About 500 people attended Ronit Farm on Saturday night (24.12) to take part in the traditional event in honor of wounded IDF soldiers and members of security forces who have been rehabilitated at the Loewenstein hospital. The event was organized by Ora and Yair Shani, together with the Organization of Disabled IDF Veterans and the Association of Friends of the Loewenstein Hospital. Participating in the event were hospital management, therapeutic staff, and members of the Friends Association.



The event opened with a political speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by the Prime Minister lighting the first Hanukkah candle with Amazia Fensterheim, fighter in the engineering company of the paratroopers. Amazia was wounded during the Tzuk Eitan operation, in a battle in which four of his comrades were killed by a roadside bomb in Khan Younis. Amazia was the first fighter in the Tzuk Eitan operation to come for rehabilitation to Loewenstein Hospital, to the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Department. The Prime Minister was joined for the menorah lighting by: Eli Defes, the CEO of Clalit, Prof. Amiram Catz, Director of Loewenstein Hospital, and Dr. Dudu Dagan, Chief Medical Officer.



Prof. Amiram Catz, Director of Loewenstein Hospital, addressed the audience and said: "Hanukkah symbolizes the triumph of spirit and sophistication over the material, however strong or numerous it might be. It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the victory over the severe wounds to body and soul. The success of our patients, who felt and were considered to be struggling against all odds, but received help from our doctors and therapists, which produced new opportunities and brought them to realization. On behalf of all Loewenstein staff, I salute the wounded soldiers and members of our security forces, those who returned to be part of Israeli society, which embraces them, and who contribute their talents to society; those who returned to independence and high-quality life; those who realized their latent capabilities after they had been wounded; and also those who still have a long way ahead of them toward improvement and realization of their capabilities."






At the event, a moving documentary was screened about the rehabilitation journey of Ophir Cohen, a paramedic in the 53rd battalion of Armored Brigade 188, who sustained a critical head injury from a mortar shell during the Tzuk Eitan operation. Ophir still continues the process of his rehabilitation at Loewenstein, and his physicians and therapists are confident that significant achievements await him in the future.



The second part of the evening consisted of a gala dinner accompanied by performances of Si Heiman, Moran Mazuz, Tal Sondak, and others.


Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital of the Clalit Group has been rehabilitating wounded soldiers since the Six Day War to the present, and has many years of experience treating soldiers. Over the years it developed a close relationship with the IDF and the Defense Ministry. Since its establishment, the hospital has rehabilitated hundreds of soldiers in active and reserve service, who were injured in battles, accidents, and terrorist attacks.


Photo credit: Oren Jezreel / Silvia G. Golan .












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About Chanukah

Unlike most of the major Jewish holidays, Chanukah’s origin is not in the Bible, but rather in events that happened later. This is a holiday that lasts eight days and begins on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev (usually in December). There are no completely holy days, so businesses are open as usual.


Chanukah marks a historic event that took place in the Seleucid period, in the 2nd century BCE. A few of the Seleucid kings (the dynasty that followed Alexander the Great, and which was based in Syria) tried to force the Jews in the Land of Israel to adopt certain customs that were against the laws of Judaism. The worst decree was when King Antiochus IV ordered the installation of a statue in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


In 167 BCE, the Jews revolted against the Greek Seleucid regime. A few of the leaders of the revolt, the Hasmoneans, or Maccabees, were the sons of Mattathias, the high priest. In 164 BCE, under the leadership of Judah Maccabee, the revolt reached its climax with the liberation of Jerusalem from foreign rule, including the Holy Temple. The events are documented in a few historical sources written at the end of the 2nd century CE, a few decades after the revolt. According to Jewish tradition, the holiday of Chanukah was instituted by Judah Maccabee.


The holiday lasts eight days, commemorating the celebrations marking the purification and rededication of the Holy Temple, and a miracle recorded in the traditions: When the Maccabees looked for holy oil to light the candelabrum in the Temple, they found only one small flask whose seal had not been broken and was therefore still pure. The oil in the flask was enough for only one day, but a miracle occurred and the oil burned of eight days. In addition to the element of heroism marked by this holiday, Chanukah also has a motif of light against darkness, so Chanukah is also called the holiday of Lights.


In modern times, Chanukah has been adopted as a symbol of the Jews’ struggle against their enemies on both the religious and national level. Today some people emphasize the religious, miraculous side of the holiday, while others focus on the national victory aspect. In any event, this is a holiday full of joy and is a special favorite among children.


Holiday Customs



Candle lighting - Throughout the eight days of Chanukah candles are lit in a Chanukiah, a candelabrum with eight branches in a row and an extra candle holder, called the shamash, from which the other candles are lit. On each night of Chanukah an additional candle is lit, starting with one on the first night, two on the second, etc. The shamash is always lit, too, such that in practice two candles are lit the first night, three on the second, etc. The Chanukiah is placed on the window sill or in some other visible place, and it is forbidden to use the light for any purpose. There is a custom to light the Chanukiah with olive oil, although most people today use colorful wax candles. A short blessing is recited over the lighting of the candles, a ceremony in which children are included, and which is followed by the singing of Chanukah songs.


Jelly donuts (sufganiot) and potato fritters - Another Chanukah custom is the eating of special foods, mainly those fried in oil, such as donuts and fritters.


Spinning tops - children play with four-sided spinning tops, marked with the Hebrew initials of a Great Miracle Happened Here. It is also customary to give children “Chanukah gelt” money for buying candies or toys.




Important Information

dreidl (spinning top)
Chanukah, which is not a Torah-ordained holiday, is relatively minor from the perspective of its sanctity, so most businesses are open as usual. In order to experience a bit of the spirit of this holiday, try tasting the traditional foods, particularly the sufganiot - a kind of donut without a hole in the middle, usually filled with jam, but also made with other sweet fillings. If you happen to be in Jerusalem during Chanukah, it is worth taking a walk through the ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim neighborhood in the early evening, to enjoy the sight of hundreds of Chanukiahs lit in the windows of the homes.



 Photos provided by GoIsrael.com





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Rabbi Lau to open conference by lighting a menorah from Krakow


(26 December 2016 – Jerusalem) The Hanukah story is one that is centered on Jewish identity and symbolizes Jewish resilience and strength. Therefore, it is especially befitting that during the first-ever International Conference for Jewish Educators at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies, entitled "The Shoah and Jewish Identity: Challenges in Jewish Education," there will be special Hanukah candle-lighting ceremonies using authentic Hanukiot (menorahs) from the Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection that survived the horrors of the Holocaust. "Each menorah has a unique story similar to those of Holocaust survivors themselves," says conference organizer Ephraim Kaye, Director of the Jewish World and International Seminars Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies. "Just as we use artifacts and testimonies to tell the story of the Holocaust, so, too, are these Menorahs examples of how Jews put themselves at risk to maintain their Jewish identities."


The International Conference, taking place 26-29 December 2016 (third-sixth days of Hanukah) will be kicked off with a special candle-lighting ceremony by world-renowned Holocaust survivor and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau. Rabbi Lau, whose mother was from Krakow, will light the special "Krakow Menorah" a rare menorah crafted in Bruges (Brussels) which dates back to the late 18th or early 19th century. The menorah represents a façade of a wooden synagogue which was common in Lithuania and Poland up until the Shoah. Many of these synagogues were burned and destroyed during World War II. This multi-purpose menorah was also used to light the Sabbath candles on a weekly basis. At the end of the war, the returning Jews found the menorah with other items from this once thriving epicenter of Jewish life, and it was given to Yad Vashem for preservation and commemoration.



Other menorah being used at the conference is the world-famous Hanukah Menorah from Kiel, Germany. This menorah belonged to Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner, who served as the last Rabbi of the community of Kiel, Germany from 1924-1933. With the rise of the Nazi Party to power, Rabbi Posner began protesting the insurgence of antisemitic sentiment in the city. Despite his efforts, tension and violence continued to rise in Kiel, forcing Rabbi Posner and his family to flee.  In 1933, he, his wife Rachel and their three children left for Eretz IsraelYehuda Mansbach, grandson of Rabbi Akiva and Rachel Posner, will light the menorah for the fourth night of Hanukkah.


In 1940, Zelig Scheinowitz crafted a simple wooden menorah from plywood while interned in the Westerbork detention camp. Scheinowitz worked in the clothing factory sorting and fixing cloths. Due to his profession, he managed to survive and together with his family and menorah, he was liberated in April 1945 by the Canadian Army. The menorah was eventually donated to Yad Vashem by Nachman Scheinowitz. Thirty-eight members of Scheinowitz family, including one survivor, will be present at the candle-lighting ceremony on 28 December 2016.


The stories of these Menorah and other artifacts can be found in an online exhibition, entitled "Hanukkah – The Festival of Lights."  In this moving exhibition, Yad Vashem shares with the public images, testimonies and artifacts of some of the ways this holiday was observed throughout Europe before, during and immediately after the Holocaust. 


About the conference: For the first time, over 200 Jewish day-school principals, headmasters and senior Jewish Studies educators, from 34 countries and six continents around the world, will be gathering at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies for the conference. The international conference will be the largest and most prestigious gathering of leaders in Jewish education from Jewish day schools and centers for informal Jewish education worldwide. Throughout the course of the conference, leading experts from Yad Vashem will present its unique and cutting-edge pedagogical approaches relating to Holocaust education.


Over the years, the Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection has amassed one of the world's largest collection, containing some 30,000 items.  For more information about these Hanukiot and the Yad Vashem Archives and Artifacts Collection, please contact Simmy Allen, Head, International Media Section in Yad Vashem's Communications Division.



Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, documentation, research and education. www.yadvashem.org


Image Captions: All photos should be credited to Yad Vashem Photo Archives


Mansbach Menorah Image - A photograph taken in 1932 by Rachel, wife of Rabbi Akiva Posner, of their candle-lit Hanukkah menorah against the backdrop of the Nazi flags flying from the building across from their home in Kiel Germany

Krakow Menorah Image - Krakow Poland - Hanukkah Menorah in the shape of a synagogue. 


Westerbrook Menorah Image – In 1940, Zelig Scheinowitz crafted a simple Hanukkah menorah in the camp from plywood for the use of his family.


DP Camp Menorah Image - The truncated tree and a sprouting leaf on this Hannukah menorah are the symbol of She’arit Hapleta (The Surviving Remnant).


 Photo provided by 

Communications Division  Yad Vashem












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Design Museum Holon’s newest exhibition opens on the 20th of December 2016.  Overview engages with one of the most important inventions in human history, and a desirable design object: eyeglasses. The exhibition follows the development and future of eyeglasses through several different points of view: from the unique Claude Samuel retrospective eyeglasses collection dating back to the 17th century to contemporary conceptual interpretations of eyeglasses by 50 Israeli designers highlighting the creative energy of the Israeli design scene. In addition, the exhibition explores the new Virtual Reality (VR) technology, as well as the different ways sight and design can interact through various activities.


On the ground floor in Dr. Shulamit Katzman Gallery, Design Museum Holon presents more than 40 commissioned works by Israeli designers from a variety of backgrounds, including fashion, textile, jewellery and product design to answer the question: “What are eyeglasses?” This part of the exhibition demonstrates the transformational nature of this design object through Israeli designers’ myriad of interpretations, compelling visitors to engage and question the themes of vision and self-image. For example, renowned Israeli product designer Yaacov Kaufman explores the evolution of eyeglasses from monocle to mask, presenting it in a striking comparison to human evolution. Dana Ben Shalom, in contrast, delves into the relationship between glasses and the nose, whilst Galit Shvo reinterprets how glasses can be worn and their subsequent connection to the face.


In contrast to the modern interpretations of eyeglasses presented in the Lower Gallery, the Museum’s Upper Gallery (500 m2) showcases more than 400 items from collector Claude Samuel. A visual display of the history of eyewear, his extensive collection showcases the ways in which different cultural milestones actively influenced and were influenced by the invention and evolution of eyeglasses. Unique pieces ranging from Elton John and John Lennon style eyeglasses to authentic Eskimo bone eyewear are exhibited alongside sketches of eyewear designs made by Claude's father from the Pierre Cardin Fashion House, and more. This is the first time this collection is presented in a museum.





Vision Test’, part three of the exhibition, presents visitors with various objects from the Aharon Feiner Eden Materials Library that are also part of the Museum's permanent collection. These challenge the interaction between sight and design through interactive activities and optical illusions related to focus, colour and perspective. One example is Carnovsky Studio’s award winning RGB project, consisting of a large-scale multi-layered wallpaper, which projects different images depending on the colour of light illuminating the wall. This project was made possible through the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Italian Embassy in Israel.


To complement the overall theme of the exhibition, Design Museum Holon's Design Lab engages in what the future of eyeglasses holds through an interactive display of Virtual Reality glasses in collaboration with The French Institute of Israel, Forum des Image and Holon Cinemateque. The Lab also features a “repairing reality” workshop dedicated to repairing and renewing eyeglasses, where visitors can bring in their old glasses and refurbish them in their own style. In addition, through an exclusive application created for the exhibition and a web camera incorporated into a big mirror screen, visitors are able to look at a projected image of themselves wearing different eyeglasses from the Claude Samuel collection and share the captured images on social media.


“Engaging with eyeglasses, such a common and everyday object, can be carried out from so many angles, but we have chosen to engage with it from the perspective of the person using the object. In the exhibition we will examine cultural milestones and the central role eyeglasses played in defining social and cultural phenomena. We tend to forget that the initial purpose of eyeglasses was to correct a flaw, and eyeglasses do not conceal that flaw, but actually emphasise it by means of design. The exhibition will not only enable an observation of the cultural history of eyeglasses, but also of the designer's role throughout the process,” Maya Dvash, Exhibition Curator and Museum's Acting Chief Curator.



About Design Museum Holon

Designed by world-renowned architect Ron Arad, Design Museum Holon was inaugurated in March 2010 and has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting developments to emerge in the Middle East. The Museum is part of an urban regeneration initiative that aims to transform the City of Holon into a centre for design. Central to Design Museum Holon’s mission is to supply an enriching and thought-provoking environment for visitors to explore exciting and engaging design ideas, principles, processes and objects in a tactile and practical fashion. www.dmh.org.il



Photos Silvia Golan





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