The Diary

Sky-high priced cuppa

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2011

El Al are offering passengers Illy cappuccino for $5 (around £3.20) and espresso for $4 (£2.55) a cup, according to YNet. Crew have been instructed to serve it with a free chocolate.

You will be pleased to learn 30 per cent of the coffee proceeds will go to a worthy cause: flight attendants' parties

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Bowling for Beersheva

By Jessica Elgot, October 19, 2011

In Third Man in Havana, due to be published next spring,Tom Rodwell describes cricket in unlikely places. One instance is a remark from George, the opening bowler for Beersheva Cricket Club in Israel, who notes: "It's not easy keeping your line and length under the threat of a rocket attack."

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Olympic leap for salmon

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

Given some of the sports admitted to the Olympics, then slapping a ball as far as you can with a side of smoked salmon would be probably more entertaining than most.

Which is not quite what is being advertised here by Lance Forman (above), managing director of Forman's, the century-old London smoked salmon company.

When he first learned that the premises of the family business was to be demo

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Boris's timely appearance

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

Congratulations to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has struggled to make it on time to a couple of recent Jewish events.

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Boy George's fast track

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

Could celebrity fasting on Yom Kippur be the next spiritual craze? Cultural Club singer Boy George tweeted that he was forgoing food for the day, prompting good wishes from Jewish comedienne Sandra Bernhard, "Have an easy fast, boy, you are such a mensch."

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A rather tall order

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

A television production company is looking to recruit young Jewish men to appear in a new faith dating show. Eligible bachelors should be aged between 24 and 29 and – here's the catch – they should be over 5 foot 10. That somewhat narrows the field.

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Bird brainteaser

By Simon Rocker, October 11, 2011

They are the staple of our soups and our Shabbat tables, we eat them gedempte or sandwich them in shnitzels. Some of us may have even been swinging them round our heads last Friday in the pre-Yom Kippur kapparot ceremony.

But how many kosher chickens do you think are consumed by British Jews every year: is it 300,000: 1.3 million: or 2.3 million?

Answer next week.

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It's all Hebrew to them

By Simon Rocker, October 6, 2011

Almost full marks to St Monica's, a Roman Catholic High School, in Prestwich, Manchester, which posted the Rosh Hashanah greeting below on their fence for their Jewish neighbours.

The words run in the right order from right to left. However, the school managed to get the letters of each word back to front. The message should read Shanah Tovah Um'vorechet, "A Good and Blessed Year".

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The Woody view of Bibi

By Simon Rocker, October 6, 2011

One man who would not have given Benjamin Netanyahu a standing ovation in America earlier this year is Woody Allen.

The veteran film-maker, whose new movie Midnight in Paris is said to be his best in years, told the Sunday Times that Netanyahu was a "poor leader" and he wished Israel had a more enlightened government.

But he also hit out at the Arabs' "extremely destructive attitude" over ye

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More about Jewish beans

By Simon Rocker, October 6, 2011

You may recall last week I wrote about a family amused to see a dish of haricot beans at their Spanish hotel labelled "Jewish with ham" – the literal translation of judias con jamon. Judia can mean both a Jewish woman and bean in Spanish.

Here is one explanation via the internet.

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