Rabbi Elli Fischer

353 Flips | 1 Magazine | 1 Like | 697 Followers | @efischer | Jewish Historian and Heritage Travel Consultant for Central Europe - and Beyond!

Rome, Through the Eyes of Flavius Josephus

Even without a book or a guide, even after two millenniums of crumbling, the image of the seven-branched candelabrum — the Jewish menorah — is unmistakable on the inner wall of the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum. Stand at the base of the single-passage arch and look up, and the scene in …

Why Amsterdam’s beloved nickname is a centuries-old Yiddish word, ‘Mokum’

AMSTERDAM — Centuries before Amsterdam became synonymous with weed and over-tourism, it was the beloved “Mokum,” or safe haven, for European Jewry. …

Interactive map shows all Europe’s remaining synagogues

JTA – A new British organization has created an incredible tool that should fascinate anyone remotely interested in European Jewish culture: an …

86-year-old guide helps discover section of Incense Route lost for millennia

At 86, the grandfather of Israeli hiking finally fulfilled a decades-long dream.<p>Over five days, trailblazing outdoorsman Yehoshua “Shuka” Ravek …

Bookselling at the Crossroads: An Anecdote of Hebrew Book History from the Early Ottoman Empire | 4 Corners of the World: International Collections and Studies at the Library of Congress

<i>(The following post is by Ann Brener, Hebraic area specialist in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.)</i><p>The year is 1547; the place a …

Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed New Light on Biblical City

An undisturbed elite tomb discovered in ancient Armageddon is replete with gold offerings—and the promise of unlocking secrets with DNA analysis.<p>The extraordinary discovery of a magnificent and untouched 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo has stunned …

Archaeology

Kolkata synagogues a site of Jewish-Muslim harmony

Even as US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital continues to draw the ire of Muslims across the globe, in Kolkata, …

How Sephardim Brought Chocolate to France

In our Sephardic Corner, we will write about the vicissitudes of the Jews who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula for at least 1,400 years (probably …

It’s Hanukkah Every Day Of The Year In This Picture-Postcard Italian Town

It’s always Hanukkah in this picturesque town in northern Italy’s Piedmont region.<p>Jews have lived in Casale Monferrato for more than 500 years, with …

Menorahs

Did David and Solomon's United Monarchy exist? Vast ancient mining operation may hold answers

In the 10th century B.C.E., the Israelite tribes were led by judges, but cried out against them, and yearned for a leader. Samuel warned them of the …

5 amazing discoveries from a trove of documents hidden during the Holocaust

YIVO announced last month the discovery of 170,000 Jewish documents that were thought to be destroyed by the Nazis. (Thos Robinson/Getty Images for …

Explore the World's Largest Online Database of Jewish Art, from Antiquity to Today

Two years ago, researchers with the Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem surveyed the many synagogues built across Siberia. …

EXCLUSIVE: New Archaeology Shows ‘Refugee Camp,’ Not Just Rebels, Atop Masada

Tour guides leading thousands of visitors to Masada each year follow a similar routine: Where Roman troops breached the walls, they retell Josephus …

Grave of influential Yiddish writer and Soviet resistance activist discovered at former gulag

Pinchus Kahanovich (Screenshot from YouTube)(JTA) — Researchers from Israel and Russia discovered the grave of an influential Jewish writer and …

Volunteers from seven countries clean up historic Jewish cemetery in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — An international group of 18 volunteers, aided by seven volunteer Polish scouts from Poznan, is cleaning a Jewish cemetery in …

A century ago, Jewish Salonica burned. It was rebuilt, only to be destroyed anew.

Destruction after the great fire in Salonica, Greece, Sept. 4, 1917. (Photo 12/ UIG via Getty Images)<p>(JTA) — Exactly a century ago, on Aug. 18, 1917, …

Ancient Roman amphitheatre 'secretly' sold off in Israel

Caesarea's Roman amphitheatre and hippodrome were built by King Herod around 2,000 years ago, transforming the coastal city into the commercial …

Ghostly Parades in Lost Cities: Babel’s Odessa and Wittlin’s L’viv

JÓZEF WITTLIN WAS NOT a native of L’viv (or Lwów, as he knew it), today western Ukraine’s biggest city, but in his day the capital of the …

Philip Roth’s Newark

In March 1969, 19 months after riots had devastated Newark, Philip Roth took to the <i>New York Times</i> with a plea to save the city’s library. In a …

The Magdala Stone

The Jews of Rome and the authorities of the Vatican seem to have decided that if so many people believe that the Vatican has the Menorah in its …

Discovering Europe's non-Jews who kept the faith

Margot Ishtavenfi turned 80 this summer. She is lucid, articulate and brimming with energy and joie de vivre. She and her husband live in a small …

Cultural Migrations of a Hanukkah Pilgrimage

Elli Fischer<p>In December 1907, on the eve of Hanukkah, 18 students of the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium departed … from Jaffa toward Modi’im. …<br>In the late …

Sanhedrin Trail to be Israel’s first interactive hiking path

The 70km trail will cross the Galilee and interface with an innovative augmented reality-based app to bring history alive for hikers of all ages.

History of Borscht Belt Hotels and Bungalow Colonies in the Catskills

Summers spent in the “Borscht Belt” inspire colorful tales of Jewish life<p>By David Levine<p>Published: 08/08/2014<p>Grossingers, Fernadale<p>Photograph …

My Overpriced Dinner at Ukraine’s Faux Jewish Eatery

(JTA) — There’s a Jewish-themed restaurant attached to the ruins of the 16th-century Golden Rose Synagogue here. It first caught my eye last month …

Kosher River Cruises combines the luxury and ease of riverboat cruising with exciting and educational land touring and delicious Glatt kosher cuisine.

RHINE RIVER CRUISE<p>Nuremburg, Wurzburg, Mainz, Worms, Cologne, & Amsterdam<p>1/14<p>Nuremburg to Amsterdam Including: Nuremburg, Wurzburg, Mainz, Worms, …

Dining Rooms

388 CE: Christians burn down synagogue, Emperor seethes

On August 1, 388, C.E., an angry mob of Christians in the town of Callinicum, in the Roman province of Osrhoene, burned a synagogue to the ground.<p>It …

Discovery of Philistine Cemetery May Solve Biblical Mystery

An unprecedented find in southern Israel may finally reveal the origins of one of the Hebrew Bible's greatest villains.<p>An unrivaled discovery on the southern coast of Israel may enable archaeologists to finally unravel the origins of one of the most notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew …

Archaeology