JERUSALEM — Charedi Orthodox youths mobbed the Western Wall plaza by the thousands to protest Women of the Wall as they held their monthly prayer service.
The youths, many of them students from charedi Orthodox yeshivas, filled the Western Wall Plaza by 6:40 a.m. on Friday, 20 minutes before Women of the Wall, a women’s prayer group that holds monthly services at the site, also called the Kotel, began praying. Because charedi Orthodox women had packed the women’s section of the plaza earlier in the morning, the Women of the Wall were forced to pray in the back section of the plaza, further away from the Kotel itself.
The first thing you notice about David Kleid’s new electric sedan is the quiet.
Driving up the hills toward Jerusalem from his home in Ma’aleh Adumim, Kleid’s shiny blue Renault Fluence emits barely a whisper.
But the lack of noise is not what motivated the former Fair Lawn resident to lease the Fluence through Better Place, the U.S.-Israeli electric car company that aims to set up Israel as a replicable model for the rest of the world — if enough David Kleids are willing to give it a test drive.
Kleid, a physician in the pediatric intensive care unit at Hadassah University Medical Center-Ein Karem in Jerusalem, does not consider himself an “early adopter” type. The all-electric Renault appealed to him mainly for its ability to free him from the gas pump.
DAKAR, Senegal — Struggling to be heard over a flock of bleating sheep, Israel’s ambassador to Senegal invites a crowd of impoverished Muslims to help themselves to about 100 sacrificial animals that the embassy corralled at a dusty community center here.
The October distribution, held as French troops battled Islamists in neighboring Mali and one month after Muslim radicals killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, is held annually in honor of Tabaski, the local name of the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast. The distribution is broadcast on national television in a land that is 95 percent Muslim, providing Israel with a powerful platform to burnish its image among Senegalese.
WASHINGTON — A same-sex Israeli couple struggling against U.S. immigration laws is set to become the face of the fight to extend one of the foundations of immigration policy to gays and lesbians.
Adi Lavy and Tzila Levy have been caught in the bureaucratic red tape of the American immigration system since Lavy, who suffers from a kidney ailment, arrived in the United States in 2011 to seek treatment.
The couple, whose New York marriage is not recognized by the federal government, have been able to stay together during Lavy’s illness and her subsequent return to Israel to care for an ailing parent thanks only to a series of interventions by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). But an estimated 36,000 binational LGBT couples are potentially at risk of separation should one partner be forced to leave the country.
Thirteen-year-old Jessica Baer of Fair Lawn was hooked the first time she saw the video.
“The kids were the same age as me,” she said, recalling the first time she saw the film about child slaves in Ghana. “I was trying to compare my life with theirs. I felt very fortunate.”
Jessica saw the video three years ago at Camp Nah-Jee Wah in Milford, Pennsylvania. Evan Robbins, a Metuchen social studies teacher and founder of Breaking the Chain through Education, made a presentation at the YM/YWHA camp “and I was hooked right away,” said Jessica, who is a student at Fair Lawn’s Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
To celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary, Steve and I rented a car and spent two nights in Haifa and then Shabbat at nearby Kibbutz Nir Etzion.
I have written a couple of articles about Israel’s artists colony, Ein Hod, which sits right next to Nir Etzion. Ein Hod is a picturesque Carmel Mountain village housing Israelis with extraordinary talent in visual or performing arts, music, or literature. Every new resident must be approved by a jury on the basis of his or her body of work. It also houses several gallery shops, small museums, and cafés (which are not kosher).
TEL AVIV — To get married in Israel, Dima Motel had to bring his family photo album and two of his ancestors’ birth certificates to a rabbinical court.
Then an investigator quizzed his mother in Yiddish.
Israel’s chief rabbinate often asks Russian immigrants like Motel to prove that they’re Jewish, sometimes requiring documentary evidence that can be hard to get. Those who won’t submit to the process or can’t firmly establish their Jewish bona fides can’t get married legally in Israel.
TEL AVIV — The museum dedicated to the memory of Yitzhak Rabin raises nearly half its money from labor leaders.
It’s just not the labor you think.
Members of U.S. labor unions raised $1.4 million for the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv last year, 45 percent of the center’s total 2012 fundraising. Since 2005, American unions have raised $12 million for the center.
Labor leaders say that programs at the center, which celebrates the assassinated Labor Party prime minister who signed the 1993 Oslo Accords and promotes dialogue among Israel’s cultural groups, meshes with their core values.