Scholars at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania are analyzing Jewish travel in a fellowship program called "On the Road: Travel in Jewish History." Robert Leiter writes about the program in The Jewish Exponent. He reports that there were about 170 applications, which were whittled down to 12 scholars for the first semester and 14 for the second, now under way. (Full disclosure -- I applied for a fellowship but was not accepted.)
Travel as ennobling -- an educational pursuit that broadens knowledge and sharpens perceptions -- is a 20th century concept, according to German-born scholar Martin Jacobs. [...]
Jacobs joined Ora Limor of the Open University in Jerusalem and Joshua Levinson of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, who first broached the topic, in fashioning the proposal they eventually presented to David Ruderman, the head of the center. [...]
Two scholars who consider modern-day notions of Jewish travel are Jackie Feldman, a native New Yorker who now lectures on social anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and Nils Roemer, a non-Jew born in Germany, who teaches Jewish subjects at the University of Texas in Dallas.