Excerpt from Irene Shaland’s book “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories.”
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. We visited two of the city’s eight synagogues: Kenesseth Eliyahoo and Magen David. Both were built by the Sassons, the wealthiest family of the Baghdadi Jews. The elegant blue structure of the Magen David Synagogue was erected by David Sasson in 1861. Hanna and Eliyahoo were waiting for us inside.
Continue reading “Meeting the Jewish Community of Mumbai India”
On our trip to Bonifacio, Corsica we recalled what Homer said about it: “We put into that port, so well-known amongst sailors: where sheer double cliffs, with no gaps, encircle the harbor and two headlands squeeze the narrow entrance in their grasp.” “Homer, “Odyssey,” Chapter X.
Continue reading “Visiting Bonifacio: Hotel Cala di Greco”
Calvi is considered one of the most beautiful and fashionable seaside resorts in Corsica. It is located on the northwestern coast of the island, some 165 kilometers from the Corsican capital Ajaccio. Founded by the Romans in the first century CE, the city was ruled by the Genovese maritime republic from 1278, until it was given away to France in the 18thcentury.
Continue reading “Beautiful Manor Russum – Your Best Hotel in Calvi, Corsica”
The Malta archipelago, a tiny spot in the middle of the Mediterranean with 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers, remains unknown to most US travelers. And this is a pity, because if you do visit this island (or rather all three of them: Malta, Gozo, and Comino) you will be forever inspired and spiritually enriched by the magical beauty of these gems that remain still-hidden for many.
Continue reading “The Best Hotel in Malta: Ursulino Valletta”
My husband Alex and I have been globe-trotting for over four decades, visiting close to 70 countries, feeling at home in most of them. When in Europe, we very seldom hire private guides, but we did so in Malta. As an art and travel writer, focusing on history and Jewish history, I had an extensive “must see” plan or rather a research “curriculum” I intended to follow in that tiny country, which is arguably one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
Continue reading “Clive Cortis and his Malta Private Guide Company”
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 numerous waves of invaders: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, the Italian city-states of Pisa and Genoa, and the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon—all succeeded one another in dominating the island. The Northern Italians came last, with Garibaldi himself falling in love with the island. He chose to live the last years of his life in Carpera, Sardinia.
Continue reading “Discovering Jewish Connections in Sardinia”
The photo of this elephant is my entry for the 2019 AAWR Members Annual Exhibition. I took this photo during our 2013 Great Migration trip to Kenya and Tanzania in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The sun was setting down, and dark clouds were rapidly moving in. On the way to the lodge, we passed this majestic animal rapidly walking along the side of the road. The plains, the dark clouds, and the walking giants were too dramatic not to snap a photo.
Continue reading “Elephant in Amboseli National Park, Kenya”
Reprinted with permission of the author, Rabbi Barbara Aiello
Throughout Israel, especially in Tel Aviv, the last day of the year is “party night.” On December 31st Israelis will celebrate along with the rest of the world but instead of shouting “Happy New Year,” Israelis do something different. As the year turns from one year to the next, Israel’s Jews will wish each other a “Happy Sylvester,” a New Year’s greeting that invokes, of all things, the name of a Catholic saint!
Continue reading “THE JEWISH GREETING FOR THE SECULAR NEW YEAR”
- Choosing Your Hotel in Denmark Capital Copenhagen
If you are going to take some one-day trips, you might want to stay, like we did, near the train station. I suggest a small gem of a hotel: Axel Guldsmeden. It is a masterpiece of organic sustainability in everything from their beds and showers to afternoon/evening teas.
Continue reading “How to Enjoy Denmark: Suggestions from a Globe-Trotter”
Exploring Thailand away from the tourist crowds
To all theater lovers, I always recommend not to be missed “real” performance when in Bangkok, and by real I mean those that are shown to non-tourists, outside of buses brining crowds for a mediocre dinner and Thai Dance-“light.” And for that, one should head to the National Theater http://www.finearts.go.th/ (very close to the National Museum) and see, preferably, the Siam Niramit performance, perhaps the most elaborate and “largest stage show in the world.” It is definitely one of the most amazing and intriguing. But any traditional Thai dance shows would do, though I always prefer Khon dancers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OWBs48qUuA.
Continue reading “Exploring Thailand”