Beth El Synagogue
Tour to Germany
Led by Cantor Audrey Abrams
October 12-22, 2020

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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6 nights Hotel Eurostars Berlin, Berlin
3 nights Leonardo Hotel City Center Munich, Munich
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with expert English-speaking guides
Breakfast daily
5 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Berlin
Conference at Berlin Cathedral (pending confirmation)
Transfer upon arrival and departure with main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary


4 nights Kaiserhof Hotel, Vienna
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast daily
2 dinners, including Shabbat dinner
Meet with Rabbi Lior Bar Ami
Arrival transfer
Entrance fees as per itinerary


Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Border taxes or visas
Tips to guides, drivers and dining room waiters ($18 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (recommended - group policy available)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Monday, October 12, 2020: DEPARTURE

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

Day 2: Tuesday, October 13, 2020: WELCOME TO GERMANY!

• This morning, we arrive in Berlin, Germany's capital, reunited in 1989, and home of Germany's largest Jewish community.
• We are met at the airport by our local guide and begin our tour.
• We visit the Frank Meissler monument to the Berlin Wall, located next to Check Point Charlie, the old border crossing between East and West Berlin.
• We stop for a photo opportunity at Checkpoint Charlie.
• Next, we visit the Reichstag, passing by the famed Brandenburg Gate along the way.
• We check into our hotel and have a chance to refresh.
• This afternoon, we visit the largest open-air gallery in the world, Berlin Wall's East Side Gallery, a 1.3km-long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom.
• Late afternoon time to either relax or stroll on the main shopping thoroughfare of Bikini Berlin.
• Tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner together at our hotel.

Overnight in Berlin

Day 3: Wednesday, October 14, 2020: JEWISH BERLIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the insightful Topography of Terror Museum, built on the site of the former SS and Gestapo headquarters.
• We see Potsdamer Platz "no man land".
• Next, we enjoy a walking tour along Hamburger Strasse to view the Residential Monument and Moses Mendelssohn's grave and visit the Burning of the Book Memorial.
• We depart for the Mitte, Berlin's historic center district.
• Next, we go to Rosenstrasse Memorial, site of a significant peaceful protest by Aryan wives and relatives of Jewish Germans rounded up for deportation.
• We continue with a visit to the Otto Weidt Museum & Workshop for the Blind. During the Second World War the brush manufacturer and righteous gentile Otto Weidt employed many blind and deaf Jews, who produced brooms and brushes here, in a futile effort to save them. Around this area, we will also see small markers in the sidewalk listing the names of people (mostly Jews) that lived in these buildings before the Holocaust, with their date of deportation.
• We tour the beautiful Rykestrasse Synagogue, Germany's largest synagogue, reopened 70 years after being damaged severely during Kristallnacht (pending confirmation).
• We enjoy dinner together this evening at a local restaurant.
• Those who wish may return to the Mitte area for an optional tour of the bars, restaurants, and unique nightlife now thriving in Berlin's former Jewish district.

Overnight in Berlin

Day 4: Thursday, October 15, 2020: DRESDEN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today we take the train to Dresden, enjoying the view of the fields and mountains of Germany along the way. We arrive in Dresden, known as the “Florence of the Elbe”, the river that runs through it. During WWII, the city was largely destroyed, and has since risen from the ashes like a mythical phoenix.
• We visit the world-renowned Zwinger Gallery, where we see the Sistine Madonna by Raphael, as well as paintings by Tizian.
• We continue to the Semperoper Opera House, home to the Semperoper ballet. The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. The opera house has a long history of premieres, including major works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
• Next, we view the Fürstenzug, a large mural of a mounted procession of rulers of Saxony.
• We continue to the New Synagogue. Built as a replacement for Dresden's original main synagogue, burnt to the ground in 1938, the city's New Synagogue is a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Second World War. Here, we meet with local conservative community members.
• Enjoy some free time to explore Dresden before enjoying an early dinner together in this beautiful city.
• We return to Berlin late this evening.

Overnight in Berlin

Day 5: Friday, October 16, 2020: BEAUTIFUL BERLIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a visit to the Gendermarket, one of the most beautiful squares in Germany.
• We pass by the Royal Library and St. Hedwig's Catholic Church on our way to Museum Island.
• This afternoon, we walk through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, followed by a visit to the Jewish Museum (building designed by Daniel Libeskind). This is not a Holocaust museum; the permanent exhibition deals with the Jewish contribution to life in Germany since the 1st century.
• We visit the Sinti and Roma Memorial by Dani Karavan and view the Reichstag.
• We return to our hotel for time to relax and refresh before Shabbat.
• This evening, we enjoy Shabbat services at the conservative synagogue. Here, we have the opportunity to hear the amazing male choir perform, just as they did before WWII.
• We enjoy Shabbat dinner this evening with members of Berlin's Jewish community. We will learn about how they are emphasizing the reunification of Jewish communities in Germany today.

Overnight in Berlin

Day 6: Saturday, October 17, 2020: SHABBAT IN BERLIN (ON OWN)

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning at leisure for optional Shabbat services with a local congregation.
• Afternoon touring suggestions include:
o Museum Island
? Visit the impressive Pergamon Museum, Berlin's most frequently visited museum. The museum houses an incredible collection of exquisite classical treasures such as the striking reconstructions of archaeological buildings; the Pergamon Altar of Zeus, Roman market gate of Milet, Ishtar Gate with the Processional Way of Babylon and the Mshatta façade.
? Visit the Bode-Museum, home to two collections: The Sculpture Collection the Museum of Byzantine Art, and the Münzkabinett, one of the most important numismatic (coin and currency) collections in the world.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Berlin

Day 7: Sunday October 18, 2020: POTSDAM

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we travel outside Berlin to Potsdam, viewing many important historical sites along the way.
• We visit Wannsee, site of the infamous “Final Solution” decision, with its memorial museum cross the Glienicke Bridge, a famous exchange point for Soviet spies during the Cold War.
• Next, we continue to the Cecilienhof Palace, site of the Potsdam Conference, where Allied leaders met in 1945 to decide the fate of Germany, which had surrendered weeks earlier.
• We continue to Potsdam for lunch (on own).
• Following lunch, we visit the Zacharias Frankel College, where many prospective rabbis come to study the Jewish texts and train to become Masorti/Conservative rabbis. The graduates from this college are the first to be ordained as rabbis in Germany since before WWII.
• We drive by the Palace of Sanssouci, with time for a brief photo stop before returning to Berlin.
• On our way, we stop at the Grunewald Train Station, site of the deportation of the majority of Berlin's Jews, and view Glies (Track) 17, the memorial to the deported.
• We enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on own.
• Later, tonight, we attend an evening conference at the Berlin Cathedral (pending confirmation).

Overnight in Berlin

Day 8: Monday, October 19, 2020: TO MUNICH

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We depart Berlin on our morning flight to Munich.
• Upon arrival, we visit the White Rose Memorial, honoring students who resisted the Nazis.
• Next, we see the famed Glockenspiel at the New Town Hall.
• We continue to Munich Olympic Park, where we pay our respects at the memorial in honor of the Munich massacre and the terror attack on the Israeli Olympic team during the 1972 Summer Olympics.
• We check into our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore this beautiful city on our own!

Overnight in Munich

Day 9: Tuesday, October 20, 2020: DACHAU

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the former concentration camp at Dachau, which was liberated by the US Army led by Gen. George Patton. It was the first of the Nazi concentration camps, originally meant for political prisoners, including Jews, Catholic and Protestant clergy and others fighting or opposed to Nazism. The memorial site today houses a museum, archive and library. We visit the Dachau Museum and the camp's Jewish Memorial Chapel.
• We return to Munich and enjoy lunch on own.
• This afternoon, we visit with members of the Munich Jewish community at the Jewish Community Center complex, which includes the Munich Synagogue and a Jewish Museum, all planned and built within the same square block in the heart of Munich.
• Tonight, we enjoy dinner at Hofbräuhaus. The 400-year old beer hall has a storied history, having been visited by Mozart, JFK and many others. It was also infamously the site of Hitler's first meeting of the National Socialists.

Overnight in Munich

Day 10: Wednesday, October 21: NEUSCHWANSTEIN

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we visit Fussen, site of the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein, created by Bavaria's Mad King Ludwig II. The castle was the basis for Disney's Cinderella castle. We hear the story of the Mad King and his mysterious demise before the castle's completion.
• We return to Munich and have free time to do last-minute shopping.
• Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant and reflect on our amazing experiences!

Overnight in Munich

Day 11: Thursday, October 22, 2020: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our morning flight from Munich to the United States, arriving later the same day.


Day 11: Thursday October 22, 2020: SCHONBRUNN PALACE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we depart Munich on our morning flight to Vienna.
• Upon arrival, we explore Schönbrunn Palace, the Versailles of Vienna, graced by a number of formal gardens, Grecian statuary, the world's oldest zoo and the “Roman ruin” erected in 1778.
• We check into our hotel, then enjoy leisure time to explore this beautiful city and dinner on own.

Overnight in Vienna

Day 12: Friday, October 23, 2020: GETTING TO KNOW VIENNA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we enjoy a walking tour along the Ringstrasse and through the Historic Center, where we view major landmarks, including the Hofburg Imperial Palace (former seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), St. Stephens Cathedral, and other vivid reminders of the city's imperial history.
• Next, we visit the Albertina Museum, an art museum housing many famous works, in Vienna's city center.
• We return to our hotel and enjoy time to relax and refresh before Shabbat.
• As the sun begins to set, we join together for Shabbat services with a local congregation, either Reform Or Chadash or at Stadttempel, followed by Shabbat dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Vienna

Day 13: Saturday, October 24, 2020: SHABBAT IN VIENNA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning at leisure for optional Shabbat services with a local congregation, followed by Shabbat lunch on own. (Ayelet Tours will help with group reservation)
• We enjoy time at leisure to do last-minute shopping.
• This evening, we come together for Havdalah to bring Shabbat to a close.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Vienna

Day 14: Sunday October 25, 2020: MATZA ISLAND

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Vienna's Jewish interest sites, including the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, the Jewish Community Center and the New Jewish Museum at Place Eskels.
• We continue to the Stadttempel, built in 1826, with its plain exterior and stunning interior. This is the only synagogue in the area that survived the Reich Kristallnacht in 1938.
• This afternoon, we join Rabbi Lior Bar Ami, leader of the Progressive community Or Chadasch, for a discussion about Judaism in Austria.
• Next, we visit the neighborhood of Leopoldstadt, also known as “Matzo Island”, Vienna's Jewish quarter.
• We join together for a festive farewell dinner to reminisce about all of our experiences.

Overnight in Vienna

Day 15: Monday, October 26, 2020: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our morning flight from Vienna to the United States, arriving later the same day.

*Itinerary subject to change