The Diary

Time-travelling Aldermans

By Simon Rocker, November 17, 2011

Naomi Alderman launched her writing career with largely well-received novels about a rabbi's lesbian daughter and bright young things at Oxford.

But her most recent work has taken her down a different fictional path: Borrowed Time is a BBC-commissioned story about Dr Who.

More..

It's OK for Norwood

By Simon Rocker, November 17, 2011

It's not enough to feed your guests, you must give them something to read, too. Diners at Norwood's fundraiser left with copies of OK magazine, which is published by the charity's president Richard Desmond - slighter literary fare, though, than that the New Israel Fund offering to its supporters: copies of the novels of guest speaker A.B. Yehoshua.

More..

Celebrity departure

By Simon Rocker, November 17, 2011

Rabbi David Goldberg's impresario days are over. The last event he is organising for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue takes place on Sunday, an Any Question panel including Sir Nicholas Hytner and Libby Purves, which is part of its centenary celebrations. "Time to leave it to the younger generation," says the 71-year-old emeritus minister.

More..

England at Auschwitz

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

The English soccer team will be flying the flag for anti-racism when they travel to Poland next year for the European Championship.

It was announced this week that Fabio Capello's men will be visiting Auschwitz - following the example of the English team managed by Sven-Göran Eriksson and captained by David Beckham, which went to the camp ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Poland in 2004.

More..

Beyond the Bibi-bashing

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

Bibi Netanyahu may well have the last laugh after the eavesdropped conversation in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy described him as a liar and American President Barack Obama quipped: "You may be sick of him but… I have to deal with him every day."

Some Republicans are now demanding Obama offer the Israeli MP some diplomatic recompense for the distinctly undiplomatic revelations.

More..

Lights go out in downing st

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

The Prime Minister's Chanucah party has become an annual fixture in the Anglo-Jewish calendar and the great and good eagerly await their invitations.

But Chanucah's late arrival this year - it doesn't begin until the evening of December 20 - has posed a problem.

More..

Is chicken soup Israeli?

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

I don't know how many of you have tried Jamie Oliver's Jewish-inspired dish from last week's episode of his Channel 4 series, Yorkshire pud with smoked trout paté (the trout is the Jewish bit).

The chirpy cook sampled chicken soup in a Leeds kitchen and extolled the pleasures of Jewish contributions to the nation's food: salt beef, smoked salmon and fried fish.

But what struck me was the ti

More..

Not that broad a church

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

The Big Tent Israel conference in Manchester this month would have to be a very big tent indeed to include one name I spotted among a list of possible speakers for the event: the Reverend Stephen Sizer.

Israel has faced few more vocal antagonists in the Christian world than the author of such books as Christian Zionism: the Road to Armaggedon?

More..

Lovestruck at the films

By Simon Rocker, November 3, 2011

Not only can you have a reel good time at the Jewish Film Festival, you might even find romance.

As did Cedric Behrel, the manager of Trinity Films, distributors of the festival's opening film This Must Be the Place, which stars Sean Penn.

It was a case of love actually at last year's festival, where he met the woman who recently became his wife, music journalist and JC contributor Nicola C

More..

Rabbis mind the language

By Simon Rocker, November 3, 2011

What must be the world's first rabbinically supervised English dictionary is about to be published by none other than Oxford University Press.

A special edition of the Oxford English Dictionary for Schools has been approved for exclusive use in strictly Orthodox schools.

OUP agreed the idea with the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, which stumped up the cash to underwrite an initial 2,

More..