The Diary

Gefiltefest: poaching the best of British

October 25, 2012

Do the best Jewish things come from Britain? Limmud is our best export. Now foodie parallel Gefiltefest has made its mark abroad.

The Jewish Museum of Maryland pinched the name for its weekend event, which included a fishball recipe contest and a session on “Smoked, pickled and poached: a fish-lover’s guide to the chosen food”.

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Matthew Parris: why Friends of Israel are not for me

October 25, 2012

You may have wondered what lay behind this dig from Times columnist Matthew Parris, who wrote the other day: “In their most Sartrean nightmares, MPs find themselves condemned to an eternal dinner in one of those nasty little dungeons of private dining rooms off the smelly and airless lower Commons corridor, as special guests of the Police Federation, the National Union of Teachers and the Frien

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A grand Pesach in Eastbourne

October 25, 2012

One of Britain’s most famous hotels, the Grand in Eastbourne, will be ordering extra supplies of parsley and horseradish next spring.

London kosher caterer Steven Wolfisz is taking over most of the five-star venue to offer a Pesach getaway.
Mr Wolfisz, who has run kosher-for-Pesach breaks elsewhere in the past, knows what to expect. “It’s a feeding fest; the kitchen doesn’t stop.”

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93-year-old's prize-winning portrait

October 18, 2012

Proving that age is no bar to accomplishment, Donald Zec has won the Oldie magazine’s inaugural British Artists Award.

At 93, the former biographer and Daily Mirror journalist was the oldest of the 325 entrants to the competition, which he won with this portrait of his paternal grandfather.

Remarkably, he took up painting less than five years ago.

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Drunk in charge of davening

October 18, 2012

An anonymous correspondent tells me that one British rabbi became so intoxicated during Simchat Torah that he collapsed during the service and had to be wheeled home. Perhaps synagogues should start using breathalyser tests.

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Book dinner with Burchill

October 18, 2012

Julie Burchill is planning to commit her longstanding love affair with the Jewish people to print. But the publication of "Unchosen: the Memoirs of a Philosemite" may depend on your help.

She has opted to “crowd-fund” it with publishers Unbound, which underwrites its books through online pledges of financial support from readers.

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Precious memories for Cameron

October 18, 2012

David Cameron probably owns many cufflinks but he ought to cherish the pair he was given at a Downing Street reception to mark the 70th anniversary of the Council of Christians and Jews.

The blue topaz stones used (below) belonged to Max Ostro, a Holocaust survivor who went on to found a successful international jewellery business.

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PM salutes slimline Mick Davis

October 18, 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed one of outgoing UJIA chairman Mick Davis’s most visible successes at the charity’s dinner on Monday: his narrower waistline.

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Tat-too much

October 11, 2012

Body art is all the rage, but this design, seen in Manchester, may be a step too far for some.

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Will.i.am and the rabbis

October 11, 2012

Rap superstar Will.i.am (real name William Adams) has revealed a previously unknown influence on his career.
He told the FT Magazine that after a difficult upbringing in gritty east Los Angeles he moved his family to the more heimishe San Fernando Valley.

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