Michele Chabin

In Jerusalem, Making Hugs, Not War

06/24/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — It was 102 degrees here earlier this week, but that didn’t deter a few hundred Israelis, Palestinians and others from gathering outside the Old City of Jerusalem for The Jerusalem Hug, an annual event designed to open hearts and heal the world.

Turkey and the Gaza Flotilla: For Israelis, There Goes Another Friend

With loss of Turkey — once a leading vacation destination — life in the Jewish state feels even lonelier.

06/08/2010
Israel Correspondent

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.

It was a salve to the Israeli psyche.

Israelis are reeling in the aftermath of last week’s flotilla attack.

Bridal Jewelry Going Less Traditional

Special To The Jewish Week
05/26/2010

Jerusalem — On their wedding 

             day, brides wear the most beautiful

     jewelry they can buy or borrow. To the groom, his finance’s deliberations over which necklace or headpiece to wear can feel like an obsession.  

While many Israeli women, especially if they are very religious, continue to choose traditional strands of pearls or a diamond pendant with matching earrings for their wedding day, an increasing number of Israeli brides are going the less-traditional route. 

This Negrin necklace is made of clusters of crystals. Inset: A lyrical necklace from the Hedya Design Studio.

One Foot Out The Door

Keeping non-haredim in Israel’s
poorest city is an increasingly difficult task.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 A September 2009 New York Times travel article (“West Jerusalem Shows its Hip Secular Side”) praised the many “secular” attractions the city has to offer, from trendy new shops and restaurants to cutting-edge architecture.

While Israelis were gratified to read a positive article about their country for a change, portraying Jerusalem as a capital of tourism and not terror, many were amused by the use of “secular” and “Jerusalem” in the same sentence. 

Outside haredi neighborhoods, young Jerusalemites feel comfortable wearing shorts and mini-skirts. Michele Chabin

The Dead Sea On A Budget

Pampering yourself without breaking the bank.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

E in Gedi — The first time I visited Israel more thaN 30
years ago, I treated my copy of “Israel on $50 A Day” (or whatever the amount was at the time) as if it were a bible. I used it to book cheap hotels, to find cheap restaurants and heeded its advice to flash my student ID card anywhere and everywhere.

Israeli-U.S. Conservatives Still Split On Gays

Departure of two openly gay rabbinical students and three straight friends
from Machon Schechter highlights lingering differences.

05/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When, in 2007, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary decided to admit openly gay students for the first time, the decision presented these students with a dilemma: where to study during their mandatory third year in Israel.

Traditionally, JTS rabbinical students have spent their Israel year at Machon Schechter, the Israeli Masorti movement’s rabbinical seminary, which does not ordain openly gay students.

This worried Ian Chesir-Teran and Aaron Weininger, JTS’ first two openly gay JTS students.

Chesir-Teran, a 39-year-old father of three from East Meadow, L.I., above

Childhood Obesity Hits Israel

In the land of the Mediterranean diet, visions of America.

Israel Correspondent
05/05/2010

 Jerusalem — Israel is a Mediterranean country, but over the years its diet has
become less about fruits, vegetables and olive oil, and more about fast food — which has fueled a childhood obesity problem similar to the one seen in America.

 

 

Israeli children are becoming overweight, thanks in part to the fast food available at places like Jerusalem’s Malha Mall food c

Saudi Arabian Cleric Wants To Broadcast From Israel

Israeli officials in bind about planned visit by sheik with popular TV show.

04/07/2010
Israel Correspondent

 Jerusalem — The Israeli government will have a tough choice to make if a Saudi cleric with a popular TV show makes good on his promise to broadcast from Jerusalem.  

On Sunday Sheik Mohammed al-Areefi, a Muslim cleric who hosts a program with many young viewers, announced that he would be in Jerusalem next week, a claim that caught Israeli officials, and at least some Muslim officials, completely off-guard. 

Sheik Mohammed el-Areefi

When A Kosher Conversion Isn’t Enough

Local haredi rabbis seen as marriage impediment in latest “who is a Jew” dust-up.

03/31/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — In November 2009, exactly three months before the day they were planning to get married, Maxim and Alina Surdikov went to the marriage registry in the coastal town of Ashkelon, their hometown, just as the laws requires.

The registrar pleasantly told them that before the young couple could open a file (known as a “teek”), they would have to receive permission from the town’s rabbi, Haim Blau.

The reason: Alina Surdikov, 24, who immigrated to Israel from Siberia 15 years ago, is a convert.

Maxim and Alina Surdikov petitioning High Court after Ashkelon rabbi refused to grant marriage license.

When A Kosher Conversion Isn't Enough

Local haredi rabbis seen as marriage impediment in latest "who is a Jew" dust-up.

03/29/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem - In November 2009, exactly three months before the day they were planning to get married, Maxim and Alina Surdikov went to the marriage registry in the coastal town of Ashkelon, their hometown, just as the laws requires.

The registrar pleasantly told them that before the young couple could open a file (known as a "teek"), they would have to receive permission from the town's rabbi, Haim Blau.

The reason: Alina Surdikov, 24, who immigrated to Israel from Siberia 15 years ago, is a convert.

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