Lens

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

A Jewish Star Shines On Jewish Heritage Day

08/28/2012
Staff Writer

Jewish Heritage Day at baseball games have a long list of established traditions that sometimes occur — the singing of “HaTikvah” on the field, kosher food at concession stands, an opening prayer by a rabbi, the ceremonial first pitch thrown by a member of the Jewish community. Always, there is an increased number of Jewish fans in the stands.

The New York Mets on Sunday established a new tradition — the game-winning, bottom-of-the-ninth, walk-off home run by a Jewish player.

Photos By Marc Levine and JCRC

An Oasis In JerusalemPhoto by Getty Images

08/21/2012
Staff Writers

On 62 acres in southwest Jerusalem, you can see sights that are rare in the rest of Israel. Near-extinct animals coming back to life. Penguins sauntering and oryxes roaming. Secular Jewish Israelis, haredi Israelis and Arabs peacefully coexisting.

Photo by Getty Images

Sailing To Gold

08/14/2012
Staff Writer

No Israeli returned home with a medal in this year’s Summer Olympics, which ended Sunday night in London, but Israel can bask in some reflected glory — reflected in the gold medal in sailing won by New Zealand’s Jo Aleh.

Aleh, 26, is the daughter of dual citizen Israelis-New Zealanders.

The only known Jewish member of New Zealand’s Olympic squad at the London Olympics, Aleh, right, teamed with Olivia Powrie to win the 470 regatta competition, four years after she finished in seventh place at the Beijing Games.

Photo by Getty Images

Happy Birthday, In Absentia

08/07/2012
Staff Writer

The landmark birthday of a hero was marked with elaborate celebrations in two European capitals this week, but the guest of honor was not present.

Raoul Wallenberg, whose 100th birthday was Saturday, probably is not alive. And no one has known his whereabouts for almost seven decades.

Photo by Getty Images

Fasting Separately, Breaking The Fast Together

07/31/2012
Staff Writer

After sundown on Sunday, at the end of the day-long Tisha b’Av fast that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem, the more than 200 people who gathered at one Seattle-area synagogue faced east for their evening prayers.

Half of them turned toward Mecca.

Photo by Shana Aucsmith

Ambassadors For Israel

07/24/2012

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told about 150 supporters of Write On For Israel, the Jewish Week-sponsored advocacy program for high school students, this week that the program is “essential” to making Jerusalem’s case on college campuses throughout the country.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Signs Of Slovakia’s Jewish Past And Present

07/17/2012
Staff Writer

The tourist above in the center of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, isn’t taking a picture of the historic, two-spired synagogue that dominated the area since its construction a century ago.

She’s photographing a replica.

As part of a civic project funded by the city and initiated by the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, the empty shell of a synagogue went up recently in Fish Square on the spot where the original Moorish building, torn down five decades ago, once stood.

Photo By Getty Images

Making A Beautiful Statement

07/11/2012
Staff Writer

This is the time of year for unique beauty contests in Israel.

Last week in this space: the annual Miss Large competition for hefty participants.

This week: Miss Holocaust Survivor, which was held in Haifa.

The first such pageant featured 14 entrants — not a “miss” among the wives and mother and grandmothers — who were chosen from some 500 women, age 74-97, who wore accessorized black evening gowns while walking on a red carpet.

Photo By Getty Images

Beauty Title In Israel? Fat Chance

07/03/2012
Staff Writer

In some places, women who gain a few pounds lose their beauty pageant title.

In Israel, only the hefty need apply for one beauty title

The annual Miss Large competition took place recently in Beersheba, and Vered Fisher, center, a former member of an intelligence unit in the Israeli Army, was declared the winner. She weights nearly 250 pounds.

The pageant, which is limited to women who weight at least 80 kilograms (176 pounds), annually draws about 20 entrants who appear in casual wear and evening gowns. The winner gets a diamond ring and modeling contract.

Photo By Getty Images

Shavuot, Samaritan Style

06/26/2012
Staff Writer
Did you know Shavuot was last week? You knew it if you were on Mount Gerizim, the biblical site on the West Bank near Nablus. The Samaritans, descendants of Jewish tribes who were exiled from the Promised Land nearly three millennia ago and who observe aspects of the ancient Israelite religion and culture, start counting the seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot on the first Shabbat after Pesach, instead of on the second night of Pesach, the Jewish tradition. Hence the Samaritan Shavuot always falls on Sunday — June 24 this year.
Photo By Getty Images
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