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One Foot Out The Door

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

Israel Correspondent

 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

 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.     


Tourism Looking Robust

Dan Hotels VP sees a good year in 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

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

 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


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

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.

Israel Travel: May 2010

History and Beyond: From Masada to the Tel Aviv nightclub scene, from Susya to Michal Negrin’s jewelry empire.

Israel Travel May 2010

Israel Now: May 2010

Defining Moment, Critical Questions. A look at crucial issues facing Israel today, from the status of Jerusalem to the changing pro-Israel movement to the impact of Birthright trips.

Israel Now

Solving The Sabbath

Exactly what kind of ‘work’ is forbidden on Shabbat — and why?


The Sabbath is a puzzle. The Torah, saying almost nothing about Sabbath practice beyond various forms of the command “don’t do work on it,” left it to subsequent generations to make sense of its purposes.

 Seder Tikkunei Shabbat, Vienna, 1724. JTS ms 8269. Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
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