Bagels In The Real Mile End

11/22/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Montreal — When Noah Bernamoff and Rae Cohen, the husband-and-wife team from Montreal, opened the Mile End Deli earlier this year in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, the Jewish food scene smelled an imposter. What’s “smoked meat, anyway,” the foodies said, referring to one of the deli’s specialties. “And what’s a ‘Montreal bagel’ doing in the land of H&H?”

St-Viateur Bagel Shop, top, and the wood-burning oven at Fairmont Bagel.

Ojai Casts An Enchanting Spell

09/27/2010 - 20:00

 Ojai, Calif. — You’d never know it driving down the 101 along the California coast, but about 85 miles from LAX Airport and 40 minutes south of Santa Barbara, there’s an exit leading to an enchanting paradise — the Ojai valley.

A cottage set in a lush garden at the Emerald Iguana boutique hotel, above. Right, after hours, books are sold on the street on

Family-Friendly, With A Foreign Flair

08/30/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Looking for a late-summer, drivable getaway? One with a foreign flair that’s perfect for both kids and adults?

In a little over five hours from New York, across the Canadian border, you’ll reach the multicultural city of Montreal, an ideal destination for those who want a European twist to their vacation (you’ll hear plenty of French, of course).

The miniature train ride at Exporail, one of a number of family-centric options in Montreal. Linda Tucker

Blessed Is The Fruit Of Hagafen Cellars

A full-service kosher winery tucked along the Silverado Trail.
08/09/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Napa, Calif. — Hagafen Cellars sits at the end of a country lane bordered by vineyards and olive trees on the Silverado Trail.

There are many wineries on the trail, but what makes Hagafen Cellars different is its distinction as Napa Valley’s only full-service kosher winery. And the man behind it all is veteran winemaker Ernie Weir. 

Winemaker Ernie Weir, at right, with the fruits of his labor at Napa Valley's only full-service Kosher winery.

Crossing Borders The World Over

07/05/2010 - 20:00

There is nothing that makes me feel as alive as walking the streets of a new city — with a notebook, a map, and a camera — waiting for a portrait to take shape out of color and sound, clamor and empty space, concrete and stone and sky. A city is, first and foremost, a rhythmic organism: It takes a lot of patience and attention, and many miles on foot, to be open enough to hear the particular music of a place, and to feel how a city situates itself uniquely on the earth.

New York City.

Exhibit at Schindler Factory Site Recalls Nazi-era Krakow

06/14/2010 - 20:00

Krakow, Poland — In January 1994, an American tourist stepped out of a taxi into a cold, drizzling rain and entered the Jarden Jewish Bookshop at the far end of the square in the Jewish quarter of Krakow.

On the counter he splayed a weeks-old copy of The New York Times before bookshop owner Les Zdzislaw.

Workers prepare museum materials for “memory factory,” which recalls Oskar Schindler’s life-saving exploits in Krakow during WW2

Jewish Food Scene Takes Off

05/31/2010 - 20:00

Budapest — Rahel Raj calls herself a 21st-century Yiddishe mama.

The daughter of a rabbi and mother of a toddler, she and her family run a pair of popular bake shops here that specialize in Jewish pastries such as flodni, a calorific confection of layered nuts, apple and poppy seeds that is one of the symbols of local Jewish cuisine.

Rahel Raj’s husband, Miklos Maloschik, behind the counter at the family-run Noe pastry shop. Ruth Ellen Gruber

Lost In Time In The World’s Oldest City

05/17/2010 - 20:00

Jericho, West Bank — The only thing I really knew about Jericho before I went there a few weeks ago for the first time was that when the second intifada began in 2000, a friend of mine stationed there as an Israeli soldier came under heavy Palestinian gunfire.

Returning fire, he hit a transformer near the casino, inadvertently but indefinitely knocking out electricity to the entire town.

A decade passed during which I ignored the place. It was easy, with Jericho being so out of the way in the Jordan Valley.

Ali Qleibo picks oranges near his Jericho home.

Peaceful Sarajevo

The capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina is safe, restored and beautiful.
04/06/2010 - 20:00
Travel Writer

A few weeks ago, writing about Belfast, I was reminded of another delightful, little-touristed European city whose recent past is marked by religious/ethnic strife.

That city is Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is sad and telling that the top “Frequently Asked Question” on Bosnia’s tourism Web site is: “Isn’t there still a war in Bosnia?”

A footbridge in the old city of Mostar, a few hours south of Sarajevo.
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