2012

The left-wing New Statesman magazine put a kippah on the cover this week for a 72-page special issue on British Jewry, which was due to go on sale yesterday.

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