Lens

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

The Kotel On Kingston Avenue

03/06/2012
Staff Writer

For those who can’t make the 5,883-mile pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray at the Western Wall, there’s now a Kotel closer to home.

At the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Filling Up On Hamantashen

02/28/2012
Staff Writer

World competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has won awards for downing copious amounts of hot dogs, meatballs, Twinkies, hamburgers and pasta.

Last week, with Purim coming up, he tried his hand at hamantashen.

Actually, both hands.

Photos By Yeshiva University

A Priest Walks Into A Bar...

02/28/2012
Staff Writer

Purim, which starts next Wednesday night, is a reminder of the importance of humor in Jewish life — the holiday is traditionally a time of pranks and frivolity. A new book, “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” (HarperOne, $25.99), by James Martin, a Jesuit priest who works as culture editor at “America,” a prominent Catholic magazine, is a reminder that humor plays a part in other religions.

Father James Martin, a Jesuit authority on humor, traces part of his own humor to his childhood, Yiddish-speaking friends.

From Northern Canada, With Love

02/21/2012
Staff Writer

During a recent educational tour in Canada, Noam Bedein, director of the Sderot Media Center, an independent advocacy organization in the Negev, encountered a surprising amount of support for Israel among the members of the First Nations — the country’s indigenous people, like the Native Americans here — he met. As often-displaced groups, they told Bedein, a Sabra, they understood Israelis’ love for their land.

Photos By Raymond MacLean.

Thousands Come To YU Book Event

02/14/2012
Staff Writer

For several weeks each winter, between Chanukah and Purim, the Weissberg Commons area of Yeshiva University’s Belfer Hall becomes an enormous book fair. More than 15,000 people — families and singles, children and seniors, Orthodox and non-Orthodox — browse through tables and shelves crammed with discounted books and DVDs and educational software offered for sale during The Seforim Sale sponsored by the Students of Yeshiva (SOY).

Photo By Michael Datikash

A Freeze Across Europe

02/07/2012
Staff Writer

The headline writers are calling the cold spell across Europe in recent weeks a new “Ice Age.”

Photo By Getty Images

Getting High On Tu b’Shvat

01/31/2012
Staff Writer

Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish new year of trees, a minor holiday on the Hebrew calendar, is traditionally celebrated in Israeli forests with mass tree-plantings, and in some diaspora communities with kabbalistic seders and the eating of symbolic Israeli fruits, right.

One local couple has its own Tu b’Shvat custom.

Photo By Michael Datikash

A Protest In Black-and-White

01/24/2012
Staff Writer

While the last several thousand Falash Mura — Ethiopians with Jewish roots — in Africa await entry into the Promised Land, Ethiopian Jews already in Israel took to the country’s streets last week to protest what they consider growing signs of racism.

Photo by Getty Images

Let My People View

01/17/2012
Staff Writer

The framed posters on the walls of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, now part of history, were the face of social activism in this country a generation ago.

During the height of the Soviet Jewry movement in the 1970s and ‘80s, the signs demanding that the USSR grant its Jewish population the right to live and leave as Jews were carried in protest demonstrations around the United States and mounted on the walls of synagogues and Hillels and other Jewish institutions.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Tragic Anniversary In Berlin

01/10/2012
Staff Writer

Before Jan. 20, 1942, the name Wannsee meant luxury in Germany.

It was the name of a lake with a bordering beach in a Berlin suburb, where the country’s upscale citizens vacationed.

Since that date, the name means tragedy.

An infamous conference of 15 top Nazi officials, who came together that day to make “necessary preparations in regard to organizational, practical and material measures requisite for the total solution of the Jewish question in Europe,” took place at 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee, across from the beach.

Photo By Getty Images
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