The Diary

Dancing with daffodils

April 23, 2015

Klezmer has spread far and wide but Welsh-based duo Fiddlebox claim a unique fusion on their new album Eastern Honeymoon - they have blended it with Welsh folk tunes.

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New lodge for Mason

April 23, 2015

If you've booked for the Jackie Mason tour in London in June, you'd better check that it's not an impersonator, a doppelganger or the first comedic cyborg on stage. Because in 2012, promotional notices announced that the octogenarian stand-up would be making his "farewell" UK tour that year.

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No meeting over milk

April 23, 2015

The BBC journalist covering last week's March of the Living in Poland returned from the hotel bar with an innocent cup of tea, only to find eyes rolling at the tables around him, where the Chief Rabbi and his entourage were polishing off their chicken dinner. Hasty exit, cup of tea.

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It's a Kardashian cover-up

April 17, 2015

Strictly-Orthodox website Kikar HaShabbat covered Kim Kardashian with a receipt in photos of her and husband Kanye West dining with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat.

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Switched on for Shabbat

April 17, 2015

First was the Shabbes goy, then the time switch. But say ta-ta to timers because now comes KosherSwitch, a device that enables you to switch on lights without breaking Shabbat. Its American inventor says it has the blessing of leading rabbis and has turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise the $50,000 needed to go into production.

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Carroll singer at Synagogue

April 17, 2015

Sadly, Hampstead and Kilburn voters will not be able to select independent candidate Ronnie Carroll. The former Eurovision contestant, and political ally of Rainbow George Weiss, died this week at the age of 80.

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Emma spices up Masterchef

April 17, 2015

Exciting news for anyone planning a simchah in the near future: MasterChef contestant Emma Spitzer may soon be available for hire.

The mother of four from East Finchley, whose dishes have included date balls, spiced chickpeas and latkes, said she has enjoyed putting Israeli food on the map and would love to go into catering when she is done with the show.

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Politics of the seder plate

April 8, 2015

Rabbi Jonathan Romain added a little electoral seasoning to the Maidenhead Synagogue Seder by asking guests to suggest which political parties were best symbolised by items around the table.

Bitter herbs: Conservatives - "the bitter effects of austerity".

Salt water: LibDems – "Nick Clegg's poll ratings are lower than the Dead Sea".

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Masterchef's matzah balls

April 8, 2015

BBC TV's Masterchef went almost kosher for Pesach on Monday night, when contestant Fran served the judges chicken soup and kneidlach.

The 36-year-old teacher from Newport told judges Greg Wallace and John Torode that, given the brief to "create a classical dish", she had immediately turned to her grandmother's famous recipe.

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Bread tasting of heaven

April 8, 2015

In the run-up to Easter, BBC Radio 3 invited a number of prominent figures to discuss aspects of the Lord's Prayer. What more apt choice could there have been for Baroness Neuberger than the line, "Give us our daily bread" - a cry that will be echoing around many a Jewish household this week as we count down the days of matzah.

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