Category Archives: heritage travel

Virtual Walking Tours, 9/11 Tribute Concert Highlight Museum of Jewish Heritage’s Fall Programming

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC, mounts an enriching line-up of in-person and virtual events, including virtual walking tours of historic Jewish sites and a 20th anniversary 9/11 tribute concert this fall © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(New York, NY)— This fall, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will present an enriching line-up of in-person and virtual events, including virtual walking tours of historic Jewish sites, launches for four upcoming books about the Holocaust, and a twentieth anniversary 9/11 tribute concert with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. 

“This fall, we’re excited to present an array of programming that will allow our visitors to explore, learn, be entertained, and remember together,” says Museum President & CEO Jack Kliger. “Whether you join us virtually or in-person in our newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall, we look forward to offering programs that take you to another place and time and leave you with a new or deeper understanding of Jewish heritage and the Holocaust.”

All in-person events will also be livestreamed and available virtually for audiences around the world.

Fall Highlights include:

  • Virtual walking tours that highlight the Jewish history and neighborhoods of major European cities such as Budapest, Berlin, and Amsterdam (September 1 – October 17)
  • Book launches for four new nonfiction books that explore Holocaust history: “All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days,” “ We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration,” “Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love,” and “What They Didn’t Burn: Uncovering My Father’s Holocaust Secrets” (August 31 – October 5)
  • A special 9/11 tribute concert with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestraon the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks (September 11) 

For more information and a full calendar of events, visit the Museum’s events page:

During in-person events, the Museum’s LOX at Café Bergson will be open for brunch, lunch, and

dinner, serving its Museum-made smoked salmon and other kosher delicacies.

Here are event details:

“All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days” Book Talk 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Mildred Harnack was an American activist who witnessed the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and joined what would become the largest underground resistance group in Berlin as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance. She recruited working-class Germans into the resistance, helped Jews escape, plotted acts of sabotage, and collaborated in writing leaflets that denounced Hitler and called for revolution. When the first shots of the Second World War were fired, she became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies.  Harnack would eventually get captured and was sentenced to execution by Hitler and was beheaded. 

Join the Museum for a program exploring Harnack’s life and legacy with her great-great-niece Rebecca Donner, author of the newly-released book “All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler”

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Budapest 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to discover the vibrant history and culture of Jewish Budapest. On this live, virtual walking tour, tour guide Adam will bring visitors through the heart of the historic Jewish quarter of Pest—one of Budapest city center’s most intriguing areas.

“We Share the Same Sky” Book Launch

Thursday, September 9, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

“We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration” documents Rachael Cerrotti’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s Holocaust survival story. The new memoir, scheduled for release in August 2021, explores the pursuit of memory and how the retelling of family stories becomes the history itself.

Join the Museum and Descendants of Holocaust Survivors (2G Greater New York)for a program celebrating the launch of We Share the Same Sky. Cerrotti, who is an award-winning photographer, writer, educator, and audio producer and the inaugural Storyteller in Residence for the USC Shoah Foundation, will be in conversation with Ellen Bachner Greenberg, co-founder of Descendants of Holocaust Survivors.

Remembrance, Reflection, Resilience: A 9/11 Tribute Concert 

Saturday, September 11, 2021 | 8:00 P.M. 

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra present a special concert to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Interspersed with readings of remembrance and reflection, the concert will feature Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” the world premiere of Gary S. Fagin’s “9/11 In Memoriam,” Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington’s “Come Sunday” featuring the KCO’s Orlando Wells on violin, and other music of uplift and inspiration.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Porto

Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for a live, virtual walking tour in the beautiful coastal city of Porto, Portugal.

Jews have lived in Porto since the 12th century, and the city’s Jewish population was an active part of its business and civic community in medieval times—until the Inquisition forced many into conversion or expulsion.

With our guide Sara, the walking tour will explore some of the old neighborhoods of the ancient Portuguese Sephardic Jews, turned into the boroughs of converted “New Christians.” We’ll also learn the exciting story of the rejuvenation of Porto’s Jewish community during the last century.

“Into the Forest” Book Launch 

Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel’s “Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love” (which will be published on September 7, 2021) is one family’s inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.

In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods―through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids―until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944.

During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

Join the Museum for a program celebrating the launch of Into the Forest with Frankel and David Rothkopf, host of the Deep State Radio podcast and CEO of The Rothkopf Group. 

Stories Survive: Dr. Rene David Alkalay

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event) 

Dr. Rene David Alkalay was born in March 1941 in Zagreb, the capital of the former Yugoslavia (now Croatia). When Dr. Alkalay was just a few weeks old, Croatia became a puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and his father and paternal relatives were imprisoned in a concentration camp run by the country’s new Ustaša regime. Later that year, Dr. Alkalay, his mother, and his maternal relatives were imprisoned in other Ustaša-run concentration camps, where they remained for two years.

After the camp was liberated, Dr. Alkalay hid in the forest with partisan groups for a year and then was airlifted out of Yugoslavia to a Displaced Persons camp in Italy. He spent four years after the war at a Catholic school in Rome, unaware of his true religious identity.

In 1950, Dr. Alkalay and his family emigrated to the United States, where he later became a psychotherapist, nutritionist, and pastoral counselor. Join the Museum for a program exploring Dr. Alkalay’s story of survival in Croatia.

“Truus’ Children” Screening and Discussion 

Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

In December 1938, Dutch social worker Truus Wijsmuller was invited to a meeting with Nazi official Adolf Eichmann regarding the transportation of Jewish children out of Nazi territory. With Eichmann’s permission, she quickly organized 600 Jewish children in Vienna and helped transport them to safety in England and the Netherlands. She then continued organizing transports for the next 18 months, becoming a central figure in the rescue network known as the Kindertransport. In total, the Kindertransport saved the lives of approximately 10,000 children.

Join the Museum and the Netherlands’ diplomatic network in the US for a virtual screening and discussion of Truus’ Children, a new film from Dutch filmmakers Pamela Sturhoofd and Jessica van Tijn exploring Wijsmuller’s remarkable legacy. As it tells Wijsmuller’s story, the film also probes the question of why Wijsmuller has been largely forgotten in the 75 years since the World War II.

This program will feature an exclusive panel discussion with Sturhoofd, van Tijn, and Ilse Bauer-Langsdorf, one of the children saved by Truus Wijsmuller. The discussion will be moderated by Michael Simonson, Head of Public Outreach and Archivist at the Leo Baeck Institute. 

Jewish Multiverse: Judaism and Superheroes

Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Since the first Superman comic was published in 1938, there has been a persistent fascination with superheroes. Today, we see them everywhere: television, movies, comics, toys, and anywhere else one can think of. Jews have played an important role in superhero culture, both as characters and creators.

Join the Museum for a program exploring Jewish superheroes with comic book writer Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells) and editor Danny Fingeroth (Marvel’s Spiderman Comics Line). They will be in conversation with journalist Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.

Powerhouse Jewish Women: Isle of Kiezbos & Stephanie Lynne Mason in Concert 

Sunday, October 3, 2021 | 3:00 P.M.

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

Celebrate Jewish women’s music at this energetic Isle of Klezbos concert, held live in the Museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall.

This soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-women’s klezmer sextet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. The band, led by drummer Eve Sicular, approaches tradition with irreverence and respect and is known for its tight yet adventurous sound, lush arrangements, luscious compositions, and solos that swing the Yiddish stratosphere. The band also includes Pam Fleming on trumpet,Reut Regev on trombone, Melissa Fogarty on vocals, Shoko Nagai on accordion and piano, and Saskia Lane on double bass.

Isle of Klezbos will be opened by Broadway actress and singer Stephanie Lynne Mason, known for her leading roles in Fiddler on the Roof and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, accompanied by Bob Marks on piano.

“What They Didn’t Burn” Book Launch

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Growing up, author Mel Laytner saw his father as a quintessential Type B: passive and conventional. As he uncovered documents the Nazis didn’t burn, however, another man emerged—a black market ringleader and wily camp survivor who made his own luck. The tattered papers also shed light on painful secrets his father took to his grave.

Melding the intimacy of personal memoir with the rigors of investigative journalism, “What They Didn’t Burn: Uncovering My Father’s Holocaust Secrets” is a heartwarming, inspiring story of resilience and redemption. A story of how desperate survivors turned hopeful refugees rebuilt their shattered lives in America, all the while struggling with the lingering trauma that has impacted their children to this day.

Join the Museum for a conversation with Laytner and Jane Eisner, Director of Academic Affairs at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and former editor-in-chief of The Forward, about “What They Didn’t Burn.”

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Berlin 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for this live, virtual walking tour of one of Berlin’s oldest neighborhoods. There will be an exploration of areas where Berlin’s Jewish community once flourished and explore how its tragic history is being memorialized today.

Led by tour guide Martin, the tour will begin at the Jewish Boy’s School, then head to the oldest Jewish cemetery in Berlin and the neighboring location of the Jewish retirement home. All three sites were seized by the Nazis. There will also be stops at the haunting memorial sculptures by German artist Will Lammert, the New Synagogue built in 1866, and Museum Island—a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the city.

Introduction to the Holocaust 

Thursday, October 7 – November 4, 2021 | 5:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum for a virtual adult education course offering an introduction to the Holocaust. The five-part course will meet weekly on Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30 PM ET. Each class will include a full lecture followed by student Q&A.

The first four sessions will be led by Dr. Avinoam Patt, the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Patt is a former research scholar at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and has published extensively about Jewish life in Europe before, during, and after the Holocaust.

The fifth session will feature Maritza Shelley, a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, Hungary. Shelley survived forced labor and a Nazi death march when she was a teenager. Along with her mother and sister, she eventually escaped, obtained false papers, and hitchhiked back to Budapest with a convoy of Nazis. Shelley emigrated to New York City in 1947.

Wallenberg: A Musical Tribute

Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

“Wallenberg,” an epic new musical with book and lyrics by the 2006 Kleban Award-winning team of Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman and music by Benjamin Rosenbluth, brings the incredible true story of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest unsung heroes of the 20th century, vividly to life.

In July 1944, the 32-year-old Wallenberg, a businessman from Stockholm, left the safety of neutral Sweden on an American-sponsored mission to Nazi-occupied Hungary. Between face-offs with the notorious Adolf Eichmann and secret dealings with the wife of one of Hungary’s most prominent fascist leaders, Wallenberg saved over 100,000 lives—more than were rescued by any other individual during the Holocaust.

Join the Museum for an evening with the creators and actors behind “Wallenberg,” who will explore the Wallenberg story and perform a set of exhilarating and richly melodic songs from the musical’s score.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Odessa

Sunday, October 10, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for a virtual stroll through Odessa’s old town and uncover the story of Odessa’s Jewish community.

Tour guide, Olga, will be live on the streets of Odessa sharing her city’s rich Jewish heritage. She’ll showcase sites from the golden age of the city’s Jewish community, focusing on the time from the city’s founding through the 1860s and exploring the identities and motivations of Odessa’s early Jewish settlers.

Attendees will see the Brodsky Synagogue, talk about the powerful Ephrussi family, follow in the footsteps of the prominent Jewish revolutionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and see the beautiful mansions that were once home to Jewish merchants in the early 1800s.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Amsterdam

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to travel back in time to learn about Amsterdam’s Jewish history on this live, virtual walking tour with tour guide Stephan.

Stephan will explore the city’s historic Jewish Quarter, explaining how Amsterdam became a safe haven for Jews fleeing southern and eastern Europe starting in the 16th century, and why 10% of its population was Jewish at the onset of the Holocaust.

The tour will include stops at the two Amsterdam synagogues and its famed Jewish memorial. Attendees will also see the city’s oldest park, the Hortus Botanicus—a botanical garden established in 1638—and Steohan’s favorite street in Amsterdam. Discover history through a walk along the canals.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Prague

Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to explore the historic Jewish community of Prague, in the Czech Republic.

On this live, virtual walking tour, attendees will learn the history of the Jewish community in Bohemia since the 10th century with our guide Nikola. They will visit several synagogues: the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, and the Old New Synagogue—Europe’s oldest synagogue still in use.

The tour will explore the impact of World War II and the German annexation of Czechoslovakia through the Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) and the Terezin Ghetto. Learn the story of Nicholas Winton, the British businessman who saved 669 children with his rescue mission. And finally, attendees will hear the story of the American ambassador’s residence in Prague—the spectacular Petschka Palace.

Love in Wartime

Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Love stories during the Holocaust are as inspiring as they are remarkable. In photographer Max Hirshfeld’s new book Sweet Noise: Love in Wartime, he offers an intimate look at one of these stories through powerful photographs, a series of emotional love letters between his parents, and the narrative of a son’s pilgrimage exploring his origins.

Join the Museum for a program exploring Hirshfeld’s work with the photographer and Jacqueline Kott-Wolle, a fellow artist and daughter of Holocaust survivors. Hirshfeld and Kott-Wolle will explore different forms of love, expression, and the idea that Jewish trauma and hardship did not end after the war.

The Light and Legacy of Rachel Cowan

Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 6:45 P.M.

(In-Person Event)

Rachel Cowan was a civil rights activist, community organizer, the first female Jew by choice ordained as a Rabbi, and a beloved and influential mindfulness teacher. After she was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, her years of mindfulness practice enabled her to model living well while dying. Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and presenting partners B’nai Jeshurun and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, for an evening celebrating the remarkable light and legacy of Rachel’s life.

The program will feature a screening of Dying Doesn’t Feel Like What I’m Doing, a new film about Cowan from American-born, Jerusalem-based documentary filmmaker Paula Weiman-Kelman. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Weiman-Kelman, Khary Lazarre-White, Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Brotherhood Sister Sol, and Jeannie Blaustein, Founding Board Chair at Reimagine End of Life. The discussion will be moderated by Rabbi Marc Margolius, Senior Program Director at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. 

The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving. 

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, New York City, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

See also:

GROUNDBREAKING EXHIBIT AT MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE TRANSPORTS TO ‘AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO. NOT FAR AWAY’

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 1: Vietnam-Athens)

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 2: MOROCCO-GIBRALTAR)

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 3: IBERIA-NYC)

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Ellis Island Introduces New Personalized Virtual Research Service to Help People Locate Arrival Records of Immigrant Ancestors

One of the passenger manifests in the Ellis Island database. A new service enables people to hire a researcher to find their immigrant ancestors among the 65 million arrival records of those who entered the United States through Ellis Island from 1820 to 1957.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the nonprofit that collaborates with the National Park Service and raises funds for the restoration and preservation of these two national monuments, has introduced a new service in response to Ellis Island closing during the COVID-19 crisis. Each year thousands visit the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island to explore their connections to the 17+ million immigrants who entered the U.S. through the Port of New York (1820-1957). Now, a newly created virtual experience replicates a visit to the Family History Center to help people along their genealogical journey.

For a $30 donation, the Foundation’s experts conduct a personalized search of the passenger database, home to about 65 million arrival records. With a successful search, donors receive two copies (a digital version and a hard copy on archival paper) of the Ship Manifest displaying the immigrant’s arrival. The Foundation is also producing a series of videos featuring research tips and interesting stories about Ellis Island’s immigration history.  

This team consists of the same research staff you would normally meet at the American Family Immigration History Center on Ellis Island. Your donation secures a 30-minute research session conducted by the team, with the funds supporting the Foundation’s mission and our commitment to keeping these 65 million records available for people all over the globe.

Successful searches will result in the Foundation sending you a free digital copy of the Ship Manifest displaying your ancestor’s arrival in America! In addition, when the Foundation’s office reopens, you will receive a hard copy, on archival paper, sent with free shipping.

Each research session will be 30 minutes in length. During this time, the research team will search the vast records for your ancestor (only one per session; you can purchase more than one session). Allow up to 10 business days to receive your search results. You may purchase more than one session. If you are interested in searching for multiple passengers, you can reserve additional sessions. Research sessions occur without live participation from donor. The research team will reach out to you if they have any additional questions. 

How it works

Visit the website shop to make your donation and secure your 30-minute research session.

You will receive a confirmation email from our research team. This email will include a document where you will provide as much information possible about the passenger you’d like us to research. The more information the team has from you, the more they can narrow the search.

After submitting your form, a research team member will be assigned to conduct your search.

If your search is successful, you will receive a free digital copy of the Ship Manifest (up to a $50 savings!)

If your search is unsuccessful, you will receive a 10% off promo code for the Ellis Island Shop.

To start, go to https://libertyellisfoundation.org/FindYourFamily

The Ellis Island Database, which is free for all, is an amazing gateway to history. There are close to 65 million records documenting the people who came to America through the Port of New York, from 1820 to 1957.

In the coming weeks, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation will unveil a series of videos on social media that will guide you along a genealogical journey, providing research tips and historical fun facts from our staff.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Insight Vacations Discounts Travel to Ireland for Bookings by Dec. 18

Ireland is rich in culture with its wild landscapes and hearty culinary delights. From enjoying a pot of Irish stew, to exploring Ireland’s lush lands and regal castles, connect with your Gaelic Roots on Insight Vacations’ immersive experiences.

Ireland may be a small country but it is rich in culture with its wild landscapes and hearty culinary delights. From enjoying a pot of Irish stew, to exploring Ireland’s lush lands and regal castles, you’ll connect with your Gaelic Roots on Insight Vacations’ immersive experiences.

Lonely Planet named Galway as one of the top places to visit in the world in 2020—a cultural destination highlighted on Insight Vacations’ Ireland itineraries. The accolade has been given in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020, describing the city as “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city”.

According to the European Capital of Culture, visitors to Galway can expect to experience the city and county’s best year yet, with a year-long program of extraordinary street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance.

 As the award-winning leader in premium escorted travel, Insight Vacations wants travelers to observe Galway with experiences that go beyond the ordinary. On Insight’s journeys to Ireland, guests are invited to meet and interact with locals and explore various establishments that offer authenticity as well as good old-fashioned fun.

Here are several Insight trips that immerse guests into the unique aspects of Galway:

 Country Roads of Ireland (12 Days):Travelers will get the chance to enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. They will spend a day at their leisure to relax and enjoy the city– perhaps joining an Optional Experience to the Aran Islands – a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.

 Focus on Ireland (7 Days):Lead by Insights’ dedicated and knowledgeable Travel Director, guests will explore the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. They will also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.

Irish Elegance (8 Days): Guests will journey the City of the Tribes and visit Galway’s stunning cathedral. They can take in the beautiful scenery during their two-night stay at the Connemara Coast Hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.

For a limited time on Insight Vacations journeys, guests can visit Galway with Insight Vacations’ amazing air offer: From now until Dec. 18, travelers can save up to $300 per couple on economy air on departures from Oct. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020 to Nov. 15, 2020.

By choosing flights with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, travelers can save $150 off per person on Economy, $200 off per person on Premium Economy or $300 off per person on Business Class.

In addition to the these air offers, Insight Vacations is also offering a 10% savings to Europe with their popular Early Payment Discount for those who book and pay in full by December 18, 2019. This discount is combinable with Insights’ air offers.

For reservations, call Insight Vacations at 1-888-680-1241, or visit www.insightvacations.com

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags
#INSIGHTVACATIONS and #INSIGHTMOMENTS

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Learn What the Brexit Fuss is About and Why Ireland is Two Countries with Vagabond Tours

Dunluce Castle, Antrim. Vagabond Adventure Tours creates opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland– With the European Union’s approval, Britain has received an extension to its exit (Brexit) until 31 January 2020. Rob Rankin, founder and owner Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, is taking a wait-and-see-attitude concerning the UK Parliament’s vote to uphold or not the exit date that could change how the UK does business with Europe — and also on the Emerald Isle.
 
Maybe Brexit will be washed down the drain over a toast with its trading bloc partners since 1993. Maybe not. In the meantime Rankin’s team offers a list of ideas to visitors to Ireland who may want to know what the fuss is all about. In Dublin, the gateway city for Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, historic attractions are two-a-penny. Guests are invited to discover for themselves the bullet holes on the General Post Office that betray its role at the heart of the 1916 Easter Rising. The National Museum is housed in a former barracks. Glasnevin Cemetery holds an array of independence heroes and an excellent museum.
 
Highly recommended in Belfast is an on-own Black Cab tour that offers a unique perspective on the capital of Northern Ireland. Guests listen to expert personal commentary on a guided tour through unionist and nationalist communities, learning about the late 20th century ‘The Troubles’ while viewing political murals and signing names to a peace wall.
 
Itineraries encompassing Derry include a guided walking tour around the historic walled city of Derry/Londonderry that showcases the Guild Hall and a siege cannon while shedding light on the nationalist neighborhood where the Northern Irish Civil Rights movement was born in the late 1960s, leading to a virtual 30-year war between Catholics and Protestants.
 
And other itineraries including Cork, also known as the Rebel County, share stories of the action here during the early 1920s War of Independence and ensuing Civil War. Michael Collins was ambushed and assassinated at Béal na Bláth. Picturesque Cobh was a center of resistance in 1916.
 
“It’s a no-brainer to say that this ours is a complicated history,” adds Rankin. Vagabond Tours of Ireland assists its guests in scratching the surface of the history of why there are two separate Irelands. This history goes back well into the 16th century when the island was like a piece of fabric being stretched between Gaelic-speaking Catholics and the English who spoke English and who were eventually predominantly Protestant. 
 
“Today Brexit has become our own three-legged milking stool,” Rankin explains. The three legs are:

European Union (EU) – since 1993 a commerce-driven alliance of European nations, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

United Kingdom (UK) – inclusive of Great Britain (Scotland, Wales, England) and Northern Ireland (six counties that are culturally British out of an overall 32 counties on the island). This bloc known as the UK has voted to disengage from the EU because of a perception that the UK doesn’t enjoy full sovereignty in the EU.  

Republic of Ireland – represents 26 of 32 counties on the Emerald Isle, is not part of the UK bloc and enjoys 80% to 90% support for continuing its own EU membership. The Republic of Ireland fought and won independence from the UK from 1916 to 1921. The six counties in the northern part of Ireland demanded that their union with the UK and the British crown remain intact, resulting in Northern Ireland. When the UK voted to remove itself (Brexit) from the EU, the independent country Republic of Ireland determined to remain within the EU. 

Customs and tariff protocols between the Republic of Ireland (EU) and Northern Ireland (UK) have been operational and peaceful for nearly two decades. Residents and visitors to Ireland and the UK enjoy visa-free travel to each other’s countries. All sides have agreed that this situation will continue post-Brexit.
 
What is of concern, adds Rankin, is that without a so-called backstop built into the negotiations, the now a ‘soft’ border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland could once again become a ‘hard’ border that in turn could pick at century-old scars. The relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has steadily improved since the landmark peace accord of 1998. What’s known as the Good Friday Agreement ended paramilitary activity and customs infrastructure at north/south border crossing points. The British army was removed from Northern Ireland.
 
No matter Brexit’s outcome – or not – Rankin and his team are high on 2020 bookings, already strong.
 
“We envisage no major disruption. The bright side is, we hope, more opportunity to explain Irish history,” he says.
 
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours (the division hosting the Epic Irish Food Adventure Tour) are for active travelers who want to mix up hiking, kayaking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.
 
On all of its tours, Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ or special mini-buses which allow access beyond where regular tour buses go.
 
For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: info@vagabond.ie.
 
Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. In 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards. And in February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Extends Groundbreaking Auschwitz Exhibition in Response to High Demand

Artifacts and images from dozens of institutions and private collections from around the world are on view at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust’s groundbreaking exhibit, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away, including Mauthausen Memorial, Mauthausen, Austria, where the crematorium is no longer open to the public. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

– Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. exhibition will remain on view at the NYC museum through August 30, 2020, an eight-month extension from its originally scheduled close date –

– Exhibition features more than 700 objects and 400 photographs on display in North America for the first time, including a shofar that was secretly blown at Auschwitz and a collection of 10 original artifacts from the Anne Frank House –

New York, NY – Due to an overwhelming response, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust today announced that Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.the most comprehensive Holocaust exhibition about Auschwitz ever presented in North America, will be extended until August 30, 2020. Produced by the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, the groundbreaking exhibition is the largest ever on Auschwitz with more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs.

The extension responds to the record number of visitors the exhibition drew to the Museum since opening in May. To date, more than 106,000 people from across the country and globe have come to the Museum to see the exhibition, including more than 36,000 students to date and approximately 12,000 students scheduled to visit before the end of 2019.

“The number of adults and school visitors drawn to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. has been incredible. This exhibition greets its visitors with a clear warning to be vigilant – to not allow this history to repeat and to never presume that it won’t,” notes Bruce C. Ratner, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “In recent years and recent months even, we have seen a surge in antisemitic rhetoric, hate crimes, and a weaponized nationalism both here in the United States and abroad. We are extending this exhibition at our Museum because it offers clear, moral lessons that resonate powerfully today and from which visitors want to learn.”

“It has been a great honor to preside over the Museum as it presents this astounding exhibition and to witness it move so many of our visitors as deeply as it has moved me,” says Jack Kliger, the Museum’s President & CEO. “Most remarkable, this exhibition is dynamic. Already large in scope, it continues to acquire new artifacts over the course of its life, such as the shofar clandestinely used in Auschwitz that we unveiled last month ahead of Rosh Hashanah.”

“We have been profoundly overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response in New York – not only by the numbers themselves, but especially by the time visitors spend in the exhibition – on average two hours – and the care, attention and respect they show for this story. Deciding to visit this exhibition is a courageous step. It means confronting oneself with a traumatic, complex and challenging past. And more importantly, it helps us understand more critically our own present,” says Luis Ferreiro, Director of Musealia and the exhibition project.

“I don’t think that there is a more important exhibition presented in New York at the moment. This one about Auschwitz explores the essence of mankind, analyzes the limits of what is human, and asks important questions about our contemporary responsibility. I am glad people will be able to see it there longer,” says Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. traces the development of Nazi ideology and tells the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as Oświęcim to the largest German Nazi concentration camp and the most significant site of the Holocaust —at which ca. 1 million Jews, and tens of thousands of others, were murdered. Victims included Polish political prisoners, Sinti and Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and those the Nazis deemed “homosexual,” “disabled,” “criminal,” “inferior,” or adversarial in countless other ways. The exhibition tells not only the story of their persecution and murder, but also the myriad ways ordinary people responded to the unfolding genocide, including inspiring stories of resistance, resilience, courage, and altruism. In addition, the exhibition contains artifacts that depict the world of the perpetrators—SS men who created and operated the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

With more than 700 objects and 400 photographs, mainly from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the New York presentation of the exhibition allows visitors to experience artifacts from more than 20 international museums and institutions on view for the first time in North America, including hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz. Other artifacts include: concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; part of an original barrack for prisoners from the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp; a desk and other possessions of the first and the longest-serving Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; a gas mask used by the SS; Picasso’s Lithograph of Prisoner; and an original German-made Model 2 freight train car of the type used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland. 

The exhibition also features 10 artifacts on loan from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which include the spilled, dried beans Anne wrote about in her diary and that were later discovered lodged between the cracks of stairs in the home where she hid from the German Nazis. The beans have never been displayed anywhere before. Most recently, the Museum announced the exhibition’s incorporation of a shofar (a ram’s horn that is made into a special wind instrument used during Jewish High Holiday services) that was hidden and clandestinely blown in the Auschwitz. The shofar was newly added to the exhibition on the cusp of the High Holy days and temporarily transported to two New York City synagogues to be blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage has incorporated into the exhibition nearly 100 rare artifacts from its collection that relay the experience of survivors and liberators who found refuge in the greater New York area. These artifacts include: Alfred Kantor’s sketchbook and portfolio that contain over 150 original paintings and drawings from Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Schwarzheide; the trumpet that musician Louis Bannet (acclaimed as “the Dutch Louis Armstrong”) credits for saving his life while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz; visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania often referred to as “Japan’s Oskar Schindler”; prisoner registration forms and identification cards; personal correspondence; tickets for passage on the St. Louis; and a rescued Torah scroll from the Bornplatz Synagogue in Hamburg. 

Also on display from the Museum of Jewish Heritage collection is Heinrich Himmler’s SS helmet and his annotated copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as well as an anti-Jewish proclamation issued in 1551 by Ferdinand I that was given to Hermann Göring by German security chief Reinhard Heydrich on the occasion of Göring’s birthday. The proclamation required Jews to identify themselves with a “yellow ring” on their clothes. Heydrich noted that, 400 years later, the Nazis were completing Ferdinand’s work. These artifacts stand as evidence of a chapter of history that must never be forgotten.

Alongside Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., the Museum offers a series of talks, screenings, performances, and commemorative events that further explore Jewish history and life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The last week of October, artist and Holocaust survivor William Bernheim will discuss his history and artistic response, and author Marty Brounstein will present a program abouta Christian couple in the Netherlands who saved the lives of over two dozen Jews. November programming includes commemorative events for the 81stanniversary of Kristallnacht, including “Stories Survive: An Eyewitness Account of Kristallnacht” with Ruth Zimbler. In December, The Sorceress will be performed by the resident National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. To learn more about these and other activities, visit the Museum’s Events page here: https://mjhnyc.org/current-events/

Following the New York presentation, the exhibition is intended to tour other cities around the world. Future destinations will be announced by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Curated by an international team of experts led by historian Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. first opened in New York City on May 8, 2019 after its successful run at Madrid’s Arte Canal Exhibition Centre, where it was extended two times, drew more than 600,000 visitors, and was one of the most visited exhibitions in Europe last year. The exhibition explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.

Museum of Jewish Heritage Board Vice Chairman George Klein visited the exhibition in Spain and recommended to his Board that they bring it to Lower Manhattan.The exhibition features artifacts and materials on loan from more than 20 institutions and private collections around the world. In addition to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, participating institutions include Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, and the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London. 

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far awaywas conceived of by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and curated by an international panel of experts, including world-renowned scholars Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Dr. Michael Berenbaum, and Paul Salmons, in an unprecedented collaboration with historians and curators at the Research Center at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led by Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz.

“When we, the Musealia curatorial team set out to design the Auschwitz exhibition, we realized that we faced a difficult problem. In Auschwitz over a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered shortly after their arrival or suffered and died in unimaginable circumstances. How does one create an exhibition about such a dark chapter in human history that, in our understanding, is not long ago and happened in a place not far away? How does one make the public, that has so many opportunities to explore a great city like New York, decide that it would want to see such an exhibition? Our tools were straightforward: a narrative told through more than 700 original artifacts, 400 original images, 100 stories, made present by means of filmed testimonies and quotes – all revealing individual experiences of a history we must learn from,” says Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Chief Curator.

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is presented in the symbolic, hexagonally-shaped core building at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This 18,000-square-foot exhibition introduces artifacts and Holocaust survivor testimony through 20 thematic galleries. 

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible with lead support by Bruce C. Ratner, George and Adele Klein Family Foundation, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, and Larry and Klara Silverstein & Family. The exhibition is presented in part with major support by The David Berg Foundation, Patti Askwith Kenner, The Oster Family Foundation, and The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The New York premiere is made possible in part by Simon & Stefany Bergson with additional support from The Knapp Family Foundation.

GENERAL INFORMATION

TICKETS

Entry is by timed ticket available at Auschwitz.nyc. Audio guide (available in 8 languages) is included with admission.

$25 Flexible Entry—entry any time on a specific day

$16 Adults

$12 Seniors and People with Disabilities

$10 Students and Veterans

$8 Museum Members

FREE for Holocaust survivors, active members of the military and first responders, and students and teachers through grade 12 in schools located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (with valid school-issued ID). 

For group visits, contact the Museum at 646.437.4304 or groupvisits@mjhnyc.org. See Auschwitz.nyc for more information.

HOURS AS OF NOVEMBER 1, 2019:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday          10 AM to 6 PM            
Wednesday                                                     10 AM to 9 PM

Friday                                                              10 AM to 3 PM            

Last admission to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far awayis 2 hours before closing time. Last entrance to the rest of the Museum is 30 minutes prior to closing time.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Since 1997, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors; it maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. 

The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. 

The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving. 

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, New York City, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Sacred Places: Spiritual Sites That Can Be Visited Via Cruise Ship

Praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of more than 100 holy sites that can be visited on a cruise.

There are more than a hundred cruise itineraries that provide access to sacred places – worldwide sites of healing, guidance, and divine inspiration. The significance of these hallowed sites cannot be expressed in words or pictures – to understand their impact, the faithful must visit them in person, to experience healing, guidance or divine inspiration.

While many of the world’s most sacred sites have historically been inaccessible to all but the hardiest of travelers – those who were able to make arduous overland journeys – the travel experts at CruiseCompete say travelers will find that today’s cruise itineraries make many of these locations surprisingly easy to visit.

Here is a partial list:

Asia/Far East
Beijing, China, Hanging Monastery
Beppu, Japan, Beppu Onsen
Delhi, India, Taj Mahal
Delhi, India, Rishikesh
Hiroshima, Japan, Peace Memorial Park
Kochi, Kanyakumari, India, 3 oceans unite, Ghandi Memorial
Mumbai, India, Ajanta and Ellora caves
Qingdao, Tai Shan, China, Tai Shan Dai Mai Complex
Shanghai, South Korea, Lotus Lantern Festival
Shimizu, Japan, Mt Fuji
Taipai, China/Taiwan, Wenwu Temple
Yangon, Myanman, Bagan

Caribbean
Bridgetown, Trinidad and Tobago, Diwali

Europe
Bordeax, France, Lourdes
Bucharest, Romania, Hurezi Monastery
Cologne, Germany, Aachen Cathedral
Cologne, Germany, Shrine of the Three Kings
Dublin, Ireland, Newgrange
Holyhead, Holywell, Wales, St Winefride’s Well
Lisbon, Portugal, Our Lady of Fatima
Madrid, Spain, Mezquita
Beaches of Normandy, France, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Paris, France, Chartres Cathedral
Paris, France, Mont-St.-Michael

Mediterranean
Cairo, Sinai peninsula, Mt Sinai/St. Catherine’s Monastery
Haifa, Nazareth / Galilee (Haifa), Israel, Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias)
Istanbul, Turkey, Blue Mosque
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Cave of the Nativity
Jerusalem, Israel, Western Wall
Jerusalem, Israel, Holy Sepulchre Church
Jerusalem, Israel, Yad Veshem
Tripoli, Lebanon, Cedars of God Lebanon
Livorno, Italy, Chapel of the Stigmata
Luxor, Egypt, Valley of the Kings
Rhodes, Greece, The Cave of the Apocalypse
Rome, Italy, Abbazia Di San Galgano
Rome, Italy, St. Peter’s Basilica

Middle East
Aqaba, Jordan, Petra

North America
Baltimore, Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery
Huatulpo, Mexico, Day of the Dead
New York, New York, Ground Zero
Baltimore, Washington DC, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial

South America
Copacabana, South America, Islands of the Sun and Moon
Easter Island, South Pacific, Easter Island
Lima, Peru, Mcchu Picchu/ Sacred Valley of the Inca

For more information, visit CruiseCompete’s full listing of sacred places that are accessible via cruise ship.

For more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor.

Find CruiseCompete’s “Sea Tales 2019 Family Cruise Travel Planner” at www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php. To see consumer feedback click here.

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praises).

Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and agents have delivered almost 17 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, a leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal,” and follows similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.”

For more information, visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/ or https://www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises/

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company, is not a travel agency or owned by a travel agency.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Has Grand Opening

The much-anticipated Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an experiential museum that reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls, has just opened, May 4. John Morrison and James Patterson © E.B. Lewis

Niagara Falls, NY – The much-anticipated Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, an experiential museum that reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls, has just opened, May 4. A project of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission in cooperation with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, a program of the National Park Service, the Heritage Center inspires visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery and to take action toward an equitable society. It is located in the former 1863 U.S. Custom House attached to the new Niagara Falls Amtrak Station.

“As the first new cultural attraction in the City of Niagara Falls in over 35 years, opening the Underground Railroad Heritage Center is an incredibly significant event, both to the people of Niagara Falls, and throughout the world,” said Bill Bradberry, President and Chair, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission

The Heritage Center’s permanent exhibition, One More River to Cross, features the rich stories of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls, the crucial role played by its location and geography, and the actions of its residents – particularly its African American residents. The Heritage Center’s immersive exhibits and cutting-edge interpretation affirmatively align with the principles of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, whose mission is to connect the past to modern social justice issues – “to turn memory to action.”

Through painstaking research, the exhibition presents engaging digital media, graphics, scenic built environments and facilitated dialogic programming as part of the visitor experience. Scenic exhibit components include a recreation of the Cataract House – a premier international hotel that employed an entirely African American wait staff, who helped uncounted numbers of freedom seekers to freedom in Canada, just across the Niagara River. Also included is a recreation of the International Suspension Bridge, built in 1848, and rebuilt in 1855 to incorporate rail traffic, where Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers crossed the imaginary line from slavery to freedom. Stories are brought to life with powerful images by award winning illustrator and fine artist E.B. Lewis and voice-overs by Emmy Award winning actor Keith David.

“From the very beginning, the objective for the Heritage Center was to create an immersive experience that brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who fought for freedom,” said Ally Spongr, Director and Curator, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center.

The new Heritage Center focuses on stories of courageous self-emancipation by freedom seekers. Throughout the exhibition visitors experience these stories and hear from individuals past and present with the hope that these stories and connections will allow for deeper engagement, consideration of new or different perspectives, and motivation to action.

“The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center will not only shine a light on the significant role Niagara played at this critical time in our nation’s history but the stories of the brave men and women whose contributions to this movement we must never forget. I want to commend the Heritage Commission for their painstaking efforts to bring this educational and interactive experience to life for generations to come,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.

This project is led by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission, chaired by Bill Bradberry, directed and curated by Ally Spongr, and based on research by lead historian Dr. Judith Wellman. The Heritage Center’s design-build teams include Studio Tectonic of Boulder, Colorado, Richard Lewis Media Group of Boston, Massachusetts, and Universal Services Associates, Inc., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission, 825 Depot Avenue W., Niagara Falls, NY 14305, niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors on Vagabond Irish Adventure

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland–Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation. Beginning in Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and castles. The common element to the sites is the stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.

This tour caters to active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing and biking in Killarney National Park are optional. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

Among the historic stone structures guests may visit Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland; Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) constructed by Bronze Age farmers as defenses against cattle thieves with such precision that no mortar was required; Glenveigh Castle and Gardens. a Victorian (1867) edifice in what is now Glenveagh National Park; the original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress; Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832 (overnight here); Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars); Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence; Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.

On the daily walks and hikes, guests explore: Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs; Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway; Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe; Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven; Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs; Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic; Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul.

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond arranges stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.
(see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.)

For details on Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/, 833-230-0288, or email: info@vagabond.ie or info@driftwood.ie.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Day of the Dead in Lithuania: Where Pagan and Christian Traditions Meet in Enchanting Cemetery Settings

During Vėlinės in Lithuania, ancient cemeteries are afloat with flowers and sinking in the sea of candles. People come to remember dead heroes and prominent poets of the nation, but they also don’t forget the unknown graves of dead people whose relatives might not be around anymore to light a candle.

Looking for a unique experience this Halloween? Head to Lithuania, where Day of the Dead is celebrated by the whole nation, and the country offers unique glimpses into the world of crypts, crosses and ancient cemeteries.

Take one of the special tours – visit old cemeteries of Vilnius, adrift in flowers and candles; take a tour of the underground crypts of Vilnius Cathedral; head to the old pagan Lithuanian capital, Kernave, and see pilkapiai – ancient cemeteries with no crosses; take excursions to the seaside and southern Lithuania, visit national parks and local cemeteries with UNESCO-recognized cross-making traditions; head to the extraordinary Hill of Crosses  – a site of pilgrimage in northern Lithuania with over 200,000 of crosses of all shapes and sizes. The first crosses were put on the hill by the relatives of the dead rebels of 1831 revolt against the Russian tsar.

On the first day of November, Lithuanian offices, shops and schools close, roads become packed with cars, families reunite, and everyone heads to one special place – the cemetery.

Lithuanian cemeteries are already different from what you’d find in other countries – they rather resemble a botanical park, sinking in the sea of trees, adorned with flowers and beautiful tombstones. On November 1st, Lithuanians celebrate Vėlinės (vėlė means “soul” and ilgėtis means “to long”) – the Day of the Dead, which is not as joyful an occasion as El Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico, but rather the day of remembrance and reunion that bears deep traditions. Cemeteries become the place of family gatherings, where young and old arrange flowers and light candles. When the sun sets, the cemeteries become enchanting, alive and mysterious from the sea of flickering candlelights and the aroma of thousands of fresh flowers.

When golden trees and low-hanging sun create special autumn atmosphere, it’s a perfect time to visit Lithuania and to get enchanted by the scenery and traditions, to explore some off-the-beaten track activities, and to see some old Lithuanian customs put into action.

According to the old Lithuanian tradition, this is the time to remember the ancestors and to re-think one’s place in the world. When Lithuania finally accepted Christianity (last country to be “baptized” in Europe), pagan and Christian traditions blended into one over time, giving special significance and depth to the Lithuanian Day of the Dead.

The Old Cemeteries of Vilnius 

The Old Vilnius Cemeteries belong in the list of European historical cemetery heritage.

There are three main cemeteries in Vilnius city center: the first one, Rasų Cemetery, was founded in 1796, and is the eternal home to famous Lithuanian poets, artists and politicians, such as the activist and folklorist Jonas Basanavicius, and composer and painter M.K. Ciurlionis. This was the first cemetery that was founded outside of the city, on a hill surrounded by old oak trees. The name of the place – Rasos – suggests this used to be an ancient pagan ceremony site.

The Bernardine Cemetery was established in 1810 by the Bernardine monks of the the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. As most cemeteries in the city center, it was closed by the Soviets and remained mostly unchanged from that time, with burials allowed only in existing family graves.

Antakalnis Cemetery is commonly referred to as the Military Cemetery. 12 of the 14 Soviet Union protest victims from 1991 TV tower attack are buried here, as well as the victims of Soviet Medininkai Massacre. Among other perished soldiers there are graves of Polish soldiers from 1919-20, Lithuanian, German and Russian soldiers who have fallen in World War I and thousands of French soldiers of Napoleon’s Army, whose remains were found in Vilnius and reburied in Antakalnis in 2001.

During Vėlinės, these old cemeteries are afloat with flowers and sinking in the sea of candles – people come to remember the dead heroes or prominent poets of the nation, but they also don’t forget the unknown graves of dead people whose relatives might not be around anymore to light a candle.

Lithuanian Cross-Making and the Hill of Crosses 

If you feel like venturing outside of Vilnius, Southern Lithuanian region of Dzukija and Lithuanian seaside will offer a special glimpse into the culture of Lithuanian cemeteries, with their  distinctive crosses and breathtaking nature that surrounds them.

The Lithuanian art of cross-making was recognized to be unique and added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Since Lithuania was the last country of Europe to abandon paganism and convert to Catholicism in the 14th century, pagan and Catholic elements intertwine in Lithuanian crosses – which were forbidden by Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union.

Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, located in the northern Lithuania, is a unique and enchanting place, with over 200,000 of crosses of every shape and size, and attracting thousands of Catholic pilgrims as well as curious tourists. People started leaving crosses on the hill after the 1831 uprising against the Russian tsar – relatives put crosses to commemorate dead rebels, since they had no bodies to bury. During Soviet occupation, the KGB bulldozed the hill twice – but today, the Hill of Crosses stands tall again as the symbol of resistance and faith.

Pre-Christian Cemeteries

You can also find cemeteries in Lithuania that have no crosses – these are pre-Christian pilkapiai dating from 12-13th century – abandoned in the 14th century – but still reminding everyone of pagan Lithuania. The most prominent site of pilkapiai is in Kernave, whose first residents arrived in the 9th century BC, and which later became an important pagan city.

Similarly, you wouldn’t find any crosses in the ethnic Jewish cemeteries, or the cemeteries of Lithuanian Turkic minorities – Tatars and Karaites.

Lithuanian Cemetery Excursions by Vilnius in Love:

  • Royal Mausoleum. A visit to the crypts of Vilnius Cathedral
  • Uzupis neighborhood. The Bernardine Cemetery
  • The old Military Cemetery of Antakalnis
  • Rasu Cemetery
  • The pagan capital Kernaveand pilkapiai
  • The Hill of Crossesin Northern Lithuania
  • National Park of Dzukija
  • National Park of Curonian Spit
  • Jewish Vilnius
  • Trakai Castleand old Karaites cemetery

Vilnius in Love is a tour guide company that offers customizable and personalized tours across all regions of Lithuania.  Hiring guides who are very well versed in local history, they are able to offer trips to unique destinations and rare attractions. Contact VilniusinLove.com to learn more.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Pacific Delight Debuts Kosher Jewish Heritage Tour of Southeast Asia ‘Through Jewish Eyes’

NEW YORK – Pacific Delight, a luxury tour operator which introduced a Jewish heritage tour of India last year, is now introducing Southeast Asia Through Jewish Eyes™ covering Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam in partnership with Rabbi Marvin Tokayer and the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities (FRJC). The tour departs on Jan. 3, 2018 and will be co-led by Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, founder of the non-profit Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, and Rabbi Rachel Safman of Congregation Beth El in New London, CT.

Highlights include dinner at Singapore’s historic Magen Aboth Synagogue and a night safari to observe Singapore’s nocturnal wildlife, a boat ride on Bangkok’s “River of Kings” to the Temple of Dawn and shimmering Grand Palace with lunch at “the backpacker’s shul,” a tour of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ayutthya, a journey through Chiang Mai’s rainforests interspersed with rice paddies and waterfalls, Shabbat at the historic Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue in Myanmar, and a fascinating trip to observe the famous pagodas of Bagan. The experience culminates in Ho Chi Minh City where passengers will visit the local synagogue in addition to exploring Saigon’s past and present by boat, bus, cyclo and foot.

The tour cost is $6,988 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes roundtrip group economy airfare from New York (JFK) or Los Angeles (LAX) via Cathay Pacific Airways, with premium upgrades available at additional cost. All internal flights and transportation are included along with deluxe, air-conditioned four- and five-star accommodations, all meals (kosher or vegetarian) including memorable Shabbat dinners in Singapore and Yangon, and fascinating cultural events and sightseeing, including riverboat tours in Singapore, Bangkok and Saigon.

Transfers, all gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff, and all hotel taxes and service charges are included in the package cost. Airport taxes, fuel surcharges and visa fees for Myanmar and Vietnam are not included.

An early-bird discount of $180 per person applies to bookings received by Oct. 3, 2017.

The tour cost includes a $900 per person tax-deductible donation to FRJC, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational charity that is devoted to preserving and promoting the endangered Jewish communities on the periphery of the Diaspora. Since its inception in 2003, FRJC has distributed more than $1 million for Jewish libraries, scholarships and sustainable farming projects in the Far East, Southeast Asia and India. Learn more at www.frjc.org.

Rabbi-Cantor Marcia Tilchin is the founder of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County (JCoOC), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping OC Jewish residents and their families “feel the joy of Jewish.” Marcia’s passion for all things Jewish and love of helping people find what is meaningful to them in Judaism is a signature of her spiritual leadership and service to the OC Jewish community.

Rabbi Rachel Safman of Temple Beth El in New London, CT is a second-career rabbi. She earned a BS in biology from Harvard and a PhD in sociology from Cornell, then served as an advisor to the government of Thailand before accepting a teaching position at National University of Singapore, where she became involved with Singapore’s Jewish community.

Pacific Delight Tours has been a leading American tour operator to China and Asia for 44 years and is a member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA). The luxury tour operator has won numerous industry awards including the TravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2015, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the 2016 Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager-Pacific Asia.

Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight Tours, telephone: (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; website: www.PacificDelightTours.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures