News

Beijing Star Lights Torch In Israel

07/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
At last summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, U.S. swimmer Jason Lezak was in the shadow of teammate Michael Phelps, despite Lezak’s record-breaking final leg in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay that kept alive Phelp’s quest for eight gold medals. At this summer’s  Maccabiah Games in Israel, Lezak is in the spotlight. During the 18th rendition of the so-called Jewish Olympics, Lezak, at 33 taking part in his first Maccabiah competition, is the most feted of some 8,000 athletes from 65 countries.

Jewish-Muslim Dialogue: The Risks And Rewards

07/14/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi Burton Visotzky, professor of Midrash and interreligious studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was on foreign but familiar ground recently. A veteran of interfaith discussions with Muslims around the world, he was among three rabbis — the others were Jack Moline of Alexandria, Va., and Gerald Serotta of Chevy Chase. Md. — who took part in a panel discussion at the Islamic Society of North America’s 46th convention in Washington, D.C.

Soaked!

07/07/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Open fighting broke out in Tel Aviv last week. No casualties were reported, but hundreds of people got wet. At the fifth annual Water Fight (waterwar5.info), some 500 young Israelis and tourists squirted each other in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the city’s central gathering spot, near the municipality building. This year’s slogan was “Fighting over every drop,” the theme was water conservation and the general purpose was fun. Water conservation in a water fight?

Have Sticks, Will Travel

07/07/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Ariel Eber, goaltender for the U.S. women’s field hockey team in the Maccabiah Games four years ago slipped while walking down a flight of stairs the day before her team’s gold medal game. She broke her ankle. The next day, she was in goal. She decided to play, in pain, she says, because “I was the only goalie” on the squad. “That’s what painkillers are for.” Her coach agreed with her decision. Her coach is her mother.

Israeli In Kings’ Court

06/30/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Omri Casspi, member of Israeli championship basketball teams and winner of several individual awards, can easily cite the highlight of his athletic career. It happened at 4:44 a.m., Israeli time, last Friday. That’s when National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern announced that Casspi was the Sacramento Kings’ first-round choice in the league’s 2009 draft.

Remembering The Rebbe’s Yahrtzeit

06/30/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
There was a sea in landlocked Cambria Heights on Sunday. A sea of kvitlach. In the open space in front of the gravestone of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, rebbe of the Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement, his followers left small hand-written notes asking for health, a child, a shidduch or other needs from the heart. The notes were in Hebrew, English, Russian and a smattering of other languages.

Beyond The Prom

06/25/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Houston - The sanctuary-multiuse room of Congregation Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Sugar Land, a bedroom community near here, was converted one recent spring afternoon into a one-day-a-year use: an enormous dressing room. Amid racks holding more than 500 chic gowns, with bima and Israeli flag in the background, two dozen teenage girls tried on the dresses behind makeshift barricades, and browsed at tables piled with jewelry and other accessories. The fashion items, all donated, were for the high school seniors during the recent end-of-school-year prom season.

Askenazied!

06/23/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Linda Askenazi, happily working at the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, didn’t plan to apply for an opening as executive director of Brooklyn College’s Hillel chapter. But when an insider told her “They wanted a rabbi” and it had to be a man, Askenazi got annoyed and applied. Once hired at Hillel, Askenazi didn’t plan to stay there very long. Two years, she thought. Twenty-five years later — thousands of students and countless we-met-at-Hillel-shidduch-stories later — she’s leaving.

Israel’s Elite Race

06/23/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
It’s Israel’s favorite military exercise. For 24 years, the Golani Brigade, the elite fighting unit of the Israeli Army, has sponsored a length-of-the-country footrace, from the Golan Heights in the north to Eilat in the south. The main route — Golani soldiers stationed at various sites in the north join along the way — covers 593 miles over five days. Each year, the brigade’s commander leads the race.

Tel Aviv Welcomes Windsurfers

06/16/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
If you think Israeli success in international sports these days, you think windsurfing. That’s the competition, also known as sailboarding, in which a racer rides the waves on a surfboard attached to a sail. Israel earned its only Olympic gold medal in history, at the Athens Games of 2004, for windsurfing, and it earned a bronze, also in windsurfing, at Beijing last year.
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