Special Sections

So Near, So Far

Birthright Israel and the complicated — and contradictory —
business of building Jewish identity.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

 A traveler’s quiz: When American Jewish tourists arrive at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, which two words are they more likely to be greeted with?

A) “Welcome home!” 

B) “Passport, please.”

Building diaspora identities? A recent Birthright trip.

‘We Know The Quiet Won’t Last’

The current Israeli-Palestinian situation seems a tolerable — even a desirable — alternative,
but perhaps only for now.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 

The main shopping mall in Kfar Saba, a suburb of Tel Aviv, was bombed by a terrorist in 2002 during the most recent Palestinian uprising. It’s been more than seven years, but glass barriers still ring the mall’s perimeter, forcing shoppers to pass through a security check — a reminder of the uncertainty that nags Israelis even though the uprising has long since died out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Cracks In The Pro-Israel Wall

The emergence of J Street and what it means.

Assistant Managing Editor
05/12/2010

The  recent exchange of letters between Elie Wiesel, on one hand, gently reproaching the White House over its Jerusalem policy, and dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid, on behalf of J Street, on the other, seems to encapsulate the debate American Jews are having these days over what it means to be pro-Israel in 2010.

Eight candidates endorsed by J Street PAC stand in front of the Capitol building. j street

One Foot Out The Door

Keeping non-haredim in Israel’s
poorest city is an increasingly difficult task.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 A September 2009 New York Times travel article (“West Jerusalem Shows its Hip Secular Side”) praised the many “secular” attractions the city has to offer, from trendy new shops and restaurants to cutting-edge architecture.

While Israelis were gratified to read a positive article about their country for a change, portraying Jerusalem as a capital of tourism and not terror, many were amused by the use of “secular” and “Jerusalem” in the same sentence. 

Outside haredi neighborhoods, young Jerusalemites feel comfortable wearing shorts and mini-skirts. Michele Chabin

Celestial City, Terrestrial City

The dizzyingly complex question of sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

 Late last month, as Israelis celebrated the 62nd birthday of the Jewish state and the 150th of its inventor, the great Theodor Herzl, a full-page ad appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. The text was penned by another esteemed Jew, the Nobel laureate, prolific author and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel. Needless to say, his piece drew a lot of attention.     

 Jerusalem

Tourism Looking Robust

Dan Hotels VP sees a good year in 2010.

05/12/2010

 Rafi Baeri is vice president of marketing and sales at the Dan Hotels Corp., Israel’s largest luxury hotel chain. Billing itself as the “oldest and most prestigious” hotel chain in Israel, it owns and operates 13 hotels with 3,300 rooms in major cities throughout the country, including three in Jerusalem and two in Tel Aviv. The Jewish Week spoke to him recently about the tourism industry.

Jewish Week: How has the worldwide recession had an impact on your hotels?

 Rafi Baeri

What Susya’s Stones Say

Little-known Second Temple-era site now more accessible to tourists.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

A magnificent West Bank archeological site, dating from the Second Temple era and virtually unknown to foreign tourists, is becoming more popular now that a new bypass road makes it more safely accessible.

The arched entrance of Susya’s ancient synagogue. Susya Tours and Education Center

This Factory Sparkles

Touring jewelry and clothing designer
Michal Negrin’s empire in Bat Yam.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

 I n 1982, when I was 10 years old, I saw an animateD FILM,
“The Secret of NIMH,” in which a secondary character, a crow named Jeremy, seeks to impress his female counterpart by giving her jewelry. “Gimme the sparkly,” he beseeches of the main character, a mouse named Mrs. Brisby. “I gotta have the sparkly! Girls can’t resist sparklies!”

A necklace Negrin designed for a show in Spain, above. Below, Neshama Shapiro, 8, models a Negrin hair accessory.

Playing It By Ear In Tel Aviv

Sampling the club scene in Israel’s capital of culture.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 

Tel Aviv — After more than a decade living here,
I’ve long ceased being a tourist in this city. But after nearly five years of fatherhood, I might as well be one as far as Tel Aviv nightlife is concerned.

Bars have opened and bands have matured all just a few steps away from my central Tel Aviv flat. A tiny but fruitful funk scene has sprung up. I hear there’s also an ample selection of indie rock. Meanwhile, I can’t remember the last movie I saw or the last band I saw live in a bar.

Karolina, one of Israel’s most popular young singers, performs at the trendy club Rothschild 12. Joshua Mitnick

The Dead Sea On A Budget

Pampering yourself without breaking the bank.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

E in Gedi — The first time I visited Israel more thaN 30
years ago, I treated my copy of “Israel on $50 A Day” (or whatever the amount was at the time) as if it were a bible. I used it to book cheap hotels, to find cheap restaurants and heeded its advice to flash my student ID card anywhere and everywhere.

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