Jewish travelers have long combed far-off lands in search of fragments of the scattered tribe. Among these is Ben G. Frank, a travel writer and a journalist who for half a century has traveled to far-flung Jewish communities recording his observations and experiences. The Scattered Tribe is Ben’s gift to those who journey to diverse and mystic lands. The Scattered Tribe is an odyssey—a road map of travel and adventure set in many exotic...
Jewish travelers have long combed far-off lands in search of fragments of the scattered tribe. Among these is Ben G. Frank, a travel writer and a journalist who for half a century has traveled to far-flung Jewish communities recording his observations and experiences. The Scattered Tribe is Ben’s gift to
those who journey to diverse and mystic lands. The Scattered Tribe is an odyssey—a road map of travel and adventure set in many exotic locales. Both active and armchair travelers and lovers of history, politics, and government will find this book fascinating.
"Ben Frank provides a fascinating, varied account of modern Jewish life across the globe. I learned something new on every page, and enjoyed the book immensely." ––Martin Fletcher, former NBC News Middle East correspondent and Tel Aviv Bureau chief, is the author of Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation, Breaking News, and The List. "Whenever Ben Frank writes a new book on the pulsating and multi-dimensional Jewish world, it's cause for celebration. The Scattered Tribe proves the point yet again. Bravo!"––David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee "A fascinating ode to a resilient people. Ben Frank reveals the road less traveled, following members of "the tribe" who have made lives for themselves in some of the most surprising and far-flung places around the globe."––Pat Farnack, WCBS Radio "Ben Frank's guides transcend the genre of travel books that crowd bookcases with facts and figures…his books have emerged as deep insights into places, cultures, histories through the voices of those who live there––stewards of tradition, caretakers of the present and the future. His interviews weave Jewish communities––who share concerns and joys common to many of us into the global community thus shrinking the distance among all travelers…"––Maria Lisella, author of Amore on Hope Street and Two Naked Feet, contributor to FOXNews.com and other travel outlets "Once again we are in Ben Frank's debt, as he takes us with him on his travels around today's changing and challenging Jewish world. The Scattered Tribe is filled with wonderful tales of past, present, and future, together with fascinating research and practical information, we are swept along on the trip of a lifetime through Russia, Siberia and the Far East, Tahiti, Ho Chi Minh City and Myanmar, India and North Africa, Cuba, and finally, a nostalgic return to Israel. Ben finds Jews and Jewish history everywhere. Ultimately, it is a grand essay about worldwide Jewish identity today, and leaves one ready to depart with him on his next journey––to wherever! Whether you like to travel or stay-at-home, it is not to be missed."––Rabbi Jonathan Porath, Jerusalem, former member of the JDC Russian Department Senior Staff
Travel-guide scribe Frank (A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean and South America, 2004, etc.) describes his experience in visiting "little-known Jewish enclaves in the most unusual places" in an effort to "meet my people and learn how they lived and survived." The communities visited include Russia, the Caribbean, Asia, North Africa, Cuba and Israel. Some, like Vietnam, are made up of only a few expatriates, while others, like those in Russia, are returning to vitality after decades of repression. The author shows his guidebook-writing background, including plenty of street addresses of sites and other information useful to travelers. The author also includes plenty of non-Jewish–related facts. Frank often digresses into historical, political and literary references, as well as personal memories connected to his destinations. The narrative has a genial, meandering style, though it lacks the grace of the finest travel writing. While the author relates some fascinating stories of the people he encounters, the somewhat matter-of-fact presentation fails to truly convey their personalities and emotions or get to the heart of what it's like to live as a Jew in Myanmar or Tahiti. Nevertheless, there is something to be learned here for anyone seeking insight into the current state of the Jewish diaspora, or a basic knowledge of Jewish life in the various places visited by the author. Though Frank's depictions of his travels are not quite top-notch fare, his obvious knowledge and passion for the subject may inspire readers to follow in his footsteps. Worthwhile as a travel guide to exotic Jewish areas, though less successful as a compelling narrative.
Ben G. Frank is the author of A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe, A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine, and A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean and South America. He has published articles in National Jewish Monthly of B’nai B’rith, American Zionist, the Jewish Digest, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jewish Week, the Jewish Press, the Jewish Exponent, and the Jewish Frontier.