Temple Sinai of Roslyn
Mission to Cuba
Led by Cantors Sergei and Elena Schwartz
February 14-23, 2020

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Feb 14, 2020
Temple Sinai of Roslyn
Mission to Cuba
Led by Cantors Sergei and Elena Schwartz
February 14-23, 2020
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$3,991$3,875Sold 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.
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If Land & Air price is displayed, the air portion includes tax and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change until ticketed.

Tour Overview:

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5 nights Melia Cohiba Hotel, Havana
2 nights Melia San Carlos, Cienfuegos
2 nights Melia Las Americas, Varadero
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an expert English-speaking guide
Meeting with Jewish community leaders
Breakfast daily
8 dinners, including Shabbat dinner in Havana
8 lunches
Vocal Clave del Sol program
Optional Fabrica D'la Arte program
Habana Compas Dance group performance
Tropicana show
Cigar factory tour
Dominoes or dance therapy with seniors
Classic car ride
Meeting with local Cuban potters in Varadero
Transfer upon arrival/departure with main group
Entrance fees per itineary
Bottled water on the bus


Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Cuban visa (purchase at the airport directly from the airline)
Tips to guide, driver and dining room waiters ($20 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (highly recommended)
Gifts and aid to local communities

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Friday, February 14, 2020: WELCOME TO CUBA

• We depart New York on our flight to Cuba.
• Upon arrival in Havana, we set out on a panoramic overview tour of the city, beginning with a stop in Revolution Square, which is dominated by the Jose Marti Memorial where Fidel Castro delivered the majority of his lengthy political addresses.
• Time to check in and refresh (based on flight time, we may include additional touring here).
• As the sun sets, we join together for Shabbat at the Sephardic Center with Cantors Sergei and Elena helping to lead the service, followed by Shabbat dinner with members of the local community.

Overnight in Havana

Day 2: Saturday, February 15, 2020: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we pass by Lennon Park and stop at Havana University. On campus, meet with Dr. Ricardo Torres, from the University of La Habana Economics department. Dr Torres will share with us how the Cuban economy is organized, and how this has changed in recent years as the government policies have been updated. We'll also dive into the impact of the longstanding US embargo upon this small island nation.
• Next, we visit Vocal Clave del Sol, a musical education program for children founded in 2009. We met and interact with some of the students and teachers and learn about the importance of this program to the students here.
• We visit the impressive Fuster house/studio to see this unique mosaic masterpiece and learn about the artists' project to beautify and help the community he lives in. We also enjoy lunch during our visit.
• Free evening for dinner on own (your guide will assist with reservations).
• Optional: 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 3: Sunday, February 16, 2020: THE RHYTHM OF CUBA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a visit to the Patronato, where we meet with community leaders. We tour the center and learn about the pharmacy, see the kids at Sunday school, and have time to deliver gifts and aid.
• We enjoy lunch at Café del Oriente.
• This afternoon, 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 make a quick stop at the Raquel Hotel, a Jewish-themed hotel.
• We complete our day with a visit to Adat Israel, the Orthodox synagogue, where we will meet with Jacob Berezniak to deliver our gifts and aid to the community.
• We enjoy dinner together at La Habanera paladar.
• Optional: Visit Habana Café for nightlife and entertainment.

Overnight in Havana

Day 4: Monday, February 17, 2020: HISTORY OF HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we visit Finca Vigia, a villa that Hemingway called home for 21 years. His home is now a museum with many of his personal belongings and learn how Cuba influenced his writing.
• We stop for 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.
• We continue to the Jewish cemetery in Guanabacoa, including a stop at the Holocaust Memorial.
• This afternoon, we enjoy a performance by the Habana Compas Dance group, known internationally for combining dance and percussion.
• Tonight, we set out for a festive evening beginning with dinner at Mediterraneo, followed by the colorful and vibrant Tropicana show.

Overnight in Havana

Day 5: Tuesday, February 18, 2020: JEWISH & OLD HAVANA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we learn about the art and tradition of cigar rolling in Cuba on a tour of the Partagas Cigar Factory and see the process from leaf to finished product and ultimately distribution.
• Next, we visit the Sephardic Center and meet with Mayra Levy, president of the congregation. We deliver aid to the community and have the opportunity to interact with some of the seniors served by the synagogue. We also see the center's Holocaust Exhibit, opened in 2011.
• While at the Sephardic Center, we visit the Senior Center, which provides crucial care and social activities to community members. We enjoy dominoes or dance therapy with some of the seniors.
• Our tour continues at the Museum of the Revolution to gain an understanding of the momentous change that has occurred in Cuba due to the Revolution over 50 years ago.
• We enjoy lunch at VIPhavana.
• This afternoon, we walk through Callejon De Hamel, a narrow two block alley in Central Havana that has over the years become a shrine to Afro-Cuban religions through the art created by Salvador Gonzalez.
• Later this afternoon, we return to our hotel to relax or watch a little league baseball practice.
• Tonight, we enjoy a classic car ride to dinner at Rio Mar paladar.

Overnight in Havana

Day 6: Wednesday, February 19, 2020: SANTA CLARA AND CIENFUEGOS

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we depart Havana and travel to 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.
• Next, we stop at the Che Guevara memorial for a photo opportunity in the square and visit the Che Museum underneath.
• We stop for lunch at Santa Rosalia.
• After lunch, 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 and aid.
• We continue to Cienfuegos to check into our hotel and refresh before dinner at Finca Del Mar overlooking the water.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 7: Thursday, February 20, 2020: HISTORIC TRINIDAD & CIENFUEGOS

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we depart for the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad, a charming city settled in 1514, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site 1988.
• Upon arrival, we 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. We will learn about the efforts to preserve the city's heritage and stop for a chance to peruse the local craft market.
• We meet with the famous Santander family, well-known local potters, and visit their workshop and gallery. This family of artists have been making handmade pottery for over 100 years.
• We enjoy lunch at San Jose paladar before returning to Cienfuegos.
• We set out on a tour of Cienfuegos, including Parque Marti and the Thomas Terry Theater, while learning about this UNESCO World Heritage site founded by French immigrants in 819.
• We meet with Rebecca Langus and learn about the local Jewish community, with time to deliver gifts and aid.
• Tonight, we join together for dinner at the San Carlos rooftop.

Overnight in Cienfuegos

Day 8: Friday, February 21, 2020: TO VARADERO

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we transfer to Varadero.
• Here, we tour the Xanadu mansion, built by American millionaire Irénée du Pont Nemours and learn about the fascinating story of this majestic property.
• Check into our hotel.
• Spend the afternoon preparing for Shabbat together.
• Services led by Cantors Sergei and Elena on the beach.
• Tonight, we meet for dinner at our all-inclusive resort.

Overnight in Varadero

Day 9: Saturday, February 22, 2020: VARADERO

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• After breakfast, we visit “Taller de Cerámica Artística” to meet with local Cuban potters and learn about their fine artwork.
• We return to our hotel for lunch together.
• Afternoon at leisure.
• We meet for a festive farewell dinner, recalling the amazing experience we have had together.

Overnight in Varadero

Day 10: Sunday, February 23, 2020: FAREWELL

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

The Memories Last Forever!!
*Itinerary subject to change