Art & Culture
Typography

 

 

 

There’s a big wide world out there.

 

Mention most countries or areas to anyone and usually an image or concept pops into their consciousness right away; snow in Switzerland, sand in the Sahara, sunshine in Sydney. Israel conjures up many thoughts, but the most frequent one is probably “Judaism” and the Jewish homeland. Although sophisticated people do know that the Holy Land is the center of the world for all three monotheistic religions, how many people know just how much there is to see in Israel concerning the birthplace and stamping grounds of Christ?

 

The Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame in Jerusalem is a good place to begin your road to discovery. Jerusalem is no stranger to controversy; Notre Dame aspires to be the route to serenity, peaceful coexistence and normalcy.

 

Its history is long and checkered and not within the scope of this article. Today the old but beautifully restored building houses not only the guest house (they prefer not to call it a hotel), but also three restaurants, a gift shop, conference rooms and a giant auditorium. Not to mention of course – of course! – the tranquil chapel. This is after all a Catholic institution, property of the Vatican. There is free Wi-Fi in the lobby area, but no tennis court, swimming pool or gym. Only the suites have TVs. This no ordinary hotel.

 

 

 

And then there is the “Shroud of Turin” museum. (Yes, Turin Italy.) The history of the shroud (said to be the mantle that covered the body of Jesus for burial), how and why it reached Turin, and why it is believed to be the real thing, awaits you at Notre Dame. The mystery, the theory, the multidisciplinary research and scientific examinations, the religious beliefs, the perplexing photographic evidence – all come together in this mind-boggling museum.

 

The Institute also runs a school to train young people for a career in the hospitality and tourism industry. The school celebrated its silver jubilee in 2015 and there are currently about 140 students.

 

Confused? Don’t be. Although Notre Dame might be considered as “only” a guest house for pilgrims, it is really a fine hotel, and far from Spartan. A welcoming lobby and reception desk, comfortable rooms, a generous and varied breakfast, fine dining at the rooftop restaurant and the other cafes and dining areas. The Jerusalem location is right opposite the New Gate into the old city. (The gate was opened when Notre Dame was built, for convenient pilgrim access to the old city’s many Christian sites.) The concept of Notre Dame is of “a gift for humanity” that embodies Jerusalem: moderation, co-existence, downed barriers, and peace. Not to mention the typical Jerusalem architecture of a bygone age. The “Mosaic Suite” must surely be unique in the entire world. If you are fortunate enough to stay there, or even to visit it briefly….

 

The Christian community in Israel serves as a buffer between militant Muslims and militant Jews and the religious diversity, so apparent at Notre Dame, tends to enhance its power for dialog between antagonists. But more than that, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame also serves not only as a buffer, but as a link, between Judaism and Christianity.

 

 

 

Nowhere is that clearer than at “Magdala”, a site on the Sea of Galilee which is currently being completed, and which is closely linked to the Notre Dame Center and the Catholic Church. Magdala is right by the town where Mary Magdalene lived 2000 years ago. Soon after excavations began, the ruins of the oldest 1st century synagogue were discovered. Nearby, the ruins of the “mikveh” (Jewish bathhouse for ritual cleansing and purification) were excavated. Is this the synagogue where Christ prayed, studied and preached? All signs indicate it was. On the lake shore just 100 meters away is the port where fishermen brought their catches 20 centuries ago, where Jesus performed miracles, where the community market place was located. Over the old restored market place floor now stands “Duc in Altum” – the main so-called “boat chapel” and the four smaller side chapels (for quiet reflection and prayer). The building is breathtakingly beautiful in its elegant simplicity.

 

Magdala, with its synagogue and chapel, set in secular Israel, is symbolic of the bridging aimed at by the Vatican Church leadership in Israel, of bringing the vision to life. Magdala’s core mission and purpose is to offer a 1st century experience in a 21st century environment and to highlight its historical, cultural and spiritual significance. “To really bring the vision to life.” It is staffed (and visited) by people from all walks of life, all religions, races, sects and nationalities. The message is reconciliation, compromise, peace, tranquility and harmony. The Catholic Church sees itself as the “mother of humanity” and as such has a role to play in bringing her sometimes unruly children together.

 

 

 

The issues of womanhood are spotlighted in “Duc in Altum”, where the main atrium is space devoted to women of biblical times. How appropriate that is in 2016, at the town where Mary Magdalene lived. Religion, history and culture come together in this continuity of Judaism and Christianity at the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history. In this day and age, we found the message refreshing in its simplicity. We believe you might too.

 

There is much to see, learn, experience and especially, to reflect on, both at the Notre Dame Center and at Magdala.

 

www.notredamecenter.org

www.magdala.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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On Wednesday evening, June 7th, the Embassy of Slovenia in Tel Aviv celebrated 26 years of independence, and 25 years of bilateral relations with Israel. The commemoration was held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa. The event was timed to coincide with visits by both the Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr. Maja Makovec Brencic, and a high-level parliamentary delegation led by National Assembly President Dr. Milan Brglez.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump

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The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.

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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.

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President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday , at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, received the diplomatic credentials of the new Ambassadors to Israel from Thailand and Spain. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, and - after the presentation of the credentials - the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva'.

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JPost.com - Breaking News

IDF: Man spotted crossing over from Israel into Lebanon

US charges New York man with trying to join Islamic State

Qatar firms cancel expat leave, restrict travel after Arab rift

Qatar Airways to buy 4.75 percent stake in American Airlines

Erdogan spokesman says Turkey and Russia to deploy in Syria's Idlib

Report: US intelligence chiefs say they did not feel pressured by Trump

Egyptian government approves presidential proposal extending state of emergency

UK police determine: Man died of injuries in van attack at London mosque

Car bomb targeting police station in Somalia's capital kills four

Russian Foreign Ministry: High degree of certainty IS leader is dead

Dozens killed in Afghanistan car bomb

Iran's Khamenei: 'There is no doubt' we'll witness Israel's demise

US will take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat

Dozens killed in Afghanistan as car bomb hits bank branch

UK's Prince Philip has left hospital in London, Buckingham Palace says

Three killed as suspected Muslim insurgent camp found in Myanma

Initial reports: Blast damages wall next to NATO military area in Turkey

Political solution only way to solve Syrian issue, says Chinese envoy

Erdogan, Saudi leaders said to discuss efforts to end Qatar tensions

Frank Lowy, Australian billionaire and Holocaust survivor, is knighted

Under fire in Washington, Trump back in campaign mode in Iowa

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Australia says to resume air strikes in Syria after Russia threat

Trump says 'we have a great relationship with China' after critical tweet

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