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Jewish Journal

Dina Kraft

  • Demolitions Central to Jerusalem Fight

    August 18, 2009 | 4:37 pm

    Deep in a valley below Jerusalem’s Old City, a narrow alleyway leads to the remains of three bulldozed Arab homes in an area slated to become an archeological park.

    The homes, now just slabs of collapsed concrete, are in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Despite...

  • No New Settlement Approval, So Far

    July 8, 2009 | 4:53 pm

    Although the pounding of jackhammers and the dull roar of bulldozers still can be heard across Jewish settlements in the West Bank, no new construction has been approved for Jews in the area since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government came to office.

    “Everything...

  • How a Settlement’s ‘Natural Growth’ Appears at Ground Level

    June 3, 2009 | 4:11 pm

    Modiin Illit, West Bank — Pushing a baby stroller and clutching her toddler’s hand, Hanna Yadler walks through the shiny lobby of her new apartment building and explains how she’s relieved her family found a place to live in Modiin Illit.

    Yadler, 28, has four children. Her...

  • Fund Seeks to Improve Israeli Arabs’ Lives

    May 20, 2009 | 7:16 pm

    A group of American Jewish philanthropists crowd into a classroom to watch Iman Abu Zaid, a young Arab teacher, give a lesson to her class of Jewish fourth-graders.

    “You and I can change the world,” she sings to the students in Hebrew, sounding the lyrics of a popular Israeli...

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  • Tel Aviv Then and Now

    April 9, 2009 | 2:12 am

    When Yoram Kaniuk was born in Tel Aviv in 1930, it was a small place with just 20,000 people and a handful of paved roads.

    But for Kaniuk and his friends, it was the world.

    “We thought it was a big city,” Kaniuk said, sitting by the window of his apartment’s snug living room...

  • Lieberman’s Moment

    February 11, 2009 | 6:11 pm

  • Lieberman’s Moment

    February 11, 2009 | 6:11 pm

    “Lieberman! Lieberman! Lieberman!” a cluster of young Israelis shouted into megaphones as Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, made yet another stop on his Election Day tour.

    “Ashdod: Vote Lamed for Lieberman,” their voices boomed across a...

  • Livni Plays Gender Card as She Runs 2nd in Race

    February 2, 2009 | 5:50 pm

    When Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister and a candidate for prime minister, spoke before a group of women lawyers last week, she received three standing ovations. Her male rivals in the race had to make do with polite applause.

    “Whether we have a female prime minister is up to...

  • Israel Human Rights Groups Wage War Over Warfare

    January 22, 2009 | 3:03 pm

    Sari Bashi, a prominent Israeli human rights lawyer, was on the phone last week with a Palestinian utility official in the Gaza Strip who had worked closely with Israelis for years and had just learned that his house in Gaza was no longer standing.

    “He asked me, ‘Why are they...

  • Eight members of the Levi family adjust to rockets in Ashkelon

    December 30, 2008 | 1:00 am

    ASHKELON, Israel (JTA) -- Another rocket warning siren wails and eight members of the Levi family, including a grandmother and a newborn baby, quickly cram into the small bedroom made of reinforced concrete that serves as the family's bomb shelter.

    "Come on, come on! Get in!" they...

  • Despite diplomas, Ethiopian Israelis can’t find jobs

    December 26, 2008 | 12:15 am

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Asaf Negat, 29, made his way to Israel from Ethiopia as an 11-year-old boy and worked hard to find his way in a new land and learn to speak a new language. Eventually, Negat graduated with a business degree from one of the country's top universities.

    However, since...

  • Showdown in Hebron as IDF evicts settlers

    December 4, 2008 | 7:08 pm



    UPDATE: Settler violence follows Hebron evacuation

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Settlers rampaged through Hebron following the evacuation of a disputed building.

    Jewish youth entered the Palestinian areas of Hebron Thursday afternoon, setting set fires to cars, homes and trees, and throwing...

  • African AIDS fight uses Israeli circumcision skills

    November 26, 2008 | 6:07 pm

    In a clinic in Swaziland, Israeli doctors have been training their counterparts in male circumcision, hoping expertise in the ancient technique will help in the battle against the modern scourge of AIDS.

    The United Nations announced last year that the procedure could reduce the rate...

  • Discovery of King David-era fort stirs debate on size of kingdom

    November 20, 2008 | 3:12 am

    JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Under a sky of darkening clouds on a hill above the valley where tradition says David and Goliath battled, archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel triumphantly rests his hands on a 10-ton limestone rock, part of a newly discovered second gate to an ancient fortified city he...
  • Israelis catch U.S. election fever

    October 28, 2008 | 8:01 pm

    TEL AVIV (JTA) -- Just beyond the beer taps at a Tel Aviv bar with an American flag hanging out front, a makeshift polling station draws dozens of Americans in Israel casting their vote for the U.S. election, 6,000 miles away.

    "This is more fun than voting in the Bronx," said one...

  • Diverse trio running for mayor in troubled Jerusalem

    October 23, 2008 | 12:54 am

    It sounds like the beginning of a joke: A rabbi, a Russian oligarch and a high-tech millionaire are running for mayor of Jerusalem. Except there's no punch line, just each of them offering up himself as salvation for the hallowed capital's many troubles.

    Many Jerusalemites view this...

  • Candidate Profile: Tzipi Livni—a clean record but some say untested

    September 8, 2008 | 5:09 pm

    JERUSALEM (JTA) - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni smoothes her tailored black jacket, tosses back her head and takes in the King David Hotel hall packed cheek to jowl with foreign journalists.

    Every chair is taken, photographers line the walls and the lights of dozens of TV...
  • Israel taps ‘political outsider’ as new U.N. ambassador

    August 12, 2008 | 6:41 pm

    TEL AVIV (JTA)—An exceptional intellect paired with an unflappable exterior are traits Gabriela Shalev’s high-powered colleagues and friends say will serve her well when she leaves for New York to become Israel’s next ambassador to the United Nations.

    Shalev, an internationally...

  • Red-Dead canal idea stirs controversy

    August 3, 2008 | 6:46 pm

    HERZLIYA, Israel (JTA) – On aerial photographs, the shrinking Dead Sea juts into the surrounding desert landscape like a blue index finger.

    As part of the effort to prevent this finger from becoming a mere smudge on the map by 2050, the World Bank is conducting a $14 million...

  • Israeli women gymnasts train long and hard for Beijing games

    July 31, 2008 | 12:22 am

    NETANYA (JTA) -- On one side of a cavernous gym in Netanya, halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, six members of Israel's first Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team warm up in a circle, chatting softly in a mix of Russian and Hebrew while stretching their legs in effortless splits on the...
  • Sderot welcomes Obama

    July 25, 2008 | 1:34 am

    SDEROT, Israel (JTA) – At the New Age Beauty Salon in a run-down strip mall here, the manicurist and hairdresser swap opinions of Barack Obama, the latest in a series of high-profile visitors to come through this southern Israeli town.

    "Is there a chance I'll be able to give him a...

  • Food prices squeeze Israel’s needy

    July 21, 2008 | 5:21 pm

    TEL AVIV (JTA) – It’s mid-afternoon and Michael Dahan is buying food for his first meal of the day. With rising food prices compounding his already dire economic situation, it has become his habit to skip meals, he admits.

    “What can I do?” the unemployed 49-year-old says with a...

  • Israel's clean tech advances attract foreign investors' green

    July 15, 2008 | 2:29 am

    TEL AVIV (JTA) -- From cutting-edge geothermal power deep underground to wind turbines and solar panels capturing energy from the sky above, foreign investors are pouring money into Israel's growing clean tech sector.

    And it's not just Jews.

    "Every day I get calls from people asking...

  • Israel invests in clean tech as energy crunch looms

    July 2, 2008 | 10:24 pm

    At a lab in Rehovot, the man who developed the Arrow missile is consumed with his next mission: making Israel energy independent by using cheap solar power.

    "The issue of energy is the greatest danger to Israel, because in 30 years there will be no energy means, no oil and no gas,...

  • Israelis are not in a partying mood

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Israel is turning 60, but few here in the Jewish State seem in the mood to crack open the champagne.

    Israelis are still gloomy about the country's perceived failures in the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and every day brings fresh reminders that no solution has been found for...

  • Segway inventor Dean Kamen brings his high-tech vision to Israel

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Dean Kamen, the multimillionaire inventor renowned for the Segway personal transporter, traveled to Israel with a message for teenagers: Careers in science will help make them the rock stars of their generation.

    Taking a break from his current innovations, which include developing a...

  • Fending off the end of aliyah

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Founded with the express purpose of "ingathering of the exiles" -- but with no more large groups of Jews to save -- Israel is facing the end of the era of mass aliyah.

    Recent reports that the Jewish Agency for Israel was considering shutting down its flagship aliyah department have...

  • Yeshiva terror attack cut religious Zionists deeply

    March 9, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The one with glasses and a wide smile was the brother of a friend, the one with blue eyes and side curls the son of another.

    In the close-knit world of religious Zionism, no one feels far removed from the grief for eight young people gunned down while studying Talmud in their...
  • Ashkelon is the new front line in the war with Gaza

    March 8, 2008 | 5:00 pm


    Al-Jazeera TV reports on rockets hitting Ashkelon


    Eighteen-year-old Eden Sharbane awoke before dawn Saturday to the eerie sound of a "red alert" siren in her Ashkelon neighborhood. Glancing outside her window, she saw a red-and-orange blur: A rocket was about to hit her apartment...

  • As U.S. dollar plummets, Israelis rediscover the shekel

    March 1, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    As the U.S. dollar continues its spectacular nose dive -- it has lost 20 percent of its value against the shekel in the past year -- Israelis have rediscovered the bright greens, reds and purples of their own currency.

    No longer the subject of derision or victim of hyperinflation,...

  • Fund assists Israeli cancer researchers

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    If mapping the human genome was the seminal biological work of the 20th century, then learning how to "read" those genes will define this century, said one of Israel's top cancer researchers as he tinkers in his lab surrounded by tiny plastic tubes of DNA.

    "What is really important...

  • ‘Meadow Soprano’ explores her Jewish spirit in Israel

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Meadow Soprano, Jewish?

    "Everyone assumes I'm Italian," says Jamie Lynn Sigler, 26, with a sigh, pausing over her hummus lunch at the open-air market in Jaffa, one of the stops on her Birthright Israel tour. "Even kids on the trip keep asking, 'Are you Jewish?'"

    Sigler, who played...

  • Israelis keep a close eye on U.S. elections

    January 17, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Hillary Clinton is the favorite U.S. presidential candidate at Itzik Nir's tiny juice stand, a veritable neighborhood listening post where opinions pile up as quickly as the signature orange-banana-passion fruit blends are served.

    Customers giggle trying to pronounce Mike Huckabee's...

  • ‘Non-Jewish’ Jews endure challenges living in Israel

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    In Israel, the "non-Jewish Jews," as some Israelis call them, are everywhere. They drive buses, teach university classes, patrol in army jeeps and follow the latest Israeli reality TV shows as avidly as their Jewish counterparts.

    For these people -- mostly immigrants from the former...

  • Splinter group keeps settler outpost movement alive

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Her heart pounding, the 15-year-old girl with a long, honey-colored braid down her back scrambled down the steep hillside in the black of night, running from police who had swarmed in to evacuate her and others who had come to set up an illegal settlement outpost.

    It was a scene that...

  • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev reaches out to Bedouin women

    June 28, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Every morning, Hana'a Abokaf leaves her village on the slopes of the Negev Desert, where electricity is powered by a generator and camels and goats graze near cinderblock and tin houses.

    Abokaf, 20, rides the bus to the university where she is a first-year medical student. Just by...
  • Does Hamas takeover mean new hope for kidnapped Israeli soldier?

    June 21, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip is spurring hope for the safe return of an Israeli soldier kidnapped nearly a year ago by the fundamentalist Islamic group, even as it issued a terse warning to Israel not to harm its leaders "or forget about Gilad Shalit."

    Shalit, then a 19-year-old...

  • We’re goin’ to Ha Aretz and we’re gonna get married ...

    June 7, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Some couples marry in candlelit caves, others choose a chuppah wrapped in gauzy silk and lilies on the beach or a rooftop overlooking Jerusalem's Old City at sunset.

    Welcome to destination weddings, Israel style.

    In recent years an increasing number of Jewish couples from abroad...
  • Army base provides haven for refugees from Sderot

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Driven from their homes by Qassam rockets, Eimvet Yitao and her colleagues from a Sderot day care center gathered under the shade of a sprawling tree at an army center in Givat Olga, swapping stories of their fears.

    They talked, too, of their relief at the respite from uncertainty.
    ...
  • What now after Winograd?

    May 3, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    With "failure" officially stamped on Ehud Olmert's management of last summer's war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the question is: What happens now?

    The Israeli public, deeply critical and hungry for blame, may yet stop short of ousting the unpopular prime minister because of a lack...
  • Israelis fear anti-Semitism imported from Russia

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ari Ackerman, a student from Switzerland, was walking home along the Tel Aviv beach after a late-night swim when he and a friend were jumped by a gang singing Nazi songs and displaying swastika tattoos.

    The perpetrators, a group of Russian-speaking teenagers, eventually ran off....
  • Sudanese Discover Parallels in Visit to Yad Vashem

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    A group of refugees from Darfur on a visit to Yad Vashem lingered next to a model of the crematorium at Auschwitz, taking in the ghastly sight of bodies carried on cots and pushed into ovens.

    They walked through the museum in silence, listening to the words of the guide and trying to...

  • Poverty in Israel: The divide deepens between the haves and have-nots

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    Photos by Brian Hendler. Slideshow courtesy JTA

    In a shimmering luxury hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Israel's banking and financial elite mingled over cocktails recently with foreign investors as they watched Donald Trump on a live telecast praise the strength of the...

  • American ideas boost bid to get Israelis to work

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    One advocacy group's look at the problem
    Click the BIG ARROW to play

    Eti Sharabi walked through the glass doors and marveled at the shining hardwood floors and the walls splashed with green and orange, making this space feel more like a sleek advertising or architectural firm than...

  • Tough neighborhoods, hard times feed cycle of poverty

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    One advocacy group's look at the problem
    Click the BIG ARROW to play

    Lis an unemployed 32-year-old single mother, eight months pregnant with her third child and seems to owe money to everyone -- friends, the government and grocers at the local outdoor produce market, where she has...
  • Palestinian terror reaches Eilat

    February 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Eilat generally has escaped the violence of the six-year Palestinian intifada, but even its remote setting couldn't forever insulate the Red Sea resort city from the region's tensions.

    A suicide bomber struck Monday morning at a small bakery in the usually serene city, killing three...

  • Teddy Kollek, Jerusalem’s modern-day Herod, dies at 95

    January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Teddy Kollek, the longtime Jerusalem mayor who died this week at the age of 95, is being remembered as the most prolific builder of the city since King Herod. The man who in 28 years transformed the Israeli capital from a dusty backwater to an international city of parks, theaters...
  • Depression grips Sderot as rockets continue to fall

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    A warm, late-autumn sun spills over empty swing sets and slides. The children of this working-class border town have no time to play. Listening for alerts of falling rockets from Gaza, they scurry between home and school.

    It's a routine that has intensified in recent weeks, with the...

  • Could Pride rally tension put gay issues on Israel’s agenda?

    November 22, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Gay issues have never been at the forefront of Israeli domestic politics -- unlike in the United States -- but some wonder if that will change after ultra-Orthodox protesters used violence to prevent a gay pride parade. Confrontations with police and threats of worse violence to...
  • ‘Secular Yeshiva’ answers young Israelis’ questions

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Ofri Bar-Am, 19, folds her legs underneath her on a library couch and peers closely at a photocopy of the biblical passage describing the oldest recorded case of sibling rivalry in history, Cain and Abel.

    A student at the first secular yeshiva in Israel, Bar-Am underlines phrases,...

  • American-Born Spokeswoman Big Asset to Israel

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Miri EisenMiri Eisen fixes an eye to the camera and speaks clearly and deliberately -- and, most importantly for Israel, convincingly -- to the world media. The American-born Israeli government spokeswoman was an important strategic asset in a war against Hezbollah, where victories and...

  • Pets left behind in the North are focus of Israeli volunteers

    August 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    YOKNE'AM, Israel, Aug. 15 (JTA) -- When tens of thousands of Israelis fled their homes as Hezbollah rockets began raining down on northern Israel, they left behind not only hastily locked-up houses but, in many cases, their pets.

    After days and weeks of being left to fend for...

  • Israel Holds Off on Bombing Response

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli officials have blamed the Palestinian government of Hamas for the Tel Aviv suicide bombing this week that killed nine and injured scores of others. However, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stopped short of ordering an offensive against the Palestinian Authority.

    Instead, Israel...

  • ‘State Department for Jews’ Hits 100

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In a meeting room with gold silk curtains and tiled walls, a delegation from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) takes their seats at a long, glass-topped table facing Tunisia's foreign minister and his aides.

    Soon the questions begin: When will Tunisia resume official relations...

  • Settlers See Grim Future

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Devorah Meitlis walks up a wind-swept hill leading to the small clubhouse-turned-polling station in this West Bank settlement, hoping her home here will still exist by the time of Israel's next election.

    Tuesday's vote, seen as a referendum on Israel's future presence in the West...

  • The New Face of the Israeli Right

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Avigdor Lieberman, a stern-mannered immigrant from Moldova, has become the new face of the Israeli right.

    Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, became the fourth-largest party in Israeli politics Tuesday, winning seats in the next Knesset from a strong base of Russian-speaking...

  • Israeli Candidates Battle Voter Apathy

    March 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Shimon Peres joins a young couple having lunch at a seaside restaurant and asks them who they are voting for in Israel's upcoming election. They smile nervously, glance up at the swarm of photographers and TV cameras that surround the former prime minister and admit the truth: They...

  • Pupils Vote Yes on Democratic School

    February 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Under a classroom's fluorescent lights, students and teachers scramble to find seats. An important "Parliament session" is under way as together, they hammer out a plan for allocating the school's activities budget.

    The scene is the Hadera Democratic School in Israel, where students...

  • Program Tries to Sell Youth on Negev

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Endless stretches of sand and sky surround the teenagers as they tumble off buses in the Negev Desert.

    "It's really pretty here. It's very different from the Ukraine," said Larisa Protasova, 17, as she posed for a photo on the edge of a sand dune. A recent immigrant to Israel, it was...

  • Gaza’s Ties to Jewish History

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Modern Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip resumed only after the 1967 Six-Day War, but even with those settlements set to be evacuated, Jewish roots in the sandy strip of land where Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea meet run deep.

    Opinions differ on whether the area was or...

  • Mensch Seeks Shayna Maideleh

    June 9, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The search is on for "a nice Jewish boy" -- and no, this time it's not your mother who's looking.

    A team of scouts is scouring the Diaspora for the ideal single Jewish man for a new Israeli reality television show. Once selected, the bachelor, who according to producers preferably...

  • Sharon, Abbas Meet in ‘Summit of Hope’

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Israelis are calling the Sharm el Sheik summit, held next to the sparkling waves of the Red Sea, the "Summit of Hope" -- hope that the speeches and handshakes really will signify the end of four and a half years of bloodletting and despair.

    "Tikvah," the Hebrew word for hope, was...

  • Who Wants to Be Israel’s Ambassador?

    February 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Quiet on the set," shouts a production assistant, and silence falls over the fake marble floor of a studio designed to look like a conference room in Jerusalem's King David Hotel.

    As a makeup artist dabs more powder on the forehead of Yaakov Perry, former head of Israel's Shin...

  • Settlement Might Relocate En Masse

    January 27, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Nestled in a green valley dotted with fir and palm trees lies the farming village of Mavki'im.

    Soon the modest one-story homes that punctuate its wheat and potato fields may house a new group of residents -- former members of the Gaza Strip settlement named Pa'at Sadeh.

    Pa'at...

  • Unsettling Prospects

    January 27, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Talya Eluz walks into her cream-colored sunken living room and takes in the view of sloping sand dunes leading to the shimmering blue Mediterranean Sea and the electric fence that surrounds what she calls paradise.

    "Look at it -- it's like Malibu," Eluz says, holding her month-old...

  • Vote Generates Mix of Hope, Wariness

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Edna Bar-Or wants to be optimistic about the prospects for peace after this week's Palestinian elections, but like many Israelis, she is not sure she can.

    "I very much hope it will bring good," said Bar-Or, 55, surrounded by stacks of laundry and hangers full of pressed shirts at...

  • Orthodox Stress Strong Israel Ties

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    North American Modern Orthodox Jews say they can explain their connection to Israel in one word: Torah.

    "It's an organic existence. An Orthodox Jew grows up and believes that Eretz Yisrael and the people of Israel are one. The fulfillment of Torah is Eretz Yisrael," said David...

  • Emergency Room Serves as Memorial

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    The gleaming digital tracking board that dominates Shaare Zedek's new emergency room, with its color-coded system for monitoring patients, has Dr. David Applebaum's fingerprints all over it.

    So do the more private individual rooms for patients, the improved nurse-to-patient ratio...

  • Garden of Eden Now a Paradise Lost

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Diving among coral reefs, lounging on colorful pillows by the sea, taking in views of rose-colored mountains, ordering plates stacked high with honey-drenched banana pancakes -- Israelis have long made Sinai a favorite vacation destination.

    However, the coordinated bombings on...

  • Opportunities Open

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A recent day brought welcome news for a small group of young Bedouin women who weekly gathered in a tin shed in a corner of their windswept desert village of Kasr Alssr, Israel, to study.

    "Funding has come through, so you will now be able to study for your high school matriculation...

  • Opportunities Open

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A recent day brought welcome news for a small group of young Bedouin women who weekly gathered in a tin shed in a corner of their windswept desert village of Kasr Alssr, Israel, to study.

    "Funding has come through, so you will now be able to study for your high school matriculation...

  • Madonna, Marla Do Tashlich in Tel Aviv

    September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Pop diva Madonna was among the praying, swaying and singing masses of kabbalah enthusiasts who made the pilgrimage to Israel for the High Holidays, seeking spiritual transformation through a brand of Jewish mysticism.

    The "Material Girl" was celebrated by an Israeli public hungry...

  • Israel Buries Beersheba Bombing Victims

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Avital Etash stares out from the front pages of Israel's newspapers, a 4-year-old boy in a striped shirt and dark blue kippah, his dark eyes wide and curious.

    Etash was the youngest of 16 people killed in Tuesday's double suicide bombing in Beersheba. His mother lies in the...

  • Israelis Call for Choices in Marriage

    May 13, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When Galit Weidman Sassoon got engaged last year, her thoughts turned to the kind of wedding ceremony she and her fiancé wanted -- meaningful, egalitarian and Jewish.

    As secular Jews, Weidman Sassoon said the couple felt alienated from Israel's Orthodox religious establishment and...

  • Israel Trip Reunites

    April 22, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The two men walk as one -- in steady step, shoulder to shoulder, their words a torrent of Yiddish.

    There is much to catch up on since the former neighbors and schoolmates last met. That was more than 60 years ago, when the transports, fear and separations that characterized Jewish...

  • Most Ethiopians in Israel Find Life Hard

    April 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Down a dark, smokey stairwell and in a Tel Aviv basement disco of swirling colored lights, the music grows louder -- a thumping beat with lilting Amharic lyrics piped through speakers and echoing onto a packed dance floor of young Ethiopian Israelis.

    In the jostling crowd that is...

  • An Act Of Kindness Ends In Murder

    March 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    It was an act of kindness reciprocated with murder.

    Crane mechanic Moshe Hendler, 29, was on his way to wash up after a long day of work at the Ashdod port on Sunday when, along with a group of fellow workers, he ran into a young man asking for water.

    They passed him a jug. An...

  • One Voice Gets Alexander’s Vote

    February 26, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    For Jason Alexander, best known as Jerry Seinfeld's hapless sidekick, George Costanza, a grass-roots peace initiative to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace is more than just "yadda yadda yadda."

    Alexander visited Israel this week to help launch One Voice, a project that hopes to...

  • Avi Chai Grant Saves Birthright

    February 26, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    A new grant of $7 million to Birthright Israel is breathing new life into the cash-strapped program, allowing Birthright to more than double the number of slots available for this summer's tours.

    The future of Birthright -- which provides free trips to Israel for Diaspora young...

  • A Tale of Two Cities Divided

    February 12, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    On one side there is no escaping the wall: hulking, concrete and towering almost 28 feet into the sky.

    Where it's not a wall, the barrier is a mesh fence topped with barbed wire and cameras, looping around the entire Palestinian city of Kalkilya.

    Just across the boundary and only a...

  • Suicide bomb in Jerusalem kills 10

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 29 (JTA) -- "How will I find anyone alive?" the 21-year-old security guard asked as he broke down the door and climbed onto the charred ruins of bus no. 19,...

  • Suicide bomb in Jerusalem kills 10

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 29 (JTA) -- "How will I find anyone alive?" the 21-year-old security guard asked as he broke down the door and climbed onto the charred ruins of bus no. 19,...

  • Settlers Struggle to Hold Biblical Israel

    January 8, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    A battered shipping container was Itai Harel's first home on this steep, windswept hilltop.

    Now he lives in a trailer with running water and electricity, and land has been leveled for more permanent housing in this illegal settlement outpost. He and his fellow young settlers are...

  • Arabs, Jews Mix at Haifa Holiday Festival

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Thousands of Jews and Arabs fill the winding stone alleyways of a Haifa neighborhood, sampling latkes, roasted chestnuts and pastries dripping in honey at a coexistence festival to mark the holidays of Chanukah, Christmas and Ramadan.

    Walking a path lined with poems by Arab and...

  • Israel and Saddam Share Long History

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Spewing anti-Israel vitriol was one of Saddam Hussein's specialties. Of all the leaders in the Arab world, Saddam seemed to have the most to say against Israel, and he seemed to say it the most often.

    Now that he has been captured and faces possible trial, experts are asking...

  • Israelis Debate Peace Proposals

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The regulars who take their morning coffee at the sun-bleached Good Day Cafe aptly have nicknamed the spot "Moshe's Parliament."

    Sitting on red plastic chairs and leaning over flowered tablecloths over the weekend, retirees dissected and debated the various new Middle East peace...

  • Israel’s Poor Endure Tough Situation

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Crumbs tumble down Yigal Alperson's white beard as he eats his one guaranteed meal of the day at a crowded Jerusalem soup kitchen.

    Tables spill over with immigrants, the elderly and single mothers, the predominant faces of Israel's poor as the country's economy is battered seemingly...

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