Angela Epstein

The Orthodox Jew who's Ukip's poster boy

By Angela Epstein, March 14, 2014

A few years ago, I was having a wash-and-blow in a newly opened hair salon, bang in the heart of Jewish north Manchester, when a woman who’d taught me at junior school came in. As she saw me, faint recognition flickered across her face, and turning to one of the stylists, she asked, not-so-sotto-voce (a privilege of the elderly), who I was.

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When it comes to Shabbat worship, we have too much choice

By Angela Epstein, February 8, 2014

Election talk. It’s everywhere you go. No, not that election — well, not in my quiet corner of north Manchester. I’m talking about the election of a new rabbi currently taking place at my shul.

Well, actually, it’s not really an election. More of an audition, since we seem to have adopted a hustings-style approach to trying out potential candidates for size.

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Come on Manchester, embrace this eruv

By Angela Epstein, January 12, 2014

At my nephew’s wedding in Israel a few years ago, the proud groom introduced me to the head of the Jerusalem yeshiva where he had once been a student.

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Parties for boys, yes. Girls? No.

By Angela Epstein, October 25, 2013

In recent months, words and phrases previously unused by my nine-year-old daughter have begun to creep into her vocabulary. Most days, references to “marquees”,”chair covers” or “mirror balls” pepper her conversation with the panache of a seasoned party planner.

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My mother’s singular aliyah

By Angela Epstein, September 18, 2013

It was, by all accounts, a “highly irregular” state of affairs. The business of assessing new Israeli immigrants, said the woman from the Interior Ministry, needed to be conducted from her office. Anyway, she had an aversion to hospitals.

But something clearly fluttered in this woman’s Jewish soul. And with only a little persuasion, she agreed to bend the rules.

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Glaser detecting similarities between Starsky and Tevye

By Angela Epstein, August 15, 2013

In the great panoply of iconic male acting roles, the part of an impoverished milkman in turn-of-the-20th-century Russia — transport, horse and cart — and a hot-shot detective who scorches the earth in a red-striped Torino are worlds apart. But no.

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Age has nothing to do with justice

By Angela Epstein, June 30, 2013

With his withered skin, his body bowed by extreme age, you'd be forgiven for assuming that the old man in the newspaper photograph was another distressing example of the vulnerability of the elderly. Particularly here in Britain where a crass culture of disinterest has sometimes seen the needs of old people compromised.

Such an interpretation couldn't be more misplaced.

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Pesach’s supermarket sweep

By Angela Epstein, March 22, 2013

It was like a scene from one of those wartime espionage movies. No sooner had I lifted the seemingly innocuous package from the shelf of my local deli, than I felt the cold slap of a recriminatory hand on my shoulder.

In tones of sotto voce urgency, the owner of said arm hissed in my ear. "That stuff is much cheaper at the supermarket".

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The Lure of Greece

By Angela Epstein, October 11, 2012

It was a good enough place to park. A large, open-air pay and display a few minutes walk from the port, surely this was the perfect spot to leave our car and explore the fascinating maritime city of Thessaloniki (Salonika).

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Gone, but not exactly forgotten

By Angela Epstein, October 7, 2012

The car was crammed to bursting point. Clothes, towels, bedding, boxes of cornflakes, a ritzy new desk lamp, 400 home-made frozen mini-meals and a Himalayan mound of kosher pot noodles all packed into the boot and piled on to the back seat.

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UK: The Lake District

By Angela Epstein, August 3, 2012

‘Shalom”, boomed the dark-haired young man behind the reception desk as we checked into Armathwaite Hall.
The kind of greeting routinely proffered at a Tel Aviv sea-front hotel, perhaps? Not at all what you would expect to find on arriving at a 17th century former stately home nestling on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake.

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'Modesty' is eroding innocence

By Angela Epstein, July 30, 2012

The party was in full swing. In the hot, damp atmosphere steaming from pendulous hips and sweaty gyrations, clammy bodies were heaped on top of each other like a pile of freshly cooked blintzes.

And, all the while, the relentless throb of melodically challenged chart-toppers boomed over the speakers.

Would you be happy to let your child be a part of all this?

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Having a not so riotous experience in Athens

By Angela Epstein, December 29, 2011

So here's the conundrum: a chance arises to grab a much needed mini-break but my husband and I have conflicting wish lists. My perfect tick-box break has to include stunning architecture, an abundance of history, perhaps a dash of Jewish culture, the rattle and hum of a vibrant city. He wants a sun lounger with back support, decent weather and a sea view.

Mmm.

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Farewell at sea for Mr Loophole's officer uncle

By Angela Epstein, November 17, 2011

On a June night in 1944, all was dark and quiet as the 13-man crew of the small D-Day landing craft slowly approached the south coast on its return journey from Normandy.

But just four miles from the safety of Portsmouth harbour, disaster struck. The small craft collided with HMS Rodney, a 34,000-ton battleship, which sliced the boat in half.

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'I broke into Auschwitz, I had to see it for myself'

By Angela Epstein, September 1, 2011

The view from Denis Avey's hill- top Derbyshire cottage is spectacular. Little wonder the sprightly 92-year-old loves relaxing in his favourite armchair and looking out over the fields and hills surrounding his lovely home.

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By 'eck, I've had five fiancés

By Angela Epstein, June 16, 2011

Debby Carr has the kind of beauty that makes grown men walk into oncoming traffic. Not only because they are bewitched by her striking looks, but also because there is something familiar about those feline eyes and that sultry smile.

Want a clue? Anyone who sees her might think: "By 'eck, she's gorgeous".

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The north needs to attract more celebrities.

By Angela Epstein, October 29, 2010

It’s a gloomy midweek evening in north Manchester. A thin wind whips through the damp air and The Apprentice is on the telly. Who on earth would venture out on such a night?

It’s a question I ask myself as I pull into the car park of a local shul hall, where I’m star-billing as guest speaker at a small event for the local branch of the League of Jewish Women. Good job I had no Mariah Carey-esque dressing-room requests, such as fresh flowers or chilled pomegranate juice — though there is the promise of a plate of kichels after I’ve finished.

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