By chance the Cronins chose to visit a sleepy town – Liptovsky Mikalas – in a valley between the Tatra mountains. They find an impressive synagogue, built in 1906, which is here described in detail, and really fits the description of "amazing". At the synagogue there is a small display of photographs of Jewish families who once lived in the town, and an appeal is made for more photos of Jews who once lived in the town. The photos should be sent to nemcova@mik.Im.sk.

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Discovering the largest synagogue in Slovakia
Category: Travel
Issue No. 176
 

The 40 day-trippers who went to the Rakevet HaEmek museum find out that there is a possibility that the old railway line which once went to Syria may be partly restored, linking Afula and Beit Shean with the existing coastal line in Israel. From the museum the trippers were taken on a "tasting spree" at the Spice Way and the Tulip Wineries. Their last stop was at Beit Lechem HaGlilit, to see the Templar buildings built by the German founders of the village.

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Train line that was so slow, it was said that donkeys moved faster!
Category: Travel
Issue No. 176
 

When Lydia Aisenberg spotted a sign on a yellow cab at the Bulgarian Golden Sands resort in Varna that read "I speak Ivrit" she went to investigate. The 30-year old driver who had never been to Israel explained how he learned Hebrew and also showed Lydia and Israeli friends some wonderful sites, as she describes.

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Where Israelis resort to swopping Red for Black
Category: Travel
Issue No. 176
 

Amusing account of this visit to a lovely town situated near the Chinese border in northwestern Vietnam. Travel conditions to get there were cold and frugal but the amazing views, lush vegetation and meeting the locals more than made up for it once they had arrived. A trip to the local market saw souvenir options that included a huge variety of food, drink and even animals.

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A bustling and crowded town, Sapa attacks all your senses
Category: Travel
Issue No. 176
 

Cynthia Barmor returns from a visit to the “old country” and reports that the news is both bad and good. She compares the clean and efficient Cape Town with the grimy and grim Johannesburg, where corruption is rife and blatant and the daily toll of murders numbers in its tens. Good news: Soweto, once a crime-ridden township near Johannesburg has flowered into an up-scale suburb, with malls, supermarkets, homes and gardens.

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Sign of the times - There’s a real sense of freedom in the new South Africa, but corruption is rife
Category: Travel
Issue No. 175
 

It’s a fascinating place, but hardly a birthday present! Definitely not Addis, with its poverty. However, says Mike Porter, we saw tremendous plateaus, ancient farms and buildings, castles and citadels built in the 16th century, and beautiful Lake Tana and its islands of monasteries – not to mention the churches of Lalibela, hewn out of solid rock in the 13th century.

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Travels in a land of tranquility and dirty money
Category: Travel
Issue No. 175
 

The great wall of Los Angeles has perhaps the world’s longest mural, half a mile of history, and a work still in progress. Several hundred people worked on the mural, which reflects revolutionary moments from the earliest days and up to 1984, and includes many Jewish references. “The impact is deep and unforgettable”, says Lydia Aisenberg, who often walked past the wall during her recent stay in the U.S.

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An off-the-wall history lesson in Los Angeles
Category: Travel
Issue No. 175
 

Eli decides to go on a delightful virtual tour of Manchester and takes us round some of the fascinating and unusual sites that the city has to offer. His tour even includes a stay at the grand Midland Hotel and a visit to the Manchester Reform synagogue.

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A trip to Manchester? We’re virtually United on that
Category: Travel
Issue No. 175
 

A “newie” to ESRA, Amy Avgar joins a jam-packed trip down to the Dead Sea, through the Judean Desert. This takes in an observation point over Wadi Kelt, the Kassar Al Yahud baptismal site, with white-robed people still getting “dunked” in the Jordan, the ancient Ein Gedi synagogue. At the hotel, evenings of poetry, cooking, songs and dances. That’s not all – the return trip is through Arad, a stopover at Arik Sharon’s farm, and viewing the murals of Kibbutz Or HaNer. All this in a 4-day trip. Unbelievable!

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Highlights from February’s ESRA trip to the Dead Sea.
Category: Travel
Issue No. 175
 

This relates a memorable trip to Sri Lanka, which means “Prosperity of the Land” and is also known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The travelors enjoyed viewing the massive green vegetation, the huge varieties of spices and fruits and, of course their famous tea.  24 amazing wildlife reserves and a recommended elephant ride are just some of the many attractions - and Israelis are made very welcome.

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Postcard from Sri Lanka
Category: Travel
Issue No. 174
 
 
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