American Conference of Cantors:
The Music and People of Poland & Prague
June / July 2022


Tour Rates & Dates:

Start DatePlan Option/Hotel DetailTour Package*Tour Package (check)*Click BOOK
to sign up now!
Jun 26, 2022
American Conference of Cantors:
The Music and People of Poland & Prague
June 26 - July 6, 2022
Deluxe Hotels
[+ Hotel Details]
$4,115$3,995Sold Out
American Conference of Cantors:
The Music and People of Poland & Prague
June 26 - July 6, 2022
Deluxe Plus Hotels
[+ Hotel Details]
$4,580$4,445Sold Out
American Conference of Cantors:
The Music and People of Poland & Prague
June 26 - July 7, 2022
Deluxe Plus Hotels - Cantor Caro
[+ Hotel Details]
$4,902$4,760Sold Out
*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
All rates above are in US Dollars, and are based on full payment by credit card unless otherwise noted.
Discount for check payment available after clicking “BOOK” above.
(Deposit can still be paid by credit card).
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.

Save $100 per person if registered by October 31, 2021!


Tour Overview:

Join the soaring voices of the American Conference of Cantors on a unique journey, as together we sing, pray and explore our way through Europe! Ours will be a mission of music and healing, featuring gala concerts, outstanding scholarship, connections with local communities and unforgettable touring geared toward Cantors and congregants alike. Join us as we discover the inspiring people, hidden history and musical heritage of Poland and Prague!



Included:
  • Deluxe Plus Hotels:
  •     Warsaw – 2 nights (June 27 – 29, 2022) - Intercontinental (or similar)
        Krakow – 4 nights (June 29 – July 3, 2022) - Sheraton (or similar)
        Prague – 3 nights (July 3 - 6, 2022) - NH Collection Carlo IV (or similar)
  • Deluxe Hotels:
  •     Warsaw – 2 nights (June 27 – 29, 2022) - Mercure Warsaw (or similar)
        Krakow – 4 nights (June 29 – July 3, 2022) - Novotel (or similar)
        Prague – 3 nights (July 3 - 6, 2022) - Majestic Plaza (or similar)
  • All touring and sightseeing per an agreed upon itinerary in a private, deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 dinners including Shabbat Dinner with the Local Jewish Community
  • 3 Lunches
  • Amazing Experiences with local community
  • Assistance & transfers upon arrival and departure (when arriving on main days)
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary

Not Included:
  • Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges (Please contact Ayelet Tours for flight assistance - group flights available in October 2021!)
  • Any border taxes or visas
  • Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters (For more information on Ayelet’s tipping policies, click here)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Any costs associated with testing or related to proof of Covid/vaccine status
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance (recommend group policy is available - click here for policy info

Tour Itinerary:

DAY 1, Sunday, June 26, 2022: DEPARTURE

• We depart on our overnight flight to Poland.

DAY 2, Monday, June 27, 2022: ARRIVAL IN POLAND

• Arrivals throughout the day in Warsaw. Transfers will be provided for all arrivals on this day from the airport and central train station (transfer times TBD based on flight list).
• We set out on a city tours of Warsaw, including stops to view the Royal Castle and Chopin’s Monument (tours will depart at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to accommodate different arrival times).
• FACE TO FACE: Visit Beit Polska and Eitz Haim, two progressive institutions situated at the heart of Jewish revival in modern Warsaw. We will hear from Agata Rakowiecka, director of the JCC Warsaw—currently run entirely by women—to learn about the JCC’s exciting programs including “Boker Tov” Sunday breakfasts that reignite and revitalize the connection to the Jewish community.
• ACC OPENING PROGRAM: We join for our opening ceremony and concert sing-along. Joining with the voices of the ACC and the local Jewish community is the Warsaw JCC’s own choir, Clil, offering a window into the revitalization of Jewish life in Poland.
• We delight in a welcome reception and dinner, catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances.
• Return to our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure to explore Warsaw.

Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 3, Tuesday, June 28, 2022: WARSAW’S JEWISH PAST

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• We hear from Prof. Stephen Berk who opens the day by placing our touring into historical context.
• We spend today engrossed in history through a Jewish Heritage Tour of Warsaw. Stops include: Entering the beautiful Nozyk Synagogue, the only surviving prewar synagogue in Warsaw; Walking the Memorial Route of Jewish Martyrdom and Struggle, including the Umschlagplatz Monument where Jews were assembled for deportation during the Holocaust, the horrific Stawski Street buildings where the SS was headquartered, and the Jewish Resistance Bunker at Mila 18 where the resistance fighters made their final stand; Viewing one of the few remaining fragments of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall. We also visit the Okopowa Street Jewish cemetery, one of the largest in the world.
• OR…RETURNEE TRACK: Join the artist collaboration Mi Polin for a moving tour through Warsaw’s Praga District to discover the traces of pre-War Jewish history by following the outlines of mezuzahs that once adorned the doorways throughout the neighborhood.
• We take a docent-led tour of the astounding Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN). The museum sits on the former site of the Warsaw Ghetto and features a multi-media narrative exhibition about the vibrant Jewish community that flourished in Poland for a thousand years.
• ACC PROGRAM: We host a memorial service at the dramatic Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, built by the Warsaw-born Jewish sculptor Nathan Rappaport.
• Free evening to enjoy the Warsaw culinary scene (recommendations provided by our team or the host hotels for any free night).

Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 4, Wednesday, June 29, 2022: WARSAW TO KRAKOW

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We discover Warsaw’s Old Town on a walking tour through the cobblestone alleys. See the medieval buildings reconstructed after World War II, explore the Old Town Market Square and view the Presidential Palace.
• FACE TO FACE: Participate in a special program with the Forum for Dialogue, a group working to strengthen connections between Jews and non-Jews in Poland. Led by local non-Jewish youth, we tour a nearby village to learn about its Jewish history and how its residents are working to preserve the past and forge a new direction for the future.
• We transfer to the Warsaw train station and board our train to Krakow (luggage will be transferred separately for our convenience).
• Boxed lunch is included today.
• Upon arrival in Krakow, we check into our hotel and have time to refresh.
• ACC PROGRAM: This evening, we hear the inspiring story of the rebirth of Jewish life in Krakow and the creation of the Krakow JCC as part of our discussion with Executive Director Jonathan Ornstein. ACC members will perform as part of this evening’s opening ceremony for the Ride for the Living (Read more about the Ride at the end of this program).
• CULINARY OPTION: We return to Krakow and lift our spirits with a delicious culinary tour of the Kazmeirz Jewish Quarter, enjoying local delicacies such as perogie, zapikanka and other treats. (Separate cost)

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 5, Thursday, June 30, 2022: MARKING DESTRUCTION, CELEBRATING REBIRTH

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration camp, using personal stories and texts as a guide. We begin our visit with a memorial service, followed by a visit to the museum. We participate in a guided walk through Birkenau with time for personal reflection, then join as a group at the end of the train tracks for a powerful memorial prayer.
• Lunch is included today.
• Prof. Berk concludes our day by placing our visit to the most infamous of Nazi concentration camps into its historical context.
• KRAKOW JEWISH CULTURE: This evening, choose to delight in Jewish music and culture at the unparalleled Krakow Jewish Culture Festival.

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 6, Friday, July 1, 2022: JEWISH PRESENCE IN KRAKOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• PROGRAMMING OPTIONS:
        o Ride for the Living participants: We travel bright and early this morning to the Krakow JCC where we enjoy breakfast together before continuing by bus to Auschwitz to begin our inspiring 55-mile bicycle ride to Krakow!
        o Non-Riders: We take part in a Jewish heritage tour of Kazimierz, the old Jewish district, where we see the Old Synagogue, a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th to 16th centuries, the Tempel Synagogue and the Ramuh Synagogue. We continue to Apteka pod Orlem, the Under the Eagle Pharmacy Museum inside the Jewish Ghetto and hear the story of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations. We also pass by Oskar Schindler’s Factory and the memorial at the former site of the Plaszow Concentration Camp.
• We return for hotel for rest and to meet up with our counterparts.
• ACC PROGRAM: As the sun begins to set, we join together for candle lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat services with the local community, featuring the voices of the ACC.
• FACE TO FACE/KRAKOW JEWISH CULTURE: Later this evening, we enjoy an energetic and joyful Shabbat dinner together with over 500 cycling participants, including the local Jewish community and guests from around the world – the biggest Shabbat dinner in Krakow since before WWII.

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 7, Saturday, July 2, 2022: SHABBAT IN KRAKOW

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• ACC PROGRAM: Shabbat morning services will be led by members of the ACC.
• PROGRAMMING OPTIONS:
        o Ride participants: After breakfast at the hotel, take part in a Jewish heritage tour of Kazimierz, the old Jewish district, where we see the Old Synagogue, a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th to 16th centuries, the Tempel Synagogue and the Ramuh Synagogue.
        o Optional morning tour: We travel outside the city center to explore the fun and fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mines, dating back 700 years. It is one of the largest and oldest working salt mines in Europe and is on the UNESCO list of the 12 most priceless monuments in the world. (Separate cost)
        o Optional free time for exploring Krakow on own, enjoy the amazing market square for a little souvenir shopping.
• This afternoon, we enjoy a tour of Wawel Castle, St. Mary’s Church and the Renaissance Cloth Hall, we continue down the Royal Way to the Krakow Market Square, the second largest square in the world, in Krakow’s ancient city center.
• ACC PROGRAM: This evening, we join for Havdallah and a concert, celebrating the rebuilding of the Krakow Jewish community with music originating from Poland and Central Europe. We take part in the closing ceremony for the Ride for the Living and the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival.

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 8, Sunday, July 3, 2022: WELCOME TO PRAGUE

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• This morning, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Prague, the Czech capital known as "the City of One Thousand Spires" filled with Baroque churches, promenades, parks and ancient city walls. Luggage will be sent overnight by truck directly to our hotels.
• Upon landing we enjoy a city tour, encompassing visits to the Hradcany Castle, the Charles Bridge, as well as the famous Astronomical Clock and St. Vitus’ Cathedral.
• Delve into the stories and mind of Franz Kafka as we stroll along the Golden Lane, the quaint street that housed castle servants and served as a home to the famous author.
• Dinner on own tonight.
• CULTURAL OPTION: Attend a classical music concert at one of Prague’s majestic concert halls (details & cost TBD).

Overnight in Prague

DAY 9, Monday, July 4, 2022: TEREZIN AND BEYOND

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• FACE TO FACE: Discover the fascinating background of Czech Jewry leading up to the Holocaust with orienting remarks by Prof. Berk.
• Today, we travel to Terezin, the former "model" Nazi concentration camp. We visit the prison fortress, the hidden synagogue and the museum filled with the artwork of former prisoners. We stop by the memorial monument and pass through the town itself in addition to hearing stories and seeing photos of some of the rabbis imprisoned here, including Leo Baeck and Regina Jonas, the first woman ordained a rabbi.
• A boxed lunch is included today.
• OR…RETURNEE TRACK: Take a day-trip to Plzen and visit the Great Synagogue, the second largest synagogue in Europe. Built in the Moorish style, it stands as a testament to the once-great Jewish community in Plzen. We take part in a special program with the local community and visit the River Rock Memorial, created by a local school, that placed one rock for each Jew from Plzen. We end our day at the world-famous Pilsner Brewery before returning to Prague.
• Back in Prague, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Prague

DAY 10, Tuesday, July 5, 2022: JUDAISM IN PRAGUE

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• This morning, we tie together the historical loose ends with remarks by Prof. Berk, whose knowledge and insightful presentations have illuminated our journey.
• We tour of the former Jewish Quarter known as the Josefov, with its Old Town Hall, Spanish Synagogue, Alt-Neu Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Maisel Synagogue, the Jewish cemetery, and the State Jewish Museum – all standing witness as testament to the Jewish life the Nazis all but extinguished from the area.
• OR…RETURNEE TRACK: Visit Bejt Hagibor, the building that housed the Nazi headquarters during World War II, today meaningfully transformed into a Jewish seniors’ home and kindergarten.
• FACE TO FACE: Meet David Maxa, the first Czech-born rabbi to return to Prague and founder of the local Congregation Ec Chajim OR (split group) meet with the leaders of Bejt Simcha, Prague’s Progressive Jewish community, and take inspiration from their dedication and hard work to revitalize Judaism in this great city.
• Free time to refresh and relax, maybe do a bit of last minute shopping in this magical city.
• ACC PROGRAM: Tonight, we join for a festive farewell dinner, followed by a farewell concert by the ACC, including greetings from the Israeli Ambassador and remarks from leaders of the local Jewish community.

Overnight in Prague

DAY 11, Wednesday, July 6, 2022: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our flight home.


OR JOIN ONE OF OUR
PRE/POST-TOUR OPTIONS:


PRE-TOUR OPTION: Fly early and attend the opening of the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival!

POST TOUR OPTIONS:
       • Budapest with Prof. Stephen Berk
       • Vienna
       • Berlin


Join your Cantor/Congregation/Organization:

Cantor Susan Caro - Deluxe Plus hotels
Cantor Melanie Cooperman - Deluxe Plus hotels
Cantor Jessica Epstein - Deluxe Plus hotels
Cantor David Rosen - Deluxe Plus hotels
Cantor Tracey Scher - Deluxe and Deluxe Plus hotels



ABOUT THE AMERICAN CONFERENCE OF CANTORS (ACC):

The ACC, through its support for and cultivation of excellence among cantors, strengthens Reform Jewish life in North America. ACC cantors are equipped to be attentive to the joys and challenges that members within a congregation face over the course of their lives, using both their unique calling to music and prayer and their shared responsibilities for offering spiritual leadership to congregations. ACC members also can help lead their congregations and by extension, the Reform Jewish movement in North America, to a bright future.
The ACC maintains rigorous standards for ordination/certification, offers deep support for the professional needs of cantors, advocates with passion for the evolving role of the cantorial vocation, and cultivates ever-increasing professional excellence among its members.


ABOUT PROF. STEPHEN BERK:

Prof. Stephen M. Berk is a Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York, Chair of the Department of History, Director of the Program in Comparative Communist Studies and Faculty Advisor to the Jewish Student Organization. He is author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 (Greenwood Press, 1985). At the present time Professor Berk is writing a book entitled, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1854-1965. The book provides an interesting discussion of an extremely important chapter in the history of the civil rights movement and attempts to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that surround the Black-Jewish relationship. Professor Berk is also the author of many articles on Russian History, Russian Jewish History, anti-Semitism and American Policy in the Middle East. Professor Berk is frequently consulted by newspaper reporters and by television and radio stations including the BBC. He has lectured in numerous universities in countless cities and towns in the United States and Israel and is a primary speaker for the UJA, Israel Bonds and B’nai B’rith. Professor Berk is considered an absolutely superb lecturer and teacher. Touring with him has been compared to attending a “traveling university…his lectures are outstanding.” He is always informative, interesting and entertaining. He has lectured as scholar-in-residence for us on many trips to Russia, Spain, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Europe and Israel. It is a privilege to have him with us!

ABOUT THE JCC KRAKOW:

The Jewish Community Centre of Krakow was opened in April 2008 by HRH The Prince of Wales and now serves as the focal point for the resurgence of Jewish life in Krakow, which has dramatically increased since Poland’s transition to a democracy in 1989. JCC Krakow works to change both the world’s perception of Poland and Poland’s perception of Jews. The JCC provides social, educational, and community-oriented services to the Jewish community of Krakow, offers programming open to the entire Krakow community to foster Polish-Jewish relations, and acts as a visitor center for hundreds of thousands of tourists, many of them Jewish, who pass through Krakow.

ABOUT THE RIDE FOR THE LIVING:

Ride For The Living is a comprehensive fitness experience commemorating the Holocaust and honoring the rebirth of the Jewish community in Krakow, Poland. RFTL combines Holocaust education with a memorable 60-mile bike ride from the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau to JCC Krakow, giving participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in Krakow’s Jewish past, present, and future.

ABOUT THE JCC WARSAW:

Jewish Community Center JCC Warszawa is a people-oriented initiative serving as an environment for Jews, people of Jewish descent and their non-Jewish spouses and friends, fostering exploration of Jewish and universal values leading to building their personal Jewish narratives. The JCC offers a safe space for everyone to become and feel a part of the Jewish community in the atmosphere of openness, pluralism and mutual respect. It encourages people to experience and produce modern Jewish culture and we provide experiential Jewish education of highest level, cooperating with top academic figures and educators.

ABOUT THE EC CHAJIM, PRAGUE:

Ec chajim, chaired by Anna Nosková, is a new vibrant Progressive Jewish community in Prague, mostly made up of families with children, although its oldest member is 95. It was founded by Rabbi David Maxa and other six Czech Jews in 2019 and became a thriving community very soon. In 2020, Ec chajim opened its synagogue and community center in Prague and in 2021, it became a proud member of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), for whose support it is very grateful. It organises regular Shabbat services, Jewish Holidays, exciting activities for children as well as interesting educational events. It strives to provide a safe and inspiring space for Prague Jews, people with Jewish roots as well as their family members and friends. The headquoters of Ec chajim serve as the administrative center of the Central European Beit Din, the only Progressive Rabbinic court for Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

ABOUT RABBI DAVID MAXA:

Rabbi David Maxa (born 1990) comes from a Czech Jewish family and grew up in Prague. He did his rabbinical studies at the Abraham Geiger College in Germany and spent a year in Israel and had interships with Jewish communities all around the world including the USA, where he taught at the URJ Kutz Camp. After his rabbinical ordination in 2020, he returned to the Czech Republic to work for Ec chajim – The Progressive Jewish Community of Prague as well as the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic. In 2021, he became the Convenor of the Central European Beit Din (CEBD). He is a proud member of the Editorial Board of the Memorial Scrolls Trust, which is based in London and looks after the heritage 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls, and as both of his parents worked as opera soloists, he is passionate about Jewish music. David is maried to Judita Bergmann, great-grandniece of the eminent German speaking Israeli philosopher Hugo Samuel Bergmann (1883-1976), and they have a one-year old son.

ABOUT THE FORUM FOR DIALOGUE:

Forum for Dialogue is the oldest and largest non-governmental organization engaged in Polish/Jewish dialogue. Forum’s mission, realized chiefly in small towns and rural areas all across Poland, is to inspire connections between modern Poland and Jews living all over the world. We achieve this through original programs run on the ground and international outreach.