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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Travel Talk - Summer 2012

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KOSHER CRUISES TO SPAIN OFFERED IN FALL

Toronto-based Uniworld Travel & Tours and Israel-based Ophir Tours are offering two kosher cruises this fall aboard the six-star Crystal Serenity. Both cruises feature the cuisine of international kosher chef Malcolm Green under the supervision of Rabbi Stewart Weiss who will host both cruises with his wife. A discount of between 8 and 13 per cent is offered for travellers on both cruises. 

The Lisbon-Barcelona cruise takes in Lisbon, Madeira, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Lanzarote, Agadir Morocco, Cadiz-Seville, Valencia and Barcelona, Spain. Travel dates are Nov. 28 to Dec 9. Fares (per person in a double cabin) come in six categories ranging from $5,085 for a window to $10,074 for a penthouse suite. Port charges and taxes extra.

The Barcelona-to-Miami cruise departs Barcelona on Dec. 9 and ends in Miami on Friday Dec. 21. Ports of call include Barcelona, Tenerife in the Canary Islands, St Maarten in the French West Indies, and Miami. The six categories of fares range from $4,835 for a window to $9,254 for a penthouse suite. Port charges and taxes extra.

For details or reservations, please contact David Freudmann at Uniworld, 416-493-3322, ext. 356, or David@Uniworldtravel.com

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Museum of Jewish Heritage: Continuing exhibitions in this Lower Manhattan museum include Emma Lazarus, Poet of Exiles, presented in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty on which Lazarus’s famous poem was inscribed; Filming the Camps, From Hollywood to Nuremberg, an examination of how American film directors such as John Ford, George Stevens and Samuel Fuller filmed the war and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps; and Let My People Go, illuminating the movement to free the Jews of Soviet Russia from 1967 to 1989. 36 Battery Place, New York. www.mjhnyc.org

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Canada Travel Notes

 

• Beyond Pop, an exhibition of the works of American pop artist Tom Wesselmann, is on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until Oct. 7.

 • Van Gogh: Up Close, a major Canadian exhibition of work by the renowned Dutch artist, takes a fresh look at his genius by exploring his representation of nature and his novel use of the close-up view. At the National Gallery, Ottawa, until Sept. 3. www.gallery.ca/vangogh

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Israel Travel Notes

 • The Jerusalem Development Authority has launched a new website offering travel deals, events and information highlighting tourism to Jerusalem. Available in English and Hebrew, the website employs Google street views and high-definition videos to provide a virtual tour of Jerusalem’s many historical holy sites and modern attractions. The website is at www. iTravelJerusalem.com. A similar site for Tel Aviv may be found at www.visit-tlv.com

 •The Jerusalem Opera Festival features classic and interactive opera performances at the Sultan’s Pool, including Puccini's La Boheme (Sept. 6); Pretty Woman Meets the Fifth Element, a multi-media operatic performance (Sept. 10); and a cantoral performance featuring world-renowned vocalists. www. jerusalem-culture.com

• An annual Chamber Music Festival brings together classical musicians from around the world for various performances at the historic Jerusalem YMCA, Aug. 31 to Sept. 14.

• A major new performing arts centre and music and dance conservatory is under construction in Ashkelon in southern Israel. The 48,000-square-foot building, designed by French architect Maneulle Gautrand in collaboration with Israeli architect Batya Swirk Malul, will resemble a stack of boxes with a perforated metallic covering, and will offer sweeping views of Ashkelon.

• More than 83,000 international travellers arrived in Israel in June for the kick-off of Madonna’s 2012 world tour in Tel Aviv as well as for the Masada Opera Festival. Other international artists to perform in Israel this summer and fall include Guns N’ Roses, Chris Cornell, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz.

 • For information about travel to Israel, please visit www.goisrael.com

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Archeological Discoveries: Here is a summary of a few recent archeological discoveries from Israel, where ancient history is often revealed whenever a shovel is placed into the ground.

 • A hoard of ancient gold and silver jewelry believed to be from the year 1100 BCE was recently excavated at Tel Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. The collection is thought to have originated in Egypt and was part of the remains of a private home. 

 • A trove of ancient artifacts dating back to the time of King David was unearthed recently in Khirbet Qeiyafa near Jerusalem.  Items include pottery, stone and metal tools, and art and religious objects. According to researchers from Hebrew University, this is the first-ever discovery of shrines from the time of the early Israelite kings.

• A 2,700-year-old clay seal or bulla, inscribed with the seal of Bethlehem, was discovered during excavations in Jerusalem’s City of David. The First Temple Period artifact is believed to have been used to stamp tax shipments and is the oldest of its kind bearing the word “Bethlehem.”

• Ancient jewelry and remains from a First Temple Period building were uncovered in the Jerusalem Archeological City near the Western Wall. Items include a seal made of semi-precious stone and engraved with the name Matanyahu.

 • An excavation in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel has yielded a spectacular hoard of gold and silver jewelry and coins, believed to have been hidden during the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132 CE. The excavation also exposed room of a building from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

• Remains of a 1,600-year-old Byzantine bathhouse were found during an excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority near Moshav Tarum, outside of Jerusalem.  The bathhouse is believed to have been part of an inn along an ancient road through the southeastern Ayalon Valley, or part of a wealthy country estate.

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