Election Day “Live Blog”

January 22, 2013

(I decided to “live blog” election day from the Blum family perspective. The first part appeared on the Israelity website only. Here’s part two.) I don’t know if it was the fresh air or the physical exertion of our two-hour  hike earlier in the day (see the previous post), but we did it. We all made up our […]

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New Israeli-Made Documentary Takes Us to the “Fringes” of Jewish life

December 19, 2012

The most remarkable thing about Paula Weiman-Kelman’s new documentary, “Fringes,” is how unremarkable it is. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Rather, the Jerusalem-based filmmaker’s latest movie, which opened to a sold-out theater at the Jerusalem Cinemateque’s Jewish Film Festival last week, presents the lives of three communities on the “fringes” of Jewish […]

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Maya Isacowitz is NOT boring

October 22, 2012

Last week, I wrote a blog post on Israelity with the headline “Aviv Geffen is Boring” to describe Israel’s bad boy of rock gone Muzak. That was anything but the case for another concert I attended a few days later. Maya Isacowitz is on the opposite side of the career spectrum from Geffen – just getting started and so […]

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Lost in Africa, Israel

August 15, 2012

We were on a guided tour of South Tel Aviv to get an in-person look at what dominated the news a few months back when my friend Eliot and I got lost. We were visiting the Central Bus Station and we had to use the bathroom. When we came out, our group was gone. As […]

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A Celebration of Young Ethiopian Musicians

March 21, 2012

Avraham Terifa is in the eighth grade but he looks like he’s only nine-years-old. A tiny dynamo of a boy, he stands before an audience of several hundred at Jerusalem’s Mishkenot She’ananim concert hall and begins to play his violin. All around the room you can hear jaws start to drop as the music that […]

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Emigrating Israelis – Point/Counterpoint

December 8, 2011

The discussion of Israelis overseas was a topic that just wouldn’t go away this past week. First I wrote on the Israelity blog about the video campaign “guilting” expats to come home. Then, as my colleague David Brinn added, the videos were pulled by none other than the prime minister himself. Now there is a […]

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Even the Roosters Crow for RebbeSoul

February 24, 2011

Why would a successful Hollywood musician and Jewish music pioneer leave behind a lucrative career and pack it all up to make aliyah? Bruce Burger, who goes by the stage name of RebbeSoul, can’t quite put his finger on it. Maybe it’s his Jewish soul, or that he fell in love with the people of […]

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Turning 50

September 8, 2010

“Today I become a man.” That’s a declaration more commonly associated with a bar mitzvah boy but, as I turn 50 today, I feel I am passing a milestone even more auspicious. For what does one really know about being a grownup at a mere 13? Perhaps, once upon a time, that was closer to […]

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What’s in Name? For Ethiopian Immigrants, a Lot

February 19, 2010

Mequonent, Kenubish, Dawit, Workenesh. These are some of the names given to Ethiopian Jews before they arrived in Israel between 1984-1991. Their names after immigration authorities got involved? Asher, Ilana, David and Zahava. The story of how Israel changed the names of thousands of Ethiopians – and the pain and alienation that such a seemingly […]

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