Lens

The JW's weekly photo feature, often showcasing the work of photographer Michael Datikash.

A Bike Ride Through History

04/14/2015
Staff Writer

For some elderly Polish Jews, a bike ride from Auschwitz to Krakow that began last year ended last month in Israel.

The 30 Polish seniors, most of them Holocaust survivors, visited the Jewish state in March as guests of a trip financed by a 2014 “Ride for the Living” under the auspices of Krakow’s seven-year-old JCC (jcckrakow.org). Nearly 20 riders, some of them from abroad, took part in the 55-mile trek through the Polish countryside last spring, from the infamous death camp to the American-style JCC, which has become a symbol of new Jewish life in the country.

The leaders envisioned the ride as a consciousness raiser, about Poland’s ongoing Jewish revival, and as a fund-raiser, to pay for the aging Polish Jews’ weeklong trip to Israel this year. Many of the participants in the trip, members of the JCC’s Senior Club, set foot in Israel for the first time; for others, it was a last chance.

The now-annual bike ride takes place under the patronage of Michael Schudrich, Poland’s Long Island-born chief rabbi. It was inspired by Robert Desmond, a JCC member who had ridden his bicycle 1,350 miles from London to Auschwitz, stopping at World War liberation sites along the way. He decided that future bike rides should end in a place of life, not death.

Last year’s bikers joined Krakow’s small Jewish community for Shabbat, then took part in the annual 7@NiteFestival, a cultural celebration organized by the Joint Distribution Committee.

Ishbel Szatrawska

Israel Celebrates Mimouna

04/07/2015
Staff Writer

After sundown on the last day of Passover, holiday dishes go into storage, exchanged for ones fit for year-round use. In some communities, chametz-starved Jews head to the local pizzeria.

Getty Images

Burn Notice

03/31/2015
Staff Writer

A Erev Passover in Israel is not a good time for anyone with respiratory problems.

Everywhere you go, smoke gets in your lungs. And in your eyes. And all over you.

Getty Images

Streit Into Lower East Side History

03/25/2015
Staff Writer

A  carton of matzahs cost a dollar or less, and the already-declining Jewish population of the Lower East Side still stood at a few hundred thousand when the Streit’s kosher food company opened a matzah factory in four converted tenement buildings on Rivington Street 90 years ago.

Photo by Michael Datikash

In Berlin, Building Bridges Through Food

03/17/2015
Staff Writer

In response to the recent increase in anti-Semitism in Europe, some Jewish communities have responded with added security measures, some with rallies, some with political lobbying.

Getty Images

Interfaith ‘Day Of Peace’ In France

03/10/2015
Staff Writer

Relations between Jews and Muslims in France, according to recent headlines, are tense, with Jews fearing for their lives.

Getty Images

For Jerusalem Marathon, Disabled Kids Get Training Help From Police Officers

03/03/2015
Staff Writer

Since the Jerusalem Marathon was first run through the hilly streets of Israel’s capital in 2011, representatives of ALEH, which bills itself as the country’s “largest network of facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities,” have been a presence. As members of Team ALEH, supporters traveled the 26.2-mile course in distinctive bright green T-shirts to raise money and publicity for the organization, then with in a small group of ALEH (ALEH.org) residents who, with aid, “ran” an abbreviated course on race day.

Photo By ALEH

Write On Students Experience Israel

02/24/2015
Editor And Publisher

Yonah Yesowitz, a senior at Union County Magnet High School in Springfield, N.J., said the just-completed nine-day Write On For Israel trip to the Jewish state left him “eager to get involved within the Jewish community and to advocate for my homeland on college campuses.”

Photo by Linda Scherzer

Inside An Unlikely Marriage

02/17/2015
Editor And Publisher

One of the reasons that legendary Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the epitome of Establishment society, decided to marry Lucinda Franks, a journalist and radical hippie almost 30 years his junior, four decades ago was seeing her take on a society woman who made disparaging remarks about Jews at an evening party when the couple was dating.

Photos By Michael Datikash

‘Disruptive’ Artwork in Paris

02/10/2015
Staff Writer

Is coexistence dangerous?

It was last week, for one artist in Paris.

Getty Images
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