City Notes: Pre-IDF ceremony for Christian recruits marks historic enlistment rate

News briefs from around the nation.

Meteor shower (photo credit: REUTERS)
Meteor shower
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A ceremony was held in Haifa last week in honor of the latest 45 young men and women to complete a preparation seminar for the Christian community, ahead of their enlistment in the IDF.
This is the second year that a seminar of this kind has been organized by the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, headed by Father Gabriel Naddaf, in partnership with the Defense Ministry and the Jewish Agency’s Acharai (“Follow Me!”) project. The ceremony was held at Haifa’s Beit Yedidia Community Center in the presence of Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, Naddaf and the ministry official Amiram Savirsky.
“We are proud to see the rise of Christian voluntary enlistment to IDF and national service and to see the positive impact it has on our country,” remarked Naddaf, noting that it was a historic year for the Christian community in Israel, as more than a third of Christian high school graduates now serve in the IDF or volunteer for national service.
Family altercation near Tiberias leaves man dead
A 50-year-old man died of severe wounds last weekend after a violent altercation between his family members erupted in the village of Maghar, near Tiberias. He was taken to nearby Poriya Hospital in critical condition, where he eventually died. The victim’s son, 24, was also evacuated to the same hospital with light wounds and was reportedly in stable condition.
Tiberias police arrested three suspects after the incident, aged 50, 30 and 22, who were questioned about their involvement.
In shadow of terror, Israeli and Palestinian teens attend joint summer camp
One-hundred Israeli and Palestinian teenagers participated in a binational summer camp this month, called the Wings of Peace, organized by the educational organization Kids Creating Peace and funded by USAID. It was held in the shadow of recent terrorist attacks in Duma and Shiloh, the former which killed a Palestinian baby and his father, and the latter which injured three IDF soldiers.
The camp aims to build bridges between youngsters; the 14- to 18-year-old participants meet on a weekly basis throughout the year, then enjoy a weeklong sleep-away.
Held at the idyllic beachfront of Beit Yannai, Wings of Peace brought together youth from Bethlehem, Ramallah, east and west Jerusalem, Shoham and Dimona.
Activities included MasterChef-style cooking contests, surfing lessons, filmmaking, arts and crafts and treasure hunts.
Modi’in hosts international street art fiesta
They can be found in every neighborhood, in every city in Israel, but few people get to view the work of street artists, who for the most part don’t have an official platform to display their skills. Next week, at the Modi’in Street Art Festival, members of the public will have the opportunity to see authentic street culture, which is part of the global urban scene of sport, extreme sports, poetry, music and painting.
The festival’s central event is the “Battle of the Year” – the World Cup qualifying round in break dance. International break-dance judges will come from abroad to judge in the competition. The winners will travel to Germany to represent Israel against the best dancers in the world.
Beginning Sunday, the city’s extreme park will host the Concrete Glory national skateboarding championship, as well as a break-dancing competition for individuals.
The BMX challenge and an open-mic event will be Monday, while on Tuesday there will be circle dancing and a graffiti exhibition at the city’s cultural center, as well as a Parkour contest and a break-dancing competition for groups.
Astronomy lovers head south as falling stars light up skies
Astronomy enthusiasts headed south last week to gaze at a sky lit up with shooting stars during the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.
At an event that has become a summer tradition, Mitzpe Ramon and Timna Park hosted visitors from all over the country to enjoy the “night of wishes.” Since the skies are clearer in the South, far from the big cities, with lower levels of light pollution, the meteor-watching event is held on a yearly basis in the South.
Telescopes were set up at both sites and astronomy seminars were run for both adults and children. The country’s largest mobile telescope was available for use at Mitzpe Ramon’s Spice Route quarter. To make the journey to the South easier on those traveling from the Center and North at night, shuttle buses were available from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Visitors enjoyed sunset horseback-riding trips between the sites and a mobile planetarium simulated the movements of the planets from close up. A nature photography workshop was also held for amateur photographers.
Activities were closed at midnight, in time for the main event – watching the stars.