Kosher Travel

 

24 Hours in Philadelphia

 

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Although the Spirit of 1776 still lingers in the Philadelphia air, some of the most exciting things happening in Philadelphia are of a recent vintage.  From innovative and interactive museums to a surprising array of moderately-priced kosher restaurants, Philadelphia has a lot to offer and conveniently located just a short drive from Baltimore/Washington and New York City, it’s easy to spend 24 hours in Philadelphia.

Photo credit: Barnes Foundation


 

4 Refreshing Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

 

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Can’t take the heat? One of our favorite ways to cool off during the hot summer months is by escaping it all together – with trips to cooler climates where we can feel the air in our hair and excitement in our veins. Here are our picks for cool vacations this summer:


 

Kosher Rica – Jewish Travel in Costa Rica

 

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The winter snow was piled a foot tall outside of my New York City apartment, but I didn’t mind.  A cab was waiting downstairs to whisk me away for a week in Costa Rica.  Five hours cramped into coach wouldn’t bother me a bit.  It doesn’t take long to adjust to “Pura Vida” a popular local expression that rests somewhere between “Hakuna Matata” and “La Vida Loca” and essentially means “pure” or “real” living.  With Passover soon approaching and the prospect of preparing two seders for 25 people looming overhead, I thought I could use a little pure living. Costa Rica is a perfect place.

View From Horseback Riding


 

Kosher Summer Travel For Those Who’ve Seen...

 

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Think you’ve been everywhere that kosher travel can possibly take you?

You’ll be surprised to discover some of the exotic destinations now on offer for discriminating kosher travelers. Watch out, Catskills. You’re about to go for a ride.


 

10 Reasons to Be in Israel for Passover

 

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We’re already on our 26th year of hosting Passover hotels in Israel, and each year we pinch ourselves because it’s hard to believe how lucky we are to be doing this with our amazing guests. Not that you need to be convinced, but here are our favorite reasons for being in Israel for Passover. We’d love to hear yours in the comments below!

10. Seven days instead of eight days. One seder instead of two. ‘Nuff said.


 

Passover In Israel – Chol Hamoed Activities

 

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Raise your hand if the announcement, “Mommy, I’m bored!” makes you cringe. Yeah, we’re waving our hands, too. That’s why we prepare fun lists of things to do on Chol Hamoed for guests at our Pesach hotels in Israel. Here we share some of them with you:

rosh hanikra israel travel


 

Five Sizzling Destinations for Summer

 

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As the winds howl and temperatures drop, our minds begin to fantasize about sunny days and lazy weather.

Here are five destinations to look for when planning your summer getaway this year:


 

The Smart Kosher Traveler’s Gadgets (+ Handy...

 

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With all the gadgets and gear available nowadays, kosher travel is becoming easier and easier. There are so many ways to make your vacation more entertaining, more comfortable and stress-free…and we’ve been noticing the difference over the years we’ve been involved with Eddie’s Kosher Travel. Here are a few things we reach for when we pack up the family for a trip:


 

Tips for Traveling with Children (and Keeping Your...

 

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Travel is an exciting opportunity to get away from the humdrum of everyday life and show your children the great big world around them. Whether you’re going with Bubby and Zeidy or just the immediate family, there are so many exciting discoveries and treasured memories your children will keep for the rest of their lives. Make your trip smooth and fun with these helpful tips for traveling with little ones:

  • New clothing? – It’s fun to travel to a new place all decked out in new shoes or a new outfit. Just make sure kids have at least one pair of comfortable shoes they can wear in case the new ones give them trouble. And be sure to pack extra sweaters for cold nights or overzealous air conditioners, even if you’re going to a warm place.
  • Changing – Stock up with more underwear and socks than you think they need, unless you have a way to do laundry while on vacation. You don’t want to be stuck without these basics for your kids. Keep an extra change of clothing for each child handy in case of spills or accidents en route.
  • Comfort – Sitting in a car or plane doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Load up on favorite pillows and stuffed animals that will make kids feel cozy and at home.
  • Activities – Need activities to keep the kids busy during the ride? Bring along reading books, coloring books, crayons, handheld games, a dvd player, playdough, dolls…even homework. Each child should have his own stash so there’s no bickering over who gets what. A good trick is to give each child a surprise gift on the day of the trip that will keep them excited and busy for longer.
  • First aid – Navigating your way through a pharmacy in foreign territory can be daunting, so it helps to be prepared. Pack basic medications such as band aids, cough syrup, pain relievers and chewable travel sickness pills. If you have any liquids, it’s always wise to pack them in sealed zip lock bags to avoid spills.
  • Earplanes – If you’re flying, there’s an inexpensive little gadget called Earplanes that relieve ear discomfort, clogging and popping during flights. These are a big relief for anyone who’s traveled with a screaming baby. They come in both adults and kids sizes. Dramanine is another thing we swear by to help the little ones sleep during flights (some prefer melatonin).
  • Keeping clean – Bring plenty of baby wipes, even if you don’t have diapers to change. They are great for cleaning sticky hands and faces on the go. And bring plastic bags for trash or soiled clothing – they don’t take up much space but are lifesavers when you need them.
  • Food – It’s probably redundant to say this to Jewish parents, but just in case: make sure you have enough food. Hungry children are cranky children. Prepare individually wrapped snacks like crackers, veggies, chicken strips…anything that is easy to eat on the go. Keep the food on top of other items so it’s easily accessible whenever you need it.

Whatever happens, the main thing is to stay calm and relaxed, with your sense of humor safely secured. Surprise detours and unexpected discoveries are one of the great benefits of travel. As long as you smile and take everything in stride, your kids will long remember the laughs and good times you had together on family trips.


 

Keep Kosher In Salvador, Brazil

 

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Have you ever heard of Bahia? How about Salvador? Not El Salvador, or San Salvador, but Salvador, the capital of Bahia, the largest of Brazil’s twenty-six states.

Well, neither had I, until about five years ago, when my husband and I established a Chabad House and Jewish center in Salvador serving the Jewish residents as well as thousands of Jewish tourists who come to visit the region’s idyllic beaches and fishing villages, Salvador’s Pelourinho Old Town and enjoy practicing Capoeira martial arts. Many of the Jewish tourists join the millions who throng to Salvador for the world’s largest Carnaval celebration every February.


 

A Venetian Hanukka

 

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Venice is generally considered to be the most romantic city on earth. It is where people fly to declare love, propose marriage, or spend their honeymoon.  But if you arrive in the height of the tourist season, the crowds can turn your dream into a nightmare and make you wish you had stayed home.

However, away from the main drag you can still find plenty of quiet alleys to wander, where you can lose track of time.  Surprisingly, one of Venice’s best-kept secrets, which still maintains its quiet and charm, is the old Jewish quarter.  The Ghetto of Venice was the first in the world, instituted in 1516 by the Venetian republic as a means of isolating and controlling its Jewish inhabitants. However, while Jews were harshly persecuted in the rest of Europe, Venice was a safe haven where they were able to practice their faith openly.


 

Winecation

 

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This winter, enjoy wine country and the wonder of California’s coastline—kosher style


 

A Taste of Israel – Changing For The Better

 

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I was fortunate enough to spend three weeks in Israel on a trip with the organization Aish Hatorah. Any time I had been to Israel before, it was a toss up between pizza, falafel, shwarma, or a salad from Sambooki. On this trip, however, I consumed fewer than three dairy meals, and my meat (fleishig) meals could only be described as “abundant.” We ate in a meat restaurant in Metula in the north, where waiters served us endless tabletop grills with chicken, beef kabobs, grilled vegetables, and steak. At the Dan Panorama, where we stayed for most nights, we were treated to buffets loaded with a variety of meat, chicken, and fish dishes, as well as a stocked salad bar (a la Israel), carving station, and a variety of soups and side dishes. And of course, our shnitzel lunches were always hot and crispy, topped with sesame seeds and served alongside hummus and what Israelis call “ketchup.”

On that note, here are some of my observations about the current state of food in Israel.


 

Traditional British Recipe – Bubble and...

 

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Bubble and squeak is a traditional English recipe made with the shallow-fried leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The main ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables are often added. The dish got its name from the bubbling and squeaking sounds during the cooking process.  Cold chopped vegetables mixed with meat and mashed potatoes are all fried together in a pan and it is often made with leftover meat and veggies, served alongside and pickles or brown sauce, another infamous British condiment.  This is one of those meals that take me back to the smells and tastes of childhood.

For many, rain is depressing, lonesome and brings down the mood – but when I think of Bubble and Sqeak, my memories are cast back to a happy childhood, and the comfort food we would enjoy when the rain came down.  You see, the heavens would open in all seasons when I was growing up, and rather than rain stopping play, we’d take our fun indoors and continue to enjoy the day.  Sometimes guests stayed longer to wait out the weather, other times our visits were extended so not to walk back in the rain.  It’s all about perspective – as is this dish.


 

London 2012 Kosher Food Guide

 

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If I say “British Food” you’re either thinking bland pub food with room-temperature Newcastle Brown, or your mouth is watering at the thought of melt-in-the-mouth fish and chips enjoyed with the smell of salt sea air.  If you’re going to London for the 2012 Olympics and keep a kosher diet, I can all but promise you that neither of these images will come alive for you.  London has always had plenty of fine dining options, from the classics that I remember as a child, to the near culinary delights to hit the scene and I intend to help you make sure you have a taste of the best when you get to Her Majesty’s land.

Central London has fewer kosher options than Golders Green, Edgeware and Boreham Wood, but for the best salt beef (corned beef to those of us in the US) on rye with Coleman’ss mustard and latkes large enough to share, I beg you to visit the West End and stop at Reubens (79 Baker Street, W1U 6RG).  The smells and sounds of this Zagat-rated deli make it so much more than just a place to eat.  Reuben’s is a place to dine, to people watch, and to experience part of Jewish London that hasn’t changed since 1973.  One similar culinary adventure that brings a smile to my face is Blooms, unfortunately they closed their doors in the summer of 2010.  If you’ve heard of Blooms from friends or family, the experience you will enjoy at Reuben’s will stay with you forever.