The Diary

Summer comes early to Limmud

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

Compared to last year's snow and ice, the weather at Limmud was much more clement this year. New arrivals were greeted in the bar by a band of young Limmudniks playing a jazzy version of "Sunshine of Your Love"- the 1967 Cream classic.

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Doughnuts are greek to me

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

Chanucah is all about the gallant Jewish revolt against the "wicked Greek kingdom". But Israel Ambassador Daniel Taub hosted a discussion on the interaction between the two cultures with his Greek counterpart, Ambassador Aristidis Sandis. He highlighted one positive influence – doughnuts are based on a Greek recipe.

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Party like Abramovich

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

Millions have reportedly been spent on Roman Abramovich's Carribbean knees-up, including 300 guests on the island of St Barts, fireworks on the Chelsea owner's private estate, and a private performance by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

But the Jewish oligarch could have saved his cash and caught the Chillis for the price of a plane to Tel Aviv, where the band are playing next year as part of their

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The Salah calendar

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

No, it's not the Palestinian activist Raed Salah in a bikini.

Middle East Monitor is selling a 2012 calendar of hand-drawn images by Mr Salah, penned while he was in prison, awaiting his deportation hearing.

For just £6, it includes wobbly sketches of Jerusalem and square-winged birds.

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Limmud attempts to spin fail

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

The miracle of Chanucah did not quite make its way to Coventry. Limmudniks, organised by the Union of Jewish Students, attempted to break the world record for dreidel spinning, trying to get 1,000 tops to twirl together. Our Limmud correspondent joined the fray, even going so far as to practice his spinning in the Limmud canteen pre-world record attempt.

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The chicken soup masterchef

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2011

Ash Mair, this year's winner of BBC's Professional Masterchef, may not be a Yiddishe boy, but he does work for Jewish-owned caterers.

David Wolanski, who runs The Recipe with his brother Simon, says Ash has cooked at "many high-end private Jewish functions including weddings, barmitzvahs and birthdays".

The company's takes on Jewish food include shots of chicken soup.

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Wolfson's record grant

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2011

The Wolfson Foundation has made its largest ever grant, awarding up to £20 million to University College London to establish the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre: it is named in memory of the philanthropist who died last year.

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Network first for Hobsbawm

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2011

Julia Hobsbawm, chief exec of media business Editorial Intelligence, been made the world's first professor of networking. She will take up the visiting chair at the Cass Business School in London, teaching young entrepeneurs the value of face-to-face contact.

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Osborne and Gove at the double

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2011

This year's No 10 Chanucah Party saw the debut of a new comedy double act.

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Religiously incorrect reindeer

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2011

When Adam Benjamin walked into a West End of London shop and asked about Chanucah cards, he was offered a "Chanukmas" selection for those who celebrate both Christmas and the Jewish festival of lights.

But beside pictures of Santa Claus lighting a menorah and "Three Weiss Men", he was stunned to find a card featuring Rudolph, "the hook-nosed reindeer".

Mr Benjamin complained that the card wa

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