Temple Chaverim's Journey to Amazing Spain
Led by Rabbi Elizabeth Zeller
December 18 - 29, 2022


Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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Jewish history in Spain is filled with contradictions.  There is tragedy here, but there are also traces of former glories during the 1,000 years before the inquisition - these were large scale Jewish communities that prospered for long periods.  We will delve into the past, as well as reach out to the nascent Jewish communities of today to hear their struggles and their successes. With the Spanish government opening the door to citizenship for Jews with Spanish roots, and the opening of new centers of Jewish culture, there has never been a better time to visit Spain!

INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY:

3 nights Catalonia Gran Via, Madrid
1 night Barcelo Carmen Hotel, Granada
3 nights Hotel Ribera de Triana, Seville
3 nights Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, Barcelona
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned motorocoach with expert English-speaking local guides
Professional Tour Director throughout
Special touring appearance by Rabbi Haim Casas in Cordoba
Breakfast daily
Welcome dinner in Madrid
Dinner with the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid
Shabbat dinner with members of the Seville Jewish community
Tapas style dinner in Barcelona
Farewell dinner in Barcelona
Visits to Museum Reina Sofia, El Prado Museum, the Alhambra Palace, the Dali Museum and more!
Airport transfers if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees per itinerary
Porterage
Whisper headsets


NOT INCLUDED:

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Border taxes or visa fees
Tips to guides, driver and dining room personnel ($20 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Optional Flamenco show, including tapas, 1 drink and transportation ($110/person)
Travel insurance (recommended - group policy available)
Any costs associated with Covid-19 testing or vaccination


Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday, December 18, 2022: DEPARTURE TO SPAIN

• We depart the United States on our overnight flight to Spain.

Day 2: Monday, December 19, 2022: WELCOME TO MADRID!

• We arrive in Madrid this morning and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We enjoy an orientation drive past the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, the 17th century Plaza Major and other key sites as we learn about the city center's amazing (and sometimes sordid) history.
• This afternoon, we visit the Centro de Alta Reina Sofia, where we see the paintings of Guernica.
• Free time to refresh before enjoying our welcome dinner together this evening.

Overnight in Madrid (D)

Day 3: Tuesday, December 20, 2022: MADRID

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we tour the amazing Prado Museum and stroll through the beautiful Retiro Park.
• Next, we visit the Paseo del Prado between Estacion de Atocha and Plaza Colon, including a view of the fountains at Fuente de Neptuno and the Plaza de la Cibeles.
• This afternoon, we hear from noted Spanish Jewish history scholar Dr. Victoria Atlas Prilutsky, who shares with us stories of the Jewish community as it existed before the inquisition.
• Free evening for dinner on own.

Overnight in Madrid

Day 4: Wednesday, December 21, 2022: TOLEDO

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to one of the main highlights of Spain, the Imperial City of Toledo. This former royal capital of Spain and heart of Jewish learning and literature is an example of a perfectly preserved medieval city, rightly called a “living museum”.
• We visit the Grand Toledo Cathedral the largest gothic cathedral in the world, Santa Maria La Blanca formerly a synagogue, and the Transito Synagogue, originally intended as a private house of worship for Samuel Ha Levi in the 14th century. In 1970 the synagogue, along with the neighboring Sephardi Museum (Museo Sefaradi), established in 1964, became the National Museum of Judeo-Spanish Art, a state institution under the control of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture.
• We enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from across the river before returning to Madrid.
• We will join with leaders of the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid (CRJM) for dinner and a chance to learn more about their community.

Overnight in Madrid (D)

Day 5: Thursday, December 22, 2022: CORDOBA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we travel via the high-speed AVE train to Cordoba, home of the great Rambam, Moses Maimonides.
• In Cordoba, we meet with Rabbi Haim Casas to discuss conversos, Jews who converted to Catholicism. Rabbi Casas will act as our guide through the city.
• We see the synagogue with its bronze statue of Maimonides and the cathedral, once a mosque.
• Once the home of the Jewish community, Cordoba's medieval quarter is called "La Judería" (The Jewry), a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets, shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares such as La Plaza del Potro. Here, we visit the Casa De Sefarad for a special program about the Ladino language and Sephardic culture and music.
• Next, we visit the famous “La Mezquita”, the mosque-cathedral known as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
• Later this afternoon, we have time to explore the shops of Calle Judios.
• We continue by bus to Granada.
• We check into our hotel followed by an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Granada

Day 6: Friday, December 23, 2022: GRANADA TO SEVILLE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We begin our day with a tour of Granada, including the Alhambra Palace. This was the palace where, in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella signed the decree expelling the Jews from Spain.
• We also see the famed Generalife Gardens and the Old Jewish quarter.
• After lunch on own, we continue by bus to Seville, where we stop by the iconic and beautiful Plaza de Espana, a 50,000 square meter spectacle of light and majesty designed for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo.
• We check into our hotel and have time to refresh.
• This evening, we join together for Kabbalat Shabbat services with Rabbi Haim Casas, who is working to establish the reform/progressive community in Seville, followed by Shabbat dinner together.

Overnight in Seville (D)

Day 7: Saturday, December 24, 2022: SHABBAT SHALOM!/JEWISH SEVILLE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Enjoy the morning at leisure.
• This afternoon, we delight in a city tour of Seville led by our fantastic local guide Moises. Our tour includes visits to the burial site of Christopher Columbus, viewing the largest cathedral in Spain and its Giralda Tower and the Moorish Alcazar Palace.
• We continue to the Barrio de Santa Cruz with its narrow winding streets and small plaza, one a thriving Jewish community.
• As Shabbat comes to an end, we suggest setting out on own to discover the nightlife in the city. Taste the tapas, wander through the illuminated monuments and take in the local way of life.
Optional: Take in a fun and exciting Flamenco performance (additional cost).

Overnight in Seville

Day 8: Sunday, December 25, 2022: JEWISH SEVILLE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we enjoy a Jewish heritage tour of Seville, led again by Moises. We walk inside the former Jewish quarter, trying to understand how our ancestors lived in this city until the edict of expulsion was issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.
• We continue to the Barrio de Santa Cruz with its winding narrow streets and small plaza, which was once a thriving Jewish community.
• Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to relax or explore the city on own.

Overnight in Seville

Day 9: Monday, December 26, 2022: SEVILLE TO BARCELONA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we fly to Barcelona. Upon arrival, we see the harbor area, Columbus statue and stroll down the beautiful tree lined “La Rambla”, a popular downtown boulevard.
• We continue to awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia Church designed by Gaudi and still in a perpetual state of construction. We also see Gaudi's Park Güell, one of many partnership projects between the artist Gaudi and entrepreneur Eusebi Güell.
• Choose to stay and explore Casa Batllo or Casa Mila on own and return to the hotel at leisure (no bus).
• Tonight, enjoy the option to go to the city center for a taste of tapas, the Spanish hors d'oeuvres buffet, on own.

Overnight in Barcelona

Day 10: Tuesday, December 27, 2022: JEWISH BARCELONA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we enjoy a private Jewish heritage tour of the city with Susanna, our Jewish Heritage Specialist, including a visit to the Holocaust Memorial, dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the Shoah by the Jewish institutions of Barcelona.
• Next, we stop by the site of the ancient cemetery from the middle-ages, where there are no visible markers today, but where we will hear the history of the site and the efforts of Dominique and the local Jewish community to get it designated a landmark. From this point we can look over the Mediterranean and on to the city of Barcelona.
• Our next stop is at Monjuich (Jews' Hill) with a magnificent view of the city. This hill is Barcelona's central park today.
• We continue with a drive down to the oldest part of town, the Gothic quarter, for an easy walk in El Call (the ancient Jewish quarter) where we will see the remains of Barcelona's Major Synagogue that reopened in 2002 as a small museum.
• Following our Jewish heritage tour, we visit Progressive Congregation Bet Shalom to meet with local members of the community for a tour and discussion of Jewish life in Barcelona, followed by a tapas style dinner.

Overnight in Barcelona (D)

Day 11: Wednesday, December 28, 2022: GERONA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day in the town of Figueres to visit the Dali Museum filled with the painters' most famous surrealist paintings and a wide selection of fun creations.
• We continue to Gerona, formerly a major Jewish center and home to the famous Ramban Nachmanides.
• Next, we visit the Old Jewish Quarter, including its newly restored museum and courtyard.
• We return to Barcelona later this afternoon., where we join together for a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant and a chance to reminisce about our journey together.

Overnight in Barcelona (D)

Day 12: Thursday, December 29, 2022: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.


THE MEMORIES LAST FOREVER!!
*Itinerary subject to change