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Deaf and Hearing Impaired Hear the Book of Esther – Jerusalem

Mayor Nir Barkat addresses the audience in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman using special amplifiers, visual projection and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

 

Purim celebrators are viewed through the eyes of a mask as they assemble at Bet-Zusman for a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired with special amplifiers, visual projection sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Mayor Nir Barkat takes part in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman, as special amplifiers are used, visual projection on screen and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Mayor Nir Barkat shakes the hand of a boy in a race car driver costume in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman using special amplifiers, visual projection and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

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Purim Celebrations in Jerusalem

Purim, which commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther, mainly the foiling of the plot by anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews, is celebrated in carnivals and costumes.

A figure of Haman hangs ‘to death’ from an eighth story balcony, symbolizing Haman’s destiny as described in the Book of Esther, following his foiled attempt to massacre the Jews of Persia, as Purim is celebrated in the city. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Excerpt from Government Press Office press release, 5-Mar-2012:

Purim commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther. In Esther 3:8, the anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, tells Persian King Ahasuerus that, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among all the peoples… in your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every people, neither do they keep the king’s laws. Therefore, it does the king no profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed…” Thus, Haman coined one of the most infamous anti-Semitic canards: That the Jews are a clannish and alien people who do not obey the laws of the land. At Haman’s contrivance, a decree is then issued for all Jews in the Persian Empire to be massacred. But, as the Book of Esther subsequently relates, Haman’s plot was foiled and, “The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor…a feast and a good day.” (8:16-17)

Purim, which commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther, mainly the foiling of the plot by anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews, is celebrated in carnivals and costumes. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Throughout the centuries, Purim – which celebrates the miraculous salvation of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman’s genocidal plot – has traditionally symbolized the victory of the Jewish people over anti-Semitic tyranny. As such, Purim is a happy, carnival-like holiday.

After sunset Wednesday evening, 7 March, festive prayers will take place in synagogues, where the Book of Esther will also be read aloud. It is customary for people, especially children, to come to synagogue dressed in costume. During the reading of the Book of Esther, whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, congregants traditionally make as much noise as possible in order to drown out his name – a reflection of God’s promise (Exodus 17:14) to, “blot out,” the Amalekite nation, of which Haman was a descendant; special Purim noisemakers may be used for this purpose. The Book of Esther will be read again during morning prayers on Thursday, 8 March. A special Purim prayer is inserted into the daily prayers and the blessing after meals.

A boy wears a Smurf costume on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

On Purim, Jews are enjoined by the Book of Esther (9:22) to send gifts of food to each other, make special contributions to the poor, and have a festive holiday meal in the afternoon. To this end, the day is also marked by collections for various charities, and by people visiting neighbors and friends to deliver baskets of food, prominent among which are small, three-cornered, fruit-filled pastries known as Oznei Haman in Hebrew (Haman’s ears) or Hamantaschen in Yiddish (Haman’s pockets).

A young boy wears an IDF paratroopers costume on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

In Jerusalem, Purim is ordinarily celebrated one day later than it is in the rest of the world; accordingly, all Purim-related observances are postponed by one day. This practice originates from the fact that an extra day was prescribed for the Jews of Shushan (the modern Susa, one of the Persian Empire’s four capitals) to defend themselves against their enemies. This second day is known as Shushan Purim. As mentioned in the Book of Esther itself (9:16-19), Jews living in walled cities (later defined by rabbinical authorities to mean walled cities at the time that Joshua entered the Land of Israel) celebrate Purim one day later than Jews living in unwalled cities. There are several such cities in Israel where Shushan Purim is celebrated. In some cities whose status is in doubt, the Book of Esther will actually be read on both days.

Two IDF soldiers look up to a clown on stilts on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

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Empowering Women on International Women’s Day

Posters of female neighborhood residents are displayed in the French Hill with their names and occupations on International Women’s’ Day defying a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure.

A poster of Dorit, a poet, is displayed in the French Hill on International Women’s Day defying a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

In view of a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure and near-liquidation of advertisements including photos of women, this year’s International Women’s Day gets special meaning in Jerusalem. In the secular neighborhood of the French Hill a special campaign empowering women, residents of the neighborhood, puts twenty photos of women on display while giving them a name, an occupation and a meaningful identity. The posters also declare “Welcome to the French Hill!”

A poster of Sarit, a kindergarten teacher, is displayed in the French Hill on International Women’s Day defying a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

The project was initiated by residents of the neighborhood themselves in an interest to make the neighborhood more attractive for secular young people. Photos were created voluntarily by a female photography major from Betzalel School of Art and graphic artists from the neighborhood also volunteered their services. Their message is “We are women and we are here to stay!”

A poster of Dalya, a rabbi, is displayed in the French Hill on International Women’s Day defying a citywide wave of gender segregation in the public sphere imposed by religious pressure. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

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Preparations for International Ice Festival Underway – Jerusalem


Chinese craftsmen prepare Jerusalem’s first Int’l Ice Festival set to open March 6th at the Old Train Site featuring Fairytale World, an ice bar, skating rinks, and Jerusalem landmarks made of ice. Jerusalem, Israel. 13th February 2012.

Chinese craftsmen prepare Jerusalem’s first Int’l Ice Festival set to open March 6th at the Old Train Site featuring Fairytale World, an ice bar, skating rinks, and Jerusalem landmarks made of ice. Jerusalem, Israel. 13th February 2012.

Chinese craftsmen prepare Jerusalem’s first Int’l Ice Festival set to open March 6th at the Old Train Site featuring Fairytale World, an ice bar, skating rinks, and Jerusalem landmarks made of ice. Jerusalem, Israel. 13th February 2012.

Click any of the images for more…

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Fire Brigade Drill in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Fire Brigade drills fire fighting and rescue operations at Social Security offices. Jerusalem, Israel. 13th February 2012.

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Unbiased Affordable Housing Demanded in Jerusalem

A poster on a tree opposite the Knesset building portrays Housing Minister Ariel Atias as a Dutch woman claiming costs for housing in The Netherlands do not exceed 30% of household income. Jerusalem, Israel. 31st January 2012.

Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz (L), of the New Movement – Meretz, joins protestors outside the Knesset to show solidarity with their struggle against proposal by Housing Minister Ariel Atias (Shas). Jerusalem, Israel. 31st January 2012.

Protest opposite Knesset as Economic Affairs Committee discusses proposal by Housing Minister Ariel Atias (Shas). “Government is lathering us with soap” targets proposal that will allegedly benefit Haredi sector. Jerusalem, Israel. 31st January 2012.

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Israel Police Marks 2012 As The ‘Turning Point Year’

Ministers of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch (L), and Police Commissioner, Yohanan Danino (R), look into the audience at a ceremony awarding ranks to senior police officers. Jerusalem, Israel. 30th January 2012.

Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and Police Commissioner, Yohanan Danino, take part in a festive ceremony awarding ranks to senior officers stressing their policy to strengthen ‘core police functions’ and reinforce the ‘front line’ of police services to the public including reallocation of organizational resources and personnel. The ceremony took place in the National Police Headquarters mess hall. Ten of the thirteen officers promoted to Chief Superintendent are station commanders and Border Police company commanders in accordance with Danino’s policy to reinforce the ‘front line’ of police, which serves as the ‘face of the police’ in the eyes of the public. Station chiefs promoted include Givatayim, Nazareth Illit, Modi’in, Harel, Migdal Haemek, Golan, Ofakim, and Arad police stations, previously considered “small” police stations in terms of numbers of policemen and the scope of the public they serve. Border Police company commanders promoted are Coral, Beit Horon and Company MZ in the Judea and Samaria.

Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch (L), Police Commissioner, Yohanan Danino (R) and wife award the rank of Brigadier General to Uzi Levy, Border Police Commander of Northern District. Jerusalem, Israel. 30th January 2012.

In addition, ranks of Brigadier General were awarded to Uzi Levy, Border Police Commander of Northern District, Soaaa Thaoch, Border Police Commander of the Jerusalem Envelope District, and Simeon Lavi, Commander of the Operations Division, Tel-Aviv District.

Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch addresses police officers in a festive ceremony awarding ranks to senior officers and congratulates Police Commissioner Danino on rollout of new policy. Jerusalem, Israel. 30th January 2012.

Commissioner Danino stated “The move to implement 2012 as the ‘Turning Point Year’ will bisect all departments and districts. The center of gravity will move from the headquarters to the field. The move constitutes a new outlook for the public based on communal policing, strengthening field units, and providing more security and better service to the public.”

Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch (2nd from R) and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino (3rd from R) sing Israeli national anthem closing a festive ceremony awarding ranks to senior officers. Jerusalem, Israel. 30th January 2012.

Newly ranked officers include Yoram Barina, Yehonatan Zeidel, Shlomo Ben-Shushan, Yosef Katab, Meni Benyamin, Mualem Ami, Gilad Bahat, Larry Samara, Avraham Biton and Eliyahu Shmul.

Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch (R) leaves police headquarters mess hall followed by security agent at conclusion of a festive ceremony awarding ranks to senior police officers. Jerusalem, Israel. 30th January 2012.

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