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Pack your bags or pull up an armchair
Here are some exciting books to browse or buy.

Travels Through The Jewish Diaspora
By James R Ross.
Riverhead Books. September 2000. Ross, of Northeastern University, explores "jews" he finds in six remote communities. What can they teach other "Jews" about Jewish traditions. The communities he explores are not normally accepted as Jewish. They include people trying to reconnect, convert, or affiliate in India, The Amazon, Peru, Brazil, Israel and Uganda. For example, the Abayudaya community of Uganda, who are descendants and followers of Kakungulu, a military leader who declared himself a Jew and followed Jewish customs Many of these people have sacrificed their jobs and families for their beliefs. They wish to act "Jewish" or perform Jewish rituals. Ross himself, a product of a father who was an observant Jewish Maine Yale educated pediatrician and a mother who grew up in a Boston Reform synagogue that held its Sabbath on Sundays rather than Saturdays, began to reconnect with his own faith while teaching in Shanghai and writing a book about the 20,000 Jews who had refuuge in Shanghai during WWII.
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[book] Israel: A Spiritual Travel Guide. A Companion for the Modern Jewish Pilgrim. by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
208 pages (1998) Jewish Lights Publishing. I have placed this book in the must read section. It is the must companion for any traveler to Israel. The blurb says it best, "the other travel books tell you how to get there, Hoffman tells you why to go and what to do when you're there." Hoffman, a Professor of Liturgy at HUC-JIR, is best known for his book, "What Is A Jew?" In time for the jubilee, this invaluable travel guide is in four sections. The first contains eighteen (chai) meditations to be read before embarking on one's trip to Israel. The second section is on preparations for "the eve before the trip" Section three focuses on "How to prepare while on the way." And Section four is filled with 25 specific pilgrimage destinations for the traveler. For each site, such as The Kotel or a Kibbutz, Professor Hoffman provides THE FOUR A's -- four sections on "Anticipation," "Approach," "Acknowledgment," and "Afterthought." In Anticipation, one reads an overview of the sight; Approach contains biblical, rabbinic and other writings about the site; Acknowledgment is filled with prayers or readings for you to recite at your destination; and Afterthought provides a blank space in which you may record your feelings, emotions, or just plain journal entries. This is an excellent companion for a trip to Israel.
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[book] Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia : A History & Guide 1881-1930 by Harry D. Boonin
Paperback (April 1999). With over 100 photographs, Harry Boonin's book describes narratively and photographically the old Jewish quarter of Philadelphia (today called Society Hill and Queen Village), the area where east European Jewish immigrants settled in Philadelphia in great numbers at the turn of the last century. It provides a deep understanding of history, especially when one can walk the area discussed, can be enjoyed with this book under your arm - or in your armchair. He takes the reader through the beginnings of the Yiddish theater in Philadelphia, the founding of the immigrant banks, the businesses on South Street, the card games at the local bathhouses, and through many other immigrant experiences in early Jewish Philadelphia.
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[book] Jewish Travelers in the Middle Ages : 19 Firsthand Accounts by Elkan Nathan Adler (Editor).
Paperback - 391 pages (July 1987)
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[book] Lonely Planet Jerusalem: A City Guide (Second Edition) by Andrew Humphreys.
October 1999 Paperback - 208 pages
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[book] Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories: A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit (3rd Ed) by Andrew Humphreys, Neil Tilbury
($18 before discount) Paperback - 408 pages 3rd edition (November 1996) With sixty maps, too.
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[book] Frommer's Israel From $50 a Day (17th Ed) by Robert Ullian.
($18 before discount) Paperback - 476 pages 17th edition (June 1998) When I first went to Israel in 1973, before the Yom Kippur War, I went with my copy of Frommers for $10 day. My, haven't prices changed? But so have the bus routes. I find Frommer's to be an accurate, helpful choice.
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[book] Bazak Guide to Israel and Jordan by Avraham Levi, Ruth Levi.
($22 before discount). Paperback - 624 pages Book and Map. edition (August 1996)
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[book] Berlitz Israel (Berlitz Pocket Guides) by Berlitz (Editor), Paul Murphy
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[book] Fodor's Exploring Israel (2nd Edition) by Andrew Sanger, Deborah Wald, Geraldine Dunham
($22 before discount). Paperback (JUNE 1998)
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[book] Fodor's Israel (Fodor's Gold Guides)
Updated April 1999
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[book] Daytrips Israel: 25 One Day Adventures by Bus or Car With 40 Maps-Includes Jerusalem Walking Tours. by Earl Steinbicker.
($15 before discount) Paperback 2nd edition (March 1996)
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[book] Frommer's Israel '98. by Robert Ullian
($19 prior to discount) Paperback - 484 pages 2nd edition (May 1998). This complete guide to old and new Jerusalem, Masada, Tel Aviv, the biblical and historical sights, and other areas includes excellent shopping coverage, the best of the outdoors--including beaches, windsurfing, nature walks, and sailing--and information on accommodations from spas to kibbutzim.
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[book] Jerusalem Walks (Henry Holt Walks Series) by Nitza Rosovsky.
($15 before discount) Paperback - 334 pages Revised Edition (February 1992). There is no better way to explore Ir ha Kodesh, the Holy City, than to walk its streets and alleys. Jerusalem Walks is THE guide to use. Keep checking back to see if it comes back into stock, or order it at Amazon and they will try to find you a copy.
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[book] Let's Go 2000 Israel: And the Palestinian Territories (Let's Go. Israel, 2000, Let's Go Israel 00) by Laura Weinrib (Editor), Tal Astrachan (Editor)
Paperback - 336 pages Revised edition (December 1999) I don't travel without my Let's Go guide, written by all those generations of Harvard undergrads who scuffed their feet into the ground checking and re-checking the rates and facts. Sure, Let's Go had a impolite guffaw a few years ago in an earlier edition, but all is forgiven and fixed in this edition.
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[book] Israel: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companion) by Michael Gluzman (Editor), Naomi Seidman (Editor), AND Robert Alter!
($13 before discount) A breath of fresh air from the regular travel books, this one combines literature and the scenery to give you a deep feeling for the country and its people.
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[book] Jewish Budapest: Monuments, Rites, History by Kinga Frojimovics, Geza Komoroczy, Viktoria Pusztai, and Andrea Strbik
Paperback - 520 pages (May 1999) Central European Univ. An essential guide for the traveler or armchair traveler to BudaPest. Jewish Budapest, Memories, Rites, History, edited by Geza Komoroczy. Neither a guidebook nor a history in the traditional sense, this book is about the Jewish face of Budapest from medieval times to the present. To get the broadest possible perspective, this book is not only about the Hungarian capital as a Jewish city, but as befits a cosmopolitian metropolis, delves into its myraid elements. Richly illustrated there is a lavish multicolored section of artworks that enhances the text. Here is a book at once personal and universal. The city is itself the central character of this book. The authors write only about those parts where there is a story to tell: glimpses of Hungarian Jewish history. They talk about places where history is still visible, where it can be located, where its traces still exist, where it can be tasted, savored, and surround us as part of life in Budapest today. 95 color illustrations.

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[book] The Great Jewish Cities of Central and Eastern Europe by Eli Valley
Hardcover (March 1999) Jason Aronson. I was in Prague, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary in 1990/1991. I wish I had this book then. Eli Vally, the son of a New York rabbi moved to Prague/Praha after he graduated from Cornell in 1992. For nearly 5 years, he worked for the Prague Jewish Community and served as the first program director of Bejt Praha, the nascent Jewish cultural and religious organization in Prague. Throughout his years in Prague, Mr. Valley also worked as a guide and lecturer in the former Jewish Town for thousands of visitors from Europe, North America, and Israel. Eli Valley writes that "this book is the culmination of the several years I spent as a tour guide of Jewish sites in the region. During my work in Prague, I noticed that there was widespread ignorance of Jewish history among local guides. I decided to write this book to help end the confusion concerning Jewish history in the region. I had two goals in writing the book: To provide detailed, step-by-step walking tours that would unveil the beauty of the sites, and to provide the ultimate Jewish source book of history and legend that even an armchair explorer would enjoy. The result is a fairly large resource that is both a travel guide and a memento.

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[book] US Jewish Travel Guide. by Oscar Israelowitz
($20 before discount) Paperback
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[book] Guide to Jewish Europe; Western Europe. by Oscar Israelowitz.
Paperback - 354 pages 9 edition (November 1997) When it comes to Jewish travel and synagogues of New York, Mr. Israelowitz is the brand to choose.
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[book] US Jewish Travel Guide. by Oscar Israelowitz
($20 before discount) Paperback
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[book] Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to East-Central Europe by Ruth Ellen Gruber
Just as Bo knows Sports, Ms. Gruber is the quintessential Eastern Europe specialist. The book is out of print, but maybe it can be found by clicking below.
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[book] Jewish Bialystok And Surroundings in Eastern Poland by Ellen Elliott, David Elliott (Photographer), and Tomasz Wisniewski
Paperback - 160 pages. First Edition (June 1998). I wish I had this book when I went in 1997. It would have made the trip easier. The Bialystok area is 3 hours by car northeast of Warsaw. Tomasz is a 40 year old journalist and former dissident. While in prison, he studied Hebrew and Jewish history. Today, only 6 Jews live in Bialystok, a city that was once 60% Jewish and numbered about 200,000 Jews in the area. NYT Food Citic Mimi Sheraton wrote the forward.
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[book] Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past. by Martin Gilbert
Hardcover - 288 pages (November 1997) Columbia University Press. As I returned from my trip to Poland and Eastern Europe, I awaited a connection from Warsaw in London. And there I saw it, this book, at a Heathrow Airport bookstore. Ach. We had walked the same path, only he wrote about it. I wish I had read it before the trip. Professor Gilbert, led a group of grad students in 1996 on a tour of the killing fields of Europe. This is a journal of the 2 week trip. 54 photos
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price

[book] The Jewish Traveler: Hadassah Magazine's Guide to the World's Jewish Communities and Sights. by Alan M. Tigay
Our Price: $24.00 You Save: $6.00 Paperback - 574 pages New Ed edition (September 1995) Jason Aronson Publishing.
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[book] Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora : From Alexander to Trajan (323 Bce-117 Ce) (Hellenistic Culture and Society, No 33) by John M. G. Barclay).
Paperback - 544 pages (February 1999) Univ California Press. Well it isn't actually a travel book, but is is a great study in Assimilation, social integration, acculturation in language and education, and accomodation of the Jews of Ptolemaic Egypt (alexander to Ptolemy VI to Cleaopatra VII), in Roman Egypt (Augustus to Trajan), as well as in Cyrenaica, Syria and Rome. We're talking about 440 years. Great to read prior to a trip to the Mediterranean. Chapters include: The Jewish move to Ptolemaic Egypt; Immigration and Settlement: From Alexander toPtolemy V Epiphanes (323-180 BCE); Prominence and Exposure: From Ptolemy VI Philometor to Cleopatra VII (180-30 BCE); Jews in Roman Egypt: From Augustus to Trajan (30 BCE-117 CE); The Alexandrian Pogrom and Its Aftermath; Excursus: The Legal Status of Alexandrian Jews; Alienation; Revolt; 'Orthodoxy' and 'Deviation'; Hellenization; Assimilation, Acculturation and Accommodation; Artapanus; Ezekiel; Aristeas; Aristobulus; Philo; and more
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[book] Bed and Blessings: Italy by June and Anne Walsh
$15 before discount Hardcover (January 1999) Paulist Press. The reason I am listing this book is because it is a great idea for a series. Instead of Bed and Breakfasts, here is a listing of Bed and Blessing monasteries at which one can spend the night. Hey! Who wants to write one for Israel? How about some yeshivas and religious guest houses one can stay at? I am ready to fund it, baby.
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