Israeli Culture Explosion Snuffed Out by Real Blasts

July 10, 2014

This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

Maybe Next Year: Contact Point, which in previous years attracted 5,000 attendees, has been postponed. Photo Credit: Barak Aharon

Maybe Next Year: Contact Point, which in previous years attracted 5,000 attendees, has been postponed. Photo Credit: Barak Aharon

JERUSALEM – Usually, there is an explosion of culture in Jerusalem in the summer. But with Hamas striking Israel with hundreds of rockets and missiles daily, popular arts events in the country’s capital have had to be cancelled or postponed.

When the current war with Hamas broke out early Tuesday, Jerusalemites were not particularly fearful of rockets landing in their city. While one or two sirens went off in Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense in late 2012, the capital was largely spared from missile fire. However, when the wailing siren sounded and was followed by three explosions on Tuesday night, residents realized that things may actually be different this time.

Within minutes of the attack on Jerusalem, authorities ordered that the concert by Israeli rocker Berry Sakharof taking place that evening at the outdoor Sultan’s Pool venue just outside the walls of the Old City be stopped and its 6,000 attendees immediately evacuated.

Large outdoor gatherings, which are traditional during cool Jerusalem summer evenings, are problematic security-wise at a time like this. People have at most a minute and a half to reach shelter when a air raid siren goes off, making it difficult — if not impossible — to hold such events safely.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

‘Control’ Alternating With ‘Delete’

July 10, 2014

This article first appeared in June/July 2014 issue of Hadassah Magazine.

Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Lisa Samick was 35 when she watched her younger sister, a new mother, die of metastatic breast cancer.

Judah Schiller was 35 when he was left to raise three kids alone when his wife suddenly died of massive internal bleeding three days after giving birth to their third child.

Gabrielle Birkner was 24 when she got a call at work informing her that her father and stepmother had been murdered in a home invasion.

We all contend with loss, mourning and grief. Everyone confronts the death of a loved one at some point. But for some of us it comes sooner rather than later. While no one is truly prepared for loss, young adults in their twenties and thirties feel even less prepared. With few—if any—of their peers having gone through a similar experience, they are left charting their own course through the emotional and practical challenges that come in the wake of an immediate family member’s death.

Some young Jews find comfort in age-old Jewish rituals and in their local Jewish community. However, in the Internet age, when we live so much of our lives online, those experiencing loss often turn to Google in search of relevant and resonant resources. They may sit shiva but also reach out to their social media circles for support.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

DKNY Wants To Dress You For Ramadan

July 10, 2014

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Jewish designer Donna Karen's DKNY label has a special line for Ramadan. (DKNY Lookbook screenshot)

Jewish designer Donna Karen’s DKNY label has a special line for Ramadan. (DKNY Lookbook screenshot)

Muslim women may be fasting this month for Ramadan, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good doing it. DKNY, the fashion label founded by Jewish designer Donna Karan, has a new Ramadan Summer 2014 line aimed mainly at Middle Eastern modest fashionistas.

However, following the European Court of Human Rights upholding of France’s ban on the burqa and niqab last week, observant Muslim women in that country might want to also check out these glam, yet body-covering, looks.

Yalda Golsharifi, the fashion editor at the Kuwaiti Styles Magazine, and Tamara Al Gabbani, a fashion designer in Dubai, styled this collection that “channels [a woman’s] inner silver-screen siren and make[s] a scene with sweeping silhouettes, bold and artful prints and stunning fabrics.”

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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