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Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it’s chock full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world. Check out the most recent entry (at the top) or search by your preferred criteria. Consider it motivation for your next embarkation.

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Getting Excited to Hike the Inca Trail

Monday, March 31st, 2014

-by Stacey

peru inca trail tents

Okay, I’m going to be totally honest here. I’ve never been camping. Well that’s not entirely true – one time I camped out in a tent in our living room, and one time I camped in the woods behind my friend’s house in Maine. Do those count? Maybe. Okay, probably not.

So why not make my first time really camping absolutely stellar? That’s right, I will be camping for 3 nights on the Inca Trail in Peru during our 4-day trek to the top of Machu Picchu. This is a Bucket List trip. It’s one that not many people get to do in their lifetime, and I have the opportunity to escort our group of Young Adventurers on what’s sure to be a trip of a lifetime for them as well as for myself.

inca trail peru group

What am I most looking forward to for this group? This is a tricky trip to plan – obtaining Inca Trail permits, getting intra-Peruvian flights, coordinating porters and cooks to climb with us, making sure we have all of the right equipment – I love the fact that when we’ve coordinated all of the details, those on our trip can just sit back, relax, hike a lot, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Since this is a small group with a maximum group size of 15, everyone is going to have this amazingly unique shared experience. From a bike tour around Lima to enjoying Pisco sours in Cuzco and camping on the Inca Trail, this is going to be an experience to remember forever.

peru main 5As if that wasn’t enough. I’m doing it again! But this time we’re going to take it a little easier. The day after I finish with the active group, I begin again! This time, we will be staying in hotels every night (phew!). This trip is going to have the same highlights but with a totally different feel. We will be staying at local hotel properties throughout Peru, filled with activities each day and enjoying the nightlife, and the highlight of the journey, seeing that amazing view when we hike to the top of the Inca Trail and set our eyes on Maccu Picchu for the first time.

I can’t wait to meet the local people, see their amazing textiles, taste the food (and drinks), get our hike on, and breath the fresh – albeit much thinner – air.

Peru, here we come!

You can find some great articles, pictures, and information on the following sites:
Click around here, there are a number of short personal insights and beautiful pictures.
An avid hiker takes on the 4-day hike. Here she gives her advice for what to bring with you
Click here for tips from an experienced Inca Trail hiker

Amazing Brazil Part 2 – If a picture is worth a thousand words….

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The party continues as AJ heads down the homestretch of this really, well, AMAZING tour!   From cruising on the Amazon River and hiking among the beasts of the jungle to the glorious beaches, beautiful people and very special Jewish experience in Rio…..we are now in Iguazu Falls to view our 2nd of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World.  That’s right – we’ve seen two of the 7 Wonders of Nature in the last week alone, along this tour.  Check it out:  http://nature.new7wonders.com/

This is why we call it “Amazing”!   See for yourself – in less than 30,000 words:

Amazing Brazil

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  As our Amazing Journeys Brazil adventure passes its midway point and 34 passengers navigate their way through the remote regions of the Amazon Rainforest, the buzzing city of Rio de Janeiro and, soon, the majestic awe of Iguazu Falls….enjoy these memories-in-the-making, condensed from 30,000 words:

Landmarks of the World

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Are you ready for a trip around the world?  Are you?  Really??

Sadly, the majority of Americans will rarely see any geography beyond their own borders.  The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries published a finding that only about 10% of of US residents have ever traveled to overseas destinations (Canada and Mexico excluded – they’re not overseas. )  Leisure travel is more than a vacation. Its an activity that makes you more worldly, knowledgeable and tolerant of the differences in cultures that make our planet so special.  Its an adventure.  Its a means to experience “Life” with a capital “L” – a chance to break from the routine…the norm…the grind…the familiararity…the common.  Its a purpose, not just an experience.  Humans are born to travel; we’ve been given the mobility and dexterity to do so and as Americans we’ve also been given the “land of opportunity’; a means to earn, spend and have plentiful of what most other nations around the world don’t.

Get Out There, America! Whether you’re single or married…Jewish or Christian….in your 30s or in your 60s; don’t do what the regretful elderly do when they say for decades “I’ll travel when I retire” or “I’ll get there someday”.  Go now, while you’re able-bodied, healthy and capable! You never know when you might not be, and denying yourself the greatest of life’s givings is a regret of unfathomable proportions.  Trust me, the world is an incredible place.  America is wonderful…but the world is, well, an Amazing Journey for all to see.

IF NOT NOW….WHEN?

Amazing Journeys heads to Costa Rica

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Another Amazing Journey embarks on Thursday with our 3rd Jewish singles trip to Costa Rica.  This remarkable destination is chock full of deliciously warm weather, lush green massive rainforests, extraordinary adventure and an undeveloped landscape that makes coming here a true natural wonder.  No tall buildings, no massive crowds, never a feeling of “touristy” and no lack of surprises.    Among other things, we’ll be hiking an active volcano, canyoning down a waterfall, horseback riding through the rainforest, and zip lining ABOVE the treetops at over 7000 feet…just to name a few.  We’ll also spend three nights at the amazing Tabacon Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano where we’ll indulge in the beauty, landscape and surroundings of the natural hotsprings, mineral pools and waterfalls created by this volatile and spectacular phenomenon.

Follow our exploration and experience of our eight night tour in Costa Rica by visiting our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/amazingjourneys  where we’ll post some moments-in-time from this awesome tour. 

Costa Rica-No Artificial Ingredients

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

If your idea of an ideal vacation is to enjoy a pairing of lovely tropical beaches, the grandest adventures, the wonders of nature, and a scintillating culture, Costa Rica is a place where dreams can be made. No wonder, then, that thousands of tourists have made Costa Rica their top travel choice.

Costa Rica occupies a privileged spot in the heart of Central America. While its territory of 19,652 square miles touches both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the country is surprisingly accessible – just a 3 hour flight from Atlanta. Its borders are protected by the US military and its inland protective services are protected by a respected and reputable police force.  Costa is not only beautiful, its smart.

Just what the every Jewish single is looking for!

A little bit of knowledge about this country is interesting…however a personal experience of this country will drop your jaw with anticipation, excitement, adventure and relaxation.  All rolled into one!

Intersecting beaches and forests

Costa Rica’s beaches are surrounded by forests, and have great natural diversity and a variety of aquatic ecosystems with beautiful white and black sand beaches, ideal for sport fishing, snorkeling, and sun bathing.   In this small area of firm land, there are 762 miles of coastlines, distributed on the Pacific and the Caribbean. Costa Rican beaches allow you to sun-tan while having the additional bonus of being part of a complex pro-nature system known as the Ecological Blue Flag Award recognizing Costa Rica’s commitment with sustainability and environmental protection.

Plants and animals everywhere

Costa Rica´s territory is so small that it encompasses only 0.03% of the planet´s surface but is within the top 20 richest countries in biodiversity on Earth in terms of species density. It is possible to find more species in 1,000 sq.miles in Costa Rica that in the same area in countries like Brazil or Colombia. Costa Rica has nearly half a million species, representing 4% of the planet´s expected biodiversity. Are you ready to discover it?

Costa Rica´s Marvels of Fire

As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Costa Rica´s volcanoes are among the most mesmerizing in the world. In fact, the present-day landmass known as Costa Rica is the result of complex volcanic activity that took place some 75 million years ago and still continues today.

Counting every location or crater where an eruption has occurred within its borders, Costa Rica volcanoes boast a stunning 112 sites throughout the country. Most Costa Rica volcanoes and their surrounding areas have been made into national parks.

One of them is Arenal Volcano, listed among the 10 most active volcanoes in the world and for a good reason: It regularly puts on a spectacle, showing off with strong rumbling sounds and occasional rock avalanches, as well as smoke, ash and lava eruptions that descend its slope at speeds reaching 70 kilometers per hour and temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees Celsius.

The mountain and surrounding area were declared a national park in 1994. Thermal hot springs are now the area’s main attraction, most of which boast nearby trails and numerous lookout points.  And yes, one of the highlights of the upcoming Amazing Journey for Jewish singles in their 30s, 40s & 50s is a three night stay at the Tabacon Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano.  To say it’s a highlight, is an understatement

The Biggest Rainforest in Costa Rica

La Amistad International Park (PILA) is the biggest natural park in Costa Rica covering a great variety of humid, rain and cloud forests in the Pacific and Atlantic sides, as well as indigenous reserves.

The Talamanca region, a big portion of the park, was a refuge in colonial times for indigenous people who were resilient from the Spanish colonizers’ repression. 
The enormous cultural richness and extraordinary natural habitats, result of different altitudes, soil and microclimates, was the reason why the park was also designed Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

Species in great danger of extinction such as the jaguar, the largest feline in the Americas and third largest world-wide, live in the park as well as a great variety of wildlife, which includes 400 species of birds, 263 species of amphibians and reptiles and 213 of mammals. Many other species are found only in this giant rainforest.

The Canopy Tour, Originally from Costa Rica

Born in Costa Rica in the 90s, the canopy tour is the closest experience to enable one to feel like a monkey travelling in the tree tops. It is also one of the best ways to explore the richness of the canopy, where the biggest amount of the forest’s biodiversity is found, and to raise awareness about the rainforest’s fragile ecosystem.

It consists of a series of suspended cables attached from tree to tree on which you can glide along using a pulley that is secured to the harness. Cables vary in length (they can measure even 700 meters long!) and end in small wooden platforms built in the tops of trees, which are located up to 100 feet above the jungle floor. The impact to the forest is minimal.

The canopy tour has been adapted to a great variety of environments and landscapes within the country, including mountains, canyons, rivers, waterfalls and cloud, dry and tropical forests. The tour has also been exported to other Latin American countries such as Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize.

Nature on the skin

Imagine if the delicious cup of coffee, the freshly made piña colada, the aromatic essences that give flavor to your salad or even the fragrance of the wild flowers which you breathe, could be part of your skin. Mixing these ingredients within various health, relaxation and beauty treatments is possible in Costa Rica.

Situated throughout the territory are locations that are also home to many diverse spas that strive to offer a holistic service of international quality and to do it with the warmth and personalized attention of the Costa Rican people.

If you add a never-ending source of certified natural produce, creativity and knowledge, you will end up with an array of benefits to replenish your skin. These products can improve health, calm emotions and truly work their magic while used for massages at the able hands of local therapists.

These healing ingredients include coffee, brown sugar and even coconut. They may be used to exfoliate your skin and help it eliminate dead cells and toxins, or they may improve blood circulation and allow positive energy to flow throughout your body. One way to do it is by enjoying the ever-popular body wraps, in which volcanic mud, jasmine, mint or tropical fruits are used to hydrate and replenish the skin while also nurturing it with vitamins and minerals.

Specially designed healing rooms provide an ideal climate – one enriched by stimulating decorations, soothing music and ambient sounds from nature, sea or forest animals – in which one may enjoy a therapeutic experience to be shared even with couple, friends and family.

Birds that cannot go unnoticed

Its plumage is mostly scarlet but its tail-covered feathers are light blue, making the Scarlet Macaw one of the most beautiful birds of the American tropics. In fact, with almost 1 meter in length, more than half constituted by its pointed striking tail, this bird cannot go unnoticed, especially because they are often seen in pairs. A number of couples may even congregate with others to form a flock of several hundred individuals: a spectacle that is impossible to forget when they fly above the forest canopy.

One interesting thing about Macaws is the use of beaks as an aid in both eating and as a “third foot” when climbing. The beak is strong to crush seeds and nuts, while the thick fleshy tongue is used to move the food around.

Another bird worth keeping your eyes peeled in the trees for is the Toucan. The colorful, giant bill, which in some large species measure more than half the length of the body, is the hallmark of toucans and to see this swift flyer swoop among trees is a sight to behold only in Costa Rica.

The most amazing journey across the Americas

Every year, millions of migratory species, whether by water, land or air, travel enormous distances over the American continent, some of them arrive in Costa Rica, in search of better climatic conditions, more abundant food or a suitable site for reproduction, which generally coincides with the warmer season. These odysseys are not exempt from great challenges; some species travel up to 20,000 miles round-trip.

This happens with species of whales, bats, birds, fish, sea turtles and even insects like the monarch butterfly. Most flee the North American winter to seek food in the southern part of the continent, and then return to their feeding grounds in the north when their favorite foods sprout anew in the spring.

Very small species like ruby-throated hummingbirds which measure only 10 cm, fly non-stop for 26 hours from Canada and the United States to Central America at a velocity of 28 mph for a voyage of 652 miles that even includes crossing the Gulf of Mexico. And if the blackpoll warbler only 13 cm long, were to burn gasoline instead of body fat, it would get 715,852 miles per gallon.

But the most extensive individual migration known for a mammal was that of a humpback whale initially spotted off the Antarctic Peninsula and then seen off the Santa Elena Peninsula of Costa Rica, for a total trip of 7,130 miles

Want to see it for yourself?

Join other Jewish singles from across the US (and beyond!) for a thrilling Amazing Journey to rainforests, cloudforests, jungles, beaches, and active volcanoes. We’ll take you on the path less followed to view strange and magnificent wildlife in their natural habitats, to swim in protected pristine waters, to delve into adventures you’ve never imagined, and to “chill” in nature’s wonderland of hot springs and mineral pools created by the biodiversities surrounding the country.  All this plus a group of Jewish Singles from all over North America and beyond, who await you in magnificent Costa Rica. Contact Amazing Journeys for details: www.amazingjourneys.net

Perhaps the very first Amazing Journey

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the most incendiary book in the history of science, and coincidentally, the 200th birthday of the mild mannered Englishman who wrote it. Charles Darwin did not invent the idea of evolution, any more than Abe Lincoln–who happens to share his birthday on Feburary 12–invented the idea of freedom. What Darwin provided in The Origin of Species was a powerful theory for how evolution could occur through purely natural forces, liberating scientists to explore the glorious complexity of life, rather than merely accept it as an impenetrable mystery.

Contrary to popular belief, Darwin did not visit only Galapagos.  He actually only visited these islands just once in his lifetime.  As indicated from his journal, he visited and researched his evolutionary theories in many parts of the world:

“The day has past delightfully.  Delight itself, however, is a weak term to experess the feelings of a naturalist who, for the first time, has wandered by himself into a Brazilian forest” – Darwin: February 29, 1832

“It is scarcely possible to imagine any thing more beautiful than the beryl-like blue of these (Tierra del Feugo, Chile) glaciers, and especially as contrasted with the dead white of the upper expanse of snow” – Darwin : January 29, 1893

Geneticist Theo Dobzhansky wrote 37 years ago that “nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.”  That light, which began as a glimmer in the mind of a young naturalist aboard H.M.S. Beagle, today casts a beam so bright we can read the very text of life by it.  Darwin would be overjoyed to see how much he did not know, and how much we have yet to learn.

Around The World In 8 (brightly lit) Days

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

As we begin the festive holiday of Hanukkah tonight, we embark on a tradition that’s thousands of years in the making.  As Jews in the 21st century, we have been made aware of the candle lighting customs…the spinning of dreidles…the giving of gifts…and the eating of sufganiyot (jelly donuts).  But that’s here, in America.  What about other parts of the world?  Is our tradition varied at all by culture, geography or even political climate? 

I’ve been to Shabbat Services all around the world; from Australia to Costa Rica…Argentina, Croatia, England and even Russia.  What I’ve noticed is that as people we are all so different…..yet as Jews, we are all so much the same.  I may have (tried to) read the non-Hebrew portions in Spanish, Croatian or Russian, but when it came to the traditional prayers read in Hebrew, it was as familiar to me as my Gates Of Prayer. The Sh’ma, Shalom Aleyhem, Lecha Dodi and others….all just the same as mine back home.  

But I digress. Hanukkah.  One would think that this meaningful, yet rather easily understood holiday would be celebrated just as simply around the world.  You light candles, sing songs, spin dreidles and eat latkes & donuts. How much variation could there be?  Well, see the stories below for a “wow” on just how different Hanukkah can be:

Spanish Jews hold first Hanukkah in five centuries –

The Jewish community of Spain held a public celebration of Hanukkah Dec. 20, 1998, for the first time in more than five centuries.  Members of the small community lit candles at the same location in Girona, Spain, where their ancestors sought protection in 1391 from anti-Semitic violence that was prevalent at the time. Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. “This is an emotional and unforgettable day,” Mayor Joaquim Nadal told the gathering outside the ruins of Gironella Tower.  The candle-lighting ritual on the eighth and last day of Hanukkah drew close to 1,000 people, including many non-Jews. The ceremony was lead by Eliahu Bakshi Doron, Israel’s chief rabbi of Sephardic Jews, who trace their ancestry to Spain.

A Jew in Japan (trying to) celebrate Hanukkah  –   One thing that I do every year at this time is decorate my English school with Hanukkah memorabilia. Near the entryway, I put out a hanukiyah . On the table in the lobby, I laid out a number of dreidels. The walls are decorated with posters of children eating latkes  and sufganiyot  playing with dreidels, and, of course, lighting hanukiyah.

 The yearly display always draws a big response because it is unfamiliar to Japanese people (many American people, too, I imagine). Kids love to play with the dreidels (tops are a popular New Year`s activity in Japan). Young and old admire the candles displayed in the hanukiyah. And, invariably, several people say, “I didn`t know that people in America celebrated Christmas like this!” Oy Vey! One student even looked at a picture of Judas Macabbee and said, “I thought Santa Claus always wore red!”

MEXICO  In Mexico Hanukkah is written “Januca,”. The Jewish Hanukkah customs are very similar to those of Jews elsewhere except that the food may be a little different. Instead of latkes and sufganiot which are common among the Ashkenazic Jews of Russia and Eastern Europe the Sephardic Jews of Mexico tend to favor things like “buñuelos” which are fried fritters drenched in sugar syrup and also balls of corn dough with marmalade inside. Like their Jewish counterparts around the world they play the game of “dreidel” which they call “toma todo” and they call the dreidel top a “pirinola”. To make their holiday really special and authentically Mexican the add a Mexican “piñata” in the shape of the dreidel top to the festivities.

Today, there are about 50,000 Jews living freely in Mexico and openly practicing their ancient religion. I hope they all enjoy their Hanukka festival. Happy Hanukka to everyone!!!

The Light of Hanukkah Menorahs shall Shine all over Russia –  This year, despite the global crisis, the light of Hanukkah candles will shine not only for kids, but, for all Jews across Russia. In the outgoing year, as never before, Jews had the support and understanding of the government. For us, this support is very important, and we are pleased that the Russian government shows its support for all the traditional religious confessions, in particular, for its care for our Jewish community.

Without this support, the full-blooded rebirth of Jewish life in Russia would have been impossible. Firstly, the state returned to us many buildings that were owned by the Jewish community before the Revolution. Today, the government actively cooperates with the Jewish community in tackling social problems. Recently, our community won one of the support grants for non-commercial organisations. With God’s guidance, we will use it to implement our plans in the incoming year. Generally speaking, without the involvement on the part of the state, the Jewish community would have been unable to achieve the successes it has achieved in the sphere of education, enlightenment, and religious life”.

Eight days of Hanukkah celebrations will take place  throughout the entire country. During these days, in Moscow, there will be holiday concerts, fairs, and music and arts festivals, which shall bring together ensembles and performers from many Russian regions, Israel, and Jewish communities around the world.


The State of the Travel Industry

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Malori and Stacey just returned from World Travel Market in London and are happy to report that all is good in the travel industry!  We met with tour operators and vendors from over 250 countries around the world as we planned and got ideas for future Amazing Journeys in 2012.  In addition, we attended lectures given by travel insiders from around the globe as they presented the state of the travel industry.

“Green” travel options were a big topic.  Vendors from every corner of the globe are stepping up to the plate to offer sustainable tourism, becoming more aware of water shortages, carbon footprints and taking a stand to keep the world from being overused.  Along those lines, we attended lectures on keeping religious sites truly sacred by limiting the amount of tourists at any one place at a given time.  It’s a responsibility we must all embrace if we are to have a world to share with the next generation.

Trends in growth for travel include Asia, leading the recovery from the 2009 economic downturn with more people visiting countries within Asia, as well as the “new middle class” within China who are beginning to travel within their own country and abroad.  Latin America is offering more adventure and sporting event opportunities with Brazil being the favorite destination.  Africa is getting ahead of the pack with “Space Travel” opportunities, offering travelers in-room telescopes to look at the night sky, night-vision safaris, Astro tourism, clear night skies in Africa and wants to actually take up traveling in space to compete with the US.  Adventure travel is appealing to more individuals than ever before and 85% of those polled worldwide, list adventure travel as a priority when making plans to travel.  And finally, there are the beginnings of interest in Iraq as a growing area for tourists (think Vietnam).

While in London, Stacey and I selected hotels in London for our upcoming British Isles trip.  You’ll love what we found and we can’t wait to share it with you in the coming weeks!

So there you have it.  We have toured the globe in only three days at World Travel Market.  Where do you want to go in 2012?  Now is the time to let us know as the planning has begun!

Scattered Among The Nations

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

For thousands of years since successive waves of invaders chased the Israelites from their ancestral home, Jews have carried their religion with them wherever they have gone. Living in the Diaspora, Jews maintained their way of life, gathering in communities to share their traditions. Others were touched by the faith of the Jews scattered among them, or by the words of the Torah, and bound their lives to this enduring heritage.

There are scarcely more than thirteen million Jews in the world today; most of them live in established Jewish centers like Israel and large cities in North America and Western Europe. But what many do not know is that there are Jewish communities in Africa, Asia, South America, even parts of Europe and the Former Soviet Union, in which the Jewish populations do not have white skin or do not live fast-paced, modern lives. Some of these communities exist in places so geographically and culturally distant from other Jews that they must struggle daily to maintain the religion of their ancestors.

These often tiny Jewish communities are fascinating. Some of them are ancient such as in Tunisia where the first Jews arrived 2600 years ago during the Babylonian Exile. Others are brand new such as the the Inca Jews of Peru who started practicing Judaism just a few decades ago. The small communities are recognizably Jewish with many of them observing Shabbat and kosher laws in the familiar ways one would find everywhere. However, each have customs reflecting their own “flavor” of Judaism. For example, in the tiny Jewish communities of Uganda and Zimbabwe songs written in Hebrew are set to African melodies; in India the Benei Menashe still practice ritual sacrifice of animals while the Bene Israel have their “Malida” ceremony which offers prayers, songs and bowls of fruits and flowers to the Prophet Elijah.

Amazing Journeys has toured 7 continents and save for Antarctica, have explored and enjoyed points of Jewish interest in places like Peru, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Buenos Aires and even San Jose, Costa Rica.  Yours truly was actually an invited guest on my extended “tour of duty” in Costa Rica back in 2003, to join a family—a big “machar” at the local synagogue—for Pesach Seder.  A totally unexpected experience; so amazingly different…yet so amazingly familiar.  Jews are Jews no matter where in the world they are, no matter what language their native tongue, no matter how mainstream or remote their neighborhood.

See below for some snapshots showing our fellow Jewish kinship from places you probably never thought of around the world:

 

 

 

 

 

Ugandan Jews are called the Abayudaya and here are some congregants and their Shule. They are found in the town of Mbale which is in the Eastern part of Uganda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are five rabbis in Tunisia; and even several kosher restaurants. Yacov B’Chiri is a cantor of the Djerba, Tunisia Jewish community. B’Chiri has been playing lute, or ud, and singing Arabic and Hebrew songs since he was young, and has become a legendary voice of the Djerban Jewish community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over five decades ago, in the northern Peruvian city of Cajamarca, two brothers began a spiritual journey that would reshape their own lives and those of hundreds of others. After Alvaro and Segundo Villanueva Correa read the Torah, they eventually decided to embrace Judaism, forming a community in 1958 whose members strictly observed the Sabbath and the Festivals and kept kosher.

The group, which came to be known as the “Bnei Moshe” (or Children of Moses), makes no claim of Jewish ancestry. Rather, it consists of like-minded families and individuals who found their spiritual truth in Judaism and decided out of deep sincerity to join the Jewish people. They continued to practice Judaism faithfully over several decades, expanding to the city of Trujillo as well, and growing in number to more than 500 people.  Subsequently, nearly all of the Inca Jews underwent conversion by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and made aliyah, thanks in part to Shavei Israel.