Jewish Journal

Israel’s new reality star, an unbelievable survival story, Birthright and more-This week from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

January 13, 2014 | 12:14 pm

Goodbye, Arik

Former prime minister Ariel (Arik) Sharon passed away this Saturday, eight years after a stroke left him comatose. He will be remembered for his exploits in Israel's wars, the decision to leave Gaza, an infamous trip to the Temple Mount at the start of the second intifada - and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon.

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The reality show candidate that wowed us all

Meet Perry Shapiro. In 20013, she was seriously injured when a bus that had pulled up beside her car was blown up by Palestinian Arab terrorists, killing 17 people and injuring dozens more. Last week, Shapiro, who went blind as a result of the attack, wowed the judges of the Israeli TV cooking competition – MasterChef. While cooking a dish for them as part of her audition, she told her story and explained how after five long years spent in a serious depression, she decided to stop letting her blindness stop her from living.

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Starry Israeli night

Are you interested in the mysteries of the galaxy? Do you enjoy a quiet night of star observation? Check out Israel’s nighttime tours! Shows and guided tours in English are available at several star observatories and planetariums across the country. In addition, two US-raised astronomers offer English-speaking nighttime sky tours in some of Israel’s most breathtaking desert landscapes. So, are you coming for a visit soon?

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Israeli soccer player left behind as his Dutch team leaves for Abu Dhabi

Dan Mori, an Israeli playing for the Dutch soccer team, Vitesse, was told he would be allowed to attend a training camp with his teammates at Abu Dhabi. That did not stop the hosting country, the United Arab Emirates, to deny his visit last minute, and his team to go anyway and lea




































ve him behind.

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The younger generation’s inspiring humanitarian act

Read here the beautiful story of a group of Israeli youngsters from the youth movement, Hanoar Haoved VeHalomed. In an act of selflessness and kindness, they put politics aside and gathered to collect life-saving winter supplies for the freezing Syrian refugees in the region.

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What would Sheldon Cooper say?

Mayim Bialik – aka Amy Farrah Fowler from the hit show The Big Bang Theory, arrived in Israel on a low-key visit to some family members. On her first visit to Israel since her divorce, Bialik and her children stayed at a Kibbutz, visited museums and enjoyed Israeli hummus.

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A one of a kind Israeli satellite

A one-of-a-kind Israeli satellite is set to be launched in April. It will provide a much-needed boost to an aging emergency alert system for hikers and travelers around the world who can’t use phone or wifi connections to send distress signals. If that’s not special enough, the satellite is being built by a group of 16 and 17 year old students, who are participating in a unique project, in which dozens of diminutive satellites will be launched as part of an international effort to explore the lower thermosphere.

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Now it’s official: 2013 was a record year for incoming tourism

According to the Israeli Tourism Ministry, in 2013 there was a record number of tourist entries to Israel. More than 3.5 million visitors came this year, which is a 0.5% increase from 2012. The number of tourist entries (excluding one-day visits) totaled 2.9 million this year – a 3% increase compared to 2012 (an average rise of 2.5% a year since 2008).

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The amazing survival story of the Israeli adventurer

Ofir Drori, an Award-winning Israeli wildlife conservationist, visited the tribal woodlands of Ethiopia’s Omo River. Soon, his relaxing vacation turned into a battleground when a cantankerous crocodile crossed his path. About to enter surgery to have a gaping infection cleaned, Drori spoke about his Ethiopian adventure.

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Rock n’ Roll Israel!

After the confirmation of Justin Timberlake’s concert in Israel this May, more good news might be coming our way.  No others than The Rolling Stones have received some major offers from several Israeli producers to play one concert this June at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park. According to senior sources in the Israeli music industry, the highest bid that was made was $4.5 million, the highest sum ever received by an artist for performing in Israel.

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Birthright’s financial contribution to Israel

The contribution of Birthright trips to Jewish 18-26 year olds is known to all. As they experience Israel, they become more connected with their roots and also learn a thing or two about different aspects of the Holy Land. Now, a new report reveals that the 10-day trips also contribute to the Israeli economy. According the report, the 350,000 participants who visited Israel from 2000 to 2012, have earned Israel $635 million, after reducing the Israeli government’s contributions to the program.

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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