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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-01-22

Matt Lucas in character

Matt Lucas in character

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: smoked salmon stays on the menu, Batmitzvahs become trendy, and SJ catches a glimpse of Little Britain’s Matt Lucas.


1. Best impersonation of Abraham: Sky One’s new show Nip/Tuck has featured a sequence in which one of the characters, plastic surgeon’s son Matt McNamara (played by actor John Hensley) attempts a spot of self-circumcision based on some dubious research found on a website. Given that he keeled over bleeding after just one snip, we can’t help thinking he should have taken a cue from the Bible instead of the Internet.


2. Best English speaker: the debate over whether Zvi Hefetz, Israeli ambassador to London, can actually speak English has been cleared up. In a phone call with the Jewish Chronicle, Mr Hefetz’s English is described as “fluent and articulate, albeit Russian-accented”. Some British Jews had been concerned that the Russian-born businessman’s command of English was limited. Obviously they have no need to worry.


3. A fishy story: according to a new report, farmed salmon contains all kinds of chemicals that can be harmful to humans, and as such it shouldn’t be eaten more than three times a year. However, kosher suppliers of the mass produced delicacy have reported no drop in sales. It seems Jews won’t be giving up their smoked salmon without a fight.


4. Cleanest canines: dog owners in Hampstead are set to benefit from a new invention, the Doggy Wash. The brainchild of locals Sandra Davis and Sara Hershman, the Doggy Wash operates the same way as a car wash, with users buying tokens to have their pet cleaned by a special machine. It’s apparently been such a big hit that Davis and Hershman are already looking to open in a second location.


5. Jewish wives beware: Channel 4 has said that it wants to feature a Jewish family in the next series of its smash hit reality show Wife Swap, in a bid to “represent all ethnic communities”. When we said we wanted to see more Jews on TV, this wasn’t quite what we had in mind.


6. Batmitzvahs are the new birthdays: according to the Wall Street Journal in the US, non-Jewish girls are demanding Batmitzvah parties from their parents after attending those of their Jewish friends. They include Texan Methodist Laura Jean Stargardt, who felt left out after going to more than a dozen Batmitzvahs, and so had her own, complete with 125 guests, a DJ and professional dancers; and African American teenager Melissa Williams, whose dad sent out invites to 150 guests inviting them to Melissa’s ‘Black Mitzvah’. Rumours that non-Jews will soon be observing Yom Kippur so as ‘not to feel left out’ have been denied.


7. Jewish sighting of the week: Little Britain’s Jewish star Matt Lucas was spotted in the Virgin Megastore in London’s Piccadilly this week, signing copies of the new Little Britain audio CD while dressed as Andy, the 'wheelchair’ character he plays on the show. Although the store was too crowded for SJ to get a proper look, we were treated to regular shouts of his catchphrase ‘I want that one’.