The Diary

Justice for twelth Lord

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

There has been much murmuring among legal folk about Sir John Dyson being the only Supreme Court judge not to be called Lord (or Lady): he was appointed after the court replaced the Law Lords. Now the Queen has intervened and Sir John will be known as Lord Dyson, after all.

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Mel Gibson's dodgy jibe

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

Mel Gibson is never going to win that Anti-Defamation League man of the year award. The Australian actor notoriously ranted against Jews in a outburst after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2006.

Now actress Winona Ryder - who lost relatives in the Holocaust - has revealed an encounter she had with him at a Hollywood party some 15 years ago.

"Somehow, it came up that I was Jewish," she recalled in an interview with GQ magazine. "He said something about 'oven dodgers' but I didn't get it. I'd never heard that before."

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Why Bibi was in the soup

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

Tony Blair revealed one reason why he admires Israel at the Board of Deputies dinner on Tuesday. Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, he was dining with Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

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A peaceful piece of fashion

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

After the Cohen coat a few months ago, here comes the Shalom top.

According to designers Matches Fashion: "Our team give each piece girls' names each season and this piece was named Shalom."

And before you rush to point out that Shalom is usually a boy's name, there's a model called Shalom Harlow.

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Mazeltov, your maj

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

When Board of Deputies leaders popped in to see the Queen at Windsor Castle leader, they asked chief exec Jon Benjamin to get a large card in Hebrew to wish her mazeltov on grandson William's engagement.

But the card he bought was in Yiddish rather than Hebrew and so thought unsuitable to present. Perhaps they should have sent it to her machetunim, the Middletons.

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Maureen sees green

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

The big names turned up for Mitzvah Day's main event at a Nature Reserve in King's Cross including Lord Sacks, Rabbi Tony Bayfield and Sir Trevor Chinn all wearing matching Mitzvah Day bright green t-shirts. A flustered Maureen Lipman arrived late as the rain started. Lord Sacks greeted her with: "Ah Maureen, you look rather fetching."

"Fetching?" she replied in shock. "Don't you mean kvetching?"

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Theatrical family troubles

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2010

For the first time since Mike Leigh's 2005 play Two Thousand Years, the National Theatre is putting a Jewish family centre stage.

Ryan Craig's new play The Holy Rosenbergs, which opens next March, is set in Edgware and will star Henry Goodman as the patriarch of a Jewish family who attempts to save both his ailing catering business and his cherished standing in the Jewish community. As his eldest son fights for Israel in Gaza, his daughter investigates war crimes in the conflict, while his youngest son goes off the rails and refuses to join David's business.

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Sorry girls, I've just got wed

By Simon Rocker, November 22, 2010

We can't bring you a royal wedding but here's a touch of glamour from the nuptial celebrations of promoter Jonathan Shalit and wife Katrina. Here is the happy groom with three of the guests at the party following the West London Synagogue ceremony: singer Jamelia, actress Kelly Brook and broadcaster Myleene Klass.

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Norwood's blue moment

By Simon Rocker, November 22, 2010

A great time was had by all 1,300 guests at the Norwood dinner on Monday – one of Anglo-Jewry's largest fundraising parties. But one number sung by Simon Webbe, former heartthrob of boyband Blue, was not the most obvious choice for a Jewish family charity: Sex on Fire by the Kings of Leon.

The lyrics allude to various amorous feats performed while driving a car. Still, the audience had no problem clapping and singing along, although Mr Webbe did look momentarily uncomfortable, not surprisingly since he was standing right next to the Chief Rabbi's table.

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Heiming up the bard

By Simon Rocker, November 22, 2010

Surprise hit of the Jewish Film Festival was Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish. A hundred Charedim turned up at London's Tricycle theatre, many familiar with cast members who had flown from New York for the screening. "I'm pretty sure that the Tricycle had never seen anything like it," said JFF director Judy Ironside, "and neither had we".

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