Interview: Robert Popper

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2011

How can you make a sitcom about Shabbat, and never mention the J-word? Friday Night Dinner writer Robert Popper explains that the rituals of Friday night with the family resonate beyond Golders Green and Edgware.


The Promise has an 'anti-Israel premise'

By Marcus Dysch, February 24, 2011

A senior Israeli diplomat says that a drama series about British Mandate Palestine is the worst example of anti-Israel propaganda he has ever seen on television.

The final episode of The Promise will be shown on Channel 4 on Sunday.

Amir Ofek, press attaché at the Israeli embassy in London, said film-maker Peter Kosminsky's story had "created a new category of hostility towards Israel".


The rise of Aaron Sorkin

By Jennifer Lipman, February 21, 2011

Hollywood writer and creator Aaron Sorkin looks set to pick up at least one Academy Award this year for his work on The Social Network, the film about the creation of Facebook. A quick look at his career so far.

Sorkin Returns: Read more about the man himself here



A woman named Netanya

By Simon Rocker, February 18, 2011

What with Channel 4's The Promise and a documentary on children in Gaza, TV coverage of Israel was grimmer than usual this week. But a moment's relief came on BBC1's Graham Norton Show on Monday. A young woman in the red chair slot, where members of the public tell anecdotes, introduced herself as "Netanya" from Norfolk.


First look: Friday Night Dinner on Channel 4

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011
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Think Friday night dinner at your house is crazy? Take a look at Channel 4's new comedy series about Shabbat meals with the Goodman family, starring Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter and Simon Bird, as well as Jewish comedian Tom Rosenthal. The series begins on February 25.


Take Me Out - to Israel tour?

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

They went on a dating show to meet someone new - and ended up walking into the sunset with someone they hiked through the Negev with 10 years ago.

Accountant Richard Ludwig, 26, unwittingly chose a Jewish girl on the ITV's Take Me Out without realising they already knew each other.

The show offers male contestants the chance to impress 30 single girls. The girls are equipped with lights, which they switch off if they are not interested in a date.


BBC rows back on Louis Theroux publicity

February 4, 2011

The BBC has had to backtrack after it sent out an incorrect publicity notice describing hard-line Zionists featured in a Louis Theroux film as "possibly the biggest threat to world peace today".

A corrected version of the billing had to be resent after the JC contacted the BBC to ask about the description, which included the lines: "In part these men and women are a tiny group of religious extremists who claim they are acting on divine promises from thousands of years ago.

"In part they are possibly the biggest threat to world peace today."


Home shopping expert makes special delivery

By Jessica Elgot, February 3, 2011

A TV jewellery expert became an emergency midwife when his wife gave birth to a boy in their Finchley living room after a labour of only two hours.

Gary Rockman, 32, helped Melissa, 38, deliver their son early last Friday morning while their other child, two-year-old Sonny, slept undisturbed upstairs.


On this day: A Jewish family on TV

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011
Since the dawn of television, family life has proved to be a rich source of inspiration. The same can be said for Jewish family life, demonstrated not least by the popularity of the long running US comedy show The Goldbergs.

Created by a writer named Gertrude Berg in 1928, it began life as a radio programme but 20 years later made the transition to the small screen. Following the drama of life in the Bronx and particularly the meddling Jewish mother Molly, played by Gertrude, it later became a play and a Broadway musical.


Natalie Portman, Aaron Sorkin triumph at Golden Globes

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

Jewish stars were celebrating last night after they swept the boards at the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman has been widely tipped for an Oscar-nomination after she was named Best Actress for Black Swan.

The film, released in Britain this week, stars Ms Portman as a tormented prima ballerina and is directed by Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

Mr Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director but lost out to The Social Network, a retelling of the origin of Facebook and its Jewish misfit creator Mark Zuckerberg.