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The Polish-Jewish Story Now Has A Home

Warsaw museum illuminates country’s millennium-long Jewish history, and is sign of country’s Jewish revival.

12/15/2014

Given that half of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust came from Poland, many descendants of Polish Jews may be surprised to learn about the current hospitable environment for the Jewish population of their ancestors’ country.

A wooden synagogue that is part of “The Jewish Town” gallery within the core exhibition of the new POLIN Museum.

Next Year In … Kazakhstan

Conducting Passover seders in the former Soviet Republic reveals a place that Borat wouldn’t recognize.

Staff Writer
12/15/2014

For much of America, 2006 was the year of Borat. Kazakhstanishly speaking.

Borat, of course, was the “hero” of Sacha Baron Cohen’s farcical movie (officially, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious”) about a malevolent, anti-Semitic, crude, oversexed and undereducated journalist from a Kazakhstan that bore no resemblance to the actual, former Soviet republic.

Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, still the country’s largest city. Wikimedia Commons

Nature Beckons In Eilat

Leaving the hotels and shopping aside for dolphins, exotic plants and migratory birds.

Israel Correspondent
12/15/2014

Eilat, Israel — Israel’s southernmost city, adjacent to the Egyptian town of Taba, has many upscale hotels, scores of restaurants and good shopping along its beachfront promenade. My family and I consciously avoided all of the above during our most recent stay here, one of the country’s most popular resort areas.

The Coral Beach Nature Reserve (dock shown) is the best place to snorkel or dive along the coral reefs. Michele Chabin/JW

Tel Aviv After Dark

Journey into the fictive underbelly of Israel’s cultural capital in short story collection ‘Tel Aviv Noir.’

12/15/2014

Asked by a literary magazine to name an Israeli author deserving of English translation, Etgar Keret — the Tel Aviv-based writer whose short stories have been published to worldwide acclaim — named novelist Gadi Taub.

Assaf Gavron, left, and Etgar Keret have stories in the “Tel Aviv Noir” collection.

‘Pacificaaahhh’

Beautiful beaches, a welcoming Jewish community and even a ghost, all just south of San Francisco.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/15/2014

Pacifica, Calif. — About 20 minutes south of San Francisco is a stretch of the California coastline filled with charming little towns far removed from the fast-paced urban life.

Wildflowers color the scene on a hike to Mori Point. George Medovoy

Spring Ahead For Tourism?

Israeli hoteliers remain upbeat ahead of Passover vacation season.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/15/2014

With nearly 25 percent of their annual income at stake, Israeli hoteliers and travel operators across the Jewish state are scrambling to lure American tourists for the Passover vacation period. Last summer’s war in Gaza and the sporadic bursts of violence in Jerusalem during the past few months put a dent in the country’s tourism industry, but there are reasons for optimism in the run-up to Pesach.

Pesach at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.

To Go Forth

Managing Editor
12/15/2014

Travel can be many things — a momentary stay against a humdrum life; a journey into the past (remembering Faulkner’s telling line, “The past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past”); an experiment in cross-cultural exploration, food and wine included. We offer a little of each in the pages that follow. Grab a suitcase and come along.

Jewish Journeys 2014

Take that Borat! Next year in Kazakhstan. Nature beckons in Eilat. Hummus in Berlin? The Israelis are here. Aulus-les-Baines and the need to remember.

12/15/2014
Jewish Journeys 2014

A Short, Short Story

11/26/2014

Note: Marina Rubin is the author of several volumes of poetry and “Stealing Cherries” (Manic D Press), a 2013 collection of very short (sometimes) autobiographical stories that each fit squarely into a block of text on a single page. The Jewish Week asked her to reflect — in her micro-story style — on her experiences writing the collection and taking it on the road.

Logic

I was proud. I had written three books of poetry and the last one had
surpassed even my own expectations in terms of craft, I called it Logic.
But when it came out no one cared, poetry was like a corset, constricting and archaic. I made the only logical decision — not to write again.

New Land, New Anxiety

A troika of émigré tales in a variety of genres.

Special To The Jewish Week
11/26/2014

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir. By Lev Golinkin (Doubleday).

Panic in a Suitcase. By Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Riverhead Books).

Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel: A Graphic Novel. By Anya Ulinich (Penguin).

Yelena Akhtiorskaya, the 25-year-old author of “Panic in a Suitcase.” Sarah Shatz
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