WHAT WE DO

We travel to the four corners of the earth in search of little-known Jewish stories in the familiar and unexpected exotic places. We set these stories against the broad background of the local history, culture, traditions, and beliefs.  Then, we share these stories with you in our lectures, books, blog posts, and magazine articles.

Our mission is to foster cross cultural diversity, tolerance, inclusion, and understanding around the world with an emphasis on Jewish history.

But wait, there is more! Over the years, we explored more than 70 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and many islands. So, in addition to the fascinating Jewish history, we tell stories about exotic places, people, and cultures. Our followers keen on adventure and special-interest travel will find plenty of practical advice and useful information. Browse our blogs, come to our lectures, and we are sure that you will find something interesting to read, listen to, and watch.

RECENT & UPCOMING EVENTS

Most virtual and in-person lectures and other events are free and open to the public. Please check our schedule for dates and times.

January 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture “Rediscovering Portuguese Secrets: Little-Known Jewish History that Changed the World.” This event is hosted by the Baltimore Zionist District organization.
January 28, 2024 at 7:00 PM, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture Acts of Loving Kindness During the Holocaust: Unknown Stories from Cuba, Corsica, Malta, and Calabria.” This event is hosted by the Baltimore Zionist District organization.
February 27, 2024 at 11:00 AM, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture“The Hidden History of Jewish People on the Islands of Madeira and Azores and the Unsolved Mystery of a Sefer Torah.” This event is hosted by the Baltimore Zionist District organization.
March 13, 2024 at 5:30 PM, Alex Shaland presents his writing and publishing workshop How to Become a Published Author.” This event is hosted by the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.
April 19, 2024 at 11:00 AM, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture Rediscovering Portuguese Secrets: Little-Known Jewish History that Changed the World.” This event is hosted by Abraham Events of London, U.K.
May 6, 2024 at 7:00 PM EST, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture “In search of a Jewish Story in China.” This free zoom event is hosted by New City Library, New York.
May 19, 2024 at 12:00 noon  EST, Irene Shaland presents her virtual lecture “Portugal Part II.” This zoom event is hosted by the Society for Crypto Judaic Studies.
June 1st, 2024 at 1:00 – 2:30 PM  EST, Irene Shaland presents her in-person free lecture “The Mosaic of Singapore.” This free in-person event is hosted by the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, 1834 E 123rd St, Cleveland, OH 44106. Call 1-216-721-9020 to register.
For a complete list of our lectures and photography shows please see our Schedule 

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PROGRAMS OFFERED

Ready to Travel the Jewish World? We will take your interest group on a virtual trip to the most exotic and unexpected places on earth searching for treasures of Jewish history. Our Memories of the Holocaust series examines the painful past and often controversial present. Based on our exploration journeys around the globe and first-hand experience, our Meet New People and Cultures series will open new horizons and foster cross-cultural diversity and understanding.

  • Great Synagogue of Burma
  • Berlin Holocaust Memorial
  • Irene Shaland enters Masai village surrounded by Masai Women

What audiences say: “Last night’s presentation… was simply mind-blowing! I wish you could turn it into a documentary or a movie. Obviously, the questions that you are posing are not just about Jews, they are about tolerance, humanism, and probably even fate of the civilization.” – J.M. Read more audience comments.

Select Blog Posts

SELECT BLOG POSTS

A few select blog posts below will give you a good idea about our writing. In our complete blog roll, you will also find announcements about upcoming events you may want to attend, book releases and promotions, links to our articles published in various magazines, and articles written by contributing editors.

Sardinia

Discovering Jewish Connections in Sardinia

Sardinia is an island famed for its unearthly beauty. Sardinia is second only to Sicily in its size among the Mediterranean islands. Like Sicily, Sardinia attracted waves of invaders: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, the Italian city-states of Pisa and Genoa… [Continue reading this blog post]

Masai people

Masai – the Lost Tribe of Israel

As we drove through the vast plains of Masai Mara and Serengeti reserves, we saw the light-skinned, tall, slender people dressed in red. Surrounded by their herd of cattle, they leaned on their long spears or stood on one leg. Bearing remarkable similarities to ancient Romans from North Africa, most had classical profiles, wore red togas and sandals… [Continue reading this blog post]

Mr. Jin

Preserving Jewish identity in China

Kaifeng, China. We are at the oldest Jewish burial place in China – with Mr. Jin in front of his life-long project, his family memorial. Our new friend dedicated his life savings and his entire life to create this marble memorial book which presents – engraved in English and Chinese – the 900-year story of Mr. Jin’s family within the context of Chinese history… [Continue reading this blog post]

Magen David Synagogue, Mumbai, India

Meeting the Jewish Community of Mumbai India

Jews settled in Mumbai (Bombay) in the 18th century. First, the Baghdadi arrived in the 1730s. Then, the Bene Israel began migrating from the countryside into the city in the 1740s. Today, Mumbai has the largest Jewish community in India: 3,500 to 4,000 people, most of whom are the Bene Israel… [Continue reading this blog post]

Girls playing a ball mosaic in Villa Romana

Villa Romana Sicily – Must See for Italy History Buffs

Villa Romana del Casale located in Piazza Armerina in the Sicilian heartland is a not-to-be missed site for all history and art enthusiasts. It is a treasure trove of the best Roman mosaics in existence today. Built in Sicily in the 4th century AD by Marcus Aurelius Maximianus who was Roman co-emperor during the reign of Diocletian (286-305 AD)… [Continue reading this blog post]

Click here to browse through all short articles, announcements, and descriptions of events.

SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS

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EXPLORE THE MOSAIC OF SINGAPOREWITH IRENE SHALANDFree In-Person Event In Cleveland, OhioText by: Irene Shaland and Artists Archives of the Western ReserveSaturday, June 1st, 1:00 - 2:30 pm: The Mosaic of Singapore with Irene ShalandLocation: Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, 1834 East 123rd St.Cleveland, Ohio 44106Travel with Irene Shaland to one of the most amazing destinations in Asia for history and art aficionados: a small city-state of Singapore. Bustling, cosmopolitan, artsy, trendy, modern, clean, and orderly, Singapore plays an important part on the world’s financial and political stage. Ethnically and religiously diverse, this city-state is a true microcosm of tolerance and inclusiveness, unique in our world today.Discover the fascinating story of the uniquely Singaporean world: composed of a mosaic of cultures: Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Armenian, Persian, Jewish, Arabic, and European – this is a world like no other. A country of immigrants, Singapore is called a nation of cultures. Unnoticed by many visitors, the streets of Singapore can double as a museum of modern and contemporary art, while the city skyline displays cutting-edge architecture.This event is free of charge and will be held at the AAWR gallery. Immediately following the program, a small sampling of authentic food from Singapore, courtesy of Dang Good Foods will be served. Link to registration: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mosaic-of-singapore-with-irene-shaland-tickets-902534333487?aff=oddtdtcr... ... See MoreSee Less
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