Ivor's New Show

By Lee Levitt, August 13, 2010

It's a mark of Ivor Dembina's enduring comic ability that he can lasso in his audience with the unpromising contents of his sandwich in a "Guess-the-contents-of-Ivor's-sandwich" opening routine to his experimental show. But that's the kind of guy he is.


Granny's Gone Wild

By Lee Levitt, August 13, 2010

"The nice thing about dating at my age is you don't have to worry about meeting the parents." So says Lynn Ruth Miller, who at 77 is a self-styled "senior hottie".
With commendable energy, and more than a dash of smut, the diminutive, twice-divorced singleton rips through the niche comedic area of septuagenarian dating in San Francisco, occasionally elaborating her tales with a smattering of fantasy, as when she pictures the effects of a romantic liaison on an oxygen mask-wearing suitor.


Joe Bor: a study of embarrassment by a guy with two bumholes

By Lee Levitt, August 13, 2010

All comedians can have off-nights - you probably just hope it doesn't coincide with your efforts being reviewed.

For Joe Bor, the 2007 Jewish Comedy Factor winner and a Comedian of the Year 2009 finalist at the Leicester Comedy Festival, a nervy start in his Edinburgh debut solo show wasn't helped by a youngish, reserved audience who seemed collectively to be contemplating a bout of dental surgery rather than the end-of-the-pier humour they were being served up.


Chabad aims for Fringe benefits at Edinburgh Festival

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010

Among the street performers and acrobats on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the local Chabad group has been handing out kosher snacks and encouraging Jewish visitors to this month's Fringe Festival to lay tefillin.

Rabbi Pinny Weinman and two New York yeshivah students, Yaakov Hecht, 19, and Herschy Hecht, 17, have set up a stall close to Edinburgh Castle, where performers gather to hand out flyers for the 2,000-plus shows.

Rabbi Weinman said that proximity to the castle was like "being a part of history, like being near the Western Wall.


Separated at birth: Jewish twins seek mum

By Jessica Elgot, July 30, 2010

A pair of identical 64-year-old twins, born in Leeds, separated at birth and raised by Catholic families, are now seeking their birth mother - Leah Cohen.

With the help of genealogist Martin Cahn, whom they met on JewishGen, Mary Holmes, from Kirkby in Ashfield, and Elaine Allin from Chesterfield, are seeking their Jewish relations.


Scottish Jews oppose double-decker burials

By Marcus Dysch, July 30, 2010

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has said it "strongly objects" to proposals to allow the re-use of graves.

The Scottish Government is expected to back the deepening of burial sites, effectively giving the go-ahead to "double-deck" graves.

It is due to announce its plans next month following a lengthy consultation into solving the increasing difficulty of securing burial space.


Refugees' regional day

July 22, 2010

The annual regional get-together of the Association of Jewish Refugees attracted members from throughout Scotland, as well as Newcastle.

The day's activities at Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation included guest speaker Paula Cowan of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, who gave a presentation on "The Changing Face of Holocaust Education".


Middle East peace talks come to Scotland

By Stephanie Brickman, July 22, 2010

Edinburgh has been hosting a summer school promoting dialogue and understanding between young Jews and Arabs in Israel and beyond.

The Windows for Peace project began as a magazine featuring letters young people wrote to one another and articles about their situations.This has now extended to two weeks of intensive workshops in a neutral country.

It is the second summer school to be held in Edinburgh and a prime mover has been Judy Sischy, director of the Scottish Council for Independent Schools and an Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation member.


Rabbi Mark Solomon is new minister in Edinburgh

By Stephanie Brickman, April 29, 2010

Edinburgh's Liberal congregation, Sukkat Shalom, formally welcomed Rabbi Mark Solomon as minister at an induction ceremony on Sunday attended by 100 people.

The induction was performed by Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and in his remarks, Rabbi Solomon stressed his pride at leading a congregation which involved itself in the wider community.

Representatives of other faiths and Labour politician Gavin Strang were among the guests.


Sheriff throws out concert protest case

By Stephanie Brickman, April 15, 2010

A Scottish sheriff has thrown out a case against five Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign protesters who disrupted a concert by an Israeli classical ensemble.

Five people, Michael (Mick) Napier, Neil Forbes, Sophia McLeod, Kevin Conner and Vanessa Fuertes, were arrested after disrupting a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet at the Edinburgh Festival in August, 2008. They shouted: "These are Israeli army musicians. Genocide in Gaza. End the siege of Gaza."