When my niece Simone turned 4, I instinctively knew what she would treasure: a set of miniature-sized nail polish in brilliant hues of red and pink. She smiled at those tiny bottles all evening; even with the lids closed, lined up like dolls on our coffee table, they delivered endless amusement.
At certain times of the day, the stretch of Lexington Avenue from 26th to 30th streets is fragrant with the aroma of cardamom, cloves, cumin, ginger and the other spices that fire up Indian cuisine. Taxis park all along the side streets, as their drivers take their breaks in the Indian restaurants, fast-food places, sari and spice shops that dominate the neighborhood known alternatively as Curry Hill and Little India. Diners include couples, colleagues and families, with men in turbans as well as kippot, as several of the restaurants are under rabbinic supervision.
Rachel Bronheim, Nina Mermelstein, and Alison Kolbert
On the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Ninth Street is a Sabrett hotdog stand, which is usually busy. Especially on Sundays, and particularly during a big parade.
But on this Sunday, May 23, vendor Manuel Ordóñez, a middle-aged native of Honduras, came to realize why business was slow.
After a few hours of standing on his corner, Ordonez realized why he was getting fewer costumers than expected. Many of the parade-goers were observant Jews coming to support the Israeli Day Parade, and they don’t eat non-kosher hotdogs.
The young woman walking along Fifth Avenue seemed confused. She was from a small country thousands of miles away, yet saw throngs of people in matching T-shirts waving her country’s flag and singing in her native language.
She hesitantly approached us as we stood on the sidewalk, watching the May 23 Salute to Israel Parade. “Excuse me,” she said, in an accent that was clearly Israeli. “Why is everyone walking down the street carrying Israeli flags?”
Israel’s brain power is increasingly global and mobile, and the country is moving to keep academics at home.
Special To The Jewish Week
T el Aviv — Israeli Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz announced recently that the country was unintentionally subsidizing the entire Western world to the tune of some $3 billion with its exported brain power.
“We have one tremendous resource and that’s our human capital,” Hershkowitz told a recent conference on education, basing his estimate on the amount Israel invests in training its academics, thousands of whom are working abroad. “But we are bearing witness to brain drain abroad.”
Israeli Arabs say the country under-serves
their community, and underestimates its value.
Staff WriterIsrael Correspondent
F lag Season is the time in the spring when Israelis remember victims of the Holocaust and military battles and terror attacks by standing in silence while sirens wail around the country.
For the vast majority of Israeli Jews, it’s a time of somber remembrance and national pride, flags, and barbecues in the park. A period of reflection cushioned by the reality of having a Jewish homeland.
Israel’s public relations problem can be fixed,
experts say, but not by clinging to the old narratives.
F irst, the good news.
Despite frustration among Jews in Israel and North America that the country is losing the public relations battle because of the recent Gaza war and its current hard-line government, recent surveys show remarkably robust support for the Jewish state.
The Gallup 2010 country-favorability rating ranked Israel fifth, trailing stalwart allies like the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Canada. Israel enjoys a favorability rating of nearly 50 percentage points over the Palestinians.
Between Israel and many younger Jews here
stands a gaping cavern. Needed: a new narrative
to bridge the divide.
A nyone checking out some popular Jewish websites a few weeks ago learned a subtle lesson about American Jewry. On “mainstream” home pages, which appeal mostly to an older demographic — affiliated members of the Jewish community — were these: travel missions to Israel (jewishfederations.org); articles about “Israel’s Ethical Defense” and media coverage of the Middle East peace process (aish.com); several essays about relations between Israel and the United States (jewishworldreview.com).