Tel Aviv

The Coolest Tourism

Special To The Jewish Week
03/19/2009 - 20:00

They may not have the historical significance of Masada or the religious meaning of the Western Wall, but for pure refreshment it’s hard to beat Israel’s several water parks.

Those who escape steamy New York City for the cooler temperatures upstate each summer can well understand the need for relief from an Israeli summer heat wave. In Tel Aviv, summer temperatures can reach up to 108 degrees, with 95 percent humidity.

Northern Exposure

Israel Correspondent
03/19/2009 - 20:00

Ramot Naftali, Israel — With the Sea of Galilee shimmering just out the passenger door, we turned left onto Highway 90 into the home stretch: the Hula Valley. A weekend cabin at Moshav Ramot Naftali — a mountain community overlooking what Israelis call the “finger of the Galilee” — lay just 20 minutes away.

Coasting northward with wife and two kids napping, it first appeared to be a cloud. Slowly coming focus, the majestic snow-capped Hermon mountain range, the northern extreme of the Golan Heights, looked down at the valley.

A Rich Brew Of Ideas

04/02/2009 - 20:00

At the turn of the 20th century, the presence of acculturated Jews in the renowned literary and artistic Viennese cafés was so pronounced that a proverb claiming that “the Jew belongs in the coffeehouse” was widely circulated in the city. Today, a hundred years later, the city of Tel Aviv can lay claim not only to serving some of the best coffee available anywhere, but also to fostering and sustaining a thriving café culture; a culture with heritage that goes back to the 1930s and the immigrants who came from cities like Vienna, Berlin and Warsaw.

Yiddish Theater’s Last Leading Lady

At 98, Mina Bern was one of the few remaining stars from Second Avenue’s heyday.
01/21/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

She was one of the last supports of a world that was crumbling to pieces.

When Mina Bern died of heart failure last week at the age of 98, the Yiddish theater world mourned one of its leading lights, an indefatigable performer and champion of the Yiddish language whose career spanned three continents and virtually the whole of the 20th century.

Mina Bern was remembered this week for her indomitable will and star power.

Funding In-Marriage Out Of His Own Pocket

In his first post-Birthright trip, ‘Momo’ Lifshitz shells out $250,000 to get across his ‘raise your children Jewish’ message. Is it selling?
01/05/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Tel Aviv — Tucked into the rocky thickets of Mount Carmel in northern Israel, 43 American 20-somethings gathered in a hotel conference room to play a simple game — using their bodies as place markers, they lined up across the room according to how important they found dating Jews, and Jews alone.

At first, only four people stood on the “date Jews” side of the room. But when the question changed to marriage, four soon grew to 15. And when marriage changed to raising children Jewish, a good 15 more shuffled over.

"You have to try to find Jewish love,” Momo Lifshitz, inset, told his Oranim trip participants

Israel’s Disproportionate Response

Monday, December 29th, 2008 I condemn Israel’s disproportionate attack on Hamas because, so far, it has only lasted a few days and I would like to see a proportionate response that terrifies Hamas for eight years, the years that have filled Sderot and neighboring towns with nightmares, death, amputations and trauma coming from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza.  

Down On The Farm

Israel Correspondent
10/26/2009 - 20:00
Moshav Mevo Modi’im — Looks can be deceiving, and that is definitely the case at this semi-rural community known as Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s moshav. When, over Sukkot, my husband and I brought our second graders to the moshav, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, my first thought was “this looks kind of dumpy.” Given the moshav’s popularity with music lovers and those seeking Shabbat hospitality, I was expecting the huge green lawns and tidy houses of a well-heeled kibbutz.

Classic Sites To See - Again

Special To The Jewish Week
10/26/2009 - 20:00
A tourist’s first visit to Israel typically has a predictable itinerary: the Western Wall, Masada, Tel Aviv. Return visitors are often keen to experience different sites, ones they missed the first time. But in the last five years, a wide range of attractions all over Israel have undergone such extensive renovation or expansion that they are worth a repeat visit.

Israel, At First Blush

Staff Writer
12/07/2009 - 19:00
Waking up as the tour bus crawled to a stop on the shoulder of an otherwise empty Israeli highway, I opened my eyes to see eight strangers piling their luggage into the bottom of our bus and climbing up the steps. Clad in identical olive-shade uniforms differentiated only by their multi-colored berets, they walked down the aisles among the 40 wide-eyed Americans, taking the empty seats we had left for them.
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