Winning my ‘initiative of the month’ award is the first-ever Jewish LGBT conference, which took place in Austria this month. The choice of host country is particularly pleasing; a wonderful, rainbow-coloured sock in the eye for Hitler, who hated Jews and gays with equal measure.
I hope this conference empowers attendees to lead love-filled and happy lives wherever they are, and that it makes the wider Jewish community realise that our gay Hebrew chums should be fully welcomed and accepted into communal life.
Sadly, I still hear too many homophobic comments from Jewish mouths – and that’s from people of my generation, not just our oldies who are often forgiven (wrongly) for their offensive comments. We’ve got a long way to go when it comes to accepting gay and straight Jews in equal measure. Although, really, it’s pretty easy not to be homophobic. Take this tip: next time you think about saying something anti-gay, take a breath, grow up and shut your trap. Easy!
This section of the column is dedicated to my favourite Jewish gay man, Barry Manilow. He’s still my favourite although I didn’t realise he was gay until he announced his marriage to Garry Kief, his long-time manager. I had actually planned my wedding to Bazza; my dreams of becoming Mrs Scodie-Manilow were slightly derailed when he came out. I’m OK now. Barry, I still love you, just not in that way any more.
•I have a favourite lawsuit! A sentence I never thought I’d write but then who’d have thought this ridiculousness would ever happen: JDate is suing JSwipe. The news was revealed last month and the case is still trundling on, avidly watched by anyone who’s ever used either of these dating services. JDate says it objects to JSwipe using the letter J. What a j-oke. They should j-ettison their attitude quicksmart. Maybe they’re just j-ealous of their younger rival. J or not, nobody would ever confuse the two services. JDate is the old dinosaur of Jewish dating sites with an interface that makes an iPhone 3 look snazzy. JSwipe is essentially Tinder for Jews, an app that koshered the process of swiping. Swipe right for yay and left for oy vay.
When I was dating, I used both services and eventually I met my supermensch boyfriend on JDate. I’m grateful to the site, but on this occasion I disagree with the people in charge. Don’t be j-ealous, JDate. The Jewish dating scene needs a massive kick in the tushie and new initiatives should be welcomed. Competition and variety are good things, and anyway, you can’t copyright a letter. Just ask Sesame Street. If copyrighting letters was a thing, they’d have been stuffed. As Big Bird would say, this column has been brought to you by the letter J.
•I’m still grieving for another high-profile J – Jon Stewart, who left The Daily Show earlier this month after a fabulous 22 years in the host’s chair. Stewart brought political satire to a new generation. Now Stewart is having a well-deserved rest, many fans of the show are asking whether his successor, Trevor Noah, will be as successful. Noah has big shoes to fill.
We’re in need of intelligent satire in this country, too. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have our own version of The Daily Show with a UK Jewish comedian at the fore? Or, even better – Jon, if you fancy coming out of retirement, present the show for us. I’ll take you out for a sandwich to say thank you.