The Times of Israel: “As relations with Turkey worsen, Israelis choose Georgia for a vacay”

Synagogue in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. Photo from Flickr., Sep 22, 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia’s relationship with Israel spans more than 2,500 years – Jews in Georgia have been welcomed and respected since the friendship began and now, after a brief dip following the collapse of the Soviet Union, more Israeli’s are coming to Georgia for their summer vacations.

With a close proximity and inexpensive kosher food, some 60,000 sabras now take a hike to Georgia annually, writes Cnaan Lipshiz in an article for The Times of Israel.

…since 2009 a spike in Israeli tourism has breathed new life into the Jewish community of this mountainous republic known for its breathtaking scenery, friendly people and a super-sized meat dumpling known as khinkali,” writes Lipshiz.

In recent years Georgia has seen an increase in tourist numbers from Israel. Latest statistics from Israel’s Tourism Ministry claim now some 60,000 Israelis visit Georgia annually - nearly triple the number recorded in 2010.

Rabbi Meir Kozlovsky, the local Chabad emissary, is quoted in the article as saying Israelis "discovered Georgia” as an alternative to Turkey, where Israeli tourism has fallen by half in the last six years following the worsening of relations between the two countries.

This surge in tourism has seen several kosher restaurants emerge in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi near the city’s two synagogues.

Read the full article here: