Jerusalem is a magnet for religious tourism from all over the world, and ultra-Orthodox Jews are a growing segment of the religious tourists visiting the city. In order to meet their special needs, an ultra-Orthodox training program is offering a course to teach men to guide tourists through the spiritual center of the three great monotheistic religions.
For the Kids
Are you traveling to new places this summer?
New Zealand has never been considered a center of Jewish life, but since our congregation, University Synagogue, was visiting Australia, we decided to hop over (1,200 miles) to this incredibly beautiful country.
The next day, we were deeply moved at the Canterbury Hebrew Congregation -- named after the county so as not to be called the "Christchurch Synagogue" -- where our hosts, Dr. David Cohen, a local professor originally from Fresno and a graduate of UCLA, and Dr. Ali Wegner, originally from Buenos Aires and Chicago, introduced us to their synagogue. They moved to what many would consider yenne velt (the end of the earth) to live at a slower pace with serenity and security.
When I heard his voice on my office voice mail, I knew right away that I'd like him. My girlfriend in San Francisco had just left a message forewarning me of this eligible divorcé's phone call.
Luckily, the lure was Israel, not pairing up.
While New York, Washington and -- to a slightly lesser degree -- Los Angeles are inundated by visiting Israeli Cabinet ministers and other VIPs, other major American cities and Jewish communities are all but ignored.