The Diary

Happy birthdays

By Simon Rocker, August 19, 2010

Shimon Peres could be seen toe-tapping his way through the International at a musical tribute for his 87th birthday in a Tel Aviv theatre on Monday. He was the only audience member able to sing the words of the socialist anthem, played as a nod to his youthful radicalism.

The Israeli president's party was certainly less raucous than Stacey Solomon's 21st birthday bash, reported by the Sun this week. "She was drinking loads and swearing like a trooper," said a guest. "People were getting totally wasted."

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Blossoming Benayouns

By Simon Rocker, August 19, 2010

Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun had to dash to Stamford Bridge from the bedside of wife Mirit to to make last Saturday's 5.30 kick-off, following the birth of their third child, a son, earlier in the day.

This has left kosher supporters speculating: if the brit takes place on time tomorrow, will the Israeli international be able still to get up north to play later in the away game at Wigan? Or could we be about to witness the country's first on-field circumcision? Surely Roman Abramovich could help rustle up a minyan.

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A coat fit for priests

By Simon Rocker, August 19, 2010

Trendy British fashion house All Saints are retailing this double-breasted coat for men for the autumn season.

It's 75 per cent wool, fully lined, and costs £250.

So what's it doing here rather than on the fashion pages?

Well, this stylish new item happens to be known as a "Cohen Coat".

Why would anyone call a coat Cohen? I wish I could say, but I'm still awaiting the answer from All Saints.

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Tweet like Sugar

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

It appears Lord Sugar has joined the Twittersphere after an account called @Lord_Sugar announced on the social networking site this week: "Dipping my toes into Twitter…" When loyal fans questioned if it was really the famed businessman, his PR, David Fraser, was quick to confirm its authenticity.

Lord Sugar then dedicated his next tweet to praising eight-year-old Connor Pickering from Warwickshire, who has been nicknamed Alan Sugar Junior after sacking two classmates from his fairy cake business.

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Sexiest MP mad for star

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

New equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, got rather worked up after her comment that curvy Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks is a good role model for youngsters was used by tabloids to splash saucy images of the star all over their pages.

This from the MP who announced her award as "Sexiest MP" in the annual Sky poll on her blog with: "Thank you Sky - you've made an old woman very happy!"

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A very civil partnership

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

While some were outraged at the sight of a Methodist minister and a rabbi presiding over the Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky wedding last Shabbat, Rabbi Danny Rich, chief exec of Liberal Judaism, has said he would repeat it here in the UK.

Rabbi Rich has announced he would be "happy" to officiate alongside a Methodist minister.

"We have an opportunity to portray the beauty of Judaism and promote it as a possibility in a new family," he said.

After recent events, the real question is: would a Methodist minister be happy to officiate alongside a rabbi?

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Rabbinic dreams

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

Comedian Josh Howie has spoken of his dreams of becoming a rabbi, despite his famous mother's desire to convert to Buddhism.

The son of Lynne Franks, PR guru and inspiration for Ab Fab character Edina, told the Sunday Times Magazine: "I embarked on the road to becoming a rabbi. But I got caught with a girl and that put a stop to that. In the end I just settled for being a good Jewish boy."

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From tzitzit to Tattoos

By Robyn Rosen, August 12, 2010

Natalie Portman is the bookies' favourite to land the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the best-selling book by Stieg Larsson.

Paddy Power has made the 29-year-old Israeli-American their 11/4 favourite ahead of Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Twilight's Kristen Stewart.

The role of the tough, leather-clad, tattoo covered biker will be a far cry from her last film, New York, I love You, where she played a strictly Orthodox Jewish bride preparing for her wedding to a Chasidic man.

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Rothschilds are full of gas

By Robyn Rosen, August 6, 2010

It seems the Rothschild family have met their match in the parish village of Wilcot in Wiltshire.

The British branch of the Jewish banking dynasty are seeking planning permission for an anaerobic digestion plant on their 2,800-acre estate but have come across local opposition.

It seems they may not be able to add “harvesting biogas” to their long list of achievements.

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Not just any doctor...

By Robyn Rosen, August 6, 2010

Acclaimed theatre and opera director Jonathan Miller, who once described himself as “Jew-ish” — probably with the emphasis on the “ish”— says that he hasn't been to the theatre for at least 10 years, preferring, he says, to visit Marks & Spencer.

This is not just Dr Miller, then, this is an M&S Dr Miller....

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