Book of Jewish Short Stories: The Dao of Being Jewish

Cover image and about The Dao of Being Jewish book, a collection of Jewish short stories
Our new ad for Irene Shaland’s book “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories”

Introducing Irene Shaland’s latest book, a collection of Jewish short stories: 

“The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories.”

Link to eBook  Edition: https://amzn.to/2HhwSng

Link to Paperback  Edition: https://amzn.to/2T1u5kK

Link to Large Print  Edition: https://amzn.to/2Cqhi6l

This book is full of Jewish survival stories and fascinating tales. It shines the light on the history of Jewish communities in ten countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa.” – GTA Books.

Two and a half millennia ago, a small party of Jews explored new trading routes for King Solomon, settled in the south of India, and lived there peacefully until today. Similarly, during the ancient Roman period, many Jewish merchants traveled to China over the Silk Route and some made it their permanent home.  

Also, before the Edict of Expulsion in 1492, Sicily was home to over 50 Jewish communities, possibly numbering 50,000 people. So, how did the Diaspora bring these wandering Jews to so many places around the globe? And why did Jews live happily in India and China for centuries and not experience antisemitism, while the story of the Jews in Europe went from persecutions and massacres to unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust? Finally, why do we see the rise of antisemitism and violence again in the 21st century?

You will find answers to these questions and much more in the current edition of Irene Shaland’s artfully illustrated book The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories. She collected these fascinating stories while visiting ten countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa and interviewing the locals in their homes, synagogues, and even cemeteries. Now, Irene Shaland’s book, replete with her husband’s photos, takes you on your own exciting journey of discovery from Austria and the Czech Republic to Scandinavia, from India and China to Sicily and Sardinia, and from East Africa to Stalinist Russia.

Learn more about Irene Shaland.

Chasing the Elusive Northern Lights in Iceland

northern lights appear over the ocean

All visitors to Iceland fall into two distinctive categories: those who saw the northern lights and those who did not. When Irene set her trip target on Iceland, she was determined to place herself, our daughter, and I squarely in the first category. The problem was that unlike the predictable crowds at JFK on the way to Iceland, the famous northern lights of Iceland are highly unpredictable. However, the best time to see them is from November through December.  So mid-November looked pretty good. Oh, and  it also happens to be one of the coldest months of the year.

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Judaica Research and Education Center in St. Petersburg, Russia

I recently attended an Educators meeting at the Jewish Federation building in Beachwood.  The meeting centered on a fascinating exhibit of old photographs from shtetls or Jewish Villages before World War I.   Titled “The Way We Looked,” the Beachwood exhibit marks the first time these photographs have been shown in North America.  The collection was loaned to Cleveland by the Center for Judaica Studies from St. Petersburg, Russia.  The co-curators of this exhibit, two scholars from the Center, Drs. Alexander Ivanov and Valery Dymshitz, presented an exciting lecture/slide show based on their in-depth research.

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Best B&B in Palermo

Piazza San Domenico in Palermo, Sicily, Italy

I selected a B&B in Palermo called BB22 not only because of its high reputation and excellent reviews, but also because I wanted to support those who restore Palermian ancient palaces.  BB22, a hidden gem in the heart of historic Palermo, is comprised of six luxurious rooms inside a 16th-century Palazzo Pantelleria located on a tiny back street in an ancient Vucciria neighborhood.

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