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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-01-15

Rachel Stevens up for a Brit

Rachel up for a Brit

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: UK Jews get smart in new survey, Rachel Stevens and Amy Winehouse score at the Brits, and the Jews of America’s Deep South are discovered.


1. Best nominations for an award award: Jewish artists Amy Winehouse and Rachel Stevens are among those who habe nabbed nominations for this year’s Brit Awards. Winehouse, a 19-year-old R&B singer from North London, is shortlisted in the British Urban Artist and British Female Solo Artist catgeories, while former S Clubber turned solo starlet Stevens is up for Best Single for Sweet Dreams My LA Ex. They’ll find out if they’ve won on February 17.


2. Best brainy Jews: According to a new survey in over 50s magazine Saga, fertility expert Lord Winston and Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks are among the 50 wisest people in Britain. Other Jews to make the cut include Lord Rothschild, Lord Saatchi and historian Simon Schama. 


3. Best shameless plug part 256: Something Jewish co-founder Leslie Bunder turned up in last week’s Jewish Chronicle talking about the website Jewish Comedy, (, which has recently been revamped to include added material, including the work-in-progress version of a stage play, Don’t Mention The J Word. “We need to educate broadcasters,” Leslie says. “If we can have Goodness Gracious Me, why can’t we have Jewish material?” Why not indeed.


4. Best soon-to-be-famous Jew: New York singer songwriter Jeremiah Birnbaum played his first ever gig in the UK this week, at London’s 12 Bar, where he showcased a selection of songs from his self-produced EP Dawn, as well as newer tracks and a cover version of The Doors classic Light My Fire. The son of a Rabbi, Jeremiah certainly knows how to pen a good tune.


5. Best Jews you never knew existed: The documentary feature Shalom Y’all takes a look at Jewish communities in America’s Deep South, following director Brian Bain as he drives across the region in search of his cultural roots. Along the way he meets a whole host of colourful characters – including an African-American Jewish police chief, a Jewish tour guide and the Mississippi store owner who’s none too fussed about happy to consume any part of a pig – apart from the feet. You can’t see it in the UK, but you can find out more at: - and buy yourself a souvenir Shalom Y’all baby bib while you’re at it.


6. Best tribute to the World Trade Centre: a design by Israeli architect Michael Arad and his American colleague Peter Walker has beaten 5,000 other contenders to be chosen for the World Trade Centre memorial. Reflecting Absence – which will consist of two reflecting pools of water 30 feet below street level, marking the spot where the Twin Towers once stood.


7. Best name to call your newborn son: something straight out of the Old Testament, apparently. The official list of most popular boys’ names for 2003, released last week, shows a rise in popularity of Jewish names, with two – Joshua and Daniel – making the top five. Benjamin, Samuel and Joseph also featured in the top 20. On this evidence, It can only be a matter of time before Shlomo and Herschel make the list.