Posted by JewishJournal.com
Huda Naccache, a 22 year old Israeli-Arab model, is at the center of a media frenzy in Israel.
She posed in a revealing bikini for the cover of Lilac magazine, and while she defends her decision as normal, the wall-to-wall coverage the sexy photo is getting in Israeli media suggests otherwise.
“The cover shoot was the first time an Arabic magazine [in Israel] has put a model in a bikini on its cover,” reported AFP, “ and the first time an Arab-Israeli model has been featured on a front page in so little clothing.”
Naccache, a native of Haifa who is studying archaeology and geography, is not the first Arab woman to raise eyebrows—and cause a mini scandal—by showing some skin.
Rima Fakih is widely believed to be the first Lebanese American, the first Arab American and the first Muslim to win the Miss USA title in 2010. Fakih was defiant of conservative Muslims who denounced her title—even more so when video images of her pole dancing appeared.
Naccache is a Christian Arab, one of the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. She told reporters that her parents are proud of her choice.
“I have a family that supports me very much and had no objections whatsoever to me appearing on the cover in a bikini,” she told AFP.
“My father was very pleased when he saw it for the first time. He said it was very beautiful and wished me good luck.”
According to her profile, Huda would use her position as Miss Earth to further the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“First of all, the project I want to create will combine both the environment and politics, and it would be called ‘Earth for Peace,’” she wrote on the Miss Earth web site.
“As you know, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict affects our lives in the Middle East on a daily basis and we are in dire need of peace. I believe that children are the hope of the future; therefore, I would launch a project which will include Israeli and Arab children from the surrounding neighbour countries (for example: Jordan and Palestine). My project will have them work together on tasks that raise awareness about the environmental hazards which threaten our world. Children are the future so we must invest our efforts in them. And I would propose working with schoolchildren of different ages.”
While Israel is an oasis of tolerance in the Mideast, with a large gay population, an international gay pride parade, and scantily clad women and men filling its warm beaches, the Arab population tends to be more conservative and traditional.
That’s one reason why Naccache and Lilac magazine, published in Arabic in Nazareth, are attracting so much attention.
Lilac editor-in-chief Yara Mashour took the bold step opf featuring Huda front and center and nearly nude precisely to confront those norms—and because Huda, in her opinion, is a world-class model.
“First, [we are] allowing for an Israeli Arab model to represent both Jewish and Arab women of the country,” Mashour told The Daily Mail. “ Second, [we are] starting a new concept of Arab women who are willing to break social taboos and dare to boast and share their physical beauty in public.’
For her part, posing on the cover doesn’t event arte as the most unusual thing Huda’s ever done. That honor goes to: riding a roller coaster.
“I have acrophobia,” she wrote on her Miss Earth profile. “Last summer I challenged myself! I went to this amusement park called the Luna Park in Tel Aviv and tried a few rides that I used to fear because of my acrophobia. It was fun!”
MISS EARTH ISRAEL 2011
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 119 lbs
Vital Statistics: 84-60-90 (in centimeters!!)
Occupation: Archeology & Geography Student
Special Interest: Reading books, Watching horror, action and comedy movies, Aerobics, swimming, playing volleyball, and dancing
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October 10, 2011 | 7:50 pm
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
A cocoon of whirling prairie grasses, a pavilion with a ceiling of carefully angled tubes, a shelter made entirely of wind chimes—these and seven other architecturally innovative booths will be erected on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 17 to celebrate the autumnal Jewish harvest festival that begins on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at sundown.
Sukkot—which is the plural form of Sukkah, the Hebrew word for booth—is also the name of this 8-day holiday, the festival of booths. For just over a week, Jews eat, shmooze and even sleep in humble, temporary outdoor structures.
For years, the typical Sukkah has involved pieces of fabric lashed to a simple rectangular frame of aluminum poles. But the holiday has recently become an invitation to architectural creativity. Last year saw a “Sukkah City” rise for two days in New York City’s Union Square. This year, inspired by that project, Rabbi Andrew Kastner of the St. Louis Hillel and Brian Newman, an adjunct lecturer of architecture at the university’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts decided to put together their own “city” of Sukkot on campus.
The 10 booths in “Sukkah City STL” will stand in a grassy area near the main library of Washington University for four days, starting on Oct. 18, and their designs are a far cry from the booths that will be found in backyards, front yards, rooftops and porches around the world during the holiday.
Take the above-mentioned cocoon of grass: Designed by Fox School faculty members Christine Yogiaman, Forrest Fulton and Ken Tracy, the “Gleaned” Sukkah could be mistaken for one of Richard Serra’s torqued ellipses—except that it’s woven from three different kinds of locally sourced prairie grasses. It’ll be interesting to see what it looks like from the inside, and how it holds up in the world.
This Midwestern event has a couple of Los Angeles connections: Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne was among those on the jury who picked the 10 winning plans out of 40 entries, and one of those winning entries came from a Los Angeles-based firm, Casey Hughes Architects.
Hughes’ design for “Sukkah Collective” appears to share little in common with the swish and curvilinear booths that will sit alongside it at Washington University next week. The unadorned rectangular box of a Sukkah looks, at first glance, pretty ordinary—until the walls start moving outward. The project appears to be very much of a piece with Hughes’ other built work, which puts a premium on the economical use of space and uses natural materials in a gently modern idiom.
“When fully enclosed, it is conventional in scale,” Hughes writes of the design, “but the Sukkah can also open to create an amphitheater type space that can accommodate larger gatherings.” Having an expandable Sukkah wouldn’t be such a bad thing for hosts expecting a lot of company over the holiday, right? I’m thinking Hughes might be onto something…
Check out the other designs here.
October 10, 2011 | 4:28 pm
Posted Tom Tugend
See below for complete letter.
A 1939 letter written by Albert Einstein to a New York businessman, was sold Tuesday evening by a Los Angeles auction house for $13,936, double the anticipated price.
“We [Jews] have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause,” Einstein wrote to Hyman Zinn, of the Manhattan Button Co., three months before the outbreak of World War II, praising him for his efforts to aid Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria.
In the typed letter, signed A. Einstein and on his personal embossed stationery, the great scientist told Zinn
“The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness.
“In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us.”
In conclusion, Einstein told Zinn that “It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future.”
Nate D. Sanders, owner of the West Los Angeles auction house bearing his name, told The Journal that the letter had been consigned by a Norman Zinn, presumably a descendant of the original recipient.
One day before the auction deadline, the highest bid stood at $3,058, and Sanders, whose company specializes in autographs by famous personalities, had expected to sell the letter for no more than $5,000 to $7,000.
October 7, 2011 | 5:22 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
On Thursday, Oct. 7, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 734, prioritizing vocational training programs over direct employment services, which includes how to make a resume and job interviewing skills.
Jewish Vocational Service Los Angeles, an organization that focuses on helping people seeking jobs, has come out in support of Brown’s decision and the legislation,
“It’s good public policy to get training programs on the street,” said Adine Forman, government affairs and special projects director at JVSLA.
The bill, which will go into effect in 2012, doesn’t affect JSVLA – the group simply has been speaking out in support of the bill. Rather, the legislation dictates how local workforce investment boards (WIBs) use their federal funding, requiring them to devote at least 30-percent to job training programs by 2016. Currently, WIBs spend an average of 20-percent of federal dollars on job training.
According to Marc Lifsher of the Los Angeles Times, opposition included California State Association of Counties, Los Angeles County, the Urban Counties Caucus and the Regional Council of Rural Counties - on the basis that acquiring skills such as “resume writing, counseling, Internet searching” offer a chance for immediate employment, whereas vocational training takes months.
“It makes more sense to figure out based on local demand what makes sense,” said Jennifer Mitchell, policy director of the California Workforce Assocation, which represents the local workforce investment boards. “Training is great—let’s have more money for training absolutely—but I think is the wrong approach. This should have gone through more vetting.”
Forman of JVSLA agreed that providing direct employment services is important - JSVLA, in fact, offers such services via partnerships with local organizations and institutions - but she said that given the current economic climate, providing the unemployed with training - such as solar panel installation and how to use Microsoft Excel - would be more beneficial. For instance, Los Angeles is getting a football stadium, and the currently unemployed, if trained correctly, could be put to work on the stadium, she said.
Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) authored the bill.
In Sept., JVSLA sent a letter to Governor Brown, asking him to support it. The letter read, “Laid off workers need training to be competitive for the jobs of the future - in health care, in the green economy, in manufacturing and in all sectors.”