The Diary

Make Dana our diplomat

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

several British-born diplomats have been tipped to replace Ron Prosor as Israel's UK envoy, including Mark Sofer and Daniel Taub.

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The wig that went missing

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

New Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner got short shrift from Sunday Times critic A A Gill who called it a "sad and feeble leftover thing". He noted there was little Jewish about it besides Tamsin Greig's shtetl? Shtetl? I am reliably informed the gremlins got to his copy and he actually wrote sheitl.

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Sex please, we're Jewish

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A survey of Nottingham students from six religions found that Jews were the most permissive in their attitudes towards sex.

More than 70 per cent of our youngsters claimed to be sexually active - 27 per cent higher than the average.

Better start sending the chaplains round with chastity belts.

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Reform's royal invitation

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

Recently retired Reform head Rabbi Tony Bayfield is certainly in royal favour. Having collected his CBE from Buckingham Palace last week, he has been invited to dine with the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle early in April. At the end of the month he will join them again, this time in Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

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Trotsky and the pop star

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

Genealogists, here is a mission for you. The Evening Standard reported that Sylvia Young, founder of the London theatrical school, believes she is related to Leon Trotsky.

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BBC's history in the making

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

After recently revealing BBC plans for a Simon Schama history of the Jews, I can now give more details.

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Don't let down the donkeys

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

There are some causes that transcend political divisions in the Middle East and one of them is donkeys with sore noses.

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He's clear, certainly

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

Pity poor Robert Fisk, whose judgement has been made to look, er, rather strange by recent events.

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Mel the man for Madoff?

By Simon Rocker, February 24, 2011

Hollywood is reportedly planning to make a film about fraudster Bernard Madoff, now in the second year of his 150-year jail term.

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The poncho you can pray in

By Simon Rocker, February 18, 2011

After the Coen coat and the Shalom top shown here in recent months, could this be the ultimate in Jewish chic?

The spring offering depicted below is on sale here in high street fashion chain H & M.

But the Swedish-based company claims its designers did not draw on the synagogue.

"A Jewish prayer shawl was not used as inspiration," said an H & M spokesman. "The poncho style top was designed with current trends in mind. This one in particular is inspired by the '70's."

Still, I shudder to think what some rabbis will make of the garment if they spot it in the ladies' gallery.

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