With loss of Turkey — once a leading vacation destination — life in the Jewish state feels even lonelier.
Jerusalem — There was a time, not very long ago, when Israelis had a friend in the Muslim world. As bad as things got with the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, Israelis could point to Turkey as a solid bulwark against near total isolation in the Muslim world.
Israel has endured and survived many rounds of international condemnation in the past, most notably the United Nations’ infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution of 1975, and the outrage expressed by the Reagan White House and leaders across the globe when Jerusalem bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, 29 years ago this week.
Two bat mitzvah projects hit close to home for a couple of local teens, and help kids here and in Israel.
He was a distant cousin — literally; he 6,000 miles away in Israel, she on the Upper East Side.
But Katy Mayerson, 13, had grown close to Noam Mayerson over her many trips to Israel to see family.
“I really, really liked him and everybody liked him,” Katy said of her cousin. “I don’t know one person who didn’t — he was really smart and nice and loving, and there wasn’t really any bad aspect about him.”
Even during the darkest days of the global economic meltdown, the value of Israeli real estate properties across the entire country continued to rise. The combination of low-interest rates and the limited number of affordable new apartments in major cities and towns, created the perfect real estate storm for local and foreign buyers.
Avital Simon’s interest in making aliyah was piqued after an eye-opening year and a half as an overseas student in Israel. Currently a senior at Stern College for Women, she is planning for her future, and seriously considering making aliyah.
Avital will be among the hundreds of people expected to attend the Aliyah Planning Expo sponsored by the Jewish Agency in New York, where Israeli professionals will provide information about employment, housing, higher education and Hebrew language programs for those considering aliyah.
The calls come one after another. Eventually, they blur together — the 60-year-old unemployed real estate broker who is behind in his rent; the former headhunter who is struggling to find work; the wife of a recently laid off high-tech professional who can’t pay her family’s utility bills; and the 81-year-old man who needs an affordable place to live because his adult children can no longer subsidize his rent.
If the answer is "A Rabbi, a Flip Ultra Video Camera and YouTube," then the question is surely "How did Helen Thomas' career end?"
Aspiring filmmaker Rabbi David Nesenoff, a Conservative rabbi at Long Island's Temple Tikvah Synagogue of Hope, took his Flip video camera and 17-year-old son/webmaster along with him to the White House for last week's annual Jewish American Heritage Month celebration.