When the assignment was first handed over, I kicked my desk and unleashed a torrent of expletives. It was my turn to cover the annual Limmud conference - and no tantrum would get me out of it.
Nor would a family wedding in Tel Aviv or an offer to holiday at a penthouse in New York over the New Year.
A founder of Limmud, an award-winning TV producer and a former chairman of Ajex were all celebrating their inclusion in the honours list.
I've been going to Limmud for over 20 years. My first time was a bit of a shock - such a range of people and sessions, such a passion for learning, such a joy at "doing Jewish". I was hooked.
Limmud is a novel take on the Yarchei Kallah, an ancient Jewish institution. It was a bi-annual study convention for Jewish scholars in Babylon. In various forms it has continued to the present day.
A Limmud organiser has stood by the decision to prevent right-wing journalist Tuvia Tenenbom from taking his place on a panel with less than 24 hours' notice.
Israel-born Mr Tenenbom was booked to take part in seven sessions at the conference in Birmingham last week.
The organisers of this year’s Limmud conference have confirmed it will return to Birmingham after its new hotel venue proved a success last month.
The Hilton Metropole was the central location for the annual cross-communal education for the first time following many years previously at different universities.
The mother of the first British volunteer to die fighting against Daesh in Syria has told how “proud” she is of her “brave and gracious” son.
Ex royal marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield joined the YPG Kurdish group and fought as a tank gunner in Rojava province in the west of the country.
His mother Vasiliki Scurfield said his decision to go to Syria had been a brave one.
An Israeli acquaintance, taking an early morning dip in the Hilton pool at Limmud, remarked that the water was so pleasantly warm that it was like swimming in chicken soup.
Pamela Schuller once had the worst case of Tourette's syndrome in the United States.
As a teenager, she suffered from involuntary movements so severe that she once broke her neck.
She would make animal noises and swear uncontrollably.
The Limmud conference swapped its usual campus venue for the more upmarket setting of a hotel — and attracted record crowds.
While some die-hard delegates said they missed the university feel, most of the 2,750 insisted they enjoyed the improved facilities and more comfortable rooms.
The attendees descended on Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole from more than 40 countries.