Ayelet Tours' Traveling University
with Professor Stephen Berk
Humanitarian Mission to Cuba
December 9-16, 2018

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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Escorted Tour Includes:

These prices include:

Roundtrip Airfare from Ft. Lauderdale
2 nights Hotel Jagua Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos
5 nights Melia Cohiba Hotel, Havana
Lectures throughout with Professor Berk
All touring and sightseeing per itinerary in a deluxe tour bus with an English speaking guide
Breakfast daily
5 lunches
6 dinners including Shabbat dinner at the Sephardic Center
Entrance fees and activities per itinerary
Cuban Travel Visa
Cuban emergency medical insurance

These prices do not include:

Domestic airfare to/from Ft. Lauderdale
Any border taxes
Tips to guides, drivers & dining room waiters ($20 per person, per day pre-collected)
Any items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday December 9, 2018: WELCOME TO CUBA!

• We depart Fort Lauderdale on our flight to Cuba. Make sure to grab an early lunch before you board to eat on the plane!
• Upon arrival, we meet our local guide and driver.
• We begin in Santa Clara, an important city founded in the 1600's, where Che Guevara won a significant battle, leading to the triumph of the revolution in 1959.
• Stop at the Che Guevara memorial for a photo opportunity in the square and visit the Che Museum underneath.
• Meet with David Tacher, a leading representative of the Santa Clara Jewish community, where we will learn about the local community and deliver our gifts and aid.
• We continue to Cienfuegos.
• We check into our hotel and enjoy a welcome drink and orientation lecture with Professor Stephen Berk.
• We enjoy a welcome dinner together at Finca del Mar.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 2: Monday December 10, 2018: HISTORIC TRINIDAD AND CIENFUEGOS

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Depart to the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad, a charming city settled in 1514, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Professor Berk lectures on the way.
• Enjoy a walking tour of historic Trinidad, a 500 year old city with Spanish colonial architecture. Only a few square blocks in size, historic Trinidad is famous for its lovely cobblestone streets, pastel houses with wrought iron grills, as well as beautiful palaces and plazas. You will learn about the efforts to preserve the city's heritage.
• Meet with the famous Santander family, well-known local potters. Visit their workshop and gallery. These artists have been making handmade pottery for over 100 years.
• Enjoy lunch at El Dorado paladar before returning to Cienfuegos.
• Tour of Cienfuegos including Parque Marti and the Thomas Terry Theater. Learn about this UNESCO World Heritage Site, founded by French immigrants in 1819.
• Meet with Rebecca Langus and learn about the local Jewish community with time to deliver gifts and aid.
• Dinner at Villa Lagarto.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 3: Tuesday December 11, 2018: INTERIOR TO HAVANA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we listen to a moving performance by Cantores de Cienfuegos at Museo Provincial de Cienfuegos.
• We depart for Havana. On the way, Professor Berk discusses the impacts of the US embargo on Cuba and the history of US/Cuban relations.
• Lunch en route (on own).
• We check into our hotel and have time to relax and refresh.
• We meet for dinner at Café del Orient paladar.

Overnight in Havana

Day 4: Wednesday December 12, 2018: JEWISH HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning lecture with Professor Stephen Berk.
• We take in a panoramic overview of the city and stop at Revolution Square. The square is dominated by the José Martí Memorial. This is where Fidel Castro delivered the majority of his lengthy political addresses.
• Next we visit the Sephardic Center and meet with Mayra Levy, president of the congregation. Deliver aid to the community and have the opportunity to interact with some of the seniors served by the synagogue.
• Visit the Holocaust Exhibit, opened in 2011 at the Sephardic Center.
• Lunch at El Mediterraneo.
• Next, we stop at Casa de la Artesania. Here we learn about the history of tobacco and the tradition of cigar rolling in Cuba. Interact with some of the rollers and locals.
• Enjoy a walking tour of Old Havana (Havana Vieja), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We learn about the history of Havana as we visit highlights of the city and the colonial plazas. Visit Jewish points of interest such as the Raquel Hotel, a Jewish-themed hotel, and Adat Israel, the Orthodox synagogue, where we will meet with Jacob Berezniak to deliver our gifts and aid to the community.
• Dinner together at La Casa paladar.

Overnight in Havana

Day 5: Thursday December 13, 2018: HISTORY OF HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning lecture with Professor Stephen Berk
• Today, we visit Finca Vigia, the villa that Hemingway called home for 21 years. His home is now a museum with many of his personal belongings. Learn how Cuba influenced his writing.
• Lunch at Finca Yoandra /Il Divino. Take a glimpse into this organic urban farm and community project with a private restaurant in the outskirts of Havana.
• Continue to the Jewish cemetery in Guanabacoa, including a special visit to the site of the Holocaust Memorial.
• Free evening to explore Havana's restaurant and night life culture!

Overnight in Havana

Day 6: Friday December 14, 2018: EXPLORING HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning lecture with Professor Stephen Berk
• We begin with a visit to Patronato, where we meet with community leaders - likely either Adela Dworin, the President of Beth Shalom or David Prinstein, Vice President of the community. We tour the center and learn about the Pharmacy and Sunday school, with time to deliver our gifts and aid.
• We continue with visits to the Rosenberg Memorial, Lennon Park, and pass by Havana University.
• Lunch at La Guardia paladar.
• Next, we stop at the impressive Fuster house/studio to see this unique mosaic masterpiece. Learn about the artist's project to beautify and help the community he lives in.
• As the sun sets, we participate in Shabbat services, followed by Shabbat dinner at the Sephardic Center.

Overnight in Havana

Day 7: Saturday December 15, 2018: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning we visit the Cuban Art Collection at the Fine Arts Museum.
• Next, we visit the Museum of the Revolution, where we gain an understanding of the momentous change that has occurred in Cuba due to the Revolution over 50 years ago.
• Lunch at Café Laurent.
• Stop at Almacenes de San Jose market, where we stroll through the stalls of arts and crafts made by the locals.
• We enjoy a classic car ride from our hotel to our farewell dinner at Rio Mar paladar as we recall all that we have experienced together.

Overnight in Havana

Day 8: Sunday December 16, 2018: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Transfer to the airport for our flight back to Ft. Lauderdale.

The Memories Last Forever!
*Itinerary subject to change