A great way to understand and explore Jewish history in Europe is to go on Jewish river cruise tours across the continent. A river cruise will take you to known and unknown sites that you normally cannot visit on an ocean cruise.
Many river cruises offer all-inclusive excursions and land tours. But if you want to go out on your own, here are the top 3 most famous destinations that will make your outdoor exploration more memorable.
The only Reformed synagogue in Portugal open to the B & # 39; nei-anussim, the Ohel Jacob Synagogue, can be seen in Lisbon. This historic place was officially recognized in 1913 and brought together the Jews of Lisbon.
The history of Jews in Spain and Portugal dates back two thousand years and is directly linked to the Sephardic Jews. At the time, even though the Jews were not recognized as a community, they did manage to settle down and become prosperous. Today they can speak, read and write not only Hebrew, but also Arabic, English, and a Judeo-Hispanic-Moroccan language called Haketia.
In Lisbon, you will discover prominent and brilliant Jews who became influential due to their social and political ranks.
You will also hear the great stories of crypto-Jews who may have arrived in Portugal secretly after escaping persecution.
You will see the famous inscription discovered by archaeologists from the University of Jena. The inscriptions on a stone revealed that the Jewish people resided in Portugal as early as 390 AD.
Since the 1960s, evidence of the Jewish community has not been visible. However, during the Roman and Renaissance periods, Arles was a major Jewish hub due to its location. In fact, the Jews had established an Arabic-Hebrew-Latin translation center in Arles.
However, the growth and development of the Jewish community in Arles ceased in the 15th century. Eventually they were banned in the 1940s and did not come back.
At present, Arles is known for its important Roman remains and listed as a UNESCO heritage. Arles is also famous for the impressionist painter Van Gogh lived for a year, but produced over 300 paintings and drawings. Arles is also the birthplace of one of the most respected vineyards like Domaine de la Vallongue and Domaine de Valdition.
Visiting Arles is like looking back at how the Jews lived has made an influence in the history of France. Additionally, most kosher river cruises also offer kosher wine tours in Arles.
Venice has one of the largest European Jewish communities.
Most Jews settled in Venice after fleeing Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. The English word "ghetto" derives from the Venetian ghetto or from the Jews living in the slums. The Venetian Ghetto was also one of the oldest Jewish quarters in the world, dating back almost 500 years.
Aside from the ghetto, another place known for Jewish tours in Venice is the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a historic store that has grown into a luxury department store. Previously, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi was a community of German merchants who had affected the way the Catholic Church viewed Jews.
Go for kosher river cruises
These places are guaranteed to make your Jewish tower more memorable and worth it. It would be best to book a Kosher River Cruise as it is more likely that one of the locations mentioned above will be on your itinerary.