Skip Paris. Head to Tel Aviv Instead. (Jewish Travel Warnings)


Last updated: July 29, 2014

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AntiSemitic graffiti, Europe, 2014

Avoid Europe’s AntiSemitism 2.0, Head to Israel Instead

Is it shocking that less than 70 years after the end of the massacre of 6 million Jews in Europe, we’re seeing anti-Semitism rise yet again? If you’ve been following the news you’ve been reading multiple stories of violence and vandalism against Jews, synagogues, and kosher restaurants in Paris, France.

In Britain, more than 100 hate crimes against Jews reported this month, more than double the norm.

Berlin’s anti-Israel protests have devolved into calls for the killing of Jews. Italy is a fantastic place to visit, but is not immune to the current wave of anti-Semitism.

Are these places we should be planning vacations?

Paris is known as the ‘City of Love’ … yet all I keep thinking is how hate filled their streets have become. It’s a city with dozens of amazing kosher restaurants and beautiful synagogues. All of which have been under attack by an uncontrollable anti-Semitic mob, making this (and other) parts of France unwelcome to Jews in the 21st century. Normally amazing places to visit: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Vienna, etc. are rife with anti-Jew hatred. Your safety is not guaranteed. Any visits to Jewish institutions can be met with unexpected violence.

It is with this understanding that I’m going out on a limb and recommending Jews to travel to Israel this year. The main source of anti-Semitism near Israel right now are currently being fought off by the brave IDF soldiers in and around Gaza. Explore Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Golan, Galil, Negev, Eilat. Eat at whatever kosher restaurant your heart desires without fear of anti-Semitic attacks. Show your support and solidarity with your brothers and sisters facing a very challenging time in Israel’s history.

That kosher restaurant tour you were planning to do in Paris, well, that’s not going to happen this year. Maybe not for a long time. But, I assure you, Israel has fantastic kosher restaurants that are worth your patronage, and they keep getting better.

Comment below with your favorite kosher restaurants in Israel (name + city). We will do another post with a roundup of your favorite places to dine in Israel.

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  • milhouse trabajo

    Kadosh in Jlem (by shlomzion hamalka) — Rabbbanut but run by a religious family. the best milchigs you will find, when i went their homemade asparagus ravioli was the best pasta i ever had. desserts are ridiculously great too, and the vibe is so understated cool.

    • milhouse trabajo

      was just back in israel and tried lots of new restaurants, but still nothing compared to Kadosh.
      desserts were all heavenly (though the choc cheesecake was nothing special compared to ny places, the pear almond tart with homemade vanillabean ice cream was amazing), local microbrew Alexander beer on tap was nice, and the fresh from scratch Spinach ricotta tortellini with pistachios and Sweet potato ravioli with cream fraiche were incomparable to any other kosher milchig restaurant we have been too.

  • Gfev

    I booked a ticket to Paris for my honeymoon 8/26-9/1 on AirFrance. I called and tried to cancel and they wont refund the money. They said I can change the ticket to any Delta, KLM or AirFrance destination but they will charge me $300 a ticket. We would like to fly to Israel instead and tickets on Delta are actually a bit cheaper so we would just need to pay the $600 to switch. Any ideas on how to avoid the $600 change fee?

    Thanks,

    • Ouch. I feel for you. I’ve been dying to take my wife to Paris and just spend a week touring and enjoying the kosher restaurants. Don’t know if that’ll ever happen.

      Regarding the airlines, this is a tough one. They’re not responsible for your reason for cancelation or itinerary changes.

      Have you called the credit card that you booked the tickets with?

      I’ll ask around to see if they’re any other options.

      • Gfev

        Exactly. A relaxing few days in Paris is what we were looking for. So I booked AirFrance but I booked on my Delta Amex and Delta is partnered with KLM and Air France so maybe they will be sympathetic. Will keep you posted.

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