CENTER Buddhists from around the world arrived in Israel this week for the Buddhist Festival in Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea.The festival included Israel’s premiere screening of Hannah: Buddhism’s Untold Journey, directed by Marta Kessler and showing at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.The documentary tells the story of Hannah Nydahl and her adventure bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West.The Hebrew translation of the book Buddha & Love, by Lama Ole Nydahl, a Western Buddhist Lama, was also launched at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.The work explains how a Buddhist approach to relationships can help us to relax our minds, break bad habits and use relationships to grow ourselves and benefit everyone around us.A course on Buddhism was scheduled for January 8-11 at Metzukei Dragot near the Dead Sea, which will focus on how to apply Buddhist teachings to everyday life. Rehovot hosts cantorial music concert The Jewish cantorial music choir Shirat Rehovot, established last year by Rehovot City Council member Amitai Cohen, is practicing ahead of a Shabbat of cantorial music planned for January 16 at the city’s Beit Zeltzer Synagogue. Internationally acclaimed cantor Tsudik Greenwald is set to take part.The choir, under conductor Yankele Rotner, recently performed at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center in the Carlebach cantorial concert with the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra, with a variety of acclaimed cantors.Ahead of the singing event later this month, Rotner said that the group did not have much time to enjoy the critical acclaim and the hundreds of positive responses that the group received from its Tel Aviv concert.“We appeared with another five leading choirs from around the country and we accompanied the greatest cantor in the world today, Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. This brings honor to the city of Rehovot,” Rotner said.SOUTH Ein Gedi runners to take their marks Registration opened for runners for the 33rd annual Ein Gedi Experience race, which will take place on February 6 at Kibbutz Ein Gedi near the shores of the Dead Sea. The event includes 30-km., 21-km. and 2-km. routes, as well as a 10-km. walking race and a family running race.As in past years, thousands of runners are expected to take part in the event – considered to be a classic event on the Israeli running schedule. It is in memory of two brothers from Kibbutz Ein Gedi, Tomer and Giora Ron. Tomer died in a farming accident in 1995 on a kibbutz date orchard, when a piece of machinery fell over. His brother Ron was killed in 1982 during the First Lebanon War.Eco-Judaism conference in the Arava The three kibbutzim Ketura, Lotan, and Yahel in the southern Arava will host a three-day Eco-Judaism conference at the end of the month.The conference, on January 28-30, will deal with the connection between Judaism and Ecology and will include discussions, study and activities for the entire family. The event will include 13 speakers, 14 meetings, and four study groups.More information: www.goarava.co.il NORTH Nahariya mayor answers call for electric lifts Nahariya has funded the purchase of electric lifts on railings of homes for elderly and other disabled residents in the city who were unable to access the sidewalks adjacent to their homes due to steps leading from their front doors.“I am emotional because I never thought that I would have the opportunity to go outside. I feel like I have gone from the darkness into the light,” said Rachel Gabriel, a resident who had a lift installed at her home.The impetus for the installation of the lifts was a letter that Nahariya Mayor Jackie Sabag received from three area seniors in which they described their inability to access the street from their homes.“When I read their letter, I immediately felt their pain,” Sabag said. “I immediately asked to visit the residents’ homes, and then I decided that the municipality would assist them and purchase the special lifts.”The Nahariya Municipality was drafting a guideline to define who is entitled to receive a sophisticated electronic lift, like the devices that were recently installed.