Israel

Long-awaited Israel trip is ‘amazing’ for THA eighth-graders

Participants on Tucson Hebrew Academy’s 18th annual eighth grade Israel trip and their Partnership2Gether school twinning counterparts on Zikim Beach in southern Israel, May 2019. Standing, from left: Adi Shacham, Hodaya Shoshani, Yuval Cohen, Carly Wright, Ziv Yona, Lily Goldberg, Robin Garcia, Yoni Green, Yuval Nir, Gaya Benaim, Lila Season, Adamari ‘Mari’ Pasillas, Ben O., and Ziv Gibli; seated: Noam Amitay, Avia Gez, Talya Fleisher, Isabella ‘Izzy’ Garcia, Rylee Herman, Dahlia Tolby, Hadlie Polonski, Orli Levy, Eitan Otmasgin, Shahar Kahana, Davis Yalen, Bodhi Teufel, and Eli Kahana (Courtesy Tucson Hebrew Academy)

Last month, Tucson Hebrew Academy graduate Davis Yalen had the kind of Israel experience every Jewish parent and educator dreams of. He enjoyed floating in the Dead Sea: “It was such a cool experience, because I’ve heard about it, and learned about it in school.” Riding on the world’s… Read more »

Rocket fired from Gaza strikes school building in southern Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rocket fired from Gaza hit a school building in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Thursday evening. The building, identified as a Jewish religious school, was damaged but no injuries were reported. It was reported to be empty at the time of impact and… Read more »

For these Israeli startups, design is just as important as technology

At the Jerusalem-based Lightricks, a producer of image and video editing apps, the company has integrated design elements at all levels of product development, with a tech lead and a design lead working on every product the company makes. (Courtesy of Lightricks)

Last year, a group of students at Jerusalem’s renowned Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design set to work imagining the future. Their specific goal was to envision the next generation of wearable devices for the blind. Working in collaboration with the technology company Orcam, a Jerusalem-based producer of devices… Read more »

David Friedman gave Netanyahu half a nod for West Bank annexation. What happens next?

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C., March 26, 2019. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, said Israel “has the right to retain” some of the West Bank. Palestinians fumed, Jewish settlers rejoiced, and the punditocracy predicted gloom and doom. What was it exactly that Friedman said in a New York Times interview. And what… Read more »

When young Israelis move to Germany or Austria, it’s a hard pill for their families to swallow

Dan Peled, center, with his father, Gidi, and grandmother Lea. Peled is a main subject of "Back to the Fatherland," a documentary on Israelis moving back to Germany and Austria. (First Run Features)

(JTA) — On the surface, Gil Levanon and Kat Rohrer seem unlikely friends. Levanon is an Israeli, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. Rohrer, an Austrian, is the granddaughter of an avowed Nazi officer. If their friendship seems a little odd, their collaboration on the documentary “Back to the… Read more »

Who is Avigdor Liberman, and why did he force new elections in Israel?

Avigdor Liberman, center, holds a press conference following the dissolving of the Israeli parliament, in Tel Aviv, May 30, 2019. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — So just who is Avigdor Liberman, the man who single-handedly forced Israelis to go to the polls for an unprecedented second time in a year? And is he really the champion of secular right-wing Zionism that he would have voters believe? Last month, less than two… Read more »

Nechama Rivlin, wife of Israel’s president, dies at 73

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, has died at the age of 73. She died on Tuesday, a day before her 74th birthday, at Beillinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, where she underwent a lung transplant three months ago. Rivlin, who had in recent years… Read more »

5,000-year-old yeast used by Israeli scientists to brew a pretty good beer

Beer cruse from Tel Tzafit/Gath archaeological digs, from which Philistine beer was produced. (Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Israeli scientists are using ancient yeast to brew a beer fit for a pharaoh. The researchers have isolated yeast from ancient pottery used to brew beer and used it to create the same libation that was presumably drunk by the Egyptian pharaohs, Iron Age rulers, and ancient Jewish leaders.… Read more »

Israel is holding new elections. What comes next?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, May 30, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The blame game started shortly after midnight Thursday morning. The Knesset’s vote to dissolve itself and hold a second national election in five months had hardly been posted on the chyrons of news networks in Israel and around the world when the major players in the… Read more »

What is it like to be a female combat soldier in Israel? A photographer provides a unique look.

Two Artillery Corps fighters and instructors in Shivta, Israel (Debbie Zimelman)

(JTA) — Women served as combat soldiers during Israel’s War of Independence, when the fledgling country needed all the fighters it could get. But following the 1948 war, it took half a century before they were allowed back in combat. Since the late 1990s, when some units started allowing… Read more »

Israeli army says it found ‘most significant’ Hezbollah attack tunnel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military said it uncovered the “longest” and “most significant” Hezbollah attack tunnel on the border with Lebanon. The discovery of the nearly milelong tunnel was made in the winter during Operation Northern Shield, which aimed to expose and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels, but was… Read more »

US, Israeli and Russian security advisers to meet in Jerusalem in June

(JTA) — The national security advisers of the United States, Israel and Russia will meet in Jerusalem in June, the White House said Wednesday. The announcement said that John Bolton of the United States, Meir Ben-Shabbat of Israel and Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, would convene… Read more »

Why Israel will hold a second national election in 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a conference of his Likud party in Ramat Gan, March 4, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

(JTA) — Israel held a national election seven weeks ago. It will hold another one in September. If that sounds weird to you, you’re right: Israel has a famously raucous political system, but it’s never held national elections twice in one year. Until now. Just to be clear, no… Read more »

Israel will hold new elections after Netanyahu fails to form coalition

(JTA) — For the first time in its history, Israel will hold a second national election in one year, five months after the last election in April. The Israeli Knesset voted at midnight Thursday to dissolve itself, triggering elections on Sept. 17. The unprecedented vote happened after Prime Minister… Read more »

Fire devastates Israeli community founded by Shlomo Carlebach

A fire rages in the Ben Shemen Forest in central Israel, May 23, 2019. Massive fires blazed throughout the country, which is blanketed in a heat wave. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is on red alert over outbreaks of fires across the country, some on a massive scale, amid a massive heat wave. At least one community, founded by the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, has been burned to the ground. Fires on Thursday were out of control… Read more »

Israeli man, 65, indicted for spitting on Polish ambassador

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A 65-year-old Israeli man has been indicted for banging on the roof of the car of Polish Ambassador Marek Magierowski and spitting at him. According to the indictment filed Thursday by police with the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court, Arik Lederman of Herzliya stood in the middle… Read more »