They come from South America, they live in Israel and they made history in Australia.
Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, Israel’s top men’s doubles team since they met at the Wingate Institute in the 1990s and competed at the highest levels of international tennis, won the doubles title at the Australian Open last week.
Their victory marked the first Israeli championship in a Grand Slam tournament — Ram had twice shared a Grand Slam mixed doubles title with a woman from another country.
Binyamina, a town near Haifa, and its most famous native son, have both grown over the last six decades.
Binyamina’s most famous native son is now Israel’s prime minister.
Ehud Olmert returned to his childhood elementary school this week and gave a third-grade class a surprise 40-minute lesson on civics on Tu b’Shevat and the Knesset’s 59th anniversary.
Israel says its West Bank settlements will stay. The Palestinians say they must go.
President George W. Bush, preparing for his initial visit to the Middle East, tried to maintain a middle ground, supporting Israel but gaining Arab backing for a comprehensive peace settlement.
This week, the ball was literally in these settlers’ court.
Like most of the Jewish communities of Germany, Bochum’s was nearly wiped out during the Holocaust. Its synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht, and only 33 of its more than 1,000 Jews returned after the end of World War II.
No wreaths, no carols, no holiday gift sales.
In Israel, outside of Bethlehem and a few other Christian enclaves at least, Chanukah is the holiday this time of year. There is no sign of that other holiday.
Bakeries and groceries feature waist-high stacks of jelly doughnuts, Ashkenazi restaurants turn piles of potatoes into latkes, families light their chanukiot in glass-covered cases outside their front doors and children spin dreidels that substitute the Hebrew letter peh for a shin, as in “A great miracle happened here (po).”
“Today we pray with our feet,” Lior Sinai of the American Zionist Movement, told hundreds of Jewish students rallying on Tuesday in front of the United Nations for the release of Israel’s kidnapped soldiers.
The protest was one of about 50 planned by the Jewish Agency for Israel and other groups for the same day in communities and college campuses in the U.S. and another 30 in countries around the world, from Australia to Ukraine. It was billed as a “world solidarity day” for the prisoners.
Federal grants for upgrading security will go to 68 applicants in New York State this year, and 75 percent of those are potential Jewish targets.
Sites in New York State received almost a third of the $15 million distributed nationwide for 2009 by the Department of Homeland Security. All but seven are in New York City.
The Jewish Community Relations Council, which assists Jewish organizations applying for the funds said there were a total of 138 applications in New York. The list of approved grants will not be publicized.
New Jersey Jews faced the largest number of anti-Semitic acts in America in 2008, followed by California, marking the first time since the Anti-Defamation League began keeping statistics that New York did not lead the nation in such crime.
Anti-Semitic acts across the country fell by 7 percent in the ADL’s Annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents — the fourth annual decline — with New York seeing a steep drop of more than 40 percent, from 351 to 207. That marked a decrease nearly six times greater than the national average.