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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2003-12-31

Oybaby, learn hebrew songs

Oybaby, learn hebrew songs

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Jewish babies of all ages learn Hebrew songs, UK Jews get honoured and Jewish leader call for Kalms to calm down.

1. Best gift to give to any Jewish baby or anybody who was once a Jewish baby: Oy Baby! A DVD, video and CD aimed at giving babies six months and older a fun introduction to Judaism. In fact, anybody who wants to brush up on any aspect of their Judaism is well advised to check this out and to learn some of the songs, which include Dayenu, David Melech Yisrael and Maot Tzur. So now we have Oy Baby, how about Oy Barmitzvah!, Oy Wedding! or even Oy Shiva! There’s scope there to cover the entire Jewish life cycle. To find out more visit: www.oybaby.com

2. The award for getting the best award: Two leading Jewish women share the distinction of being made Dames in the New Year’s honours list. Liberal Rabbi Julia Neuberger receives the honour for services to the NHS and other public bodies, while Gail Ronson, wife of business tycoon Gerald, is honoured for charitable services, including Jewish Care. Meanwhile, SJ’s favourite semi-Semite, rugby star Ben Cohen picks up an MBE following England’s World Cup triumph.

3. Best non-Jew doing something Jewish: If you’re looking to get a guide to the Jewish East End, then you’ll probably come across a series of guides published by Tower Hamlets Council. Created by South African Clive Bettington, they highlight the essential places to visit and what to see. Despite not being Jewish, Bettington has also managed to found the Jewish East End celebration society and says the lack of support given to the four remaining synagogues in the area by the wider Jewish community is "scandalous". Too true, and about time someone said that. You can get a guide by calling 020 7364 4458.

4. The witness which didn't make any difference: Israeli footballer Eyal Berkovic’s testimony in front of the FA in defence of Rio Ferdinand. Berkovic told the hearing that Ferdinand had genuinely forgotten about the random drugs test, but despite his defence of the Man Utd star, the FA still banned Rio from playing for eight months.

5. The Stanley Kalms award for engaging the community: Last week the founder of Dixons, Sir Stanley Kalms called for the Chief Rabbi to resign. Now supporters of Dr Jonathan Sacks have hit back on Kalms. Peter Sheldon, president of the United Synagogue, said: “This is chutzpah in the extreme.” While some may be outraged at what Kalms had to say, he certainly has ignited some debate.

6. Worst time to show a Mel Brooks film: Well done to BBC One TV schedulers for showing a string of Mel Brooks classics over the recent festive season, but just one question – why were they all on so late at night? To Be Or Not To Be, The Producers and Young Frankenstein were all shown on BBC One – but all were on at around 1am, long after most sensible Jewish viewers have gone to bed. Likewise, C4 showed Woody Allen’s musical Everyone Says I Love You, complete with all-star Jewish cast including Goldie Hawn and Natalie Portman, at 1.10am on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning this week. While undoubtedly we must control the media, we seem to be doing a pretty bad job when it comes to transmission times.

7. Most patient Israeli: Singer David D’Or has been chosen to represent Israel at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Part of the job involves choosing four songs in the Israeli final, one of which will go forward to the contest. But before he gets that far, he’s got to narrow it down from 250. Looks like he’ll be busy for the next few weeks then.