Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cuba and 7/26

Today,  July 26, marks the 61st anniversary of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. On July 26, 1953,  a failed attack by Cuban revolutionaries  on the Moncada Barracks, an army facility in the city of Santiago de Cuba took place. Those rebels were  reorganized in Mexico in 1955 by a group of 82 exiled revolutionaries (including Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos and Juan Almeida Bosque. Fidel Castro took over Cuba on Jan. 1, 1959. The Communist Party, now headed by Castro's brother Raúl, continues to govern Cuba today. Check out my chapter on Cuba and its Jewish community,  in “The Scattered Tribe, Traveling the Diaspora from Cuba to India to Tahiti & Beyond,” (Globe Pequot Press). Wherever books are sold,  Ebook formats. Follow me on twitter @bengfrank .


Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Did I know when I began my travels to Russia.....

After the fall of Communism in 1991 and up till the recent past, I made a half-dozen trips to Russia & Ukraine. I traveled from St. Petersburg to Moscow, to Suzdal to Kiev, to Odessa, and via the Trans-Siberian to Irkutsk and across Siberia to Vladivostok, I did interviews,  researched material and wrote about the former Soviet Union and present day Russia. Little did I know that what I wrote about in my 3 books on Russia would be background and newsworthy today: “Klara’s Journey,” Marion Street Press), as “The Scattered Tribe,” (Globe Pequot Press),  and “A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine,” (Pelican Publishing).


Saturday, July 19, 2014

So sad, Malaysian airliner shot down.

Now after the Russians grab the Crimea and is poised to cross the border again, after a civil war in Ukraine, after  U.S. and EU sanctions are leveled at Moscow, after the most serious standoff between Russia and the U.S. since the Cold War, we have the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner. So sad. Meanwhile more than 1,000 civilians and combatants have been killed since mid-April in Ukraine while tens of thousands of people have fled to Russia, the West and Israel. This a story that won’t go away, and its origins also lie in the Russian Civil War of 100 years ago, the actual beginning of the Cold War. Background  “Klara’s Journey,” (Marion Street Press).



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Border Tension (Ukraine-Russia) high!

Reports that Russia  has rejected the idea of direct military intervention disguised as a peacekeeping operation may not be accurate. Border tension remains high between Ukraine and Russia, drawing both countries nearer to direct conflict. Foolish to think this chaos is controllable. When Klara Rasputnis left Odessa in “Klara’s Journey,” an historical novel covering the Russian Civil War, utter chaos was the norm. For further background, . Ebook formats, nook, ipad, Kobo, etc, Follow me on twitter @bengfrank .



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cuba, visit by Israeli phtog team

In a country that appears at a standstill, the Cuban Jewish community is, “very much an integral part of the country and the national identity, but they also have their institutions and keenly observe the religious holidays and other important dates in the Jewish and Israeli cultural calendar,” notes a participant in an Israel-based photography team that visited Cuba recently. Check out my Cuba Chapter in “The Scattered Tribe, Traveling the Diaspora from Cuba to India to Tahiti & Beyond,” (Globe Pequot Press), available wherever books are sold, including, as well as an ebook.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Jerusalem Post travel articles, NYC and The South by auto train.

Having traveled to 89 countries, I’ve also journeyed by bus and train in cities and countryside.  Hence, two of my recent travel articles in the Jerusalem Post, one on the “Auto Train: traveling up the east coast of the U.S”. Riding the Auto Train  and one on the “M103 bus from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Chinatown,  Riding the M103 to Chinatown For more of my travels, check out “Klara’s Journey,  (Marion Street Press) . . Ebook formats, nook, ipad, Kobo, etc, as well as “The Scattered Tribe, (Globe Pequot Press), as well as my travel guides published by Pelican Publishing,: “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe, 3rd edition, “A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine,” and “A Travel Guide to Jewish Caribbean and South America.”---all the guides are available on and Barnes & Noble, J. Levine

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget:  100 years ago, tomorrow, on 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo. On August 1 Germany declared war on Russia. But by that time, the beginning of World War I,  Gershon Rasputnis of “Klara’s Journey,” was in America. Little did he know it would be seven years until his family was reunited. For a story of “betrayal, drama and love,” check out the historical novel, Klara’s Journey,” also a gripping saga of Russia’s Civil War that followed WWI. Wherever books are sold: ,” . . Ebook formats, nook, ipad, Kobo, etc, Follow me on twitter @bengfrank .