Michael T. Luongo


Forgotten History

By Michael T. Luongo

Forgotten History
Travel writer Michael Luongo explores the 10 most overlooked Jewish heritage sites — from a partisan fort in Lithuania to a historic congregation in New Zealand.Read More


Touring Montevideo’s Jewish Quarters

By Michael T. Luongo

Touring Montevideo’s Jewish Quarters
It’s a beautiful setting for such a poignant memorial: A rail line cuts through the grassy edge of the boulevard, overlooking the gentle waves of the Rio de la Plata, the wide, sealike river on Montevideo’s edge. Nearby, a high granite wall buffers a stone path leading to a chaotic plaza, the surroundings broken in the middle.Read More


From Hidden Restaurants to Steaks: Where and What To Eat in Buenos Aires

By Michael T. Luongo

From Hidden Restaurants to Steaks: Where and What To Eat in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, best known as the Paris of South America for its vibrant culture and architecture, has become a major tourism destination. And there’s plenty of interest for the Jewish tourist. Argentina has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and the largest in Latin America, with estimates ranging from 175,000 to 250,000. The neighborhoods of Once and Abasto, in the heart of the city, are full of synagogues and are the main area for kosher grocers, butchers and restaurants as well as Judaica and Hebrew book stores, largely clustered on Calle Tucuman. In years past, the neighborhood contained a mix of Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, but today, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews remain the most visible. Many Ahskenazis have assimilated, spreading into the suburbs.Read More


Buenos Aires — A Travel Bargain With Star Quality

By Michael T. Luongo

Buenos Aires — A Travel Bargain With Star Quality
With its Paris-inspired architecture, visiting Argentina has been like traveling to Europe, but wholesale, and who doesn’t love a bargain. Since the 2001 collapse of Argentina’s peso, once equal to the dollar, it’s been a cheap alternative to Euro-land. In this recession, bargains are even more welcome.Read More


The Yarmulke Fetish: A Matter of Pride

By Michael T. Luongo

Something special happened to me the summer I turned 13. It wasn’t just that I became a teenager. As puberty progressed and hormones raced through my body, I came to grasp that I wasn’t simply becoming a man — I was starting to like men. This was the fateful summer I realized I was gay.After school ended, I spent the first part of vacationRead More






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    • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
    • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
    • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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