The Diary

Intifada at Rada

July 12, 2012

Alon Tiran is the only Israeli studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. As part of the college’s festival, he directed a play, Masked, by his compatriot Ilan Hatsor, in which he cast three half-British, half-Arab actors to play three Palestinian brothers.

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Grayson Perry is friends with the Israel Philharmonic

July 12, 2012

High-profile attempts to disrupt Israeli cultural performances in the UK inevitably capture the headlines. But don’t forget the many artists who do not sing the boycotters’ tune. Like, for example, the Turner Prize-winning potter Grayson Perry, who recently addressed a recent event on behalf of the British Friends of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Black Keys star likes chicken soup

July 6, 2012

This year’s Reading Festival will be graced by one of America’s hottest rock acts, the Black Keys, whose guitarist Dan Auerbach (below) is the son of a Jewish antique dealer from Ohio.

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Talmud party for South Bank

July 6, 2012

When much of the country will be glued to the Olympics at the end of the month, a rather different kind of marathon will be celebrated at the Royal Festival Hall.

A large crowd from Stamford Hill and other Torah-true centres will come to the South Bank to mark the end of a study cycle of the entire Babylonian Talmud.

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Small talk from Dr Ruth

June 28, 2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres’s annual conference in Jerusalem last week attracted political heavyweights such as Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger. The eminent assembly discussed the weighty issues of the day: Israeli social protests, American policy in the Middle East, the world economy going belly-up.

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Rabbi Neuberger's hot tip

June 28, 2012

Baroness Neuberger, at this year’s Reform conference, recalled some useful advice given by mentor Rabbi Lionel Blue when a student rabbi: “Do not put your prayer book down on the coffin during a cremation.”

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Michael Winner's Golders Green lunch

June 28, 2012

A hungry Michael Winner turned up in Golders Green the other day, looking for a spot of lunch. Which was a pity, as it was Saturday.

“I had no idea there were so many frummers,” confessed the Sunday Times food writer in his latest column: “Nearly everything was shut” — even Carmelli’s, where he once bought a “great bagel”.

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The Tube map that features Yitzhak Rabin

June 28, 2012

The London Transport Museum has an exhibition of artworks inspired by the familiar map of the Tube.
One design, by Simon Patterson, instead of underground stations lists the names of famous, and not always so famous, people down the ages.

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Israel’s not so able semen

June 21, 2012

Alas for the reputation of local virility, research at Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Israel has found that sperm from abroad used for artificial insemination is more likely to produce pregnancies than from native donors.

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Episodes' Barrel of Laughs

June 21, 2012

A recent episode of the TV comedy Episodes — which features Friends star Matt LeBlanc — has provoked a good deal of mirth among Hebrew speakers across the internet. One scene showed a tombstone lamenting the loss of a “beloved husband and father”, which should read that he would be “dearly missed”.

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