Orthodox Christians in Israel mark holiday as war in Gaza rages on

Some 62,000 Orthodox Christians in Israel are celebrating a quiet Christmas on Sunday as the war in Gaza rages on.While most other Christians celebrate the holiday on December 25, the Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and this year marks the holiday on Sunday, January 7 instead. Armenian Christians celebrate the holiday on January […]

Birthplace of Jesus empty for Christmas due to impact of war

Bethlehem is normally at its busiest at Christmas but this year war has scared away tourists and pilgrims from the Palestinian town in the West Bank, leaving hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops deserted. With global headlines dominated since Oct. 7 by news of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel, followed by Israel’s military assault on […]

Churches in Israel, West Bank cancel Christmas celebrations due to war

(JTA) — Ordinarily at this time of year, Nabil Totry would be gearing up for one of the biggest productions in Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home and one of several cities across Israel and the West Bank to go all-out for Christmas. But this year, as the holiday approached, Totry wondered whether his hometown would […]

Christmas in the crossfire: Visiting Bethlehem amid Israel-Hamas war

A small group of Roman Catholic priests clad in traditional black robes gathered in front of the Church of Nativity on Friday. Despite the brisk wind sweeping through the air and chilling the surroundings, their smiles remained warm as they captured a collective moment in a group photograph. On that Friday, the priests stood […]

Jerusalem’s free Christmas trees bring joy, unity after Hamas massacre

Nataly Brol came to pick up a free mini Christmas tree from Jerusalem’s Old City for the first time on Tuesday. A resident of Jerusalem who moved to Israel from Ukraine 25 years ago, this season, she decided her home needed a little extra joy. “For me, this is to celebrate Novy God,” the […]

Deck the halls with hope: ‘Bring Them Home Now’ Christmas ornament

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum has introduced a unique Christmas tree ornament with the Bring Them Home Now logo to honor the holiday. “Everyone who has a voice, world leaders, politicians and most importantly, individual citizens [must] continue to do everything in their power to bring [the hostages] home now,” the forum said […]

No Christmas tree in Bethlehem as holiday pared down over Gaza war

There will be no Christmas tree in Bethlehem this year as the traditional site of Jesus’ birth holds pared-down celebrations “without the fanfare and without too many lights” in the shadow of the Gaza war. Bethlehem, which neighbors Jerusalem in the West Bank, has been battered by Israeli-Palestinian clashes of years past. But many […]

Manicotti

Manicotti

Stuffed manicotti recipes come in two general styles: The first is a red sauce joint classic with large store-bought manicotti pasta tubes, a cheese filling, and sometimes ground beef. The second uses thin homemade crepes (crespelle in Italian) instead of manicotti shells, yielding a more delicate result. This recipe takes the latter route, and according […]

Bethlehem removes all Christmas decorations in honor of Hamas ‘martyrs’

The West Bank city of Bethlehem, famous for being the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, has declared that they will be removing all decorations celebrating the annual holiday of Christmas.  “Bethlehem Municipality crews announced the dismantling of Christmas decorations installed several years ago in the city’s neighborhoods and removing all festive […]