24
Feb

Natalie Portman Films “Project of Her Life” in Israel

(Photo: flickr/ viatorci)

(Photo: flickr/ viatorci)

While we love Israel, Natalie Portman – who was born there – has taken her support to a whole new level. She’s filming her next movie there, and calls it the “project of her life.” Directing the film adaptation of the Israeli novel, A Tale of Love and Darkness, Portman is able to take advantage of Israel’s capital city and its beauty and history:

“Israel just captures my imagination in a way, that’s where I wanted to tell my first filmic story … I don’t know another place that’s so visually interesting and obviously dense with stories, so I’m really, really excited.”

We here at 4Zion are excited to see the end result!

Posted in: A Tale of Love and Darkness / Amos Oz / Israel
12
Feb

Go Team Israel!

(Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

(Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

If you were watching the Olympics opening ceremonies this past Friday night, we bet that you, like us, cheered loudly at the sight above: the Israeli team entering the Olympic stadium.

Here’s a brief guide to the Israeli team – so you can cheer them on like a true fan.

Vladislav Bykanov

Sport: Short-track speed skating

Competes: February 13

The 24-year-old short-track speed skater carried the Israeli flag during the opening ceremonies. Originally from Ukraine, he moved to Israel in 1994. He was eight when he began training in short-track speed skating, and his goal at Sochi is making it to the quarterfinals.


Alexei Bychenko

Sport: Figure skating

Competes: February 13-14

Originally from Ukraine, 26-year-old Alexei started skating in 1993. He trains in Hackensack, New Jersey – 25 hours a week during the low season and 20…

   
Posted in: 2014 / Alexei Bychenko / alpine skiing
5
Feb

Dead Sea Scrolls’ New Online Home

(Photo: Library of Congress)

(Photo: Library of Congress)

Found in the West Bank between 1946 and 1956, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of nearly a thousand ancient texts of great biblical and historical importance. Among them are some of the earliest known manuscripts of parts of the Hebrew Bible. While these antiquities have been available online for a couple years, this week the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library unveiled an upgraded way to experience them. Those who visit the new website:

will be able to view and explore 10,000 newly uploaded images of unprecedented quality. The website also offers accompanying explanations pertaining to a variety of manuscripts, such as the book of Exodus written in paleo-Hebrew script, the books of Samuel, the Temple Scroll, Songs of Shabbat Sacrifice, and New Jerusalem.

Posted in: bible / Dead Sea Scrolls / exodus
5
Feb

Natalie Portman Joins Israeli Aid Effort to Syria

(Photo: wikicommons/ gdcgraphics)

(Photo: wikicommons/ gdcgraphics)

Actress Natalie Portman has joined an Israeli effort to provide winter clothes and supplies to needy Syrian refugees. The Times of Israel reports that the Israeli-born Portman was inspired after hearing of an Israeli initiative to help those in Syria who have been displaced by the civil war and are suffering through the harsh winter:

“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” the actress said in a statement. “In the middle of a brutal winter, these children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.”

Posted in: humanitarian aid / Israel / Natalie Portman
31
Jan

Palestinian Workers Back Scarlett Johansson

(Photo: wikicommons/ Paul Bird)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Paul Bird)

Scarlett Johansson’s endorsement of SodaStream in a Super Bowl ad has created quite a bit of controversy – including an international campaign to boycott the Israeli company and Ms. Johansson’s resignation as ambassador for Oxfam. The problem many have is that one of SodaStream’s factories operates in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

While those on the outside have raised concerns about Palestinian rights, The Christian Science Monitor reports that those who actually work at the factory – its Palestinian employees – side with the Jewish actress:

“I would love to work for SodaStream. They’re quite privileged. People look up to them … It’s not the people who want to boycott, it’s the officials.”

That’s a common refrain among the SodaStream workers …

Posted in: Christian Science Monitor / Israel / Learn