This is a 10-day tour exploring the Jewish history and heritage of Azerbaijan, including visits to top-rated museums, ancient synagogues, UNESCO world heritage sites, and more.
This is a 10-day tour exploring the Jewish history and heritage of Azerbaijan, including visits to top-rated museums, ancient synagogues, UNESCO world heritage sites, and more.
The Western Wall, otherwise known as the Wailing Wall, often shortened to The Kotel, and known in Islam as the Buraq Wall, is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of an ancient retaining wall, originally erected to expand the Second Jewish Temple. Herod the Great initiated this construction, resulting in the enclosed, natural, steep hill that today, Jews and Christians refer to as the Temple Mount. It is a large rectangular structure topped by a flat platform, creating additional space for the Temple itself, auxiliary buildings, worshippers, and visitors. The Western Wall's holiness in Judaism is a result of its proximity to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the Foundation Stone, the most sacred site in the Jewish faith, lies behind it. The original, natural, and irregular-shaped Temple Mount was gradually extended to allow for an ever-larger Temple compound to be built at its top. This process was finalized by Herod, who enclosed the Mount with an almost rectangular set of retaining walls, made to support the Temple platform and using extensive substructures and earth fills to give the natural hill a geometrically regular shape. On top of this box-like structure, Herod built a vast paved platform that surrounded the Temple. Of the four retaining walls, the western one is considered closest to the former Holy of Holies, which makes it the most sacred site recognized by Judaism outside the previous Temple Mount platform. Just over half the wall's total height, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, and is commonly believed to have been built by Herod the Great starting in 19 BCE, although recent excavations indicate that the work was not finished by the time Herod died in 4 BCE. The very large stone blocks of the lower courses are Herodian, the courses of medium-sized stones above them were added during the Umayyad period, while the small stones of the uppermost courses are of more recent date, especially from the Ottoman period. The term Western Wall and its variations are mostly used in a narrow sense for the section traditionally used by Jews for prayer; it has also been called the "Wailing Wall", referring to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples. During the period of Christian Roman rule over Jerusalem (ca. 324–638), Jews were completely barred from Jerusalem except to attend Tisha B'Av, the day of national mourning for the Temples, and on this day the Jews would weep at their holy places. The term "Wailing Wall" was thus almost exclusively used by Christians, and was revived in the period of non-Jewish control between the establishment of British Rule in 1920 and the Six-Day War in 1967. The term "Wailing Wall" is not used by religious Jews, and increasingly not by many others who consider it derogatory. In a broader sense, "Western Wall" can refer to the entire 488-metre-long (1,601 ft) retaining wall on the western side of the Temple Mount. The classic portion now faces a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, near the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, while the rest of the wall is concealed behind structures in the Muslim Quarter, with the small exception of an 8-metre (26 ft) section, the so-called Little Western Wall. The segment of the western retaining wall traditionally used for Jewish liturgy, known as the "Western Wall" or "Wailing Wall", derives its particular importance to it having never been fully obscured by medieval buildings, and displaying much more of the original Herodian stonework than the "Little Western Wall". In religious terms, the "Little Western Wall" is presumed to be even closer to the Holy of Holies and thus to the "presence of God" (Shechina), and the underground Warren's Gate, which has been out of reach for Jews from the 12th century till its partial excavation in the 20th century, even more so. Whilst the wall was considered Muslim property as an integral part of the Haram esh-Sharif and waqf property of the Moroccan Quarter, a right of Jewish prayer and pilgrimage existed as part of the Status Quo. This position was confirmed in a 1930 international commission during the British Mandate period. The earliest source mentioning this specific site as a place of Jewish worship is from the 17th century. The previous sites used by Jews for mourning the destruction of the Temple, during periods when access to the city was prohibited to them, lay to the east, on the Mount of Olives and in the Kidron Valley below it. From the mid-19th century onwards, attempts to purchase rights to the wall and its immediate area were made by various Jews, but none was successful. With the rise of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century, the wall became a source of friction between the Jewish and Muslim communities, the latter being worried that the wall could be used to further Jewish claims to the Temple Mount and thus Jerusalem. During this period outbreaks of violence at the foot of the wall became commonplace, with a particularly deadly riot in 1929 in which 133 Jews were killed and 339 injured. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War the eastern portion of Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan. Under Jordanian control Jews were completely expelled from the Old City including the Jewish Quarter, and Jews were barred from entering the Old City for 19 years, effectively banning Jewish prayer at the site of the Western Wall. This period ended on June 10, 1967, when Israel gained control of the site following the Six-Day War. Three days after establishing control over the Western Wall site, the Moroccan Quarter was bulldozed by Israeli authorities to create space for what is now the Western Wall plaza.
Al Madina is also and above all a space of culture, of discovery, comparison and encounter with the other. An ideal environment to meet and be together, savoring tasty dishes; an ever-new meeting of different worlds and cultures that you want to know each other by communicating with appetite. The wide choice of dishes is cooked with original ingredients and fresh of the day, according to a menu that varies over time: no skewers of frozen meat or prefabricated products from large distribution. At Al Madina everything is prepared day by day, with loving care. For this reason we can say that we have tasted the real Middle Eastern cuisine, spending little: we are wary of imitations! In addition, Al Madina offers in the menu of the day many other even more elaborate dishes such as: - grilled chicken or beef skewers - beef with apricots and almonds accompanied with basmati rice. At Al Madina you can also find mixed grilled lamb and sirloin ... and much more that you will discover in Al Madina, day after day.
Join Martina in this evocative walk through Pisa’s Jewish heritage and visit a hidden treasure of the city, that is the Jewish cemetery! As a city port, Pisa was probably the first place in Tuscany where Jewish families setttled as early as in the 9th century. Besides, there they were not confined to a specific neighbourhood of the city, ‘the ghetto’. The Jewish community lived and prospered in this town, enriching it with their culture, traditions and buildings until World War II. Although at present only 200 Jewish people lives in Pisa, the restored nineteeth century Synagogue* and the fascinating Jewish cemetery** attest the presence of a large community in the past. The historical city walk will hit some of the most famous sights in the very center of the city, among them Piazza del Duomo, Piazza dei Cavalieri and Piazza delle Vettovaglie. Martina will capture your attention on aspects of particular interest and bring you to specifically Jewish sites. * It is possible to visit the Synagogue, but only if guided by a member of the local Jewish community. This will incur an additional cost of € 50,00 ** It is possible to visit the Jewish Cemetery, but only if guided by a member of the local Jewish community. This will incur the additional cost of € 3,00 per person
A few steps from the renowned Piazza dei Miracoli with its famous Leaning Tower, The Rif - Boutique Hotel is set in an early 20th century villa surrounded by its magnificent garden, which offers an intimate and luxurious setting for a stay devoted to elegance and relaxation. This is not just a hotel, but a place where you can constantly immerse yourself in art. You will be amazed by the liberty frescoes, statues and historical design elements that characterize both the interiors and the exteriors, with modern design combinations. Temporary and impromptu exhibitions will accompany you during your stay. An abundant buffet breakfast will be served in the characteristic "Sala delle Stampe", where you can start your day before immersing yourself in the historical beauties of Pisa. Elegant harmonies for a five-star welcome, in a continuous flow of elements from the past that combine well with refined and modern design, accompanied by a friendly and qualified staff, an authentic expression of Italian hospitality in Tuscany.
Hotel "Europe" is a hotel with a hundred years of original history. Over the years, such famous personalities as Vladimir Mayakovsky and Marc Chagall have stayed here. It was built at the dawn of the nineteenth century, when Minsk was part of the Russian Empire. Then, at the intersection of Gubernatorskaya Street and Cathedral Square, a building of a new hotel in Minsk was erected, which had 2 floors. The pre-revolutionary hotel was built at the expense of the richest Minsk merchant dynasty of that time, the Polyakov family. The hotel immediately gained great popularity among Minsk bohemia and guests of the then ordinary provincial city, which was repeatedly captured on the canvases of artists of that time. In 1884, after a fire, the hotel became known as "Europe". At the beginning of the twentieth century, the hotel was reconstructed and became a six-story hotel. In addition, the building changed externally, it was rebuilt in the then fashionable Art Nouveau style in Russia. The expressive facades overlooking Cathedral Square and Gubernatorskaya Street were distinguished by the high quality of their decorative workmanship. The hotel was owned at that time by brothers Grigory and Yakov Polyaks. In 1913 The first-class restaurant of Saulevich, ladies' and men's hairdresser's, and a reading room worked in the hotel. Each of the 130 rooms had a telephone, a washbasin, electric lighting, water heating, and a bath. The hotel was famous for its excellent service at that time. We also note the fact that it is “Europe”, and not any other hotels in Minsk, that can boast of being that it was here that the elevator began to run for the first time in the city. A car or carriage was sent to the trains. At Saulevich's restaurant, visitors were entertained by the Romanian and Viennese ladies' orchestras. The hotel building did not survive the war and was completely destroyed. So, for about 60 years, no one even thought about restoring this famous in its time, amazing, the largest civil building in the pre-revolutionary city of Minsk. But the circumstances were different. The hotel was suddenly remembered already in the 21st century. In 2004, the City Hall of Minsk was instructed to rebuild the hotel building in compliance with the stylistic features that this hotel had at the beginning of the last century. The President of the Republic of Belarus signed a decree that the hotel must comply with the status of "five-star". The revived "Europe" opened its doors to visitors in 2007.
When the owners of “Kukhmistra” decided to open a restaurant of Belarusian national cuisine in Minsk, there were very few establishments of this type in the city. It was immediately decided to adhere to maximum authenticity and historicity, both in cooking and in the story about them, for which a well-known historian of Belarusian cuisine Ales Bely was invited as a consultant. The desire for maximum historical authenticity, for following the canons of authentic Belarusian cuisine, cooperation remains with us to this day. In the 1970s - 80s. in our premises there was a "Komsomol" buffet and a photo laboratory of the youth magazine "Maladost", with which a whole galaxy of Belarusian writers and artists of the era of "stagnation" was associated. Vladimir Korotkevich, Vasil Bykov, Yanka Bryl, composer Igor Luchenok, cosmonaut Vladimir Kovalyonok were guests of the editorial office then more than once. However, since the opening of the restaurant, the VIP list has accumulated no less impressive. Perhaps hundreds of Belarusian and Russian pop stars, well-known public figures, entrepreneurs, and cultural figures have managed to visit us. Kuhmistr - (in German - "master, or master of the kitchen") - means about the same as what is called "chef" today. So in the Commonwealth, including the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, they called the cooks who commanded the royal, princely and magnate kitchens, who were invited first from Italy, France and Germany, but were gradually replaced by capable local students. By the way, since the summer of 2018, in the lobby of the restaurant, guests have been greeted by a life-size figure of the real Kukhmistr - the visible embodiment of our identity. Dressed in the fashion of the turn of the 18th-19th centuries, a collective image of all the glorious chefs of our history, but most of all, he took from the famous Pavel Tremo, the cook of the last king of the Commonwealth, Stanislav Poniatovsky, looks almost like a living person and is very much loved with him “in an embrace”. take pictures of our guests. Our interior saturated with many mysterious or simply funny trinkets, hints at the atmosphere of a bourgeois Minsk apartment, when the idea of the Belarusian nation and statehood was born, but traditional culture, both folk and gentry, was still alive - which the 20th century prepared for difficult trials. And at the beginning of 2019, we began to equip a small memorial corner dedicated to the Ruzhany Sapieha Palace and Park Complex, the restoration of which has been underway in recent years and we are making our contribution to it.
The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem is a prayer meeting organized by Pentecostal evangelists Jack W. Hayford and Robert Stearns through their organization "Eagles Wings". They annually invite people around the world to pray for Jerusalem on the first Sunday of every October, close to the time of Yom Kippur. The first prayer meeting organized by this group occurred in 2004. Hayford and Stearns organize the primary meeting in Israel. According to a CBN interview with Stearns, he believes that prayer meetings are important to combat various dangers to the Judeo-Christian worldview, such as secular humanism and Radical Islam, and he believes that Christians are especially obligated to support the State of Israel. According to "Jerusalem Newswire" a small independent Christian publication, organizers of the 2006 event claimed that they had scheduled prayer meetings to be held in 150,000 churches around the world. The coordinators scheduled for prayer meetings to be organized in 169 nations. In 2004, 500 global Christian ministries representing 50 countries and 53,000 churches said prayers for peace in Jerusalem on the same day. The organization's goal in 2006 was to have over 100 million people in over 100 countries participate in prayer meetings. The prayer meeting in Jerusalem in 2006 was held inside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and was attended by "hundreds of Christian lovers of Israel gathered with Jewish friends." International denominations Assemblies of God, and Elim Fellowship took part in the 2006 prayer and support the annual prayers.
London and Jews: A History Intertwined London town is famous for its stunning architecture, diverse food culture, and a highly praised theater scene. In addition to all of these attractive features London hosts the largest Jewish community in the country. Since the 11th century Jews have called this metropolis home. Despite a few ups and downs the community has managed to become one of the most prosperous and respected in the world. From Acceptance, Rejection, and Resettlement: Jewish History in England While the exact date of arrival of Jews to England is debated historians can all agree that the first written mention of Jews was in 1066. After the Saxon conquest of England Jews from Rouen made their way to London attracted by the economic opportunities. With all this good fortune it is no surprise that London also had a flourishing Jewish intellectual life. This was noticed by Jewish Torah scholars from across Europe and attracted visitors such as the famous Abraham Ibn Ezra, who authored the Iggeret HaShabbat. [caption id="attachment_39829" align="alignnone" width="1599"] The Jewish quarter in East London[/caption] Antisemitism was still rampant in the country and throughout the Medieval period the Jewish quarter was set ablaze numerous times. Jews were also forbidden from owning land. This pushed them into professions such as tradesmen. Most other Jews worked as moneylenders, a profession forbidden to Christians. This made Jews very valuable to the upper classes. In 1290 the community was expelled from the country. The return of Jews to England finally came in 1632 when persecuted Jews fleeing from Spain and Portugal settled in the country. Around 1690 Ashkenazim from Amsterdam and Germany followed their pioneering Sephardi cousins and established their own congregation. [caption id="attachment_39832" align="alignnone" width="1200"] The West London Synagogue, the oldest reform synagogue in Great Britain[/caption] The Salvation of London Jewry Then in the 19th century Jews earned their emancipation. They were allowed to move outside the quarter and establish legitimate retail businesses, something they had been barred from for centuries. In addition to this the first Jewish sheriff was elected and in 1858 Jews became represented in English Parliament. The Jewish population also grew substantially during this period with the arrival of Russian Jewry. This raised the overall community numbers from 47,000 to well over 100,000 individuals. From this point the discrimination against the community was less apparent. Then came the historic event that would change the whole of European Jewry forever. In 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Not long after Britain declared war on Germany. This action saved countless British Jews from mass murder, the remainder of European Jewry was not so fortunate. Today British Jewry continues to increase and make a name for itself on the world stage. Some of the most famous Jewish names in the world hail from London. These include the late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, one of the most respected Torah scholars and Jewish community leaders in history. Other notable names include Vidal Sassoon, the hair tycoon and celebrity stylist. In addition, these British Jews excel in the world of film and music. Names such as Amy Winehouse and Sacha Baron Cohen are sure to ring a few bells. [caption id="attachment_39833" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Rabbi Jonathan Sacks | Credit: cooperniall from England, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] From One Neighborhood to the Next: London’s Jewish Quarters and Sites The first mention of a Jewish quarter in London dates to the Terrier of Saint Paul’s published in 1128. Under Milk Street archaeologists discovered a 13th century mikveh. During the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century London's Jewish Quarter was divided. Jews lived in Whitechapel, Spitalfields, and Mile End Old Town districts. Some also lived in the parish of St. George-in-the-East. Eventually the community migrated to London’s East End. There are bits and pieces of Jewish culture and history in every aspect of the city. The Bevis Marks Synagogue stands as one of Europe’s oldest active synagogues. During the 17th century waves of Jewish Sephardi immigrants flocked to England. In 1701 the community built one of the largest and most extravagant synagogues in all Europe. Wooden pews and chandeliers give the space a very ethereal aura. [caption id="attachment_39834" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Bevis Marks Synagogue | Credit: Edwardx, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] When Hitler’s nazi party was rising to power many Jewish families saw their destruction coming and immigrated to England. Sigmund Freud moved his family from Vienna to London in 1938, just escaping the claws of the Nazis. London would be where Freud developed the study of psychoanalysis. You can visit his home in London at The Freud Museum which houses his books, art, and even the famous reclining couch. London is one European city where Jewish intellectual life and creativity could flourish. It is no surprise then that one of the oldest and most established Jewish art galleries in the world is in London. The Ben Uri Gallery opened at the turn of the century as a premier gallery for artists of Jewish descent from around the world. In its nearly 120 year history the gallery has hosted a number of famous Jewish artists including Chagall and Epstein. [caption id="attachment_39836" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Freud Museum London | Credit: Matt Brown from London, England, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] Upwards and Onwards: The Continued Thrival of London Jews There seems to be no end in sight for the potential of English Jewry. The community serves as a testament to the resilience of world Jewry. They have been knocked down over the years but have always managed to come back stronger than ever. Today Jewish history and culture is preserved and celebrated attracting visitors and immigrants from across the Jewish diaspora.
Nestled in the heart of Alsace, in the Northern Vosges, our Hotel**** & Restaurant is located in a bucolic setting at the foot of the Haut Barr hiking trails and just a stone's throw from Saverne town centre. Enjoy a stay in the heart of nature in one of our 12 charming rooms and discover a rich and modern local cuisine while tasting a glass of wine from our list of over 250 references. And don't forget our wellness area where you can relax with a sauna, massage, body or facial treatment... Completely renovated, our hotel and restaurant blend patinated oak wood, stone and natural noble materials that give La Garenne its cachet! Respect for nature is at the heart of our concerns, which is why we favour seasonal products, short circuits, recycled and/or recyclable products both in the hotel and in our restaurant.
Located in the pretty town of Saverne (67), 40 km north west of Strasbourg, at the foot of the Vosges and in the heart of historical and cultural Alsace, the Hotel *** Chez Jean offers 40 charming rooms. Christelle and Fabrice VEIT-HARTER are happy to welcome you Chez Jean, in the purest Alsatian tradition. The style of our rooms breathes Alsace, and each of them offers its special touch, and these little details that will make your stay very pleasant. With its big "Jean" room and its "S'Rosestiebel" Winstub, our restaurant likes to combine all the time great cuisine and high Alsatian tradition, to treat your taste buds and make you spend a delicious and very convivial moment.