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In the vision of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and deputy mayor Naomi Tsur, green is the new gold. The two politicians hope to bring 10-million tourists and pilgrims to Jerusalem by the end of the decade, up from the current four million, by branding the holy city as both an environmental mecca and pilgrimage destination for the world's four billion Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Pursuing that agenda, Tsur - who founded the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel before entering municipal politics - orchestrated the First International Jerusalem Symposium on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage which opened here Sunday at a multi-faith gala at the landmark YMCA.
Amongst the highlights of the five-day congress, which coincides with Earth Day on April 22, was the display of 18 "Cool Globes" on exhibit at the nearby Mamilla Mall. Each of the five-foot diameter orbs artistically showcases a different solution to climate change - from solar power to rooftop gardens, and green buildings to fuel efficiency.
Initiated in Chicago in 2006 by environmental activist Wendy Abrams as a public art project dedicated to increasing awareness of global warming and climate change, "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet" sponsored an exhibit of 125 sculptures decorated with solutions to global warming. The works were on prominent display in Grant Park near the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Lake Michigan bike path
Beginning at sundown on April 14, Israel will begin its annual Memorial Day celebration (Yom Hazikaron. Across the country relatives of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks will gather at cemetaries and at their homes in remembrance of their loved ones. At 8 pm this evening a siren sill sound for one minute marking the beginning of Memorial Day. At 11 pm tomorrow, April 15, a two minute alarm will sound after which memorial day services will be held at locations across the country.
Each year Israel stops to remember those who fell in its defense and in terror attacks. As the sirens sound, people will stop on the street, halt their vehicles and get out of their cars, stand in their places of work, or at school, in order to remember those who have been killed.
In honory of Memorial Day, Prime Minister Netanyahu met today withBen Reuven (David Herman), the song writer that wrote "The Yonatan Victory March", in 1976 which was written in memory of the Prime Minister's brother, Lt.-Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, and sing it.
Reuven told Prime Minister Netanyahu, "Like I wrote on the back of the disc, I am among the millions of people around the world who were deeply impressed by the daring and heroism of the Entebbe operation. I wrote the song and set it to music almost 40 years ago out of the urge to express my admiration for the great achievement of the Entebbe operation and the late Yoni Netany
Lina Makhoul, became the first Christian Arab girl to win Israel's popular televised talent show, "The Voice", which completed its second season last night. The 19 year old girl from Akko sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah beating out a young Orthodox girl from Ashdod. Israel's reality show, "The Voice" is a franchise of the international version of "The Voice", based on the singing competition launched in the Netherlands. The show features renowned popular performing artists who initially hear the singers in blind auditions where they cannot see, only hear the auditioner. If selected as part of their group, the artists then train the contestants who are then judged by the audience in a number of rounds until one is eventually selected as the winner.As the winner, Makhoul receives a record contract and a scholarship to attend music school.
Photo credit: screenshot of Channel 2 television, Israel.
With around the clock news coverage of Obama's historic first visit to Israel as United States President, its pretty difficult not to have one of the millions of photographs or videos about Obama's arrival. But most news organizations didn't take the time to show the actual arrival so if you are interested in catching a glimpse of the first words and hugs at Ben Gurion airport yesterday watch this video covering the first couple minutes of President Obama's arrival including the comments with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Peres and Ambassador Dan Shapiro. If you listen closely you'll hear President Obama telling Prime Minister Netanyahu that its "nice to be away from Congress".
This morning President Obama visitied the Israel Museum to view the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in the 1940's. The ancient scrolls include the complete manuscript of the prophet Isaiah as well as the Aleppo Codex, among other findings from the 3rd century BC to the first century AD. Israel Museum Director James Snyder, guided Obama through the Shrine of the Book exhibit, which is located within a separate building on the Israel Museum campus.
President Barak Obama is scheduled to arrive on his first-ever visit to Israel as President of the United States on March 20, 2013. His delegation will be staying at Jerusalem's prestigious King David Hotel.
The president's three day itinerary includes visits to several sites in Jerusalem including Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial, Mt. Herzl, to visit the grave sites of notable Jewish figures including Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism as well as Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's Prime Minister who was assassinated 17 years ago by Yigal Amir, a Jewish extremist. The itinerary also includes a visit to Israel's most renowned museum, the Israel Museum, which among other artifacts, is also home to the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls on display within the famous Shrine of the Book building.
President Obama will also be giving a speech to approxiamtely 2,000 students at Jerusalem's International Conference Center.
Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem; courtesty Travelujah
On March 21, the Ecumenical Society will be hosting part VI of their Lecture Series at the Salesian Institute in Jerusalem. The lecture, to be given by Dr, Chrysi Kotsifou, is entitled "The Daily Trials and Tribulations of Ascetics in Late Antique Egypt". Dr Kotsifou is a Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
In Late Antique Egypt, monks and nuns often faced various troubles that infringed on their ascetic practices. Hagiographical and papyrological evidence demonstrate that a life of poverty and solitude was difficult to be achieved or maintained. The numerous people who joined the Egyptian monastic establishments inevitably brought into the daily life of these settlements their knowledge and expertise and were prepared, together with their ascetic practices, to continue with their former professions in order to keep their monasteries running. The monks' hard work combined with donations from pious persons resulted in a surplus of wealth in monasteries, which was used for their daily needs and the workings of their hospitality network. Contact with the outside world was also enhanced by the fact that an immense number of monastic establishments were situated close to each other, to surrounding cities or villages, transport routes, and the Nile.
Dr. Kotsifou will explore the strains and demands imposed on ascetics by the social and economic functions adopted by
Approximately 20,000 people are expected to run where Jesus walked on the ancient - and modern - streets of Jerusalem, Israel's capital city, which is hosting its third annual marathon tomorrow, March 1, 2013. The hilly 42-km course that runs through some of the cities most important sites including the Israel Museum, Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Supreme Court, the Knesset, and other important sites. In addition to the full marathon course, there is a half marathon option as well as a 10 km course.
Timed to coincide with International Holocaust Rememberance Day, Yad Vashem opened up a new exhibit this week, showcasing the possessions of Holocaust survivors. The exhibit, entitled "Gathering the Fragments", opened on January 27, International Holocaust Rememberance Day and showcases a wide variety of survivor possessions. Over 71,000 items were so far collected for the exhibit, including one woman's teddy bear, which accompanied her throughout her family's plight through the former Soviet Union.
To create the exhibit, Yad Vashem reached out to Israels and others asking for items in order to further tell the story of both survivors and those that did not survive. The museum made an appeal for documents, letters, photographs or other objects from the years before the war, during the Holocaust, inside the DP camps and the immediate post-war period, asking people to give them to Yad Vashem. These items, along with the important stories accompanying each item have been catalogued and are on display in this special exhibit.
Additional collection days are being held in the next couple of weeks and are shown below:
30.1.13 - Mediterranean Towers, 23 HaNetzach Street, Ramat Hasharon
3.2.13 - Elisha Towers, 12 Yair Katz Street, Haifa
4.2.13 - Wizo Horim, 40 King David Street, Tel Aviv
6.2.13 - Nofei Hasharon, 7 Petach Tikva Street, Netanya
Collection days will be held from 9:30am till
Archbishop Nourhan Manoogian, currently the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has been elected 97th Armenian Patriarch, gaining 18 out of 33 votes, in the second round of the election that took place Thursday, Jan 24 at the Church of St. James, in Jerusalem.
Meeting in conclave, the members of the priestly Brotherhood of St James, cast their crucial votes on Jan 23 in the first round of elections for a successor to the throne of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Born in 1937 in Aleppo, Syria's second largest city, Manoogian was ordained in 1963 and elevated to the rank of bishop in 1984.
With blustery weather conditions throughout the Holy Land it certainly feels like Christmas, and it still is for many of the world's Orthodox Christians. While Latin Christians celebrated Epiphany on January 6 with a special liturgy at the Church of St. Catherines in Bethlehem and their festivities will continue with the Baptism of the Lord at the River Jordan on January 8, Orthodox Christians including Coptics, Syrians, Greek and Ethiopian Orthdox are now beginning their Christmas celebrations with the Feast of Nativity on January 7. Below are the upcoming religious celebrations in the month of January.
January 8 - Baptism of the Lord at the River Jordan
January 7th - The Nativity of our Lord (Orthodox)
January 14th - New Year, Circumcision
January 18th - Blessing of the Holy Water (River Jordan) (Greek)
January 19th - Blessing of the Holy Water (River Jordan) (Syrian & Copts)
January 19th - Epiphany (Feast of Theophany)
January 20th - St. John the Baptist
January 11th - James the Major and St. John
January 19th - Christmas Day