Managerial grit that sometimes borders on cockiness seems to keep El Al Israel Airlines aloft against all commercial odds as perhaps the ultimate ethnic niche carrier. Maybe it's a mindset composed of equal portions of self-reliance and chutzpah (a Yiddish expression loosely translated as utter nerve or supreme self-confidence) that somehow translates into viability for the small airline with the outsized reputation. It flies point-to-point to 40 cities worldwide from tiny Israel with just ...

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