Simon Round

A game of lulavs and lucky socks

By Simon Round, May 3, 2012

Someone very famous, it might have been Bill Shankly, or perhaps Albert Camus, once described football as a religion. Of course it's not actually a religion. It's more of a ball game. What cannot be denied is that football fans behave in a very similar fashion to Orthodox Jews.

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Why Ben-Gurion cooked eggs for Ze'ev Jabotinsky

By Simon Round, May 3, 2012

It started with the surreal image of a legendary Zionist leader cooking an omelette for his greatest rival.

When celebrated Israeli writer AB Yehoshua heard about the culinary summit between David Ben-Gurion and revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, he was inspired to write a play about the encounter. It receives its first English-language performance in London next week.

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How to succeed in business

By Simon Round, April 26, 2012

The world economy may remain in the doldrums, but not every economy is stagnant. With growth of nearly five per cent last year, Israel is one of the globe's most economically vibrant nations. So why is Israel doing so well when nearly everywhere else is struggling?

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'Nicole Kidman stole my life'

By Simon Round, April 26, 2012

Kerri Sackville is not exhausted. This is an unfamiliar feeling for the Australian writer whose debut book about the trials and tribulations of family life has become a best-seller Down Under.

A week into a visit to the UK to promote When My Husband Does the Dishes (He usually wants sex!) the jet-lag has worn off, and Sackville is bursting with energy.

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Mixing nostalgia with a big helping of modern flavours

By Simon Round, April 6, 2012

Jewish is food is seen by many of us as a constant in an ever-changing world - a warm, nostalgic reminder of days gone by.

But while most of us still love staples such as chopped liver, chicken soup and lockshen pudding, things have shifted perceptibly.

Four decades ago the default mode for British Jews would have been the Ashkenazi classics, but since then our perception of what is Jewish h

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Meet Israel's big noise in the Big Bang experiment

By Simon Round, April 4, 2012

If you have any interest at all in science, a chat with Daniel Zajfman can be pretty instructive. As head of the world-renowned Weizmann Institute in Israel, he is at the forefront of scientific research in his country. During an hour's conversation at his London hotel, topics veer from the origin of the universe to how to make a radio from rotten potatoes.

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Saving up fuel for a rainy day

By Simon Round, March 29, 2012

We British (as opposed to we Jews) love a crisis. Which is just as well because there are two coming along at once.

You may have noticed, particularly if you live on the eastern side of the country, that the wet stuff that used to fall from the sky - I forget what it's called after all this time - has failed to do so for so long that the government has decided to ban all use of water.

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The Syrian Assad who likes Jews and Israel

By Simon Round, March 29, 2012

The first cousin of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has welcomed the possibility of a future democratic Syria making peace with Israel.

Ribal al-Assad, 36, whose father is the exiled former vice-president Rifaat al-Assad, said in an interview with the JC that most Syrians were interested primarily in peace and prosperity.

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Rita Simons: My Daughter , Deafness and Me

By Simon Round, March 23, 2012

In a week that saw Lord Sugar back on our screens, the most moving and thoughtful programme was about other members of his family - his niece Rita Simons, aka EastEnders' Roxy Mitchell, and her daughter Maia.

At first sight, Maia is like any other bright, pretty girl, but she is profoundly deaf in one ear and has severely impaired hearing in the other.

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It’s time to get cracking

By Simon Round, March 23, 2012

You may have read our shocking story last week about how the enforcement of new welfare regulations for chickens was threatening to cause a national shortage of eggs just before Pesach.

I can report that I visited the supermarket with some trepidation last weekend only to see rows and rows of eggs - from free range to organic to Omega 3.

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Interview: Amos Levitov

By Simon Round, March 15, 2012

If anyone is able to understand what is going through the head of released hostage Gilad Shilat, that man is Amos Levitov.

He was a prisoner of war in Egypt from 1970 until his release after the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Levitov now lectures about the psychological consequences his own captivity had for him and he is one of the team helping Shalit to re-adjust to life as a free man in Israel.

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Revealed: how to have a great memory

By Simon Round, March 8, 2012

Thanks to Joshua Foer I have several images floating around my head that I cannot get rid of. These include Claudia Schiffer swimming in a giant tub of cottage cheese, a man sitting on a toilet wearing only a snorkel and Paul Newman in my kitchen chopping elk sausages.

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Review: Raid on Entebbe

By Simon Round, March 8, 2012

Raid on Entebbe was one of no fewer than three films rushed out in the aftermath of the audacious Israeli rescue of passengers hijacked by Palestinian terrorists on an Air France plane en route to Paris in 1976.

The mission, carried out by elite Israeli troops, was meticulously planned, well timed and brilliantly executed.

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Interview: Richard Symons

By Simon Round, March 8, 2012

Yasir Arafat was never very convincing on television. His English was always thickly accented and halting, his ever-present smile looked insincere and the military uniform he wore, allied to his diminutive height, made him appear slightly ridiculous.

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The lessons we've learned as teachers

By Simon Round, March 2, 2012

Susy Stone

Educated at Henrietta Barnet School in north London and graduated in French from London University. She taught at JFS and later became headteacher of Bell Lane Primary School in Hendon and the Akiva School in Finchley.

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TV Review: Two Jews on a Cruise

By Simon Round, March 1, 2012

Last year, Paddy Wivell made A Hasidic Guide to Love, Marriage and Finding a Bride which was accused by many in Stamford Hill of fundamentally misrepresenting the community. Now, Wivell is back with the sequel, which takes two of the "characters" from the previous documentary, Gaby and Tikwah Lock, and follows them on a Mediterranean cruise.

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Review: Leon the Pig Farmer

By Simon Round, February 23, 2012

It is a sad indictment of the British-Jewish movie sub-genre that this 1993 comedy is still touted as the finest of its kind.

Back then, I guess British Jews were happy that someone had seen fit to make a comedy about them, despite the fact that the plot was slight, the acting so-so and the jokes strained. It is basically a one-gag film.

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Interview: Thomas Buergenthal

By Simon Round, February 23, 2012

Thomas Buergenthal believes in justice. This is not just heartwarming but remarkable because this is a man who has witnessed some of the most depraved behaviour in human history.

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Piling on pounds to lose weight

By Simon Round, February 17, 2012

Lately, I have become rather obsessed with the progress of a random bloke on a diet in America.

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Review: Adam Resurrected

By Simon Round, February 16, 2012

This may not be the best film ever made about the Holocaust but it is almost certainly the most surreal.

Based on Israeli novelist Yoram Kaniuk's 1968 best-seller, Adam Resurrected, it is a kind of post-Holocaust One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with a little Catch 22 and some magical realism thrown in for good measure.

Jeff Goldblum plays the multi-talented but traumatised camp survivor, Ada

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