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May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘boston’

Boston Muslim and Reform Jewish Clergy Pray to Stop the Snow [video]

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Muslim, Christian and reform Jewish clergy have put together a YouTube video, a prayer so to speak, to ask God to deliver Boston from more snow.

“The winter from hell” has brought Boston within inches of a 20-year old record of 107.60 inches of snow. The white winter has disrupted commercial and personal life in the city, and several members of the clergy got together to produce a light-hearted video and rely on prayer to for God to send relief to the city.

Thirteen members of the clergy from mosques, churches and Reform temples appear in the video below, which carries a message of “We are in this together.”

“Boston, are you weary?” asks Rev. Jay Williams of Union United Methodist Church.

“Weary of digging out?” says Rev. Burns Stanfield of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston.

The video features a verse from Jeremiah 29:7: “Seek the welfare of the city.”

Looking on the good side of things, the multi-faith clergy call on Bostoners to help each other and smile while thinking of those poor southerner who “don’t have the luxury of snow days.” “Can I get an Amen?” asks Rev. June Cooper of the City Mission Society of Boston.

While the men and women of the cloth are having fun with a video, someone else has found a novel way to get rid of the snow and make money. Kyle Waring is selling 10 pounds of snow for only $89, including shipping.

“I put the snow in a plastic bag, and put that in tinfoil,” he told Boston.com. “Then I put that package in an insulated container that’s an inch and a half thick, and ship it overnight. It’s sealed tight in Omaha steaks packaging.”

Snow Cripples the Big White Apple [video]

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

New York turned white Tuesday morning as the “storm of the century” threatens to cause heavy damage, flooding and death.

Fear of the storm was enough for public officials to call on people to leave work early and stay off the highways.

Trains and buses were packed like sardine cans. The subway system, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge were shut down at 11 p.m.

Major and secondary roads were declared off-limits from New Jersey to Massachusetts so that emergency vehicles will have access to plow away snowdrifts, which will be piled higher than usual because of gale-force winds that are accompanying the blizzard.

The forecast is for up to 30 inches of snow to cover New York, followed by freezing weather that will leave citizens snow-bound for up to a few days.

Emergencies have been declared from New Jersey to New England, and Boston also has suspended public and private transport.

Snowfall to the south, in Pennsylvania and Maryland, was less than predicted.

Hurricane-force winds of up to 75 MPH are forecast for New England, which will be buried even deeper than New York.

Following is the warning from New York:

Locations: New York City, and southern Westchester County in southeast New York.

Hazard types: Heavy snow and blowing snow, with blizzard conditions.

Accumulations: snow accumulation of 14 to 20 inches.

Snowfall rates, up to 2 inches per hour into this morning.

Winds: north 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Visibilities: one quarter mile or less at times.

Temperatures: in the lower 20s.

Timing: heaviest snow and strongest winds into this morning.

Impacts: Life-threatening conditions….. Strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs.

 


El Al to Fly to Boston Next Summer

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

El Al Airlines will begin flying in and out of Boston three times a week with a 216-seat Boeing 767 plane starting next June, the company announced Tuesday.

The flights will leave Israel at 12:30 a.m. and arrive in Boston at 5:45 a.m., similar to the popular 1 a.m. flight to JFK.

Similarly, the return flight will leave Logan Airport in Boston at 3:05 p.m. and land in Ben Gurion Airport at 9 p.m. the following day.

The addition of Boston to the New York, Newark and Los Angeles routes reflects the growing economic links between Israel and Massachusetts, which sent a large trade delegation to Israel earlier this year.

“The appetite for it runs deep. The excitement about it is broad, and we are convinced that both the load and the yield will be as good for El Al as I know the route will be for us,” said state Gov. Deval Patrick.

Approximately 200 companies with connections in Israel operate in Massachusetts and employ nearly 7,000 people, mostly in the health care and high-tech industries.

El Al formerly has operate flights from Baltimore and Miami but later suspended them.

Alternative Group Replaces Orthodox Society at Boston Funeral Home

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

A new non-denominational Jewish burial society has replaced an Orthodox one at a Boston-area Jewish funeral home.

Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, which launched this fall and is part of a growing movement of Jewish burial societies that include non-Orthodox volunteers, began performing tahara – the ritual preparation of bodies for burial – at Brezniak-Rodman Chapel in West Newton, Mass., last week.

Until this month, the Orthodox-run Chevrah Kadisha of Greater Boston, whose membership is by invitation only, had been the sole provider of tahara at Brezniak-Rodman and other area funeral homes.

After Brezniak-Rodman announced that it would provide space for the new group, which has more than 100 volunteers, Rabbi Naftali Horowitz, who is known as the Bostoner Rebbe, sent a letter stating that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston would continue operating there only “if we are the only one using the facilities.” Allowing a nondenominational group to use the funeral home’s facilities would “add great confusion regarding the standards which will be administered,” the letter said.

Last week, Brezniak-Rodman confirmed that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston had stopped working with the funeral home.

David Brezniak, owner of Brezniak-Rodman, said of Horowitz, “I respect his decision, and he needs to respect mine. I thank him for whatever he’s done over the years, and that’s it.”

Officials from the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, including Horowitz, did not respond to inquiries from JTA.

Brezniak said the new group employs the same standards in conducting tahara as the Orthodox one, and that he has been pleased so far with their work.

“The people doing this are very dedicated,” he said. “They’re not cutting any corners.”

Book of Psalms Printed in US in 1640 Sold for $14.2 Million

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

A copy of a 393-year-old Book of Psalms published by Puritans in Massachusetts has been sold at an auction by Sotheby’s for $14.2 million to American philanthropist and financier David Rubenstein, who plans to lend it to libraries.

Known as the Bay Psalm Book, it is believed to be the first book ever to be published in the colonies that later became the United States of America.

Approximately 1,700 copies of the book were printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known then as the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and only 11 are known to remain.

Nine of them are in libraries and museums, and the Old South Church in Boston disposed of one of its two copies in the auction, which has made the church a lot richer.

The church’s minister Rev. Nancy Taylor said earlier this year, “It’s a spectacular book, arguably one of the most important books in this nation’s history.

Referring to the tiny size of the book, she explained to the Associated Press, “This was a utilitarian book to sing praises to God, so you wanted to be able to fit it in your pocket and take it to church. It probably would have belonged to a single family. It’s a hymn book, made for hard use, to be sung from and held by children, mothers, fathers, widows, widowers, and… who knows? I’m sure it was in the hands of quite a few Puritan worshippers.”

The Bay Book of Psalms fetched a high price despite its containing several printing errors, such as the word “pslame” appearing on the right hand of the page while “Psalm” appears on the left side. It also uses inverted coma instead of apostrophes and has several typographical errors.

For comparison, the last time a copy of the Bay Book of Psalms was sold was in 1947, when it exchanged hands for $151,000, a higher price than other book at the time.

Tuesday’s night sale makes it the most expensive book  ever to be sold in the United States, breaking the previous record of $11.5 million for a compete four-volume first edition of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” also sold by Sotheby’s.

Boston Declares Nov. 28 as ‘Thanksgivukkah’

Monday, November 25th, 2013

It now is official. This year’s rare coincidence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will be known as “Thanksgivukkah” where the Boston Tea Party took place, retiring Mayor Thomas Menino  declared.

The proclamation notes the special “diversity of all its citizens” and the values embodied by both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, including “unity, hope and gratitude.”

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah last fell on the same day in the late 19th century and after a couple of more concurrent holidays the next 100 years or so, they are not expected to converge again for more than 75,000 years.

That means most of us will not have to suffer the “Thanksgivukkah” shtick again in our lives.

JNS contributed to this report. 

 

 

 

An IMAX Film of the Jerusalem You Never Have Seen Before (Video)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Five years in the making, the first IMAX film ever made about Jerusalem is as much a visual tour de force as a marvel of cultural diplomacy.

“Jerusalem,” which had its world premiere last week at Boston’s Museum of Science, uses cutting-edge cinematography to immerse the audience in the ancient city’s historic sites from rarely seen perspectives.

Over the course of 45 minutes, viewers are treated to rare aerial views of the Old City as Jews gather at the Western Wall for the priestly blessing, Christian pilgrims march down the Via Dolorosa and Muslims gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.

Distributed by National Geographic Entertainment, the film, narrated by the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, will show on IMAX screens and in digital 3-D cinemas across the United States in the coming weeks.

Gaining access to some of the world’s most sensitive and contested locations was a test of devotion and artful negotiations that took the film’s three producers and a team of advisers years to accomplish. Preparations required dozens of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials, the Israeli army and the many clerics who control the city’s religious sites.

Filming from a low-altitude helicopter in the Old City of Jerusalem’s strict no-fly zone required a permit that had not been granted in more than 20 years, the filmmakers said, and acquiring the permit took eight months of negotiations.

In advance of the shooting, producers took out ads in the major Hebrew- and Arabic-language newspapers to notify residents about the helicopter filming.

“There was nothing that was not complicated,” Taran Davies, one of the film’s producers, said at the premiere.

Even the terrestrial shots were difficult to carry off. For the scene filmed at the Western Wall, an IMAX camera was mounted on a crane above the crowds.

The most challenging authorization by far was for the Temple Mount, known in Islam as the Muslim Noble Sanctuary, which required permission from the Islamic custodial body, the religious affairs ministry in Jordan and Israeli security forces.

A critical figure in helping the producers navigate the logistical maze was Ido Aharoni, now Israel’s consul general in New York. Aharoni first learned about the film six years ago when he directed Brand Israel, a project to promote Israel around the world.

He recognized the potential of portraying the country’s historical and cultural gems in such a visually powerful medium. IMAX films also typically screen in museums and can run for years.

“The whole purpose of the movie is to produce a visually awesome experience for the moviegoer who happens to be a museumgoer; it can’t be judged like any other movie,” Aharoni told JTA. “Realizing that, we told [the producers], ‘Whatever you need, we’ll help you.’ ”

The film’s mesmerizing visuals are woven into a narrative propelled by the voices of three teenage Jerusalemite women — Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Fluent in English, the women offer eloquent descriptions of the deep religious, cultural and family ties that bind them and their respective religions to their home city.

Though the film was carefully planned down to the last minute and camera angle, Daniel Ferguson, the film’s producer, writer and director, told JTA the teens’ words were their own.

“My goal is to promote understanding,” Ferguson told JTA. “The film will change assumptions and give a window into another point of view.”

The voices of the women are supplemented by that of Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina, who guides viewers through an ancient tunnel and visits active excavation sites that continue to unearth the history of the land.

The filmmakers took great pains to balance the presentation of all three religions, according to George Duffield, another producer with longstanding ties to Israel. He and Ferguson say they were at times pressed to take a position on controversial or political issues, but insisted on neutrality.

“Everyone wanted the film to be about their own faith,” Duffield said. “That’s how they see the city.”

The producers hope the film can be used to promote tolerance and understanding. Profits will be donated to the Jerusalem Foundation and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to underwrite projects that benefit all residents of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in a still from the IMAX film “Jerusalem."

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in a still from the IMAX film “Jerusalem.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/a-imax-film-of-the-jerusalem-you-never-have-seen-before/2013/10/03/

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