Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Diverse and Divided: Who Are the Jews of Belgium?

Belgium's 40,000 Jews split between Brussels and Antwerp, two communities so separated that couples from those ares consider their union a mixed one.

By Cnaan Liphshiz  for Haaretz

JTA - Reflecting the history of their complicated bi-national country, the Jews of Belgium form a community that is both defined and divided by its diversity.

A tale of two cities

Brussels, the capital of the federal Belgian state (population 11 million), and Antwerp, the center of one of the world’s biggest diamond markets, are the two poles of Belgian Jewry.
The two communities progressed on parallel tracks after Belgium’s creation in 1830 on land taken from the Netherlands in the north and France to the south. The country’s two communities are so separated by language and worldview that some Jewish couples from those areas consider their union a mixed one.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reflections of a Lebanese woman in Israel

Dr. Carol Jahshan, special blog for The Times of Israel

As a Lebanese woman who grew up in Beirut and made the move to the United States at age 22, I think it is fair to say it was an unusual choice to spend a 3-month sabbatical in Israel at the end of 2015. Add that my father was born in Haifa in 1948 and left with his family for Lebanon at that time, and my choice to live and work in Tel Aviv is even more interesting. To be honest, I had some misgivings and fear around this decision, but at the end of a 3-month working collaboration at Bar Ilan University, there was no doubt that this visit had been a very positive and eye opening experience for me on many levels. It is an experience that I wish were much more common amongst my fellow Lebanese because of the humanizing and understanding it added to my perspective on Israeli society and especially regarding Israelis themselves, who I grew up knowing only through the lens of news reports and conversations that were invariably unfavorable. I would like to share my story.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Israeli company hopes to replace batteries with dye solar cells


The product, developed by the firm 3G Solar Photovoltaics, is an advanced form of dye solar cell (DSC) technology.

An Israeli company says it has developed solar energy technology so efficient that it can power office appliances and wearable technologies, making the need for batteries obsolete.

The product, developed by the firm 3G Solar Photovoltaics, is an advanced form of dye solar cell (DSC) technology, which uses glass-printed photovoltaic cells to power everyday electric devices, from a computer mouse to smart watch.

While solar energy typically requires sunlight to produce electricity, these dye solar cells are so sensitive they can generate power from indirect, indoor lighting.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

UN World Water Day 2016: Better Water, Better Jobs


March 22

In honor of UN World Water Day 2016: Special feature on how KKL-JNF has helped Israel become one of the world's most water-efficient countries.

Thanks to its commitment to finding solutions for water related issues in Israel, KKL-JNF has amassed a great amount of knowledge relevant to the theme of World Water Day 2016 - Water and Jobs.  

In 1992, the United Nations Conference of Environment and Development recommended that the UN General Assembly designate March 22 as annual World Water Day, when countries and people worldwide focus on water-related issues and how to positively affect the world’s water economy. 

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Strange and Violent History of the Ordinary Grogger

David Zvi Kalman for The Jewish Daily Forward   

Some objects look like they have stories to tell, but the grogger never seemed as though it was one of them. A single photograph convinced me I was wrong, though. You’ll be forgiven if you think it is a photo of two men dressed up in hazmat suits for Purim —how were you supposed to know that those aren’t groggers, but World War II gas alarms issued by the Royal Air Force, and that the hazmat suits and gas masks are all too real?

Continue reading.

For more Purim news, check out our    page.

For more great Purim ideas, check out our Purim Holiday Spotlight Kit

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Can you name these 18 places in Israel?

From Israel Video Network

How well do you know Israel? Can you guess the following locations from a single picture?

Take the Quiz.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Woman Hiking in Israel’s Galilee Thought She’d Stumbled on a Toy. She Soon Discovered She Had Made a 2,000-Year-Old ‘World Class Find.’

Sharona Schwartz for The Blaze

A woman hiking with friends in Israel’s Galilee region stumbled upon an extremely rare 2,000-year-old gold coin that offers a unique glimpse at the experience of soldiers serving in the Holy Land during the days of the Roman Empire.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday that the coin — minted by Emperor Trajan in 107 A.D. in homage to Roman Empire founder Emperor Augustus whose image is on the front of the coin — was the second such coin ever found in the world.

Until now, the only known ancient gold coin of this kind was located in the British Museum.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Monday, March 14, 2016

How the Fonz takes care of a plant smuggled out of Nazi Germany

Geoff Edgers, the Washington Post

“Everybody got a cutting.”

Henry Winkler is jumping back to West 78th Street now, telling the story of a plant. It’s not just the story of a plant, it’s likely the only story of a plant that includes an escape from Nazi Germany, the sitcom hero named the Fonz and the acclaimed Amazon series “Transparent.”

But let’s get back to the story.

“I grew up with a woman, Tanta Erma,” Winkler explains.

Erma wasn’t a blood relative. Almost all of Winkler’s extended family died during World War II. Harry and Ilse, his parents, somehow managed to escape. That was 1939. How close a call was it? Harry’s brother, who decided to wait an extra day to get his dinner jacket back from the cleaners, did not get out.

Continue reading.

Follow us on   

Friday, March 11, 2016

Arab League declares Hezbollah a terrorist organization

Decision near unanimous, save for ‘reservations’ from Lebanon and Iraq; comes days after similar move by Gulf states

By Times of Israel staff and AFP

The Arab League on Friday declared Lebanon-based Shiite group Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, a day after the Cairo-based body elected Ahmed Aboul Gheit, a former aide to ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, as its new leader.

Nearly all members of the pan-Arab body supported the decision, expect for Lebanon and Iraq, who expressed “reservations,” the 22-member bloc said in a statement read out at a news conference by Bahraini diplomat Wahid Mubarak Sayar.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Perfect for Purim – Oriental Date Cookies

JV STAFF (Jewish Voice)

With the Purim holiday in the offing, Boys Town Jerusalem chef Avi Chamal is cooking up hundreds of his special Oriental Date Cookies as a holiday treat for the 900 boys who enjoy his culinary treasures each day. These scrumptious date-nut cookies are a traditional Sephardic Jewish delicacy, and perfect for a Purim masquerade since the filling lays disguised inside a soft sugar-topped white cookie!

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on our    page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

‘Exceptional’ woman’s 2,500-year-old seal unearthed in Jerusalem

First Temple-era relic bearing name ‘Elihana bat Gael’ discovered near City of David; second seal, a man’s, located in same area

By Times of Israel staff

Two 2,500-year-old seals — one belonging to an “exceptional” woman — were found outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Monday in what it termed a rare discovery.

The first First Temple-era find, made of semiprecious stone and bearing the name “Elihana bat Gael,” indicated the woman who owned the seal was affluent. The second seal, found in the same area, belonged to “Sa‘aryahu ben Shabenyahu.”

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why has a Hebron village, home to 12 recent ‘martyrs,’ suddenly gone quiet?

‘We want our children alive,’ says the mayor of Sa’ir, which has contributed a record-high number of attackers, explaining what the authorities did in recent weeks to try to calm things down

BY AVI ISSACHAROFF for The Times of Israel

Sa’IR, West Bank — It is early afternoon in the center of this village near Hebron — a village that was home to the highest number of Palestinians killed in violence against Israel over the past five months (in proportion to the population). Twelve youngsters from Sa’ir, a village of some 18,000 that lies five miles northeast of Hebron, have died in this latest wave of terror and violence, some when carrying out attacks, others in clashes with Israeli troops.

Surprisingly, at first, however, we see no posters of shahids, or “martyrs,” on the village walls. In most every village, city and refugee camp, posters hail the local shahids. But not here.

Continue reading.

 Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Young artist turns Jerusalem’s market into gallery of famous faces

Mahane Yehuda comes to life on the Sabbath as colorful murals of historical and contemporary figures appear on shops’ closed shutters

By Renee Ghert-Zand and Luke Tress for The Times of Israel

On weekdays, the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market are a bustle of shoppers and sellers, a place bursting with sights, sounds and smells. Weekday evenings are similarly busy, with recently opened restaurants and bars attracting young people out for a night on the town.

But on Saturdays, the Jewish day of rest, the market has traditionally been empty and silent, with the shutters of the stalls rolled down and locked.

About a year ago this began to change as a street art gallery started to appear in the market. This gallery is visible in its entirety only on Saturdays, when large murals of famous personalities painted on the closed shutters appear. Famous contemporary and historical faces gaze at visitors as they stroll through the market’s alleyways, amazed to find art where there are usually stands piled high with fruit, vegetables, nuts and spices.

Continue reading.

Love Israel? We do too. Follow our Israel board on    page.