The Diary

The shul that's to be a pool

August 10, 2012

I hear a planning application has gone in for the site of Carmel College, the Jewish boarding school in Oxfordshire which closed 15 years ago.

As well as building 166 homes in the grounds, developers want a swimming pool, jacuzzi and café in the former synagogue.

More..

Elbow rock the shtetl

August 10, 2012

Alternative rockers Elbow have found a new influence. One of the tunes for the next album resembles “a little Jewish folk song,” according to vocalist Guy Garvey. Bassist Pete Turner told the New Musical Express, “We listened back to it and thought that’s brilliant, we have to keep that vibe.”

More..

Olympic birthday

August 10, 2012

Angela Lucas, one of the legions of volunteers who took part in the Olympics Opening Ceremony, had an extra reason to savour it. Not only was it her 64th birthday that day, she was actually born during the 1948 London Games.

The grandmother of five (here shown drumming at the opening) will also be involved in the Closing Ceremony.

More..

Golden games for Nicola Adams agent

August 10, 2012

Enjoying the taste of Olympic success has been Gab Stone, who founded his own sports agency, GSE Management, three years ago.

More..

The boy who hugged Andy Murray

August 10, 2012

No one better encapsulated the nation’s grateful acclaim of Andy Murray, after his storming gold medal victory over Roger Federer in the Olympic tennis final, than the little boy who was captured hugging him on TV. The young fan in question? Eleven-year-old Henry Caplan from Essex.

More..

Gold medallist's Hebrew tattoo

August 6, 2012

Eagle-eyed swimming fans might have spotted that France’s gold medal-winning swimmer, Fabien Gilot, though not Jewish, sported a Hebrew tattoo on his arm, visible while he celebrated his team’s 4x100 relay victory.

More..

Radio’s new golden girl

July 27, 2012

Rising fast in the media firmament is Emma Barnett, former Manchester King David Primary School pupil and Habonim summer camper and now digital media editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Last year, she was the Association of Online Publishers’ digital journalist of the year.

More..

The dial-a-minyan machine

July 27, 2012

Jewish students at Manchester University who want a quiet place to daven a quick minchah can now use a new facility, the Pray-O-Mat.

The converted photo booth, designed by a German artist, has 300 pre-recorded prayers from different faiths accessible through a touch screen.

Students who don’t fancy praying alone can access “the solemn chanting” of a whole Orthodox congregation.

More..

Pianist's praise of Israel

July 27, 2012

All I can say is “Encore” to English concert pianist Peter Donohoe, recounting his first visit to Israel on Norman Lebrecht’s arts blog Slipped Disc.

After the “best airline food” in years on his El Al flight, he found most Israelis “so much friendlier and welcoming” than people he had met elsewhere

He was brought up Protestant but his mother’s mother was Jewish.

More..

BBC baker’s challah howler

July 27, 2012

Paul Hollywood has become a well-known face on TV as one of the judges on the BBC cookery contest, The Great British Bake-Off.

The master-baker who can work magic out of all to do with flour and dough has a new book out, How to Bake.

And worthy of a place among the exquisite breads and fine patisserie is a recipe for our own challah.

More..