Explore Jewish Communities around the world
Travel with us every Thursday and discover different Jewish stories
We invite you to get on our Hot Air Zoom Balloon to meet exceptional guides and Jewish community members who live around the world and will tell us first-hand the history and current activities of their communities.
When: Every Thursday
Time: See below
Duration: 60 minutes
Check out our next destinations
Every month, we will be flying to 4 countries in different regions. Join us!
OCTOBER: STORIES OF EXILE & RETURN
4 PM EST
Jews had lived continuously in Iraq for more than 2,000 years. Prior to the 1940s, the population of Baghdad was 40% Jewish. On June 1, 1941, a pro-Nazi pogrom during the holiday of Shavuot left the community, including our guide Joe Samuels, completely shattered. Joe was born in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Baghdad in December of 1930. His mother tongue is Arabic, and he grew up believing Baghdad was his home and Iraq was his country. The Farhud changed all that. After Iraq’s failed war against Israel in 1948, the government openly turned on its Jewish population. Joe was refused an exit visa to leave Iraq for America, where he wanted to study nuclear physics. Fearing for his life, he smuggled out of Iraq to Iran and flew to Israel where he became a homeless, penniless refugee. Joe is looking forward to sharing more of his personal story, as well as the history of Jews in Iraq.
4 PM EST
Jewish communities have been in the territory of Ukraine for more than a thousand years. Some of the most prominent Jewish religious and cultural movements, including Hasidism and Zionism, arose in the area that is modern Ukraine. Our guide, Dr. Nadia Iermakov, is originally from Ukraine but now lives in Israel. She serves as the Director for Strategic Project Development in the Office of the Rector, Ariel University, and as the Director of the Former Soviet Union Outreach for Kol Israel, the Party in the World Zionist Congress. She holds a PhD in linguistics from Dnipro State University, Ukraine, and performed postdoctoral training in Ariel University, Israel, specializing in the History of Jewish Movement in the USSR. She is also spearheading the development of the Center of Jewish Identity Studies at Ariel University. Nadia is an active member of the Ukrainian Jewish Community. She leads and develops different programs, lecturing and being an active part of different volunteering initiatives, including projects for refugees, women leadership, academy, education, and more.
THE LEMBA TRIBE
3 PM EST
Genetic tests carried out by British scientists have revealed that many of the Lemba tribesmen in southern Africa have Jewish origins, according to a report by the BBC. The Lemba, a tribe of 70,000 to 80,000 members who live in central Zimbabwe and northern South Africa, have customs that are similar to Jewish ones: Lemba refrain from eating pork or other foods forbidden by the Torah or forbidden combinations of permitted foods, wear yarmulke-like skull caps, conduct ritual animal slaughter, have a holy day once a week, and even put a Star of David on their gravestones. Our guide, Mahlodi Petunia Montlha is a young Lemba Woman from Ramokgopa Village, Limpopo Province of South Africa. She has ensured the successful implementation of sponsorships focused on teaching Hebrew to the Lemba youth that have an interest in returning back to their origin. Mahlodi is also a member of the Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation (Temple Israel).
6 PM EST
The first Jews to settle in Singapore were of Baghdadi origin, mainly from India. They migrated to Singapore to find new opportunities when Sir Stamford Raffles established it as a trading post in 1819. In 1905, Sir Manasseh Meyer built the synagogue, Chesed El. The actual Jewish community is formed by congregants from all around the world, including families from the United States, Israel, France, Brazil, and more. Our guide, Nissim Yitzjak Zawady, was born in Colombia and moved to Israel to study Torah and to get his rabbinical certificate, among many certifications. After working with the Jewish Community of Athens – Greece, Nissim and his family decided that the Jewish community of Singapore was their new destination. He is excited to share his new home with us.
Our Hot Air Zoom Balloon is landing in Iraq in
Please check your local time at the start of the next tour this THURSDAY.
Pacific Standard Time (LA): 1 PM
Mountain Standard Time (Denver): 2 PM
Central Standard Time (Chicago): 3 PM
Eastern Time (New York): 4 PM
Argentina Time: 5 PM
British Standard Time: 9 PM
Central European Time: 10 PM
Israel Standard Time: 11 PM
NOVEMBER: MUSIC TO OUR EARS
4 PM EST
Rabbi Yehonatan Elazar is the originator of the musical project he calls “Jazzphardic,” a fusion of Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Latin jazz elements. He was born in Miami to Dominican Sephardic parents and moved to the Dominican Republic in 2009 to gather the remnant families of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews into a community. Rabbi Elazar created Jazzphardic in 2007 after he launched his album “Nostalja.” The Jazzphardic Project has taken him to four continents, where he has performed with musicians of different backgrounds and cultures. Jazzphardic is his way of creating an experience to unite different people through the power of music.
4 PM EST
Klezmer music is best defined as Eastern European Jewish instrumental music. It was the music played at all Jewish weddings. When Yiddish theatre began (Iasi, Romani) in 1876, Yiddish folk and theatre songs slowly began to be part of the klezmer’s repertoire. By the turn of the 20th century, Yiddish songs were being recorded along with klezmer dance tunes. Yale Strom will explain to us how and why the klezmer violinist, the “fiddler on the roof,” became the symbol for the folk culture of the shtetl. Yale also will examine the musical and social relationship the Jewish and Roma musicians of Eastern Europe had before, during, and after the Holocaust. He will highlight his lecture by playing some klezmer examples on his violin.
4 PM EST
An art form that grew from the diverse cultures and influences in Southern Spain, flamenco lyrics describe perseverance amidst hardship and the dance embodies strength. In this workshop, participants will receive an overview of the history of flamenco, and then explore how flamenco movements, rhythms and gestures help heal trauma and embody resilience. Alice Blumenfeld, who will lead the workshop, also will speak about her experiences teaching flamenco to incarcerated women and flamenco’s unique way of empowering individuals and developing community. She will share how the Sephardic Jewish population in particular benefitted and added to the elements of resilience embedded in flamenco.
4 PM EST
Tango is Argentina’s most famous music and cultural expression. UNESCO declared its music an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Tango gives Buenos Aires its own identity. Join us on this special occasion to discover the connection between Tango and Judaism in Argentina with our local guide, Jessica Cymerman. Born in Buenos Aires, Jessica is a professional Jewish tour guide specializing in all aspects of past and present Jewish life in Argentina. In May 2020, she started leading Zoom sessions to delve deeper into the relationship between Argentina and Judaism, while creating unique and diverse virtual experiences.
SEPTEMBER: PLACES THAT START WITH “G” (RECORDINGS)
If you’d like to view a recording of any previous tour from July, August and/or September, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to view all 4 or 5 recordings per month you can access them with a special discount using the form below:
AUGUST: JEWISH END OF ALPHABET: V W X Y Z (RECORDINGS)
JULY: JEWISH ISLANDS (RECORDINGS)
SPECIAL RATES FOR GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES
Are you a group of friends, familiy or a Jewish community that would like to travel together? See the table below with special discounts for groups. Costs are shown as price per person.
|Sessions||1 to 4 people||5 to 9 people||10 to 24 people||25 or more|
|Individual Session||1||18 USD||15,30 USD||13,50 USD||12,60 USD|
|Monthly Series||4||60 USD||51 USD||45 USD||42 USD|
|Complete Package||13||120 USD||102 USD||90 USD||84 USD|
If you’ve signed up for one or more tours and haven’t been able to attend,
don’t worry! Send us an email and we will send you the recording.
Well, once again, you hit it out of the park. Thank you and your group for all your work.
Thank you so much for bringing Jewish communities around the world to our living rooms / dens / phones, etc. I am becoming more and more interested in my Jewish heritage with each visit, especially having been brought up with a not particularly strong Jewish identity.
One of the best presentations I’ve ever heard anywhere…
Sheryl A Roberts