The long New York-to-Tel Aviv run turned out to be a short run for Israir, the upstart Israeli air carrier. Two years, to be exact.
Israir Airlines announced last week that it would suspend its Tel Aviv-New York flights as of Sept. 13 — in the run-up to the high-volume High Holy Day season. The carrier said the route was generating little profit in current economic conditions.
Two uniformed guards recently stopped Michal Rovner as she tried to enter the third-floor galleries at the Whitney Museum of American Art. "We're sorry, ma'am," Rovner said she was told, "the galleries are closed." To get through security, the diminutive Israeli-born artist simply looked up. Taped to the wall (in expectation of an upcoming exhibition) was a sign bearing her name.
International companies regularly swing by Symphony Space on the Upper West Side to perform in events such as "Haiti! The Spirit of Freedom," presented this week by the Pangea Theatre Company, or the World Music Institute's varied programs, which this season include Indian, Scottish and Judeo-Andalusian music and begin tonight with Omar Bashir in a tribute to his father, the famed Iraqi lute player Munir Bashir.
Vitaly Komar, clad in all black, huffed up the stairs of the Center for Jewish History with a reporter in tow. “I like this place,” said the one half of an internationally known Russian artist team. “It’s like a club house, not white and antiseptic like most museums that can feel like a hospital.”
For Israel this week, the outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia has been all about Iran.
As Tblisi and Moscow agreed to a cease-fire Tuesday in their five-day conflict over two disputed territories, Russia was still bristling with anger over U.S. policies and statements on the issue. But thanks to Israel’s decision to limit its arms sales to Georgia, the Kremlin had only kind words for Israel, Washington’s closest ally, as the guns of war died down.
Two weeks ago marked the 20th anniversary of the worst man-made environmental disaster the world has ever experienced. Beginning on April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, near the border between Belarus and Ukraine, experienced several explosions and a meltdown said to release 300 times as much radiation as was released in Hiroshima.
On the Sea of Galilee, a boat ride. In Moscow, a parade. In Australia, bonfires from Perth to Melbourne. In South Africa, Bedouin-style braais, as barbecues are known there.
In Israel, the U.S. and other Jewish venues, festive haircuts and weddings and picnics and other spirited celebrations.
On Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, a period of semi-mourning because of a divine-sent plague that took the lives of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva 2,000 years ago during the first 32 days of the Omer, joy is a mitzvah.