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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Helen Chernikoff |
Staff Writer |
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.