Michele Chabin

Foreign Correspondent/Analyst/Public Speaker/Content Writing

Location icon Israel

I'm a transplanted New Yorker who moved to Jerusalem more than 25 years ago. I'm the Israel correspondent for the New York Jewish Week, Religion News Service and the National Catholic Register and freelance for USA Today and many other publications. I cover anything and everything related to Israelis and Palestinians, women's issues, religion, culture, tourism and much more. When I'm not writing I enjoy speaking to groups about the region, mothering my kids and riding my bike. If you want to know the latest about Israelis and Palestinians, I'm your person.

Follow me on Twitter: @michelechabin1, find me on Facebook. or e-mail me: [email protected]
You can also check out my Linked-in profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/michele-chabin/6/999/a32

Religion News Service
Some Christians and Jews hail embassy move to Jerusalem as key to a biblical plan

JERUSALEM (RNS) - When American and Israeli officials inaugurated the first-ever U.S. embassy in Jerusalem Monday (May 14) in a festive red, white and blue ceremony, more than 100 evangelical Christians, including former U.S. congresswoman Michele Bachmann, were on hand. So were scores of American Jews, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, many of them Orthodox.

Religion News Service
Embassy move, Gaza crisis make for somber start to Palestinians' Ramadan

JERUSALEM (RNS) - This year, the first night of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding - what Palestinians call the Nakba, or 'catastrophe' - and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Religion News Service
At Auschwitz, thousands join the March of the Living to honor the dead

OSWIECIM, Poland (RNS) - Seventy-three years ago this week Irving Roth, 88, was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp. He and his brother had been imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp, but as Allied troops approached, the boys were sent on a death march to Buchenwald - where his brother died.

Jewish Week
Doomed At Birth

Jerusalem - He was an acquaintance, someone Sarah* had known for years, so she didn't worry when she found herself alone with him one wintery day. She discovered she was pregnant soon after he raped her. In her thirties, childless and aching to be a mother, she decided to raise this unexpected baby on her own.

Religion News Service
In Christ's birthplace, olive wood artisans carry on a Holy Land tradition

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (RNS) - Artisans in and around Bethlehem specialize in carving wood from a tree that makes several appearances in the Bible. They consider the work - a millennium-old tradition - holy. But clashes between Israelis and Palestinians threaten this year's Christmastime sales.

Jewish Week
South Tel Avivians Push Back Against Asylum-Seekers

Tel Aviv - Sophie Menashe, who is in her 70s, rarely leaves her fifth-floor walk-up apartment these days, but she insists it's not because the six-story building lacks an elevator. The reason, she said, is fear. "I've lived here 40 years. I raised my three children here and I love to walk to the sea.

National Catholic Register
Trump Administration's Cuts to Palestinian Aid May Strain Catholic Organizations

JERUSALEM - Franciscan Sister Bridget Tighe, the new director of Caritas in Jerusalem, is deeply concerned about the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than $100 million in funding to the U.N. Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which has been supporting Palestinian refugees for 70 years.

Religion News Service
Celebrating Hanukkah where the dominant winter holiday isn't Christmas

JERUSALEM (RNS) - Yael Horovitz, who immigrated to Israel from Australia, always loved the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, but the emphasis there on Christmas made her feel a little left out. "In Australia, for two months out of the year I couldn't escape Christmas carols," said Horovitz, who is Jewish.

Israel's Business Community Closely Watching Trump's Israel Visit

Visa restrictions probably won't have a strong effect on the "dozens" of Israeli water-related companies operating in the U.S. "because most have U.S.-based subsidiaries or agents and distributors or are engaged joint ventures," Yaacoby noted.

Israeli soldiers victim of latest truck terror attack

CLOSE JERUSALEM - A truck slammed into a group of Israeli soldiers at a Jerusalem bus stop Sunday, killing four soldiers and wounding 17 other people before the Palestinian driver was fatally shot, police said about the latest round of deadly violence in more than a year.

Israeli military open to volunteers with medical issues

JERUSALEM - Pvt. Tali Goft, an Israeli soldier serving on a base in northern Israel, didn't know Erez Orbach, one of the four soldiers killed in a truck-ramming attack here Jan. 8, but she felt a kinship with him. They both volunteered to serve in the military despite medical conditions that ordinarily would exempt them from Israel's mandatory service.

Israel forcibly evacuates Jewish settlement in West Bank

CLOSE AMONA, West Bank - Israeli police stormed a synagogue Thursday where about 200 Israeli protesters, some of them as young as 12-years-old, had barricaded themselves in Amona, an unauthorized Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The court-ordered evacuation began Wednesday with mostly peaceful resistance from settlers.

Celebrating Hanukkah in the Holy Land

CLOSE JERUSALEM (RNS) - Yael Horovitz, who immigrated to Israel from Australia, always loved the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, but the emphasis there on Christmas made her feel a little left out. "In Australia, for two months out of the year I couldn't escape Christmas carols," said Horovitz, who is Jewish.

Thousands of Christians expected for rapturous Holy Fire ceremony

JERUSALEM (RNS) - Thousands of Orthodox Christians will crowd the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday to watch the Greek Orthodox patriarch emerge from the structure surrounding Jesus' tomb with two lit candles. The ceremony, known as Holy Fire, is described by Orthodox Christians as a "miracle" that occurs each year on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Easter.

Is this unearthed fishing village the birthplace of 3 of Jesus' apostles?

CLOSE Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story misidentified the college associated with the excavation team. JERUSALEM (RNS) - Archaeologists excavating in northern Israel believe they may have discovered the biblical city of Bethsaida, the hometown of three of Jesus' apostles on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Michele Chabin - Expat - WSJ

About Expat Expat is The Wall Street Journal's hub for expatriates and global nomads - spanning the globe in expat hotspots like London, Paris, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney and many more. Here you'll find stories about expat living - housing, education, healthcare and more - expat jobs and managing your finances abroad.

Religion News Service
Middle East's Samaritans link Muslims and Jews

MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (RNS) - During the recent Sukkot holiday, Yousef Sadaka HaCohen, a Samaritan priest, greeted guests eager to soak up the Samaritans' unique holiday traditions. Among those guests were several Israeli and Palestinian officials, who, on the rare occasions they get together these days, usually meet to coordinate security or air grievances.

Religion News Service
Opposition to metal detectors sets off chaotic Friday prayers in Jerusalem's Old City

JERUSALEM (RNS) - Tens of thousands of Muslims heeded calls from their religious leaders to avoid prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in protest of new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount. Only "several hundred" worshippers prayed inside the mosque at midday prayers Friday (July 21), according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Religion News Service
In Israel, women-only beach days allow the religious to relax

TEL AVIV, Israel (RNS) It was Sunday - women's-only day - at the so-called religious beach in this Israeli city on the Mediterranean, and several hundred women and girls sat on the sand or frolicked in the gentle waves with an abandon they rarely exhibit elsewhere.

Religion News Service
Kosher? Historic ruling lets Israeli diners decide

JERUSALEM (RNS) - For decades, Israeli restaurateurs who served kosher food but who did not want to submit to the authority of the stringent Chief Rabbinate risked being shut down at a moment's notice. That's about to change, thanks to a recent landmark decision by the country's highest court. On Sept.

Jewish Week
For Family Of Terror Victim, Extradition Fight 'Has Been Devastating'

Jerusalem - For the past few years, Arnold Roth and his wife, Frimet, have spent numerous hours in Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem pleading with U.S. Justice Department officials to arrest the surviving terrorist who helped blow up the Sbarro restaurant in downtown Jerusalem in August 2001.

National Catholic Register
Holy Land Palestinians - Including Christians - Gird for the Trump Presidency

JERUSALEM - The feeling on the Palestinian street is that President Barack Obama did too little to advance Palestinian statehood, deter Israeli settlement-building and protect the region's endangered minorities, and Palestinians - including Christians - aren't optimistic President-elect Donald Trump will be any better.

Religion News Service
American Jews plan campaign to change Israeli minds about Judaism's diversity

JERUSALEM (RNS) American Jewish leaders, outraged by a recent Israeli government decision to abandon an agreement to create a pluralistic, state-funded prayer space at the Western Wall, plan to plead their case directly to the Israeli public. "We want the Israeli Jewish community to understand why we are upset," said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Israelis flock to mourn Shimon Peres

JERUSALEM - Israelis paid their respects Thursday to former President Shimon Peres as his body lay in state at the nation's parliament. Peres died Wednesday after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was 93. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin were among the hundreds of thousands of mourners expected to view Peres' body ahead of his state funeral here on Friday.

The Jewish Week | Connecting The World To Jewish News, Culture & Opinion
Chipping Away At Chief Rabbinate In The Courts

Jerusalem - While no one would call Israel a religiously pluralistic country, with its Orthodox control of the Chief Rabbinate, momentum in that direction seems to be building.

National Catholic Register
First US Serviceman Honored as 'Righteous Among the Nations'

JERUSALEM - The first U.S. soldier to be recognized by Israel's Holocaust memorial authority as a "Righteous Gentile" was guided by his strong Christian faith, according to his son, a pastor. Earlier this year, Yad Vashem recognized Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, who served in the 422nd Infantry Regiment in the U.S.

Religion News Service
Israel's 'Religious Zionists' grapple with extremists in their midst - Religion News Service

ESH KODESH, West Bank (RNS) On this unauthorized hilltop outpost the only sound for miles around is of a dog barking or a rooster crowing. Just 40 young religious Jewish families live on this windswept spot some 30 miles north of Jerusalem, and on this January day most of their children - about 150 in total - are in school down the road in Shilo, the nearest Jewish settlement.

Israel's Memorial Day remembers hundreds of Americans who served

JERUSALEM - Julie Landau and his family will gather on Wednesday at the grave of his son, Yair, an Israeli soldier killed in action in 1982 at age 23. Landau, who moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Jerusalem in 1969, is one of the hundreds of bereaved American and Canadian citizens whose loved ones died in the service of Israel's military or in Israel-based terror attacks.

Religion News Service
Religion News Service " Michele Chabin

(RNS) Despite the nation's reputation for interreligious conflict, Jewish, Muslim and Christian co-workers often juggle schedules to make sure all can observe their respective traditions.



Arab in Israeli parliament sparks outcry for defending Palestinian attacks

JERUSALEM - Hanin Zoabi, an Israeli Arab, believes Israeli Jews are colonialists who stole Palestinian land. She makes no distinction between the recent deaths of Israeli civilians and their attackers, calling both "victims of the Israeli occupation." Those are typical views of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as some Arab citizens of Israel like Zoabi.

Palestinian teen girls play bigger role in terror attacks on Israelis

JERUSALEM - Dressed in skirts over their jeans and scarves on their heads, two teenage Palestinian girls from northern Jerusalem headed to downtown Jerusalem on Monday, took out scissors and stabbed a 70-year-old Palestinian man they had mistaken for an Israeli Jew.

Religion News Service
Palestinian Authority limits Christmas celebrations in West Bank - Religion News Service

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (RNS) The Palestinian Authority has asked municipalities to tone down their public Christmas celebrations this year amid escalating violence between Palestinians and Israelis. Hana Amireh, who heads a government committee on churches in the West Bank, confirmed the Palestinian Authority is requesting "a certain decrease" in festivities following the deaths of dozens of Palestinians since mid-September.

The Jewish Week
Israelis' New Normal Means Jiu-Jitsu, Pepper Spray

Jerusalem - During the past couple of weeks, as the violence in and around Jerusalem and the West Bank has escalated, Roi Walther, a Jerusalem-based martial arts instructor in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, a form of Brazilian self-defense, has noticed a big uptick in interest in his already popular classes.

Israel to California: Here's how to save water

YATIR FOREST, Israel - As Californians struggle with an ever-worsening water shortage caused by a historic drought, they might look east for a solution - to the Middle East. Israel, subject to intermittent droughts for decades, has pioneered a number of water-saving techniques.

Police: Palestinian terrorists responsible for bus bomb

JERUSALEM - A bomb police say was planted by Palestinian terrorists exploded on a public bus shortly after it was evacuated Sunday, resulting in no serious injuries. "Based on the findings at the scene by bomb disposal experts, it was a terrorist attack," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Associated Press.

Auschwitz survivor: Being alive is best 'revenge'

TEL AVIV, Israel - Shortly after the Nazi invasion of what was then Hungary in May 1944, Renee Ganz's family and most of the 25,000 Jews in the city of Oradea were forced into cattle cars and transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

USA Today
Israeli Christians seek more integration into country

A growing number of Israel's 160,000 indigenous Christians are volunteering for the military even though they are exempt. HEBRON HILLS, West Bank - Preparing his jeep for the short drive into the West Bank city of Hebron, where tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers often flare, Nabeel Sabbagh looked like every other Israeli Border Policeman serving at this hilltop base.

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The Jewish Week
Food Philanthropy Aiding An Empty Jerusalem

The Jewish Week is an independent community newspaper offering the latest Israel, U.S. and New York news; features about Judaism, Jewish life, Jewish culture and Jewish dating; and articles about Jewish arts, Jewish food, Jewish travel and Jewish family life.

The Jewish Week
New Look, Focus For Tel Aviv Museum

Israel's Beit Hatefutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, is undergoing a total redesign, including changing its name from Museum of the Jewish Diaspora Museum. The Tel Aviv museum is a must-see destination on the itineraries of many U.S. tourists.

The Jewish Week
Going Raw, And Getting Healthy

The Jewish Week is an independent community newspaper offering the latest Israel, U.S. and New York news; features about Judaism, Jewish life, Jewish culture and Jewish dating; and articles about Jewish arts, Jewish food, Jewish travel and Jewish family life.

The Jewish Week | Connecting The World To Jewish News, Culture & Opinion
High Anxiety Over Israel's Pot Laws

Jerusalem - Dina Stein, a 24-year-old American-Israeli with a spunky demeanor and streaked blue hair, hopes recently revised regulations to Israel's medical marijuana program will put her on the fast track for a license to use the drug.

The Jewish Week | Connecting The World To Jewish News, Culture & Opinion
Birthright Tour Operator Turns Sights To College

Jerusalem - After launching a successful bilingual law degree program geared toward English-speaking Israelis three years ago, the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan wanted to create an undergraduate program that would attract English-speaking students from abroad.

The Jewish Week
Incubating An 'Innovation Movement'

The Jewish Week is an independent community newspaper offering the latest Israel, U.S. and New York news; features about Judaism, Jewish life, Jewish culture and Jewish dating; and articles about Jewish arts, Jewish food, Jewish travel and Jewish family life.

The Jewish Week
Bring On The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Videos

The Jewish Week is an independent community newspaper offering the latest Israel, U.S. and New York news; features about Judaism, Jewish life, Jewish culture and Jewish dating; and articles about Jewish arts, Jewish food, Jewish travel and Jewish family life.

Personal Essays/Op Eds/wHoly Jerusalem Blog

The Times of Israel
A biased panel on foreign press bias

This week I received an on-line invitation to an event in Tel Aviv: "Israel and the Media: Do We get a Fair Hearing?" In its promotional material the event, planned for February 23 and hosted by a speakers forum called Tel Aviv International Salon, noted that "there is no other conflict on earth that draws as much media attention as the one here between Israel and Palestinians.

Voices: Remembering Rabin, who made peace seem possible

JERUSALEM - Twenty years after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, it is still difficult to express the extent of the shock Israelis felt that November night. The first shock was the assassination itself, the first of its kind in Israel's history.

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