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A True Jerusalem Story: The Failed Raid of the Lost Ark

More than a century ago, a group of English treasure-hunters showed up in Jerusalem with the most ambitious of goals: They were determined to find the treasures of the ancient biblical kings, no less. This grand quest and its strange results made sensational headlines in newspapers around the globe, not to mention the riots that erupted across the city…

The Yemenite Jews Who Arrived in the Holy Land in 1881

Shortly before what is known as “The First Aliyah”, a group of Jews from Yemen arrived in the Land of Israel. Several dozen Yemenite families had embarked on a long and arduous journey to settle in Jerusalem. Once there, they encountered hostility, arrogance, and deprivation on the part of their fellow Jews. Where did they turn and who came to their aid?

Life on the Border: A Tribute to the Communities of the Gaza Border Region

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When the Farhud Came to Be’eri: October 7 and the Legacy of an Iraqi Pogrom

“We made Aliyah from Iraq to Israel so that Arabs wouldn’t be able to enter Jewish homes and murder us,” said Kibbutz Be’eri members who survived the pogrom known as the Farhud. In Be’eri, founded in part by Iraqi immigrants, there is a monument to the victims of the Farhud, suffered by the Jews of Iraq over 80 years ago. They couldn’t know that years later, their children and grandchildren would face a similar horror – but this time, in the Jewish state.

Nir Oz Will Blossom Again: The Story of a Legendary Kibbutz Gardener

In the early days, members of Kibbutz Nir Oz suffered from terrible sandstorms that made it difficult to move, see and even eat. Ran Pauker, the kibbutz’s legendary landscaper, was called to solve the problem, and along the way, Nir Oz became a green, ecological gem. When asked about the future of the kibbutz that suffered a fatal blow on October 7 – he says the vegetation will be restored within a year, as for the community: “We’ll have to wait and see”

We Shall Return: The Spirit of Kibbutz Nirim Will Prevail

“We shall return” – these were the words printed in Hebrew on t-shirts made by the survivors of Kibbutz Nirim. These words embody a history of heroism, pioneering, culture and Zionism which should serve as a model for all of us. Kibbutz Nirim, founded in 1946, faced a desperate battle for its very existence just two years afterwards. It survived then and survives now thanks to the unique spirit of its members.

The Man Who’s Been Documenting the People of Ofakim Since October 7

Nadav Mishali founded the cinematheque in the southern Israeli city of Ofakim. His personal story is bound up with that of the city itself and its brave and exceptional residents. Mishali has now taken on an even bigger mission – to document the stories of hardship and heroism that took place in Ofakim on Saturday, October 7, 2023

Refugees in Their Own Land: The Children of Yad Mordechai Leave Their Homes

After spending long hours hiding in their safe rooms, with the local civilian security team and members of the Border Guard bravely fighting armed terrorists seeking to break into the kibbutz, the residents of Yad Mordechai were evacuated from their homes until further notice. Many might describe this as a “once in a lifetime” experience – but for some kibbutz veterans, this was not the first time they left their home behind without knowing when, or if, they would ever return.

History of Israel

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Feldenkrais: The Man Who Stood Ben-Gurion on His Head

He was an engineer and physicist who struggled with chronic physical pain, when he developed a unique theory of movement which attracted masses of practitioners and trainers around the world. One of these was Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who succeeded in doing a headstand for the first time in his life, at the age of 70. This is the story of Moshe Feldenkrais.

The Hope or the Glory? Herman Wouk Writes About the State of Israel

The award-winning Jewish-American author lived a secular life in his early years and claimed that one of the greatest influences on his life and work was the US Navy. What made him spend years writing a pair of thick novels telling the story of people whose culture was far removed from the one he grew up on, and for whom he had quite a bit of criticism to offer?

Jewish Communities

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Keepers of Jewish Treasures

Some 50 men and women charged with preserving the cultural treasures of the Jewish People came from all over the world to attend a professional conference which now took on a different, deeper, and more urgent significance. “Here, we felt a little less alone” was something we heard from everyone we spoke to. Here’s a peek behind the scenes into the world of those who seek to protect the cultural heritage for the Jewish People.

The Final Days of the Jewish Community in Gaza

Documents recently discovered in the Archives Department of the National Library of Israel shed new light on the forgotten Hebrew community of Gaza, as well as the Jews who lived in and visited the city even after the community no longer officially existed


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The Story of a Nation That Redeems Its Captives

From Abraham who saved his nephew from captivity, to IDF helicopters carrying Israeli hostages back from Gaza – for thousands of years, Jews have fought, paid any sum necessary, and even endangered their lives to redeem and save their brethren from captivity and imprisonment

The Mysterious Case of Joseph G. Weiss’s Hasidic Library

Prof. Joseph G. Weiss was one of the 20th century’s leading scholars of Hasidism. Following Weiss’s tragic death in 1969, his mentor Gershom Scholem selected 250 books from his former student’s personal collection to be brought to the National Library in Jerusalem. Yet something happened along the way. To this day it’s not clear what became of many of these books…

Once Every Seven Years: Dismissing Debt on Rosh Hashanah

The concept of Shemittah – the Jewish Sabbatical Year – includes among other things a provision to release people from debts owed to others. Though clearly a noble and moral sentiment, such a law can easily lead to problematic situations and even exploitation. Levi Cooper delves into one possible solution to this issue, provided by a 2000 year-old legal loophole…


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