Lens

08/07/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

The landmark birthday of a hero was marked with elaborate celebrations in two European capitals this week, but the guest of honor was not present.

Raoul Wallenberg, whose 100th birthday was Saturday, probably is not alive. And no one has known his whereabouts for almost seven decades.

07/31/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

After sundown on Sunday, at the end of the day-long Tisha b’Av fast that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem, the more than 200 people who gathered at one Seattle-area synagogue faced east for their evening prayers.

Half of them turned toward Mecca.

07/24/2012 | | Lens

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told about 150 supporters of Write On For Israel, the Jewish Week-sponsored advocacy program for high school students, this week that the program is “essential” to making Jerusalem’s case on college campuses throughout the country.

07/17/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

The tourist above in the center of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, isn’t taking a picture of the historic, two-spired synagogue that dominated the area since its construction a century ago.

She’s photographing a replica.

As part of a civic project funded by the city and initiated by the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, the empty shell of a synagogue went up recently in Fish Square on the spot where the original Moorish building, torn down five decades ago, once stood.

07/11/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

This is the time of year for unique beauty contests in Israel.

Last week in this space: the annual Miss Large competition for hefty participants.

This week: Miss Holocaust Survivor, which was held in Haifa.

The first such pageant featured 14 entrants — not a “miss” among the wives and mother and grandmothers — who were chosen from some 500 women, age 74-97, who wore accessorized black evening gowns while walking on a red carpet.

07/03/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

In some places, women who gain a few pounds lose their beauty pageant title.

In Israel, only the hefty need apply for one beauty title

The annual Miss Large competition took place recently in Beersheba, and Vered Fisher, center, a former member of an intelligence unit in the Israeli Army, was declared the winner. She weights nearly 250 pounds.

The pageant, which is limited to women who weight at least 80 kilograms (176 pounds), annually draws about 20 entrants who appear in casual wear and evening gowns. The winner gets a diamond ring and modeling contract.