The Diary

Miliband's little cut?

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

Is Labour leader Ed Miliband, product of a strictly secular upbringing, starting to get religious? A Times picture caption said that he and his partner Justine Thornton had decided that they would not get married until after the "brith" of their second son Samuel. The nuptials are set for May. Better book them a chupah.

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Strictly simchah

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

BBC2's forthcoming documentary on marriage and matchmaking in Stamford Hill had the working title of My Big Hasidic Wedding. Not a title likely to appeal to local rabbinate who have been trying to encourage their flock to cut down on simchah expenses. My Little Hasidic Wedding, perhaps?

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Museum's saturday opening

By Simon Rocker, April 14, 2011

London's Jewish Museum is making a pitch for more punters - by opening on Saturdays from the end of May. Director Rickie Burman believes the move will improve its outreach to the wider world. "If we are not open on Saturdays, a lot of people who could benefit from learning about Jewish life will not be able to visit us," she said.

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Shalit activist's bare facts

By Simon Rocker, April 7, 2011

By June 25, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will have spent five years in captivity in Gaza after being kidnapped by Hamas.

Negotiations that at one time offered hope of his release last year appear to have stalled.

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Our favourite media friend

By Simon Rocker, April 7, 2011

Times editor James Harding, giving a talk to the Jewish Community Centre this week, asked the audience what they would like the newspaper to cover. "The new JCC," someone immediately piped up. Well, it had already done that, said Mr Harding, a member of Belsize Square Synagogue, in a long opinion piece by the paper's executive editor Daniel Finklestein.

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The politician and the punk

By Simon Rocker, April 7, 2011

Here's a gem for mishpachologists: housing minister Grant Shapps and Mick Jones, ex-guitarist of punk band The Clash, are cousins.

Jones was reportedly born to a Russian Jewish mother and lived for a time with her mother Stella in South London before joining the group, whose hits include London Calling and Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Riddle of the Rosenbergs

By Simon Rocker, April 7, 2011

The programme of The Holy Rosenbergs, Ryan Craig's National Theatre play about an Edgware Jewish family, contains a four-page timeline of notable events in Jewish history.

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Jacobson on Corrie Street

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

You have probably heard enough about the absence of ethnic minority characters from ITV detective series Midsomer Murders.

But it prompted Howard Jacobson in his weekend Indie column to wonder why there are no Jewish folk on Coronation Street.

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Recognition for rugelach

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

There may have been no Jews in Coronation Street but the joys of Yiddish pastry have finally come to the attention of the custodians of the nation's linguistic heritage, the Oxford English Dictionary.

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A tale of two Tals

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

The Tal Ben Haim who scored the only goal in Israel's World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Tuesday was not the Premier League defender who is now languishing on the sidelines at Portsmouth because the club cannot afford his wages.

He was another Tal Ben Haim, striker for Maccabi Petah Tikva. We forgive the Guardian for muddling the two players up.

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