Tag Archive for travel

A visit to Jerusalem Archaeological Park

From Canadian Jewish News, 2002 Below the southwestern corner of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, near the archaeological feature known as Robinson’s Arch, lies a random assortment of massive stone building blocks. Though you might not realize it at first, these blocks help bring history to life. They were once part of a parapet wall along the…

An 1839 travelogue through the Jewish world

In the year 1839, had you been a traveller along the road from Rzeszov to Cracow, you would have been obliged to show a passport in Podgorze, the suburb of Cracow on the Austrian side of the Vistula (“Weichsel”) River. After submitting to a cursory inspection from Austrian officials, your vehicle would have crossed the…

Meeting Nehemiah Persoff at David’s Deli, San Francisco

The rumbling is sudden and loud and the floor vibrates intensely. Yet patrons in this darkened theatre on Pier 39 in the Fisherman’s Wharf district remain calm. And why not? They have paid $7 to attend the San Francisco Experience, a 28-minute multi-media show that promises that “you will feel the earth shake.” Utilizing a…

How not to cross the Allenby Bridge

From the Canadian Jewish News, 1989 Since the recent declaration of peace between Jordan and Israel, and the opening of the Arava border-crossing point between Eilat and Aqaba, it is now a simple matter for visitors to cross freely between these two spectacular Middle Eastern countries. Until these most welcome innovations, tourists frequently faced considerable…

Swept away at Niagara Falls: a cautionary tale

The Niagara Falls Visitor and Convention Bureau recently gave me an envelope filled with complimentary admission tickets to local museums and fun houses, and for a couple of hours I was like a kid again as I visited them all in succession. The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, the Guinness Book of World Records…

Capernaum is rich in Christian history

In the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, above the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, visitors may examine a partially reconstructed 2nd- or 3rd-century synagogue and glimpse portions of the underlying remains of an earlier synagogue in which Jesus is said to have preached. The town’s name derives from the Hebrew name K’far Nachum,…

The Road to Timbuktu: Adventures of a Jewish Traveller

Seeking to extend their colonial holdings in the early 1800s, the major European powers considered the notion of dispatching expeditions through the forbidden Sahara Desert to Timbuktu, the legendary lost city of gold in the heart of Africa. Rumors of the vast wealth of Timbuktu had been circulating ever since 1324, when Mansa Musa (“Emperor…

Only in Los Angeles: the Wilshire Boulevard Temple

When your address is Hollywood and you’d like some murals in your synagogue, who are you going to call? L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a magnificent structure, both inside and out. Modeled roughly after the Great Synagogue of Florence, its features seem by turns pure Byzantium and pure Hollywood. Large as a cathedral, it boasts…

Many highlights for repeat visitors to Montreal

In Place d’Armes, an historic square in Montreal’s Old City, two opposing shrines — a loftily-domed church and a classically-pillared bank — face off against each other, potent symbols of the durable dialectic between religion and commerce that has helped shape this dynamic French-and-English-speaking city founded on an island in the St. Lawrence more than 350…

Montreal Jewish community has rich history

A special summer of activities highlighting Montreal’s historic Jewish community kicks off June 15 (2000) when a musical version of Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz premieres at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in this famously bilingual city. As it happens, the musical is also bilingual: it’s in Yiddish, with simultaneous English translation available for…