Alex Kasriel

Facebook security wall

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Israeli military authorities have imposed rules to prevent Israeli soldiers revealing security-sensitive information on Facebook and other social networking sites. Soldiers will still be able to create pages provided they do not disclose they are in the IDF or describe their work. Not so easy to impress potential dates now, is it?

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This one's a cracker

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Turkish Jews will have enough matzah for Pesach this year after the import quota of unleavened bread from Israel to the country was raised from 15 tons to 45 tons.

Until now, the community’s major supplier of unleavened bread was a bakery in Istanbul’s Sishane neighbourhood whose 50-year-old oven was constantly breaking down. So it turns out that you just can’t get the parts these days, but it may not matter as much as it used to.

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Orkney gets a Kosher stamp

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Rabbis from around the world are descending on the remote Scottish Island of Orkney — to make sure its fish are kosher. Despite being checked once a year by a local rabbi to ensure its rollmop meets guidelines, the Orkney Herring Company will be visited by ministers from the United States after scoring a lucrative new contract in the US which will see 54,000 jars of the fish sent there every month. And other countries are set to follow.

The weather is never that great, but there will at least be plenty of rollmops to keep them going.

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Jemima Khan's new friend

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Documentary-maker Tim Samuels is famous for helping a group of pensioners have a hit single, but now he has managed to attract the attentions of someone a little more glamorous than The Zimmers.

The 32-year-old presenter of the BBC’s Power to the People series has been spotted on two occasions recently enjoying an intimate lunch with Jemima Khan, ex-wife of Imran Khan, and ex-girlfriend of Hugh Grant.

Khan, daughter of the late tycoon Sir James Goldsmith, converted to Islam before marrying Pakistan cricketer Khan. It looks like she is still Jewish enough for Tim, though.

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Don't shave your bear

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Is there something grizzly going on in prisons across Israel?

In an article on how many inmates are becoming religious, Israeli daily Ha’aretz, inmates reports: “They turn into observant Jews who kiss the mezuzah on the doorpost of the courtroom, recite psalms while swaying in fervour and grow bears.”

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‘Tube-suicide can be funny as well as awful’

By Alex Kasriel, April 18, 2008

Director Jonathan Gershfield’s has annoyed the country’s train drivers with his new film comedy.

People diving under trains is not exactly a likely comedic theme, but this grim subject forms the plot of new British movie Three and Out.

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Simon Garfield: A collector confesses

By Alex Kasriel, April 10, 2008

Simon Garfield has written a book about his passion for philately.


Simon Garfield has a confession to make. He's been having an affair. But not with another woman (although that is true as well). His clandestine passion is less about midnight tristes and steamy sex, and more about visits to the Post Office, because the London-based author has an obsession with stamps.

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Lord and the dance

By Alex Kasriel, April 4, 2008

Contemporary dance star Hofesh Shechter is planning a new work on the 10 plagues

During rehearsals, Hofesh Shechter is asking his company of dancers what the English word is for staring with intent. “Glaring,” one of his dancers pipes up. “Exactly, glaring,” agrees Shechter, delighted that someone is able to interpret his direction.

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The Everyman gets a few more screen

By Alex Kasriel, March 28, 2008

Hampstead cinema-owner Daniel Broch has just acquired the Screen chain.

Changes are afoot in the North London cinema scene. In a deal worth £7 million, Daniel Broch, the man behind Hampstead’s Everyman cinema, has taken over the Screen chain, which includes the Screen on the Hill in Belsize Park, Screen on Baker Street and Islington’s Screen on the Green.

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