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?”
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.
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).
A full-service kosher winery tucked along the Silverado Trail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.