Château-Thierry American Monument

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The summer holiday is a perfect time to explore one’s area and discover new places. As this region is famous for the numerous and significant battles that were fought during World war One, a number of memorials have been erected as a tribute to the soldiers who crossed seas and oceans to fight for our freedom.

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The American Memorial in Château-Thierry is an impressive monument situated upon a hill near the town of Château-Thierry. It offers a wide view of the valley of the Marne River and is located about 54 miles (87 km) east of Paris. It was designed by Paul Philippe Cret and built in the 1930s. It is managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

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It commemorates the achievements of the United States forces that fought in the region during World War One when in 1918, the 2nd and 3rd United States Infantry Divisions took part in heavy fighting around the area during the Second Battle of the Marne. The monument consists of an impressive double colonnade rising above a long terrace.

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On its east facade, you can see the Great Eagle above a map showing American military operations in this region, an orientation table pointing out the significant battle sites as well as the names of the troops involved.

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On its west facade are heroic sculptured figures representing the United States and France. Can you tell which is which?

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Have Fun

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Being quite busy with the usual back-to-stuff work and the preparations for our departure for Sweden, I have little time for proper blogging. Instead I suggest you test yourself and try to answer the quiz about the USA my 12th graders will have to answer in teams this morning.

1. Who abolished slavery in 1865?
2. Who discovered America in 1492?
3. What is the Ivy League?
4. What characters did Mark Twain create?
5. What is the name of the president on the $1 banknote?
6. What is the capital city of the USA?
7. How many states are there?
8. What are the two states that are not on the mainland?
9. Who said “I want you” for the army?
10. Where were the first European immigrants disembarked before entering New York City?
11. What is the name of the war that took place between 1861 and 1865?
12. What is the most expensive shopping street in New York City?
13. What is the name of the most famous stock exchange?
14. What is the other name of San Francisco?
15. What is the most famous bridge on the West coast?
16. What holiday is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November?
17. On what boat did the Pilgrim Fathers sail to the USA in 1620?
18. What is the name of the flag?
19. What is celebrated every year on July 4th?
20. Who wrote “Of Mice and Men”?
21. Who created the first basketball shoe in 1917?
22. What animal symbolizes the USA?
23. What was destroyed by the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001?
24. How many stripes are there on the American flag?
25. What is the highest building in New York?
26. Who said “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” in 1968?
27. Who is the King?
28. Who wrote “The Old Man and the Sea”?
29. What is the name of the space center in Florida?
30. When was J. F. Kennedy assassinated?
31. Who said the “I have a dream” speech in 1963?
32. Who refused to let her seat to a white passenger in 1955?
33. What did the USA buy from France in 1803?
34. Located in the Southern part of the San Francisco Bay area, what is the name of the place that is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations?
35. Who said “Yes, we can.”?
36. What are the main two political parties?
37. Who directed “Whatever works”, “Match Point” and “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona”?
38. When did the Wall Street crash take place in the early 20th century?
39. Who created the New Deal, a range of policies increasing government intervention in the economy in 1932?
40. What does the controversial National Rifle Association promote?
41. What is the name of the most popular championship game of the National American Football league?
42. Who created Microsoft in 1975 at the age of 20?
43. What did Mark Zuckerberg create in 2004?
44. 44. Who directed “E.T”, “Saving Private Ryan”, Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List”?
45. What city was badly damaged by hurricane Katrina in 2005?
46. What is the ceremony that is held in February or March every year on Hollywood Boulevard?
47. What is the name of the most popular soft drink that was introduced in 1886?
48. Who created the most famous clothing company in 1869 with denim overalls?
49. Who introduced the “Speedee Service System” in 1948, the first fast-food restaurant in 1948?
50. What is the name of the city in Los Angeles County that is home to Hollywood celebrities and numerous wealthy people?

JPIX – the Spring Edition

This is the Spring edition of JPIX, the Jewish Photo Bloggers’ Blog Carnival. Click on each thumbnail to access the full post. Special thanks to Leora for being so patient with me when I had problems putting JPIX together.

Photos by Israeli bloggers

Batya who blogs at me-ander and Shiloh Musings shows photos from both blogs:

– “Should I buy four dresses?”
– – The Last Brooklyn Trolley
– Rosh Chodesh Shvat at Tel Shiloh, A Treat for The Eyes and Soul

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– Dramatic, Photogenic, But No Connection to Their Cause
– B”H, The Rain Has Given Us a Beautiful Spring
– Mount Zion, Jewish For Sure

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– Tel Shiloh, Adar II, Blooming As It Should Be, B”H
– More Sightings! Jerusalem’s Lightrail is Chugging Along

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Mrs. S. who blogs at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress shares:

– Reason #12,902 for making aliyah
– National Park: Ein Chemed Edition

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At I Wish I Were a Photographer,Toby shares pictures from her kitchen window and blooming trees

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While Risa at at Isramom shows an Old House in Downtown Rehovot

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Photos from the United States

Leora from Here in HP shares three paintings; one by her daughter, one she painted and one by Julie, a friend in Israel

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Mottel at Letters of Thought has loads of beautiful and fascinating photos: an unusual meeting in Crown Heights, a walk in Central Park and a mikvah in Baltimore

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Photos from Israel and New Zealand

Noa who blogs at Sparrow Chatter shares:

– Lost in translation
– Is Nothing Sacred?
– Hort Lawn Cemetery

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Photos from the Ukraine

Leah at Chossid’s PhotoBlog shows Pesach Prep and Pesach photos

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Photos from France

Ilana-Davita shows photos from Paris: an old Jewish bookstore and an unusual state school

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Past JPiX carnivals: Leora – December 2010Robin – Fall 2010Toby – Summer 2010Leora – Spring 2010Pesky – Winter 2010Leora – Fall 2009Batya – Summer 2009Leora – Spring 2009Ilana-Davita – Winter 2009Rafi – January 2009Mother in Israel (Hannah) – December 2008

The next JPIX will be hosted by Leora at the beginning of October. Use this form on the blog carnival site to submit your post.

And They Shall Be My People

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The latest book I read is And They Shall Be My People by Paul Wilkes. A book I highly recommend.

After following a Catholic priest for a year and writing a bout it Paul Wikes, wanted to repeat the experience but with a Protestant minister. While looking for the right candidate, Wilkes found Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum and made up his mind to follow this Conservative rabbi instead.

In the end he wrote a fascinating book on the every day life of a rabbi, his congregation and his family. in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The book begins in October with a shul meeting where Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum suggests a trip to Israel to his congregants in the hope that the experience will change them and encourage them to follow a more observant life. It ends one year later after the High Holidays.

It is absolutely fascinating to follow Rabby Jay Rosenbaum in his daily life and work although the reader realizes how difficult and frustrating it is to be a rabbi. Rabbi Rosenbaum belongs to the UTJ (Union for Traditional Judaism), something his congregants are quite proud of even if few of them are observant Jews, and we feel the rabbi’s disapointment as he attempts to inspire the Jews he encounters every day by coming up with new ideas and programs.

I also enjoyed the book on a sociological level; it it was quite captivating to read about the life of an American Jewish congregation in the mid-1990s. Thus it was the time when numerous Russian Jews were welcomed by local Jewish communities yet, to everyone’s surprise, they were in no hurry to become shul members, something which is analyzed and explained very thoughtfully in the book.

We also understand how difficult it is for Janine to be the rabbi’s wife and lead a life under the scrutiny of a middle-sized town where all the Jews know each other and where your every action is examined and commented upon. Something which is all the more difficult as her own family lives in Seattle.

Near the end of this chronicle, Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum takes some of his congregants to Israel, even if the trip is not organized the way the rabbi had imagined eight months earlier. There he confronts his own contradictions when he realizes that the step of staying there is as hard for him as it is for his congregants to abandon their mainstream American comfort and step into a more observant life.

Today Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum is the rabbi of Herzl – Ner Tamid, a Conservative Seattle Congregation.

Looking for a Jewish Hero

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Those of you who follow me on Facebook may already know that I am looking for ideas concerning a new project for my 10th graders.

The students will have to name a newly-built school (in the US) after someone famous. Each group will present their choices and the class will vote. I’d like to include at least one Jew in the examples we’ll work on before they do their own research. Because of their History curriculum I’d prefer those heroes to have been born in Europe prior to migrating to the USA.

All suggestions are welcome.