Insiders Poland plus Prague
Led by Rabbi Haim Beliak
and Professor Richard Hecht
June 22 - July 8, 2016

Tour Rates & Dates:

There are no Departure Dates available for this Package.
*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
Upgraded room categories may be available to book later in the booking process.
If Land & Air price is displayed, the air portion includes tax and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change until ticketed.

Tour Overview:

Download a PDF version:

"Our approach will be to note the diversity of viewpoints that made Polish Jewish life the source of modern Jewish life - from Jewish socialist, to Yiddish culture, branches of Zionism, and various Hassidic communities. We will remind people that the Progressive movements (today Reform and Conservative Judaisms) started in the Polish lands beginning in 1803.
We will note Jewish involvement in film, literature, and the arts from Arthur Rubenstein to Julian Tuwim."
- Rabbi Haim Beliak, Exec. Dir. of Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland, affiliated with Friends of Jewish Renewal, WUPJ & European Union for Progressive Judaism

Prof. Richard Hecht is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He offers courses in modern Jewish thought, and religion and culture. He is the author and editor of several books. His research interest include religion and politics in the city of Jerusalem and the religious dimensions of contemporary art. He has visited and given several presentations in Poland and the Czech Republic.

This Amazing Experience Includes:
4 nights Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
2 nights Hotel Kazimierzowka Kazimierz Dolny,
1 night Grand Hotel Lublinianka, Lublin, Poland
3 nights Hilton Garden Inn Krakow, Krakow, Poland
1 night Qubus Hotel Kielce, Kielce, Poland
1 night Overnight Train from Krakow to Prague, Krakow, Poland
3 nights Clarion Old Town Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
All touring and sightseeing per an agreed upon itinerary in a deluxe
air-conditioned vehicle with an English speaking guide
Overnight train from Krakow to Prague
Breakfast daily
Welcome dinner in Warsaw
Shabbat dinner at Beit Warsawa
Chopin concert
Shabbat dinner at the Galicia Museum, Krakow
Tour to the UNESCO Wieliczka Salt Mines outside Krakow
Dinner at a restaurant in Kazimierez with Klezmer performance in Krakow
Breakfast at a restaurant upon arrival in Prague
Meeting with members of Beit Simcha Prague
Farewell dinner in Prague
Transfers included if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary

These prices do not include:

Roundtrip airfare & departure taxes and fuel surcharges
(available soon)
Any border taxes or visas
Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters
($15.00 per person, per day-pre-collected)
Any items of a personal nature
Travel Insurance
(Highly recommended)
Optional Classical Music Concert in Prague

To download the PDF flyer/registration form, click HERE

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Tuesday, June 26, 2018: DEPARTURE

• We depart the United States on our overnight flight to Warsaw. (Contact Ayelet Tours for flights).

Day 2: Wednesday, June 27, 2018: WELCOME TO POLAND!

• Today, we meet our local guide at our hotel to begin our journey together.
• This afternoon, we enjoy a visit to the new POLIN Museum, where we learn about the history of the Polish Jews.
• Tonight, we join together for a welcome dinner with fellow travelers.

Overnight in Warsaw

Day 3: Thursday, June 28, 2018: WARSAW - MAJDANEK - LUBLIN

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we return to the POLIN Museum for additional study and exploration.
• This afternoon, we depart Warsaw and travel to the Majdanek Death Camp. In this terrible spot, more than 80,000 people were killed, including 18,000 Jews from Lublin, during the largest two-day, single location murder of the entire Holocaust.
• We continue to nearby Lublin, a city that once served as one of the most important centers of Jewish life, commerce, culture and scholarship in Europe.
• We check in to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Lublin

Day 4: Friday, June 29, 2018: LUBLIN TO KRAKOW

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We begin our day with a guided tour of Lublin, including a visit to the Brama Grodzka, the Castle and the Cathedral, as well as several other historical sites.
• Next, we visit the Medical Academy building, which was once one of the largest Yeshivot in the world, known as “the school of the sages of Lublin”.
• We depart for Luncut, where we view the synagogue and have time for lunch on own.
• This afternoon, we continue to Krakow to check in to our hotel and refresh.
• As the sun begins to set, we join together for Shabbat services at the Temple Synagogue, followed by Shabbat dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Krakow

Day 5: Saturday, June 30, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Option to attend Shabbat services this morning.
• Enjoy the day at leisure to attend the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, which features programs throughout the day and concerts in the evening.
• Dinner on own tonight.

Overnight in Krakow

Day 6: Sunday, July 1, 2018: JEWISH KRAKOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we begin with a Jewish heritage tour of Krakow. We start in the Old Jewish district known as Kazimierz, where we see the Old Synagogue, a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th and 16th centuries. We also see the Temple and the Remuh Synagogue.
• Our next stop is at the Krakow JCC, where we meet with Executive Director, Jonathan Ornstein to hear about the incredible rebirth of Jewish life in Krakow.
• We continue to the Little Monument at the Drug Store inside the Jewish ghetto, followed by a visit to Schindler's factory, where he employed hundreds of Jews, saving them from the concentration camps.
• We stop at the Galicia Jewish Museum to see the photo exhibitions documenting the remnants of the once vibrant Jewish life and culture in Polish Galicia.
• Tonight, we enjoy dinner with a Polish political scientist at a local restaurant, including a fascinating discussion of the Polish political landscape today.

Overnight in Krakow

Day 7: Monday, July 2, 2018: AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration camps where many Jews and others perished in WWII. Here, we see the museum and pay tribute to the victims.
• We will also visit the synagogue in the adjacent town of Auschwitz (Oswiecim).
• We continue to Czestochowa and check in to our hotel.
• Enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Czestochowa

Day 8: Tuesday, July 3, 2018: CZESTOCHOWA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Yasna Gora Monastery, known for the blackened picture of the Virgin Mary, popularly called the “Black Madonna”.
• Next, we stop at the Jewish Museum of Czestochowa to learn about the more than 30,000 Jews who lived in this Polish town before the Nazi invasion.
• This afternoon, we travel to Kielce, where we check in to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Kielce

Day 9: Wednesday, July 4, 2018: KIELCE TO LODZ

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we participate in events surrounding the community's observance of the anniversary of the Kielce pogrom, including a memorial concert (details TBA).
• Later this afternoon, we continue to Lodz to check in to our hotel.
• Spend the evening at leisure and enjoy dinner on own.

Overnight in Lodz

Day 10: Thursday, July 5, 2018: TO WARSAW

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We begin our day with a tour of Lodz. The history of the city was shaped by the contributions of four peoples: Polish, German, Jewish and Russian. Jews made up about one third of the city's population and owned a third of all the factories. We set out on a specialized tour that will provide us with insight into the life and history of this important community.
• Our first stop is at the Jewish cemetery, the biggest in Europe, still preserved in its pre-war state on Bracka Street.
• Next, we visit the Radegast railway station, once the departure point to the death camps in Chelmno and Auschwitz.
• We tour the areas of the former Litzmannstadt ghetto, one of the most remarkable ghettos in Poland.
• Lastly, we view the only remaining synagogue in Lodz.
• We travel to Warsaw and check in to our hotel upon arrival.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Warsaw

Day 11: Friday, July 6, 2018: DISCOVERING WARSAW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Nozyk Synagogue founded in 1900 and the only surviving pre-war Jewish house of prayer in Warsaw.
• We continue to the Warsaw ghetto, including a visit to the Gensa cemetery, the largest cemetery in Poland.
• Next, we visit the Jewish resistance bunker at Mila 18, the Umschlagplatz, where transfers from the ghetto took place, and pass by Janucz Kurchek's famous orphanage.
• We welcome Shabbat with members of Beit Warsawa, Warsaw's progressive congregation, followed by Shabbat dinner with members of the congregation, while learning about the Judaism alive in Poland today.

Overnight in Warsaw

Day 12: Saturday, July 7, 2018: TO GDANSK

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We attend Shabbat services at a local congregation.
• This afternoon, we travel to Gdansk. Upon arrival, we celebrate Havdallah at Beit Troijmiasto as Shabbat comes to an end.
• We check in to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Gdansk

Day 13: Sunday, July 8, 2018: TOURING GDANSK

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we tour Gdansk and hear about the history of the Jewish population, dating back to the 15th century. We see the place where the Great Synagogue stood until its destruction in 1939.
• Next, we visit the Museum of the Second World War as well as the Polish post office, where the militia defended against one of the first German attacks of WWII.
• Later this afternoon, we visit the Gdansk shipyard, site of the creation of the anti-communist solidarity movement in 1980 that helped liberate Poland from Soviet rule.
• Dinner on own tonight.

Day 14: Monday, July 9, 2018: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.

*itinerary subject to change