behindrhescenes1
Behind the scenes at ISRAEL21c

ISRAEL21c write-up leads to romantic match-up

Lara Porter showing off her “stellar ring” after accepting Pinhus Dashevsky’s proposal. Photo by Ira Machefsky

Just before Valentine’s Day 2012, ISRAEL21c included Astronomy Israel’s nighttime star tours in Mitzpeh Ramon as one of the top 10 romantic spots in Israel.

Ira Machefsky, the American émigré who runs the tours in the Negev town, then posted the following offer on his website, astronomyisrael.com: “Propose on a star tour and it’s free!”

On the night of January 13, he reports happily, it happened.

“The offer has been there almost two years and finally a couple took me up on it,” he tells ISRAEL21c.

Pinhus Dashevsky and Lara Porter, both New York college students, got engaged on a star tour that Dashevsky arranged in advance as the high point of their winter-break vacation in Israel.

“They met on a plane to Israel three years ago, and then a few months later they were both on the same summer program in Israel,” Machefsky relates. “They got to know each other as friends, and one thing led to another.”

In planning their vacation, Dashevsky searched online for a way to indulge his girlfriend’s love of the stars. He discovered Astronomy Israel and called to make a reservation, explaining his wish to propose marriage at the end of the session.

When the moment arrived on that chilly Monday night, Machefsky began playing one of the romantic MP3 files that Dashevsky had sent him ahead of time, and excused himself from the scene – but stayed close enough to hear the words, “Will you marry me?”

Engagement party at the Green Backpackers lodge. Photo by Ira Machefsky

“I’m happy to say she did agree, and we broke out the champagne and had a little toast in the desert,” says Machefsky.

“I got to see the ring. It was a stellar ring,” he puns. “Then we went to where they were staying at the Green Backpackers lodge, where we’d arranged a party with cake and wine.”

Machefsky stresses that his free offer still stands for any about-to-get-engaged couple heading to Mitzpeh Ramon. “Come on down and get hitched!”

Getting a manicure in Israel is a serious business.
Israel in Pictures,Picture of the Week

Photo of the Week – Anyone for a manicure?

A bird’s eye view of a manicure stand at the busy 260-store Malcha Mall in Jerusalem. The photo was taken by photographer Meital Cohen, from Flash90.

If you’ve got a photograph you’d like to feature on ISRAEL21c please send it in high resolution to info@israel21c.org. Every week we will choose the best one to feature on our pages.

10.12
Israel in Pictures,Picture of the Week

Photo of the Week – Finally, rain

It was the question on everyone’s lips this November – where is the rain? After months and months of summer sunshine, even the biggest sun-lovers were starting to get fed up as temperatures stayed high late into the month – sometimes even topping 36 degrees centigrade.
 
According to figures released by the Israel Meteorological Service at the start of December, Israel in November recorded some of its lowest ever rainfall levels in 55-70 years (when records began). It was also the hottest November in 60 years.
 
The rain and cold weather Israel is currently experiencing will continue until tomorrow, when a new cold front is due in – bringing thunderstorms, high winds and low temperatures to all parts of the country. There’s even a chance of snow in Jerusalem.
 
This week’s photo of the week was taken in Jerusalem during the current storm by Miriam Alster of Flash90.
 
If you’ve got a photograph you’d like to feature on ISRAEL21c please send it in high resolution to info@israel21c.org. Every week we will choose the best one to feature on our pages.

Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market by Miriam Alster of Flash90.
Israel in Pictures,Picture of the Week

Photo of the Week – Which sufganiyot?

Hanukkah is well underway in Israel. Candles are being lit all over the country, and doughnuts consumed in enormous quantities.

With the huge range of choice now on offer, from doughnuts stuffed with dulce de leche, to dark chocolate, cream and even berries laced with alcohol, the biggest choice facing most consumers these days is which one to choose.

This week’s photograph was taken in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market by Miriam Alster of Flash90.

If you’ve got a photograph you’d like to feature on ISRAEL21c please send it in high resolution to info@israel21c.org. Every week we will choose the best one to feature on our pages.

sunset
Israel in Pictures,Picture of the Week

Photo of the Week – Jerusalem at sunset

Sunset on a roof in the Muslim Quarter, the sounds of the city drifting up on the air.

Thanks go to ISRAEL21c reader Marilyn Lyons for her beautiful shot of Jerusalem.
Marilyn writes: “The photo was taken by me during Succot from the rooftop of a restaurant in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.  

“Not only was it a beautiful evening visually, but I was surrounded by the mish mash of sounds of Jerusalem, from a young group of men in the streets below singing and dancing to klezmer, to the calling to prayers from the minarets and the gospel singing by the guests of the restaurant.”

If you’ve got a photograph you’d like to feature on ISRAEL21c please send it in high resolution to info@israel21c.org. Every week we will choose the best one to feature on our pages.