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Visiting Shuls While on Vacation

Many people tell me they like to visit synagogues when they are out of town or on vacation. I encourage you to do so. It is a great way to meet people and to see how much Jews have in common with each other, regardless of where we live.


While on vacation in Puerto Rico, I attended Friday night services at the Chabad synagogue and at the Conservative shul on Saturday morning. After Friday night services, we had a Shabbat dinner at the shul catered by the Rabbi’s wife. It gave us the chance to meet people from the Island and to enjoy the conversation afterwards. At the Kiddush after Saturday morning services, I met and schmoozed with and many nice people.


The Jewish journey is such that it has carried us through many lands throughout many ages. Some of the people I met told me that they had immigrated to Puerto Rico from Cuba in the 1960’s. Their families had originally come to Cuba as refugees from Turkey, and the Turkish migration was prompted by the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. It is amazing how Jews manage to preserve our identity despite all our travels and travails.


Not only did I enjoy services, have a couple of good meals, learn some history and meet some interesting people, but there was another benefit as well. That night my wife and I went to a local restaurant for dinner. As we were sitting there, in walked some of the folks I had met earlier in the day in shul. They warmly greeted us like old friends. Suddenly, because of going to Shabbat services while on vacation, I no longer felt as if I was a stranger who knew no one in a strange city. I felt connected to both some specific people and to being a part of the Jewish people.


The question, though, is if someone from out of town came and visited our synagogue, would they find you among the “locals” they would meet?





hi im a yeshiva bochur i was trying to understand the attack took place in venezuela by some holligans and we also know that chavez has been supporting anti israel methods and the like

how did u come to say that u hold him not only “responsible” but also “directly responsible”

just interested to know what u were thinking and what do u expect from him
to change his understanding of the zionist conspiracy? and how did u connect that with the isolated hooligans?

( Venezuela’s government is interested in arranging a meeting with American rabbis and their president, according to a rabbi in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. cleric, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, together with Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt met with Venezuelan charge d’affairs Angelo Rivero-Santos, and requested the meeting with President Hugo Chavez.
The two rabbis told the Venezuelan official that they “hold President Chavez directly responsible” for the Caracas synagogue attack that took place last Friday night.

Ayanna Nahmias


It was so nice to meet you and your wife at the recent event “Meet the Producer”. I have read with great interest both your blog and the really insightful, cogent and thoughtful article “What I Said to the President on his First Day in Office”.

Your shul seems very warm and inclusive, and I hope to have the opportunity to attend services there one shabbos.

Shabbat shalom.

Ayanna Nahmias

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Stuart Weinblatt

Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt is the President of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America. From 2009 - 2014 he served as Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Weinblatt is the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland, a vibrant Conservative synagogue of 650 families he founded in 1988, along with his wife and a handful of families.