Get Lost in Girona

Girona (pronounced heh-row-na) is a small, culturally rich town in Catalan, Spain -- and is the perfect place to get yourself gloriously lost.

Shalom and G’Day, Mate

Last summer, when Sydney, Australia, burst onto my television screen as part of the coverage for the 2000 Olympic Games, the city struck me as an urban Disneyland, full of fanciful architecture and enchanting public gathering spots.

High Anxiety

The concerns that keep Americans away compel Israelis to stay home as well.

The Last Jews of Kochi

The first mention of the Jews in India is made in the Book of Esther, which dates back to the second century B.C.E.

Studying Hate in Berlin

The globalization of trade and communications may soon be joined by a new globalization of anti-Semitism, according to a German scholar who knows the subject well.

Shalom, Amazon

A few weeks ago I welcomed Shabbat in Iquitos, Peru, one of the most isolated cities in the world. Located four degrees south of the Equator and surrounded by nearly impenetrable jungle, Iquitos is accessible only by air or by river -- that is, the Amazon.

Summer in Israel: To send or not to send?

If the point of terrorism is to slowly whittle down the confidence of its targets, it seems to be working.

Blue and White in Bangkok

Shabbat in Bangkok? What business does a partisan of the 613 mitzvot have in a city of 1,000 temptations?

Red Sea Holiday

Nobody takes Eilat too seriously -- which is a good thing. Poised on the cusp of the Red Sea, this resort city at the southern tip of Israel is where Israelis and others go to unwind. During the short, cold days of winter, northern Europeans by the planeload come to soak up the guaranteed sunshine.

Peace of Mind

While the current crisis may have deterred some schools and parents from participating in the exchange programs, Pressman Academy and Milken Community High School of Stephen S. Wise Temple demonstrate that such programs can thrive despite the tense security situation.

New Route for Roots

It\'s virtually \"genealogy for dummies.\" In a nation of immigrants where more than 35 percent of the population -- or 100 million Americans -- have at least one relative who passed through Ellis Island, officials at that historic entry point to New York have unveiled a new Web site that will enable even the least tech-savvy to mine a mother lode of information on their families\' roots.

A ‘New Germany’

Jewish leaders in the United States and in Israel are encouraging an openness to what they describe as a \"new Germany,\" a place they say is truly atoning for its past. At the very least, they argue, it deserves the support of the American Jewish community because of its strong support of Israel and its embrace of Jewish immigrants who are streaming in at the rate of 10,000 per year.

Out of Egypt

At every Passover seder, in each generation, Jews are reminded to see themselves as though they came out of Egypt in person.

Passover In Bolivia

I found myself at a seder in Cochabamba, Bolivia on a cool spring evening during Passover 1999. At the time I was spending a semester abroad as part of my major in international studies at Macalester College.

Mission Impossible?

On a brisk night in early January, hundreds of American Jews from throughout the United States, still jet-lagged from their arrival in Israel that morning, are filing into a large airplane hangar at Hatzor, an isolated air force base near Ashkelon.

Destination Israel

Tourism in Israel is being hammered. The Al-Aqsa uprising that began last fall has prompted a flood of trip postponements and cancellations, particularly by Americans who saw no need to put themselves or their children at risk when stones and bullets were flying in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Banking on the Future

Tourism to Israel is slumping, but the country\'s national airline is betting $400 million on a liftoff.

Looking for A Legend

Years ago I\'d heard from someone or read somewhere that Wyatt Earp is buried in Colma, near San Francisco, a bit of provocative trivia whose truth I\'d never been sure of. One day a while back I decided to check it out. I would have thought that one of the most famous figures in the history of the Old West would have ended up in the landscape of his legend. In the case of Wyatt Earp, this would mean Dodge City, Wichita, or more appropriately, Tombstone.

Expedition Armageddon

Indiana Jones battled snakes, boulders and heathens during his archaeological quests, which sounds like great adventure to me.

The Melting Wok

It was Friday night in Shanghai, a major linchpin of the Jewish Diaspora, and folks from all over the world were dropping in to wish Rabbi Greenberg "Shabbat shalom."

Jews With Altitude

Every December, my wife and I used to pack up our winter gear, load the snow chains into the trunk of our car, bundle up our two young children and brace for a motor expedition through the desolate suburbs that seem to stretch interminably eastward from Los Angeles.

Downhill Doubts

My father has disowned me. We did not get into a fight about the family business -- there is no family business. I did not marry out of the faith, and I have no children about whose upbringing we can disagree. The source of our irreconcilable differences is that we went skiing together last year, and he is convinced that I cannot be his natural child.

Israel All to Yourself

I was more than a little conflicted when Israel\'s Ministry of Tourism invited me to visit the Holy Land for one week in December to judge for myself whether the country was safe enough for tourists. I\'d never traveled to Israel before, and while I knew that life was going on as usual for most Israelis, CNN\'s daily images of conflict and the U.S. State Department\'s warning fed my apprehension.

Downward Trend

Tour operator Tova Gilead returned from a 10-day trip to Israel in early January and brought back wonderful stories of people experiencing the beauty and history of the Holy Land, many for the first time.

Open Season

Those who see little distinction between religion and golf might be tempted to daven with their heads pointed northwest, toward Pebble Beach.

Berlin Bound

More than 300,000 visitors have thronged the Jewish Museum in Berlin since it opened to the public in February 1999, and more are coming at a clip of 20,000 each month.

Beyond Ordinary

Ernie Weir is owner and winemaker of Hagafen Cellars, one of California\'s three kosher wineries that exist in an industry dominated by hundreds of non-kosher wineries.

Roman Holiday

On Yom Kippur, my wife Sally and I went to shul just around the corner from the Vatican. It was a visit we will not soon forget. The imposing Comunita Ebraica di Roma Synagogue (the Great Synagogue of Rome) sits just off the Piazza del Firori close to the Tiber River and spitting distance from Vatican City across the river in one direction, and Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in the other.

Tourism in Israel

Ehud Barak has the hardest job in Israel these days, but Itai Eiges\' is no walk in the park, either. As director general of the ministry of tourism, Eiges is in charge of promoting an industry that has been crippled by the recent conflict. Tour operators are reporting a 50 percent cancellation rate, the U.S. State Department has instituted a travel warning on the Middle East, and Britain has levied one against Jerusalem. It is the worst drop-off in travel in decades.

Vienna’s first Holocaust museum

Vienna\'s Holocaust Memorial in the inner city\'s Judenplatz was unveiled in a simple but moving ceremony last Wednesday.

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