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Israel & Jerusalem

Through the Streets of History

Journeying along the streets of Jerusalem is like paging through an encyclopedia filled with a rich and vibrant history. Jerusalem does not have regular street names like Maple, Magnolia or Main. Rather, at every turn, the events and people who were influential in the history of the Jewish people or in the creation of the

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Life Above All Else

On October 18, a new patient arrived at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center coronavirus ward in critical condition. Saeb Erekat—chief Palestinian negotiator, right hand to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the man hailed as the public face of the Palestinian people—had tested positive for COVID-19 days earlier. The disease quickly ravaged Erekat, who suffered from

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Something Old, Something New

One of my favorite things about living in Jerusalem is the seemingly never-ending layers of history that coexist with the style and energy of the modern capital of Israel. This city is a treasure trove of ancient history ever present amidst the contemporary everyday hustle and bustle of life. Let’s take a look at a

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A Sanctuary for Birds and Birders in Jerusalem

In the heart of the bustling city of Jerusalem, nestled between Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) and the Supreme Court, lies a serene nature sanctuary. The Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO) rests on an acre-and-a-half (0.6 hectares) of lush land that provides a safe haven for some 200 species of birds and other wildlife within

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Indoctrinated for Hate and Death

The Palestinian powers-that-be are masters of doublespeak, adapting their message to stir the emotions of the audience they happen to address. When the audience is the United Nations, international funding agencies, the world media or English-speaking college students, the message is one of harmony, painting the Palestinian people as a victimized, misunderstood group yearning for

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Unpacking the Abraham Accords

Most people would agree we are living in pretty remarkable times. However, some might not recognize that one of the hallmarks of life today is a very short collective memory. Yesterday’s news seems to disappear in the clamor of today’s headlines, and somehow, as important as it might have seemed when it was read yesterday,

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Sweet Treats and Family Fun: The Delightful Traditions Surrounding Hanukkah

During the season when daylight is short in Israel and sheets of rain are accompanied by frigid winds, the holiday of Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) offers a welcome reprieve. For eight days, this lively holiday is filled with the warmth of light, the sweetness of festive foods and the joy of family time. Join me

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What Was Meant for Evil

Nearly 4,000 years ago, a Hebrew boy turned slave turned second-in-command of Egypt came face-to-face with the architects of the evil that tore him from everything he’d known. Facing the brothers who had sold him into slavery, Joseph could have lamented the loss or rehashed the heartbreak. Instead, Israel’s favorite son rejoiced in the blessing

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Shabbat

“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:3 Shabbat. Sabbath. In Israel, it’s as if simply saying the word has a calming effect. It’s a holiday that comes around faithfully every week, as prescribed by God to the

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All Eyes on Israel

Calling 2020 an unusual year would be quite the understatement. This was, after all, the year of a global pandemic without cure sweeping the world, shuttering the nations in isolation, grinding health care systems, international travel and everyday life to a halt and bringing business, economies and livelihoods to their knees. Israel was far from

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