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A Year of Crisis

Israel & Jerusalem

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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The Changing Face of Jerusalem

From the window at Christ Church Guest House, I watched the ancient sandstone streets swell at all times of the day and night as pilgrims went about celebrating Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Just like the Jerusalem conjured in my imagination—a city lost in time, an eternal city, untouched by the winds of modernity—my first stay

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Israel’s Extraordinary Family Dynamic

Nowadays when we travel, especially internationally, we are warned to be careful of strangers. Beware of pickpockets, chancers and cheats. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear your wallet in your back pocket or carry an open purse. Keep your valuables close to keep them safe. Don’t trust strangers on the street. This is wise

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