Ayelet Tours Traveling University's Tour to Cuba
with Professor Stephen Berk
December 4 - 11, 2022


Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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Cuba: land frozen in time - so close, yet decades away. A Jewish community dedicated to its heritage across half a century of isolation and prevalent atheism. A rich and vibrant island culture, filled with dance and song, classic cars and donkey carts, rum, and cigars. Experience all this and more as we step back in time together.

ON OUR 7-NIGHT JOURNEY WE WILL...

  • Hear fascinating lectures by Prof. Stephen Berk
  • Enjoy a week of vibrant cultural discovery and a Jewish humanitarian effort via a special US State Department license
  • Experience Cuba with all our senses amidst a mixed, vibrant and vital culture locked in time; step back to 1959 and see the cars smell the unique foods, hear the incredible music and sway to the sounds of Cuba!
  • Visit the communities of Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Havana, and experience their unique joie de vivre
  • Visit with Cubans and see their culture, art and Latin flair!
  • Share Shabbat with locals in a land essentially absent of anti-Semitism
  • Meet with community leaders and hear their rich stories going back 500 years to Columbus

INCLUDED:

Roundtrip international airfare from Miami, FL
7 nights
Hotel Grand Aston La Habana, Havana
All touring on an air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Breakfast daily
6 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Havana
5 lunches
Entrance fees and activities per itinerary
Exit tax
Cuban emergency medical insurance

NOT INCLUDED:

Roundtrip domestic airfare
Cuban travel visa (purchase directly from airline on day of departure - Religious Activities category CFR515.566)
Tips to guide, driver & waiters
Meals not listed
Items of a personal nature
Gifts and aid (suggestions provided in advance)
Any costs associated with testing or related to proof of Covid/vaccine status.
Travel insurance (
group policy is available)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday, December 4, 2022: DEPARTURE/WELCOME TO CUBA!

• We depart Florida on our non-stop flight to Cuba!
• We arrive at the Abel Santamaria Airport in Santa Clara and meet our English-speaking guide and driver.
• We stop at the Che Guevara memorial for a photo opportunity in the square and visit the Che Museum underneath.
• This afternoon, we meet with David Tacher, a leading representative of the Santa Clara Jewish community and Rebecca Langus, to learn about the Santa Clara and Cienfuegos Jewish communities, enjoy lunch together and deliver our gifts.
• After lunch, we drive to Havana and check into our hotel, with a chance to refresh before coming together again for a welcome drink and orientation, followed by our welcome dinner at Al Carbon.

Overnight in Havana

Day 2: Monday, December 5, 2022: HAVANA VIEJA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin with a lecture with Professor Stephen Berk.
• Next, we stop at the La Corona Cigar Factory. Here, we learn about the history of tobacco and the tradition of cigar rolling in Cuba and interact with some of the rollers and locals.
• We stop for lunch at ChaChaCha.
• After lunch, we 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. We also 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.
• Tonight, we enjoy dinner at Vista Mar

Overnight in Havana

Day 3: Tuesday, December 6, 2022: HEMINGWAY IN HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we enjoy a lecture with Professor Stephen Berk.
• Next, we visit the Patronato, where we meet with community leaders. We tour the center and learn about the Pharmacy and Sunday school, with time to deliver our gifts and aid.
• We continue with a visit to the Jewish cemetery in Guanabacoa, including a special stop to the site of the Holocaust Memorial.
• We enjoy lunch at Café Ajiaco.
• We continue to Finca Vigia, the villa that Hemingway called home for 21 years. His home is now a museum with many of his personal belongings. While here, we will learn how Cuba influenced his writing.
• Free evening to explore Havana's restaurant and night life culture!

Overnight in Havana

Day 4: Wednesday, December 7, 2022: THE ARTSY SIDE OF HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a panoramic overview of the city, including Revolution Square, dominated by the José Martí Memorial. This square is where Fidel Castro delivered the majority of his lengthy political addresses. We pass by the Rosenberg Memorial, Lennon Park, and Havana University.
• We continue with a guided tour old Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts)
• We enjoy lunch at El Aljibe.
• We stop at the impressive Fuster house/studio to see this unique mosaic masterpiece and learn about the artist's project to beautify and help the community in which he lives.
• We return to our hotel for a chance to freshen up before setting out for an evening at leisure and dinner on own.
• Option to attend the world-famous show at the Tropicana, an old-world Vegas-style show in production since 1939 (cost not included - sign up during registration).

Overnight in Havana

Day 5: Thursday, December 8, 2022: MATANZAS & VARADERO

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we travel to Matanzas located on the northern shore of the island and known for its poets, culture and Afro-Cuban folklore.
• Along the way, we stop at Bacunayagua Bridge. Built between 1956 and 1959, it is considered one of the seven wonders of Cuban civil engineering.
• Upon arrival in Matanzas, we set out on a walking tour, including a visit to Ediciones Vigia.
• We continue to the popular beach town of Varadero, where we have lunch at Xanadu Restaurant at Dupont Mansion.
• After lunch, enjoy time at leisure to explore the area on own.
• We return to Havana in the late afternoon and have time to rest before heading out for dinner on own.

Overnight in Havana

Day 6: Friday, December 9, 2022: DANCING INTO SHABBAT

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We begin with a visit the Habana Compas Dance headquarters to enjoy a performance and interact with the dancers and instructors.
• Next, we stop at Almacenes de San Jose market, where we stroll through the stalls of arts and crafts made by the locals.
• We stop for lunch at Le Petit Restaurant.
• This evening, we join together for Shabbat services and dinner at the Sephardic Synagogue with community members.

Overnight in Havana

Day 7: Saturday, December 10, 2022: A HAVANA SHABBAT

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we visit Vocal Clave del Sol, a musical education program for children founded in 2009. We meet and interact with some of the students and teachers and learn about the importance of this program to the students here.
• We enjoy lunch together at Buena Aventura Restaurant.
• This afternoon, we explore 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.
• We gather this evening and enjoy a classic car ride from our hotel to our farewell dinner at Rita y Champagne Restaurant, where we savor our final meal as a group and recalling all that we have experienced together on this journey.
• We set out for a late evening visit to the artists of Fabrica D'la Arte, a former cooking oil factory, which comes alive on weekend nights and features the best avante garde art in the country.

Overnight in Havana

Day 8: Sunday, December 11, 2022: DEPARTURE

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


The Memories Last Forever!!
*Itinerary subject to change