Where should we send The Wandering Jew?


I hope you’ve been following the travels of JTA’s Ben Harris, aka The Wandering Jew.

For the past few months he’s been writing, blogging, tweeting and videoing as he searched for Jewish life, first at the Burnng Man festival and then in Mexico, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Belgium and Holland.

When he returns stateside, he’ll be taking a trip through the deep south. And then…

You tell us!

Readers sent us more than 100 suggestions and we’ve trimmed the list down to 10 finalists.

Now we need you to help us pick the winning destination.

Click here to vote. And then tell a friend.

Here’s more info on the finalists:

  • Detroit, Mich.
    Every major secular publication is watching what is happening — a city on life support, a region decimated by the decline of the auto industry, a massive brain drain. But what’s happening in the Jewish community there? This was considered a top 5 Jewish community for years, is it still?
  • Dublin, Ireland
    The Jewish community has started growing again in the past decade after years of decline. The community is mainly concentrated in Dublin, but it would be interesting to look at the experiences of the Jews of Cork and the scattered Jews in Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Carlow, Kildare, Meath, Wexford, Roscommon and other parts of Ireland, as they adjust to the impact of recession.
  • Hamelin, Germany
    The Juedische Gemeinde of Hameln in Germany was founded in 1997 by American-born Rachel Dohme as a Reform congregation. She is doing remarkable interfaith work besides building her own community away from the hubbub of a big city. They are planning to build from scratch the first Reform synagogue on the ground where the former building was torched in 1938. There are some wonderful stories that have come to life — that the rest of the world should know about.
  • Kibbutz Hannaton, Israel
    Visit Kibbutz Hannaton to see an innovative model of pluralistic Judaism in action. Established in 1983 as a Masorti (Conservative) kibbutz, Hannaton is now being revitalized by a core group of 20 Israeli families from diverse backgrounds who have accepted the challenge of building a new community based on education, tradition, Jewish values, social justice, Zionism and ecology. Hannaton’s vision is to create a global Jewish community founded on experiential learning and dialogue united by its commitment to Jewish texts, pluralism and Israel.
  • Majorca, Spain
    The island is home to Catholics whose descendants converted from Judaism in the 16th century. Though centuries have passed, they still maintain some degres of separation from their Catholic neighbors.
  • Omaha, Neb.
    How about Omaha? It has a Jewish community of about 6,000. Most urban Jews think of it as hickville, but they might be in for a surprise. Also, right outside of town is USSTRATCOM Command. It would offer a good opportunity to collect anecdotes from Jewish soldiers.
  • Portland, Maine
    Conservative, Modern Orthodox, Reform and Chabad have come together to form a new non-profit organization for the purpose of renovating the only mikvah in Southern Maine and for educating Jews about the traditional and modern uses of a mikvah.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
    Sacramento has been blessed with the arrival of the first Israeli-born basketball player to compete in the NBA. From community-wide Chanukah parties to Jewish Heritage night with the Kings, Omri Casspi’s arrival has changed the dynamic of Sacramento sports and has given the Jewish community, and followers world-wide, a sports figure to admire. He was immersed himself in the community, proved himself on the court and looks to figure in both the Jewish and sports worlds for years to come.
  • Shavei Shomron, West Bank
    Among the residents of this Jewish settlement are a group of Peruvian natives who converted to Orthodox Judaism, and made aliyah en masse. It is interesting to learn about how they discovered Judaism, why they chose the settlements, and how hey interact with other Jews in this community. Imagine — a community of Spanish-speaking Jews in the heart of the West Bank.
  • Vedado, Cuba
    Come to Cuba and you will see a small community that is very cohesive, and helps each other throughout the island. In the main synagogue in Vedado, you will see a place that has a pharmacy on the second floor that services the community. See why, in the face of limitations in this country, the community is growing and is imbued with an indomitable spirit.

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