Special Sections

Gearing Up For ’11, And Adding Perks

Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

2010 was record year
for tourism to Israel, with nearly 3.5 million foreign travelers coming to the Jewish state, and the Israeli hotel industry is hoping for a repeat performance in 2011. In fact, many major hotels are in the midst of upgrading their rooms and services in order to lure new visitors from North America during the ’11 tourist season.

Here is a roundup of what some of the top hotels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and beyond are offering guests.



The Boutique Difference

Growing number of intimate, arty hotels offer variety of experiences.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

One transformed a neglectED
Bauhaus-style Tel Aviv building that was the home of the old Esther Cinema. Another, in the mystical city of Safed, is built upon ancient Roman foundations. Still another showcases the work of local Israeli artists.

The lobby of the Cinema Hotel, top, complete with an old film projector. Above, the West Tamares Hotel in North Tel Aviv.

My House Is Your House

Home exchanges and ‘couch surfing’ are growing, and cheaper, travel alternatives for those who want to see Israel like a local.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/24/2011 - 19:00

Every summer when
she was a little girl, Lior Student and her family swapped their Mediterranean beachside house for an apartment nestled inside the walls of the Jerusalem Old City’s Jewish Quarter.

“To this day — and you have to understand I come from a secular family — that was my first experience with religious kids,” Student said. “I got to know the religious quarter by heart. My parents sent us to buy pitas from the Arabs in the market.”

Israel Home Exchange founder Lior Student’s Tel Aviv apartment.. Courtesy of Lior Student

Israel Travel January 2011

Jerusalem: The new capital of cool. Plus: apartment swaps for the cost-conscious traveler, boutique hotels spreading, and more.
01/24/2011 - 19:00
Israel Travel January, 2011

And The Tourists Came … In Droves

2010 was a record year for foreign tourism to Israel.
Israel Correspondent
01/13/2011 - 19:00

 Jerusalem — Like many other Israelis who experienced the 1990-‘91 Gulf War and the first and second Palestinian uprisings — all of which devastated tourism to Israel, and especially Jerusalem — I’m always a bit amazed when I see busload upon busload of tourists praying at the Kotel or walking the Via Dolorosa.

With a record 3.45 million visitors, 2010 was the best year ever for Israeli tourism, but it’s taken me, and other Israelis, a while to get used to the fact that outsiders finally consider our country a desirable destination.

The Arab market of the Old City of Jerusalem, above, is now a must-visit destination for visitors. Right, Yoram Twitto.

The Year That Was

From Israel to Iowa, Hollywood to Ground Zero, a recap of the top Jewish stories of 2010.
Staff Writer
01/13/2011 - 19:00


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces the construction of a border fence with Egypt to help prevent illegal immigration, saying that illegal immigration is a huge threat to Israel’s economic and social livelihood.

President Barack Obama delivers his first State of the Union address. Many Jewish groups are upset over his lack of specifics on health care and the threat of Iran.

The Year in Jewish Culture

The top 10 moments (in no particular order) of 2010 in arts and letters.
Staff Writer
01/13/2011 - 19:00


As the former editor of The New Republic, a liberal magazine, but one with a strong pro-Israel bent, Peter Beinart shocked Jews of all stripes when he published a scathing critique of the organized Jewish community in May in The New York Review of Books. Beinart, 39, argued that groups from AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, to the Anti-Defamation League have failed to make Zionism an attractive ideal for young American Jews, who are mostly liberal.

From The Sidelines To The Front Lines

The year in Israel-diaspora relations.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/13/2011 - 19:00

2010 marked a turning point in the relationship between diaspora Jewry and Israel. Although philanthropy and tourism remain essential components of that relationship, diaspora Jews signaled that unquestioning support could no longer be taken for granted and demanded, as never before, a voice in shaping the values of the Jewish state.

Knesset member David Rotem, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Year Of Fear

What Park51 and the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding say about the Jewish community.
Special To The Jewish Week
01/13/2011 - 19:00

 While I would not necessarily have labeled it as such, when the religion writers of America declared that Park51, the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” was the biggest religion story of the year, it’s hard to ignore — especially given that we are in New York and the fact that this story certainly got the attention of lots of Jews from across the ideological and theological spectrum. And yet, the building itself is not a big deal.

Groom Marc Mezvinsky and bride Chelsea Clinton’s with the bride’s parents. getty images

A Year In Review 2010

Past as prologue: the top issues of 2010 set the stage for 2011.
01/13/2011 - 19:00
Reports from an eventful year
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