The Diary

No credit for Trinny & Su ad

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

British fashionistas Trinny and Susannah, now household names in Israel, recently appeared in an advert for a local credit-card company, in which they advised - in Hebrew - a young woman to tell her boyfriend of her love of shopping.

But it didn't play well with Wizo, who shortlisted it for the country's most sexist ad of the year award.

More..

A long wait for a bar mitzvah

By Simon Rocker, March 1, 2012

The annual CST dinner was not just any dinner.

For the Chancellor, George Osborne, it was also his bar mitzvah.

During the speech, by Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador reached under the table and pulled out an exquisitely wrapped box to hand to the Chancellor.

It was, Mr Taub told him, a bar mitzvah present.

More..

The charity that went upstairs

By Simon Rocker, March 1, 2012

It's not often that a Jewish charity gets name-checked in a peak time BBC series. But the Central British Fund for German Jews - later to become World Jewish Relief - has a role in the revived period drama Upstairs Downstairs (above).

Now set in the run-up to the Second World War, the show has a sub-plot about the Kindertransport and the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany.

More..

What Abbas should have read

By Simon Rocker, March 1, 2012

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had Israeli blood boiling with his comments at an Arab conference in Jerusalem this week, among other things appearing to cast doubt on the site of the Jewish Temple.

But such historical revisionism is a new departure.

More..

How Arsenal scores over Spurs

By Simon Rocker, March 1, 2012

Board of Deputies treasurer Laurence Brass put right spectators at Sunday's Arsenal v Spurs derby. It is a "myth" that Spurs has the bigger Jewish fan base, he wrote in the official match programme: "I can say with some confidence that Arsenal has always attracted a larger percentage of Jewish supporters than any other London club". Even the Chief Rabbi is a fan, he noted.

More..

Piping hot: news of the stews

By Simon Rocker, February 23, 2012

Never mind the Brits or the Oscars, I can now bring you the results of the hottest awards in town: the 2012 Cholent of the Year contest.

After 500 tasters from the Saatchi and St John's Wood Synagogues did their duty at kiddush on Shabbat, Deli West One was declared the winner.

A noteworthy achievement since the West End of London deli only opened for business a few months ago.

More..

The salad that had us stumped

By Simon Rocker, February 23, 2012

At the café of Kazimierz museum in Krakow: a dish of tomato, cucumber, lamb's lettuce, iceberg, ruccola, parsley, radish, lemon, pepper and olive oil called "Jewish salad".

The name is puzzling. But surely Jewish salad is a contradiction in terms.

More..

Cinderella goes to euro-ball

By Simon Rocker, February 23, 2012

Dr Cinderella Cohen may be an unfamiliar name to you but the London GP, I am happy to tell you, is one of the 11 UK delegates to the new 120-member European Jewish Parliament inaugurated in Brussels last week.

Also joining her is Lady Pannick, wife of leading barrister Lord Pannick, and Maccabi stalwart Stuart Lustigman.

The new forum is the brainchild of the European Jewish Union, launched

More..

An animated choice for chief

By Simon Rocker, February 23, 2012

There are still a few days before the deadline for applications to be Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

But a clear popular favourite is beginning to emerge and it's not Rabbi Mirvis of Finchley or Rabbi Melchior from Israel.

Go to Twitter where you'll see support is growing for the candidature of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski of Springfield.

His appearances on

More..

Not arf a way to mark Jubilee

By Simon Rocker, February 16, 2012

One of the most spectacular events to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be a pageant on the Thames in June involving a thousand boats.

Among those chosen to join the festive flotilla is a 42-foot motor cruiser called Knot Arf.

It used to have a Hebrew name, Hamayim 2, before current owner Andrew Bernstein, vice-president of Thames Motor Yacht Club, acquired it.

More..