Ayelet Tours' Traveling University:
Jewish Heritage Tour to Eastern Europe
Led by Professor Stephen Berk
June 26 - July 8, 2022


Tour Rates & Dates:

Start DatePlan Option/Hotel DetailTour Package*Click BOOK
to sign up now!
Jun 26, 2022
Ayelet Tours' Traveling University:
Jewish Heritage Tour to Eastern Europe
Led by Professor Stephen Berk
June 26 - July 8, 2022
[+ Hotel Details]
$5,599Sold Out
*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.

Please note that this is a Land Only tour package. We would be happy to assist you with your flight arrangements. Please contact our air ticketing agent, Anjie, for flight assistance via phone (800-237-1517 ext. 340) or email (anjie@ayelet.com).


Tour Overview:

Download a PDF version:

Jewish history in Europe neither begins nor ends with the Holocaust. Together we will explore 1,000 years of Jewish history. We'll confront the horrors of the past, experience the nascent Jewish renewal of the present and discuss the challenges that face a Jewish future in Europe.

WATCH Prof. Berk's INVITATION TO YOU:




  • Enrich our knowledge of Jewish history in the cities of Prague, Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw
  • Stroll through former Jewish neighborhoods, marvel at stunning synagogues and wander centuries-old cemeteries, as we bring the past to life through historical documents and photographs
  • Confront the horrors of the Holocaust at Terezin and Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Visit exciting new institutions such as Warsaw's POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Engage with local Jewish communities and meet Jews and non-Jews working to document and celebrate local Jewish heritage

  • Coinciding with a musical journey by the American Conference of Cantors - access to ACC programs and music INCLUDED!
  • Option to participate as a rider in the Krakow JCC's Ride for the Living
  • Tour coincides with Krakow's famed Jewish Culture Festival 2022


2 nights Hotel Bristol, Warsaw, Poland
4 nights Sheraton Krakow, Krakow, Poland
3 nights Kings Court, Prague, Czech Republic
2 nights Kempinski Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Internal flight from Krakow to Prague
Train ride from Warsaw to Krakow
Internal flight from Prague to Budapest
Breakfast daily
Welcome dinner in Warsaw
Shabbat dinner in Krakow
1 dinner in Krakow
1 dinner in Prague
Farewell dinner in Budapest
All touring with a local licensed English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned motorcoach
All entrance fees per itinerary
Porterage

ABOUT OUR SCHOLAR: Dr. Stephen M. Berk is a Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Dr. Berk has partnered with Ayelet Tours for over twenty years and led over 100 trips to Russia, Spain, Europe, Israel and Eastern Europe. It is a privilege to have him with us! He has been named the Henry and Sally Schaeffer Chair of Holocaust and Jewish Studies at Union College. Dr. Berk is considered a superb lecturer and teacher. He is the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882 and is presently writing a book entitled, Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1854-1965. Dr. Berk is also the author of many articles on Eastern Europe, Russian Jewish History, anti-Semitism and American policy in the Middle East. He has lectured in numerous cities for UJA and Israel Bonds as well as at many colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Tour Itinerary:

Jewish history in Europe neither begins nor ends with the Holocaust. Together we will explore 1,000 years of Jewish history. We’ll confront the horrors of the past, experience the nascent Jewish renewal of the present and discuss the challenges that face a Jewish future in Europe.

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).
• Drive to the Warsaw Zoo where we see the Zookeeper’s house, owned by the couple that saved around a hundred Jews from the Holocaust, now memorialized in the book “The Zookeeper’s Wife”.
• ENGAGING ENCOUNTER: We visit the progressive institutions Beit Polska, Eitz Haim, and hear from Agata Rakowiecka, Director of the JCC Warsaw.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE & ACC MUSIC: We join together for opening remarks, including an opening mini-lecture by legendary historian Prof. Stephen Berk, followed by our opening ceremony and mini concert/sing along with the voices of the ACC and the local Jewish community including the Warsaw JCC’s interfaith teen choir, the Mishignas.
• We delight in a welcome reception and dinner.
• Return to our hotel or 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.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE: We begin our day with a lecture by our scholar in residence, Prof. Stephen Berk.
• We start our Jewish heritage tour at the beautiful Nozyk Synagogue, the only surviving synagogue in Warsaw, founded in 1900.
• Continue to the Umschlagplatz monument, where the Jews of Warsaw were assembled for deportation during the Holocaust. Next, we see the Jewish Resistance Bunker at Mila 18 and the Stawski Street buildings, where the SS had their headquarters.
• We also view the remaining fragment of the Ghetto Wall.
• ACC MUSIC: We host a memorial service at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes built by Jewish sculptor Nathan Rappaport, who was born in Warsaw.
• 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 Warsaw’s Ghetto and features a multi-media narrative exhibition about the vibrant Jewish community that flourished in Poland for nearly 1,000 years.
• 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 continue to the Chopin Monument and view the Presidential palace before we discover Warsaw’s Old Town on a walking tour through the cobblestone alleys. See the medieval buildings reconstructed after WWII, explore Old Town Market Square. OR Choose to instead visit the Old Jewish Cemetery (established in 1806, containing the graves of about 250,000 people and known as the largest cemetery in Poland).
• We transfer to the train station where we board our train to Krakow (luggage will be transferred separately for our convenience).
• Upon arrival to Krakow we check into our hotel with time to refresh.
• ACC MUSIC: This evening we hear the inspiring story of the rebirth of Jewish life in Krakow and the creation of the Krakow JCC by Executive Director Jonathan Ornstein. ACC members will perform as part of the opening ceremony for the Ride for the Living.
• Dinner together this evening.

Overnight in Krakow

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

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• PROF BERK LECTURE: This morning, we hear a historical lecture by Prof Berk.
• 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 take a guided walk through Birkenau with time for personal reflection, then join as a group at the end of the train tracks for a meaningful memorial prayer.
• Lunch is included today.
• We return to Krakow - dinner on own this evening.
• KRAKOW JEWISH CULTURE: After dinner, we delight in an evening of music at the unparalleled Krakow Jewish Culture Festival.

Overnight in Krakow

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

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE: This morning, we hear a historical lecture by Prof. Berk.
• OPTIONS:
      o Ride for the Living participants: We are transferred bright and early this morning to the Krakow JCC, where we enjoy breakfast together,      and travel by bus to Auschwitz to begin our inspiring 55-mile bicycle ride to Krakow!
      o Non-Riders: After breakfast at the hotel, we take part in a Jewish heritage tour that includes 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 the Little Museum at the Drug Store inside the Jewish Ghetto and hear the story. We’ll also pass by Schindler’s Factory and the      memorial upon 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, featuring the voices of the ACC.
• ENGAGING ENCOUNTER/KRAKOW JEWISH CULTURE: Later this evening, we’ll 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: Option to join Shabbat morning services led by members of the ACC.
• OPTIONS:
      o Ride participants: After breakfast at the hotel, we enjoy a Jewish heritage tour that includes the Kazimierz, the old Jewish district, where we      walk by the Old Synagogue, a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th to 16th centuries, the “Temple” and the Ramuh Synagogue.
      o Non-Riders: Free morning to relax and refresh, or…
      o Optional (Separate Cost): We travel outside the city center to explore the fun and fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mines,      which are over 700 years old. 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.
• ALL: This afternoon we enjoy a tour of the Wawel Castle, St. Mary’s Church and the Renaissance Cloth Hall 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 and 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, also known as "the City of One Thousand Spires" with its Baroque churches, promenades, parks and ancient city walls. Luggage will be sent by truck overnight, 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.
• Dinner on own tonight.
• Optional: 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

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE: This morning we enjoy an historical lecture by Professor 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. We’ll also hear stories and see 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.
• Later this afternoon, we return to Prague for an evening at leisure.

Overnight in Prague

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

• Breakfast at our hotels.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE: This morning, we hear a lecture by Prof. Berk, whose knowledge and insightful presentations have illuminated our journey.
• We tour of the former Jewish area known as the Josefov, with its Old Town Hall, Spanish Synagogue, the Alt-Neu Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the 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.
• ENGAGING ENCOUNTER: This afternoon, we are inspired by the leaders of Bejt Simcha, Prague’s Progressive Jewish community.
• ACC PROGRAM: Tonight, we join for a festive dinner, followed by a moving concert by members of the ACC, including greetings by the Israeli Ambassador and words from leaders of the local Jewish community.

Overnight in Prague

DAY 11, Wednesday, July 6, 2022: BUDAPEST

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we transfer to the airport for our short flight to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube River, the former cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges.
• We enjoy a panoramic bus tour of Budapest, including Parliament, the Royal Palace, and the Castle Hill area, Fishermen's Bastion, Coronation Church, Hero's Square and Gellert Hill.
• Enjoy dinner (on own) this evening.

Overnight in Budapest

DAY 12, Thursday, July 7, 2022: JEWISH BUDAPEST

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• PROF. BERK LECTURE: We begin our day with a lecture by Professor Stephen Berk.
• This morning, we see the Raoul Wallenberg memorial statue and hear the story of his heroic acts to save thousands of Jews in the Holocaust.
• Next, we visit the Dohany Synagogue, the Moorish masterpiece of architecture and largest synagogue in Europe. Within its gates are the Jewish Cemetery and Museum and the mesmerizing Holocaust Tree of Life memorial.
• Later, we stand riverside at the simple, yet emotionally charged Shoes on the Danube Memorial, commemorating the vicious reign of the Nazi-allied Arrow Cross. We also view the suitcase memorial, the Jewish community’s answer to the new and controversial memorial installed by the Hungarian government many believe seeks to absolve the state from their involvement in WWII.
• Next, we see the beautifully restored Rumbach Street Synagogue, to be the site of a new interfaith museum, which focuses on battling racism and antisemitism.
• ENGAGING ENCOUNTER: We end the day with the students of the Israeli Kulturalis Intezet (Israel Cultural Institute) an organization that aims to present and promote diverse Israeli culture in Hungary by providing educational, entertaining, and inspirational programs and services.
• Tonight, we enjoy a special farewell dinner together.

DAY 13, Friday, July 8, 2022: DEPARTURE

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

The Memories Last Forever!
* Itinerary subject to change