In a Land Called Hanalei

Written by Paul J. Blank on . Posted in Travel

Moshe, the savior of Israel, received his name from the daughter of Pharaoh, who said, “Ki min hamayimm’shitihu — I drew him out of the water.” I also have my own personal savior. He is a ukulele-playing, heavy-drinking, one-toothed Hawaiian with a rubber dingy and a major record deal. His name is Ali’i Ali’i Kai and he was born in the water.

Adventure and Reflection on the Zambezi River

Written by Paul J. Blank on . Posted in Travel

I attempted to push myself above the surface of the water, but I was blocked by the weight of the raft. I tried to remove my lifejacket and dive underneath, but the buffeting rapids propelling me along made this impossible. I thought to search for an air pocket, but I was reluctant to move toward the middle of the raft, from which it would be even more difficult to extricate myself; I also doubted I had enough oxygen for this maneuver.

An Eclipse Like St. Joseph Has Never Seen

Written by Louis Morris on . Posted in Travel

A Saros Cycle is a period of time — roughly 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours between the recurrent relative line-up positions of the sun, moon, and earth — that has been used since antiquity to predict eclipses.

Destination: Bar Mitzvah

Written by Editor on . Posted in Travel

The Nairobi Hebrew Congregation, the oldest synagogue in Kenya, is located in the center of the city and includes a spacious sanctuary, a mikvah, a social hall, and impressive gardens. For 105 years, the synagogue has held Shabbat and holiday services, educational programs, and celebrations of lifecycle events.

Jamaica’s First-Ever Kosher Restaurant Opens in Montego Bay

Written by Elie Klein on . Posted in Travel

For decades, Jewish travelers to Jamaica have bemoaned the fact that the island’s signature “jerk” cuisine was off limits due to a lack of kosher supervision. Thanks to the Chabad of Jamaica, which opened the doors of the first-ever kosher restaurant in Jamaica last week, the classic Caribbean culinary experience is now within reach for the thousands of strictly-kosher tourists who visit the island every year.

My Peruvian Bus Adventure

Written by Paul J. Blank on . Posted in Travel

When I was a child, my mother insisted that I always give my seat up to someone older on the bus or subway. She would add that this was the way that boys and girls in Israel behaved.

The Righteous Railway Workers of Lille, France: A Local Connection From Rosh Hashanah, 1942

Written by Ira Brandriss on . Posted in Travel

My mother, Perla Brandriss, often mentioned to us as children that it was Erev Rosh Hashanah, 1942, that the Nazis came to take her parents. They and their two youngest children were rounded up and taken to the railway station in their home town of Lille, France, together with many of the city’s other Polish Jews, to be sent to their deaths at Auschwitz.

Discover Congregation Ahavat Shalom of Ocean City

Written by Paul J. Blank on . Posted in Travel

On Shabbat afternoon between minchah and ma’ariv, the men of Congregation Ahavat Shalom of Ocean City, Maryland, sit around a small table. It is a welcomed respite from the 16-hour days they work during the week. As the rabbi discusses the Torah portion, salads are served, including traditional Moroccan dishes. Cans of soda are brought to the table, but there are few takers, as the men brag about giving up carbonated drinks.

Kol HaBirah Goes West!

Written by Editor on . Posted in Travel

Rosie Kavanagh of Kemp Mill, Maryland, reading Kol Habirah with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. (Credit: Shira Kavanagh)