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JCoSS: the virtual video tour

By Jessica Elgot, August 24, 2009
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A virtual guide to new Jewish secondary school JCoSS has been released, touring classrooms, dining hall and social spaces.

Students and parents can take a virtual tour of the state-of-the-art building, including all-weather sports pitches, computer pod and the central atrium.

JCoSS, which aims to provide a cross-communal Jewish education to all Jewish children, is the most expensive state school of its size ever built.

The school will open East Barnet in September 2010.

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Bernie Madoff: the musical

By Jessica Elgot, August 21, 2009
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There's been Tony Blair the Musical and Jerry Springer the Opera, but now a group of Yale students, who are part of Magevet, Yale University's Jewish, Hebrew and Israeli a-cappella singers have created the inevitable Madoff! The Musical.

The group's "spring-jam" featured a cast of 17 in tuxedo and cocktail dresses who sang comedy numbers and a few Hebrew tunes.

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The children of Missile City

By YouTube, August 17, 2009
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The Children of Missile City is a documentary following the lives of children in Sderot suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects 86 per cent of the city's children.

More than 7,400 children live in Sderot and must shelter an average of three times a day.

Liane Thompson's film is part of a campaign to raise money for the Sderot clinic which helps theose children suffering from post-traumatic stress, which is scheduled to shut down this July due to lack of funding.

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Mudslinging bikini activists protest against Ahava and Kristin Davis

By Marcus Dysch, August 14, 2009
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Stolen Beauty, a group committed to boycotting Israeli goods, has specifically targeted Oxfam ambassador Kristin Davis and her promotion of Ahava cosmetics.

Stolen Beauty is run by American women who were initially opposed to the Iraq war. They turned their attention to Israel in June, with bikini-clad protestors demonstrating outside an Ahava store in Washington DC and gate-crashing a beach party event promoting Tel Aviv in New York City.

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Flying rabbis to stop swine flu

By Jessica Elgot, August 12, 2009

More than 50 rabbis took to the skies above Israel to ward off swine flu in the country.

The rabbonim recited tehillim and blew the shofar in an effort to stop the spread of swine flu.

The flight's aim was "to stop the pandemic so people will stop dying from it," according to Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, whose father David Batzri organised the flight.

"We are certain that because of our prayers danger is already behind us," he added.

Another participant, Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli, claimed swine flu has spread in Israel because of the “immorality and indecency that exists.“

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The biggest matzo ball in the world

By Keren David, August 10, 2009
Possibly the largest matzah ball in the world was unveiled in New York last week, and immediately drew complaints from elderly Jewish diners. The enormous dumpling was made from 1,000 eggs, 80lb of margarine and a mountain of matzah meal. It weighed 267 lb and its diameter was 29.2 inches - vital statistics that did not bode well for its fluffiness.

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LGBT protest in Tel Aviv after shooting

By Jessica Elgot, August 3, 2009
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Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated against the Tel Aviv on a gay support centre where two were fatally shot with a machine gun.

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Gerald Ronson's feng-shui time capsule

By Jessica Elgot, July 20, 2009
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Businessman Gerald Ronson has placed a specially selected time-capsule in the foundations of his new project Heron Tower, including a feng-shui tortoiseshell.

Placing a tortoiseshell in the foundations of the building is a feng-shui practice for good luck, because the tortoise represents a strong back, protection and security.

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Palestinian calls to ban a West Bank barrier football game commercial

By Jessica Elgot, July 13, 2009
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An advert for an Israeli mobile phone company which shows soldiers playing football across the West Bank barrier has been slammed by Palestinian leaders.

Read the full story here.

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Klezmer Krazy: Jewish music revival

By Jessica Elgot, July 3, 2009
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Kol Simcha, one of Europe’s oldest Klezmer bands started as a wedding band in Switzerland playing the Jewish simcha classics, but now play to concert halls with their mixture of jazz, classical music and klezmer, a brand of east folk music with a distinctly Jewish flavour and a strong clarinet.

Now, as one of the genre’s most successful groups, they are part of the Klezmer revival happening this summer in the UK.

The group will play at the Cheltenham Festival on July 9, and will be preceded by a special screening of a film by Simon Broughton Klezmer: Fiddler on the Hoof

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