Oy Gevalt! Yiddish cell phone launches in Israel

By Reuters Staff
May 10, 2011

("Kosher" cellular phones, imported and distributed by Israeli Accel Telecom, are displayed at the company's offices in Tel Aviv May 2, 2011/Nir Elias)

Jobless ultra-Orthodox Jews weigh on Israel’s economy

By Reuters Staff
April 14, 2011
(Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend a rally in Jerusalem June 17, 2010. Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested in Israel on Thursday against the court order to desegregate a religious school and force Jewish girls of European and Middle Eastern descent to study together. REUTERS/Ammar Awad )

(Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend a rally in Jerusalem June 17, 2010/Ammar Awad )

Meir Gross is a Jewish ultra-Orthodox father of five who does not work. Despite warnings that Israel’s economy may be threatened by his fast growing, often unemployed, community, he does not want a job. Gross advocates a pious existence geared to study. He spends nearly his entire day learning Torah (Jewish law), which he says is the most important edict bestowed on the Jewish man, and it cannot be combined with a job.

New Israeli film claims discovery of nails from Jesus’s cross

April 12, 2011
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(Filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici at a news conference in New York, February 26, 2007/Mike Segar)

Jerusalem bishop appeals Israel’s residency denial

March 31, 2011
jerusalem

( Jerusalem, September 14, 2010/Darren Whiteside )

Jerusalem’s Anglican bishop, a Palestinian, is engaged in a legal battle with Israel over its refusal to extend his residency permit. An Anglican official, who declined to be named, said Israel’s Interior Ministry had written to Bishop Suheil Dawani and accused him of improper land dealings on behalf of the church and the Palestinian Authority, allegations he denies. A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry declined to comment, citing an upcoming court hearing.

Exorcisms and charlatans flourish in impoverished Gaza

March 11, 2011
gaza koran

(A man reads a Koran in Gaza, 3 Dec 2010/Suhaib Salem)

The shabby room in a one-story house in suburban Gaza was shrouded in darkness, and only the mutterings of a bearded exorcist broke the silence. A man lay stretched on a grubby mattress, writhing, as the faith healer recited Koranic verses to chase away an evil spirit. “Get out, you demon,” the exorcist, who calls himself Sheikh Ali, threatened the spirit. “Get out or I will burn you.”

Palestinians ask U.N. recognition for Bethlehem’s Nativity Church

February 7, 2011
nativity

(An Armenian priest in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, January 18, 2008/Nayef Hashlamoun)

Israeli organ donations soar after soccer star dies

By Reuters Staff
February 4, 2011
organ donation

(The Israeli flag-draped coffin of Avi Cohen is seen during a special public memorial service at a football stadium near Tel Aviv December 29, 2010/Nir Elias)

Amid row with Israel, Turkish officials attend Istanbul Holocaust Day

January 31, 2011
turkey

Chief Rabbi Isak Haleva and Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu light a candle at Neve Shalom Synagogue to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day/Murad Sezer

European far right courts Israel in stepped-up anti-Islam drive

December 20, 2010

street prayers (Photo: Muslims pray in the street during Friday prayers near an overcrowded mosque in the Rue des Poissoniers  in Paris on December 17, 2010/Charles Platiau)

Far-right political parties in Europe are stepping up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and forging ties across borders, even going so far as to visit Israel to hail the Jewish state as a bulwark against militant Islam.

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Christmas season Bethlehem

December 17, 2010

bethlehem 1 (Photo: A decorated Christmas tree next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, December 15, 2010/Ammar Awad)

The birthplace of Jesus is hardly an easy “weekend getaway” spot, but for a taste of how today’s Holy Land feels, this hospitable Palestinian town draped over the steep hilltops outside Jerusalem is an essential place to visit.