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The Fashionable German Colony

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The German Colony is an exciting and upscale Jerusa­lem neighborhood. It is fa­mous for its main thorough­fare, Emek Refaim, which is one of the city’s most popular streets, bustling with activity and boasting cafes, restaurants, and trendy boutiques.

The German Colony is centrally located, bounded by the old train...

Haifa’s Transformation

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Haifa is a beautiful city located in northern Israel which offers its residents a rich quality of life. The third largest city in Israel, Haifa is on the comeback trail after having fallen into a 60-year decline following Israel’s independ­ence in 1948.

The Early Years

During the British Mandate in pre-state Palestine from 1922 until 1948, Haifa was the country’s economic capital: It had the larg­est seaport in the country, plus many related businesses servicing British military require­ments. However, after Israel claimed its in­dependence in 1948, Haifa’s role diminished greatly and Tel Aviv quickly became the coun­try’s main business center. Haifa fell into an...

The Hebrews of Hong Kong

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The Jewish presence in Hong Kong is al­most 200 years old. The community began during the mid-19th century when traders from Iraq and India came to the island after the Opium Wars of 1839-42. As the 20th century approached, the growing community recog­nized the need for a permanent synagogue. A generous donation of land in an area then high above the city center was donated and funds for a synagogue building were made available by the Sasson family. The synagogue is named in memory of the family matriarch, Leah Gub­bay.

In 1905, the Kadoorie family, a pre-eminent Hong Kong Jewish family, added to the com­munity’s facilities by providing a building for a “Jewish Recreation...

The Taj Mahal of the Middle East

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Kibbutz Neot Semadar is best known for its array of organic products grown and prepared on the kibbutz and as “that place with the weird, colorful tower sticking up in the sky in the middle of nowhere.”

Anyone who has driven along Route 40 in the Arava region will have seen Neot Semadar’s famous landmark. Taking the time to veer off the main highway to tour the kibbutz is an opportunity many miss—most of the time, because they just don’t know about it. Most of those who do stop at the Road 12-Route 40 junction that leads to Eilat buy a snack at the kibbutz-run organic café Pundak Neot Semadar—one of a growing number of refueling stops along Route 40. The café sells...

Jews in the New World

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When we traveled to Brazil, we had a lot to learn, especially about Recife—the easternmost city in Brazil and center of the slave trade way back when the Portuguese brought African slaves to the Americas to work on sugar plantations. It is also the city from which the Jews fled to New Amsterdam in 1654 when the Portuguese Inquisition began the New World.

Recife is unique in Brazil in that, geographically, Recife is closer to Senegal in Africa than to the southernmost tip of Brazil. (Recife is also the city where the Trans-Amazon Highway begins, an incredibly ambitious project undertaken by the Brazilian government to build a highway from Recife in the east and across the Amazon...

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