World Travel Awards for Best Cruise Lines.
The highest quality American cruise lines, cuisine and customer service.
Book Today. Prices will go up.

Alaska Seattle Kosher Cruise
aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines: Pearl

June 24 - July 1, 2018 (7 Nights - Kosher Cruise)

  Rabbi Moshe Kletenik
  Rivy Poupko Kletenik
  (see below)








Sun., Jun. 24 Seattle 4:00 pm
Mon., Jun. 25 At Sea
Tues., Jun. 26 Juneau 2:00 pm 10:00 pm
Wed., Jun. 27 Skagway 7:00 am 8:15 pm
Thurs., Jun. 28 Cruise Glacier Bay
Fri., Jun. 29 Ketchikan 6:00 am 1:30 pm
Sat., Jun. 30 Victoria 6:00 pm 11:59 pm
Sun., Jul. 1 Seattle

Book today and you can choose great amenities such as free Wi-Fi or Onboard credit!*

*Based on NCL promotions at the time of booking.


2014 Alaska Seattle Kosher Cruise


Stay on board with all of the latest tours and great deals Kosherica has to offer.

Click Here to
Explore Important
Travel Insurance Options


Select the Cabin Category you would like, and then scroll to the bottom of this form to select the number of travelers and submit it.

Interior Staterooms

Cat. Description Price
Interior Staterooms These Inside Staterooms are the most affordable way to cruise. There's room for up to four guests and they include two lower beds that convert into a queen-size bed and of course, you'll have room service and many other amenities.
Accommodates: 3
Total Approx. Size: 138 - 143 sq. ft.
Cat.: Description: Price:
IF Inside $2,925
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
IC Classic Inside $3,020
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
ID Inside $3,020
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
IB Mid-Ship Inside $3,030
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
IA Mid-Ship Inside $3,055
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
I1 Family Inside $3,065
Wait List

Outside Staterooms

Cat. Description Price
Outside Staterooms These Oceanview Staterooms sleep up to four guests and have either a picture window or porthole, with an obstructed view. Two lower beds that convert into a queen-size bed and additional bedding to sleep two more.
Accommodates: 4
Total Approx. Size: 155 - 161 sq. ft.
Cat.: Description: Price:
OK Obstructed Oceanview $3,340
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
OG Oceanview Porthole Window $3,365
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
OF Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window $3,375
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
OC Classic Oceanview Picture Window $3,410
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
O1 Family Oceanview Picture Window $3,435
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
OB Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window $3,435
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
OA Oceanview Picture Window $3,455
Wait List

Veranda (Balcony) Staterooms

Cat. Description Price
Veranda (Balcony) Staterooms Located both forward and aft ship, balcony staterooms have two lower beds that convert into a queen-size bed. Also includes a sitting area and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to a private balcony. (Please note: some balconies are enclosed)
Accommodates: 3
Total Approx. Size: 200 - 205 sq. ft.
Cat.: Description: Price:
BD Balcony $4,275
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
BC Classic Balcony $4,295
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
BB Balcony $4,320
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
B2 Family Balcony $4,375
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
BA Mid-Ship Balcony $4,375
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
B1 Aft-Facing Balcony $4,755
Wait List


Cat. Description Price
Mini-Suites Up to four guests can stay in these Mini-Suites that come with a sitting area, luxury bath with shower, two lower beds that convert into a queen-size bed and additional bedding to sleep two additional guests. Not to mention you'll have a private balcony to enjoy the incredible view.
Accommodates: 4
Total Approx. Size: 272-285 sq. ft.
Cat.: Description: Price:
MB Mini-Suite with Balcony $4,655
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
MA Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony $4,715
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
M1 Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony $5,375
Wait List


Cat. Description Price
Suites A true experience of luxury and privacy. Enjoy spacious suites accented by only the finest touches throughout. And enough room to make a lifetime of amazing memories.
Cat.: Description: Price:
SF Penthouse - Sleeps two, with a bedroom with queen-size bed and luxury bath and shower, in addition to the living area, dining area and large private balcony. Includes butler and concierge service.
(341-387 sq. ft.)
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
SE Penthouse - sleep two, with a bedroom with queen-size bed and luxury bath and shower. Also includes a living area, dining area and large private balcony that offers an amazing view. Includes butler and concierge service.
(489-578 sq. ft.)
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
SC $8,255
Wait List


Cat. Description Price
Haven Located at the top of the ship, The Haven features the most luxurious, well-appointed accommodations on board. Enjoy 24-hour butler service, concierge service and private sundeck.
Cat.: Description: Price:
H5 $8,855
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
H4 $9,515
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
H3 $10,475
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
H2 $10,715
Wait List

Cat.: Description: Price:
H1 $25,115
Wait List

• Rates are subject to change without notice.
• All rates are per person based on double occupancy.
• Gratuities not included – unless indicated.
• $1000 per person deposit due at time of booking.
• Single rate is 170% in all categories.
• 3rd/4th person rate (all Categories) is $1800 (adult or child).
Capacity for 3rd/4th passenger may not be available for all cabin categories
• Travel insurance is strongly recommended.
• These rates do not include port charges and taxes of $235.26
• This rate does not include prepaid gratuities:
   $14.50 per guest per day for any category up to a Mini-Suite stateroom
   $17.50 per guest per day for any suite or Haven category

Cancellation policy:
Bookings are refundable less $100 administration fee per person until 130 days before sailing. Less than 130 days: 100% of total - no refund.

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance.
Number of travelers in your room:

Destination Information

Seattle, Washington

The Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is known for its stunning waterfront. "Catch" a salmon at Pike Place Market, ride to the top of the Space Needle, sample a local microbrew in funky Fremont, or down a cup of java in the coffee capital of the world.

Juneau, Alaska

For years Juneau's livelihood, like that of many cities in Alaska, was tied to mining. The city itself is built on tailings from the A-J mine whose shafts perforate the hillside above town. Because it is Alaska's capital, Juneau prospers through government work and tourism. This is a great place to sample salmon baked over an alderwood fire, pan for gold, and hike the massive Juneau Icefield. If you feel the need for speed, hop on a sled and let a dog team pull you across the surface of a glacier.

Sitka, Alaska

Bald eagles perch in the spruce and cedar trees of Sitka—often several to a branch. Russian Alaska is enthusiastically represented in a lively performance by the New Archangel Dancers. View holy paintings of the Czarist days, and visit recuperating eagles at the rehabilitation center.

Ketchikan, Alaska

In the heart of the Tongass National Forest, immerse yourself in Tlingit Indian culture and view the world's largest collection of totem poles; kayak the colorful waterfront and stroll the boardwalk that once led to Ketchikan's red light district.

Victoria, British Columbia

High tea can be taken at the Empress Hotel if you really want to discover what Victoria is all about. Then, walk over to the breathtaking Museum of Natural History or stroll through the charming downtown of that lives up to its British-flavored name with double-decker buses, turreted castles, fine British woollens and delicate china. A coach-ride away, the Butchart Garden earns every superlative of its impeccable reputation for glorious blooms and redolent scents.
C   R   U   I   S   E       S   H   I   P       I   N   F   O   R   M   A   T   I   O   N

Norwegian Pearl

Norwegian Pearl
Norwegian Cruise Lines

Cruise to the breezy islands of the Bahamas or venture into the wild in Alaska. Travel from scenic views to city views on a Pacific Coastal cruise. Or simply sit back and sail through the world's greatest shortcut on a Panama Canal cruise . Whatever you choose to do, we invite you to experience the wonders of getting there aboard the Norwegian Pearl. Her chic bowling alley, 16 delicious dining options, 15 bars and lounges, dazzling casino, tranquil spa, and spacious Garden Villas are just a few things that make this Jewel Class cruise ship a destination of her own.

Gross Tonnage: 93,530 grt.(One registered ton equals 100 cubic feet)
Length: 965 feet
Beam: 125 feet
Maximum speed: 25 knots
Passenger capacity: 2,394
Dedicated: December 2006
Refurbished: 2013

NC Pearl

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik Rabbi Moshe Kletenik is the Av Beit Din of the Vaad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle, where he is oversees kashruth and serves as Rosh Beit Din and Mesader Gittin for its Beit Din for Gittin. He is a member of the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, the Holocaust Emergency Assistance Committee at Seattle's Jewish Family Service, Kline Galland Community Advisory Committee and Ethics Committee of Kline Galland Center. Rabbi Kletenik served as President of the Rabbinical Council of America and as the chair of its Semicha Standards Committee. He presently serves on the Executive Committee of the RCA, on the RCA Committee for Geirus Policy and Standards and as the Rosh Beit Din and Menahel of the RCA's Pacific Northwest Regional Beit Din, part of its network of "GPS" rabbinical courts for conversion. In the broader community, he served as a member of the Governor of the State of Washington’s Faith Advisory Board. In 2008, he received the “Take Action Award" from the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A prolific writer and speaker on both contemporary and classic themes in Jewish law, Rabbi Kletenik has contributed scholarly articles on topics of Talmudic law to Torah journals, including Hapardes, Hadarom and Tradition, as well as to the RCA's annual collections of its finest sermons. He lectures widely on matters pertaining to Jewish medical ethics, particularly regarding end-of-life and beginning-of-life issues. Rabbi Kletenik served as rabbi of Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath Congregation in Seattle, Washington From 1994-2014. Prior to his arrival in Seattle, he served as menahel of the Mesivta of Greater Miami, FL; and, as principal of Hillel Academy and rabbi of Shaare Torah Congregation, both in Pittsburgh, PA. There, he served as an Executive Officer of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Pittsburgh; Chairman of its Kashrus and Halachic Commissions; and cofounder of its eruv. In 1976, Rabbi Kletenik was ordained by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik at Brisk Rabbinical College in Chicago, IL. Rav Gedalia Schwartz, the RCA's Av Beit Din, granted him semicha in the areas of Siddur Gittin and Even Ha'ezer in 2004, and in 2009, granted him Yadin Yadin ordination, as well. His undergraduate degree is in mathematics. He is married to the former Rivy Poupko, Head of School of Seattle Hebrew Academy. They are blessed with four children and seven grandchildren.
Rivy Poupko Kletenik

Rivy Poupko Kletenik Rivy Poupko Kletenik, a Covenant Award Winner, is in her twelfth year as Head of School of the Seattle Hebrew Academy. Rivy has taught several long-standing weekly classes for the community including a Women’s Talmud Class, now in its 24 thyear. Her column “What’s Your JQ” appeared in the JT News and now runs in the new “Jewish in Seattle Magazine.” On the national level Rivy’s articles have been featured in the JOFA Journal, Lilith, New York Jewish Week and Tablet. She was honored to contribute an article, “A Precious Dignity,” unpacking the notion of “Kvod Ha’Talmid, student dignity, as an animating school ethos, to the Festschrift in Honor of Blu Greenberg, “You Arose, A Mother in Israel.’ Rivy enjoys traveling across the country as a scholar-in-residence, a Limmud presenter and teacher in the Mussar Institute’s Kallahs. The past few summers Rivy has traveled to Europe on a search for family roots. Her articles, “Following in My Father's Footsteps” and “Opening Chapters,” describe the emotional nature of these experiences. On a personal level, Rivy is married to Rabbi Moshe Kletenik and is the proud mother of four children and seven very impressive grandchildren.

Major Cruise Questions

What is included in the price of my cruise?

Virtually everything, with the exception of certain items of a personal nature, for which there is a fair and reasonable charge. Your cruise fare includes shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, standard meals, services and onboard entertainment.

What's not included

Items that are of a personal nature, for which there is a fair and reasonable charge. Not included in the cruise fare are items that are of a personal nature including gratuities, shore excursions, airfare, telephone calls, faxes, spa treatments, salon services, photographs, laundry and valet service as well as wine, liquor and other beverages.

Will I need a passport or visa?

You are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents and for complying with Customs and Immigration requirements. Guests with out proper travel documents will not be allowed to board the vessel. If for some reason you must leave the ship mid-cruise, you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. unless you possess a valid U.S. passport and no refund of cruise fare will be given to any guest failing to bring such documentation. All major cruise lines encourage all guests to obtain passports as soon as possible to avoid backlogs. For more information, please visit the U.S State department website at

The best approach is to bring clothes that can be layered: more layers for cooler, windier weather, fewer layers for warm, dry days.
Be sure to also bring:
• A lightweight, waterproof coat or jacket, as well as a sweater or warm vest for strolling the decks of the ship and for glacier viewing
• A warm hat and gloves
• Men may want to add an extra pair of slacks, but they'll find that the same basic dress theme works for them, too (there is no place in Alaska a man cannot go in a sport coat and slacks. Also, a dark suit is appropriate for dinner on board ship)
• Sturdy walking shoes for everyday use (two pairs are suggested) both leather, to stand up to rain if necessary, and a pair with a good arch support
• One or two pairs of dress shoes to accompany your dinner outfit
• Always go on for more info. You can get a 10 day forecast.

Weather in Alaska can vary greatly so come prepared. Temperatures in the summer tend to range from about 55 – 70 degrees but can feel much warmer due to the long hours of direct sunlight. Definitely expect drizzles on some days as it’s very similar to rainforest weather.

We always recommend taking the excursions provided by the cruise line as they have some incredible ones to offer that are fit for any level of activity from mild/easy to adventurous. Any excursion that takes you on or near a glacier is definitely going to be a once in a lifetime experience and the cruise line offers various excursions to the glacier.

If you are looking to spend a little less, there are some great excursions that you can take on your own which do tend to be less expensive. If you decide to go with a private guide, we recommend doing extensive research ahead of time to make sure the guide is certified by the Better Business Bureau.
• Salmon hatchery in Juneau
• Mendenhall Glacier bus trip which takes you to the observatory
• Juneau Gardens
• Jewell Gardens and handblown glass in Skagway
• Totem Pole Museum in Ketchikan

• How long is an Alaska cruise? Most of our cruises to Alaska are 7 days long. They begin on Sunday and return the following Sunday. Check out our upcoming Alaska itineraries for further details.

Cruising Tips

Air Travel

Passports will be required for any air travel from the Caribbean as of January 23, 2007. ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport.

Cruise Travel

As early as January 1st, 2008, subject to U.S. Government amendment, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

Can I phone home?

Ship-to-shore telephone service is available 24 hours a day while the ship is at sea or in port from your stateroom. You'll find a telephone and dialing instructions in your stateroom.
If you need to be reached by people at home, have them call or fax the ship directly; or they can contact you via email through your own Internet Service Provider which you can then access via the Internet Café.

Is internet service available?

You can send and receive emails through your own service provider in the Internet Café for a nominal charge.

How do I plan my on-shore activities?

Naturally, you are free to explore many of the ports of call on your own, however, a variety of shore excursion are arranged for you convenience. Each excursion is carefully researched by our Shore Excursion Staff to ensure your experience ashore is as enriching and enjoyable as your stay aboard. You may pre-book your excursions online by selecting Personalize Your Cruise. You will need to enter your booking number and your name as it appears on your reservation. The excursion selected will be debited to you onboard account . Or, if you prefer, you may purchase the shore excursion onboard at the Shore Excursion Desk. Shore Excursions are subject to availability and not available on all ships and sail dates.

What about laundry and dry cleaning services?

Complete valet services including laundry, pressing and dry cleaning, can be arranged through your stateroom steward/stewardess and billed to your shipboard account.

For more information about our amazing cruises – click HERE.

For General Packing tips click HERE.

Click HERE for upcoming cruise dates.

Travel Documents

You are responsible for obtaining all travel documents as well as compliance with Customs and Immigration requirements. You will be required to comply with all government imposed security measures, which may change without notice.

Visa Requirements:

All passengers are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents and for complying with Customs and Immigration requirements.

Please check current VISA requirements with the appropriate embassies or consulates prior to departing on your cruise vacation. Kosherica is providing this application for your convenience.

Kosherica is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided herein. Please contact with any questions.

Guests without proper travel documents will not be allowed to board the vessel. If for some reason you must leave the ship mid-cruise, you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. unless you possess a valid U.S. passport and no refund of cruise fare will be given to any guest failing to bring such documentation. Kosherica encourages all guests to obtain passports as soon as possible to avoid backlogs. For more information, please visit the U.S State department website at
Dogsledding to Mincha: A Short Survey of Jewish Alaska

It's all about fur.

Coats, to be precise.

Fur coats to keep out the chill of the brutal Russian winter.

That's why there are Jews in Alaska.

In the early 1700s Russia's population exploded. Its population of people, anyway. Its population of animals whose skins could be sewn into coats (and of course those famous Russian hats), declined. Severely. The Russians needed a new source of fur.

Explorers who had gone off to map the wildernesses at the far eastern edges of the Empire, had reported abundant populations of fur bearing animals there. Before long, adventurous capitalists who understood the laws of supply and demand went to work.

The Danish sea captain Vitus Bering, whose namesake Sea is about a thousand miles northwest of our present position, led the first Russian settlement expedition that established what would eventually become a permanent Russian presence in this far corner of North America. Jewish fur trappers were among his crew.

A little over a hundred years later the fur trade was enormous, increasingly international, and increasingly Jewish. Merchant companies, especially those whose dealings were on the territorial fringe of the Empire, were among the few commercial enterprises open to Jewish participation. One of the largest Alaskan fur ventures, the Russian-American Company, was managed throughout the 1850s by a man named Nikolai Rosenberg. But it wasn't until 1885 that Jews settled permanently here. Robert Goldstein and his family set up a trading post in Juneau, and specialized in sable, beaver, and mink. Juneau's first mayor was Jewish, and the Goldstein Building, which still stands, was used for a time as the state's interim capital.

As the ninteenth century rolled along, Alaska's own population began to explode. President Lincoln's Secretary of State William Seward had purchased Alaska from the Czars in 1867. The price he paid -- $7.2 million, or less than 2 cents per acre -- was ridiculed in the continental US as a colossal waste of money, but the merchants of San Francisco, then the largest city in the American west, knew otherwise. Among them were many Jews who had toiled to build a thriving US trade with Russia, and who lobbied intensely for Seward to make the purchase. Their faith in the move was soon vindicated, as the succeeding decades saw discoveries of Alaska's vast mineral wealth - mother lodes of gold, silver, copper, zinc, coal, and oil.

The Gold Rush was on.

Prospectors in search of their fortunes migrated north. 20,000 gold-rushers came to the Yukon in 1898 alone. Communities were born as tiny homesteads grew into villages, towns and cities. The institutions of civilized life came next - roads, schools, markets, places of worship. Dawson City, whose population today is just 1500, had 40,000 inhabitants in the early 1900s, making it the largest city in North America north of San Francisco. It was the site of the first significant Jewish institution in Alaska. Nearly 200 Jews had settled there. Thirty-six of them gathered for Rosh Hashanah in 1898, and celebrated the first organized Jewish worship in Alaska in the back of Charles Rosener's General Store. Word spread around the territory, and soon the newly established Hebrew Congregation of Dawson had to rent the commodious Yukon Order of Pioneers Hall, in which they davened regularly. They founded a cemetery when a young Jewish prospector named Isaac Simons, who had come to Dawson all the way from New York, drowned, and his Alaskan fellow congregants honored him with a proper Jewish burial. That cemetery, Beit Chaiim, was restored and reconsecrated in 1998 as part of the ceremonies commemorating of the 100th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Jews have made a disproportionately large contribution to Alaskan history, as they have to every society and culture in which they've lived. Those furriers who accompanied Bering on his famous expedition were second in their influence only to the prominent Jews who came here to profit from the Gold Rush. Lewis Gerstle, a Jewish San Francisco merchant, founded the Alaska Commercial Company, and became a major provider of groceries and general merchandise for trappers, explorers and gold seekers. His steamboat line plied the Yukon River, providing one of the only reliable routes into and out of the territory. His venture capital funds financed an enormous percentage of Alaskan mining. Gerstle's village stores became centers of community activities, serving as post offices, community halls, courtrooms, marriage parlors, funeral homes, and safe havens for travelers, as well as banks which could extend credit to trappers, miners, and fishermen. Gerstle got a river named after him; J.B. Gottstein, another Jewish retail merchant, named his company after himself, and to this day Gottstein's remain's one of Alaska's largest firms.

In 1901, the Jews of Nome, who built the shipping and retailing industries of that city, formed the first Jewish charitable organization in Alaska, the Nome Hebrew Benevolent Society. At around the same time, Nome also gained notoriety for being the location of an establishment called The Dexter, a saloon run by the legendary OK Corrall gunfighter Wyatt Earp. Mrs. Wyatt Earp was an apparently beautiful young lady by the name of Josephine Sarah Marcus. Her German-Jewish parents moved the family from Brooklyn to San Francisco when Josephine was a child, and in her teen years she met the dashing deputy U.S. Marshal who would steal her heart. After the OK Corrall, Josephine and Wyatt Earp led a peripatetic existence that took them to Idaho, remote northern California, and eventually, to Nome where they opened their saloon. Later they moved south to Colma, California, near San Diego, where they are both buried in a Jewish cemetery.

The Jewish community of Fairbanks was founded with the arrival of Lithuanian Jew Robert Bloom in 1904. Bloom ran a general store in town, and was a leader of the Fairbanks Jewish Community for nearly half a century. Earlier a member of the pioneering Hebrew Congregation of Dawson, he became the Yukon's first lay rabbi. He was also a member of an advisory group that helped establish the first US military base in Alaska, and he was a founder of what would later become the University of Alaska. Bloom's wife, Jessie Spiro Bloom, met her husband while he was on holiday in Dublin. She left Ireland with her new husband in 1912 to settle in Fairbanks and soon became an active member of the community. A woman's suffrage advocate during her student years in London, she helped the women of Fairbanks organize to win the vote in 1913. Later, while raising four daughters, she established the first kindergarten in Fairbanks and the first Girl Scout troop in Alaska. Together, the Blooms were very active in conservation efforts, supporting the movement to set aside Alaskan land for wilderness preserves. The Blooms also served as unofficial chaplains for Jewish servicemen stationed in Alaska during World War II.

The war years saw one of the stranger episodes in the Alaskan Jewish saga. As the number of European Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany neared crisis levels, a handful of American government officials, frustrated with the rigidity of the country's strict immigration quotas, began to search for solutions. FDR's Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, and New York Congressman Charles Buckley, came up with an extraordinary one. They sought to allow a certain number of refugees to settle in sparsely-populated Alaska, then still a territory and not yet a State. Roosevelt resisted at first, as did many Americans, some on anti-Semitic grounds, and others opposed to any measure that would increase competition for scarce jobs by bringing foreign workers into the depressed U.S. economy. Alaskans also opposed the plan for a variety of reasons, from provincial xenophobia to worry about the cost of absorbing so many new citizens.

While America debated the issue, the leader of the Jewish community in the town of Neustadt, Germany wrote Washington in 1939 in an urgent application for immigration to Alaska. One day after his letter arrived at the Department of the Interior, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. In March, 1940, Roosevelt answered the Neustadt letter, saying that the Alaska immigration plan was still being considered. And it was. Congress debated the proposal in May, 1940, and it collapsed in subcommittee, unable to attract sufficient votes for passage. The Jews of Neustadt perished in the Holocaust, but their letters petitioning Roosevelt remain in the National Archive, a testament to one of the darker moments of American Jewish history.

Alaska's Jewish population waned as the war raged on, falling below 100 in 1940. The following year, Jewish military chaplains arrived to minister to soldiers stationed in the territory, becoming the first ordained rabbis to officiate here. After the war the GI Bill swelled Alaska's population, and brought new Jews to the most remote towns and biggest cities. The first mayor of Anchorage was David Leopold, who was followed in that capacity some years later by another Jew, Zachary Loussac. Former territorial governor Ernest Gruening was elected one of Alaska's two senators when the territory gained statehood in 1959. In 1964, Jay A. Rabinowitz was named to the Alaska Supreme Court. Even some Alaskan mountains (Ripinski, Neuberger, and Applebaum) are named after Jewish pioneers.

Since 1970, the state's Jewish population has grown steadily, fed mostly by Jews moving north from California, Oregon, and Washington. A 1995 survey, the most recent completed, counted a Jewish population of approximately 3,000 in the state, or about six-tenths of one percent of the state's population. But Chabad statistics indicate a presence of some 6,000 Jews, or approximately 1% of the total state's population. Eighty-one percent of Alaska's Jews live in its three largest cities -- Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, and fully half of Alaska's Jews live in Anchorage.

Although one might assume that the remoteness of Alaska might foster a disinterest in Judaism, or that a Jewish life would be difficult to sustain here, statistics indicate that the Alaskan Jewish community is surprisingly robust. A recent study showed that fully 42 percent of Alaskan Jews belong to synagogues, compared with 27 percent in the continental US. Most of the Jews here are between the ages of 25 and 62, married, and highly educated. Some 53% of Alaskan Jews are women. The intermarriage rate in Alaska is high. Only 6% of Alaska's Jewish community was born here.

Anchorage boasts a Reform synagogue and a Chabad House, and Fairbanks has a lay-run Reform synagogue. Jewish cemeteries are now established in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Anchorage is also home to chapters of Hadassah and the Anti-Defamation League, and an active outreach program to Jewish communities in Siberia. Kosher food is available at supermarkets in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and in more remote locations, is shipped frozen from Seattle. In addition, the Anchorage Lubavitch rabbi maintains a mikvah. Alaska does not yet have a formal partnership with Israel; nevertheless, during the 1990s the state exported nearly $25 million in goods to Israel, which now ranks as Alaska's 35th leading trade partner.

Alaska's state nick name is "The Last Frontier," and as we'll continue to discover this week, the name is apt, certainly from the point of view of American Jewry, at least. But its remoteness and isolation notwithstanding, the state's beauty and natural bounty, not to mention the hardiness and determination of its inhabitants, justify another phrase often applied to this remarkable place. That phrase, the state's official motto, may well have been on the lips of those first Jews leaving Russia in search of fur nearly three hundred years ago, and I leave you with it today: "North to the Future."


*Glatt Kosher Cruise Destinations
*Glatt Kosher Dining
*New Passport Requirements
*Travel Restrictions
*What to Expect on your Luxury Glatt Kosher Cruise
*Carry-on Baggage
*Clothing & Dress Code
*Packing Advice
*General Packing for Your Glatt Kosher Alaska Cruise, Glatt Kosher New England and Glatt Kosher Northern European Russia cruises
*General Packing for Your Glatt Kosher Caribbean, Glatt Kosher Mediterranean, Glatt Kosher Australian and *Glatt Kosher Greek Isles cruises
*What to Pack on All Cruises
*Laundry Service
*What is the climate like in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Florida, West Palm Beach and Bahamas?
*What is the climate like in Alaska, Russia, Northern Europe?
*Currency & Exchange
*Shore Excursions
*Itinerary Information
*Last Minute Tips