As Yigal Zemah, CEO of Berggruen Residential, stands on the seventh floor of the new Meier-on-Rothschild skyscraper set in the epicenter of Tel Aviv at 36 Rothschild Blvd., a wide smile crosses his face.
For many years, Orthodox novelist and playwright Naomi Ragen has drawn upon her own knowledge and experience to shape her texts, but it is her most recent novel that comes closest to home. Inspired by her legal battles over the last three and a half years concerning copyright infringement, “The Tenth Song” tells the story of an upper-middle-class American Jewish family whose lives are suddenly turned upside down by a lawsuit they could never have imagined.
The first time Dr. Ruth Eshel witnessed esketa (which means shoulder dance, in Amharic), she was astounded. “I knew immediately that this was something new and different, something I had never seen before,” Eshel said with enthusiasm over a cup of steaming coffee at Tel Aviv’s renowned Performing Arts Center. “For someone like me, who has been dancing and choreographing for many years, to see something entirely new was very refreshing,” she continued, smiling wider at the memory. Eshel’s dream of one day forming an Ethiopian dance troupe was rooted in that first experience as an awestruck spectator.
“I don’t care about mistakes,” Israeli American choreographer Barak Marshall told a studio teeming with sweaty dancers at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Dance Center last week. “They’re beautiful things, because they mean you’re trying. Now, let’s take it from the top one more time.”
As Doug Frank, president of music operations for Warner Bros. Pictures, stood up to address a small audience in Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque late last month at the 12th annual Master Class in Film and Television, he began with a question:
When Gil Artzyeli was hired in 2008 as deputy consul general of the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, his mission was clear: to strengthen ties between the Latino and Jewish communities. Last week, that mission took a big leap forward as 21 non-Jewish community leaders toured Israel and the West Bank.
Like most fathers, Israeli Maj. Gen. Doron Almog imagined great things for his son, Eran. Named for Almog’s beloved brother who died in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Almog hoped Eran would inherit some of the humor and success that had defined his namesake. He wanted him to be brave, smart and sensitive. He wanted him to get a good education, serve his country, marry a woman he loved and, one day, have children of his own.
After what should have been the highlight of her career turned into a national tragedy, Israeli singer Miri Aloni, who will perform at American Jewish University on Sunday, Dec. 13, went from beloved songbird to mnemonic figure almost overnight. Her most popular hit from the late 1960s, “Shir La’Shalom,” suddenly became a reminder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination and the deep social rift that continues to plague Israeli society. Even now, over 14 years later, the memory of that night brings tears to her bright blue eyes.
Israeli Consul General of Los Angeles Jacob Dayan personally invited the 18 L.A. rabbis from Orthodox, Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism to come to Israel for 58 hours last week, but the consulate’s mission to transmit a message of solidarity with Israel had other results too. By the end of the short trip, many of the rabbis expressed a deeper understanding of the important social problems facing Israel today, as well as a renewed hope for peace and a rejuvenated passion for the thriving Zionist dream.
Just as the first heavy rain of the season began to beat against the large red awning of the Marilyn Monroe Café in Ramat Aviv, an area in north Tel Aviv, Amos Oz stepped under the protected terrace, looked around and smiled as I stood to shake his hand. Punctual to the minute at his preferred meeting place, he arrived unfettered by either a cell phone or an umbrella.
On a hilltop high above the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, Lior Salomon stands in the central courtyard of Migdal Ohr’s sprawling campus and points to the industrial city of Migdal Ha’Emek far below. “Everything you see there now — all the buildings and factories — is new. It was just forests and raw land when the young Rabbi Grossman arrived in 1968,” he says, shading his light blue eyes from the blazing summer sun.
The 11th annual Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Master Class at Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque began this week offering both negative and positive news for Israeli students and professionals. Founded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and co-sponsored by HOT cable company, the event was established to forge connections and create partnerships between Hollywood and Israel’s film, television and new-media professionals.
With more than 50 short films based on his short stories, Etgar Keret is no stranger to the world of cinema. But for the first time ever, the brilliant young Israeli writer, best known for his satirical flash fiction, has adapted his own work to a feature film.
From the outside, the brown stucco exterior and flat architectural lines of the Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv are uninspiring.
Alternative wedding celebrations are on the rise in Israel. From celebrity ceremony officiators to personalized ketubahs and hand-written vows, Jewish wedding ceremonies in Israel are no longer all the same.
More than 10,000 people come to Hazon Yeshaya every year to help assist the poor in Israel
He's been called the Israeli Bob Marley and the king of Israeli soul. Others claim that he may be the call to prayer that we've all been waiting for from the Middle East
In the quiet, pastoral village of Kfar Shmu'el, not far from Jerusalem, Michal Rovner's studio is an inspiring place to create art.
Profile of winemaker Eli Ben-Zaken, owner of Domaine du Castel winery, a family operation in the Judean hills in Israel.
Although many people today correlate St. Valentine's Day with Christianity, the contemporary, commercial holiday of love is actually rooted in paganism. In honor of the goddess of marriage, love, fertility and women, Juno Februata, the Romans held a pagan festival in which girls and boys were matched for erotic festivities by drawing names from a box.
Forget cotton, Lycra and leather. Israeli balloon twister Ori Livney has a new material that could put a real bounce in your gown: rubber.
"The air is the expensive part," says Ori Livney, grinning from behind a pile of colorful rubber balloons. "But it's not as complicated as it sounds. I can make just about any regular dress out of balloons. The challenge is to make it a perfect custom fit."