Simon Round

The old East End revealed

By Simon Round, September 20, 2012

Just over 100 years ago, a man called C A Mathew wandered out of Liverpool Street Station to take some revealing and poignant photographs of Jewish Spitalfields. The pictures were lost for nearly a century but turned up last year at Bishopsgate Institute in the City. Now they are going on display at Sandys Road Synagogue.

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Martin Lewis: the money expert who can save on anything except kosher meat

By Simon Round, September 13, 2012

Yom Kippur is always a big deal for money-saving guru Martin Lewis, but this year it will be even more so. While he is at synagogue, fasting and generally attempting to ignore the outside world, his new prime-time show will be debuting on ITV.

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David Wolpe, the Democratic rabbi

By Simon Round, September 6, 2012

The Democrats and Republicans may have widely divergent candidates and policies but they do agree on one thing — it is best to use a rabbi to bless their conventions.

While the Republicans went for modern Orthodox minister Meir Soloveichik, the Democrats chose Rabbi David Wolpe of the Conservative Sinai Temple in Los Angeles to perform the invocation.

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Shalom, you’re in Norfolk

By Simon Round, September 3, 2012

By the time you read this, I shall be reclining on the beach watching the water lapping on to golden sands. Although, this being Norfolk, the likelihood is that the tide will be so far out that the sea will barely be discernible against the horizon - unlike the rain, which will be lashing in from the North Sea.

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Shmuley Boteach: ‘Gay relationships are no worse than smoking’

By Simon Round, August 9, 2012

Shmuley Boteach has never been what you might call shy. The man, whom others have described as a shameless self-publicist, would characterise himself slightly differently, as a shameless publicist for Jewish values — if he happens to become famous himself in the process, this merely means he is doing that job properly.

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Me, my piano and partying with Hugh Grant and Tom Cruise

By Simon Round, July 27, 2012

Great business ideas can come to people in a number of different ways. Sarah Balfour had hers when she was playing the piano for Hugh Grant.

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The billionaire who raised money for Nelson Mandela

By Simon Round, July 19, 2012

Things have changed dramatically in South Africa over the past couple of decades. Ivor Ichikowitz discovered just how much a few years ago when his son asked him for help with a school project. “He said to me: ‘Dad, we’re learning about apartheid at school; can you explain it to me’. My first reaction was anger.

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A bit of rain never hurt Noah-body

By Simon Round, July 13, 2012

For this week's column, I was torn over whether to offer a nuanced view of the psychological ramifications of the European debt crisis, an analysis of proposed House of Lords reforms, or maybe even an overview of Britain 12 months after the riots. But let's face it, the only thing anyone wants to talk about at the moment is the weather.

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My part in the attack on the King David Hotel

By Simon Round, July 12, 2012

Sixty-six years ago, Miriam Issacaroff made an urgent call to her siblings in Tel Aviv, telling them she was sending her parents from Jerusalem to stay with them, asking them to keep them safe because "something big" was about to happen in the city.

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Ben Cross: the challenges of playing Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire

By Simon Round, July 12, 2012

Ben Cross has around 90 hours of DVDs of all his film performances. So over the years it has irked him a little that he is still primarily known for just one — the first he ever made, Chariots of Fire.

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Amy Winehouse - father Mitch sets the record straight

By Simon Round, July 6, 2012

When Amy Winehouse was found dead in her bed on July 23 last year, the rumours started immediately. Some believed that she had committed suicide, others that she had died of a massive drugs overdose. It was said that she was depressed and that her life was in a mess.

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Television: Chariots of Fire and the real Harold Abrahams story

By Simon Round, July 6, 2012

It is a theme tune that has almost passed into cliche. As soon as you hear Vangelis’s Chariots of Fire music, it is impossible to stop yourself running in slow motion towards an imaginary tape.

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Gino Bartali: the Tour de France hero who defied Mussolini

By Simon Round, July 5, 2012

There are plenty of sporting heroes — people who have scored vital last-minute goals, run world records or taken a hatful of wickets. However, Italian cyclist Gino Bartali truly deserves the accolade.

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He won millions at poker. So why does he cry so much?

By Simon Round, June 28, 2012

Before he reached 19, Andrew Feldman was forced to accept that he was addicted to gambling. On his 18th birthday, he started playing on an online poker site and soon he was making in a day what he earned in a year doing his paper round. The winnings mounted up. Within nine months he had made £100,000. Then one crazy night he lost all of it. He found he was simply unable to stop playing.

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Television: It's strictly stereotypes again in Strictly Kosher rerun

By Simon Round, June 28, 2012

If you enjoyed last year’s first instalment of ITV1’s prime-time documentary about the Manchester Jewish community, you will probably have enjoyed this two-parter, screened on successive nights this week, as it was identical to the first programme in most respects.

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Stasha Palos on finding a way to a man’s heart

By Simon Round, June 21, 2012

It is probably fair to say that if most men were to summon up their dream woman, Stasha Palos would not be far from the fantasy. She is tall, blonde, slim, charming and creative.

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Barry Fantoni: the 1960s rebel who was cooler than Mick Jagger and Tom Jones

By Simon Round, June 21, 2012

When something big happened in the 1960s, you could be pretty sure that Barry Fantoni would not be far away.

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DVD review: In Darkness - better than Spielberg

By Simon Round, June 15, 2012

Acclaimed Polish film-maker Agnieszka Holland’s harsh, uncompromising drama may have the same theme as Schindler’s List — a true-life story of a gentile who saved Jews
— but it is both more compelling and less sentiment-al than Spielberg’s blockbuster.

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Itzik Galili: the Israeli leading the dance for English National Ballet

By Simon Round, June 15, 2012

To say that Itzik Galili is busy would be an understatement. The Israeli choreographer has broken through spectacularly in the UK in 2012 — there have been four premieres of his work performed by companies as prestigious as the Rambert Dance Company and the English National Ballet.

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Israeli envoy: activists have 'sexual identity problems'

By Simon Round, June 14, 2012

Palestinian supporters have demanded that Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland be removed after she allegedly described Israeli human rights activists as suffering from "problems of sexual identity".

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