Lens

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

A New Torah For The New Year

09/19/2012
Staff Writer

On the eve of Tishrei and the Jewish New Year, the small Jewish community of Ahmedabad, in western India, received a new Torah scroll with great fanfare last week.

The sefer Torah, housed in a Sephardic-style wooden casing, came to Magen Abraham Synagogue in a ceremony that included singing and dancing, blessings and a shofar blowing.

The scroll was a gift from supporters in India and Israel.

Magen Abraham, built in 1934, is the only synagogue in the city, whose Jewish population is about 130.

Photo By Getty Images

Sprucing Up For Yom Tov

09/11/2012
Staff Writer

For members of a synagogue, the preparation for the High Holy Days season starts weeks, if not months before Rosh HaShanah.

In some congregations, there are the daily selichot prayers that are recited during the month of Elul that precedes Tishrei, and additions to the daily worship services. There is increased giving of tzedakah and the performance of good deeds. For some, a new machzor; for others, a new outfit.

For rabbis, sermons to write.

For cantors and choirs, melodies to rehearse. For the synagogue itself, there’s also a period of preparation.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Synagogue Rededicated In France

09/04/2012
Staff Writer

For a century, the city of Mulhouse, in eastern France, was best known for its role in a sad part of Jewish history. It is the birthplace of Alfred Dreyfus, the assimilated French Jewish soldier who was the victim of anti-Semitism.

This week, the Jewish community of Mulhouse made the news in a better fashion — the Grand Synagogue, damaged in a fire two years ago, was rededicated.

Participants in the ceremony included France’s Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim and Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

Photo By Getty Images

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
Syndicate content