Lens

01/04/2011 | | Lens

The wall at their back is about 2,000 years old; the documents in their hands are brand new.

Hours after they arrived in Israel as part of 2010’s last group of immigrants, this group of the country’s newest citizens celebrated at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, flashing their Israeli ID cards.

Last year was a good year for aliyah — more than 19,000 Jews from around the world became olim chadashim, or new immigrants. It marked the second consecutive year of an increase in aliyah, after a previous decade of decreases.

12/28/2010 | | Lens

As this week’s blizzard blanketed New York City in snow, Jewish Community Councils and other organizations scrambled to continue providing much-needed services in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, as well as meet emergency needs.

12/21/2010 | | Lens

The Israeli swimmers at an international championship last week didn’t take home any gold, silver or bronze — but they made history with blue and white.

For the first time, swimmers from the Jewish state competed in the World Short Course Swimming Championship, held in Dubai, and for the first time the Israeli flag hung poolside in the Arab country.

And, though they finished outside of the medals, Israeli swimmers swam well, by Israeli standards, setting several national records.

12/14/2010 | | Lens

Randy Cohen, above left, who has been writing “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times for 11 years, asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-secrecy campaign.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, above right, who writes about ethics for The Jewish Week, described a tough call he had to make as a fledgling rabbi when he learned of two synagogue board members carrying on an affair. He forced them to resign.

12/07/2010 | | Lens

Throughout Jewish history various numbers have played important symbolic roles — the Three Patriarchs, the Four Matriarchs, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and so on.

The big numbers this week were 618 and 2,197,813.

Those are, respectively, the numbers of people who took part in a dreidel-spinning event at Yeshiva University that set a Guinness-certified world record, and the number of times a Chanukah video by the school’s Maccabeats a capella group was viewed on YouTube since it was posted last month.

11/30/2010 | | Lens

In Israel, where Chanukah in a Christmas-less society is a minor holiday, it’s still a major presence.
First, there’s the sufganiyot. That’s Hebrew for doughnuts.