Lens

06/26/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Did you know Shavuot was last week? You knew it if you were on Mount Gerizim, the biblical site on the West Bank near Nablus. The Samaritans, descendants of Jewish tribes who were exiled from the Promised Land nearly three millennia ago and who observe aspects of the ancient Israelite religion and culture, start counting the seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot on the first Shabbat after Pesach, instead of on the second night of Pesach, the Jewish tradition. Hence the Samaritan Shavuot always falls on Sunday — June 24 this year.
06/19/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Few sanctuaries are as fabulous as that of the Upper West Side’s Congregation Shearith Israel, also known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, where North America’s oldest congregation prays amid marble columns, crimson carpet and soaring balconies.

Determined to fully exploit the space’s dramatic potential, Storahtelling — the nonprofit acting troupe that takes the Bible as its script — took the shul over last week to educate, to entertain, and to pass the hat a bit.

06/12/2012 | Staff Writer | Lens

Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel, in an intergenerational dialogue with seven current and former participants in The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel program Monday evening, encouraged young people to fight indifference.

“The opposite of love is not hate,” he said, “but indifference. Apathy is the downfall of … life; it cannot be an option.”

06/05/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

A parade is on the street, right? Not always, says Yevgeny Osherov, a Russian émigré via Israel who organized Celebrate Israel’s first counterpart parade on the water this past Sunday. While most Celebrate Israel participants marched up Fifth Avenue, Osherov and about 15 members of his “Russian Yacht Club,” hoisted Israeli flags while sailing together from the Statue of Liberty to the United Nations, where they played Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem.

05/29/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Most girls, especially tweens, are not thinking about other people when they’re getting a haircut. It’s a time of life when the pressure to look a certain way, to measure up to the standards of both friends and crushes, is intense.

But last week, a group of about 17 girls, students at the Upper East Side’s Ramaz School, defied that pressure to donate at least eight inches of their hair to Zichron Menachem, an Israeli organization that makes wigs for young cancer patients.

05/22/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

The first Yom Yerushalayim was a military victory.

On June 7, 1967 (Iyar 28 on the Hebrew calendar), a Wednesday, Israeli soldiers captured the Old City of Jerusalem, reuniting the capital that had been divided, under Jordanian control since the 1948 War of Independence.

Jerusalem Day was born, observed, by order of the country’s Chief Rabbinate, with prayers of thanks.