Lens

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.

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.