Special Sections

El Al Seeing Growth

Staff Writer

El Al Israel Airlines
witnessed a 10 percent increase in passengers during the first half of this year compared to last year due in part to an improving economy and a feeling of security in Israel, according to its new president, Elyezer Shkedy.

“There is an understanding that Israel is becoming more and more of an attractive land for the Jewish people, for Christians and Muslims all around the world,” he said

El Al’s new president, Elyezer Shkedy.

Rimonim’s Local Flavor

Hotels in No. 5 chain ‘tell a different story.’
Staff Writer

Although Rimonim Hotels
and Resorts is Israel’s fifth largest hotel chain, many of its nine hotels are small enough to capture their location’s local flavor.

The Ruth Rimonim in Safed.

Vacations For Body And Soul

‘Urban’ and ‘day’ spas moving beyond the Dead Sea experience.
Special To The Jewish Week

Agrowing demand for
vacation activities that revitalize the body and stimulate the soul is spurring a revolution across Israel’s hotel and spa industry. While the Dead Sea continues to lure tourists to its natural wonders, hotel spas in the region and across Israel have tweaked their services to address the changing lifestyles of local and foreign tourists.

Facial treatment at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel spa.

Onward Christian Tourists

As foreign tourism increases, new Israeli focus on Christian and general markets in U.S.
Staff Writer

Haim Gutin, who recently became Israel’s tourism commissioner for North and South America, has been with the Tourism Ministry since 1982. He previously served here as consul for Tourism, director of the Israel Government Tourist Office in the northeastern U.S. and acting tourism commissioner for North America. He spoke with The Jewish Week last week about where Israel’s tourist industry stands on the cusp of a new year.

Jewish Week: We’re hearing from visitors to Israel that the streets and hotels are packed with tourists. What are the latest figures?

Haim Gutin, Israel’s tourism commissioner for North and South America.

Northern Exposure

More Israelis are discovering the charms of easy-to-overlook Nazareth.
Israel Correspondent

I never wrote the story, but I was surprised to find in Nazareth’s Old City a charming guest house, a cozy pub and a cosmopolitan feel that left me with the feeling that something was afoot in the largest Arab city in Israel.

Ever since, when hanging a right-hand turn at the T intersection on Highway 65 outside of Afula en route to the Upper Galilee, I would get a momentary urge to go left toward the ascent to the city that is known worldwide as the childhood home of Jesus.

Church of the Annunciation courtyard, above. Arched windows of Al-Mutran Guest House.

Israel Travel November 2010

Eco-travel on the rise, the new lure of Nazareth, body-and-soul vacations and more.

Eco-travel on the rise, the new lure of Nazareth, body-and-soul vacations, and more.

Israel Travel November 2010

Top Jewish Chefs, Back In The Kitchen

The latest fare — from teen food to leek terrine — courtesy of Susie Fishbein, Jamie Geller and Joan Nathan.
Editorial Assistant

Whether they want to prepare haute cuisine or instant kugel or or vegan cholent, kosher cooks looking for recipes and inspiration today have plenty of new books to pick from — thanks to several top Jewish chefs.

Kosher cooks have a plethora of options for new cookbooks, from established names like Joan Nathan.

Short Takes

From illustrator Al Jaffee to the Cairo Genizah to a portrait of ‘Young Tel Aviv.’
Jewish Week Book Critic

Even if you haven’t picked up a Mad magazine in decades, you’re likely to remember the fold-ins, the signature feature that has appeared in almost every issue since 1964, created by Al Jaffee. Mary-Lou Weissman, a friend for more than 30 years, presents Al Jaffee’s Mad Life (It Books), with 70 original illustrations by Jaffee. Now 89, he is the magazine’s oldest and most prolific contributor, still creating fold-ins.

Inside An ‘Epic Struggle’

Gal Beckerman’s book provides much-needed coherence to the history of the Soviet Jewry movement.
Special To The JewishWeek

The campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry — the “Soviet Jewry Movement,” as it became known — has been the topic of any number of books over the past decade and more. The story of how the “struggle” on behalf of the Jews of the Soviet Union became a “movement” parallels that of the other great “movement” of the 20th century, civil rights.

Gal Beckerman tells how the Soviet Jewry movement grew into a major foreign policy success.

Guilt On Trial

Elie Wiesel’s new novel explores themes of memory, justice and journalistic ethics.
Jewish Week Book Critic

When Werner Sonderberg replies “Guilty … and not guilty,” after being asked to enter his plea in a New York courtroom, the judge and spectators are stunned. Sonderberg, a young German expatriate who is accused of murder, seems to want to explain something to the court, but he is silenced.

A complex murder trial forms the underpinning of Wiesel’s new novel.
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