Monday, March 17, 2008

New video interview with me

Here's the second of two interviews I did in January for "Tracing Your Family Roots," a cable TV show near Washington DC. In it I talk about the changes I've seen over the past two decades regarding attitudes toward Jewish heritage sites in east-central Europe, in the condition of the sites on the ground, and in the development of Jewish heritage tourism as a niche market.

Links to Some Recent Developments

Here are links to some articles about recent Jewish Heritage developments.

BARBADOS. A MAJOR historical Jewish structure was recently uncovered
close to the synagogue in The City. University of the West Indies
students, led by doctoral candidate Michael Stoner, uncovered a mikvah
during an archaeological dig.

ISTANBUL. Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews.

PORTSMOUTH. History lives on in restored synagogue in Portsmouth. The
former synagogue, which once had about 200 members, officially opens
today as a museum and cultural and community centery.

VIENNA. Austrian archaeologists last week announced they had found the
earliest sign of Jewish habitation in Austria, in the form of a silver
pendant they found inside a third-century C.E. grave, which bears the
"Shma Yisrael" prayer.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ancient Synagogue Discovered in Cologne, Germany

Archeologists have discovered the foundations of an ancient synagogue near the city hall in Cologne, Germany. According to news reports, they date from the 4th century CE, making this the oldest synagogue yet found in Germany. A synagogue built on the same site some 500 years later had until now been the oldest discovered in the country.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oldest Trace of Jewish Presence Found in Austria

Researchers from the University of Vienna have discovered the oldest trace of Jewish presence in the territory of today's Austria -- what appears to be the grave of a Jewish child in a Roman cemetery dating from the 3rd century CE. Located near Halbturn in the Burgenland, the eastern part of Austria, the grave is one of about 300 in the Roman cemetery. It contained a golden scroll in a silver amulet. Inscribed in Greek on the scroll are the words of the Shema.

Click here for full press release and pictures.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More on Villa Tugendhat

The Czech Culture Minister has listed four pieces of furniture from the Tugendhat villa in Brno as part of the national cultural heritage. See March 7 article here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tzaddik's Grave Vandalized in Poland

The tomb of the great early Hasidic Master Elimelekh in Lezajsk, Poland, one of the major sites of Jewish pilgrimage in Poland, was vandalized the night of March 4-5, just two weeks before the anniversary of his death in 1788. Vandals scrawled anti-Semitic slogans and a big swastika on the building protecting the grave site in the Lezajsk Jewish cemetery. Police are investigating.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Video Interview with me

Here's a link to a half-hour  video interview with me that appeared on a Jewish genealogy TV show near Washington DC in February.

If I can, I'll upload the whole video....