Lens

05/15/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

In the former Soviet Union, where World War II is known as the Great Patriotic War, the anniversary of Germany’s surrender to the Allied forces is an annual cause for nationwide celebration, a day of parades and reunions of onetime veterans.

The veterans from the FSU who have settled in this country over the last few decades still commemorate the day.

05/08/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

On Shabbat, the usual worshipers came to Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope.

The next day, the visitors came.

As part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, the century-old Brooklyn synagogue welcomed people with an interest in the synagogue’s neo-Romanesque architecture, its limestone dome and its stained-glass windows.

05/01/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Gan Sacher (Sacher Park) in the heart of Jerusalem, plays the role in the capital that Central Park does here — a site for concerts and barbecues, soccer games and Frisbee throwing, political rallies and romantic dates.

Last week Gan Sacher was the venue of a mitzvah.

04/24/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

A week after the commemoration of one modern genocide and a day before the anniversary of another, President Barack Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington this week and invoked the legacy of the Shoah to pledge government action against future mass murder.

04/17/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Besides Jerusalem, Djerba may be the most prominent Jewish pilgrimage site in the world.

Every year, thousands of Jews, mostly from France and Israel, flock to this island off of the coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabes on Lag b’Omer, during the period between Passover and Shavuot. The occasion, which takes place this year May 9-10, marks the temporary victory of the Jews over the Romans prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and the date on which the Talmudic-era sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away.

04/10/2012 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Rabbi Jill Jacobs has led and participated in countless seders. Here, she toasts a first-timer, Santiago Perez, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s second annual Food and Justice Passover Seder on April 4.

Ordained by the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Jacobs is the director of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and has helped to spread awareness about workers in Immokalee, Fla., who pick tomatoes for what activists say are unfair wages and in unsafe conditions. A tomato held pride of place on the seder plate that night.