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
Porterage

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, Wednesday, June 22, 2016: DEPARTURE

• We depart from the United States on our overnight flight to Poland.

Day 2, Thursday, June 23, 2016: WELCOME TO POLAND

• We arrive in Warsaw where we are met by our local host and transferred to our hotel.
• Check into our hotel.
• Welcome dinner together this evening.

O/N Warsaw

Day 3, Friday, June 24, 2016: WARSAW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin at the only surviving synagogue from WWII in Warsaw, the storied Nozyk Synagogue, founded in 1900.
• We continue to the Warsaw Ghetto, including the Gensa Cemetery, established in 1806, containing the graves of about 250,000 people and known as the largest cemetery in Poland. The cemetery tells the story of Warsaw's Jewish community, from its famous “residents”, through its Holocaust mass graves, memorials, to its continued use today.
• Continue to the Jewish Resistance Bunker at Mila 18, where the commander of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Mordechai Anielwicz, took his life. We see 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, the Progressive Congregation in Warsaw. We enjoy dinner and hospitality with members of the congregation as we learn more about the Judaism alive in Poland today.

O/N Warsaw

Day 4, Saturday, June 25, 2016: WARSAW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today we visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Occupying a former tram power station the space is split over several levels, leading visitors through the chronological story of the Uprising. Different halls focus on the many aspects of the Uprising; walk through a replica radio station, or a covert printing press.
• This evening, we enjoy a special Chopin concert in a beautiful setting.
• The rest of the evening is yours to discover all the vibrant capital of Poland has to offer.

O/N Warsaw

Day 5, Sunday, June 26, 2016: JEWISH WARSAW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We spend the entire morning at the newly constructed POLIN Museum (The Museum of the History of the Polish Jews), now opened in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The museum provides a unique learning environment with a wide range of media, documents and artifacts. We will see the amazing architecture in the main hall and learn from their excellent scholars.
• This afternoon, walk through the completely reconstructed Old Town. The Old Market Square was leveled and rebuilt brick by brick. We view the Mermaid statue, the legendary protectress of Old Market Square and walk by the Royal Castle.

O/N Warsaw

Day 6, Monday, June 27, 2016: EXPLORING POLAND

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Check out of our hotel.
• We return this morning to the POLIN Museum, for additional study & exploration.
• This afternoon, we drive to the artist's town of Kazimierz Dolny, one of the most beautifully situated small towns in Poland.
• Check into our hotel.

O/N Kazimierz Dolny

Day 7, Tuesday, June 28, 2016: KAZIMIERZ DOLNY

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning we explore Kazimierz Dolny, visiting the synagogue, the castle ruins, and the art galleries.
• We enjoy a meeting with Severin Ashkenazi, a local who has been highly instrumental in the re-birth of Progressive Judaism in modern Poland.
• This afternoon we visit the preserved Jewish cemetery, dating back to 1851, which includes a monument and memory wall. Then walk along the narrow streets and feel the 16th century Renaissance style and unique atmosphere of this one and only town within a town.

O/N Kazimierz Dolny

Day 8, Wednesday, June 29, 2016: LUBLIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Check out of our hotel.
• This morning we head to Lublin, a city that once served as one of the most important centers of Jewish life, commerce, culture and scholarship in Europe. With a tiny Jewish community today, numerous Jewish sites exist around Lublin, formerly known as the “Jerusalem of Poland”. Most of these are centered on the impressive former Jewish quarter, including former Yeshivot, a Jewish Hospital, Bund building, and Jewish streets such as Lubartowska Street.
• We enjoy a guided city tour of Lublin, including The Castle, Cathedral and other historical sites. We view the Medical Academy building which was once one of the largest Yeshivot in the world, known as “The School of the Sages of Lublin”.
• This afternoon we visit the Majdanek Death Camp, just outside the city. On this terrible spot, more than 350,000 people were killed; including 18,000 Jews from Lublin killed on a single day on November 3, 1943 - the largest single day, single location murder of the entire Holocaust. The camp was located three kilometers from the center of Lublin, and was in operation from autumn 1941 - July 1945. Covering 270 hectares, there were barracks for 25,000 prisoners. Today, a permanent exhibition is housed in the former barracks, and several monuments have been raised to the victims of the camp.
• Check into our hotel.

O/N Lublin

Day 9, Thursday, June 30, 2016: TO KRAKOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Check out of our hotel.
• We depart Lublin for Krakow (approx. 4 hours).
• We stop in Lancut enroute to Krakow. Here we visit Lancut Synagogue and Potocki Palace with its unique collection of horse carriages.
• Check into our hotel.
• This evening we enjoy Krakow Music Festival Activities.

O/N Krakow

Day 10, Friday, July 1, 2016: KAZIMIEREZ

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today we enjoy a guided visit to the Old Jewish District, Kazimierez, where we see the Old Synagogue (a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th and 16th Centuries), the Tempel and the Remuh Synagogues
• We stop outside the Plaszow Concentration Camp where Jews lived and worked and the famous story of “Schindler” took place. The area which held the camp now consists of sparsely wooded hills and fields with one large memorial marking where the camp once stood. There is an additional small plaque of the Jewish Community located nearby.
• This evening, we meet with Jonathan Ornstein, the Executive Director of the Krakow JCC for first-hand insight into the struggles and successes of the growing Jewish community in Krakow.
• We end our day in Krakow and have Shabbat dinner together with members of the local community at the Galicia Museum.

O/N Krakow

Day 11, Saturday, July 2, 2016: KRAKOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning we enjoy a walking city tour including Wawal Castle, St. Mary's Church, the Renaissance Cloth Hall and other ancient landmarks.
• This afternoon, we tour the UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mines. The Wieliczka Salt Mines are over 700 years old. It is one of the largest and oldest working salt mines in Europe. It is on the UNESCO list of the 12 most priceless monuments of the world. An elevator will descend to the first level of the mine where we will be able to see the 180 foot chapel made out of salt rock and lit with salt-crystal chandeliers. There are many other chambers carved out of a huge block of salt, underground museums and even tennis and volleyball courts.
• This evening we enjoy a special dinner in the Kazimierez, including Klezmer music!

O/N Krakow

Day 12, Sunday, July 3, 2016: KIELCE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morningwe drive to Kielce, site of a vicious pogrom in 1946, in which over 40 Jews were killed only 1 year after the end of the Holocaust.
• Today we participate in a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom.
• Check into our hotel.

O/N Kielce

Day 13, Monday, July 4, 2016: AUSCHWITZ

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Check out of our hotel.
• 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.
• Dinner together this evening in Krakow before we board our overnight train to Prague, the Czech capital, also known as "the City of One Thousand Spires" with its Baroque churches, promenades, parks and ancient city walls.

O/N Train to Prague

Day 14, Tuesday, July 5, 2016: PRAGUE

• Upon arrival in Prague, where we are met by our local host.
• We continue to a local restaurant for breakfast..
• Today we see the 1,000 year-old Royal Castle of Hradcany, the largest ancient castle in the world, and home to St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest and most important church in the Czech Republic. We then cross the famed Charles Bridge, towards the center of Prague, where we see the beautiful Astronomical Clock.
• Meeting with members of Beit Simcha, Prague.
• Check into our hotel.
• Free evening in this magical city.

O/N Prague

Day 15, Wednesday, July 6, 2016: TEREZIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we travel to Terezin, the former "model" Nazi concentration camp.
• We visit the Fortress, Jewish Cemetery Museum, the hidden synagogue, the Memorial Monument and the town itself.
• Return to Prague.
• The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy this beautiful city on our own.
• Optional Classical Music Concert in one of Prague's impressive concert halls (price and details TBD).

O/N Prague

Day 16, Thursday, July 7, 2016: JEWISH PRAGUE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Jewish interest sites, with a visit to the Old City to view the Josefov, Prague's Jewish Town with its Old Town Hall, the Alt-Neu Synagogue, the longest continually-used synagogue in Europe and the site of the first Magen David. We continue to the Pinkas Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue, named after a Jewish Mayor of Prague, exemplifying the Golden Age of Jewish Prague, the Jewish Cemetery and the State Jewish Museum.
• Tonight we enjoy a festive farewell dinner together.

O/N Prague

Day 17, Friday, July 8, 2016: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Transfer to the airport for our flight back to the United States.

The Memories Last Forever!


*Itinerary subject to change