Temple Beth El's
Jewish Heritage Tour to Eastern Europe
Led by Rabbi Joshua & Dr. Mara Hammerman
July 5-17, 2020


Tour Rates & Dates:

Start DatePlan Option/Hotel DetailTour Package*Tour Package (check)*Tour Package w/ Airfare*Click to
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Jul 5, 2020
Temple Beth El's
Jewish Heritage Tour to Eastern Europe
Led by Rabbi Joshua & Dr. Mara Hammerman
July 5-17, 2020
[+ Hotel Details]
$4,428$4,299Sold Out
Jul 1, 2020
Temple Beth El's
Jewish Heritage Tour to Eastern Europe
with Berlin pre-tour
Led by Rabbi Joshua & Dr. Mara Hammerman
July 5-17, 2020
[+ Hotel Details]
$6,898$6,698Sold 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.

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.

INCLUDED IN MAIN TOUR:

Meals provided will be kosher, vegetarian or vegan, except hotel buffet breakfasts which are not under supervision and may include treif items.

3 nights Intercontinental Hotel, Prague
3 nights Sofitel Chain Bridge, Budapest
2 nights Sheraton Hotel, Krakow
1 night Grand Hotel Lublinianka, Lublin
2 nights Hotel Bristol, Warsaw
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Professional tour director
Breakfast daily
6 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Budapest
3 lunches
Internal flights from Prague to Budapest to Krakow
Transfer included if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary
Porterage

INCLUDED IN BERLIN PRE-TOUR:

3 nights Westin Grand, Berlin
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Professional tour director
2 dinners, including Shabbat dinner
1 boxed lunch
Transfer upon arrival with main group
First class train from Berlin to Prague
Entrance fees as per itinerary
Porterage

NOT INCLUDED:

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges (Available during registration)
Any border taxes or visa fees
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)

FLIGHTS*

Pre-Tour Flights - $1,198 per person
    DL 092     01JUL    JFK-TXL           8:50PM - 11:00AM (02JUL)
    KL1364    17JUL    WAW-AMS    12:25PM - 2:30PM
    KL 643     17JUL    AMS-JFK         5:55PM - 7:50PM

Main-tour flights - $1,059 per person
    DL 210     05JUL      JFK-PRG         9:25PM - 11:45AM (06JUL)
    KL1364    17JUL     WAW-AMS   12:25PM - 2:30PM
    KL 643     17JUL      AMS-JFK        5:55PM - 7:50PM

Internal flights - Price included in the land package
    LO 2502    09JUL     PRG-BUD     9:25AM - 10:35AM
    LO 548      12JUL     BUD-KRK    9:20AM - 10:25AM

*Schedules subject to change

Tour Itinerary:

BERLIN PRE-TOUR:

DAY 1: Wednesday, July 1, 2020: DEPARTURE

• We depart on our overnight flight to Berlin.

DAY 2: Thursday, July 2, 2020: WELCOME TO BERLIN!


• We arrive in Berlin and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We begin our tour of Germany's capital, reunited in 1989, and home of Germany's largest Jewish community, with a tour of the Mitte, Berlin's historic center district.
• We stop for photos and overview at Checkpoint Charlie, the Burning of the Book Memorial, as well as the Reischstag, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate.
• We stop to view the East Side Gallery, featuring artwork painted on the Berlin Wall.
• We complete our day with a visit to the insightful Topography of Terror Museum, built on the site of the former SS and Gestapo headquarters.
• We check into our hotel with time to refresh, followed by a welcome dinner together this evening (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).

Overnight in Berlin

DAY 3: Friday, July 3, 2020 2019: POTSDAM


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Potsdam. On the way, we cross the Glienicke Bridge, a famous exchange point for Soviet spies during the days of the Cold War. In Potsdam, we stop to view the stunning Sanssouci Palace and Gardens, built by Frederick the Great.
• We continue to Cecilienhof Manor, site of the famous 1945 meeting between Truman, Churchill and Stalin OR we visit the Zacharias Frankel College, which trains new groups of Masorti/Conservative rabbis in Europe who are well versed in Jewish texts and committed to a life of mitzvot and a love of Jewish tradition.
• Later this afternoon, we continue to the Wannsee House, where the Wannsee conference took place and the Nazi “final solution of the Jewish question” was decided.
• We return to Berlin and stop at the Gleis 17 Memorial.
• As the sun sets, we enjoy Shabbat services with the local community at the beautiful Rykestrasse Synagogue, Germany's largest synagogue, reopened 70 years after being damaged severely during Kristallnacht, followed by Shabbat dinner together at restaurant Feinberg or similar (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).

Overnight in Berlin

DAY 4: Saturday, July 4, 2020: JUDAISM IN BERLIN - SHABBAT SHALOM!


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Morning at leisure. You may choose to join services at one of the many local synagogues or explore this beautiful city at your own pace!
• This afternoon, we enjoy a walking tour of the Old Jewish quarter, which is constantly revolving and changing. Along the way, we pass by the Neue (New) Synagogue, with its gilded dome, which is the most visible symbol of Berlin's revitalized Jewish community, and the Altes (Old) Synagogue.
• Boxed lunch included today.
• We'll hear stories of survival during the Nazi period, learn where Otto Weidt, Berlin's own “Schindler,” ran his workshop for the blind, and see where the successful women's protest helped save almost 2,000 Jews from deportation to the death camps.
• Our tour continues with a stop in the Hackescher Hof courtyards, where the founder of Reform Judaism once lived and on to the oldest Jewish cemetery in the area, where Moses Mendelssohn is buried.
• Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore and have dinner on own.

Overnight in Berlin

DAY 5: Sunday, July 5, 2020: BERLIN


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we view the museum inside the Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue and meet with Masorti (Conservative) Rabbi Gesa S. Ederberg to discuss Judaism in Berlin today.
• We also view the Rosenstrasse Memorial, site of a significant peaceful protest by Aryan wives and relatives of Jewish Germans rounded up for deportation.
• This afternoon, we explore the UNESCO World Heritage site, Museum Island, to see the Gates of Babylon at the Pergamon Museum.
• We complete our day with a stroll through the Bavarian quarter, a former Jewish neighborhood, that became an unofficial ghetto where Berlin's Jews were contained before deportation. Along the way, we see the 80 placards that make up the public art installation, “Places of Remembrance” about the Nazi's anti-Semitic legislation.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Main tour participants depart the United States for Prague this evening.

Overnight in Berlin

EASTERN EUROPE MAIN TOUR:

DAY 6: Monday, July 6, 2020: WELCOME TO PRAGUE!


• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Pre-tour participants board our train to Prague, where we meet up with the main tour participants who arrive today. Prague is the Czech capital, also known as "the City of One Thousand Spires", with its Baroque churches, promenades, parks and ancient city walls.
• We meet our local guide and cross the Charles Bridge, stopping to see the Astronomical Clock along the way to the Old Town Square. Here, we see the Statue of the Czech revolutionary, Jan Hus, who reformed the Czech universities and inspired the Hussites, who rebelled against Catholic doctrine.
• We check into our hotel and have time to refresh.
• This evening, we join together for a fun welcome dinner at a local restaurant (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).

Overnight in Prague

DAY 7: Tuesday, July 7, 2020: JEWISH PRAGUE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we enjoy a tour of Jewish Prague with a visit to the Old City to view the Josefov, Prague's Jewish town with its Old Town Hall, the Alt-Neu Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue, the Jewish cemetery, and the State Jewish Museum. We also stop to see the Jerusalem Synagogue.
• Next, we meet with Rabbi Ron Hoffberg, a former resident of New Jersey, who moved to the Czech Republic to help revive a once decimated Jewish community. We learn about his small but thriving community and his work as their Conservative rabbi.
• Evening at leisure to explore and enjoy dinner on own.

Overnight in Prague

DAY 8: Wednesday, July 8, 2020: TEREZIN


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we travel to Terezin, the former "model" Nazi concentration camp. We visit the prison fortress and the Jewish cemetery, 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 great rabbis imprisoned here, including Leo Baeck and Regina Jonas, the first woman ordained a rabbi..
• We return to Prague for a processing session, followed by an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Prague

DAY 9: Thursday, July 9, 2020: BEAUTIFUL 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.
• Upon our arrival, we enjoy a panoramic bus tour of Budapest, including the Royal Palace, the Castle Hill area, as well as the Fishermen's Bastion, Coronation Church, Hero's Square and Gellert Hill.
• Our final stop today is at the Israel Culture Institute, the only one of its kind in the world, for a tour and to meet with young professionals from the Minyanim program to hear about what it's like to be Jewish in Budapest today.
• We check into our hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure to discover Budapest and have dinner on own.

Overnight in Budapest

DAY 10: Friday, July 10, 2020: JEWISH LIFE IN BUDAPEST

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at the Raoul Wallenberg memorial statue and then visit the Dohany Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, followed by a visit to the Jewish Cemetery and Museum.
• We continue to the Orthodox synagogue, then to the shore of the Danube to view the famed Shoes on the Danube memorial, pass by the Parliament and complete our tour at Liberty Square, where we see the “suitcase memorial” honoring the victims of the German invasion.
• This evening, we join together for Shabbat services at the Frankel Synagogue led by Rabbi Tamas Vero, followed by Shabbat dinner with members of the community (kosher).

Overnight in Budapest

DAY 11: Saturday, July 11, 2020: SHABBAT SHALOM!


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we invite you to join us for optional Shabbat services.
• Enjoy a Shabbat boxed lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore this beautiful city at your own pace. Enjoy a stroll along Vaci Utca or treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon at the thermal baths.
• This evening, we set sail on a Danube River dinner cruise (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu) with members of the Budapest JCC.

Overnight in Budapest

DAY 12: Sunday, July 12, 2020: JEWISH KRAKOW


• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we transfer to the airport and board our flight to Krakow.
• Upon arrival, we enjoy a Jewish heritage tour beginning in the old Jewish district known as Kazimierz, where we see the Old Synagogue (a massive fortress-like building erected in the 15th and 16th centuries), the “Temple” and the Remuh Synagogue.
• We drive by the site of the Plaszow Concentration Camp, then continue past Schindler's Factory and the Little Museum at the Drugstore.
• Later this afternoon, we check into our hotel and refresh before an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 13: Monday, July 13, 2020: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Galicia Museum with a chance to meet Miroslawa Gruszczynska, whose family saved a Jewish teenage girl fleeing the destruction of the ghetto (Pending confirmation).
• Next, we travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration camp, where many Jews and others perished in WWII. Here, we see the museum and pay tribute to the victims.
• We return to Krakow with time to freshen up.
• Tonight, we enjoy dinner together with guest speaker Jonathan Ornstein, Executive Director of the Krakow JCC, who updates us on the many exciting projects they have undertaken in what is now a growing and flourishing Jewish community in the heart of Galicia (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 14: Tuesday, July 14, 2020: MAJDANEK & LUBLIN


• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we depart Krakow and travel to Majdanek, an extermination camp outside of Lublin in operation from July 1942 to October 1943 as part of the Final Solution. Somewhere between 700,000 to 900,000 were killed here; more than any other Nazi extermination camp apart from Auschwitz. We hear stories of the victims and visit the memorial, remembering our ancestors who perished here.
• Boxed lunch en route to Lublin.
• We check into check into our hotel and have time to relax before dinner together this evening (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).
• Optional evening orientation walk with our tour director after dinner.

Overnight in Lublin

DAY 15: Wednesday, July 15, 2020: TO WARSAW

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Warsaw. Upon arrival, we stop outside Janucz Korczak's orphanage and hear his heartbreaking story.
• Next, we visit to the Stawski Street buildings, where the SS had their headquarters, followed by Umschlagplatz, where thousands of Warsaw Jews were gathered for final transport to Treblinka. We also visit the Jewish Resistance Bunker at Mila 18.
• After time for lunch (on own), we continue to the Jewish Historical Institute to view the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ringeblum Archives are a unique collection of documents that are one of the world's most significant testimonies about the extermination of Polish Jewry, hidden from the Nazis in milk containers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC0SHd0n8Y8)
• Time permitting, we stop at the Warsaw Zoo to visit to the zookeeper's house, owned by the couple that saved many Jews during the Holocaust, now memorialized in the movie “The Zookeeper's Wife”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBYoE2RPar0
• We check into our hotel and refresh before an evening at leisure and dinner on own.
• Option to attend an elegant Chopin concert this evening.

Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 16: Thursday, July 16, 2020: JEWISH HISTORY IN WARSAW


• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we tour the POLIN Museum (New Museum of the History of Polish Jews). The Hebrew word Polin means either Poland or "rest here" in English and is related to a legend of the arrival of the first Jews in Poland. 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.
• We stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
• We complete our day in the Warsaw Ghetto to see the Nozyk Synagogue, the only surviving synagogue in Warsaw, and the Gesia Cemetery, established in 1806, containing the graves of about 250,000 people and known as the largest cemetery in Poland.
• Tonight, we enjoy a special farewell dinner together, recalling all that we have experienced on this journey together (kosher/vegetarian/vegan menu).

Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 17: Friday, July 17, 2020: 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