Last week’s election was incredibly emotional for me. With the support of my community, a kid from Pacoima won a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Wine bars, a new twist on an old theme, are drawing huge numbers of clientele in most metropolitan cities. What about the Holy City?
Spurred by a record-breaking number of foreign tourists who visited the Holy Land during the first quarter of 2012, Israel’s burgeoning hotel industry is gearing up for a busy summer tourism season by sprucing up their facilities and offering a variety of titillating vacation packages.
Passover celebrates the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, their wandering in the desert for 40 years, and their ultimate deliverance to the Promised Land.
The emergence of Israel on the global high-tech stage as a “start-up nation,” combined with the growing number of international business and Jewish organizational events held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has spurred a slew of major hotels to invest in upgrading their various services to discerning executives who endeavor to mix business with pleasure.
What if you were able to check in at a top Israeli hotel this summer, wave goodbye to the kids at the front desk and then, minutes later, find yourself nursing a fruity Mediterranean cocktail by the sun-kissed pool?
There are as many reasons to visit Israel as there are people who make the trip. Some want to establish a deeper connection with an ancient homeland; others are excited to explore a unique modern nation.
Zula is a delightful beachside restaurant where you can breathe in the salty air as Eyal Golan songs play in the background. It also advertises the best falafel in town, made with local garbanzo beans.
It is so good to be a traveler during December. Whether you want a romantic escape, a girlfriends’ getaway or a family vacation, the deals are abundant as many people choose to stick closer to home through the holiday season. My family and I have traditionally hit the road and enjoyed destinations that are packed with value and are not crowded — great places for a quick winter trip.
Tel Aviv is among the world's top 10 cities for 2011 listed by the popular Lonely Planet travel guide website.
It has been a year since Dana Rishpy, an Israeli girl last seen vacationing in Mexico, disappeared. In that time, her parents have had their hopes buoyed -- and then dashed -- by numerous erroneous reports that Dana had been spotted in Guatemala or Belize or some other Central American country.
But with the summer reopening of Club Med Opio in Provence -- after a $40 million renovation -- it's possible to avoid every one of those hassles. Within an hour of my arrival, I felt totally blessed rather than stressed. Call it the kinder, gentler Cote d'Azur.
With slight trepidation, the new year stands before us, calling us to dive in and embrace the fall.
Miracles in the Holy Land aren't only of a spiritual nature. Israel also boasts a long list of spas with amazing healing properties. Here's a look at some appealing and pampering clinics.
Barbados is, of course, well known as a "sun, sand and sea" island in the Caribbean, but it has many more attractions than these. Jewish visitors, in particular, are drawn to downtown Bridgetown, the island's capital city, to visit the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
My children were unexpectedly away for a week this summer, and I didn't miss them a bit.
Just one year ago, we had proudly taken our first family vacation in Israel. The places where my kids had the most fun -- Haifa, Nahariya, Rosh Hanikra, Safed, Kiryat Shemona -- were bearing the brunt of the Katyusha attacks.
The snow-capped Sierras jutted into a deeply blue sky. The hot tub bubbled away. "Israelis don't want to run away when there's a war," the woman explained. "We want to run home."
We've identified select products to help with common travel dilemmas. Peruse our list for solutions to help you pack light, avoid sunburns, save on batteries and more.
Maybe I'm crazy, but each winter I plan a family vacation that is fraught with danger. To reach our destination, we must drive up a perilous mountain road studded with hairpin turns. Oddly, during our ascent, this NASCAR-approved artery is usually choked with fog or hail.
Harry Sondheim, a retired criminal prosecutor for the L.A. County D.A.'s office, was traveling in Holland when he simply noticed an artifact that appealed to him. "They had a museum, Der Weg, which means the Weighing House. They had an artist named Bicart. I bought some postcards with depictions of Jewish ceremonies on them. You can't buy those postcards any longer."
The current schedule was adopted by Orthodox schools in the last two decades, when the Orthodox community made a collective decision to follow a halachic ruling by the great contemporary sage, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, according to Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, dean of Valley Torah High School in Valley Village and president of the Bureau of Jewish Education's Yeshiva Principal's Council.
Skiers and snowboarders who want vacations with fresh powder have an avalanche of options this winter. Jewish ski trips abound for teens to 40-somethings of all skill levels.
The leaves have turned, the days are shorter and Chanukah, the holiday of lights, glimmers ahead. With the winter looming, juicy possibilities await, with plenty of exotic, warm weather options. So go ahead and plan your first big escape of 2006. Or surprise a loved one by booking a post-Chanukah adventure. This might just be the trip of a lifetime.
Cruising isn't what it used to be. And to the more than 10 million people who took to the high seas last year, that's a good thing.
More than 2.77 million Chicagoans work, live and play in nearly 100 distinctive neighborhoods, divided by ethnicity, class and geography.
My friend Rhonda asked me nonchalantly, "Where are you going for Pesach this year?"
Envisioning the whirlwind travels ahead, my head began to spin. "I'll begin at Target for new shelf paper, sponges, paper goods, cleansers and a new broom. Then I'll dock briefly at Ralphs for the special deal on shmura matzah and whatever else they've got for Pesach that's on sale. Next I'll bully my way in to the kosher market for meat, wine and enough matzah meal to plug up the Hoover Dam. Then I'll get over to Stan's Produce for fruits and vegetables. By that time, I'll have thought of dozens of other things I need, and start the whole thing over again. How about you?"
Passover travel once meant shlepping to Miami Beach, where great operatic tenors like Robert Merrill and Jan Peerce would conduct the seder at a fancy-schmancy hotel, or to the Catskills, which was more haimish but just as fattening.
But Passover travel options today have expanded to include experiences ranging from Disney World to the Caribbean to a dude ranch in Wyoming. And you can get some decent deals on Miami Beach, too.
Savvy travelers in need of a getaway come to the Caribbean island of Nevis to relax at restored sugar plantations, like the Montpelier Inn, or the opulent Four Seasons. Celebrity visitors have included Michael Douglas, Oprah Winfrey and Princess Diana, who immediately fled to the island to relax after her breakup with Prince Charles.
In Buenos Aires you wouldn't know about the Argentine economy's disastrous crash -- except, perhaps, by chatting with your taxi driver and discovering he was a former tycoon.
BA, as old hands call it, has retained its prosperous appearance and cosmopolitan cool, and it remains one of the world's most fabulous cities. In fact, given the peso devaluation, the once-pricey Argentine capital should be visited soon, while its delectable cuisine and shopping, some of the finest in South America, are a relative bargain.
No wonder this glittering capital was so inviting to the upwardly mobile Evita in the early 20th century -- this huge but green city boasts a level of European-style opulence and elegance equal to anything in Europe, and most closely recalls the finest residential neighborhoods of Paris.
To me, skiing is almost a religious experience. When you're flying down the back bowls, sun on your face, cool air filling your lungs and a warm feeling filling your heart, it's like you can feel the hand of God.
Consider this year's fluke on the December Dilemma: Christmas Day usually occurs during the workweek, with Jews often handling this day off by filling Dec. 25 with some volunteer work -- then Chinese food and a movie.
But the quirks of the calendar find this Dec. 24 falling on a Friday, meaning Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are in a rare calendar co-existence with Shabbat.
The weekend was spectacular, not only from an intellectual standpoint, but as a Jewish parent and communal professional. It was refreshing to see so many generations of Jewish families -- some with children, some without -- learning together, singing together and laughing together.
Berkeley, 1959. The Berkeley Gazette announced the marriage of two students at Temple Beth El.
Not every couple's notion of the ideal honeymoon entails a hedonistic beach resort and lots of fruity drinks garnished with umbrellas. Some want to begin married life with yoga.
Some couples pursue tantric yoga, a form that includes a tranquil sexuality, in hopes of creating a powerful union of mind, body and spirit. The Institute for Ecstatic Living -- (877) 982-6872; www.ecstaticliving.com -- organizes tantric vacations to Costa Rica, Hawaii and cruise getaways.
For the Kids
From films on the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia and civil war in Sudan to mental illness and homelessness in America, the series will allow viewers to take a second look from a Jewish perspective.
Several companies, based both out of the United States and Israel, will be offering kosher-for-Passover luxury holiday vacations in exotic locales worldwide.
When you're single, traveling to tropical islands isn't always what it's cracked up to be. But, I figure, if I don't meet the love of my life on this trip, at least I'll have a large pool of potential companions to go duty-free shopping with in the Bahamas.
Here's a tip to non-Jewish travelers looking for a low-cost vacation cruise. Pick your cruise dates to include the Jewish High Holidays in September or October, because then the ships offer their deepest discounts to fill the empty berths left by the noticeable absence of Jewish passengers.
"Under Radar" by Michael Tolkin (Atlantic Monthly Press, $23).
Recently, I heard Michael Tolkin speak at Temple Beth Am about "Under Radar." Pacing frenetically, he explained that midway through the writing he had stalled and shelved the manuscript. During that time, slipping on his own spiritual path -- parallel to the novel's -- he had ransacked various synagogues for answers and had succeeded only in worrying his wife.
Going to Israel with two small children under the age of 6 is a little like swimming with weights -- you'll get to your destination, but it will take a lot more sweat and planning.