07/23/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Las Vegas is hot in July — really, really hot. That didn’t stop the pioneers, though, or the gold miners, or the railroad investors. And it certainly didn’t stop legendary Jewish mobsters like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. They weren’t the types to stop and shvitz when there was good money to be laundered.

07/16/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel

I kept meaning to go to Girona. The Catalan city in the Pyrenees is the regional standout on the Caminos de Sefarad (“Paths of Sepharad”), an evolving Spanish network of Jewish heritage sites.

But in June, it was already summery-hot; the beach beckoned, and Girona lies inland. So I headed north along the Costa Brava, toward another, smaller city on the Camino list: Castelló d’Empúries.

07/10/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel

It takes patience and a little imagination to explore the narrow, hushed streets of Barcelona’s Jewish District. Deep in the Gothic Quarter, the medieval heart of the city, more than a thousand years of Jewish history reveals itself in tiny fragments here and there, like a scavenger hunt.

07/02/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Five hundred years after Spain expelled its Jews, it wants them back.

I stepped into the brilliant sunshine of a plaza in Catalonia, and the first thing that caught my eye was a banner — in Hebrew. Above it, in Catalan, read the translation: “Noah’s Ark: A Holiday Exhibition” at the Museum of Miniatures and Microminiatures.

06/25/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel
From Tanglewood’s 75th to 80 years at the modern-dance mecca Jacob’s Pillow, it’s a season of anniversaries in the rolling green hills of the Berkshires.
06/18/2012 - 20:00 | | Travel Writer | Travel

The ancient Romans were an ambitious lot. At the zenith of their empire, they controlled a good swath of the world’s prime real estate, from London and Iberia all the way to Cairo and Jerusalem.

All around the Mediterranean rim, the heart of Roman territory, you stumble across ruins of this once-mighty civilization. The Roman Forum is just the best-known example of a genre whose brick walls, stone burial markers, and still-solid archways are visible from Salamanca to Sofia.