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    Jewish Vacation


ln Honor of Israel’s Independence Day

If you can eat only one meal in Israel, choose breakfast. Preferably at a kibbutz.

If you can’t find a kibbutz, the morning spread at an Israeli hotel should do the trick. This lavish dairy buffet, an event everyone remembers even if the rest of their trip to the Holy Land is a blur, originates from the kibbutz.

Ravenous from waking up at dawn and working in the fields at daybreak, kibbutz workers gathered mid-morning in the communal dinning room where a table was unceremoniously laden with seasonal produce, dairy products, cooked eggs and fresh bread.…

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Best Jewish Travel Ideas for Boston

On the evening of April 18, 1775, the sexton of the Old North Church climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were heading to Lexington and Concord (just a few miles from Boston) by sea and not by land. This fateful event sparked the American Revolution and assured Paul Revere’s place in American history. …

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Top Jewish Travel Sights of Chicago

Although Chicago is known by some as the “Second City” it is a destination of choice for travelers drawn to its world-class cultural attractions, diverse neighborhoods and architectural wonders. Chicago is known for its world-famous museums, fantastic shopping, lively nightlife, world-class sporting events and a thriving theater scene that is now spoken of in the same breath as New York’s Great White Way. …

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Ten Best Jewish Travel Sites in Las Vegas

Photo Credit: misterbisson

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas and despite the deep recession that has sapped a great deal of strength from this city, there is still a whole lot happening in Vegas. The collapse of the new construction market and a general decline in tourism and convention business have made Vegas more affordable than ever before and midweek rates at four and five star hotels are available at prices so low you will think a zero is missing.…

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A Culinary Trip to Panama City

When two single Jewish women travel in Panama City for a much needed vacation, they can expect to be wined and dined every single evening. And when there are enough good kosher restaurants, over a half dozen, you can bet that these two single girls were happy to oblige. Our friend’s parents alerted the neighborhood of our arrival and every night, there would be a knock at the door and gentleman would sweep us away to a different restaurant.…

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A Taste of Jewish Rome

In the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica, against the backdrop of the Coliseum, it may seem crazy to think of Rome as a Jewish city.  However,   after four days here, I could not help but think about how much Jews are inextricably bound up in the history of ancient Rome, how Jews were central characters in the drama that would capture the imagination and faith of millions from the halls of the Vatican and how Jews emerged from the ghetto to become a vibrant minority in modern Rome.…

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A Taste of Jewish Florence

The renaissance is still very much alive in Florence.  A medieval city preserving its unique place between the Uffizi and the iPhone.   From the Ponte Vecchio to the doors of Ghiberti, the awe inspiring David and the Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore, I walk through the cobblestone streets and wonder if life would have turned out differently if I paid a little more attention during arts and crafts in kindergarten.…

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A Taste of Jewish Venice

Venice is a magical city.  It seems to float on water.  Boats pass through the Grand Canal.  Small tributaries navigated by colorful gondoliers flow between medieval stone buildings awash in faded pastel.  Hidden bridges lead you to narrow cobblestone streets filled with tourists and eager merchants selling masks, decorative glass and, of course, pizza.

Venice is also home to a remarkable Jewish community that can trace its history over five centuries. …

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Jewish Italian Cooking

I hope you enjoyed traveling with me, with a taste of Jewish Rome, Jewish Florence and Jewish Venice.  I want to share with you a wonderful experience I had cooking in Rome with Lisa.

Lisa is an amazing woman who knows her way around the kitchen — even if that kitchen is no bigger than my bathroom, with a tiny oven and no microwave!  …

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A Trip to Istanbul

I don’t know why I had always wanted to go to Turkey, but my husband agreed to go for our 40th anniversary. It was incredible!

Our first stop was the Neve Shalom Synagogue which means “Peace Oasis”. It opened its doors In March 1951 and is Istanbul’s most modern Synagogue. Despite its name, Neve Shalom has not always been a peaceful place.…

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Food of Istanbul for Tu B’Shevat

The smells and tastes of the fresh spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits in the Turkish market linger in my nose, on my tongue and in my mind. How better to retain these memories my recent travel to Istanbul than by recreating them in my own kitchen. Starting with this inspiration, I then realized that Tu B’Shevat begins on the eve of February 7, 2012.…

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An Inspiring Trip to Thailand

About 8 years ago, before I started a family, I traveled to Thailand with my husband.  It is a trip I will never forget and if I have a chance to go everywhere else on my bucket list I would definitely go back.  For those interested, there is an active Chabad network all around Thailand where you can find a warm meal for Shabbat and Shabbat services.…

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Mardi Gras and Jewish New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) is a city steeped in history and influenced by Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond.  It is known for gumbo, late night Jazz, historic neighborhoods and amazing festivals throughout the year.  Mardi Gras is one of the most well known celebrations in New Orleans that will be celebrated on February 21 this year.  It is just a few weeks before the Jewish holiday of Purim, often referred to as the Jewish Mardi Gras, and can be a great theme for your Purim seudah.…

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Hummus: Israel’s Hidden Treasure?

Before I moved to Israel five years ago, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was considered to be the “national food” of Israel.  Even though I grew up in the United States, far from the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, I remember my mother telling me that falafel was sold on almost every street corner in Israel.…

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A Taste of Arthur Avenue – Bronx’s Little Italy

A couple of months ago after my trip to Italy I met up with friend and kosher Italian food blogger Alessandra Rovati for a tour of Arthur Avenue.  Arthur Avenue is known as the “real” Little Italy in New York.  Since it is only ten minutes from home, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Alessandra was happy to be my tour guide and since we can’t eat at the restaurants, the main focus of our trip was the Arthur Avenue Retail market.   …

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London 2012 Kosher Food Guide

If I say “British Food” you’re either thinking bland pub food with room-temperature Newcastle Brown, or your mouth is watering at the thought of melt-in-the-mouth fish and chips enjoyed with the smell of salt sea air.  If you’re going to London for the 2012 Olympics and keep a kosher diet, I can all but promise you that neither of these images will come alive for you.  …

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Traditional British Recipe – Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and squeak is a traditional English recipe made with the shallow-fried leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The main ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables are often added. The dish got its name from the bubbling and squeaking sounds during the cooking process.  Cold chopped vegetables mixed with meat and mashed potatoes are all fried together in a pan and it is often made with leftover meat and veggies, served alongside and pickles or brown sauce, another infamous British condiment.  …

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A Taste of Israel – Changing For The Better

I was fortunate enough to spend three weeks in Israel on a trip with the organization Aish Hatorah. Any time I had been to Israel before, it was a toss up between pizza, falafel, shwarma, or a salad from Sambooki. On this trip, however, I consumed fewer than three dairy meals, and my meat (fleishig) meals could only be described as “abundant.” We ate in a meat restaurant in Metula in the north, where waiters served us endless tabletop grills with chicken, beef kabobs, grilled vegetables, and steak.…

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This winter, enjoy wine country and the wonder of California’s coastline—kosher style

Sunday: Fly into Oakland, Sacramento, or San Francisco. All three cities are located within an hour of Napa Valley.

Monday morning: You’re finally in wine country. If you want to swallow that wine—and not spit—it’s best to leave the rental car at the hotel and take a tour bus or limousine to Napa Valley’s kosher wineries.…

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