As most of the world celebrated the New Year, TAGLIT-Birthright Israel, the Jewish organization that provides free trips to Israel for young adults in the Diaspora, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Kicking off the celebration was a ceremony for a plane filled with 400 participants, alumni and donors that landed in Israel on December 29. At the event, the organization was entered into Guinness World Records for the largest collective work of art: a 13-foot-by-16-foot Israeli flag made up of 28,267 fingerprints of Birthright participants from the past two years.
Here’s one you haven’t heard before: A National Football League cheerleader converts to Orthodox Judaism, writes herself a comedy and takes the production — pom-poms and all — on tour across the United States.
The leader of Women of the Wall, a group of women who gather monthly to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, was questioned by police, fingerprinted, and told that she may be charged with a felony for violating the rules of conduct at what is considered Judaism’s most sacred site.
David Levine, who drew idiosyncratic portraits of thousands of celebrities, politicians, artists, and other newsmakers, died on Dec. 29. The Brooklyn-born artist’s caricatures and watercolors appeared in Esquire, New York Magazine, Newsweek, The Nation, The New Yorker, Time and the New York Review of Books, where he started drawing in 1963.
As anti-government protests — and government repression — flare in Iran, Jewish groups remain focused on the issue of nuclear proliferation there, prioritizing this problem over concern for the country’s opposition movement.