Our Jewish Moments

Our Jewish moments

By Miriam Shaviv, September 27, 2009

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My Jewish Moments: Emily Maitlis

September 22, 2009

Emily Maitlis is a BBC journalist and newsreader

Most significant Jewish moment?

It was, oddly, when I got married to Mark, my Catholic boy. We had a rabbi and a priest doing the service together and we have the most beautiful photo of the two of them dancing together to klezmer music. It was a very important moment to have my family there, and accepting of our choice, and for that reason it was extremely emotionally profound.

My favourite biblical character?

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My Jewish Moments: Anna Maxted

September 22, 2009

Anna Maxted is a novelist and journalist.

Most significant Jewish moment?

I was about to interview Dr Jonathan Sacks for the JC. I was 22. An associate of the Chief Rabbi greeted me. I went to shake hands. He seemed to back away, and I bleated: “Sorry!” realising that if he were very religious, I’d made a blunder. “No,” he said, “I’m just holding the door open for you.”

Which biblical character would you like to meet, and why?

Samson —– there’s a whiff of Hamlet about him. He’s an endearing mixture of strength and weakness.

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My Jewish Moments: Simon Sebag Montefiore

September 22, 2009

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian and writer.

Most significant Jewish moment?

When my wife Santa converted to Judaism — a wonderful and romantic moment.

Which biblical character would you like to meet, and why?

King David of course — I am spending much time with him because I am now writing my history of Jerusalem. David’s decision to make Jerusalem his capital changed the history not only of the city but of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. David fascinates me, but I’d like to meet Simon Bar Kochba too, and many other Jerusalemite heroes.

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My Jewish Moments: Alan Dershowitz

September 22, 2009

Alan Dershowitz is a lawyer, renowned for his high-profile celebrity cases and Israel advocacy.

Most significant Jewish moment?

Meeting my wife at a Jewish singles event in the Boston area in 1982.

Which biblical character would you like to meet and why?

Abraham. I would like to ask him where he got the chutzpah to argue with God about the sinners of Sodom and why he walked away after getting God to agree not to destroy the city if 10 righteous people were found. Why not five? Why not one?

Favourite mitzvah?

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My Jewish Moments: Tovah Feldschuh

September 22, 2009

Tovah Feldshuh is a Broadway actress, singer and playwright

Most significant Jewish moment?

Being the only batmitzvah in my eighth grade at Quaker Ridge School and one of the lone Conservative Jewish families at that time. I really had to stand on my own two feet regarding our commitment to Judaism — and I did.

Which biblical character would you like to meet, and why?

Moses, because he was so humble and yet such a superb leader. I would have much to learn from him. And if not Moses, give me Barack!

Favourite mitzvah?

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My Jewish Moments: Vivian Wineman

September 22, 2009

Vivian Wineman is president of the Board of Deputies

Most significant Jewish moment?

Getting married.

Which biblical character would you like to meet, and why?

Elijah. Out of curiosity, as I would like to know what he was like as an individual. Was he as much of a loner as he is portrayed? Why did he acquire such a mystique for later generations?

Your favourite mitzvah?

Keeping Shabbat.

Israel for me is…

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My Jewish Moments: Annabel Karmel

September 22, 2009

Annabel Karmel is a food writer and author

Most significant Jewish moment?

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My Jewish Moments: Lord Levy

September 22, 2009

Lord Levy is a philanthropist, a Labour peer and a former aide to Tony Blair.

Most significant Jewish moment?

It was when I was travelling to and from Damascus in Syria on official trips as Prime Minister Blair’s Personal Envoy to the Middle East. I was going there with Foreign Office officials to see the late President Hafez al-Assad.

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My Jewish Moments: Shmuley Boteach

September 22, 2009

Shmuley Boteach is a rabbi and author

Most significant Jewish moment?

My most significant Jewish moment came under the wedding canopy when I felt that in a ceremony rich with spiritual meaning I was being joined to a nobler, gentler, more stable soul than my own, and in so doing I was being cleansed of much of the turmoil of my childhood.

Which biblical character would you like to meet, and why?

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