Rabbi’s Travel Blog

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What Happened to my Scandinavia? Part III: Sweden

by Temple Beth EL

Stockholm felt more alive to me than the other Scandinavia capitals and, of the three, it has the largest Jewish community, at least 10,000 people. Swedish law provides support for “Indigenous Minorities” which includes the Jews. The restoration of the synagogue was therefore financed by the government. The same applies for the Day School. On […]

What Happened to my Scandinavia? Part II: Finland

by Temple Beth EL

The story of the Jews in Finland is unique: During the Holocaust not one Finnish Jew was deported or killed. The back story is beyond belief! Finland had always been afraid of Russia. In 1939, when Russia attacked Finland country allied with the Nazis. 350 Jewish men, out of a population of 2000 Jews, volunteered […]

What Happened to My Scandinavia? Part I: Norway

by Temple Beth EL

What follows is a sad story. I visited Scandinavia for the first time in 1984, having been invited by the Chief Rabbi of Sweden to give a lecture on Soviet Jewry. Since leaving the Soviet Union, I have visited more than 50 countries around the world. Scandinavia was always a favorite destination. I fell in […]

Cuba

by Temple Beth EL

I went on a hunger strike in order to leave the Soviet Union. I was willing to die to get out. I recently went to Cuba to remind myself of what I was running from.¬†What I found was a country of paradoxes. Health care and education are free. There is beautiful art, dance and music. […]