When the pint-sized star tells her mom Helen that she’d be moving in with her BFF Jenni “JWoww ” Farley, her mother asks, “Are you going to split the food bill down the middle?”
And of course, Snooki has a colorful reply.
“Is kosher the right word for Jenni?”
Snooki’s mom replies, “I do know that’s the food that Jewish people eat.” They then say in unison with a laugh, “Jenni’s not Jewish.”
The mommy-to-be then elaborates by saying, “I think kosher food is like organic, healthy food. But Jewish people eat organic food too, so I feel like it’s all the same.”
In recent years, no fewer than 13 Hebrew language faculties have launched throughout Poland. In addition to the academic area, a number of private schools that teach students the wonders of the written language, as well as an ulpan that teaches spoken Hebrew, which operates in Warsaw’s Jewish community.
Reading from right to left, the strange letters, and the guttural sounds of Hebrew don’t seem to put off Poles. According to Israeli Ambassador Zvi Rav-Ner, several hundred Polish citizens are currently studying Hebrew, and the demand is growing.
“This makes me very happy,” Rav-Ner said. “I ask the students why they are studying Hebrew, and their answers are interesting. They say that the Jewish and Yiddish cultures are part of Poland’s history and culture and they want to learn about it.”
“Some say that they want to help make Polish society, which is mainly Catholic, more diverse,” he continued.
The embassy provides assistance for Hebrew courses in the form of textbooks and in inviting Hebrew instructors to work in Poland.
Anna Zaluska, 25, who teaches Hebrew at a private language school in Warsaw, explained that one reason for the increased interest in Hebrew
study is increased economic cooperation between Israel and Poland. “There are also Poles who want to study Hebrew because they have an Israeli partner,” Zaluska noted.
However, despite renewed interest, Hebrew language study is not an entirely new phenomenon. The University of Warsaw has been teaching Hebrew since 1950. The Hebrew study curriculum includes, among other sources, books by contemporary popular writers Eshkol Nevo and songs by Teapacks.
Tomer is a young man who more than anything wanted to become a woman. But his dream couldn’t come true – not because of the usual reasons, but because he has cancer. The treatments made his dream almost impossible.
Tomer’s story is one of many presented in “Swan Lake,” a new photography exhibition that focuses on courage and freedom in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
The exhibit curators, Aviad and Rachel Herman, were inspired to launch the exhibition through their friendship with Tomer. They realized that plenty of people needed some inspiration to pursue their own dreams.
How to go about it? The Herman siblings spread the word on Facebook, urging photographers from all over the world to send in pictures of people who lived life to the fullest, despite mental or physical disabilities. The response was rapid, and the exhibition quickly took shape.
Everyone involved in the project, including the photographers, volunteered their time and effort.
“When my brother first told me about the idea, I saw its potential to touch people, change their lives,” said Rachel Herman. “I was really
excited, and I devoted myself to making it a reality.” Rachel took the pictures of the Hermans’ friend Tomer that appear in the exhibit.
“Tomer and I connected immediately. When we talked about what to photograph, and what he dreamt of being, he got excited at the thought that his dream could come true in pictures. On the day of the shoot, ‘Tomerika’ was revealed, stronger than ever.”
Another photo by Lior Eldad portrays a group from Amihai – an association of people with various disabilities who work together to achieve their dreams. Nimrod Kapeluto chose to focus on Eitan Oved, who lost his leg in a car accident at age 20 but who kayaks across the Sea of Galilee every Friday.
Other photographs included a mentally challenged girl who began indoor climbing; a group of breast cancer patients; and an AIDS patient from Sweden.
“We decided to create a photography exhibition… that would inspire courage, freedom, personal expression, and a love for life. Everyone is welcome to come visit,” said Rachel and Aviad Herman.