Follow the mikveh trail

A newly-opened Jerusalem park takes you past many of the capital’s 200 ritual baths (mikvot), used by pilgrims in the Second Temple era.  Jewish travelers purified themselves by immersion, prior to offering sacrifices in the Temple. 50 baths have been unearthed near Temple mount, most along its southern wall.

50 years of re-unification of Jerusalem

“Voices of Jerusalem” video, produced by the city for June’s 50th anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s Capital.

Brazil’s secret Jews renew ties in Israel

During a visit to Israel, with 18 other Brazilian Anousim (secret Jews) Lavor Serbim told her story at the Brazilian Cultural Center in Tel Aviv. She used to cry when she heard stories about Israel or heard Jewish songs, but there was no clear explanation for her emotions.

Prizes for Sephardi and Oriental studies

The first-ever Prime Minister's Awards for the Study of Sephardic and Oriental Jewry were to the Dahan Center at Bar-Ilan University, Levana Zamir for "The Golden Age of the Jews of Egypt - Uprooting and Revival in Israel" and Dr. Moshe Gavra for research of immigrations of Yemen Jews between 1948 and 1949.

Ironic venue for Balfour conference

The venue for the Conference “100 Years since the Balfour Declaration” was the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem.  The hotel is sited on the earlier Palace Hotel – built by the anti-Semitic Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al Husseini. It was also the site of the 1936 Peel Commission.

“People, Book, Land” reaches UK Parliament

The UK House of Commons is hosting the UNESCO travelling exhibition, “People, Book, Land: The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.” The exhibit explores the Jewish People’s eternal link to the Land of Israel.

The tomb of Ibn Ezra

A grave has been unearthed in the Israeli town of Tzfat with the Hebrew inscription "the elderly sage, the doctor Avraham Ben Ezra".  The biblical commentator was said to have immigrated from Spain to Israel at the end of his life in 1164, but his grave has never previously been located.

The gateway to the Mishna

The northern Israeli town of Beit She’arim is where the Mishna (Oral Law) was compiled during Roman times. The town’s name means “House of Gates”.  Archaeologists from the University of Haifa were therefore amazed to discover a massive gateway during recent excavations at the site.

250 Ukrainian Jews arrive for Pesach

Right before Passover, 230 new immigrants from Ukraine landed in Ben Gurion Airport on the Freedom Flight organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. They included four Holocaust survivors, and over 40 children.

No Oleh alone for Seder

I reported previously on the NGO KeepOlim, dedicated to helping Olim to remain in Israel. KeepOlim’s “No Oleh Alone Program for Pesach” is designed to provide any Israeli immigrant, who wants to attend a Seder in Israel, with a willing and suitable host.