Syrian Refugees Struggle at Zaatari Camp (interactive)
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
Syrian Refugees Cross Into Uncertainty | The New York Times

Refugees fleeing fighting in Syria in May, 2013, relocated to the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan where they face dusty days and cold nights in an uncertain existence with no end in sight

       
     
Israelis Split Over Military Service | The New York Times

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis protest plans to include their community in the military draft, arguing that the study of the Torah is as important to defending Israel as carrying a weapon in the Army.

Syrian Refugees Struggle at Zaatari Camp (interactive)
       
     
Syrian Refugees Struggle at Zaatari Camp (interactive)
       
     
What It Takes: Bob Simon's Advice to a Young Journalist | Columbia Journalism Review

In 2011, Columbia Journalism School student Tamir Elterman produced this video in which he asks Simon for career advice. What Simon told Tamir was down-to-earth, witty and inspiring. We post this now, in tribute to Simon.

Professor Betsy West, who worked with Simon at CBS News, and was Tamir's professor, notes: "This piece says so much about what made Bob so great: his curiosity, generosity, courage, humility and humor. Tamir followed Bob's suggestion that he go somewhere to be a reporter: he's now working as a freelance journalist in the Middle East, producing videos for The New York Times. We are heartbroken. I have been mesmerized by the outpouring of tributes on social media. In addition to being such an amazing journalist, Bob really was beloved."

       
     
All-Female Ticket Aims to Be Heard, if Not Seen

Maysoun Qawasmi leads the first all-woman list of candidates for elective office in the Palestinian territories.

       
     
Iron Dome in Action in Israel: Shooting Down Rockets

Israeli defense forces say their anti-rocket interceptor system has taken down most of the rockets fired at the country.

       
     
Street Style in Oakland, California | Intersection

Blurring the Lines
May 4, 2014

In the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., it is hard to ignore the bustling scene where scores of people are lined up in front of food trucks or going in and out of the hip restaurants, bars and salons. Among the foot traffic is a colorful display of relaxed Northern California style: vintage button-down shirts and scarves, tattoos and piercings and hoodies with the logos of local brands . Originally from Chicago, Sarah Barnekow moved to the area three years ago and has undergone a style transformation, most recently chopping 10 inches off her hair and dying it a white-and-gray hue. Sporting brown combat boots, a scarf she bought while traveling in India, a bracelet she recently purchased at a local flea market and a tattoo of the Wi-Fi sign, Ms. Barnekow said that her style usually errs on the side of masculine.

In the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., it is hard to ignore the bustling scene where scores of people are lined up in front of food trucks or going in and out of the hip restaurants, bars and salons. Among the foot traffic is a colorful display of relaxed Northern California style: vintage button-down shirts and scarves, tattoos and piercings and hoodies with the logos of local brands . Originally from Chicago, Sarah Barnekow moved to the area three years ago and has undergone a style transformation, most recently chopping 10 inches off her hair and dying it a white-and-gray hue. Sporting brown combat boots, a scarf she bought while traveling in India, a bracelet she recently purchased at a local flea market and a tattoo of the Wi-Fi sign, Ms. Barnekow said that her style usually errs on the side of masculine.

Sarah Barnekow, 24

Product support engineer

How would you describe your personal style?

“I like to be kind of edgy, feminine but also masculine, kind of like obscuring the gender identity in a way.”

How do you think about picking out your outfits in the morning?

“When I go to work in the morning, I try to tone it down a little bit, because I am going to San Francisco, and I work at a pretty big company. It’s a midsize software consultancy. And I’m definitely not the only person there who lives in Oakland, which is great because I can go into the office, and there are two or three people that I can really vibe with style-wise.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.

       
     
Mitzvah Tanks | The New York Times

“We go out there like soldiers, with a mission to conquer the world with light, with goodness, with kindness,” said Yishai Eliefja, 23, a Hasidic Jew who works for the Chabad Lubavitch’s “mitzvah tanks,” or “synagogues on wheels.”

The mitzvah tanks, which will resume operation on Wednesday now that Passover has ended, were inspired by the teachings of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson and aim to engage secular Jews in acts of tradition and prayer in order to advance the coming of the Messiah.

“We look at the mitzvah tanks as the front line Marines in the rebbe’s arsenal,” said Rabbi Mordy Hirsch, who is also involved with the administering of the mitzvah tanks. “People are depressed today. Everyone has their worries, their headaches. The mitzvah tanks idea is a warm, comfortable home environment in the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue.”

Although the tanks are a familiar sight in certain neighborhoods in New York City, a parade of 61 tanks — symbolizing each year since the rebbe ascended to leadership in Crown Heights, Brooklyn — snaked through the city on April 14.

“We invite them in the tank, to have something to eat, something to drink, and we have a blessing,” said Yishai Eliefja, the bearded 23-year-old driver of one of the mitzvah tanks. “Instead of going to the synagogue, we bring the synagogue to you.”