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24 March, 201324 March, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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.


TagsTags: the voice akko 
21 March, 201321 March, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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.


13 March, 201313 March, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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 - travelujah

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem; courtesty Travelujah



11 March, 201311 March, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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

28 February, 201328 February, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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.



29 January, 201329 January, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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

TagsTags: yad vashem 
24 January, 201324 January, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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.



7 January, 20137 January, 2013 0 comments Events Events

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.


Catholic Celebrations:

January 8 - Baptism of the Lord at the River Jordan


Orthodox Celebrations

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


Armenian Celebrations:

January 11th - James the Major and St. John
January 19th - Christmas Day

Custody of the Holy Land and Theopolis III

11 December, 201211 December, 2012 0 comments Events Events

Few festivals in the Holy Land are celebrated by Jews, Christians and Moslems. But in Haifa, Israel's third largest city with a population of 264,000 people, there is one special festival that brings together both Jewish and Arabs and displays a diversity of cultures.


For the 19th time, Haifa is now hosting its Holiday of Holidays Festival at Beit HaGefen, Wadi Nisnas and in the German Colony. The festival promotes tolerance, patience and respect by showcasing culture and art.


Haifa is a mixed city: 90% are Jews, more than a quarter of whom are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and 10% are Arabs, predominantly Christian. The city is also home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition, Haifa's traditional Winter Holidays street party will take place during the Festival in the German Colony, in celebration of both Christmas and Hanukah. The Holiday of Holidays encompasses almost an entire month of events, with special highlights on the weekends. Unique artists' workshops are held each Wednesday during December, and other events will take place throughout the week.


If you go:

Holiday of Holidays highlights:
6.12.12 - Festival's opening night at Beit HaGefen
8.12.12 - First Saturday in the families' activity area and the Wadi - 10:00-16:00
15.12.12 - Second Saturday, Helicon's Sha'ar Poetry Festival in the

20 November, 201220 November, 2012 0 comments Events Events

Tourism sites in Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Jerusalem continue to be bustling with tourists.


More than 100,000 tourists are currently in Israel and touring the country. According to Israel's Ministry of tourism, the country has not yet found mass cancellations or departures.


Tourism in Israel.


While there have been some cancellations in recent days but not at a level that would suggest any kind of trend. Only a handful of groups currently in the country brought forward their departure date.

Advance bookings:

Several cruise ships canceled their planned arrival in Israeli ports in the short term. The ministry has received reports of groups from various destinations which have postponed their arrival in Israel - but not in significant numbers. The real question is whether and how much impact the tourism industry will suffer in the long term.

The Tourism Ministry established a situation room over the weekend that receives updates on the unfolding situation and constantly reviews assessments of the situation. To date there has not been any damage in populated areas beyond a 40 kilometer radius from Gaza. The IDF is involved in operational activity in the South of Israel, a safe distance from the traditional tou

TagsTags: israel tourism 
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