Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties
Mission to Cuba
with Mission Co-Chairs: Rachel Mehta & Jacki Skole
April 24 - May 1, 2022

Tour Rates & Dates:

This package is currently unavailable. Please check back later or call Ayelet Tours, Ltd. for more information.
*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.

Covid status for Cuba: As of today, Cuba is scheduled to gradually start reopening its borders on November 15, 2021. Proof of vaccination will be required upon arrival, while visitors who are not vaccinated will have to present a negative result of a PCR test carried out within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

For the latest official update, visit:

Tour Overview:

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Cuba: A 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.

  • 5 nights Melia Cohiba Hotel, Havana
  • 2 nights Melia San Carlos, Cienfuegos
  • All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking guide
  • Breakfast daily
  • 6 dinners, including Shabbat dinner
  • 5 lunches
  • Cigar factory tour
  • Visit to ORT/JDC in Havana
  • Meetings with Jewish community leaders in Havana, Santa Clara, and Cienfuegos
  • Visit to Finca Vigia
  • Performance by Cantores de Cienfuegos at Museo Provincial de Cienfuegos
  • Visit to the Fuster House/studio
  • Entrance to the Museum of the Revolution
  • Classic car ride
  • Transfer included if arriving/departing with the main group
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Porterage

  • Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges (contact Ayelet Tours for flights)
  • Visa fees (Visa will be issued at the airport. The cost is approximately $80 per visa)
  • Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters ($140 per participant, pre-collected)
  • Any meals not listed above
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any costs associated with testing or related to proof of Covid/vaccine status
  • Travel insurance (recommended—a group policy is available here)
  • Optional Tropicana Tour (additional cost – option to book during registration)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday, April 24, 2022: DEPARTURE

• We depart from New York on our non-stop flight to Cuba!
• We arrive at the Jose Marti Airport and meet our English-speaking guide and driver.
• This afternoon, we enjoy 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 check in to our hotel and enjoy a welcome drink and orientation.
• This evening, we join together for a welcome dinner at El Mediterraneo.

Overnight in Havana

Day 2: Monday, April 25, 2022 HAVANA VIEJA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin with 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.
• Next, we stop at the Partagas 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. • Lunch at Ivan Justo paladar.
• After lunch, we visit ORT Cuba and learn about the many ways in which they serve the Jewish population in and around Havana, including running the Cuban Jewish Senior Center, offering Holocaust education, providing supplementary services such as basic needs and health care, supplemental meals at the children’s center, building infrastructure maintenance, and also supporting local artists (option to instead visit JDC in Cuba).
• Tonight, we enjoy dinner at Café del Oriente.
• Option to attend the world-famous show at the Tropicana, an old-world Vegasstyle show in production since 1939 (cost not included – sign up during registration).

Overnight in Havana

Day 3: Tuesday, April 26, 2022: HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin with a visit to 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 stop for lunch at Fina Yoandra/Il Divino for a glimpse into this organic urban farm and community project with a private restaurant in the outskirts of Havana.
• 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. Learn how Cuba influenced his writing.
• We visit the Sephardic Center and meet with Mayra Levy, President of the congregation, who discusses the role of Sephardic Jews in the resurgence of Jewish life in Cuba. We also deliver aid to the community and interact with locals. While here, we view the first Holocaust exhibit displayed in Cuba.
• We enjoy dinner on our own at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Havana

Day 4: Wednesday, April 27, 2022: SANTA CLARA TO CIENFUEGOS

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we depart for Santa Clara, an important city founded in the 1600's. Here, in 1958, Che Guevara and his troops won a crucial battle in securing victory for the Cuban Revolution.
• We stop at the Che Guevara memorial for a photo opportunity in the square and visit the Che Museum underneath.
• Lunch together at Aldaba paladar.
• This afternoon, we 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.
• We continue to the beautiful port city of Cienfuegos, Cuba’s “Pearl of the South".
• We check in to our hotel and refresh for dinner together at D’Carmelino.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 5: Thursday, April 28, 2022: TRINIDAD

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad, a charming city settled in 1514 which is a UNESCO heritage site since 1988.
• We enjoy a walking tour of historic Trinidad, which is 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. We learn about the efforts to preserve the city’s heritage.
• This afternoon, we meet with the famous Santander family, well-known local potters, and visit their workshop and gallery. These artists have been making handmade pottery for over 100 years.
• Lunch at San Jose paladar.
• We return to Cienfuegos where we meet with Rebecca Langus and learn about the local Jewish community with time to deliver gifts.
• We enjoy a performance by Cantores de Cienfuegos at Museo Provincial de Cienfuegos.
• Dinner at Finca del Mar together this evening.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 6: Friday, April 29, 2022: A HAVANA SHABBAT

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we tour Cienfuegos including Parque Marti and the Thomas Terry Theater. We learn about this UNESCO World Heritage Site, founded by French immigrants in 1819
• We depart for Havana. Lunch on own en route.
• 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 check in to our hotel and refresh.
• This evening, we join the local community for Shabbat services at Beth Shalom Synagogue at Patronato followed by Shabbat dinner back at our hotel.

Overnight in Havana

Day 7: Saturday, April 30, 2022: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Day at leisure OR
    o We begin with a visit the Habana Compas Dance headquarters to enjoy a performance and interact with the dancers and instructors.
    o Next, we stop at Almacenes de San Jose market, where we stroll through the stalls of arts and crafts made by the locals. o Lunch at Mambo.
    o 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 Rio Mar paladar, recalling all that we have experienced together.

Overnight in Havana

Day 8: Sunday, May 1, 2022: DEPARTURE

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

The Memories Last Forever!!
*Itinerary subject to change