Golders Green in London

5 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  7 minutes

Golders Hill Park © - Martin Addison/cc-by-sa-2.0

Golders Hill Park © – Martin Addison/cc-by-sa-2.0

Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in England. A smaller suburban linear settlement, near a farm and public grazing area green of medieval origins, dates to the early 19th century. Its bulk forms a late 19th-century and early 20th-century suburb with a commercial crossroads. The rest is of later build. It is centred approximately 6 miles (9 km) north west of Charing Cross on the intersection of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.   read more…

Slavkov u Brna or Austerlitz in the Czech Republic

21 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Slavkov u Brna © - flightlog/cc-by-2.0

Slavkov u Brna © – flightlog/cc-by-2.0

Slavkov u Brna (historically known in German as Austerlitz) is a town in Vyškov District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 6,900 inhabitants. The town gave its name to the Battle of Austerlitz which took place several kilometres to the west of the town. Baroque Slavkov Castle has 115 rooms and an impressive garden in the French style. The Palace was designed by Italian architect Domenico Martinelli. In its historic salon, an armistice was signed between Austria and France after the battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. There is a small historic museum (only in Czech) and a multimedia presentation about the battle. On the main square is a late Renaissance town hall and mansion. Parts of the old town wall can also be seen. Church of the Resurrection of the Lord (on the south side of the main square). The classicist building with three pulpits was designed from 1786–1789 by the Viennese architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg. Only the synagogue (built in 1858) remains from the Jewish ghetto. There is also a Jewish cemetery a little bit outside the town. “Austerlitz” is a Jewish family name, of which the bearers are nowadays spread worldwide but which indicate and ultimate family origin in the town – Austerlitz (family). The dancer Fred Astaire was born Fred Austerlitz, and thus it could be assumed that his ancestors lived in this town.   read more…

Brownsville in New York City

11 June 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City Reading Time:  25 minutes

Zion Triangle Park © Jim.henderson

Zion Triangle Park © Jim.henderson

Brownsville is a residential neighborhood located in eastern Brooklyn in New York City. The neighborhood is generally bordered by Crown Heights to the northwest; Bedford–Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills to the north; East New York to the east; Canarsie to the south; and East Flatbush to the west. The 1.163-square-mile (3.01 km²) area that comprises Brownsville has 58,300 residents as of the 2010 United States Census. Founded in its current incarnation in 1858, Brownsville was initially a settlement composed of Jewish factory workers. The neighborhood underwent a major demographic change in the 1950s that saw an influx of African-American and Latino residents. Since the late 20th century, Brownsville has consistently held one of the highest poverty and crime rates of any neighborhood in New York City.   read more…

Lodz in Poland

27 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Museum of Art © - Mietek Ł/cc-by-sa-3.0

Museum of Art © – Mietek Ł/cc-by-sa-3.0

Łódź, written in English as Lodz, is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial centre. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 679,941 (2019). It is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, and is located approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of Warsaw. The city’s coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat (łódź in Polish), which alludes to the city’s name.   read more…

Stamford Hill in London

10 May 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  8 minutes

© - Alisdare Hickson/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Alisdare Hickson/cc-by-sa-2.0 (That there are very different views within the Jewish communities is not new, but the fundamental opposition to Zionism and Israel is remarkable every time. This was first noticed by a broader public at the regular demonstrations in front of the main entrance of the UN headquarters in New Yok City, but it apparently goes well beyond that.)

Stamford Hill is an area in Inner London, England, located about 5.5 miles north-east of Charing Cross. The neighbourhood is a sub-district of Hackney, the major component of the London Borough of Hackney, and is known for its Hasidic community, the largest concentration of Hasidic Jews in Europe. The district takes its name from the eponymous hill, which reaches a height of 33m AOD, and the originally Roman A10 also takes the name “Stamford Hill”, as it makes its way through the area.   read more…

Vienna City Prayer House

14 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Bic/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bic/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Stadttempel (English: City Prayer House), also called the Seitenstettengasse Temple, is the main synagogue of Vienna, Austria. It is located in the Innere Stadt 1st district, at Seitenstettengasse 4. The synagogue was constructed from 1824 to 1826. The luxurious Stadttempel was fitted into a block of houses and hidden from plain view of the street, because of an edict issued by Emperor Joseph II that only Roman Catholic places of worship were allowed to be built with facades fronting directly on to public streets. This edict saved the synagogue from total destruction during the Kristallnacht in November 1938, since the synagogue could not be destroyed without setting on fire the buildings to which it was attached. The Stadttempel was the only synagogue in the city to survive World War II, as German paramilitary troops with the help of local authorities destroyed all of the other 93 synagogues and Jewish prayer-houses in Vienna. The Jewish community in Vienna today has about 7,000 members and thus represents the largest part of the Jews living in Austria. The Jewish Museum Vienna offers guided tours of the city temple.   read more…

JW3 in London

1 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, London Reading Time:  8 minutes



JW3, also known as Jewish Community Centre London, is an arts, culture and entertainment venue, an educational facility and a social and community hub in north London. It is located at 341–351 Finchley Road, London, and opened on 29 September 2013. “Describing itself as a new postcode for Jewish life”, the name “JW3” is a wordplay on its postal address, which is in the NW3 postcode area. Vivien Duffield, whose idea it was, contributed £40m of the project’s £50m cost – over the 10 years it took to bring it to reality – through the Clore Duffield Foundation. It was inspired by her 2003 visit to the Jewish Community Centre in Manhattan, New York City.   read more…

Synagogue of Halle (Saale)

27 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Halle Synagogue © Allexkoch/cc-by-sa-4.0

Halle Synagogue © Allexkoch/cc-by-sa-4.0

The synagogue of Halle (Saale) is the house of worship of the Jewish community in Halle (Saale), which had 555 members in 2018. The building was originally built in 1894 as the Tahara House of the Jewish cemetery, laid out in 1864 northeast of downtown Halle, from white and yellow bricks according to plans by the architects Gustav Wolff and Theodor Lehmann. The conversion to a synagogue took place from 1948 after some renovations (consecrated in 1953) as a replacement for the old synagogue in the city center, which was destroyed during the November pogroms in 1938.   read more…

Mea Shearim in West Jerusalem

11 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  2 minutes

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Mea Shearim (“hundred gates”; contextually, “a hundred fold”) is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It is populated by Haredi Jews, and was built by members of the Old Yishuv. The oldest Sephardic Haredi dynasty, Levi Kahana of Spain, has a religious cultural center in the neighborhood. The name Mea Shearim is derived from a verse from Genesis, which happened to be part of the weekly Torah portion that was read the week the settlement was founded: “Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year, he reaped a hundredfold; God had blessed him” (Genesis 26:12). According to a tradition, the community originally had 100 gates, another meaning of Mea Shearim.   read more…

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